Thrills and spills are on tap for tomorrow, as hundreds of participants take to the water for the annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race.TV 5′s Amy Erickson gives us a preview.< "it's finally springtime. The kenduskeag certainly marks that turn of the corner, whether it's official on the calendar or not, that spring is finally here."About 800 participants from around Maine and the country are ready to usher in spring with a splash Saturday at the 43rd annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race.As director of Bangor's Parks and Recreation department, Tracy Willette overseas the event.He says things are looking good. "the water is not as high as it's been over the years...but now as low either. So I think the course is going to be good for beginners as well as our expert paddlers."Those who are brave enough will travel a 16.5 mile course from Kenduskeag Village to downtown Bangor...Rescue crews will be stationed and ready at the trickier spots along the way. "we station personnel at historically dangerous spots. Like 6 mile falls...they always fall out of boats there."They'll also be standing by on the Maxfield Bridge on Valley Ave in Bangor.Thousands of spectators are expected to line the banks of the stream for a look at the action...Experts have a word of advice for those bringing little ones to take part in the excitement."make sure you keep them off the banks. We've had a lot of water and the banks can get undercut...so if they get to close to the stream, they could fall in."The race is famous for its thrills...and spills...especially at 6 Mile Falls...but safety personnel are ready to react in seconds if someone gets into trouble. "we'll throw the throw bags first. If we have to go in, we'll go in after them. We're equipped to go in and get them pulled back to shore."Willette says all paddlers..beginners or experts...should come prepared with lots of warm gear...in case you end up going for an unexpected swim. "whenever the temperatures are warm, there's a misconception that the water is equally as warm and that's not so. It's still probably only 35 to 40 degrees."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>The race starts Saturday morning in Kenduskeag Village.Canoes and kayaks will be launched five at a time every minute starting at 8 a.m.There are still spots for folks who’d like to take part.Race day registration is from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the starting line.
Folks in Bangor can expect to see a house on fire on Main Street Sunday, but there’s no need to be alarmed.Bangor firefighters will be burning down a vacant two-story apartment building as part of a training exercise.The structure, as well as a building next to it which use to house The Henrys’ bridal shop, need to be removed from the site so construction can start on the new Tim Horton’s restaurant.Fire crews will use the burn as a way to practice their skills.< "they'll learn how a fire progresses. Hopefully, if conditions are right, we'll be able to watch the progression of the fire before we put it out and give them the experience of seeing how fire can grow and how ventilation will affect the fire.">Fire Department officials chose to do the burn on a Sunday so Main Street traffic would be fairly light.They expect the burn to start at about 9 a.m. and it could last several hours.While it’s burning, one side of Main Street will be closed to traffic.
The Old Town Knights of Columbus have lined up a familiar face for a fundraiser next week.The “Mardens Lady,” Birdie Googins, will host an evening of comedy at the K of C hall on Gilman Falls Ave. next Friday evening.Tickets are $10 each, and proceeds will go towards several Knights of Columbus programs, including helping families in need, and giving scholarships to college-bound students.< "I think everyone should come out to this fundraiser because the knights of columbus do a lot of good for the community. And if you all come, you get to see me! And tickets are cheap and they can send everyone on to college! Well, not everyone, but some of 'em!">The fundraiser is next Friday, April 24th, at 7 p.m.Tickets are available at Birmingham’s store in Old Town.You can also get tickets by calling the Knights of Columbis at 827-7371.Tickets will also be available at the door.
A man from Connecticut is in critical condition after a fall at Acadia National Park.55-year-old Jeffrey Dugan was hiking on a path between Otter Cliffs and Otter Point on Wednesday when he fell fifteen feet onto the rocks below.It took crews close to an hour to rescue Dugan after the fall.He was flown by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with multiple injuries.The accident happened on opening day at the park.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Gov. John Baldacci’s office saysfast-track legislation signed by the governor could benefit 10,000laid-off workers by the end of the year. Maine unemployment law changes enacted Thursday offer additionalweeks of benefits to workers who are still unemployed and have runout of other unemployment assistance. Officials say extended aid may be paid on top of up to 59 weeksof benefits already provided. Currently, 26 weeks come through regular unemployment benefitsand 33 weeks are available in emergency unemployment compensationbenefits. The new extended benefits provide up to 13 additionalweeks. The governor said Maine can now access additional federal fundsmade available through the Recovery Act.
A long-time music teacher for schools in Searsport, Frankfort and Stockton Springs is free on bail.Authorities say 39-year-old Bill Wiley of Searsport, sexually assaulted a girl between the age of 12 and 13.He’s charged with gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact.The alleged victim told reportedly police that the incidents took place five years ago.Wiley posted bail at Waldo County jail Thursday night and was released. Wiley has worked for SAD 56 since 1991.
A former teacher from Mount View Junior High School in Thorndike has been arrested on child pornography charges.State police arrested 41-year old Michael Douglas Thursday afternoon in Augusta.Douglas was a science teacher at Mount View as recently as last week.This week, police conducted interviews with teachers and students at the school.Police aren’t saying if the pornography was found on school property or at Douglas’ home.Douglas was released from the Kennebec County jail after posting a $1,000 bail Thursday night.
For more information on the free prescription drug program Adrienne Bennett reported on, log onto www.caremark.com/nlcIf you’re an Augusta resident, you can pick up the card at one of three locations-City hall, the Lithgow library, or the Buker Center.++++++++++++++++++For more information on Shaken Baby Syndrome or about the Period of Purple Crying program, you can visit the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome’s website at www.dontshake.org++++++++++++++++++The Goodwill store Bridal Dress showcase starts at 9AM Saturday morning and goes until 1PM.It’s located on Western Avenue in Augusta.If you’re planning a wedding, professionals will be there to help, and there will be prizes and free refreshments too.+++++++++++++++++The Home Show will continue Friday from 1-9PM at the Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center.Then on Saturday from 10AM to 9PM, and Sunday from 10AM until 5PM.
If you’re looking for ideas for your home improvement projects, then you might want to head to the Bangor Auditorium this week-end. The 39th annual Bangor Home Show kicked off Thursday afternoon.It features 250 booths from all kinds of vendors, from builders to remodelers to people who sell pools. Plus, you’ll see other businesses that sell everything from jewelry to fresh bread.Some retailers are also taking the chance to raise money for charity. Craig Smith of Boulderz Poolz & Spaz is asking people to throw coins into a spa he has set up. All of that money will go to the Children’s Miracle Network. “The Children’s Miracle Network helps out kids in the hospital and we had a son that was in the hospital for a while so it’s just our way to give back.”The Bangor Home Show hours are:Friday: 1:00 PM – 9:00 PMSaturday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PMSunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The most recent figures show Mainers spent more than $800 million dollars for prescription drugs in just one year.Thursday, Augusta’s mayor rolled out a new program that’s giving people a discount on their meds, for free.One in four Mainers under the age of 65 were without health insurance in 2007 and 2008 according to a report released last month.Louanne Manter is one of those people.She runs her own business in downtown Augusta, and was the first person to receive a prescription discount card from the city.”You don’t have to pay or be a member to get the card, you just have to be a resident of Augusta, and that’s pretty cool.” Augusta is the first place in Maine to take part in the program that will save customers on average about 20% per prescription.The card can be used on meds that are not covered by insurance.All major pharmacy chains are taking part, and if you’re wondering what the catch is, mayor Roger Katz says there isn’t one. “There is no catch. The city is paying nothing for this program. It doesn’t cost individuals anything at all.” If you have insurance already, Katz says it’s worth having a card just in case.”There are many prescription drugs not covered, so this card will still apply. Also, it’s going to apply to a lot of folks pets.” Yes, some pet prescriptions are covered too. Nearly 200 cities across the U.S. have signed up.”We launched this in November with four pilot cities.”CVS Caremark representative Brad Stone says pharmacies will be absorbing the costs in exchange for getting more people through their doors. “While people do purchase a prescription, they’re likely to purchase some over the counter products as well.” Monthly reports are sent to each participating city showing how many residents use the card and how much they saved.Manter says any savings these days.”Is a good thing.” If you’re an Augusta resident, you can pick up the card at one of three locations.City Hall, the Lithgow Library or the Buker Center.For more information on the program, log onto www.caremark.com/nlc.
Babies cry, it’s normal.There’s a typical period of time in their young lives when the crying reaches its peak. That’s when infants are extra prone to being injured by frustrated parents and caregivers.That’s why “The period of purple crying program” was created.It’s a national program to promote awareness about the problem and to protect babies.Thursday the program was discussed in a big way at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth.For many parents the reality of a crying baby is a lot to handle.”By the time they’re 6 to 8 weeks old, they hit what we call a peak period of crying. That can be for some babies as much as 6 hours.”This leaves many new parents frustrated. Experts say many cases of shaken baby syndrome stem from this frustration.”Typically, crying is the trigger, so we want to get this educational program out there to try to impact how people understand and deal with baby crying.”There’s now a program aimed at educating caretakers on what to do.”We felt that the period of purple crying had the best mix of education about crying and discussion of shaken baby syndrome. We really wanna focus on how families understand normal crying and how they respond to it.”Educating the public about this now is particularly important.”We’ve seen a dramatic, if not three fold or more, rise in cases of abusive head trauma.””Experts say there’s a number of reasons why the number of infant head traumas has gone up. However, they say the economy could be a major factor.””The best predictor of the abuse rate is the employment rate, so there’s no question that plays a role.”Experts say alcohol, drug abuse and a rise in domestic violence may also play a role.They say an average of 12 to 15 cases have been reported in Maine in the past two years, but those are just the tip of the iceberg. “For every baby hospitalized with shaken baby syndrome as many as 10, even perhaps 100 babies are actually shaken.”For more information on shaken baby syndrome, or about the period of purple crying program, you can visit the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome’s website.
The University College of Bangor has been providing education to folks in the area for 40 years, and Thursday night they are celebrated that anniversary.Students, staff and alumni gathered on campus to mark the milestone.The evening’s presentation included a look back at the history of the school, a proclamation by the city of Bangor and a ceremonial cake lighting.Dean Gillian Jordan says, “Forty years is not as long as some of the very old institutions but we’ve seen a lot of students go through and have seen a lot of changes. It was just time to thank the community and our students and have fun.”Dean Jordan also says they plan to have a couple other events this year to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
A fire in Bradford Thursday afternoon, destroyed a home, and torched some woods nearby. Crews were called to the scene on the Jones Road just after one.By the time firefighters got there, the fire had a good head start. It took them about 20 minutes to knock down the flames, but several hours to put out all hot spots.Lyda Koslowski lived there with her husband. They weren’t home at the time. Bradford Fire Chief Scott Demoranville says some people who were visiting next door noticed the fire. “Some guests had pulled into the yard, noticed the fire and smoke down back and actually thought that the owners were down there burning brush and they mentioned it, and said nobody was burning brush and it turned out to be an actual structure fire.”There were two cats and a dog in the home. They died in the fire.Koslowski did not have insurance.The fire chief isn’t sure what started the fire, but suspects it might have something to do with the electrical wiring.
Students and staff at Sebasticook Valley Middle School are doing their part to support Maine troops overseas.The spent the day folding flags into pocket bags…they’ll be sent to deployed servicemen and women.One of the flags will be sent to Afghanistan and then returned to the school to be displayed as a reminder of the troops’ sacrifices.Teachers say the project is especially important because several staff members and students have loved ones who are actively serving overseas.The students say they were glad to help.< "because they're fighting for our freedom and some of them are dying and we're just helping them out because the families need it.">Students and staff members have also been collecting donations to send to troops overseas.They’re preparing boxes with all kinds of snacks and toiletries to be shipped to Maine soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A woman from Newport is Maine’s newest millionaire.Four years after buying a scratch ticket on a whim, Brenda Ripton got the word from the Maine State Lottery that she’d hit the jackpot…literally!Amy Erickson has the story.< "it's just such a blessing. i haven't been able to absorb the whole thing yet."Brenda Ripton got the shock of a lifetime when her phone rang Tuesday morning. "the lady said brenda ripton? And i said yes. And she said are you sitting down? And i said no...why would i be sitting down?" "they finally said this is the maine state lottery, you've won a million dollars."Ripton didn't buy it...she thought someone was playing a cruel joke.She hung up...got the number for the Maine State Lottery and made the call...sure enough, it was for real.Almost four years ago, she bought a "texas Hold 'em" scratch ticket. It was a loser, but as part of a promotion, she filled out the back and mailed it to lottery headquarters. She never heard a thing until this week."they finally...had 2.4 million tickets to sell. It took that long to sell all those tickets and they finally had the drawing and they drew my name."Ripton filled out the paperwork Tuesday...and should have the actual check in hand by Thursday night. "i'm getting 700 thousand once the state and their government takes their part."And it couldn't have come at a better time.Ripton and her husband have both been out of work.Plus, she's dealing with health problems...and some major home improvement needs. "it's gonna be a big help to us.""yeah, i'm getting a well. We've had problems with our water. we ran out of water this winter."Family members say it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person."it's a blessing and someone that really deserves it. She does so much for so many people and it's just really great that it's my mother in law!" "i just look at this as a gift that God has given me and I have to just be a good steward with my money.""i have to see it first and hold it before i really believe this is all true. i told my husband if i wake up from this dream and it isn't true, i'm going to be very upset!"Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Palmyra.>
Residents of Vassalboro packed into the town office Wednesday night. Their mission, draft a new town ordinance addressing nudity. The issue started when the topless coffee shop, the Grand View, opened. The owner now wants to expand the business, and add a strip club. Vassalboro residents discussed several options, including an outright ban on establishments that have nudity. Many residents say, at the very least, they want to set strict guidelines for any new businesses opening in town.Vassalboro selectwoman Libby Mitchell warns an outright ban could result in a long legal battle. When the town of Farmingdale tried to put a ban on the books, the state supreme court overturned the ordinance. Vassalboro town selectmen will draft an ordinance in the next week and then hold another public hearing.The final vote will be June 8th.
The Maine State Planning Office hopes to use $2.3 million in federal stimulus money to retrieve lobster traps lost on the ocean floor.Referred to as “ghost” traps by fishermen and industry officials, the traps end up piling up on the ocean floor when they break free from their buoy. The traps continue to do their jobs catching lobsters, which eventually die because they can’t crawl out.Each year, the Department of Marine Resources sells 3.2 million trap tags to allow lobstermen to replace up to 10% of their tags due to lost traps.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expected to announce next month whether it will fund the 18-month project.
The value of Maine’s lobster catch plunged in 2008.The Department of Marine Resources reported that lobstermen caught 67.4 million pounds, bup by 3 million pounds from 2007, but the value of the catch fell $49.7 million.Commissioner George Lapointe said the numbers show him that the lobster population off Maine is in good shape, but the industry is in economic distress.The declining value of the catch not a surprise after demand and prices for Maine’s signature seafood tanked last fall.
Most people like a good book, and it becomes even better when it’s good enough to eat. There were lots of edible books at Eastern Maine Community College Wednesday.The Friends of the EMCC Library were hosting their 8th annual Books 2 Eat competition. People of all ages were asked to use edible materials to depict one of their favorite books. You could find everything from the Enchanted Forest, to Inch by Inch to March of the Penguins. Lois Marchand, Board Member for Friends of the EMCC Library says, ost of the entries were cakes, but some weren’t. “We have some nice ones that are not cake, that are vegetables. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one. There are just some very unique entries. It just always amazes me what people can come up with.”There were several categories for judging including Professional Chef, Children under 12 and Stephen King Representation.Folks who attended the event voted for their favorite. Then afterwards the masterpieces were either going to be auctioned off, or cut up and eaten.
Students in Glenburn were learning important lessons today on staying healthy. The Glenburn Elementary School held its 2nd Annual Wellness Health Fair.There were booths to teach kids about everything from the importance of hand washing to internet safety to basic first aid. Plus, crews from the Glenburn Fire Department were on hand to talk about fire safety. There was plenty to keep the kids busy.”The coolest thing I think, is the fitness testing over there. That or the stuff about asthma over there.”, said 4th Grader Zack Caron. Fellow 4th Grader Mackenzie DeIuliis added, “I think it’s important to learn these things so you’re healthy and it’s not hard for you to move, you have proper exercise and everything.”Staff members weren’t left out, there was a special section for them, that included massages. School officials hope the students will take what they’ve learned back home to their parents and siblings.