Looking Back

38

Feb. 2, 1994

The job cuts at the S.D. Warren paper mill in Westbrook amount to 242 new layoffs by September, plus threats to the jobs of 120 more. Employment will be cut from 1,516 to 1,050, but this cut includes 22 jobs in the sheeting department that are being shifted to Pennsylvania. For now, at least, the pulp mill will stay, and the No. 6 paper machine, which had been considered for closure, will stay. Two paper machines will be shut down by August. Also to be shut are the box shop in June and a sample department by April.

Two men walked into the Fleet Bank in downtown Westbrook Monday and walked out two minutes later with more than $10,000 in a paper bag. Both carried a handgun and both went out the back door. A quick-thinking bank customer followed them to the door and gave police a description of the car and partial reading of its license plate. The plate turned out to be stolen and the car, which was found in the Eagles Club parking lot Monday night, also was stolen. The FBI is helping Westbrook police find the men.

A 30-foot-high sculpture, “Sempre Avanti,” by Roger Majoriwicz of North Whitefield, will be unveiled Feb. 11 at Westbrook High School. The stainless steel, bronze and aluminum sculpture is to stand permanently in the traffic circle in front of the school. It was commissioned under the Percent for Art requirement that a share in school construction go to art. The school was expanded and renovated in 1990. The name, which means “Always Ahead,” was chosen by the artist “to signify both the transformation of the Westbrook community and the promises of the educational process,” he said.

Fellow members of the Westbrook Rod and Gun Club have honored longtime sportsman Alexander Landry with a plaque for his service to the club and to the interests of hunters and fishermen. Landry was one of 150 charter members of the club in 1948. The club sold its clubhouse long ago and isn’t so active now, but interest from its treasury pays to stock trout in the Presumpscot downtown every year, for pheasant rearing and wild turkey stocking programs and to feed Woodlawn Cemetery ducks.

Feb. 4, 2004

Wolverine World Wide is planning to close what remains of the Sebago shoe company’s manufacturing plant in Westbrook and other buildings in Gorham by April 16, putting 102 employees out of work. Wolverine intends to begin manufacturing Sebago shoes in the Dominican Republic and other Wolverine locations. Wolverine purchased the company last July. It has been slowly laying off people and not sharing with employees what the company’s plans are for the plant. Sebago has been in Westbrook since the 1940s.

The Westbrook Housing Authority plans to purchase a portion of the Hay property on Main Street and turn it into affordable housing. The housing authority will rehabilitate about 10 existing units and build six to eight additional units. The property was formerly owned by John Hay, a longtime funeral director who died last spring. Through the city, the housing authority is applying for a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant to help fund the project.

A February opening is planned for the new Gorham Sports Center on Narragansett Street – a state-of-the-art indoor sports facility featuring the newest brand of artificial turf and two outdoor fields. “I’ve always felt there was a need for something like this,” said Steve Martin, president of the sports center. The facility will host a number of different sports, teams and programs.

From the Gorham Police Log: An 18-year-old male complained that his mom had kicked him out of her house on Johnson Road because he wasn’t paying rent. A caller said a man was using binoculars to look into a Main Street business. He told police that he was watching his wife while she worked and he does it all the time.