Sept 14, 1994

Steven E. Roberts, Portland’s deputy police chief, became Westbrook’s police chief shortly after midnight yesterday morning when aldermen voted 6-0 to confirm his appointment by Mayor Kenneth Lefebvre. He will get $44,000 a year, family health insurance, 15 days of vacation, $500 a year clothing allowance and other benefits. At 43, Roberts brings with him a reputation for leadership and community relations. In a 22-year career with Portland, Roberts moved up steadily through every rank except chief.

At an age when most people wind down in retirement, Gorham resident Thalia Drake Jillson says she’s just getting started. She went back to college three years ago and now, at 74, has been awarded a master of divinity degree from Bangor Theological Seminary. Nearly 50 years had elapsed between her graduation from Tufts University with a degree in biology, and her return to college. In the late 1980s, she received a master’s in gerontology from the University of Southern Maine. She is circulating resumes for the call from a church seeking a minister.

Westbrook City Council’s Finance Committee will reconsider where to place the city’s advertising, a request made by Jeff Grossman, administrative assistant to the major. Alderman Lionel Dumond, who heads the committee, said Grossman wants to switch the advertising from the American Journal to the Suburban News, owned by Bill Diamond, which began free distribution in Westbrook this year. The issue stems from officials’ reaction to the American Journal’s ongoing reporting of the financial losses in the city’s Finance Department.

A referendum seeking a charter change that would make the Westbrook city clerk job appointed instead of elected won’t be going to voters. About 10 speakers in a public hearing Monday opposed appointing the clerk, and the mayor and alderman eventually decided against the referendum.

A $2.1 million renovation and expansion of Gorham’s Baxter Memorial Library was unveiled to the Town Council last week by the board of trustees. Council approval is needed to put a $1.6 million bond referendum before voters next March. The remaining $500,000 would be raised by a private fundraising campaign augmented with money from the Baxter trust fund and federal and state grants. Architect Nancy Barba said the 11,970-square-foot expansion wing would extend to the rear of the present building. The library would encompass three levels with the main entrance relocated to the side and reached by a circular driveway.

Pat and Rubye Grady, South Street, Gorham, took a cross-country trip to attend the third biennial family reunion of the Grady-O’Gradys. Pat’s cousin, Dick O’Grady, and his wife Kay hosted the party at their beautiful home in the picturesque town of Bandon on the Oregon coast. Some 70 guests attended.

Sept. 15, 2004

The three Catholic parishes in Westbrook were in one accord as they poured out for the first-ever Westbrook Catholic Community Festival at St. Hyacinth’s Church over the weekend. Evolving from a St. Hyacinth’s fair, the festival was well-attended by parishioners from St. Edmund’s, St. Mary’s and St. Hyacinth’s. It marked the first event of the three parishes, which most likely will be combined into one by diocese officials. Volunteers from the three churches pulled together in teamwork to make the festival a success. “We’re all working for the same goal,” said Judy Lefebvre of St. Edmund’s.

It took three years for Hans Hansen, owner of Hansen’s Market, at the intersection of Route 22 and South Street, to collect the 994 signatures needed to bring a zone- change request to Gorham voters, but it’s finally happened. Residents will decide at the polls whether to rezone about 72 acres at the intersection from residential to roadside commercial. Hansen believes the added commercial district will eventually bring more business to the town, raising more tax money. He said he built the market in 2001 on that site in anticipation of zoning changes.

Adam Bates of Westbrook has received the rank of Eagle Scout following the completion of his Eagle project, which included renovations to the second floor of the Highland Lake Grange building, helping it meet fire code. Bates has been with Troop 83, based at the Grange building, for seven years. The Eagle project totaled 200 hours with the help of Troop 83 members and parents. Bates has begun his freshman year at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, majoring in forest and park management. He is the son of Ron and Kathleen Bates of Mast Road.

Dianne LeConte, library assistant at Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook, was honored by Mayor Bruce Chuluda and the City Council on Monday for 40 years of service to the city. Chuluda presented LeConte, who began working for the city in September 1964, with a certificate of appreciation and a gift certificate to DiMillo’s restaurant in Portland.

The Gorham Police Department and the University of Southern Maine Police Department are working together to create programs to curb drinking by college students in Gorham. University representatives from the departments of residential life, athletics and academic advising, along with Gorham police and community members, have formed a group, Promoting Reduced Risk Alcohol Choices (PRAC). Paul Dexter, assistant dean of student life, said the number of students who participate in high-risk drinking is around 30 percent. The school has started education programs on alcohol and Officer David Bruni has met with students on campus about the parties around Gorham.

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