Oct. 26, 1994

The possibility has arisen that if Westbrook votes yes on municipal power Nov. 8, nobody in the city could get power from Central Maine Power Co. Thomas Welch, chairman of the Maine Public Utilities Commission, told the American Journal Thursday that the PUC probably would be called on to decide whether CMP would be allowed to compete against a municipal district. CMP is counting on staying in Westbrook whether or not a power district is formed. It has said its lawyers give assurances that the municipal district could not take over CMP lines, transformers and substations using eminent domain.

A tentative agreement has been reached, breaking a logjam in talks between the Gorham Teachers Association and the Gorham School Committee. The committee meets tonight in closed session to learn details of the proposed pact. Jeffrey Sanborn, school board chairman, and Martha Corkery, president of the teachers group, confirmed that an agreement was reached.

Gorham bachelor farmer George H. Irish lost his bet that he would die within a year of his colon cancer surgery. When he did die — 20 years later — he left $250,000 to Brighton Medical Center, where he was cured. Irish was 70 when he died April 14, 1993. The hospital recently dedicated a plaque in his memory in the lobby. According to Dr. Edward M. Friedman, Irish’s surgeon, “On the day of his discharge he insisted on making a bet with me that he would not be alive one year from the date of the surgery. I accepted his bet, $100. Soon after the year had passed, I received the check of $100. I told him that I would donate it to the hospital. He agreed that this would be acceptable and it was done.”

The Westbrook Fire Department’s hook and ladder company has undertaken a direct mail fundraising campaign. The mailer includes a brochure with fire safety tips and a coupon to check off the amount of donations to Edwards Combination Hook & Ladder 1 Inc. Fire Chief Byron E. Rogers Jr. said the campaign is similar to one undertaken last year by Engine Company 3. Funds from that effort bought a $5,000 computer system and a $3,000 close quarters oxygen analyzer.

Patricia A. Verrill, of Century 21 Northeast, Westbrook, will be installed as president of the Maine Association of Realtors on Oct. 29. She has been a director of the organization since 1985. Licensed first in 1981, she has been a million- or multi-million-dollar producer each year since 1982. She and her husband, Ronald, live in Gorham.

Oct. 27, 2004

While Halloween is Sunday, plenty of little ghosts and goblins will be out on Main Street Friday afternoon for Westbrook’s annual Halloween on Main Street. Sponsored by the Westbrook Chamber of Commerce, the event allows kids of all ages to dress up in their favorite costumes and trick or treat at businesses on Main Street. Suzanne Joyce, who co-chairs the event, says the festivity gets bigger each year, with more than 4,000 people coming to Main Street for last year’s party. “I love it. It’s my favorite event,” she said.

Workers in town and city clerk offices in Gorham and Westbrook said this week they are busy processing record numbers of absentee ballots. Next Tuesday, Nov. 2, voters in Maine and across the country will be going to the polls to select the next president. Statewide, Maine voters also will be voting on several referendum issues, including the controversial tax-cap measure. A growing number of local voters have been taking advantage of a Maine law that allows them to vote absentee in advance of Election Day.

Staff Sgt. Cliff McKinley, 39, home with his wife, Vicky, and daughter, Faith, in Westbrook on a two-week leave from Iraq, found the fall weather too cold to stroll the new boardwalk along the Presumpscot River. The temperature at Camp Marez near Mosul, where he has been based, averages about 100 degrees these day. McKinley, a Maine National Guardsman, was activated on Dec. 7 last year and left on Jan. 6. He arrived home on Oct. 11 from duty with the Headquarters Support Company of the 133rd Engineer Battalion. He’s worked on medical clinics and a school project, and always carried his M-16.

“You take care of it like it’s your life,” he said.

Paula Leach of Gorham is selling the Gracefully Yours Calendar, with $5 out of every sale donated to the Crossroads for Women program in Portland. Gracefully Yours is a calendar that features women from New England who are over 45 and have overcome difficult times in their lives. Joanne Grace of Kennebunkport started the program two years ago.

Although Al Hawkes is no longer producing music for other artists under his Event Records label, music lovers can get a taste of the label’s heyday through a new CD, “That’ll Flat Git It: Volume 20,” which features rockabilly music produced by Hawkes in the 1950s and 1960s. The CD is the first of a planned three releases of Event Records music, Hawkes said. The other two will feature bluegrass and country music. Hawkes, now 73, founded Event Records in 1956, and produced a great deal of music from his studio on Route 302 in Westbrook before calling it quits to concentrate on his Hawkes Television business in 1962. He still owns the name Event Records and continues to release his own music under that name.