News

City uses dogs to seek out the source of sewage in storm water runoff.


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For years, Willard Beach has battled water quality issues. High levels of harmful bacteria have been found during water tests, forcing officials to post warnings about swimming or coming into contact with the water at the beach. Now the city is employing a unique tool to fight back.

"Everybody knows that dogs have great noses, that's a given, but what is really important with that is that they have the ability to scent discriminate, which means that they can filter out all other background scents," explained Scott Reynolds, who with his wife Karen owns Environmental Canine Services. "These dogs are specifically trained to detect and source-track human fecal contamination in storm water."

The dogs worked their way up from the beach in to the surrounding neighborhood, pausing to sniff out any scent of sewage in the storm water system.

South Portland considers sex offender residency restrictions


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- South Portland could be the next community to restrict where registered sex offenders can live.

The South Portland City Council will vote on an ordinance Monday night that would prohibit sex offenders from living within 750 feet of a school or park.

According to Police Chief Edward Googins, six of the ten registered sex offenders living in the city live within 750 feet of a school or park.

The proposed ordinance would apply to new people coming in to the community. If a sex offender lived too close to a park or school, the city would give him or her 30 days notice to find a new place to live, or else be subject to a fine up to $500 per day.

South Portland Food Cupboard celebrates new space


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For more than a decade, the South Portland Food Cupboard operated out of the basement of a church on Main Street.

They didn't have to pay rent or utilities, but it was difficult to keep setting up and tearing down the tables and food each time.

When the church closed, the cupboard was without a home. After thousands of dollars in donations, the South Portland Food Cupboard has moved into a new space.

Now located at 130 Thadeus Street, the cupboard has its own facility.

According to Executive Director Sybil Riemensnider, it took a community to make the transition possible.

"I think the people get very proud of their own food pantry," said Riemensnider. "We're all volunteers, we always have been. We're like a family and we treat our clients with dignity."

Lyme Run to raise awareness for disease


(NEWS CENTER) -- The Jimmy the Greeks at Maine Mall is hosting the 5k for Lyme Disease Sunday. The run/walk is to raise awareness and support for those with Lyme Disease. All proceeds support "Lyme Buddies," an organization that provides hope, support and advocacy for the disease.

It's $16 to pre-register or $20 the day of the race. There are several events happening before and after the race including free massages, gift certificate drawings, a pizza buffet, speakers and an auction.

Sharon Rose Vaznis is the emcee for the event. For more information, visit: http://www.lymerun.com/


South Portland police arrest N.Y. man on forgery charges


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- South Portland police arrested a man Monday after recovering more than $1000 in counterfeit $100 bills.

A police officer was patrolling the Maine Mall when a store employee approached him and said a young female had attempted to buy an item with an obvious $100 counterfeit bill. The officer located the female, a 16-year-old juvenile, and spoke with her. The conversation revealed that there were three other juvenile females from New York City at the mall trying to use similar bills.

Clean Water Bond could correct mistakes by investing in water quality improvements.


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- With more than 6,000 lakes and ponds and roughly 32,000 miles of streams and rivers, Maine is a water rich state, but aging infrastructure and development pressures have had a negative impact on some of that valuable water resource.

In years past, when engineers were looking to build a bridge or install a culvert, the majority of the design work focused on getting vehicle traffic from one side to the other, with how fish would travel beneath the road surface being an afterthought.

Million Meals Maine feeds starving children


SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Hundreds volunteered for the Million Meals Maine event, preparing meals for starving families worldwide.

Through a partnership between a local volunteer committee and donors and global hunger charity Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), 600 volunteers prepared 100,000 meals on Sunday.

200 members of the White Pine Community Church in Cumberland volunteered. Pastor Joe Campbell said it canceled Sunday service for the event.

According to FMSC, approximately 870 million people are starving worldwide, and 1 in 4 are children under the age of 5.