Local News

Unique Fundraiser For Swan’s Island Library

Updated 5 years ago

A vacant lot is all that remains of the library on Swan’s Island after fire destroyed nearly everything last year. “Very tragic,” says Donald Carlson, a member of the Swan’s Island Noard of trustees, “a lot of disappointed, disheartened people, a lot of work really went into it and a lot of historical items. It was really a major loss for the island.”Liz Awalt, a local artist, was visiting the site days after the library burned when she noticed something that caught her eye. “I noticed papers everywhere flying in the air, down in the meadow,” says Awalt, “it was astounding really to see how many papers were still intact.”As the old adage says, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, Awalt began collecting the charred pieces of paper. She came up with the idea of jotting down some memories on the old pieces of paper. “I began with the idea,” she says, “it slowly evolved and I thought at first maybe I’d make a few pages then it turned into a community project.”The art project quickly ballooned into much more. Awalt began organizing events to get the community more involved. Members of the community started sharing their memories on the paper she recovered. However she didn’t stop there. “I thought if I could ask some Maine artists, fairly well known Maine artists around the state, if they would like to do a page for the benefit at the library.” The response was overwhelmingly positive. Now all the artwork is set to be auctioned off later this month with all the proceeds going to help build the new library.With the library temporarily being packed in the same building as the Town Office and the Post Office, the new building will be a sight for sore eyes. As for the artist who started it all, she couldn’t be happier. “So I think it’s wonderful and I think just to have everyone on the island make their mark and say something visual about their connection either to the library or the island is very exciting and heart warming.”Te art is set to be auctioned off August 26th at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor. There’s an open house from noon-to-4:00, followed by the auction that starts at 5:00. Tickets for the auction are $25 with all proceeds go toward the new library. For more information visit their website: http://www.swansisland.org/library.htm.

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Pittsfield Teen Gearing Up for World Yo-Yo Championships

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

Most teenagers are relishing the last few weeks of summer vacation.But one teenager in Pittsfield has been studying lately.Studying new tricks to try out on competitors from around the world.17 year old Colby Bradshaw starts his senior year of high school in just a few weeks, but right now he has bigger things on his mind, like the World Yo-Yo Championship. “I know what tricks I want to do, like my newest stuff and then I just try to match them up to the music that I choose.”When he started messing around with a yo-yo a couple of years ago, his Dad Bill never saw it progressing to this point. “I yo-yoed when I was a little you know with a Duncan butterfly, around the world, that’s about as far as I go, around the world yeah.” Bill is proud of his son, “I don’t think that just anyone can pick this up and just do it. I think it’s a special skill.”It’s a skill that will take Colby to Orlando to compete against the best in the world, but he knows he’s a newcomer to the international stage.”Maybe just get recognized, meet some friends that I’ve met online in Yo-Yo forums and stuff and just have a good time,”Colby said. “These guys that win have been doing it for ten years plus and they’re sponsored players and they’re really good. I’ve been doing it for two years and yeah they’re at a higher level.”The Duncan Butterfly Yo-Yo that Bill used as a kid, costs a little more than three bucks today. The Yo-yo’s Colby uses are made of metal, and titanium and have ball bearings, and can cost more three hundred dollars. “Well I have one that’s $350, and the rest are like $120, and then I have a bunch of like these twenty dollar yo-yo’s””I figure it’s a good investment” says his Dad, ” You know they’re something he’s gonna have, they’re gonna last and they have trade value, he can trade them with other players, and get other neat yo-yo’s it’s a means of him building friendships as well will is really nice.”

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‘Let’s Go!’ Program Aims to Keep Kids Fit

Updated 5 years ago

Childhood obesity is a concern for folks in all areas of the state. Now, an educational program that’s had some success in other parts of Maine is being rolled out here.The Let’s Go! program partners with schools, community groups, healthcare agencies – places that have the opportunity to teach kids healthy habits.It’s based around the “5-2-1-0″ slogan, which encourages five fruits and vegetables a day, two hours or less of screen time a day, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugar sweetened drinks.Eastern Maine Health Systems will be coordinating the Let’s Go! program here and helping community groups develop their own educational programs.Senator Susan Collins says since 36 percent of the adults in Maine are overweight, obesity is a big healthcare problem. She says that’s why she pushed for 285-thousand dollars in federal funds to support the program.”If we can teach children good healthcare habits, if we can educate them about nutrition and exercise, we can set them on a path of a lifetime of good health,” Collins says.Some folks from Aroostook county and the greater Portland area say the program has had measurable success in their communities. In some Portland schools, they say children are now choosing milk over soda, and fruit over cookies, all on their own.Organizers say the program will get underway here this fall.

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Body Found in Bangor Identified; Death Ruled Homicide

Updated 5 years ago

Bangor Police say the death of a woman whose body was found in a shack along the Penobscot River Sunday is a homicide. Investigators continued to look for clues Monday as to what happened.Police have identified the victim as 19-year-old Holly Boutilier of Old Town. Her family has been notified.An autopsy was completed in Augusta Monday which ruled her death a homicide. Officials are not saying how she died since they are still investigating.Police got a call around noon Sunday there was a body in a shed near the railroad tracks, in an area near the 395-bridge. They were on the scene for the better part of the day collecting information.Lt. Tim Reid with the Bangor Police Department says while he can’t release the details of what they’ve found, they are conducting interviews and the area is being treated as a crime scene.”Without getting into specifics, the entire thing appeared suspicious. People are just conducting area searches right now. It appears to be a large area, and there’s a lot of foot traffic down there, so at this point, we’re looking,” Reid says.Police are still looking to speak to anyone who might have seen Boutilier in the 24-hours before she died.They say she was last seen walking downtown around noon on Saturday in a pinkish bikini top and grey sweatpants.If you saw her on Saturday or have any other information, Bangor Police are asking you to call them at 947-7384 extension 9-5-8-1-1.

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Bangor State Fair a Success

Updated 5 years ago

The 160-th Bangor State Fair wrapped up Sunday at Bass Park…and organizers say it was a huge success.With the economy in trouble, fair directors weren’t sure what to expect, but say their new ten dollar wristband promotion seemed to work.For the first time, folks could buy a wristband for one price and get admission to the grounds, shows and all the rides they want.Bass Park Director Mike Dyer says the wristband idea was in response to the tough economic times, and it seemed to be popular with families attending the fair.He says attendance was up…and so was spending.

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Lee Auto Malls to Buy Linnehan’s

Updated 5 years ago

Maine’s Lee Auto Malls is buying Linnehan’s Credit Now Auto, based in Trenton.Lee has nine locations across the southern, central and western parts of the state.CEO John Isaacson says buying Linnehan’s will allow the company to get a foothold in other parts of Maine.Linnehan’s has dealerships in Ellsworth, Bangor, Brewer, Lincoln, Presque Isle, Oakland, Auburn and Westbrook. Isaacson says the purchase should be completed this fall.

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Raceway Holds Benefit for Wheelchair-Bound Driver

Updated 5 years ago

The folks at Unity Raceway did their part Sunday to help out one of their longtime drivers who has a special need.Jim Dennis has been racing at the track for seven years.He’s confined to a wheelchair, but uses a car outfitted with special hand controls so he can compete. He’s second in the points race this season and has two wins under his belt so far this year.But Dennis is in need of a new wheelchair so he can live his life more fully.He’d like what’s called a “Renegade Chair,” that can conquer all kinds of terrain…he compares it to a mountain bike.Folks at the Raceway held a special fundraiser to help Dennis come up with the money for the chair.They put on a barbecue and pig roast and donated all the proceeds to the wheelchair fund.Raceway employees were hoping to raise at least half the cost of the four thousand dollar wheelchair at Sunday’s benefit.

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Small Plane Crashes in Hodgdon

Updated 5 years ago

State Police are investigating a plane crash in the Aroostook County town of Hodgdon.It happened Saturday night at about 7:30 pm.Troopers say a single seater plane made an emergency landing in a hay field off Route One…the plane flipped over once it hit the ground.The pilot, 49-year-old Wesley Tidd, was taken to Houlton Hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.Police say Tidd had taken off from the Houlton Airport for a pleasure flight when he experienced engine trouble.Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will be on site tomorrow to investigate.

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Armed Robbery in Hartland

Updated 5 years ago

Police in Somerset County are investigating an armed robbery in Hartland.It happened at 9 p.m. Saturday at Nettie’s Diner on Main Street.Deputies and State Troopers responded to the call, along with a K-9 team.Witnesses say a man entered the diner, displayed a knife and demanded cash.An employee gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash and the man took off on foot.There were two employees and a customer in the diner at the time of the robbery…no one was injured.The suspect is described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a thin build.He was wearing jeans and a green hooded sweatshirt.Anyone with information is asked to call the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department anonymous tip line at 474-0230.

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Pirate Day at Fort Knox

Updated 5 years ago

Historic Fort Knox in Prospect was invaded by pirates Saturday…But it was all in fun…The Friends of Fort Knox sponsored their annual “Pirate Day” for folks young and old…Hundreds of folks turned out in costume, trying out their best pirate accents, to take part in the festivities, which included several contests…from best sounding pirate to best-dressed…There was also a pirate parade and two treasure hunts…The highlight of the day was the arrival of the professional Pirates of the Dark Rose, who sailed to Fort Knox aboard their authentic Pirate Ship, the “must Roos.”Organizers say besides being a lot of fun, the event also brought in some much-needed revenue to the Fort, which has been struggling this summer because of the bad weather and the economy.

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Town of Shirley Celebrates 175 Years

Updated 5 years ago

Folks in the town of Shirley celebrated a big birthday Saturday…175 years.The Piscataquis County community of 200 people came together for a celebration that’s been a long time in the making.They honored their heritage with a full slate of activities, from a parade to barbecues and a fireworks show.There were also tours of the recently closed Shirley School…the only inland one-room schoolhouse in the state.Senator Susan Collins was the featured speaker at the fesivities…she says it’s important for communities like Shirley to celebrate their heritage as they move forward.Next year, it will be nearby Greenville’s turn to celebrate its 175th birthday.

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Police Ask for Cooperation From Lobstering Community

Updated 5 years ago

Maine law enforcement officials are asking folks in the state’s tight-knit fishing communities for more cooperation as they investigate disputes among lobstermen.Maine Marine Patrol Major John Fetterman says people shouldn’t fear retaliation for talking to investigators. He says law enforcement officials are used to dealing with confidential information and every effort will be made to protect those whocome forward.Fetterman says there has been tension and turf wars among lobstermen up and down the coast this summer. But problems have escalated in Owls Head and Matinicus Island.This week, someone sabotaged three lobster boats, sinking two of them, in Owls Head. So far, there’s been no arrest. And less than three weeks ago a lobsterman on Matinicus Island was charged with shooting another lobsterman in a territorial dispute.

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Massive Explosion at Pellet Mill in Strong

Updated 5 years ago

Fire officials say it’s truly a miracle that no one was hurt is a massive explosion early Saturday morning in the town of Strong.It happened about 1:30 a.m. at the Geneva Energy pellet mill.The blast could be felt for miles.Strong fire chief Scott Dyer says the combustion explosion happened in the dryer that dries out the materials used for making pellets.Employees were inside at the time of the blast, but amazingly, no one was injured.Dyer says there’s quite a bit of structural damage to the building.There’s no word yet on what caused the explosion.Officials from the Fire Marshal’s Office and State Police reconstruction team were on site Saturday.

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Second Arrest in Rumford Double Murder

Updated 5 years ago

State Police have made a second arrest in a double murder in the town of Rumford.20-year-old Richard Moulton from Mexico, Maine, was arrested Friday afternoon.Hours earlier, police arrested 19-year-old Eric Hamel…an honor roll student who graduated from high school in June.48-year-old Roger Day Jr. and 22-year-old Victor Sheldon, were shot to death Monday night in Day’s home in Rumford.According to police, Moulton was in the house with the two victims when Hamel arrived…then Moulton stayed and called police after the two men were shot.Each man is facing two counts of murder.They’re expected to make their first court appearances on Monday.

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Corinna Accident

Updated 5 years ago

An accident in Corinna stopped traffic for awhile this morning.It happened at the intersection of Corinna Center Road and Shaker Street around 9 am. A 2000 Ford F-150 truck driven by 27-year-old Cooper Page of Corinna was pulling out of the intersection when it hit a Jeep driven by 55-year-old Doreen Shaw, also of Corinna.Page told police he thought he had enough time to make it out of the intersection without hitting the jeep.Shaw was taken to Sebasticcok Valley Hospital for abdominal pains.The accident is still under investigation.

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Carmel’s Simpson Memorial Library Hosts Teddy Bear Picnic

Updated 5 years ago

Some children got to bring their teddy bears along for a story today in Carmel.The Simpson Memorial Library hosted it’s third annual teddy bear picnic.Storyteller Jan Zimmerman shared Asian dances and stories with the three to six-year-olds.Director of the library Becky Ames says it’s a great event for that particular age group.” But it works really well because it helps get them focused and ready for that school start Pre-K and kindergarten.”If you are interested in finding out about other events that take place at the library you can call 848-7145.

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Second Annual Children’s Miracle Network Bike Ride

Updated 5 years ago

Several bikers turned out in Hermon today, to rev their engines.Doing their part to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.Meghan Hayward has the story.Motorcycles lined the parking lot at Dysarts in Hermon Saturday morning.With the bikers taking the road for a good cause.The second annual Children’s Miracle Network ride.Organizer Bill Goodman says he thinks the fundraiser will be a huge success.” Hoping to double our riders and attendance from last year.”Goodman says he is happy to help a cause like the Children’s Miracle Network.” I think everything we do here today not only shows support but raises some really important funding they need.”Brandon Morris is just one local child that the Children’s Miracle Network has helped.” By giving my surgery and giving me chemotherapy and everything.”Brandon came out to see the bikers off.He was impressed with all the bikes.” Really nice, their colors are awesome and I want to see them again.”Jonathan Mullis is another child CMN has helped.He was at the event tooAnd was quite surprised with the number of bikes.” There’s a lot of them.”Director of CMN Josh Scroggins says words can not describe how important an event like this is for CMN.” Seeing hundreds of motorcyclists out here today coming forward to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network and raise more awareness about what we do, pediatric healthcare throughout Eastern, Northern and Central Maine is just really amazing.”From Hermon the bikers were heading to Route Nine all the way to Cherryfield and then back.Covering close to 160 miles.

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Officials Ask for Community Support in Fishing Dispute Investigation

Updated 5 years ago

Law enforcement officials say say tension and turf wars between lobstermen in Penobscot Bay have reached new heights this year. In a matter of weeks, in separate disputes, there was a shooting off Matinicus Island and boat sinkings in Owls Head harbor.Major John Fetterman with Maine Marine Patrol says the number of complaints related to fishing disputes was already running high this summer, before the recent violence and criminal acts.”They’ve escalated to a crescendo here of course. But in other parts of the state we’re taking in complaints daily of trap cutting, fishery disputes, from Kittery to Eastport. This isn’t solely a Knox County problem. This is a statewide problem,” Fetterman says.Officials say while they can’t pinpoint the trigger this year, ongoing territory issues, personal feuds and the poor economy could all be factors.”This summer has been very unique and we’ve all been coming together. And basically we’re working together every day on this matter,” says Knox County Chief Deputy Ernest McIntosh.Friday the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Marine Patrol, State Police and the Coast Guard asked for help with their current investigations into the boat sabotage in Owls Head.”Even though we’ve had tremendous support from the community – they have assisted us greatly in our investigations – we’re putting out an appeal. We need even more community involvement and community information and ownership by the community,” Fetterman says.They say such information is vital since their investigations, already complicated, are made more difficult when people’s livelihoods are involved. And since speaking up in a tight-knit community can be hard. But officials say it’s a matter of public safety.”I want to ensure people that in their cooperation with law enforcement, we will take every effort to protect them and their confidentiality in sharing any information that might assist in our investigation,” Fetterman says.Still no arrests have been made in connection with the sabotage of three boats in Owl’s Head Harbor earlier this week.They urge anyone who can provide information to call the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at 975-1711.

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New Technology at EMMC Makes for Faster, More Accurate Cancer Treatment

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

New technology that just arrived at Eastern Maine Medical Center’s cancer center is designed to make treatments faster and better for some patients. One piece of radiation equipment was delivered today to the new CancerCare of Maine facility in brewer.It will better target a tumor, sparing healthy tissue, and we’re told it will significantly cut treatment time.Patients who might normally be scheduled for a half-hour of radiation can now be treated in five to ten minutes. Carol Guptill, the manager of the radiology and oncology department, says that’s especially important as maine’s population gets older.”We will probably be treating more patients and were already quite extended in our hours that we have so we’ll be able to treat more patients throughout the day, so that will be a good thing.”Another new piece of equipment delivered last week will let doctors, essentially, use radiation to do surgery on tumors. It will take up to two months to install the equipment and then it will need to be fine-tuned before it can be used on patients.

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Bangor Y’s Camp Molly Molasses Celebrates its Thirtieth Year

Updated 5 years ago

Today was the last day of the Bangor Y’s Camp Molly Molasses for this summer.But it was also a day to mark a milestone. The camp’s thirtieth anniversary.Meghan Hayward has the story. “And then it became a camp where kids, boys or girls it doesn’t matter who need to have a place to go in the summer and have a good time.”Camp Molly Molasses on Chemo Pond in Bradley is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary.”I just think it’s amazing that we work so hard to put this all together. We work all year long to make camp work. And to walk into camp and see it happen it’s just absolutely amazing.”Director of Camp Molly Erin Hatch says the camp has become bigger and better through the years.And one Bangor family has seen all those changes.”Well I started out helping with the counselors and everything and I used to go pick the kids up with Blue Bell bring them to camp and bring them back, which was a big blue van that we used to have. Then I started cooking down here for the kids and everything.”And when her daughter Tonya Polk was old enough to attend camp, Frances Droche signed her up.TONYA SAYS SHE HAS MANY FOND MEMORIES ABOUT CAMP MOLLY.”Just experiencing being outdoors making new friends. Just the whole camp experience.”So it was no surprise that when Tonya’s children were old enough to attend they became campers too.7-year-old Megan Polk has been coming to Camp Molly for three years.And her favorite part about camp is.”Going swimming.”Hatch says it is families like that, that keep Camp Molly a favorite place for parents to send their kids every summer.So what’s in the future for Camp Molly?”It’s going to continue to get better and better. We grow and build from our experiences.”

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