"Swan Hall" home raises money with holiday decorations


A Victorian home in Portland held its last tours of the year for the public to experience the historic beauty covered in Christmas decorations.

Each year, John Carr, the owner of 555 Cumberland Avenue, decorates his home, known as "Swan Hall," with dozens of Christmas trees.

The Victorian house has a long history, and was built in 1886, according to the Windham Historical Society, and used to be a Young Women's Christian Association.

This year, Carr put up 15 different trees, each with a different theme.

"It started with one tree, and then five, and then seven, and as many as 22 before," said Carr. "The house likes being decorated."

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Portland selected as Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team



United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced Friday that the District of Maine was designated to participate in the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam) Initiative to help curb human trafficking.

Portland was one of six cities selected from across the country. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, and Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced five other cities Thursday that would also participate: Cleveland, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Newark, New Jersey; Portland, Oregon; and Sacramento, California.

The ACTeam Initiative is an interagency federal law enforcement initiative aimed at streamlining the investigation and prosecution of federal human trafficking offenses.

Woman dies after being struck crossing road

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- An elderly woman has died after being struck by a vehicle Thursday evening.

Portland police said 82-year-old Lee Whittier of Falmouth was crossing Middle Street in Portland, near the police station when she was struck by a vehicle driven by 36-year-old Tori Stewart of Yarmouth.

Whittier was transported to Maine Medical Center where she later died from her injuries.

Police said Whitter was not utilizing a marked crosswalk when she was struck.

Officials said the investigation is still under investigation. They are asking that anyone who might have witnessed the crash to call Portland Police at 207-874-8532.

Portland ice skating fans get early holiday gift

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The City of Portland is delivering families of all ages an early holiday gift this season.

City spokesperson Jessica Grondin said in a statement that the Deering Oaks pond project was completed ahead of schedule, so there will be ice skating in the park this winter after all.

Grondin said contractor R.J. Grondin & Sons were able to complete the project ahead of schedule due to the recent good stretch of weather.

The rec department has opened up the water line and is currently filling the basin with water.

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Portland High School teacher arrested for child pornography

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Portland High School teacher has been arrested by State Police for possessing child pornography.

Police say 44-year-old Gerald White of Freeport was arrested by the Computer Crimes Unit at Portland High School Wednesday morning.

White is charged with possessing sexually explicit material of someone under the age of 12 and was taken to the Cumberland County Jail.

Police say White is an art teacher at Portland High. White's computer was seized, and an initial examination showed dozens of images of child porn, but none of the children depicted are believed to be from Maine. The Computer Crimes Unit began investigating White after receiving up on a tip.

The Portland Public School district released a statement saying they immediately put White on administrative leave as soon as they were notified of his arrest.

Study of fishing communities' climate vulnerability planned


(AP) -- A science center in Portland will get $1.3 million in federal money to investigate fishing communities' vulnerability to climate change in the northeastern states.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the award to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute on Tuesday. Researchers from the institute will examine ecological, social and economic impacts of climate change on fishing communities.
The institute's research team will include climate scientists, fisheries ecologists and experts in economics and fishing gear engineering.
The work is a three-year project that the institute says will provide tools to evaluate communities' vulnerabilities and possibilities for adaptation.


Police: Man whose body was found in Portland park overdosed