Maine's first "Net Zero" school now open

CUMBERLAND, Maine  (NEWS CENTER) -- The doors are now open at a school in Cumberland that was designed with the goal of no energy costs.

The Friends School's new 1,500 square foot facility is the first building in the state to be passive house certified. It earned that title by meeting a strict energy efficiency standards. Designers also expect that the new building will achieve "Net Zero" status this year, meaning the school will produce as much energy as it consumes.

The total cost of the whole project was about $5.2 million, but those involved say the building will pay for itself in the long run.

Heroin addict sends thank you note to Portland police

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Portland Police Department posted a letter from a heroin addict applauding an officer for his act of kindness. We are posting the letter unedited, as seen on the Portland Police Department Facebook page.

"The date was August 17, 2015. It's a day I'll never forget, for good reasons and bad. I'm 30 years old and I suffer from the disease of addiction. It started with OxyContin in 2003 at the age of 18, and progressed into heroin in 2010 when I was 25.

Preble Street to get $1.7 million to help fight veteran homelessness statewide

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced Tuesday that Preble Street in Portland is getting a $1.7 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help serve homeless veterans in Maine.

"It's shameful that so many men and women who served our country end up homeless," Pingree said. "There are a lot of causes for homelessness, but for veterans the reality of repeated combat deployments and then the difficulty of transitioning back to civilian life sometimes results in veterans finding themselves on the streets or in jeopardy of becoming homeless.  Preble Street has done a great job in tackling this problem and this funding is going to help them continue to do that work statewide."

Portland police: Cab driver reportedly robbed at knife point

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland police say on September 12, a cab driver for ABC Taxi reported that he was robbed at knife point. 

Police say the reported robbery happened at the intersection where Broadway turns into Carriage Lane. The cab driver reported that he was flagged down by two black males at the Munjoy South apartment complex and requested a ride to the area of Riverton.

Police say when the males exited the cab, one of the males pulled out a knife and demanded money.  Both males fled up toward Forest Avenue with an undisclosed amount of cash, police say. 

Hillary Rodham Clinton to stop by Portland middle school

(AP) -- Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is making a campaign stop at a middle school in Portland, Maine, as she continues her push for the Democratic nomination.
The former secretary of state will appear at King Middle School in the state's largest city Friday. The event is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be open to the public. A Clinton spokesman says in a statement that the event is a "grassroots organizing meeting." It's part of Clinton's effort to build campaign infrastructure outside the early primary states.
Clinton campaigned in Maine last year on behalf of state Democrats who were running in midterm elections. She made an appearance at a Scarborough high school gym in October to support Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud and others.


Decision soon on listing eels under Endangered Species Act

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A decision about whether to list American eels under the Endangered Species Act is expected from federal authorities by the end of the month.
The California-based Council For Endangered Species Act Reliability wants the federal government to list the eels as threatened. A spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the decision will likely come toward the end of September.
The petitioning group says the eels have lost more than 80 percent of their habitat and suffer from commercial fishing pressure.
The decision comes as the market for baby eels, called elvers, is booming. Maine elvers were worth more than $2,100 per pound in 2015 after being worth less than $100 per pound in 2009. Several other states have fisheries for older eels. They include Maryland and Delaware. 


Maine Open Lighthouse Day kicks off on Saturday

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- The Coast Guard, American Lighthouse Foundation and Maine Office of Tourism are sponsoring Maine Open Lighthouse Day.
Officials say the event on Saturday is the largest of its kind in the country.
All told, 23 Maine lighthouses will be open to the public. That includes some that are not normally accessible including Owls Head Light, Bug Light in South Portland, Monhegan Island Light, and the tower at West Quoddy Head Light.
Coast Guard Lt. David Bourbeau calls it a "unique opportunity to get an inside glimpse of some of Maine's most beautiful and historic navigational landmarks."