Students who received degrees from the University of Maine Saturday got a hopeful message from the new head of the U-S Small Business Administration.Karen Gordon Mills is originally from Brunswick…she was the featured speaker at Saturday’s Umaine commencement in Orono.She told the crowd of almost 2-thousand that the economy will not define them…but their success will.Mills challenged graduates to embrace America’s entrepreneurial spirit and to approach their careers with passion and enthusiasm.University President Dr. Robert Kennedy says this year’s graduates have a good shot at being able to turn things around. “Certainly the country faces some challenges, and the job prospects are probably not quite as good as they’ve been in the past, but I think the bright spot is that what this country needs is a turnaround…educated people to help rebuild the economy.” Kennedy said on Saturday.Close to 2-thousand students received degrees at the University’s two ceremonies.Adrienne Sturgeon of Bangor, was valedictorian for the class of 2009.The education major earned her degree with concentrations in history and social studies, and a minor in sociology.
Some local women got an early Mother’s Day gift Friday, thanks to the folks from Quality Jewelers in Bangor. The store gave away strands of pearls to women who have loved ones serving in the military overseas.”Everyone loves pearls.” Especially when they have such a special sentiment attached to them.Sonny Leclair, the owner of Quality Jewelers, decided to give away a hundred strands of pearls to folks who have loved ones serving overseas.”We’ve been receiving phone calls also from folks who are very emotional and very appreciative.”Friday women walked in to pick up their gift, and they also brought with them pictures and the heartwarming stories of their sons, daughters, husbands and grandchildren, who are serving our country.Women like Dee Mansell.”He is in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. He’s with the 82nd airborne and he is deploying to Afghanistan in August, this is the second tour.”So while she and the other women won’t be able to celebrate mother’s day with their loved one, they will be able to wear this beautiful pearl necklace.A reminder that their sacrifice is not forgotten, and there are many here who are grateful. Dee says she’ll be happy to wear them.”Very proud, very proud. I will wear them with much honor.”
(AP) – One of three Colby College students arrested early Easter morning has been charged with violating bail conditions by consuming alcohol at a campus pub. Police said 22-year-old Ozzy Ramirez turned himself in Friday after a warrant was issued for his arrest. His lawyer told the Morning Sentinel that Ramirez pleaded not guilty to violating conditions of release and is free on a new bail bond of $1,500 cash. Ramirez was charged last month with assault and criminal trespassing for allegedly trying to interfere with efforts to assist a student who was ill in a campus building after a dance. Students protested the arrests of Ramirez and a second student, saying police and campus security used excessive force.
Some junior high students at Bangor Christian got to see science first hand today.As Meghan Hayward tells us, it helped that the sun was shining.Ready…Set…GoEighth grade science students at Bangor Christian had their solar cars put to the test.In collaboration with the Maine Energy Education Program, the students designed their own solar energy cars.”There’s a great science in just how, what are the different types of transmissions, how do you get a car to go, how do you get the power of the sun to the motor to the wheels.”Science teacher Stacy Boyle says it’s a great way to get students involved who don’t typically enjoy book work.”Some of the ones that really shine at this aren’t typically the ones that shine in the classroom when we’re just doing our normal work. So it’s fun to see the way that they, this is kind of their element and they get a chance to stand out a little bit.”The students had two weeks to put their cars together with a twenty-five dollar budget.Boyle says they’re not graded on the success of their cars.”They get graded more on the process of going through it and what they did if they found problems or mistakes. If the car doesn’t run today that doesn’t affect rather or not they do a good job on their projects.”Eighth grader Victoria Rollins only has one concern about her car.”We have a little bit of a problem going straight. It kind of goes to the right. So other than that I think we’ll do pretty good.”Her partner Neil Bonneville has the same concern.But they both think they were fortunate.”We were actually lucky…yeah we didn’t have as much problems as some of the others.”M-E-E-P Director Peter Zack says he hopes the students have taken a lot from this project but more importantly…had fun.”I’d like them to feel the sense of enjoyment and feel like hey science is really fun.”
Howland has a new town manager.Jane Jones started the job two weeks ago, replacing Glenna Armour, who recently retired.Jones was Milo’s town manager for 17 years until she was terminated in 2007.She’s since filed a lawsuit against that town for breach of contract, defamation of character and emotional distress.She says the town’s selectmen conspired to get rid of her for mis-managing the town’s money…an allegation she denies.Jones has a one-year contract in Howland.
A man from Skowhegan was indicted today, in connection with the shooting death of a man from South Portland last month.State Police spokesman Steve McCausland says the indictment against 50 year old Bruce Lavallee-Davidson was handed down by a Cumberland County Grand Jury.Police say Lavallee-Davidson shot 50 year old Fred Wilson, whose body was discovered in the basement of his home on April 18th.Lavallee-Davidson is expected to turn himself in to Cumberland County Jail on Monday and will likely make his first court appearance later in the week.
Four Maine communities will share close to a million dollars in federal money to make local airport improvements.The U-S Department of Transportation funds will help those airports make neccessary upgrades and developments to improve their air travel services and safety.The airports set to benefit from the money are Eastport Municipal Airport, Wiscasset Municipal Airport, Knox County Regional Airport and the Hancock County – Bar Harbor Airport.Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe said in a statement that they hope the money will allow the airports to keep residents connected with the rest of the country and the world.
Maine Coast Memorial Hospital is 50-thousand dollars closer to its goal of a new Emergency center.Bar Harbor Bank and Trust has pledged the money towards the Ellsworth Hospital’s capital expansion.The current Emergency Department was built 20 years ago to provide care for 12,000 people a year, but is currently serving more than 18,000 annually.The new “F. Eugene Dixon Emergency Center” will provide three and a half times more space, along with increases in healthcare quality.It’s set to open in January of 2010.
This Mother’s Day, many moms will take a minute or two to reflect back on their early days as mothers.That first year is usually filled with more emotional ups and downs than most women are prepared for.A woman from Belfast has written a new book to help moms with their transformation to motherhood.Amy Erickson has the story.
A woman from Florida is charged in the shooting death of a man from Dedham.Police say Tamra Suzanne Leasure of Riverview, Florida shot and killed 47 year old Arthur Tilley of Dedham. Tilley reportedly was staying with Leasure in her home when police she shot Tilley three times during an argument. Leasure allegedly took the handgun and placed it in Tilley’s right hand, to stage a suicide.The shooting happened on March 5th. Leasure is charged with second-degree murder.
The Greenbush man charged with a bank robbery in Bangor yesterday is now facing charges that he robbed a bank in Howland last month as well.21-year-old Troy Gay is being held at the Penobscot County Jail. According to police, Gay walked into the Bank of America branch on Union Street yesterday, demanded money and made off with several thousand dollars. Gay didn’t display a weapon and no one was hurt.Police arrested him several hours later. District Attorney Chris Almy says the investigation revealed that Gay was also responsible for robbing the Bangor Savings Bank branch in Howland back on April 27th.District Attorney Chris Almy says “the evidence that the state police and bangor police were able to gather involved showing that mr. Gay planned the offenses ahead of time. He cased the joint, so to speak, right before. He came in early in the morning, confronted the tellers, demanded money and was able to get several thousands of dollars from them.”Gay’s facing up to ten years in prison for each of the two robbery charges. Almy says because the incidents were separate, Gay could be order to serve sentences consecutively.
Gay marriage opponents are challenging a new law allowing same-sex couples to wed.Governor Baldacci signed a bill on Wednesday that makes maine the fifth state to legalize same sex marriage.Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says opponents filed a challenge on Thursday under the state’s People’s Veto provision.If opponents can get enough petition signatures it can put the issue before voters statewide to decide.They have until 90 days after lawmakers adjourn for the summer: which give signature collectors until about mid-September to get enough signatures.
An Augusta mother was injured after she and her two children escaped their burning home Thursday night.Firefighters got the call around 6:30pm.When they arrived on the Ridge Road, they found a woman suffering from minor burns.We’re told she was taken to Maine General Medical Center for treatment.Meanwhile, crews kept the fire contained to the apartment on the second floor.Investigators believe it started in a bedroom.The family is being helped by the Red Cross.
Two New Sharon residents are behind bars after police allegedly caught them red-handed robbing their neighbor’s home.Franklin County sheriff’s dispatchers tell TV 5 that another neighbor saw the burglary going on and called police.When officers arrived, they arrested 18-year-old Matthew Kerr and 21-year-old Leo Bissonette, then asked if they could search the suspects’ home.In addition to stolen goods from the home across the street, police say they also found 22 marijuana plants.The two suspects are at the Franklin County Jail as of Friday morning.
The coast guard is asking for help with an on-going search and rescue case off the coast of Rockland.Around 4:40 p.m. Thursday, the coast guard heard a mayday call over the radio, but has been unable to locate the vessel.The search spans a 15 square-mile area near Rockland Harbor. They’ve called the search off for the night but plan to continue it in the morning.They’re hoping someone in the community might have information to help them out.Anyone with information that could help with the search should contact the coast guard at 767-0303.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the number of swine flu cases in Maine has risen to 12.They are also reporting the first swine flu related hospitalization.Dr. Dora Anne Mills said Thursday that state testing confirmed two more cases. The latest include students at Bridgton Academy and Lunt elementary school in Falmouth. Mills did not announce any plans to close either school.John Martins of the Department of Health and Human Services says the hospitalization involved a person with underlying health conditions.Mills says common sense should rule. Current guidelines call for those with swine flu to stay home seven days from onset of symptoms or until 24 hours after symptoms end.
Bail has been set at a thousand dollars cash for an Orrington man charged in a high speed chase. State police say 23 year old Jeremy Lovley was clocked driving his motorcycle 112 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. The chase started in Bangor last night and ended when Lovely pulled into a home in Glenburn.Lovely appeared in court Thursday on charges of eluding an officer, and criminal speed. At last check he was still at the Penobscot County Jail.
The budget hole has grown larger for the University of Maine system. Last year U-Maine officials expected to have to slash 43-million dollars from their budget, but the number has gone up. Earlier this year a task force was created to help find savings and those member met Thursday in Augusta. Last week the Governor submitted his budget plan which decreases state funding to the U-Maine system by 2-million bringing the system’s deficit to more than 43-million for the next four years.There are seven universities state-wide. David Flanagan chairs the committee and says shutting down campuses will not be an option, but reducing some academic programs and services are likely to make the list. Flanagan says jobs may also be on the line.The Chancellor and Board of Trustees will look at the final report and consider the proposals this summer.
The search for a missing hiker from Pennsylvania last seen on Park Tote Road in Baxter State Park was called off today, after it was discovered that he wasn’t missing.On Monday, a Brewer resident contacted authorities to report that they had found an expensive backpack left on the Appalachian Trail west of Abol Bridge.Park rangers investigated the report and discovered the backpack. Upon further investigation they came to the conclusion that it belonged to a hiker named John Meharg of Reading, Pennsylvania.When investigators contacted Meharg’s family, they discovered that he was at his home in Pennsylvania.While Mr. Meharg initially denied leaving his backpack behind, he later admitted that the backpack was his.According to Meharg, he had planned on starting at the top of Mount Katahdin and then head south on the Appalachian Trail. Unable to reach the top of the mountain because of weather conditions, he ended up near the West Branch of the Penobscot River. He then made his way to a road for help after injuring himself.Meharg made it to Millinocket Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, then took a taxi to Bangor, where he rented a vehicle to drive back to Pennsylvania.The Maine Warden Service strongly urges people who are going hiking to let someone know your route, when you are leaving and when you are expected back. The hiking trails are wet and slippery this time of year so caution should be taken.
Lights…Camera …Action.Students at Sebasticook Middle School in Corinna took the stage Thursday to show off their acting skills.As Meghan Hayward tells us, it’s a play with a message.Why didn’t I wear my bike helmet?The importance of wearing your bike helmet. That’s the message sixth graders at Sebasticook Valley Middle School are trying to get across.As part of the awesome body project the middle schoolers chose to focus on the brain.Sixth grade teacher Kelly Flagg says they had no clue how well the children would do.”They have just run with it. I mean they took our ideas and they improved them. I mean they made everything so much greater than we had envisioned that it’s been exciting for us to see what they’ve come up with.”All the sixth graders had recently read the book “Mick Harte Was Here” and decided to base their play on the novel. It’s about a boy who rides his bike without wearing a helmet and gets in an accident.”The story was very touching and very emotional too. And it made it perfect for what we’re doing.”The students have spent over a month putting the project together. Flagg says it was a great learning experience.”You know if we could prevent one, its worth it.”Fourth grader Justice Hodges says he got a lot out of the play.”I learned the most is to not ride you bike without wearing a helmet because you can get horribly injured.”Sixth graders Michaela Dumont and Shawna King also learned a lot.”That an inch of styrofoam can save you life. There’s no point of not wearing something. It might make you look bad but it will save your life.””And I think you should wear your helmets because I wouldn’t want to end up like Mick and because the doctors said he could have lived if he was wearing his helmet.”A single story with a powerful message. One that will now echo through the heads of young students.