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.
Waltham was the scene of an accident Wednesday night that left an Eastbrook man dead.The Hancock County Sheriffs Department says that 51-year-old George E. Taylor Sr. was driving along Route 179 at around 9:30 when he failed to negotiate a curve in the road.His vehicle reportedly crossed the center line, struck a utility pole on the opposite side of the road, and rolled over several times before coming to rest on its roof.The accident is under investigation.
A shooting on Matinicus island is prompting the state to close the waters off the island to lobstering for at least two weeks. Officials say they hope it will be a cooling off period after a number of disputes there this spring and summer.Marine Patrol and Coast Guard officials say they will be on or around the island at all times right now to make sure there are no further incidents.Lt. Alan Talbot with Marine Patrol says there have been serious gear conflicts, hundreds of cut traps and vandalized property in the past.It all boiled over on Monday when 68-year-old Vance Bunker allegedly shot 38-year-old Chris Young in the neck on an island pier. It took place in front of a Marine Patrol Member who was investigating a fishing dispute between the two men.Bunker is charged with elevated aggravated assault. He was released from jail Tuesday on property bail of 125 thousand dollars. He’s been ordered not to return to the island or have any contact with Chris Young or two other individuals there.Young is still in the hospital.Meanwhile, there are 31 licensed lobstermen on the island without work for the next two weeks. Some are looking at economic impacts. “It will have a devastating effect on the people in the business, especially the people who try to make a living on Matinicus Island. But it’s also going to have a trickle-down effect for the merchants here on the mainland,” says Rockland city councilor Thomas Molloy.The fishing closure takes effect 30 minutes before sunrise Thursday and ends at midnight August 6. It bans all lobster and crab fishing licensed activities including the setting or taking up of gear, and will be enforced by marine officials.Lt. Talbot says he hopes the closure sends a message that conflicts over fishing can’t continue.
An investigation is underway into an oil spill in the Kennebec River. Fire crews were called to the Head of Falls Area between Waterville and Winslow just after noon Wednesday, but Fire Chief David LaFountain says witnesses walking on the bridge near the scene told him they reported seeing oil in the river a couple of days ago. LaFountain suspects that the oil came from the Pan Am Railway Yard nearby. He believes a storage tank overflowed because of all the rain we’ve had lately.The Maine Department of Environmental Protection Agency is investigating.For now crews are trying to contain the oil with floating booms across the river, and a skimmer truck will then pump the oil out of the river.There’s no way of knowing how much oil got into the water.
The Penobscot Sheriff’s Office says they plan to file at least 4 different charges against a man involved in a motorcycle accident in Bucksport on Sunday. 33-year-old Martin Larsen of Bucksport is accused of operating after suspension, speeding in excess of 30 MPH, operating an unregistered vehicle, and operating an uninspected vehicle. Police say Larsen crashed a 1995 Harley Davidson after he lost control going around a sharp curve.Larsen was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. He was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center with multiple injuries.
Some local families will be heading to the Bangor State Fair this year absolutely free thanks in part to an unlikely source: Facebook. Organizers of the fair set up a promotion on the popular networking website. For every 40 people who became a fan of the Bangor State Fair on Facebook, one family pass would be donated. It was hard to speculate how many people would become fans of the fair but people’s best guess? “Well as you could probably tell I’m not the expert on Facebook,” says Mike Dyer, Director of the Bangor State Fair, “but people who are, thought that 6,7,maybe 800 may be a very good thing, remember we were only up there for two weeks.”In fact more than 2800 people logged on and became a fan. Now it’s up to the folks at Penquis to figure out who gets 71 family packs or 284 free passes. “Well it’s really done individually by program, the program staff, certainly not me,” says Janeen Ferro, Resource Director at Penquis, “but the program staff who work with the families, they work closely with them they know their individual circumstances and they know which families could benefit an could really use the passes the most.”For the lucky families who will recieve the passes, as well as all the people who attend this year’s fair, there’s a lot to see and quite a few new attractions. “Well starting right at the front gate our new admissions policy, $10 gets you in to see all the great shows, including the tigers, and an unlimited ride wristband each and every day of the fair and it just gets better and better.”As far a Penquis is concerned, they couldn’t be happier with the outcome. “We were just elated,” says Ferro, “when you see, certainly those beautiful tigers and the fair is just a long standing tradition in the community, who wouldn’t want to go to the fair and see all these marvelous animals and to think of all the families and children who wouldn’t otherwise have that opportunity who now will be able to experience all the wonderful things the fair has to offer.”
The founder of the Greater Bangor Area Chapter of the NAACP has returned from New York City where the 100th anniversary of the group’s parent organization, the national NAACP, was being celebrated.Jim Varner was front and center for the festivities.President Barack Obama was the guest speaker.Varner says he felt honored to be a part of the monumental occasion.He says the president delivered many inspiring messages.But one message seemed to especially hit home.”While we have come a long way we still have a long way to go and we need to work tirelessly to make this country a better place. Not just for white people, not just for black people and not just for hispanic people but for all people and he stressed it.”Varner says he will carry the messages delivered by President Obama with him forever.
There’s a tasty treat back at Frank’s Bakery in Bangor that’s become a highly anticipated part of the summer for many local folks.As Meghan Hayward found out they’re leaving the shelves quite quickly.As soon as your walk through the doors at Frank’s Bakery in Bangor you are greeted with a delicious scent but these day’s there’s one item in the bakery that’s quite popular.”It seems to be a rite of summer. When your get the raspberries.”It’s the time of year when Bernadette Gaspar of Frank’s Bakery can barely keep up with the raspberries leaving the shelves.”People just love it. It’s a heavenly taste.”Bernadette has been making the raspberry tarts since the early nineties.And she’s gotten quite the reputation.”As the tart queen. I have a reputation as the tart queen.”Bernadette says she use to make them all on her own but as the demand for the tarts increased.She realized she needed help.Her tart princesses as she calls them.But she says even though it’s a lot of hard work nothing makes her happier than seeing a satisfied customer.”But you know what it is a lot of fun and we get people who come in from afar and it just feels good.”So what is it about Bernadette’s tarts take make them so popular?”Because I do not cook the filling, it’s thickened with an instant clear gel and sugar so it tastes like your just eating them off the bush but sweetened. But I think people just like that off the bush taste.”She’s been told several times the tarts are the best thing in the world.And if there’s any doubt sample yourself.But you better hurry up because they are going fast.
More than a dozen children at a special needs camp in Dedham are learning about other kids like them, half a world away. Thanks to technology, the campers at Camp Capella are making friends with Special Olympic Athletes in Turkmenistan.Counselor John Quinn is helping kids at Camp Capella connect with the other campers, thousands of miles away, in a country north of Iran and Afghanistan.”It’s kind of like taking the concept of pen pals, writing back and forth, but we’re getting that instant response, that instant feedback. Plus we can send photos and videos.”The long-distance experience is part of a project sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Dana Mosher, Executive Director of Camp Capella, says the first challenge was finding Turkmenistan on the map. “You Google Earth and say here we are at Camp Capella and globe that earth around and here’s Turkmenistan. And I was actually surprised even of couple of kids actually knew where it was. I had to Google it but they knew where it was.”The campers in Turkmenistan are part of a Special Olympics program. And 6-year-ld Hunter says he’s learned they like baseball, just like him. “And they like basketball and football,” he says.9-year-old Logan says, “I was thinking they were kind of a little bit different, but they aren’t”Logan says even though the campers are the same, the cultures and the climate are not. The biggest difference he’s discovered?”Probably about when the degrees is probably 115 degrees down there. You had to drink a lot of water.” Quinn says he hopes this cross-cultural exchange makes for a camping memory these kids will never forget.”This is an experience they wouldn’t normally have. They get to see beyond their little world of school and home life and see there’s other stuff our there. Other kids out there like them, it’s a lot of fun.”The kids in Dedham will chat with Turkmenistan campers for the next couple of weeks.
For the first time ever…fishing is off limits in certain Maine waters because of concerns over violence.The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced on Tuesday that it will close Matinicus Island and the immediate surrounding waters to lobster and crab fishing.The announcement comes the same day a Matinicus Island man bonded out of jail following his arrest for allegedly shooting another lobsterman.Vance Bunker is scheduled to appear in a Rockland court some time Wednesday.State police say 77-year-old Bunker shot 38-year-old Chris Young in the neck Monday morning on an island pier.It happened in front of a marine patrol officer, who was investigating a dispute between the two men over lobster fishing.Young is recovering at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.Bunker is charged with elevated aggravated assault.”I’ve been a Marine warden for 34 years believe it or not,” Said Col. Joe Fessenden on Tuesday. “This is the first time that a fisherman’s been shot as a result of something like this. Any number of times we’ve had firearms brandished: we’ve had assaults, fist fights, things like that. This is the first time where actually someone pulled the trigger.”The state says serious lobster gear conflicts have persisted at Matinicus Island, and the fishing area around the island throughout the spring and summer.Conflicts, they claim, have escalated to the point of having an adverse affect on the safety of lobster fisherman and the economy of the island community.Officers cite property being vandalized, hundreds of lobster trap lines cut, and people attacked and threatened.The closure takes affect 30 minutes before sunrise on Thursday and ends at midnight on Thursday Aug. 6. It bans all lobster and crab fishing licensed activities including the setting or taking up of gear.
A car chase…turned into a foot chase…turned into a river chase for police in Bangor and Brewer.It all began around 12:30 Wednesday morning, when Bangor Police received a call about a stolen car on 6th Street.They say 20-year-old Alan Sapiel took the vehicle on a joyride.When officers caught up to him, Sapiel abandoned the car and took off on foot.He made it across the Brewer bridge, only to see Brewer Police officers waiting on the other side.That’s when Sapiel decided to jump in the Penobscot River.He swam as far as the Penobscot Plaza, before becoming tired and surrendering to officers.Sapiel was checked out by rescue crews, then taken to jail.
A World War II veteran got something today he had to wait a long time to receive – his high school diploma.”He had to drop out of school to try and make a living, and so he never got to go beyond 5th grade,” says veterans’ advocate Conrad Edwards.”That was a common thing for his generation. They would leave home to help the family,” says Lee Cabana, chair of the Waterville school board.But 85-year-old Lorenzo LeChance is now officially a high school graduate.”I got something I never believed I could get,” he says.LeChance enlisted in the Army in 1942. He served in the Battle of the Bulge and all around the world.”I enlisted because Uncle Sam, there was a sign there, ‘I Want You.’ And I said, ‘Take me!’”When he got home, he went back to work as the owner of a bakery.Edwards says LeChance thought he’d never see this diploma.”He said, ‘No, they wouldn’t give it to me,’ and I said, ‘Let me call,’” Edwards says.”I’m always looking for opportunities where we can recognize the guys who have given a good portion of their lives in uniform,” Cabana says.While LeChance never finished school, he’s fluent in French and German. Tuesday, Waterville school board members gathered around to hear his stories.”Go in the service, because you can go a long, long way. You might not believe me, but this is what made me,” LeChance says.He says he’ll hang his diploma on the wall with pride and know he earned every bit of it.”He was obviously emotional about it. So we feel good about it,” Edwards says.”It was hard work to survive all these years,” LeChance says, “But we did it.”
One man was shot, another arrested in a dispute over lobster fishing on Matinicus Island.State Police say 77-year-old Vance Bunker shot 38-year-old Chris Young in the neck Monday morning on an island pier.It happened in front of a marine patrol officer, who was investigating a dispute between the two men over lobster fishing.Young was flown to a hospital on the mainland.He underwent surgery and was in stable condition at last report.Bunker is charged with elevated aggravated assault. He was taken to the Knox County Jail in Rockland.Bunker will make his first court appearance tomorrow in Rockland.
Police are still on the lookout for a man and a woman in Bangor.Prescription drugs appear to be the motive of a robbery they were allegedly apart of Tuesday afternoon.Police responded near Gomez Park off Washington Street around three.They found a woman who claims she was threatened with a knife and knocked down by a male and female who then fled on foot.Sergeant Paul Edwards of the Bangor Police Department says they have a pretty good idea where the suspects are.”It does appear to be an isolated incident. There was some relationship between the two people who accosted her and robbed and fled on feet. So we’re still working the angles to try and name suspects in the case.”Anyone with information is urged to call Bangor Police at 947-7382.
It’s been two years since WABI TV5 News first reported on a family of horses in Maine that was saved from slaughter. Today the animals have new families, including a horse named Max that has become famous. Max has a new home in Memphis, Tennessee at the Graceland Stables. After learning about Max and how he was saved Pricsilla Presley contacted Carole Terese Naser of Palermo, Maine. Naser and a group of concerned Mainers rallied together back in 2007 to save Max and five of his family members from being shipped to a slaughter house in Canada. Naser independently investigates horse dealers that transport and or sells horses for slaughter. She says that while there are no numbers on how many horses from Maine are being shipped to Canada and Mexico each year there are about 1-hundred thousand American horses killed each year for the meat market. Currently, there is a bill before Congress that would outlaw horse slaughter, it’s called the Equine Cruelty Prevention Act. Perhaps the most famous advocate for the bill is Priscilla Presley. Presley and Naser encourage horse lovers to write to their congressional delegation urging the bill to be passed. The three other horses saved by Naser currently live in Virginia where Naser and Presley recently visited. Naser says they are pleased with where they are adding that it’s a magical feeling to be able to change the direction of the lives of these animals. For more information on the six horses saved log onto sixhorsessaved.org
A food collection drive that started Friday in Kittery came to an end in Fort Fairfield at the Potato Blossom Festival Parade.Close to 25,000 pounds worth of food items and $850 in monetary donations were collected statewide.This was the first time business agent Traci Place had undertaken an event this large.Place says they had great teams that helped make it so successful.”I was floored. The outpouring of support statewide just overwhelmed me, to the point of being speechless at times and that takes a lot to.”All of the food and money was delivered to the Catholic Charities Food Bank in Caribou after the parade.
A father son duo who embarked on quite the fishing expedition made a stop in Maine Tuesday.Jeff and Taylor Turner of Virginia are attempting to fish fifty states in fifty days, traveling in a RV.Tuesday they fished the Penobscot River with Kevin Travewski of Travewski Fishing Adventures.Tuesday is day number thirty-nine and state number forty-two on their expedition.Jeff Taylor says the inspiration for the adventure came from a John Eldredge book called Wild at Heart.Taylor says every page seemed to be telling him he was longing for an adventure.He decided to bring his 17-year old son along, knowing that their time together is quickly becoming measured.So how did Maine’s fishing compare to other states?” We had a miraculous day maybe in some people’s eyes. We caught 68 fish in just under four hours. Which the next closest state that even compares, we caught 50 in North Dakota. So the Penobscot blew it out of the park.”Taylor says they mostly caught small mouth bass.Their next stop is Massachusetts.
An announcement on Tuesday, made by Gov. John Baldacci, International WoodFules have plans to introduce a wood pellet manufactoring plant in the town of Burnham. The $20 million plant will help to create 35 new jobs in central Maine and produce up to 100,000 tons of premium pellets annually. International Woodfules Predident, Steven Mueller said that the pellets will all be sold in Maine and meet the demand for fule. The company said that it will break ground in September and should be up and running by next June. With Pride Manfacuring’s wooden golf tee plant next door, both of the plants will share some of the expences and the pellet plant can use scrap wod generated by Pride.
Two people were sent to the hospital after an accident in Eddington earlier today.67-year old Johann Williamson of Eddington was driving a Toyota SUV westbound on Route Nine when she pulled to the right of a driveway and did a U-turn.Causing her to strike a Chrysler sedan traveling behind her.The sedan was driven by 74-year-old Doris Livingston of Calais.88-year old David Livingston was a passenger in the sedan.Williamson was taken to St. Joseph hospital with head and neck injuries.And Doris Livingston was transported to Eastern Maine Medical enter with minor facial injuries.Traffic along Main Road in Eddington was held up for about an hour and a half.
Cherryfield native Carlton Willey, who played 8 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1958-1965, passed away due to complications from lung cancer Monday night, according to family members. He was 78-years-old.Friends and family say his heart was always in Cherryfield. “He liked Cherryfield, he was a Cherryfield boy,” says lifelong friend Harold Sprague.Carlton Willey grew up here in Cherryfield doing what most kids around here did in the 1930’s and 40’s: playing baseball. “If there was no field out there we’d go out and play,” says Sprague “there might have been an old barn out there for a backstop, something like that, we played baseball all the time, there wasn’t anything else to do just play baseball.”Known as “Cardy” to his close friends it wasn’t hard to see his talents on the baseball field as well as off. Willey used his baseball prowess to his advantage at an early age according to his cousin Joanne Willey. “We like to have Carlton go up to the Cherryfield Fair with us because he would win all the prizes,throwing the baseball, knocking the bottles off the shelves and then the fair people soon found out what we were up to and that was the end of that.”It was after Willey left Cherryfield for the bright lights of Major League Baseball that he helped to put Cherryfield on the map. He was named National League Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News in 1958 while pitching for the Milwaukee Braves. Willey also appeared in the 1958 World Series where he recorded 2 strikeouts against the New York Yankees. “Watching him in that World Series game I was working in a law office in Massachusetts,” says Joanne Willey, “we closed the office in the afternoon, and we watched on a little black and white T.V. and my boss was quite impressed that I knew a Major League pitcher.” The Braves would eventually lose the series in seven games to the Yankees. Willey also made history in September of 1963 while pitching for the New York Mets. In a 4-2 Mets victory over the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, Willey retired the side in order getting all three Alou brothers, Jesus, Matty, and Felipe consecutively. It was the first time in Major League history three siblings had bat consecutively, and were retired, in the same inning. Willey retired shortly after breaking his jaw during a game. He played 8 seasons for the Braves and the New York Mets. He returned to Cherryfield full of stories to tell. “He played with a lot of great players,” says Joanne Willey, “there were Casey Stengel stories, Hank Aaron stories, and he was always willing to talk to anybody.”Everyone agrees, Willey ramined humble to the very end. “He was just amazed that people cared enough to come out,” says Kathy Upton, President of the Cherryfield Historical Society, “he couldn’t understand, after all these years that anybody really cared about who Carlton Willey really was, or even remembered him.”While you may be hard pressed to find anyone who knew Carlton Willey that didn’t love him, his close friends say: Nobody’s perfect, “Unfortunately for living in Cherryfield he was a Yankees fan” says Joanne Willey, “and those of us who belong in Red Sox nation didn’t forgive him for that.”