Haz Mat and Decontamination teams were taking no chances on the Odlin Road in Bangor Thursday night.The call came in around 8:45 Thursday night from the Howard Johnson’s of a suspicious odor on the first and second floors, and reports of several people vomiting profusely.Fire and rescue crews from surrounding towns descended on the hotel.Guests as well as everyone else inside was evacuated.Four firefighters as well as two other people were taken to the hospital to be treated for exposure, they have since been released.No word on what it was that they were exposed to. We’re told their injuries are not serious.Crews started clearing the scene about 4 Friday morning. Police officers will remain on the scene until it’s deemed safe.The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has reportedly been called, and will check the building sometime Friday. Until then, everyone has been told to stay out.
It’s another rejection for folks in the Lincoln area, trying to slow down a plan to put 40 wind turbines on Rollins Mountain and the Rocky Dundee Ridges.Concerned citizens headed to Augusta to push for more information about the potential harm of the first wind project.Members of the Board of the Department of Environmental Protection heard close to three hours of testimony Thursday, as the Friends of Lincoln Lake’s attorney tried to fight for a public hearing.DEP commissioner David Littel has denied the request for a public hearing in the past, and it was the board’s vote to uphold that decision again, but not before the appellants attorney Lynn Williams had this to say.”It’s troubling that the administrator decision maker in this matter would arbitrarily dismiss evidence that is inarguably conflicting and inarguably technical.”The group claims there are many citizens who believe that the DEP made a mistake in its rush to let First Wind proceed with the project.”We submitted hours of testimony in Lincoln back in February, and not a bit of it was incorporated in the consideration by the staff of the DEP.”Thursday’s appeal was to request a public hearing to let experts give a more thorough assessment of technical issues and noise impact.”There are noise concerns that the state doesn’t wish to consider, nor have they looked at. All of the reviews that have been done on wind and noise issues have been done by the companies that produce the project. There have been no independent reviews done on wind turbine noise studies, and a lot of the experts have been bought and paid for by the same people that are trying to put these up on our hills and refuse to let citizens be part of the process.”First Wind Vice President Matthew Kearns disagrees.”We have done robust studies on sound, wildlife, all of the issues the appellants are raising. It’s something we’ve done our homework on.”If the Friends of Lincoln Lakes choose, they may appeal the boards decision to supreme court.
In the mid-1900’s the Bar Harbor Club had a legacy as one of the premier clubs on the East Coast. But it was hit by the fire of ’47, and when the club closed in the late eighties it stayed dormant for years. Through that time, though– many folks couldn’t forget their history there.”A lot of people have waited a lot of years for this,” says club director Eben Salvatore.This is the result of years of hard work and renovations. After a long hiatus, the Bar Harbor Club is again open for membership.”It was originally founded in 1929 by a lot of the money that was up here at the time, the wealthy families from Philadelphia, Boston, New York… and it was a social club. Very exclusive,” he says.Salvatore says things are more relaxed today, but it’s the memories of the past that make this spot so important to people.”Since we’ve been open, a lot of people have been coming in with old stories they have of them, or their parents being members, working here, playing here, sneaking into the pool at night,” he says, with a smile.”I think what they’ve done is really just extraordinary, and complementary to what was here before,” says Peter Whitman, who was visiting the club Thursday.Salvatore says great care was taken with new additions, like the poolhouse, to maintain the craftsmanship of the original club.”We’ve had a lot of uphill battles which, fortunately for the building and the property, we were able to overcome,” Salvatore says.The cost of membership is still exclusive, at more than 900 dollars for a couple for the season, but more people are signing up every day.”I’ve met so many people that share their stories from when their grandparents first came here, they had their first date here,” says spa director Chawnacee Bryan.The spa and the restaurant are open to the public. They say now that the club’s original glory has been restored, a whole new generation can make their own memories here.”This is the place where I learned to swim and to play tennis,” Salvatore says, “and to be back again, to be a part of it still, is pretty special to me.”
”The people in the town of Shirley are all very proud people.” Charlie Baker ought to know, he’s lived in Shirley for the better part of 70 years, and that pride will be on display saturday when Shirley celebrates it’s 175th anniversary. The town has kicked in $12,000 to help pay for the celebration.”To me Shirley is a town that hasn’t changed,” adds Colleen Taylor. Taylor is also a Shirley resident and has been instrumental in organizing the events on saturday. One thing that will change is the elementary school. It’s been standing since 1835 but is closing this year. “The sad thing is the big families aren’t around anymore and enrollment kept dropping down, and, down,” says Baker, “the last year I taught here there were 44 students and last year there was only 2.” There were only 2 students when Baker attended the school for seven years back in the 1940’s. The other student in Baker’s class? Colleen Taylor. The two agree that the school will be missed. “The greatest education any kid could ever get is in a one room schoolhouse,” says Baker, “it’s like one great big family.”In addition to honoring the elementary school, a book has been compiled which displays the proud history they have here, including how they got through the Great Depression. “People were always able to not give up, very honest, good, kind people that work together living in the town of Shirley,” says Baker.Senator Susan Collins will make an appearance here as well which has the people in the town buzzing with excitement. “For us to be lucky enough to have such a wonderful person coming to witness what a nice little community we have is great,” beams Baker. Some other things planned for the day include a BBQ dinner that is free for all Shirley residents, and $5 for non-residents, and of course, a fireworks show at 9:00.For Baker and the other people of Shirley they see this as an opportunity to show off their hometown. “We’re looking forward to seeing how many people come and really enjoy what we’ve spent many, many, many hours putting together to get ready for this event.”
The federal government is spending $250,000 to help bolster tourism in Greenville. The money will be used to build a visitor center on Route 15.The Maine DOT will donate a 4.5 acre rest area to the project creating a 25-acre facility in the moosehead lake region. It will be used as the main office for the Natural Resource Eucation Cnter, which provides outdoor programs. The current center operates out of a rented storefront in downtown Greenville.The town is looking for other non-profit groups to share the facility with. “We hope to have an NREC office there as well as the Chamber of Commerce will be located there” says Tom Obrey, the Vice President of NREC, “several other NGO’s will be located there to help offset the maintenance cost we’re hoping to find some other like minded groups that would like to share some office space.”
Park in the wrong spot in Bangor and you’re in line for a parking ticket. The Bangor Police Department is stepping up its efforts to enforce parking rules, especially in certain parts of the city.Some of the hot spots – Broadway, near John Bapst High School and surrounding streets: Garland Street, near Cohen Middle School: Otis Street, Center Street, Old Capehart and New Capehart.We’re told officers expect to hand out hundreds of tickets in the next few weeks. Most violations are $25, but parking in a handicapped spot will cost you $200.
Folks in Brooksville will share their thoughts tonight on a $23,000,000 cleanup plan for the old Callahan mine.The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a public hearing on the plan at the Brooksville town office. The mine closed in 1972 and left behind a number of contaminants, such as arsenic, lead and zinc.It’s been deemed a Superfund cleanup site by the federal government.Tonight’s meeting starts at 7 p.m.The formal comment period on the plan ends September 10th.
Habitat for Humanity in Hancock County is working to help a family in Ellsworth build a home.It’s for Cori and Michelle Plaisted and will be the 14th Habitat home in the county.To raise money for the project, Habitat is raffling a 2009 Schwinn gas-powered scooter.Tickets are $5 each or five for $20.You can pick up the tickets at the State Little League Tournament at Demeyer Field in Ellsworth, the Winter Harbor Lobster Festival, the Gateway Music Festival and Cadillac Mountain Sports in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor.The winner of the scooter will be drawn at the end of the Blue Hill Fair, next month.
Damage to a wood pellet plant in Corinth was much less than originally estimated, after a fire there Monday night. Initial reports were that the fire destroyed some of the pellet making machines, at a cost of hundreds of thousand of dollars. But the C-E-O of Corinth Wood Pellets, George Soffron says only one piece of equipment was slightly damaged and it was fixed for about 15-hundred dollars.The plant was closed for scheduled maintenance when the fire started.Crews were able to keep it contained to one area of the facility.Soffron says the fire didn’t affect operations, either, and the facility was back open yesterday, as planned.
Four men have been arrested and charged with robbery in Bangor.19-year old Eric Moore, 18-year-old Alex Justice, 28-year-old David Walker and a 17-year-old who has not been identified.Bangor Police Department were called to Main Street between Shaws and Dunkin Donuts a little after 2 Thursday morning.Authorities found a man with severe head injuries and multiple facial fractures.Police say the man had been walking with a woman near Second Street when the four charged with the robbery, approached them and grabbed the woman’s purse.Police say the man then ran after the four in an attempt to get the purse, at which time the four men began to punch and kick him.Moore, Justice and Walker remain behind bars at Penobscot County Jail.There has been no information released about the juvenile.
Some local folks hit the ground today to make a point about nuclear weapons.Members of the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine laid down in memory of the more than 200,000 people killed in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.The bomb was dropped on hiroshima 64 years ago today.” We have to seek a non-violent cooperative, diplomatic way of dealing with the threats and not the use of nuclear weapons.”Peace and Justice member Doug Allen says we all should be concerned with the threat nuclear bombs have on the future of our planet.
The Maine Institute in Bangor plays a crucial role in the medical field.It’s also attracting, and retaining, a lot of talented young workers.Meghan Hayward takes us inside.”We do what’s called exploratory clinical research and what that basically is is translating scientific information into medical applications.”Claire Deselle of the Maine Institute in Bangor says the focus here is on chronic diseases, particularly cancer.”We can’t cover all of cancer but we do have some specific areas where we have expertise and resources that we can leverage that gives us a unique advantage.”Another unique aspect of the research center is that more than half the staff are under forty.”A couple of things are exciting about having a young staff. For one thing you have a lot of enthusiasm and energy and a lot of fresh ideas. Another thing there’s always been a concern that there’s been a brain drain out of the state of Maine and we hope we are doing a small part to bring talent back or keep good local talent.”Ryan Lynch is a research assistant at the Maine Institute.He is originally from Maine and received his bachelor and master degrees from the University of Maine.Lynch says he’s happy to work in his home state.”It’s really great knowing that we’re working on relevant and important research here.”The Maine Institute collaborates with the University of Maine.Which is something Lynch says benefits the students and the institute too.”To have this type of equipment at this institute so close to the university it really allows us to do some really incredible, in depth research that otherwise wouldn’t be happening.”Deselle says the state of Maine is at an advantage with the type of research taking place here.She says the institute’s capabilities will continue to grow.”In terms of economic development is to actually see some of the work we do become adopted eventually into medical practice and some of the work become spin-offs and form new businesses here in healthcare and bio-medical world.”
A legendary journalist is spending the evening on the coast of Maine for a good cause.Bob Schieffer, host of “Face the Nation,” is the featured speaker at a gala in Rockland.Schieffer has been with CBS news for 40 years…and has won just about every award in the business.Amy Erickson had the chance to talk to Schieffer in Thomaston.”I’m one of those lucky people that got to do what he wanted to do when he was a little boy. I’ve had a great life and a lot of fun.”CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Scheiffer says this trip to Maine is certainly more pleasant than his first time here…during a Presidential primary in the dead of winter, back in the 80s…”I’ll always remember standing beside this frozen lake with snow in the background and I had this big parka on and it looked like an eskimo. Best picture of the whole story was me standing in that parka.”Schieffer was invited back to Maine this time to be the guest speaker and gala honoree at a celebration for Thomaston’s Henry Knox Museum.He’ll spend the evening at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, signing copies of his latest book and speaking about his 52 years in the news business.The host of “Face the Nation” is one of only a handful of journalists who’ve covered all four major beats in Washington…The White House, Pentagon, Capitol Hill and The State Department.He’s the recipient of seven Emmys…and has covered every presidential campaign since 1972.Schieffer says without a doubt, the most exciting and interesting was in 2008.He earned rave reviews from his peers after moderating the final debate between Barack Obama and John McCain.It’s a moment in his career he’ll never forget.”We were all seated at the same table. I could reach out and touch them and let me tell you, you had to slice through some pretty heavy tension in the air. It was pretty clear they didn’t like each other very much. But I mean, how could they at that point in the campaign?””From the standpoint of just intellectual challenge and downright fun, moderating one of those debates is just the most fun you could possibly have.”During his talk, Schieffer plans to address the current state of American journalism…it’s a subject close to his heart.He says he sees a dangerous trend developing…especially when it comes to online news, since, as Schieffer says, there’s no editor involved.”The worst newspaper has somebody on the staff who knows where the stuff comes from. Things appear on the web and you don’t know if they’re true, if they’re false, you don’t know where they came from.””The value of mainstream journalism is that the stories have been vetted. We still do it the traditional way. We don’t publish or broadcast something unless we think it’s true. Those are not the standards in a big part of the web.”
Maine state workers are gettting ready for another state government shutdown day on Friday. Friday marks the second of 20 shutdown days included in the spending blueprint approved by Governor John Baldacci and the Legislature. But there are several key exemptions. State ferries will remain in operation, game wardens and other law enforcement officers will be on patrol, and Maine state parks and historic sites will remain open and staffed. The $5.8 billion general fund budget freezes state employee merit and longevity pay in addition to the shutdown days. It also requires state workers to begin making contributions toward their health insurance. (AP)
Until last month, on any given day, there were about six thousand items being transported between libraries in the state – the requests of people doing research, or tracking down particular books.But the service has come to a sudden halt, leaving many folks frustrated.”We have at the Belfast Free Library about 50 thousand items on our shelves,” says director Steve Norman. “But there are about 9-million items available statewide you can request.”Norman says until recently, every month they would lend and borrow about 3 thousand books, movies, and other resources from libraries around the state through the interlibrary loan program.”It was working very well,” says reference librarian Betsy Paradis. “People would make their requests and within a couple of days or over a weekend their items would be here. They were really happy. So its been tough without it.”When a new delivery vendor terminated their contract unexpectedly in July the program came to a halt, leaving items piled up around the state.”It’s hard. We hate to leave people hanging,” she says.They say everyone from children to serious researchers used the system.”You can have almost any library in the state of Maine deliver something to your hometown library just like that,” says John Clayton, who has been using the system for years. “It’s been a real inconvenience, I think, that’s it’s been down lately.”Dean Corner with the Maine State Library says they’re working hard to sign a new delivery contract in the next few weeks, but at the very least the shutdown has illustrated how many people in the state rely on the loan service.”Every day, we have a stream of people asking us if interlibrary loan is working again,” Norman says at the Belfast Free Library. “So there really is a strong sense of dismay and disappointment that it isn’t working now.”Until the program is up and running again, they’ll be taking matters into their own hands.”We librarians are resourceful,” Paradis says. “We’ve been doing deliveries ourselves to try and make up for it.”
An Ellsworth man accused of breaking into a man’s home in Bar Barbor and with breaking into cars has also been indicted.22-year-old Scott Cote is accused of entering a home on Cleftstone road around 4 in the morning.Police say the homeowner woke up and convinced Cote to leave after giving him a non-alcoholic beer.Charges against Cote include burglary, theft, criminal trespass, driving after losing his license and violating conditions of release.
A Blue Hill man has been indicted for yet another sex crime.50-year-old Theodore Stanislaw was indicted earlier this year for multiple sex charges for things that allegedly took place in 2004.The more recent charge is unlawful sexual contact for something he’s accused of doing in July 2006.
31-year-old Victor Ireland of Bucksport has been charged with gross sexual assault and five counts of unlawful sexual contact.Authorities say the crimes were committed in Bucksport between July of last year and May of this year.
And the Hancock County Grand Jury has indicted a Blue Hill man on a sex charge.50-year-old Theodore Stanislaw is accused of unlawful sexual contact for something police say took place in july 2006.Earlier this year he was indicted for multiple sex charges for things he’s accused of doing in 2004.
An Ellsworth man has been formally charged in a deadly car crash.Police say 33-year old Anthony Robbins was drunk and driving too fast when he crashed a car into a telephone pole on Reach Road in Deer Isle in January.A passenger, 47-year-old Lisa Martin of Ellsworth, was killed.Charges against Robbins include manslaughter and aggravated criminal OUI.