Community ski area needs new owner to avoid closure

A community ski area in western Maine has closed and is in jeopardy of not opening next winter.

The nonprofit Maine Winter Sports Center says it’s looking for someone to take over ownership and operations of Black Mountain ski area in Rumford.

Maine Winter Sports Center, with funding from The Libra Foundation, has invested $9 million in the mountain since it took ownership in 2003 with the aim of creating an affordable community ski area and promoting winter activities in rural Maine.

Rumford residents this month voted against contributing $51,000 toward the mountain’s expenses. Sports Center President Andy Shepard says the mountain needs strong local support to make the economics work.

He says he’s hopeful that somebody will step forward so the mountain open can open next winter.


Local man, 57, pleads guilty to indecent conduct charge

A Biddeford man has pleaded guilty to indecent conduct toward a police officer in Saco and been ordered to pay a $250 fine and do 50 hours of community service.

Police said that on May 6, Roy Fortin, 57, parked at the commuter lot on Industrial Park Road, entered the woods and exposed his genitals to an undercover police officer. Fortin pleaded guilty in Biddeford District Court on Wednesday. Fortin was one of three people charged during a crackdown in April and May on what police described as suspicious and illicit behavior at the commuter lot and at Cascade Falls Park.


Segway inventor visiting Maine to promote robotics

The inventor of the Segway stand-up scooter is scheduled to visit Maine to promote robotics in schools.

Dean Kamen will arrive by helicopter Thursday at Fairchild Semiconductor’s headquarters in South Portland. He, Gov. Paul LePage and Fairchild officials will announce the formation of the Robotics Institute of Maine, which was formed this year to coordinate student robotics competitions across the state.

Maine robotics teams also will be at the event to demonstrate their Frisbee-throwing robots.

Kamen is a ceaseless advocate of robotics. He founded an organization in 1989 called FIRST that develops ways to inspire students in engineering and technology fields.


New president to take reins July 1 at community college

The Maine Community College System board of trustees has appointed a new president at one of its colleges.

At its meeting Wednesday in Calais, the board approved system President Joseph Fitzsimmons’ nomination of Joseph Cassidy as the next president of Washington County Community College, effective July 1.

Cassidy is a longtime faculty member at the college and an attorney in Calais.

He replaces his uncle, William Cassidy, who’s been serving as interim president since 2012.

Washington County Community College has 475 students and is one of seven colleges in the state Community College System.