Baxter Boulevard to reopen to traffic Monday morning

Baxter Boulevard will reopen to motorists at 7 a.m. Monday, the city said in a news release Friday.

A roughly 1.4-mile stretch of Baxter Boulevard has been closed for the last eight months while the city installed a new sewer and storm water system that would reduce the amount of sewage discharged into Back Cove during rainstorms.

Two million-gallon tanks were installed along the boulevard, so storm water and sewage can be stored during rainstorms and pumped to the East End Treatment Plant after the rain stops. The previous system discharged the polluted water into the cove.

The city is under a federal mandate to improve its storm water and sewer systems.

Under federal order between 1993 and 2010, the City Council-funded projects reduced sewer overflow volumes by 42 percent from 720 million gallons to 420 million gallons annually. During the same period, the city spent close to $100 million on the projects.

More recently, the city adopted a plan calling for the investment of $170 million in additional projects that will reduce sewer overflow volumes to 87 million gallons annually — an 88 percent reduction since 1993. The plan is due to begin in 2014.

Meanwhile, the City Council’s Transportation, Energy and Sustainability Committee is expected to take up a proposal to close Baxter Boulevard to traffic on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. so it can be used for recreation.



Woman run over by vehicle, suffering minor injuries

A York woman getting ready to take a golf lesson suffered minor injuries when she was run over by her own car Friday morning at York Golf and Tennis, police said.

Mary-Jean Huntley, 73, had reached into her Town and Country minivan from outside the passenger side door to remove the keys but mistakenly started the engine, Sgt. Steve Spofford said. Her arm also moved the shifting lever located on the dashboard near the ignition and the car shifted into reverse, he said.

Huntley tried to get in the car to stop it, but fell and was run over, Spofford said. The minivan stopped when it came to rest against a nearby pickup truck. Huntley did not appear to be seriously injured, he said.


No federal grant for rail line on new Maine-N.H. bridge

An aging bridge between New Hampshire and Maine won’t receive a $25 million federal grant to build a rail line on its replacement.

Officials said Friday that they are still planning to build the rail line on the replaced Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which is used to shuttle nuclear waste from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Joyce Taylor, chief engineer for the Maine Department of Transportation, told the Portsmouth Herald that Maine and New Hampshire officials aren’t sure how they will come up with the money for the line.

The states requested the grant because state highway funding can’t be used for rails.

The new bridge is expected to be ready in November 2017. The old bridge would be closed for six months, from May of that year to October.


Authorities looking for man charged with killing inmate

Authorities are looking for a man charged with killing an inmate in a wheelchair at the Maine State Prison four years ago after he failed to show up in court.

John Thibeault faces a manslaughter charge in connection with the death of 64-year-old Sheldon Weinstein in April 2009.

Weinstein, who used a wheelchair, died of blunt force injuries.

The 34-year-old Thibeault, who has since been released from prison, failed to appear in Knox County Superior Court on Thursday as scheduled. He was out on $100,000 bail posted by another party.

WABI-TV reported that a judge Thursday ruled that when found, Thibeault will be held without bail because the person who posted the $100,000 bail withdrew it.

Thibeault has had several addresses in the Bangor area.


Bank of Maine files lawsuit against ex-grocer executives

The Bank of Maine has filed a lawsuit against former executives of the defunct Associated Grocers of Maine seeking to recoup $2.5 million in losses.

In the latest complaint filed in Kennebec County Superior Court, Gardiner-based Bank of Maine seeks “to recover damages caused by negligent misrepresentations made to the bank by AGME and the other defendants.” Seventeen defendants are named.

The lawsuit says the bank loaned millions to the cooperative, which in turn gave the bank a security interest in assets of Associated Grocers of Maine, including its accounts receivable.

The AGME closed in April 2011 in deep debt.

One defendant, Craig Burgess of Bath, a former chief executive officer and former director of AGME, told the Kennebec Journal he was unaware of the lawsuit and had no comment.


Homeless children shelter closing after aid cutbacks

The operator of a Skowhegan shelter that provides emergency housing to homeless children is closing because of steep cuts in state and federal support.

Thomas McAdam, chief executive of Kennebec Behavioral Health, said Thursday that Halcyon House could no longer stay open without jeopardizing the organization’s other programs and services.

The 10-bed Halcyon House, which provides services to children ages 10 to 17, stopped taking new residents a week ago. No children are at the shelter now.

McAdam told the Morning Sentinel that children who contact the agency seeking help generally will be referred to a shelter in Lewiston.

He said Halcyon House costs the health agency more than $400,000 a year to operate and was projected to lose $120,000 this fiscal year after losing $80,000 last year.


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