The Gorham Police Department honor guard presents the colors Monday in a Wreaths Across America ceremony at Gorham High School. The Wreaths Across America convoy, enroute to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, made a special stop in town in honor of the late Officer Wayne “Pooch” Drown, who was on the convoy last year. Robert Lowell / American Journal

USM name change on hold

The University of Southern Maine has shelved its proposal to change its name to the University of Maine in Portland.

The university has a campus in Gorham and the Gorham Town Council passed a resolution earlier this year denouncing the name change. “Unfortunately, I don’t think we have seen the last of this idea,” Town Council Chairwoman Suzanne Phillips said Tuesday in an email to the American Journal.

The University of Maine System Board of Trustees okayed the name change recently but it would  require legislative approval. The university’s plan could be resurrected down the road.

Town Councilor Ben Hartwell, who chaired the Town Council at the time of its resolution, said Tuesday in an email, “I respect all the efforts that President Cummings has tried to do to strengthen USM, but I fundamentally disagree on having the Gorham campus named University of Maine at Portland. I am happy to see that the effort for a name change has been halted, but I hope that efforts will be put forward to strengthen the brand equity that USM has already built and find better ways to bring more students to Maine without a misleading name. If you travel to Boston you can’t miss a very successful advertising campaign by UMaine, where they are promoting out of state tuition at UMaine being lower than in-state tuition at other New England universities.”

Red Cross needs blood

Donate blood on the day before Christmas from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Narragansett Elementary School, 284 Main St.

“Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than 1 million units of blood could be transfused in the United States. Individuals are urged to give a lifesaving gift this holiday season by making an appointment to donate blood or platelets and help the American Red Cross ensure a sufficient supply is available for patients throughout the holiday season,” the American Red Cross said in a press release. Those with type O blood are especially needed.

Make an appointment by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

U.S.taxpayer debt

The Bureau of the Fiscal Service reported on Dec. 6 that the U.S.public debt was
$23,090,050,191,986.99.