People in the market for 2-foot by 3-foot frames will have to look someplace other than Lewiston City Hall.

City Carpenter Tony Kelly is making sure that the mayor’s portraits installed this week on the first floor of City Hall are fastened permanently to the wall. The frames were handmade by Kelly himself. He’s made frames that hold one, two and up to six individual portraits side by side.

The six-portrait frames are pretty safe, he figures. They’re big and bulky, and most of all heavy. Kelly said he’s most concerned about people slinking in and stealing the single frames, discarding the contents – a grim photograph of one Lewiston’s 64 mayors – and making their getaway.

It’s what people do, after all. Several years ago city staffers had a problem with people wandering into the first-floor lounge and stealing their lunches. That problem was solved with a locked door, but Kelly said some people insist on getting a five-finger discount.

“They go into the bathrooms here with a big plastic bag and fill up on toilet paper,” Kelly said. “It happens at least once a week.”

– Scott Taylor
Pentagon ban

In a forest near Rangeley, the U.S. Navy trains its pilots for survival behind enemy lines. As part of its home-front coverage, the Sun Journal obtained permission from the Navy to do a story about the school.

The story won’t be told, though.

Last week, before the scheduled interviews, the Navy withdrew its permission. Officials at the Pentagon worried that too much information might get out.

A similar type of school was the subject of a TV report in Texas two weeks ago. According to the Pentagon, the story included classified information about survival training. Secret parts of the school were seen.

After the story ran, high-ranking officers were disciplined.

Officials at Brunswick Naval Air Station, which oversees the Rangeley school, said this week they will re-open the school’s doors to the newspaper when the Pentagon prohibition passes. That will likely happen after the war in Iraq is done, said base officials.

– Daniel Hartill
Batters box

Ahhhh, spring. That time of year when a young man’s fancy turns to mailbox baseball.

That’s what police were calling it last week when a band of bat-wielding marauders attacked more than a dozen mailboxes in sections of Auburn and Minot.

Roadside boxes were crushed and launched through the air when the suspects sped through neighborhoods in a pickup truck, swinging bats from windows as they passed.

Police said more than 10 mailboxes were battered one night in the Johnson Hill Road area. The sluggers than wended down side roads into Minot where more boxes were targeted.

Mailboxes that were sent clanging to the street were later run over by passing cars and trucks, police said. Officers who pursued the suspects drove upon roadways littered with twisted metal. Damage is estimated in the hundreds of dollars.

– Mark LaFlamme

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