Local News

One Word Causes Commotion in Stockton Springs

Updated 5 years ago

One word has caused quite a bit of commotion in Stockton Springs.A lane on a dead end road has been called Squaw Point Road for decades.But Maine banned the word squa from place names in 2000 because it’s offensive to Native Americans.Stockton Springs Town Manager says residents then started playing a game of scrabble with the spelling of the road.But this month Maine lawmakers amended the law to ban any public place names that include any sort of derivation of squa.The private lane is now called Defence Point Road.

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A Hobby In Belfast Has Been Around For A Long Time

Updated 5 years ago

Some Belfast ladies have found a common hobby.And as Meghan Hayward tell us, it’s been around for a long time.”You learn so much from the buttons about the history of our country and other countries. It’s just a great joy you know.”Harriet Davis has been a member of the Tri-County Button Club for more than a decade.The club itself has been around for 58 years.Something davis credits to its members.”Well I think the gals that, the camaraderie your hobby your desire to keep your interest going and the love of buttons.”The Tri County Button Club meets once a month from March through October.Originally, they met at members’ homes, but as the group grew, they had to find a bigger location, The Baptist Church in Belfast.Davis says the size of the group isn’t the only thing that’s increased.”One dollar to maybe 5,000. They are expensive and depending on what you’re collecting.”Ruth Worcester is president of the button club.Her mother and grandmother both belonged to button clubs too.Worcester says she can find something she likes about every button she comes across.” Well I collect anything that is unusual and all different designs everything.”Wednesday, two button dealers were on hand.Davis says there are other ways to find buttons.”A lot of times if you go to antique shops but you have to be cautious. You have to know have some idea about the prices.”The Tri-County Button Club helps members learn the ins and outs of button hunting.Davis says when she first joined, she never expected collecting buttons would become such a hobby of hers.”You really get addicted to it. I’ll tell you.”

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French Island Woman Turns 100 Years Young

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

For most of us we consider our milestone birthdays when we turn 30, 40 or maybe 50. For Lucienne Cloutier of French Island, Wednesday marks her 100th birthday, but if you ask her, she doesn’t know why everybody is making such a big deal about it. To her it’s just another birthday. “I think it’s too much, you know, if I were somebody important who did something or is doing something but I’m just a plain woman.”She is far from just a plain woman. She has memories dating all the way back to her days riding a horse and buggy to school, and now she enjoys the luxury of her high-definition television. She spends her time doing housework, playing cards, and she still walks up to a mile every day with her daughter. “I walk every day if it’s possible. I get up and make coffee and make my breakfast, wash up and get dressed and get ready to go about my day.” Her family installed a granite bench along her walking route in Old Town’s Riverfront Park in honor of her 100th birthday.Cloutier has recieved countless happy birthday wishes from all over the country including a special note from the President and Mrs. Obama. A lifelong Democrat Cloutier says Franklin Delano Roosevelt is her favorite President.She now has 12 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren. She’s looking forward to having them all in attendance Saturday at her birthday celebration at the Newman Center in Orono. In addition to walking and spending time with her family, Cloutier remains an avid Red Sox fan and she seems fairly optimistic about their chances of winning it all this year, “They might do it but I’ll forgive them if they don’t, they’ve given us a pretty good year so far, they won it once, that’s the main thing, but oh yeah they’re my favorite.”So what’s her secret to living a long, happy life? “Try to do the best you can for yourself, eat the right things, a lot of vegetables, fruit, do a lot of walking…don’t smoke!”

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Maine Mosquito Population

Updated 5 years ago

Mosquito season is upon us, and with the steady rainfall the state has seen the mosquito population is sure to hatch in full force in the next week or so according to entomologists. To reduce mosquito numbers Maine Forest Service entomologist Charlene Donahue says getting rid of any standing water will help. Donahue has been studying insects for more than a decade and says there are 42 different types of mosquitoes in Maine, but she says not every kind will bite. The typical life span of the mosquito is a few days and it’s only the females that bite. Donahue says they need blood to produce the eggs. Not only can the insect be irritating to the skin, they can be dangerous. Mosquitoes help spread many deadly diseases, including malaria, yellow fever and, more commonly in North America, West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes have also carried Triple E or Eastern Equine Encephalitus in Maine. Last year Triple E killed one person in the state.

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Mayer Plea

Updated 5 years ago

A 55-year-old Florida man accused of supplying cocaine and oxycodone pills to mid-level and street-level distributors in Maine has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges.Michael Mayer, who was extradited to Maine following his arrest last year in Costa Rica, entered his plea Tuesday in U.S. district court in Bangor.The guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the drugs carries a sentence of at least 10 years, and up to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $4 million.

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Remains Found

Updated 5 years ago

State and Sanford police say human remains were found Tuesday afternoon in a well off the Creamery Hill Road in Lebanon.Police had gone to the site as part of their investigation attempting to locate Frances Moulton. She was 27 when she disappeared in the summer of 2006.The remains will be transported to the Maine state medical examiner’s office in Augusta for examination and positive identification.Tuesday’s search involved state police divers, a cadaver dog and detectives from both agencies.Moulton last contacted her family in July of 2006, and was reported missing in September of that year.She lived in Lebanon at the time of her disappearance, but often stayed with friends and family in Sanford.

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Committee Formed to Oversee Juvenile Fires

Updated 5 years ago

A committee formed to oversee the state’s response to juveniles who set fires will be meeting for the first time Monday in Augusta. The 14-member Maine Juvenile Fire Safety Collaborative will assess the impact of juvenile fire setters, monitor treatment andresponse, and suggest ways to improve counseling of children who set fires. The committee, authorized by an executive order from Governor John Baldacci, is made up of representatives from state government, social and mental health services, the fire service and law enforcement. State Fire Marshal John Dean said that since 2000, there have been 2,163 fires in Maine that were started by juveniles. He saidthose fires caused 11 deaths, 94 injuries and more than $37 million in damage.

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University of Maine System Faces Major Changes

Updated 5 years ago

A task force that examined the functions and structure of the University of Maine System has come out with a draft report that calls for major changes in the way the system operates. The panel said the seven campuses must act as a union and can no longer afford to pursue their own dreams and engage in expensivecompetition with each other. Specific recommendations include clearly differentiating campus missions, transforming distance education and easing credit transfers. The task force says the system faces a potential shortfall of $50 million in the next four years at a time when the state mustgraduate a third more people per year to keep pace with competitors. The report says the system can meet those demands, butmust change the way it does business.

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Northeast Harbor Restaurant Reopens Ten Months After a Devastating Fire

Updated 5 years ago

A restaurant and bakery in Northeast Harbor has beat the odds.It has reopened after a devastating fire left the original building in shambles.Meghan Hayward has the story.”It’s just so cozy and the food is wonderful and the family run is the best and the waitresses have been here for a long time it just makes us happy.”So when Colonel’s Deli and Bakery in Northeast Harbor was destroyed by fire last July, Bell and plenty of other people were disappointed.Restaurant Co-owner Mark Reece says they knew they wanted to reopen and on may 28th, they did just that.”Excellent we love it, we had towns people coming in saying how glad they were we were back. It was good after what we went through.”The outside of the new building was built to look similar to the original but the inside has a new addition.There is now a bar next to the dining room.” We always kind of wanted to do that you get people waiting for tables and just a nice little feature.”The original building had living quarters for restaurant employees but the new building has hotel style rooms.Server Jenna McCarthy was living in one of the apartments at the time of the fire.” Everyone was out of their living here for the summer so other people tried finding jobs at the other places on the island. It’s hard because we have the living available here which is really convenient for people like me who don’t live in this area. It was definitely hard for the people who just couldn’t go home.”When McCarthy heard colonel’s was reopening, she couldn’t wait to return to work.” This area is absolutely beautiful, the customers that come in are wonderful. It’s just a great environment overall.”An environment that keeps the customers coming back.”And to be open I’m just really happy about it for me but for the town and community we need the Colonel’s.”

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Penobscot Wabanaki Tribe Makes Deal that Could Provide Several Jobs

Updated 5 years ago

The Penobscot Indian Nation Enterprises has received a subcontract from a billion dollar defense contractor.The tribe has partnered with VSE corporation of Virginia.Their first job within this collaboration will be providing workers to a VSE army contract that involves repairing military wheeled vehicles damaged or broken in the Middle East.VSE has agreed to provide proper training and certification under the program and is already hosting an intern from the Penobscot tribe this summer.Penobscot Tribal Chief Kirk Francis says they have only begun to see the benefits.” Created significant revenues and job opportunities for not only our tribe this is going to help the region. We expect the jobs to outnumber the employee pool.”Francis says they are currently in the process of getting three other jobs from VSE.

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Start Time for Skowhegan Bike Night Settled

Updated 5 years ago

Next month Skowhegan will host Bike Night, but with slightly different hours than last year.Last year, Bike Night drew hundreds of motorcycles and more than a thousand people to town.Organizers wanted to shut down part of the downtown from 3:00 PM – 11:00 PM on Saturday, July 18th, but some downtown merchants complained. So, selectmen decided on the shutdown from 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM.Bike Night sponsors then complained, saying that would cause them to cancel some events.Tuesday night, a compromise was reached. Bike Night will begin at 4:00 PM, that’s Saturday, July 18th.

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Training to Fend Off Pesky Tree Beetle

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Folks in the tree industry are now better trained to keep a big tree pest from crossing the Maine border. A number of people who work with trees got a lesson today in Bangor on the Asian longhorned beetle. The beetle likes to bore through hardwoods, especially maple, causing so much damage it can kill a tree.One of the tell-tale signs of the bug is a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch exit hole in the branches or trunk. The beetle’s been spotted as close as Massachusetts. John Crowe, a pest survey specialist with the USDA, says now that more tree lovers know what to look for, they can spread the message to the public and reduce the chances of a problem here. “In Worcester, Massachusetts there was an ice storm this past winter and the structural integrity of all of the trees were a problem because when the ice came, all of the maple trees fell and destroyed cars and power lines and everything like that. That’s one of the reasons the ice storm was so problematic in worcester because the Asian longhorned beetle had done such damage to the trees.”The USDA and the Maine Department of Agriculture are warning Mainers not to bring fire wood or other wood products into the state.People who are caught doing that can have their wood destroyed and face fines or legal trouble. For more information about the Asian longhorned beetle you can visit the website, www.maine.gov/alb.

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New Police Chief in Dexter

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A new man’s in charge of the Dexter Police Department, but he’s certainly not new to the job.James Emerson was recently named the Chief of Police. He’s been the acting chief since Arthur Roy resigned in April. Emerson’s spent 27 years on the department in Dexter and says it’s been a long-time goal of his to serve as chief. He says he’d like officers to focus on more community policing and reaching out to the public, especially kids in school. One of the first items on his new agenda, though, is hiring another police officer to fill the position created by his promotion.

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Guilty of Murder

Updated 5 years ago

The man charged in the stabbing death of a 23-year-old mother from Fayette more than 25 years ago has been found guilty of murder. 52-year old Thomas Mitchell, Jr. took the witness stand monday to testify in his own defense and denied killing her.Jurors deliberated for about 90 minutes Tuesday.Prosecutors told jurors that advances in DNA technology provided proof that Mitchell raped and killed Judith Flagg at her home in January 1983.One of Mitchell’s lawyers said the DNA evidence was contaminated and could have belonged to others.Mitchell says he spent the day of Flagg’s death in South Portland with his aunt.Mitchell was arrested in 2006 while in prison completing sentences for kidnapping, gross sexual assault and attempted murder.

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P.A.L. Center Opens in Bangor

Updated 5 years ago

Now that school’s out, it’s tough for parents to find fun activities to keep their kids busy. The P.A.L. Center in Bangor hopes to fill that void.It shut down a year ago because of a lack of funding, but the Bangor Police Athletic League raised enough money to open up the doors for the summer.”I’m like OMG, I have to go.”That was Nickolas Childs’ reaction when he saw a flier, advertising that the Police Athletic League facility was reopening for the summer.The P.A.L. Center on Watchmaker Lane right off Essex Street not only gives kids a place to hang out, but also a chance to take part in some fun activities.”On sunny days we can go outside and play sports and stuff, on rainy days we come inside and play foose ball, pool, stuff like that.””Gonna try to build the program around the kids, kind of what they want, let them take some ownership so it’s their place.”The directors of the facility hope to get creative.”You said you want a disco party one time, disco party, couple karaoke nights.”Plus, the kids will get a chance to take field trips. Some of those might have a small cost, but all the other activities here are free, something that the folks here know will be helpful to a lot of parents who are struggling to make it in this tough economy.”The ability for children to go someplace and not be left at home alone and have a place they know are gonna be safe and for no cost or very little cost even with a field trip I think is gonna be a big help.”The directors were expecting about 5 kids on their first day, already they have about 15, and so far the facility is getting rave reviews.”It’s a little bit better than Disneyland but it really is the best place ever.”For more information on the PAL Center you can contact Tim at the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department at 992-4493.

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Bangor Pub Owner Has Big Plans

Updated 5 years ago

Not everyone is holding off or cutting back because of the economy.Some folks are moving ahead with their business plans, even in the fickle bar and restaurant industry.”This building has a lot of history. Benjamin’s started in 1973 and it was Bangor’s hotspot, there’s no doubt about it.” Says Scott McCoy.This spot on Franklin Street in Bangor has seen its share of owners. McCoy – also known as DJ Fahrenheit – bought it this year. He says he’s seen others succeed and fail during his career. He’s been behind the bar and in the DJ booth. “As long as I’ve been doing this, it has prepared me for this,” he says. He has big plans to turn the place into Fahrenheit Pub.”The concept didn’t change,” he says of previous owners. “I believe that’s what needs to happen. Bangor is looking for a new, fun hotspot and that’s what we’re trying to provide,” he says.He’s poured his savings into a complete renovation. He’s expanding out back and adding a new drink and food menu. He’s confident it’s money well spent, even in a down economy.”Based on the economy, people are saving money and whatnot, but I’ve been in this very same location before. And the day we closed, there were 100 people in this bar still spending money and having a good time,” McCoy says.He says Fahrenheit Pub will appeal to the downtown after-work crowd with live music and other specials.”The market is definitely out there,” he says. “When you go out, if you’re offering a quality drink, quality food, quality entertainment, you’ll be successful.”He says the city has helped him along as a new business owner. While there’s still lots of work to do, he says he’ll be ready to open by July 4th.

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Rain Slows Local Strawberry Farm

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

Every summer, the folks at Tate’s Strawberry Farm in Corinth plant up to 65,000 strawberry plants, eagerly anticipating pickers from all over the state.But with 10 inches of rain falling last week alone, this years crop has been a little slow to ripen. Albert Tate, owner of Tate’s Strawberry Farm, says they plan for excess rainfall.”We grow our plants on a hill, we hill them up, so the water hasn’t been a problem as far as damaging the crop,” Tate explains, “it’s slowing them down. they haven’t quite got ready to ripen yet.”Despite the delay in the ripening process, workers at Tate’s are still picking 1500-2000 quarts per day.Most of those berries are being sent to roadside stands and some local businesses, like Hannaford, Dysarts, and The Muddy Rudder restaurant. The big question on most strawberry lovers minds is, of course, when can they show up and pick their own?”We’ve selected saturday the 27th as opening day, whether we have enough berries for everybody for the whole weekend we’re not sure, but I have a lot of them that need to be picked and if it continues to rain I’m going to really need the people out here picking them before they go bad.”After being in the business over 50 years, not much surprises Tate, and even 10 inches of rain is enough to dampen his enthusiasm.”We’ve got the fields all in good condition, we’re just waiting for the sun to break,” Tate says. “Soon as the sun breaks we’ll have plenty of strawberries.”

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Lights….Camera….Action….A New Movie Being Filmed in Our Area

Updated 5 years ago

Lights, camera, action…. A new independent movie is underway in central Maine. A dark comdey titled, “The Putt Putt Syndrome,” is based on a man who under goes a mid-life crisis by doubting his “perfect life.” The film is taking place in Manchester with a 30-member crew and Hollywood actors. The director and writer of the script, Conata, said that the movie will be shot in Manchester, Winthrop and Lewiston. The cast includes Jason London of “Dazed & Confused,” David Chokachi of the “Baywatch” TV series and Robert Maschio of the TV series “Scrubs.”

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Up, Up and Away…Oil Prices Continue to Climb

Updated 5 years ago

At a price of $2.35, the average cost of heating oil has increased by 2 cents in the past week. This is minor compared to the increase of over 18 cents in the past two weeks. Different parts of the state are experiencing different prices, from $2.08 in southwestern Maine to $2.60 in northern Maine. Additionally, the average cost of kerosene jumped up to $2.78, a 2 cent increase, while natural gas averaged $11.30 per 1000 cubit feet, which is right where heating oil stands at $1.53 per gallon.Director of the Office of Energy Independence and Security John Kerry noted that the price of crude oil is up nearly $35 a barrel since the market’s low in February.

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Camp Capella is Open

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

Camp Capella in Dedham was closed for the 2006 and 2007 summers, and last year reopened to children and adults with disabilities.The summer camp started again Monday and this year opened with a big announcement.Camp Capella is now an independent, non-profit organization.” What this means for us is we’re gonna focus our energies.” said Executive Director of Camp Capella Dana Mosher. ” This is not just an eight week summer program open it up and close it up and go home, this is an all year round program at this point that we’re gonna be providing recreational opportunities for people with disabilities on a year round basis.”Camp Capella opened on Phillips Lake in Dedham in 1960. It was operated for 45 years by United Cerebral Palsy of Maine, but was closed for two years because of a lack of funding and focus.” We really felt that a group that just dedicated all of their time to just this program would be more successful then what we were able to do because we operate eleven different programs,” said UCP Executive Director Bobbi Jo Yeager. ” So it was very hard just to concentrate on a summer program.”Camp capella will still have ties to UCP, but will continue on their own to provide a much needed service said Mosher.” There are only two places in the entire state of maine the provide these kinds of services to children and adults with disabilities and we’re right here in our area, we’re right here in our neighborhood and the community was not going to let this place die.”But according to Mosher being on their own does bring about new tasks.” We need to fund raise and make people aware of the magic of this place and the uniqueness of this place because once they understand that, supporting it is the right thing to do and they will understand that.”

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