Spring officially begins on March 20th. That’s more than a week away, but a nice day like today, makes some folks dream of warmer weather, and if you look hard enough there are signs of spring all around.So there are still piles of snow, and the Penobscot is still frozen, but listen closely.That’s the sound of melting, and if you head over to the Kenduskeag, it’s not so icey, the water’s flowing. Add in the sun shining, birds chirping and the mud.”Yeah, the mud, the mud in my dogs paws.”It was enough to give some folks the first dose of spring fever.”Lovely, I’m loving it.””It’s amazing, beautiful, sunny, not what we expected.”Catherine and Tom Floyd are visiting from Seattle, they think this weather is so great, they’re not even wearing jackets.And near the Bangor waterfront, we found some folks making use of the picnic tables, even though they’re still surrounded by snow.”That’s a little different but if you just stay inside you get older and older, you’ve got to get and and live and be.”Even frolicking in the white stuff feels better these days. It makes folks feel a little more optimistic that warmer days are not too far away.”We’re on the verge of spring””I’m definitely feeling like rolling down the windows, opening the windows in the house and getting some air in there now.”But one nice day is not enough to convince some folks.”what do you think of the weather? Need more of it.”And any Mainer knows, Mother Nature is bound to send us a little more wintry weather.”I just know it’s gonna get colder, it’s still only March.”
A 3-year-old from the mid-coast is recovering from Meningitis.State health officials say it likely happened because the child didn’t receive all of the recommended vaccinations.At 2 and 4 months he did get vaccinated for a type of flu, knows as H-I-B, that leads to Meningitis in children.But health officials say he didn’t get three other booster shots that are recommended through age 15-months.The child was hospitalized in intensive care, and is currently recovering.Family members, including an unvaccinated infant, have been treated with antibiotics as a precaution.The Maine Center for Disease Control is stressing the importance of keeping children current with their vaccinations.For more information, you can contact the Maine CDC at Maine.gov/dhhs.Or contact your child’s doctor.
An apartment building in Augusta that caught fire Sunday night is being called accidental. Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office were at the Chapel Street apartment building Monday morning. Sergeant Ken Grimes says, it appears the fire started in the wall of the building which was triggered by an electrical problem. The Augusta Fire Department says three people were trapped inside an apartment in the two-story building after the fire was reported shortly before midnight Sunday. The fire chief says two of the people were rescued by police andfirefighters, but that the third person had to jump to safety. His name was not available.
An eighth-grade student accused of bringing a loaded handgun to Messalonskee Middle School in Oakland made his first court appearance today. The boy has not been identified because of his age. On Monday the 14-year old was ordered by a Waterville District Court Judge to undergo an evaluation to determine the boys state of mind. Messalonskee Middle School went into lockdown Thursday morning after reports that the young man had a weapon. No shots were fired during the incident and nobody was hurt. Police were called and the 14-year-old was apprehended. The boy,is expected to be formally charged this week with carrying a concealed weapon and terrorizing. District Attorney Evert Fowle says the boy will not be charged as an adult. The boy will remain at the Mountain View Juvenile Detention Center in Charleston.
Millinocket Regional Hospital now has a way to connect cancer patients with doctors without the two having to actually be together.It’s through teleconferencing.Cancer Care of Maine suggested the program to the Millinocket hospital.Terrylynn Bradbury was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. She lives about five miles from Millinocket Regional Hospital, but had to travel to Bangor to see her doctor.Bradbury says, “When I was receiving chemo every two weeks, I had to go to Bangor to have an exam by him. I had my first chemo in Bangor and I was very sick with the first treatment. I can remember the ride home was horrible.”But this time, Bradbury didn’t have to make that drive.”How was the telemedicine experience?” asks Dr. Thomas Openshaw via teleconference. Bradbury responds, “Good!”Telemedicine uses video cameras to conference in a doctor from a satellite location, while a nurse practitioner does the physical exam. Those involved say it’s becoming more common in rural areas.Jackie Carter, a Family Nurse Practitioner in Millinocket, says “It helps bring some cutting edge technology right to the home front, which is hard in little Millinocket.””I hope it will give us some flexibility so we can respond to people’s need a little bit better. It will give us some flexibility in terms of being able to see folks more than once a month.” says Openshaw.Carter says this type of visit isn’t that different from a traditional one. Once the patient is in the room, the doctor is teleconferenced. Both Carter and the doctor review the charts and talk to the patient.”Dr. Openshaw is right there on the camera asking questions, it’s very similar to him being in the room.” Bradbury explains.”Then I go ahead and I do the actual physical exam. He can view it while I’m on camera and once the physical exam is completed, if there’s nothing abnormal, then we formulate a plan.” says Carter.Carter says telemedicine will provide quality care, and eliminate the long drive to a distant hospital.
An explosion in Levant this morning sends a family running from their home.When firefighters got to the scene on the Overlock Road, they had a hard time finding the source of the problem.They did find that copper pipes had melted downstairs. Fire crews suspect their was a problem with the boiler causing an explosion.A sprinkler system put out the flames.”The family was home, they were upstairs. They heard a noise. The family got right outdoors and called 9-1-1 and dispatched us.”, says Levant Assistant Fire Chief Nathan Peary.Firefighters from Levant, Carmel, Holden, Stetson and Kenduskeag responded. They say there is a lot of smoke and water damage downstairs.A fire marshal investigator has been called in to look for a cause.
Maine state police investigators are showing renewed interest in the unsolved killing of a former Bangor woman. In October 1987 23-year-old Alice Hawkes was found dead in a Westbrook apartment she shared with her boyfriend. Hawkes was found inside the locked apartment by her boyfriend and their landlord, her throat had been slit. Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes says the case is “very solvable.” He says the lead detective has been given instructions on how to proceed with the investigation. There’s a website dedicated to Hawkes, both her life and her death. The website is www.alicehawkes.com.
A fire in Lewiston heavily damaged an apartment building where two families live.The Flames broke out shortly before 10am Saturday.Lewiston fire chief Paul LeClair said only one person was inside the Winter Street structure at the time, and he got out safely.By the time crews arrived, flames could be seen coming out of the rear of the building. The fire spread to the attic through an inner wall.Chief LeClair said the fire appears to have started on the first floor, but the exact cause has not been determined.
Classes have been cancelled for Monday at Greenbush Elementary School. The superintendent of Union 92 says that the school lost power, and will be unable to hold classes.He says that the rest of the Union still has school. There has been no word as to what caused the power outage, but we’ve been assured that crews are doing everything they can to restore the elementary school’s electricity.
Last spring, bear sightings caused a stir at City Forest. This year, another animal is making its presence known – and not in a subtle way.”This is the area where the incidents occurred.”On the East Trail, by the railroad bed, at Bangor City Forest…Jim Allen got hit.”Yeah, it struck, right in the back of my head.”An owl – or two – thumping skiers at night.”They come down and thump people in the back of the head,” says Bangor City Forester Brian Dugas. “Quite hard, I guess.””Yeah it did, it sure did,” Allen says, “And as I screamed, of course, I knew immediately what it was.”Dugas has heard reports of at least eight thumpings, here and on the Grouse trail, including a daytime hit to a dog.”It is actually striking, with talons,” Allen says, “But I think in an effort to startle, not to obviously grab at something.””Obviously, we’re too big to be lunch,” says skier Dan Cassidy. “Most people are just getting a knock on the head, but there have been people who’ve had small lacerations on the head or on the neck.”Experts think it’s a great horned owl, just protecting its nest. But on a quiet, moonlit night, it can also deliver quite a shock.”The owls will typically come from behind,” Cassidy says, “And hit people, and then fly on.””A very silent attack, if you will,” says skier Jon Pottle.Rumors of “attack owls” aren’t scaring off visitors, but they are the talk of the park.”This is a wild area,” says Phil Joliat, “and that’s the way we like it.””I’ll just keep my eyes open,” says skier Lisa Kingsbury. They say the thumpings shouldn’t last much longer.”All the time I’ve spent in the woods,” Dugas says, “I’ve never had an owl thump me in the back of the head. So it’s a rare occurrence.”
Maine’s Restaurant Week promotion seems to be a success so far.Restauranteurs started the promotion to help fill seats in eateries during a slow time of year…they borrowed the idea from cities like New York and Boston.The 10-day event continues through Tuesday, March 10th.Close to 70 restaurants across the state are taking part, by offering three-course meals at special prices: $20.09, $30.09 or $40.09 per person.Restaurant owners report that Restaurant Week is boosting sales and helping cash flow during a tough economy and at the end of a hard winter.
Governor John Baldacci says he’ll try and strike an optimistic note during his State of the State address Tuesday night…The Governor tells the Maine Sunday Telegram that he’ll focus on his plan to reposition the state for the eventual economic rebound.Although he didn’t go into specifics, the Governor said he intends to unveil a major energy initiative. He also plans to talk about improving health care, education and economic development.Baldacci will be speaking before a joint session of theLegislature.
An eight-grade student accused of bringing a loaded handgun to Messalonskee Middle School in Oakland is awaiting a juvenile hearing Monday in Waterville District Court.Officials say the school went into lockdown Thursday morning after the principal was informed that the student had a weapon.Police were called and the 14-year-old was apprehended. The boy, whose name was not released because of his age, is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and terrorizing.No shots were fired during the incident and nobody was hurt.The boy is being held at the Mountain View Juvenile Detention Center in Charleston.
It took more than 50 firefighters several hours to put out a house fire in Etna Sunday morning.The call came in just after 1 a.m. that a house on the corner of Latkins and Stage roads was on fire.By the time the first crews arrived, the home was engulfed in flames.Mutual aid was called in from several surrounding towns.The home was abandoned, so no one was inside.Crews were on scene for more than eight hours, but finally managed to put out the flames.One firefighter hurt his knee and was treated and released at a local hospital.No word yet on what caused the fire.The state fire marshal has been called in to investigate.
If you’d like to know how the federal stimulus money is being spent in Maine, there’s a new website for you to check out.Governor John Baldacci just announced a new and improved stimulus website.It now provides up to date information about where and how the federal money is being distributed in Maine.The website also has information about state programs that will receive the money…and graphics showing the allocation of funding in several different categories.State officials say the website will be updated frequently…You can check it out for yourself at www.mainerecovery.gov.
The Bangor woman who was the first female in North America to become a licensed ship captain, has died at the age of 93.Molly K. Carney, was best known by her maiden name, Molly Kool.The Canadian won her captain’s papers in 1939 and sailed the North Atlantic between Alma, New Brunswick, and Boston for five years.Kool fell in love with a man from Maine and moved to the pine tree state.At the time of her death of February 25th, Kool was living in a retirement community in Bangor.She had a lighthouse and captain’s wheel outside her room, and other residents referred to her as “Captain Molly.”
Last year it was bears scaring off outdoor enthusiasts at Bangor’s city forest…now it’s…owls?Cross-country skiers who hit the trails at night are reporting being targeted by an angry great horned owl…Over the past three weeks, at least eight skiers and a few dogs have apparently have fallen victim to the owl, who’s swooped down with its talons outstretched and smacks them on the head…Jim Allen of Bangor was skiing on the East Trail recently when he was whacked in the back of the head…Because he was wearing a hat, he didn’t get scratched..But according to a local doctor, at least three other skiiers suffered small lacerations…Fortunately, none needed stitches.
Most of the 140 workers laid off a month ago are being called back to the Katahdin Paper mill in East Millinocket.Officials with Fraser papers, who run the mill for the parent company, say they have enough orders now to restart the number five paper machine, which makes newsprint or directory paper.As long as there are orders, they say, the machine will stay up and running…491 workers are employed at the mill…The plant in nearby Millinocket has been closed since September, as the parent company makes the transition from steam generation power to biomass.
Eighteen Maine Army National Guard troops are being honored in Augusta following their return home after a year of duty in Afghanistan.The Freedom Salute Ceremony was held Saturday at the Togus Veterans Administration Center.The soldiers in the Embedded Training Team served as mentors to Afghan army and law enforcement units, which participated in combat operations against Taliban and al-Qaida forces.
Over two thousand Bangor Hydro customers were without power for a short while Saturday afternoon.Hydro spokesperson, Susan Faloon, says the outage happened just after noon, when a phase came off an insulator layer on a cross arm.Folks in Hampden, Winterport and Newburgh were effected.Faloon says power was restored to that area, within an hour.