Question 1 on the November ballot has created a lot of debate in our state. It reads as follows:”Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?”View Question 1 Debate Part 2View Question 1 Debate Part 3
Environmental groups opposing a major development plan near Moosehead Lake have followed through on their promise to go to court and challenge the state’s initial approval of the project.The Forest Ecology Network and Restore the North Woods filed an appeal in Kennebec County Superior Court on Wednesday.Their case challenges the land use regulation commission’s approval of Plum Creek’s Moosehead Lake region plan.The Plum Creek project calls for more than 800 house lots, and two resorts with more than 1,200 housing units at Big Moose Mountain and Lily Bay.
A Machias man accused of setting fire to a woman’s house in Dennysville has been arrested.51-year-old Byron Alley was taken to Washington County Jail Wednesday morning.Investigators were called to the home of 61-year-old Joyce Morse on the South Ridge Road in Dennysville around two Wednesday morning.She reported a fire on the outside of her mobile home.Morse says her dogs woke her up after the fire broke out, and she was able to put it out using water. Her feet were burned in the incident.Fire investigator Tim York says the fire was set near a door on the outside of the home.York says Alley and Morse know each other.Alley was questioned a few hours after the fire, then arrested.
The arrest of a 67-year-old Shirley man is raising questions about why he wasn’t on the state’s sex offender registry as required by law.Donald Denbow was charged last week with gross sexual assault involving a young girl in his barber shop in Dover-Foxcroft. The girl told police the assaults happened from 2004 to 2006, when she was between 10 and 12 years old.Police discovered Denbow had been convicted of a similar crime 27 years ago.Denbow should’ve been in the registry because lawmakers four years ago expanded the registry to include sex offenses going back to 1982.Officials say the case demonstrates the difficulty of updating the registry to include offenders whose criminal records are on paper files dating back before computers.
In the midst of a crisis, communication is critical.Wednesday, emergency personnel from more than a dozen agencies worked together in a training exercise targeted to save lives.There were two events that occurred within a 15 minute span and twenty miles apart.One in Augusta, where a plane had landing gear problems, and one in Fairfield, where a bus crashed into a tanker truck.Part of the exercise was to see how well emergency workers collaborated between emergency operations centers in the two different counties.To make the training as real as possible volunteers played the part of victims.Overall, there were about one hundred people taking part in the two training exercises.
Engineering students at UMaine had a chance to make some connections, and check out employment opportunities at the annual engineering job fair.63 different employers were at this year’s event. About 700 students were expected to be there.Companies from several different disciplines were represented including computer engineering. Civil engineering and chemical engineering.Patty Counihan, director of the career center at UMaine says, despite the tough economy, many companies do have job openings.Counihan says many professors who teach first and second year students encouraged them to attend the event so that they could make connections for future job opportunities.
Close to 100 people attended a wedding and reception in Bangor earlier this month. A short time later, many of those guests reported being sick.State health officials say while they can confirm there was some sort of outbreak that day, they can’t pinpoint how it was transmitted. And some of the guests are still asking questions.Folks say the wedding of Laura and Kevin DiDonato here on October 4th was beautiful. Until the next day, when many of their guests reported feeling sick, including Sarah Atherton. She had to stay home from work and see a doctor.”And I looked on Facebook and a bunch of my friends were sick. And then I got in touch with the bride and every time that I talked to her, the number got bigger and bigger….she had to leave her honeymoon early because her husband was sick,” Atherton says.The outbreak was reported to state health officials, who put out a report Wednesday. They interviewed 63 wedding guests. Forty-four people, or 70 percent of them, reported being sick with symptoms of norovirus, a common virus that’s transmitted quickly in different ways.”This is a pretty good size outbreak. We do have norovirus outbreaks throughout the year in Maine, but this would be one of the largest reported to us,” says Dr. Andrew Pelletier, medical epidemiologist with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. “Norovirus can present as severe illness, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea, and people will be very uncomfortable.”They couldn’t conclude exactly how the virus was transmitted at the event. Jane Arey at the Spectacular Events Center says she’s certain it wasn’t through their food.”I’ve been in business for 10 years, and we’ve never had an incident. So I can feel very strongly about our practices and the temperatures we cook the food, and how we do it, how we prep it, etc.,” Arey says.During an inspection, the health department did find some violations. The report also notes that some people who attended the wedding said they were sick when they came.”There’s always that risk factor, for all of us, when a large group is in a confined space…sometimes people don’t know they’re still contagious,” Arey says. “It’s unfortunate, but it happens.”The bride tells TV5 it was an upsetting end to their wedding day…but she hopes people remember the good memories, too.
Still looking for that perfect Halloween costume? Then you might want to stop by the Bangor Opera House this week-end.The Penobscot Theatre is holding a costume sale, and we’re told you can great deals on just about any costume you can imagine.”All sizes, all ages, there really is something for everybody.”The folks at the Penobscot Theatre say they’ve been collecting costumes for the past 36 years, and that means they have a lot of them.”I would say a ton, we have a ton of clothes.”, says Joye Cook-Levy, Director of Education at Penobscot TheatreSo now it’s time to get rid of some of them, and make a few bucks.”We need to have this sale for a couple of reasons. One, it’s a fundraiser for our annual fund and it’s a way for us to kind of clean house.”You’ll find 80’s prom dresses, wacky hats, wigs, costumes for the clown in you, and shakespearean attire. Plus you might even be able to pick up a suit.”It might be from 1995 but you know, workable.”You’ll also find lots and lots of accessories, all of it at a great bargain. Most items are priced between 5 to 10 dollars.So this Halloween, or any day of the year, you can strut around in a little bit of Penobscot Theater history, all while helping the theater to continue making history.”That piece of clothing had a life and brought a character to life.”The sale is being held Saturday, October 24 from 10:00 AM – 2:00PM at the Bangor Opera House, right in the Lobby.
Two men from Millinocket who could be connected to more than 30 camp break-ins since September remain in the Penobscot County Jail. 30-year-old David Bechard was arrested Monday night for a camp burglary in Molunkus Township in Aroostook County, along with 34-year-old James Willis. They both appeared in court today on one count of burglary, but state police say they could face other charges.Police tell us they believe the men broke into more than 30 camps on Ambajejus Lake in Piscataquis County and on Smith Pond and South Twin Lake in Penobscot County.So far police have recovered two firearms, electronics, games, camping items and household goods stolen from the camps. Bail was set today for Bechard at 1-thousand dollars cash, Willis at 3-hundred dollars cash. They’re scheduled to appear in court again in December.
The Patten community has come together for local dairy farmers who lost a barn to fire.As Meghan Hayward tells us, if it wasn’t for all the support, they wouldn’t be able to continue doing their jobs.”He ran towards me and said, it’s your barn and it was just terrible. I’ve never had that feeling before and I hope I never have it again.”Robert Guptill is talking about the fire last week that gutted the barn on the dairy farm he and his wife Louise own.”The milking parlor had grains stored overhead and that kind of saved that room. But all the rest of the milk house, utility room and cat pin area and about 1/3 of the barn burned.”Robert is the fourth generation to own the farm.”And it was homesteaded when they had the Homestead Act in 1866, my great-grandfather. But it’s not a lot of generations because all my ancestors didn’t have kids until they were older.”The barn fire has forced them to switch up their daily routines around the farm.Robert says the community has been a huge help.”Oh my heavens, it just makes me so happy. Over this tragedy it makes me happy. I can’t believe how everybody turned out.”A big contribution the Guptills have received is a mobile milking unit that the Maine Livestock Association is letting them borrow.”I am so thankful for this unit because it has saved the family farm.”The unit allows them to milk their cows, since their own milking equipment was destroyed in the fire.Louise says in rough times, it’s good to have the kind of people they have behind them.”I mean in the tough economic time, this is the community to live in.”Their son, Benjamin, will soon be the fifth generation to take over the farm.He too is amazed by everyone’s support.”Really appreciative. We wouldn’t be where we are if we didn’t have all the help.”Thanks to that help, the Guptills aren’t letting the fire stop them from doing their job.”I don’t want to be the generation to quit.”
Paper mill workers and environmentalists joined together today in Bangor to support legislation they say will add thousands of jobs to the state. Members of the United Steelworkers of Maine, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups called on Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to back a clean energy and climate change bill. The legislation is aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on oil, by retooling manufacturing plants to produce green energy.It also includes money to re-train laid off employees. Union workers say that could offer hope for many paper mills, such as the NewPage mill in Rumford, which has lost about 6-hundred jobs in the last few years. Worker Ron Hemingway says, “We have a biomass boiler at our facility and it is very clean and it puts out a lot of energy. It helps to keep us competitive. If we could get a clean energy bill, it would help my mill even more to be able to put more of my people back to work.”The Senate is expected to begin debating the clean energy legislation this month.
Dysart’s Restaurant in Hermon hopes customers this month will eat – to beat cancer. Throughout october, the owners are donating fivepercent of their proceeds to help fight cancerThis year the money will go to help fund the new cancer treatment facility in Brewer. Cancer has touched the lives of many of the folks working at Dysarts according to owner Mary Dysart-Hartt. “It was a group effort because the family of employees here we’re always coming up with new ideas for different ways to be able to do donations for Cancer Care,” she says, “we are doing fund raising through the year and so we came up with this as a really big fundraiser to be able to go to this very important new facility.”This is the second year in a row Dysart’s has run this promotion. They’re hoping to beat last years total when they raised $10,000 for cancer treatment.
The first doses of vaccine against the H1N1 flu are starting to arrive in Maine.Roger Audette, Augusta Fire Chief, says that some of the city’s emergenct medical service employees were vaccinated against the swine flu Monday. Overall, fifty employees will be vaccinatedDr. Dora Anne Mills of the Maine Center for Disease Control andPrevention says that vaccine doses set aside for health care providers are for those who have frequent, direct contact with patients.So far, Maine has received about 35,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine, short of the 700,000 doses officials estimate will be needed.A majority of the vaccines will be for children, who are the most vulnerable to swine flu.
With some hotly debated questions on the ballot, city hall is buzzing with requests for absentee ballots this election season. Bangor City Clerk Patty Dubois says the referendum questions are a big reason for the jump. “For an off year election, it’s been particularly busy and I think people are particularly interested in Question 1 and also the Tabor and excise tax questions have generated a lot of interest, so we’re busier than you would anticipate for an off year election.”Absentee ballots are available 45 days before election day by contacting the City Clerks office by phone or mail, you can also request a ballot online at the city’s website. “You can ask for an absentee ballot right up until election day,” says Dubois, “the key is they have to be returned to our office no later than 8:00 p.m on election night.”Bangor residents can also vote early at the Bangor Civic Center, October 26th-November 2nd. The polls are open from 8:00-6:00 Monday thru Friday and 8:00 to Noon on Saturdays. “What early voting is this year,” says Dubois, “in particular we’re participating in pilot program with the Secretary of State’s office to do early voting where voters feed their ballots directly into the voting machine just like on election day rather than just seal them in an envelope which is held until it’s processed on election day so that kind of a new process and what that does for the voter is it gives them a sense of security that there ballot is actually cast.”This year will also help to determine the future of early voting statewide. “Voters that participate in the early voting will be asked to participate in a survey which will be submitted to the legislature so that they can make a determination on whether or not to send to the voters a constitutional amendment that will allow early voting at all elections,” says Dubois.
The Maine Attorney General’s office and a legal assistance group are at odds over details on a new law that that allows landlords to cut a deal on heating costs in exchange for lower rent.From Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Matt Dyer, says that the law will allow negotiations for temperatures between 68 and 62 degrees Farenheit for tenants. This clarifies ambiguity over minumum temperature requirements. But an opinion offered last year by Attorney General Steven Rowesays there is no legal minimum temperature. Spokeswoman KateSimmons says the new law doesn’t change that.Additionlly, this agreement is not allowed in rentals for occupants younger then 5 years old or older than 65 years of age.
Over the coming decade, Maine will be facing a large funding shortfall within transportation needs.TRIP, a Washington based noprofit group released a report in South Portland called, “Falling Behind: The Condition and Funding of Maine’s Roads, Highways & Bridges.”According to the report, the Maine Department of Transportation estimates $6.5 billion will be needed between 2009 and 2018 for the state’stransportation needs. But according to the report, only $3.2billion will be available under current funding.On November 3rd, Mainers will be voting whether to approve a $71 million transportation bond to pay for improvements on airports, bridges, highways and public transit, ferry, and port facilities.
Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the people who stole five cars overnight from Farmington and Temple, then lead police on two high speed chases. Deputies say they were trying to pull over the driver of one of those stolen cars early this morning on Route 43 near the Farmington-Temple town line.The driver crashed, jumped out of the car and into another stolen vehicle, driven by a second suspect. Authorities continued to follow the pair on Route 43 until they crashed the second car into a Wilton police cruiser.The two then ran off into the woods. All five cars have been recovered. Deputies say the cars also had keys in them before they were stolen, so they’re reminding drivers to take keys out of their vehicles. If you have information that could help authorities in this case, call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department at 778-9891.
The body of one of the missing urchin fishermen from eastern Maine has been recovered- their boat’s believed to be sunk in Cobscook Bay. The body was recovered during a search Wednesday, but officials aren’t saying whose body it was. The Coast Guard says a helicopter and three boats were searching for Joseph Jones, the skipper, and crew members Darrell Cline and Norman Johnson.They were on board the 32-foot urchin dragger Bottom Basher Tuesday, but didn’t return home. The Coast Guard says a lot of debris from the boat has been found. A search was launched after the fiance of one of the men called to report the boat overdue Tuesday night.
Maine’s congressional delegation is asking that a fisheries disaster be declared for the state’s shellfish industry to help with losses from this summer’s clam flat closures due to red tide.A declaration would free up disaster assistance funds for the shellfish industry.Much of the Maine coast was shut down to shellfish harvesting during the summer because of outbreaks of toxic algae blooms, putting hundreds of clam diggers out of work.
In less than two weeks, voters in Brewer will select two city council members, two school board members and a district trustee.Tuesday night residents directed questions at the candidates for those offices.It was “meet the candidates” night at Brewer High School.There are four people running for the two council positions.The other candidates are unopposed.Several topics were touched upon including collaboration with other cities and towns, and the budget.The event was hosted by the Brewer Education Association.