Local News

Federal Funds Could Mean More Buses in Bangor

Updated 6 years ago

Maine’s public transit system is the next in line to benefit from President Obama’s federal stimulus package.At least a dozen full-sized buses have been approved for purchase to replace aging vehicles already on the road.Three of them are slated for the city of Bangor.B.A.T. bus supervisor Joe McNeil says they’ve been working with state delegates, as well as the Department of Transportation for the last several months.A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday to approve the type of vehicles. And next week Bangor and several other cities will start taking bids.McNeil says each new bus costs around $400,000. “The stimulus buses are 100% federally funded. Prior to that, using formula funding, we used to have to come up with somewhere between 10 and 15% of the cost of the vehicle.”Orono is also benefiting from the federal dollars.Two of these shuttle buses will be purchased and used to transport people between the city and the University of Maine.

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Frieda Miller Remembered

Updated 6 years ago

Funeral services will be held Tuesday for a well-known citizen of Bangor.Frieda Miller, who founded what is now known as Miller Drug, died on Sunday.Miller and her husband Abe, who passed away in 2003, started Frieda Miller Variety on State Street back in the 1930’s.Miller was also known for her tireless volunteer work for several area charities, including Bangor Nursing and Rehab Center, United Cerebral Palsy and Camp Capella.In 2000, the Millers were given the Norbert Dowd award for their many contributions to the community.Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 1pm at Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor.Frieda Miller was 96 years old.

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Staying Strong in a Weak Economy

Updated 6 years ago

It looks like some people who made resolutions this year to hit the gym are doing just that. We checked in with folks at a couple gyms in Bangor Monday who told us they’re doing well, and despite the economy – or maybe because of it – business is up.”The resolution,” says Gold’s Gym member Rob Jarvis, “was to get back in better shape.”Those who some gym owners call “New-Year’s resolutioners” seem to be sticking with it this year.”I’ve been here for ten years and it seems like every year they seem to stay a little longer,” says Gold’s Gym Manager Paige Raymond. And, she says the weak economy might be keeping their business strong.”I’m attributing a lot of it to the fact that we’re going through a really stressful time, economy-wise, so this is an inexpensive way to keep yourself from going crazy,” she says.Across town at Union Street Athletics, Roger Haller agrees.”Because they stick with it now. Before it was ‘Oh, I’ll try it,’ but they see it’s a necessity.”And some gym members say it’s a necessary cost, even in these tough times.”When you really think about it, 30 bucks a month, 35 is what we pay, and to tell you the truth, it’s one of the cheapest hobbies you can have,” says Union Street Athletics member Eric Zammitt.”Everybody here is really supportive, really helpful,” says member Dave Dauphinee, “so it just makes it easy to want to come in. Once you get into the rhythm you don’t want to break the rhythm.””We talked with the members and they’re concerned, and we have had some that drop off, but for the most part they’ve stuck with it,” Haller says.If, for nothing else, to chase away those winter blues.”Winter is shown to mess with your psyche if you don’t get enough exercise, so it’s a good way to combat that,” says Gold’s Gym member Kasie Richards.”It’s going pretty good,” says Gold’s member Jarvis, “It’s pretty painful but that’s what I get for waiting so long I guess.”

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The Search is Over: Abducted 4-Year Old Found

Updated 6 years ago

The search is over for a little boy who police say was kidnapped by his mother.4-year old Zion Lawrence was found Monday night and at last report was being checked out at a hospital.Police say he was being cared for by his father in farmington, when his mother showed up around 3:30 Monday morning. They say the 26-year old mother, Jennifer Woodbury, 27-year old Nicole Lamphere and a man who’s in his 20’s invaded the home and took the child.Arrest warrants were then issued on charges of aggravated assault, criminal tresspass and assault. It’s unclear where or how Zion was found, but authorities have confirmed that he is safe and has been located.

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New Treatment for Tendonitis Receives National Attention

Updated 6 years ago

A new treatment for people dealing with pain from tendonitis and similar types of problems is getting national attention.It’s now available here in Maine.”I like to run to stay fit so having this kind of pain in my knee has really made that difficult.” Jeff Nichols works at Mount Deseet Island Hospital, but he’s also one of their newest patients to get platelet rich plasma therapy, or prp.”It’s been used in a fairly wide spread manner with professional athletes. It was featured in the super bowl as being something that was used by a couple of the Steelers. “It’s a relatively new procedure for everyone else. Doctor Mark Kandutsch has only been doing it for a few weeks. “People who have some wear and tear type processes going on in their tendons and joints. Not so much high school athletes with an acute injury. We’re really talking about something that has the greatest use for more chronic injuries.”The therapy involves drawing blood and spinning it on a cetrifuge to separate red blood cells from the platelets. The platelets are then injected back into the site of the injury. “By concentrating those growth factors where the chronic injury is, you can promote the body to heal certain types of injuries that otherwise wouldn’t heal or might take years to heal.”Kandutsch’s practice is only the second in the state to offer the new treatment, but he feels it will become widespread. Doctors say patients are sore for several days, but the recovery time is much shorter than surgery.”The opportunity to have a complete and quick recovery without being laid up is a big benefit.”

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Riding Out the Storm

Joy Hollowell

Updated 6 years ago

MANY OF US DREAD DRIVING TO WORK IN SNOWY WEATHER LIKE WE HAD TODAY.IMAGINE WHAT IT’S LIKE, IF YOU DRIVE FOR A LIVING.JOY HOLLOWELL HOPPED ABOARD A BAT BUS TODAY, TO SEE HOW THE DRIVERS WEATHER THE STORM.—————-“People really do rely on public transit here. We transport upwards of 3,000 people day on a normal day. There’s a different group of people that will ride on a day like today, that would normally take their own vehicle and feel more comfortable leaving the driving to us.”BUS SUPERINTENDENT JOE MCNEIL ADMITS, THAT’S A LOT OF PRESSURE ON HIS DRIVERS. “Gerow cleaning off windshield wipers”BUT FOR CARL GEROW, ITS ALL PART OF THE JOB.”I don’t mind it. I’ve lived in the winters in Maine all my life.””bus pulling up to stop”GEROW IS GOING ON SEVEN YEARS AS A BUS OPERATOR FOR THE BAT SYSTEM. HE’S DRIVEN THROUGH A LOT OF SNOW STORMS, AND SAYS THIS ONE RANKS RIGHT UP THERE.”This is good, this is as good as the others are.”THE BAT SYSTEM HAS BEEN DELAYED TWO TIMES SO FAR THIS YEAR BY SNOW…LAST YEAR, THERE WERE ALSO A FEW DELAYS. BUT IT’S BEEN ALMOST THREE YEARS SINCE MOTHER NATURE FORCED THE BUSES TO STOP ALTOGETHER.”There’s a high level of reliability that they expect from us, and whenever possible, we try to get out and operate.””thank you, your welcome.”JOY HOLLOWELL, WABI TV 5 NEWS, BANGOR.

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Tow Plow

Updated 6 years ago

There’s a new plow on the road that’s turning heads while removing snow.It was sent to Bangor to make it’s maiden voyage on the interstate.We went along for the test run.This truck has drivers dazzled … It plows… It salts… And it swivels with the greatest of ease.”It’s a trailer that offsets behind the truck, the wheels on the trailer actually turn out and it’ll go out about 30 degrees.” Says Randy Gray, Region Superintendent for the D.O.T.The trailer has a wing that’s about 30 feet long, and combined with the front plow it will clear a 24 foot path. A traditional plow will only clear about 14 feet… Saving time and fuel.”It will make my job easier because we’re doing less passes.” Says Tony Ramsdell. He’s the first in Maine to drive one of these monster plows. He goes on to say, “When they first told me I’d be operating this I thought they were kinda crazy.”He’s been using the tow plow to clear route 9. He let TV5 ride along for it’s first trip down the interstate. He says people don’t know quite what to make of this giant plow.”They’ll see that swing out and it kinda scares them a little bit, they don’t know what going on for the first few minutes, and then they kinda stick out there for a while to see what happening and then after that usually they’ll go by, I’ve got a few thumbs up.”Ramsdell says driving the plow is easy. He controls everything with just the push of a lever.”This one right here is your up and down for the tow plow.”He says it may look scary but it’s actually safer than the traditional plows. “You’re not swerving in and out with the truck, your just swerving the snow plow, the wheels turn and that’s taking care of everything, you’re pretty much safer going down the road.”They’re still testing the tow plows around this area, and each one costs 50-60 thousand dollars. But the D.O.T. says if all goes well, they may consider investing for next winter.

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Storms Could Put Some Towns in the Red

Updated 6 years ago

Heavy snow is spreading across Maine, closing schools, businesses and state government and making for tough going for motorists during and after the morning commute. Road crews have had plows out in full force trying to keep up with the storm that’s expected to dump accumulations of between 6 and 12 inches in most areas. This is the eighteenth storm of the season. Last year at this time there had been twenty-four snowstorms.The cities of Waterville and Augusta have public works budgets of $850,000 in winter funds, most of which has already been spent on storm clean-up, equipment repairs, salt, and sand. While there isn’t a salt shortage like last year, Waterville public works director, Mark Turner says money may be the problem this year. He says, one or two more storms could put them in the red. If the budget is used up Turner says, the money will have to be found in other areas where there is a surplus. If a surplus isn’t found, parks and recreation, solid waste, and recycling programs could be cut to find the needed funds.

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Posted Roads

Updated 6 years ago

Warming temperatures duing the day and frost in the roads has made some unable to handle heavy loads. The city of Brewer has posted these roads. Postings usually last from February 15 to April 30. The roads to be posted are:DAY ROAD – 1 sign on the Day Road at North Main StreetLAMBERT ROAD – 1 sign on the Lambert Road at the Holden town line.EASTERN AVE. – 2 signs Eastern Ave. @ Chamberlain St. and the Holden linePIERCE ROAD – 1 sign on Pierce Road at Wilson St.PARKWAY NORTH – 1 sign at Parkway North & North Main St.CHAPMAN STREET – 1 sign on Chapman St. @ North Main St.SILK STREET – 1 sign at Silk & Washington Sts. towards Parkway NorthWASHINGTON ST.–1 sign at Washington & Silk Sts. towards Parkwy No.BROADLAWN DR. – 1 sign on Broadlawn Dr. at North Main St.HILLCREST DR. – 1 sign on Hillcrest Dr. at North Main St.GETTYSBURG AVE. – 1 sign at Gettysburg Ave. & North Main St.HILLSIDE BLVD. – 1 sign at Hillside Blvd. & North Main St.ARLINGTON AVE. – 1 sign at Arlington Ave. & North Main St.WISWELL ROAD – 2 sign on Wiswell Rd @ Green Point Rd. & Town line GREENWOOD DR. – 1 sign on Greenwood Dr. at Parkway SouthROBIN HOOD DR. – 1 sign on Robin Hood Dr. at Parkway SouthEDGEWOOD DR. – 1 sign on Edgewood Dr. at Parkway SouthSUNSET STRIP – 1 sign on Sunset Strip at Parkway SouthCOVE STREET – 1 sign on north end of Cove Street @ South Main St.Posted roads may be traveled by vehicles weighing more than 23,000 pounds if the city engineer has signed a permit.

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Josh Stevens Remembered

Updated 6 years ago

Folks in Brewer are mourning the death of a special 15-year-old boy.Joshua Stevens was well known in the community. He was born with a heart defect that led to a number of health problems and surgeries.Recently, he was given a golden retriever named Brady to help him.But the family needed help paying the three thousand dollars for the dog’s training.So the community came together to raise the money, by holding a spaghetti dinner and auction.Stevens died on February 25th at home with his family.A funeral service has been rescheduled to Tuesday.

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Thomaston Fire Leaves Four Homeless

Updated 6 years ago

A family is homeless following a fire in Thomaston Sunday night.The call came in at around 7 o’clock Sunday night that there was a chimney fire at 54 Highwater Street.When crews arrived they found the home engulfed in flames.Seven crews battled the fire into the midnight hour.The family of four escaped the fire unharmed, as did the family dog.Two firefighters were injured in the fight, they were taken to Penn Bay hospital, where they were treated and released.Fire officials are calling the home a total loss. The Fire Marshal’s office has been called in to investigate.

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Plane Crash Claims Life of Mainer

Updated 6 years ago

A Millinocket native was killed when the plane he was flying crashed in California during the weekend.It happened Saturday morning north of Sacramento.F.A.A. officials say 53-year-old David Michaud was at the controls when the aircraft went down outside a private airport.The plane was engulfed in flames by the time rescue crews arrived.An airplane mechanic who was on board was also killed.Michaud was born and raised in Millinocket, but left the area in the mid 1970s after he finished school.Officials say Michaud and the mechanic had been working on the plane and decided to take it up when the crash happened.No word yet on what caused the plane to go down.

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Snowmobile Accident

Updated 6 years ago

A man from Massachusetts has been hospitalized after a snowmobile accident on a trail near Rockwood.Game wardens say 25-year-old Michael Sargent of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was going about 50 miles per hour towards northeast Carry and Kokadjo when the crash happened.Sargent hit a mogul and his sled went airborne. Sargent was thrown onto his back. The sled was smashed to pieces.Sargent suffered back and internal injuries in the crash. Wardens say he was wearing a helmet.The accident is under investigation.Wardens say an initial review indicates that speed was a factor.

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The Wicked Winter Ski Tour

Updated 6 years ago

More than 100 skiers were out enjoying the calm before the storm Sunday morning, skiing from Bangor to Orono for the Great Caribou Wicked Winter Ski Tour and Race.Skiers of all ages – including a group of 2- to 6-year-olds – got the chance to enjoy beautiful local scenery on the 17 kilometer track (with little ones traveling just part of that distance). Many people were happy to participate since the event helps raise money to help conserve the area.TV-5 stopped by the finish line to find out more about the day.”The track was wicked fast,” says skier Bill Deighan, “and it was also hard, it you met it.””It was fast, a lot of people passed me, I didn’t pass a lot of people, but it was a lot of fun,” says skier Jack Rawcliffe, as his friends laugh.”We have a lot of beautiful natural land here that a lot of people don’t explore, and it’s been maintained with tremendous trails,” says skier Paul Templeton. “And the people who organized it, especially Chris Dorion, put so much into it.””The goal is to create some conservation land, not preservation, conservation,” says event organizer Chris Dorion. “So it’s traditional use. Skiing is one use, people hunt in the fall, there are a couple of snowmobile trails on it.”This is the event’s 24th year. Organizers say they lucked out with the weather today…it hasn’t always been so pleasant in years past.

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A Bump in the Road

Updated 6 years ago

As sure as the seasons will change there’s something else we can rely on as we near the end of winter…that potholes will pop up.These last couple of weeks folks have been noticing them on our roads.”They’re everywhere,” says driver Lana Cray. “You have to be really cautious.”This time of year drivers can expect to find a few bumpy surprises in the road.”When we’re in daddy’s truck, especially, right?” says Karen Willard to her daughter. “Yeah.”Potholes. How bad?”Bad,” says Cray. “Very bad.””Everything in the car jiggles around,” says Willard.While many roads are fine, some are showing the effects of our wild weather, prompting some drivers to meet the likes of Eddie Smith.”I’m a tire guy.”Smith sees our bent rims and blown out tires.”By the time the snow melts, you get the frost heave and big potholes.”Some are easy fixes and will cost you less than 30 dollars to repair. Others mean you’re out a couple of hundred dollars.”If it’s on the side of the tire, we can’t patch it,” he says, “We have to replace the tire.”He says some customers shrug it off, while others are irritated.”Some of them bought brand new tires a couple of weeks ago and went out and hit a good-size pot hole, then they have to replace the tire…which is kind of a bummer.”Bangor Public Works says crews are out working to patch up the potholes, but it’s hard to keep up.So for now, keep an eye out for the bumps in the road and remember – it could always be worse.”When I worked in Belfast,” Smith says, “there was one car that came in with all four tires off the rims. That was pretty bad.”

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Brewer elementary school students give their change for a little girl in need….

Updated 6 years ago

A 5-month-old from Levant, who suffers from a rare and life-threatening blood disorder, got some help from some elementary students in Brewer.Maggie Rudnicki has been diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia and needs monthly blood transfusions to stay alive.This week, students at the Washington Street and Capri Schools celebrated hundredths day in honor of Maggie.They brought in donations, that equaled 100 or more, to go towards Maggie’s care.Maggie’s grandma, Bernadette Rudnicki, is an ed-tech at the Washington Street School.”I had a little boy come up to me, and tell me that he had lost 3 teeth, and that the tooth-fairy had brought him 3 dollars. I didn’t really know where he was leading…and he said that he brought his 3 dollars in and gave it to Maggie, because he wanted Maggie to be able to get blood every day…instead of just once a month.”The students managed to raise about 850 dollars for maggie, who was on hand to thank them.The Rudnickis say the money will go towards Maggie’s medical bills and the special formula she needs.They ask anyone who wants to help the family to consider donating blood at a local blood bank or blood drive.

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Lincoln braces for Sno-Cross Races….

Updated 6 years ago

Snowsled engines will be roaring in Lincoln, this weekend, as folks there gear up for the Tenth Annual Sno-Cross races.But the snow-mobilers won’t be the only ones to benefit rom this weekend’s activities.Local businesses are hoping to cash in on some of the fun, too.”This is our one big fundraiser we have each year.””We have racers from all over New England coming up. We set up so you can run both pros and the guys that run every weekend will show up here. And the guy with a sled in his backyard–he can drag that up, and there’s a class for him. There’s something for everybody.”For ten years, members of the Lincoln Snowhounds Snowmobile club, have hosted their Sno-Cross Races.”They’re putting the spectator stands together, they’ll get the yard laid out, the parking areas all cleared up…the signs up…its a lot of work.””I think the trails to get here will be the best I’ve seen in years. I know the guys were out late last night trying to get all the trails groomed and opened up. Typically we’ll have as many as 200 snowmobiles parked out on the field out there…people riding up, especially if its a nice warm day, so it should be a good turn out.”Club President, Alan Smith, says the event brings the community together, including some of the local merchants.”It’s something that happens and had happened for many years…and it’s something the businesses all count on now.”Lana St. Cyr is a waitress at Gilmor’s Beef ‘N Ale.She says the races bring a lot of people through the area.”I think that the snowmobile races are great because it gets everybody outside, enjoying the snow, instead of complaining about it.””It’s a family affair, you can bring the kids. You have the little 120 races so the little kids are out here playing. There’s good spots for the spectators to see everything. There’s good food in there, and it brings the entire club together.”Cori Skall, WABI TV 5 News.Registration for this weekend’s races starts at 8 a-m Saturday and Sunday.The races start each day at 11.There are trophies for amatuer winners.Professional racers will battle it out for 4-thousand dollars in prize money.

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Tucker’s Tale

Updated 6 years ago

One Bar Harbor man has turned a very sad situation, into hope for countless rescue dogs. He’s a waiter turned author, and he’s telling the story of one very special Cocker Spaniel.”Tucker was one of those dogs that needed some help, he came into rescue healthy, we thought, and just progressively over time he just started to fail.”Christopher Walsh has always loved dogs… but when he took tucker in, the little black and white Cocker Spaniel captured a special place in his heart. When tucker developed lymphoma Walsh was devastated.”It was terrible, four weeks from diagnosis to death.” Says Walsh.He needed a way to express his emotions.”I thought I’d do one of the things I’d done since grade school and I’ll start to write my feelings down. And when I started writing my feelings down it morphed into a book.”In the year since Tucker passed, Walsh was able to get his book published.”It wasn’t written to be a sad story, it’s written to be a comforting story.”Walsh used the poem ‘The Rainbow Bridge’ as inspiration.He says, “The Rainbow Bridge is where your pet goes to wait and they’re healthy and young again and they wait and they play until you go and you pick them up and you walk across the rainbow bridge together.”He hopes the story can be used as a teaching tool.”Tucker’s Tale teachers children a gentle way to take care of dogs, and then it teaches children that they’re not going to be with us forever and just because your pet dies it doesn’t mean it’s the end.”Tucker’s memory will live on in the good his story will do for other rescue dogs. All of the proceeds from Tucker’s Tale will be donated to help rescue dogs nationwide. For more information about Tucker’s Tale, or to buy the book, you can visit their website at www.tuckerstale.com.Walsh’s book will also be sold locally in stores and on Amazon.com. To learn more about rescue dogs, or to help one in your area, you can visit www.Lifeslittlepaws.com or www.Petfinder.com.

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Richard Widdecombe Junior Receives Two Life Sentences

Updated 6 years ago

27 year old Richard Widdecombe Junior has received 2 life sentences for the double murder of two people in Marshfield last year. Last January he gunned down 29 year old Katie Cabana and her friend, 41 year old Aaron Settipani. The Machias man who admitted to killing two people in marshfield last year was sentenced Friday in Washington County Superior Court. Richard Widdecombe Junior admitted to the double murders earlier this month.In January of last year, he gunned down 29-year-old Katie Cabana of Marshield and her friend, 41-year-old Aaron Settipani of Eastport. Authorities say Widdecombe had been dating Cabana, but she ended the relationship. Widdecombe fired nine shots, two hit Settipani who was sitting in his jeep in the driveway. Another two hit Cabana inside her home.One of the bullets hit Katie’s 6-year-old daughter in the foot.

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Paws for a Cause

Updated 6 years ago

Paws for a Cause is a new program in Fairfield that is helping those in need. Serving nearly one-hundred families, the volunteer based program hands out pet food every second and fourth Friday of each month. Volunteer, Raina Silverman says about one-thousand cats and seven-hundred dogs are fed through the program. She adds that fish, gerbils, and even horses have been helped too. Silverman fears with dwindling donations that Paws for a Cause will have to shut it’s doors and it’s why she hopes to round up support. If you are interested in dropping off pet food you can do so at any of the following locations: Animal House Pet Supplies – Fairfield Shaw’s Supermarket – Waterville Waterville Animal Hospital If you would like to send money you can do that by mailing it to: Paws for a CauseP.O. Box 31Fairfield, Me 04937

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