Local News

“A Wish Granted” in Glenburn

Updated 5 years ago

Volunteers from “A Wish Granted” have been working hard to finish building a house for a very worthy family.They’re building the Glenburn home for the family of a 14 year old boy with leukemia.Dimitrje Howe-Poteet has been in and out of the hospital for a year and just had a bone marrow transplant, so his immune system is weak.Because of that, the family is unable to live in their mobile home, which contains mold and mildew.So volunteers are building the family a small cabin where dimitrje can recuperate comfortably.They’re making great progress on the home. Today donated drywall was put up.Volunteers say many people have donated time and materials, but more could be done.”More could be donated as far as materials and things but to this point the drywall was donated and the labor has all been donated so it’s been good.” says Alva Philbrook, a volunteer hanging drywall.If you’d like to help or donate supplies, you can call 356-9770.To make a donation, send checks to birmingham’s family market, 10 gilman falls road in old town, 04468. Checks should be made out to “A Wish Granted.”

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Machias Fire

Updated 5 years ago

Roads in downtown Machias have reopened after a structure fire on Main Street. Roads were closed on Route 1 from Whitney’s Tool Shed to the Blue Bird Restaurant Thursday afternoon.According to officials, the building on contains apartments and businesses.They say it was an older building and the fire was difficult to fight when the flames entered the walls.Crews remain on the scene, watching for hotspots.

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Community Reaches Out After Theft at Habitat for Humanity Home

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

The community is coming together for a family in Eastbrook, working to move into a new home built by Habitat for Humanity.Construction stopped when someone stole copper pipes from the unfinished home.The Rumill family discovered the theft on Mother’s Day.The stolen copper is worth about $200.Now some students in Hancock County have started a “Copper for Copper” penny drive and area contractors are helping out, too. Kids at Mountain View school in Sullivan, Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan, Peninsula School in Winter Harbor and Connors-Emerson school in Bar Harbor are collecting the coins. So are three local businesses – Tideway in Hancock, The Trading Post in Franklin and Chester Pike’s Galley in Sullivan. Paul Hanna Plumbing of Belgrade Lakes and Broughman Builders in Ellsworth have offered to donate the copper pipes to finish the home.And No Frills Oil in Hancock is giving the family 250-gallons of fuel oil.

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Brewer Teacher Honored

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A teacher at Brewer High School is getting top honors from Maine’s Education Commissioner. David Morris received the Commissioner’s Recognition Award today in Augusta for his work with at-risk students. Morris runs the alternative education program, helping students who might not otherwise finish school and get a diploma. Morris has guided hundreds of kids toward graduation in the last dozen years. When he’s not doing that, he coaches the school baseball team.

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First-Time Campers Contest

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

First-time campers in Maine have a chance to enjoy the great outdoors, for free. The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is teaming up with L.L. Bean to offer 32 families a free camping weekend. The winners will receive a two-night reservation at a state park, a complete set of camping equipment, four sleeping bags and free food. The contest is part of the governor’s “Take It Outside” program, designed to encourage people to spend more time outdoors.The deadline to enter is May 31st.For information and an entry form, you can go to take-it-outside.com.

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Burnham Village School to Stay Open

Updated 5 years ago

During this time of budget crunches, officials in S-A-D 53 are facing an unusual situation.They just found out they actually have *more* money in the budget than they thought.Amy Erickson explains.< "we thought we had large cuts to make and had been planning for those large cuts."Board Members in S-A-D 53 haven't had an easy few months.First came the news that the district had to cut more than a half million dollars from the budget.That had Board members seriously considering closing the Burnham Village School...and possibly the S-A-D 53 office.But this week, they were shocked to learn that they won't have to do either.Turns out, a spreadsheet error overestimated the cuts that needed to be made."it was simply missing out checking one cell in a formula, a spreadsheet formula...and that one click made the difference."Michael Gallagher is the District's Superintendent.He realized his miscalculation this week and notified Board members immediately."we were really eyeing over a half a million dollars originally...about 556 thousand dollars.""in the end, the reduction is substantially less, probably $250,000 less than what we thought we needed to cut."That means the Burnham Village School will stay open...welcome news for many parents.But Gallagher says he still feels terrible about the mistake."the disappointing part about all of this is all the hours and time spent that people put into developing all these other plans for lack of that one good bit of data that would have caused them not to have to do all that work.""although gallagher regrets the error, he says he's trying to focus on the positive...like the fact that if they do have to make more severe cuts next year, they'll already have a plan in place.""personal embarrassment, but district wide, it's a great thing for us to only have to cut that amount as to over a half a million dollars."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Pittsfield.>

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Glenburn Accident

Updated 5 years ago

A tricky intersection in Glenburn was the site of another car accident late this morning.Two cars collided at the intersection of Hudson Road and Lancaster Drive and Lake View in front of BJ’s Market.We’re told a male driver was stopped at a stop sign and could not see past a letter carrier truck.The driver then pulled out into traffic and was hit by an oncoming vehicle.Deputy Sheriff Mark Lloyd says this is not the first time an accident has occured at the intersection.” Yeah this is a problem area. We’ve had similar accident just two weeks ago. Stop signs on both sides and people still seem to not pay attention.”The female driver in the oncoming vehicle suffered minor injuries.

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Water Test Results

Updated 5 years ago

Students in Winterport have been learning about the water they drink.The “Get Wet” program brings community members, town employees, University of Maine scientists and students together to help understand what is happening in the groundwater.The Samual L. Wagner middle school students recently did a series of tests on local groundwater, and are ready to release their results.Everyone is invited to attend the presentation Thursday night at 6pm at the middle school.For more information, log on to the university of Maine website: www.umaine.edu/waterresearch/outreach/getwet/index.htm

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Charter Schools In Maine?

Updated 5 years ago

A bill that would allow charter schools in Maine is headed to the senate, but with an “ought not to pass” recommendation.The legislature’s education committee voted 8-5 Wednesday to reject the independently run public schools.They are allowed in 40 other states.Supporters said charter school legislation was overdue in Maine.Opponents voiced concern that such schools would divert funds from local school districts already reeling from reduced state subsidies.

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Jonesport Man Found Dead

Updated 5 years ago

Each morning, Roy Lenfesty of Jonesport went to check on his small sailboat.He kept it on the shore at Beal’s Island.And Wednesday was no different, until Lenfesty didn’t return home in the afternoon.His wife called authorities, who launched a search for the missing man.Around 7:30 Wednesday, Lenfesty’s sailboat was found overturned on some rocks.A dingy was discovered nearby with some of his personal belongings inside.About an hour and a half later, Lenfesty’s body was found, about 200 yards from his boat, near Indian Point.The Coast Guard, Maine Marine Patrol, and volunteers all assisted in the search.

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CMP Works May Still Strike

Updated 5 years ago

Union members working for several days without a contract for Central Maine Power could be closer to a strike than an agreement after meeting with union leaders Wednesday night.More than 300 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers met with union leadership at the Gardiner area high school gymnasium, to determine the next step in contract negotiations.Union members believes the company cut medical and retirement benefits so CMP’s parent company can keep more profits. Workers also said CMP wanted to eliminate pensions for new employees or reduce the health benefits of retired employees.The workers authorized a strike weeks ago.Union leadership are hoping that by working without a contract, it shows good faith to CMP.

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Frozen Beef Recall

Updated 5 years ago


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Standpipe Open to Public

Updated 5 years ago

The Thomas Hill Standpipe is over 100 years old and has become a landmark in Bangor.Earlier this evening folks got a chance to climb to the top of the tower and see a spectacular view of the area.The standpipe is only open to the public four days out of the year – one for each season. It opened at three this afternoon and closed at six.Hundreds of people poured in, and they all raved about the beautiful day and the picturesque view.There were bus loads of school kids there – and they seemed to enjoy the entire experience.”It’s really fun because you get to like walk around like a million, million, million times and when you go back down the stairs, it’s kind of fun when you count them.” says one young visitor.There are 100 steps to the top of the tower, and once you reach the observation deck, they say you can see for miles on a clear day. Almost 800 people visited the standpipe today. If you missed it, it will be open again on July 22. For more information you can visit the Bangor Water Disrict’s website at www.bangorwater.org.

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Backyard Battleground

Updated 5 years ago

For a Searsport woman, teaching her home-schooled kids about history meant more than just reading to them from a book.This week, her backyard becomes a battleground, and the soldiers can’t wait for their lessons.”Union, forward. March!””Basically,” says one young participant, “it’s just doing the Civil War all over again.”The Battle of Bull Run is just one lesson in a week-long program. Kathy Strickland came up with the idea 15 years ago.”I started home schooling my kids and I wanted my kids to be able to experience something more hands-on,” Strickland says.Now, dozens of home-schooled kids in Waldo County take part. They cook, make crafts, write letters and learn lots about different time periods.”We’re learning how to make tents and stuff like that,” says participant Emily Edgerly.”What kind of tools and guns and cannons they used,” says another participant.”One of the fun parts,” says helper Lillian Nowell, “was we did was spy codes, and they learned how to do spy codes and spelling it out and journaling.”They say it helps children better relate to history and appreciate what they have today.”They’ve seen what our forefathers have gone through and what they’ve fought for, for the country we live in and the freedoms to do what we do,” says leader Michelle Small.”We’re going to do the Battle of Bull Run again,” announces Steven Kostusyk, “also known in the South as the Battle of Manassas.”Kostusyk, whose mother is one of the leaders, helps lead battles when he’s home from college. “We have Civil War books, and I review the battles and pick key points and sum the battle up into one small segment we can do,” he says.The program is about 60 dollars, to cover costs for the week. Leaders say the kids have so much fun, they hope to offer more sessions during school vacations, so kids who aren’t home schooled can take part.”It helps them get a better understanding of our nation’s history.”The programs are offered a couple of times a year and cover different periods in history. For more information, you can contact Michelle Small at 338-6334.

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Trooper of the Year

Updated 5 years ago

Detective Jason Andrews of Lincolnville has been named Trooper of the Year. Andrews joined the State Police in 2001 and patrolled in Waldo and Knox counties as a member of Troop D, until he was promoted to detective late last year and transferred to the central criminal division. Prior to joining the State Police, Andrews was an elementary school age teacher in Massachusetts. He is a native of Bristol, Rhode Island. Colonel Patrick Fleming said, “Detective Andrews is a quiet, hard working, dedicated member of the State Police and I am proud to name him the 44th recipient of this honor.” Andrews’s award was one of the highlights of Wednesday’s annual State Police awards ceremony. Andrews and his wife, Jessica, are the parents of a six year old son and a four year old daughter. In addition to Trooper of the Year, Andrews will also receive a State Police Meritorious Service Award for his role in responding last October to a gunman inside the Stockton Springs Elementary School. Several others will also be honored next week for their role in that incident. Trooper of the Year was established by State Police in 1964 to honor Trooper Charles Black, who was shot to death that year during a bank robbery in South Berwick.

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Copper Pipes Stolen from Habitat for Humanity House

Updated 5 years ago

Construction on a Franklin family’s Habitat for Humanity house has been put on hold after copper pipes were stolen from the construction site.The family and neighbors in Hancock County are doing all they can to find the culprit and get the house finished.”They’ve had very undesirable housing and you know, that’s Habitat’s mission to eliminate poverty housing in Hancock County and they were just the ideal family.”When the Rumill family discovered on Mother’s Day that someone had stolen copper pipes from their unfinished home, they were devastated.”So it was very frustrating, sad and sickening all in one. So it wasn’t a very nice Mother’s Day that way.”The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department says this is an unusual case.”It’s not the traditional copper theft that we’ve experienced in the past where people have gone into an existing structure and have cut the pipes from a boiler that was already installed. These were pipes that were still in the boxes waiting for installation.”Thornton estimates the stolen copper is worth about 200 dollars.”But it’s not the amount that’s of significance. It’s the fact that A, they burglarized the place and B, they stole copper from a needy family.”With the help of Broughman Builders in ellsworth, they’re offering a 500 dollar reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.”It just seemed like, this organization is struggling to do stuff to help other people, that all of a sudden you have people taking from an organization that needs to have people giving.”April and her family are trying to stay positive, but she says she wishes the culprit only knew who they stole from.”You stole from three children, how do you feel about that? How can you sleep at night knowing that it wasn’t just for two adults that it was for 3 children who need this home just as much as we do.”Anyone with information should contact the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department at 667-7575.We also learned late today that Paul Hanna Plumbing of Belgrade Lakes has offered to donate the copper pipes to finish the home.

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Milo Considers Contracting Police Services

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Town leaders in Milo are considering a plan to turn over the community’s police presence to the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department. Right now the police department is without a chief or a sergeant.Town Manager Jeff Gahagan says it’s a good time to talk about rebuilding the department or contracting with the sheriff’s department for police coverage. County commissioners reviewed a proposal yesterday put together by Sheriff John Goggin.Under the draft, the sheriff’s department would provide three full-time deputies who’d live in the Milo area. Police cruisers and other equipment would also be turned over to the county. Milo selectmen are expected to review the idea at their next meeting in June.

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Decals Honor Fallen Firefighter

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

The Calais Fire Department is honoring the life of a fellow fighter with commemorative decals.Money raised from the sale of the decals will benefit the family of Billy Townsend. Townsend died earlier this month after a two-year battle with leukemia, leaving behind a wife and two children. Lieutenant Glenn Connolly says the decals represent Townsend’s love of hunting and fishing, along with his service to the Calais and Lincoln Fire Departments.The top of the decal reads “We will never forget”.Two-inch versions of the decal are for sale for $5. 6-inch versions go for $20.If you’re interested in buying one, you can mail a request to Lt. Glenn Connolly P.O. Box 131 Calais, ME 04619. Or send an e-mail to glennconnolly@myfairpoint.net.

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Fire Destroys Mobile Home in Abbot

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Investigators say they’ll never know what started a fire that leveled a mobile home in Abbot. Crews from Guilford, Monson, Dover-Foxcroft and Sangerville responded to the fire yesterday on Forest Brook Drive, just off Route 15.Guilford firefighter Mike Nichols says by the time they arrived, the center of the home was up in the flames and the roof had already caved in. The owners were not home at the time, but Nichols says two pets died in the fire.An investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s Office says there was too much damage to determine the cause of the fire.

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MDI Students Help Build Habitat for Humanity House

Updated 5 years ago

High school students on Mount Desert Island are spending some of their class time helping those in need in their community.MDI High School offers a “habitat for Humanity” class.About 25 students are enrolled.They’re doing the framing for a Habitat house being built for a needy family in Ellsworth.Students and teachers are building the external and internal walls for the home.They also raised the money to buy the materials.Teacher Wilt Jones says the students are making a difference in their community, and taking away a great lesson.< "i think they really get a sense of community, of helping out, giving back and helping those in need when, and so when they get done, maybe they'll continue some type of involvement in the future in some way, whether it be habitat or other endeavors.">The interior and exterior walls should be ready to go within the next week.They’ll be brought in to the house site on a flatbed, where volunteers will do the construction.

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