Local News

‘Paws on Parade’ for Bangor Humane Society

Updated 5 years ago

More than one hundred people made their way to the Bangor waterfront Saturday, with their pets leading the way.Along the way, they raised some money. It was the Bangor Humane Society’s annual Paws on Parade, now in its 16th year. The Bangor Humane Society is a non-profit organization that is funded by local donations and contributions, and this event is one of their biggest fundraisers.Director Suzan Bell says they were pleased with the turnout Saturday, especially since this is an important time of year to raise money.”Winter is coming and people are really struggling to keep their pets. So we want to provide pets with a safe place to be this winter to get them adopted into new homes,” Bell says.The Bangor Humane Society cares for more than five thousand homeless pets each year.Bell says she was happy to see lots of Humane Society “alumni” turn out at the event Saturday, many who looked to be pretty happy with their new owners.

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Potential Federal Funding for Maine Offshore Wind Initiative

Updated 5 years ago

The Maine Offshore Wind Initiative at the University of Maine could be getting a five million dollar boost in federal funding.Senator Susan Collins says House and Senate leaders have included the funding in the 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.Collins says the provision was added during negotiations between House and Senate leaders to create a final version of the bill.She says U-Maine is on track to become a national leader in offshore wind technology.She says Maine is the ideal location for deep water offshore wind research because the state has some of the strongest and most consistent offshore winds.

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Homeowners Show Off Solar Energy Systems

Updated 5 years ago

Although it was a little dreary outside on Saturday, plenty of people were still out enjoying the power of the sun.Homes and businesses across the state opened their doors for the Maine Solar Energy Tour.Cindy Carusi’s home in Orono was one stop on the tour. She uses a solar water heater, and says it’s working hard even on a somewhat grey day like Saturday.She has black tubes on her roof and a water heater in her cellar. Carusi says the system has been so effective in reducing the amount of oil she uses, she wants to get the word out to everyone.”They can look at my installations, they can ask about tax credits, how it was done, what company did it, any type of questions they have while they’re considering doing it in their own homes. A lot of people don’t even know it’s out there. I really didn’t until I started looking into it,” she says.This is Carusi’s second year on the tour. She says last year she had lots of visitors, many who took pictures of her set-up. She says now, she’s looking into other ways to use alternative energy sources, including wind.

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Furniture Business in Ellsworth Closing After 98 Years

Updated 5 years ago

A store that has been around downtown Ellsworth for almost 100 years is closing it’s doors.And as Meghan Hayward tells us, the closure is bittersweet for the store’s owners.” The Austin’s started the furniture business back in 1911, it was a furniture and undertaking business at the time. My family came in and bought the undertaking part of it, Jordan Funeral Home. And we came around in 1983 and bought out their furniture business.”But after 98 years of business in downtown Ellsworth, HC Austin Furniture is closing its doors for good.” I guess the whole furniture idea on Main Street is a little more difficult it’s lost it’s pizzazz and the economy has certainly gotten in the way.”Owner Debra Day says she and her husband are ready for their next adventure.But it will be difficult to not come to work in downtown Ellsworth anymore.” I guess I just really like the people down here so I’ll miss them.”But Day thinks the business has left an impression on downtown Ellsworth too.” Because of our size we’ve been able to help with the various events that go on down here and plus the fact that we’ve been a community player for many many year.”But before they close the doors for good.They need to get rid of every last sofa, bed and chair that is left in their store.’ Last week we started and so we’ll be going as long as it takes us to move all the furniture.”Day says she expects it to only take about a month and have everything gone by November.

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Vandalism at Joyce McLain’s Gravesite and Site of Where her Body was Found

Updated 5 years ago

Joyce McLain was 16 years old when she was murdered.That was 29 years ago.Now, all these years later, both the site in East Millinocket where her body was found and the place where it was laid to rest, her gravesite, have been vandalized.State police are asking for help tonight to track down the vandal or vandals.Police and Joyce’s mother are also continuing the pursuit for her killer.Meghan Hayward reports.”There’s been some vandalism recently at Joyce’s stone to include some defacing of the headstone. As well as some vandalism out on the powerline where Joyce was found after she was killed.”A ceramic angel that had been placed by Joyce’s headstone was destroyed, along with some other items that were on display.But that isn’t all.”And there was some material smeared on her headstone, dark brown in color. Basically defacing her headstone in a derogatory manner.”There has been a cross on display for 29 years behind Schenck High School, the site where her body was found, and a portion of that was broken off.State Police Sgt. Troy Gardner says while these could be acts of random vandalism, it’s still important to look into.”Based on our work in the last 18 months, which is managing an active homicide case, it would be irresponsible for us to not consider the possibility that this activity was more intentional or more meaningful than an act of random vandalism.”Gardner says no other headstones at the cemetery were tampered with.The vandalism at the cemetery occurred during the weekend of September twelfth. But police don’t know if the damage to the cross happened at the same time.Joyce’s mother, Pam McLain, was shocked by the news.”I was surprised to hear that someone had done something like that because it’s 29 years and nothing like that has ever happened before.”But Pam isn’t letting the news set her back.”I’m waiting patiently. I really believe this is going to be solved and I’ve waited 29 years. I can wait 30 or 31.”Pam says she thinks the vandalism is a message for her to be quiet and stay out of the way, but it won’t stop her.She’s going to put a new cross behind the high school, one she says will be even more significant than the last.”It has a little more meaning to me because all the wood is different parts of the home here, so it’s from the heart from her home.”Gardner says anyone with any information that could help with the investigation can call State Police in Orono at 866-2122.

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New Lincoln Company Offering as Much or as Little Oil as You Need

Updated 5 years ago

Offering as much or as little oil as you need, that’s what a new company in Lincoln is bringing to the area.As Meghan Hayward tells us, the owner hopes to help those who may be struggling in a tough economy.A little less stress about how folks can afford heating oil this winter is what a new business in Lincoln is hoping to do.”To help the customer. To help the customer out with prices. I believe my prices will be very competitive if not better than other peoples.”Shaun Drinkwater is the new proud owner of Drinkwater’s Cash Fuel, which will deliver less than the average 100 gallon minimum most companies require.”With the 50 gallon minimum. If they want 50 gallons they can have 50 gallons for the same price of somebody who gets 150 gallons.”So far, Drinkwater says he’s gotten great reviews from local folks.”I’ve had excellent feedback. Everybody’s been waiting for it to get going.”Drinkwater is modeling his business on his sister’s.Amy Porter owns Cheap Oil Company in Newburgh.But her company doesn’t reach the Lincoln area, so Drinkwater decided it was time to offer it to them.He says he’s able to provide such low prices because he has no overhead costs.It’s something he feels will help a lot of people out.”I believe there’s a big need. Like I said, people are going to the pumps with buckets and if I’m in the area that day there is no problem dropping 40 to 50 gallons or whatever they need.”His sister Amy couldn’t be happier with his new business.”I was thrilled with it. I get a lot of calls from the Lincoln area that people need to get gallons that are less than 100 at a time.”Shaun only has one truck , and his wife does the book-keeping, but he says he may expand in the future.”I want to see how much it’s going to take off at first and then we’ll go from there.”

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Nurses Speak Out About Cuts in Child Cancer Unit at EMMC

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Some nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor are speaking out against a plan to cut two positions in the children’s cancer unit. Hospital officials say it’s a move to save money.Bven though the two nurses are getting new jobs, union representatives say it still amounts to layoffs that are taking away from patient care. Barbara Lambarida, a labor representative with Maine State Nurses Association, says “When you’re dealing with a disease such as cancer, more so when it’s a child involved, the child and the family go through very difficult times emotionally and that’s on-going.”That’s one reason why she and other members of the nurse union oppose the hospital’s decision to move outpatient chemotherapy and infusion treatments to the inpatient pediatric unit.The change will eliminate two specialized pediatric nursing positions. Cokie Giles, the president of the union, says “As you can imagine, being a child and being a family of child with cancer, they get very close to the people taking care of them. And I’m not saying that the nurses aren’t qualified that work in inpatient, but they’re certainly not as connected as these two nurses are.”The two nurses are being transferred to other open positions, a move union reps consider a layoff. Hospital officials won’t say how much money the effort will save. But they will say even though the location of care is changing, the quality is not. Dr. Sarah Fryberger, a pediatric oncologist, says “The chemotherapy will be administered in the inpatient unit by qualified pediatric nurses, pediatric oncology nurses. And I actually think when the patients get over here and realize who’s giving their chemo, it’s nurses they know from having been in the hospital before.”Clinical educator and nurse Laurie George agrees.”We’re very comfortable caring for these patients. we’re very confident and competent that we can do this. We see them when they’re very sick so for us it will actually be caring for a child who isn’t as sick.”The switch is scheduled to start Monday. Union representatives say they’ve already filed a grievance against the hospital.

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Postal Worker Cleared in Pepper Spray Incident

Updated 5 years ago

A postal carrier in Dexter has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a pepper spraying incident last month.Caitlin Wintle of Dexter says a postal carrier pepper sprayed Wintle’s chihuahua and her 7-year old daughter. The postal carrier claimed she felt threatened.A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service says the carrier followed policy when using pepper spray on the dog, and says the carrier did not spray the girl.There will be no disciplinary action taken, and the postal carrier is now back to work.

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Flu Clinic Postponed

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

The first of three local flu clinics has been postponed.It’s due to the delay in the national distribution of the seasonal flu vaccine.The full day clinic was scheduled for Wednesday October 7th at the Bangor Civic Center, but that has been delayed until the supplies arrive.Those new vaccines are expected in as early as the middle of this month.Organizers are still waiting to see how this delay will impact their other two scheduled clinics were are slated for the 14th and 15th of this month.For more information on clinic dates or any updates you can check out the city of bangor’s web site at www.bangormaine.gov and click on influenza update and preparedness.

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Medication Collection Day

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

Do you have old, unwanted, unused medication in your cabinet that you need to get rid of, but aren’t sure how to do it?Saturday (10/03/09) residents of Somerset County can get rid of their old pills at a medication collection event in Skowhegan.It’s going to be held at the Skowhegan Recylcing center from nine in the morning until noon.It’s going to happen as the same time as the hazardous waste collection day.There is no pre-registration required for the medication drop off.It is recommended that any personal information on the pill bottles or containers be blacked out with a permanent marker.But meds from residential care facilities and group homes will not be accepted.

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Homecoming Field Dedication

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

A year ago it was a wish.Now it’s a homecoming reality.Tonight (10/02/09) the Maranacook high school football team will play their first ever homecoming game under the lights.They were installed earlier this year, after Ricky Gibson started the fundraising efforts with help from the Make A Wish Foundation.Ricky passed away in April of this year.His parents Rick and Lisa gibson of Wayne will be on hand at tonight’s game as the field is dedicated to honor Ricky and will be named after him — The Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams.The Black Bears host Winthrop tonight at 7 in Readfield.

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Walk the Weekend to Benefit the Children

Updated 5 years ago

There’s a fundraiser coming up in Bangor this weekend, in memory of children who never got to grow up.It’s a walk, called Remembering Our Babies.It’s put on by a non-profit group that supports families grieving the loss of infants.Proceeds will help fund a monument and reflection area at Mount Hope Cemetery.Organizers with the group Empty Arms say it will be a place for parents who’ve lost babies to go to for quiet reflection.They envision building a statue with a granite bench, and bricks inscribed with the names of babies who left this world. “Those parents don’t have anything. They don’t have a stone to come visit so to have a place where they can see their babies name on a brick, and know all these parents and this whole community really welcomes you is important,” Said group organizer Aimee Gerbi. “We’re happy to have everybody come out and other donations are accepted and greatly appreciated.”The Remembering Our Babies walk is Saturday morning at Mount Hope Cemetery.Registration is at 8:30. It’s $7 to walk, you’re encouraged to bring your children: those under 12 walk for free.

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State Okays Investigation Into Gay Marriage Opponents

Updated 5 years ago

The Maine Ethics Commission has overruled a staff recommendation, and okayed an investigation into fundraising groups that oppose Maine’s gay marriage law.By a three-to-two vote the panel ruled there’s sufficient evidence to warrant a close look at fundraising by the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM, which is a major contributor to the group Stand for Marriage Maine.Supporters of the same sex marriage law claim NOM is ignoring a Maine law that requires it to name its donors.But NOM says it asks for donations nationally without designating them for specific campaigns so it doesn’t have to report donor names.

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Social Worker Attacked in Augusta

Updated 5 years ago

A 47-year-old transient has been charged with gross sexual assault in an attack on a social worker in Augusta.The female social worker told authorities she was giving a ride to Bradley Howe when he asked her to pull behind a church in Whitefield so he could retrieve some items from where he had stashed them.Once there, the woman said, Howe pulled a knife, forced her out of the car and began sexually assaulting her. She managed to get away when another vehicle arrived on the scene.Police say Howe took off in her vehicle and later called the woman to tell her where her car was. Police located the car and spotted Howe a short distance away.Howe was being held at the Two Bridges regional jail in Wiscasset on $100,000 bail.

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Grant Money Aimed at Recreation in Northern Washington County

Updated 5 years ago

One hundred thousand dollars changed hands today, to support outdoor recreation in a part of Washington county. The money comes from energy company First Wind.In Bangor Thursday, folks were talking about the new grant program aimed at the woods and waters in the Baskahegan Stream watershed.”The watershed of the Baskahegan region is about 250 square miles. Hundreds of miles of rivers and streams, and about a dozen lakes and ponds, are all included in where this money is going to go to good work,” says Alan Hutchinson. Hutchinson is the director of the Forest Society of Maine, which will oversee the Stetson Mountain Fund. He says it will help private landowners maintain their lands for public recreation, by helping with the upkeep of boat launches, canoe and fishing access points, and picnic areas.”We have this incredible tradition of people being allowed to use private lands. And at times there’s a burden placed on landowners in that regard. A fund like this can help that tradition be supported,” Hutchinson says.First Wind is donating the 100 thousand dollars. The company operates Stetson Wind in the area, which is the largest operational wind farm in New England. Folks there say since much of the area’s economy is based on recreation, they’re hoping it provides an economic boost.”With timber, outdoor recreation and now wind power, it’s a more diverse ecomony that can hire a lot of Mainers – and none of those uses interfere with each other,” says Matt Kearns, First Wind vice president.Local folks, like Elbridge Cleaves of the Danforth area, will help with the process. His family has been in the area for four generations.”It’s really important not only for personal reasons but for economic and quality of life reasons in our area,” Cleaves says.They say grants will be awarded to local groups and communities each year, starting this spring, and anticipate that typical grants will be for 1,000 to 3,000 dollars. They hope to break ground on the first project by summer.

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First Shipment of H1N1 Vaccine Arriving Late Next Week

Updated 5 years ago

The Maine CDC expects the first shipment of the H1N1 vaccine to get here late next week.About 13,000 doses of the vaccine is expected in initial shipments.The vaccine is a nasal spray which is for use in healthy people ages 2 thorugh 49.This version is not for women who are pregnant.The initial doses will be distributed primarily to child health care providers, children between 2 and 4 and healthy adults who live in homes with infants under 6-months old.

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Religious Leaders Support “No On One”

Updated 5 years ago

Religious leaders gathered today at the Hammond Street Congregational Church in Bangor to urge folks to vote no one one. Several people spoke about the issue.They say the right to marry should be extended to gay and lesbian couples, and that it’s a civil rights issue, as well as a moral and ethical one.Rabbi Darah Lerner, of the Congregation Beth El, says, “Discrimination against one group, leads to discrimination against all. Here in Maine the legislature and the governor recognized that extending the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same gender couples was a question of fairness and of equal protection under that law. We support this fully.”‘The religious leaders that spoke stressed the importance of extending parental rights to gay and lesbian couples. They also discussed the economic benefits marriage provides.

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Augusta Woman Dies After Car Crash in Sidney

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A woman from Augusta who crashed her car into a utility pole Sunday night in Sidney has died.The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department says 29-year-old Sandra Tracy died in a hospital in Bangor, one day after the wreck.Tracy was heading south on the West River Road, when her car ran off the road and into the pole.It was raining at the time.Firefighters had to cut the roof off the car to get to Tracy.Police are still trying to determine what lead up to the crash.

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Writing Contest Offers $2500 Award For High School Juniors

Updated 5 years ago

Maine high school juniors will have a chance to show off their writing skills and win some money. The Maine Community College system is putting on their Journey Into Writing Contest.High school juniors are encouraged to submit a poem, essay, or short story of up to 1500 words. Judges will pick up to three winners. Winners will receive a $2500 cash award and will also be named 2010 Young Writer of the Year.You can email your entry to writing@mccs.me.edu. The contest rules and entry forms are available online at www.mccs.me.

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Pancake Breakfast at Applebees in Bangor to Help Anah Temple Shriners

Updated 5 years ago

If you like pancakes, even if you just want to help a group of folks who have been helping injured children for many years, here’s a breakfast invitation for you.Sunday morning there will be a pancake breakfast at Applebees in Bangor to benefit Anah Temple Shriners.It costs just five dollars. The Shriner’s breakfast is from eight to ten.Applebees Manager Scott Wade says the event really hits home.”It’s personal to a few of our staff members. They’ve had some family members helped over the years with some operations down there so it means a lot to them.””The staff of Applebees have been very generous to be hosting this for the past three years. We completely depend on people like them here to keep our operations going.”If you can’t make it to the pancake breakfast but would still like to help out go to the Shriner’s website www.shrinershq.org.

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