Officials stay quiet about inmate’s prison death

Maine State Police and prison officials refused to talk Saturday about the death of an inmate at the Downeast Correctional Facility, a minimum security prison in Machiasport.

Phillip Kay, 32, died at the prison Friday afternoon. Department of Corrections spokesman Scott Fish said Friday night that the death was under investigation by the state police and the state medical examiner’s office, but he refused to say how Kay died or whether the death was considered suspicious. On Saturday, he would say only that there was no new information to release on the death.

A person answering the phones at the medical examiner’s office Saturday had no information about the death.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland did not return a call seeking comment Saturday night.

Kay was due to be released early next year for a 2009 conviction for aggravated elevated assault. He was sentenced to 12 years, with part of the sentence to be served behind bars and the rest under supervised release.

Fish said the Machiasport facility is only for prisoners with three years or less left on their sentences and a record that makes them “model prisoners.” Inmates have privileges not available to prisoners in higher-security prisons, such as the ability to take part in work-release programs.


Organizations need help monitoring alewife runs

Several organizations are looking for volunteers to help monitor alewife runs in Maine’s rivers and streams.

Alewives spend the majority of their lives at sea and return to freshwater lakes and ponds every spring to spawn. The Maine Department of Marine Resources said in a statement that alewives are important because of their place in the food chain and because they serve as lobster bait.

The Bristol Mills Alewife Restoration Project is seeking volunteers to monitor alewife passage at Bristol Mills Dam on the Pemaquid River. The marine resources department is also looking for volunteers to monitor Flanders Stream in Sullivan. Interested parties should call Claire Enterline at 350-6124.

The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust is also seeking volunteers at the Nequasset Dam in Woolwich. Information is available on its website.


Public inspects new Nova Scotia ferry

The public got a chance to check out the new Maine-Nova Scotia ferry on Saturday.

The Nova Star cruise-ferry offered free public tours of the new vessel, and more than 1,400 people showed up, the ferry line said.

The ship leaves Sunday for a promotional tour to Boston and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, before its first scheduled trip.


LePage recognizes groups for environmental work

Four Maine organizations have been recognized for their contributions to environmental sustainability.

Gov. Paul LePage and Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho announced the awards this past week.

Recipients are Texas Instruments, Allagash Brewing Co., the Lewiston-Auburn Water Pollution Control Authority and the Maine Water Environment Association.

The organizations were recognized for achievements in water filtration, waste reduction and recycling.

Award recipients were also noted for wastewater treatment and a campaign raising awareness that baby wipes can impede sewage treatment.

– From staff and news services