Blethen Maine Newspapers, which include the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, The Morning Sentinel in Waterville and the MaineToday.com website, are now under new ownership.The sale went through Monday to an investor group led by Bangor Richard Connor.The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram are also part of the sale.Together, the papers employ nearly 500 people.Connor says his new company is poised to be profitable, but future cuts at the newspapers might cost 100 employees their jobs.Connor has let go a number of employees already including top executives.
A spaghetti supper tonight in Orono will benefit victims of the apartment fire there last week.23-people were left without a place to live, many of them college students.The fire started in a wall outlet in a first-floor apartment.Everyone made it out safely, including several pets.Area organizations are hosting a dinner tonight at the Church of Universal Fellowship, at 82-Main Street in Orono.Seatings start at 6 and 7 p.m. Donations will go to help those who lost their homes and belongings.The church is also collecting clothing, furniture and household items until 9 p.m. tonight.For more information you can call the church at 866-36-55.
Officials say arson is to blame for a fire at an abandoned house in Lagrange Tuesday night.It happened on Route 16, right across the street from the fire station.No word yet on exactly where the fire started.Fire fighters in Lagrange have had a busy couple of nights.Another fire Monday night destroyed an abandoned home.Investigators say arson was to blame for that fire as well.Evidence from both scenes has been taken to the state crime lab.
A 30-year-old Mars Hill woman had her first court appearance Monday after she was arrested following an investigation by British police into child pornography on the internet.Julie Carr is charged with gross sexual assault and sexual exploitation of minors.She’s being held in the Aroostook County Jail and appeared in court in Caribou by videoconference.Carr was arrested Friday after a tip from British police in about video that had been streamed online showing a woman performing sex acts on a child.Carr’s bail is set at $50,000 cash, along with conditions that bar contact with anyone under 18 and the use of computers and the internet.
Jury selection got underway Monday in the murder trial of a man charged in the 1983 stabbing death of a 23-year-old mother from Fayette…..The trial of 52-year-old Thomas Mitchell Jr. is taking place in Franklin County Superior Court in Farmington.Mitchell is charged in the death of Judith Flagg, who was stabbed to death in her home 26-years ago.Mitchell was a suspect at the time, but there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges. DNA evidence led to his arrest in 2006.
The trial began in Bangor Monday for a Danforth man accused of causing a car crash that left his passenger in a wheelchair.31-year-old Jayson Caron is facing charges of aggravated assault, OUI and aggravated OUI.The state says Caron’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when his vehicle flipped over in Carroll Plantation in 2007.His passenger, 19-year-old Bobbi Jo Norris, was his girlfriend at the time. She was pregnant. Norris was ejected and suffered severe spinal injuries, and is now paraplegic. The baby survived.The state says a witness saw Caron get behind the wheel at a store after the Springfield Fair.”He insisted on driving. She unfortunately slid over into the passenger seat and then he drove from the store to the North Road in Carroll Plantation where the serious crash occurred,” says Gregory Campbell, assistant district attorney.The jury heard opening arguments and testimony from Norris Monday morning. The trial is expected to last until Thursday.Aggravated assault is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
After a teenaged girl passed away last Sunday, her classmates looked for a way to honor her life. They found a way to do that by making a donation to United Cerebral Palsy in Bangor. Members of the student council at the Cohen School gathered there Monday, to honor Meghan Plunkett. “You realize it’s a really young age to pass away and it’s just so much life, just lost. It’s really sad,” says Jacob Birmingham, student council president.The students took a big chunk out of their treasury, money they raised throughout the year, to help the organization that helped her. “She was a very nice person. You could just feel in your heart,” Birmingham says. “When I heard the family had picked us I was very grateful, because this is probably one of the worst times in their lives. And to remember us, I’m very grateful,” says UCP Executive Director Bobbi Jo Yeager.Yeager says they’ve received several donations in Meghan’s name. The 25 hundred dollars from the students will help support the UCP preschool, which Meghan attended. “I was very excited because this is a significant donation that will help UCP a lot,” Yeager says.They remembered 14-year-old Meghan as a quiet, sweet girl who meant a lot to people. “She obviously touched a lot of lives and I think it’s wonderful they’re remembering her in this way,” Yeager says. “We feel very sorry she’s passed away, but this is what we’re doing in her honor,” says Birmingham.
Cancer survivors are among the folks who will be walking in Millinocket next weekend to benefit cancer programs.It’s year two for the the Katahdin Region Relay For Life.It starts with opening ceremonies and the survivor’s lap at six Friday night and will last until closing ceremonies at noon on Saturday.Last year two dozen teams raised more than 18-thousand dollars.225 People were part of the relay…25 Of them people who survived cancer…The goal is to do even better this year according to the event organizer Margo Stevens. “Yeah it is to have more participants to have more survivors, to increase our fundraising money that we make and all of it stays right here in maine so that’s really important.”Part of the goal is already met because 26 teams are signed up this year, but you can still sign up a team or make a donation by logging on to their website. http://relayforlife.org/katahdinme.All of the proceeds stay local.
16 hundred square miles coverings 20 towns.That’s the area Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln takes care of.The hospital broke ground Monday on something that will speed up coverage for those in the most dire of circumstances. “We started discussing this probably about three or four years ago” said hospital CEO Dave Shannon “and at that time we didn’t really have the funding available to get it started, so maybe about six or eight months ago we started talking about a lesser project of being able to put it in the parking lot which really brought the cost down considerably.”Lifeflight helped with $140,000 of the total bill, which is expected to be about $400,000. Part of the money came from a 2003 state transportation bond. Bangor savings bank also contributed five thousand dollars.Some of the parking lot is going to be used as the landing area, so there are plans to expand other parking areas near the building according to Shannon. “So what we decided to do was put it in the parking lot here and then we’re going to push the bank back in a couple of places and add parking on the side of the building that which when we’re all said and done will add about four spaces.”But for patients in need of immediate care, it will subtract travel time. “It significantly reduces the time that they are out of a major hospital that may require intervention for a heart, surgery or neonatal those types of things” says Aviation Manager for LifeFlight of Maine Dennis Small. “So it reduces the time just about in half that their transport time is much less.”Currently, flights land at the airport, and patients are transported from the hospital to the helicopter by ambulance, which is time consuming according to the Director of Emergency Services at PVH, Jill Bouchard. “We can actually put a patient directly onto their equipment, versus moving them back and forth from our equipment on to theirs.”The work on the site began as soon as the ceremonial photos were taken. Flights are expected to be able to land by the end of the summer.
A small plane crashed in Islesboro just after take off Monday morning. The call came in to the Waldo County Sherriff’s office at around 11:45. The plane was flown by 56 year old Victor Hall of Rockland, who was not injured in the crash. Hall had just taken off from the Islesboro Airport in a single engine Cessna after he finished delivering mail. Hall told Waldo County Sherriff’s deputies that he began losing power just after he took off. The plane crashed approximately 800 yards off the runway. Waldo County Deputy Eugene Rega responded to the scene, assisted by Islesboro Fire and Rescue. The FAA has been notified and will be responding.
State Police say a 44-year-old man from Warren died when his motorcycle hit a telephone pole in Camden.It happened Friday night on East Ford Road.According to troopers, a Camden police officer noticed Shawn Sturdee speeding.When the officer tried to go after Sturdee, he lost sight of the bike.By the time the officer found Sturdee, the man’s motorcycle had slammed into the pole.He was pronounced dead at the scene.Police say he was not wearing a helmet.Police closed several roads in Camden while they reconstructed the crash.
The stars and stripes are flying proudly across Maine and the nation tonight, on this Flag Day.It was officially established by President Woodrow Wilson back in 1916.Sunday afternoon, a small, diverse group gathered at the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor to mark the occasion.Rob Poindexter has the story.
Folks headed northbound from Southern Maine need to keep a traffic advisory in mind this week.The northbound lanes of Interstate 295 between Topsham and Gardiner will close Tuesday for a repaving project that’s expected to continue through most of the summer.D-O-T crews say northbound traffic will be diverted onto the southbound lanes, which were repaved last summer. Southbound motorists can travel on the Maine Turnpike or U.S. 201.The closure is expected to last until the end of August.The 34 million dollar project is funded by economic stimulus money and is expected to create more than 800 jobs.
Maine’s emergency dispatchers will soon be required to complete a standardized training course.One official from the state’s Emergency Communications Bureau say the requirement is long overdue.Stephan Bunker says there are too many variations in the knowledge and skills of dispatchers…Up until now, they’ve been trained by the agencies where they work.According to The Kennebec Journal, reports the move follows complaintsfrom some police agencies about alleged lapses at the statedispatch center in Augusta.A dozen dispatchers from around Maine have already gone through a 40-hour basic training course and will teach it to their colleagues.
Bangor’s annual Flag Day celebration went on Sunday, despite the rain.The festivities were moved inside the Bangor Parks and Rec department on Main Street.Folks of all ages turned out to honor the stars and stripes through music, dance and poems.Fourth graders from the Glenburn school brought along their homemade flags and read essays about what the flag means to them…Plenty of veterans were also on hand, representing every branch of the military.Event organizer Mary Drew says she was thrilled to see just how many people turned out to honor the flag.
The Bangor Homeless Shelter is celebrating a huge donation tonight.The Brewer Fraternal Order of Eagles and other aeries across maine have raised more than 15-thousand dollars to donate to the shelter.Brewer Aerie President Dennis Witham says they chose the shelter after visiting and hearing about its needs.” It’s going to be a very very happy moment when I can hand Dennis Marble that check.”Witham will hand over the check tonight at a banquet at the Brewer Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Sebasticook Valley Middle School in Newport went hi-tech today.The school held its annual student technology showcase.It gives students the opportunity to show their parents all the new technology they’ve worked on during the school year.Students showed off everything from boats to robots.Technology teacher Kern Kelley says the school is always trying to expand the event.This year, were virtual tours for people who couldn’t be there.” So we’ve had people from California Skype in and do video tours around. We’ve had people from Missouri North Carolina. People from all over the country that called in and we walked them around the school to show of the projects we’ve worked on.”Kelley says he always gets great feedback and people are amazed at the technology.
A Clinton man is bringing new technology to the area.And trying to convince others it’s a practical purchase.Meghan Hayward has more.” I’m showing off compact solar water heater for the first time in America.”Bruce Clark was so impressed with the compact solar water heaters he found in China that he decided to show them off at an expo in Clinton on Saturday.The streets of town were lined with cars full of folks interested in checking the products out for themselves.” I was very interested in heating my house and not paying for foreign oil.”Sean McGrath was so convinced that he bought one.” The price is right and I’m in the market for new equipment for in my house because what I have is old and it’s time to go.”The big question McGrath and everyone else at the expo wanted to know?How does it work?” The heat pipes are made to transfer heat into the water. The pipe is pure copper so the heat naturally transfers up because heat flows up and it also flows the cold water which is the water inside.”Clark says the benefits of the heater are what sparked his interest.” Provided the same amount of hot water that an American split system did only one tenth the cost and the American systems have a 10 page troubleshooting guide to make them work. This has two things you do to make it work.”Clark expects to get a 50 percent return on his money.He says the heater is a practical purchase.” If you believe in the technology and you view them and you are green you will buy them.” McGrath thinks it makes sense.”there’s a lot of benefits. I just see a lot of pluses. I don’t see any negative to it.”
Bangor’s Bridge Alliance took over West Market Square Saturday for the first annual Pride Festival.The festivities marked 40 years of gay pride, but it was open to folks of all orientations.The events started Thursday with a film screening…last night, there was a special dinner and meet and greet.Saturday’s festival included local speakers, nonprofit organizations, food tastings and an art diversity celebration featuring local artists.There was also plenty of live music.Organizers planned the festival to coincide with the 40-th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York.That’s when gays and lesbians fought back against police raids persecuting homosexuals.
It was a close call at a home in Old Town Saturday…as a vehicle came careening into the front yard.It happened at the intersection of Fourth and Center Streets at about 9 a-m.Officer Debbie Holmes says a driver ran a stop sign and into the path of an oncoming Jeep.The Jeep driver swerved to avoid the car, and in the process, drove over a fire hydrant and came to a stop against the house.Holmes says the hydrant stopped the Jeep from doing serious damage to the home.The driver of the car was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.Holmes says this isn’t the first time she’s seen an accident like this one in that area.Water district and Fire Department crews were called in to help repair the damage to the hydrant.Holmes says so far, no charges have been filed.Traffic in the area was backed up for some time while crews cleaned up the scene and worked to repair the hydrant.