Police search for pharmacy robber who used a blanket

Police are asking for the public’s help, in response to the city’s latest pharmacy robbery.

A man with a blanket over his head walked into the CVS at the Westgate Shopping Plaza on Congress Street at noon Sunday. He demanded specific drugs from the pharmacist and left in the direction of the nearby Shaw’s supermarket. Police did not say what drugs he wanted or what he was given.

The suspect did not display a weapon or say that he had one.

He is described as a white man about 6 feet tall, with a heavy build, brown hair, a close-cropped graying beard and pockmarks on his face. He was wearing dark glasses, blue jeans, boots and a brownish jacket.

The man held a gray blanket over his head and face during the robbery. He was believed to be driving a black sedan.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call police at 874-8533. Anonymous tips can be provided by text, Internet or phone.

To text a tip, mobile phone users should text the keyword “GOTCHA” plus their message to 274637 (CRIMES). People also can submit tips on the police department’s website: www.portland-police.com or by calling the anonymous crime tip line: 874-8584.


Gambling board to meet on casino staffing, table games

A casino that’s being built in western Maine will be on the agenda when the state’s Gambling Control Board meets today.

The board’s executive director, Patrick Fleming, will discuss suggestions for increased staffing because of June’s planned opening of the casino in Oxford and the addition of table games at Hollywood Slots in Bangor. Voters in November approved an expansion of gambling at Hollywood Slots to include table games.

Fleming has been developing standards for surveillance over table games, how the money is handled and how it’s accounted for. Regulations will include details such as how big the dice are.

Also on the agenda will be a demonstration by Scientific Games, which electronically monitors the slot machine operations in Bangor.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Maine Department of Public Safety offices on Commerce Drive in Augusta.


Two injured in crash that sends Jeep into the water

Two Belgrade residents were injured in a crash on Route 27 Monday that sent a Jeep spinning into Belgrade Stream.

Ruth Langdon, 61, and Clinton Hanna, 26, were taken to hospitals with what were believed to be non- life-threatening injuries, said Maine State Police Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance.

The crash occurred around 8:30 a.m. as Langdon, driving a 2002 Pontiac four-door car north on Route 27, went to turn left into a driveway.

Hanna, who was driving home from work in his 2001 Jeep Wrangler, came up behind Langdon. Hanna, failed to stop and hit Langdon’s Pontiac from behind, Perkins-Vance said.

Hanna’s Jeep came to rest on its wheels, partially submerged in Belgrade Stream, more than 50 yards from the where the crash occurred, Perkins-Vance said.

Belgrade fire and rescue workers had to don cold-water gear to wade into the icy stream to rescue Hanna, Perkins-Vance said. Hanna remained dry in his Jeep as he waited for help.

Langdon’s Pontiac, meanwhile, was spun around by the impact and came to rest in the southbound lane facing the opposite direction.


Church seeks help after gift cards for poor, elderly stolen

Gift cards collected by parishioners at St. Philip Church in Lyman for distribution to low-income families and the elderly have been stolen. Parishioners say the cards were likely stolen sometime last week.

Church members told WCSH-TV that there was no sign of forced entry and it appears the alarm code was known to the thief.

The church is appealing to the public for help in recovering the cards in time for Christmas.


Ex-Portland police chief to dance with local stars

Cincinnati’s new police chief will show whether he has any arresting moves for the dance floor.

James Craig, Portland’s former chief, has signed up to compete in a local version of “Dancing with the Stars.”

Cincinnati’s 2012 “Dancing for the Stars” contest, set for April 14, benefits a Cincinnati Arts Association scholarship program.

Craig told The Cincinnati Enquirer that knowing he’ll be helping youths experience arts education makes him want to dust off his dancing shoes.

The newspaper reports that before he arrived in Cincinnati, Craig mentioned his interest in ballroom dancing to a local TV reporter who was the winner of last year’s competition. Craig became the city’s police chief in August.


Trail maintenance program canceled because funds cut

New Hampshire officials say they are canceling a program that helps maintain trails for hiking, bicycling, snowmobiling and other recreational uses because federal funding has fallen through.

The state Bureau of Trails said it was notified last week that the Federal Highway Administration had made technical corrections to its funding formula for the years 2009-2012, and as a result New Hampshire’s trail program won’t be getting the $677,000 it expected for next year. The state, which awarded grants to 55 organizations this year, had been in the process of taking applications for 2012 grants, but officials now say they’ll have to cancel instead.

 – From staff and news services