Local News

Man Charged with Cutting 22 Lobster Traps

Updated 5 years ago

A Cushing man has been charged with cutting lobster traps.According to the Maine Marine Patrol, a surveillance unit witnessed 31-year-old Heath Yeaton cut 22 traps in two separate areas near Cushing and Friendship.The Marine Patrol seized Yeaton’s boat and charged him with two counts of trap molesting.Trap molesting is a civil violation, but a conviction carries a mandatory three year loss of lobster and crab fishing license and the ability to assist any lobster license holder as a crew member.Because of recent lobster fishing disputes, including the shooting of a lobsterman on Matinicus Island and the sinking of boats in Owls Head, the Marine Patrol has been conducting surveillance efforts throughout the midcoast.

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Solar In Saco

Updated 5 years ago

Councilors in Saco approved plans for the launch of a solar project. The Council unanimously approved the option for GridSolar to enter into a 20 year lease with the city to install solar panels. This marks the first land-lease agreement for GridSolar. GridSolar, under its agreement will pay $25,000 for its annual lease, for the currently vacant property. Finally, GridSolar is continuing discussions with other landowners and communities for similar installations elsewhere.

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Man Confesses to Burglaries

Updated 5 years ago

Police say a man from Augusta has confessed to a string of burglaries in Waldo County and Wiscasset. Police arrested 33-year-old John Howard at his home last week in connection with six recent break-ins in Wiscasset.Authorities say he was caught on video inside a business there. That’s when they noticed he looked similar to the man seen on surveillance inside Angler’s restaurant in Searsport, in June.Searsport Police Chief Richard Lahaye says Howard admitted to breaking into four businesses in Belfast, Searsport and Stockton Springs, three of which were restaurants. He also confessed to the Wiscasset crimes. Howard is charged with those six burglaries and is in the Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset.Lahaye says he expects Howard to be charged for the Waldo County crimes, too. He adds the investigation is on-going and Howard could also be connected to more burglaries.

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Problems For Future Road Work.

Updated 5 years ago

The future holds problems down the road for highway and bridge funding, and there is no immediate action likely before next year’s session. The Maine Legislature’s Transportation Committee members meeting on Tuesday talked about raising tax and license fees. The also considered taking money from the bridge fund to come up with millions of dollars needed to pave rural roads. Furthermore, with no more sessions for the rest of the year, no further action is likely before 2010. Members have been asked to find ways to fund maintenance that is scheduled on 600 miles of rural roads, likely coasting close to $25 million per year. The committee co-chair, Democratic Sen. Dennis Damon of Trenton, says no money’s availablefor next year’s work.

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We Need More Green to Keep Healthy.

Updated 5 years ago

A phrase that has everyone’s heart pounding is, “increased premiums.” Studies have showed that family health care premiums have grown four times faster than income this decade. A report from Families USA illustrated that from 2000-2009, premiums rose nearly 101 percent, while earning rose by a meager 22 percent. Additionally, the average annual family health insurance premium rose from $6,915 to $13,927. Executive Director, Ron Pollack said that health care cost continue to grow, even though employers are scaling back their health plans, raise deductibles and co-payments.

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KFC Deposits Taken; One Woman Arrested

Updated 5 years ago

A Houlton woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing at least a thousand dollars from Kentucky Fried Chicken.22-year old Lacey Malone is a member of KFC management at the Houlton restaurant.According to police, Malone was one of four managers authorized to take deposits to the bank. Investigators believe 22 of those deposits never got there. They say more than 26-thousand dollars was taken.Police won’t say how much they believe Malone stole, only that it was more than one-thousand dollars.Malone is free on bail.The investigation continues.

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Skowhegan State Fair Preview

Updated 5 years ago

109 years and still running. The Skowhegan State Fair started in 1818.Gates open Thursday once again to keep the tradition going.Adrienne Bennett has a preview.”He’s pretty much the ring leader of all the goats.” Meet Gramps… and Twigs…and Jeffrey…”Oh yeah, they’re very gentle.”From goats and giraffe’s…to llamas and wallabes — these are a few of the sights you’ll see at the Skowhegan State Fair.But they’re not the only act in town. Back by popular demand, Circus Hollywood will have daily shows under the big top.”It’s the only entertainment left that you can bring the entire family to. You don’t have to worry about seeing anything bad, you know, with everything going on today it’s still for young and old.” There’s plenty of free entertainment and shows with paid gate admission.”We got Confederate Railroad from Nashville on Monday.” Admission prices range between 6 and eight bucks depending on the day— with one exception. “Thursday is dollar day, to get in and each ride is a dollar. Last year we had rain but this year we should have better weather. Channel 5 says we’re going to have good weather for the whole ten days so we gotta go with that!”Adrienne: “So you’ve got the food, the free shows, the circus, but what is a fair without the rides and this year there are some new ones that are sure to give you the thrills and chills you’re looking for.” There are more than thirty rides for the young…or the young at heart.But they won’t be around long. The fair wraps up August 22nd. “What fun, excitement, you gotta be there, bring your family friends for the best time anywhere.”For a complete list of what’s going on at the fair you can visit their website at skowheganstatefair.com

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Arrest in Murder of Old Town Woman: Latest

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Bangor is in jail, charged with murdering a 19-year-old woman from Old Town.34-year-old Colin Koehler was arrested Tuesday night after a standoff with police.Amy Erickson has the story.34-year-old Colin Koehler is behind bars, charged with the murder of 19-year-old Holly Boutilier.Police arrested Koehler Tuesday evening, after a standoff at his Columbia Street apartment.It all started when officers showed up to execute a search warrant.”When we got there, entry was denied, but we knew the person we were looking for was inside that apartment.””The building was evacuated, gas was deployed into the building…we did have negotiators from CID on scene…but contact was never established through the door or by calling the cell phone.”When officers finally got inside, Koehler was arrested without incident.”The person was brought to the station, was questioned…and subsequently, Colin Koehler has been arrested and charged with the murder of Holly Boutilier.”Boutilier’s body was discovered Sunday in a shack near the Penobscot River in Bangor.Detectives say the victim and the suspect knew each other.”They were familiar with each other. The extent of that, I am not sure, but they were familiar with each other. It was not a random thing.”Still no word on a motive…police are hoping information from the public will help shed some light.”The investigation is ongoing. We do expect we’ll probably receive a lot of phone calls now that he’s being held.”Police say Koehler is originally from New Jersey, but has been in the Bangor area for about 6 years.Koehler is expected to make his first court appearance tomorrow.Meanwhile, funeral services for Holly Boutilier will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Birmingham Funeral Home in Old Town.

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Take This Job and Love It: Tim Horton’s Drive Thru

Updated 5 years ago

Our own Amy Erickson switched jobs again.This time, she put on a hairnet and headset, to try her hand at working the Tim Horton’s drive thru.We’ll see how she did in this month’s “Take This Job and Love It.”As the owner/operator of the Tim Horton’s in Brewer, Marc Nicknair is charged with making sure hundreds of folks get their caffeinated wakeup call each morning.”Customers come through, they want their coffee fast, they want it fresh, they want it friendly. so that’s what we do here at Tim Horton’s.”Marc says he can teach me to get the job done…but first…the necessary accessories.”We’re gonna outfit you with a hair net. Just what i’ve always wanted!”Once I’m outfitted with a headset, it’s time to hit the most popular spot of the morning.”So we’re doing the drive thru? we’re going to the drve thru, let’s head over there.”This drive-thru gives a whole new meaning to the term “fast paced.”These ladies consistently rank in the top ten for the fastest stores in New England.”Our goal is to serve the customers in 25 seconds or less during peak hours. that was 7 seconds. i don’t know if i can do 7 seconds! sure, you can do it.”I’m not so sure.But I’m on the job as the orders start coming in.”Large coffee, they want it half decaf, cream and a sleeve…half decaf, right.”It’s harder than it looks, with orders coming in in your headset, plus up on the screen…never mind the foot traffic in the busy drive thru area.And the coffee orders aren’t as simple as “cream and sugar.””It’s amazing how people drink their coffee. i drink it black so that’s easy. we have flavored coffees…everyone drinks it a little differently.””Now you could really mess with someone if you gave them hi test instead of decaf. well, we wouldn’t want to do that. i wouldn’t want to be responsible.”After a while, I get the hang of it.”Not bad! But you guys go so quick! That was pretty fast! Not as quick as you!”From there, it was on to packing up donuts…To doing a little bagel baking…to keep up with the morning demand…”you gotta put your mitts on. oooh, they’re warm!”By the end of the shift, I’m ready for a break…and to get my review.”Alright, Marc, so how did i do? you did wonderful. want an application? so i have to work on my speed a little, cause these girls are fast. yes. speed and accuracy are very important to our customers.”Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Brewer.

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Bangor Murder Arrest: Update

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Bangor is behind bars in connection with the murder of a woman from Old Town over the weekend.Police arrested 34-year-old Colin Koehler after a stand-off in downtown Bangor Tuesday afternoon.Police had a warrant to search Koehler’s Columbia Street apartment.When they attempted the search around 3 p.m., Koehler wouldn’t let them inside.The swat team was called in and tear gas was used.Koehler was taken from the scene by Bangor Police. He’s been charged with 19-year-old Holly Boutilier’s murder.Her body was found on Sunday morning in a shack by the Penobscot River.Lieutenant Tim Reid of the Bangor Police Department say the two knew each other. “They were familiar with each other. The extent of that I’m not sure, but they were familiar with each other. It was not a random thing. The investigation is ongoing. We do expect we’ll probably receive a number of phone calls now that he’s being held.”Koehler is expected to appear in court Thursday morning.

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Maine Health Care Premiums on the Rise

Updated 5 years ago

A new study shows family health care premiums have grown more than four times faster than income this decade in Maine. Families USA said Wednesday health insurance premiums rose by 101 percent, while median earnings rose by only 22 percent from 2000 to 2009. Ron Pollack, executive director, says health care costs continue to grow even as employers scale back health plans and raise deductibles and co-payments. Families USA says the average annual family health insurance premium rose from $6,915 to $13,927 over the 10-year period. The report was released a day after President Barack Obama visited Portsmouth, N.H., to press the case for health care reform. (AP)

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FairPoint Communications Discuss Ongoing Problems

Updated 5 years ago

FairPoint Communications officials are going before a Maine legislative committee to discuss ongoing problems with the company’s delivery of land line telephone and broadband Internet service. Wednesday’s session comes two days after regulators in Vermont opened a probe into whether to revoke FairPoint Communications’ right to do business in that state. Frustration is strong in Maine as well over billing errors,service order delays and long waits on call-in customer service lines. Senator Barry Hobbins, co-chair of the Utilities and Energy Committee, said FairPoint’s system is not functioning at an acceptable level.FairPoint bought Verizon’s land line business and Internet operations in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire in a $2.3 billion deal last year. (AP)

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Bangor Man Arrested for Murder

Updated 5 years ago

A Bangor man has been taken into custody in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Holly Boutilier.Officials say that 34-year-old Colin Koehler was arrested after a stand off in downtown Bangor Tuesday afternoon.Koehler lives in an apartment building on Columbia Street.Police had a warrant to search that apartment.Around three-o’clock Tuesday afternoon, members of the criminal division of the Bangor Police Department went to the suspect’s apartment to execute the warrant.The stand off started when the suspect denied officials entrance. “The warrant was approved earlier this afternoon as a result of a number of interviews that we’ve done. I’m not going to reveal the content of the interviews,” Said Lt. Tim Reid of the Bangor Police Department.The swat team was called in and tear gas was used.Koehler was taken from the scene by Bangor Police, we’re being told he’s been charged with Boutilier’s murder.Her body was found on Sunday morning in a shack by the Penobscot River.

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Block Party To Aid Workers

Updated 5 years ago

Organizers of a block party to be held Wednesday afternoon in Dover-Foxcroft say they hope the event will also help laid-off workers.Organizers say they’ll be serving up free barbeque for folks between 11am and 1pm and offering information about free local resources.Free food will also be available from the Good Shepherd foodmobile as will information about transition services and Penquis resources.They hope the event will help folks who used to work at True Textiles in Guilford and other places.The block party will be held at 50 North Street in Dover-Foxcroft.

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ATV Ruling

Updated 5 years ago

Maine’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that in a 2007 incident game wardens had the right to stop an ATV operator without suspicion of wrongdoing.A Mars Hill man claimed his fourth amendment rights were violated when a warden stopped his ATV to give him a field sobriety test.Tuesday’s Supreme Court 4-3 decision said it was necessary for game wardens to be allowed to stop ATV drivers.However, a recent change to state law that takes effect in September says wardens must have “reasonable suspicion” of a violation in order to make a stop.

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Governor Baldacci Meets With President

Updated 5 years ago

Governor John Baldacci met with President Obama while attending the President’s health care town hall in New Hampshire Tuesday, and offered his support for national health care reform.The Governor greeted the President at Portsmouth High School, and had a brief conversation with him.Governor Baldacci says workable solutions at the national level are needed more than ever to address out-of-control costs of health care.Baldacci’s first action when taking office in 2003 was to take steps to pass Dirigo Health, whose goal is to provide access to affordable health insurance.

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Federal Dollars to Help Lobsterers

Updated 5 years ago

More federal support has been announced for lobstermen as they transition to federally mandated sinking rope.Last spring new guidelines banned the use of traditional floating rope used by lobstermen to reduce the risk of entanglement to whales.The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation says federal funds will help the more than 500 lobstermen still on the waiting list exchange their old rope for the new, more-expensive sink rope.The foundation says the support of Senators Snowe and Collins means they’ll be able to continue their groundline exchange program and research throughout the next year.$1,700,000 was allotted to the Department of Marine Resources for research and rope exchange.

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Electric Hospital Records Up and Running

Updated 5 years ago

It has taken five years, but now the nation’s largest statewide electronic health exchange system is up and running in Maine.Healthinfonet recently rolled out to fifteen hospitals with more than 2,000 medical providers.The goal is to reduce medical errors and make better, more informed, treatment decisions that will save lives and money. “Gives us consent to put your name into Healthinfonet.”As the Maine network, dubbed Healthinfonet, expands services across the state, an estimated 50-million per year in healthcare costs is expected to be saved as doctors order fewer unnecessary and duplicative tests, procedures, and prescriptionsThose using the system say it should save time too. “If they’re not at a hospital affiliated with this one, we have to do it manually, make a phone call, send for records, photocopying or faxing and we may not get the info on time.”Doctor Mike Palumbo offers this scenario: “Someone could come in on an ambulance that collapsed on the street and was unable to give me their information and we could get their name from their i.d. And I could get on the system and obtain their medical info in the absence of them being able to give me their history and yes, I may be able to make a decision that could save their life.”In an effort to protect privacy, only certain data will be part of Healthinfonet, including prescriptions, lab results, x-rays, and medical problems.Substance abuse, mental health, and HIV test results are not put into the system. “Healthinfonet has gone through rigorous security setups to make sure this information is going to be safe and confidential.”To join, patients do nothing, but if you don’t wish to have your medical information shared, you can opt out. “You have the right as a Maine citizen to say no, I don’t want to take part in this.”While Healthinfonet is a nonprofit, it will cost nearly $6,000,000 each year to operate.Despite a budget shortfall, the state has included nearly $2,000,000 in the upcoming 2010-2011 budget, matching federal funds are expected to keep the program afloat as well.For more information on healthinfonet log onto www.hinfonet.org

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Swine Flu Death

Updated 5 years ago

Maine has recorded it’s first H1N1 Influenza related death.The Maine Center for Disease Control in the Department of Health and Human Services reported on Tuesday that a York County man in his 50’s died from underlying conditions that were complicated by the H1N1 flu.According to Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the CDC, the man died last week and had been hospitalized for nearly three weeks before his death.His name and the date of his death are not being released to protect the privacy of the family.Since first being recognized in April H1N1 has spread to 168 countries and has resulted in more than 6,000 hospitalizations and 436 deaths in the United States alone.

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Standoff Linked to Boutilier Murder Case

Updated 5 years ago

According to an eyewitness on the scene in downtown Bangor, there was a standoff resulting in police taking a man into custody. The identity of the individual is not yet known, but he has been linked to the death of Holly Boutilier who was found murdered over the weekend.Middle St. and Columbia St. in downtown Bangor were closed during the standoff.WABI will bring you more details of this developing story as they become available.

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