Environmentalists celebrate Clear Skies Ordinance

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine environmentalists are celebrating a big win in their battle to prevent tar sands oil from being loaded onto tankers in South Portland.

On Monday night, the South Portland city council voted in a 6-1 decision in favor of the so-called "Clear Skies Ordinance."

"A community working together can do amazing things!" said Mary Jane Ferrier with Protect South Portland.

The group led a vocal campaign to warn the community about the possibility of tar sands coming down the Portland Pipeline from Canada, and the environmental hazards that might follow.

"Tar sands is this emerging dirty oil that lots of communities are facing threats from, and the oil industry is committed to getting it out of the ground and into as many world markets as possible," said Dylan Voorhes, Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

South Portland passes ordinance to block tar sands

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- With a 6-1 vote, South Portland City Councilors have made history by passing an ordinance to block the loading of crude oil, including tar sands oil.

According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, South Portland is the first community to pass such an ordinance.

A crowd of about 300 people turned out to hear the vote on the Clear Skies Ordinance Monday night.

The council held the meeting at the South Portland Community Center to accommodate the large crowd.

Environmentalists have supported the ordinance, saying tar sands oil is dangerous and harmful to air and water quality.

Opponents of the ordinance, including members of the oil industry, say the action will limit future development in South Portland's waterfront.

South Portland to make final tar sands vote

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- After much controversy and discussion, the South Portland City Council will take a final vote on the proposal to ban tar sands oil Monday night.

More than two years ago, environmental groups started speaking out against the potential plans to move tar sands oils via a pipeline that would run from South Portland to Canada. Members of the Natural Resources Council of Maine said because President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline, Canadian oil companies were looking for other ways to export tar sands oil -- an oil the NRC of Maine said is "more acidic and corrosive...and is piped at higher temperatures and higher pressures, which only increases the risk of oil spills."

Volunteers collect more than enough signatures needed to get legalized marijuana on the South Portland ballot in November.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The push to legalize marijuana in more Maine communities continues. Volunteers have collected more than enough signatures to put marijuana legalization on the November ballot in South Portland.

The group dropped off those signatures at City Hall on Monday.

The signatures are part of a petition that Citizens for a Safer Maine and the Marijuana Policy Project hope will get the city of South Portland talking once more about the legalization of marijuana.

Portland recently legalized marijuana in the city, now these two groups are hoping voters in York, South Portland, and Lewiston can decide on the issue in November. The amount of marijuana allowed in adult possession in these three votes would be 1 ounce, a smaller portion than is allowed currently in Portland.

Crews break gas main in South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Construction crews broke a four inch gas line in South Portland Friday morning. Main Street is closed from Cash Corner to the Turnpike Spur.


Police looking for car involved in attempted burglary

SCARBOROUGH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A vehicle struck a business at 91 County Road in Scarborough late Wednesday.

Police viewed surveillance video and found it was actually an attempted burglary. Around 11:30 p.m. a tan Toyota Camry with a black bumper, a dance sticker on the left side of the rear window and Maine license plate 7491JI. The video shows the vehicle illuminating the rear entry door then accelerating backward at a high rate of speed, striking the building just to the side of the door. The vehicle did not break through the building and was seen fleeing the lot.

If you witnessed this vehicle in the area, or have any information please call Scarborough PD at 207-883-6361.

"World's Largest Touring Grill" cooking to benefit Old Orchard Beach fire department

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- "The World's Largest Touring Grill"-- the Johnsonville Big Taste Grill is cooking for guests of the resort damaged by a freight train fire back in May.

"We will be donating a percentage of the proceeds to the local Old Orchard Beach Fire Department who will be in attendance as well," said Brian Kuchenbecker with the Wagon Wheel RV Resort and Campground.

Johnsonville Big Taste Grill is a semi-truck sized grill weighing 53,000 lbs. and measuring 65 ft. long.

When the entire grill is fired up, it prepares 750 brats -- or around 2,500 brats an hour.

Wednesday, grill masters are cooking for the brat eating contest happening around 5:30 at the Wagon Wheel Resort in OOB. The resort is open to the public, serving $1 brats, from 5 to 9 o'clock.