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Indians Last Leap, along the Mousam Way Trail

by Gail Burnett

Parking lot closed: Because of utility work, the city parking lot on Stanley Road in Springvale near the north end of the Mousam Way Trail will be closed through August 18. Central Maine Power is installing a new transmission line there, requiring the use of a mobile substation that could be dangerous if anyone got close or touched it. The area is fenced off and guarded, and no parking is allowed. Trail users can still walk through on the opposite side of the lot, however. For more information, call 1-888-267-0831 or email

A real lifesaver: Olivia Giles, 14,received a certificate of achievement recently from the Sanford Police Department for saving a litter of kittens. According to Police Chief Craig Andersen and Animal Control Officer Lauren Carroll, Olivia discovered that a feral cat had given birth in an abandoned house in the Fieldstone Lane area off Mount Hope Road. She took the time to make the mother cat feel comfortable around her, and then was able to gather up the kittens and deliver them to Carroll. Her action was much appreciated, according to a department Facebook post: “Thank you, Olivia, for caring about your community, including the furry members.” Mother and kittens will eventually be available for adoption.

Looking for space: The Sanford Peer Support Center, which helps people whose challenges with mental illness and/or substance use disorder put them at risk of homelessness, is homeless itself right now. The center lost its rented space on Washington Street and is searching for a new location. This has resulted in more people spending their days at Central Park and in other places around town. City Manager Steve Buck told the City Council last week that the Police Department’s mental health unit had worked with 136 people so far this year, more than half of them homeless. The Peer Support Center, a service of Maine Behavioral Health Care, offers patients help from others who know what they’re going through because of their own histories. Peer support specialists are trained and must maintain certification. More information on the program is available here. Anyone with a lead on potential space for the center is encouraged to call Christine at the Biddeford Peer Support Center, 358-4414.

New Police Officers: The Sanford Police Department recently welcomed two new officers. Kyle Cutler has worked for the Biddeford Police Department for 11 years and is experienced with K9 patrol (working with a police dog) and Intoxilyzer training. He’s working on his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Chris Gosling has served with the South Portland police for 14 years. He holds a master’s degree in criminal justice and has served as a SWAT officer and instructor. Both will be added to the department’s patrol division when they finish their field training. Four Sanford officers have recently retired or will do so soon: Amy Gagne has been with the department for 40 years, Tim Dehaven for 30 years, and Jason Brooks and Michael Gordon for 20 years.

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