Police identify brothers injured in motorcycle crash

Police say the two motorcyclists who were injured Wednesday are brothers and were not wearing helmets when they crashed in Brunswick.

Nathan Kane, 30 and Joshua Kane, 22, both of Harpswell, were riding motorcycles in the same direction, and witnesses said they were going very fast when they crashed, police said.

Nathan Kane was listed in critical condition Wednesday night at Maine Medical Center. His condition Thursday was not available.

Police said Joshua Kane was initially described as having an incapacitating head injury, but there was no information that he was taken by ambulance from the scene.

Nathan Kane was closing in on a line of traffic when he lost control and slid to a stop in the vicinity of the Brunswick Town Commons, a town-owned park off Harpswell Road, part of Route 123.

Joshua Kane tried to avoid a collision with other motorists and crossed both lanes of traffic before riding onto the shoulder of the road. He then continued north on Harpswell Road before losing control and sliding to a stop, police said.

Police said the investigation is not complete and it is not clear whether the brothers were racing.


‘American Idol’ to offer auditions in Portland

Warm up your vocal cords, Portland, “American Idol” is coming to hear your best.

The hit Fox singing competition show will come to Portland sometime later this year to let folks audition for a spot on next season’s episodes.

The show’s producers announced on the “American Idol” website this week that auditions in 15 cities will begin June 18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The website lists four other cities where auditions have been scheduled for specific dates. The website also lists Portland among the cities that will be visited “later this year” as part of the annual Audition Bus Tour.

Details of when and where the bus will land in Portland aren’t available yet, according to the website. But people can go to the site to sign up for email updates about when and where bus auditions will be held. 

USM expects 1,000 to take part in commencement

About 1,000 graduates are expected to participate in the University of Southern Maine’s commencement Saturday in Portland.

The university’s 134th commencement will be held from 9 a.m. until noon at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Nearly 950 of the 1,700 eligible graduates in the class of 2014 are expected to march in the ceremony.

David E. Shaw will deliver the commencement address. Shaw founded Idexx Laboratories in 1983 and served as its CEO until 2002, and has been a director or founding investor of more than a dozen public and private companies in healthcare, energy, technology and e-commerce. Shaw received his MBA from the University of Southern Maine in 1976.


Changes made to school budget before referendum

The Scarborough School Board made last-minute changes Thursday to a $42.5 million school budget that is heading to a townwide referendum Tuesday.

The adjustments were necessary after the Town Council voted 4-2 Wednesday to reduce the spending proposal by $587,000. The final proposal for 2014-15 represents a 7.6 percent spending increase from this fiscal year.

Town councilors had pushed for a smaller school budget to hold the overall tax rate increase for next year at 3.5 percent.

School board members Thursday agreed to reduce spending by about $387,000 and make up the rest of the reduction by taking an additional $200,000 out of a reserve account. The spending reductions did not include any layoffs or program eliminations, but will reduce the number of positions to be added, said the school department’s director of business and finance, Kate Bolton.

The school board has hoped to restore full-time and part-time positions totaling 10.5 full-time equivalents, although it’s not clear how many will stay in the budget after the latest reductions.

The district lost 40 positions in 2011 and 2012, according to Bolton. Positions to be restored ranged from a middle school world language teacher to guidance staff at the high school.

The budget proposal now goes to voters. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the municipal building on Route 1.


Farmers’ Almanac editor to speak at St. Joseph’s College

Saint Joseph’s College will hold its annual commencement ceremony in Standish Saturday.

Commencement will be held at 10 a.m. under a tent on the campus. The college also plans to stream the ceremony on the Internet.

Peter Geiger will deliver the commencement address. Geiger is the editor of the 197-year-old Farmers’ Almanac and executive vice president of Geiger, a large privately held promotional products distributor. He is a former trustee of Saint Joseph’s College and has volunteered as an advocate for education at the local, state and international levels.

Saint Joseph’s College is Maine’s only Catholic college and has a student body of about 1,000.


Maine man chosen to live on restored whaling ship

Operators of a restored 19th century whaling ship have selected a Maine journalist to live on board the ship during its voyage scheduled for this summer.

Mystic Seaport in Connecticut said Thursday it’s selected Ryan Leighton of Boothbay, Maine, as a stowaway for the journey of the Charles W. Morgan.

He will help the crew sail the ship and describe his experiences in a blog and social media.

Leighton graduated the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and advertising.

View a video of Capt. Kip Files introducing Leighton.


Maine receiving remote learning, telemedicine grants

Maine is getting the nation’s largest share of federal grants to support remote learning opportunities and telemedicine.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development division says nearly $2.6 million is being distributed in six grants. Recipients include the Island Institute, four Maine school districts and a school unit, and Community Health and Counseling Services.

The Island Institute and school systems are receiving around $500,000 each. Community Health and Counseling Services is getting around $100,000.

The grant is being used by one recipient to purchase video devices it says will increase learning opportunities to such remote areas as coastal islands.


Students set sail on State of Maine training voyage

The Maine Maritime Academy training ship is on its way to Iceland and Europe.

The 500-foot State of Maine departed Wednesday from Castine for the annual training cruise for students. Stops will include Trieste, Italy; Keil, Germany; and Reykjavik, Iceland.