News

Falmouth man pleads guilty to shooting mother


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A man accused of shooting and killed his mother in their Falmouth home pleaded guilty Monday. As part of the plea agreement, he will serve 27 years in prison.

The Portland Press Herald reports Andrew Leighton was scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 12 in the Cumberland County Courthouse for killing his mother, Shirley Leighton. Andrew Leighton, 43, changed his plea as the trial date approached.

Andrew Leighton, 48, had been scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 12 in the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland for fatally shooting his mother, Shirley Leighton, but decided to plead guilty instead as the date approached. His attorneys met with him several times of the last month to review evidence.

Portland Trails gets $100K from foundation


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Old Bug Light Foundation is giving Portland Trails $100,000 over three years to grow and maintain its 70-mile trail network in Maine's largest city.

Portland Trails is a nonprofit urban land trust that maintains Portland's trail network. Representatives from the group say they will use the money to launch new fundraising strategies, build its endowment fund and purchase equipment. Portland Trails Executive Director Kara Wooldrik says the money will help "secure the future" of the trail network.

Old Bug Light Foundation trustee Bree LaCasse says the city is fortunate to have such an extensive public trails network.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Mainers to jump in frigid water for climate change


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) More than 100 people are ready to plunge into frigid Maine waters to raise money and awareness about global climate change.



The frozen finale of the Natural Resources Council of Maine's Polar Bear Plunge and 5k Race is set to take place at noon on Wednesday at Portland's East End Beach. The event was preceded by a fundraising drive. The organization says money raised from the event will be used for its campaigns about "energy efficiency, clean air, and renewable energy sources."

The council says 161 people have signed up to take the plunge and they range in age from 10 to 71.


Proposed Bayside project to include Chipotle, Dunkin


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Chipotle and Dunkin Donuts might be coming to a new strip mall in Portland's Bayside neighborhood. The Portland Press Herald reports a Portland-based development company is recruiting tenants for the proposed project.

"Century Plaza" would be built at 45 Marginal Way on the former Century Tire property. Joseph Porta, who is marketing the property for property owners, Northland Enterprises, said another national retailer is interested in the third retail space, which is 4,400 square feet.

City officials said they have heard about the proposed development but will not comment until they have seen a formal plan.

After Noyes St. fire, group to empower tenants forms


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group in Portland wants to see tenants take a bigger part in a task force set up after a fire this fall that killed six people on Noyes Street. The task force includes fire officials, city inspectors, and property owners. A group of people connected to the Noyes Street fire victims want to form a kind of "tenants union" to give Portland renters more of a voice in the task force process.

Grace Damon and Catherine Wilson are two of the main organizers for the tenants group. Damon was friends with two of the tenants killed in the fire, and Wilson's son lived in the building but was not home at the time of the fire.

"I feel as though there's something good that needs to come out of this," said Wilson.

Both of them have attended the task force meetings, and they felt they needed to have better representation for the tenants.

Portland Police investigating shooting, no injuries


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Portland Police say they are investigating a shooting that resulted in damage to a vehicle, early Sunday morning.

A black Toyota hybrid car on Birchvale Drive in Portland had a visible bullet hole as well as two damaged windows. Police towed that vehicle away mid-day.

Portland Police would not say the number of shots fired nor what weapons were used in the shooting.

People who live on Birchvale called it a safe, quiet neighborhood.

"I've been here since '81. It's the first time anything like this has happened," Mark Cannon, who lives a couple of houses down from where the shooting took place, said. "You always have an occasional break in, or maybe a car or something like that, but never anything violent like this."

Woman dies in Cape Elizabeth fire


CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A woman was killed in a house fire in Cape Elizabeth Friday.

65-year-old Lamy Alkurdy was found around 1 p.m. by a family member, who came over after seeing smoke coming out of the windows of Alkurdy's home at 75 Starboard Drive.

Alkurdy was passed out in the kitchen, and firefighters could not revive her. The State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said officials pronounced her dead on scene.

Several departments responded to the fire and quickly put out the flames.

The State Fire Marshal's office is investigating and officials said early evidence points toward a cooking oil fire.

Alkurdy was the only one home at the time. An autopsy is expected Friday or Saturday to determine the cause of death.