A new man’s in charge of the Dexter Police Department, but he’s certainly not new to the job.James Emerson was recently named the Chief of Police. He’s been the acting chief since Arthur Roy resigned in April. Emerson’s spent 27 years on the department in Dexter and says it’s been a long-time goal of his to serve as chief. He says he’d like officers to focus on more community policing and reaching out to the public, especially kids in school. One of the first items on his new agenda, though, is hiring another police officer to fill the position created by his promotion.
The man charged in the stabbing death of a 23-year-old mother from Fayette more than 25 years ago has been found guilty of murder. 52-year old Thomas Mitchell, Jr. took the witness stand monday to testify in his own defense and denied killing her.Jurors deliberated for about 90 minutes Tuesday.Prosecutors told jurors that advances in DNA technology provided proof that Mitchell raped and killed Judith Flagg at her home in January 1983.One of Mitchell’s lawyers said the DNA evidence was contaminated and could have belonged to others.Mitchell says he spent the day of Flagg’s death in South Portland with his aunt.Mitchell was arrested in 2006 while in prison completing sentences for kidnapping, gross sexual assault and attempted murder.
Now that school’s out, it’s tough for parents to find fun activities to keep their kids busy. The P.A.L. Center in Bangor hopes to fill that void.It shut down a year ago because of a lack of funding, but the Bangor Police Athletic League raised enough money to open up the doors for the summer.”I’m like OMG, I have to go.”That was Nickolas Childs’ reaction when he saw a flier, advertising that the Police Athletic League facility was reopening for the summer.The P.A.L. Center on Watchmaker Lane right off Essex Street not only gives kids a place to hang out, but also a chance to take part in some fun activities.”On sunny days we can go outside and play sports and stuff, on rainy days we come inside and play foose ball, pool, stuff like that.””Gonna try to build the program around the kids, kind of what they want, let them take some ownership so it’s their place.”The directors of the facility hope to get creative.”You said you want a disco party one time, disco party, couple karaoke nights.”Plus, the kids will get a chance to take field trips. Some of those might have a small cost, but all the other activities here are free, something that the folks here know will be helpful to a lot of parents who are struggling to make it in this tough economy.”The ability for children to go someplace and not be left at home alone and have a place they know are gonna be safe and for no cost or very little cost even with a field trip I think is gonna be a big help.”The directors were expecting about 5 kids on their first day, already they have about 15, and so far the facility is getting rave reviews.”It’s a little bit better than Disneyland but it really is the best place ever.”For more information on the PAL Center you can contact Tim at the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department at 992-4493.
Not everyone is holding off or cutting back because of the economy.Some folks are moving ahead with their business plans, even in the fickle bar and restaurant industry.”This building has a lot of history. Benjamin’s started in 1973 and it was Bangor’s hotspot, there’s no doubt about it.” Says Scott McCoy.This spot on Franklin Street in Bangor has seen its share of owners. McCoy – also known as DJ Fahrenheit – bought it this year. He says he’s seen others succeed and fail during his career. He’s been behind the bar and in the DJ booth. “As long as I’ve been doing this, it has prepared me for this,” he says. He has big plans to turn the place into Fahrenheit Pub.”The concept didn’t change,” he says of previous owners. “I believe that’s what needs to happen. Bangor is looking for a new, fun hotspot and that’s what we’re trying to provide,” he says.He’s poured his savings into a complete renovation. He’s expanding out back and adding a new drink and food menu. He’s confident it’s money well spent, even in a down economy.”Based on the economy, people are saving money and whatnot, but I’ve been in this very same location before. And the day we closed, there were 100 people in this bar still spending money and having a good time,” McCoy says.He says Fahrenheit Pub will appeal to the downtown after-work crowd with live music and other specials.”The market is definitely out there,” he says. “When you go out, if you’re offering a quality drink, quality food, quality entertainment, you’ll be successful.”He says the city has helped him along as a new business owner. While there’s still lots of work to do, he says he’ll be ready to open by July 4th.
Every summer, the folks at Tate’s Strawberry Farm in Corinth plant up to 65,000 strawberry plants, eagerly anticipating pickers from all over the state.But with 10 inches of rain falling last week alone, this years crop has been a little slow to ripen. Albert Tate, owner of Tate’s Strawberry Farm, says they plan for excess rainfall.”We grow our plants on a hill, we hill them up, so the water hasn’t been a problem as far as damaging the crop,” Tate explains, “it’s slowing them down. they haven’t quite got ready to ripen yet.”Despite the delay in the ripening process, workers at Tate’s are still picking 1500-2000 quarts per day.Most of those berries are being sent to roadside stands and some local businesses, like Hannaford, Dysarts, and The Muddy Rudder restaurant. The big question on most strawberry lovers minds is, of course, when can they show up and pick their own?”We’ve selected saturday the 27th as opening day, whether we have enough berries for everybody for the whole weekend we’re not sure, but I have a lot of them that need to be picked and if it continues to rain I’m going to really need the people out here picking them before they go bad.”After being in the business over 50 years, not much surprises Tate, and even 10 inches of rain is enough to dampen his enthusiasm.”We’ve got the fields all in good condition, we’re just waiting for the sun to break,” Tate says. “Soon as the sun breaks we’ll have plenty of strawberries.”
Lights, camera, action…. A new independent movie is underway in central Maine. A dark comdey titled, “The Putt Putt Syndrome,” is based on a man who under goes a mid-life crisis by doubting his “perfect life.” The film is taking place in Manchester with a 30-member crew and Hollywood actors. The director and writer of the script, Conata, said that the movie will be shot in Manchester, Winthrop and Lewiston. The cast includes Jason London of “Dazed & Confused,” David Chokachi of the “Baywatch” TV series and Robert Maschio of the TV series “Scrubs.”
At a price of $2.35, the average cost of heating oil has increased by 2 cents in the past week. This is minor compared to the increase of over 18 cents in the past two weeks. Different parts of the state are experiencing different prices, from $2.08 in southwestern Maine to $2.60 in northern Maine. Additionally, the average cost of kerosene jumped up to $2.78, a 2 cent increase, while natural gas averaged $11.30 per 1000 cubit feet, which is right where heating oil stands at $1.53 per gallon.Director of the Office of Energy Independence and Security John Kerry noted that the price of crude oil is up nearly $35 a barrel since the market’s low in February.
Camp Capella in Dedham was closed for the 2006 and 2007 summers, and last year reopened to children and adults with disabilities.The summer camp started again Monday and this year opened with a big announcement.Camp Capella is now an independent, non-profit organization.” What this means for us is we’re gonna focus our energies.” said Executive Director of Camp Capella Dana Mosher. ” This is not just an eight week summer program open it up and close it up and go home, this is an all year round program at this point that we’re gonna be providing recreational opportunities for people with disabilities on a year round basis.”Camp Capella opened on Phillips Lake in Dedham in 1960. It was operated for 45 years by United Cerebral Palsy of Maine, but was closed for two years because of a lack of funding and focus.” We really felt that a group that just dedicated all of their time to just this program would be more successful then what we were able to do because we operate eleven different programs,” said UCP Executive Director Bobbi Jo Yeager. ” So it was very hard just to concentrate on a summer program.”Camp capella will still have ties to UCP, but will continue on their own to provide a much needed service said Mosher.” There are only two places in the entire state of maine the provide these kinds of services to children and adults with disabilities and we’re right here in our area, we’re right here in our neighborhood and the community was not going to let this place die.”But according to Mosher being on their own does bring about new tasks.” We need to fund raise and make people aware of the magic of this place and the uniqueness of this place because once they understand that, supporting it is the right thing to do and they will understand that.”
Two people were taken to the hospital after a car crash this morning in Burnham.It happened on the Winnecook road around 6:30.According to the Morning Sentinel, 23 year old Amy Noonan of Canaan, and her 15 year old sister, who police would not name, were taken by ambulance to Sebasticook Valley Hospital.The 15 year old was treated there, and released. Noonan was lifefighted to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with more serious injuries.She’s said to have internal injuries, head injuries, and possibly a punctured lung.Officials aren’t sure what caused the crash.Trooper Jonah O’Roak says, “It appears that the vehicle went off the road for unknown reason, possibly the driver fell asleep, there was no break marks on scene. The vehicle hit a small pile of sand and went airborne, rolled and came to rest on it’s roof.”Police also say they found marijuana in the vehicle and charges are pending.
The Fire Marshal’s office is investigating a fire in Garland.The Red Cross has been contacted to help the family.The home on Parkman Road is considered a total loss and was basically gone before the fire crews arrived on the scene this morning.The residents of the home had left to go pick up their dog at the vet.Not long after they left, a neighbor noticed flames coming from the house and called 9-1-1.Due to the conditions and the size of blaze, fighting it was very difficult.Barry Deering, Chief of the Dexter Fire Dept. says, “Just really heavy smoke and the wind didn’t help it was blowing right into the road so we had a hard time getting in from the driveway.” Crews from Garland, Corinna and Dexter all responded.The Fire Marshal’s office says the fire started in the right rear bedroom, but a cause has not been determined.
A Stonington man is free on bail after leading police on a high-speed chase with speeds exceeding 100 mph.18-year-old David Bradshaw of Stonington was arrested Saturday night after the car he was driving ran over a spike mat in Sedgwick. The chase began in Blue Hill where a Hancock County Sherriff’s deputy tried to stop Bradshaw. Maine State Police joined in the chase that spanned three towns.Bradshaw is charged with criminal speeding,driving to endanger, illegal transportation by a minor and eludingan officer.Two passengers in the car were sited for drug violations. 24-year-old Patrick Betts of Stonington was charged with possesion of marijuana and possesion of drug paraphernalia, while 19-year-old Justin Betts of Bangor was charged with possesion of marijuana.
The body of a 20-year-old man from Massachusetts has been recovered near Jefferson.The Maine Warden Service found Victor Hardmon’s body sometime Monday morning.He was reported missing Sunday night after Hardmon’s and his friend, 20 year old Brian James Malvey’s, also of Massachusetts, canoe was capsized and took on water. While fishing on Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson. No lifejackets were in the canoe.Malvey and his dog made it to shore, and then returned to try and help his friend.The Warden Service and rescue crews called off the search for Hardmon late Sunday night.
Thousands of cyclists found their way to from Western Maine to Belfast: they were riding to raise money.It was the final day of the Trek Across Maine, a three-day bike ride that raises funds for the American Lung Association.Riders raised more than $1,600,000 this year, the ride’s 25th-anniversary.The first year of the trek they had just 100 riders and 4 volunteers.This year, they had 2,200 riders…and 600 volunteers.The money goes to support clean air programs, and protect lung health in the state.
Starting Monday, a parking garage in downtown Bangor will be out of service for a while.The lot on the corner of Columbia and Hammond Streets is going to be torn down and rebuilt over the summer.The parking garage was built in the 1970’s and officials say it has reached the end of its lifespan.The city determined it would cost less to rebuild the structure than it would to repair the existing one.The garage will be closed until sometime in October.For a short time during the beginning of the project drivers won’t be able to access Columbia street from Hammond: they’ll be detoured to Cross Street, which connects to Columbia.
Senator Susan Collins is asking fellow senators to approve a one-year pilot project exempting Maine’s highways from the federal truck limit of 80,000 pounds.She says it’s safer to keep heavy trucks on the highway, and it prevents wear and tear on smaller roads.Collins wants to allow trucks weighing up to 100,000 pounds to travel on Interstate 95 north of Augusta.
The Red Cross was chillin’ and grillin’ in Brewer Saturday.They held their 4th annual Chill and Grill at the Brewer Auditorium.Texas Roadhouse was there serving up Bar-B-Que for all the donors.The Red Cross set a goal of 300 donors for the day, and the turn out was great early on.There were also representatives from the National Bone Marrow Program and the Organ Donor Program.They say this is their kick off for summer, when the number of donors tends to drop. “This event is targeted to get folks to sponsor, participate, and be involved in the summer months, where ere often times have challenges in just getting blood donors to present.” Explains Peter Morrison of the Red Cross.The Red Cross says they’re always in need of type-O blood.They encourage everyone to give the gift of life. If you couldn’t make it out today, and would like to give blood — you can call 1-800-448-3543 to make an appointment to donate.
Law enforcement from across the state spent Saturday pumping gas for a good cause. They were helping drivers fuel-up and taking tips to support Special Olympics.Officials were at Irving and Circle K locations throughout Maine.Ron Gastia, Chief of Police in Bangor, says law enforcement has always been a big supporter of the Special Olympics, but he says helping the organization is more important now than ever. “In this economy it’s been tough on all charities and all organizations and special olympics is not immune to that, they’ve been having a real tough year this year. Their expenses are up and their donations are down, so anything we can do to help is going to be a blessing to them.”Some of the athletes were also at the gas stations helping out and raising awareness about Special Olympics.There is going to be a golf scramble to support the organization on June 26. It’s at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course. For information you can call 843-6077.
Despite the dismal weather several people came out to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Fieldstone Gardens in Vassalboro.It was the 12th annual Hospice Garden Party. Guests got to enjoy gardening workshops and tours, music and some tasty food.A silent auction was also held.All proceeds of the event go towards funding hospice.Executive Director Dale Marie Clark says it’s a good way to get their names out in the community.” Let people know that Hospice certainly we’re there to serve the people at the end of life and help them at difficult times but we really wanted them to meet us on a lighter level and find out that hospice really is about living.”Several children dressed up as fairies to attend the fairy feast.Which was for children twelve and under.
Family members and friends gathered at Lawrence High School in Fairfield today to show support for their soldiers who will be deploying to Iraq soon.(Nat) ” Anyone who is concerned whether or not patriotism is alive and well in the United States of America needs to look no further than the State of Maine.”That patriotism was evident in the 619th Transportation Company and their family at Saturday’s deployment ceremony.Michael Paquette is a member of that Army Reserve unit that is based out of Auburn.This is Paquette’s second deployment to Iraq.” I feel much stronger with this particular unity. The 619th has a fantastic FRG which is your family readiness group. They’ve very involved which makes a big difference on my family’s behalf while I’m gone. They can represent me and invovle my family and make sure everything is taken care of when I’m gone.”Paquette’s wife Alicia also feels a lot better about this deployment.” With the new technology nowadays you can talk on webcams with each other. I know before a lot of the veterans have said they would wait months before they heard from their spouses. So it makes it a lot easier with the technology now.”Alicia says the family readiness group is also going to be a lot of help.” His first deployment there was no FRG associated with the troops so we didn’t hear anything from the military unit he was from only from him when he called home.”The main mission of the family readiness group is to offer support for the family members left behind.619TH FRG leader Kellie White says she does whatever she can to help.” I’m the backbone and if there’s not somebody here to support the family then sometimes it is very emotional for the family members.”And at today’s ceremony all kinds of support was shown.” This ceremony is very important it means a lot to the soldiers to have their families involved. You see all these other veterans that are here in our support and just community members.”With their deployment only a week away Paquette says every trip to Iraq is a happy one as long as his wife is happy.” As for the future of my deployment, I take it day by day.”The unit will head to Fort Dix in New Jersey before heading to Iraq.While in Iraq they will conduct route clearance and provide security for Coalition Forces.
Route 179 In Ellsworth Along the Jordan River Road is currently closed because it is washed out. Route 200 in Sullivan near Dunbar’s Store is also washed out, but currently not closed.