News

Downtown Bangor Businesses Hoping for a Boost From Festival Crowds

Updated 5 years ago

Folk Festival vendors aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits of the huge crowds on the waterfront this weekend.Business owners all over the greater Bangor area are reporting a boost in sales.Hotel rooms are booked, and restaurants are seeing more patrons than usual.Heather Van Frankenhuysen owns Bella Luna Boutique on Main Street in Bangor.She’s hoping many of the folks spending time on the waterfront can make it to the downtown area as well…to check out some of Bangor’s specialty shops and eateries.Van Frankenhuyzen says during last year’s Folk Festival, she tripled her sales.Things haven’t been quite that good so far this year, but she’s still hoping for a solid weekend.

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Tax Symposiums

Updated 5 years ago

Maine’s tax reform legislation takes effect in January, and state revenue services officials want to make sure retailers understand the changes.Maine Revenue Services is hosting sales tax seminars across the state beginning on August 31st.The seminars will focus on changes affecting sales, use and service provider taxes included in the tax reform legislation passed this year.The seminars will be held twice daily from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and again from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 23 locations across the state.The seminars are free, and open to the general public.For a list of seminar locations, log on to the Maine State website.

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Convicted Killer Arrested on Probation Violation

Updated 5 years ago

A 65-year-old woman who served nearly 6 years in prison for killing her husband and chopping him up into pieces is behind bars for allegedly stealing two containers of baby powder from a grocery store in Dexter.Vella Gogan of Skowhegan appeared in Penobscot County Superior Court today on a violation of probation charge. Bail was set at $5,000. Gogan has been charged twice with violating probation since she was released from prison three years ago. She was charged with murder in 1999 for allegedly killing her husband in his sleep at their Hartland home. Gogan, who later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter, maintained that she had been abused by her husband during their 37-year marriage and shot him out of fear he was going to kill her.

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Glenburn Man Goes to Prison for Pellet Stove Thefts

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Glenburn pleaded no contest today to stealing pellet stoves from a company in Bangor where he worked, then selling them at discount prices. 34-year-old Benjamin Tibbetts was sentenced to three years for the crime. He’ll serve that at the same time as another three year sentence he received earlier this week for a probation violation.Tuesday a judge found there was enough evidence to conclude that Tibbetts was guilty a series of thefts in 2008, which violated his probation. Those crimes included stealing pellet stoves from Sunrise Home and Hearth, which is now out of business. Until today, Tibbetts had not entered a plea in that case. His lawyer, Jeffery Silverstein, says Tibbetts was also ordered to pay 5-thousand dollars restitution.

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Class of 2013 Move into Dorms at the University of Maine

Updated 5 years ago

Classes at the University of Maine start Monday.First-year students started arriving today.Meghan Hayward met up with a new student as she moved into her new home.The University of Maine campus was flooded with UMaine students, faculty and staff friday, who helped welcome the class of 2013.”The number is 1,803 students, a little bit lower than it was the past few years, but we’re very pleased with it and I think it says a lot about young people, students choosing the University of Maine.”Kennedy says poor economic conditions have affected first year enrollment, but overall enrollment is up one percent, partly due to an improved retention rate.Kennedy credits that to their first-year experience program, which places all first-year students together in dorms.A lot of volunteers help make their move into the dorms a little easier.”They’ve got a cue for the parents and students coming in. The flow has been extraordinary good, virtually no waiting times.”Tracey Martin is moving in her daughter, Krystal.She couldn’t believe how easy it was.”From the moment we pulled into the line they offered us drinks, they offered us food. They processed us and we pulled in and they unloaded pretty quick.”Krystal is the first child Tracey has sent to college. She’s feeling all kinds of emotions.”Nervous, excited for her. I’m going to miss her. That’s going to be the hardest not having her home every night and not knowing where she is.”Krystal says she’s ready for college.”I’m looking forward to not having my parents around all the time. I’m looking forward to meeting new people so I’m excited.”Krystal will be majoring in accounting with a concentration in international business.She hopes to be an accountant for an international firm in Spain some day.There is one thing her mother wants her to remember.”I’m proud of her.”

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Employing Young Workers in Weatherization

Updated 5 years ago

A crew of young adults has been working hard for the past few weeks to weatherize a home in Bangor. Friday, they gave the governor a tour of what they’ve accomplished.Violet Smith has lived in this big house for nearly 35 years, but this winter she’ll be a little warmer thanks to the work of these young men.”There was no insulation in the house at all. The sides of the house, the porch wasn’t heated so it was all going out through there. So we pulled up the floorboards and put insulation in there, and through the walls,” says 24-year-old Jamie Goodall, of Bangor.They added two tons of environmentally-friendly insulation to Violet’s home to make it more efficient and cut heating costs. They’re part of the Young Mainers Weatherization Corps.The state program uses stimulus funds under the Workforce Investment Act, to teach work and life skills to Mainers between the ages of 18 and 24.”I’d like to do this as my life-long career, definitely,” says Goodall.”These are tools that I’ll be able to not only take with me in the future but to be able to do this in my own house. It’s just good tools to know,” says 18-year-old Adam Smith, of Corinth.The governor says the program is like a smaller version of the Civilian Conservation Corps, employing people who need jobs with work that needs to be done.”I thought it was important since we were making this attempt on energy, new energy, wind energy, that we get the young people involved – like they did in Roosevelt’s administration – and engage them in this whole field,” says Governor Baldacci.The program has about 60 young adults learning and working in weatherization throughout the state.”It’ll be warmer than it has been. I’m very grateful to have them do the house and to have such nice men working,” says Violet Smith.”It feels good helping people, making them nice and warm in the wintertime.”

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Rockland Man Arrested After Car Crash

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Rockland is being blamed for a car crash that knocked out power to part of the town.Police say 39-year-old Michael Leon was driving on Union Street last night when he slammed into three utility poles. About 200 Central Maine Power customers throughout Rockland lost electricity. Leon is charged with leaving the scene of an accident, OUI and having drugs in his system and vehicle.Power crews spent the night working to restore service and had it up and running before 9 o’clock this morning. Leon was taken to Knox County Jail and released on $600.

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Police Look for Suspect in Dunkin Donuts Robbery in Palmyra

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Police are looking for the person who robbed a Dunkin Donuts in Palmyra with a knife. Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputies say a man, who’d covered his face, walked into the restaurant on Route 2 Wednesday night, with customers inside. He showed a knife to the clerk and demanded cash. The clerk gave the man money and the suspect ran off. He’s described as thin, around 5’09 to 6’0 tall, 150 pounds, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. Anyone with any information about the robbery can call the Sheriff’s Department anonymous tip line at 474-0230.

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Rep. Michaud Holds Healthcare Provider Forum

Updated 5 years ago

Dozens of healthcare providers from the greater Bangor area came together Friday for a discussion on health care reform.Congressman Mike Michaud hosted the round table discussion at Eastern Maine Technical College’s Rangeley Hall.Michaud invited physicians, nurses and members of medical associations to come together to offer their input on the current efforts to reform healthcare.Michaud has been spending the August break holding healthcare reform meetings across the district with his constituents, but he says providers haven’t been given enough opportunity to share their thoughts on the subject.

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Maine-ly Apples in Dixmont Opens for Season

Updated 5 years ago

It’s apple season, and Maine-ly Apples in Dixmont opened for business today.From 10 am to 5 pm folks could pick their favorite apples.Co-owner John Olsen says the rainy weather hasn’t stopped them.Just delayed things a bit.Olsen says there is no permanent damage to the trees, but some of their varieties will be in short supply this year.But despite the smaller crop, they company is not raising prices because of the recession.

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Children’s Activities Planned for the Folk Festival

Updated 5 years ago

Once again it’s the time of year when children will take over Pickering Square in Bangor….The park is the site for children’s activities during the Folk Festival.Meghan Hayward reports.”First of all this is all about fun. So we have to think about something they can make and take and use. So nothing that is sticky or wet or requires a cardboard box. Something they can take into the Folk Festival and continue to have fun with.”The Discovery Museum’s Education Director Trudi Plummer says folks at the museum spend all year preparing for the children’s activities at the festival.”We focus on recyclables and things from nature. So that A we don’t have too much prep work and B children can easily do that stuff at home too.”Plummer says they tried to concentrate on a theme for the crafts this year and decided on sustainable and organic living.Twig rattles will be one of the crafts children can make.”It’s very important for us that the children have something that they can use as a musical instrument when they’re grooving to the music.”And what do the folks at the Discovery Museum want the children to get out of the activities?”We’re hoping children take away some ideas for things they can do at home with their parents too.”Bead necklaces and tap-dancing puppets will also be on the crafts list.Plummer says the Folk Festival brings out the creative sides in children. “It’s just really important for the kids to have maybe ten minutes of me time. Ten minutes of quiet me time where they can get creative, get in the shade and then take it into the folk festival and show it off to their family.”Folks at the Discovery Museum say they can always use donations of craft supplies to help with the festival crafts.There are also several acts scheduled to perform on the children’s stage at Pickering Square.You can find a complete list of the activities and events schedules on their website, www.americanfolkfestival.com.

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Stories of a Woodsman, with Bill Mackowski

Updated 5 years ago

Bill Mackowski has been a lot of things in life, including wildlife biologist and farmer.For many years, he’s channeled his love of the outdoors into sturdy, hand-crafted woodsman’s tools, like snowshoes and pack baskets.And while the Milford man won’t be selling his wares at Folk Festival this year, he will be passing on a bit of what he’s learned, in a special tent for people who work with the materials mother nature’s provided.Sarah Komuniecki has more.Bill Mackowski works hard. But he’s quick with a story, and has lots to share.”I’ve spent a good portion of my life in the woods doing something. Whether it was trapping, or listening to frogs, or fishing or something. So I’ve always had that connection with the outdoors,” Mackowski says.He says he learned fifty years ago that being in the woods meant being prepared, with a sturdy pack basket, a strong pair of snowshoes and a good-size fishing creel.These tools of the woodsman’s trade he makes right from the Northern woods themselves, each nuance significant and unique to its maker.”That’s what interests me. It’s not just how to make a pack basket, but who else made them and why it looks like that, and why it’s styled that way and everything that goes on behind it,” he says.He’s spent years seeking out the best craftsmen, collecting their stories and learning their trades, to carry on these traditions before they’re lost. “I look back and I look at one of these spectacular old pairs of snowshoes and I think, you know, this guy was a artist. Way before there was any value placed on the artistry of what he was doing,” Mackowski says.Through the years his work has caught the eye of everyone from Orvis to Martha Stewart. But for this woodsman, it all goes back to that connection we have to the land around us.”I’ve just been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel, to meet people and have these skilled, skilled artisans and craftsmen spend the time with me, and be willing to share and to teach. You know, what can I say? I’m a lucky guy.” So if you see Bill at the Folk Festival, go ahead and step right up. You might just learn a thing or two.”Well it’s fun, but it’s also fun to share it with people that are interested,” he says.You can see Bill on Saturday and Sunday, along with other crafters and storytellers, in the tent for folk and traditional arts demonstrations next to the main food court.

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Wind Farm Approved in Western Maine

Updated 5 years ago

Maine environmental regulators have given final approval to a wind farm near Rumford.It’s a $120,000,000 project.Twenty-two wind turbines will be build at Partridge Peak, Flathead Mountain, and Record Hill in Roxbury. It would become Maine’s fourth major wind farm.The principal developers are former Maine governor Angus King and Robert Gardiner, former head of Maine Public Broadcasting and one-time director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

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Waterville Youth Pleads Guilty

Updated 5 years ago

A teenager from Waterville has pled guilty to charges stemming from a fire at the former Waterville Boys and Girls Club.18-year-old Nicholas Laws will spend 30 days in jail on a criminal mischief charge, and he will be allowed to withdraw the guilty plea to burglary if he complies during his probationary period.Laws is one of five adults and four juveniles charged with setting a fire in a pool at the club back in March.A video was made and posted on YouTube with their names in the credits.Police say a parent came forward and reported the video.

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Hermon Woman Escapes Thanks to Detectors

Updated 5 years ago

A fire in Hermon could have been disastrous, but thanks to quick action everyone made it out okay.Crews were called to the home on Swan Road just after 2 o’clock Thursday morning.Jennifer Stalter, the home owner, had put a load of laundry in the dryer just before heading to bed. The electric dryer caused the clothes to catch fire.Luckily the home’s smoke detectors went off, and Stalter was able to get out of the home with her young daughter and two pets.Fire officials say running large appliances, like dryers, when you’re not home or awake can be dangerous. “No matter if you do the maintenance like you should they certainly can cause a fire. They’re a high heat source and so I’d advice people never to run anything if they’re not home.” “I can tell you I will never put another load of laundry in and go to bed,” Stalter Said on Thursday. “I will never do a load of laundry and leave my house. I probably wouldn’t have a house today if I had been at work or wherever.”Fire officials say working smoke detectors and a quick response time by crews helped to limit the damage done by the fire.The dryer and clothes were destroyed. But the rest of the home was left virtually untouched by the fire.

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Folk Festival Events Listings

Updated 5 years ago

Here is a list of al three days events for this, the 9th annual American Folk Festival…


American Folk Festival Maps

Updated 5 years ago

Here are the maps of venues at this year’s American Folk Festival…


Dangerous Donuts at Folk Festival

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

Food is always a popular part of the American Folk Festival, mostly because there’s plenty to choose from.Including donuts.But as Joy Hollowell found out, there’s one booth that takes the deep fried dough one step further, into the danger zone.+++++++++++”drilling”They only come out once a year.”ok other side”And you can only find them at one place.”drops tool on table”They are donuts. Ah, but these aren’t just any tasty treat.”They’re dangerous.”Meet Tom Sadowski, inventor of the dangerous donut. He’s also the owner of the Camden Doughnut Company. They’re actually based out of Lincolnville Center, but Tom tells me he wanted to honor a lesser known claim to fame for Camden.”The donut was invented in Camden. The hole in the donut back in the 1800′s,” says Tom Sadowski.The Camden Doughnut Company started in 2003.”Some people, you know, they have a uh, like a boat or a summer cottage. We have a donut booth that we go to for the weekend,” says Tom, laughing.The idea came after Tom and his wife, otherwise known as the Donut Queen, saw a need to bring dangerous donuts to the folk festival. “I’ve always wanted a donut machine and when you’re at a festival, you have to offer something that people don’t normally make a home. You know, you could offer a say peanut butter sandwiches, but hot donuts, probably a better choice,” says Tom.Tom says he churns out about 30-thousand mini donuts over the three day weekend.”We have a robot that kicks out 50 dozen donuts an hour. And we still can’t keep up at the folk festival. We crank, and crank and crank and people are lined up for 20 feet in front of the booth, yelling at us that they want us to take their money and give them donuts,” says Tom.”now is their like a secret recipe?Yes, next question.””do you notice that you get more kids, I mean, is it all mixed as far as who wants the donuts?Mostly people want the donuts. We’ve had a few animals but we try to discourage that.”No doubt, you may be wondering what makes these donuts so hazardous. I decided to ask.”how come they’re dangerous donuts?Hey guy, what are they dangerous?Ask your doctor (laughs).”===========You can find dangerous donuts in the dance tent food court again this year. It’s located between the craft marketplace and the area leading down to the dance tent.For more information on the folk festival, log onto www.americanfolkfestival.com

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A Mix Of New Music And Classics At Folk Festival

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

The Folk Festival in Bangor means different to different people, but the one constant? The music. Heather McCarthy, Director of The Folk Festival, says this year is no different. “We have an entirely new lineup for the folk festival this year,” she says, “23 different performing groups representing a huge diversity of different traditions.”McCrary and her staff have been hard at work looking for acts to electrify the waterfront this year. “When we start programming for each years festival the first thing we look at are some of the must have genres. We have to do Irish, something from across the border. This year we’re doing some Acedin music, we’ve also got the Coalminers, they’re an acapella group, they’re just wonderful people are going to love them.”But what makes this festival an overwhelming success is the originality. It offers festival goers a chance to hear music they may have never experienced. “So we start with some of the must haves and then we add some of those things that are new and fun that we don’t get to do every year, people really enjoy discovering them.”While the music at the Folk Festival pleases fans of all ages, what puts a smile on the organizers faces, is watching a child experience music and embrace different cultures for the first time. “You know one of my favorite parts of the festival is looking at the real young festival goers, 2 and 3, because these kids will dace to anything…when you’re that age you can just celebrate whatever it is that’s playing, I think that’s a great start.”

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A Hero Emerges From Acadia Tragedy

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

Last Sunday Todd Stanley, accompanied by his wife, mother, and 8-month-old daughter, went for a walk in Acadia National Park. Like many of the onlookers that day, the Stanley’s wanted to see the big waves produced from Hurricane Bill. “There was a big wave coming and through an opening in the forest,” says Stanley,”I looked to see the wave crash and when I looked, I noticed a lot of people in that area, saw the wave, saw the people, then…no people.” He watched in horror as people were swept away in an instant by the giant wave. For Todd Stanley that was the moment of truth. “I just ran toward this area as fast as I could and when I came to this area, I heard screams to my left and went down into a crevice where there were several victims…there was a 14-year-old-boy just below this tree that was just getting to his feet.” Stanley helped the boy to safety, but that was just the beginning. “The second victim that I assisted was in this zone right here, and as I was headed her way, I heard my mother or someone up above yell that there was another big wave coming so I crouched down in this area and held my breath and got pretty wet.” Stanley narrowly avoided being swept away by another giant wave. Other bystanders had gathered on the top of the mountain as Stanley began cerrying victims to the top. An unidentified man assisted Stanley. “I don’t know if he was one of the victims or just a bystander like me,” Stanley said of the stranger.”The next pair of victims was in where this big rock was and one of them had bad facial injuries and a very badly gashed or broken leg.”As his wife, mother, and daughter waited at the top of the hill, Stanley continued to help victims, aided by an unidentifeid man, that were not only injured but in some cases trapped. “Their position between a big rock and a bunch of trees was such so we couldn’t just move them right up the hill from that point to carry her back to the ocean was really rough,” Stanley says, “so I left and went back up the hill and came down from behind her and we figured a route out sideways then we carried her up the hill another 30 feet.” After this experience, Stanley says he has a new appreciation for search and rescue personnel. “When they consciously go into a that situation, they have some training to deal with it, but every situation is different so I have an increased level of respect for them.”Among the victims that Stanley helped pull to safety was Sandra Kuhatch-Axelrod. She’s the mother of 7-year-old Clio Axelrod who lost her life in the incident at Acadia. Stanley says he would like to see Acadia post signs warning of the danger of storms such as Bill.

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