Police probing theft of jar with money for kids’ gifts

Police are investigating the theft of a jar that contained money for Christmas presents for needy children who live on Munjoy Hill.

The jar was stolen last month by a man wearing a Bonny Eagle High School sweatshirt — his image was captured by a store surveillance camera — from a counter at the 7-Eleven store on Washington Avenue.

The money in the jar was to have been used for gifts for needy children and to help pay for a Christmas party Dec. 15 at the Root Cellar on Washington Avenue.

“There wasn’t that much money in the jar, but this person took from a kid that will now have to go without,” said Linda York, whose family is trying to carry on a tradition started more than 30 years ago by her mother, Marie Trott.

Trott, who died last year, created the Munjoy Hill Mother’s Club. York and her eight siblings promised to keep the club going. The club hopes to provide presents to more than 100 needy children.

Another donation jar is at Collucci’s Hilltop Market on Munjoy Hill. York can be reached at 518-3169.


School board elects Caron new chairman unanimously

Jaimey Caron is the new chairman of the Portland Board of Public Education.

Caron, the at-large representative on the board, was elected unanimously at the board’s inauguration this week.

Caron, a civil engineer who has two children in Portland schools, was first elected to the board in 2007. He has served on the Finance Committee since then, and now chairs the transition team for the new superintendent, Manny Caulk.

Caron is a project manager for Burns & McDonnell of New Gloucester. Before joining the school board, Caron served nine years on the city’s Planning Board.

Caron previously led the school board’s Facilities and Transportation Committee, the Elementary Schools Capital Needs Task Force and the Facilities Task Force.


Westbrook man sentenced for Molotov cocktail incident

A Westbrook man who was part of a group who threw a flaming Molotov cocktail onto the porch of a home on East Valentine Street in Westbrook in January 2011 was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to serve three years in federal prison.

Brian York, 22, had waived indictment in August and pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of an unregistered destructive device — a liquor bottle filled with gasoline and stuffed with a tube sock, according to court records. The device had been thrown as part of an ongoing feud.

Judge George Singal also sentenced York to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term. York was ordered to refrain from use of alcohol or other intoxicants, stay away from people consuming alcohol and have no contact with a seven people on a list.


Local teen drowns in pond after falling through ice

The Maine Warden Service said a teenager drowned Wednesday afternoon after he fell through ice while checking beaver traps on Chapman Pond.

Cpl. John MacDonald identified the drowning victim as Joshua Wardwell, 17, of Oxford.

MacDonald said Wardwell’s 15-year-old girlfriend was on shore and saw the accident. She notified emergency personnel around 2:30 p.m.

Members of the Oxford and Paris police departments, as well as the Oxford Fire Department, got Wardwell out of the pond and took him to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, where he was pronounced dead.

The Maine Warden Service is encouraging people who venture onto ponds, lakes or rivers to use caution because the ice is very thin.


Gleeson wins council seat with 94 percent of vote

For a candidate without a campaign, the results sound impressive.

In a special election to name the next Freeport town councilor in District 1, David S. Gleeson Jr. captured more than 94 percent of the vote.

He did it with 34 votes. His was the only name on the ballot.

The contest was scheduled after former District 1 Councilor Sara Gideon resigned Oct. 9 when she moved out of the district. The town charter requires councilors to live in the area they represent. Gideon now represents Freeport in the state Legislature.

Chuckling about the rapid electoral process, Gleeson said he hardly had time to print pamphlets before the polls opened Tuesday. Daniel J. Collins won the other two votes cast.

“From (gathering) the signatures to the election, it was four weeks,” said Gleeson, happy to represent the district, which is dominated by commercial properties mixed with a few residences.

He said he plans to maintain a balance between the two demographics. “Truly, it’s a civic duty I’m running on, rather than an activist agenda,” he said.


Suspected gas leak forces evacuation of Greely High

A possible gas leak forced the evacuation of nearly 800 students and teachers from Greely High School on Wednesday.

The odor was reported about noon, said Principal Dan McKeone.

Students were moved to the adjacent Greely Middle School for about an hour while the building was ventilated.

When the Cumberland Fire Department cleared the building as free of gas, classes were nearly ready for dismissal about 1 p.m., McKeone said.

“It probably ate up most of the final period of the school day, about 45 minutes,” he said.

The Dead River Co., which supplies the school with gas, is investigating the cause of the odor, he said.


Teen charged with robbery of restaurant at knifepoint

A teenager from Raymond has been charged with robbing the Subway restaurant on Main Street on Tuesday night.

Police said they got a call about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday saying that a man armed with a large hunting knife had robbed the Subway at 615 Main St. and then ran from the store with cash.

Officers and a tracking dog searched for the man, but were unable to find him. However, police said they got tips that led them to Jacob D. Lipman, 18, of Raymond, who was found in Westbrook late Tuesday night.

Police said they recovered cash, a knife and a camouflage jacket and ski mask that they believe were used in the robbery.

Lipman was charged with robbery and is being held at the Cumberland County Jail.


Complaint about prostitute leads to man’s own arrest

Police say a New Hampshire man was charged after he called police to complain that a prostitute had not given him his money’s worth.

Police announced the arrest of Scott Pipher, 34, this week.

The investigation started in the spring. Police say Pipher called them on March 25 to complain that a woman he had hired did “had shorted him by 10 minutes.”

Police say the investigation led to the arrests announced this week of two alleged prostitutes as well Pipher.

Pipher is scheduled to be arraigned in Biddeford District Court on Dec. 12. He could not be reached for comment. His last known address was in Portsmouth, N.H.


Housing authority will help find place for evicted couple

A husband and wife ordered out of their home by city officials say they have nowhere to go.

Alan and Yvonne Orchard were issued an eviction notice last week because their home of 19 years has a 2-foot diameter hole in the roof.

A city engineer said the home is structurally unsound and a heavy snowstorm could cause the roof to collapse.

The Orchards say the tarpaulin-covered hole has been there several years and is not a problem.

Yvonne Orchard told The Times Record that they can’t afford to move. Her hours at a local supermarket have been cut to fewer than 20 per week. Her 81-year-old husband has diabetes.

Joanne Marco, executive director of Bath Housing Authority, said she’ll work with the Orchards to find them a place.


Six-hour standoff ends with armed man’s arrest

A six-hour standoff with an armed man in a Lewiston hotel ended peacefully.

Police arrested Jeff Sewell about 1 a.m. Wednesday and charged him with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and causing a police standoff.

Police responded to the Morning Star Inn about 7 p.m. Tuesday following a dispute between Sewell and another man.

That other man, Richard Lamothe, said he notified motel management when Sewell loaded a gun. Lamothe said Sewell appeared intoxicated.

City officers and state police surrounded and evacuated the motel and closed the road to traffic as Sewell barricaded himself inside a room.

Sewell eventually gave himself up and was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail.


Maine Film Center buying Railroad Square Cinema

The parent organization of the Maine International Film Festival plans to buy the Railroad Square Cinema.

The Maine Film Center said the purchase advances its mission to enrich, educate and entertain the community through film and art. The film center has partnered with the cinema for 15 years to stage Maine’s premier film festival and other special programs.

Film center Executive Director Shannon Haines said Waterville has a wealth of film resources, including one of the best-known art house cinemas in the country, an internationally known film festival and a new cinema studies program at Colby College.

Haines said the Maine Film Center wants to bring those resources together to firmly establish Waterville as a vibrant center of film exhibition and education.