Local News

Sexual Harassment Trial Gets Underway

Updated 6 years ago

A woman suing a convicted rapist and her former employer for sexual harassment, took the stand at a trial in Ellsworth Wednesday.Patty Smith worked at Manset Yacht Service in Southwest Harbor.So did Peter Mills. He was convicted of drugging and raping three women in 2005.Now Smith alleges that Mills and the Boatyard owner, Robert Brown subjected her to almost daily harassment.On the stand, Patty Smith testified that the alleged harassment she endured while working at Manset Yacht Service in 2004 and 2005 made her feel “terrible, humiliated and degraded”.She says that defendants Peter Mills, who was an employee at Manset Yacht, and owner Bob Brown often talked explicitly about female body parts, and Brown would look through lingerie magazines suggesting the outfits become the uniforms for female employees.Smith left for a time, but returned to work at the boatyard, because she says Mills was not working there. He was eventually rehired as her boss.Smith says when she complained and asked Brown to put an end to the harassment she was told to “get over it”.Smith says she eventually resigned after Mills physically assaulted her in July 2005.A counselor took the stand, saying he diagnosed Smith with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to the alleged harassment.Brown’s attorney, tried to poke holes in his story along with Smith’s.He suggests the PTSD diagnosis can be tied to assaults that happened before Smith ever worked at the boatyard.Then it was time for Mills, who is representing himself to question, Smith.Something that was difficult for Smith’s family to watch.”Very difficult because I don’t think he should have been able to go up there and ask the questions.”They say the last five years have been difficult for Smith, but she just wanted to get her day in court to face her alleged perpetrators.”I can’t reiterate again how proud I am of her what a giant step she’s taken not only for her and her family that’s present but also for the women not only in the area but statewide and hopefully nationwide someday.””that’s the big cause, she’s trying to get across, is to help the other woemn who come behind her in these situations. I think she did that and I’m proud of her.”Another woman who also worked at the boatyard, testified Wednesday, saying she also witnessed harassment by the defendants.Brown has filed a countersuit, alleging the complaints are false and have hurt his business.The trial recessed on Wednesday. No date has been set for it to resume.

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Recovery Act Funds at Work

Updated 6 years ago

Stimulus dollars are being used in different ways around the state. A pair of local business owners say their new restaurant is proof of how the small business loan program works.”Machias Savings Bank gave us a call one afternoon to let us know it went through,” says Roy Boothby.Boothby and his wife, Mary, say thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, they were able to open a second location for their ACME Pizza and Wing Company, on outer Hammond street on the Bangor-Hermon town line.Provisions of the act eliminate fees and temporarily increase the SBA loan guarantee to 90 percent.”Because with the 90 percent guarantee, that closed the gap between capitalized and undercapitalized, so it made the loan doable, and it actually helped us be in business,” Boothby says.They saved about two-thousand dollars in fees.”They employ 16 people here, so it’s a good turnaround for the money,” says Marilyn Geroux of the Small Business Administration.She says the number of loans in our area isn’t increasing that much, but the amount of the loans is going up.”It’s jumped by almost 69 percent in the amount of dollars loaned, in just the two and a half months since the recovery act,” Geroux says.”One of the things we’re seeing is fewer new businesses starting, there’s some hesitancy in existing businesses to grow,” says Jim Donnelly of Machias Savings Bank.He says ACME’s success could help new business owners see their potential.”They’re just nervous about what’s going on. We want to kind of help them make that next step, which I think will help us all,” Donnelly says.”We’re an example of probably many,” Boothby says. “The good news is, we’re Main Street Mainers in Bangor, and we’re working hard to create a living for ourselves in a very tough economic environment.”

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Selling Health on a Strip

Updated 6 years ago

A local businessman is having some early success with a new product. It’s sold through multi-level marketers, similar to Mary Kay.But Clayton Fowlie isn’t selling make-up. He’s selling health, on a strip.Fowlie brought Enlyten strips to the East Coast in January. The product delivers supplements through a strip placed on the inside of your cheek.”Rather than ingesting supplements through the digestive tract, they determined going through the buccal mucosa, a highly vascular region of your cheek and gum, could deliver them more effectively and efficiently,” he says.Enlyten was developed by researchers a few years ago. Fowlie, who’s the director of the Maine Center for Integrated Rehab, is hoping they’ll catch on in our area.There are strips with electrolytes, antioxidants, melatonin, energy, and most recently, strips developed for weight loss.”These are things people are using already. We’re just giving them a new delivery system,” Fowlie says.Tim Jundt sells the strips at Snap Fitness in Brewer.”I worked shift work for 21 years and I couldn’t sleep,” Jundt says. “The melatonin made me sleep seven to eight hours. And I haven’t slept more than 4-5 hours in years.”Trainer Stacy Stack says the energy strips work for him.”I recommend this to my clients because it’s the best. This right now, you get the most bang for your buck,” Stack says.Fowlie’s now working with area college sports teams. He hopes to take the product down the East Coast.”I realized as I got involved with the company in the first couple of weeks,” he says, “I was onto something huge.”Enlyten strips haven’t been approved by the FDA. Fowlie says they’re not required to be, and that most of the ingredients in the strips are things people are using already.As with any such product, if you have questions, be sure to ask your doctor.

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99 Years Young

Updated 6 years ago

Lucienne Dionne Cloutier, of Old Town, will celebrate her 100th birthday, June 24, 2009. Today at the state house Mrs. Cloutier was recognized for her upcoming milestone. She was born in Quebec and came to Maine at the age of 3. She became a United States Citizen at 37 years of age. Mrs. Cloutier and her husband, Nelson, had 4 children and Mrs. Cloutier has 12 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. Mrs. Cloutier has been active in her community and is a valued volunteer at Holy Family Parish in Old Town. She is a charter member of the Old Town Senior Citizens’ Club, she enjoys playing in Keno tournaments and she walks a quarter mile every day. Cloutier says the secret to having a happy, healthy long life is to be kind to yourself and those around you, eat right and exercise.

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Local Refuge Offers Native American History

Updated 6 years ago

A local refuge offers a place for wild animals needing help.Native American history is also a big part of the operation.”The object of the whole refuge is to keep it as natural as we can.”For the Hirundo Refuge in the Old Town area, this means they don’t cut any trees or build anything unless it benefits wildlife.The refuge is open to the public year-round, seven days a week, for the public to explore.”If you’re walking slow and you’re looking, you are going to see animals.”Hirundo also provides a place for animal rehabilitation.”And what we do is we’ll take in usually orphan animals, mother gets killed something like that, and we’ll get the babies that will not survive on their own.”Once the animals are healthy, they try to release them back where they were found. If that’s not possible, they make sure it’s a remote area.Another big part of the refuge is it’s Native American history.”And we want to cooperate with the Native Americans because we have such an area that is related directly to them.”This weekend, Maine Tribal Specialist David Sligger is offering some background on Native American history.”Explain to people some of the plants and animals that they Wabanakis used here in Maine and it’s really to give people a understanding of and appreciation of Wabanaki culture and history.”A culture and heritage that Sligger says can easily be over-looked.”A lot of people read about the Wabanaki but don’t know that much about what they use from Mother Earth.”Hirundo care taker Fred Bryant says no matter what, you’ll leave the refuge with some great knowledge and a better appreciation of wildlife.The refuge is open all-year long but the workshop on Native American history is only being offered this Saturday, May thirtieth from 10 til 2.If you’d like to attend, please call 827-2230 ahead of time to reserve a spot.

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Lowe’s Donates Tools to United Technologies Center Students

Updated 6 years ago

Students at United Technologies Center in Bangor have some new tools at their disposal thanks to Lowe’s.As part of Lowe’s “Tough Tools for Cool Schools Program,” the store donated six-hundred dollars worth of tools.Instructor David Stevens says it couldn’t have come at a better time.”Well you know not much is built without hand tools. You talk a lot about power tools but it still takes hand tools to get the job done, so these will be very helpful within the program.”The donation from the Brewer Lowe’s is part of a national program.

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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Mount Desert Island Wind Turbine

Updated 6 years ago

College of the Atlantic students got to show off their hard work today.They held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Mount Desert Island’s first free-standing wind turbine.The ceremony allowed the students to showcase what they’ve been working on for the past seven months and let the public see the wind turbine.It also gave the community the opportunity to ask questions about the turbine and wind power.C-O-A President David Hales says they hope this project is only the beginning.”And progress comes in little practical steps and we hope this is one those important, small practical steps that others will follow.”The college of the Atlantic received grant money to buy and install the turbine at beech hill farm.

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Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor Vandalized

Catherine Pegram

Updated 6 years ago

Folks at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor are cleaning up quite a mess, thanks to the work of vandals. And they say it will cost thousands of dollars to fix the damage.Staff members discovered someone threw rocks through the glass of a handicapped-accessible door, a basement window and an historic double-paned window during the holiday weekend. Insurance will cover most of the repairs, but the senior center will have to pay the $1,000 deductible, a hefty price tag for the non-profit organization. Executive Director Kathy Bernier says, “the fact of our having to spend $1,000 on the replacement of these panes of glass will take away from any income we make on our plant sale this weekend that we were hoping to use toward our programs and activities.”The center was already raising money to repair the building’s 100-year-old boiler. Police say they have no suspects and say it will be difficult to find the culprits without the help of an eyewitness.If you’d like to help pay for the repairs, the Senior Center plant sale starts at 2 o’clock on Friday afternoon and 8 o’clock Saturday morning.

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Lighthouse Magazine Helps Out Lighthouse Museum

Catherine Pegram

Updated 6 years ago

A local publisher, who’s magazine focuses on the history of lighthouses, wants to make sure the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland stays open.Tim Harrison, the editor and publisher of Lighthouse Digest, says for each new subscription ordered on-line, he’ll donate 10-dollars to the museum. The museum is facing some tough financial times and needs to raise 50-thousand dollars by July First or it will close.The museum was founded by Ken Black. His widow, Dot, now runs it. She says she’s been able to pay the electric and heating bills, but others are piling up.Harrison says the donation offer is only good on new or gift subscriptions and is only available for a limited time.For more information you can go on-line to lighthousedigest.net or call 259-2121.

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Search Update

Updated 6 years ago

The Coast Guard has called off its search for a missing Sedgwick man.Authorities were looking for 47-year-old Robert Anderson since Monday afternoon.He hasn’t been seen since Sunday afternoon around 3 pm.Anderson was headed to Flye Island to do some cleaning at a camp there.He was due back Monday morning, but never showed up.The Coast Guard called off their efforts a little after 8 Tuesday night.No word if other groups are continuing to search independently.

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Lawmakers Pass Budget

Updated 6 years ago

(AP) – The Maine Legislature has given final approval to a $5.8 billion two-year state spending plan, setting the stage for Gov. John Baldacci’s signature. The House voted 119-26 Wednesday to enact the austere spending plan and the Senate voted 33-2. The budget includes deep cuts in state services affectingchildren, education and government workers. Overall, it reducesspending by 8 percent compared with the current spending package. Democratic Sen. Bill Diamond of Windham, co-chair of theAppropriations Committee, called it “the best results in the worstof times.” The final House and Senate votes came with bipartisansupport. Diamond said foster care, adoption services, property tax reliefprograms, higher education and public school aid are among theareas being cut. (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tractor Falls Through Pier

Updated 6 years ago

Folks in Surry were had at work extracting a tractor from a pier on the Newberry Neck Rd. Tuesday night.The tractor was being used to do some work on the pier when some of the deck gave way and the tractor fell through.The tractor didn’t end up in the drink though. Fortunately for the operator, the bucket caught on the guard rail.Crews used a crane on a barge to remove the tractor from the damaged pier, but workers had to wait several hours for the tide to come in before the barge can get close enough.No injuries were reported.

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Three Car Accident in Levant

Updated 6 years ago

Life Flight was called to a three car accident in Levant Tuesday night.The accident, at the intersection of Rt. 222 and Stetson Rd. Involved an SUV, a minivan and a truck. The SUV was traveling towards Levant on Rt. 222 when it collided with the minivan and truck traveling on the Stetson Rd.Eight people, including three children, were involved in the collision. All eight occupants were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center. Three of them are listed in critical condition, two of those are children. One of the children were taken to EMMC by Life Light.Penobscot County Sheriff’s Dept., State Police and Levant Police Dept. Responded to the crash. A reconstruction team was called to the scene to determine the cause of that accident.

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Bald Eagles are Back

Updated 6 years ago

Governor John E. Baldacci today ceremonially signed LD 66, An Act To Amend Maine’s Endangered and Threatened Species List by Removing the Bald Eagle.  The bill was ceremonially signed during a ceremony at Capitol Park with Lawrence the Bald Eagle present.“When you look at this bald eagle, you really get a sense of strength, awe and beauty,” Governor Baldacci said.  “Those characteristics are a perfect representation of this great country.”Bill sponsor Sen. Bruce Bryant (D-Oxford) was in Capitol Park for the ceremony, as was his brother and co-sponsor, Rep. Mark Bryant (D-Windham), and a number of supporters of the legislation.In the 1970s, only 20 nesting pairs of eagles lived in Maine and they were virtually the only ones left in the Northeast.  Only one other pair lived in New York.  In 1978, the bald eagle was first recognized as an Endangered Species in Maine and 42 other states.  Less than 10 years later, further action was taken in the Maine Legislature to protect the bald eagle and other Endangered Species in Maine.  With the signing of LD 66, the bald eagle is the first species to be removed from this list.Bald Eagle populations have been restored to more than 475 nesting pairs now in all 16 Maine counties.  The legislation ceremonially signed today includes protections that ensure that the bald eagle population in Maine continues to thrive.“Thanks to the work of State and federal agencies, the problem has been corrected over the past 30 years in Maine and throughout the country,” the Governor said.  “But the government agencies were not alone in their efforts.  Conservation organizations, landowners who share their properties with eagles’ nests and volunteer citizens helped out, and I would like to thank them for their commitment to this remarkable species.”

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Without Him, His Grandfather ‘Would Have Been a Goner’

Updated 6 years ago

A heroic boat rescue off Jonesport means an Addison man is safe tonight.The rescuer — the man’s own 8-year-old grandson.”It was right between those two bouys,” says 55-year-old lobsterman Lester Drisko. That’s where he went overboard Tuesday morning.”I was hauling a string of traps, and I got to the last one and wasn’t paying attention. So when I dumped the trap out, over the side I went,” he says.The water was cold and he was frozen almost instantly. “I was too tired, too weak to get back in the boat,” he says.The only other person on the boat was his 8-year-old grandson Mathew, who was too small to pull him back up. But what Mathew did next would save his grandfather’s life.”I came over and put the life jacket on him,” Mathew says. Mathew then took command of the boat and kept close to his grandfather in the water for the next 30 minutes, until he was able to head off a passing boat.”I saw him coming over so I stopped him and I said, ‘My grandfather just went overboard,’ and then they went to pull him in,” he says.Leland Faulkingham, Jr. was in that passing boat. He says he’s never seen anything like that.”I said, something doesn’t look right, I knew something must have been wrong…I don’t think he would have lasted too much longer if we hadn’t gotten there.”So how did Mathew know what to do?”Because, he taught me how to shift her in gear and put her in reverse and stuff,” he says.”I just couldn’t have done it, I would have drowned,” says his grandfather. “He’s a hero, as far as I’m concerned.”

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Lobster Fisherman Suffering from Cost of Lobsters

Updated 6 years ago

Those who catch lobster for a living are seeing the affects of low prices for their product at a time of year when prices usually are peaking.Fisherman Jon Carter of Trenton says it’s been a rough season so far.Carter says he’s basically working for nothing, with his costs outweighing his profit.He expects this season to get worse instead of better.”It’s expensive to go lobstering, everything costs a lot, it’s expensive to live and at these prices. I’ve been doing it for 39 years and I can’t continue to keep paying myself to go to work. It’s crazy.”Carter says they’re getting about a dollar-and-a-half less a pound right now than this time last year.

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Ferry Rate Increases

Catherine Pegram

Updated 6 years ago

The cost to catch a ride on a state ferry is about to go up. The Maine State Ferry Advisory Board voted to raise the rates on trips from the mainland to the Maine’s islands. A $2.35 surcharge will now be tacked on to all vehicle and driver tickets. Passenger, bike and child tickets will see an increase $1.35.Truck and reservation fares will stay the same. Ferry Service Manager Jim Macleod says the rate hike is needed to make up a $400,000 shortfall.The increase is one of half a dozen plans the advisory board considered.

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Belfast Woman Recovering After RV and Car Crash

Catherine Pegram

Updated 6 years ago

A woman from Belfast is in fair condition after her car collided with an RV yesterday near the Searsport-Belfast town line. Five people in all were injured. Police say the two vehicles were going in the opposite direction on Routes One and Three when they crashed. Holiday traffic was blocked for hours during the cleanup. 59-year-old Evangeline Brown of Belfast remains in the hospital.Her two passengers were treated and released. The driver and passenger in the RV, Douglas and Cheryle Monson of Trenton, were also treated and released. Police say the cause of the crash is under investigation.

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Man Arrested in Memorial Day Weekend Boating Accident

Catherine Pegram

Updated 6 years ago

A man from Massachusetts is under arrested after a Memorial Day weekend boating accident in Shapleigh that injured three people, one critically.Game wardens arrested 23-year-old Raymond Fraser III of Danvers early Sunday morning on Square Pond. He’s charged with operating a watercraft under the influence. Wardens say Fraser was driving a 23-foot boat that flew out of the pond and landed about eight feet off the ground, into some trees. 19-year-old Lindsay Fallon, of Westford, Massachusetts, is in the hospital in Portland in critical condition. Two other people suffered minor injuries. The accident remains under investigation and Fraser is expected to appear in court later this summer.

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Broken Tractor Trailer with Windmill Sections Closes Route 2

Catherine Pegram

Updated 6 years ago

A tractor-trailer hauling huge windmill pieces through the Greater Bangor area to Chester is broken down and blocking traffic on Route 2 in Carmel. State Police say the intersection of Route 2 and Route 69, near Dick’s Mini Mart and the Seafood Galley, is closed. Traffic is being re-routed around the area right now. Crews are waiting for a crane to come in and off-load the windmill sections so the tractor trailer can be moved out of the way. The road is expected to be closed for two to three more hours.

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