A 21-year-old Marine from western Maine was killed in Afghanistan on Friday. While supporting combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland died. Based out of Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe, Hawaii, Lance Cpl. Bernard was assigned to the 2nd Battalion and 3rd Marine Regiment. Thousands of U.S. Marines are trying to secure parts of theTaliban stronghold in their largest-ever operation in Afghanistan.
The Millinocket Regional Hospital unveiled their new helipad on Monday, much to the delight of hospital staff looking on. “It’s gong to be a great asset to the hospital and the community,” says Ron Brown, the President of the Board of Directors, “living this far out in the wilderness a lot of ambulances just can’t be fast enough, and this is just a fantastic service for this area.”The $125,000 pricetag was split several ways according the Executive Director of Life Flight Tom Judge. “It was a combination from the state of Maine, the transport bond of 2005, the USDA, some federal help, and obviously the local community,” says Judge, “a strong resource with the hospital and katahdin timberlands.”Congressman Mike Michaud was on hand to help celebrate. “It’s what life flight is all about,” said Michaud, “it’s more than just numbers, it’s about human beings, individuals, and what this service will definitely provide.”The day was capped off with the Life Flight helicopter making an appearance in what turned out to be a busy past week for the air ambulance. “We’ve been in Corinna, we’ve been in Swan’s Island,” says Judge, “we’ve been in Fort Kent, we’ve been in Lincoln, we’ve been sort of hither and tither, Skowhegan over the course of the past 14 days, the 2 helicopters have done about 14 flights in the last 24 hours.”Patients will be able to get from Millinocket to Bangor in about 20 minutes, and that is what this project is all about. “It really shows how Maine comes together,” says Judge, “and to make sure that in all our worries about health care that we know that in rural maine our emt’s, our fire departments, our paramedics, our life flight, we’re actually going to be there, we’re going to be there today and we’re going to be there tomorrow.”
A woman from Sidney was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash sunday.58-year-old Mary Pelletier and her husband, 61-year-old Billy Pelletier, were on a motorcycle that was hit by a jeep on Route 7 in Corinna around noon sunday.The Pelletiers were taken by Life Flight to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where Mrs. Pelletier underwent surgery. At last report, she was in serious condition, her husband Billy was in fair condition with several broken bones.Police say the Jeep crossed the center line and struck the bike. The motorcycle flipped over at least three times according to police. Police and Life Flight crews said that wearing helmets saved the Pelletier’s lives.28-year-old Becky Mitchell of Corinna who was in the Jeep suffered minor injuries. She was treated and released.
In Lewiston an 8-year-old girl who was staying overnight with her cousin and an uncle died Monday when the uncle’s apartment caught fire.Taylor McQueeney lived across the street from the apartment which began to burn around 3:30 Monday morning.Her body was found in the third floor apartment around 8 Monday morning.The fire spread to three other buildings.No other injuries have been reported but as many as seven families were displaced.The State Fire Marshal’s Office says a candle left burning overnight started the fire.Investigators say candles were being used for light in the third floor apartment because the power had been turned off because of non-payment of the power bill.
The man charged with murdering an Old Town woman along the Penobscot River nine days ago told friends he committed the crime, and there was a witness when it happened.Those are among details being released Monday related to the death of 19-year-old Holly Boutilier.According to court documents, surveillance video from Hollywood Slots shows two white males leaving the crime scene a week ago Saturday.One of them is believed to be 34-year-old Colin Koehler, who is charged with the crime.The other, a witness, says they were taking a walk along the river with Boutilier when Koehler pulled out a knife.The police affidavit says the victim died from multiple stab wounds to her abdomen and a laceration to her neck.Koehler was arrested after a police standoff on Tuesday and is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail.
An Oakland man faces charges after being accused of threatening his girlfriend and her 12-year-old daughter with a butcher knife.On Saturday police arrested 35-year-old Gregory Canham.Charges against him include domestic violence assault, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and drunk driving.Waterville Police made the arrest because Oakland Police were busy making another arrest.Police say Canham drove drunk to the woman’s home and was upset.The woman and her daughter ran from the home and called police.
“The first time I saw someone ‘throw’ a pot, I was struck by the magic. Now, some 15 years later I still feel that magic when I sit at my wheel,” says Natalie Ann Gardner.Natalie has been making pottery in her studio in Palermo, Maine for many years. Her work is influenced by her love of the outdoors and her interest in simple, sculptural form. She often receives comments on the oriental feeling of her pottery and studied with the well known Japanese potter, Makoto Yabe.Returning to college as a non-traditional student in the 90’s she pursued a degree in art, and found her niche. Natalie creates both functional and decorative ceramics. All of her work is handcrafted, mostly wheel thrown, and sometimes altered to produce an interesting shape or style. Surface decoration is kept to a minimum to allow the shape of the piece to “speak.” Each piece can stand alone as a functional work of art, or as part of a collection.You can meet Natalie Ann Gardner and check out her pottery at the American Folk Festival August 28, 29 and 30 in the folk art and craft marketplace area. For more information on Natalie Ann Gardner and her work please visit Golden Apple Pottery.***Content is from Golden Apple Pottery Website.
Folks who travel Route 2 in Bangor will need to take a detour in the Penjejawock Stream area.The Department of Transportation is replacing Red Bridge, between Meadowbrook Road and Young Street.Motorists will be directed to a detour route using Hogan Road and Mount Hope Avenue.Crews are expected to wrap up the construction by November 9th.
An air quality alert has been issued for much of coastal Maine because of high levels of ozone. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued the warning Monday morning. People are being advised to limit their outdoor activities. The alert covers much of the coastline from Kittery to Bar Harbor. It is in effect until late Monday night.For more information DEP’s toll free ozone hotline 1-800-223-1196: DEPâ€™s ozone web site: www.maine.gov or Air Quality Forecast (select â€˜Maine Air Quality Forecastâ€™).
A Wilton man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 17-month-old son last November is expected to plead guilty to a charge of manslaughter.Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes says his office has been notified that David Cook will change his plea during a proceeding this week in Franklin County Superior Court in Farmington.Cook was arrested last December in connection with the death of Matteo Hanson.The boy died Nov. 29th from injuries that the medical examiner said were consistent with being severely kicked or punched.Cook initially told police that the child fell down the stairs after being pushed by his 3-year-old sister.
Small businesses impacted by last summer’s massive fire in Northeast Harbor are now eligible for special federal loans.Economic injury disaster loans are given out through the small business administration to help business owners repair damages or stay open after a disaster.The fire in July of last year wiped out several businesses, including a restaurant and an art gallery.Senator Olympia Snowe just announced that business owners can apply for the loans through September first.The maximum loan amount is two million dollars.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be at the University of Maine Monday to check out a new process that could cut the time and money it takes to build bridges. Researchers with the University’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center have designed the so-called “bridge in a backpack”.It features a carbon fiber fabric that’s unfolded, inflated, and coated with a resin at the job site, then filled with concrete.Habib Dagher, with the center, says the bridges are faster and cheaper to build, and last longer than conventional bridges.
Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean spent Sunday in Maine.He was in the pine tree state to talk about health care reform and promote his new book.Dean attended the Androscoggin County democrats annual volunteer barbeque Sunday at Range Pond State Park.Dean is a physician and former governor of Vermont.He’s written a book called “Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform.” Dean is a huge supporter of health care reform including a “public option” for people who want insurance provided by the government.
Governor John Baldacci says Maine’s county jail expenses aren’t growing as much as they have in the past.Baldacci says the expenses are now growing at less than one percent, compared with nine percent in years past.Those numbers follow the creation of a state Board of Corrections.Board members are charged with overseeing spending at Maine’s jails and developing ways to save money.On Friday, the governor held a ceremonial bill signing for a law that further streamlines programs and services offered by thecounty jails and the Department of Corrections. It expands victim notification requirements, modernizes the county jails’ home release program and clarifies the board’s budget review process.The bill takes effect September 12th.
Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell spent Sunday at the University of Maine, meeting the newest Mitchell Scholars and their families.Each year, one graduating senior from every Maine public high school receives a Mitchell Scholarship for approximately five thousand dollars.The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic potential, community service, and financial need. Recipients must be residents of Maine who will be entering their first year of a two or four-year accredited college or university.Since 1995, the Mitchell Institute has awarded more than 7 million dollars in scholarships to more than 16 hundred Maine high school graduates.
Crews spent Sunday cleaning up the damage from yesterday’s freight trail derailment on the Maine/New Hampshire border.It happened in Gilead Saturday afternoon.20 cars were sent off the tracks.No one was injured, but some nearby residences were evacuated, and Route two was closed for several hours.Officials say 11 of the cars normally contained ethanol but were empty at the time of the incident. The other nine were carrying paper.The train was traveling from Auburn to Quebec on the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad line.Cranes arrived this afternoon to move the cars. It’ll be at least two days before the line is reopened.
Three people are hospitalized after a crash involving a car and a motorcycle.It happened just after noon Sunday on Route 7 in Corinna.Sheriff’s Deputies say a group of motorcyclists were travelling together when one of the bikes was hit by a car that crossed the center line.61-year-old Billy Pelletier and 58-year-old Mary Pelletier, both of Sydney, were riding on the motorcycle at the time of the crash…both were injured and taken by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.Deputies say Billy Pelletier has several broken bones, and Mary Pelletier required surgery.No word yet on her condition.Both were wearing helmets.Police have not released the identity of the driver of the car…but a passenger in that vehicle, 28-year-old Becky Mitchell of Corinna, was also injured and taken to the hospital.No word on the extent of her injuries.The crash is under investigation…so far, no charges have been filed.
Country music star Buddy Jewell headlined a day of music in Trenton today. The Gateway Music Festival set up shop at the Hancock Memorial Post 207 on the Bar Harbor Road today.The performers represented a variety of musical genres including country and bluegrass. All the proceeds will help fund the programs provided by the Hancock Post, such as assistance for burn victims and cancer victims as well as providing veterans with transportation to doctor’s appointments.”When people need help they somehow come through for them and it’s because of everybody who comes to these events,” says Lisa Higgins, one of the organizers of the event.
It’s not suprising to see Acadia National Park packed with siteseers on a beautiful sunday in August. “There are so many vistas in this park you just wouldn’t expect to see unless you actually get into it,” says Jim Lafontaine of Wells.This weekend vistors to the park got in free. This is the third free weekend of the summer here at Acadia and at every national park in the country, although that was news to some of the folks here today according to Kathy Grant, the supervisor at the Visitor’s Center in the park. “You would be surprised how many people really aren’t aware that it’s a free weekend,” says Grant, “they’re kind of shocked, they go to pull out their wallet to pay and we tell them it’s free and they get so excited.”One of the excited park visitors is Bill Curtis from Chicopee, Massachusetts. “We’re on vacation for two weeks,” says Curtis, “we spent a week in Wells, Maine and then we left saturday and decided to drive north and we ended up in Bar Harbor, we thought it would be cooler up here but it’s not, but we found out it was a free weekend for the park so we lucked out and we’re enjoying the weather and it’s great.” Sharon Moore of Crossville, Tennessee was also pleasantly surprised. “We found that out when we got into town yesterday adn we’ve taken advantage of it,” says Moore, “and it’s a beautiful, pretty free day.”The nice weather recently has helped the park rebound from a rainy start to the summer. “It has really picked up now in August with the warm weather,” says Grant, “I think that things, even with the rain, they did start picking up, I’m not sure if our visitation is down this year, I think people are strarting to get the attitude that this is the summer, it’s all we’re going to get, so enjoy it, rain or shine.”Letting people enjoy the wonders of Acadia without reaching for their wallet seems to have helped these folks get back into the groove of summer. “Just get people interested in national parks, because they are here for all of us to enjoy so we give them a free weekend,” says Grant, “people hear about it, and they enjoy a national park and they’ll continue to go to other national parks.””It’s beautiful, really pretty, lots of diverse areas,” adds Moore, “the sea, the lakes, the mountains, you can’t beat the combination, it’s gorgeous.”
Senator Susan Collins is on a congressional trip to the Middle East.Senator John McCain is among the others in the delegation.There’s no word on exactly which country they visited Saturday, but officials say they spent Friday in Iraq, meeting with the Iraqi President and Prime Minister.They also met with the U.S. Ambassador and a General.The stop in Iraq followed a visit to Libya, where the Senators met with Col. Muammar al-Gadaffi before traveling to Kuwait.