Associated Press

SANFORD, Maine (AP) _ A large fire has ravaged a neighborhood in Maine, with officials saying it destroyed six buildings and sent at least four people to the hospital.

Witnesses told the state Fire Marshal’s Office they smelled smoke long before they saw flames spread to four buildings in Sanford Thursday afternoon. State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas says it’s likely the fire was caused by a discarded cigarette and the cause isn’t suspicious.

The fire was under control by 4:00 pm Thursday.

GRAY, Maine (AP) _ A Maine high school varsity football coach has been dismissed after he allegedly instructed his players to taunt an opposing player for having two mothers as parents.

The parents, Lynn and Stephanie Eckersley-Ray, of Yarmouth, say Gray-New Gloucester coach Duane Greaton told his players to taunt their son every time he was tackled during a game last Friday by saying, ``Who’s your daddy?’‘

The Eckersley-Rays say parents and players told them about the taunting order before the game began, but no taunting was overheard during the game.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Students in Maine who have been learning about marine science will conclude their project by dropping kelp-growing lines in the water at the start of the winter growing season.

The Peaks Island Elementary students have been participating in a program called KELP4KIDS.

KELP4KIDS is a 12-week curriculum for second- through fifth-graders at the island school. Kelp is grown as a crop in Maine for use in food and other products.

A sign marking the entrance of the Univ. of Southern Maine's Gorham campus.
USM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The University of Southern Maine is adding a new prayer room to better accommodate Muslim students and students of other faiths.

The Portland Press Herald reports the $100,000 project includes a gender neutral bathroom with a foot-washing station Muslim students can use for ritual washing. University officials say the new prayer room will also stay open later than the university’s Campus Life office prayer room.

Six veterans who years later learned they received poor care from a podiatrist say Veterans Affairs concealed those findings to limit the veterans’ ability to sue.

The Maine Sunday Telegram reports a federal district judge will decide whether their lawsuits against the federal government can move forward.

Fishermen hoist a net full of pogies, also known as menhaden, into their boat along a cove in West Bath, Maine, on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. They use the fish as bait for lobstering and said they caught about 30,000 pounds.
Pat Wellenbach / AP Photo/File

A big decision about the future of a little fish is attracting the attention of ocean conservation groups.

Industry players are petitioning the Marine Stewardship Council to certify the menhaden fishery as sustainable. The London-based council’s sustainability certification is one of the most recognized seafood labels in the marketplace.

Thousands of people lined a beach in Maine to watch 15 small planes land on the sand - a stunt modeled after aviator Charles Lindbergh’s surprise landing in Old Orchard Beach in 1927.

The Sunday afternoon event was organized by 15-year-old Chase Walker to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Portland Press Herald reports organizers estimated about 6,000 people attended.

The event was originally scheduled for Saturday, but had to be moved to Sunday due to windy weather. However, a number of pilots were still able to participate despite the change.

Motorists who park their vehicles on city streets in Portland know that parking enforcement officers can be brutally efficient in ticketing truants.

The Portland Press Herald reports that they’re now becoming even more efficient with a new digital parking enforcement system that’s being phased in. City officials hope the new system will boost parking revenue by $600,000 a year.

Under the system, tickets will still be placed under a vehicle’s windshield wiper but they can be paid online within minutes of the violation.

A student claims the private, Christian school he’s attended since kindergarten has told him he’s no longer welcome because of his gender identity.

Seacoast Media Group reports that Stiles Zuschlag transferred to a Maine public high school for his senior year after he was told he was no longer welcome at New Hampshire’s Tri-City Christian Academy. Zuschlag, a transgender teen, said he was told he should consider homeschooling or counseling.

Tri-City Christian Academy administrator Paul Edgar declined to speak about Zuschlag’s case citing privacy issues.

A bag collects blood and deoxygenated suspension fluid in Dr. Thomas Egan's lab at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.
AP Photo/Allen G. Breed/file

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Maine’s Republican governor is opposing a law to prohibit certain insurers from considering a person’s status as a living organ donor.

Gov. Paul LePage voted the bill Tuesday and said it would make Maine one of the only states in the nation to prohibit life, long-term care and disability insurers from such a consideration. The bill wouldn’t apply to health insurance, which already has such protections.

The House on Thursday voted 146-0 to override LePage’s veto. The bill goes to the Senate.

 AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Maine's Department of Health and Human Services is getting $800,000 to support substance abuse treatment of recovery.

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) _ Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will soon visit Maine for the Democratic Party's annual summer fundraiser.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The Coast Guard is continuing its search for a canoeist in the waters off the Maine coast after one canoeist wearing a life jacket was found dead in Chandler Bay.

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) _ Mainers are invited to tour the MaineGeneral's newly renovated Thayer Center for Health.

NAPLES, Maine (AP) _ A 65-year-old Maine woman faces drunken driving and other charges after police say her pickup truck hit two other vehicles and then a house.

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