Alert employee detects fire, helps to minimize damage

An employee’s quick response allowed Westbrook firefighters to make quick work of a fire in the basement of a downtown building that houses a dry cleaner, hair stylist and apartments.

Firefighters were called to 947 Main St., home of Village Dry Cleaners, at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday after an employee who smelled smoke discovered a fire in the basement, said Westbrook Public Safety Director Michael Pardue. The worker called immediately, allowing for a quick response, Pardue said.

Firefighters found that a malfunction in the boiler caused a buildup of oils on the basement floor that ignited, he said. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze and vent the building of smoke so residents and workers could return.

One firefighter was treated for a shoulder injury that resulted from maneuvering hoses that were fully charged with water, Pardue said. Firefighters for Gorham and Portland assisted in the response.

SAD 15

New Gloucester, Gray pass school budget, elect officials

Voters of Gray and New Gloucester approved a $20.45 million education budget for Maine School Administrative District 15. Residents of Gray voted 357-113 in favor and New Gloucester voted 242-47 in favor.

Gray voters also approved 16 referendum questions and elected town officials. Richard Barter and Lewis Mancini were elected to the Town Council. Todd Bagetis and Anne Rowe were elected in an uncontested race for seats on the SAD 15 Board of Directors. Ellen Errington ran uncontested for the Gray Water District.

In New Gloucester, Mark Stevens was elected as a selectman and Gary Harriman ran in an uncontested race for a seat on the SAD 15 Board of Directors.


Voters fill selectmen seats, approve changes in zoning

Voters have elected Jean Harmon and Robert Libby from a pool of seven for the Board of Selectmen.

Hilda Lynch was a write-in candidate elected to the School Administrative District 6 Board of Directors. David Savage, Susan Schaller and John Vedral were all elected to the Planning Board. Richard Emery, Melissa Jordan, Alfred Frantoni, Dennis Santolucito and Jacob Stoddard were elected to the Budget Committee.

Voters also approved two referendum questions regarding changes to the town’s zoning ordinance, but rejected by 10 votes a proposal to enter into a one-year lease agreement with MSAD 6 that would have allowed the use of vacant Hanson School as a community center for the cost of $1.

RSU 14

Windham, Raymond vote to pass education budget

Voters in Windham and Raymond easily passed a $37.2 million school budget for RSU 14 on Tuesday.

In Raymond, the budget passed by a 322 to 110 vote. In Windham, it was approved by 206 to 120, for a combined vote of 528 to 230.

Also in Raymond, incumbents Samuel Gifford and Lawrence Taylor won new three-year terms on the Board of Selectmen. Dana Dejardins was third in the race for two seats.

Tacy Hartley was uncontested in seeking a two-year term on the Budget/Finance Committee and incumbent Catriona Logan-Sangster was returned to the RSU 14 School Board, also unopposed.

Raymond voters also approved, 267-172, rezoning a small parcel of land on Farm Road. The new zone would permit a cell tower, but Planning Board approval will also be required before a tower can be built.


Voters OK municipal budget, fill selectmen, school seats

Voters approved 21 referendum questions related to the municipal budget and zoning ordinance, including approval to borrow up to $600,000 for improvements to Lower Village.

Residents also were asked to elect town officials. Brad Huot was elected to serve one year on the Regional School Unit 21 Board of Directors, and Kevin Knight and Arthur LeBlanc III were both re-elected for three-year terms.

Deborah Beal and William Ward Jr. won seats on the Board of Selectmen in an uncontested race. Robert Emmons was re-elected trustee for the Kennebunk Water District and John E. Price Sr. was re-elected trustee for the Kennebunk Sewer District.

Residents of RSU 21, which includes Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel, also approved a $35.6 million education budget, with Arundel the only town opposed.


Add Verb publishes book of youth-written monologues

Add Verb Productions, which provides health and wellness education through performance, has published its first book, “Out & Allied,” an anthology of 34 youth-written monologues, short plays and poems.

The material focuses on the experiences of LGBTQ — Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning — youth and the importance of allies. Included is a guide for directing, producing and writing original pieces and other resources.

Add Verb will have a table from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Pride Festival in Deering Oaks.

The programming of Add Verb Productions has been recognized nationally. Add Verb is part of the University of New England’s InterProfessional Education Collaborative.

Maine teacher, playwright and social activist Cathy Plourde founded Add Verb a decade ago. Her work facilitating theater workshops and writing commissioned plays for regional girls’ conferences prompted her to write “The Thin Line,” a play about understanding eating disorders, in 2000. 

Society to give Henry Cobb its architect design award

The Portland Society of Architects will present architect Henry Cobb with the 25 Year Building Award for the Payson Wing of the Portland Museum of Art in a ceremony at 6 p.m. today in the museum auditorium. Cobb, who designed the wing, will speak after the ceremony. The event is open to the public. Admission is $10.

This event is in conjunction with the Unbuilt Design Awards, the society’s second showcase for works of architecture that will not be constructed or manifested as a physical work. Competitions, shelved projects and projects stalled by budget, regulatory or client issues are eligible. All submissions will be on display at the event, and competition jurors will be present to offer their thoughts on the winning entries.


Police seize $18,000, charge man with selling painkiller

Police charged a New Hampshire man arrested here Tuesday with selling prescription painkillers.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency’s York County task force charged Jack Haycock, 39, of Rochester, N.H., with selling OxyCodone. Agents also seized $18,000 in cash and 200 tablets of the painkiller, worth about $6,000, police said.

Haycock has a prior felony drug conviction in New Hampshire. His bail was set at $25,000 pending a court date Sept. 7 in York County Superior Court.


Motorcyclist seriously hurt when bike crashes into tree

A motorcyclist had to be transported by ambulance to Maine Medical Center after his bike went off the Height Road in Dayton and struck a tree Wednesday morning.

Maj. William King Jr. of the York County Sheriff’s Department said 44-year-old Mark Cole was traveling west on Height Road when he failed to negotiate a curve.

Cole, who was operating a 2004 Harley Davidson, was rushed to Portland with what King described as serious injuries. Cole was listed in serious condition at Maine Med.


Unitil gives scholarship to Cape High School graduate

A Cape Elizabeth High School graduate is one of five recipients of a new $5,000 Unitil college scholarship for students pursuing careers or degrees in engineering, math or science.

Kelsey Maguire, who plans to attend Bowdoin College and study biology or chemistry, is the only Mainer to receive the scholarship.

Unitil Corp., a provider of natural gas and electricity to New England customers, chose seniors from New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts for the award.


Jurors award $6.7 million in injury treatment lawsuit

A Maine jury has awarded $6.7 million to a woman whose husband died at Eastern Maine Medical Center after an all-terrain vehicle accident.

A Penobscot County jury granted the award Monday to Paula Braley, 49, of Lee in the 2005 death of her husband, Thomas Braley Sr.

The Bangor Daily News said the lawsuit alleged that doctors failed to follow up on tests indicating internal bleeding, which caused one of Braley’s lungs to collapse and led to a fatal heart attack.

Attorneys said the award will likely be reduced because the state legislature has capped damages for conscious suffering and loss of companionship and emotional distress.

The hospital’s attorney said a decision on an appeal won’t be made until after the judge’s final ruling. 

Canadian gets five months for stowaway in car trunk

A Canadian woman who tried to bring a Brazilian woman into Maine in the trunk of her car has been sentenced to five months in jail.

Lynne Boutot, 43, of St. Basel, New Brunswick, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor. She pleaded guilty in March to bringing an illegal immigrant into the U.S.

Boutot was arrested in January while crossing into the U.S. at the Madawaska border crossing, in far northern Maine.

Prosecutors say she accepted $1,500 in exchange for bringing the woman to Maine and dropping her off at a Madawaska restaurant.

The Brazilian stowaway, who has two children who are U.S. citizens, was sentenced to 12 days in jail. 

International investors seek deal to buy two paper mills

An international holding company is negotiating to buy the closed paper mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket for $1.

Dan Whyte, vice president of Brookfield Asset Management, the current owner of the two Katahdin region mills, told the Bangor Daily News that a company called International Grand Investors Corp. is interested in the mills. IGIC represents international investors in pulp trade and imports.

In September, IGIC purchased the former Domtar pulp mill in Baileyville for $64 million.

A sticking point in the sale of the Katahdin region mills is ownership of the Dolby landfill in East Millinocket. The Legislature is considering a bill to buy the landfill.

The closure of the two Katahdin mills eliminated about 600 jobs.

Another deal to sell the mills failed.


Man gets 20 years in prison for sex with Maine boy, porn

A Somersworth man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old Maine boy and for possessing child pornography.

Scott Wilson also was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Concord to probation for the rest of his life, and was ordered to register as a sex offender upon release.

Prosecutors said Wilson, 41, met the boy on a social networking site in 2004. They communicated via email and instant messaging and arranged to meet. Wilson traveled to Maine, met the boy and brought him back to New Hampshire, where they engaged in sexual activity in Wilson’s home. The boy’s mother alerted authorities.

A search of Wilson’s home later turned up child pornography on his computer.


U.S. senators pressure Navy to plan yard modernization

U.S. senators from Maine and New Hampshire have put the Navy on notice that it needs to come up with a plan for infrastructure improvements at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and three other public shipyards.

Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire included language in the fiscal 2012 Defense Authorization Act requiring the Navy secretary to submit a plan no later than March 1, 2012.

The Navy announced in March that it would spend about $100 million on upgrades at the Portsmouth yard.

All told, the Navy estimates a $3 billion shortfall in modernization at the public shipyards, including $513 million at Portsmouth, but the Government Accountability Office said that estimate is too low. 

Maine-based cutter returns from duty in the Caribbean

A Coast Guard cutter has returned to Maine after a 60-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea.

The crew of the 270-foot cutter Campbell arrived Wednesday at its home port, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, after working for a joint interagency task force in Key West, Fla., and the 7th Coast Guard District based in Miami.

While on assignment, the vessel was involved in the seizure of about a ton of cocaine from a fishing vessel. The Coast Guard said the cutter crew also worked on maritime exercises with the Nicaraguan Navy and the Panamanian maritime service. 

More evaluation is required to determine why man died

Police say the cause of death for a man whose body was found Monday morning in a Bangor apartment is pending further evaluation.

Officials said the death of Richard Jeskey, 53, on Ohio Street is being treated as suspicious.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office examined the body Tuesday but the cause of death was inconclusive.