If you live on Bangor’s West Side, you may have noticed folks wandering the streets Thursday, studying the trees.They were looking for a species of beetle that experts say could seriously impact the Maine economy if it arrives here.Amy Erickson has the story.Believe it or not, this little pest can cause some very big problems.The Asian Longhorned Beetle has devastated communities across the country…the closest is Worcester, Massachusetts.Folks from the Maine Department of Agriculture are doing their best to keep the pest out of the Pine Tree State.”We want to try and find it quicker than they did in MA, so that we could control it easier.””If it did become established, we could lose a lot of our hardwood species.”Entomologist Karen Coluzzi led a team of folks who spent Thursday scouring Bangor’s West Side.They examined trees for signs of the beetle, like dime-sized holes in the tree’s bark.Bangor’s City Forester, Brian Dugas, also took part in the survey.
Just a reminder…many state government offices will be closed Friday, September 4th.It’s part of a cost-saving measure.Governor John Baldacci is asking residents to plan ahead for any services they may need from state agencies during the shutdown days.His best advice is that folks check with a specific state agency before seeking services there on Friday.The day is the third of ten closure days between July first and June 30-th.And as a side note, the state’s parks and historic sites *will* remain open…they will not be affected by the shutdown.Maine Forest service rangers will also remain on duty to provide law enforcement and forest protection in the woods.
A second arrest has been made in connection with the August eighth murder of Holly Boutilier of Old Town.Bangor Police arrested 27-year-old Justin Ptaszynski, described as a Bangor transient.Ptaszynski is charged with murder and hindering apprehension or prosecution.Thirty-four-year-old Colin Koehler of Bangor had previously been charged with murder in the case.He was indicted by a Penobscot County grand jury in August.According to court records, surveillance video from Hollywood Slots shows two men leaving the crime scene.In an interview with Bangor Police, Ptaszynski said he was the second subject in the surveillance video.Police says he told them he had no prior knowledge that koehler planned to kill Boutilier.A court affidavit states Ptaszynski says the three of them had gone on a walk along the Penobscot River when Koehler pulled out a sword.The police affidavit says Boutilier died from multiple stab wounds to her abdomen and a laceration to her neck.Ptaszynski is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.
A fire on the New Road in Newport destroyed a trailer Wednesday afternoon.Crews from three towns responded to the fire.Newport Fire Chief Jeff Chretien says they were a bit short handed, but still able to knock down the fire in shortly after they arrived.There was one person home when the fire started.
More cuts may be in store for education this school year.Education Commissioner Susan Gendron has warned superintendents they could be looking at a cuts in state funding as bad or even worse than the $27,000,000 in cuts ordered by Governor Baldacci last year.And unlike last year, there won’t be federal stimulus money to bail out the state and local schools.
Two more horses, one in Unity the other in Gorham, have died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis, bringing the tally to five.There are another two suspected cases.No humans have been infected with the potentially fatal brain infection, but health officials are warning residents to be vigilant when it comes to mosquito.Just a reminder, there is also going to be a public meeting in Thorndike Thursday night at Mount View High School.Center for Disease Control (CDC) and agricultural officials will answer questions regarding Triple E.
Some local business owners came together today for a common cause.The business owners in the Bangor area, along with State Representative Andre Cushing, are urging congress to stop the Employee Free Choice Act.The legislation, which is pending, would make it easier for employees to form unions.Karl Ward is the President and CEO of Nickerson and O’Day out of Brewer.Ward says he is concerned with the idea of someone from away coming into his business and negotiating between management and employees.” When a unionization occurs it means everything is at arms length.
”Healthcare Now” was the message some folks in Bangor delivered today.Dozens of mainers delivered 40,000 written notes to the members of Maine’s congressional delegation.Trying to urge them to support President Obama’s healthcare reform proposals.Karen Hover is a local doctor who handles several uninsured patients.She helped deliver the messages.” Well we have 47 million patients that are uninsured in the country and that’s way to many.
Prep work has started along the Bangor waterfront, for a project that’s been nearly a decade in the making.In the coming days, work will start in earnest to rid the water there of coal tar deposits, left over from the area’s industrial past.City engineer Jim Ring says the coal tar that’s in the river has been there a while.”It’s a product of 100 years or so of commercial activity, the gas plant, and some of the handling of the by-products that ended up in the river,” Ring says.Coal tar contaminants can be toxic during prolonged contact or if injested.
The budget of a popular tourist stop in Orrington is a bit bigger now, thanks to a donation from some summer visitors.As Meghan Hayward tells us, the guests were impressed with the history behind the Curran Homestead.” Well we’re excited about this.
The Maine Department of Conservation and the State Planning Office has announced 7 areas they’re looking at as possible sites to test a new deepwater technology for harnessing wind power, including one near Ellsworth.Supporters of this techonology say it has the potential to bring thousands of new jobs to the state.