Articles by Alex Lear

The Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors voted unanimously Monday, Oct. 26, to rebuild Morse High School at a new location.

Bath-area school board votes for a new Morse High School

By Alex Lear on Oct. 28, 2015, at 2:21 p.m.
The Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors on Monday unanimously supported rebuilding Morse High School at a different site. The decision reflects a show-of-hands vote at a public forum Oct. 7, which indicated overwhelming support for the rebuild. The School Board was already leaning in that …
Hendricks Head Light is one attraction of the “Haunted Lighthouse Cruises” being offered this month by Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.

Museum unveils cruise tour of haunted lighthouses

By Alex Lear on Oct. 17, 2015, at 7:58 a.m.
BATH, Maine — Maine Maritime Museum marks autumn this month with three new programs. “Haunted Lighthouse Cruises” will be held 2-5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, and Friday, Oct. 23. Tickets, which include museum admission, are $45 for members, $50 for non-members, $25 for those younger than 17, and $4 for …

2 men facing Bath vandalism charges apologize via alternative justice program

By Alex Lear on Sept. 22, 2015, at 12:37 p.m.
Two men arrested last December for allegedly vandalizing the former Huse School are trying to atone for their mistakes through the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast. Daniyil Klimov and Zachary Lambert, both in their early 20s, are performing 176 hours of community service, are making restitution, …

Cumberland council to fill vacancy after SAD 51 School Board member resigns

By Alex Lear on Sept. 21, 2015, at 11:59 a.m.
The resignation of School Administrative District 51 board member Pete Wilson has opened a vacancy the Town Council must fill. Wilson, appointed by the council in 2013 to fill a vacancy on the School Board, was elected to a three-year term on the panel last year. He …

Subsidy hike for Regional School Unit 1 means tax break for Bath

By Alex Lear on Sept. 09, 2015, at 1:15 p.m.
Thanks largely to Regional School Unit 1 receiving more state subsidy than expected, the city’s projected tax increase for fiscal 2016 is dropping from almost 5 percent to 2.5 percent. A change in how the city applies the state’s Business Equipment Tax Exemption funds also contributed to …
Scott McKernan

Topsham school board member resigns for California job

By Alex Lear on Sept. 09, 2015, at 12:11 p.m.
McKernan will be director of facilities for the Santa Rosa City Schools.

North Yarmouth special election: 2 contenders, 1 Board of Selectman seat

By Alex Lear on Sept. 08, 2015, at 12:08 p.m.
Two longtime residents are competing in this month’s special election for the Board of Selectmen seat vacated by Clark Whittier. Keith Thompson of Bryn Lane, who was narrowly defeated by Jeanne Chadbourne in June’s regular Board of Selectmen election, is running again. His opponent Jim Moulton …

Bath council may donate land for affordable housing project

By Alex Lear on Sept. 03, 2015, at 9:59 a.m.
The City Council on Wednesday unanimously waived an appraisal for a half-acre Tarbox Street property. The council will now decide whether to donate the land for an affordable housing project. The panel also placed a wastewater improvements bond referendum on the Nov. 3 ballot. Bath Housing, which …
A series of forums on whether Mt. Ararat High School should be renovated or rebuilt will be held in School Administrative District 75’s four towns from Sept. 17-30.

Towns want input on whether to renovate or replace Mt. Ararat High School

By Alex Lear on Sept. 02, 2015, at 11:04 a.m.
TOPSHAM | School Administrative District 75 will hold four public meetings this month on whether Mt. Ararat High School should be renovated or replaced. Presentations about the project status and open forums will be part of the meetings, which will be held at Bowdoin Central School on Sept. 17, …

Land trust issues conditions for Cumberland’s use of beach

By Alex Lear on Sept. 01, 2015, at 3:38 p.m.
The land trust stewarding a Foreside Road beach property has given the town several conditions to meet before a plan for public use of the property can be implemented. The town bought its portion of 179 Foreside Road, known more commonly as the Payson property, from Portland-based …
Bath is expanding the gas management system at its city landfill, installing new piping for new layers of waste.

More trash in Bath requires additional landfill gas control

By Alex Lear on Aug. 25, 2015, at 3:47 p.m.
If the city landfill seems a little more pungent at times in the next few weeks, it’s due to an expansion of its gas management system. The landfill emits methane and other gases, and a flare installed in 2008 burns off those gases to eradicate foul odors …
Summit Natural Gas will construct 85 percent of the infrastructure it had planned to build this year in Cumberland, where ground was broken for pipe installation in 2014, Falmouth, and Yarmouth.

Summit slows natural gas project in Cumberland, Falmouth, Yarmouth

By Alex Lear on Aug. 25, 2015, at 9:04 a.m.
The company expanding natural gas service to Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth expects to reduce the project by 15 percent this year, a spokeswoman confirmed Monday. “There are some areas where we decided not to move forward with the proposed build, but many areas that were added to …
Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.

SAD 75 mulls future of aging Mt. Ararat High School

By Alex Lear on Aug. 24, 2015, at 7:05 p.m.
TOPSHAM | One of the key items School Administrative District 75 expects to address in the upcoming school year is whether to renovate or replace Mt. Ararat High School. Meanwhile, school starts Aug. 31, with several new faces among the administrative staff. A draft facilities study concluded the high …
Dr. Elizabeth Stone is director and lead veterinarian of the Community Spay-Neuter Clinic in Freeport, which is moving to Topsham early next month.

Low-cost spay, neuter clinic moving from Freeport to Topsham

By Alex Lear on Aug. 24, 2015, at 7:03 p.m.
A spay and neuter clinic that has offered affordable services the last five years in Freeport is moving to Topsham early next month. The Community Spay-Neuter Clinic is closing this week at 475 U.S. Route 1 and will move Sept. 3 to 321 Lewiston Road in Topsham, …
Don Russell

Longtime Topsham public servant Don Russell to retire from Board of Selectman

By Alex Lear on Aug. 18, 2015, at 1:16 p.m.
Don Russell’s nearly 50 years of public service are coming to an end, at least for now. Russell, 79, who has lived in the same Winter Street house since the age of 6 months, and served on the Board of Selectmen from 2002 to 2005, and again …

School district prepares for first election without West Bath

By Alex Lear on Aug. 12, 2015, at 2:47 p.m.
With one of its founding towns gone, the Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors is changing how it represents its remaining communities. West Bath withdrew June 30, after voting overwhelmingly in January to leave the district. The School Board position held by West Bath resident Kyle …
The Bath City Council on Wednesday approved an affordable housing tax increment financing district for the former Huse School. This rendition shows how the renovated building would appear with an additional wing.

Bath council OKs tax break for Huse School housing project

By Alex Lear on Aug. 06, 2015, at 11:14 a.m.
The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved an affordable housing tax increment financing district for a proposed rental housing project at the former John E.L. Huse Memorial School. The Portland-based Szanton Co. intends to develop nearly 60 mixed-income residential apartments in the 73-year-old Andrews Road building, with …
Brunswick's Coffin Elementary School, built in 1959, has never had a major renovation.

Brunswick Town Council rejects school bond proposal

By Alex Lear on Aug. 05, 2015, at 11:56 a.m.
The Town Council voted 8-1 Monday against sending a proposal to borrow $12.6 million, largely for school repairs, to an Aug. 17 public hearing. The council’s decision means a school bond will not be ready in time for a November referendum, Council Chairwoman Sarah Brayman said. It …

Cumberland planners OK Route 1 housing development

By Alex Lear on Aug. 03, 2015, at 1:33 p.m.
The Planning Board on July 30 unanimously approved a proposed housing development along U.S. Route 1. The Town Council in January approved a contract zone agreement and land sale for the Foreside Village development, where a 46-lot subdivision will be created on an approximately 27-acre parcel between …
Mike Timmons

Cumberland officials blast Rep. Timmons’ reversal on conservation bonds

By Alex Lear on July 28, 2015, at 2:28 p.m.
Town officials this week pilloried state Rep. Mike Timmons, R-Cumberland, for reversing his position and not voting to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the release of conservation bonds. Some of those funds were earmarked for the local purchase and preservation of Knight’s Pond. The Town Council …