More than 40,000 attended air show, organizers report

Organizers say more than 40,000 people attended the Great State of Maine Air Show last weekend at Brunswick Executive Airport.

Steve Levesque from the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority said attendance tracked closely with expectations for the second show since the closing of Brunswick Naval Air Station. Last year, about 25,000 people attended the first post-Navy air show, which was cut short by Hurricane Irene.

Levesque said the goal is to showcase the facility and keep alive the air show tradition started by the Navy, not to make money for the redevelopment.

He said paid attendance was enough to cover the $800,000 cost of the air show and to donate money to charity. A third air show is planned next year.


Police investigating cause of fire that damaged duplex

Fire damaged a two-story duplex at 58 Washington Ave. on Tuesday night.

The fire broke out at 11 p.m. When firefighters arrived, they found smoke and flames coming from the first and second floors, said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Martin. The fire was brought under control in about 20 minutes.

There were no injuries. The cause is being investigated by police and the state Fire Marshal’s Office was notified.

The building was not severely damaged by the fire but it was already in disrepair and so it may be a total loss, Martin said.


Woman accused of dumping 4 newborn kittens in trash

Police say a Lewiston woman who allegedly dumped four newborn kittens in the trash this month is facing animal cruelty charges.

Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout said Stacy Monahan, 43, was charged Tuesday.

Strout told the Sun Journal that he interviewed Monahan after two witnesses indicated she might be responsible for dumping the kittens, which were found Aug. 12. Strout said the kittens were left in a large trash container near Monahan’s home.

The kittens were found covered with fleas and maggots and with their umbilical cords still attached.

The kittens were taken to the Androscoggin Humane Society where three ended up dying. The fourth has been adopted and is thriving.


Free WreckCheck app helps users create accident report

Maine insurance regulators say a new WreckCheck mobile application outlines what to do immediately after an auto accident.

The new app takes users through a step-by-step process to create their own accident report and helps to reduce the risk of identity theft. It provides tips for staying calm and safe on the road.

Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa said Tuesday that the WreckCheck mobile application comes from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The app lets users email a completed accident report directly to themselves and their insurance agents. The app is free.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there are more than 5 million wrecks every year, but a July survey shows that many Americans don’t know what steps to take after an accident.


Police charge two teen boys after vandalism at cemetery

Police have charged two 16-year-old boys in connection with vandalism at a cemetery in Livermore Falls.

The teens were arrested about 6 p.m. Tuesday and charged with aggravated criminal mischief in connection with the vandalism at Pleasant View Cemetery early Monday morning. Police say the charge is a felony because damage is estimated at more than $2,000.

WMTW-TV reported that one boy is from Livermore Falls and the other is from Wilton. Their names were not released because of their age. They were released into the custody of their parents.

Vandals knocked over headstones, broke lights, flags and statues.

Police do not suspect that anyone else was involved.


Woman denied access to auditor’s worksheets

A Casco woman trying to investigate the town’s finances has lost a Freedom of Access case.

Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills ruled this week that the auditor’s worksheets that Jeannine Oren is seeking are not public records.

Oren, who was on the town’s finance committee when the dispute began, sued Casco and town officials over access to work papers related to the town’s annual audit.

Oren tried to get the work papers after Portland-based Purdy Powers & Co., the auditing firm, reported to the town that it found “material misstatements” in the accounts receivable, accounts payable and special revenue funds during the audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010. The firm said the issues have since been corrected.

The town argued that the papers Oren wanted do not belong to the town. Mills agreed that the auditor’s worksheets are proprietary to the firm and that the town does not have custody or control of them.


Metro-area college students get 2 weeks of free bus rides

Portland-area college students are being welcomed back to school with two weeks of free bus rides.

The Greater Portland Transit District Metro and the South Portland Bus Service are offering free rides to students from participating schools. The Ride Free With College ID deal runs through Sept. 8.

The rides are being offered to students from Husson University, Kaplan University, Maine College of Art, Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, Southern Maine Community College, the University of New England and the University of Southern Maine.


New superintendent to host series of forums for public

Superintendent Emmanuel “Manny” Caulk will host a series of forums over the next two months to hear what parents and residents have to say about the public school system.

Caulk was hired in July and started work last week.

The following meetings have been scheduled:

Sept. 5 — 3 p.m., Reiche Elementary School amphitheater

Sept. 12 — 5-7:30 p.m., Peaks Island Elementary School

Sept. 13 — 7 p.m., Lyseth Elementary School

Sept. 26 — 7:30 p.m., Portland High School

Sept. 27 — 7 p.m., Riverton Elementary School

Oct. 17 — 7 p.m., East End Community School

Oct. 18 — 2-3 p.m. and 4-5 p.m., Deering High School.

Transients fight over wallet, one charged with robbery

A Portland man who allegedly stabbed a man in the chest after trying to take his wallet has been charged with robbery.

Brandon McCue, 27, was walking with Frank Ruggiero, 41, on State Street near Sherman Street at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday when McCue asked for $5 to buy cigarettes, police said. When Ruggiero pulled out his wallet, McCue grabbed it, police said.

The two, who know each other and are described by police as transients, fought over the wallet and McCue eventually pulled out a folding knife and started swinging it, hitting Ruggiero in the chest, police said.

Ruggiero was taken to Maine Medical Center and treated for a puncture wound, police said. The wallet contained about $20.

McCue was held in the Cumberland County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Election-rules commission will hold a public hearing

A state commission that’s studying Maine’s election rules and procedures will hold a public hearing in Portland on Thursday evening.

The Commission to Study the Conduct of Elections in Maine was appointed by Secretary of State Charlie Summers in response to a resolve passed by the Legislature. It is studying voter participation, voter registration and the conduct of elections. It will report findings and recommendations to the Legislature.

The public hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Rines Auditorium on the lower level of the Portland Public Library. The public is invited to present views, concerns and suggestions about the state’s voting process.

Commission members include former Superior Court Judge John Atwood; attorney and former Bangor Mayor Larry Willey; director of the Maine Seeds of Peace Program Tim Wilson; former Portland and South Portland City Clerk Linda Cohen; and former U.S. Attorney Paula Silsby.

Saturday’s ‘Ride for Ayla’ to benefit LostNMissing Inc.

Big Moose Harley-Davidson will hold a ride this weekend in honor of Ayla Reynolds, a toddler from Waterville who has been missing for more than eight months.

The “Ride For Ayla” will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday when riders and other supporters arrive at the dealership for a fundraiser. Motorcyclists will start their rides at remote locations earlier in the day.

Ayla was reported missing from her father’s home in Waterville on Dec. 17.

Saturday’s event will include a barbecue meal, raffles, door prizes and music. No preregistration is required. The meal costs $5 per person. Proceeds from the event benefit the nonprofit organization LostNMissing Inc., which works with families of missing people. The New Hampshire-based organization is working with Ayla’s maternal family.

People who do not ride motorcycles are encouraged to drive or walk in support of the event.

Big Moose Harley-Davidson is at 375 Riverside St. in Portland. For more information, call 650-2115.

Disaster designations make farmers eligible for loan aid

The state’s farmers could be eligible for federal aid to help them recover from late spring frosts, a summer hail storm and excessive rain in June.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated two disasters for Maine this season, which makes farmers eligible for emergency loan assistance.

One designation is for the damage from frosts, freezes and hailstorms that occurred between April 26 and June 23 in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Oxford, York, Franklin, Kennebec and Sagadahoc counties.

The other designation covers Penobscot, Aroostook, Piscataquis, Waldo, Hancock, Somerset, and Washington counties that had excessive rains between June 15 and 30.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, said Wednesday the disaster designation will help farmers recover and cut their losses.

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins applauded the USDA’s decision.


Idle lobster processing plant to be auctioned next month

An idle lobster processing plant that once housed the nation’s last full-time sardine cannery is to be sold at auction.

The plant in Gouldsboro and other lobster facilities owned by Live Lobster Co. will be auctioned in September. The auctions are being ordered by TD Bank, which filed a lawsuit against Live Lobster last spring, claiming it had violated terms of its $4 million loan agreement.

Besides the Gouldsboro plant, the auctions will include waterfront facilities in Stonington and Phippsburg.

Live Lobster bought the former Stinson Seafood sardine cannery after it closed in 2010.

The Massachusetts-based company employed 70 people at the plant last summer, but it shut down in March.


Former Maine man indicted for 22-year-old sex assaults

A Nebraska man has been charged with two counts of gross sexual assault for acts that allegedly happened 22 years ago.

Penobscot County District Attorney Christopher Almy said a grand jury returned the indictment Wednesday against 63-year-old Clarence Cote of Nemaha, Neb.

Almy told the Bangor Daily News that the victim, now 30, was 8 when the alleged abuse occurred in the Lincoln area. He said she still wants her abuser to be charged.

Almy said Cote left the state when he learned he was being investigated. It’s unclear if he’s being represented by a lawyer. If convicted, Cote faces up to 30 years in prison


Murder suspect has hearing on new charges via video

A man awaiting trial on a murder charge made an initial court appearance Tuesday on charges of assaulting a jail guard, aggravated criminal mischief and terrorizing.

David B. Silva Jr., 33, previously had refused to go to court on the new charges, which were filed July 26.

He appeared by video Tuesday from the Kennebec County jail with attorney Steven Brochu. He is accused of hitting a jail guard in the chest with his head, threatening to kill another guard and smearing feces in the cell.

Silva’s next hearing date on the assault and other charges is scheduled for Oct. 30. Bail was set at $2,000.

He is being held without bail on charges of murder, arson and robbery in connection with the death of Robert A. Orr, of Readfield, on Feb. 8, 2011.

Silva and his girlfriend were living in Orr’s home at the time. Investigators say Silva shot Orr in the head, then set the house on fire to try to conceal both the murder and the robbery.

A trial in that case is set tentatively for November, according to Deputy Attorney General William Stokes, whose office is prosecuting that case.