1 dead in central Maine house fire with cause undetermined 

ATHENS, Maine (AP) — Police say a house fire killed a man in a small town in central Maine. 

The man was found dead in the home in Athens after the fire on Wednesday night. Police say the state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire. They have not yet identified the man who died. 

The Kennebec Journal reports the fire drew a large response from fire departments in Somerset County, where Athens is located. No one else was home at the time of the fire. Police say there are no indications of suspicious activity related to how the fire started. 

The home was destroyed by the blaze. 


Portsmouth Naval Shipyard getting new commander 

KITTERY, Maine (AP) — The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is undergoing a change of command. 

Capt. Daniel Ettlich is taking command of the shipyard Friday. He’s taking the helm from Capt. David Hunt. 

Ettlich has been serving as deputy for shipyard operations at the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. 

He’s served as Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii; Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility Pacific Northwest in Bangor, Washington; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Baghdad, Iraq; and Submarine Squadron 11 in San Diego. 

His career has included service aboard submarines, teaching assignments, and his recent stint as business and strategic planning at the Puget Sound shipyard. 

Among those delivering remarks are U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire. 


Woman who sued prison transport company says suit is settled 

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A former Maine woman who accused a private transportation company of shackling her inside a cage and mistreating her during a five-day extradition from Florida says she has settled her lawsuit against the company. 

The Sun Journal reports the details of Meghan Quinn’s settlement with U.S. Prisoner Transport are confidential. Quinn and her lawyer, Benjamin Donahue of Portland, sued last year, saying that U.S. Prisoner Transport mistreated her after she was arrested in Florida in 2016 on an outstanding warrant in Androscoggin County. 

Quinn said she was covered in her own blood, urine and fecal matter during the trip. The lawsuit stated that she “begged the drivers to help her.” 

U.S. Prisoner Transport denied it mistreated Quinn or other prisoners. 


Ferry terminal gets more than $3M to handle more passengers 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A ferry service that takes residents and visitors to islands in southern Maine will receive more than $3.4 million in upgrades from the federal government. 

Officials announced the grant to Casco Bay Island Transit District on Thursday. Casco Bay Lines says it applied for the money for terminal renovations from the Federal Transit Administration earlier this year. 

Casco Bay Lines’ Portland terminal was built in 1988 and the service says it was designed for an annual capacity of half a million passengers. The terminal handles more than 1.1 million passengers today and is expected to continue growing. 

Casco Bay Lines says its terminal project was one of nine projects awarded funds as part of nearly $33 million in nationwide aid provided by the FTA. 


All hands on duck! Drivers stop for dozens of ducks 

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — Dozens of ducklings have made a bid to create the world’s cutest traffic jam in a Maine city. 

Even “Make Way for Ducklings” author Robert McCloskey couldn’t have envisioned a scene like the one in Biddeford on Wednesday morning. 

Biddeford resident Karen Ramunno captured the scene on video as a mother duck guided 45 ducklings across a five-lane road. 

The mother duck shepherded the babies across in two waves, one of 22 and another of 23. WCSH-TV reports the impromptu duckling parade brought traffic to a standstill in both directions. 

All made it across safely. 

The adult duck was not likely the parent to all the young. One possible explanation for the abnormally large brood is that some bird species will group fledglings together to make it easier to care for them.