Rotary program brings third heart patient to Maine

A 12-year-old boy from El Salvador is scheduled to be the third child to have heart surgery in Maine through the international Rotary Club’s Gift of Life program.

Jose David Marroquin Galan has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House with his mother, Rina Galan, since Saturday. His operation at Maine Medical Center to replace an artery is scheduled for Friday, said Paul Emery, a member of the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary Club.

Jose David and his mother will attend a Rotary Club meeting Tuesday at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center, where the speaker will be Robert Raylman, executive director of Gift of Life International.

Since 1974, Gift of Life has arranged for more than 10,000 children to receive medical care for heart conditions. Emery decided to bring the program to Maine after hearing the first Gift of Life patient speak at a Rotary convention a couple of years ago.

The state’s first two Gift of Life patients were Genesis Lluberes and Daisy Mayi, who were 5 months old and 21 months old, respectively, when they had surgery in the spring at Maine Medical Center. Both girls from the Dominican Republic had a heart condition called tetralogy of fallot, which gave them a life expectancy of three to four years, before the surgery.

Their operations, travel and living expenses in Maine were covered by Maine Medical Center, the Maine Foundation for Cardiac Surgery and the Gift of Life.

Five cruise ships due to visit Portland through Saturday

Five cruise ships are scheduled to visit Portland this week, carrying a total of more than 10,400 passengers and nearly 4,000 crew members.

The Jewel of the Seas, with 2,112 passengers and 869 crew, visited Monday. On Tuesday, the Carnival Glory, with 2,974 passengers and 1,160 crew, is scheduled to arrive at 8 a.m. and depart at 5 p.m.

On Friday, the Independence, whose home port is Portland, is scheduled to arrive at 5 p.m. with 98 passengers and depart at 3 p.m. Saturday.

On Saturday, the Enchantment of the Seas, with 2,250 passengers and 870 crew, is due to arrive at 11:30 a.m. and depart at 7 p.m.

Also Saturday, the Norwegian Dawn, with about 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members, will arrive at 11 a.m. and depart at 7 p.m.

In all, 60 ships carrying a total of 68,977 passengers and 26,425 crew members are expected to call on Portland this year. Most of the visits are scheduled for late summer and early fall.

Homeless man charged in assault on another

Police have arrested a 23-year-old homeless man on charges that he beat a man near Sewall Street, causing life-threatening injuries.

Police were called at 9:30 p.m. Sunday to an area of woods where someone had found an unconscious man bleeding from severe facial injuries.

Police say Jeffrey Fry, 47, was taken to Maine Medical Center for treatment. Witnesses described the suspect and police found Adam Delano a short distance away. He was charged with aggravated assault, a felony.

Fry was being treated for broken bones in his face, skull fractures, and internal injuries, police said.

Delano and Fry are both homeless and know each other. Police did not indicate what led to the fight.

Delano was held on $5,000 bail. Police asked that anyone with information call 874-8533.

Sierra Club endorses King in race for U.S. Senate seat

The Sierra Club has endorsed independent Angus King in the race to fill Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe’s soon-to-be-empty seat, disappointing Democrat Cynthia Dill.

Becky Bartovics from Sierra Club Maine said Monday that King knows that “investing in a clean-energy future will create new jobs in Maine and across the U.S., and protect our planet for generations to come.”

As governor, King backed the Land for Maine’s Future program to ensure open spaces. And after leaving office, King launched a wind power venture. In its endorsement, the Sierra Club cited King’s support for clean energy policies and investments to transition the country to cleaner energy.

While Dill was disappointed, she brushed off the endorsement. She said she’s always been an environmentalist and doesn’t need endorsement to verify that.

Sen. Snowe has cameo role on ‘Parks and Recreation’

Sen. Olympia Snowe is getting another 15 minutes of fame before leaving office.

The Maine Republican will make her TV sitcom debut later this week with a cameo appearance in the season premiere of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”

Series stars Amy Poehler and Adam Scott filmed on location in Washington, D.C., with Snowe and Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California.

Snowe, who’s leaving office when her term ends, says it’s all in good fun but that Poehler’s character, Leslie, a newly seated city councilor, demonstrates an admirable passion for public service, “echoing the belief I have long held that public service is a most noble pursuit.”


Man dies in attempt to move ATV stuck in mud on trail

A 47-year-old man died Monday while trying to move an all-terrain vehicle that was stuck in mud on a trail.

Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the Maine Warden Service, said the man was operating a Polaris two-passenger ATV when it got stuck.

The man and two of his friends were pushing the machine out of the mud around 2 p.m. when a “medical event” occurred, MacDonald said.

The man died on the trail. The victim’s name was not released Monday.


Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to do part of sub repair work

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is expected to do about one-third of the work repairing the USS Miami, the nuclear submarine that burned at the shipyard in May.

Connecticut-based General Dynamics Electric Boat, which built the sub from 1986 to 1988, was awarded a $94 million contract for planning and preliminary work on the repair project.

But about a third of the preliminary work will be done by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, said U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

The sub was being overhauled when a shipyard worker, Casey James Fury of Portsmouth, N.H., allegedly set the fire that burned for hours in the forward section of the sub. Fury no longer works at the shipyard. He is being held without bail while awaiting trial in federal court in Portland.

Officials have said they are optimistic that the $900 million submarine can be repaired, at an estimated cost of $400 million to $450 million.


Officials: Allowing alcohol at park passes first test

Town officials say the first permit granted for a group to serve alcohol at Fort Williams Park went without significant problems.

The National Troopers Coalition, a group representing troopers’ unions across the country, had its annual picnic Thursday and was granted permission to have beer. The association anticipated that 1,200 troopers would come to Maine for the event.

The town viewed the event as a test to determine whether alcohol was compatible with the family park. Cape Elizabeth police say there were no problems.

However, Public Works Director Robert Malley said he told the troopers to keep the music down. “It was too loud for the park in my opinion,” Malley said in an email to town officials. The troopers complied.

The town has maintained a ban on alcohol in the 90-acre park but has been looking for ways to boost revenue to help maintain it without charging for parking. The troopers paid $3,600 in fees to use the park. The town required an off-duty police officer to be at the event to make sure the beer was kept within a confined area.


Three teens caught taking tubs, stove, deputies say

Three teenagers were charged with burglary and theft after sheriff’s deputies say they were caught stealing a clawfoot bathtub on Sunday afternoon.

A resident of Musselman Road called the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office to report that a flatbed truck was backed up to the porch of a nearby house and people were loading things onto it.

The deputy found the men loading the tub onto the truck, authorities said. Removed from the house, but waiting on the porch, were two more cast iron tubs and a wood stove. The house was built in 1920 and is currently for sale.

The house bore a sign that said no trespassers or squatters. One of the three suspects said the owner had authorized them to remove items to sell as scrap metal, but authorities said that was not true.

Police charged Anthony Soto, 19, of Gorham as well as a 16-year-old from Standish and a 16-year-old from Sebago.


Lobsterman to serve 45 days for shooting incident at dock

A lobsterman has been sentenced to 45 days in jail on reduced charges of shooting at another fisherman at a dock in Friendship.

James Simmons, 37, pleaded guilty on Monday to misdemeanor charges of criminal threatening and reckless conduct.

The victim told the sheriff’s department that when he arrived at Wallace’s Lobster Wharf on Dec. 4, James Simmons ran back to his truck, pulled out a rifle and fired at him. The victim was not hit.

The affidavit said Simmons also threatened to kill the man soon.

The victim said Simmons accused him of cutting his lobster trap lines, which the victim denied doing.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Simmons was sentenced Monday to 364 days in jail with all but 45 days suspended.


Man, 62, suffers leg injuries in accident with fireworks

A man is in fair condition after suffering serious injuries in a fireworks accident.

An official said William Sawyer, 62, had put fireworks on a picnic table to test them when a shell tipped over and ignited all of the canisters.

Sgt. Joel Davis of the state Fire Marshal’s Office told WLBZ-TV that Sawyer suffered severe leg injuries.

Davis said Sawyer didn’t follow the directions, which say the shells should be secured to the ground.


Skype visit with first ladies turns into real thing for class

Former first lady Barbara Bush and Maine’s first lady Ann LePage know how to make an entrance.

After a “technical problem” interrupted a Skype session at Brewer Community School, the screen lifted and Bush and LePage appeared in person Monday for third- and fourth-graders.

No one was more surprised than the teacher, Cherrie MacInnes, who organized the Web-based visit. The Bangor Daily News said she was so thrilled that she did a little dance.

She told the newspaper, “I don’t think I’ve ever been surprised like this.”

Bush and LePage answered questions from students after a presentation about Brewer. Then Bush walked through with her dog, allowing all to pet it.


Hurricane Island nonprofit receives $1 million donation

A nonprofit organization that offers field research and leadership training opportunities in a remote island setting off Maine’s coast has received an anonymous donation of $1 million.

The Hurricane Island Foundation announced the gift on Monday.

“This generous gift arrives at an opportune time, allowing the Hurricane Island Foundation to continue in earnest the work of building a sustainable, off-the-grid island campus and at the same time further develop its research, teaching and leadership programs,” the organization said in a press release.

The 4-year-old foundation is based in Rockland but uses its namesake island, about 12 miles offshore, southwest of Vinalhaven, as a Center for Science and Leadership.


Family escapes house fire, loses home and possessions

A Waterford family lost its home and most of its possessions in a fire during the weekend.

Nearly 60 firefighters from five western Maine towns battled the blaze, first reported about 1 a.m. Sunday. The three-story home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

Patrick MacDonald told the Sun Journal that his house had fire detectors, but they didn’t alert the family to the fire. Instead, the family smelled the smoke.

MacDonald and his wife, Christina, got their children and another relative out before anyone was hurt.

MacDonald says the family has lived in the home about six years and put everything they had into it. The cause remains under investigation.


Meeting to explore ways to tap Maine’s tidal power

Harnessing power from Maine’s biggest tides will be the subject of a daylong meeting of the Maine Tidal Power Initiative in Trescott.

Representatives from federal and state agencies, businesses, area communities and the University of Maine will gather on Tuesday for the public meeting.

The agenda includes an update on UMaine’s ongoing research into tidal circulation in the Down East region, turbine designs, impacts of tidal power on the biological communities and public perceptions of tidal power development.

Cobscook Bay is the site of the nation’s first commercial, grid-tied tidal turbine, which was dedicated in July. The project was developed by Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Co.

The Maine Tidal Power Initiative is a team of engineers and marine scientists from UMaine and Maine Maritime Academy.