Investigators say cigarettes likely source of fatal fire

A house fire in Rumford killed a 47-year-old man Tuesday.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office said a burning cigarette likely caused the fire, which started in the living room of the ranch-style home at 598 Hillside Ave.

Authorities said the body of Dale Pellerin was found in the house’s bathroom. Pellerin lived at the house with his father, who wasn’t home at the time.

Investigators said a neighbor smelled smoke around 2 p.m., discovered the fire and called 911.

The Fire Marshal’s Office said a Rumford police officer who tried to enter the house was overcome by intense smoke and heat. He was treated at a hospital and released.


North Yarmouth teen cited in crash that killed 80-year-old

A 17-year-old North Yarmouth boy has been cited for failing to stop at a red light, which contributed to a fatal crash, police said.

Ian Philbrick was driving a Honda Pilot on Route 1 at 9 a.m. Saturday and failed to stop for the signal at Johnson Road, police said. The Honda collided with a 2010 Toyota Corolla driven by Albert Anderson, 68. His girlfriend, Glenice Hutchins, 80, of Falmouth, was a passenger and was injured in the crash, police said.

It did not appear initially that the injuries were life-threatening; however, the crash caused internal bleeding and Hutchins was pronounced dead at Maine Medical Center, police said.

The crash remains under investigation, but there are no indications alcohol or excessive speed contributed, police said.


Expanded jetport will be certified as ‘green’ building

The Portland International Jetport will become the nation’s second commercial airport to receive LEED Gold certification, which rates the design, construction and operation of “green” buildings.

Portland’s expanded jetport was made with materials from the region and has the largest geothermal heating and cooling system in Maine. The $75 million, 145,000-square-foot terminal expansion was completed last year.

San Francisco Airport’s Terminal 2 was the first U.S. airport to receive Gold certification. Portland’s certification will be awarded today.

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – was established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. It offers four certification levels for new construction – Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum – that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Veterans Memorial Bridge opening to traffic Thursday

The new Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting Portland and South Portland is ready to open.

Local, state and federal officials will gather Thursday morning at 10 a.m. to dedicate the $63 million span over the Fore River, which took two years to build. By Thursday afternoon, drivers will be able to use the four-lane bridge.

Thursday’s ceremony will feature a raising of the colors by the Maine Honor Guard, a small parade, live music and a wreath-laying ceremony. During the ceremony, the Fore River Parkway will be closed  to traffic from roughly 9 a.m. to noon, except for vehicles coming to and from Mercy Hospital.

The new bridge features a 12-foot-wide path for pedestrians and bicyclists that will be separated from travel lanes by a curb and metal barrier. The old bridge, which was built in 1954, will be demolished and removed in December.


Airport’s interim director accepts offer to keep the job

Bangor International Airport’s interim director has been hired to stay on the job permanently.

Tony Caruso was offered the post Monday and quickly accepted.

Caruso was named interim director after former Director Rebecca Hupp left in January to take a similar position in Boise, Idaho.

Bangor’s city manager told the Bangor Daily News that a national search drew 30 applicants, and she interviewed three finalists before offering the post to Caruso.

Caruso has been at the airport for 16 years, the last 10 as assistant director.


Body of native son remains on fog-shrouded mountain

Foggy, wet weather Tuesday at Mount Rainier National Park again prevented a helicopter from recovering the body of a ranger from Maine.

Park Service public information officer Rick Jones said officials hope for a break in the weather today, allowing them to recover the body of Nick Hall.

Hall died Thursday when he plunged about 2,500 feet while helping rescue four climbers after two of them fell into a crevasse on the Emmons glacier. Three of the climbers from Waco, Texas, remained at Madigan Army Medical Center on Tuesday in fair condition.

Hall’s body is at the 11,300-foot level, at a spot threatened by avalanches. Originally from Patten, Maine, he had been a ranger for four years.


Scorsese’s longtime editor to be honored at film festival

Oscar-winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker is the winner of this year’s Maine International Film Festival Mid-Life Achievement Award.

Schoonmaker will receive her award July 17 in Waterville at a screening of “Goodfellas,” one of more than two dozen films she has worked on.

Schoonmaker is best-known for editing the films of director Martin Scorcese, with whom she has worked for more than 40 years. She has received seven Academy Award nominations for best editing, and won three times for her work on “Raging Bull,” “The Aviator” and “The Departed.”

The festival runs from July 13-22 in Waterville. Besides showing nearly 100 independent films, the festival provides opportunities for audiences to meet and talk with directors, producers, writers and other people behind the movies.


Ogunquit No. 1 on magazine’s list of 25 best beach towns

Yankee Magazine has included four towns in Maine’s York County on its list of the “25 Best Beach Towns” in New England.

Ogunquit tops the list, followed by Kennebunkport in the seventh spot. York Beach is ranked No. 11 and Old Orchard Beach is No. 17.

Writer Stephen Jermanok and magazine editors evaluated the towns in 14 categories, including picturesque quality, traffic, parking, lodging, public access to beaches, water temperature and availability of food.

“To determine the 25 best beach towns in New England, we asked which beachfront communities offer the quintessential summer joys of unfurling a blanket on sand, listening to the waves and jumping them, and then, sun-kissed and eager for sundown, strolling the streets and poking into shops,” said Yankee editor Mel Allen.

The list is in the magazine’s July/August issue, released Tuesday.


In gradual trend, region’s jobless rate falls once again

New England’s unemployment rate ticked down one-tenth of a percentage point in May and is near its lowest level since January 2009.

The New England office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday that the jobless rate in the region was 6.8 percent last month, down from 6.9 percent in April. Officials said the rate has fallen 1.1 percentage points in the past year. The national rate is 8.2 percent.

Rhode Island has the highest unemployment rate in the region, at 11 percent, and the second-highest in the United States. Nevada’s is 11.6 percent.

Vermont’s unemployment rate of 4.6 percent is the lowest in the region and the fourth-lowest in the U.S.