Manna Ministries in Bangor is celebrating a 18 years of service.Manna began helping those in need on July 29, 1991.The organization started as a one room soup kitchen.It’s now grown into a homeless shelter, a drug and alcohol rehab center, and a very large food pantry – that serves an average of 125 meals per night.Manna helps countless people in the area through their many services. Bill Ray, Manna’s Director, contribute’s the success to community support.”Without the many hands and the many dollar bills, 50 cents, that come into this building we’d never be able to provide the food. We’d never be able to house somebody, we’d never be able to help somebody get out of drugs and alcohol. It’s the community that supports this place. It’s the community that supports the ministry.” says Ray.Ray has more expansion plans for Manna, he hopes to build a woman’s shelter this fall.
A woman from Carmel will spend the next year and a half behind bars for stealing more than 50-thousand dollars from a doctor’s office in Ellsworth. 50-year-old Rita Worster pleaded guilty in December 2007 to taking the money from a group of doctors at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. But sentencing was delayed until recently to give her time to pay some of the money back. Hancock County District Attorney Michael Povich says Worster never repaid any it, though.Worster was an office manager for one of the doctors and embezzled the money by writing checks to herself.
State police say counterfeit twenty-dollar bills have been turning up in the greater Bangor area since last week.An alert cashier called police when he noticed a customer had used several twenty dollar bills with the same serial number.Since then, police have recovered more than 400-dollars in fake twenties from various places.Trooper David Yankowsky says the bills look and feel nearly identical to the real thing, and even pass the marker test.But the fake bills don’t show a watermark on the right hand side and are missing a security strip on the left hand side.Police say a similar fake bill has also surfaced in the Portland area.”The money is either being funneled up from the Portland area or even possibly from out of state, and eventually we caught up with it in the Bangor area,” says Trooper Yankowsky.The local investigation continues with the Secret Service involved.Police are urging cashiers, anyone who handles money, to look closely at bills…especially twenties.Even if they pass the marker test, make sure they have a watermark and security strip. And if more than one has the same serial number, you know something’s up. If you find a counterfeit bill, call your local police.
Two lobstermen involved in last week’s shooting on Maine’s remote Matinicus island have filed civil lawsuits that reveal new details about the shooting. Sixty-eight-year-old Vance Bunker has been charged with elevated aggravated assault for allegedly shooting fellow lobsterman Chris Young in the neck in a dispute over lobster traps on July 20. Young, who remains hospitalized, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Knox County Superior Court seeking punitive damages from Bunker in connection with the shooting. Another lobsterman, Weston Ames, also filed a lawsuit against Bunker seeking damages. Ames said Bunker fired at him but missed before shooting Young. Bunker’s attorney has said Bunker was acting in self-defense. (AP)
A convicted sex offender living in the Bangor area is in jail after local police arrested him twice in three days. 41-year-old Joseph Webber was first picked up last Thursday for allegedly slapping his pregnant girlfriend at a hotel in Brewer.He was charged with domestic assault and violating bail conditions. Then three days later, on Sunday, Bangor police picked up Webber. He was staying at the Acadia Recovery Community – a substance abuse center – when he reportedly told a woman there he’d set her sleeping bag on fire, with her in it.Webber was charged with criminal threatening and failing to report to the Maine Sex Offender Registry that he’d moved from Mariaville to the Bangor area. He’s in the Penobscot County Jail on $250 cash bail.
A group of interns from the Maine Forest Service are turning heads in campgrounds this week.They’re using some colorful costumes to try and spread an important environmental message.Amy Erickson has the story.
All eyes have been turned to the Bangor Waterfront since Sunday when the 182.6 foot Lady Christine made it way up the Penobscot River.Many in the area have been by to take a look at the ship and the helicopter that is on board.Here are some statistics on her.Shipyard : Oceanco, NLD Length : 182.60 ft / 55.65 m Beam : 34.40 ft / 10.50 m Year : 2001Draught : 11.50 ft / 3.50 m Naval Architect : Oceanco Stylist : The A Group Decorator : The A Group / G. Villate Engine : 2x 1641kW CAT 3516B diesels Speed (max.) : 16 Range (Nm): 5,400 Speed (cruise) : 12 Hull / Superstr. : steel / aluminium Guests : 10 Crew : 11
Two people are recovering after they were hit by a car while walking in Skowhegan.Police got a call to the corner of Madison Avenue and Levitt Street around 9 p.m. on Tuesday night. They say Ramesh Gupta of Old Town was driving the car that ran into the pedestrians. Their names have not yet been released, but Skowhegan police tell us one was from town, the other was not.Both are in their early 20’s and we’re told their injuries do not appear to be life threatening.Skowhegan police say they’re still investigating the incident.
A Boston firefighter and his father have been arrested after being accused of growing marijuana in a house in Litchfield.25-year-old Paul Bradley junior and 57-year-old Paul Bradley senior were arrested in Massachusetts.Police say a raid of a remote Litchfield property on Friday turned up 22 marijuana plants and about $15,000 in cultivating equipment in a garage and 2-and-a-half pounds of packaged pot in a mobile home.No one was home at the time.Maine State Police say they received an anonymous tip.In May, another Boston firefighter resigned days after federal agents seized 131 marijuana plants at his home in Bridgton, Maine.Police say there’s no known connection between the cases.
Tonight was a beautiful night and many folks in Bangor got out to enjoy the weather at the annual block party in Chapin Park.The crowd gathered early to get a good spot and take advantage of all the block party had to offer.There was plenty for the kids to do. Clowns were there making balloon animals. There was face painting and games.The block party also featured live entertainment, Sweet Adelines opened for the Bangor Band.Food was served, hot dogs and homemade ice cream made the menu.The Children’s Miracle Network was there as well. They were taking donations to help their cause.”To get together on a night like tonight and have the community support. The businesses decided that they’d like to support Children’s Miracle Network is just absolutely fantastic.” says Josh Scroggins, Director of the Children’s Miracle Network.All of the activities and refreshments were free at the block party — that was thanks to the support of local businesses.
Over the past three weeks, the waterfront along Rockland harbor has been slowly transforming. Now, the tents are up and the stage is set. The Maine Lobster Festival starts Wednesday, bringing with it five days of entertainment. “All our adrenaline’s going,” says festival president Tammy Kolmosky. She says, on center stage…”Of course, the delectable Maine lobster. And we’ve got the world’s greatest lobster cooker at the other side of the park.”New to the festival last year, the cooker can handle 16 hundred pounds of lobster every 15 minutes, keeping head chef Garold Demmons pretty busy.”It’s a pretty hard job actually. You’ve got to get the lobsters in and out quickly and down to the food tent,” he says. Demmons hopes to cook up more than 20-thousand pounds of lobster this year, for more than 60-thousand people.”So that’s a show, in and of itself. A must-see,” Kolmosky says.For entertainment, Thursday night will bring country music star Eric Church.”And Friday night, we have I think one of the best artists in North America. Her name is Natalie MacMaster. She’s a fiddler from Cape Breton,” says entertainment coordinator Chuck Kruger.”I think people are anxious to get out and do something because the weather the last few months it hasn’t been that great in Maine,” Kolmosky says.Maine artisans say they’re looking forward to a crowd in the fine arts and crafts tents too, since weather has kept many people home this festival season.”The summer tourist season is a big portion of their income, so when you have lots of rain and a slow season, it hurts,” says Robert Santerre, a Maine potter who was setting up his booth Tuesday.”Where else,” Kruger says, “can you get this beautiful view of the harbor and eat lobster and hear great music and have a good time?”You can see a full schedule of festival events here.The festival is free to the public on Wednesday. Thursday through Sunday admission is eight dollars.
The Ronald McDonald House in Bangor is getting a brand new deck thanks to the generosity of home improvement giant Lowe’s.The 26 year-old deck had been deteriorating to the point where the staff feared it would be unsafe for children. After receiving several bids from local contractors, executive director Patricia Beckwith discovered Lowe’s heroes program. After contacting Lowe’s they agreed to replace the old deck with a brand new one free of charge.”Oh wow, it was such a great feeling they’re so community oriented,” says Patricia Beckwith Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald house, “the spirit is there, its been a real pleasure working with them, the whole time people have been turning out today to pitch in.”
Here on Indian Island, Louis and Andrew Sockalexis are legends. The Penobscot Nation has been trying to get the two cousins’ athletic achievements recognized nationally. “I think it’s extremely important that, not only do they acknowledged as tribal heroes,” says Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis, “but they get recognized for their significance the sports arena period so as I said earlier we’re really not saying that they’re the best athletes of all time but they certainly deserve to be among those.”Louis Sockalexis was a member of the Cleveland Spiders, who later changed their name to the Indians in honor of Sockalexis, the first native american baseball player in the Major Leagues. Andrew Sockalexis was an olympic marathon runner.Two resolutions passed by the maine legislature were presented to tribal Chief Kirk Francis.The resolutions call for the Cleveland Indians to change their mascot, which is considered offensive. They would also like the baseball Hall of Fame, as well as Sports Illustrated, to honor the Sockalexis cousins. Sports Illustrated recently published it’s list of the 50 greatest athletes from Maine and the Sockalexis cousins were not on it.”Really, we’re calling on these 3 entities to sit down at the table to rectify the situation. We’re hoping that because now that we have the state support behind this resolution, we’ll start to get the answers we’ve been asking for for years.”Francis would also like other native americans to acknowledge Sockalexis.”Of course today, we have players like jacoby Ellsbury and Joba Chamberlain, and people still excelling in major league baseball, but it’s important for them to know there are people who blazed that trail for them.”
Maine’s getting more than $5 Million dollars in federal stimulus money to put more police officers on the streets.Bangor, Baileyville, Milo and Newport are just four of the police departments that will share some of that federal grant money.It will be used to hire and re-hire police.The money will pay 100-percent of the salaries and benefits for entry level officers for three years.The police departments getting grants must agree to keep those new positions for at least a fourth year.
The Warren Center in Bangor is in the business of helping improve people’s hearing, including those who can’t afford to pay for a hearing aid. They’re part of the Regional Hearing Aid Bank.The program takes used hearing aids, reconditions or recycles them, then hands them out to low income clients.A new hearing aid can cost anywhere between 9-hundred to 4-thousand dollars. This allows folks to get then for free.Mary-Anne Saxl, Marketing and Development Director at the Warren Center, says that can make a big difference in someone’s life, and allow them to socialize again. “The folks also can show signs of depression because being part of society, being part of the social realm really is what makes life such an enjoyable thing. So, we want to make sure anybody who has a hearing loss can be served and receives a hearing aid.”But the Warren Center needs your help to make that happen. They need donations of hearing aids and money. Even if the hearing aid is outdated they can sell it for parts.To find out how to donate you can log onto www.warrencenter.org or you can call them at 941-2850.There is currently a three year waiting list for the program.
Five massive oil refinery modules are being loaded on a barge in Brewer, preparing for a trip to Texas.The modules are made by Cianbro workers at the Eastern Manufacturing Facility. Two of them will be put on the barge this week. The other three will be loaded next week.The modules are part of a 7-billion-dollar plan to upgrade an oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.The cargo is scheduled to leave Friday, August 7th.
A crash between a car and a motorcycle on the Corinth and Kenduskeag town line sent two people to the hospital. Penobscot County Sheriff’s Deputies say 29-year-old Christopher Feltner and 41-year-old Karen Jones, both of Orono, were on a motorcycle heading north on Route 15, just after noon. Feltner was driving. At the same time, 66-year-old Glenn Burleigh of Stetson was driving on the Hudson Hill Road.Deputies say it appears Burleigh pulled out in front of the motorcycle. We’re told Feltner and Jones were taken to a hospital in Bangor with serious injuries. Now that nicer weather is here, Sargeant Scott Young says drivers need to keep an eye out for more motorcycles, mopeds and ATVs.”It’s one of those situations where they’re hard to see and this is a result of what happens when you don’t double check or you don’t see.”There’s no word on Feltner’s condition and Jones is still being evaluated. Deputies are trying to determine if any charges should be filed in the crash.
There’s a new center in Southwest Harbor for seniors with memory loss.They can take part in a variety of activities, there all geared toward stimulating their brains.Meghan Hayward has more.”So they’re among their peers and they’re enjoying sharing time and stories that they have.”Since opening its doors in May, The Don and Beth Straus center has provided a variety of activities for seniors who experience memory loss.Adult day services program director Debra Chalmers says it allows seniors to really open up.”To be able to express themselves and to be able to feel a little more involved with folks who may share similar experiences.”The center is operated by Birch Bay Retirement Community in Bar Harbor and is open Monday through Friday 8:30 to 4:30.Chalmers says the center is also a nice retreat for seniors’ caregivers.”We provide activity calendars so the caregivers can either stay and be involved in the activity or they can go and do what they need to do. Their chores or just enjoy themselves.”All activities are geared toward stimulating the brain, helping to hold on to past memories and create new ones.Scrapbooking is just one of the many activities.”We can also do expressive therapies which identify those previous skills, interests and pleasures that they use to have, bring them out so they can recall living and participate in activities they use to but time has left behind.”Even though the center has only been open for about two months, Kuffler says he is seeing great improvements.”Most of them leave now looking forward to coming back and that’s our definition of success. Someone who’s had a good day and says I’m ready to come back.”
City councilors in Bangor are going on record in opposition of two issues on the November ballot – a taxpayer bill of rights and an auto excise tax.The taxpayer’s bill – or Tabor Two, as its known – was up for discussion at Monday night’s City Council Meeting. Tabor was originally proposed and defeated in a statewide vote in 2006.It would set limits on local and state budgets.At Monday night’s meeting, several people spoke out against Tabor Two. Their concerns included decreased funding for schools as well as city projects.In the end, the council voted overwhelmingly against Tabor Two.The city council also opposed the referendum that would lower excise taxes on new cars. The councilors decisions allows the city to now publicly speak out against both issues. Voters will have the final say on them, though, this fall.
A pedestrian was struck and killed on Route 41 in Mt. Vernon Monday night and police believe alcohol was a factor.Police say three counselors at Camp Laurel were walking back to the camp just before midnight, when two of them were hit by an SUV, driven by Jospeh Rouleau of Fayette.21-year-old Corrie Lazar from Washington State was pronounced dead at the scene. Another woman was treated and released at an Augusta hospital. The other counselor managed to dive into the woods as the vehicle approached.Rouleau was taken to a Lewiston hospital with non-life threatening injuries.Police are still investigating.