Woman killed, man injured in fire that started in garage

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a Sunday afternoon fire at a home on 16 Ocean Side Lane in New Harbor – a village in the Lincoln County town of Bristol – that killed one person and injured another.

The local fire chief said a fire broke out at the same residence in March 2011. Sunday’s fire damaged the owner’s new garage and new home, Bristol Fire Chief Paul Leeman Jr. said.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said the victim is a woman believed to be in her 60s. Police say a man, who was also injured in the fire, is likely her husband.

The names of the victims were being withheld Sunday night pending notification of the couple’s relatives.

McCausland said the state medical examiner will perform an autopsy Monday.

McCausland said the victim’s body was found in a garage that is adjacent to the home. McCausland said investigators believe the fire started in the garage.

The injured man was taken by ambulance to Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta.

Leeman said the garage was destroyed while the home suffered extensive heat and smoke damage.
In the 2011 fire, neighbors called the fire department to report what sounded like an explosion. That fire also appears to have started in the garage.


Elderly Kennebunkport man dies in Sunday morning crash

An elderly Kennebunkport man is dead following a single vehicle crash Sunday morning in Arundel.
Major William L. King Jr. identified the victim as 89-year-old Jack Shangraw.

Police said Shangraw was operating a red 2004 Ford Ranger when it drove off River Road and struck a utility pole around 8:40 a.m.

King said speed and road conditions may have contributed to the accident.

Shangraw was transported to Southern Maine Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival.


Fire in MERC shredder ties up firefighters 3 hours

Biddeford firefighters took more than three hours to put our a fire that broke out in a shredding machine at the Maine Energy Recovery Plant Sunday afternoon.

Lt. Robert Lang said several departments, including Saco and Scarborough, provided backup coverage while Biddeford and Saco firefighters put the fire out.

Lang said trash on a conveyor belt that was bringing debris to the shredder caught fire around 2:37 p.m.

There does not appear to any damage to the incinerator, which was acquired by the city of Biddeford recently.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Court to hear arguments on whether school gets tax bill

Maine’s highest court will hear arguments this week on whether a private boarding school in central Maine should pay property taxes on facilities it rents to outside groups.

The town of Hebron is appealing a Superior Court judgment that Hebron Academy is a “literary and scientific” institution and that most of its real estate is exempt from local property taxes.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston reported that the town said the school should pay property taxes on facilities it rents out for sports camps, awards dinners, bank functions and weddings.

The school has argued that any rental use of the properties doesn’t detract from their primary use in serving the school’s educational mission.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in Portland.

City schedules open house for expanded teen shelter

Maine’s largest city is getting a new shelter for youths.

Portland’s Preble Street will host an open house Tuesday at the newly expanded and renovated Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter. The public is welcome to tour the shelter, which is scheduled to be fully operational the first week of January.

The Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter replaces the Lighthouse Shelter, providing 24 beds for homeless teens without family, friends or resources. The shelter will ensure that teens are safe around the clock and have access to nutritious meals, adult supervision and connection and resources to help turn their lives around.

Preble Street is the leading provider of services to Portland’s homeless and low-income residents and serves more than 500 people each day.

U.S. Attorney’s Office collects $2 million in legal penalties

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maine said it collected nearly $2 million in connection with criminal and civil cases it handled in the past fiscal year.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II says about $1.1 million was collected in criminal actions and close to $603,000 in civil actions during fiscal year 2012. There was more than $200,000 in criminal and civil forfeitures.

U.S. Attorneys’ Offices are responsible for enforcing and collecting civil and criminal debts owed to the U.S. government, and criminal debts owed to crime victims.

Nationally, U.S. Attorney’s Offices collected $13.1 billion for the year.


Cleaner fuels cited for drop in power generator pollution

New England’s power grid operator says emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by electricity generators have decreased dramatically since 2001.

ISO New England says emissions of sulfur dioxide fell 60 percent and emissions of nitrogen oxides dropped 52 percent from 2001 to 2011.

The ISO says emission controls on power plants have helped. But it says the decline is mainly due to increased use of natural gas-fired generators, which are more efficient and have fewer emissions than oil- and coal-fired generators.

As of 2011, natural gas accounted for 52 percent of the region’s energy production, up from 15 percent in 2000.

Oil accounted for less than 1 percent of energy production, down from 22 percent in 2000. Coal has fallen from 18 percent to 6 percent during that time.

– From staff and news services