Two laps and one stripe into resurfacing the ice between the first and second period of the Maineiacs’ playoff game on Tuesday, the Zamboni peeled off its normal path. The water coming from the back of the machine was thin, and the ice was not collecting properly, leaving ruts as wide as dimes across the ice.

Arena staff radios crackled and the teams were instructed to stay put while officials sought a solution.

While workers dug through the giant ice-maker, trying to find the culprit, a call went out to the City of Auburn. Scanners belted out the request for a flatbed, onto which the Zamboni from Ingersoll Arena at Pettengill Park in Auburn could be loaded and then trucked across the river for use at the Colisee.

Just as people were getting excited about the proposition of a Zamboni crossing the river, Colisee workers found the problem: a puck.

Immediately after warmups, the machine ran over a puck, clogging a valve and causing the machine to misfire. The puck was removed and the problem was solved.

Still, seeing a Zamboni cross the river under police escort would have been a sight to see.

– Justin Pelletier
Ice shacks furor

There are two things a person really shouldn’t do in the state of Maine. They shouldn’t mess with a kid and they shouldn’t mess with someone’s ice shack.

Whoever burned down five fishing shacks on Sabattus Pond in recent weeks has riled locals to action. A group that oversees the pond is offering a reward for information about the arson. Others are scrambling to replace at least one of the sheds after it was learned it had belonged to a 10-year-old boy.

Andrew Dumond, of the Maine Hardwater Anglers Club, said members of that group were moved by the story of the boy who saved his own money to build the shack. The 10-year-old was devastated when his ice shack was reduced to rubble, friends of the family said.

“Our members are very sympathetic and have agreed to replace this young man’s loss at no expense,” Dumond said. “Already we have a carpenter that is a member of the Maine Housing Authority who has agreed to donate the wood required to build a new shanty; members are approaching tackle shops for donations to replace equipment, and (putting together) a list of volunteers to perform the work required.”

Meanwhile, officials from the Sabattus Watershed Partnership Project are posting a reward for the apprehension of those responsible for the fires. Anyone with information is asked to call that group at 375-8675 or to call Sabattus police at 375-6952.

– Mark LaFlamme
Sending a ‘Letter’

A feature-length documentary about Lewiston and its Somali community continues to show at film festivals around the country.

“The Letter,” which climaxes with last January’s rally by a white-pride group, will be shown April 10 and 11 at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival.

The Minnesota twin cities have their own, much larger Somali community. And their festival is among the largest in the upper Midwest.

The film has been shown at several movie gatherings since last fall, when it premiered at the American Film Institute. Festivals by Amnesty International, Pan-African Film and Arts and Newport Beach have all shown the film.

Director Ziad Hamzeh, who also made the Lewiston-made “Shadow Glories,” has said he hopes to show the movie on television, perhaps on HBO or PBS.

– Daniel Hartill

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