Local News

Drowning or Murder? Part Two of Amy Erickson’s Special Report

Updated 6 years ago

On Wednesday, we brought you the story of a mystery in the woods of northern Maine more than 80 years ago.Two Game Wardens went missing in 1922…their bodies were found underwater months later.The deaths were ruled drownings…but for years, doubt has persisted…and rumors have abounded as to what really happened.For close to a hundred years, family members, fellow Game Wardens and other law enforcement personnel have doubted that David Brown and Mertley Johnson drowned.Tonight, we look at the other scenario that many believe played out in the woods that fall…and brought their lives to an end.< "all you had was two bodies that drowned up in big bog and you're way back in the woods. you're about as far back as you can get. so no evidence or anything. but they felt it was suspicious at the time."As the former Police Chief in Greenville, Maxim Squires has heard many theories over the years about what really happened at Big Bog back in November of 1922.It's been a mystery for decades.Candy Canders Russell runs the Moosehead Historical Society.She has files bursting with newspaper accounts of Brown and Johnson's deaths."each article seemed to have different details as to what had happened, but there was certainly no final conclusion."Many in the Warden Service have never been able to shake the feeling that Brown and Johnson did not, in fact, drown.bite 4:04 "there's a possibility that they were shot by a trapper up there."At the time they went missing, Brown and Johnson had been investigating illegal beaver trapping in the Saint John Valley.bite 17:05 "at the time, beaver was worth a considerable amount of money. i believe that's right around when it was worth a dollar an inch. and there was some speculation that a Canadian would probably take quite a few chances for something that valuable.""the names David Brown and Mertley Johnson...they mean a lot to game wardens."Retired Game Warden Bill Allen recalls that there was, at one time, a suspect in the Wardens' disappearance."there were two brothers from Canada that were poaching beaver in Maine around the same time Johnson and Brown went among the missing."One of the brothers returned to Canada when he heard the Game Wardens were in the area."the other one stayed. And he was later being given a ride back to the border in a horse drawn wagon and he mentioned to the driver that he'd got a couple deer. The driver asked him where they were and he said 'well, they weren't that kind of deer.' That kind of makes you wonder if he wasn't somehow involved."Allen admits that it's unlikely anyone will ever prove that Brown and Johnson were actually murdered.He'd like to see their bodies exhumed...since, according to at least one present-day medical examiner, the autopsies that were performed back in 1922 could have easily missed a bullet hole.But Allen knows that in all likelihood, the answers will remain forever buried in the woods at Big Bog..."as to what happened to them, I don't know and I don't know if we ever will know what happened to them...and that's too bad. Because men that did the job they did and paid the price they paid have a right to have their story told. And I'm not sure it ever will be.">Fourteen Maine Game Wardens, including David Brown and Mertley Johnson, have died in the line of duty during the department’s history.Their names can all be found on the Maine Law Enforcement Officers Memorial outside the State House in Augusta.

Read more on Drowning or Murder? Part Two of Amy Erickson’s Special Report…


City of Bangor Responds to Swine Flu Scare

Updated 6 years ago

City of Bangor Health officials briefed the public Thursday on their response to the Swine Flu.Health and Community Services Director Shawn Yardley says he and his staff are in daily communication with the Maine Centers for Disease Control.Yardley says although the outbreak is world-wide, the solutions to actually limiting the spread of the virus are local and individual.City health officials are reminding residents to do their part to stay healthy, through vigilant hand-washing, using hand sanitizers and covering coughs and sneezes.They’re also urging anyone with symptoms to stay home and avoid contact with others.< "we want you to focus on your personal responsibility. Take the actions you can...take care of yourself and protect others in your community.">Bangor officials advise folks with questions or concerns to visit the Maine C-D-C’s website at www.mainepublichealth.gov .There, you’ll find the most up-to-date information for the state.

Read more on City of Bangor Responds to Swine Flu Scare…


Pig Farmer Not Worried About Swine Flu Outbreak

Updated 6 years ago

You might think someone who works with pigs every day would be especially concerned about the health scare.Not necessarily.Amy Erickson spoke with a pig farmer in Athens who says she’s not worried.

Read more on Pig Farmer Not Worried About Swine Flu Outbreak…


Plane Diverted to Bangor

Updated 6 years ago

Bangor Police say an unruly passenger was removed from a flight that was diverted to Bangor International Airport Wednesday night.The United Airlines plane was flying from Los Angeles to London.After landing at B.I.A., the woman from England was taken off the flight and the plane continued on to London.She was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for an evaluation. No charges have been filed at this point.

Read more on Plane Diverted to Bangor…


Gay Marriage

Updated 6 years ago

AP- A bill to legalize gay marriage has won all-but-final approval in the Maine Senate.The measure now moves to the House of Representatives forconsideration next week.In initial voting after extended and emotional debate Thursday, the Senate voted 20-15 to give its preliminary approval.Next, an amendment to require a statewide referendum on thematter was rejected, 22-13.Then the Senate registered its support for the original measureagain, this time by 21-14.Gay marriage supporters were elated. But one organizer, Maggie Ricker of Chelsea, echoed a number of lawmakers in saying she expects opponents of same-sex marriage to use a petition drive to force a people’s veto referendum even if the bill wins enactment.

Read more on Gay Marriage…


Husson Pharmacy School Gets Generous Donation

Updated 6 years ago

One-hundred-thousand dollars was given to Husson University on Wednesday in support of their new pharmacy program.Hannaford charitable foundation made the donation.Husson University says the new program will prepare students for careers as pharmacists in northern New England.Hannaford’s donation will go toward a new skills laboratory, which is still being built.The program starts in september.Organizers say Hannaford’s support is crucial.

Read more on Husson Pharmacy School Gets Generous Donation…


Dexter Police Chief Retires

Updated 6 years ago

Dexter’s police chief called it a career on Wednesday.63-year-old Arthur Roy has retired.He headed the dexter police department for the past five years.He was a Maine state trooper for years and spent some time working in Florida before taking the top spot in Dexter.He plans to spend more time with family now.Sergeant James Emerson has stepped in as acting chief for now.

Read more on Dexter Police Chief Retires…


Katahdin Paper Mill to Reopen

Updated 6 years ago

The Katahdin paper mill will soon be reopening its doors.Starting Tuesday, a paper machine that makes directories will be back on line.Shortly thereafter, another machine which makes newsprint paper will be up and running.A human resources officer for the mill says it’s not yet known just how many people will be returning to work.

Read more on Katahdin Paper Mill to Reopen…


Drowning…or Murder? Part One of Amy Erickson’s Special Report

Updated 6 years ago

It’s a story that’s captured the attention of Game Wardens and other law enforcement personnel throughout Maine for close to a hundred years.Back in 1922, two wardens went missing in the North Country.Their bodies were discovered five months later.It was thought that they drowned…but as the years passed, speculation has grown as to what may have really happened. “There are a tremendous amount of questions that probably will never be answered.”When Game Warden Jared Herrick goes into the woods, his mind can’t help but wander back to a story he first heard years ago…of two Wardens who went missing more than 80 years ago in the Saint John Valley.Chief Warden David Brown of Greenville…and Warden Mertley Johnson of Patten headed up to Big Bog to investigate illegal activity. “They were looking into canadian poaching of beaver…illegal beaver trapping.”The men left home on November 11th, telling their families they’d be home by Thanksgiving…but they were never seen again.A massive search ensued…but turned up nothing…until the spring…when their bodies were discovered in the water near Big Bog Dam. “The autopsies…apparently, they didn’t find anything at that time, but then again, you’re talking a couple of bodies that had been underwater all winter and probably not in the best of condition.”In 1923, it would still be more than 40 years before the Medical Examiner’s office came into existence…so two doctors out of Skowhegan performed the autopsies.They believed the men drowned.But to this day, there are plenty who aren’t convinced that’s what *really* happened to Brown and Johnson. “It doesn’t look like a place where two game wardens would drown. that seemed to be the consensus of opinion.”Maxim Squires is a former Chief of Police in Greenville.He remembers how the case puzzled the lead investigator for years. “They felt it was suspicious. i mean, how do two game wardens drown?”If you ask most modern-day wardens, they’ll tell you there are several problems with the drowning theory.First, there wasn’t any water found in either man’s lungs.Add to that the fact that the water where they were found was fairly shallow at the time they went missing. “It’s unlikely that the water would’ve been over their head. it’s most likely that the water level would’ve been maybe waist deep maximum.”Some guessed that the wardens had tried to cross thin ice with fatal results.But retired Game Warden Bill Allen, who’s studied the case…says there’s no way. “It would be pretty unusual for an experienced game warden supervisor like david brown or an experienced warden like mertley johnson to just wander out onto a flowage in northern maine on thin ice in the middle of november. Woodsmen of their caliber don’t do that, period. And I don’t think they did.”Bill Allen says he has a pretty good idea of what really happened to Wardens Brown and Johnson…and his theory is shared by many others.The problem?How to prove it.We’ll look at that part of the story Thursday night at 6 on TV5 News.

Read more on Drowning…or Murder? Part One of Amy Erickson’s Special Report…


Drunk Driving Reality Shown to Lincoln Students

Updated 6 years ago

Every 15 minutes, someone in this country dies in an alcohol related car accident. The students at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln got a very visual reminder of that Wednesday.Every 15 minutes a student at Mattanawcook Academy was pulled from their classroom. An obituary was read. “Alexa we will miss your beautiful smile and nothing will ever fill the void.” Each one symbolized a victim of an alcohol related crash. For the rest of the day, they walked the halls as the living dead. Their parents were notified by law enforcement officials at home. “My mom, we’re really really close, and I know she’ll take it hard.” Their classmates were left behind to contemplate the harsh reality. “It’s showing us what goes on. The reality of what goes on, the reality of drinking and driving.” “I hope it opens everybody’s eyes to it all.”That’s what organizers hope, as we approach prom and graduation season, that this will help kids make smarter decisions. Principal Henry Pietras says, “I think the more realistic this looks like and feels like, I think the more impact it’s gonna have.”Lincoln Police Chief, Bill Flagg adds: “Will we ever stop students from drinking? I wish we could but, no. But to educate them about making the right decision, if it’s gonna happen, they can’t get behind the wheel.”Then the students got to see exactly what can happen if you get behind the wheel, when you’re drunk. A simulated car crash was set up outside the school. Students could only watch as emergency crews cut through the wreckage to get to their classmates. The lifeflight helicopter flew in to take away one of the most injured, but two did not survive this crash. Their parents were asked to come identify the bodies. A visual reminder that some victims of drunk driving crashes, do survive. “This was a lot harder, even though it’s fake, it’s a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be.” Roger Coolong identified his daughter as part of the scenario.Kim Pelkey, who identified her son, agrees. “Everybody kept saying are you OK with this, and I’m like yeah, it’s a staged event, it should be OK. But when the officer knocked on the door to come here, it’s a lot more real.”Sending home a hard lesson, and hoping this scenario never does become reality.The students who were pulled from their classroom as the living dead, were taken to a retreat Wednesday night. They won’t be reunited with their parents until a funeral Thursday morning at the school.

Read more on Drunk Driving Reality Shown to Lincoln Students…


Maine Day

Updated 6 years ago

Black bear pride filled the UMaine campus in Orono Wednesday.A morning parade kicked it off.The University of Maine Campus was the sight of fun games, sizzling food, and students having a good time.Wednesday marked the university’s annual Maine day. “It’s a day of service for the community we begin with a great parade. We had about 1300 students this morning celebrating the onset of Spring and the coming finals.”Events were planned all across the campus and throughout the entire day.The Delta Tau Delta fraternity set up an event called bash out drunk driving. “We wanted to be really different so we were like lets take a car and let some students take out some stress.”And bash they did.All proceeds from the event will go towards Mothers Against Drunk Driving.And for one UMaine student the event hit close to home. “At the age of 6 I was injured in a drunk driving accident and as a result I am a paraplegic. And it will be 23 years in October that I’ve been in a wheelchair because of drunk driving.”Hadley thinks this event is a great way to get the word out. “Especially on college campuses. I feel it’s really important to get the word out because the demographic of people around here tend to drunk drive and they don’t really think about it.”Though for some students Maine day wasn’t all about having fun in the mud or winning at human foosball.Some spent their day beautifying the UMaine campus. “It’s very important. A lot of times we take things for granted. We don’t have to work very hard as students but being able to take time out of your day to do this is something nice a way to give back to the campus.”No matter how they students spent their day…they all had a great time. “It was exciting to play with my co-workers it was great.” “It was chilly but it was good, it was great.” “It’s wicked awesome. Why is it so awesome? I just like being outside with everyone and seeing people I don’t see much because I live off campus”

Read more on Maine Day…


Winterport Waterline Repairs

Updated 6 years ago

People traveling along Route 1-A in Winterport on Thursday can expect some delays.The winterport water district will be repairing a waterline leak beginning at 9 a-m.the area of construction is on South Main Street near the Post Office.South Main Street residents from Marine Street to Mountain View Drive may also have an interruption in their water service.Repairs are expected to take all day.

Read more on Winterport Waterline Repairs…


Forest Service Warns Against “Mudding” on Private Forest Roads

Updated 6 years ago

Mud season is a rite of spring in Maine.But Forest Rangers say this year, some truck drivers are enjoying the season a little too much…and destroying roads in the process.Amy Erickson has more.< "in the spring, people like to get out and about because they have cabin fever. Unfortunately, April's not the time to be going out there."John Bryant's company, American Forest Management, oversees more than a million acres of land in Maine.He's seen firsthand the damage being done this spring by people out 'mudding' in their trucks on privately-owned forest roads.Bryant is working with the Maine Forest Service to get the word out that this kind of activity is more than just disrespectful and damaging...it's illegal...and could result in a summons...or a stiff fine."up to 500 dollars. You could get jail time up to a year."Kent Nelson is the Forest Service's Fire Prevention Specialist.He says the beat-up roads are making things difficult for his crews to get to fire scenes in a hurry."we've had trouble getting to some of these roads because they're so rutted.""it's very difficult to access in the event of a wildfire."Nelson says the damage also threatens wildlife habitats and water quality...and many local landowners find themselves facing steep bills to repair the damage done by these 'joyrides.'"to correct the damage caused by these people who mud on these roads, landowners often have to pay contractors up to $200 an hour for special equipment to repair these roads.""if they want to do this mudding, they can do it on their own land.""in another 2 weeks or so, when things dry out, it's a whole different story, but there's just this time period right now that things are a little muddy in the woods that we want to avoid that type of vehicle use."Bryant worries that if folks don't smarten up...they could start losing access to one of Maine's greatest resources."i think this hurts - potentially - all users. All fishermen, hunters, all people who like to recreate on private lands. Because as time goes on, landowners will restrict access if this continues."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Old Town.>

Read more on Forest Service Warns Against “Mudding” on Private Forest Roads…


Swine Flu Comes to Maine

Updated 6 years ago

Maine health officials say laboratory tests have confirmed three cases of what is now being called H1N1 which was previously reported as swine flu. All three positive results are from adults in the state. Health officials have not released names or the ages of the patients, but they say two people are from Kennebec County and one person is from York County. Maine CDC Director, Dr. Dora Anne Mills says the three individuals have been isolated from others and are now recovering in their homes.Governor Baldacci, in conjunction with Education Commission Susan A. Gendron, Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine CDC and local education officials, announced the closure of Kennebunk Elementary School and the Crayon Academy day care center in Arundel due to two children with suspected H1N1 influenza. Both are in York County.The two children have symptoms consistent with H1N1 and are in household contact with a person identified with H1N1 infection.”This is a serious situation,” Governor Baldacci said. “We are taking these precautions to slow the spread of the flu and to make sure Maine can respond quickly and efficiently.”The news came as President Barack Obama suggested school closings may be necessary in the health emergency, which has claimed its first life in the United States. Maine’s Education Commissioner Susan Gendron has told TV5 News that school superintendents in the state have been put on alert and praised local school officials and the owner of the day care for taking quick action to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. She said that there are no other schools that are being considered for closure at this time.According to Gendron, in the event that Maine CDC becomes aware of a confirmed or probable case of swine flu in a public school student, Maine CDC or the Department of Education will contact the superintendent of the school in order to close the school and send students and staff home.Guidelines determine that schools closed because of a swine flu outbreak will be closed for seven calendar days.In addition, Governor Baldacci signed an executive order declaring a Civil Emergency that will allow the State to better respond to the emerging threat posed by H1N1 flu.Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday the disease has spread to four more states and 91 cases now have been confirmed. To continue to monitor the current numbers click here.For more information or to ask general questions about this disease you can call the State H1N1 Hotline at 1-888-257-0990 between 9am-5pm.FOR MORE H1N1 INFORMATION AND A CHECKLIST FOR PREPARING FOR A PANDEMIC CLICK HERE

Read more on Swine Flu Comes to Maine…


State Earning Shortfall

Updated 6 years ago

Maine will soon be even deeper in debt.A state panel is estimating that between now and June of 2011, Maine will fall short by an additional $570,000,000.That’s on top of the $340,000,000 they already anticipated.Governor Baldacci is expected to present a response plan later this week.

Read more on State Earning Shortfall…


Augusta Man Killed in Crash

Updated 6 years ago

A 78-year-old Augusta man is dead after his vehicle went into a ditch and struck a culvert Tuesday night.It happened on the Church Hill Road in Augusta.Police say that Rosaire Dubord was ejected from his Jeep during the crash.It was reported at 5:15 Tuesday night.The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy on Dubord’s body.

Read more on Augusta Man Killed in Crash…


Shirley Schoolhouse Vote Returns

Updated 6 years ago

A couple of weeks ago, the school committee in Shirley voted 3-to-2 to close the one room schoolhouse next year.But then a petition was turned in at the town office, with enough signatures to put it to a vote.That vote was held Tuesday night. The final count was 60 votes to 30 in favor of closing the school’s doors.The two students currently enrolled will be transferred to nearby Greenville for the next school year.

Read more on Shirley Schoolhouse Vote Returns…


Smoking Ban on Beaches

Updated 6 years ago

On Tuesday, the Maine senate voted to enact a bill that would ban smoking at state park beaches. The bill bans smoking on state beaches, as well as places where people commonly congregate together at state parks or other historic sites. It would apply only to areas within 20 feet of beaches, playgrounds, snack bars, group picnic shelters, enclosed areas, or public restrooms. The bill also requires the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to erect signs and help educate the public on the smoking ban. This bill has an emergency clause written into it, meaning that upon signature by the governor, it will be immediately enacted.

Read more on Smoking Ban on Beaches…


Solon Fire Called Arson

Updated 6 years ago

A fire at the former Solon Manufacturing plant over the weekend was most likely arson, according to Ken Grimes from the state fire marshal’s office.He says they’re now looking for the responsible person or persons.Sergeant Grimes is not saying how the fire was started.The plant has been vacant since 2003.Sunday’s fire was the seventh there in two years.Investigators say a few of those fires were accidental while others were intentional.

Read more on Solon Fire Called Arson…


Westbrook Deaths

Updated 6 years ago

A husband and wife were found stabbed to death in their Westbrook condo Tuesday.The bodies of 45-year-old Kenneth Taylor and 43-year-old Belinda Taylor were discovered by their two teenage daughters.The girls found their parents in the living room around mid-afternoon.Autopsies will be done by the state medical examiner. Police hope that will help them determine who is responsible for the stabbings.Right now police believe no one else was involved.They say there’s no history of domestic violence, but the couple was in the midst of ending their 14 year marriage.

Read more on Westbrook Deaths…


MENU