Nov. 30, 1994

Westbrook has received 132 applications for the full-time job of deputy city clerk, reports City Clerk Barbara Hawkes. Applications came from as far as Texas. The job was advertised at $9.32 an hour with a raise after a six-month probationary period. The deputy will succeed Trudy J. Storer, who resigned. For the job of assistant in the city clerk’s office, the city received 43 applications. The pay is $7.80 an hour for a 20-hour week. The assistant succeeds Helen Jordan, who also resigned.

Gorham Town Clerk Brenda Caldwell certified petitions Monday from an ad hoc Gorham citizen coalition that seeks a referendum to shift local elections to coincide with the federal and state balloting in November. The change in the town charter will be placed before voters on the March 14 municipal ballot. Town Council and School Committee elections take place on the second Tuesday in March, separate from all other elections. If the referendum passes, that would be the last election for Town Council and School Committee to be held in March.

The senior citizens of Westbrook are invited to a Christmas dinner on Dec. 11 at St. Hyacinth Catholic Church parish house. More than 400 people attended the dinner last year. Many volunteer their services for the meal, including Westbrook High School Key Club and Keyettes, as well as teens and adults from the parish. Following the dinner, which is free, there will be entertainment by the musical group Stepping Out and the singing of Christmas carols.

Louisa P. Moulton (“Grammie”) of Gorham celebrated her 99th birthday Nov. 15. Her first celebration on Nov. 12 was a pizza party, with cake and ice cream, with her family in Gorham. Among those attending were her six great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. A second celebration took place at Senter Homestead in Windham, where she now resides, on Nov. 15. Louisa is the widow of Earl Moulton.

Advertisement: Santa is coming to town! Santa’s Mini-Village, 7 Bridge St., Westbrook, Dec. 5-10, from 4-7 each night, and at S.D. Warren Credit Union, Dec. 16 and 17, 35 Cumberland St., Westbrook, 1:30-3:30 p.m., and 844 Roosevelt Trail, Windham, 9 a.m.-noon. Bring your cameras!

An area group called the Mountain Division Alliance is trying to gain support for non-traditional use of 44 miles of railroad tracks between Fryeburg and Westbrook. If the group had its druthers, there would be “biking, walking and in the western portions of the line, snowmobiling,” along with trains equipped with bike and canoe racks. Representing the group is Alix Hopkins, the executive director of Portland Trails. Hopkins said the group has some ideas for the line, which Maine Central Railroad, a subsidiary of Guilford Transportation Industries, is abandoning.

Dec. 1, 2004

Eva Francoeur had a new home to be thankful for on Thanksgiving – one year after she ate her Thanksgiving dinner at Maine Medical Center, where she thought she would spend the rest of her life. Her new home, on Stroudwater Street in Westbrook, was built for her by her family. She moved in on Halloween following a long recovery after breaking a hip when she fell last June. While she was mending from the fall and other complications, her family had the house built for her. It replaced one a century old that the family allowed the Westbrook Fire Department to burn for a training exercise. Francoeur, 71, and her late husband, Joseph, who died while she was hospitalized, had moved to Stroudwater Street in 1965. Making it possible for their mom to live in her own home were daughter Carol Moore, son Chris Francoeur and grandson Justin Moore.

About 325 people learned Monday that they will be out of work in about four months as Sanmina-SCI announced its Westbrook plant, on Eisenhower Drive, would close at the end of March. The plant makes custom metal enclosures for electronic equipment such as circuit boards and electronic switches. The company has operated the Westbrook plant since 2001. According to a spokesman, the company no longer needs the manufacturing capacity in the enclosures division.

Fulfilling a promise to her husband before he died three years ago, Marie Dyer of Buxton threw the switches on Thanksgiving afternoon lighting 45,000 Christmas lights in a display at her home for the 15th year. She is carrying on a tradition that she and her husband, Charlie, began at their Mary Jane Road home with just 500 lights. The display, which covers three-quarters of an acre, has attracted thousands over the years. Stringing lights began this year on Sept. 29 and took more than 700 hours. She depends on her daughter, Wanda Warren, and granddaughter, Kayla Warren, to manage the annual display, called “Dyer’s Christmas Fantasy.” The Dyer garage doubles as Santa’s workshop, a pool in the backyard is also decorated and the Dyer home is decorated and open to the public.

Burleigh Loveitt, the Gorham Town Council chairman, plans to introduce a proposed $7 million project to rehab the entire Shaw School so that it can be used as administrative offices for both the town and the schools. The fire and police departments would use what is now the Municipal Center under the proposal. If approved by voters in a special March referendum, construction would begin in the spring.

“The goal is to get the school and municipal offices in one building,” Loveitt said. The plan will be unveiled at a council meeting Dec. 7.

Rookies in downtown Westbrook is normally closed on Thanksgiving, but this year it hosted a free traditional Thanksgiving dinner for area families. Co-owner Ed Symbol said he worked with the Westbrook Housing Authority to identify needy families to invite them to the dinner. Several people walked in off the street to join the festivities. About 60 people in total enjoyed the buffet dinner, which featured a turkey donated by Casa Novella, and all the trimmings. The restaurant played movies and cartoons for the kids and football for the adults.

“It was like a big family feast,” Symbol said.