New law lets bars display alcohol content of beer

Bars in Maine will be allowed to legally display the alcohol content of beer, thanks to a new state law.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Louis Luchini, D-Ellsworth, repeals a 1937 law that forbade the display of alcohol content, such as on signs or beer menus. At the time, the law was designed to deter “strength wars” among brewers.

Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday allowed the measure to become law without his signature.

Brewers and bar owners in Maine were reminded of the 1937 law after a Rockland-area brewer and bar owner was told by a state liquor inspector to remove the alcohol-by-volume percentages from a menu.


The growing beer industry in Maine – which skews heavily toward craft brews that often have a high alcohol content – took immediate exception to enforcement of the old law, saying that customers who want to consume high-alcohol craft beers responsibly have a right to know what they’re in for.

Luchini’s bill was a response to the uproar. It was supported by the Maine Brewer’s Guild and the Maine Restaurant Association, among other food and beverage groups in the state.


Schooner will be moved along Commercial Street

There may be some traffic congestion early Wednesday morning on Commercial Street in Portland when the 125-foot-schooner Spirit of Massachusetts is moved on a trailer down the street to the new Portland Yacht Services shipyard just west of the Casco Bay Bridge.

The move, which begins at 6 a.m. at the former Gowen Marine behind Becky’s Diner, is expected to take an hour. Utility workers will clear overhead wires to allow the ship to pass.


The 30-year-old Spirit of Massachusetts is one of three traditional schooners owned by the Ocean Classroom Foundation, one of the largest operators of educational sailing vessels in the country. The foundation recently moved its marine operations from Boothbay to Portland and has partnered with Portland Yacht Services as part of a long-term expansion of its fleet and programs.

Portland Yacht Services will restore the vessel as part of the largest traditional ship restoration project completed in Portland in decades. The project will employ professional shipwrights as well as students and apprentices from boat building programs throughout the state, according to Greg Belanger, executive director of the Ocean Classroom Foundation.

The foundation has offered a variety of unaccredited and contract programs aboard the Spirit of Massachusetts and its other vessels, Harvey Gamage and Westward. Over the years, about 30,000 students have sailed the Spirit, traveling from Newfoundland to Venezuela and throughout the Caribbean Sea and along the Atlantic Seaboard.

USM event will remember 1994 genocide in Rwanda

An event at the University of Southern Maine on Wednesday will mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda and examine what lessons from it could be applied to the ongoing civil war in Syria.

Speakers at the “Paving the Way to a Better World” event include Marian Jalabi, director of the New York office of the Syrian National Council, and Washington, DC.-based writer and activist Daniel Soloman, who will join a panel discussion from 6 to 8 p.m. at the university’s Glickman Library.


The program at the library begins at 3 p.m. with presentations by a Rwandan painter and an author who was inside the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda, that was depicted in the film “Hotel Rwanda” at the time of the genocide. There will also be samples of Rwandan cuisine.

In addition, a Syrian activist who runs a civil society organization dedicated to nonviolent resistance will display Syrian cultural artifacts. At 5 p.m., there will be a video and a chance to meet with the panelists.

The International Relations Association of the University of Southern Maine is organizing the event.


Motorcyclist dies of injuries after crash with car Friday

Police say a 30-year-old Bath man who was injured in a crash last week while riding his motorcycle has died.


Police announced Monday that Alexander Coffin died over the weekend at a hospital following his involvement in the crash with a passenger vehicle Friday.

Coffin was headed north on Oak Grove Avenue when his motorcycle collided with a southbound vehicle driven by a 46-year-old Bath woman who was making a left turn. The woman was not injured.

Police told The Times Record that the accident remains under investigation pending results from blood tests and accident reconstruction reports.

There was no indication that alcohol was involved.


Man admits stealing car, says marijuana isn’t his


A Maine man pulled over by police insisted that the marijuana officers found in the car he was driving was not his.

His excuse? He’d stolen the car.

Police told the Sun Journal that 25-year-old Douglas Glidden of Jay was stopped late Sunday night by police responding to reports of a disturbance.

Livermore Falls Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said that when police found the marijuana, Glidden told them he had just stolen the car and the marijuana wasn’t his. Police confirmed the car had been reported stolen.

Glidden is facing several charges, including operating under the influence and theft by unauthorized taking or transfer – as well as a civil violation of possession of a usable amount of marijuana.

It could not be determined if he had a lawyer.



Haystack gets $2 million for residency program

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts has received its largest gift ever, a $2 million grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

The money will be used to endow the school’s new Open Studio Residency program, said director Stuart Kestenbaum.

Arkansas-based Windgate gave Haystack a three-year, $300,000 grant in 2012 to launch the residency.

The new gift is unrestricted, giving Haystack flexibility in its programming. It will allow the school to offer the two-week program at no cost to participants and provide long-term support to offer the residency as an ongoing part of its regular programming.


“We’re particularly pleased to receive this award from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, whose past support has allowed us to expand our vision of how craft and creative process can be integrated with other fields,” Kestenbaum said in a statement. “These funds will enable us to continue investigating new ideas relating to craft practice and provide opportunities for makers to explore new ideas for their own work.”

In Haystack’s residency, artists work side by side in open studios. The program gives them the time and place to investigate new ideas, which can have a significant impact on the craft field.


Car accident on Route 202 sends two people to hospital

Two people were taken to a hospital following a single-car accident Tuesday morning in Lebanon.

Chief Ray Parent of the Lebanon Rescue Department said the crash happened around 8 a.m. on the Carl Broggi Highway, also known as Route 202. The road was closed briefly while the driver and passenger were extricated from the vehicle.


Both people were taken to Frisbee Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.H.

Parent said he did not have any further information. The accident is under investigation.


Two charged with selling form of synthetic marijuana

Two men have been charged with selling a form of synthetic marijuana in New Hampshire and Maine.

Kyle Hurley, whose address was unknown, and Robert Costello of Lawrence, Mass., are being held without bail following their arrest March 28 after a three-month investigation. It wasn’t immediately known if they had lawyers.

The investigation took undercover agents to Portsmouth, Hampton, Seabrook and Kittery, Maine, the Portsmouth Herald reported. It started with the purchase of synthetic marijuana from a Londonderry store on Dec. 31.

Costello allegedly told police he worked with someone who had a barn in Epping, where that person mixes the marijuana in cement mixers and then spreads it on plastic sheets. The product is then sprayed with synthetics.

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