Kennebunkport eyes 2 percent budget increase

By Donna Buttarazzi, York County Coast Star on March 24, 2015, at 6:03 p.m.
The town’s fiscal year 16 municipal budget is proposed at $6.48 million, a two percent increase over 2015. The majority of the increase is related to salary and benefit increases, and succession planning as long serving employees begin to phase in retirement plans, Town Manager Laurie Smith …
The outline of a proposed police station is clearly visible at this York construction site as seen in this December 2014 file photo.

York still $1.4 million short on police station project

By Deborah McDermott, The York Weekly on March 24, 2015, at 5:59 p.m.
Selectmen learned Monday night that there is an anticipated $1.4 million gap between money in hand for the police station and the connector road and the cost to build them. Town Manager Steve Burns said he met with Ledgewood Construction recently and was verbally given preliminary numbers …

York continues to fight acceptance of state road

By Deborah McDermott, The York Weekly on March 24, 2015, at 5:52 p.m.
A Maine Department of Transportation official said the department has gone back to the drawing board, after “unique” resistance from the town of York to take over maintenance of a 3.5-mile stretch of Route 1 from the state. “This is really the first community that’s raised the …

Bail increased for South Portland man accused of sexual assault, sex trafficking

By Beth Brogan on March 24, 2015, at 5:39 p.m.
A South Portland man facing multiple counts of gross sexual assault, sex trafficking and promotion of prostitution appeared in Portland Superior Court on Tuesday hoping to have his bail reduced, but he instead saw it more than doubled to $20,000. Jon Cianchette, 57, was arrested at his …

Falmouth council OKs Tidewater Village extension, eyes budget plans

By David Harry on March 24, 2015, at 4:13 p.m.
Not much was said during a 30-minute Town Council meeting Monday night, but future hearing dates on towing fees and the combined municipal and school budgets should create opportunities for more discussion. Councilors unanimously agreed to 7 p.m. April 9 at Falmouth Elementary School for the budget …

North Yarmouth residents blast town development plans

By Alex Lear on March 24, 2015, at 3:06 p.m.
A proposal by the Board of Selectmen to redevelop North Yarmouth Memorial School as a municipal and community campus drew criticism and questions at the third in a series of public meetings. The March 18 meeting, held at the now-closed school, allowed opponents to air their …

Cumberland-North Yarmouth schools eye 3.6 percent budget increase

By Alex Lear on March 24, 2015, at 1:39 p.m.
School Administrative District 51 Superintendent Jeff Porter last week unveiled a proposed $33.7 million budget for fiscal 2016, an increase of 3.6 percent over current spending. Meanwhile, Gov. Paul LePage’s state budget proposal includes an approximately $642,000 reduction in state funding for the Cumberland-North Yarmouth district. That …
Bayside Bowl manager Charlie Mitchell rolls a practice shot at the Alder Street bowling center in Portland, which will host Professional Bowlers Association events starting Thursday.

World’s top bowlers, ESPN to descend on Portland for tourney

By David Harry on March 24, 2015, at 1:32 p.m.
The big rollers are coming to town, courtesy of the Professional Bowlers Association, and Charlie Mitchell is ready for them. “We always knew [Bayside Bowl] was special, but to have the PBA understand that is a very nice feeling,” Mitchell, bowling center manager, said last week as …
Portland Acting City Manager Sheila Hill-Christian, seen in February, last week removed her name from consideration to stay on the city manager job permanently.

Acting Portland city manager drops out of contention for permanent job

By David Harry on March 24, 2015, at 1:21 p.m.
While the search firm working to replace former City Manager Mark Rees seeks public input, acting City Manager Sheila Hill-Christian last week removed her name from consideration. Hill-Christian has served as acting manager since Sept. 4, 2014. She was appointed by the City Council after Rees resigned. …
Portland Sea Dogs infielder Xavier Bogaerts stands ready to take the field in Portland on April 4, 2013.

Portland Sea Dogs: PETA misled fans over Linda Bean’s lobster

By Darren Fishell on March 24, 2015, at 1:11 p.m.
The Portland Sea Dogs minor league baseball team Tuesday refuted statements from animal welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that the franchise ended a contract with Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster because of ethical concerns. “While it is true that we will no longer …
The Portland Company complex on Fore Street in Portland.

Portland complex site eyed for historic preservation, despite developer’s concerns

By David Harry on March 24, 2015, at 1:04 p.m.
Creation of a historic preservation district at the Portland Co. property at 58 Fore St. will be the topic of an April 1 Historic Preservation Board workshop. The nomination creates another wrinkle for the CPB2 partnership, which hopes to redevelop the property. A March 18 workshop was …
Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck

Portland eyes Seattle program that keeps low-risk drug offenders out of jail

By David Harry on March 24, 2015, at 12:24 p.m.
A crime diversion program created in Seattle is generating local interest from a city panel on substance abuse. “From my perspective, a pilot program would be a perfect fit for the Bayside neighborhood,” Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said March 19 as the subcommittee established by Mayor Michael …
Chris and Paige Gould moved to Portland from Boston to start their first restaurant after years in the industry. Their restaurant, Central Provisions, has been nominated for best new restaurant in the nation by the James Beard Foundation.

Portland restaurant gets James Beard nod for best in country

By Kathleen Pierce on March 24, 2015, at 11:38 a.m.
The 25th annual James Beard Foundation Award nominees were announced Tuesday morning on Twitter. Portland came up big. Four of the 10 Maine semifinalists advanced to the next round in the Oscars of the food world. All have restaurants in Portland. Central Provisions on Fore Street was nominated for best …
The U.S. Coast Guard Thunder Bay cuts through the ice on the Penobscot River Tuesday.

Warm weather, rain could produce ice jams

By Ryan McLaughlin on March 24, 2015, at 10:08 a.m.
GRAY | Springlike temperatures and weather are finally predicted to roll into the state later this week. But the combination of warm weather and predicted rain also may produce ice jams, according to the National Weather Service. A warm front is expected to arrive on Wednesday night in Maine, …
Maine's acting commissioner of education, Tom Desjardin, at Falmouth Elementary School on March 19.

Education commissioner visits Falmouth school to oversee new assessments

By Colin Ellis on March 24, 2015, at 9:01 a.m.
Students at Falmouth Elementary School joined peers from a handful of other schools across the state in taking a new statewide assessment test in its inaugural week. And according to the acting commissioner of the state Department of Education, who visited the school on March 19, so …
Darien Richardson, shown here in a picture distributed by the Portland Police Department and her family on July 23, 2012, died from complications from a a gunshot wound she suffered during a home invasion on Jan. 8, 2010.

Portland walk to honor victim of unsolved shooting

By Staff, The Forecaster on March 24, 2015, at 8:26 a.m.
The fifth annual walk in memory of Darien Richardson will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at the Baxter Boulevard parking lot along Back Cove. Richardson was shot Jan. 8, 2010, during a home invasion and died about two months later from a blood clot that …
A man sits on the hood of his car as the Machigonne II car ferry makes its way to Peaks Island through the icy waters of Portland Harbor on Feb. 17.

Peaks Island car ferry schedules changed due to repairs

By Staff, The Forecaster on March 24, 2015, at 8:16 a.m.
PORTLAND | Routine maintenance work on the Machigonne II could last for the next five weeks and will alter car ferry service to Peaks Island, according to a Casco Bay Lines news release. Peaks Island-based Lionel Plante Associates will handle car ferry services, using its Island Avenue location to …

Portland islanders concerned about later school start times

By David Harry on March 23, 2015, at 4:57 p.m.
Island residents are raising questions about a School Department proposal to revise daily start and end times, chief among them a later start at the high schools. The plan would provide 20 additional minutes of education a day, but would significantly increase the amount of time island …

Proposed school budget would trigger 2.3 percent tax hike

By Colin Ellis on March 23, 2015, at 4:56 p.m.
PORTLAND | The Portland School Board’s Finance Committee unanimously recommended a nearly $102.8 million budget to the full board at a public hearing on March 19. The public hearing, in Portland High School’s Alumni Hall, failed to bring many members of the public out to speak and lasted just …
Snuggle therapist Lea Moon hugs client Wren Withers during a session in Portland.

‘As a culture, we don’t snuggle enough’: Clients embrace cuddler-for-hire in Portland

By Kathleen Pierce on March 23, 2015, at 3:07 p.m.
“This feels like being held by a mother,” said Wren Withers. It’s 10:30 a.m. on a Friday and the Portland personal trainer is lying on a bed loaded with pillows in a downtown office building. As sunshine streams through the window, she cuddles intimately with a woman …
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