Local News

New Fire Tool Demo in Hermon

Updated 5 years ago

A new fire tool was tried out for the first time in the state of Maine Friday and it happened in Hermon.Orono Fire Chief Buddy Webb says the Fire Interruption Technology is basically a fire extinguisher in a can.The round piece of equipment is dropped into a house and can cut the flame’s temperature in half and help control the fire for up to ten minutes.The tool has only been on the market for about six months. The cost is a thousand dollars per tool.Crews from several area fire departments were at the demo Friday.Chief Webb says they gave mixed reviews.” It’s actually really cool chemistry. What happens is there’s an agent inside the device that gets activated. And when it’s activated it converts to a potassium salt. Potassium salt is actually really effective at putting out fires. And this one in particular because it’s so small the particles are micron in size they break down really quickly and attack that fire really effectively.””This isn’t designed to replace firemen or fire departments it’s another tool to buy you some time before you get set up with your water supply and get more man power on the scene for smaller departments.”Michael Gardiner is vice president of marketing for ERA Safety.Gardiner says many insurance companies have been reimbursing fire departments for the suppression tool because it limits damage to a home during a fire.

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Carmel Accident

Updated 5 years ago

A Brewer woman was cited by police after a four car accident in Carmel Friday, that blocked off the southbound passing lane of I-95 for close to an hour.Police say 21-year-old Jocelyn Duff decided to switch directions on the interstate and slammed on her brakes.The car behind her was unable to stop in time and rear-ended Duff’s vehicle.That set off a chain reaction involving two other vehicles, including a tractor trailer.”Two of the vehicles ended up in the ditch. The other one was disabled in the passing lane and the tractor trailer was able to pull off to the right hand side of the road.”Six people were involved and only minor injuries were reported.Duff was taken to St. Joseph hospital for facial injuries and one of her passengers was treated for a leg injury.

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Third-graders in Dover-Foxcroft get New Dictionaries

Updated 5 years ago

Over 60 third-graders from Dover-Foxcroft are now the proud owners of new dictionaries.The Valley Grange in Guilford teamed up with the dictionary project.Which is a nonprofit organization out of South Carolina.The program works to help third-graders become good writers, active readers and creative thinkers.Walter Boomsma is the Program Director at the Valley Grange.Boomsma says they enjoy seeing how excited the kids get over their dictionaries.” We want the kids to learn to love of words. In fact in the label where they write their names it says this book and all the words in it belong to.”” I think I’ll take it home and if I have any words that I don’t know I can take it out and look it up.”>Nearly 2 and-a-half million third-graders nationally received dictionaries through the program last year.

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New Modular Building at Acadia Hospital

Updated 5 years ago

A new modular building is helping patients feel more comfortable after treatments at Acadia Hospital.The Electric-Convulsive Therapy provides electrical stimulation to the brain and can help alleviate symptoms of depression and confusion.The ECT is an outpatient treatment, but can cause some disorientation to patients immediately after. The new modular will allow patients to relax after the treatment.Acadia Hospital will be the main provider of the service north of Portland.But Doctor David Proffit, President and CEO of Acadia Hospital says folks are sometimes wary of the treatment because they think of it as a shock treatment.” It got a bad rep primarily from historical misuses of it. It’s a very low stimulant treatment. Which is different than what the 1950s used. It’s done in a much more humane way.”Proffitt expects to be working out of the new treatment center within a week.

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Rockland Man Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter

Updated 5 years ago

A Rockland man Friday pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of his baby daughter.Robert Harford Junior became emotional as he appeared before the judge in Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast.Meghan Hayward reports.Twenty-five-year-old Robert Harford Junior told the judge he accepts his role in the death of his daughter Ava Gushee, in August of 2008.Harford was originally charged with murder.”We’ve contended from the time of the indictment that this was not a murder and we were fully ready to go to trial if the state had continued to insist on a murder charge.”During part of the hearing, Harford became so emotional, a short recess was taken for him to collect himself.His father was present in the courtroom and also had a difficult time.”To see your son in a situation like this is hard. He’s never been in trouble before so this is tough.”In the courtroom, Harford disputed a few statements made by the State.”The references by the Attorney General to shaking the baby on at least two occasions. And he takes issue with that and says that the only kind of shaking that took place was when he had realized the baby wasn’t breathing properly and he tried to revive the baby.”Harford’s father says his son cherished the time he had with Ava.He had one word to describe her.”Beautiful.”He also says he remembers the phone call he received from his son on that August day.”He was hysterical. He was crying, screaming saying Dad I don’t know what happened. Ava’s not breathing. It was an awful moment.”Harford remains in the Knox County Jail until sentencing. He could spend up to 30 years in prison.

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Thorndike Fire Levels Garage

Updated 5 years ago

Fire fighters from several towns battled a garage fire in Thorndike Thursday night.The call came in around 8:30pm to the East Thorndike Road.Crews were not able to save the two-story structure, as well as a car parked nearby. But they did manage to stop the flames from spreading to a nearby mobile home.No word yet if anyone was injured, or what caused the fire.

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Mills Speaks on Gay Marriage Impacting Schools

Updated 5 years ago

Attorney General Janet Mills says Maine’s gay marriage law will have no impact on curricula in public schools.The findings are in response to information requested by Education Commissioner Susan Gendron amid concerns about Maine’s same sex marriage law.Attorney General Mills says the law applies to issues such as inheritance, medical information and guardianship, she found no references in Maine’s laws to the teaching of marriage in the public school curricula.Mills also says that neither Maine’s law nor a Massachusetts court decision on the issue requires nor allows the teaching of any particular subject in schools.

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Prison Confinement Reduction

Updated 5 years ago

A measure to change the law regarding the use of solitary confinement in Maine state prisons will be in front of lawmakers next session.On Thursday, the legislative council gave the green light to a bill that would reduce the use and abuse of solitary confinement.If passed, the new law would create stricter standards when it comes to segregating inmates.It would also ban isolating inmates with serious mental illnesses.

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Orrington Man Dies in ATV Rollover

Updated 5 years ago

A missing hunter from Orrington, has been found dead in Dedham.Wardens say 57-year old Dion Seymour, Junior was reported missing around nine last night.He had left on his ATV to scout for deer hunting spots.When Seymour didn’t return 12 hours later, his wife called authorities.A state police trooper found Seymour’s vehicle in Ellsworth.Wardens found his body just before midnight on a steep trial with a granite ledge.Wardens say Seymour somehow rolled his ATV, and it landed on top of him.

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School Closed

Updated 5 years ago


UMaine Gets Millions to Harness Wind

Updated 5 years ago

Millions of dollars in federal money will be going to the University of Maine to study one of the state’s most powerful nature resources, the wind.Students on campus had a chance to listen in as a grant of $8,000,000 from the Department of Energy was announced for an offshore wind energy project.Lawmakers in Washington also gave final approval to a bill that includes $5,000,000 for the project- money that was secured by maine senator susan collins.According to Habib Dagher, director of the composite center at UMaine, and senator collins, this will allow Maine to become a national leader in wind energy.Collins says more than 30 public and private partners, including UMaine, Maine Maritime Academy, Bath Iron Works and Cianbro Corporation joined together to form the consortium that’s being awarded the Department of Energy grant.

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Vaccine Debate Wages On

Updated 5 years ago

In the event of a public health emergency state officials have the power to mandate vaccines. Today, lawmakers voted on a bill that would take away that power, making it illegal to force vaccinations. Member os the legislative council weighed in on more than 350 bills to see which ones would move on to the next session. Representative Doug Thomas of Ripley submitted the bill that would prevent mandatory vaccines. It was defeated six to four. The vote went down party lines with republicans all favoring the measure while democrats killed it.Supporters of the bill, say they won’t give up. An appeal is planned. Members of the Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice say they want to educate the members of the coucil on the need for Mainers to be ale to decline any given vaccine, and encourage members of the public to voice their concerns with forced vaccination. An appeals hearing is expected to take place on November 5, 2009.

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Pittsfield Offering Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic Saturday

Updated 5 years ago

Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield is offering you a chance to get their flu shot without leaving the comfort of your own car. This Saturday they’ll have a drive-thru flu shot clinic in the parking lot for Bud’s Shop-n-Save from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.It’s first come first serve and they’ll only be there as long as the flu shots last so folks are encouraged to get their early. The price of the shots is $20 and organizers say it’s a simple way to get yourself vaccinated.”People will actually be able to stay in their vehicles so they’ll drive up,we’ll do all their paperwork except their payment, they’ll talk with a nurse, fill out their consent forms and we’ll give them their shot, we’ll have them wait we’ll give them a snack and they’re good to go,” says Laurie Alexander a Community Health Educator with the hospital.If you’re planning on attending the drive-thru clinic organizers are telling people to wear short sleeved shirts.

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Handbag and Purse Silent Auction in Hampden

Updated 5 years ago

If you’re in the market for a new handbag for yourself or for a gift, you might want to head over to the Hampden Highlands United Methodist Church Friday night.The church is hosting a handbag and purse silent auction from 5:30 to 8:00.There will also be a “buy it now” table, with prices ranging from 3 to 10 dollars a purse.All money raised will go to the Book Angels Program.That will create a resource library and literacy services for folks who turn to Bangor’s step up residence for help.Step up takes in homeless pregnant or parenting women.The church is located at 44 Kennebec Road in Hampden.

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Completion of Big Energy Project Celebrated in Brewer

Updated 5 years ago

The completion of a big energy project was celebrated in Brewer Thursday.Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline held a ribbon cutting for their expansion project.The natural gas comes from New Brunswick.The pipeline places Maine as the starting point of the U.S. link to the North America interstate natural gas pipeline.Meghan Hayward reports.”Today we celebrate the completion of the Maritime Northeast pipeline number four expansion project. Brewer is pleased to be the vital site in this important pipeline.”The phase four project has doubled the output of natural gas from the Maritmes to the U.S.”And what’s most important about that is that it brings in new natural gas supplies here in the State of Maine. Offering more diverse reliable sources of supply for consumers here in Maine.”The phase four project consists of five new compressor stations in Maine, including one in Brewer.It also added about two miles of new pipeline looping through Baileyville.Tina Faraca, President of Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline, says the project has been significant to the state, employing 700 people during its construction.”But what’s more significant is the clean burning natural gas fuel that we’re providing to the state of Maine to heat homes, fuel businesses and power electric generation facilities here in Maine.”Governor Baldacci says this is a good day for the state because the project will lead to healthy competition.”Then we’ll in fact have opportunity to attract more businesses and economic development and make sure we have the opportunities for our kids here in the state so we don’t have to see them go elsewhere.”Governor Baldacci says energy is a good bet in this economy.”Like what you’re creating here today and we’re creating throughout the state of Maine will only make Maine that much healthier.”After 4 to 5 years of working on this project, Faraca says she couldn’t be happier to see the completion.”It feels wonderful. A project like this takes years and years of planning, permitting, and construction and now we’re in operation.”

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Authorities Seize Over One Pound Of Cocaine

Updated 5 years ago

Police in Waterville announced one of the largest cocaine busts in recent Maine history today. A collaborative effort including the Waterville, Augusta, and Fairfield police along with the Kennebec and Somerset County Sheriff’s Departments, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Maine State Police. Like a lot of drug investigations, this one started with a tip according to Chief Joe Massey of the Waterville Police Department. “And like most information we look at it, we try to prioritize it,” says Chief Massey, “we receive information on a daily basis and sometimes we’re not able to do much with it.”They realized quickly this time they were on to something major. “The information fell together,” Chief Massey says, “the other agencies provided resources, we needed a lot of 24 hour surveillance, those sorts of things. Collected all the information on these two individuals from all those departments and as a result last Friday, we were able to obtain those search warrants and arrest warrants.” Armed with the warrants, authorities moved in on 31-year old Tabitha Waddell and 29-year-old Eric Provost of Augusta. Chief Massey says authorities moved in and made the arrest at the Rite Aid pharmacy on Hospital Street in Augusta. “The traffic stop was made and they were arrested,” says Massey, “of course we found the cocaine, 1.1 pounds of cocaine, and more than $1000 cash inside and of course we seized the van.”Both Waddell and Provost are charged with aggravated trafficking. Roy Mckinney, Director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, says it takes a team effort to make a bust of this size. “Here you have an example and you see this more often than not across the state,” says Mckinney, “we’re working together because no one individual or agency has the resources or the information to have that type of impact.”While they’re all happy with how this turned out, authorities know there’s still more work to be done. “I’m just pleased that we’re able to get that off the street,” says Massey, “I realize that it’s not going to make the drug problem go away. I think we will disrupt it for the time being, but it’s my obligation to do everything we can.”

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Good Timing, Fast Work Save Home in Pittsfield from Fire

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Good timing and fast action by firefighters saved a home in Pittsfield. The owner of a house on Higgins Road called for help after he came home and saw smoke coming from the basement and the main floor.Crews from Pittsfield and Newport responded to the call. When they arrived, they found a lot of smoke, too. They quickly put out a fire in the basement. Pittsfield Fire Chief Bernard Williams says even though crews stopped the flames from spreading, the fire still left behind some damage.”It’s got a lot of heat damage. There was a huge amount of heat built up in there. We’re fortunate it didn’t get into the structure more than it did. Had the occupant opened the door downstairs, he might have created more havoc than he did.”The stairwell to the basement was also damaged and most of the house had to be aired out to get rid of the smoke. No word on what started the fire, but the fire chief says it does not appear suspicious.

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A Bangor Senior Center Heads Back to Class

Updated 5 years ago

School was back in session for the folks at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor Thursday.Folks were invited to check out the center, and see what activities they had to offer.They had card games, a computer lab, yoga, art classes, and much more to try out.The Senior Center is free for anyone sixty or older, who lives in the greater Bangor region.Classes are about 25 dollars including most supplies.Liz Donald has been a member for about 4 years.She says it’s one of Bangor’s best kept secrets.”It’s just a wonderful place to come and expand your mind and to give yourself something to do. I’m actually addicted to this I can’t stop. It’s a marvelous thing really.” LaVeon Taylor agrees, “There are so many things to do here I couldn’t even begin to tell you what all there is to do here. Someone would just have to come down.”To see it for yourself visit the Senior Center any weekday between 8:30 and 4:30.You can also see a virtual tour at www.hammondstreet.org

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Greenville Businessman Charged with Sexual Assault

Updated 5 years ago

A Greenville businessman is facing gross sexual assault charges, after police arrested him Tuesday in a sting operation in Dover-Foxcroft.Authorities say 67 year old Donald Denbow of Shirley owns a barbershop and hired a 14 year old girl to work for him.Lt. Bob Young of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department says Denbow made sexual advances toward the girl between March and May of 2008. Authorities set up a sting operation when Denbow allegedly contacted the girl through a text message, asking her to meet him for sex.Denbow made bail, and was released on Thursday.

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Harford Expected to Plead Guilty to Manslaughter

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Rockland is expected to plead guilty to manslaughter tomorrow in connection with the death of his baby daughter. 25 year old Robert Harford, Jr. was originally charged with murder after his 9 week old daughter, Ava Gushee, died more than a year ago. Police say Harford admitted to them that he threw the baby to the floor when he got frustrated with her crying.Officials with the Medical Examiner’s office say the baby died of blunt force trauma.Harford is expected to also be sentenced tomorrow.Officials with the Attorney General’s office say there is no plea agreement.

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