Local News

‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive

Updated 6 years ago

Here’s a really easy way to help others out. You don’t have to go any further than your mailbox.Folks gathered at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter Monday to bring attention to the National “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive.Letter carriers across Maine will be picking up bags of food along their delivery routes this Saturday.All you have to do is leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods next to your mailbox.Your carrier will pick it up and make sure it’s delivered to local pantries, shelters and soup kitchens.Folks who run pantries tell us canned meat, fruits and veggies, peanut butter, cereal and Bisquick are always needed.”The reality remains that 35 million Americans and 64 thousand Mainers live at risk of hunger today,” says Renee Overlock, local branch president, National Association of Letter Carriers.”So just take a moment and put a couple items of food out with your mail. And together that will make a difference, in a way that no government or big agency can,” says Dennis Marble, director, Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.The food drive is put on by the United Way and the National Association of Letter Carriers. It’s the largest single-day food drive in the nation.

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Celebrating 100 years in Bangor

Updated 6 years ago

Many gathered Monday at the Hammond Street Senior Center to celebrate the life of Bernard “Doc” Mann, who is turning 100 next month.”A hundred years is a pretty big milestone, but especially because Doc is such a wonderful human being. There’s just nobody else like him, you know, he’s just so sharp and so fun and loving and caring. I know don’t what it is.” Says Kathy Bernier, Executive Director of the Senior Center.Doc spends a lot of time at the Senior Center dazzling crowds with his musical talents.”Doc had to play his own Happy Birthday song, which is a little unusual, but because he had actually played the piano for us for the last ten years on a daily basis, it seemed appropriate.” adds Bernier. “He played us his little melodies and we all got a chance to revive some of the memories over the years we’ve had with him.”Doc has many happy memories growing up in Bangor.”Doc lived in Bangor where horse drown carriages travelled the streets and trolly cars connected the city’s neighborhoods.””The Celtics came to Bangor one time and I timed that game with their approval” Doc remembers. The Senior Center dedicated their piano to Doc for his birthday and the city gave him a special honor.Gerry Palmer, Mayor of Bangor, presented the gift. “I have a proclamation Doc, from the city. Recognizing Bernard “Doc” Mann on the occasion of his soon to be 100th birthday… That’s the key to the city.””That’s beautiful. It’s my city too.” says Doc.”Yes, it is” adds Palmer.And Doc has a little advice about the ‘key’ to living a long life.”Keep breathing, it happens if you keep on breathing.”

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Students Break Ground for Ellsworth House

Updated 6 years ago

Habitat for Humanity broke ground on a new house in Ellsworth Monday.A busload of freshmen from Mount Desert Island High School made the job a little easier. “It’s a sweaty job,” says student Dylan Stillman, “but it’s not that hard.”They got to work clearing brush and hauling logs.”It’s not all that bad to get out and do something, move around, just do something good for your town,” says student Lucas Murphy.Their goal — get the land ready for a new house to be built here, for a local family who needs it.”Over here is the 14th house that will be built in Hancock County by Habitat,” says Jimmy Goodson, Hancock County Habitat Executive Director, pointing out the spot.The students had the morning off from school as part of a program to encourage community service.”We were excited when we were sitting on the bus outside the school, just ready to go and get something done,” says student Adam Perruzzi.”These guys, more than any generation I’ve seen come up, including my own, are very, very community-minded,” says their group leader, MDI High School teacher Christiane Cullens.”They look at it as a personal responsibility, something they should do because they can,” she says.Cory Plaisted will one day live in the home that’s built here. He’ll work alongside other community volunteers over the next year.”I feel like I’m on could nine, to see this community pull together for us,” says Plaisted. “We’ve been waiting for a house for a good four to five years and now that Habitat has picked us as a family, it feels great.”

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A Kids’ Retreat

Updated 6 years ago

A quiet camp on a lake is the perfect retreat. For kids who’ve been through rough times, it can be a whole lot more.KidsPeace helps children who have been abused, neglected or suffered through other traumas.Today, the organization accepted a donation of land on Graham Lake in Ellsworth, from family and friends of the late Barbara Workman of Farmington.Barbara’s camp will be used as a retreat center for KidsPeace, a place for children to enjoy the quiet and peace of the outdoors.Her family says that’s just what she would have wanted.”Barbara was a very talented outdoor lady, horses, rock climbing, tree climbing, swimming, she could do it all,” says her life partner Richard Fecteau. “And this is the kind of outdoor experience they give these kids.””The family is very generous, and we are very appreciative,” says KidsPeace Graham Lake Executive Director Jean Dickson.Folks at KidsPeace say the Barbara Joy Workman Retreat Center will help give a new start to kids, who’ve never had a real childhood.

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Missing Man Found

Updated 6 years ago

Captain Jason Moffitt says Fred Roeske left his residence on Starlight Drive around 6:30 Sunday night. Roeske said he was going for a walk in the neighborhood but didn’t return home. Brewer police and the Maine Warden Service started a search just before noon Monday. Roeske was spotted walking along state street in Brewer around 1 Monday afternoon. Moffitt says Roeske did not need medical attention.

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Brownville General Store Re-Opens

Joy Hollowell

Updated 6 years ago

Back by popular demand.That’s what two brothers and their wives from Brownville, are crediting for keeping their general store and restaurant open for business.Joy Hollowell has the story.+++++++++++++++”C’mon folks, let’s all have fun this summer, no more doom and gloom.”John and Don Belvin are ready to rock. In July, the brothers will begin their 6th season of hosting tribute concerts at their outdoor amphitheater and campground in Brownville. In just a few weeks, they’ll rev up their Route 11 general store and restaurant, an opening that almost didn’t happen.”we decided last fall to call it quits, put it up for sale, go back to our original corporate jobs,” says Don Belvin.The Belvin brothers say rising gas prices coupled with a failing economy were just too much competition. After a five year run, they had decided to sell the store. But, there were no buyers. The home grown boys took it as a sign.”We decided, you know, it’s meant for us to keep going. so, by the skin of our chinny chin chin, here we go (laughs),” says John Belvin.That means both men had to find part time jobs. Their wives work full time. But all four owners say they’re committed to making this work. “We all decided six years ago that this was a dream that we wanted to do. And we packed up on our hope and faith and a nickel and a dime, and we ended up in Maine,” says Coleen Belvin.”What really inspired up to re-open this year. was the amount of people that we meet between here and Bangor, saying, ‘Hey, we really miss that place. We want to come back, why don’t you guys do it one more time.,” says Don Belvin.The Belvins believe in community and good old fashioned fun. Now, they’re hoping those two things will be enough of a draw, to keep their dream, in business.”We believe that it’s something that it truly a great thing for Pistcataquis county,” says John Belvin.============For more information on the Junction General store and restaurant, as well as the schedule of upcoming concerts and movies this summer, you can log onto www.thejunctiongeneral.com

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State Budget Reviewed by Appropriations Committee Monday

Wayne Harvey

Updated 6 years ago

A 570 million dollar gap in the state budget is trying to be bridged by the Appropriations Committee in the Capital.The session began at the State House in Augusta at nine o’clock Monday morning.Lawmakers heard strong objections to Governor Baldacci’s proposed budget.Nearly two dozen people testified about the cuts in the Department of Health and Human Services to cut state reimbursements to Private and Non Medical Insitutions ( PNMI ).Those testifying said the cuts will diminish the number of high risk and needy children they will be able serve.And those cuts will not only effect the families that they aim to serve but also will impact the state.” What will be lost if you standardize rates is our multi disciplinary approach to treatment.”” Many of these children will require some sort of severe intervention and if closures happen the state will find themselves with a need to rescue many of these other municipal organizations because they will not be able to handle them.”The Appropriations Committee had meetings planned all day and will cover cuts to Education, State and Local Government and the state’s Rainy Day Fund.Once the budget is reviewed and reworked it will go to the House and Senate for approval.

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From the Tank to the River

Wayne Harvey

Updated 6 years ago

Atlantic Salmon find their way back to their home rivers by what’s called imprinting.The water that they live in, creates a memory that pulls them back when it’s time to spawn no matter where they go in the ocean.Monday morning fish that were raised at the Bangor Wastewater Treatment Plant with were released into Penobscot to fend for themselves.”They’re coming up on a couple of years old so in about that time frame and when they reach about a half a pound they get themselves ready to go out to sea,” said Bangor Wastewater Treatment Plant Labratory Director Thomas Hambrock.For the last nine months ten salmon have lived in a holding tank at the Bangor Wastewater Treatment Plant, now Hambrock says the conditions are right for them to return to the river.”They’ll acclimate themselves to the Penobscot and go down towards the salt water, acclimate themselves to the salt water and then grow and then get big enough to make that trip to Greenland.”All of them have been tagged and had their fins clipped so they can be recognized if they return. Now it’s a waiting game for Hambrock and the rest that of the people involved in this project.”They do some trapping every year and trap every thing and if our ten come back and any one of these ten that have the tag on and have that fin clipped and come back within two years they’ll let us know it could be two to three years depending on how they do out in the ocean.”And for those that have fed these salmon and watched them grow and mature for the last nine months, like Hambrock it is tough to release them back into the water.”Well it’s like the empty nest syndrome you know, you hate to see ‘em all leave but they need to go they were getting to the point where they were outliving our tank down there, (laughter).”

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3 Arrested, 10 Summonsed in Washington County

Updated 6 years ago

A late night party in Washington County ends with three people under arrest, and 10 minors summonsed.Authorities received a tip last week that a large amount of underage drinking would be going on at the Rocky Lake campsite in East Machias Saturday.The function was linked back to an event known as Greek Weekend through the University of Maine at Machias, according to Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith.The party didn’t happen at the campsite.Instead, authorities say it was moved to Love Lake in Crawford.Police say the owner of that property is Jay Beaudoin of Pembroke.The 45-year old was arrested for furnishing a place for minors to possess or consume liquor.Two other men, 23-year old Michael Hinerman of Machiasport and 21-year old Royce Bedbury were also charged with furnishing liquor to minors.Sheriff Smith says 10 of the 13 minors at the party were summonsed for possession of liquor.

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Calais Mourns Loss of Local Fire Fighter

Updated 6 years ago

A Calais firefighter has lost his battle with leukemia.27-year old Billy Townsend passed away Friday at a hospital in Boston.He was diagnosed with the disease two years ago.A year ago, the community of Calais held a bone marrow drive, to try and find a match for Townsend. A celebration of Billy Townsend’s life will be held at 11 AM Wednesday, at the Calais United Methodist Church.After the burial ceremony, the procession will be led to the Calais fire department, where Townsend will receive the fire fighter’s last call.

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Brewer Police Ask for Help in Locating Missing Man

Updated 6 years ago

Brewer Police are asking folks to be on the lookout for a 75 year old man who left his home on Sunday evening, and has not returned home.Cpt. Jason Moffitt says Fred Roeske left his residence on Starlight Drive around 6:30: Mr. Roeske said he was going for a walk in the neighborhood and never returned home.Mr. Roeske is approximately 5’7″, 150 lbs., is baldiing and has grey hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a while pullover shirt and a black baseball hat with a U.S. Army logo, possibly a U.S. Army Retired logo.Currently, the Maine Warden Service and the Brewer Police Department are looking for Mr. Roeske. Anyone with any information about Mr. Roeske is asked to call Brewer Police at 989-7000.

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Road Closures

Updated 6 years ago

UPDATE: Grinding on Somerset Avenue in Pittsfield has been postponed until tomorrow (Tuesday). We’re told the grinder is broken. Starting at 6AM Tuesday, parts of Somerset Avenue from Main Street to Hartland Avenue will be down to one lane. Drivers are being advised to expect delays and if possible, make alternate travel plans.In Waterville, the water district has ordered that Oak Street between Main and Taiconic Street be closed to traffic. They’re doing maintenance work on some valves in preparation for upcoming road re-construction in the area. Parts of that street could be closed for most of the day.

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Walk for Autism

Updated 6 years ago

Hundreds of families from the greater Bangor area hit the pavement Sunday to raise money…and awareness for Autism research and programs.The annual “Walk for Autism” is sponsored by the Autism Society of Maine.Proceeds from the event will go toward the Autism Society’s summer camp and austism information specialist programs.Besides raising money, the walk is also a way for parents of autistic children to network, share information and get support.Cathy Dionne is the Society’s Director of Programs and Administration.She says one of the highlights of the walk is seeing how far some of the children affected by autism have come in such a short time.< "seeing families come year and after year, you can see the progress that has been made. There is nothing more inspiring than seeing where a child was last year and where they are now because of services and because of early intervention.">For more information on the Autism Society of Maine’s programs…or to make a donation…you can log onto their website…at www.asmonline.org .

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Budget Hearing Set for Monday

Updated 6 years ago

A public hearing is scheduled for Monday on the Governor’s new budget proposals.It starts at 9 a-m at the State House.On Friday, the Governor unveiled his plan to cover a new 570-million dollar gap in his pending two-year general fund budget package.In all, Baldacci said his original 6.1 billion two-year general fund budget package would, with transfers, deferrals and other steps as well as cuts, shrink to $5.8 billion.The Governor’s original two-year budget package envisioned the elimination of more than 300 positions. Officials said Friday no additional layoffs were being proposed.

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Antiviral Drugs Arrive in Maine

Updated 6 years ago

Antiviral drugs and protective equipment have started arriving in Maine.They’ll hopefully help treat those with symptoms of the H1 N1 virus, or swine flu.Governor John Baldaccis says the shipments began arriving Saturday night from the U-S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In addition to the antiviral drugs, state officials are also getting protective masks, gloves and other equipment.Six people in Maine have been identified with symptoms of the virus.More shipments of antiviral drugs are expected to begin arriving as soon as Tuesday.

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Orono Farmers’ Market Opens For Season

Updated 6 years ago

Folks looking to get their first taste of summer turned out in Orono Saturday for opening day of the Farmers’ Market.Now in its 15-th year, the market offers everything from locally produced cheeses to homemade bread and prepared foods.The Orono market is one of the biggest in Maine, with more than 25 vendors on hand.Joe McBrine of Vine and Branch Farm was there this weekend…he says now, more than ever, Mainers are looking to support local farmers and to get the freshest, healthiest foods for their money.< "we have met some tremendous customers, especially in this area, who recognize the value of locally grown, all naturally produced both meat and produce.">The market is located in the parking lot of the Orono steam plant.It’s open on Saturdays from 8 to 1.Starting in late June, it’ll also be open on Tuesdays from 2 to 5:30 p.m.

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Camp Bangor Citywide Cleanup A Success

Updated 6 years ago

Bangor’s city parks are looking a lot cleaner, thanks to the work of some dedicated kids.Saturday was the 10th annual Citywide Cleanup…it’s part of the Camp Bangor program.It offers a summer camp scholarship to Bangor Public School children enrolled in grades four through six. In order to receive the scholarship, each child must complete some form of volunteerism. Hundreds turned out with trash bags and gloves, to get the parks in good shape for the summer.< "i think it's a great park and if you have trash on the ground, it might hurt somebody. If some little kid comes along and sees it, he might...eat it...not so good. And it wouldn't be the best thing if you go running and step on some trash...you could hurt yourself.">The volunteers and their families were treated to a barbecue at Howard Street park after the cleanup was completed.

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State’s Only In-Vitro Clinic To Close

Updated 6 years ago

Couples seeking in-vitro fertilization services will soon have to travel out of state.Maine Medical Center is closing the Maine Center for Reproductive Health in South Portland…It’s the state’s only in vitro clinic.According to hospital officials, they just weren’t attracting enough patients…and that they were only performing half the number of procedures they’d expected to.No word yet on when they’ll actually close the doors.

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AIDS Walk in Bangor/Brewer

Updated 6 years ago

More than a hundred walkers turned out Saturday to raise awareness…and money…for the fight against HIV and AIDS.The annual AIDS walks were held around the state…including one in Bangor.Walkers started out at the Eastern Maine AIDS Network on Harlow Street and made their way across the Penobscot River to Brewer and back.They raised money for HIV and AIDS care and prevention efforts.Oraganizers are hoping the Maine walks bring in a total of more than a hundred thousand dollars…half of it from community support, the other half from a challenge grant with the National AIDS Fund.< "what we have found is that HIV/AIDS has really fallen off the radar screen and our hope today is to do a public awareness campaign to remind folks that HIV/AIDS is here in Maine and it is an important public health issue.">Murphy says she was surprised to find that online walk donations this year doubled last year’s amount.She says that’s something she never expected, given the current state of the economy.

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I-95 Rollover Crash

Updated 6 years ago

Traffic on the Interstate in Hampden was reduced to one lane Saturday afternoon after a rollover crash.It happened just after 1 p.m.The driver of a silver car was headed southbound, passing other vehicles when he lost control, spun out across both lanes and rolled the car onto its roof.It came to rest on the shoulder of the road.Rescue crews had to use the jaws of life to free the man from the wreckage.State Troopers were called in to investigate.They say it’s a miracle no one else was hurt, considering the amount of traffic on the road at the time of the crash.< "there was traffic around him, one of the drivers said he skidded on his roof right in front of her so that was some good defensive driving on her part...she was able to escape any contact.">No word yet on the extent of the driver’s injuries.He’s hospitalized at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

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