The Maine Lead Action Project is collecting kids’ shoes.

Red ones, blue ones, torn ones, worn ones.

Any kind at all.

The goal is to trot out 1,000 pairs at a press conference with Gov. John Baldacci on Oct. 15 for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Month.

The shoes will represent the 1,000 children in Maine diagnosed with lead poisoning each year, said Susan Thornfeldt, executive director. The group normally does something each October, she said. They wanted this year to be a little different.

Collections started in mid-September. At the end of the month, the group had about 400 pairs.

People can mail the kids shoes to Maine Lead Action Project, P.O. Box 1218, Portland, ME 04104, or call to 871-7905 and someone will come pick them up.

After the press conference, shoes in good condition will be donated to charity. Those that have seen too much action will be tossed.

– Kathryn Skelton
Turn off the lights!

So you’ve closed the refrigerator door after your kids left it open. You’ve shut off the computer when they stopped using it. You’ve turned off the lights that your kids left on.

Now the governor is doing the same for Maine.

Gov. John Baldacci and Beth Nagusky, director of Energy Independence and Security, visited Hall-Dale Middle School in Farmingdale this week to kick off Energy Awareness Month. At a school assembly, he urged students to save energy, touting how such conservation protects the environment and saves money.

When asked what the state is doing to save energy, Baldacci listed the new initiatives: installing VendingMisers to reduce the energy that vending machines use, improving the fuel efficiency of the state’s vehicles and purchasing computers and other equipment with the EnergyStar logo.

And then there’s the low-tech approach that reminds you the governor is a parent.

Said Baldacci, “Oftentimes, I go around and turn off lights in the State Office Building on weekends.”

– Lindsay Tice
Still flying

POLAND – Twenty-five years after a plane from Brunswick Naval Air Station crashed in Poland, a group of locals are remembering the fallen flyers.

At 1 p.m. on Sunday, people plan to gather at the Fire Station, accompanied by a Navy chaplain, an honor guard and a flyover by a P-3 Orion, the same kind of aircraft that crashed there in 1978.

The eight-man crew was killed in the accident, which happened in the woods near Megquier Hill.

Meanwhile, the airplanes are still flying. Some of the Navy’s fleet of the four-engine, bubble-nosed planes date back to the late 1960s.

Lockheed ended its production of the aircraft around the time as the accident, though the decision was unrelated to the crash.

The planes are now considered some of the safest in the sky.

– Daniel Hartill

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