Local News

International Pen Pals Meet in Veazie

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

It began as a project for a class.But in just a couple of months it has resulted in friendships that span the globe.A group of eighth grade students came away with more than they thought when they first put pen to paper.”In social studies we have a self reform project and mine was to do pen pals with people from other countries so we could learn about their culture more” said Madison McNally “and my mom works at IEI so I thought we could do pen pals with her students.”IEI is the Intensive English Institute at UMaine for foreign exchange students, and it helps those students at the same time.”I’m learning about her lifestyle, Americans lifestyle, because I think it’s different from Thailand, so I tell her about my culture and she learns.” said Aithittaya Wichayamuphap of Thailand.And Laura Exposito of Spain agreed. “I think that it is a really nice experience to meet people from another country and I was really I don’t know from happy and excited to meet someone.”The students are from Brazil, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Spain and they gave presentations about life in their home countries. The best part was putting a face to the writers of the letters they’ve been reading.”To meet each other” said Exposito “and just learning about the different experiences and stuff and the different countries.” said Veazie’s Catherine Cunningham.The project went beyond the expectations that McNally had for it.”I didn’t know people would be so excited to do this and we’d actually get to meet our pen pals but it just unfolded that way and I think it’s just better now because they all got to meet them.”Which has created bonds that will last and the conversations don’t end here said Brazils Marcelo Rugini.”Yeah, I mean we are friends now and we probably going to continue.”

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Easter Morning Fire Destroys South Thomaston Home

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

A fire early Easter morning destroyed a home in South Thomaston.Crews were called to Spruce Head Road just before 6 AM.Mark and Elizabeth Connell lived in the mobile home.They and several pets made it out safely.South Thomaston Fire Chief Bryan Calderwood tells TV-5 the fire started near a wood stove.Additional crews from St. George, Rockland and Thomaston all spent about three and a half hours battling the flames.A firefighter from the South Thomaston department sprained an ankle at the scene.He was treated at a local hospital and released.Chief Calderwood says the Connells are now staying with family.They did not have insurance on the home.

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Baileyville Camp Fire

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

Fire destroyed a camp in Baileyville early Monday morning.Crews were called to the Houlton Road around 3:30 AM.Fire chief Gary Santerre tells TV-5 that a couple was living there, but had stayed at a friend’s house overnight.Fire fighters spent about two hours battling the blaze.The fire marshal’s office is now trying to determine a cause.

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Hampden Students Visit Challenger Learning Center

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

Many young Mainers dream about being an astronaut when they grow up.But after today, some Hampden students may be fine tuning that title a bit more.Joy hollowell takes us to the challenger learning center in Bangor.==============”Good Morning, c’mon in guys”Monday morning, first graders from Mcgraw Elementary school in Hampden took a field trip, to space.”1,2 here we go.”Unfortunately, these young space explorers only had a few hours, not nearly enough time to reach earth’s outer limit, let alone what lies beyond.”We’re docked, transferring control”So instead, they headed to the Challenger Learning Center in Bangor.”often times in the elementary programs, the teachers are working on their literacy and their math and spend a lot of time in the classroom with that. So, we’re looking to enhance anything that we can do to keep kids excited about science,” says Annette Brickley, professional development director for the Challenger Learning Center.”Space station, this is mission control, we will now build the fuelsalage for your rocket.”The students were divided into teams of engineers and scientists.”So in your team, the engineers are going to do the building and then guess who’s gonna test the rocket?The scientists.” “it’s really fun and you get to see a bunch of different things that are about space,” says 6-year old Ryan.”it was like I was actually going up into space in that rocket for a few seconds, it was really cool,” says first grader Aria.”just hope to kick off their excitement about what scientists do in space and how engineers help those scientists,” says Brickley.”i’d rather be a scientist than an astronaut because it’s pretty dangerous to be an astronaut because you might blow up,” says 6-year old Annika.+++++++++++++++For more information on the Challenger Learning Center, you can visit their website, www.clcofme.org You can also call them at 990-2900.

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Broadway Reopened

Updated 5 years ago

Broadway in Bangor was closed off for much of the afternoon, but is open to traffic again tonight.Police responded to Weber Mortgage just after one this afternoon. They tell us a man inside the building called a friend to say he was going to kill himself with a rifle. Police closed down the section of Broadway between McDonald’s and Husson Avenue and evacuated surrounding buildings.Crews tried to call the man inside the Weber Mortgage office or look through the windows but couldn’t make contact.They sent a robot inside to check things out.Shortly after that, a tactical team entered the building and discovered a body inside.There’s no confirmation yet as to who was inside the building or a cause of death.”With a high powered rifle involved,” says Bangor Police Sgt. Paul Edwards, “we don’t want to take any chances on the safety of the officers or anyone else involved. So we tried other avenues – the tactical team, the robot team, everybody was used in this instance just to make it as safe as possible.”Rob Carmichael watched the incident from inside the Maine Savings building across the street. He says police told them to stay inside and away from the windows.”Well, people were a little bit nervous, obviously, worried, a lot of rumors flying around,” Carmichael says. “I think we did the right thing, in terms of our branch, and just tried to stay out of the way.” That section of Broadway was shut down for several hours as officers responded to the scene. The road was reopened just before 4 o’clock.

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Bank Robberies on the Rise?

Updated 5 years ago

The number of bank robberies in Maine is up this year.Last month’s holdup at the Maine Education Credit Union in Augusta was the seventh bank robbery along the Interstate 295 corridor since November.The Kennebec Journal newspaper reports that in addition to the seven robberies in the central Maine area, there have been robberies in Parsonfield, Portland and Auburn.There were 14 bank robberies in 2005, which more than doubled the six robberies of 2004, according to the Department of Public Safety. The number of bank robberies nearly doubled again in 2006, to 27, and fell back to 12 in 2007.

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Shooting in Standish

Updated 5 years ago

Police are investigating a shooting in the town of Standish.According to Maine State Police, a woman was shot in the abdomen and her husband was beaten in the head.The victims are 47-year-old Linda Dolloff and her husband, 53-year-old Jeffrey Dolloff.Cumberland County deputies went to the home after the woman called 911 around 3 a.m. Sunday.Police say the woman came outside and the man was found inside in a bedroom.Detectives are hoping to get more information from the couple once their medical conditions improve.

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Presque Isle Man Killed in Snowmobile Crash

Updated 5 years ago

Game Wardens are investigating a fatal snowmobile crash in Aroostook County.It happened Saturday night about 6 miles west of Oxbow.Wardens say 22-year-old Brian James was killed in the crash.He was riding on a trail with a friend…no details yet on how the accident happened.It was the ninth snowmobile-related fatality this season.While the snowmobile season is winding down in northern Maine, there still is snow on many of the woods trails.

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Man Charged in Connection with 2007 Snowmobile Accident

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Limerick has been charged in connection with a hit-and-run snowmobile accident from 2007.39-year-old David Sanborn faces a felony count of furnishing alcohol to a minor.Mr. Sanborn’s arrest is the second stemming from the snowmobile incident. 19-year-old Patrick Rosa, also of Limerick, was sentenced last month to four months in jail for his role in the same accident.On December 28th of 2007, Rosa and three others were racing sleds along an airstrip in Limerick where snowmobiling is prohibited.44-year-old Darrin Smith was walking his dog in the area when he was hit by a snowmobile…He was thrown through the air, and shattered his leg and arm.His dog was also seriously injured.Smith’s young daughter found him and called 9-1-1.Evidence indicated that the incident was alcohol related.The Class C felony count against David Sanborn carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in jail and a five thousand dollar fine.

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Mudding on one Maine road is causing a mess

Updated 5 years ago

Game wardens are on the lookout for the person they say ripped up roads in the Milford area.Warden Dave Georgia says there’s been an increase in traffic on the the outer part of the County Road lately, as folks head that way to go mudding.But some vehicles have been driving into the ditches, and along land owned by paper company American Forest Management.There’s also a natural gas pipeline that runs along that area, that stands to be damaged.Most of the road, which is owned by the town of Milford, has been torn up due to mud and traffic.And Georgia says the taxpayers and paper company will have to pay a hefty price if the mudding doesn’t stop.He says wardens are working to get the word out that those caught destroying the road or land, will be prosecuted.”This is the last place, Maine, and especially this area right here along the Studmill Road, is one of the last places in the whole country where somebody can come out and use this land for free. And it’s only a matter of time before people get tired of it.”Georgia says some landowners have already closed off parts of the road because of damage.And he says run off from the torn up parts of that area could lead to erosion issues down the road.

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Wardens urge folks to think ahead for safety.

Updated 5 years ago

Search a rescue crews have had their hands full, the past few days….A 76-year-old woman from South Portland who went missing last week, was located 180 miles away from home today.She was found 18 miles north of Greenville, in Kokadjo, walking along a snowmobile trail, with just one shoe. And an 80-year-old Machias man, who went missing Friday night, was found early this morning, on a trail along Porcupine Mountain.With the number of folks headed outside, as the weather gets better, Maine Wardens are asking people to plan ahead, to keep from getting into a bind.Cori Skall has more….”There’s really no down time when it comes to search and rescue.””In the winter time, you’ve got snow-mobilers….Right now, you’re getting into fisherman, people getting out in to the woods. You have a lot of Alzheimers this time of year, lot of kids.”Kevin Adam is a sergeant with the Maine Warden Service.He says last year alone, they took part in close to 500 searches.”Right now, you’re getting in to the time of year where people can break out in to the woods.””It’s actually a dangerous time of year, because in the winter time, people are usually prepared to go out for that type of weather. Now we have warm days but we still have cool nights. And the likelihood of hypothermia is greater.”Adam says there are a number of things you want to have with you when you head outdoors.”Take proper clothing. Prepare not only for the day, but for the nighttime. Take some snacks with you and the biggest overall thing is if you become lost, stop moving. Just stop.”Adam also advises getting yourself out of the elements.”Any type of little shelter you can make. A.) It’ll keep you busy, keep you warm. B.) You’ll be building yourself a shelter and C.) It will get your scent in an area, so when we get our canine out, it’ll be easier to find you.”Adam says if you have a car, stay with it.And if you have a phone, call 911.”You know, the biggest thing…Tell somebody where you’re going. Tell somebody where you’re going and when you plan to return. And where you’re leaving from. Those three things right there, we can start a search right there, pretty easy.”Cori Skall, WABI TV 5 News

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Governor: Beware of Stimulus Scams

Updated 5 years ago

Governor John Baldacci is warning Mainers to be wary of telephone calls or solicitations claiming to be related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or stimulus.Baldacci says his office received a telephone call from a womanwho said she had been contacted by a caller who asked for personalinformation, saying it was needed so a large sum of stimulus moneycould be deposited into her personal account.Baldacci said it’s disgusting that during a difficult economictime, people would try to take advantage of others.The state has set up a toll-free telephone number for people toreport suspected fraud, waste or abuse. The number is:866-224-3033.

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Cinderella Project Provides Prom Dresses for Girls in Need

Updated 5 years ago

More than a hundred girls in need in the Belfast area will get the chance to look like a million bucks on prom night, thanks to the efforts of some special volunteers.Folks from The Cinderella Project set up shop at the Belfast Area High School Saturday, to give out prom dresses to those who can’t afford them.More than a hundred new and gently used dresses were donated for the project…along with shoes and accessories.Anyone in need of a dress could show up on Saturday and take their pick from all different categories…everything from short dresses to ballgowns and vintage.Student volunteers who helped out say it made them feel good to help their classmates who otherwise might not have been able to attend the prom. “There’s a lot of girls who can’t afford a prom dress…and they can come here and find a fabulous dress because every girl deserves to look beautiful on prom night.” “Not everyone can go out and buy a $400 dress…and some people just don’t feel it’s necessary. So you can come here and there’s some great dresses and you don’t have to pay anything. It’s a really good program.”>The Ciao Bella Bridal Boutique donated twenty brand new dresses to The Cinderella Project.Everyone who took home a dress was encouraged to “pay it forward” in the future by helping someone else in need.

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Gay Marriage Public Hearing Location Changed

Updated 5 years ago

Because so many people are expected to turn out, Maine’s Legislature has moved a public hearing on a gay marriage proposal to the Augusta Civic Center.The Judiciary Committee also has changed the date of its daylongpublic hearing from April 24 to April 22. Doors will open at 8 a.m.The proposal is co-sponsored by more than 60 lawmakers. It wouldrepeal a state law that limits marriage to a man and a woman andreplace it with authorization of marriage between any two people.It also would recognize same-sex marriage in other states where itis legal.

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Fire Scorches 1.5 Acres in Palmyra

Updated 5 years ago

Firefighters from several towns were called in to help battle a grass fire in Palmyra. It happened at about 2 p.m. Saturday on the Lang Hill Road.Crews were called to the backyard of a home after flames were seen spreading through the grass.Firefighters got the flames under control, but not before they damaged about an acre and a half of land.Maine Forest Rangers were called in to investigate.Ranger Aaron Bailey says the fire was human-caused, but wouldn’t release details.He did say it’s a good remider to folks to be extra careful when doing any outside burning these days.< "this time of year, it only takes the grass about a day to dry out. It can be completely wet underneath and the top layer can still burn easily.">Palmyra firefighters called in help from nearby Pittsfield, Corinna and St. Albans.Bailey says he doesn’t expect charges will be filed in connection with the fire.

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Ricky Gibson Dies

Updated 5 years ago

A Maine teen who spearheaded a program tobring lights and bleachers to his high school through theMake-A-Wish Foundation has died. Sixteen-year-old Ricky Gibson of Wayne died Friday of aninoperable brain tumor. Governor John Baldacci said it was difficult not to be inspiredby the Maranacook High School sophomore’s drive, determination andlove for life. Gibson was diagnosed in September of 2008. After beingapproached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine, his wish was togive back to his community through lights and bleachers for hishigh school football field. The Make-A-Wish Foundation provided theinitial donation, attracting additional donations from communitymembers and other schools. Gibson lit the lights during a special celebration lastDecember.

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Ellsworth Water Main Break Update – Boil Order Lifted

Updated 5 years ago

The boil order water in Ellsworth is no longer in effect.It was a result of a water main break Thursday morning near City Hall.Several streets had to be closed and schools were dismissed early. By 7:00 Thursday night, everything was cleaned up.City Manager Michelle Beal says it took a lot of teamwork. “The water department did a great job in isolating the area and being able to fix it and the highway department did a great job getting the equipment in here and digging and being exactly where we needed. The fire department helped with the emergency situation.” She also says the Police department did a great job with traffic control.Residents in several parts of the city still had to boil their water until Friday evening. Then city official got lab results showing the water is safe, so the boil order is no longer in effect.

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Parkside kids hopped to help folks with MD

Updated 5 years ago

Kids from the Parkside Children’s Learning Center in Bangor “hopped to help” this morning.They’ve been collecting money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.And as Cori Skall explains, they got a special visit from the Easter Bunny to celebrate their success.”I’m hopping like a bunny! Me too! I’m a bunny! What are you? A bunny!””The Hop-a-thon is great fun for the kids. We love to get outside and get some exercise as well as help out a local charity.”For the second year in a row, kids from the Parkside Children’s Learning center are hopping to help kids with Muscular Dystrophy.”Keep hoppin’!””They’ve been learning this week about helping friends with disabilities.””We’re hopping and finding Easter Eggs! What are you hopping for? Do you know? Money! Money for what? For Children who are in the hospital.””Last year, we had a really successful year. We raised over two-thousand dollars. We were the third highest money raiser in the state. We were happy to do it again.”Three-year-old Meaghan raised over three hundred dollars.”Did you raise some money? A lot! A lot? And I brang a carrot!”The kids got a special treat to help them celebrate their accomplishment.”Who came to visit you? Easter bunny! And what’s the Easter Bunny doing here? Hopping!””We wanted to bring in the Easter theme a little bit, and have some fun with it, since we’d be hopping. And we have the Easter Bunny here, and we have an egg hunt as well.””I found three Easter Eggs back!””Where did you find that carrot? Eat it! Eat it! Eat it! Eat it!””At this age, it’s great to incorporate the fun and the relation to the holiday behind it, on top of supporting a group of needy children and I think it’s great how they incorporated it all together!””Does is make you feel good to help babies? Yup! Why? Because, because feeling better makes me feel happy!”Happy Easter!”Cori Skall, WABI TV 5 News, Bangor.

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High School Students Study Climate Change at UMaine

Updated 5 years ago

More than a hundred high school students spent the day at the University of Maine, learning about climate change science.The event was sponsored by UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Earth Sciences.It was designed to give students a better idea of what’s happening around the world as far as climate change is concerned.They took part in hands-on activities, from examining fossils to checking out sections of ice collected from Antarctica.< "what we're trying to do, or what they're trying to do here is to raise the kids' awareness about climate change and how quickly it's happening. We don't realize how fast it's happening!">The lessons were brought a little closer to home when scientists showed the students the record of rising sea level and environmental change in cores from Penobscot Bay.

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Budget Cuts Could Close UMaine Preschool

Updated 5 years ago

A preschool at the University of Maine that’s been around for seventy years may soon be closing its doors.Budget cuts could mean the end of the Child Study Center.But parents aren’t letting it close without a fight.Amy Erickson has the story.< "This school has dramatically changed Matthew's life."Denise Needham says the change in her four-year-old son Matthew since he started attending the Child Study Center is nothing short of remarkable. "He started this school last year and was nonverbal the whole year. He couldn't talk and had fine motor issues.""My son has gone from nonverbal to talking, coloring, he speaks in full sentences now. It's a beautiful story."Needham has the option of sending Matthew elsewhere, on the state's dime, but keeps him here because he's thrived in the program.It's a lab school for the University of Maine's School of Psychology.Some of the kids have parents who are UMaine students or staff. Others are from the community at large."We educate the children, 2.5 to 5.5 years old, we educate the psychology students...and we're a resource for the families here."Kevin Duplissie is the Center's director and the head teacher.He found out recently the program, which has been around for seven decades, could soon be over. "Because of budget cuts and funding, there's a potential we may not be here in our present capacity in the fall."While Duplissie understands the budget crunch, he says what the Center provides to the University and the community is hugely important. "When you also combine the education the students receive, this meets the needs of so many different capacities on campus and the community and after 70 years, we'd like to keep it going."The 35 families who rely on the Center for their children's learning and development say they're willing to do what it takes to save the school. "We are ready to fund raise...whatever we can do to help keep it open."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Orono.>A 70th anniversary party for the Child Study Center will be held Tuesday at the Collins Center for the Arts on campus.Staffers are hoping alumni, families and friends of the Center will turn out to support the school and to help brainstorm ways to keep it open.If you’d like to attend, you can call the Center at 581-3272.

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