Trains, flames, threats and thanks

By Louis Bettcher | Dec 01, 2016

A search through The Camden Herald archives revealed the following:

One year ago, 2015

The Rockport Public Library is moving to its temporary space at 485 Commercial St. beginning Saturday, Dec.12, and continuing until the move is complete. In order to make the transition as quick and economical as possible, volunteers are requested to help with various aspects of the move.

An era is coming to a close as the Five Town Community School District Board is expected to accept the resignation of Camden Hills Regional High School Principal Dr. Nick Ithomitis at its Dec. 2 meeting. “It was a difficult decision, as I truly love being the principal of CHRHS. At the same time, I know it is time to let go, move along,“ Ithomitis said in a newsletter to parents.

Officials from a Portland firm are performing environmental tests at the Washington Street tannery property in Camden. Ransom Consulting Engineers and Scientists are on site Dec. 1 and 2 to perform 18 test borings on the soil to ensure no solvents have spread on the property and to compare results from today with results from past tests to be sure the solvents are within current environmental standards.

Five years ago, 2011

The 58-year-old man who set a series of fires including one that destroyed the former Grapes restaurant in Rockland on Christmas Eve 2004 has had his request to smoke rejected.

John M. Moody filed a motion in September to amend the terms of his probation. He asked that he be allowed to smoke cigarettes under supervision at the Trinity Shelter in Skowhegan where he has resided since being released from prison.

Moody admitted to investigators that he poured paint thinner on the restaurant, lit the fire and then went home and cried. He also admitted to investigators that he set a fire earlier in 2004 to two Dumpsters behind Rock Coast Sports, a portable toilet on Winter Street, and a house on Orange Street that was undergoing renovations.

10 years ago, 2006

Maine State Police Trooper Pat Hood is investigating a rash of vandalism in the area of Appleton Ridge and Gurneytown roads overnight Saturday, and is asking for the public's help in locating the suspect's vehicle. So far this morning, Hood has identified at least 35 properties affected by the vandalism, which also included driving across wet yards and leaving at least one property owner with 8- to 9-inch ruts across his lawn.

A Maine Eastern Railroad train, running a special Polar Express-theme ride for children, collided early Friday evening with a sports utility vehicle at the Broadway Street railroad crossing. Rockland Deputy Chief Wally Tower said that Debbie Warren, 38, of Morrill, was driving a 1996 Ford SUV north on Broadway and approaching the railroad tracks when she failed to see a flagger at the intersection. The train struck Warren's vehicle as it crossed the tracks.

25 years ago, 1991

A community gathering to commemorate the World Health Organization's (WHO) designated World AIDS Day will take place Sunday, Dec. 1, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Rockland. The recent disclosure by Earvin Magic Johnson of his positive-HIV status has awakened many Americans to the reality of AIDS among heterosexuals, a reality much of the planet's poorest countries has known firsthand for 10 years.

Camden Police Chief Terry Burgess does not customarily carry a gun off duty. If he did, the aftermath of what was intended as prank last Friday night could have been much different. Burgess and his wife, Paula, were walking home from the YMCA along Main Street at about 7:45 when two cars, one with a Maine and the other with a Vermont registration passed them, heading north. Someone in one of the cars leaned out of the window, pointed what appeared to be a gun at the couple and shouted, "This is a drive-by, m----- f-----." When Burgess gave chase, the cars turned around at the Farmers Union and separated, one going north on Route 52 and the other south on Route 1.

Camden Police are again advising parents and citizens to be on the look-out for for a man who allegedly approached two young girls near the YMCA last Wednesday. The alert was issued on Monday, following a report that the girls had been approached by a man on foot who attempted to engage them in what Police Chief Terry Burgess called "inappropriate conversation."

50 years ago, 1966

The Camden Police Department celebrated its move into new quarters at 2 Washington St. with a very successful open house Saturday from 8 to 4. Approximately 150 people came to view the new offices which encompass a dispatch room, chief's office and utility room with a large window for displays. A large street map of Camden covers one wall, and there is a bulletin board out front. The ornamental sign was made at the State Prison.

"The Fantastic Voyage," starring Ed Boyd and Raquel Welch was being shown at the Strand Cinema in Rockland, and adult ski season passes to the Camden Snow Bowl were offered at $50.

100 years ago, 1916

Weakened by hunger and 36 hours exposure to the cold, John Murray and Fred Hackett, aged 11 and 12, were taken from the top of a freight train in Boston, Sunday night and sent to children's home to await the arrival of their parents from Springvale. The boys were in serious condition, the Hackett boy collapsing when taken from the car. The lads told the police they left home Saturday noon to come to Boston to sell papers.

We are thankful that we are at peace in a world of war. We are thankful to have gone through another year with its alternating joys and sorrows and await with hope and fortitude the things the next year may bring. First and last, enough sentiment has been expended upon American politics to equip a regiment of poets laureate.

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