Current class of freshmen boosts state universities

Enrollment is up at the state’s seven universities this fall, says a report that was presented Monday to trustees at their board meeting in Presque Isle.

The report shows that the full-time equivalent student population in the University of Maine System is up by just under half a percent. The last year that overall fall enrollment in the system didn’t decline was in 2004.

The incoming freshman class of degree-seeking students is up more than 5 percent from last year.

The University of Southern Maine said it has stabilized its enrollment and met financial targets. This fall’s total enrollment is 9,385, an increase of 84 over the fall 2011 total of 9,301.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” said USM President Theo Kalikow, “but we definitely are heading in the right direction.”

Susan Campbell, USM’s chief student success officer, attributed the 0.9 percent increase to more targeted efforts to recruit and retain students, a more aggressive marketing campaign, more competitive room and board rates and $1 million in reallocated university funds for scholarships.

Some 1,879 new and first-year transfer students are attending classes this fall, compared with 1,557 in the fall of 2011, an increase of about 20 percent.

The number of full-time students is trending upward, from 5,735 in 2011 to 5,810 this fall.

USM had set a target of 1,100 students in Gorham residence halls this semester and exceeded that target by 58 students.


Museum at naval air base hangs it hat at Hangar Six

A museum dedicated to preserving the history of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station and its airborne patrols has signed a lease to rent space at the military base for its collection of artifacts.

John B. Briley, president of the museum’s board of directors, in a statement issued recently, said that the Brunswick Naval Museum and Memorial Gardens is now occupying two rooms of Brunswick Landing’s main office building — formerly known as Hangar Six.

Briley said the location will enable the museum to establish a presence in a relatively high traffic area and provide a base of operations for collecting artifacts and establishing a small exhibit.

Briley said the museum had wanted to move into space at the former base chapel, but it would have cost about $250,000 to bring the building up to code. Briley said the museum does not have enough money to fund the renovation project at this time.

The museum still plans to move into the chapel and provide space for the Veterans’ Council. For more information about the museum project go to:


Town’s recreation director killed while felling tree

Police say a town official was killed when a tree fell on him at his home.

Jeff Kuller, 56, died Sunday when the tree he was cutting at his home fell on him.

Kuller was director of the Camden Parks and Recreation Department and general manager of the Camden Snow Bowl, which hosts the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships.

As part of his duties, he oversaw the Ragged Mountain Recreational Area.

Kuller, originally from St. Paul, Minn., had worked for Camden since 2004. He is survived by his wife and two children.


Guests arrive with trunks at roomy retirement home

Two retired circus elephants have arrived in Maine to live out the rest of their years at a new facility built especially for them.

Rosie and Opal arrived a few days ago in the town of Hope, near Camden, where they are living at a newly built facility with a 3,000-square-foot elephant barn and an acre of land developed by veterinarian Jim Laurita.

Laurita told the Bangor Daily News that he worked as a circus elephant trainer in the 1970s and co-founded the Hope Elephants nonprofit organization so he could treat 43-year-old Rosie and 41-year-old Opal’s arthritis. The animals came to Maine from an elephant retirement facility in Oklahoma.

Hope Elephants also plans to have school groups visit to learn firsthand about the animals.


Police eye connection in pharmacy incidents

Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies searched Monday for the man who robbed a Rite Aid Pharmacy on West Gray Road on Sunday.

Police are trying to determine whether there is any connection to an incident at the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Lisbon Street in Lewiston, where a man passed the pharmacist what appeared to be a fake prescription at noon. The suspect’s physical description was similar, though the clothing was different. He did not get any drugs.

At 1 p.m., a man passed the Gray pharmacist a note threatening that he had a gun, and left the store with an undisclosed amount of prescription medication, the sheriff’s office said.

The man is described as 5-foot-9, in his 20s, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, a tan coat, sunglasses and tan or green pants, the sheriff’s office said.


Four cited for shoplifting after police stop their car

Police say four Massachusetts women who were stopped Sunday with $4,300 worth of merchandise in their car were arrested on shoplifting charges.

Police received a call at 11:23 a.m. saying that two women had just stolen boots from the Timberland outlet on Route 1.

Police stopped the car and found numerous stolen items in plastic garbage bags, mostly clothing, with the tags still attached, from The Children’s Place.

Police arrested all four on a felony charge of receiving stolen property, said Police Chief Paul Callaghan.

Arrested were Maria Gomes, 42, Phyllis Duffin, 57, and Lasheena Terrio, 29, of Brockton, Mass., and Adelina Andrade, 48, of Dorchester, Mass. They were each held at York County Jail on $1,000 bail pending a court appearance.


No more arrests expected in slaying of three Mainers

The lead detective in the investigation of the fatal shootings of three Maine residents found in a burning car says no further arrests are expected.

Bangor police Sgt. Paul Kenison spoke as a man arrested in Massachusetts made his first court appearance in Maine. Flanked by two attorneys, Nicholas Sexton, 31, of Warwick, R.I., pleaded not guilty to murder and arson on Monday.

Sexton and Randall “Ricky” Daluz of Brockton, Mass., are charged in the grisly case. Daluz also has pleaded not guilty.

They’re accused of fatally shooting Daniel Borders of Hermon, Nicolle Lugdon of Eddington, and Lucas Tuscano of Bradford, then setting fire to a rental car with the bodies inside. The car was discovered burning in Bangor parking lot on Aug. 13.