Portland sees increase in cruise tourism

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The 2014 fall cruise is at its peak, with eight cruise ships scheduled to port in Portland this week. Forty-seven ships will call to port through September and October.

The eight ships will bring around 12,000 passenger to Portland. In total, the city said its port will host more than 82,000 passengers and 74 cruise ship from June to November, a 15 percent increase in passengers from last year. In 2013, 58 ships stopped at the port.

American Cruise Lines conducts a total of 28 homeport operations in Portland this season. The largest number of passengers comes from the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships, who will collectively bring about 36,000 passengers.

In 2012, Maine received about $45 million in cruise industry direct spending. The cruise industry generated 801 jobs and wages totaling $27 million for Maine workers.

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Maine couple sues Portland police after May arrest

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of a Bar Harbor couple who were arrested after trying to film police officers in Portland. The group filed the lawsuit in Hancock County Superior Court against Sgt. Benjamin Noyes, Jr. of the Portland Police Department claiming the couple's arrest was illegal and unconstitutional.

Water main break on Washington Avenue in Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A water main break caused some traffic delays Tuesday morning on Washington Avenue in Portland.

Crews were working on repairs on Washington Avenue near Stonecrest Drive. Traffic was down to one lane for several hours while workers completed the job.

Water was shutdown on Washington Avenue from Riverside Street to Summit Street, as well as Stonecrest Street, Lester Drive, and Ballpark Drive.

Fire burns Deering Avenue apartment in Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Four people are displaced after a three-alarm fire happened around 5:00 a.m. at 40 Deering Ave. in Portland.

Investigators believe the fire started in the back of the apartment building and quickly spread to the front. Flames spread to all three floors, then to the roof, which forced it to collapse into the attic. That made it difficult for crews to search the area, but all residents were able to get out safely. When crews arrived, fire was either in or on three different buildings.

"In the area that we're dealing with here, we have several buildings in very close proximity to each other," Chief Jerome LaMoria said. "It is an extreme exposure area."

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Tournament gives back to those that help

(NEWS CENTER) - Sunday was the 15th annual Stefano Nappi Memorial Golf Tournament.

The goal of the annual event is to raise money for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital.

The money is used to provide hospital patients, their families, and the nursing staff with special services and support that wouldn't be available to them otherwise.

Portland discusses general assistance controversy


(NEWS CENTER) -- The City of Portland held a special public meeting Monday to discuss the future of providing welfare benefits to undocumented immigrants.

It's been more than three months since the LePage administration announced that municipalities should stop giving general assistance to undocumented immigrants or be penalized financially. Since the announcement, Portland has made it clear it would defy the state and continue giving assistance.

City council members had a workshop Monday before the city council meeting to discuss how much money is at stake. Portland's director of Health and Human Services said the state is budgeted to reimburse Portland $8.7 million for one year.

The City Manager estimates losing all $8.7 million could mean a 4.5 percent tax increase.

Coalition voices support for clean water bond

FALMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- While there are many issues on the ballot this fall dividing Mainers, a broad based coalition has formed to urge people to vote "Yes" on Question 6.

The referendum question asks voters if they approve of the state authorizing $10 million in bonds for clean water projects. Five point four million dollars would be used to improve stream crossings and upgrade culverts. An additional $400,000 would be earmarked for restoration of wetlands habitat.

The other $4.2 million would fund loans for drinking water and waste water infrastructure improvements and trigger $21 million in federal matching grants.

Environmentalists have joined forces with sportsmen, business and community leaders supporting the measure which they say will be good for the environment and the economy.