The first official day of spring is just around the corner, but with snow still covering the ground, Mainers have to go indoors to start their spring planting.”It’s really to extend our season, we don’t have enough days to grow many plants effectively.” Says Gleason Gray, a professor at the University of Maine Cooperative Extention.To give your vegetables a good head start, you should let them germinate inside before transplanting them to your garden. But growing plants indoors takes more than just a green thumb.”The major factors are temperature, light, water, and the growing medium that you use to plant the seeds in.” Says Gray.He says a heating mat should be used to warm the soil to 70 degrees, growing lights should be put above the plants, and the best soil is a well-drained greenhouse mix. Once you have the right conditions, Gray says it’s just a matter of timing.”One of the earliest vegetable seedlings would be pepper plants which is 8 weeks before you plant it out, tomato plants are 6 weeks before you plant them out and then when you get to the vine crops it’s only 2 to 3 weeks.”He says the best time to plant vegetables outside is the end of May, so the earliest you should start planting inside is the beginning of April. He says it’s easy to see when a well-grown seedling is ready for transplant.”When it’s ready for transplant it will not be tall and streched, that means it’s had a enough light, it means it’s been grown at the right temperature, and it will have a good root system.”He says reading the back of the seed packages will help novice gardeners know how early to plant and what care is needed.For more information on growing seedlings indoors try these helpful links.â€¢University of Maine Cooperative Extension – free online newsletter for home gardeners. â€¢Marjorie Peronto, an educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, has published a guide on starting seeds at home. â€¢University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers an extensive array of gardening information You can also call your local Extension office. In Penobscot County,the number is 800-287-1485 (in Maine) or 942-7396.
Many local businesses are struggling to survive in this tough economy.But some forward-thinking entrepreneurs have figured out how to use the web to drum up some serious business…for free!Amy Erickson has the story.”Everyone else was doing it and I had to keep up, essentially.”When Brett Slater first logged on to the social networks Facebook and Twitter, he had no idea how they could help his business. “I can live and maintain a lifestyle in Bangor Maine and I can still compete nationally, regionally and globally with a lot of guys who do what I do.”Slater’s company creates content for TV, radio and the web.Like others, he’s realized social networking is a great way to advertise your business for free.”If you’ve got a special at your store, you can tell people in the local community and who are following you about the specials at your store.”Kelly Cotiaux is a partner with Sephone Internet Solutions.She encourages all her clients to put their businesses on sites like Facebook and Twitter.She says it’s the easiest way to get your message out to huge numbers of people…and it doesn’t cost a penny.”Right now with the economy, this is a good time…if you somebody isn’t walking through your store, think of these ways to market yourself.””Facebook is exploding.” “The biggest growth is between 35 and 60 right now.””And that’s your customer! That’s the people that are out buying your products, learning about you and it’s a great way to do it, without feeling like someone’s in their face giving them a sales pitch.”Social networking has helped Paul Hilchey-Chandler bring in sales to Central Maine Wireless in Bangor.This past weekend, he let folks know about a special promotion.”I was posting that on my facebook status updates and putting out tweets on twitter.””Come in now, because it’s going to save you $30. And did it work? It worked!”Slater encourages other entrepreneurs to jump aboard the social networking train.”Without social networks, I’m limited to as far as I can drive in a day. But now, I have a home office, home studio, and I have a window to, essentially, the entire world, to do my business.”You can follow WABI TV5 on Twitter by clicking here.Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.
The Penquis agency in Bangor wants to make sure everyone that needs help with heating assistance, gets a chance to apply for it.The deadline to submit an application form LIHEAP assistance is April 30th.The folks at Penquis are encouraging people who have not applied, because they think they are not eligible, or they were previously denied, to apply again.They say the income guidelines for aid have been increased this year.People who were denied can re-apply if their financial situation has changed.To apply, just call your local community action program, or the Penquis fuel assistance line at 973-3630.You’ll need to set an appointment, and bring proof of household income, and the social security numbers and dates of birth for everyone in the home.
Folks from Blueberry Broadcasting and the Childrens Miracle network are gearing up for their yearly CMN radiothon.The three day event will kick off Thursday morning at 6-am.They’ll be set up at the Bangor Mall, center court in front of Dick’s Sporting Goods.Each year, the radiothon has helped raise money for CMN..The money collected will stay local, and go to buy medical equipment and therapy for more that 125-thousand kids who will need services this year.The event will run from 6am to 6pm Thursday and Friday…and from 10 to 4 on Saturday.
A group of maine farmers and religious leaders met in brewer today to show their support for the Employee Free Choice Act.Organizers say the act, which was introduced in the US House and Senate Tuesday, would put some key decisions in to the hands of employees…including the right to form, join and assist labor unions.Organic farmer Thomas Young of Bangor, says he’s joining with 24 area farms to endorse the act, saying it’s a good first step in securing rights for farmers.Reverend David Grainger from the Orono Methodist Church, says the act helps protect three key issues referenced in the Bible: preserving the dignity of the worker, the sanctity of the work place, and ensuring justice in the work place.”How can we guarantee the safety and quality and dignity of our own food, if the people who grow and produce it, are not provided safe and respectful and secure work environment? The employee free choice act will help us to achieve this goal.””Here, in 2009, we have a piece of legislation that actually specifically addresses many of these particular complaints, so this is why our church, and many in the Christian and interfaith communities support the employee free choice act.”>Senators Snowe and Collins have issued statements saying while they support workers rights to organize and bargain collectively, they opposed the act.Both believe the employee free choice act would jeopardize worker’s rights to remain protected when making crucial decisions affecting their jobs.
Seventeen year old Tim Kretschimer walked into his junior high school this morning and opened fire, killing 17 people. Among the dead are three teachers and 11 students. At least 6 others are injured. The shooting occurred in the down of Winnenden, just outside of Stuttgart. Police say that Kretschimer walked into a school classroom dressed in military gear and shot wildly for 2 minutes before running off. Police placed the town on lock down while they searched for the boy. Officials originally believed that they had shot and killed Kretschimer in a standoff, but it now looks like he took his own life.
State Police say Route 2 in Gilead, near the New Hampshire border, has been shut down because of a jack-knifed tractor trailer blocking the road Wednesday. The crash took place about 11:30 a.m. and troopers expect the shutdown will last until mid afternoon Wednesday. No one was injured and there was little damage to the big rig. The crash took place near the Bog Brook training area along the busy east-west highway and a number other tractor trailers are now stopped on the road because of the shutdown.
Cianbro in Brewer has been making huge pieces of equipment for an oil refinery in Texas for the past year.The barge that will take the first of those modules down the coast docked in Brewer Tuesday.Four of the modules will be loaded onto the barge in the next few weeks.The order calls for a total of 53 modules, totaling up to 9000 tons of steel, and 200,000 feet of pipe. “The workers can step back and look at the fruits of their labor and see it coming to life.” Cianbro’s General Manager Joe Cote told TV5 on Tuesday. “It’s pretty exciting for them and I couldn’t be any happier quite frankly.”The trip to Texas on the barge takes between two and three weeks.Besides the Brewer plant there are three other sites making parts for the oil refinery.
The Eastern Area Agency on Aging is holding a raffle from now until May offering a week of free meals from seven area restaurants.Raffle tickets are available at: Dino’s Pizza, 393 N. Main, BrewerPizza Oven, 33 Lincoln St., BangorEAAA offices, 450 Essex St., Bangoror call Ken Banks at 941-2871The Raffle drawing will be held on May 2nd, and the winner will be notified by phone that same day.
While you may think making a dollhouse is kidsplay, there are a couple of local ladies who would disagree.Miniaturist Ginger Graham and retired elementary school teacher, Jane Dopheide have been working on the “three story house” for nine years.The dollhouse was inspired by the stories and illustrations of Maine author, Barbara Cooney.The house features rooms from the stories, “Mrs. Rumphius”, “Emma” and “Island Boy”.The duo showed off some of their techniques, at a special talk Tuesday, at the Bangor Public Library.That’s where the house has been on display since February.The women say they still have a few finishing touches they’d like to add to the house, and that’s it’s been a fun challenge to create such a detailed miniature.There are cluster flies in the corner of one window, a mouse hole in the kitchen and even a miniature portrait of Cooney in the house.They debuted the house at one of the author’s favorite libraries, in Damriscotta, and when it’s finished it’s stay at the Bangor Public Library, the women say they’d like to take the house on a school tour.
Tuesday night Governor Baldacci talked about opportunities in energy, health care, education and economic development in Maine, in his annual State of the State address.As expected, he struck a hopeful tone, saying the resources we have within our state will be better utilized going forward. He introduced programs he says will be the way out of this economic crisis. “Our strengths are undeniable and we will not be deterred. It may be dark right now, but we’re not lost in the night.”Governor Baldacci says with the federal wind at our back, investments Maine makes now will pay off.With regard to healthcare, for the long term, he proposes a better wellness program. In the short term, a voucher system to help people afford healthcare after layoffs. “Vouchers will help the newly unemployed buy private health insurance or help them to enroll in a temporary, affordable health care plan,” he says.Also important, he says, is to train doctors here so they stay here, introducing scholarships and partnerships. He also emphasized commitments to state hospitals.With regard to education, the governor says he’ll continue K-through-12 reforms. “The way forward is to stop wasting money on bureaucracies and administrations.”But the big topic of the night was energy. He says energy mistakes are what led to our recession – and won’t be repeated. “Not this time, not again, no more,” he said, to a standing ovation.He outlined an energy plan that helps Mainers better weatherize their properties and invest in energy upgrades…while creating a new, green-collar workforce, providing much-needed jobs.He says the state’s already made impressive headway with regard to wind, tidal, solar, and other forms of renewable power. “Our location puts us at a position to become a renewable energy engine for our country.”He also wants to strengthen our energy transmission system, taking advantage of transportation corridors already lining our state. “But if we want to capitalize on our advantages,” he says, “we must be aggressive.”
A 41-year-old Thomaston woman who filed a lawsuit after being strip-searched at the Knox County Jail will be getting $290k in a settlement.Laurie Tardiff was arrested in 2002, accused of tampering with a witness and was searched. The tampering charge was later dismissed. She claimed the strip search was unnecessary and excessive. Officials say the county has insurance to cover the cost of the settlement.
A 3-year-old from the mid-coast is recovering from Meningitis. State health officials say it likely happened because the child didn’t receive all of the recommended vaccinations. At 2 and 4 months he did get vaccinated for a type of flu, known as HIB, that leads to meningitis in children. However, health officials say he didn’t get three other booster shots that are recommended through age 15-months. The child was hospitalized in intensive care, and is recovering. Family members, including an unvaccinated infant, have been treated with antibiotics as a precaution. The maine center for disease control is stressing the importance of keeping children current with their vaccinations.For more information, you can contact the maine CDC at www.maine.gov/dhhs or contact your child’s doctor.
Spring officially begins on March 20th. That’s more than a week away, but a nice day like today, makes some folks dream of warmer weather, and if you look hard enough there are signs of spring all around.So there are still piles of snow, and the Penobscot is still frozen, but listen closely.That’s the sound of melting, and if you head over to the Kenduskeag, it’s not so icey, the water’s flowing. Add in the sun shining, birds chirping and the mud.”Yeah, the mud, the mud in my dogs paws.”It was enough to give some folks the first dose of spring fever.”Lovely, I’m loving it.””It’s amazing, beautiful, sunny, not what we expected.”Catherine and Tom Floyd are visiting from Seattle, they think this weather is so great, they’re not even wearing jackets.And near the Bangor waterfront, we found some folks making use of the picnic tables, even though they’re still surrounded by snow.”That’s a little different but if you just stay inside you get older and older, you’ve got to get and and live and be.”Even frolicking in the white stuff feels better these days. It makes folks feel a little more optimistic that warmer days are not too far away.”We’re on the verge of spring””I’m definitely feeling like rolling down the windows, opening the windows in the house and getting some air in there now.”But one nice day is not enough to convince some folks.”what do you think of the weather? Need more of it.”And any Mainer knows, Mother Nature is bound to send us a little more wintry weather.”I just know it’s gonna get colder, it’s still only March.”
A 3-year-old from the mid-coast is recovering from Meningitis.State health officials say it likely happened because the child didn’t receive all of the recommended vaccinations.At 2 and 4 months he did get vaccinated for a type of flu, knows as H-I-B, that leads to Meningitis in children.But health officials say he didn’t get three other booster shots that are recommended through age 15-months.The child was hospitalized in intensive care, and is currently recovering.Family members, including an unvaccinated infant, have been treated with antibiotics as a precaution.The Maine Center for Disease Control is stressing the importance of keeping children current with their vaccinations.For more information, you can contact the Maine CDC at Maine.gov/dhhs.Or contact your child’s doctor.
An apartment building in Augusta that caught fire Sunday night is being called accidental. Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office were at the Chapel Street apartment building Monday morning. Sergeant Ken Grimes says, it appears the fire started in the wall of the building which was triggered by an electrical problem. The Augusta Fire Department says three people were trapped inside an apartment in the two-story building after the fire was reported shortly before midnight Sunday. The fire chief says two of the people were rescued by police andfirefighters, but that the third person had to jump to safety. His name was not available.
An eighth-grade student accused of bringing a loaded handgun to Messalonskee Middle School in Oakland made his first court appearance today. The boy has not been identified because of his age. On Monday the 14-year old was ordered by a Waterville District Court Judge to undergo an evaluation to determine the boys state of mind. Messalonskee Middle School went into lockdown Thursday morning after reports that the young man had a weapon. No shots were fired during the incident and nobody was hurt. Police were called and the 14-year-old was apprehended. The boy,is expected to be formally charged this week with carrying a concealed weapon and terrorizing. District Attorney Evert Fowle says the boy will not be charged as an adult. The boy will remain at the Mountain View Juvenile Detention Center in Charleston.
Millinocket Regional Hospital now has a way to connect cancer patients with doctors without the two having to actually be together.It’s through teleconferencing.Cancer Care of Maine suggested the program to the Millinocket hospital.Terrylynn Bradbury was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. She lives about five miles from Millinocket Regional Hospital, but had to travel to Bangor to see her doctor.Bradbury says, “When I was receiving chemo every two weeks, I had to go to Bangor to have an exam by him. I had my first chemo in Bangor and I was very sick with the first treatment. I can remember the ride home was horrible.”But this time, Bradbury didn’t have to make that drive.”How was the telemedicine experience?” asks Dr. Thomas Openshaw via teleconference. Bradbury responds, “Good!”Telemedicine uses video cameras to conference in a doctor from a satellite location, while a nurse practitioner does the physical exam. Those involved say it’s becoming more common in rural areas.Jackie Carter, a Family Nurse Practitioner in Millinocket, says “It helps bring some cutting edge technology right to the home front, which is hard in little Millinocket.””I hope it will give us some flexibility so we can respond to people’s need a little bit better. It will give us some flexibility in terms of being able to see folks more than once a month.” says Openshaw.Carter says this type of visit isn’t that different from a traditional one. Once the patient is in the room, the doctor is teleconferenced. Both Carter and the doctor review the charts and talk to the patient.”Dr. Openshaw is right there on the camera asking questions, it’s very similar to him being in the room.” Bradbury explains.”Then I go ahead and I do the actual physical exam. He can view it while I’m on camera and once the physical exam is completed, if there’s nothing abnormal, then we formulate a plan.” says Carter.Carter says telemedicine will provide quality care, and eliminate the long drive to a distant hospital.
An explosion in Levant this morning sends a family running from their home.When firefighters got to the scene on the Overlock Road, they had a hard time finding the source of the problem.They did find that copper pipes had melted downstairs. Fire crews suspect their was a problem with the boiler causing an explosion.A sprinkler system put out the flames.”The family was home, they were upstairs. They heard a noise. The family got right outdoors and called 9-1-1 and dispatched us.”, says Levant Assistant Fire Chief Nathan Peary.Firefighters from Levant, Carmel, Holden, Stetson and Kenduskeag responded. They say there is a lot of smoke and water damage downstairs.A fire marshal investigator has been called in to look for a cause.
Maine state police investigators are showing renewed interest in the unsolved killing of a former Bangor woman. In October 1987 23-year-old Alice Hawkes was found dead in a Westbrook apartment she shared with her boyfriend. Hawkes was found inside the locked apartment by her boyfriend and their landlord, her throat had been slit. Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes says the case is “very solvable.” He says the lead detective has been given instructions on how to proceed with the investigation. There’s a website dedicated to Hawkes, both her life and her death. The website is www.alicehawkes.com.