Film offers Portland students message of acceptance

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The fourth annual Portland Children's Film Festival kicked off Wednesday morning with a documentary about the challenges teenage immigrants face when they come to America.

The film "I Learn America" was screened to high school students within the Portland Public School system; 25% of the school district is made up of students whose first language was not English.

The film follows a group of immigrant teenagers going to school in New York City, learning who they are in the midst of learning a new culture; language and how to be accepted in a new home.

The Portland Children's Festival runs until Sunday with films and documentaries shown at various places throughout the city.

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Pro-marijuana groups gear up for spring petition drive

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Two sparring Maine pro-marijuana groups are gearing up for spring petition drives that would ask residents whether to make pot legal for recreational use in the state.

Marijuana Policy Project is working on one of the drives. The group led successful legalization efforts at the city level in Portland and South Portland and is the largest group in the country that is solely dedicated to reforming marijuana laws. The group wants to create a taxed, government-regulated marijuana industry in Maine.

The other group is called Legalize Maine, and members describe it as a more homegrown alternative. Legalize Maine wants Maine residents to get preferential treatment when the state hands out licenses to grow and sell marijuana for recreational use.

Crews respond to fire at a home in Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It didn't take firefighters long to knock down a fire at a home on Lambert Rd. in Portland Saturday morning.

Deputy Chief Robert Thompson
said the homeowner was working in his detached garage when he heard a strange noise and saw smoke coming from the single-story addition.

Charity founder commits suicide amid fraud investigation

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The founder of a Maine non-profit aimed at helping military families was the center of an FBI investigation months before his unexpected death.

Marc Badeau was the founder of "Operation Tribute," an organization that sent toys to children of military families at Christmas. Federal investigators said that hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to the non-profit were misused. That money that was supposed to be spent on gifts for military children.

The Weeklys were one of the families who received gifts last year from Operation Tribute. Emma Weekly said she was shocked when she heard the news.

"I found it very disturbing that, I felt like they took advantage of military families, of soldiers' pain and hard work. The community's money. You know they meant for it to go to the families," said Emma Weekly.

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Investigation continues into Reiche student illness

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Test results were inconclusive on a pickled beet salad as part of the investigation into what suddenly sickened 22 kids at a Portland Elementary School, said the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the pickled beet salad was only served at Reiche Elementary School March 10. School officials said the students had stomach pain and vomiting about an hour after lunch. Portland School District said all but one student returned to school the following day.

With the inconclusive test results, Maine CDC's investigation will continue.

Food for all of Portland's public schools is prepared in a central kitchen. That kitchen passed a health inspection following the incident at Reiche. The kitchen at Reiche failed with four violations, but the violations have since been corrected.

Reporting potholes to the city; there's an app for that

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's been a long winter for the city of Portland between plowing, snow removal and now all of the potholes left behind.

The city's app called "Fix It! Portland" gives residents an easy way to report those pesky potholes, unplowed sidewalks or street signs that have fallen over due to the winter weather. Users can choose a problem from a drop down menu and can submit the complaint anonymously. When the city sees the submitted issue, it sends updates as the issue is first recognized and then addressed.

Crews have been out all week following the map, and fixing problems they come across.

How to relieve a killer hangover

How to relieve a killer hangover

I'm guessing that a few people were hung over after celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Do you have a tried and true hangover cure? We've got a few. Check out this slideshow on the Catching Health Blog.