Organizers prepare for presidential visit

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine NEWS CENTER) -- Friday afternoon is already peak time for travelers in the greater Portland area, with many business people heading home for the weekend, and visitors flooding the city to dine, attend events and enjoy the nightlife.

After Air Force One touches down at the Portland Jetport just after four in the afternoon, the President and his entourage will make their way across South Portland to a fund raising event at Southern Maine Community College.  Local law enforcement agencies will be working closely with the Secret Service to temporarily close roads and stop traffic as part of the President's security as he makes his way to the school.

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 2012

Since 1997, the Maine Affiliate of Susan G. Komen For the Cure has worked tirelessly toward the goal of ending breast cancer.  This is the 3rd Annual Race for the Cure in Portland!  Raise money, awareness, and support for women (and men) undergoing treatment for breast cancer and survivors.  Many participants walk or run in memory of a loved one who lost their battle with cancer - they are not done with the fight!

For much more information about the Race on September 9, signup, volunteering, etc, go to

Maine Poetry Champion Announced

The Maine Arts Commission today announced Tyler O’Brien of Merriconeag Waldorf High School as the 2012 State Poetry Out Loud Champion and Kiana Sawyer, from Portland High School, as the State Runner-up. Both students will receive cash awards and their schools will receive prize money to purchase poetry books for their libraries.

After surviving classroom, school wide and regional level competitions, ten state finalists gathered in Lewiston to recite three rounds of poetry from memory in front of television cameras and a packed audience at the Olin Arts Center. Tyler O’Brien was selected as state champion and will now represent the State of Maine at the National Poetry Out Loud Finals on May 13-15 in Washington, D.C.

USM rescinds controversial raises

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The University of Southern Maine's president has rescinded the raises of two top administrators in the wake of revelations that the school gave out large pay hikes to dozens of employees at a time of financial uncertainty.

The University of Southern Maine's president has rescinded the raises of two top administrators in the wake of revelations that the school gave out large pay hikes to dozens of employees at a time of financial uncertainty.

President Selma Botman announced Wednesday she pulled raises given last summer to her chief of staff and the university's public affairs director. Both had received pay hikes of around 20 percent that bumped their annual salaries to $106,000.

Sussman's ownership stake in MTM raises ethical questions

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine Today Media, the parent company of the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Waterville Sentinel, is under new ownership. And that ownership is raising some questions about whether the papers will be able to stay impartial.
Under a deal announced yesterday, financier Donald Sussman, the husband of first district Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and a major donor to liberal causes, now owns 75 percent of the company.

While Sussman declined our request for an interview, he wrote in the news release about the deal that he plans to stay out of any editorial decisions that the news department makes. He wrote,
"...I have no interest in being involved in what the news professionals at the company choose to cover, or how they choose to write about it. I'm just happy that the MTM newspaper business is secure and now has a chance to grow."

Presidential visit to impact Greater Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- President Barack Obama's visit to the city is expected to impact traffic throughout the area on Friday afternoon and evening.

The President is scheduled to land at the Portland Jetport around four in the afternoon and his motorcade will then travel to Southern Maine Community College in South Portland where he will deliver remarks to a crowd of nearly two thousand.

From there, President Obama will make his way across the Fore River to attend a private fund raiser at the Portland Museum of Art.  That event is scheduled to begin around six o'clock and will have major impacts on traffic flow on the peninsula.

The Secret Service tells NEWS CENTER that several streets near the museum will be closed beginning just before six until the President departs around nine.

Woman dies in Gray crash

GRAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - A woman from Portland has died after her car spun out of control on slushy roads Wednesday.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Department says 26 year old Elizabeth Polletto was driving on Portland Road in Gray when her Ford Escort lost control, sending her into the path of a Toyota Tundra.

Polletto was taken to Maine Medical Center where she was later pronounced dead.

John Hanley, 57, from Raymond, was driving the Tundra. He was also taken to Maine Med. with non-life threatening injuries.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.