Some folks took to the streets of downtown Bangor.Trying to educate motorists about the rights the blind and visually impaired have.Meghan Hayward caught up with them along their route.” We’re having a White Cane awareness walk. It’s to help motorists be aware that folks carrying a white can or guide dog are blind or visually impaired. And also that there is a law, the White Cane Law.”Under that law, anyone operating a vehicle is required to take all precautions necessary when approaching a pedestrian carrying a white cane or using a guide dog.Patricia Monahan of Iris Network says getting the facts about the law out there is important.” I think we’re all very busy in our hectic schedules and wanting to get here or and there. The white can signifies a tool of independence for the blind and visually impaired.”Monahan says there is often a misconception about these folks.” Just because someone is labeled as legally blind most folks do have some vision but they cannot travel safely lots of times without the use of a cane or guide dog.”Nancy Matulis is President of the American Council of the Blind of Maine and uses a white cane.She took part in the walk.Matulis had a personal experience that makes this walk even more important to her.” Probably about 20 years ago I was hit by a car crossing the street by Shaw’s. The car banged into me and I was carrying some paperwork, I had just come from a meeting.”Matulis says the impact did not knock her down and she was able to make it across the street.But not one person stopped to ask if she was okay.So Matulis has one message she would like to get across.” We have to have access to safe passages on streets and making sure drivers pay attention to us in sidewalks.”Both the Iris Network and American Council of the Blind of Maine are resources to help people who are visually impaired or blind to attain their independence and integrate within their community.You can learn more about each organization at their websites.www.theiris.org and www.acbmaine.org.
About half of Maine’s seasonal flu vaccine is late, and may not arrive until late next month after the swine flu vaccine is distributed.The Maine Center for Disease Control urged people to get their flu vaccinations early, but many are finding that the vaccinations are unavailable.Dr. Dora Anne Mills says the delay is caused by a bottleneck in the vaccine making process because of competing demand for swine flu vaccine.
Two local film makers are getting a fairy tale wedding, all thanks to the generosity of Mainers.The group, called “Real Weddings Maine”, put together a wedding for Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, the folks who created the award winning documentary “The Way We Get By.”Real Weddings Maine had been looking for the perfect couple to donate a wedding to, and after seeing the movie, wedding planner Amber Small knew that she had found her them.They then solicited vendors to donate services and goods for the event.Small says the wedding is very upscale, and showcases that Maine can be am upscale destination wedding spot.Small says the price tag on this wedding is $800,000.
Funding from the federal government will help out emergency services in central Maine.$500,000 will be awarded to the emergency operations center in Skowhegan, which will be used to expand and renovate the center.Right now, the emergency center is a 500 foot training room and two small offices.In the event of a disaster, local and county emergency personnel would convene there to help coordinate response. Congressman Mike Michaud helped secure the money, which comes from homeland security, and is expected to be available to county officials sometime next year.
A 65-year-old woman from New Sharon, convicted of mistreating animals, landed in jail after being accused of using a stun gun on a state trooper.Carol Murphy was being investigated on a complaint that she was hoarding animals at her home.In 2004, 70-animals were seized from her property.A year later, she was found guilty of animal cruelty.Following that, Murphy was under a court order barring her from keeping animals.Wednesday, trooper Aaron Turcotte showed up at Murphy’s home to see if she was in violation.Court documents say she used a stun gun on him.Turcotte was not seriously hurt.A central Maine newspaper says at least 40 domestic and farm animals: including a donkey, two alpacas and a potbellied pig were seized the next day.
A man from Bar Harbor who pleaded guilty to multiple burglary charges has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars.James Grindel, 44, was caught breaking into a home in Pretty Marsh in March.Authorities say the caretaker went to the house because an alarm was going off. When he arrived, Grindel was still inside.Police say Grindel confronted the caretaker and repeatedly rammed the caretaker’s car as he was fleeing the scene.Grindel had just finished serving a lengthy jail sentence for burglary.He’s also accused of using a stolen credit card.
As Mainers look for ways to save money, some parents are cutting back on commercial baby food and making their own.For the first time, the UMaine Cooperative Extension is offering classes to show people how.Eight-month-old Marcus is a healthy eater – though peas don’t appear to be one of his favorite foods. His mom, Mary Doughty of Searsport, says she’s concerned about everything that goes in Marcus’ mouth. So she’s learning to make his meals herself. “I just know what’s going in the baby food and that puts me at ease that I know there’s not stuff in it that’s gonna harm him.”Nicholas Grover of Hudson, who has a three-month-old, is brushing up on his skills in the kitchen for another reason. “You know with today’s economy, help save money you know, making food at home – save on the grocery bill.”Kate Yerxa with the UMaine Cooperative Extension office says help for making baby food is a top request these days.That’s why the office is offering these first-time classes.”You can save 20 to 40 cents per ounce by making your own baby food and by multiplying that by seven, for a week or by a month of by year – you’re going to add up some significant savings.”And it doesn’t mean a lot of extra time in the kitchen. “Just purchasing maybe four or five apples or four or five peaches baking or boiling them – you don’t necessarily have to puree them right away. You can put them in the fridge and come back to them in a hour or so but really the baking time – you’re not there in the kitchen while it’s baking.”Yerxa says making baby food may add another hour or two a week to meal prep.But for many parents, it also adds satisfaction, making it well worth the time. “A lot of families are very busy and just by planning on making your own baby food or even trying, it gives you that little step in the right direction if you just want to enhance your family, family meals, that time with your children.”The Extension service is offering two more baby food classes this month – along with one in November and December.For more information call 581-3445.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WE HAVE A SCHOOL CLOSING TO TELL YOU ABOUT THIS MORNING.STOCKTON SPRINGS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IS CLOSED TODAY. THEY HAVE A PLUMBING PROBLEM.AGAIN, NO SCHOOL AT STOCKTON SPRINGS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TODAY.
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.
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.
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.