Eighteen Maine Army National Guard troops are being honored in Augusta following their return home after a year of duty in Afghanistan.The Freedom Salute Ceremony was held Saturday at the Togus Veterans Administration Center.The soldiers in the Embedded Training Team served as mentors to Afghan army and law enforcement units, which participated in combat operations against Taliban and al-Qaida forces.
Over two thousand Bangor Hydro customers were without power for a short while Saturday afternoon.Hydro spokesperson, Susan Faloon, says the outage happened just after noon, when a phase came off an insulator layer on a cross arm.Folks in Hampden, Winterport and Newburgh were effected.Faloon says power was restored to that area, within an hour.
It’s been three years since a homeless man’s body was found burned under the Harlow Street bridge in Bangor.And police say they are still actively looking for the individuals responsible for Trevor Sprague’s death.Cori Skall has the update.”It’s still active, and we are actively pursuing tips. We still get tips on a regular basis, and we follow those up.”It’s been 3 years since authorities discovered the burning body of a 34-year old homeless man underneath a bridge in Bangor.And police are still not releasing many details surrounding the incident.”We don’t obviously release all of the particulars of a case because there are certain things that only the person that is responsible for this crime would know.”And while police have classified Trevor Sprague’s death a homicide, they have yet to make an arrest in the case.”You want to get something within 25 hours. After that time, things start to….you get worried. Things start to get a little stale, and you know, sometimes a little over 24, 48 or 72 hours, that’s one thing. But, like you said, when you start getting now in to years, we don’t like that.”But Sgt. Paul Edwards says, because there is no statute of limitations on murder, the case remains open, and a priority for authorities.”We’ll never forget the case. It will always be open. So, for the family, they have nothing to worry about, as far as that’s concerned. It will always be actively pursued…until it’s concluded.””Our ducks are in a row, so to speak. Now it’s just time to continue to work those leads, and continue investigating and solve the case.”Edwards says even though three years have passed, there may still be someone out there with information about the Sprague case.He urges folks who know anything, even if it’s just a rumor, to contact the Bangor Police Department.They even can do so anonymously.”We want to prove to the state and to this family, that we can conclude this crime successfully.”Cori Skall, Wabi TV 5 news.Again, police are asking anyone with information regarding the Trevor Sprague case, to contact them at 947-7384.
Nothing has been left untouched by the tough economy, but it may have actually done some good for home buyers. Realtors say the housing market has never been more affordable, and first time home buyers are now offered tax incentives. Prices are low, interest rates are down, and inventory is at a high.”Right now we’re experiencing more inventory, we have more opportunities for buyers.” Says Karen Kellerman of Prudential in Bangor.The real estate market is ripe – and right now, it’s full of first time buyers.”The last three to four years, we’ve had a lot of first time home buyers.” Says realtor Andree Knowles.”I’ve had a lot of first time home buyers, that for what they’re paying for rent, they can be in their frist house.” explains Kellerman.Because of the federal economic stimulus package, from now until December first of 2009, the deal for them is even sweeter.”There’s now the eight-thousand dollar tax credit for first time home buyers. Somebody can afford 20 percent more in a house than they might have if they’d purchased a couple years ago.” Kellerman says.Even though the dollar goes further in this market, Knowles says the huge homes of the housing boom are losing popularity and buyers are opting for something more affordable. “People are looking to downsize, particularly with utilities going up and everything else. We try to keep homes affordable and that’s been a big selling point for us.”Knowles says in this economy, the hardest part for some buyers may be finding the financing.”The mortgage in some cases is a little harder to obtain, mortgage companies are a little stricter than they were.”She says because of this, spec homes in subdivisions are less common. Builders are waiting for buyers to secure loans and sign contracts before construction starts. But if you have the cash, realtors advise potential buyers not to procrastinate.”Now’s the time to buy.”
Hancock County’s largest employer is cutting jobs.The Jackson Laboratory has announced 55 job cuts. More than 300 other employees will have their hours reduced.Rumors have been circulating for weeks and the announcement really isn’t a big surprise but it’s one that will affect the entire lab community.”It’s a very difficult thing.”The Jackson Lab is known around the world for its scientific research and its mice. Officials say not even their reputation could completely protect them from the effects of declining economic conditions.”Downturn in pharmaceutical industry, the bio tech industry and in academic research has affected our sales of mice and research services and so we just have no alternative but to reduce our workforce and size it for the demand we are experiencing.”55 employees will lose their jobs.”We’ve put together the most generous severance package we could scrape together under the circumstances. They’ll get a couple of weeks severance pay plus another week for each year of service and we will help them with the cobra payments for continued health care.”The number could have been higher. More than 300 people will have their hours cut in a move to save more jobs. the suggestion was made by the employees.”I think people are willing to make sacrifice when they know they are helping their fellow co-workers and I know it’s not easy to see some of our co-workers maybe not be here as these decisions are made but overall we are going to be keeping a large number of us still here and that’s a really good thing.””We are taking these actions with deep regret and humility and we hope that we’ll be able to bring all those part time people back to work as soon as possible.”Lab officials say their scientific research is funded through grants and private donations so that will not be affected.They believe the reduction in hours is temporary.They tell me they hope to everyone back up to 40 hours in 8 or 9 months.
A Waterville man convicted of killing his estranged wife has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.42 year old Richard Reynolds was sentenced Friday in Somerset County Superior Court. Reynolds was found guilty of murder last November.A judge rulled Reynolds purposely shot 37 year old Rhonda Wakefield-Reynolds on January 12, 2007. The shooting took place the day after she filed for divorce. Reynolds testified at his trial that he intended to kill himself in his wife’s presence but that he flinched and the gun discharged when he heard their two children outside the bedroom.We’ll have more on this story coming up on TV5 News at 5 and 6.
The Maine Fire Marshal’s Office says a 16-year-old boy has been detained following a fire at the Winthrop library. Lt. Joseph Thomas of the Fire Marshal’s Office says the fire at the C.M. Bailey Library was detected by a police officer soon after it broke out around 2 a.m. and damage was kept to a minimum. The fire originated in the library’s boiler room. An investigation shows that the fire was intentionally set. The teenager from Winthrop was referred to juvenile justice authorities.
A water main break on the main road in Searsport has forced school officials at SAD 56 to cancel classes for Friday.SAD 56 encompasses Searsport, Stockton Springs and Frankfort.The break was reported in the early morning hours and is located in the area of Main and the Mortland Road, the same road as the Searsport schools.We’re told crews are now evaluating the break to find out how severe it is.
A Searsport High School Student has organized a spaghetti supper to help his community.Zach Parker organized the supper to help Waldo CAP, a local agency that helps low income families.Local businesses and teachers at Searsport High have donated money to the cause.Parker says the funds raised will all go to Waldo CAP’s Fuel Assistance program.He says he saw a need in his community and has always wanted to help.”So I decided that I have the chance so why not help the community by giving money to their fuel program.” says Parker.The spaghetti supper will be held on March 7th from 4:30 to 7:30 at Belfast High School. Admission is six dollars for adults and three dollars for kids.
Fishermen from throughout Maine got together on shore today in Rockport. Seminars, exhibits and a trade show are all part of the 34th annual Fishermen’s Forum, being held at the Samoset.From lobster traps to the floundering economy – This year’s Fishermen’s Forum covers all the issues.”The demise of the ground fish fishery in the state is a very serious issue, there’s a lot of issues around the lobster market with the fall of the stock market last year.” Says Pat White, the President of the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation.Fishermen from across the spectrum came to the forum to attend various seminars, and discuss the current state of the industry.”It’s very important for people to stay educated on everything that’s going on especially with the whale ruling… what will they do to effect us.” says lobsterman Danny Staples.”There are people here trying to get together to talk about the different ways of marketing lobster and what they can do, hopefully to cut back their expenses and fish more profitable.” says White.But it’s not all about business here, the forum is as much about networking and socializing.”I’ve been attending for 20 odd years… It’s a social hour as well, see old friends, that you might have not seen for a year there’s probably very few vendors in here I don’t know.” says Staples.”It gives a good chance for the lobster fishermen to interact.” Says White.There are over a hundred vendors at the forum and they’re selling everything from engine parts to jewelry to lobster traps! … But even the vendors say seeing familiar faces is the best part of this event.”There’s a lot of relationships that’s been made over the years. Besides just selling the product it’s a good social time.” Jerry Wadsworth, a salesman for Friendship Trap Co. explains.But even if fishing is not your forte, the fishermen say the forum is fun for everyone – and open to the public.
There’s been an arrest in the murder of a man who was found strangled and suffocated at his home at Old Orchard Beach last summer.State Police arrested 43-year old Darlene George in connection with the murder of her husband, Winston George on June 20th. Winston George was found murdered in their home on the Smith Wheel Road following a reported home invasion. Darlene Georges’ brother, 45 year old Jeffrey Williams of New York, and her acquaintance 48-year old Rennie Cassimy, also of New York, were arrested and charged with murder last year for their participation in the homicide. The arrest follows an indictment for murder and conspiracy to commit murder handed down by the York County Grand Jury Thursday morning.
A 14-year old boy was arrested Thursday at Messalonskee Middle School in Oakland for bringing a loaded handgun to school.A child was reported to Principal Mark Hatch as having a gun during the late morning hours. No children or staff members were hurt.The Principal implemented the lock down and called the Oakland Police Department, which was protocol for the schools crisis plan. Police confirm the Principal and School Resource Officer, Dusty Woodside apprehended the student and secured the weapon within minutes of notification that the gun was on school premises. Oakland Police Chief, Michael Tracy says the young man was compliant when confronted about the weapon and there was no struggle.The young man is in police custody charged with carrying a concealed weapon and terrorizing, both are felonies. The investigation is ongoing.
(AP) – Domtar Corp. says it is idling its pulp mill in the eastern Maine town of Baileyville for an indefinite period because of the poor global economy.Montreal-based Domtar said Thursday the facility will shut down on May 5, affecting about 300 employees. Chief Executive John Williams said the industry is suffering from weak global demand for pulp, high inventory levels and depressed prices. With no immediate recovery on the horizon, he said the company must reduce its manufacturing capacity.Gov. John Baldacci said he has assigned state officials to work with Domtar to see if there is a way to keep the mill open.We’ll have more on this story coming up tonight on TV5 News at 5 and 6.
A court-named analyst says the state of Maine is out of compliance again with a long-standing agreement to meet the needs of mentally ill people. Elizabeth Jones, who was hired to evaluate the effects of state budget cuts on services to some 12,000 mentally ill people, filed her 18-page report Wednesday in Kennebec County Superior Court. Jones concludes, “that the Department has failed to balance funding for all individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. Furthermore, significant shifts and reductions in funding for certain programs and/or services have negatively impacted the delivery of mental health services throughout the State. These actions are inconsistent with the requirements of the Consent Decree and bar attainment of substantial compliance.” For the complete report Click here. State officials agreed to comply with a consent decree by 1995, but have been found in contempt of court several times for missing court deadlines. Commissioner Brenda Harvey of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has been contacted by TV5. A spokesman tells us she is still analyzing the report.
State police say a man whose car was struck by a train in Bethel in February, was actually killed before that collision.23-year-old Agostino Samson, was arrested on Wednesday, for causing the death of Scott Libby.Police say the two had known each other for several years, and that Samson worked for Libby’s landscaping business last year.Investigators concluded that the injuries to Libby weren’t consistent with the impact between the slow-moving train and the car.They believe Libby’s car was placed on the train track after he was killed.
11,000 jobs, economic growth, and energy independence. That’s what Governor Baldacci is promising with a multi-million dollar bond package.Wednesday Afternoon in Augusta, the governor explained how the $306,000,000 in borrowed money would be spent.The plan includes nearly $130,000,000 for transportation projects.Nearly $70,000,000 for research and development. $52,000,000 for energy upgrades at state universities and community colleges.And $15,000,000 for the development of offshore wind power.The governor says while the national recovery act will help boost the economy, the state has a responsibility of stimulating job growth as well.Voters will have the final say, the bond package is expected to go on ballots in two rounds of voting in November and in June 2010.
Monson Elementary School is slated to close on July first of this year.MSAD #68’s board of directors voted 8-to-1 in favor of the closure at a meeting Tuesday night.Superintendent Ann Bridge had recommended closing the school as a way of saving the district money.She says with fewer state subsidies coming in, the district is having a hard time paying more than $250,000 a year to operate a school with fewer than 40 students.The closure would mean the Monson students would be bused to Sedomocha Elementary School in Dover-Foxcroft.The state department of education still needs to approve the closure. But even if they do, Monson residents could still vote to keep the school open.That would mean they’d have to pay the school’s operating costs.
An elderly man escaped his burning home in Newburgh Wednesday night.Crews responded to a house on Croxford Road around 7-30 pm.It started as a chimney fire, then flames spread to a wall, and up to the roof.81-year-old Norris Nealy lived at the home.A viewer says that friends of Nealy’s saw the smoke and called the fire department.Crews from five towns came to help put out the fire.Newburgh fire chief Gary Sibley tells TV5 the old walls of the home made it tough for crews to actually reach the flames, and they were unable to save the home.They didn’t clear the scene until 4:15 Wednesday morning.
Folks in Brewer celebrated National Multiple Sclerosis week, with a splash of color today.Representatives of the local chapter of the M-S Society, placed orange flags in front of the Brewer auditorium.They’re hoping to bring awareness to their cause, and to educate the public on the disease.M-S is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, most often diagnosed in folks 20 to 50 years old.Many Mainers live with M-S.”each flag represents 5 people in the state of maine living with ms. we estimate, at this point, there are approximately 3-thousand people in the state of maine living with ms.”>There are other M-S events across the nation this week.If you’d like to get involved with the local chapter of the MS Society, you can find them online at WWW.MSMAINE.ORG.
It started ten years ago as a small fitness center and meeting place….with the hope to attract 500 members.Now the Hammond Street Senior Center has more than 17-hundred active members over the age of 60.And a three-story space, more akin to a social club, which sees more than 26-thousand visitors annually.They celebrated ten years of memories today…looking back at how their space has evolved.Today the center offers area seniors everything from a modern computer lab to an art studio and yoga room….And director, Kathy Bernier, says most importantly, a place to come and greet friends.”We started with one floor ten years ago, and we went to the second floor and expanded the fitness center into a fully equipped gym, and now we’re into the third floor. Every room in the building is entirely used.”Membership to the Senior Center is free to anyone at least 60 years old in the greater Bangor region, and to spouses at least 55.They’re able to offer their programs through fundraisers…including a big plant sale they have coming up this spring.