Whether you’re a sports fan or a movie buff, you can appreciate the Oscar- nominated movie “The Fighter.” The real-life “fighter”, Micky Ward, was in Bangor speaking to students at Husson University this past week about the movie. Ward is played by Mark Wahlberg, someone Micky has become good friends with. The movie is based on the story of his life and the struggles of his brother, Dicky Eklund, also a former boxer. Micky really enjoys telling his story because he thinks it’s the perfect tale of perserverance. Ward also shared his thoughts on the boxing world today.
Over at Eastern Maine Community College, the Bangor Christian girls hosting Piscataquis.Bangor Christian has had trouble scoring in their first two games, butnot tonight. Sam Martin feeds Leah Dorman for two.Later in the 1st quarter, it’s Dorman again, she had the hot hand early,and the Patriots jumping out to a 9-0 lead at the start.But the Pirates come back in the 1st half. A great save to keep the ball in bounds and then Jessie Bell with the lay-in to cut into the BC lead.Then it’s Alex Speed who gets one off the steal and lays it in.PCHS comes back from an early hole to win it tonight, 36-27 the final.
Over in Old Town, two teams were looking to get back in the win column.The Coyotes playing host to Mount Desert Island. MDI coming in at 1-1, and Old Town also coming into the game with a 1-1 record.The Trojans with a couple of close games this year so far..a four point win over Washington Academy, and a five point loss to Foxcroft.MDI taking an early lead. Calli Mitchell misses her shot but teammate Hannah Shaw is there for the rebound putback and draws the foul. The Trojans with an early 2-0 lead.But just a few seconds later, the Coyotes with a big run, starting with Ashley England sinking one from long distance. Old Town would go up as much as 12-3 in the quarter.MDI fights back though. End of the 1st, Sierra Myrick checks in from downtown, cutting the lead to 12-6.In the 2nd, Old Town extends its lead. Samantha Mclaughlin feedsAshley Abbott and she gracefully tosses it up to the basket and in.The Coyotes would go on to win it tonight, 54-40.
Help Keep ME Warm has shattered their original goal of raising a $140, 000 dollars thanks to a big check from an anonymous donor.Last month, Pat LaMarche of the Pulse Radio Show, camped out in a hobbit hole to raise funds for LIHEAP.The heating assistance program has seen some severe cuts in the past couple of months.The community donated over $25,000 dollars, which Stephen King matched.Then this week, an anonymous donor from out west called, wanting to make a $50,000 dollar donation and have Stephen King match it.King did, and that brought the total collected for LIHEAP funds to just over $240,000 dollars.
Last month, voters approved table games at Hollywood Slots in Bangor. Now, the racino needs people to work them.A job fair will be held at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor Friday and Saturday.It’s 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days in Rangeley hall on the Sylvan Road.There are 89 job slots to fill.The table games include blackjack, poker and craps.For more information, or to apply on-line, you can log onto hollywoodslots.com/Careers.Earlier this week, Hollywood Slots announced a partnership with EMCC to offer a training program to help fill the new jobs.
Some members of the Air Force played the role of Santa’s elves Thursday.The airmen stopped by the Airport Mall in Bangor to help assemble bikes that were donated to the Hands of Hope Christmas Program.The guys are pretty quick at assembling the bikes and have already put together over a hundred.They say all the work will be worth it come Christmas morning.Hands of Hope still needs about 60 bikes to fill all of their wish list requests.If you’d like to donate, you can call Kathy at 852-0520
‘Tis the season for Christmas parties.And a special one in Bar Harbor Thursday generated lots of laughs and smiles. It’s pretty easy to tell why everyone’s gathered at the MDI Center in Bar Harbor. But just in case you’re wondering, Linda Mathis will fill you in.”A Christmas party!!! To have fun – like having gifts, giving to each other and family and friends.”The Downeast Horizons program hosted this yearly get-together for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Brian Bailey – a graduate of the program – says he wouldn’t miss it. “Downeast Horizons is a good group with kids with disabilities and it’s wonderful to see their faces.”Executive Director Tony Zambrano says, “Many of the people you’ll see today may not have a Christmas such as you and I might have and it’s really wonderful to be able to give this to them.”About 100 peopled packed the party, with many waiting to see one guy. As David Frey says, “He’s chubby, he’s got a big white beard and he’s dressed all in red. He’s even got red boots. And listen for jingle bells – that’s very important.”Santa Claus says he’s glad his trip around the world brings him here, too. “They don’t ask for a lot. I gotta deliver this present to somebody’s house in a minute and that’s all they want is a hug and a present and to be treated like every body else in the community. So it’s an incredible event for the them.”One that Zambrano says wouldn’t be possible without donations from the community, to make sure everyone walks away with a present in hand and the christmas spirit in their heart. “To them it’s priceless. To another individual it may not seem like a lot but just to give them that opportunity to get an unconditional gift from somebody is so special.”Most of the guests at the party were adults in the Downeast Horizons program.The kids got to meet Santa at a party of their own a day earlier.
The Penobscot County Regional Communications Center helps a lot of people throughout the year.And now it’s offering extra help to military families.Workers at the dispatch center, along with other county and state employees, have been collecting toys and other items for the families.The gifts aren’t just for the holidays, many of them can be used to help folks through the winter, even the entire year.”Our military is important to us, it’s just a way that we can kind of help them because of what they’re doing for us,” said Executive Director James Ryan.In the past families who have received the gifts have said thanks by wrapping gifts the next year’s selected families will receive.
A young singer from Orono is headed to the big apple for the opportunity of a lifetime.At just 16-years-old, she’ll be making her debut at one of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, Carnegie Hall.Christina Long is a junior at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor. She was selected to sing with students from all over the world in the American High School Honors Performance series.She discovered her passion for her singing at a young age.Her time away from school is spent singing in the concert choir. Last year, they took first place in a national competition.”When I first received word that I was accepted I thought it was a mistake and it wasn’t for me but now I’m really excited,” she said.To learn more about the program, visit honorsperformance.orgChristina’s debut is on February 12th.
A different kind of holiday store has opened in Bangor. The Charlotte White Center opened its seasonal gift store on Thursday at the Airport Mall.Everything for sale was donated to the non-profit organization providing services for kids and adults with developmental disabilities and health issues.There are all sorts of gifts to buy, some new and some gently used. All of the proceeds benefit the Charlotte White Center and its programs.”I hope people can actually come in and feel like they’re helping, but also have access to stuff because stuff is discounted really significantly compared to the value, wanting people to feel like they can have gifts to share with other people and at the same time, supporting our programs and community involvement,” said Erica Lewis, Development Director at the Charlotte White Center.From December 15th through 20th, the Airport Mall store is open daily from 11:00 AM-5:00 PM. It’s closed on Sunday.
A 100% electric car is coming to Maine. The Nissan Leaf arrived for a demonstration at Darling’s Nissan in Bangor on Thursday. It has a 100 mile range and doesn’t require any gas. You just have to charge it.”Initially all the charging will be done by the owners themselves. We actually package a level 2 charger with the car when you buy it, so the idea is you’ll drive it during the day, you come home at night, plug in, and recharge. Down the road 4 to 5 years, and this is already rampant on the west coast, there’ll be level 3 chargers at all the rest areas, convenience stores. You would go into a McDonalds, you’d get your meal and by the time you come out it, it’d be fully recharged,” described Gary Floyd, District Operations Manager at Nissan.The Leaf costs around $35,000.It’s already being sold in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and all over the west coast. Beginining in March of next year, it will be sold here in Maine.Meantime, those interested in taking the Leaf for a test drive can visit Darling’s Nissan on Sylvan Road in Bangor.
Residents of Lee will tell you it’s the definition of small town Maine.”Here basically everybody waves, you go to the local store and say hi to everybody, everybody knows where you work, what you do for work,” described Paul House of Lee.In a community this small, when tragedy strikes, it affects the whole town. That’s what happened when the House family and the Emery family lost their sons in Iraq. Sergeant Joel House and Sergeant Blair Emery, both from Lee, were killed in 2007.”It’s like family and when there is a tragedy in a small community people feel it. I think they really feel the pain and the suffering,” said Paul House, Sergeant Joel House’s father.”When you lose one of those kids, the town loses them,” said Quie Emery, Sergeant Blair Emery’s mother.The story of these two families and how their personal tragedies affected the town caught national attention. It also caught the attention of a producer, Bill Perna, who wanted to create a film documenting it all.”You just see a name and a cause of death in the Department of Defense announcement, but what that must be like for a small town like Lee with 850 people to lose 2 boys who had lived here their whole life,” said Deanna House, Sergeant Joel House’s mother and associate producer of the documentary.The documentary called Welcome to Lee, Maine shows how the town came together to cope.”I think the people are going to see what we went through and they’re going to see through being positive what can happen,” said Paul House.The two families hope sharing their stories might help others facing similar tragedies.Sergeant Blair Emery’s father, Bill Emery, said, “There’s 5,000 other familes that have gone through the same thing. We don’t know them but we know what they’re feeling.”These families want to pay forward the help they received from a town that supported them in a time of need and continues to support them to this day.The documentary is premiering this Saturday at 7:00 PM at the Dingley Auditorium on the Lee Academy campus. There’s no admission fee, but donations will be accepted for a scholarship in Blair Emery’s name and The House in the Woods military retreat, started by the House family.
Some Bangor firefighters made a surprise visit to the WABI TV5 studio during the 5pm newscast on Thursday. They stopped by to promote the 1212 Bangor firefighter calendar.It costs twelve dollars and features thirteen different firefighters.It’s the first time the fire department has put out a calendar since 2009.All of the proceeds benefit the Hose Five Fire Museum.If you’d like a calendar you may pick up a copy at the central fire department on Main street as well as other places around town.Or you may log on to:iaff772.org
The trial of a man accused of burning down a topless coffee shop in Vassalboro in 2009 continued in Augusta Thursday.Prosecutors say 50-year-old Raymond Bellavance Junior set fire to the Grandview Topless Coffee Shop because he was mad his former girlfriend was working there.Thursday, a forensic DNA analyst took the stand.She testified she received six samples from the gas can found at the scene and was unable to find a DNA match. She said someone wearing gloves could prevent their DNA from being found.The owner of the coffee shop, Donald Crabtree, also testified. Crabtree said he was having a relationship with a waitress, who also had dated Bellavance.He told jurors Bellavance came to the shop and asked him to fire his ex-girlfriend or he would shut the place down.The defense was quick to point out Bellavance never said he would “burn” the place down, just shut it down.The trial will resume on Monday, other employees from the coffee shop are expected to take the stand.
We’re spending more than we have, so we have to make cuts.That’s what Governor LePage had to say at a press conference Thursday afternoon.He says he doesn’t take pride in the cuts to MaineCare that he’s proposed but says it’s what needs to be done.The governor says a decision needs to be made by the end of January so the supplemental budget can take hold by April.He says if a decision isn’t made by then, the budget hole gets deeper by a half-million dollars every day.”What I’m asking the legislature is simply this. We found a way to protect 280,000 people in the system. You need to find a way to help us save the rest of them because I can only do it with money,” said Governor LePage.”I think what we need to do is get the true accounting of the shortfall. Right now we know there are a lot of one time costs in the shortfall that are not structural at all. They are one time costs that should be treated as one time problems. So we need to get a better understanding and more information from the department,” said Lead Democrat for the Health and Human Services Committee, Mark Eves.The hearings are expected to continue through the week. If passed, changes to MaineCare could take effect as soon as April.
“I am determined to break the generational poverty line that has been going on. I grew up in rats and roaches and my children aren’t living that way,” said Angela Krehbiel-Vancil. Angela Krehbiel-Vancil says that’s because all her children have participated in Head Start programs. “My children have been given opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t have if I wasn’t involved in the Head Start program. Socialization skills and peer mentoring,” said Krehbiel-Vancil. A new report released by the Maine Children’s Alliance on Head Start shows the significance of the program here in Maine. While the report’s release was scheduled before the the governor announced proposed cuts to the program, they say it couldn’t have come at a better time. “Now our advocates and legislators have good data to show that head start does really work and does have a significant impact not only on the children that attend but their parents and the broader community,” said Maine Children’s Alliance Member, Judy Reidt-Parker. A spokesperson for Governor LePage says if the cuts were to go through, the program would still be able to run. “At a time when we can’t pay the bills, we need to look at areas that are already receiving funds, look at those and see if we can find some way to supplement the Medicaid program,” said LePage Spokesperson, Adrienne Bennett.But those who presented the report disagree and say the program would be hard pressed. ” It’s a business model that we’re really going to have to try and figure out how to make work. They’ve done it before but they’ve been asked to do that far too frequently now,” said Reidt-Parker.
Things are going to get more creative in Belfast thanks to a $50,000 grant. The Belfast Creative Coalition is getting the money through the Maine Arts Commission’s Creative Communities Economic Development grant grant program. The money will be used to hire someone part-time to be available to let people know what’s going on in the area, and other things. There will also be a website, branding and more. ” A way to promote the area, promote the mid-coast region and let everyone know that Belfast is a place where people love to work, live and play,” said Dorothy Havey, executive director of Our Town Belfast. The Maine Arts Commission awards two $50,000 grants annually. For more information click here.
In a season sometimes consumed by material things like the hot new toy of the must-have electronics, there are lots of people who just want necessities. Residents at the Country Villa Retirement Inn in Bangor are making Christmas a little warmer with some homemade gifts.If you’re supposed to slow down as you age, these folks sure didn’t get the memo.” We play Bingo, quarter Bingo and dime Bingo this afternoon,” said Walter Norris, a resident at The Country Villa Retirement Inn. In between games, they put their hands to work.” Everybody can learn to do it . It’s easy,” said Bea Carter, a resident of the Inn. ” It makes you feel good. Very good,” added Kay Fleming, another resident. Knit one, pearl one, the pattern doesn’t matter. ” There’s quite a few young ladies around and I guess we decided to try to do something, ya know, for the kids,” said Fleming. Since September these ladies have been knitting items to donate to those in need.” People always need mittens and scarves and it’s fun to do,” said Carter with a smile. ” I’ve always helped my family because there’s always people that need help.”The gifts will go to kids and adults getting help from Manna Ministries. ” These folks are such a blessing, the spirit here is so wonderful,” said Larry Cheever, outreach coordinator for Manna Ministries. The project helps in other ways too. ” A lot of the arthritis is in their hands,” pointed out Paula Goudreau, owner of The Country Villa Retirement Inn. Not only does each hat or scarf help a person in need, it helps these women get rid of some pain.” It’s good for your hands,” said Carter. ” Every step they take toward a better health really warms our heart here. It’s really what we’re all about,” said Goudreau. As for the guys, some of them leave it to the women. ” I just watched how the ladies knit the scarves and afghan,” said Walter Norris, a resident at the Inn. Others, like Pete, get a little more involved. ” He does anything to sit beside his Ginny so he’ll hold the yarn while she does the knitting and it’s really precious,” explained Goudreau with a smile. It’s all part of the spirit of the season. ” I hope it helps people,” said Carter. Making Christmas a little warmer, one stitch at a time.The items were donated to Manna Ministries on Thursday. We’re told the ladies plan to do this again next year and they might even get started knitting in January. For more information on The Country Villa Retirement Inn, click here. For more information on Manna Ministries, click here.
The Belgrade Planning Board will meet tonight at seven to discuss a plan to remove part of a building on Mill Stream and Main Street.The building once was a marina but hasn’t been used in that fashion in years.The current plan is to tear down the portion that was a garage but has recently been a gift shop.The other half of the building is the Post Office and that would remain.The cost of the removal project is expected to be between 20 and 30 thousand dollars.Some residents have circulated a petition to have the Marina be spared.Tonight’s meeting will be held at the Belgrade Center for All Seasons.
A Houlton man is accused of sending pornographic images of children over the Internet.57-year old David Russell is charged with child pornography possession and distribution offenses.Houlton police say he was taken into custody Wednesday, as the result of an investigation by authorities in Illinois.Investigators there say Russell was sharing pictures and video through a peer-to-peer file-sharing internet network.Rolice searched Russell’s home in Houlton. They reportedly found child pornography on computers and electronic devices.Houlton Police Chief Bruce Asselin says it doesn’t appear any of the images were of local children.Russell is being held on $10,000 cash bail.