House OKs citizen initiative to allow two more racinos

The Maine House passed a citizen initiative Monday night that would allow racinos in Biddeford and Washington County.

The House voted 94-49 against a motion to defeat L.D. 1203, then quickly passed the bill without another recorded vote. The bill faces more votes in the House and Senate.

A majority of the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee voted against the bill, preferring instead to send the proposal to voters. Some House members argued during Monday’s debate that lawmakers must stand up and take a vote on the measure.

“This is economic development,” said Rep. Bruce Bickford, R-Auburn. “Business attracts business. It always has and it always will.”

Democratic Rep. Mark Dion of Portland said voters have already voted to allow gambling in Maine.

“The gaming question has been asked and answered. It’s over,” he said. “The question is, can we shape this policy?”


Father of Dittmeyer’s child to be arraigned in drug case

Kyle Acker, the father of Krista Dittmeyer’s child, is scheduled to be arraigned on drug charges this week in Carroll County Superior Court.

But Acker, 26, isn’t expected to be at Wednesday’s proceeding because he is serving a two-year sentence for drug trafficking in Maine. It’s expected that a warrant will be issued for his arrest and a detainer will be lodged to let authorities in Maine know he is wanted in New Hampshire.

Acker is accused of selling cocaine to an informant in Conway on Oct. 5 and Nov. 3 of last year. A grand jury indicted him last month on two counts of selling less than a half-ounce of cocaine.

Dittmeyer, who was 20 and living in Portland, disappeared in April and was found dead days later in a pond at the Cranmore Mountain Resort in Conway.

A New Hampshire man, Anthony Papile, 28, is accused of killing her in a plot to steal money and drugs from her and has been charged with second-degree murder. Two others – Michael Petelis, 28, and Trevor Ferguson, 23 – have been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Acker was arrested in Maine in June 2010 after police found 15 grams of cocaine, 2 ounces of marijuana and a handgun in the apartment he shared with Dittmeyer in South Portland.


Malone extends deadline for closing Cathedral School

Bishop Richard Malone granted a second extension to parents who are trying to stave off closure of Cathedral School after 147 years in operation.

After first setting a Friday deadline, then bumping it to noon Monday, Malone agreed to wait until today to hear details of a new plan to put the school on solid financial footing.

In April, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland announced that the school, which has a deficit of $115,000 this year and would more than double that figure if it remained open next year, would close after the last day of classes June 16.

“This will allow as much time as possible for the financial assurances to be presented,” said Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the diocese.

Bernard said Malone will announce his decision today on whether to proceed with the school closing.


Deering High School teacher joins race to become mayor

A teacher at Deering High School has decided to join the race to become Portland’s first elected mayor.

Markos Miller said in a statement Monday that he plans to formally announce his candidacy Wednesday during a 5:15 p.m. news conference in Lincoln Park.

Miller, 42, of Atlantic Street, filed papers declaring his candidacy Monday at City Hall.

In addition to being a teacher at Deering High, Miller coordinates Deering’s Unity Project — an anti-bullying and anti-harassment program.

He has also served as president of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization and was on the team that interviewed candidates for Portland’s police chief position.


Officials seek cause of fire at Federal Street apartment

An early-morning apartment building fire appears to be accidental but remains under investigation.

The fire at 52 Federal St., reported at 1:21 a.m., was concentrated on the third floor. The fire got between the ceiling and the roof and burned intensely, said Deputy Fire Chief David Jackson.

The five occupants who were at home at the time got out of the three-story, three-unit building safely. No firefighters were injured.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.


New principals selected for Portland High, Riverton

New principals have been selected for Portland High School and Riverton Elementary School.

Deborah Migneault, now principal at Dover (N.H.) High School, will be the new principal at Portland High. Jeanne Malia, principal of the Brentwood Science Magnet School in Los Angeles, will head Riverton.

The school board will vote on their nominations Tuesday night.

Malia will replace Nancy Kopack, who resigned. Migneault replaces Mike Johnson, who will be principal at Portland Arts and Technology High School.

Malia has a master’s degree in literacy education from University of Southern Maine and a bachelor’s degree in special education/elementary education from Boston University.

Migneault has been Dover High School’s principal for the past three years. She has a master’s degree in secondary education-school administration from Rivier College in New Hampshire and a master’s in 20th-century U.S. history and foreign policy from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.


Three Peaks Island residents arrested on drug charges

Three people from Peaks Island face drug charges after a monthlong investigation that netted thousands of dollars in heroin, cocaine and prescription drugs.

Agents with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency teamed up with South Portland police to arrest Justin Cram, 31, his girlfriend, Andrea Tuttle, 32, and Tannis Goodson, 22, on Friday.

Officers initially arrested Goodson at a gas station parking lot at Cash Corner, seizing 2.3 grams of cocaine, police said.

Police then arrested Cram and Tuttle in a Range Rover at the nearby Dairy Queen parking lot. Tuttle was charged with trafficking in drugs.

Officers also arrested Cram in the car and charged him with aggravated drug trafficking. Police said they seized 9.9 grams of heroin, worth about $1,500; 23.5 grams of cocaine, worth about $2,300; 114 30-milligram oxycodone pills, worth about $3,300, and $7,000 in cash.

All were scheduled to make an initial appearance in court, with Cram held on $25,000 bail, Tuttle on $5,000 and Goodson on $1,000.


Byway for Deering Center focus of meeting tonight

A new neighborhood byway project will be the topic at a meeting tonight in Deering Center.

City officials and the Deering Center Neighborhood Association will co-host the meeting about the pilot project, aimed at creating safer bike and pedestrian routes throughout the neighborhood.

The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Deering High School cafeteria.

Deering Center was chosen as the location for the pilot project because of its central location and concerns about pedestrian and traffic safety.


Police arrest Biddeford man after 36-mile turnpike chase

Maine State Police say a Biddeford man faces charges after leading troopers on a 36-mile chase on the Maine Turnpike.

Police say the chase began near the New Gloucester toll plaza when a trooper tried to pull over Peter Hamilton, 60, for speeding.

Rather than stop, Hamilton allegedly led police on a pursuit that didn’t end until Biddeford, where his car tires were deflated by a spike mat deployed by police.

After his arrest, Hamilton was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford for a medical evaluation and to be treated for a bite from a state police dog.


Man charged with arson after camper is set on fire

Fire investigators are charging a Limerick man with arson for allegedly setting his own camper on fire.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office said Michael Norton, 47, was jailed Sunday after he was released from Southern Maine Medical Center, where he was taken for evaluation after the fire was reported.

Investigators said Norton’s 31-foot trailer was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at his Pickerel Pond Road address shortly after midnight Saturday. Officials said that when firefighters arrived, Norton was throwing items into the flames.


Boater burned on arms, leg during fire on Ossipee Lake

A North Waterboro man was burned on his hands and leg when the boat he and his wife were in caught fire on Ossipee Lake in Waterboro on Monday.

Normand Paquette and his wife, Carmen, were in the motorboat about 1 p.m. when it caught fire about 50 yards from the public boat launch at Sokokis Trail, authorities said. Normand Paquette was taken to Goodall Hospital in Sanford to be evaluated for burns to his hands and right leg, authorities said. His wife was not hurt.

Both ended up in the water. The boat was consumed by flames and sank. The Maine Warden Service is investigating to determine what caused the fire.


Dylan plans show in Maine with friend Leon Russell

Bob Dylan’s summer tour will include a show in Bangor on Aug. 20. Dylan’s longtime friend Leon Russell will perform as well.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday and will range in price from $21.75 to $61.75. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 783-2009. The outdoor venue holds about 8,000 people for concerts.

This is the second New England date on Dylan’s summer tour. He will also play Aug. 19 at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, N.H.


Bikers raise nearly $1,000 in name of slain 6-year-old

Dozens of motorcycle riders have raised nearly $1,000 for a New Hampshire center that helps children in crisis, in the name of the boy who was found dead on a Maine road last month.

The Camden Hughes Memorial Ride at Dover’s Hilton Park on Sunday was organized to raise money for the Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County.

Executive Director Maureen Sullivan told Foster’s Daily Democrat she was “overjoyed” by the response. She said the center helps more than 350 children per year.

The event included a one-hour motorcycle run and a cookout and raffle at the park.

Authorities say Hughes, 6, was killed by his mother in New Hampshire and his body was then dumped in South Berwick.


State sells off $108 million in general obligation bonds

State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin says the state has sold $108 million in general obligation bonds, with proceeds going to highway and railway construction, research and development and other capital projects approved by voters in recent years.

Poliquin said Thursday’s sale was the first time since 1990 that the state had sold bonds on a competitive basis.

He said 11 national and regional investment companies competed to buy $39.6 million of taxable bonds, and a dozen firms competed on $68.5 million of tax-exempt bonds.

Poliquin said marketing the bonds in a competitive sale allows the state to sell them at the lowest cost possible.


Maine winner of ‘Survivor’ plans outdoor-skills camp

The South Portland resident who won the television reality show “Survivor” plans a survivor camp of his own, where he will tell stories and teach survival and camping skills.

Bob Crowley was a physics teacher at Gorham High School when he won the 2008 “Survivor” challenge in Gabon and the $1 million in prize that went with it.

Crowley has since retired from teaching, but this summer he is teaming up with Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley to run a four-day survivor camp. Participants will learn how to build a fire, gather food, cook over a fire, build a shelter and navigate. The camp is aimed at people interested in having a good time as well as learning a few outdoor skills.

The camp is scheduled July 5-8.


Police cite excessive speed in fatal single-car crash

Police believe excessive speed is to blame for a single-car crash that killed a 27-year-old man.

Officials say Christopher Allen of Farmington lost control on Temple Road about 8 p.m. Sunday and crashed into a tree.

Police say Allen was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital after the crash, where he died.