There will be a send-off ceremony Saturday in Orono for troops from Maine who are being sent to Afghanistan.The ceremony will take place at the Collins Center for the Arts on the UMaine campus.It’s for 175 soldiers from the 1136th Maine Army National Guard Transportation Company, and their families.The unit is based in Bangor, Calais and Sanford.The sendoff ceremony is open to the public.
The Maine Department of Education will host five meetings throughout Maine to seek input as it develops Maine’s blueprint for education reform and its application for $75 million or more of federal funds under the Race to the Top initiative.The meetings are open to all – school administrators, teachers, parents, business people, community members, and others who are interested – and will be working meetings designed to solicit input on education reforms that work and on the application.
Maine’s state budget prospects are looking a little better as the budget gap shrinks again.The gap between revenues and expenses, up to $438,000,000 a few weeks ago, is now around $310,000,000.The gap has narrowed because the state’s Medicaid funding from the federal government is much greater than originally anticipated.Governor Baldacci emphasized that the federal support is one-time money, and said it remains critical that Maine continue to restructure the way it delivers services.
A fire Thursday morning forced the evacuation of the Augusta Civic Center.The call came in just before nine.Firefighters say some insulation under some bleachers on the second floor caught fire.Electrical crews were working in the building, and firefighters say one of their wires shorted out causing the fire.But fast work averted any serious problems.
Some residents in Eastbrook were without power Friday morning after a car crash on the Molasses Pond Road.State police say the driver crashed into a power pole just after midnight.He was taken to the hospital with what’s being described as non-life threatening injuries.The name of the driver has not yet been released.The crash cracked the pole in two, and there are several wires now lying in the road.State police say Bangor Hydro crews were on the scene for a couple of hours.
Eight couples, including members of the senior class and staff of Bangor High School, will compete in the second annual “Dancing Like the Stars” competition in Peakes Auditorium.The competition, based on the show “Dancing With the Stars,” and under the direction of ballroom dance instructor and choreographer Karen McCall, is to benefit the B.H.S.
Jurors will return to a Rockland courtroom on Friday to try and reach a verdict in the trial of a Maine lobsterman.Vance Bunker is accused of shooting a fellow lobsterman in a feud over lobster traps.The 68-year-old is charged with elevated aggravated assault, among other charges, for shooting 44-year-old Christopher Young in the neck on a wharf on Matinicus Island last July.Bunker’s daughter, Janan Miller, is also on trial for reckless conduct for her role in the shooting.Bunker testified on Thursday that he shot Young because he felt he and his daughter’s life was at risk during a struggle over a shotgun.The prosecution didn’t see it that way.
A fire in Exeter displaced a homeowner Thursday night.A neighbor actually noticed the blaze, and called it in to the fire department.The owner was not home at the time.When crews arrived at the Champeon Road residence, the house was fully involved.Exeter, Dexter, and Corrina, along with crews from the surrounding area assisted with fighting that blaze.They were able to contain the flames to the house, and kept it from spreading to an attached barn.But the crews did run into some issues, and wouldn’t have been able to do as much as they did if not for all departments working together.
A former Bangor mayor is calling for a restructuring of a our state government.Larry Willey held a press conference in front of Bangor City Hall today.Willey says our state is in a fiscal crisis, so he took a look back at a report created by a state restructuring committee 18 years ago.Willey was a member of that committee, and says state leaders never implemented many of the recommendations.So, last fall he began updating the report and has now sent it out to state leaders.Willey says: “It’s not done for any political purpose or in fact, I think it’s pretty non-partisan.