Articles by Tom Groening

Carolann Ouellette, director of the Maine Office of Tourism, is interviewed by TV reporter Don Carrigan on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2013, at the Governor's Conference on Tourism at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.

‘Originality’ is Maine’s new tourism calling card

By Tom Groening on Jan. 31, 2013, at 5:45 p.m.
ROCKPORT | Most Mainers know a quirky, eccentric, marches-to-a-different-drummer character or two. Those qualities — in more of us than we might admit — now are being used to market Maine to tourists. After researching the elements that connect tourists with a destination, the Maine Office of Tourism chose …

Tourism industry pushes for more information sharing, continuity between directors in five-year plan

By Tom Groening on Jan. 30, 2013, at 6:56 p.m.
ROCKPORT | In the first of a series of sessions to develop a five-year strategy for state tourism, industry boosters and those working in the tourism sector identified a handful of goals for the Maine Office of Tourism on Wednesday. The planning session was part of the annual Governors …
Stanley L. Ward

Justice denies appeal of Belfast man convicted of kidnapping, attempted murder

By Tom Groening on Jan. 28, 2013, at 6:01 p.m.
A man who pleaded guilty in April 2010 to attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery has failed to persuade a superior court judge that his attorney did not adequately represent him. Justice Jeffrey Hjelm ruled Jan. 16 that Stanley Ward’s attorney at the time of his guilty pleas …

Searsport moves to adopt new appeals process

By Tom Groening on Jan. 25, 2013, at 7:55 p.m.
A change to the way appeals of building permits and other decisions are considered is the subject of a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 30. Under the proposed ordinance amendments, the appeals board would consider “only the record before the official,” such as the code enforcement …
Katrina Mitchell

Frankfort woman whose dog killed baby arrested again

By Tom Groening on Jan. 25, 2013, at 6:16 p.m.
BELFAST | Katrina Mitchell, the Frankfort woman charged with endangering the welfare of a child after the family Rottweiler mauled her baby to death in April 2011 , has run afoul of the law again. Mitchell, 31, according to law enforcement and prosecutors, had been home alone with her …
Steve Shaw

Maine rabbi explores, explains provocative Jewish stereotypes

By Tom Groening on Jan. 25, 2013, at 1:30 p.m.
BELFAST | There’s an old joke told by Jews that gets at the heart of Rabbi Steve Shaw’s understanding of his fellow Jews. A Jewish man is traveling on the Trans-Siberian Railway when an officer of the czar’s army boards. After a time, the soldier grabs the Jew by …

Rabbi teaches class on Jewish stereotypes

By Tom Groening on Jan. 25, 2013, at 1:22 p.m.
Steve Shaw, a 70-year-old Jewish rabbi, addresses such questions as why Jews are perceived as smarter than other groups, why they dominate professions like the law, and why they tend to be liberal in his senior college course at UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast.
RSU 20 Superintendent Brian Carpenter signs a new teacher's contract for the district as Tony Bagley (left) chairman of the school board and Betty-Lu Brown, president of the teachers association, look on. The new, two-year agreement is the first that gives teachers in the former SAD 34 and former SAD 56 equal pay.

Belfast, Searsport teachers contract ratified

By Tom Groening on Jan. 24, 2013, at 6:27 p.m.
After almost four years without a contract, teachers in RSU 20 have a new wage and benefit agreement. The contract takes on added significance in that it marks the first time faculty from the former Belfast-area SAD 34 and former Searsport-area SAD 56 are earning at the …

Rockport officials continue meetings about employee complaint

By Tom Groening on Jan. 23, 2013, at 5:49 p.m.
Town officials continued this week to struggle with their response to a written complaint made by town employees against another employee. Few details have emerged, but select board members have held several closed-door meetings and plan more such sessions next week. On Tuesday night, an investigator who …
The Long Grain restaurant in Camden.

Camden woman protests restaurant serving rabbit

By Tom Groening on Jan. 22, 2013, at 5:46 p.m.
Pets shouldn’t be on the menu, Wendy Andresen believes. The owner of a beloved pet rabbit, Andresen and her husband Ray demonstrated with placards that read “Save the Bunnies” on Saturday on the sidewalk outside Long Grain, a Camden restaurant that features rabbit among the food it …

Investigator interviews Rockport employees about complaint

By Tom Groening on Jan. 18, 2013, at 6:05 p.m.
The town select board will meet in closed session Tuesday night to discuss a personnel matter related to a complaint made against a town employee. Specifics about the complaint have not been made public, but according to documents made available by the town office this week, the …

Eddington convenience store worker says she was sexually harassed by customers

By Tom Groening on Jan. 14, 2013, at 7:10 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Human rights panel members struggled Monday with a “he said, she said” case that came through a complaint filed by a former employee of an Eddington convenience store. The four members of the Maine Human Rights Commission — one member was absent — voted to not support …
David Graham (left) of DCP Midstream debates in January 2012 the aesthetics of his company's proposed propane terminal project with Peter Taber (right) of Searsport.

Searsport board resumes tank hearing; decision hangs on standards

By Tom Groening on Jan. 13, 2013, at 4:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, the town’s planning board resumes the lengthy, laborious process of reviewing the controversial bid by DCP Midstream to build a 23 million gallon liquid propane tank near the Mack Point port. Soon — perhaps within a few weeks — the board will vote to approve …

Mount Vernon man dies in Readfield crash

By Tom Groening on Jan. 13, 2013, at 2:25 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A 20-year-old Mount Vernon man was killed in a single-vehicle crash Saturday night in the Kennebec County town of Readfield, just west of Augusta. Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland in a press release Sunday afternoon reported that Gabriel Soucy, a passenger in the vehicle, …

‘Brutal cold’ air expected to bring single-digit high temperatures to Maine

By Tom Groening on Jan. 12, 2013, at 5:16 p.m.
CARIBOU | Don’t put away your parka, scarf or gloves just yet. The temperatures that are expected to be well into the 40s early in the week are predicted to crash steeply Thursday and beyond, giving Maine its coldest weather of the winter. AccuWeather, based in College Park, Pa., …
William Tibbals

Saco man allegedly used ‘shoe camera’ to look up skirts

By Tom Groening on Jan. 12, 2013, at 4:28 p.m.
SCARBOROUGH | Police arrested a Saco man Friday night for allegedly using a camera in his shoe to photograph up females’ skirts and dresses. William Tibbals, 31, was arrested on a charge of felony visual sexual aggression against a child under 12 years old and on several counts of …
Wayne Hamilton and his wife Loraine of Searsport started Hamilton Marine in their garage in 1977 after he spent years recovering from a back injury.

Hamilton Marine, Maine’s largest marine supplier, started in a Searsport garage

By Tom Groening on Jan. 12, 2013, at 4:16 p.m.
If Wayne Hamilton hadn’t hurt his back 30 years ago loading ships, his life probably would be much the same as it is today. He’d be working on and near the water, as he still does. He’d be involved in community service work, which still occupies much …
A view looking north along the former Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad line. The Belfast City Council is considering building a pedestrian walkway along the rail line.

Belfast to air plans for pedestrian trail on railroad bed on Tuesday

By Tom Groening on Jan. 12, 2013, at 1:09 p.m.
A plan to develop a pedestrian trail along the former Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad right of way will be presented to the city council Tuesday night. Public sentiment is being sought on the project at the meeting as a necessary step before a final plan is …

High tide blamed for canoes found in Belfast, Frankfort

By Tom Groening on Jan. 11, 2013, at 6:33 p.m.
Reports of overturned canoes spotted near the U.S. Route 1 bridge in Belfast and Frankfort in the Marsh Stream tidal basin off Route 1A sent public safety crews scrambling Friday, but in both cases, no one ended up in the cold water. Belfast Police Chief Michael McFadden …
Jason Beal

‘Incredibly dangerous’ burglaries solved, Belfast police believe

By Tom Groening on Jan. 11, 2013, at 6:06 p.m.
BELFAST, Maine – The man police believe is responsible for six late-night burglaries in early November — including some in which wallets were taken from pants hanging on bedposts while residents slept inches away — is behind bars, Belfast Police Chief Michael McFadden said Friday. Jason Beal, 22, of Belfast …