March 14, 1990

Does former Westbrook Police Patrolman Peter Blanchette get his job back or not? That decision is now in the hands of the state Supreme Court. On Feb. 14, the city filed its second appeal in the case asking the court to set aside a Jan. 16 Superior Court decision upholding Blanchette’s reinstatement, which was ordered by an arbitration tribunal in April 1989. Blanchette was fired in September 1988 for allegedly leaking information to a suspect.

Maine Educational Assessment scores for this year’s eighth-graders have been released, and Westbrook showed considerable improvement over last year, doing better than the state average in everything but science. “I’m hanging these scores on my refrigerator,” Edward Connolly, superintendent, told the School Committee Monday.

The Gorham School Committee is expected to vote next month not to change the 1990 school calendar from the 1989 schedule. It had earlier been leaning toward a major change, starting school two or three days before Labor Day, instead of the traditional post-Labor Day start. The committee changed its mind, said chairman Maynard Charron, because planned renovations to the Little Falls School are expected to take most of the summer.

The Gorham Jaycees have named Norman Martin III as Gorham’s Outstanding Young Farmer of 1990. His family owns the dairy farm on Fort Hill Road that was established in 1901. His main priorities are the development of a top herd of registered Holsteins, and the expansion of the farm store.

The State Instrumental Jazz Festival will be held all day in Westbrook on March 24 at Wescott Junior High School and Congin School. About 60 groups will compete throughout the day with the top three groups in each division performing in a play-off beginning at 7 p.m.

Advertisement: Grand Opening March 15-18, MVP Sports Cards, 776 Main St., Westbrook. Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey and the New Hot Item, WWF Wrestling Cards. Let us be your One-Stop Card Shop!

March 15, 2000

Westbrook could spend $3.7 million to renovate its present fire and police stations, or it could spend $8.3 million to build a combined public safety building somewhere, a citizen committee appointed by Mayor Don Esty has reported. The group presented its conclusions to the City Council’s Finance Committee Monday, and Esty pledged to ask voters in a June referendum if they want to go forward on a new building. The big question about where it might go wasn’t touched on, and the mayor suggested it shouldn’t be talked about yet.

Wilfred Audet Jr., who has proposed to build a McDonald’s in Gorham Village, wants to know what the town’s master plan for the area is talking about when it mentions incentives for people who bring a news business to the area. So far he’s found Gorham a frustrating town in which to be a developer. “We’ve been pushed from board to board,” he said last week. “We can’t get direction from the town.” He and his business partner, David Kingsley, propose to build a combination McDonald’s-Big Apple convenience store with 12 gas pumps at the corner of Mechanic and Main streets.

Discussion of possible traffic and signal changes on William Clarke Drive in Westbrook may come at a meeting of the City Council’s Highways Committee on March 27. Another topic that evening will be a report by Public Works Director Paul Boudreau calling for a more aggressive city road repair program.

Gorham School Superintendent Michael Moore has unveiled an $18.1 million 2000-2001 school budget, up 8.78 percent from this year’s budget. If approved, it would add $1.10 to the tax rate. Gorham is expecting an increase in state funding, from $7.3 million to $7.8 million, Moore said. He said his proposed budget is $863,000 lower that what principals had requested.

Westbrook residents Janet and Ken Lefebvre, Monique, 12, and Christopher, 10, enjoyed two weeks at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. They visited the Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and several other parks within the complex.

Developer Susan Duchaine has asked the town of Gorham for permission to build a 16-by-30-foot deck at the former Gorham Station restaurant at 29 Elm St., which she is planning to reopen as “The Station.” Public comments will be accepted until March 28.

This is the old Iron Bridge on Bridge Street. The building on the left is Westbrook Manufacturing Co. Mill No. 1 built in the early 1830s. Riverfront Plaza presently occupies the site. The building on the right is the old Haskell Silk Mill. The Bridge Street spur and a parking lot presently occupy the site of this building. The church steeple in the distance is the Methodist Church, located on Main Street at Foster Street. My Place Teen Center now occupies the old church. The old Iron Bridge was replaced in 1957, and the Maine Department of Transportation is in the process ofbuilding a new bridge to replace the present one. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, and the first Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., September-June. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected] The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.Photo and research courtesy of Mike Sanphy


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