A group of folks in the greater Bangor area carried the spirit of Earth Day into the weekend.Members of the Bangor Area Storm Water Group got together Saturday to take part in the fourth annual Regional Stream Cleanup.The event is spread out through April and May and spans seven communities.On Saturday, volunteers did their best to tackle the Penjajawoc Stream off Stillwater Ave in Bangor. “For beautification, for people to sort of enjoy and walk through. When they come out of Hannaford they can see this nice clean area with wildlife and see the river running through. After another 6 or 7 weeks, there’ll be a lot of vegetation and it’ll be very nice.”The mission of the Storm Water Group is to protect water quality, while building community awareness about storm water pollution.They’ll spend the next six weeks or so cleaning up local waterways in Brewer, Orono, Old Town, Veazie, Hampden and Milford…and on the Umaine campus.
The 15-th annual Hope Festival drew a huge crowd in Orono Saturday.The even inspires Mainers to get involved in creating a better world.More than eighty organizations were on hand, offering workshops and demonstrations about ways to curb the impact of climate change and how to live a greener life…There was also live music, including a performance by Dave Mallett.Those who took part say it’s powerful to see so many folks working together towards a common goal.< "it's a festival of people coming together from lots of different organizations, lots of volunteers. We're working on the theme of hope...the idea of bringing...that we continue to have hope for a better world, a cleaner earth, more justice for all people.">There were also plenty of events for little ones today, including fun with wind and solar power..and interactive African children’s games.
A big construction project is getting underway on the Penobscot bridge between Bangor and Brewer.Starting Monday, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction and lanes will be narrowed.Also, trucks longer than 25-feet headed into Bangor won’t be able to turn immediately after the bridge. They’re asked to use the Joshua Chamberlain bridge.The work will last for about four weeks while repairs are made.
Two accused killers from Waldoboro were in court Friday.Police say they stabbed one woman to death and critically wounded another.Earl Beiler and Corina Durkee appeared in Lincoln County Superior Court in Wiscasset.Facing charges of murder, attempted murder and burglary, 24-year-old Bieler and 42-year-old Durkee did not enter a plea in court. Durkee shielded her face from cameras. Her lawyer says she’s confused right now.”From the start, she’s denied any involvement in the acts. I think we’ve been given very little information from the state.”According to court documents, Earl Beiler and Corina Durkee came to Tracy Nield’s residence to help her change a tire, but she wasn’t home. Statements from Corina go on to say that Tracy came home while they were there and she was with two people, Rachel Grindal and Shantelle Quint. That’s when the stories about what happened next and who stabbed who don’t match up.”Find the right person who did it. Shantelle Quint.”Beiler told police he saw Shantelle Quint stab Rachel, but Tracy Nield, who’s unable to speak because of her injury, wrote a statement telling police that Corina stabbed her in the throat and Buddy (Beiler) killed Rachel.The affidavit also states that Nield does not blame Shantelle.Maine’s medical examiner says 27-year-old Rachel Grindal died from force injuries to the neck and torso.It’s a he said, she said battle, one that friends and family are still in shock over.”I grew up good friends with Buddy, and Corina is a relative of mine and just i can’t believe they’d do something like that. They were all friends with tracy and them guys.””I’m sorta freaked out. I still can’t believe it.”Some in town say drugs could have played a part in what happened.”I think it played a big role in their decision making.”Beiler and Durkee will remain behind bars, a bail hearing has been scheduled for April 30th.
L.L. Bean has announced that it plans to lay off between 200 and 240 members of its Maine-based work force because of lagging sales.In a company letter to its 5,400 full- and part-time workers said voluntary retirement incentives announced in February have helped reduce the number of layoffs, but were not sufficient to eliminate the need for job cuts.The letter, from President and CEO Chris McCormick, said the hope for a significant turnaround in sales that could restore L.L. Bean’s revenue to pre-recession levels “is just not realistic.”In addition to the layoffs in Maine, the company anticipates about a dozen job cuts at its out-of-state retail and outlet stores.
A former Passamaquoddy governor has been sentenced to five years in prison for misusing more than $1.8 million in tribal and federal funds.After a three-week jury trial, Robert Newell was found guilty in November of 29 counts of conspiracy and misapplication of the money. He was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 12Â½ to 15Â½ years. The defense cited the 65-year-old Newell’s age and ill health in urging the judge to impose probation or home detention.During the trial, Newell said he never intended to break the law and denied conspiring with co-defendant James Parisi Jr. of Portland to use tribal money illegally.Parisi, who was found guilty of 11 of 21 counts, will be sentenced Monday.
A Maine man arrested in Miami for allegedly threatening former President George W. Bush and then-candidate Barack Obama has pleaded guilty on lesser weapons possession charges.Raymond Geisel will be will sentenced in July, prosecutors recommended he be sentenced to ten months in jail, but Geisel could face up to ten years on each count of possession of ammunition and firearms by someone who had beencommitted to a mental institution.Geisel was institutionalized in Maine in 2003.In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop the charges that Geisel threatened assassination against Bush and Obama.Geisel was first arrested in August.
A Connecticut man has been arrested in connection with the robbery at TD Banknorth in Bangor Monday.30-year-old Lawrence Mark Sullivan was arrested Thursday at a motel in Weathersfield, CT.Police say he had robbed a bank in that town earlier this month.An undisclosed amount of money was taken from the TD Banknorth on Union St. during Monday’s robbery.There was a federal warrant for Sullivan’s arrest, Bangor police say they worked with Bangor FBI field agents to bring the case together.Officials say lots of credit goes to the quality of the video in TD Banknorth’s Bangor branch, and help from citizens.
Dancing is a great way to get some energy out, and get your creative juices flowing. That’s the idea behind a program sponsored by Community Health and Counseling.It’s called Dance, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, and it’s being taught in seven schools throughout the area including at Hermon Elementary School. Once a week dance instructor Tom McGary stops by to teach the kids the latest dance moves and some oldies but goodies.It’s part of a program by Community Health and Counseling. Coordinator Karen Hartnagle says the goal is to get the kids moving in a positive direction in their lives. “What we’re looking for is to really build that resilience and self esteem and one of the things that I think is if they learn to respect themselves and what they’re capable of doing down the road, they’re less likely to harm themselves with drugs, alcohol or something like that.””It’s really a new experience”, says one student, but one that brings smiles to the kids faces.”I didn’t expect it to be this fun.” That’s a common reaction for a lot of the boys when they start.”The boys the first class they may be a little reluctant but a soon as they realize how athletic it is, they just take right to it”, says instructor Tom McGary.They learn everything from hip hop, and improv to ballet, and you won’t hear a complaint from the kids.”We just dance and have fun. He teaches us to be creative. Mr. Tom is a great instructor”Each child walks away with their own lessons learned.”I like the educational parts like we get to learn a lot of our muscles like the abdominal, the biceps, the triceps”But they all get the message, that they’re talented, because there are no mistakes in this class, and there’s no competition. It’s not about being the best, it’s about trying their best.McGary says, “This class allows every child to shine. They don’t have to be the jock and they don’t have to be the smartest kid in class”The class will be putting on dance performances next month for their school mates and their parents.The dance classes are funded completely through donations and grants, so it’s always a struggle to find the funding.The class is currently taught in seven schools, but CHCS is looking to expand.To get more information about the class, contact Karen Hartnagle at 947-0366 extension 451 or e-mail or at firstname.lastname@example.org
About 4 tons of junk were collected at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor Friday. Employees of the hospital were invited to drop off all their electronic waste for free.That included lots of T-V’s, computers, printers and cell phones. Those items can contain harmful chemicals like mercury and lead. All of it was hauled away to be recycled.Ray Johnson, EMMC Environmental, Health and Safety Officer says offering this service for their employees, was their way of being kind to the environment. “We believe we need to get our employees more involved with our environment and to be environmentally friendly, and this certainly was one way we could show the community that we are looking to be greener.”The same company that was collecting the e-waste at EMMC will be doing so Saturday at the Bangor Mall.So folks are invited to drop off all their unwanted electronic equipment at the Mall near Sears from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM.This service is also be free.
The out-going president of Husson University will soon have a building named after him. The Husson Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the newest building on campus, the Beardsley Meeting House.That will honor Dr. William Beardsley. He announced he’s stepping down as president of the Bangor college in December after 22 years on the job.Beardsley says it’s a wonderful honor and he’s touched. The Chairman of the Board says it’s a well deserved recognition. The grand opening and official naming of the Beardsley Meeting House will be held during Homecoming in October.
When troops return from overseas, it’s always a joyous occasion.But for one soldier, the homecoming was especially happy because of the generosity of folks across the country.’My name is Sandy. I am the dog that you helped rescue from the pits of Afghanistan.’ That’s how Sergeant Eric Pierce started his thank you letter to everyone that helped him bring his dog home. Pierce met Sandy when he was stationed overseas.”We were out on a mission one day and we found a couple of stray dogs. We decided to bring them back to the post with us.” Says Pierce.Over the next six months, the soldiers grew close to the dogs. “When we’d get back from missions, we’d all be fighting all day long. Come back and, don’t really want to sit there and talk to the guy that you been fighting with all day. We had the dogs to help comfort us.” Pierce explains.But the soldiers were told they wouldn’t be able to take the dogs back to the U-S. “So we dropped them off down the road, about 20 kilometers down the road, and my company commander said if one of the dogs made it back to the base, that he would pay to have him shipped back.” Says Pierce.One dog made it back, and the commander made good on his word. Sandy made it back a few days later, so Pierce decided to rescue her, but he didn’t have the 29-hundred dollars to do it. Maddie Pierce, Eric’s mother, says “I tried raising the money on my own and I had raised 650 dollars from friends and family, who were very eager to help, but it wasn’t enough.”So she decided to put an article in the newspaper asking for donations.”The day it hit the newspaper, we had already reached our goal.” she explains.”We had an overwhelming outpouring of support from folks from all over the states.” Pierce says.They ended up raising 24-thousand dollars. Pierce and his mother are very grateful and would like to send a message to all of those supporters.”We’d just like to say thank you to everybody that helped out with the donations to support the troops and support animal rescue.”The rest of the money is being donated to animal shelters, including the Lucky Pup Rescue in Kennebunk, the Skowhegan Animal Shelter, and the Tigger House in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Time is running out to get your travel documents in order before new regulations take effect.Starting June first, you’ll have to have a passport or passport card to cross the Maine/Canadian border.Staffers from the National Passport Center in New Hampshire were in Bangor Friday, helping folks get ready for the transition.They answered questions about the new passport card, and helped Mainers fill out passport applications, so they’ll be ready when the changes go into effect.< "maine has a very long border and it has a history of people going back and forth across the border...and we want to make sure everyone's prepared when this regulation takes effect as of june one.">For more information on the new requirements, visit the department of state…at www.travel.state.gov
While most teens spent their school vacation week relaxing or hanging out with friends, one group of dedicated students spent their time off getting up at the crack of dawn and pushing themselves to the limit.They attended the Maine Wing “airman Academy,” run by the Civil Air Patrol.Amy Erickson was at today’s graduation ceremony.”I had lots of fun.”This wasn’t Max Hutchins’ usual April vacation.Instead of playing video games or hanging out with his friends, he spent the week at the Air National Guard base as a cadet in the Airman Academy.About two dozen kids, ages 12 to 19, took part in the program, which helps them learn and mature…and explore future career opportunities. “It also gives them a good introduction to how the program works as far as how to set up a military room, a military bed, learning how to drill together as a flight and instilling some of the character values we’re looking for. Integrity, honor, self-discipline…those types of things.”Lori Renzullo is the Academy’s commander.She says the difference she sees in the cadets after only a few days is remarkable. “they’ll have a great more self respect them for themselves and they’ll leave here knowing they’ve accomplished something that was hard and that took a lot from themselves. We moved them out of their comfort zone and made sure they really pushed themselves this week.” “I hope to get lots of rank and get to major general.”Like many of the cadets in the program, 12-year-old Kimberly Plummer has military aspirations. “Because it gives me more discipline and even though there’s a lot of yelling…it helps me be more organized.””I would like to join the air force.”This was Max Hutchins’ first time in the program. He says it’s given him a good foundation for military life. “I learned a lot of respect for higher ranks.” “learned more drilling, which is a lot of teamwork.” “It was hard, but well worth it.”Renzullo says she’s impressed with the maturity these young cadets have shown this week. “they give up their school vacation, that coveted time off from school, to take classes, get up at 5 am and do physical training and drill. It shows a real high level of dedication to the program.”Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>
A Maine-based company whose Missouri factory gave area farmers fertilizer that critics say contained a cancer-causing chemical is disputing the claims and defending its environmental record.Prime Tanning Corp., of Hartland, responded to a lawsuit that accuses it of knowingly distributing sludge containing a known carcinogen as free fertilizer to farmers in four counties.Environmental activist Erin Brockovich says the chemical in question — Hexavalent Chromium — may be linked to what some area residents believe is a high number of brain tumors in the region.Prime Tanning vice president Grover Elliott says the company believes the claims are baseless and it looks forward to cooperating with state and federal investigators.
Latin Americans have generated millions of dollars in the state.However, there has been little information on how they’ve done that and who exactly they are…until now.In a report released Thursday, members from the Maine Center for Economic Policy have put a face to the latinos and hispanics who are contributing to, and changing, Maine’s economy.”I think we need a little bit of color.”As one of the whitest states in the country, Maine is starting to see an increase of immigrants, in particular hispanics and latinos.In an effort to help the majority understand Maine’s largest minority group, members from the Maine Center for Economic Policy have compiled information tying hispanics to the economy.”We are people that have an education, we are intelligent, capable of owning businesses and capable of brain surgery and that’s the beauty of this report.”In 2002, there were more than 700 hispanic run businesses, generating $113,000,000 to Maine’s economy.”It really gets the stigma out that all hispanics are short, brown and come here to do menial work.” “We’re also professionals, that we are people that have been born and raised here and actually been here since 1860.””Maine has kept track of the hispanic population since 1860 when the U.S. census reported that 25 hispanics lived in Maine. Since then that number has grown to nearly 16,000 in 2007.” “In 2007, hispanics made up 1.2% of Maine population. That seems small, but between 2000 and 2007 that’s a 67% growth rate.” Bianca Soto Gomez is featured in the report. She holds a master’s in Agricultural Education and works as a soil conservationist. Bianca was born in Puerto Rico. Many Mainers confuse her as being Mexican.”When I came to Skowhegan, when people saw me they said, oh, you’re not from here.” Bianca says while she is welcome in her community, there is a lack of cultural education. Something she would like to help change.”They don’t know about us.” The reports authors admit this is only a starting point, but one they hope will lead to erasing stigmas and showing what steps can help Maine prosper, not as separate groups but as one.”Open your mind and help one another.”
While many students are on vacation this week, more than 200 bus drivers are still driving around.About 250 school bus drivers from across the state showed up at Messalonskee High School in Oakland for their annual training workshop.A skills competition is set up to help drivers with their maneuvering.The course took drivers through different obstacles that simulate real-life situations.There were also safety classes for the drivers.The Maine Association for Pupil Transportation is a non-profit group that puts on the training every year.
The Bangor base of the Maine Air National Guard has figured out a way to save energy and money, all while creating a better work environment.For that, they were honored Thursday.”It’s amazing…a much smaller bulb but much better lighting.”The Maine Air National Guard used to use 30 different kinds of light bulbs around their Bangor base. Now they use just one, energy-saving type.”I enjoy it. It’s a lot easier on the eyes, and it’s just nicer because it feels like it’s sunlight in here.””The light is not as glaring as it used to be, and the lights before were up inside the ceiling and obviously it’s a good work environment.”Efficiency Maine, a part of the Maine Public Utilities Commission, applauds the base’s efforts.”…and in total, the projects will save nearly a half a million kilowatt hours a year, and that’s enough to power 73 maine homes year round.”Commissioner Jack Cashman says the base is a role model, showing others how to reduce dependence on foreign fuels, and cut emissions.”Energy efficiency is the best bang for the buck in terms of getting that done the fastest. We don’t do it without partners, and the Maine National Guard has been a great partner.”Five more projects are in the works, at other bases across Maine. In addition to lighting, they’re tackling heating and air conditioning systems.”And if we can do things more energy efficiently, it’s a win-win situation. they help financially as well as how to do certain things.”
Fire destroyed an old farm house in Warren Wednesday afternoon.Fighters from Warren, Union and Waldoboro responded to the home on the Anderson road.Family members were not home and we’re told the family dog is safe.Outbuildings were still standing on the property.As for the home…only the chimney was left standing.The State Fire Marshal was called in to investigate but a cause can not be determined because of the extent of damage.
The owner of Maine’s only casino is reporting flat first-quarter earnings that still managed to beat Wall Street’s expectations. Casino operator Penn National Gaming reported today that it earned $40.7 million, or 38 cents a share, for the three-month period. Analysts were expecting a profit of 33 cents a share. The Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based company also boosted its full-year profit forecast. Penn National owns the Hollywood Slots and Raceway casino in Bangor, along with gambling and racing operations in 13 others states and in Ontario. (AP)