Monday was the first chance the public had to comment on the governor’s plan to close a $570,000,000 shortfall in the state budget.Members of the appropriations committee heard strong objections to governor Baldacci’s proposed budget.The governor’s plan is designed to reduce the general fund spending by $300,000,000.New initiatives would include $70,000,000 less in local school aid, $60,000,000 less in potential tax breaks, and two dozen government shutdown days.Baldacci would use $75,500,000 from the state rainy day fund and nearly $41,000,000 in other reserves to offset shortfalls through June 2011.
A fox has tested positive for rabies in Aroostook County.The animal bit a dog on Friday in Masardis.Authorities say the dog was up to date on it’s rabies shots, and there was no human exposure.Rabies has not been detected that far north until now.There have been twenty cases of the disease reported in Maine this year: mostly in the central and southern part of the state.
The co-owner of a home child care business in Glenburn will spend four months behind bars for molesting a girl he once cared for, as well as a teenage relative.Ronald Tewhey was once a town selectmen.A local newspaper says the 49-year-old was sentenced last Friday to five years in jail, with all but four months suspended.Tewhey pled guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual contact and one count of unlawful sexual touching.
A Waterville man has been charged after a seven-hour standoff with police over the weekend.It began around 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning and ended around 9:00 a.m., when 21-year-old Todd McLaughlin surrendered.Waterville police say they got a call from McLaughlin’s brother, who said McLaughlin was drunk, had put on a bulletproof vest and had threatened to go out in a blaze of glory.The state police tactical team, along with Winslow, Fairfield and Oakland Police helped Waterville surround the man’s apartment building.Waterville chief Joseph Massey says several firearms, including a high-powered rifle were recovered from the home.
A 46-year-old man from LaGrange was killed in an ATV accident Sunday night in Medford.Authorities say Daniel Turner was riding with a group on ATV’s down the Paddy Hill Rd. just before 10:00 p.m.His three-wheeler hit a bump, causing him to loose control.The machine rolled over several times, and Turner was thrown off.He was pronounced dead at the scene.Deputies with the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office are investigating.
State Police say a 17 year old Limestone boy has been arrested andcharged with manslaughter in connection with the death of his three monthold daughter.Nicklas Jones made his first court appearance Monday afternoon, after being taken into custody Friday night in Caribou.Jones is charged in the death of Joselyn Jones, who died last Monday at a Bangor hospital from injuries she received on April 23. State Police say the infant died from blunt force trauma to the head. Police believe her teenage father threw the baby into her crib to stop the infant from crying.The baby was first taken to Cary Medical Center on April 23 and then transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor , where she died four days later.An autopsy by the State Medical Examiner’s Office determined the casewas a homicide.Jones was arrested Friday night at the Caribou Police Department and spend the weekend at the Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston.The death is the state’s seventh homicide of the year, and the fourth involving domestic violence.
Here’s a really easy way to help others out. You don’t have to go any further than your mailbox.Folks gathered at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter Monday to bring attention to the National “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive.Letter carriers across Maine will be picking up bags of food along their delivery routes this Saturday.All you have to do is leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods next to your mailbox.Your carrier will pick it up and make sure it’s delivered to local pantries, shelters and soup kitchens.Folks who run pantries tell us canned meat, fruits and veggies, peanut butter, cereal and Bisquick are always needed.”The reality remains that 35 million Americans and 64 thousand Mainers live at risk of hunger today,” says Renee Overlock, local branch president, National Association of Letter Carriers.”So just take a moment and put a couple items of food out with your mail. And together that will make a difference, in a way that no government or big agency can,” says Dennis Marble, director, Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.The food drive is put on by the United Way and the National Association of Letter Carriers. It’s the largest single-day food drive in the nation.
Many gathered Monday at the Hammond Street Senior Center to celebrate the life of Bernard “Doc” Mann, who is turning 100 next month.”A hundred years is a pretty big milestone, but especially because Doc is such a wonderful human being. There’s just nobody else like him, you know, he’s just so sharp and so fun and loving and caring. I know don’t what it is.” Says Kathy Bernier, Executive Director of the Senior Center.Doc spends a lot of time at the Senior Center dazzling crowds with his musical talents.”Doc had to play his own Happy Birthday song, which is a little unusual, but because he had actually played the piano for us for the last ten years on a daily basis, it seemed appropriate.” adds Bernier. “He played us his little melodies and we all got a chance to revive some of the memories over the years we’ve had with him.”Doc has many happy memories growing up in Bangor.”Doc lived in Bangor where horse drown carriages travelled the streets and trolly cars connected the city’s neighborhoods.””The Celtics came to Bangor one time and I timed that game with their approval” Doc remembers. The Senior Center dedicated their piano to Doc for his birthday and the city gave him a special honor.Gerry Palmer, Mayor of Bangor, presented the gift. “I have a proclamation Doc, from the city. Recognizing Bernard “Doc” Mann on the occasion of his soon to be 100th birthday… That’s the key to the city.””That’s beautiful. It’s my city too.” says Doc.”Yes, it is” adds Palmer.And Doc has a little advice about the ‘key’ to living a long life.”Keep breathing, it happens if you keep on breathing.”
Habitat for Humanity broke ground on a new house in Ellsworth Monday.A busload of freshmen from Mount Desert Island High School made the job a little easier. “It’s a sweaty job,” says student Dylan Stillman, “but it’s not that hard.”They got to work clearing brush and hauling logs.”It’s not all that bad to get out and do something, move around, just do something good for your town,” says student Lucas Murphy.Their goal — get the land ready for a new house to be built here, for a local family who needs it.”Over here is the 14th house that will be built in Hancock County by Habitat,” says Jimmy Goodson, Hancock County Habitat Executive Director, pointing out the spot.The students had the morning off from school as part of a program to encourage community service.”We were excited when we were sitting on the bus outside the school, just ready to go and get something done,” says student Adam Perruzzi.”These guys, more than any generation I’ve seen come up, including my own, are very, very community-minded,” says their group leader, MDI High School teacher Christiane Cullens.”They look at it as a personal responsibility, something they should do because they can,” she says.Cory Plaisted will one day live in the home that’s built here. He’ll work alongside other community volunteers over the next year.”I feel like I’m on could nine, to see this community pull together for us,” says Plaisted. “We’ve been waiting for a house for a good four to five years and now that Habitat has picked us as a family, it feels great.”
A quiet camp on a lake is the perfect retreat. For kids who’ve been through rough times, it can be a whole lot more.KidsPeace helps children who have been abused, neglected or suffered through other traumas.Today, the organization accepted a donation of land on Graham Lake in Ellsworth, from family and friends of the late Barbara Workman of Farmington.Barbara’s camp will be used as a retreat center for KidsPeace, a place for children to enjoy the quiet and peace of the outdoors.Her family says that’s just what she would have wanted.”Barbara was a very talented outdoor lady, horses, rock climbing, tree climbing, swimming, she could do it all,” says her life partner Richard Fecteau. “And this is the kind of outdoor experience they give these kids.””The family is very generous, and we are very appreciative,” says KidsPeace Graham Lake Executive Director Jean Dickson.Folks at KidsPeace say the Barbara Joy Workman Retreat Center will help give a new start to kids, who’ve never had a real childhood.
Captain Jason Moffitt says Fred Roeske left his residence on Starlight Drive around 6:30 Sunday night. Roeske said he was going for a walk in the neighborhood but didn’t return home. Brewer police and the Maine Warden Service started a search just before noon Monday. Roeske was spotted walking along state street in Brewer around 1 Monday afternoon. Moffitt says Roeske did not need medical attention.
Back by popular demand.That’s what two brothers and their wives from Brownville, are crediting for keeping their general store and restaurant open for business.Joy Hollowell has the story.+++++++++++++++”C’mon folks, let’s all have fun this summer, no more doom and gloom.”John and Don Belvin are ready to rock. In July, the brothers will begin their 6th season of hosting tribute concerts at their outdoor amphitheater and campground in Brownville. In just a few weeks, they’ll rev up their Route 11 general store and restaurant, an opening that almost didn’t happen.”we decided last fall to call it quits, put it up for sale, go back to our original corporate jobs,” says Don Belvin.The Belvin brothers say rising gas prices coupled with a failing economy were just too much competition. After a five year run, they had decided to sell the store. But, there were no buyers. The home grown boys took it as a sign.”We decided, you know, it’s meant for us to keep going. so, by the skin of our chinny chin chin, here we go (laughs),” says John Belvin.That means both men had to find part time jobs. Their wives work full time. But all four owners say they’re committed to making this work. “We all decided six years ago that this was a dream that we wanted to do. And we packed up on our hope and faith and a nickel and a dime, and we ended up in Maine,” says Coleen Belvin.”What really inspired up to re-open this year. was the amount of people that we meet between here and Bangor, saying, ‘Hey, we really miss that place. We want to come back, why don’t you guys do it one more time.,” says Don Belvin.The Belvins believe in community and good old fashioned fun. Now, they’re hoping those two things will be enough of a draw, to keep their dream, in business.”We believe that it’s something that it truly a great thing for Pistcataquis county,” says John Belvin.============For more information on the Junction General store and restaurant, as well as the schedule of upcoming concerts and movies this summer, you can log onto www.thejunctiongeneral.com
A 570 million dollar gap in the state budget is trying to be bridged by the Appropriations Committee in the Capital.The session began at the State House in Augusta at nine o’clock Monday morning.Lawmakers heard strong objections to Governor Baldacci’s proposed budget.Nearly two dozen people testified about the cuts in the Department of Health and Human Services to cut state reimbursements to Private and Non Medical Insitutions ( PNMI ).Those testifying said the cuts will diminish the number of high risk and needy children they will be able serve.And those cuts will not only effect the families that they aim to serve but also will impact the state.” What will be lost if you standardize rates is our multi disciplinary approach to treatment.”” Many of these children will require some sort of severe intervention and if closures happen the state will find themselves with a need to rescue many of these other municipal organizations because they will not be able to handle them.”The Appropriations Committee had meetings planned all day and will cover cuts to Education, State and Local Government and the state’s Rainy Day Fund.Once the budget is reviewed and reworked it will go to the House and Senate for approval.
Atlantic Salmon find their way back to their home rivers by what’s called imprinting.The water that they live in, creates a memory that pulls them back when it’s time to spawn no matter where they go in the ocean.Monday morning fish that were raised at the Bangor Wastewater Treatment Plant with were released into Penobscot to fend for themselves.”They’re coming up on a couple of years old so in about that time frame and when they reach about a half a pound they get themselves ready to go out to sea,” said Bangor Wastewater Treatment Plant Labratory Director Thomas Hambrock.For the last nine months ten salmon have lived in a holding tank at the Bangor Wastewater Treatment Plant, now Hambrock says the conditions are right for them to return to the river.”They’ll acclimate themselves to the Penobscot and go down towards the salt water, acclimate themselves to the salt water and then grow and then get big enough to make that trip to Greenland.”All of them have been tagged and had their fins clipped so they can be recognized if they return. Now it’s a waiting game for Hambrock and the rest that of the people involved in this project.”They do some trapping every year and trap every thing and if our ten come back and any one of these ten that have the tag on and have that fin clipped and come back within two years they’ll let us know it could be two to three years depending on how they do out in the ocean.”And for those that have fed these salmon and watched them grow and mature for the last nine months, like Hambrock it is tough to release them back into the water.”Well it’s like the empty nest syndrome you know, you hate to see ‘em all leave but they need to go they were getting to the point where they were outliving our tank down there, (laughter).”
A late night party in Washington County ends with three people under arrest, and 10 minors summonsed.Authorities received a tip last week that a large amount of underage drinking would be going on at the Rocky Lake campsite in East Machias Saturday.The function was linked back to an event known as Greek Weekend through the University of Maine at Machias, according to Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith.The party didn’t happen at the campsite.Instead, authorities say it was moved to Love Lake in Crawford.Police say the owner of that property is Jay Beaudoin of Pembroke.The 45-year old was arrested for furnishing a place for minors to possess or consume liquor.Two other men, 23-year old Michael Hinerman of Machiasport and 21-year old Royce Bedbury were also charged with furnishing liquor to minors.Sheriff Smith says 10 of the 13 minors at the party were summonsed for possession of liquor.
A Calais firefighter has lost his battle with leukemia.27-year old Billy Townsend passed away Friday at a hospital in Boston.He was diagnosed with the disease two years ago.A year ago, the community of Calais held a bone marrow drive, to try and find a match for Townsend. A celebration of Billy Townsend’s life will be held at 11 AM Wednesday, at the Calais United Methodist Church.After the burial ceremony, the procession will be led to the Calais fire department, where Townsend will receive the fire fighter’s last call.
Brewer Police are asking folks to be on the lookout for a 75 year old man who left his home on Sunday evening, and has not returned home.Cpt. Jason Moffitt says Fred Roeske left his residence on Starlight Drive around 6:30: Mr. Roeske said he was going for a walk in the neighborhood and never returned home.Mr. Roeske is approximately 5’7″, 150 lbs., is baldiing and has grey hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a while pullover shirt and a black baseball hat with a U.S. Army logo, possibly a U.S. Army Retired logo.Currently, the Maine Warden Service and the Brewer Police Department are looking for Mr. Roeske. Anyone with any information about Mr. Roeske is asked to call Brewer Police at 989-7000.
UPDATE: Grinding on Somerset Avenue in Pittsfield has been postponed until tomorrow (Tuesday). We’re told the grinder is broken. Starting at 6AM Tuesday, parts of Somerset Avenue from Main Street to Hartland Avenue will be down to one lane. Drivers are being advised to expect delays and if possible, make alternate travel plans.In Waterville, the water district has ordered that Oak Street between Main and Taiconic Street be closed to traffic. They’re doing maintenance work on some valves in preparation for upcoming road re-construction in the area. Parts of that street could be closed for most of the day.
Hundreds of families from the greater Bangor area hit the pavement Sunday to raise money…and awareness for Autism research and programs.The annual “Walk for Autism” is sponsored by the Autism Society of Maine.Proceeds from the event will go toward the Autism Society’s summer camp and austism information specialist programs.Besides raising money, the walk is also a way for parents of autistic children to network, share information and get support.Cathy Dionne is the Society’s Director of Programs and Administration.She says one of the highlights of the walk is seeing how far some of the children affected by autism have come in such a short time.< "seeing families come year and after year, you can see the progress that has been made. There is nothing more inspiring than seeing where a child was last year and where they are now because of services and because of early intervention.">For more information on the Autism Society of Maine’s programs…or to make a donation…you can log onto their website…at www.asmonline.org .
A public hearing is scheduled for Monday on the Governor’s new budget proposals.It starts at 9 a-m at the State House.On Friday, the Governor unveiled his plan to cover a new 570-million dollar gap in his pending two-year general fund budget package.In all, Baldacci said his original 6.1 billion two-year general fund budget package would, with transfers, deferrals and other steps as well as cuts, shrink to $5.8 billion.The Governor’s original two-year budget package envisioned the elimination of more than 300 positions. Officials said Friday no additional layoffs were being proposed.