If you ever need a reminder about the power of a small gesture, you need look no further than a half empty box of presents, and the eight year old boy who can barely see how far his good deed is reaching.”Because not a lot of people have fun on Christmas morning without presents, and they should have fun on Christmas,” said Brayden Mott of Orrington.Dressed in a Santa suit he bought for himself, Mott has spent the last year collecting toys for kids who might not otherwise have any.He said, “Last year, it was 322, and this year I’m trying to get 2,012.”With a goal set in honor of the year 2012, he’s teamed up with the Bangor Leadership Institute (BLI) to top his efforts in 2011.
Traditionally, the opening of a new building in Brewer wouldn’t be considered the setting of an old fashioned barn raising, but in 21st century times, one located on Center Street stands just as significantly for the community that built it.”I got involved with the Bangor Area Recovery Network, the BARN, right after I had gone through rehab,” said volunteer, Blake Manz, a recovered addict.Built to be a safe haven for those struggling with addiction or substance abuse, the BARN has given Manz and countless others a foundation of support since it opened in a temporary space in Bangor in 2009.Manz said, “People behind me, that come in the door, maybe now they know that there is a place they have.”The office is run by only one part-time paid employee and 18 others who, like Manz, give their time for free.”The people that work here stuffing the desk, answering the phone, cleaning the floors, setting up chairs, it’s all volunteers,” said Jean Baker, chair of BARN’s Board of Directors.They will be servicing a population in the greater Bangor area that might not otherwise get help.
Among the shoppers strolling through downtown Belfast Tuesday were a few in the market for more than just a good deal.With a budget of $620, a handful of classmates from Searsport District High School spent their day picking out toys at High Street shop, Out On A Whimsey.
As we near the fiscal cliff, folks across the country are weighing in on what needs to be done.In Brewer, members of Food and Medicine stressed the importance of protecting Maine’s social programs.During a press conference Monday, they argued cutting budgets for benefits like Medicaid and Medicare would only hurt Mainers at a time when they are already struggling.”People are choosing between food and medicine.
Following a tearful plea for forgiveness, Katie Dube, 27, had a change of heart, withdrawing her guilty plea after hearing the judge’s sentencing range, 21-24 years behind bars.”I can only blame myself and take responsibility for my own action.
An Ellsworth businessman is going to jail for five days in connection with a drug bust in June.Patrick Jordan, 43, pleaded no contest Thursday to unlawful trafficking of a scheduled drug.Jordan, who is the head of construction firm RF Jordan, was arrested after drug agents found nearly a hundred oxycodone tablets in his truck.He was also fined $1,000.If he stays out of trouble for the next year, the felony charge will be downgraded to a misdemeanor.
Capturing the attention of a crowd of kids is no easy task, but the two men visiting students at the Lamoine Consolidated School have had some practice.”We probably did maybe 75 schools, so far this year,” said Kevin Jackson, a member of the Harlem Superstars.
Ryan Orton, 27, of Hudson pleaded guilty Wednesday morning in connection with a drug bust that uncovered almost $200,000 worth of bath salts.During the proceedings at federal court in Bangor, Orton admitted to conspiring to launder money, conspiring to import illegal drugs, and possesion of a firearm by a felon.The charges carry a maximum of 30 years in prison.Orton was arrested by Maine Drug Enforcement Agents after they raided his home in April.
It’s starting to look a lot more like Christmas in downtown Bangor, as the city’s holiday tree arrived in West Market Square, Tuesday.For more than 20 years, Sprague’s Nursery in Bangor has donated a tree to the city.It has become a sight that helps put everyone in the holiday spirit.”I think it adds to what I consider to be the traditional Christmas that downtowns are known for.
Bangor firefighters were hard at work Thursday morning in the kitchen.The crew on call for the holiday spent some of their free time cooking up a Thanksgiving dinner for their coworkers, a tradition in the department.”It is a good time to actually get together, sit down and have a little bit lighter moment and all be together at the same time, which is unusual,” said firefighter, Joe Wardwell.The on duty chefs said they were expecting not only crew members for the meal, but all their families as well.
The kitchen at the Columbia Street Baptist Church in Bangor is busy this time of year, as prepping gets underway for a Thanksgiving feast that nearly 200 people have come to rely on.”My cooks back at Manna started yesterday slicing, dicing, getting everything ready,” said Bill Rae, executive director at Manna Ministries, which organized the dinner.
If you don’t feel like dealing with the crowd of shoppers on Black Friday, but are still looking for a deal, some Bangor shops have an alternative plan for you.More than a dozen stores around downtown will be partaking in “Plaid Friday.”It’s their own version of the infamous shopping day.