Maine's first 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb


(NEWS CENTER) -- Portland Firefighters spent about two hours climbing stairs in Monument Square Sunday morning in Maine's first 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.

It's a fundraiser for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which provides assistance to surviving families and coworkers.

The climb is also a way to pay tribute to the 343 firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2011.

Fifty people participated in the inaugural stair climb in Portland.

They climbed the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.

Portland Fire Chief Jarome LaMoria said all 343 fallen New York firefighters were honored.

Several burglaries in Westgate area of Portland

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland Police said several homes homes in the USM and Libbytown neighborhood have been burglarized in the past week.

In all the cases, police said burglars entered the homes overnight through unlocked doors or windows while the residents slept. Police said this is an "unusual and concerning trend." The perpetrators have targeted cash, credit cards and small electronics, such as iPads and cell phones.

These burglaries occurred on Craigie Street, Twin Knolls Lane, Woodmont Street, Bolton Street and Frances Street in Portland.

Residents are asked to report any suspicious activity and lock their doors and windows. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Portland Police Department at 874-8533.

NASCAR driver getting Maine-themed ride

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- NASCAR driver Austin Theriault is getting a Maine-themed ride thanks to a new joint marketing partnership.

The 20-yea-rold Austin from Fort Kent is joining the governor at announcements Friday in Portland and Bangor that'll include the unveiling of a replica of his race car sporting a new paint job.

The governor's office said they're unveiling a "one-of-a-kind public-private marketing partnership."

Austin has dubbed his new paint job the "Maine Car." He'll be piloting with "a very special paint scheme" in the NASCAR Nationwide Series 300 race at Kentucky Speedway on September 20.

1 dead after truck hits pole on Chebeague Island

CHEBEAGUE ISLAND, Maine (AP) -- Authorities say one person has died after their pickup truck struck a utility pole on Chebeague Island.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office says the Ford Ranger left the road and struck a pole at about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

The driver was the only person in the truck and no other vehicles were involved. Police say the driver was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver's name has not been made public.

The crash is under investigation but police say early indications are that speed was a factor.

Maine issues deer hunting permits for season

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Maine is announcing the recipients of its "any deer" hunting permits on its website.

The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is announcing the selected hunters on its website on Wednesday. More than 64,000 deer hunters applied for the 37,185 permits in 12 wildlife management districts.

State officials say more than 175,000 deer hunters take part in Maine's deer season. The "any deer" permits are issued mostly in southern and central Maine. Hunters who lack the permit can only harvest an antlered deer.

The state's general firearms hunting season runs from Nov. 3 to Nov. 29.

Portland Chamber report critical of city's economy

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Lately, it seems like Portland's been topping all kinds of "best of" lists in magazines across the country. But an economic scorecard released by the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce Tuesday shows a bit of a different story.

The chamber's report finds that Portland is losing ground when it comes to job growth, wages and population growth. Property taxes also are considered high. On the plus side: Unemployment is low, as is the crime rate. And the population is well educated.

Bill Becker, the president of the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, said this report shows that Portland has a lot of work to do to encourage businesses with good paying jobs to come there. And one place where he feels the city could act is on taxes.

Sea Dogs change Saturday's game time to a noon start

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Portland Sea Dogs have announced that Saturday's game has been changed from a 6:00 p.m. start to a 12:00 p.m. start. The Sea Dogs are scheduled to take on the Binghamton Mets in Game Four of the Eastern Division Championship Series on Saturday.

"The forecast for Saturday evening calls for rain and thunderstorms," stated Sea Dogs General Manager Geoff Iacuessa. "Changing the game time to a 12:00 noon start gives us the best chance to get the game in without affecting the remainder of the Eastern League playoff schedule."

Gates to the ballpark will open at 10:30 AM on Saturday.