Council committee backs sale of seven lots in Bayside

A City Council committee has endorsed the sale of seven lots in Bayside to a development company that is planning a large parking garage and retail, office and housing developments.

The Community Development Committee on Wednesday night backed the purchase-and-sale agreement for 3.25 acres for $2.3 million to The Federated Cos. Six of the lots are on Somerset Street and the other can be accessed from Elm Street.

City officials said the sale and development will extend the revitalization of Bayside.

Most of the development in the past four years has been on Marginal Way, which runs parallel to Somerset Street.

The sale agreement carries several provisions. The city retained the right to buy back the property at the same price if The Federated Cos. fails to start construction within two years of getting city permits.

The deal also requires that a 500-car garage be built first. Officials of The Federated Cos. said the mixed-use development will probably consist of first-floor retail space, second-floor parking and housing or office units above that.

The purchase-and-sale agreement will now go to the full council for a vote, most likely at the next meeting, June 6.


Police identify suspect in Family Dollar robbery

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a Westbrook man who is a suspect in a robbery earlier this month at the Family Dollar store on Main Street.

Police said an arrest warrant charges Jason A. Gardiner, 32, with robbery, a class A felony.

Gardiner is 6 feet, 3 inches tall, weighs 225 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes.

He has multiple tattoos including a shamrock on the right side of his neck, praying hands on the left side, a barbed wired on his upper left arm, hearts and a cross on his left forearm, and a shamrock and New York Yankees logo on his right forearm.

Gardiner has a lengthy criminal history and is believed to be living in the greater Portland area.

Anyone with information concerning his whereabouts should call Westbrook police at 854-0644.


Man under Civil Rights order gets nine months for assault

A Biddeford man has been sentenced to nine months in York County Jail for violating the Maine Civil Rights Act.

Attorney General William J. Schneider said 36-year-old Adam Goodwin pleaded guilty in York County Superior Court to assault, interference with constitutional and civil rights, and a criminal violation of a civil rights injunction. Justice G. Arthur Brennan presided at Goodwin’s hearing.

Schneider said the victim, Carl Donaldson, an African-American, was waiting for an order at Rapid Ray’s Diner in Saco with a woman companion last December when Goodwin entered the diner. The woman was Caucasian.

Goodwin made a racially derogatory remark to the couple that Donaldson replied to. When Donaldson turned his back, Goodwin punched him in the head.

At the time of the assault, Goodwin was under an injunction for a 2008 assault on a Jewish man. Following that attack, the Maine Superior Court ordered Goodwin not to engage in future violations of the Civil Rights Act.

Since 1992, the Attorney General’s Office has obtained over 200 injunctions. There have been only eight criminal violations of these orders, all resulting in significant jail sentences.


BMW slams into a tree after driver’s medical event

North Street was shut down for about 20 minutes Thursday evening after a 2007 BMW crashed into an oak tree and rolled over.

Sgt. Chris Hardiman identified the driver as Aidan Macaodhaigan, 38, of Saco. The accident took place near the intersection of North and Franklin streets.

Macaodhaigan apparently suffered some type of medical problem, which caused him to lose control of his car as he was heading outbound on North Street around 5:30 p.m. His BMW crossed in front of a line of inbound traffic before slamming into the tree.

He was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford with non-life threatening injuries.

Hardiman said the tree likely prevented the car from entering an athletic field where a Thornton Academy girls’ softball game was being played.


East Millinocket tax break rejected by legislative panel

A legislative committee has rejected a plan to help the town of East Millinocket cushion the blow of losing 450 jobs and $810,000 in tax revenue following the closure of a paper mill.

Members of the Committee on Taxation said they’re sympathetic to the town’s government and the laid-off workers and didn’t rule out other state help.

But the committee denied a bill that would have reduced the state valuation of the town by $66 million, the value of the closed Katahdin Paper mill, according to The Bangor Daily News.


Firewood exchange today aims to keep the bugs out

Forest rangers will be collecting firewood from out-of-state visitors to protect the state’s woodlands from destructive insects such as the Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer.

The Maine Forest Service is holding a “firewood exchange” at the Maine Turnpike’s Kittery rest area today. People arriving from other states will be able to swap their wood for Maine-processed firewood at no charge.

The Legislature last September passed a law banning out-of-state firewood in Maine.

The longhorned beetle and the ash borer have destroyed millions of acres of trees in nearby states and provinces but have yet to be confirmed in Maine.

Officials may hold a third firewood exchange on Saturday depending on weather conditions and the volume of wood collected by Friday.


Organizers put out call for summer race volunteers

Organizers of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race are looking for volunteers to help put on the 14th annual event, scheduled for Aug. 6 in Cape Elizabeth.

Volunteers are needed to help with parking, recycling and assisting with the Kid’s Fun Run scheduled for Aug. 5.

The race relies on about 800 volunteers each year to keep things running smoothly. Volunteers can register online.


Teen pleads not guilty in shooting of friend

A Maine teenager has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in the fatal shooting of his friend.

Nineteen-year-old Luke Bryant of Knox entered his plea Thursday in Waldo County Superior Court.

Prosecutors say Bryant killed 19-year-old Tyler Seaney at Bryant’s apartment on Feb. 19.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Bryant told police he was trying to unjam his 12-gauge shotgun when he accidentally pulled the trigger as Seaney stepped out of the bathroom.

Manslaughter carries a maximum 30-year sentence in Maine.


N.H. man charged with OUI after car lands in a ditch

A Rochester, N.H., man was charged Thursday night with drunken driving after crashing his car on Cider Hill Road in York.

Sgt. Thomas Baran said 37-year-old Forrest Rollins of Echo Brook Road was charged after his car, a 1994 Mazda Protege, went off the road, landed in a ditch and rolled on its side.

Rollins had to be extricated by emergency personnel. Witnesses said they saw Rollins operating erratically at high speed just before the crash, which was reported at 2:46 p.m.

He was transported by ambulance to York Hospital for treatment.

Rollins is scheduled to appear in York District Court on Sept. 8.


Maine and Vermont lead nation in ‘maturity’

New U.S. Census figures show that Maine and Vermont are the two oldest states in the country.

New Hampshire is fourth.

Maine’s median age is 42.7, Vermont’s, 41.5, The Burlington Free Press reported.

Utah is the youngest state with a median age of 29.2.