Strimling will announce campaign for mayor today

Ethan Strimling confirmed Monday that he will become Portland’s 19th candidate for mayor.

Strimling, a Democrat who is a political analyst for WCSH-TV (Channel 6) in Portland, made the announcement during the station’s evening newscast, saying he will issue a formal statement at 11 a.m. today during a news conference on the Maine State Pier.

For Strimling, this represents a return to politics after being out of elective office for three years. He served in the state Senate from 2002 to 2008. In 2008, he ran unsuccessfully for the 1st District Congressional seat, which had been vacated by Rep. Tom Allen, D-Maine. Democrat Chellie Pingree of North Haven won the primary and went on to win the fall election.

Since then, Strimling has become chief executive officer of LearningWorks, a nonprofit agency that focuses on helping disadvantaged youths complete school.

Deaths of two city women not considered suspicious

The bodies of two women were discovered in a Portland apartment Monday, and while police concede that “it’s strange,” they say there is no evidence of foul play.

Lt. Gary Rogers said the women, who were both in their late 60s, were found together in an apartment at Longfellow Commons, a senior housing complex at 206 State St. He said the women were not roommates, but were acquainted with one another.

Rogers said the bodies have been sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for further evaluation.

“Hopefully we’ll get some answers. Right now, any number of things could have happened,” Rogers said. “It’s strange that we have two bodies, but there really was no evidence of foul play.”

Rogers said police are not yet releasing the names of the women.


Boaters could be charged fee for mooring waiting list

The Harbor Committee wants to start charging recreational boaters a $10 annual fee to be on a waiting list for a mooring in Casco Bay, according to Town Councilor Fred Chase.

Chase, who is the council’s liaison to the committee, said the goal is to make sure boaters on the list have a genuine interest in keeping a boat in town waters.

Waiting-list fees would go toward each boater’s future mooring fees, Chase told the council Monday. Annual mooring fees are $57 for residents and $257 for nonresidents.

There are 51 boaters on the list now. A proposal for the waiting-list fee will be submitted to the council in the near future, Chase said.


Campaign urges allowing Bangor casino table games

A group in Penobscot County has launched a campaign to allow blackjack, roulette and other table games at the Hollywood Slots casino in Bangor.

At a news conference Monday, the Penobscot County for Tables Games and Jobs Coalition said allowing table games will create jobs and generate revenue for the county and the state. Hollywood Slots has 1,000 slot machines, but it’s prohibited from having table games.

Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill this month allowing table games at the casino if county voters approve it. The question will be on the ballot in November.

Hollywood Slots General Manager John Osborne said allowing table games will result in about 100 new casino jobs paying more than $4 million annually in salaries and benefits.

Local man dies after saying he was high on ‘bath salts’

Officials say a 32-year-old Bangor man died shortly after telling police he was high on a hallucinogenic drug known as “bath salts.”

Police said Ralph Willis was running around yelling at people on a Bangor street Friday evening.

When an officer arrived, police said Willis charged at him, got into a scuffle, broke a radio antenna off the back of the cruiser and smashed out the rear window. He then ran into a truck that was exiting a nearby funeral home.

While being taken to jail, Willis said he was on bath salts and “needed to get off them.”

A short time later, he was taken by ambulance from jail to Eastern Maine Medical Center, where he died.

Autopsy results are pending toxicology tests.


Man arrested after standoff in Redbank neighborhood

A South Portland man was arrested Monday after a standoff with police that lasted nearly two hours in the Redbank neighborhood.

David Francis, 27, was charged with operating after being a habitual offender, refusal to stop for a police officer and violations of bail conditions.

An officer tried to stop a vehicle around 11:45 a.m. after recognizing Francis as someone with a suspended license. Francis drove away and witnesses told police that he ran into a home on Wainwright Circle, according to Lt. Todd Bernard. An acquaintance of Francis lived there, he said.

The officer called for additional units and police cordoned off an area to keep the crowd back, Bernard said. Neighbors were not evacuated.


Intersection defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti at night

The intersection of Route 117 and Plains Road was hit with anti-Semitic graffiti overnight.

A gas station building, the road itself and a Poland Spring bottling plant directional sign were defaced with swastikas, anti-Semitic phrases and vulgar drawings.

The York County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, according to Maj. William King. No arrests have been made. Several people reported the vandalism Monday morning.

Poland Spring trucks continue to fill up at the gas station, which is otherwise closed, according to Mark Dubois, a natural resource manager for the bottled water company. Besides the sign, which was cleaned, the company did not have any property damage, he said.


Suspect charged in attack on girlfriend holding baby

A Fairfield man was arrested Sunday after allegedly attacking and choking his girlfriend while she held onto their 1-month-old baby, police said.

Donnel A. Bou, 19, faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child, domestic-violence reckless conduct and domestic-violence assault. He was also arrested on an warrant for failure to appear in court in connection with a motion to enforce restitution for a previous charge of aggravated assault.

Fairfield officer Jacob Pierce responded to a domestic disturbance complaint made by a neighbor at 12:47 p.m. Sunday.

Pierce said Bou and his 22-year-old girlfriend, who live together at his parents’ residence at 44 Military Ave., said they had been arguing about a day trip. The argument escalated until it became physically abusive, Pierce said.

Although emergency medical personnel also responded to the scene, medical attention was not required, he said.

Bou was taken to the Somerset County jail, where he remained Monday. He is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 21.


‘Circuit Breaker’ applications will be available in August

Applications for refunds of up to $1,600 will become available Aug. 1 for property taxes or rent paid in 2010.

The so-called “Circuit Breaker” program provides middle and low-income Maine residents with a partial refund of local property taxes and/or rent paid on their primary residence in 2010.

Maine Revenue Services says nearly 200,000 Maine households may qualify for a partial refund.

Democratic state Rep. Linda Valentino of Saco said the program is designed to help working families.

Applications are available online at www.maine.gov/revenue/forms/tnr/tnr.htm


Divers will resume search for missing Boston men

Divers from the Maine Warden Service will search again today for two Boston men missing in Lower Richardson Lake in Andover.

Officials said 26-year-old Hoang Vo and 30-year-old Phil Le were last seen Friday when they decided to go swimming while camping with a large group. Searches Sunday and Monday turned up no sign of them.

Edie Smith, a spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said the men had been drinking before they went into the water and alcohol is considered a factor in the incident.


— From staff and news services