Articles by Alex Lear

This map, delivered to the town of North Yarmouth as part of a September report by Planning Decisions Inc., shows the locations of three possible development sites in town: the former Wescustogo Hall, the now-closed North Yarmouth Memorial School and the overall town center

North Yarmouth to decide redevelopment for two key parcels, town center

By Alex Lear on Nov. 19, 2014, at 1:56 p.m.
Next year could be pivotal for residents, as they decide which of two town-owned parcels to develop as a municipal campus: the existing Town Hall or the recently closed North Yarmouth Memorial School. Representatives of Planning Decisions, a Portland firm hired by the town to consult …
North Yarmouth Town Clerk Debbie Grover, left, stands with Dick Baston and Clark Baston, descendants of Revolutionary War soldier Winthrop Baston, whose new tombstone was dedicated on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, in Walnut Hill Cemetery.

North Yarmouth woman secures new headstone for Revolutionary War vet, turns attention to Civil War vets’ markers

By Alex Lear on Nov. 11, 2014, at 2:04 p.m.
Nearly 200 years after it was erected, the tombstone of Winthrop Baston — a captain in the American Revolution — was in pieces, sunken under the ground, and seemingly forgotten. But because there were those who never forgot, Baston now has a new stone at his …
Gregory Payson

North Yarmouth hires West Bath chief to lead fire-rescue department

By Alex Lear on Nov. 10, 2014, at 3:38 p.m.
Gregory Payson of Topsham will start work as North Yarmouth’s new fire-rescue chief on Nov. 24. Currently chief of the West Bath Fire-Rescue Department, Payson replaces Ricky Plummer, who left North Yarmouth in September to become fire chief in Old Orchard Beach. Since then, Michael Robitaille …

Longtime town clerk unseats long-serving chairman in Topsham selectmen race

By Alex Lear on Nov. 05, 2014, at 5:02 p.m.
Board of Selectmen candidate Ruth Lyons, who retired earlier this year as longtime town clerk, received 3,281 votes Tuesday to unseat incumbent Selectman Ronald Riendeau. Incumbent Selectman David Douglass was re-elected with 1,916 votes, and Riendeau had 1,766 in the three-way race. Lyons said on Wednesday that …

Bath voters elect two former city councilors

By Alex Lear on Nov. 05, 2014, at 5:02 p.m.
James Omo and Kyle Rogers were unseated from City Council in recent elections but secured enough votes Tuesday to return. Meanwhile, voters approved four of six proposed amendments to the city charter. They defeated amendments that would have allowed the city manager to live outside Bath and …
Voters approved Cumberland to purchase of part of the Payson property off Foreside Road, which includes about 11 acres of public beach access.

Cumberland voters approve $3 million beach purchase, new road zoning

By Alex Lear on Nov. 05, 2014, at 12:08 p.m.
Voters on Tuesday narrowly supported the town’s $3 million purchase of beach property off Foreside Road. They also upheld a contract zone agreement that will make Harris Road a through street to Route 9. According to unofficial results, the Payson property question passed, 2,372 to 2,126. The …
Paul Chace

Chace, Timmons ride small-town support to turn southern Maine House seats red

By Alex Lear on Nov. 05, 2014, at 12:02 p.m.
CUMBERLAND | Republican Mike Timmons narrowly defeated Democrat Dale Denno, 2,472 to 2,446, Tuesday to win the state House District 45 seat. Meanwhile, Durham Republican Paul Chace unseated Rep. Anne Graham, D-North Yarmouth, 2,503 to 2,295, in House District 46. Timmons and Denno, both of Cumberland, ran for the …
Eloise Vitelli

Republican Baker unseats incumbent Vitelli for Bath-area Senate seat

By Alex Lear on Nov. 05, 2014, at 11:09 a.m.
TOPSHAM | Republican Linda Baker scored an approximately 1,000-vote lead over the incumbent Tuesday in a race for Maine Senate District 23. Baker, of Topsham, had 7,979 votes, compared with 7,509 from Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, and 2,004 from Green Independent candidate Alice Knapp, of Richmond. The new state …
Jennifer DeChant

DeChant defeats Daniels to keep Bath House district seat

By Alex Lear on Nov. 05, 2014, at 7:34 a.m.
Rep. Jennifer DeChant, D-Bath, defeated Republican challenger Ryan Daniels, Tuesday in her bid for a second term in the state House of Representatives. DeChant received 2,432 votes compared with Daniels’s 1,255, a nearly 2-1 margin. The two Bath vied to represent House District 52, which before redistricting …
Denise Tepler

Democrat Denise Tepler wins 3-way race for state House District 54

By Alex Lear on Nov. 05, 2014, at 5:58 a.m.
TOPSHAM | Democrat Denise Tepler defeated Republican Kim Talbot and Green Independent Daniel Stromgren Tuesday to secure the state House District 54 seat vacated by Rep. Andrew Mason, D-Topsham. Tepler received 2,217 votes, followed by 2,130 by West Schoolhouse Crossing Road resident Talbot and 535 by Stromgren, who lives …
Cumberland's proposed purchase of part of the Payson property off Foreside Road would include about 11 acres of public beach access.

Judge gives developer more time to close deal on controversial Cumberland beach property

By Alex Lear on Oct. 28, 2014, at 11:52 a.m.
Three days before the deal’s disputed deadline, a Maine Superior Court judge on Monday ruled that the potential buyers of 100 acres of shorefront property along Foreside Road can have more time to complete the sale. The extension means the buyers, Peter Anastos and developers David and …

Parents from neighboring towns want to keep sending children to West Bath school, even if town quits regional district

By Alex Lear on Oct. 23, 2014, at 3:38 p.m.
With the town of West Bath expected to vote in three months on leaving Regional School Unit 1, residents of the district’s five communities raised questions about the split at a public hearing on Wednesday. A major concern expressed by audience members at the West Bath …

Topsham midwifery center becomes first Maine site accredited for out-of-hospital births

By Alex Lear on Oct. 22, 2014, at 11:58 a.m.
The Birth Center at Northern Sun, a 53 Main St. facility that serves the midcoast and southern Maine, is now Maine’s only accredited provider of out-of-hospital births. Certification from the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers means high-quality care is given to pregnant women and their …

Bath council OKs 2 development hurdles for new CVS store

By Alex Lear on Oct. 16, 2014, at 8:32 a.m.
The City Council on Wednesday granted first passage to a land use code map amendment and contract rezoning for a CVS drug store, which hopes to move to a new building at Court and Floral streets. CVS seeks to relocate from the Bath Shopping Center to a …

Bath soup kitchen reopens as food pantry still in search of new home

By Alex Lear on Oct. 15, 2014, at 1:31 p.m.
The city’s soup kitchen, part of the the Bath Area Food Bank, has reopened with a new manager. Patti Silva of Bath, who was involved in starting an evening neighborhood cafe at the Neighborhood United Church of Christ at 150 Congress Ave., is running the kitchen, filling …
A chain runs along this view of Harris Road toward Longwoods Road in this recent photo.

Divisive Cumberland ballot question would open up private road to public traffic

By Alex Lear on Oct. 15, 2014, at 12:43 p.m.
A contract zone that some Harris Road residents believe will disrupt their dead-end street goes to voters on Nov. 4. The referendum, if approved, would uphold the Town Council’s unanimous July 14 approval of a contract zone agreement with developer Justin Fletcher. Fletcher would split his 3 …
Cumberland's proposed purchase of part of the Payson property off Foreside Road would include about 11 acres of public beach access.

$3 million proposal to buy public beach stirs conflict in Cumberland

By Alex Lear on Oct. 08, 2014, at 4:41 p.m.
A public hearing on the town’s proposed $3 million purchase of beach property off Foreside Road packed council chambers Monday and drew many comments for and against the deal, which goes to referendum Nov. 4. Supporters have pointed out how the purchase — which would comprise nearly …
Former Bath City Council Chairman David Sinclair.

Former Bath council chairman seeks to unseat longtime district attorney

By Alex Lear on Oct. 08, 2014, at 1:52 p.m.
City Councilor David Sinclair is stepping down after two council terms to challenge District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau of Dresden, who has held that office for 21 years. Rushlau, a Republican, and Sinclair, a Democrat, are vying for the four-year District 6 post, which includes Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox …

Bath will allow elderly couple to buy land at center of code dispute instead of paying $31,200 fine

By Alex Lear on Oct. 02, 2014, at 12:30 p.m.
BATH, Maine— The Bath City Council voted 5-2 Wednesday to allow an elderly couple to purchase land adjoining their Mallard Road property to settle code violations created because two of their buildings are on city property. The panel also unofficially supported selling a sliver of city-owned Winter Street Court property …
Topsham's removal of political signs in the public right of way sparked a free-speech debate Monday. The signs were taken to the Public Works garage, above, where they were sorted. Most had been picked up by campaign officials or residents by Wednesday morning.

ACLU of Maine blasts Topsham’s removal of political signs from lawns

By Alex Lear on Oct. 01, 2014, at 12:18 p.m.
A free-speech debate erupted Monday after Topsham officials removed political campaign signs they said were planted illegally on public property. State law allows political signs to be placed in a public right-of-way six weeks before an election. But Topsham’s local ordinance reduces the window to 30 days, …
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