Local News

Budget Hearing Set for Monday

Updated 5 years ago

A public hearing is scheduled for Monday on the Governor’s new budget proposals.It starts at 9 a-m at the State House.On Friday, the Governor unveiled his plan to cover a new 570-million dollar gap in his pending two-year general fund budget package.In all, Baldacci said his original 6.1 billion two-year general fund budget package would, with transfers, deferrals and other steps as well as cuts, shrink to $5.8 billion.The Governor’s original two-year budget package envisioned the elimination of more than 300 positions. Officials said Friday no additional layoffs were being proposed.

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Antiviral Drugs Arrive in Maine

Updated 5 years ago

Antiviral drugs and protective equipment have started arriving in Maine.They’ll hopefully help treat those with symptoms of the H1 N1 virus, or swine flu.Governor John Baldaccis says the shipments began arriving Saturday night from the U-S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In addition to the antiviral drugs, state officials are also getting protective masks, gloves and other equipment.Six people in Maine have been identified with symptoms of the virus.More shipments of antiviral drugs are expected to begin arriving as soon as Tuesday.

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Orono Farmers’ Market Opens For Season

Updated 6 years ago

Folks looking to get their first taste of summer turned out in Orono Saturday for opening day of the Farmers’ Market.Now in its 15-th year, the market offers everything from locally produced cheeses to homemade bread and prepared foods.The Orono market is one of the biggest in Maine, with more than 25 vendors on hand.Joe McBrine of Vine and Branch Farm was there this weekend…he says now, more than ever, Mainers are looking to support local farmers and to get the freshest, healthiest foods for their money.< "we have met some tremendous customers, especially in this area, who recognize the value of locally grown, all naturally produced both meat and produce.">The market is located in the parking lot of the Orono steam plant.It’s open on Saturdays from 8 to 1.Starting in late June, it’ll also be open on Tuesdays from 2 to 5:30 p.m.

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Camp Bangor Citywide Cleanup A Success

Updated 6 years ago

Bangor’s city parks are looking a lot cleaner, thanks to the work of some dedicated kids.Saturday was the 10th annual Citywide Cleanup…it’s part of the Camp Bangor program.It offers a summer camp scholarship to Bangor Public School children enrolled in grades four through six. In order to receive the scholarship, each child must complete some form of volunteerism. Hundreds turned out with trash bags and gloves, to get the parks in good shape for the summer.< "i think it's a great park and if you have trash on the ground, it might hurt somebody. If some little kid comes along and sees it, he might...eat it...not so good. And it wouldn't be the best thing if you go running and step on some trash...you could hurt yourself.">The volunteers and their families were treated to a barbecue at Howard Street park after the cleanup was completed.

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State’s Only In-Vitro Clinic To Close

Updated 6 years ago

Couples seeking in-vitro fertilization services will soon have to travel out of state.Maine Medical Center is closing the Maine Center for Reproductive Health in South Portland…It’s the state’s only in vitro clinic.According to hospital officials, they just weren’t attracting enough patients…and that they were only performing half the number of procedures they’d expected to.No word yet on when they’ll actually close the doors.

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AIDS Walk in Bangor/Brewer

Updated 6 years ago

More than a hundred walkers turned out Saturday to raise awareness…and money…for the fight against HIV and AIDS.The annual AIDS walks were held around the state…including one in Bangor.Walkers started out at the Eastern Maine AIDS Network on Harlow Street and made their way across the Penobscot River to Brewer and back.They raised money for HIV and AIDS care and prevention efforts.Oraganizers are hoping the Maine walks bring in a total of more than a hundred thousand dollars…half of it from community support, the other half from a challenge grant with the National AIDS Fund.< "what we have found is that HIV/AIDS has really fallen off the radar screen and our hope today is to do a public awareness campaign to remind folks that HIV/AIDS is here in Maine and it is an important public health issue.">Murphy says she was surprised to find that online walk donations this year doubled last year’s amount.She says that’s something she never expected, given the current state of the economy.

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I-95 Rollover Crash

Updated 6 years ago

Traffic on the Interstate in Hampden was reduced to one lane Saturday afternoon after a rollover crash.It happened just after 1 p.m.The driver of a silver car was headed southbound, passing other vehicles when he lost control, spun out across both lanes and rolled the car onto its roof.It came to rest on the shoulder of the road.Rescue crews had to use the jaws of life to free the man from the wreckage.State Troopers were called in to investigate.They say it’s a miracle no one else was hurt, considering the amount of traffic on the road at the time of the crash.< "there was traffic around him, one of the drivers said he skidded on his roof right in front of her so that was some good defensive driving on her part...she was able to escape any contact.">No word yet on the extent of the driver’s injuries.He’s hospitalized at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

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Swine Flu Update: Maine

Updated 6 years ago

Three Maine counties are now reporting cases of Swine Flu.There are six confirmed cases altogether.That’s according to the state Centers for Disease Control.Two adults in Kennebec County have tested positive, along with two adults and a youth in York County and another youth in Penobscot county.C-D-C director Dr. Dora Anne Mills says her priority now is to slow the transmission of the virus and treat those who are currently ill.The flu caused the closure of the Kennebunk Elementary School for at least seven days.

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Confirmed Cases Rises to Six

Updated 6 years ago

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified today three additional individuals as having the H1N1 flu, bringing the State total to six.The youth in York County is one of the two children who were identified as probably cases earlier in the week. The second youth did not test positive for H1N1.According to current guidance, Kennebunk Elementary School will remain closed for at least seven calendar days. The youth with H1N1 in York County is a student at the school.The Crayon Academy day care center is cleared to re-open for normal operations on Monday. The youth from the center has tested negative for H1N1. While the day care center can re-open, the child attendee will not return until cleared.Dr. Mills re-iterated the need for people to stay informed, be prepared, and most importantly practice proper respiratory hygiene.For facts about influenza, and more information about H1N1 flu, please visit the Maine CDC and U.S. CDC Web sites.

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Michaud Moves Bangor Office

Updated 6 years ago

Congressman Mike Michaud has moved his Bangor office to a new location at 6 State Street.Michaud decided to make the move because this location is more visible and accessible. The old location was on the second level of a building in downtown Bangor, and it was hard for some folks to find. This one is at street level.”Hopefully we’ll bring that extra foot traffic and that’s what we’re all about, is trying to make it more accessible to the citizens here in the second district.”, says Congressman Michaud.On Friday, Michaud and his staff held an open house to let folks look around his new home base in Bangor.

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Logging Expo Kicks Off in Bangor

Updated 6 years ago

The latest logging equipment is being shown this week-end at the Bangor Auditorium.The Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Expo is being held today and tomorrow.Close to 7,000 people are expected to show up.They’ll see everything from logging and sawmill equipment to firewood processing. Plus it’s a great chance for folks in the forest industry to get together.”Logging and forestry jobs are very singular, solitary jobs for the most part and we find that a lot of guys like to get together, look at the equipment, talk, catch up. It’s a fun event for them.” says Joe Phaneuf, Executive Director of the Northeastern Loggers Association.Even if you don’t work in the woods, there’s plenty for you to see too. There are 200 vendors and many offer items for homeowners.The show will continue Saturday from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm.Admission is $7.00.

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Lincoln Twins Beat Odds, Celebrate 18th Birthday

Updated 6 years ago

Turning 18 is a milestone for anyone, but for Emily and Adam Libby of Lincoln, it’s really a miracle.”How are we related? Are you my brother? Yes, my brother. No, I’m your sister. Twin sister right”A lot of people are surprised to hear that Emily and Adam Libby are twins. Adam has Down Syndrome, a diagnosis that came as a shock to his mother Vicki Clay right after the twins were born. Plus she was told her newborn son had other severe health issues.”Adam was born with a congenital heart defect. Two holes in his heart and he went into congestive heart failure three times before he was seven months old.”Adam had open heart surgery at just eight months old, and a pace maker was implanted a short time later.And over the years, Adam has had to deal with other health issues, some that nearly claimed his life.”It’s really hard to deal with. The doctors can’t always tell us that he’s gonna be o.k. It’s just hard sometimes.””So we feel very fortunate that Adam has made it to 18, and he’s had Emily with him the whole time, kind of like his own guardian angel, they’re just such a cute set of twins.”But for Adam and Emily, their relationship doesn’t seem like anything special, in their minds they’re just your typical twins.”Pretty much, It’s just like normal brother and sister. Do you guys fight? Yes, he can be very grumpy sometimes can’t you? No”Yes they do disagree, but they also think very highly of each other. Adam says this about Emily”She’s pretty cool”And Emily says she wouldn’t change one thing about her brother.”I think the coolest thing about Adam is that a lot of people just care what other people think about them, and Adam just goes out there and does what he wants. He’ll be singing to whoever at the Grocery store, or he’s just live entertainment all the time.”Today he decided to sing a few lines from Beauty and the Beast.”The joy that he brings to people to see it on their face, the enjoyment that they get out of him, and the stories I hear from the school. That adds a lot.” And so as Vicki thinks back to the initial diagnosis of her precious baby boy, and the difficult times over the years when Adam nearly lost his life, she remains grateful for every moment that she gets to her enjoy with her children.”I had a strong faith in God and my minister came to me and brought me a book about the miracles in life and how miracles are found in the most unlikely places and he said you have a miracle on your hands and you just don’t know it, and now I look at them, and I’m like yeah, they’re a miracle.”Emily says, “She just didn’t think he was gonna make it through, and a lot of my family didn’t think he was going to and now, we’re 18 Adam, Right. That’s nice, yeah, that’s nice.”

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Cafe in Ellsworth Has A Unique Named Sandwich

Updated 6 years ago

A cafe in Ellsworth is serving up a sandwich with a familiar name.One you may have heard of.Customers dining at Karen’s Café in Ellsworth may be surprised when they open the menu and see a sandwich named “The Channel Five.””The Channel Five is a toasted bagel of your choice with cream cheese. It’s open-faced, red onions, tomato and locks which is a smoked salmon.”For seven dollars and fifty cents, you too can have a bite of channel five.Cimeno says the sandwich is a hit with locals.”Aww they love it, thumbs up. I get a couple that constantly comes in. That’s all they order the Channel Five. She says it is perfect.”Cimeno moved to Maine from ,Massachusetts, where she owned a deli.She wanted to bring some local names to the sandwiches she serves. The Channel Five was created.”I was looking around at the channel stations and the radio stations and discovered this sandwich, well breakfast sandwich has five ingredients, so right away just Channel Five came right to me.”No matter what the diners order and are served. Cimeno says they’re getting a tasty meal.”A lot of my food is down home, the dressings, the breads, a lot of the baked goods. So home cooked.”Cimeno hopes the customers keep her busy and keep coming.

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Opening Day at the Observatory

Updated 6 years ago

Attendants at the Penobscot Narrows Observatory say they’ve gotten off to a good start this season.”It’s a foggy rainy day today, but we’ll still have 30 to 40 visitors.” says Harold Beck, an observatory attendant. Lynn McDonald, another attendant adds, “Some are recurring customers and other people are new in the area. They’ve come for a visit. I just had some folks from Florida that came in, that are visiting some friends up here.”The tower in Prospect is one of three observatories of it’s kind in the world, but this Maine marvel has a special claim to fame.”It’s the only bridge observatory in the northern hemisphere and it is the tallest one in the world that is open to the public.” says Beck.The tower is also home to the tallest and fastest elevator in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.McDonald says, “Their elevator ride will be 50 seconds up to the top to 400 feet, even though the actual observatory itself is at 420 feet.””On a really clear day, you can see about 70 miles to the north and you can see Cadillac Mountain to the east, about 40 miles away. And you can see down to Penobscot Bay, about another 30, 40 miles in that direction.” adds Beck.Visitors say this birds-eye-view is out of this world. “Breathtaking, it’s beautiful.”The observatory is open through October from 9 to 5, seven days a week. They have extended hours in July and August.Tickets are five dollars for adults, three dollars for children ages five to eleven, and free for kids under four.

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Swine Flu Precautions Taken at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital

Updated 6 years ago

Staff from the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth gave an update on the swine flu friday.Members of the hospital want the community to know they are working to make sure that all necessary actions are being taken.A tent has been set up outside the hospital, in the event that the Pandemic Flu Plan has to be put in action…..The medical staff stressed that it is just a precaution and people should not be alarmed.”Right now I don’t think there’s any reason for worry or panic. We’re all concerned but I think all the proper precautions are being taken.”Hospital employees say it’s important people wash their hands frequently and make sure all surfaces are covered.They say the surface between fingers and fingernails are often overlooked.

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Community Clean-Up

Updated 6 years ago

Hundreds of folks are expected to turn out for the 10th Annual City-Wide Cleanup in Bangor this weekend.It’s co-sponsored by the City of Bangor and United Way of Eastern Maine.Volunteers will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the following locations:-Broadway Park-Coe Park (Court Street)-Chapin Park -Downeast school playground and fields-Fairmount park-Fairmount school playground and fields-Hayford Park fields and trails-James F. Doughty school fields-Mary Snow School playground and fields-Stillwater Park (Howard Street)-Fruit Street & Cohen School playground and fields-Thomas Hill Standpipe (Summit Park)-Williams Park (Newbury Street by Hancock Street)Volunteers will be rewarded with a barbeque at 11:30 a.m. at Stillwater Park.The clean-up also helps Camp Bangor children meet their community service requirement.

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Hospital Officials: Don’t Panic Over Swine Flu

Updated 6 years ago

It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria surrounding the swine flu scare, with all the precautions being taken this week to keep the virus from spreading.But experts say it’s just as important that people don’t panic.Amy Erickson has more.< "It is kind of scary for someone who doesn't have much of a clinical background, but really, it's a mild flu."Eastern Maine Medical Center Patient Care Administrator Karen Clements has two words for folks worried about becoming infected with the Swine Flu. Don't panic."People just need to take it in perspective. This is a very, very mild flu. We are not seeing the lethal side effects like we do with our regular flu season, our influenza a and influenza b. We lose over 35,000 people every year in the country to our regular flu season. We haven't seen one American death yet from this, and very, very few hospitalizations."Clements says while it's always a good idea to take precautions, coming down with this particular strain isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world."Yes, you're going to feel crappy for a couple of days with a fever and body aches, but the good side is, you're going to build immunities to this virus.""It's a great time of year to have a flu season. People can open their windows up. It's not mid-January."Clements says the scare is causing Mainers to pack local emergency rooms and walk-in clinics but not all of those folks really need to be there."We are seeing a significant amount of patients with 'nervous symptoms', like 'I was exposed to someone who just came back from Texas last week,' with no symptoms whatsoever, all the way to the folks who do have symptoms.""Hospital officials say if you come to the E-R or the walk in clinic and you have a cough and fever, you will be required to wear a mask. But that's actually something they normally do during the regular flu season as well."Clements is urging folks to stay away from the ER unless they're seriously ill.Most people just need a few days of bedrest at home.By going to the E-R, you're potentially exposing yourself to more germs."You're going to be sitting in a waiting room, cause it's very busy right now, sharing all kinds of germs with yourself and the family members you brought with you."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News.>

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Murder Suicide in Westbrook

Updated 6 years ago

Police have ruled the deaths of a Westbrook couple a murder suicide.The couple was found dead in their condo earlier this week by their two daughters.Police say 45-year old Kenneth Taylor stabbed his wife, 43-year old Belinda Taylor, then stabbed himself.There was no history of domestic violence. The couple was in the process of ending their marriage.

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Guilty of Murder

Updated 6 years ago

Guilty of murder. That’s the verdict in the trial of Joseph Dumas of Prentiss, who shot and killed a friend in the fall of 2007.After deliberating over two days, the jury announced its verdict today.There was no reaction from Joseph Dumas as the verdict was read. Later, there were tears. His attorney says Dumas still doesn’t know why he shot his best friend, Mario “Sonny” Litterio.Dumas is facing twenty-five years to life in prison and will be sentenced at the end of June. Jurors had some questions Thursday about expert testimony related to cocaine-induced psychosis, which was a significant part of the defense’s case. Some testimony was re-read to them this morning.Once that was through, it took jurors less than an hour to return the guilty verdict.”We appreciated the effort that the jury has put into this case,” says defense attorney Richard Hartley. “They certainly thought very hard about the evidence that both sides put forward. We believe that they analyzed that evidence and I certainly respect the verdict they have given.”The state says they’re pleased with the outcome.The Litterio family says they are relieved.Joseph Dumas’ wife, Cheryl, says she still doesn’t believe her husband intentionally shot their friend, and she still loves and supports him.She says if there’s anything we can learn from this case, it’s the dangers of drug use.

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Baldacci Outlines Plan for State Budget

Updated 6 years ago

Governor John Baldacci says he is counting on government shutdown days, cuts in health care and education and what’s being called stepped-up tax enforcement coupled with a tax amnesty program to bring his current budget proposal back into balance. The governor outlined a new plan Thursday to plug a gap of about $570 million created earlier this week when the state revenue forecasting committee sharply cut back estimates. In all, Baldacci said his original $6.1 billion two-year general fund budget package will shrink to $5.8 billion. The governor wants a new state commission to identify $37.5 million in savings. He’s also proposing to use $75.5 million from the state rainy day fund and nearly $41 million more in other state government reserves.

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