Spurwink names executive Humanitarian of the Year

A KeyBank executive has been named Spurwink’s 2014 Humanitarian of the Year, according to an announcement posted on the organization’s website.

Sterling Kozlowski, Maine market president and New England regional sales executive for KeyBank, will receive the honor Nov. 8 during a dinner/fundraiser at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks in South Portland.

This marks the 28th year that Spurwink has presented the award, which is given to an individual, couple or organization whose efforts have improved the lives of others.

Spurwink Services is a nationally accredited nonprofit organization that offers a broad range of mental health and educational services for children, adolescents, adults and families.


Inmate convicted of murder dies at Maine Medical Center

The Maine Department of Corrections said Wednesday that a Maine State Prison inmate died at 5:30 a.m. at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Paul Henry Gray, 68, had been in prison 21 years, serving 55 years for murder. The Houlton man was convicted in 1993 of strangling a woman he lived with.

The department released no details about the death but said in accordance with department policy it will be reviewed by the Maine State Police and the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

Gray was scheduled to be released in 2028.

Man who stabbed woman 21 times denied a new trial

Maine’s highest court has denied a new trial to a Lewiston man convicted of stabbing his former girlfriend 21 times.

Cleveland Cruthirds was sentenced to serve 22 years of a 28-year sentence after he was convicted last summer of elevated aggravated assault and other charges in the December 2011 attack.

The Sun Journal reported that the 27-year-old Cruthirds claimed in his appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court that the trial judge made several errors, including the exclusion of an alternate suspect theory, and abused his discretion in allowing some evidence. Cruthirds also claimed his constitutional due-process rights were violated.

The court on Tuesday disagreed and affirmed the judgment.

The girlfriend called 911 during the attack and named Cruthirds several times to a dispatcher, even spelling out his name.

Maine Board of Education elects new chair, vice chair

The Maine Board of Education has elected a new chair and vice chair.

Peter Geiger will replace outgoing chair Nancy Perkins on the nine-member board.

The Lewiston-resident has served as vice chair and is also the executive vice president of Geiger, the nation’s largest family-owned promotional products company. He’s also the editor and publisher of the Farmers’ Almanac.

Perkins will remain a member of the board.

Martha Harris, who’s from Winterport, has been elected vice chair of the state panel.

Harris has served on the board of RSU 22/SAD 22 for nearly two decades and has led the policy and building committees.

The one-year positions began July 1. Geiger and Harris can be re-elected once their terms are complete.

Collins’ war chest dwarfs that of challenger Bellows

Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ campaign has about seven times more cash on hand than her challenger, Democrat Shenna Bellows.

Collins’ campaign said Wednesday that it raised about $900,000 in the latest fundraising period. Bellows’ campaign said it raised $563,000.

Collins’ team is reporting that it has more than $4 million cash on hand. Bellows has more than $580,000 left in her campaign war chest.

Josh Tardy, co-chair of Collins’ campaign, said the contributions have put it in an excellent position as the race gears up this fall.

Bellows campaign manager Katie Mae Simpson said that the Democrat’s grassroots support has been significant and continues to grow. She says the average donation is $60.

Overall, Collins has raised nearly $5.4 million and Bellows has raised more than $1.32 million.


Coast Guard prevents boat in distress from sinking

The U.S. Coast Guard station in Boothbay Harbor assisted a pleasure boat operator who reported his 22-foot boat was taking on water off Squirrel Island late Wednesday afternoon.

Kenneth Stuart, a command duty officer for the Coast Guard, said the crew of a 25-foot Coast Guard boat arrived within 10 minutes after receiving the distress call around 5 p.m.

The Coast Guard crew and another boater, who was in the area, were able to help the pleasure boat operator stabilize the boat and prevent it from sinking.

Stuart said the pleasure boat will be towed to a marina on Squirrel Island – off the Lincoln County town of Southport near the entrance to Boothbay Harbor – where it will be repaired.


Former special ed teacher admits making child porn

A former special education teacher in Wayne has pleaded guilty to charges of making video recordings of the sexual exploitation of young boys.

The Kennebec Journal reported that Patrik Ian Arsenault of Norridgewock pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to three counts of production of child pornography and one count each of transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography.

The 27-year-old Arsenault worked for two years at the Wayne Regional Autism Program based at Wayne Elementary School.

According to court documents, his victims were not his students, but family friends. The boys were 6 and 7 years old at the time of the offenses last summer.

He will be sentenced at a later date. He also faces state charges.


Prescription drugs stolen from shelter for homeless

Police are investigating the theft of about $1,000 in prescription medications from a Skowhegan homeless shelter.

Police Chief Ted Blais said the theft from a locked cabinet at the Trinity Men’s Shelter was reported last weekend.

Blais told the Morning Sentinel that men staying at the shelter are not allowed to keep drugs on their person, so any prescribed medication is kept in the cabinet. About 30 men staying at the shelter store medication in the cabinet.

Richard Berry, pastor of Trinity Evangelical Free Church, said the locked cabinet was in a locked office inside the locked church building.

The entire cabinet was stolen and later found pried open in a nearby field.

Blais said the investigation is ongoing and he has a suspect.


Dogs suspected in high level of bacteria at marine park

The level of E. coli bacteria in the waters off Rockland’s Snow Marine Park are sky high and officials think dog poop is the culprit.

The city’s pollution control director, Terry Pinto, said recent water quality testing by the town and the state found dangerously high levels of the E. coli bacteria from two pipes running into the harbor at the park. Pinto told WLBZ-TV that the large number of dogs playing in the park must be the cause, with no other source in sight.

Dog owners are supposed to pick up after their pets.

Pinto said the solution may be to ban dogs.

People generally don’t swim at the park, but boaters and kayakers who launch their vessels there could come in contact with contaminated water.


Ex-Colby president will lead humanities endowment

The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm the former president of Colby College as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Following Wednesday’s vote, William “Bro” Adams will become the 10th chairman of the endowment, which is an independent grant-making agency of the government. The humanities endowment supports research, education and preservation programs.

Adams was president of Colby College in Waterville from 2000 until his retirement at the end of June. He previously was president of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and has been an advocate of liberal arts education. He holds a doctorate in the history of consciousness.

The National Endowment for the Humanities funds cultural programs nationwide. Recent initiatives include a research program to study war and its aftermath and to support returning veterans.