Apartment building condemned for code violations


WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Two families in Westbrook are homeless after the city condemned the building they were living in for a number of code violations.

Tenant Charles Needham, who is also a Westbrook firefighter, called code enforcement to complain about the buildings electrical problems. On Thursday fire inspectors found multiple safety code violations which are considered potentially life threatening. They include only two working smoke detectors, blocked entrances, exposed wiring and structural deficiencies.

City officials said the building's owner is working to get the electrical problems addressed. In the meantime, the building's 23 tenants have been relocated to local hotels. They will be placed in temporary housing until the building is brought up to code.


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Westbrook Planning Board to vote on major subdivision


WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Westbrook's Planning Board is expected to vote Tuesday night on a large housing development.

The Portland Press Herald reports the 183-unit complex would be built off Spring Street near the Twin Falls Golf Club. The development would include 53 singe-family and duplex homes, 32 condominiums and 98 market-rate apartments.

The planning board is holding a public hearing about the development Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The housing project, which is called Blue Spruce Farm, would be the largest subdivision in Westbrook in more than 10 years.

If approved, construction would begin immediately and the developer said it would take three to five years to complete. However, some homes and apartments would be done this year.

Police: Westbrook store robbed for the third time


WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Westbrook Police arrested a man for robbing a Spring Street convenience store Friday morning.

This is the third robbery in six months for Art's Variety. Police are still investigating if they are connected.

Police said the robbery happened around 9:30-10:00 a.m. when Shawn entered the store and demanded money and cigarettes. Within a few minutes, officers spotted a car and driver matching the description. Police conducted a traffic stop and arrested 32-year-old Bovin.

Bovin
was transported to the Cumberland County Jail and charged with robbery and theft. He is currently being held in lieu of bail.

Westbrook crews respond to hazardous scene


WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Hazmat crews were called to Maine Medical Center's laundry center in Westbrook on Wednesday.

Fire and police blocked off the road leading to the facility, where bleach mixed with another chemical, causing an unsafe reaction.

Maine Medical Center officials say while they're investigating what happened, the employees did the right thing and immediately called for help and evacuated the building.

Fire crews are working with the Department of Environmental Protection and Clean Harbors to determine how to best dilute the chemical before moving it offsite.

Nobody was injured and because of the rural location of the laundry facility, traffic is not impacted.


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Friends hold vigil for Old Port shooting victim


WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Friends and family of 19-year-old Old Port shooting victim Trey Arsenault gathered Tuesday for a candlelight vigil in Westbrook. Some of the people were carrying guns on their hips.

The mood at the vigil, while solemn for most of the roughly 100 people, was also tense. Police stood nearby, reminding the gun carriers that although it's within their rights to bear arms, they need to be careful.

Zack Wescott said he has been best friends with Arsenault for the past 10 years.

"I balled my eyes out this morning at 8 a.m.," Westcott said.

He attended the vigil wearing Arsenault's t-shirt, which Arsenault left at his house one of the many times they hung out together. Wescott said Arsenault was funny, positive and a fierce competitor on the football field for Westbrook High School. He's shocked Arsenault is gone.

Westbrook police looking for suspect in robbery


WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Westbrook police are looking for help in identifying a man that robbed Art's Variety Saturday night.

Police say the male suspect entered the store at 158 Spring Street, Westbrook at approximately 9:15 p.m. Saturday night.

Officials describe the suspect as a white male, approximately 5' 8" and 190 pounds with scruffy facial hair, wearing khaki colored pants and a black, hooded jacket and had a black bandana covering his face at the time of the robbery.

Captain Michael Nugent said no weapon was shown during the robbery, and an undetermined amount of cash was stolen. Nugent says the suspect was last seen entering a black, 4-door vehicle that was parked on the Glenwood Avenue side of the store. The vehicle fled the scene on Glenwood Avenue. The vehicle may have had a vanity license plate.

Westbrook City Council discusses email controversy


WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A number of people from Westbrook spoke up at a city council meeting Wednesday night, calling for Assistant City Administrator Bill Baker to resign.

Baker sent a profanity-laced email to Mayor Colleen Hilton in February. It was made public last week. Baker has since apologized, and now city officials are trying to figure out the best way forward.

Council President Brendan Rielly called the special meeting. The council met privately with the City Solicitor to discuss its legal rights. There was time for public comment beforehand, and many people took that opportunity.

"Our reputation is harmed," Deb Shangraw, one of the people mentioned in Baker's email, said. "I don't know how we move forward."