April 12, 1995

The massive Dana Warp building in downtown Westbrook has been sold to John Allan of Harrisville, Rhode Island, for $250,000. In the 1980s it sold for $1.8 million. Allan bought it from Peoples Heritage Bank, which owned it by foreclosure. A native of Great Britain, Allan owns a number of businesses, including Westbrook Yarns Inc., which has continued as an active tenant in the Dana Warp building. He said he envisions a beehive of varied enterprises in the vast building.

Richard and Rita Casey of Gorham spent Feb. 13 though March 13 in the Southwest. The retired couple flew to Phoenix, Arizona, rented a car and went 2,600 miles in New Mexico, Texas (by mistake, wrong route, so a short visit), California and Nevada. The Caseys are looking forward to three months in Florida next winter.

U.S. Navy Ensign David Alger of Westbrook is home on leave after four months in Nuclear Power School, Orlando, Florida. He graduated from Boston University in May with a degree in computer engineering. He’s a former Westbrook Fire Department volunteer and is the son of Ann Lavigne of Westbrook.

April 13, 2005

Some have questioned the fairness of the Westbrook School Department’s code of conduct in light of the fact that students on European trips are allowed to drink alcohol with meals. The questions come a month after seven members of the boys varsity basketball team were suspended for allegedly attending a party where students were drinking. The trips had not been sponsored or endorsed by the school but do involve students and staff traveling together over school vacations. High school teacher Brad Snow said he has organized at least 12 European trips. He acknowledged that some students have consumed alcohol during meals, saying it’s customary in Europe to serve wine or beer with meals. Most of the students on the trips are of legal European drinking age.

Pope John Paul II, who died April 2, once served “lunch” on Christmas Eve to a woman who is now a Westbrook business owner. Eulalia “Ali” Suder, then a Polish refugee in Italy, received a printed invitation from the pope to come to the Vatican on Dec. 24. The lunch turned out to be communion and the pope personally served Suder communion. Suder, who owns the Eurotopia Restaurant downtown, immigrated to the U.S. in 1986. The pope, she said, “came into the world to teach us how to be good.”

A long-serving member of the Westbrook Police Department retired Friday. Zina, a 10-year-old German shepherd, has served on the Westbrook force for nine years. Her partner, Phil Hebert, said her age and health were the reasons for her retirement. “She’s slowed down a lot. Nine years of service is a long time,” he said. Zina will continue to live at Hebert’s home.

A Gorham scientist believes spinach could be the savior of urban soils contaminated with lead. “The more lead that’s there, the more the plant sucks up,” said Samantha Langley-Turnbauch, a soil scientist at the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine. She and four undergraduate students, assisted by a group of Portland school children, will plant spinach at three of four sites in Portland’s West End. She’s previously completed spinach projects in the city’s Bayside and Parkside neighborhoods.