Speed painter uses art to draw kids in to hear his inspirational message

KENNEBUNK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Rob Surette has wowed audiences around the globe with his portraits, many which he paints in less than five minutes, but his true passion is not art, but motivating kids to believe in themselves.

"If they truly do that, I think their lives can be different and better," he explained. 

"Your dreams don't come true over night, you have to work towards them, but don't feel like it is hard work, because that is what the world will tell you is you have to work hard," said Surette.  "To me, my success, it was enjoyable all those years."

Gaziano award semi-finalists announced

NEWS CENTER - The Gaziano selection committed announced the 15 semi-finalists for the fourth annual award given to Maine's most well-rounded offensive and defensive linemen. 

Offensive Linemen

Brendan Moore, Bangor

Isaiah Reynolds, Bonny Eagle

Joshua Thibeault, Brunswick

Greg Grinnell, Cheverus

Matt Powell, Leavitt

Jedidiah Thomas Scott, Sanford

Ethan Liberty, Skowhegan

Ethan Petty, Windham

Defensive Linemen

Caelan Houle, Cape Elizabeth

Dylan Rasch, Greely

Colin Richards, Mt. Blue

Russell Wilson, Nokomis

Luke Washburn, Oak Hill

Jacob Fogel, Portland

Michael Pino, Scarborough

Fire originates in kitchen of Sanford home

SANFORD, Maine (AP) - A fire in Sanford has destroyed a home and killed two dogs.

Officials say the blaze broke out in the kitchen of the single-family Putnam Street home just before 1 p.m. Sunday.

The resident was not home, but a neighbor called the fire department after spotting smoke.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and flames in the kitchen when they arrived and were unable to get to the dogs.

Fire Capt. Paul Morrison says the house is unlivable and the cause remains under investigation.



Turnpike seeks input on proposed 10-year plan

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Turnpike Authority has developed a preliminary 10-year plan and is seeking the public's input on their proposal.  State law mandates that the quasi-governmental agency develop an operating plan each decade and allow residents and turnpike users to weigh-in on it before it is adopted.

"The last 10-year plan included about $600 million of work over a decade," stated Dan Morin, spokesman for the MTA.  "This plan is down to about $250 million that includes no toll increases within the 10-year plan."

Morin says the MTA will continue to rehabilitate and replace many bridges along the highway, as well as repave an average for 50 lane-miles a year over the next decade.

The plan also includes no layoffs. 

"We are currently at our minimum level of operations for cash toll collectors," said Morin.