Same-sex marriage backers exceed goal to earn grant

Supporters of legalizing same-sex marriage in Maine say they have exceeded a fundraising goal that makes them eligible for a $100,000 matching grant from a co-founder of Facebook.

A spokesman for the group Mainers United for Marriage told the Bangor Daily News that the group had raised more than $121,000 as of Friday, topping $100,000 on Thursday, the deadline for qualifying for the matching funds.

Chris Hughes, editor-in-chief of the liberal magazine The New Republic, who owns 1 percent of Facebook, and his fiance, Sean Eldridge, president of Hudson River Ventures and senior adviser to the national organization Freedom to Marry, promised the matching funds last month.

Maine residents will vote Nov. 6 on whether to allow marriage licenses to be issued to same-sex couples.


Seven-year-old hurt in fall during school trip at Fort Knox

A first-grader from Bucksport was airlifted to the hospital Tuesday after falling 20 feet at the Fort Knox Historic Site in Prospect while on a school field trip.

Bucksport school officials told the Bangor Daily News that the 7-year-old was conscious after he fell and suffered fractures to both arms and trauma to his knee and face.

The boy was on a school field trip with his class from G.H. Jewett School.

Fort Knox is Maine’s largest historic fort.


Down East arts promotion program gets $250,000 grant

A program that promotes art as a redevelopment strategy in rural Down East Maine has received a $250,000 grant.

The program, ARTSIPELAGO, received the grant from ArtPlace, a national collaboration of foundations, banks and federal agencies that seek to revitalize communities with strategic investments in the arts.

Areas in and around Eastport and Lubec have seen a long-term population decline. But during the last few decades, a new wave of artists has arrived. The ARTSIPELAGO program hopes to make that a part of a community development strategy.

ArtPlace received nearly 2,200 inquiries from organizations seeking a portion of the $15.4 million available for grants. Inquiries came from all 50 states.


Alumnus bequeaths gift of $7.9 million to UMaine

A $7.9 million gift from the estate of a University of Maine graduate, the third-largest single gift given the school, will primarily support maintenance projects on campus.

The University of Maine Foundation received the gift from the estate of Thomas Hosmer, who graduated in 1958 with a degree in mechanical engineering and had a career working for Massachusetts-based companies. Hosmer died in May 2011.

Ninety percent of his estate’s gift will support maintenance and repairs that would not otherwise be done due to budget limitations. The remainder is designated for an endowed scholarship and an endowed lab to benefit UMaine’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.


Canadian man gets two years in scam that bilked elderly

A Canadian man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for a scheme in which he bilked elderly American women out of tens of thousands of dollars by telling them their grandchild or other relative was in trouble and desperately needed money.

Nour-El-Dean Mouneimneh of Quebec apologized in U.S. District Court in Bangor on Monday “to everyone who got harmed by my actions.”

Mouneimneh said he was a low-level participant in the scheme who just collected the money. He said he had minimal knowledge of how the scheme worked.

The Bangor Daily News reports that a federal judge expressed skepticism at that explanation.

Mouneimneh was also ordered to pay more than $116,000 in restitution.

A co-defendant awaits sentencing.


N.H. congressman: Damage to submarine is significant

New Hampshire Congressman Frank Guinta says the extent of the damage to a dry-docked submarine that caught fire at a Maine shipyard two weeks ago is significant.

Guinta visited the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery on Tuesday.

He took a look at the damage aboard the USS Miami and received updates on the fire and repair efforts, estimated at $400 million. Many workers at the shipyard are from nearby New Hampshire.

The Navy said the fire started when an industrial vacuum cleaner sucked up a heat source of some type that ignited debris inside the vacuum. The vacuum had no apparent defect and was not plugged in when the fire started on May 23.

The Miami arrived at the shipyard in Kittery, Maine, in March for a 20-month overhaul.