Special thanks today for some folks who are always giving to others.The annual recognition event was held for the UMaine Cooperative Extension Senior Companion Program.Senior companions are fifty-five or older and offer their assistance to other senior citizens who are home bound or isolated.The program lets them remain independent.”I think it does so much for so many people. Not only the companions who are going to visit the folks but the people that are lonely and isolated. It gives them something to look forward to.”Deb Eckart says if it weren’t for the senior companions some of the folks in the program wouldn’t be able to live alone.
Someone driving along Dexter Road in Dover-Foxcroft around ten this morning spotted a house on fire and called it in.The Dover-Foxcroft Fire Department was assisted by crews from Dexter, Sangerville and Guilford.No one was home and no injuries have been reported.Dover Fire Captain Eric Berce says it’s believed the fire started in either a bedroom or the living room.Berce says the house is a total loss.”Yep it had extended to the roof before units arrived on scene.”We’re told the home was insured.The fire marshal’s office is investigating.
It’s been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home.The folks at EMMC’s Auxiliary believe that’s true…so they’re showcasing six incredible kitchens as a way to raise money for a great cause.Amy Erickson has the story.< "Everyone wants to see everyone else's kitchen."EMMC Auxiliary President Ann Marie Orr says she's lined up a half dozen amazing kitchens for this year's benefit Kitchen Tour and Tasting.Among them is the one in the home of Beth and Barry Mroccka of Hermon.It's one of a kind...with three refrigerators...unique lighting...and a range that would make most chefs jealous.But Orr says there's something else about this kitchen that impresses her most."the 2500 cookbooks she's got. And because of the flow. As a cook, the flow's really important, so it seems to me this really works well."The Mroccka's kitchen is one of 3 houses in Hermon on the tour...there are also two in Bangor and another in Veazie.For 25 dollars, you can tour all six kitchens to admire their features and meet the homeowners."there's also people who are always looking for ideas for their kitchens, to upgrade it, or building a home and want to see what works and what doesn't.""you can go around and ask the homeowners what they like, what they don't like, sometimes the builder may be there as well...so it's informative as well as fun."And besides that...you'll be helping a great cause.All the money raised goes to the new and improved Cancer Care of Maine."it's imperative that we, in our location here in Maine, have a facility that can work for everyone that lives here. So we don't have to travel far.""we need to have a really quality care center that's local and that's what we're doing right here."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Hermon.>The Kitchen Tour and Tasting takes place Saturday, September 26th.Tickets are 25 dollars and can be purchased at the EMMC gift shop, Rebecca’s in Bangor, Pairings in the Winterport Winery, Patrick’s Hallmark in Bangor or at the Affiliated Pharmacy locations in Bangor and Brewer.As an added highlight this year, there will also be a Tasting, held at Wellman Commons on the old Theological Seminary Campus in Bangor.A variety of Maine made products will be offered for sale.
Police are investigating a crash in Newport.It happened on the County Woods Road around 7 a.m.The driver of a box truck lost control of the vehicle, went off the road and struck a telephone pole.The driver was taken to the hospital…no word yet on the extent of his injuries.His name has not been released.C-M-P crews were called in to repair the pole, which was knocked down.The road was closed for a short time while crews cleared away the wreckage.The crash is under investigation.
Police are investigating a fatal crash on Route One in Stockton Springs.It happened Thursday night, just before eleven, near the intersection of Routes One and One-A.Officers say 32-year-old Chadwick Sage was driving a pickup truck northbound on Route One when his vehicle crossed the center line and into the path of a commercial delivery truck.Sage died at the scene.After the vehicles collided, the delivery truck rolled over and burst into flames.The driver, 45-year-old Richard Turner of Thomaston, managed to get out of the vehicle.He was taken to Waldo County General Hospital…no word yet on his condition.A section of Route One was closed to traffic for several hours while police cleared the wreckage and investigated the crash.
Half the town of Dexter was without power this morning, after a transformer explosion.It happened at a substation downtown just before 8 a.m.Fire Chief Barry Deering says the culprit was a squirrel who chewed wires.Fire crews stood by at the substation until Central Maine Power crews arrived to repair the damage.Moments later, fire calls started pouring in from residents reporting things like smoking appliances.Chief Deering says there was no serious damage anywhere, but it made for a hectic morning for his crews.He expected the power to be back on for everyone in town by around noontime.
Maine State Police say a longtime teacher from Boothbay has been charged with possessing child pornography.Police said 62-year-old Alan Burgess was charged Wednesday and released on $1,500 bail. Burgess has been an educator for 38 years and teaches 7th and 8th graders at Boothbay Middle School.Investigators found hundreds of videos and still images on Burgess’ home computer, but there is no evidence that any of his students were involved.A call to Burgess’ home went unanswered.
After two years of hard work, and a bit of a sacrifice from their school principal, the folks at Harmony Elementary School officially opened their new playground.The old set was more than 40 years old, and they say, a safety hazard.Kids at the school raised more than $1,000 in pennies for a new playground, and, as had been promised as motivation, their principal kissed a pig.After all of that, it looks like the playground is a hit with the students: “I like the fireman’s pole.” “The fireman’s pole.” “I like the fireman’s pole and the big slides.”Their Principal, Mike Tracy, says that building the playground was truly a community effort. “We had everyone, from concrete folks pitch in, and a local gentleman, CJP’s, put a lot of effort in, pro bono.”They say it took support from parents, multiple grants, and help from folks in the community to get the new playground up.Principal Tracy says it’s a good example for kids of what can be accomplished if you work for it.
September 17th, 1787. That’s the day the U.S. Constitution was signed.More than a couple hundred years later Americans in every state are still celebrating that day and the history that followed.In Bangor, folks at the Penobscot Job Corps wanted to make Constitution Day a special one for their students.They planned a day of physical and mental challenges to inspire students to use teamwork and perseverance. The same spirit that they believe guided our forefathers.Students say their peers are trying to use that spirit in their courses at the job corps.Constitution Day is set aside to recognize the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms it provides.
If you’re looking for an excuse not to cook Friday night, you can head over to the Bangor Elks Club.A spaghetti dinner will be held there from 4:30 to 6:30 Friday night.It’s to help out the Maine Alzheimer’s Association.The Westgate Manor Memory Walk team of Bangor is sponsoring the feed.Tickets are $5 for adults, $2.50 for kids under the age of 10.There will also be a silent auction.For more information you can call Tammy Leland at 942-7336.
Question two on Novembers ballot is shaping up to be a heated issue.It asks whether or not Maine should reduce the excise tax on cars which are less than six years old, and exempt some energy efficient vehicles from the sales tax.A group pushing to change Maine’s auto excise tax called More Green Now has started its campaign.They set up shop at Rowe Ford in Westbrook with demonstrations of how much Mainers would stand to gain by lowering the excise tax.In a five year span, the group says motorists in Maine could save as much as $3,600. “Question 2 is simple, it keeps the promise of real tax relief to maine families and it would maine the most affordable state to buy a green vehicle,” Said Tarren Bragdon from More Green Now. “It would provide at least 80 million dollars in real tax relief to maine families.”Those opposing the move, the group No on 2, say changing the tax is an unfair shift that could cause property tax increases.They worry that a cut in excise taxes will hurt Mainers on the local level. Saying road repair and maintenance would be gutted by 40% and critical emergency services would suffer greatly.
Maine’s largest state workers’ union plans to sue the state over a freeze in longevity pay.The Maine State Employees Association is holding a news conference on Friday to give details of the lawsuit. The pay freezes are part of Governor Baldacci’s budget balancing package.The union says state employees have been entitled to longevity raises after 15 years of service and then at intervals through 25 years of service. Attorney Jeff Young says the lawsuit cites age discrimination and a violation of the maine constitution’s equal-protection clause.The complaint is now under review by the state human rights commission.
Downeast Community Hospital has another three months to get up to speed with federal standards for medicare and medicaid.Hospital CEO Doug Jones says he received a letter Wednesday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.The original deadline for the hospital was in June, but that was extended to the end of September.Now the deadline is December 30th.This summer, a judge appointed Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems to take over the hospital and bring it back into compliance.Jones says he’s confident all the standards will be met by the new deadline.
The Senate has approved lifting federal truck weight limits in Maine for one year.The pilot project would exempt Maine’s federal interstates from the 80,000lb federal truck weight limit, and provide an opportunity to assess the impact on safety, commerce and road wear and tear. Maine’s congressional delegation has been working since 1994 to change the law that forces northbound trucks off the interstate in Augusta onto smaller, secondary roads that pass through cities, towns and villages.
Hundreds of folks from local businesses and organizations walked the track at Bass Park in Bangor today.It’s the kick-off for this year’s United Way Campaign, “Power in Volunteerism.”Area businesses provided some prizes for donors.A new Ford Focus from Darlings Ford and 500-hundred gallons of heating oil from R.H. Foster are just a few of the incentives.United Way helps with many projects, everything from painting to building shelves or having a pizza party for homeless youth.”It’s incredibly important. Last year we helped over 45,000 people and our goal is to exceed that.”To learn more about the united way, visit their website, www.unitedwayem.org.
A former assistant attorney general could go on trial on child pornography charges as soon as next month. Tuesday, a federal judge ruled to dismiss three motions in the case, that claimed politics lead to the charges against 46-year-old James Cameron. Cameron pleaded not guilty in February to 16 counts of transporting, receiving and possessing child pornography.Cameron’s lawyer claimed his client was being prosecuted because of political differences between the Maine Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.The judge rejected that and set jury selection for next month. Cameron was the state’s top drug prosecutor until he was fired in April of last year. An investigation revealed that between july 20-06 and january 20-08, Cameron allegedly uploaded child pornography to a Yahoo photo album under multiple screen names.The investigation also showed he was sending digital images on-line.
In Winter Harbor lobster fishing is big business, but for years, lobstermen here have been at the mercy of the market price. Bob Harmon is the manager of the Winter Harbor Lobster Co-Op and he’s seen the frustration firsthand. “We were tied to selling everyday,” says Harmon, “we had no facilities to store anything it had to be sold and the highest bidder takes away the product at the end of everyday.”Often times the highest bidder was an out of state wholesaler who would store the lobsters until the market price increased, then sell them back to Maine merchants. “Even today, a lot of our product goes to Canada, is processed in Canada, and is sent back to the U.S.” says Harmon, “the lobstermen are all frustrated by that because they see the middle man taking a big chunk of their profit.” Their frustration continued to grow. “You look at some of the retail outlets in the area,” Harmon explains, “and lobster is $8 or $9 a pound and our lobstermen are being paid $2 or $3 a pound and they’re struggling to survive right now, that $6 in between is a big chunk, they would like a little piece of that.”A group of 32 lobstermen decided enough was enough. “About 3 years ago, the Co-Op members here got together and started thinking about expanding the facility with a holding tank,” Harmon says, “so we could keep some lobsters here for a period of time and hope to generate increased revenue”There solution is a $300,000 holding tank that can store around 20,000 pounds of lobster. Now the lobstermen here will no longer be forced to sell at the market price of the day. They can now store the lobsters themselves. The hope is to cut out the middle man and keep the lion’s share of the profits with the fishermen here in Winter Harbor. “With the tank operational and we’re looking to into expanding that market now and generating new markets,” Harmon says.The new tank will allow them to sell the lobster online to out of state customers and keep the profits here, on the shores of Acadia where these fishermen believe it belongs. Now that their idea has become reality, all the eyes of the lobstering community are squarely on the folks in Winter Harbor. “They’re watching closely to see how we make out,” says Harmon, “we’ve had a lot of interested people calling to look at the tank, everybody wants to see how it works out, there are other Co-Ops in the area that are looking at the same kind of thing to see if we can actually generate a profit with this.”They hope to have their website up and running in a few days for ordering and shipping. You can find them at www.winterharborlobster.com.
A man from Isleford is in jail waiting to be sentenced for producing child pornography. The federal judge found 43-year-old Daniel Poulin guilty of taking secret video of his former girlfriend’s teenage daughter. The cameras used were hidden in bathroom walls.Poulin told police he made the recordings showing the girl dressing and undressing, but that he didn’t share the video with anyone else. Poulin, who’d been out on bail, was taken into custody after last week’s verdict. He’s now in the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. A sentencing date has not been set yet.
Mosquitoes seem to be sticking around longer this year and it’s posing a prolonged threat to humans and horses.Meghan Hayward explains.”Folks may have noticed they’ve been swatting flies away a lot more this year. That’s because they’re sticking around longer and we found out why.””What we have this year is because of the wet May, June and July, we have kind of a delayed season or at least a season where mosquitoes are still out and in full force.”Jim Dill of the UMaine Cooperative Extension says homeowners should make sure there are no buckets with water in their backyard that can attract mosquitoes.”Usually it’s 60 degrees and above when they’re active. So evenings, it’s not so bad anymore.”Because mosquitoes are sticking around longer, they pose a threat to humans and horses because of the Triple E virus.”So what we have is the mosquito vector and it bites a bird. Which is infected and now it’s in the mosquito. And then this will go and bite a healthy bird and it gets this cycle between a few species of mosquitoes and birds. Then you get a different species coming in called bridge vector that has picked it up from biting a bird and then it takes after it’s bitten a bird and bites a human or horse.”Triple E is one-hundred percent fatal in horses and thirty percent fatal in humans.Dill says human cases that don’t result in death usually lead to neurological damage.”Anywhere from minor ticks to some serious complications due to the disease. So it’s a very insidious disease that we want to make sure no one gets.”There is a vaccine for horses, but not humans.Dill says the symptoms of Triple E are flu-like and it’s important to get checked out by a doctor if you’re not feeling well.Dill says they are taking precautions.”Dry ice goes in here, The CO2 then comes out the bottom, hits this and goes all around the sides and comes down. The mosquitoes come flying in. There’s a fan here and it sucks them down here.”Once the mosquitoes are collected, they’re shipped to a lab in Augusta where they’re tested for Triple E.Dill says mosquitoes shouldn’t be a threat for much longer because after two good frosts, they usually disappear.
A family in Prospect who says construction of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge damaged their home, took their case to the Maine Supreme Court today.Vera Dyer and her sons are appealing a lower court’s ruling.The Dyers say the blasting by Maine Drilling and Blasting left cracks in the basement and made existing ones in the basement and garage, worse.The house was next to the bridge construction site. A lower court judge previously ruled in favor of the company, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the blasting caused the damage to the house.Dick Dyer says if the Supreme Court overturns that ruling, his family will push to have a jury decide the case. No word on when the high court could hand down its decision.