Looking Back


May 12, 1993

Eric Thomas, 6, was playing in a gully near his Westbrook home March 30, 1992, when he found a $50 bill. His mother, Annette, and father, John, explained to him that it belonged to someone and wouldn’t be right to keep. He turned it over to Westbrook police. Officer Inger Johnson stopped by to take the report and Eric showed her just where he had found it. The bill went into an evidence locker at the police station and Johnson told Eric’s mother they may keep it up to 30 days to see if anyone claimed it. A few months later, the police said they’d have to wait a year to release lost property. Finally, on May 5, Eric, now 8, was handed back the $50 bill. He’s not sure what he’ll do with it. “He’s thinking a lot about a fishing rod,” said his mother.

Alderman Don Richards wants more, not less, public comment, he made clear last week. His proposal for a new “public comment” period at Westbrook City Council meetings is not intended to take the place of the long-standing practice of asking for public comment before each vote, he said. Instead, he wants an opportunity for citizens to come before the council with anything that’s on their minds. As it is now, Richards said, the public can comment only on those things that are on the meeting’s agenda. If “public comment” were on the agenda routinely, they would get the chance to bring up non-agenda matters.

If your waitress in a Gorham restaurant looks a bit bigger and hairier than usual, look again. The food server could be a cop. Four town police officers are participating in “Tip-A-Cop,” a fundraiser for the Maine Special Olympics. They are Chief Ed Tolan, Detective Wayne Drown, Sgt. Wayne Coffin and Officer Michael Mercer. They waited on tables at Gorham Connection during the morning and evening on Mother’s Day, and are scheduled to work an evening shift May 14 at Gorham Station.

Mark P. Bevan, 9 Pine Knoll Terrace, Westbrook, has been selected as one of the top vocational educational students in the country and will receive the All-American Vocational Student Award, sponsored by Servistar Corp. He studies building trades at Westbrook Regional Vocational Center and was one of 10 named a national winner of the award. As a winner, Bevan will receive a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond and will be honored during ceremonies at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., May 18.

Advertisement: Public Foreclosure Auction: Dolly Brook Farms, 30 attractive two-bedroom condominiums, East Bridge Street, Westbrook, Saturday, June 12, 11 a.m. These condominium homes represent an outstanding opportunity for buyers moving from renting to owning or scaling back from the demands of a large single-family home. Special Key Bank financing programs available.

May 14, 2003

Family, friends and the people of Gorham are mourning the loss of John N. Reed, a well-known supporter of local athletics and a police officer of 29 years. He died unexpectedly at his home Friday at age 52. Police Chief Ron Shepard said he got the call at 5:40 a.m. Friday that his friend had been found by some golfing buddies who were picking him up for their weekly Friday round. He died in his sleep of natural causes. “The whole department is just devastated. Everyone in town is,” said Shepard.

Two Westbrook plow drivers are headed to the state snowplow rodeo championship in Skowhegan in June after winning the Cumberland County competition. If Chris Bolduc and Greg Alexander, two public works veterans, win in Skowhegan, they would get an all-expense-paid trip to Colorado, where they would compete against the nation’s top plow drivers. Bolduc has 16 years of experience and Alexander has 20. “We’re going up there for one reason and that’s to win,” said Alexander.

When Nghia Huynh opens his new Westbrook restaurant in June, it will be a chance to fulfill his parents’ hope of a better life for this children in America and a chance to turn the tragedy of his son’s illness and the burning of his Thai food stand into a successful restaurant that raises money for cancer treatment. The community rallied around Huynh and his son, Kobe, in February when a fire destroyed Huynh’s Thai food stand in downtown Westbrook. The fire occurred the same day the fire department brought the family to the station to make Kobe, who has cancer, an honorary firefighter. The City Council approved a $26,000 loan to the family from the revolving loan fund, and the fire department raised $18,000. Huynh will call the new restaurant, located in the old Coyne’s Variety Store building, Kobe’s Place.

Kaitlyn Wood, a senior at Gorham High School, sang the national anthem to the Maine House of Representatives on April 10 at the State House in Augusta. She was accompanied by her family, which included her mother and father, Kathy and Craig, and her two sisters, Shannon and Ashley. Also at the State House April 10, Dr. Joseph Kerwin of Gorham served as Doctor of the Day. His official duties were to be available to any legislator requiring medical assistance and to assist in any medical crisis situation. His services were not required during the daily session.

Mayor Don Esty’s proposed budget for the Westbrook Police Department would postpone hiring a new police chief until September. Postponing would save the city $36,000 in a tight budget. Former Police Chief Steven Roberts decided to retire in January after going on medical leave. Under the terms of his retirement, he stays on medical leave until the end of June. Holding off on a new chief is just one of several cost-saving measures proposed for the police and fire departments.

Rex Gellerson was the manager and William White the assistant manager of Sampson’s Super Market at 120 Main St. when this photo was taken in 1970. Sampson’s went out of business and the next tenants were the Dexter Shoe Factory Outlet and the Parts Place, each occupying one half of the building. Those businesses eventually moved and different businesses occupied this building over the years. Several years ago the building was extensively remodeled and is occupied by Amato’s and Northeast Laboratories. 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 westhistorical@myfairpoint.net. The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.