Man hurt by exploding tire reported stable after surgery

Colleagues say that a Bath Iron Works maintenance worker who was injured Monday afternoon while changing a tire is in stable condition after surgery at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Don Bowen, chief steward for BIW’s largest production union, Local S6, said the 40-year-old worker was changing a forklift tire at the shipyard when the tire exploded.

“He made it through surgery (Monday night) and he’s stable,” Bowen said. “But as his doctors have told us, the next 48 hours are critical.”

The worker’s identity is being withheld until all of his relatives have been notified.

BIW spokesman Jim DeMartini said the accident, which remains under investigation, happened around 1 p.m. Monday. The worker was treated at the shipyard and taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center.

Bowen said investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived in Bath late Tuesday.


Supporters of local casino urge rejection of new ones

An Oxford County group is urging Mainers to reject two ballot measures that would allow a casino in Lewiston and racinos in Biddeford and Washington County.

Friends of the Oxford County Casino said in press release Tuesday that if approved, the new gaming operations would compete with the yet-to-be-built casino in Oxford and reduce the amount of revenue expected to be generated by that casino for K-12 education.

The group is a political action committee formed to oppose Questions 2 and 3 on the Nov. 8 state ballot.

Ferguson said the state could lose $25 million annually in K-12 education funding if voters approve the two ballot questions.

In 2010, when the bill allowing the Oxford casino was before the Legislature, legislative analysts estimated that the casino would provide $15.3 million to K-12 education annually. Maine voters narrowly approved the Oxford casino last November.

Also Tuesday, Lewiston and Auburn officials held a news conference to launch a political action committee that will promote the casino and urge Mainers to approve it.

City officials and business owners touted jobs, economic development and other benefits that they said would come with a casino in Lewiston’s Bates Mill.


State prison inmate, 84, dies during stay at nursing home

Officials say an elderly Maine State Prison inmate has died at a nursing home.
The Department of Corrections said in a statement that Forrest Gerry, 84, of Biddeford was discovered dead around 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says Gerry died at a nursing home in the midcoast where he’d been staying. No autopsy was expected.

Gerry was serving consecutive two-year prison terms for violation of probation, and aggravated trafficking and unlawful possession of drugs.


Neighborhood meetings   on vision for town start today

The town today will hold the first in a series of neighborhood meetings to help develop a 10-year comprehensive plan.

The last comprehensive plan was adopted in 1993, Town Planner Jeffrey Hinderliter said.
“A lot has changed in the past 18 years,” he said. “We decided to rewrite the full plan related to the vision for our town.”

The town has been soliciting input from residents through a survey, receiving more than 300 responses. The next step is to meet with residents to discuss the town’s future and what they’d like to see remain the same, Hinderliter said.

Half a dozen meetings will be held through December, followed by an inventory and analysis of surveys collected and the town’s resources. Hinderliter expects a plan will be finalized by the beginning of 2013.

The first neighborhood meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at the Old Orchard Beach Police Station. Other meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at Jakeman Hall in Ocean Park; and 9 a.m. Nov. 19 at Town Hall.


Pine Tree Legal director invited to the White House

Nan Heald, executive director of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, will participate in a White House event on justice this week.

Heald is one of 16 “Champions of Change” who will be recognized Thursday. The lawyers are being honored for their work to increase access to legal help. Heald was nominated by Jim Sandman, president of the Legal Services Corp. a Washington, D.C.-based provider of legal aid to the poor.
Heald has been executive director of Pine Tree Legal Assistance since 1990. The organization provides free legal help to low-income Mainers.

The Obama administration invites a “Champions of Change” group to the White House each week to discuss their ideas on a wide range of topics.


State taps Stillwater man   as small business advocate

Secretary of State Charlie Summers has appointed a Stillwater businessman to serve as Maine’s small business advocate, a position created under a law aimed at removing burdensome business regulations.

Jay Martin, whose appointment was announced Tuesday, is a University of Maine graduate with a 16-year career in the restaurant industry. He’s credited with expanding the Bangor-based Coffee News publication across the United States.

Martin will reach out to businesses with 50 or fewer employees to address regulatory concerns and to resolve enforcement actions. He’ll also advise the Regulatory Fairness Board, which will report to the

Legislature and governor on ways to improve the state’s business climate.


Oxford County is Maine’s unhealthiest, study concludes

National statistics rank Oxford County as the state’s unhealthiest county for the second year in a row.

The figures compiled as part of a national study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin found that Oxford County has high rates of motor vehicle accident deaths, violent crimes and smoking.

The county also has a high rate of unemployment, which can limit access to health insurance.


Historic Jed Prouty Inn up for grabs in online auction

A 230-year-old landmark that has hosted presidents, arctic explorers and other famous figures is set to be auctioned. The Jed Prouty Inn has sat unused for nearly a decade.

The 17-bedroom former hotel has anchored Bucksport’s Main Street since about 1780. The last business in the building closed nearly eight years ago.

The financial firm that owns it is hoping a buyer will emerge during an online auction held through Thursday.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the building underwent extensive renovations in the 1990s, but still needs at least $250,000 in upgrades.


UMaine honor societies celebrating Rudy Vallee Day

University of Maine honor societies will celebrate Rudy Vallee Day today, recognizing the legendary singer and Westbrook native who spent a semester at the college and later popularized its fight song.

Tuesday was officially Rudy Vallee Day at the University of Maine, as decreed in 1975 by then-Gov. James B. Longley, according to a news release.

University students, who are on fall break, will recognize Vallee today when they return to school.

Four honor societies – Senior Skull Society, All Maine Women, Sophomore Owls Society and Sophomore Eagles Society – will gather on the steps of Fogler Library at 3 p.m. to sing the school’s fight song, called “The Stein Song,” which Vallee sang to the top of the pop charts in 1930.

Vallee, born in 1901, transferred from the University of Maine to Yale University. He starred in many movies, including “The Palm Beach Story” and “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” which he had previously starred in on Broadway.