Oct. 5, 1994
John Tompkins, the man hired to provide facts and figures, reported Monday that Westbrook could save money by setting up a new municipal power district. His report apparently turned off any thoughts city leaders had about postponing a Nov. 8 referendum on setting up the power district. Tompkins was hired last month and said it would take him six months to gather the facts on the proposal. He came back in three weeks, however, with a report that said Westbrook power users could save up to $6 million a year with a municipal district.  The Westbrook Area Economic Development Corp. is backing the proposal, buying full-page ads to explain the advantages.
George Bookataub asked the Westbrook School Committee Wednesday for permission to take the Westbrook High School Marching Band to Florida during next year’s Christmas vacation. He estimated the cost at $50,000 to $60,000 – $500 each for 100-120 people. Money would be raised by the Band Boosters, which sent the band to the Tournament of Roses in California for New Year’s Day 1993. He said the band could take part in one, two or three events – the Citrus Bowl Parade in Orlando, the Orange Bowl parade in Coral Gables and a performance at Disney World. The committee is to vote on it Oct. 12.
The owner of the cracked safe found two weeks ago in the Presumpscot River in downtown Westbrook remains unidentified. The safe was spotted from Saccarappa Falls Park by teenage brothers Cory Brandon Davis and Travis Stowell. The safe was empty. Its bottom sheet steel had been peeled, possibly with a crowbar. Police speculate that thieves took it intact from a building and cut it open at a remote spot. The river washed it clean of fingerprints.
Gorham Town Councilor Calvin Hamblen opened a special public hearing last week on the issue of housing growth in Gorham, saying that “growth is going to catch up with us eventually.” Resident Dick Pratt agreed. “If you keep building houses,” he said, “eventually there will be no more land and it will have to stop.” Hans Hansen said people are selling their land to developers because they can’t afford the taxes. Alton Benson, a dairy farmer, said that open space was more valuable to the town. “I have 150 cows and I don’t know a one of ’em that gets on the school bus in the morning or uses the telephone to call the police,” he said.
Joan Lebrecque of Westbrook earned nine gold and silver medals in the recent Maine Senior Games. She won in basketball, football throw, 100-meter dash, 1,500-meter race walk, shot put, long jump, ping pong, singles bowling and doubles bowling. She qualified for the 1995 Senior Olympic Games in San Antonio.
Oct. 6, 2004
Gorham’s Julie Berry has avoided conflict and remained on the island of Vanuatu for another two episodes of the CBS reality series, “Survivor: Vanuatu.” The 23-year-old, a member of the show’s Yasur tribe, is competing on the series to be the last survivor on the island and win the $1 million prize. She is one of 18 people originally chosen by CBS to participate.

The Rev. Mutima Peter is back in Westbrook after a life-threatening peacemaking mission to his homeland of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Shaken by genocide and starvation at refugee camps, he hopes that local community and church groups here will help relieve the country’s deprivations following a massacre nearly two months ago. His mission’s goal was to reconcile warring factions of the Tutsi and Hutu tribes.

Municipal officials are denying the rumor that the city plans to sell City Hall and relocate all offices to a downtown location within the next 90 days. City officials felt they had to respond after they began receiving multiple calls from residents asking about the supposed sale. Jerre Bryant, city administrator, sent a memo to councilors late last week in which he explicitly denied that the administration had any discussion with anyone about the sale of City Hall.

Local residents took home many blue ribbons last week at the Cumberland County Fair. In showing 4-H market hogs, blue ribbon winners in various classes included Brody Robbins, Dillon Robbins, Jared Robbins, Tommy Grant and Danny Smith, all of Gorham. In dairy categories, Gorham blue ribbon winners included Amanda McDermont, Ashley Martin, Eben Benson and Erica Benson. In 4-H sheep, Gorham winners were Chelsea Burnham, Marie Smith and Samantha Grant; and in the baby beef classes, winners were Samantha Grant, Thomas Grant, Matt Dahms, Brody Robbins, Dillon Robbins, Jared Robbins and Danny Smith. Westbrook blue ribbon winners included Buck Randall and Cal Randall in the 4-H market hog category.

The Skybox Bar and Grill on Brown Street raised $865 Saturday for the four people who lost their homes in the fire that destroyed the Profenno building last week. The money was raised through a raffle where a number of local businesses donated prizes. There was also a 50/50 raffle, with half the money going to victims of the fire. Meanwhile, the state Fire Marshal’s Office is continuing to investigate the fire, which is believed to be arson, and no new information is available.

A recharged and growing church membership has plans to restore the historic Tory Hill Meetinghouse in Buxton. The church, officially the First Congregational Church of Buxton, United Church of Christ, has been a beacon in Buxton for 182 years. Parishioners have already completed many repairs to the building, which is structurally solid, but more work needs to be done, including painting. Pat Chase, a longtime church member, credits the growth in membership to the Rev. Joanne Stoughton, who accepted the call to preach there in February. “She’s wonderful,” said Chase.