News

South Portland delays vote on crude oil transport


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The South Portland city council has delayed its vote on a new crude oil ordinance, after an unexpectedly large crowd showed up at city hall. The so-called "clear skies ordinance" would block the loading of crude oil, including tar sands, at the South Portland Waterfront.

Monday night, a large group that supports the ordinance was met by another large group, who says it is a job killer. The council determined that too many people were in the room, and it needed to find another venue to hold the meeting. So it's been delayed.

Those against the ordinance had not showed up in large numbers in the past, but they say that's because they just learned that all forms of crude oil are covered in the ordinance.

South Portland considers latest effort to block tar sands


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A large crowd turned out in South Portland Wednesday night to comment on a new crude oil ordinance that would keep tar sands oil out of the city.

The South Portland City Council is considering the "Clear Skies Ordinance," which prohibits the bulk loading of crude oil, including tar sands oil. It also prohibits the building of infrastructure that would export the crude oil.

This ordinance is the latest in the long debate over the controversial oil.

Last November, voters narrowly rejected the Waterfront Protection Ordinance, which limited the growth of the petroleum industry on the waterfront.

After the election, the South Portland City Council passed a 180-day moratorium on tar sands oil, and created a Draft Ordinance Committee. That committee created the Clear Skies Ordinance.

Woodturners craft bowls to raise money for the hungry


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Woodcrafters got their hands dirty to raise money for the hungry on Saturday.

Several members of the Woodturners Club of Southern Maine spent their day taking blocks of raw wood and turning them into bowls.

Each bowl was put on sale for $30 or less, and each sale is then given to the Good Shepard Food Bank. Each bowl sold is enough to put 70 bowls of food on the table of the needy.

All bowls were made on sit at the Rockler Store in the Clarks Pond Mall.


South Portland council opposes marijuana legalization


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland became the first city on the East Coast to legalize recreational use of marijuana last November, but city councilors in a neighboring community say they don't want the drug to be legalized there.

South Portland City Councilors unanimously passed a resolution Monday night opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The resolution is non-binding, and is a way for city councilors to make a statement about the issue.

According to South Portland Mayor Jerry Jalbert, city leaders want to try and send the right message to youth about marijuana.

South Portland's Police Chief, Ed Googins, said it is a danger to public health.

"It is not a good thing for our community," said Chief Googins. "It does not make our community safer, and it will not add to the quality of life in our community."

A person was hit and killed by an Amtrak Downeaster train Saturday night in South Portland.


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A person was hit and killed by an Amtrak Downeaster train Saturday night in South Portland.

The person has been identified as 39-year-old Nyla J. Howard.

The South Portland Police Department responded to the incident behind Cavalry Cemetery Saturday night around 7:00 p.m.

68 passengers were on the Amtrak train at the time of the incident. However, no one was injured.

Amtrak said the train came into contact with the person at 6:55 p.m., one mile south of the Portland station.

The train has been identified as #698, which is the Amtrak Downeaster which travels between Brunswick, Maine, and Boston's North Station. The train resumed service at 9:20 p.m., operating two hours and 25 minutes behind schedule. The train was heading to Boston's North Station when the incident happened.

Retro arcade opens in South Portland


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NECN) -- Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Pong. If you're of a certain age, those were your first video games. Now there's a new business opening up in Maine that hopes to cash in on gaming nostalgia and introduce a new generation to the classics.

David Demers is only 20, but when it comes to gaming, he's an old soul. He grew up playing at the Funspot Arcade in New Hampshire, and was good enough to earn world-record scores.

"We started going to little tournaments and just getting into it, and we got a Dig Dug machine at our house, and it took off from there." Demers said.

Along with his family, he went from player to collector. Over the years he accrued an impressive amount of classic games, like Pong.

Paving on Broadway in South Portland to require detour


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The remaining paving operations on Broadway in South Portland will require an approximately 1.7 mile detour beginning Thursday.

The paving will take place on Broadway between Route 1 at Cash Corner to Westbrook Street. (Route 9) Westbound traffic will be detoured at Cash Corner and sent south on Route 1 to Westbrook Street from 7:00 a.m. to approximately 6:00 p.m.

It is anticipated this detour will be in place for three days but is weather dependent, so the schedule is subject to change.