PORTLAND (AP) – A parade through downtown Portland and a dance at Maine State Pier were among this weekend’s events highlighting the 22nd annual gay pride celebration.

The hourlong parade that began at noon Saturday set the stage for an afternoon festival featuring music and food at Deering Oaks Park. Evening events included the annual Pier Dance and a concert by the Maine Gay Men’s Chorus.

Friday night’s activities included a march by gay women along Congress Street in the downtown district. Organizers said the march was started as a way to build community and visibility for lesbians in the Portland area.

Indian inmates’ lawsuit dismissed

BANGOR (AP) – A federal judge is recommending that a lawsuit be dismissed that was filed by Indian inmates claiming their First Amendment religious rights were being denied at the Maine State Prison.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk said a motion by Warden Jeffrey Merrill and other prison officials seeking summary judgment should be granted.

A group of 10 inmates filed the lawsuit last year citing issues such as lack of access to a sweat lodge, powwows and ceremonial food and music.

The defendants said the suit should be dismissed because federal law mandates that no legal action can be filed regarding prison conditions until inmates exhaust all administrative remedies. The Indians said the suit was about religious freedom, not “prison conditions,” but Kravchuk disagreed.

Kravchuk’s recommendation is subject to review by a U.S. district judge, but it is highly unusual for district judges to overturn magistrate recommendations.

Police investigate Palmyra stabbings

PALMYRA (AP) – State police say an early morning altercation at a campground in Palmyra left two young men with stab wounds.

The investigation began around 3 a.m. Friday after a motorist found 22-year-old Joseph Elston of Detroit on the ground near Route 152 in Pittsfield. Elston was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for facial lacerations and superficial stab wounds to the arm.

State police quote witnesses as saying Elston was involved in a fight with 22-year-old John Haskell of Pittsfield that involved a 9-inch hunting knife.

Investigators say no charges are anticipated until the district attorney has a chance to review the evidence.

Portland manager to undergo surgery

PORTLAND (AP) – The top non-elected official of Maine’s largest city is going on medical leave for about a month as he undergoes surgery Monday for early-stage prostate cancer.

Portland City Manager Joseph Gray Jr. was diagnosed several weeks ago.

He said he is feeling well and was on the job through Friday.

Gray, who’s 63, underwent surgery two years ago for colon cancer. He said follow-up tests have not turned up problems, and his current illness is not linked to the previous cancer.

During Gray’s absence, Assistant City Manager Patricia Finnegan will serve as acting city manager.


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