Maine is getting safer.According to State Police Spokesman Steve McCausland homicides and fatal fires were all down from 2008.Meghan Hayward has the details.The number of fatal accidents in Maine last year remained about the same as the year before, but there were fewer deadly fires, that according to Maine State Police Spokesman Steve McCausland.Final year public safety numbers also show there were fewer homicides in Maine last year than in 2008.Police investigated 26 homicides in 2009, down from 31 the year before.That total includes the November double homicide of a Webster Plantation couple.And, the shooting death of a Newport man in OctoberThe deadliest year for homicides in Maine was 1989 when 40 deaths were reported.The fewest was 2000, when 11 homicides were investigated.On Maine roads, there were 158 deaths last year, three more than 2008, according to the Bureau of Highway Safety.One of those, an accident in Bangor in November that claimed two lives after a car crashed into a house on High Street.And, a Cannan man died after he was ejected from a vehicle in Clinton.But, 2008 and 2009 were the safest on Maine roads in the last fifty years.The State Fire Marshal’s office says 14 people died in fires during 2009.A fire in Searsport in February claimed the lives of two people who were trapped inside.That number matches the death toll in 1991 as the second safest year ever.In, 1995 and 2007, 12 people lost their lives in fires.
More than 12-million dollars in federal money is on it’s way to the University of Maine for renewable energy research.The money will be used to build on to the UMaine composites lab.Senator Collins says the funding will come from the US Department of Commerce.The 30-thousand square foot laboratory addition will support a materials and engineering research program, which is designed to capitalize on two of the state’s key resources, wind energy and wood.The facility, when complete, would be the only one of its kind in the country.And experts estimate developing offshore wind projects in Maine have the potential to create 15,000 jobs and bring 20 billion dollars to the state.
The Bangor city council plans to appoint Robert Farrar as interim city manager at its meeting next week.Farrar has served with the city for 21 years, and is currently assistant city manager.Councilors voted last year to let go long-time city manager Ed Barrett, who has since taken a similar job in Lewiston.
The search has been suspended for 18-year-old Richard “Shaw” Jackson of China.The snowmobiler went missing last Friday night.Game Wardens say the case will remain open, and a pilot will periodically fly over the China Lake area to look for any sign of Jackson.Authorities and volunteers from snowmobile clubs had been looking non-stop since the Erskine Academy student was reported missing Saturday morning.They even enlisted the help of New Hampshire wardens in using a remote camera.Wardens say the decision to stop searching was discussed with Jackson’s family Thursday night.Meanwhile, snowmobilers are being told to stay off of China Lake because of open water and thin ice.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine wants people on two health insurance plans to pay 23% more for their coverage.Just last spring, Anthem requested an 18% rate hike on individual insurance plans.Maine’s insurance superintendent denied that, instead approving an increase of about 11%.This new request involves the same two plans.They provide coverage for 11,000 people in Maine.Anthem says it’s asking for the increase because the insurance company paid out more than it took in last year.
We’ve had quite a bit of snow lately, and a Bangor man is putting it to good use.Sean Johnson enlisted the help of two of his friends to build a giant snowman at his home on Lancaster Street.It took them over two weeks to build him, and Johnson put the finishing touches on their masterpiece Wednesday night.The snowman now stands 10 feet 9 inches tall, complete with a bungee cord for the mouth, a trailer hitch for the nose and beer bottles for the eyes.
A Millinocket man has been found guilty of federal drug charges and now faces up to five years in prison.Prosecutors say 39 year old Billy Bernier was part of a drug ring helping to distribute marijuana in the region.Bernier was found guilty Wednesday in U.S.
In an emergency situation, can law enforcement and emergency medical services quickly find your house?As Meghan Hayward tells us, inmates at the Penobscot County Jail are involved in a project that will make it easier.A house or driveway with an easy to see house number helps those responding in an emergency situation.Inmates at the Penobscot County Jail are making those signs for the 911 house numbering project.”There’s nothing worse to a person in need of help to hear the sound of sirens coming and then drive by their home.
The Maine Department of Labor said today that roughly 7,100 unemployed workers received a duplicate benefit payment this week as a result of a processing issue that affected direct deposits.Â Â The problem was discovered after direct deposits were made to accounts on Tuesday, January 5 and Labor Department officials are stressing that the issue was limited only to deposits made on that date.Â The department is working with the Maine Office of Information Technology â€“ the agency that processes those financial transactions â€“ and TD Bank to reverse the duplicate payments within the next 24 hours.People who received an extra direct deposit of unemployment benefits this week do not need to take any action to return the overpayment to the department.Â The reversal of the extra payment will occur automatically.
Food for hungry families in Maine will now get to them faster and more efficiently, thanks a grant from UPS.The company donated 5-thousand dollars to the Good Shepherd Food-Bank, which helps out more than 600 pantries all over the state.The money will be used to link each delivery truck with the UPS Roadnet System.