Local News

Emergency Landing in Bangor

Updated 5 years ago

178 passengers are safe after an international flight made an emergency landing in Bangor Wednesday morning. Bangor International Airport officials tell us the United Flight, a Boeing 767 flying from London to Washington D.C., made the stop just before 10 a.m. after a report of smoke in the cockpit. The Airport Fire Department responded to the scene, along with the Bangor Fire Department. There was no active fire. No word yet on what caused the smoke. Airport mechanics are working on the plane.United Airlines is getting another plane in Wednesday afternoon to get those passengers back on their way to Washington, D.C.

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Pellet Mill Burns Down

Updated 5 years ago

Little is left of a pellet mill in the Northern Maine town of Ashland after a late night fire broke out and quickly engulfed the entire structure.The first call came in at about 12:15am Tuesday from the workers on the late shift, the second from the power plant next door. Explosions sounded and flames lit up the sky as firefighters rushed to respond. “By the time they got to the firehouse the whole sky was lit up, they had seen from their houses and when they were coming in, which was within the first three to four minutes.” Said Ned LaBelle, Ashland’s Fire Chief. “There were a couple of explosions. There were a lot of acetylene torches, oxygen tanks, propane tanks..those had gone off and of course the transformers, their MC room, with all the electricity…that went off.”Mutual aid responded from Masardis, Portage, and Mapleton and once here on the scene the fire departments battled the blaze for almost ten hours. But the mill is a total loss, leaving another twelve people unemployed and even further compounding Ashland’s economic struggle. “Having another part of that, if you will, in being Fraser down too, it’s a crunch to us.” Said Ashland Town Manager Jim Gardner. “One good thing we did here back when Fraser first started talking was we built a transition team and that transition team has been very successful.”Northeast Pellets, started up by Matthew Bell in 2006, was just reaching it’s peak as production was up ten times what it was three years ago. But Gardner says these charred remains aren’t the end of the story. “This is where we get involved as a town. Right now we look at USDA money, we look at CDBG money, we look at different monies that can be infused from the state and the feds to help him rebuild.” “We’re all hoping that Matt’s going to rebuild and he’s hoping to too.”The exact cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but the mill was insured.

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Jay Mill Shuting Down

Updated 5 years ago

Almost 100 people will lose their jobs when Wausau paper permanently closes its mill in Jay.The company says it’s also suspending its dividend to conserve cash and reduce debt.The mill in Jay is expected to shut down by the end of May.The CEO of the company says it was a difficult decision, but necessary in these tough economic times.Wausau shut down a paper machine in jay last year, eliminating about 150 jobs.

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Stimulus Money For Government Buildings

Updated 5 years ago

Maine is slated to receive nearly $100,000,000 in economic stimulus funding for construction and renovation of federal facilities.More than half of that, $52,800,000, is earmarked for the Margaret Chase Smith U.S. Post Office and Courthouse in Bangor.The rest of the money will be spent on the border stations at Van Buren, Calais, and Madawaska, as well as a courthouse in Portland.

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Interstate Accident

Updated 5 years ago

Three people were taken to the hospital after a crash on the interstate Tuesday evening involving four vehicles.It happened near the Hammond St. exit.Police say traffic was being slowed down by construction, but one driver didn’t stop in time and hit another vehicle, causing a chain reaction crash that involved two other cars.44-year-old Kathy Boutin of Brewer was taken to the hospital along with her passenger, 18-year-old Stephanie Boutin.So was 19-year-old Brandon Nute of Carmel. Police say their injuries are all minor.All vehicles in the crash are totaled.

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Fatal Crash

Updated 5 years ago

State Police say an elderly man died Tuesday morning when his car collided head-on with a second car in the town of Washington.  The crash took place on Route 17 near Linscott’s Store.  Trooper Jason Madore said the dead man may have experienced a medical problem as he was driving. Witnesses told him they saw the man slump over the steering wheel moments before the crash.  His car crossed the centerline of the road and struck the second car head-on.  Following the crash the man’s car overturned, coming to rest on its roof in the road.  The victim’s name is being withheld as troopers locate relatives to notify them of the death.   The second car was driven by 31 year old Tiffany King of Freedom, who was flown by helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.  She was trapped inside her car for a time.  Her passenger, 28 year old Darrell Mank of Freedom, was taken by ambulance to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport.  Route 17 at the crash site was closed for about two hours as troopers investigated the crash.

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Banning Fat?

Updated 5 years ago

While many restaurants are making the change themselves, a bill in the Maine Legislature proposes to mandate a ban on trans fats. Rep. David Webster told Maine Public Radio he wants Maine to join a national movement to eliminate the use of trans fat in foods. The Freeport Democrat points to studies that link the consumption of high trans fat foods and cardiovascular disease.Many national restaurant chains in Maine are voluntarily eliminating trans fat from their menus in response to health concerns. Opponents to Webster’s bill, which would take effect next year, say the law would be burdensome to small business owners. The Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on the bill Monday.

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Tricks for saving money at prom time.

Updated 5 years ago

Many families are feeling the squeeze of tougher economic times.And with prom season quickly approaching, Cori Skall went in search of ways to save money, while still looking good for that special day.”We do offer services at a discounted rate, so a lot of the high school area girls will come in to get their up-do’s….Typically when prom season comes in, we see an increase in our salon sales.”Every girl dreams of looking good on prom night.These days, the cost of a dress, hair do, nails and accessories can be more than some families can afford.But there are alternatives to spending tons of money on the prom, that can still let you look good, without breaking the bank.One way to save a little money, is to get your hair and nails done at a beauty school, like Empire’s.”Our up-do’s start at 15 dollars, and they go up from there…and the girls are very creative and artistic with their up dos.””Nails start at 20 dollars for acrylic nails and go up from there.”Empire beauty school executive director, Amy demos, says she’s expecting to see an increase in prom customers this year.”Manicures, pedicure, acrylic nails and a lot of make up. We’ve seen an increase in that as well, especially again, as this prom season comes up, a lot of the high school area girls are coming in for a trial run, to see what their make up may look like, and then they’ll come in for their appointment before prom as well.”And as far as finding that perfect dress….try your local thrift shop, or Goodwill.”Base price, they start at 4.99…the most expensive we have right now is 9.99.”Jen Lewis, manager at the Goodwill store in Brewer, says they always see an influx in prom gown donations this time of year.”We get some vintage things definitely, one’s that have been in people’s closets for a long, long time. So we do get some interesting pieces.””We also have shoes and accessories and all that stuff that could go along with it. So you could walk out here, and not have even spent 25 dollars and be outfitted? Exactly, exactly.”To see some affordable prom gowns, check out Goodwill’s bridal and prom showcase later this month.It will be held on Saturday, April 18th from 9a-m to 1p-m…at the Goodwill store on Western Avenue in Augusta.Admission is free.

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Missing man’s profile added to national website for the missing.

Updated 5 years ago

A family in Dexter is hoping the National Center for Missing Adults will help track down their missing son.Matthew Lee Ricker has been missing since October.He was last seen near Mechanic street in Dexter.Dexter police, State police and the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s department are working together on the case.Ricker’s profile has been added to a national database of missing people.If you know the whereabouts of Matthew Lee Ricker, you are asked to call the Dexter police department at 924-7622, Or to make an anonymous tip, you can log on to the website, www.theyaremissed.org.

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UMaine teachers on NOVA

Updated 5 years ago

Two University of Maine professors will appear on prime time television tonight.Paul Mayewski, director of the University’s Climate Change Institute and assistant research professor Andrei Kurbatov, will be featured on a segment of nova called “Last Extinction.”The program explores the theory that a comet hit earth thousands of years ago, and wiped out several giant mammoths and large animals.Mayewski was on a research team that discovered the presence of nanodiamonds in an ice sheet in Greenland.The nanodiamonds are believed to have been created by the impact of the comet.

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Hows Corner

Updated 5 years ago

A proposal to preserve seven-hundred acres of land in Plymouth is being discussed tonight.The Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection are holding a meeting in Plymouth to review the issue.There are two areas involvedm, one is 650-acres and runs along Ridge Road and Martin Stream.The other is a 50-acre area near the Plymouth water district.It would be compensation for the natural resources damage Plymouth incurred at the Hows Corner Superfund Site.Because of waste that was dumped on the site years ago, the groundwater was contaminated.”As part of the clean up for the Hows Corner Superfund Site the state of Maine has the ability to assess natural resources damages and the responsible parties for the site wish to have a full settlement for the site. We’re undergoing negotiations for clean up of the site and as part of that they wanted to settle on Natural resources damages as well.” Says David Wright, Director of Remediation for the Maine DEP.State officials tell us they are happy about the arrangement, but they are waiting to see how residents feel about it.The meeting is being held tonight at 7-pm at the Plymouth Grange Hall.

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Mission Transition

Updated 5 years ago

Young people with disabilities from Penobscot and Piscataquis counties gathered today at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor to learn about resources.There were workshops, experts, and vendors there to teach the students about their options after high school.The mission is to help young people make the transition from high school to the real world.Cindy Tuck, a coordinator with the Maine Transition Network, says it’s important for those with disabilities to know how to get the help they need when it comes to getting a job or going to college.”Youth need to know what the expectations of college are and then once they know that they also need to know how to advocate for themselves in order to receive the assistance they need, so they can be successful at college.”John Ford, a student attending says, “It helps me realize how I can speak out.”There were workshops for the college bound students as well as those headed for the workforce – like how to dress for success.”If you don’t know how people get jobs and if you don’t know, like what you’re supposed to wear for appropriate attire, you’re not going to get the job and people with disabilities need to know that.” says Karianne Rogerson, a student.Representatives from trade schools, vendors, and agencies were on hand to offer advice. Many students there were involved with Vocational Rehab. “They help a lot of people who can’t live on their own and who can’t, maybe don’t go to college or can’t make it through college.” Rogerson says.Seminars like this are happening across the state… Funding from the Department of Labor has made it possible for five divisions of Mission Transition to hold fairs this spring. Organizers say, the most important thing for students to take away is knowing they have to be their own advocate.

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Protecting Your Good Name – Part II

Updated 5 years ago

Most people don’t realize they’ve been a victim of identity theft until it’s too late.So we asked our experts: How are criminals getting into what’s ours? What can we do to stay one step ahead?”One of the biggest ways people are victimized is with their credit card transactions,” says Rep. Chris Greeley, who’s also a Holden police officer. “Online transactions, ATM transactions, not paying attention when you’re using your credit card in line, not paying attention to what they’re doing with their credit card receipts…”Greeley says the more aware we are of how we’re putting our personal financial information out the there, the better.”One of the things we see in law enforcement is you go to a restaurant, you go to pay your bill and you give the person your credit card, and they wander off,” he says. “You don’t know what they’re doing with the credit card.”Don’t write down your Social Security number on that form, or let people photocopy your driver’s license, just because they asked. Find out if it’s necessary. “There are people that if they’re asked for it, they’ll give it out,” says Don Smith, of Penobscot County Federal Credit Union. He helps people run credit reports and look for any fraudulent accounts opened in their name. Experts say check your credit report at least once a year – if not more.”That I think is where it can hurt you the most, is if this stuff finds it way onto a credit report,” he says.Look for anything unusual on the report.”Someone will say, ‘that’s not right. That’s not me.’ That’s when you can realize – wait a minute – someone’s out there using your Social Security number, your name, your address. It is happening,” he says.”You don’t need to be paranoid, just start thinking about every place you put sensitive information to make sure it’s secure.”If you think of the average neighborhood,” says Greeley, “if a criminal just went around the East Side of Bangor perhaps and just hit every mailbox – they’re probably going to get 5 or 10 or 20 credit cards bills in the course of one day.”He says, lock your mailbox, and use cash when you can. Even junk mail these days has personal information on it – make sure it’s shredded before you throw it away.”There are people out there that will go trough dumpsters or one’s personal garbage to find account information,” Smith says.If you are a victim of identity theft, file a police report. In many cases, you’ll need one to dispute any charges made to your accounts.”There are very good federal and state laws in place that protect victims on identity theft. And the key to those protections starts with a copy of the law enforcement report,” says Jane Carpenter, in the Consumer Protection Division at the Attorney General’s Office.They say a lot of this comes down to awareness, and treating your Social Security number and your account numbers and like the precious commodities they are.The Attorney General’s Office Recommends:http://www.maine.gov/ag/consumer/identity_theft/index.shtmlhttp://www.donotcall.govhttp://optoutprescreen.comhttp://www.annualcreditreport.comPolice Recommend:http://www.identitytheft.com/index.php/article/steps_to_take_for_stolen_identityhttp://idtheft.about.com/cs/a.htmOther:http://www.ftc.gov/idthefthttp://www.onguardonline.gov/http://www.greeleyconsulting.com/

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Local Kids put on “Honk”

Updated 5 years ago

There were lots of smiling faces at the Next Generation Theater in Brewer last week.More than thirty kids were there for the dress rehearsal of their musical, “Honk”.It’s a modern take on the ugly duckling story. Kids ages five to twelve have been working hard, learning their roles, songs and putting it all together. The show’s directors are young adults themselves. They say they’re proud of their theater company which has grown to include more than 70 kids in just two years.

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Principal Bill Shot Down

Updated 5 years ago

A legislative panel has unanimously rejected a bill that would change the state’s school aid formula to provide funding for fewer principals and other administrators.The bill’s sponsor was Democratic Representative Brian Bolduc of Auburn. He wanted the move to direct more resources to the classroom.Representative Bolduc’s bill would have had the state fund one administrator for every 500 students. The current formula provides for one administrator for every 305 elementary school students and for every 315 high school students.

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Drug Arrests

Updated 5 years ago

The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department reports that it has made a number of drug busts in recent weeks.One arrest took place when they raided a home in Sidney.Officials say Anthony Welch had set up a marijuana growing operation inside a hidden room in a garage.They found 167-pot plants and charged Welch with aggravated trafficking.On march 12th, hey raided Tobey McAfee’s home on the Cross Hill Rd. in Vassalboro.They say he was growing hallucinogenic mushrooms and had four ounces of marijuana.And on Friday, a deputy arrested Adam Smith of Pittston.Officials say the deputy witnessed what appeared to be a drug sale in a supermarket parking lot.Officials say they found a large quantity of oxycontin pills in Smith’s car when it was searched.They also found more oxycontin and two pounds of marijuana at his home.

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Fireworks in Maine

Updated 5 years ago

Republican Sen. Walter Gooley of Farmington wants to make fireworks legal in Maine. Gooley says he knows fireworks can cause injury and start fires, but he believes it would be better to regulate the sale of fireworks because people are buying them elsewhere and bringing them to Maine illegally.Gooley faces opposition from Fire Marshal John Dean. Dean says that even with a law banning fireworks, there have been 45 fires tied to fireworks since 2000 in Maine.As it stands, five states ban all fireworks. Another five, including Maine, allow sparklers.

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Federal Government Needs Job Applicants

Updated 5 years ago

Uncle Sam wants you, to apply for a government job.It’s estimated that by 2016, 40% of all current federal employees will retire, creating a huge shortage.Plus, the economic stimulus package passed by the federal government is expected to create 120,000 more jobs in just three years.That’s why a federal human resources specialist stopped by the University of Maine today, to let people know how to apply. Julie Saad says he process is more complicated than a private sector position. “This is a lot more involved, and you really want to look for jobs that you really want to apply to because it’s better to do since the applications are so involved. It’s better to do a few quality applications rather than a lot of applications that are not well done.”For more information on federal government jobs, log onto www.makingthedifference.org.

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April Fool’s Virus

Updated 5 years ago

A computer virus that’s affecting Windows users worldwide is no joke.What’s being referred to as the ‘April Fool’s’ virus – or the Conficker Worm – has already infected anywhere from five to twelve million computers just in the U.S.No one knows exactly what this virus is meant to do, but sources say it’s set to ‘go off’ on April 1-st. The I.T. Department at U-Maine has already felt the affects of what could be an April Fools disaster.Ryan Conlogue, from the I.T. department says the virus infect “Four or five dozen computers over the 2 weeks of spring break that we saw.”Called “Conficker”, the virus uses avenues like email and peer-to-peer networks to spread.”The first thing it does, when it gets on your computer is to disable any anti-virus software that your running, it will disable the ability to download patches from Microsoft.” says Dr. Phillip Dickens, a computer science professor at UMaine. So if your computer is running slower than normal, and you haven’t received patches or updates you usually get, you may have the virus. It only infects computers that use Windows, and it works in two stages. First, Strain B of the virus infects the P.C. and disables security.”Making way for Conficker C, which comes in and just embeds itself in your hard drive somewhere and doesn’t do anything until April first.” Says Dickens. On April first, one main system will have complete control of every computer infected. But experts don’t know what the real purpose of the virus is. Dickens says, “It may do something malicious, but my guess is it’s more inclined to try and get personal information try and get credit card numbers.”If you have the MOST up-to-date version of your anti-virus software, it will protect you from Conficker. But If your P.C. already has the virus, you can get information, and download patches and software to fix it off of Microsoft’s website. But experts say this virus is very difficult to get rid of, and it could even block you from visiting anti-virus sites. So, if you’re not super tech savvy, your best bet may be to bring it to a professional. The experts have some tips on keeping your computer safe from viruses like Conficker. 1.) Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date. 2.) Keep your Windows up-dates and patches up-to-date. 3.) Keep your firewall on. 4.) Use more complex passwords. 5.) Don’t open emails or attachments from unfamiliar addresses.

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Central Maine Drug Bust

Updated 5 years ago

For three weeks, Piscataquis county sheriff’s deputies watched what was going on at a rented house on Water Street in Guilford. On march 20th, authorities searched the place.They tell us they found nine pot plants growing there as well as morphine and processed pot. 36-year old Brenda Sawyer is charged with unlawful possession of a scheduled substance. She’s also charged with cultivating marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her husband, 37-year old Terry Sawyer, and 38-year old Herbert Hyland have both been summonsed.A 17-year-old boy is also accused of growing pot and having drug paraphernalia.

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