Local News

Two Trucks Collide In Orrington

Updated 5 years ago

A dangerous intersection, and a driver who wasn’t paying attention, that combination is what police say caused an accident in Orrington earlier today.The accident happened around 11:30 this morning. 42-year-old Scott Moore of Blue Hill was attempting to cross the Dow road while hauling a car with a one ton Chevy truck, when he collided with a pick-up truck driven by 27-year-old Neal Morrill of Orrington. Both vehicles wound up off the road. Morrill suffered a slight head injury but refused transport to the hospital. Penobscot Sherriff’s on the scene said the accident could have been a lot worse. “It could have been very serious, this is actually a bad intersection to see through, there’s trees in the way, somebody could have been seriously hurt,” says Sgt. Jon Carson of the Penobscot County Sherriff’s office.No charges are pending at this time, but the State Police are investigating. Speed is not believed to be a factor.

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BIA & Allegiant Airlines Announce Non-Stop Service To Tampa

Updated 5 years ago

Non-stop service: that phrase is music to any travelers ears. Now folks in the Bangor area, looking to escape old man winter, can do just that with the help of Allegiant Airlines says their Director of Sales John Fenyes. “Effective November 20th, we’re gonna start non-stop service to the St. Pete, Tampa area, with large 150 seat airplanes,” says Fenyes.Allegiant says they will start with introductory fares of about $90, with two flights per week, leaving Bangor Mondays and Fridays. The introductory fare must be purchased by October 7th and it’s good for travel through February 10th. “Then it skyrockets, it goes up about $20,” Fenyes says with a smile on his face.Representatives for Allegiant and BIA say they have been more than satisfied since they teamed up in 2007. This isn’t Allegiant’s first non-stop flight to Florida, they also offer non-stop flights from Bangor to Orlando, which is the most popular flight leaving BIA. Rebecca Hupp is the Director at BIA and says she’s more than pleased with Allegiant. “We do have a very good working relationship with Allegiant,” says Hupp, “we courted them for quite awhile before they announced service in 2007, since then, service in this market has grown and will continue to grow.”Fenyes is hopeful Allegiant can continue to serve Bangor for the foreseeable future. “Hopefully this is just the beginning,” he says “the community has supported us, the airport has supported us, and the research shows us this is a wonderful addition for our company.”Hupp is hopeful BIA’s relationship with Allegiant will help lure other airlines to Bangor. “We certainly are talking to other carriers and make proposals to them for coming to Bangor and we’re optimistic we’ll be able to continue to add service.”

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Man from Swanville Accused of Sex Crimes Against Child

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Swanville remains in jail, accused of sex crimes against a 4-year-old girl. 21-year-old Scott Ritter is charged with unlawful sexual contact. A judge set his bail yesterday at $10,000 cash. Police say last week the girl told her parents that Ritter touched her inappropriately, so her parents called police. Court documents say that when police talked to Ritter, he admitted to the crime. He also reportedly told them about an incident with another young boy. Ritter is in the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.The Waldo County Deputy District Attorney says this is an on-going investigation and more charges could be filed against Ritter in the fall.

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Man from Waterville Killed in Crash in Fairfield

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

An 89-year-old man known around Waterville as the long-time clerk of a cigarette store has died from injuries following a car wreck in Fairfield.Police say Robert Cote’s car collided with a dump truck at the intersection of High Street and Western Avenue Monday morning.Police say it appears Cote failed to stop at a stop sign on High Street. Cote was conscious when he was pulled from his car but died a few hours later at the hospital. Cote worked at Joe’s Smoke Shop in Waterville for 31 years before he retired.

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School in Belfast Kicks off Healthy Program

Updated 5 years ago

An apple a day makes the students and teachers at a Belfast school extra happy.They have started a program that promotes healthy eating choices and lifestyles.Meghan Hayward has more.”Apples and bananas””Bananas, apples, peaches and grapes.””I eat apples and pears.”Students at the East Belfast School are ahead of the game.The school just kicked off a county wide program called ” Let’s Go 5-2-1-0″It aims to promote healthy lifestyle choices for students, youth and families.What’s the big message they want the students to get?”Just begin to think about how they can make healthy choices. Everyday they’re faced with choices, so just showing them how you go about making good choices.”School Health Coordinator Linda Hartkoph says the name Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 is a catchy way to remember to eat and drink the right things and be physically active. Five servings of fruits and veggies a day, two hours away from the TV or computer, one hour of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks.The school just received $5,800 from a program to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school year.”We’ve definitely seen some changes in kid’s behaviors and excitement around seeing new fruits and vegetables and trying them.”The kids are happy to take part in the program.”I think it’s pretty good because people get to be healthy and eat good.””It’s going to make everyone healthier.”Vyvyenne Ritchie is the Director of Healthy Waldo.She says a program like this is vital.”It’s going to reduce the amount of overweight obesity in children that causes chronic disease as they get older.”One of the first steps in the program, planting an apple tree in front of the school.”It’s symbolic of growth, of healthy eating, of the project 5-2-1-0 and taking care of something in our environment.”

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Double the Spookiness in Bucksport this Halloween

Updated 5 years ago

It will be double the spookiness for folks in Bucksport this Halloween.The Friends of Fort Knox are teaming up with the Bucksport downtown Business Association and Chamber of Commerce to add on to “Fright at the Fort.”THe new addition, Ghostport, opens Friday, October twenty-third.Activities there include a monster mash dance, a parade for kids and grown-ups, and coffin races.You can buy combo passes and board a bus to Fright at the Fort, then shuttle back to the frightful fun at Ghostport.”This is about scaring people and folks love a good scare.””We’re hoping after people come here Friday night they’ll join us and enjoy the water, enjoy the fireworks and enjoy the Monster Mash dance prior to that.”Both events still need volunteers.If you’re interested in helping out or want more information on the events you can go to these websites: www.fortknox.maineguide.comwww.ghostport2009@blogspot.com

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Gardiner Couple Charged With Drug Trafficking

Updated 5 years ago

A man and a woman from Gardiner have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking.Police executed a search warrant Tuesday at Jeffrey Johnson’s Brunswick Ave residence.Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty says officers found sixteen pounds of marijuana, valued at about $48,000.Liberty says officers also found packaging materials, digital scales and marijuana growing equipment, plus several guns.Johnson and his girlfriend, Teresa Fuller, were arrested and charged with Class B Aggravated Trafficking.They’re being held at the Kennebec County Jail on $5,000 bail each.

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Golf Scramble to Benefit Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Updated 5 years ago

Golfers have a chance to hit the greens and help a worthy cause at the same time.A golf scramble to benefit research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy will be held next Friday at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono.The event is being held in honor of John Bishop of Castine.His became a champion for Duchenne research after his grandson was diagnosed.Bishop died last December…his friends and family organized the golf scramble as a way to honor Bishop’s commitment to finding a cure.All the money raised will be given to three local institutes devoted to research and development of treatment and a cure.Golfers can put together a foursome for four hundred dollars a team. That includes lunch and golf…plus a dinner reception featuring a silent auction.To register or to make a donation, call Northeast Publishing Company at 764-4471.

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New WalMart Brings Jobs to Ellsworth

Updated 5 years ago

Shoppers in the Ellsworth area have a new place to spend their money.A new, expanded Wal-Mart store opened Wednesday morning on Myrick Street in Ellsworth.As Amy Erickson tells us…besides bringing more shopping options to the area…the new store is also bringing an economic boost to the area.< "welcome to your new Walmart! Come on in and shop."The crowds were ready when Ellsworth's new WalMart opened its doors Wednesday morning."W-A-L-M-A-R-T! What's that spell? Walmart!"Managers cut the ribbon after a ceremony featuring a 21-gun salute and presentation of the colors.*nats of ceremony*The new space is more than a hundred thousand square feet larger than the old location on High Street.It features a grocery store, hair and nail salons, a Dunkin Donuts and a drive-thru lawn and garden center.The store's layout is also easier to navigate, with wide aisles and enhanced service."it allows a more diverse area of shopping. Better varieties, better offerings to customers in the ellsworth area.""it's been a long time coming. People have been talking about Walmart expanding for four or five years."Ellsworth's City officials say shoppers aren't the only ones who'll benefit from the store's expansion."the opening of this facility has created a need for expanded staff. Now there are over 400 jobs filled by people from this area."bi"when walmart does a project like this, brings this amount of pure square footage, inventory, people...it's an opportunity for people to come to this area. It's good for everyone and it's certainly good for the Ellsworth chamber and all 600 plus members, so thank you very much."City Manager Michelle Beal says she's confident the new store is the start of big growth in the Ellsworth area."we're very proud they chose Ellsworth to expand in. With the economy the way it is, I think it shows a lot of confidence in Ellsworth and the area and we're extremely proud."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Ellsworth.>

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Seal Island Waters Closed

Updated 5 years ago

The discovery of an old bomb has prompted the closing of fishing grounds around a remote Maine island. Something lobstermen aren’t too happy about.Seal Island is about 20 miles offshore in Penobscot Bay.Years ago, the Navy used the island for aerial bombing practice.Recently an unexploded old bomb was found there, so the Coast Guard closed it off to fishing.Maine House Speaker Hannah Pingree lives on a nearby island.She says lobstermen have been hauling traps there for decades without any problems. The Coast Guard is taking comments on the measure through the first week of December.

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New England Discusses Power with Canada

Updated 5 years ago

New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers pledged greater cooperation to meet the region’s future energy needs as they wrapped up their annual meeting Tuesday.The premier of Quebec said it makes sense to work together to ensure predictable and reliable energy.Rhode Island’s governor called it an important moment in history for energy in the region.But Kenneth Irving, president of Fort Reliance, formerly Irving Oil, warned the leaders not to put too much emphasis on just one energy source.Irving said it’s good to create an energy corridor into New England, but it should be able to handle power lines, natural gas and other energy supplies, depending on future demand.

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Border Drug Bust

Updated 5 years ago

A Canadian man has been ordered held without bail, accused of smuggling more than a hundred oxycodone pills into Maine after swallowing them in a condom.Court documents say 30-year-old James Mills was stopped Friday night at the border crossing in Lubec.U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement agents had been tipped off that he would be there.Mills was taken to Calais Regional Hospital.He passed the pills the next morning.A detention hearing is scheduled for Friday.

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Millinocket Hospital Receives Funding

Updated 5 years ago

The Department of Agriculture has awarded Millinocket Regional Hospital with a $2,500,000 rural development loan.Congressman Mike Michaud made the announcement on Tuesday.According to the U.S.D.A. the funding will be used to replace outdated systems and increase energy efficiency.Most of the building does not have automated controls, leaving the management of energy systems to manual processes, which are difficult to control and can waste energy.

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Numbers Look Good For Acadia

Updated 5 years ago

Thanks to an late season improvement in the weather, the estimated number of visitors at Acadia National Park has risen this summer.Park officials say more than 1.5 million people visited Acadia, a 3% increase over the park’s totals through August 2008.For the month of August alone, visits were nearly 14% higher than for thesame month last year.By the end of July, attendance wasn’t looking good with visits to Acadia down by 2.5% from the same seven-month period last year.The park’s advisory commission was told that August’s goodweather, and the scenic lure of heavy surf from Hurricane Bill,helped to boost park visits.

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Residents Expected to Sell Homes to the Town

Updated 5 years ago

Half-a-dozen homeowners in Winslow will likely be selling their property to the town soon. This week, six Dallaire street residents were notified the town has received a federal grant to help buy the homes that sit on an unstable slope overlooking the Sebasticook River. The federal emergency management agency is awarding more than half-a-million dollars to pay for the homes and demolish them because of safety issues. The total cost will be nearly 7-hundred thousand. The remaining tab will be picked up by local taxpayers.Land consultants have deemed the Dallaire street slope as unstable because the layer of waste the homes were built on in the late 70’s has been shifting over the years. One of the homes has already been evacuated due to safety concerns.A meeting will be held at the town office with property owners thursday to discuss what the next steps will be.

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Assistant District Attorney in Penobscot County Pleads Guilty to Drunk Driving

Updated 5 years ago

An Assistant District Attorney in Penobscot County pleaded guilty today to drunk driving.Brendan Trainor of Hampden was sentenced to 3 days in jail, which was reduced to 2-days to be served at the Sagadahoc County Alternative Sentencing Program.His license was suspended for 90 days and he also has to pay a $550 fine. The 33-year-old was arrested by Hampden Police on a charge of operating while under the influence of intoxicants in August.His blood alcohol level at the time of his arrest was .21, more than twice the legal limit.The case was transferred from Penobscot County to Fifth District Court in Belfast to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

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Hannahstock Planned for Clifford Family

Updated 5 years ago

Hannahstock is a music festival and more planned for Saturday, October 3 at the Brooks Community Park. The event is named for Hannah Clifford – a nine year old who was involved in a car crash on August 30th. Clifford suffered mulitple injuries and is recovering at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Family friends, Nan Simpson and Frank Champa are heading up Hannastock. The two say they have been receiving support from many people in Brooks and surrounding communities, which has been impressive according to Simpson. For more information on Hannah Clifford please visit Hannah’s Journal. For more on Hannastock check out the “Hannahstock 2009″ benefit page on facebook. Hannahstock When: Saturday, October 3 (Rain Date October 4)10.30am-8pmWhere: Brooks Community Park$5 Adult/Children Free *Local Bands, Chicken BBQ, Crafters, Silent Auction, Raffles & More!All Proceeds to be donated to Andrea Clifford, mother of Hannah.

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Mobilize Maine Looks To Capitalize On Maine’s Existing Assets

Updated 5 years ago

In the first of 5 foundation meetings an initiative known as Mobilize Maine is spreading their own message of economic change. Mike Aube is the President of the Eastern Maine Development Corporation who formed the coalition. “It’s a very different process than the last 35-40 years in Maine,” Aube says, “where we’ve gotten together, written a strategy, sent it to Washington, sent it to Augusta, and it sits there and no one does anything.”Mobilize Maine’s strategy is simple, capitalize on existing advantages right here in Bangor, as well as other cities and counties here in Maine. “You can look at assets from infrastructure, in terms of the airport and what does that mean in terms of opportunity, the river what does that mean in terms of opportunity,” Aube says, “those are just physical activities, but I think workforce development.”Miles Theeman is the President & CEO of Affiliated Health Care System and he says he has faith in Mainers to help themselves. “I absolutely believe in this region,” Theeman says, “and I think Mobilize Maine provides a great opportunity for us to really capture the assets that we have in this region and begin to move forward for a variety of economic development opportunities.” The meeting today focused on getting community feedbackand also letting folks know the foundation of this project is built on assets, not a wish list. “We’re not gonna say I wish we had this but rather here’s what we got, how do we take what we have, and build upon that and go forward.”The folks here say their emphasis is on empowerment. “I think more importantly it says we can do it ourselves, yeah we’ll partner and collaborate with federal and state players but we can’t wait for those solutions to be handed down,” Aube says, “we have pride in what we have as a community and as a region and we’re gonna move forward and take advantage of that situation.”

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Public Meeting on Offshore Wind Power Technology

Updated 5 years ago

Two of the five public information meetings take place this week about possible sites off the Maine coast that might be suitable for testing new offshore wind power technology.State officials have identified seven possible sites stretching from southern waters off York County to far Eastern Maine.Officials have until December 15 to select between one and five of the spots to be used as demonstration sites to test components for deep-water wind farms. Those would operate on floating platforms in waters hundreds of feet deep.A meeting is scheduled for tonight at the Wiscasset Community Center from 6:30 to 9:00.Another one will be held tomorrow night in Machias at the UMaine Machias Performing Arts Center.

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Increased Reward in Smith Murder Case

Updated 5 years ago

Maine State Police have announced an increase in the reward being offered for information related to the murder of Darrel Smith.The initial $30,000 reward has been increased to $40,000.The 56-year-old was shot to death in woodland in February 2008.His body was found in the shop at his home on the Thomas Road.Police have recovered the murder weapon and a safe taken from the Smith residence on the day of the murder, along with other evidence.

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