A Searsport man charged in connection with a shooting that involved a state trooper remains behind bars on a quarter-million dollars bail. Twenty-four-year-old Matthew Sylvester is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.He made his first court appearance Friday. Sylvester is accused of shooting 41-year-old Richard Brown of Frankfort Thursday morning.Police say the men were passengers in a car when they began to fight and got out of the car, which is when the shooting took place. Sylvester was later shot in the arm by a state trooper.Today in court, the state recommended a high bail because of prior records.The defense argued Sylvester acted in self defense and bail needed to be set lower.”It’s a very high bail. I quite frankly don’t think he’s going to be able to post that bail. That was really my intent quite frankly asking for a bail that high.””My client responded reasonably to force. Mr. Brown is a violent man. My client was scared of him and he responded appropriately. I think over time the evidence will reveal that. We have a strong defense here.”Bail was set at 250,000 dollars cash.Sylvester was treated for his gunshot wound and is behind bars at the Waldo County Jail.Police say Brown suffered multiple gunshot wounds, but is expected to survive.
The Bangor Fire Department is trying to fill up a boot to give a boost to ailing children.A group of firefighters will be on the corner of Hogan Road and the Bangor Mall Boulevard, from nine to noon, Saturday.It’s their annual “Fill the Boot Campaign.”The money that goes into that boot winds up going to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
If there were any kids in the area not in the Christmas spirit – and that’s a big “if” – they are now. Dozens of students from Greater Bangor visited Penobscot Theatre Friday to catch a holiday classic – A Christmas Carol. “Merry Christmas!!! Bah, humbug!!!”Ebenezer Scrooge’s initial holiday mood didn’t stop students from enjoying Penobscot Theatre’s matinee performance of A Christmas Carol.Many of them, like 7th grader Anna Ellis, have been reading the classic tale in class. “It’s a little more interesting than the book. Personally, I like to see all of the people acting it out, all of the people talking, it really gives you a lot of holiday spirit.”For some, the story of three Christmas spirits was a first-time theatre experience. Something producing artistic director, Scott R.C. Levy, likes to see. “Theatre is one of those art forms that demands participation and if you’re not exposed to theater as a child, chances are you’re not going to utilize theater as an adult. It’s one of the great assets of the community and I’m thrilled that teachers see the educational value and bring their kids out.”Levy says this performance is a fast-moving adaptation of Charles Dickens’ holiday tradition – just the right speed for an audience like this, so says 5th grader Sean Walsh.”In the original, the vocabulary is like, it’s really big – there’s a bunch of long words. In this one, it’s kind of the same words, but not a much.” Which made it a real crowd pleaser among the kids – even inspiring a little promotional spirit among them. “I would tell people to come and see this play because if you want to get some holiday spirit and if you want to have some fun, this is the place to go.”
The canadian company that operates the high-speed ferry service between Maine and Nova Scotia is discontinuing that service and blaming the economy. Bay Ferries Limited announced Friday it’s ending the seasonal service from Bar Harbor and Portland to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.About 120 people will lose their jobs, too.Nova Scotia officials told the company this week that government support would not be available for the 2010 season.Company leaders say Bay Ferries has been hurting from the weak economy, a strong canadian dollar and new U.S. passport rules. Passenger counts this year were down 10 percent from 2008.The ferry operated from late May to October, coinciding with Maine’s busy tourist season.Bay Ferries has served Bar Harbor since 1998 and Portland since 2006.Chris Fogg, the head of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, tells TV5 he thinks business owners in area will be saddened by the news. Fogg says Bay Ferries has been big part of the community and losing the CAT will have a big impact on tourism.
A faulty furnace is believed to be the cause of a fire in Plymouth Friday morning.The call came in around 7 a.m. from the Lower Detroit Road.The house was already up in flames when fire crews arrived.Assistant Fire Chief Arrin Farrar says they do not believe anyone was home at the time of the fire.Farrar says one firefighter was sent to the hospital, but he is unsure of the reason.He says the frigid temperatures always pose a challenge.” Extremely cold conditions radios die. Hoses freeze up, water freezes. So we get many problems. The pumpers have froze up. They had to leave the scene and go back to the station.”The Fire Marshal’s Office is on scene investigating.
Folks gathered in Brewer Thursday night to light a special tree.In years past the Lights of Hope tree has stood outside Eastern Maine Medical Center.This year it’s at the new Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer.Each light is a tribute to loved ones whose lives have been touched by cancer.Family members and friends purchased the lights in their honor, with proceeds supporting patient services at the cancer center.Albert Messer and his late wife, Marge, both were treated at the old Cancer Care of Maine. He says the new facility gives everyone hope. “We talk about hope and goodness knows, we all have hope for something every day of our life,” Albert told TV5 on Thursday. “If you give up hope, you’ve kind of given up. So, what a wonderful place to continue to have hope and once a year, I look forward to this.”This year the Lights of Hope tree raised nearly $20,000 for technology and support services at Cancer Care of Maine.
Less than two weeks after Eaton Mountain owners announced they expected to open this month, plans have changed.David Beers and his wife bought Eaton Mountain ski area in Skowhegan a year ago with plans to redevelop it and open it for the 2009 – 2010 ski season.Beers says that won’t happen now.He told TV5 that he recently found out that he wouldn’t be able to use the existing electrical system for snowmaking and night skiing, and that bringing the mountain up to code would require a significant amount of money and time.
The Maine Center for Disease Control says four more people have died over the past week from swine flu, even as more vaccine became available.17 Mainers have died from the H1N1 virus since August. All had serious underlying health conditions.Doctor Dora Mills says the latest victims were from Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox, and Oxford Counties.
Maine’s Director of Health practiced what for months now she’s been preaching: get the H1N1 vaccine if you’re able to.On Thursday, Doctor Dora Mills was vaccinating people herself at a flu clinic in Augusta.The state now has more than five-hundred thousand doses of the H1N1 vaccine allowing anyone to walk into a public clinic like this one and get a shot.Some people have been waiting for months.”For a real long time, matter of fact, I’ve been calling my doctor’s office and they couldn’t get it and I heard about this down here and came down here to get it,” Said CDC Director Dr. Dora Mills. “It’s nice to be able to get right in and get the shot done.”For a list of upcoming public clinics, log on to www.maineflu.gov
The U.S. government announced Thursday the first 180-million dollars to be awarded in federal stimulus money to bring high speed Internet to rural areas across the country.Some of that money is coming to Maine. The U.S. Secretary of Commerce was at the University of Maine Thursday to spread the news. “Twenty-five and a half million dollars of that funding is coming right here to Maine.”U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says the stimulus funds are going to the Three-Ring Binder project, a plan to create a fiber optic network to bring high speed internet to rural and underserved areas of Maine.”The project here in Maine is one of the signature projects. Because it is 1100 miles of fiber optic cable that’s going to be installed. We know that results in jobs,” Locke says.They say it will make broadband available to more than 110-thousand households, passing through 100 communities in the state, with impacts in business, education and healthcare.”This collaborative project will level the playing field,” says Rep. Mike Michaud.The 25 million dollar investment goes to a public-private partnership, led by Biddeford-based GWI and the University of Maine system.”And you have all these internet companies who are lining up to then build out from this big ring, and branching out and connecting to individual doctor’s offices, to businesses and homes. So everyone in the area is going to benefit,” Locke says.The Secretary also visited Eastern Maine Medical Center, where they say broadband access is critical to their telemedicine program, since it connects them in real time to doctors in rural areas.”We can look at the patient with them, while they’re managing the patient, and contribute hopefully positively to the care of that patient,” says Jonathan Wood, medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit. “This will make a difference. This is not fluff, this is real.”Officials say they’ll start building on the network this spring.The Three-Ring Binder project is one of 18 projects awarded money Thursday across the country. They’re the first part of the government’s 7.2 billion dollar plan to bring high-speed internet connections to rural areas throughout the country.
The Maine Blood Center in Bangor is looking for some Holiday Heroes.Typically, the number of people who donate blood over the holidays goes down. so they’re giving folks an extra incentive to give the gift of life this year.Folks who stop by Friday, December 18, will get either a Hannaford or Dunkin Donuts Gift Card.If you decide to donate Saturday, Monday or Tuesday, you can get all your gifts wrapped. Donor Recruiter, Heather Babcock says “They can bring in all their gifts and the Blood Center elves will wrap them up for them. No maximum amount of gifts, so bring a truckload.The Blood center is located at 992 Union Street in Bangor.Dunkin Donuts or Hannaford Gift CardFriday 8 AM – 2 PMFree Gift WrappingSaturday 8 AM – 2 PMMonday 11 AM – 7 PMTuesday 8 AM – 12 PM To be eligible for the gift card, make a blood donation tomorrow from eight in the morning until two in the afternoon.And if you want to get free gift wrapping, you can stop by Saturday 8 AM to 2 PM, Monday from 11 AM to 7 PM and Tuesday from 8 in the morning until noon.
It’s cold right now, but that doesn’t mean the ice is safe.The Maine Warden Service is urging people to stay off the ice on the state’s waterways. They say there are no safe ice conditions anywhere in the state right now. The snow on the ice can act as an insulator slowing the freezing process.If you do venture out, make sure to check the thickness first, and go with a partner.
On Thursday parents, lawmakers, scientists, health professionals, as well as public health and environmental activists spoke out against toxic chemicals in consumer products and in favor of Maineâ€™s ground-breaking new law.Â They urged the BEP to adopt important new rules to get the law fully in place and underway, while offering warnings of chemical industry stall tactics designed to delay and derail the law from ever working as it was intended.Â In April 2008, the governor signed into law LD 2048, An Act to Protect Children’s Health and the Environment from Toxic Chemicals in Toys and Children’s Products. The bill requires Maine to adopt a list of chemicals of high concern already proven to be hazardous and name priority chemicals for immediate action, requires manufacturers to disclose use of priority chemicals in their products, and authorizes the state to require use of safer alternative chemicals whenever they are available and affordable.The American Chemistry Council says, “…replacing “priority chemicals” with so called “safer alternatives” is not always going to be feasible and not always the right choice.” and that “…DEP’s regulations present a “one size fits all” approach.” Â
Eastern Maine Medical Center is being recognized for their continued support of employees who are also members of the National Guard and Reserve. At a ceremony this afternoon at their new Cancer Care facility in Brewer the hospital received the Pro Patria award.The award honors one business or organization per state who adopts policies that make things easier on for employees who are in the National Guard and Reserve.Major General Bill Libby was on hand at the ceremony and he says EMMC has gone above and beyond the call in helping their employees who serve their country. “They do the things that are required by law but as we said today this isn’t about the law it’s about what comes from here and I could talk to you about a thousand different things,” says major General Libby, “it’s just caring at the individual level about a fellow employee and caring in a manner that isn’t required but caring in a manner that which isn’t required but comes from the heart and comes from the spirit.Eastern Maine Medical Center had 11 employees that took extended leaves this past year to serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
Its the last weekend before Christmas and already economists are predicting the worst shopping rush since 2004. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation the average person has done less then half of their Christmas shopping this year, and 19% of shoppers haven’t even started. James McConnon Jr. Professor of Economics at the University of Maine says consumers hesitant about spending money. He says,”Consumers have been hesitant since the recessions has hit, and I think part of the reason why they are procrastinating is because they are waiting to get the best deals possible, and they’re thinking that waiting till the last week or so that they’ll get the best deal.”But McConnon warns consumers should not wait too long. He says, “Get out there as early as you can and do your shopping, but realize that a lot of retailers out there have managed their inventories very carefully this season and they may be out of something that you had your eye on a couple of weeks ago.”
A group of students at Eastern Maine Communnity College are getting a first hand look at what global manufacturing is all about. Charlie Whorton is an instructor at the Bangor based school and he wanted to give the students in his computer integrated machinery class a lesson in the real world of manufacturing. “The world of manufacturing is global so they need to work with people who don’t understand the same language, the same jargon,” says Whorton.Whorton’s son teaches the same class only his classroom is in France. The Whorton’s decided to have their students team up. “We did not want this effort to become the United States against France so we combined all of the students together and made 4 teams,” says Wharton, “the teams are made up of American students and French students so we have red, white, blue, and black. Those are the common colors of our flags.”The teams mission?. Design a tennis ball launcher. Team members in Bangor meet with their french teammates via video conference. Phillip Moulton is a student at EMCC. “It’s a great experience,” he says, “I’ve learned a lot about their culture. The different aspects of their lives and how they live it’s very different from how we do things.” Moulton will be heading to France in February for 10 weeks to study with his teammates while some French students will spend ten weeks here in Bangor. So when will the teams unveil their tennis ball launchers? “Probably the beginning of May at which time we’re going to have a contest of which ball launcher launches the furthest and also an accuracy competition,” says Wharton.Both instructors are hoping the students learn the value of global teamwork. Francois Ollier is one of the instructors who teaches engineering to the French students. She is here in Bangor visiting and says she hopes the students remain in touch after their project is over. “I hope they will keep the link the American teams,” says ollier, “maybe visit them in America or maybe receive them in France. I think it would be interesting to see the link continue.”
A 42-year-old former science teacher at Mount View Junior High in Thorndike is expected to go on trial on child pornography charges next month.Michael Douglas of Augusta is charged with two counts of possession of sexually explicit materials. Douglas allegedly viewed child porn on his school and home computers, resulting in charges in Waldo County and Kennebec County. Earlier this month, a judge agreed to hear both cases in one trial. Douglas has pleaded not guilty, though court paperwork says he admitted to police that he’d been downloading pornography on both computers for years.His case is set to be considered for trial the first week of January.
The coat racks at Eastern Area Agency on Aging in Bangor are full – and staffers there hope people who are cold will take advantage of that. The agency collected dozens of gently used coats last month, cleaned them up and then offered them to folks in need. The coats are free to anyone who comes in.And we’re told they still have plenty left to choose from. If you’re interested in a coat or know someone who needs one, just stop by the agency on Essex Street, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.The coats will be available in the front lobby until they’re gone.
Folks looking for a warm place to gather and a hot meal to enjoy on Christmas can head to Pittsfield. The Welcome Table – a program put on the First Universalist Church – will be serving lunch that day.Volunteers will also offer a bit of entertainment. The meal is free. It’ll be served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You’ll find the First Universalist Church at 6 Easy Street in Pittsfield.Volunteers will also be serving a similar meal on New Year’s Day.