Sept. 9, 1992
The Westbrook School Committee may present a legal challenge tonight to a proposed charter amendment to put school purchasing under the same rules as those of other city departments. The School Committee was scheduled to meet behind closed doors yesterday with lawyer Hugh MacMahon to discuss strategy. A City Council public hearing is tonight, but the School Committee won’t be there because its regular meeting is tonight at the high school. School people expressed resentment privately that the council set a hearing at an hour when they knew the committee would be meeting. The question before the municipal officers will be whether they should order a charter change on the Nov. 3 ballot and, if so, what the change would be.
Rousing speeches by a dozen or so supporters dominated last week’s public hearing on the $11,645,100 expansion/renovation at Gorham High School. Residents will vote on the plan next Tuesday, Sept. 15. The School Department has left nothing to chance: a fact-packed, four-page brochure has been mailed to all residents and four informational meetings have been held. “I’m very, very concerned about our community missing the opportunity of a lifetime,” School Superintendent Tim McCormack said at the public hearing.
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A complaint about cigarette-burn holes in the driver’s seat of a new police cruiser was all it took for Westbrook Police Chief Ron Allanach to permanently ban smoking in all city police cruisers. “It’s not very professional to have a policeman with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth,” said Allanach.
The Westbrook Memorial Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, was organized Aug 24 and will hold its first two meetings on Sept. 16 and Oct. 21 at the Warren Library. It has been nearly 20 years since Westbrook last had a VFW post. Membership is open to any member of any of the U.S. armed services who served overseas. Leo P. Pinette, retired Westbrook postmaster, was elected as first commander.
A 40th anniversary party for George and Ruth Bridges Ayers of Gorham was given by their children at the School Street United Methodist Church, where the couple took their vows on June 22, 1952. Following a backyard lobster lunch with the children and their families at their daughter’s residence on School Street, the couple was surprised when they were escorted to the church for dessert and found the party in progress.
Sept. 11, 2002
Burglars made off with an estimated $4,000 worth of Oxycontin, Oly-codone, Oxyfast, Percocet and Endocet after cutting phone and alarm lines at a Gorham Village pharmacy. Police Chief Ron Shepard said that the thieves cut the lines at Community Pharmacy, 593 Main St., before forcing open a rear door and fleeing with the drugs. The theft happened sometime between 5 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday, when an employee discovered it.
At the first-year anniversary of the terrorist attack last Sept. 11, friends and family remembered Gorham High School grad Stephen Ward, 33, who had started a new job with Cantor Fitzgerald on the 101st floor of the World Trade Center just a few weeks prior to the attack. For weeks, his father, mother, two sisters and younger brother clung to each other hoping that somehow Stephen had been spared. That was not the case. In 1985-86, Stephen co-captained the high school basketball team, which won Gorham’s first-ever Western Maine Conference Championship. He received the Student-Athlete Award at his graduation in 1986. “He had lofty ambitions and was full of life,” said his father, Gordon Ward. “He had that ability to bring out the best in others,” said Kevin Jenkins, Gorham High School basketball coach.
“I think the time has come,” said Charlie Kilbride, better and more fondly known as “Santa.” For 25 years, Charlie, mostly by himself, has set up and manned Santa’s Village in Westbrook. He has decided that this will be his last year. An unsecured site and health issues played a big role in his decision, he said. His first Santa’s Village was at the old S.D. Warren Local 1069 office at 7 Bridge St. Other locations included the former Men’s Shop on Main Street and the Legion Hall on Conant Street. Most recently it was at the Mission Possible Teen Center in the newly redeveloped Dana Warp Mill. “I’m know I’m going to miss it, but you have to draw the line at some point and I figured that time was now,” he said.
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DiMillo’s Restaurant in Portland was the location of the 60th anniversary surprise party for Harold and Marietta Bean, 73 Ossipee Trail, Gorham. Aug. 3 was the day, and the bash was given early so that relatives from California could attend. “It just about knocked our socks off,” Marietta said about the moment that she and Harold discovered that they were in the midst of their anniversary party.
The Sebago Moc Shoe Company was built in 1952 at 39 Mechanic St., Westbrook. Quimby Avenue ran along the left side of the building with railroad tracks on the right (currently William Clarke Drive). The company expanded into two other Westbrook locations, 98 rear Bridge St. at the old Haskell Silk Mill, and a portion of the second floor of the Dana Warp Mill. The company also had a plant in Bridgton and in later years moved from the Dana Warp Mill to the Gorham Industrial Park. The company went out of business several years ago and this building was sold. The new owners extensively renovated it into several commercial spaces. It is now known as Sebago Commons. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, and the first Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., September-June. Inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.