Local News

Bike Ride Raises Money and Awareness for Autism

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

You’ve heard the numbers – one in every 150 children is living with Autism. For a family in Bangor, the statistics are even more stunning – all three of their boys are diagnosed with the neurological disorder.That’s why Monique and Eric Iken hope a fundraiser this weekend will make a difference for them and others like them.Monique says their their sons, 10-year-old Ryan, 8-year-old Colin and 6-year-old Joe, have a lot of sensory needs and can get overstimulated.”It’s hard especially early on when they were younger, going out in public because when they get overwhelmed, they’ll scream and throw a tantrum and people will look at you like what’s the matter with your kid? What’s the matter with you – why can’t you control your kid?”The Ikens have learned how to manage the boys’ disorder. But Eric says they couldn’t do it without the help of Penquis Autism Community Services.”It’s a fantastic organization. They did a lot for us in just getting us grounded in what autism was and what kind of services were out there.”A 55-mile motorcycle ride Saturday is collecting money to the support program, which the Ikens say stopped their family from turning into a train wreck. “There were violent outbursts with our kids. They just couldn’t cope with situations they were in. They weren’t learning because they were just so overwhelmed.”The Ikens also want the ride to raise awareness about autism and give other families the help and hope they need, too. “Five years ago when we were first getting our first son diagnosed with Autism, you didn’t hear much about it, even with Asperger’s which is what we were dealing it, it was even less common. And now people are much more aware of it and this just allows people to see that it’s out in the community and it gets people excited and it’s great, it really is.” The Ride for Autism Awareness leaves from the Bangor Waterfront Saturday morning. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. It’s 10-dollars per bike and 5-dollars for each additional passenger.That includes a cookout lunch at the U-C-B gym after the ride.

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Alzheimer’s Quilts on Display in Augusta

Updated 5 years ago

“Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece,” the 52-quilt exhibit about Alzheimer’s disease, will be on display July 23-26 at Maine Quilts at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta. This exhibit will be hosted by Pine Tree Quilters Guild, Inc. at their 32nd annual quilt show. The work of 52 quilt artists from 30 states, plus one artist from New Zealand is represented in the exhibit. The artists, many internationally renowned, offer poignant interpretations of the Alzheimer’s experience in fiber. Themes include imaginings of an existence stripped of memory and learning: gritty illustrations of the anger, frustration and stress of care-giving: beautiful tributes to loved ones taken by Alzheimer’s: and the anticipation of a future cure. Each artist statement is paired with a fact about Alzheimer’s. This exhibit has been seen by more than 200,000 people across the country. For more on the “Alzheimer’s Art Initiative” and more information about the book, “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” which highlights each quilt and artist visit www.alzquilts.org.In addition to “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece,” there will be more than 500 quilts on exhibit: these include antique, contemporary and judged quilts ranging from 12” wall hangings to king-sized bed quilts. There will be daily lectures, free demonstrations, quilt appraisals, workshops and a silent auction of quilted items. All proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter. Admission to the Maine Quilt Show is $8. Show hours: Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Children 12 and under are free with paying adult.

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UMaine Yard Sale

Updated 5 years ago

Bargain hunters can score some great deals at the University of Maine this weekend.A yard sale is set for Saturday. The proceeds will benefit the newly opened Black Bear Exchange.It’s a food pantry and clothing store on campus.All the items for sale were abandoned by students when they left campus in May.This is the third surplus property yard sale on campus this year.It’ll be held Saturday from 8 to noon at Stewart Commons on Hilltop Road.For a list of items up for sale, log on to www.umaine.edu/property/sale

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Family-owned Store in Lincoln to Close

Updated 5 years ago

A family-owned business that’s been on Lincoln’s Main Street for more than 50 years is closing its doors for good.The Vose family is packing up their jewelry store…and as Amy Erickson reports, folks in Lincoln say it’s going to leave a big void in the community.”Nothing like a small town. We can give as good services as the others can.”Jim Vose says that service is what’s kept his store in business for 54 years.JK Vose Fine Jewelers has been a fixture on Lincoln’s Main Street for decades. “I just liked gemstones and diamonds mostly.”Vose customers have been loyal for years. “I think they’re so personable, really. They’re just so pleasant, always greet you with a smile, very attentive.””They’re hometown people you’ve known forever and they’re a staple here.””You need anything fixed, you can get it fixed and you know you’ve got someone you can trust.”But next month, the door will close for good.The Vose family has decided it’s time to move on.Daughter Kathy Vose-Wilson, who now runs the store, is ready to take some time for herself…When the “store closing” sign went up, the customers started pouring in, eager for a few last trinkets.”I’m sad, I’m sad.””So you figured you had to buy a few more pieces? I really needed two more rings! I could probably fill one of her showcases now!” “I just don’t know where I’m going to go buy jewelry now.”Although Jim Vose knows the closure is inevitable, he’s sad to be leaving a void in the community. “Right now, it’s almost like you’ve got to go to Bangor to get a watch battery put in. That’s not good.””You come in, we’d do something quickly and you can go, so I don’t know how that’ll work out.”

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Glenburn Man Who Swam from Police Out of Jail

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Glenburn who tried to swim away from police in the Penobscot River is out jail after posting a $500 cash bail.20-year-old Allan Burke-Sapiel made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. He made bail Thursday night. Police say Burke-Sapiel stole a car on Sixth Street in Bangor early Wednesday morning and took it for a joyride. When officers caught up to him, Burke-Sapiel reportedly abandoned the car and ran away.He made it across the Brewer bridge, but Brewer police officers were waiting on the other side. So, police say, he jumped into the Penobscot River and swam as far as the Penobscot Plaza before surrendering to officers.Burke-Sapiel is charged with receiving stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

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Red Tide Study

Updated 5 years ago

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded $121,000 in emergency research funding aimed at learning more about the red tide outbreak that has shut down most of Maine’s clam flats.N.O.A.A. said on Thursday that the money will go to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in partnership with the University of Maine for research cruises to monitor the toxins that taint clams and mussels, making them unsafe for people to eat.The information will help resource managers determine how long red tide conditions may stick around and if there are places where it’s receding or expanding.N.O.A.A. says this summer’s red tide outbreak has shut down most of the coast of Maine and New Hampshire coasts and parts of Massachusetts’ coast to shellfish harvesting.

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Logging Investigation

Updated 5 years ago

Maine’s logging industry is taking some hits following a state review of hiring practices.At issue is the hiring of Canadian loggers in Northern Maine.The governor’s office announced on Thursday that the Attorney General’s office is taking action in one case and numerous other complaints have been lodged with the U.S. Department of Labor.Among the concerns is that some companies hiring Canadians do not appear to have a permanent physical presence in the state as required for those seeking foreign labor certification.Baldacci says the global recession has put a strain on Maine loggers, and that the state must ensure that they’re not illegally blocked from logging jobs that go to Canadians.

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StepUP! Has a New Home in Bangor

Updated 5 years ago

”I don’t know what I was going to do. When I found out I was pregnant my job pretty much fired me and so I had a lot on my plate, I had to get my life together and didn’t know where to start.” For young women like Felicia Hatch the StepUP! program is a life saver. It gives young women who are pregnant or have children a place to go, and provides them with the training and support they need to become self- sufficient.”I had a place to lay my head at night. Moral support, ya know, just having someone to talk to letting me know that they are other things out there.” says Hatch.”We give them the resources to get up on their feet and be successful in the community… They’ll work on resumes, job applications, housing applications.” explains Michelle Hamlin, a program coordinator with StepUP!StepUP! serves women 18 and older. Hamlin says last year alone, they helped 44 women and their children.Hamlin goes on to say, “There isn’t another shelter in Bangor that takes women and their kids.”The organization just opened a new house style facility on Essex Street in Bangor. While women are living at the house they must be on the all housing waiting list and either volunteering, working, or going to school at least 30 hours a week. The program helps the women stay focused.Hamlin says, “We have no televisions here at the shelter, we have no couches. They need to be interacting with their children and while their children are sleeping they need to be working on things that are going to help them get out into the community and be successful.”Hamlin says there are many success stories. Hatch, who is now working and living on her own, is one of them.Hatch says, “If I didn’t have the shelter to come to, ya know, Who knows, I wouldn’t be abel to keep my children. I wouldn’t have that stability that they need.”

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Local Author at Bangor Public Library

Updated 5 years ago

A local author spent some time at the Bangor Public Library Thursday, talking about her new book.Rosemary Canney just had her book, “In the Parking Lot at Grady High”, released yesterday.Canney taught english to juniors and seniors at Old Town High School for 32 years.She started writing the book two years ago, and says it shows just how funny life at school can be.

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State Shortens Matinicus Fishing Ban, Meeting Planned

Updated 5 years ago

A two week fishing shutdown around Matinicus island has been shortened to four days.The ban from the state came after a shooting there Monday, when one lobsterman was accused of shooting another fishermen.Fishermen from the island and Marine Resources officials came together Thursday in Rockland – and the discussions are just beginning.”They overstepped their bounds. They punished the entire community including people who couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with anything that happened,” says lobsterman Clayton Philbrook.He’s one of the Matinicus fishermen who challenged the state’s two-week shutdown in a Knox County courtroom Thursday.”I understand that the department is really frustrated at some of the enforcement challenges they have in such an isolated location,” says Nat Hussey. He represented Philbrook in court Thursday. He’s also a sternman who lives on the island.”We are a community of hard-working families and we want to get back to work. We’re really glad the department’s going to work with us now,” he says.”We came to an agreement to open the area up Monday morning if there’s not any more violence on the island,” says Col. Joseph Fessenden, chief of Maine Marine Patrol.He says the ban was never intended as punishment, but instead to send a message.On Saturday, Marine Resources officials will travel to the island for a meeting.”And hopefully work out a plan where we can resolve some of the long-term issues out there, the trap cutting, vandalism, and try to get fishermen to get along a little better,” Col. Fessenden says. “A lot of it is over territory, it’s a very protective area…it’s a traditional thing. They’ve protected their bottom for years.”Philbrook says some people have the wrong idea about their island.”A lot of the pirate island, lawless thing is overblown. It just sounds romantic. It’s not true. I mean there’s a little of that – you’ll have a little of that anywhere, all fishing communities have a little of this going on.”Fishermen say one item they’d like to discuss Saturday is the potential for their own fishing zone around the island, like others have.”We’ve asked them for meetings. Now they’re finally going to come out,” says Philbrook. “I hope they listen to us.”Hussey says many people on the island are still trying to deal with what’s happened. Shooting victim Chris Young is still in the hospital, listed Thursday in fair condition.Meanwhile, patrol crews will stay near the island through the weekend.

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Regional “Greenprint” Effort Completed

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

The Trust for Public Land, as well as a group of 12 communities, released the findings of 18-months worth of work. The goal of theTPL and The Penobscot Valley Council of Governments is to make local recreation areas more attractive to tourists and local folks alike. “One of the things Maine is so well known for is it’s quality of place, the downtowns, the traditional downtowns, and community centers that we have and the access we have to recreational spaces and recreational opportunities,” says Bangor City Manager Ed Barrett. The hope of the group is to create attractive places that draw people to enjoy the area and to help it grow economically in the process. “So what we’re trying to do is mesh the two,” says Barrett, “the need for open space, and quality places that are attractive to bring people, and the need for economic development and growth.”According to Barrett public access and recreation are some of the key components, “I think we’re standing on one example of that right now,” he says standing on the scenic Bangor waterfront, “and there’s a bunch of work going on right down river, one of the real interests the group had was to provide more access to the penobscot river both as a place to just come have lunch and as a place to go out and enjoy the water.”Another one of their goals is to provide people in the more urban settings places to get out and enjoy the outdoors, without having to travel long distances. “There was a lot of interest in that particularly in the urbanized areas,” Barrett says, “people are really looking for ways to easily do some walking and get some exercise and do it in a nice setting.”For everyone involved in the project they are hoping this giant community collaboration will serve as a “greenprint” for other Maine communities.”It’s really a strong effort that involved an awful lot of people,” Barrett says, “in trying to put something together on a regional basis that will protect the quality of life and the reason we come to live here.”To see all the information, as well as maps of the areas, go to tThe Trust For Public Land’s website:http://tpl.geocortex.net/Penobscot_Greenprint/

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First Certified “Green” Supermarket in the World – in Maine

Updated 5 years ago

Hannaford Supermarkets says its new store in Augusta, Maine – the first to earn a top award for environmentally friendly construction – will be a laboratory of sorts. Opening Saturday, it’s the nation’s first to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest platinum standard.Part of the roof is covered with drought-resistant plants to impede water runoff and provide insulation. It draws power from a solar photovoltaic system, called Maine’s largest. Supports for a walkway are recycled from an old airport hangar. Natural daylight is utilized, and water from two geothermal wells helps regulate the building’s temperature. Hannaford design services Director Fred Conlogue said Wednesday the building is a “learning laboratory” whose green advancements may be used in other stores.

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Food Program Offers Affordable Foods to Mainers

Updated 5 years ago

The Neighbor Helping Neighbor program started to reach out to the Central Maine community three months ago. Since then the non-profit has served between two and three hundred people and Charli Spearrin, the woman who coordinates the volunteer effort hopes it expands throughout Maine in the upcoming months. Neighbor Helping Neighbor or NHN offers quality, wholesome foods at affordable prices to everyone. Similar to a food co-op the more food sold, the better the deals in the future. This month six menus are available to choose from and anyone can take their pick. There is no paperwork to fill out and there are no income requirements. “Whether you drive a Lexus or you’re on food stamps, it doesn’t matter, this program can be for you.” says Charli Spearrin. The prices range from about 30 dollars to about 50 with the menus changing monthly. To see menus and Neighbor Helping Neighbor locations visit Neighbor Helping NeighborHere is a list of Neighbor Helping Neighbor locations:Neighbor Helping Neighbor Office 60 Water Street Skowhegan474-3700 New Beginnings Church of God 392 Main Street Waterville 873-1554 Skowhegan Gospel Tabernacle 42 North Avenue Skowhegan 399-0811Evergreen Wilderness Chapel 1790 River Road Solon 643-2636

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A Young Entrepreneur from Bangor Serves up Some Tasty Lemonade

Updated 5 years ago

A young entrepreneur in Bangor is serving up a tasty drink.And as Meghan Hayward tells us, making quite a profit from it.”I first got started with my grandmother. I just asked if I could have a lemonade stand and she said ok and after I got the supplies and all I got started up.”And for the past four years 11-year-old Devin Hathorn has been selling lemonade for 50 cents a cup outside his home in Bangor.It’s become a daily job for Devin.”Monday through Friday I come out here 12 to 4 and Saturday and Sunday I come out 11 to 4.”Devin says he has some repeat customers.”My number one customer is the mail man. He always stops by and buys a lemonade.”So why does Devin spend every day of his summer each year selling lemonade?”Because I’ve just been so successful.”And what’s the most rewarding part of his job?”Seeing that my customers are happy.”So what makes Devin’s lemonade so tasty?”Mostly my secret ingredient.”We tried getting the secret ingredient out of Devin by he just wouldn’t tell.”Sorry, family secret.”Every summer Devin sets a goal of what he would like to buy with the money he earns and this year’s purchase will be.”A Nitendo DS.”Devin says he plans on working his lemonade stand until he turns sixteen. He figures by then he will be able to get a real job.

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A Food Pantry in Bangor is in Need of A Bigger Building

Updated 5 years ago

A food pantry in Bangor needs a bigger pantry. A bigger building actually.The Seeds of Hope food pantry operates from the basement of the Beacon of Hope Church of God.Pantry Director Isaac Mann says they are dealing with limited space.He says they are receiving lots of food but need a bigger building.This Saturday a foodmobile from the Good Shepherd Food Bank will be at the pantry from 10 to 2 handing out food.Mann says while they do all they can for folks in need, they could provide more if they had a bigger building.”We would be able to have back stock. If there was ever a crisis in the area we’d be able to carry extra stuff. Right now we’re just going week to week.”If you are interested in helping Seeds of Hope call Issac at 745-2952.

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Bail Set for Glenburn Man who Swam from Police

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Glenburn who tried to swim away from police in the Penobscot River remains in jail tonight. 20-year-old Allan Burke-Sapiel made his first court appearance Thursday. A judge set bail for him at $500 cash. Police say Burke-Sapiel stole a car on Sixth Street in Bangor early Wednesday morning and took it for a joyride. When officers caught up to him, Burke-Sapiel reportedly abandoned the car and ran away.He made it across the Brewer bridge, but Brewer police officers were waiting on the other side. So, police say, he jumped into the Penobscot River and swam as far as the Penobscot Plaza before surrendering to officers.Burke-Sapiel is charged with receiving stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

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Christmas in July at Old Town/Orono YMCA

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

The Old Town/Orono YMCA is getting into the Christmas spirit a little early this year. The Y is hosting a Christmas in July celebration this Saturday. It includes a Family Fun Day, a garage sale, a dance fitness class called Zumba, a kid’s movie night and a Zumba street dance. Organizers say they want families to come out and enjoy some time together. But they also want to encourage people to help the Y fulfill its Christmas wish list. Marlyse Waskiewicz, a fitness trainer, says “We need playground balls, it can be a simple as that. We need volleyball nets, a scoreboard, ranges from there. Either someone can go and buy those things or they can donate the money to use and then we can go and buy those things.”A Christmas tree in the front lobby is loaded with gift ideas for the Y. The Christmas in July party gets started at 9 o’clock Saturday morning with the Family Fun Day. Tickets are 3-dollars a person or 10-dollars for a family. The garage sale is both Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 2 and the kids movie night and zumba dance are set for Saturday night at 8:30pm.

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Belfast Area Blood Drive Friday

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Folks in the Belfast area have a chance to help out the Red Cross and maybe enjoy the Red Sox in return. The Belfast Masonic Lodge is hosting its summer blood drive Friday from noon until 6pm at the Lodge on Northport Avenue. The Masons hope to have at least 150 donors.All donors will be entered to win two tickets to see the Red Sox play the Blue Jays at the end of August.You can stop by the blood drive anytime tomorrow or you can make an appointment by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

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State Cuts Fishing Ban Time on Matinicus Island

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) – Maine officials have agreed to shortenthe lobster fishing ban around a Maine island from two weeks tofour days in the aftermath of a turf war shooting. Maine Marine Resources Commissioner George Lapointe said anagreement was reached in a Rockland courtroom Thursday to allowMatinicus Island’s 35 fishermen to resume pulling their traps onMonday. In an unprecedented move, Lapointe imposed the cooling offperiod after 68-year-old Vance Bunker was charged with shootingfellow lobsterman Chris Young. Two other lobstermen then challengedthe closure. Lapointe and Marine Patrol Col. Joe Fessenden plan to visitMatinicus on Saturday in an effort to calm down tensions on theisland, located more than 20 miles off midcoast Maine.

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State Budget Meetings

Updated 5 years ago

Maine’s legislative budget writers are holding two days of discussions on the state’s precarious financial situation.Appropriations committee members gathered Wednesday to review closeout reports on fiscal year 2009, which ended June 30. On Thursday they’ll also look ahead at ways to offset looming shortfalls in the new two-year budget cycle.A continuing theme during the sessions is expected to be government streamlining.Although the appropriations committee may meet intermittently in the coming months, the full legislature is not scheduled to reconvene until January.

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