Between Friends Art Center in Brewer is celebrating its second year in business this month.It opened soon after the owner’s husband, lost his job.Joy Hollowell tells us how the Marceron family turned bad luck into a business venture.”It’s amazing to me that we were able to take an empty building that hadn’t had anything done to it for so many years,” says Tracey Marceron.And turn it, into this. Between Friends Art Center is the vision of Tracey Marceron. She had wanted to start something like this for years. Then, Tracey’s husband, Dave was laid off from the Georgia Pacific mill in Old Town.”I just said, you know, I’ve got to take some kind of control here over what we’re going to be able to retire on. So we took our life savings and a lot of faith and hope that this would work out,” says Tracey Marceron.The Marcerons say it was the worst and best time to start a business. “When you hit rock bottom with your finances, you gotta start somewhere,” says Dave Marceron.Tracey enlisted the help of a business advisor in Bangor. The service was free and she learned a lot. “We started off with an original business plan and that grew and changed and we added a lot of things, we dropped some things from the original business plan. We just crossed each bridge as we came to it. We opened the gift shop first, and started getting a little income from that, we built the dance studio two months later, we built the theater a month and a half after that,” says Tracey Marceron.And Tracey is not done yet. Plans for a lunch cafe inside the Next Generation Theater are now in the works. “I think the key to surviving in a bad economy is have a lot of branches on one business. If I had just relied on the gift shop, I’d be in big trouble right now,” says Tracey Marceron.Tracey’s husband as well as her two daughters help run the place. The family is extremely fortunate their business is actually growing during this tough economy, but Tracey has also learned what kind of toll it takes personally. “In the last two years, I have probably only had 15 days off. I work about 90 hours a week and for the whole first year, I paid myself 50 cents an hour. So if you think that you’re going to get rich by starting your own business, you have to love what you’re going to try and you have to be willing to get 0 in return for at least a couple of years. I now make $1.50 an hour,” says Tracey Marceron.For more information on Between Friends Art Center, including what’s going on at the Next Generation Theatre this month, you can log onto www.betweenfriendsartcenter.com or call them at 989-7100.You can also catch Tracey Marceron every Monday morning on the TV 5 morning show. Her weekly arts and crafts segment air during our 6:30AM half hour.
A teacher from Hampden Academy is asking his students to travel back to Ancient Rome, and his lesson plan has won an award from Google.Google Earth developed 3-D software to allow folks to navigate the streets of Rome as they looked around 300 AD.Then they sponsored a contest, asking teachers to develop a curriculum around the program.Latin Teacher Ben Johnson submitted his idea and won. He’s asking his student to choose an ancient Roman, then find ten places in the city that can be used to explain themes about that person.Johnson says the lessons get more kids interested in the class. “Instead of just reading about the places in Rome, or reading about their historical character, they’re actually manipulating parts of the city. They’re finding information on their own, which is always good, then they’re taking it and putting into something that is different than just writing a paper.”Johnson won a new laptop, with a 3-D navigational Mouse, a projector, and a digital camera, all things that will help him in his classroom lessons.Plus, he got a Target gift card, that he says he’ll use for diapers. He and his wife are expecting a baby.
Three men are accused of stealing more than $100,000 in more than a dozen burglaries around the state over the past several months.Police arrested 31 year old Willis Jordan of Lewiston, 30 year old Michael Warner of Cape Elizabeth, and 31 year old Kenneth Michael Childs of Lewiston at their homes last week.Authorities say the men broke into businesses from Orono to Lebanon, including the IGA in Orono, the Flagship Cinemas in Waterville, and the Kennebec Ice Arena in Hallowell.Jordan, Warner and Childs are facing charges of burglary and violating their probation.
Fire investigators are trying to find the cause of a fire that destroyed a garage in etna… Crews from four towns were called to the scene around 2:30 this morning…It’s located across the street from the fire station on route two and had been abandoned…Officials say this is the second fire the owner has dealt with in the last 8 days…We’re told he recently lost a house too…It was also a chance for a state fire investigator to use a specially trained dog to search for the cause..Senior fire investigator Scott Richardson says–”you take a scene like the one behind me. If there was an accelerant used you would take a number of samples. The dog can actually pinpoint within an inch of where the hydrocarbon based accelerant is and you can sample from there and screen the sample with her. Then you have a much higher success rate when you get it to the lab”. The dog named “metro” was given to the state by the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms…Richardson recently traveled to virginia to be trained to handle metro.Both are now part of a national response team and could be called to investigate any fire in the u.s. That the a.t.f. Is asked to look into..
Patrick Rosa (19) will spend four months in jail after pleading guilty to reckless conduct and criminal trespassing. The Maine Warden Service says in December 2007 Rosa and three friends were racing snowmobiles on property in Limerick that was closed to the machines. Rosa’s snowmobile struck 42-year old Darrin Smith and his dog, seriously injuring both. Rosa and his friends took off. Smith’s injuries included two broken legs and a broken arm he had to drag himself about 100-feet to a nearby snow bank where his 8-year-old daughter later found him. Rosa called the Maine Warden Service the next night and admitted to the crash.
It was a bitter sweet day at Bangor International Airport.A flight with Soldiers and Marines came in this morning and reunited with family and friends.While the 286 out of Bangor left to head to Afghanistan.The 286 has 80 soldiers who have been training for over a year for this tour.Colonel Don Lagace, Commander of 52 Troop Command, has complete confidence in the men. He says they’re a well trained and well led troop.For some of the men it’s their second or third trip overseas.Family and friends were there to see their loved ones off.This is the second tour for Eileen Lasselle’s Husband. She says, “Doesn’t get any easier, you know more what to expect, makes things a little easier, no guessing what’s gonna happen, but you worry twice as much because you know what going on.”The 286 is scheduled to be in Afghanistan for a year.Colonel Lagace looks forward to a safe return and expects things to be looking up in the near future.
Lots of folks headed outside to take advantage of the sunshine this weekend. “Oh, the sun is awesome,” says Mike Celestino, who was riding his bike on Pushaw Lake Sunday. “That’s our first catch right there,” says Carl Franck, who was ice fishing with his brother.But, with the beautiful weather comes the consequences.”The sun is warm, the rays are strong, and we’ve had some rain, that leads to runoff and snow melt,” says Game Warden Jim Fahey.He says now that we’re on the backside of winter, we’re losing more ice than we’re gaining. As the sun melts it from the top, currents underneath erode it from the bottom.”The result,” he says, “is bad ice.”He says now you need to be extra-careful venturing out on the ice. If you do fall in, use your forearms to pull yourself out and roll away.Franck says the ice was still more than 20 inches thick where he was fishing on Pushaw Lake Sunday.”It was good and solid this morning,” he says. “Now, it’s getting a little mushy.”Celestino says, “It’s getting a little bit mushy – but I’ll tell you what, you can’t beat it.””We enjoyed some good solid ice early,” says Fahey. “But this happens every year. It gets to the point where people need to use extra-good judgement and be prudent with deciding whether they want to go on the ice.”He says if you have an ice shack, take advantage of the conditions to pull it in now, before the April 3rd deadline.Franck says he hopes to enjoy at least more weekend with their ice house.”It’s a lot of fun.”
The federal stimulus package increases law enforcement funding that has been cut in recent years and Maine’s Justice Assistance Council is scheduled to meet Monday in Augusta to take public testimony on how Maine’s $9.6 million share should be spent.Maine Public Safety Commissioner Anne Jordan says the state is likely to propose spending the funds on computer upgrades. Stimulus funds could also go toward replacing bulletproof vests for state troopers.Monday’s Justice Assistance Council meeting is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Safety in Augusta.
The financial status of Maine’s Medicaid program has drawn new cries of alarm from Republican lawmakers. But Gov. John Baldacci’s budget chief says the GOP math is flawed.The Legislature’s top Republican leaders, backed up by prominent House and Senate colleagues, issued a joint blast late Friday accusing the Baldacci administration of seeking to bury news that the state MaineCare program – as Medicaid in Maine is known – faces a $235 million shortfall through June 30.Commissioner Ryan Low of the state Department of Administrative and Financial Services said Saturday the General Fund shortfall was $65 million. He said the figure of $235 million would represent not only the state’s portion but the federal share of the jointly funded health care program.
Music lovers who turned out for a symphony concert Sunday afternoon also had the chance to help feed their hungry neighbors.The Bangor Symphony Orchestra took part in a national food drive organized by the League of American Orchestras.They asked patrons to bring non-perishable food items to today’s concert at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono.The food will be donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, which will then distribute it to food pantries, cupboards and shelters across the state.Good Shepherd staffers say the timing of the food drive couldn’t have been better since the demand for food is up by about thirty percent.”so we tried to figure out any possible way to help those less fortunate people, and the bangor symphony orchestra helped a lot.”So far, more than 200 orchestras from all 50 states have held food drives at their concerts.
Another year of the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show is in the books, and it looks like it was a huge success.This was the 71st year the show has taken over the fieldhouse at the University of Maine in Orono.More than 150 vendors were on hand, selling everything from sporting goods to beef jerky.There were also plenty of live shows and demonstrations: even a personal flotation device fashion show featuring the Umaine cheerleaders!Organizers say this year’s turnout was fantastic, even though the weather had many folks outside.They say the tough economy doesn’t seem to be keeping outdoor enthusiasts from buying.The folks from the Penobscot County Conservation Association use money from the admission fees for scholarships for students at schools like the University of Maine and Unity college.That money will also help send about fifty kids to conservation camp this summer.
Dozens of families came out to the bangor mall this morning, for a very special story time.Mike and Mike, from the Kiss 94.5 morning show, read out loud to members of the Simon Kidgets club.The club, open to kids 3 through 8, gets together 9 times a year for special events based on education, heath and wellness.This event centered around getting kids excited about reading.Director of mall marketing, Kimberly Reid, says membership in the club costs just 5 dollars.She says it a great value, and an easy way for kids and their parents to get together and have a little fun.Right now, the club has over 500 members.”It’s a great time and we encourage people to come and visit our tenants. There are coupon offers from our tenants at the club, so it’s just really terrific for us, and the children have a good time.”Kids got to listen to six stories today, including “Maisy Goes To The Library”, and “Babar-A Gift For Mother”….The folks from Simon Kidgets were also collecting gently used books to folks who need them.Not only did families donate their used books.We’re told many of the children in attendance brought their pennies along to give to the Children’s Miracle Network.
Organizers say this year’s CMN radiothon a great success.Folks from Blueberry Broadcasting have been at the bangor mall since early Thursday morning, trying to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.They’ve been collecting change and donations, and taking pledges, all while sharing stories of children who have benefited from the services CMN helps to provide.Terri Sleeper, Director of donor services with Eastern Maine Healthcare Charities, says despite a slumping economy, folks have been happy to give.”They’ve really been better than last year. In the state of Maine, people are supporting their neighbors. We support everybody, even in times of need. And our children need care. And no child is ever turned away from any of our hospitals, and Children’s Miracle Network is here to help the children.”>Sleeper say she thinks they have tripled what they did in collections last year.And she says, anyone can be a Miracle Maker, pledging 10 dollars a month, or 30-cents a day, to help kids in need.Sleeper says last year, CMN helped over 147-thousand kids, from Waterville to Fort Kent.
Maine’s drug enforcement agency is hoping folks checking their Facebook, will help them catch criminals.State police spokesman, Steve McCausland, says the MDEA created a Facebook account two weeks ago, and they already have over 150 fans.MDEA Director Roy McKinney says he was inspired to create the account, after hearing about the success other police agencies have had with the network.He says it’s a great way to network and get important information out to the public.The sight features pictures of wanted criminals, and links to MDEA news.To find it, go to facebook.com and search the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Officials with the University of Maine and the CDC are still looking into an incident that left several people sick after a swim meet.More than 600 swimmers, spectators, and coaches were at Umaine’s Wallace Pool last weekend.Many of the folks attending the 2009 winter combined championships complained of eye irritation and respiratory issues .That prompted university officials and the CDC to look in to what was causing the symptoms.They discovered that two large ventilation fans had been switched off, causing an unsafe level of chlorine to build up in the air.University spokesman Joe Carr says it does not appear the fans were malfunctioning.”When the switches were turned back on this week, everything worked just fine. So there’s nothing wrong with the heating or ventilation system itself. It’s just that the fans were, for some reason, switched off, and that caused it not to be working properly.”Carr says he doesn’t think the fans were off as a result of vandalism.It’s still unclear when the fans were turned off, and for what reason.
Former Bangor mayor Richard Greene was in court on a drunk driving charge for the second time in as many days.Greene was arrested Thursday night in Bangor at the Holiday Inn for operating under the influence.Just hours earlier, he’d been in court, being arraigned on an OUI charge from Wednesday.He’s now charged with two counts each of OUI, and violation of bail conditions.District Attorney Chris Almy says, “He’s going to probably spend some time in jail because of these two new cases, and he’ll have to pay a large amount of fines, and he’s going to get his license suspended for a long period of time.”Prosecutors have filed a motion to revoke Greene’s bail on the first OUI charge.They’ll hold a hearing on that Tuesday.Until then, Greene stays behind bars.
A church in Rockland is offering families on a tight budget a way to spend time together without having to spend money.The Grace Bible Fellowship, located on Sherer Lane, is hosting a free movie night.They’re inviting families to put on their comfy pj’s, grab their fluffy pillows, and head to the church to watch “Milo and Otis”.Narrated by Dudley Moore it’s the story of a barnyard kitten and his puppy pal and the adventures they have when they stray from the farm.Folks from the church say they realize times are tight for parents trying to keep food on the table and heat in their homes.They hope a free movie in a warm room will give families a chance to come together and forget their troubles, if just for awhile.
There will be a celebration of international films in camden tomorrow, as the Camden Opera House hosts the International Film Festival of the Spirit.Four full-length international films will be screened, ranging in topics from life after the Rwandan genocide, to a rags to riches tale set in modern India.There will also be short films in between the features.The first movie, an Indian film called Ama,l is scheduled to start at 1pm.And the final film, Fierce Light, will start at 7:30.Following the last show, there will be a question and answer session with the film’s director.Dave Morrison, with the Camden Opera House, says the event brings something different to the area.”It sort of brings the world in to our little town with some of these films that have some pretty heavy subject matter, global issues, and things like that. So, I think it’s going to be thought provoking and to give a voice to some of those bigger issues, and to do it in the context of this community.”Tickets are ten dollars per film, or you can purchase an all day pass for 30 dollars.You can find more information on the International Film Festival of the Spirit online at WWW.CAMDENOPERAHOUSE.COM.
If you love chocolate, you’ll want to head to Rockland this weekend.The 4th Annual Chocolate March is set to kick off Saturday at ten.And TV 5′s Cori Skall has a sneak peak to wet your appetite.”They can expect an overwhelming sentiment of chocolate throughout the day, but in ways they never thought of.”For the fourth year in a row, the Historic Inns of Rockland are getting ready to roll out their Chocolate March.”It’s not just chocolate in your mouth, although there’ll be a lot of different ways to sample eating chocolates, from ganache to fondue to hand dipped chocolate to chocolate in hot chocolate…but also for the medicinal property of chocolate facials, chocolate oils for massage. So we run the whole spectrum.”Over 20 Rockland businesses are taking part in this year’s event, including the Pastry Garden, where they’ll be making a special Irish chocolate treat.”I think it’s just nice to see, in the middle of winter, our downtown sort of come alive in a special way.”Over at the Lily Bistro, chef Lynette Mosher will be teaching folks the art of the chocolate ganache.”Given the economy, and given that this particular event, there’s all these participating places..be it the farnsworth or the boat house or Amalfi..all of the other restaurants that are working with this. I think it’s a terrific value for people. And to be able to see all these different things. Also, everybody is providing samples, and who doesn’t like free samples.”And over at AMALFI, chef David Cook has some decadent desserts featuring…”A little bit of chocolate and a smile.”Some of the proceeds from the event will go to help a local food pantry.And there’s even a “chocolate express” to help shuttle folks from stop to stop.Organizers hope the event brings people outside to enjoy everything Rockland’s downtown has to offer.”We wanted an event that kind of celebrates the transition and gets people feeling good and wanting to get outside and enjoy this time of year–and you know, frankly, chocolates are a great venue for doing that.”Tickets to the Chocolate March are 20 dollars, and can be purchased at any participating inn.Or for more information, you can call the Limerock Inn, at 594-2257.There are also details online at WWW.HISTORICINNSOFROCKLAND.COM.
There are seven active hunt preserves in the state where hunters pay a fee to hunt game in confined areas. With a move in Augusta to make them illegal preserve owners like Marc Luce are having to try to save the industry. Luce, who owns Hindsite Deer Hunt Preserve in Newport says there is plenty of misinformation regarding guided hunts including how the animals are killed and that the hunters are inexperienced. Supporters of legislation to ban preserves say the industry is not profitable in Maine. In 2007 the department of agriculture took in about 10-thousand dollars from license and tag fees. Maine Friends of Animals Director Robert Fisk is pushing the ban saying the “canned hunts” are unethical and inhumane. Fisk is familar to trying to change the law as the banning issue came up in the 90′s when it was turned down by lawmakers.