News

Downtown Portland office buildings sell for $66M


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A New York City based real estate development firm has purchased the Portland Square property in what they said is one of the largest commercial real estate sales in Portland's history.

One and Two Portland Square, mixed office and retail buildings on Union Street, were sold for $66 million dollars to North River Company, which is an affiliate of Waterfront Maine. The property has about 26,000 square feet of space between the two buildings and also has two adjacent parking lots and an underground parking garage.

A Real Estate Investment Trust, known as an REIT, owned the property for nearly a decade prior to the recent sale.

Most of the building is leased to companies like TD Bank, Wells Fargo, Prudential and Stone Coast Fund Services. There are also stores and restaurants on the bottom level like Walter's and Dean's Sweets.

Portland's acting city manager to leave for Cincinnati


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- The acting city manager of Portland, Maine, is leaving the city to take a position with Cincinnati in May.

City officials said Sheila Hill-Christian's last day with Maine's largest city will be May 8. She will become the assistant city manager of Cincinnati. Hill-Christian calls the decision to leave Portland "a difficult one" but adds she believes she is leaving the city on firm footing.

Mayor Michael Brennan and the City Council will appoint a new acting city manager at a future meeting. The city is also in the middle of a search for a new permanent city manager. The city's City Manager Search Committee is leading that effort.


Residents to vote on Portland School budget


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Voters will have the opportunity to approve or reject the 2016 Portland Public School budget in a citywide referendum May 12.

Maine's School Administrative Reorganization Law requires all school districts to hold referendums to approve their budget. The budget must be approved by a majority of the voters.

The proposed budget is $127 million and contains an expenditure increase of less than 1.2 percent.

City council will hold a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2016 budget at the April 27 meeting and will likely vote on the school budget at its May 4 meeting.

Detailed information about the budget is available on the Portland Public Schools website.

Police: man hit by own moving vehicle while fleeing


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- While trying to flee police, a man exited his moving vehicle, but was then struck by his own car, said Portland Police.

Police were called to Sheridan Street Friday morning around 7 a.m. for the report of a suspicious person and vehicle. Police tried to stop the vehicle, but the person drove off, said police.

The driver, Jamie Vandegraaf, allegedly got out of the moving car on Adams Street in an attempt to flee. He was then struck by his own car, but didn't suffer significant injuries, and kept running, said police.

Officers searched the area but couldn't find Vandegraaf. They said he currently has an active arrest warrant for a probation violation. Vandegraaf was charged with robbing a TD Bank in Portland.

Fishing vessel rescues man from Portland Harbor


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The captain of a fishing vessel first spotted and then rescued a man in the 38-degree Portland Harbor Tuesday.

The Coast Guard said around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, the captain of Christine & Caelyn saw a 55-year-old man in the water and called the Coast Guard. The crew then rescued the man and provided him basic medical attention.

The vessel went to the pier where it met an ambulance, which then transported the man to Maine Medical Center for hypothermia.

"This lucky man is alive today due to the quick response by the Christina & Caelyn captain and crew," said Lt. j.g. Connan Ingham, Sector Northern New England. "Even though the ice is gone the water is still very cold."

The man said he had fallen of the Peaks Island ferry and was in the water for about 20 minutes. The Coast Guard is investigating the incident.

Communities standing against hate in Portland


PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The University of Southern Maine's Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted an event to call attention to hate and prejudice based on religion.

The event was called "Neighbors Standing Shoulder to Shoulder;" its goal was to show that despite different beliefs, we are all the same.

Mainers shared their experiences with Christian, Islamic, Jewish,Sikh,Baha'i, Buddhist, Hindu and Universalist Unitarian traditions.

Event organizer Reza Jalali said it's important to stand up against hate in the name of religion.


Portland Police probe crash that hospitalized 75-year-old


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Police are investigating a Portland car crash that left a 75-year-old pedestrian hospitalized.

City officials said Mikhail Slussky remains at Maine Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries sustained in the crash Friday.

Mary Rinehart was driving the vehicle that struck Slussky. The 74-year-old Rinehart was not injured in the crash. Police said alcohol and speed do not appear to be factors in the accident.

Rinehart and Slussky both reside in Portland. Portland Police Department's traffic division is investigating.