May 25, 1988

A group of Westbrook High School students found their senior skip-day celebration cut short on May 13 when three of the cars in a caravan to a Sebago Lake summer camp collided, one head-on, with a Jeep, injuring several students. Following the accident, all students participating in the skip-day were punished with their choice of a three-day detention or two weeks of detention. The students were rushed to Maine Medical Center following the 9 a.m. accident on Route 114 in Standish. One student suffered a spinal fracture and the others were treated for injuries and released from Maine Medical Center.

A stretch of 20 buildings on South Street extending from just behind the Gorham Village Square has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service. The designation was applied for by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission after Roger Brown of the Gorham Land Trust inquired about getting the designation for the James McLellan House at 77 South St. “We realized that the significance of that building was as a contributing part of the whole historic district,” said Kirk Mohoney of the Maine Historic Preservation District.

David Wallace will move up to the new job of assistant superintendent for instruction; William Michaud will succeed him as Westbrook High School principal; and Spencer Hardy will go from principal of Canal School to succeed Michaud as principal of the junior high school. The changes were announced this week as the Westbrook School Committee accepted Superintendent Edward Connolly’s definition of Wallace’s new job and approved the nomination of Wallace for it. Westbrook has had one assistant superintendent, Russell Fearon, with responsibilities for the business side of running the schools.

Advertisement: Free elephant rides. Meet Jumbo in the flesh, over 5,000 pounds. Everyone is welcome. Bring your camera. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., May 29. Grand Opening, Aubuchon Hardware, 511 Main St., Westbrook.

The most expensive production ever staged at Westbrook High School will occur this weekend when the Sock ‘n Buskin Society presents the musical, “The Little Shop of Horrors.” The production, including royalties, costumes, set supplies and the remarkable mechanical plant, Audrey II, will cost $4,000. Over $1,000 has already been spent to ship up the Audrey II, rented from Mikan-Tracy theatricals of Boston. The shipping weight is 1,100 pounds – she grows to a height of more than 6 feet and fills the auditorium stage. Greg Mitchell plays Seymour, Kimberly Welch plays Audrey and Audrey II is voiced by Robert Palang, with manipulations by Lynn Audet.

The Westbrook City Council will talk tonight about Gorham’s and Falmouth’s wooden playground structures and about getting one built in Westbrook’s Riverbank Park. Council President Donald Esty said he has been pushing the idea and expects aldermen to agree to authorize formation of a citizens’ committee that would raise money and oversee the construction.

The Gorham Town Council at a special meeting last week temporarily nixed a planned June referendum on the purchase of a new fire truck for the North Scarborough-South Gorham station, but approved a June 14 referendum vote on the proposed expansion of the Municipal Center. The low bid of five received for the expansion was $1,330,620, from Colwell Construction Co., Gray, and the referendum question will ask approval of that amount.

May 27, 1998

The Westbrook School Committee has adopted tougher language on tobacco, with this message: None allowed on school property. The new language means that no one – teachers, students, janitors, principals, visitors – can bring any tobacco onto school property. In a month, new language will reflect 1998 changes in state law, said Superintendent Robert Hall. Smoking by anyone on school property has been barred since 1995, and other kinds of tobacco use have been prohibited, but only for students, since 1993. Members of the School Committee also expressed concern about spectators who smoke at school sports events. No-smoking signs are not effective because adults like to think they are there for students only, it was reported. “I find that walking up to people and saying, ‘Pardon me, but smoking on school property is against state law,’ works very well,” said committee member Sandra Gorsuch-Plummer.

A resident goose at Westbrook’s Woodlawn Cemetery on Stroudwater Street was shot and killed Sunday night, and a duck is missing. A Stroudwater Street resident called police about 6:30 p.m. Sunday saying that he heard shots from a .22 caliber rifle in the area of the cemetery. Officer Inger Johnson found a goose floating dead in the duck pond. Westbrook’s animal control officer, David Sparks, retrieved the goose. He said it had been dragged to shore and partially eaten, probably by a fox or coyote. “It was definitely killed by a gun,” he said. John Marcellino, parks and cemeteries director, said that Woodlawn’s pond is normally home to four geese and eight ducks, which are housed in a shelter during the winter.

Also at Woodlawn Cemetery, four juveniles, ages 9-13, were arrested by Westbrook police for knocking over headstones. The 9-year-old was a girl. Headstones were tipped over in four separate incidents in recent weeks. “As far as we know, they were planning to go up there and do more damage,” Police Chief Steve Roberts said. The four have been charged with criminal mischief.

Gov. Angus King was on hand this week to cut the ribbon of the Gorham Savings Bank’s new operations center on Route 202 in Gorham, a two-story, 25,780-square-foot building costing $2.5 million. Bank president Charles M. Yandell led a tour of the building, and a reception followed. The center will house data processing, accounting, loan servicing, auditing, human resources, deposit services, legal and compliance services. Thirty people will work there.

Ryan Britton Douglas, son of Robert and Barbara Douglas, Jane Street, Gorham, graduated April 25 from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. He is a 1994 graduate of Gorham High School. Ryan will be apprenticing at an organic vegetable farm in Jonesport for the summer.

At local libraries, Frank Wood, of DeWolfe & Wood Rare Booksellers, Sanford, will talk about identifying rare books and what makes a book valuable, May 28 at Warren Memorial Library. On June 3, magician B.J. Hickman will perform in a show sponsored by Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham. His show will be held at the Village School cafeteria.

Shannon Mailhot pitched a one-hit shutout for the 11-3 Westbrook Blue Blazes softball team against 1-13 Catherine McAuley High School Friday. Mailhot hit 3 RBIs and scored three of Westbrook’s 22 runs in the 22-0 shutout.

Spectators lined Main Street for a Memorial Day Parade in the pre-urban renewal days in the 1970s. The buildings in the background – Hood’s Drug Store, Day’s Jewelry Store, the Scates Building and the Men’s Shop – are all gone. The Men’s Shop building was destroyed by a suspicious fire on Jan. 8, 1978, one day before it was slated for demolition. The Scates Building was the last building to be demolished under the urban renewal project. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected] The website is Photo and research courtesy of Mike Sanphy 

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