Prides Corner apartment developer modifies plan

The developer hoping to build about 100 apartments on the site of the closed Prides Corner Elementary School has slightly modified his proposal to appease neighbors who panned his initial plan.

The Westbrook City Council is scheduled to vote Jan. 6 on a contract to sell the 10-acre property for $650,000 to Vincent Maietta, who wants to renovate the rundown school building and construct two additional three-story buildings to house 98 market-rate apartments, said City Administrator Jerre Bryant.

The council was originally going to vote on the contract in November, but, a week earlier, residents raised concerns about the project at a neighborhood meeting. So, city officials postponed the vote and asked Maietta to modify his proposal.

Since then, conditions were added to the agreement to prohibit subsidized apartments, preserve the existing vegetative buffers and require taller buildings to be farther back from the property line.

But on one point – the number of apartments – Maietta didn’t budge.


Boy critical after tree falls on him while riding zip line

A 10-year-old boy is in critical condition after a pine tree fell on top of him while he was playing on a zip line in Easton.

Authorities say the boy was riding on the zip line Thursday morning when it became apparent that one of the trees to which the line was connected was collapsing.

The boy jumped off the line and tried to flee from the area, but he was struck by the falling pine tree. He was rushed to Good Samaritan’s Hospital in Brockton, before being transferred to Children’s Hospital in Boston.


Lawmakers eye possibility of fees on canoes, kayaks

A legislative study group is floating the idea of imposing fees on canoes and kayaks in New Hampshire, but some lawmakers say the plan won’t work.

The legislative Commission on Fish and Game Department Sustainability is recommending a $10 annual fee for no-motorized vessels.

State Sen. Jeff Woodburn of Dalton told WMUR-TV that the idea is dead on arrival in the Legislature, but state Sen. Bob Odell says lawmakers need to take a serious look at getting people to pay for the services they enjoy outdoors.

Fish and Game director Glenn Normandeau says at the very least, there needs to be a discussion given that the department’s costs are outpacing revenues even with significant personnel reductions in the last several years. Unless something changes, the Fish and Game Fund will be depleted by July 2015, he said.

“I honestly believe that most people who enjoy New Hampshire’s outdoors and value our quality of life are willing to do their part,” he said.


Bus passenger arrested in break-in at closed bus depot

When a group of bus passengers was stranded in the cold outside a locked depot in Bangor on Christmas Day, a frustrated Connecticut man forced his way in through a back door.

Now he faces felony charges of burglary.

Police were called to the Concord Trailways bus station on Union Street at 11 a.m. for several bus passengers who had been dropped off and found the bus station locked, leaving them stuck in the cold.

When Officer Dan Sanborn was able to get inside, he felt a cold draft coming from the rear of the building and found the back door was broken from the outside, police said.

Sanborn and the station manager watched surveillance video and found that one of the passengers, Dale Quereux, 42 of Plainville, Conn., had broken in through the back door. The video showed him rummaging through drawers and removing a hammer, police said.

Police charged Quereux with burglary and criminal mischief and he was taken to Penobscot County Jail pending a court appearance.

Quereux was charged with a fresh count of criminal mischief Thursday morning after police reviewed more of the security video and saw Quereux allegedly using the hammer to smash the window of a car, though he didn’t take anything.


Woman charged in theft of toys from Toys for Tots

A Barnstable woman is headed to court for allegedly stealing toys from the Toys for Tots program intended for her neighbors’ children.

Police say 49-year-old Janice Tully is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on a larceny charge. They say Tully gave two neighbors a ride Tuesday to pick up toys for their five children.

Tully allegedly loaded her car with about $500 worth of toys, left her neighbors behind and said she’d drop off the toys later. The neighbors called police, who found some of the toys still in her car. She was jailed for Christmas Day. It’s not clear if she has a lawyer.

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