Powerful wind gusts leave hundreds without electricity

Powerful wind gusts, some exceeding 45 mph, sent trees tumbling onto power lines and knocked out power to hundreds of Central Maine Power Co. customers Thursday.

Local police departments investigated reports of electrical wires on roads in several towns, including Standish, North Yarmouth and Kennebunkport.

As of 7:25 p.m., More than 2,000 CMP customers had lost their electrical service. However, winds were expected to die down Thursday night and calm by Friday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Kimble said the strongest wind gust in Portland – 47 mph – occurred around 2:30 p.m.

Brunswick recorded a wind gust of 46 mph at 1:04 p.m., while Thomaston in midcoast Maine reported a wind gust of 51 mph at 9:42 a.m.

Kimble said the wind gusts started intensifying around 2 p.m. Wednesday and continued to grow stronger, with the highest wind speeds taking place throughout the day Thursday.

To view the total number of power outages in each county, click here

UMaine research scientists to receive grants from NOAA

Three University of Maine research scientists will receive grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for projects related to the fishing industry.

Aquaculture professor Heather Hamlin will receive $249,516 for a project that seeks to determine if rising ocean temperature is a cause of the lobster population decline in southern New England.

Fisheries population professor Yong Chen will get $229,326 for a project about what times and areas cod and cusk are likely to be caught in lobster traps.

Marine science professor Paul Rawson and collaborators at the University of Maine at Machias and Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., will receive $373,088 to develop technology to produce mussel seed.

The university announced the grants Thursday.


Crews to begin construction on Route 1 infrastructure

Crews will begin construction next week on the long-discussed Route 1 infrastructure project in Falmouth.

Construction will begin Monday between Bucknam Road and Route 88.

The project will add wider sidewalks, trees and center medians to a stretch of road that for decades has been a traffic-heavy commercial center.

In addition to landscaping, overhead utilities will be relocated underground.

The project was approved by a voter referendum in June 2013. The $11.7 million bond was approved by only 89 votes.

Sargent Corp. of Stillwater won a bid to perform the work. It was not known when the project was expected to be completed, and calls to town officials Thursday went unanswered.


Pulitzer winner, actor Close to receive honorary degrees

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Alexis Wilkerson and Oscar-nominated actor Glenn Close are among four people scheduled to receive honorary degrees at the Bates College commencement.

The college announced that Wilkerson, author of “The Warmth of Other Suns,” has been selected to deliver the keynote address at ceremonies scheduled for May 25.

The other recipients of honorary degrees are David Shaw, husband of Close and founder of pet diagnostic company Idexx Laboratories, and John Seely Brown, a pioneering computer scientist and technology innovator.

Close, who has been nominated for an Academy Award six times, is being honored for her work in helping eradicate the stigma of mental illness and for her conservation efforts.

The school said 450 students will receive degrees.


Two men facing charges after burglaries in Arundel

Two men were arrested last week in connection with two burglaries in Arundel.

Andrew Martinolich, 26, of Biddeford and Richard Crossley, 25, of Wrentham, Mass., have been charged with burglary, which is punishable by as much as 10 years in prison. Crossley also had an outstanding warrant for domestic violence assault, according to a news release from the York County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday.

Sheriff’s Deputy Troy Chenard began investigating two burglaries and suspicious activity in Arundel early last week.

The first burglary was reported April 16 at a home on Old Post Road. The burglars forced their way inside the house and took items including jewelry and a television, according to Chenard.

The next day, Chenard was called to investigate a burglary on nearby Hilltop Drive. Electronics and prescription medications were taken.

Chenard said a neighbor reported that two strangers knocked on her door, saying they were looking for a missing dog. Two other neighbors reported becoming suspicious after seeing a white sedan with Massachusetts license plates in the area.

Last Friday, Chenard said, a young man knocked on the door of a house on Old Post Road and asked the homeowner if she had seen his lost dog. The homeowner had already spoken to Chenard about suspicious activity and called him immediately after the man left.

Chenard said he then contacted other deputies and canvassed the neighborhood. Detective Matt Nadeau stopped a white sedan with Massachusetts plates. The two men inside, later identified as Martinolich and Crossley, were evasive when Nadeau asked them questions, Chenard said.

Crossley has posted bail and is due in court on June 5. Martinolich was still in the York County Jail in Alfred on Thursday. His court date is May 26.