Several folks were out on snowmobiles this weekend for “one last run.” And there were several injuries resulting from bumpy rides.Two snowmobilers from Massachusetts were seriously injured when each crashed their sleds. One struck a parked camper trailer near a trailhead on early sunday morning.The other managed to miss the trailer, but struck a grove of trees. Neither are listed with life-threatening injuries.A rider in Greenville was taken to the hospital after his sled struck a patch of packed ice, launching the sled and rider Saturday afternoon. He has been listed in stable condition.In Bradstreet Township, just south of Jackman, a Winslow man suffered a broken arm when he and another snowmobiler hit each other head-on Sunday morning at the crest of a hill on I.T.S. 89.The incident remains under investigation.The Maine Warden Service is reminding snowmobilers to use caution when out on the snowmobile trails – day and night.There may be snow on the ground, but the trails are showing signs of spring.Obstacles such as roots and rocks, and open water crossings are showing up on trails.
A fire in Dexter Sunday afternoon was caused by the failure of an extension cord receptacle in the living room of a house on upper Main Street.The State Fire Marshal’s Office says the recepatcle was near the entertainment center.The residents, a woman and two children, a 14-month old and a 4-year old, were all able to escape without injury.According to Dexter Assistant Fire Chief Frank Wallace, firefighters had the blaze out in about a half hour because it was contained mostly to that one room.There was smoke and water damage throughout the house.
A house fire in Rangley Sunday night is under investigation.Crews were called to the corner of School and Allen St. around 5:15 p.m.No one was home at the time.Sgt. Ken Grimes with the fire marshal’s office says it appears the fire began in the garage and spread to the house.He adds that investigators are still talking to witnesses. So it’s too early to determine a cause.
Police are investigating a fatal car crash in Alton Sunday night.Authorities were called to the Bennoch Road around 10:30 pm.We’re told there was just one person in the car at the time and no other vehicles were involved.The named of the deceased driver has not yet been released.
Two men in Maine face charges in separate incidents for allegedly assaulting two women who were working for the U.S. Census Bureau.The Washington County Sheriff’s Department said 61-year-old Wesley Storer of Bar Harbor was charged last Monday for allegedly ripping an identification badge off a 50-year-old census worker’s lanyard and preventing her from leaving an apartment building he owns in Harrington.53-year-old James Swift of Brooksville was summoned Friday for allegedly assaulting a 60-year-old woman according to police.They say Swift is accused of grabbing the woman by the wrist and pushing her backward while she was preparing to leave Census papers on his door.
The Coast Guard says a Mayday call that resulted in a six-hour search along Maine’s coast might have been a hoax.The Coast Guard received a radio call around noon Saturday from a man who said his name was Elwood Patton and that his vessel, the Steven Bowden, was sinking in Penobscot Bay between Vinalhaven and Deer Isle. The man later said his boat had sunk and he was in the water.The Coast Guard dispatched a 25-foot response boat, two helicopters and a Falcon jet, and was assisted by the Maine Marine Patrol, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and others – but nothing turned up. The guard says it spent $176,000 on the search. Officials say the call was either a hoax or a case of a sunken vessel that they can’t find.
There will be a candlelight vigil in honor of Damien Lynn on Tuesday, March 9 at 7:00 pm at Cascade Park in Bangor. The event is being organized by community members Leslie Collagen and Marissa Ouelette, and they encourage anyone who wants to be involved to contact them. Collaganâ€™s number is 949-5832, and Ouelletteâ€™s is 843-0550.
Police say a 5-year-old boy has drowned after falling into the Mousam River in southern Maine while walking with his parents on a popular hiking trail along the river’s edge.Officials say the boy slipped and fell into the water at about noon Saturday and was swept down the fast-moving river, swollen from recent rains and melting snow. The boy’s mother jumped in to save him and brought him to shore, but officials said he could not be revived. He was taken to Goodall Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.Officials have not released the boy’s name.
The YMCA in Bar Harbor is trying to raise money to get their volleyball program back up and running. Sunday some of the best volleyball players in eastern maine stopped by to help out. For the folks here this is the first volleyball tournament they’ve hosted in more than a decade. Their goal is to make sure the next 10 years feature a lot more volleyball. Suzie James is the Sports Director at the YMCA. “The MDI YMCA had a long history of volleyball here but now it’s gone,” says James, “and we’re trying to bring it back so we started this tournament just to kick things off.” Teams from all over eastern Maine participated with all the proceeds going to help them bring volleyball back. “It is a fundraiser,” she says, “we’re a YMCA and our supplies are really hurting. I decided to have this tournament to bring volleyball back and we’re also in need of a new net and new volleyballs.”Michael Good says volleyball is his passion. He’s been playing volleyball here for 20 years. “Some of the best players in downeast Maine are here right now so we have A players and USVBA players and other ranges in between,: says Good, “so it’s an opportunity to have a co-ed tournament and mix it up and have some really good volleyball.”Organizers here say the tough economic have taken a toll on their supplies but it’s also had a psoitive effect as well. “You know aht’s been really cool is we’re seeing more people come in to use our facilities,” says James, “I think a lot of it is wellness, just to bring up your spirits. The fundraising dollars were down a little bit just like everywhere else but we’re here to serve our community so it’s been great.”The plan is to bring a whole lot more volleyball to the halls of this YMCA.”We’re going to start withbeing here on Wednesday nights starting at 7:00,” says James, “we’re going to try to do this year round and we’re also going to try some youth volleyball here at the ymca hopefully in the fall too.”
Aunt Nellie’s Attic the thrift and treasure shop located on the Main Road in Holden launched its Grand Opening for 2010. Kathy Clegg says she and the volunteers from the Hammond Street Senior Center have been setting up a whole new display layout. Aunt Nellie’s spring hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be storewide savings and special prizes for children all weekend. You can even have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny!The store will be closed on Sundays and Mondays until further notice.For more information or to arrange to make a donation, please call either Aunt Nellie’s at 989-3631 or Hammond Street Senior Center at 262-5532.
Members of the local Islamic Community welcomed the public to an open house at the Islamic Center of Maine in Orono.The free event featured discussions about Islamic beliefs and the positive role Muslims play in American society.Displays of Islamic books and samples of food from around the Islamic world were on hand.
Two Portland, Maine, men have been indicted in connection with the shooting death of a man outside an apartment building last month.Police say 24-year-old Serge Mulongo of Portland was attending a party when he was shot to death February 10th.In indictments released Friday, 24-year-old Daudoit Butsitsi was charged with intentional or knowing murder. Twenty-one-year-old Moses Okot was charged with murder and felony murder.Police have not suggested a motive for the shooting.
Nine Maine airports are getting more than $4.5 million in federal grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.The FAA says Bangor International Airport will get the biggest chunk, $2.5 million, to make improvements to its cargo apron.Other airports slated to get funds are located in Old Town, Trenton, Greenville, Owls Head, Jackman, Frenchville, Presque Isle and Waterville.The money will go toward snow-removal equipment, construction, weather-reporting equipment and planning.
Wardens say a man has died in a snowmobile crash, along with a fire chief who was on his way to rescue him.The Maine Warden Service says 37-year-old Jason Dodge crashed into a tree Friday night on a groomed trail in The Forks. While on the way to the scene, The Forks Fire Chief Brian Rowe suffered what authorities called a “critical medical episode” and died despite the efforts of emergency crews who had been at the snowmobile crash.The warden service is reminding snowmobilers to be careful. Though up to 26 inches of snow remains in the northern woods, the trails are showing signs of spring. Obstacles such as roots, rocks and open water crossings abound, and many trails are covered in ice.
Sugarloaf Mountain drew a large crowd Saturday.And while some were there to hit the slopes. Most were there to welcome two-time olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott home.Meghan Hayward reports. ” Well I was about halfway through the course, there’s kind of this mental space that I’ve only gotten into a couple of times and it just kind of clicked in again.”Two-time olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott is describing the moments leading up to his gold medal finish in the snowboardcross event at this year’s Olympics in Vancouver.Wescott says he did not realize how close of a win it was until he watched it on TV later that night.” It’s almost like you’re outside your body and you’re kind of witnessing yourself doing this but it’s one of the greatest feelings I’ve witnessed in my life.And on Saturday several of his fans and supporters turned out to his homecoming at Sugarloaf Mountain.A place he says will always be in his heart.” I just keep going back to the sense of home. Nowhere else have I ever been in the world where I felt so grounded.”That sense of feeling grounded shows through his kindness to his fans.Wescott says they mean everything to him, and being a role model is a job he is happy to have.” That to me is a humbling experience. You’re realizing that through the actions of what you’ve done in your life you’re inspiring the youth of our state to dream big dreams.Sierra Baker is one of those fans, she was at Sugarloaf to welcome Wescott home.” It’s really nice to have someone that cares for you because sometimes you have people that just walk by.”Wescott’s mother Margaret Gould Wescott was also at the homecoming.She says she is extremely proud of her son and was happy when he won the gold medal.” I said my son just won a gold medal. I’m going to give him a hug. And I was crying and yelling.”Saturday’s event was also the kick-off of his 2010 “Visa Ride With Me SBX Tour,” where he will be traveling across the country to promote the sport of snowboardcross.Wescott says he has no plans to stop anytime soon, and you will be seeing him in Russia for the 2014 Olympics. ” For me I’ve never gotten to the point where you’ve accomplished a goal and not immediately set another.”
More than a hundred kids are gathering in Augusta this week-end to take over state government.They’re actually taking part in the Y.M.C.A. Youth in Government Program.It’s a chance for them to play the roles of state lawmakers so they can see how the system works. That includes introducing bills. The delegation from Ashland Community High School is proposing giving Maine an official state dessert.”It’s a proposal to make the whoopie pie the Maine State Dessert.”High School sophomore Dylan Cyr-Cormier is the co-sponsor of this mock legislation.Classmate Christina McDonald is the official sponsor.”I want people to understand that the whoopie pie was originated in Maine and that Pennsylvania thinks it was theirs but it’s not.”They’re taking part in the state Youth in Government Program happening in Augusta this week-end. Here, high school students run the show. Even though the results aren’t real, the whoopie pie proposal is getting some real world support from the President of the Maine Whoopie Pie Association.Amos Orcutt would like to see the real state legislature take up the issue soon, and if this week-end’s events are any indication, supporters might be in for a fight.”It already has created a little buzz and there’s already a move afoot to talk about possibly making the blueberry pie the official dessert of the state of Maine.””I’m not a fan of blueberry pie”The Ashland delegation is ready to debate their position on the whoopie pie.”I heard that one about the blueberry pie but maybe that should be the Maine State Pie, not the Maine State Dessert.””It’s not a luxurious appearing dessert, it’s kind of rural and laid back and it’s good.”
A local tax service wants to thank those who serve the community.Liberty Tax Offices are holding Appreciation Days.A new group of public servants is offered free tax help and preparation over the next five weeks.Liberty Tax Service Owner, Robin Case says, “These are certainly a number of people that in my personal opinion often times are underpaid. They do outstanding jobs and rarely do they get thanks, and we really want to thank them. I don’t want people to think this is a gimmick that “Oh, it’s free you get what you paid for.” That’s not what this is about. We truly want to thank these people.”It’s being offered at all Liberty Tax Offices in the area.March 1 – March 7: Teachers and School EmployeesMarch 8 – March 14: Police, Firefighters, EMT’sMarch 15 – March 21: Nurses and Hospital WorkersMarch 22 – March 28: Military and VeteransMarch 29 – April 4: Volunteers and Non-Profits
More than 100 volunteers are receiving downhill and cross country skiing and snowshoeing training to be certified Special Olympics Maine coaches. This is the first time Hermon Mountain has hosted the training. Owner Bill Whitcomb says he’s happy to get involved. He says, “I have a sister involved and it was the opportunity for us to do it, that’s all. So it wasn’t a decision to get involved, it was given the opportunity to have the privilege to get involved.” Ian Frank, a Special Olympics Director, says these training sessions have gone on close to 30 years. He says,”About eight to ten weeks prior to a games, specifically the winter games, training starts in December weather that’s on dry land or out on the snow depending on whether or not we have snow and the big event is at the end of January.” For more information on the Special Olympics Maine visit: http://specialolympicsmaine.org/about/index.asp
The teachers at Old Town Elementary School took part in McTeacher’s night last weekend at McDonald’s. For two hours they took orders, helped in the kitchen, and even worked the grill. It was all in an effort to raise money for the school.Today they were rewarded for all their hard work. McDonald’s presented Old Town Elementary with a check for a portion of that night’s proceeds. The students also helped out by handing out coupons to get folks to go to McDonald’s that night.Awards were given to teachers and students for their participation in the program.Company officials say this is a great way to support the community.”I think in today’s economic climate, I think we’re all really needing to help each other in any way that we can, and this is a great way that McDonald’s can give back to the communities that we live in and help out the local schools.” says Linda Quagliaroli, a local owner and operater of McDonald’s.$800 was raised at McTeacher’s night. A portion of that was matched by Bangor Savings Bank. In total about $1,200 was donated to the school.We’re told that money will be given to the school’s Learning Center to buy books.
Thousands of Mainers at risk of losing their financial life lines will now be able to hold on to their unemployment benefits. Last-minute action by U.S. lawmakers and the President is extending those benefits – but only for a bit longer.”We must get our debt problems under control and there’s no better time than now.”While one U.S. Senator from Kentucky held up a plan to extend unemployment benefits across the country, thousands of Mainers moved closer to an uncertain financial future. Adam Fisher, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Labor, says “We thought approximately 500 workers were going to be impacted by that delay immediately. These are workers that lost their jobs in late 2009 and would not be able to file for one of the extensions as a result of the program running out.”This week lawmakers finally gathered the support needed to keep the benefits alive.Fisher says it was just in time. “Had they not taken action quicker, approximately 7,000 people would have run out of benefits by the end of the month and then 28,000 by the end of July.”Fisher says unemployed workers were paid as soon as possible, in part because of fast action from the Labor Department, too. “We ramped up quickly so once that legislation did eventually get the President’s signature we were able to respond quickly. Anybody who had payments that were held up as a result, they’re getting paid this week.”But Fisher says the concern for unemployed Mainers isn’t quite over. Benefits are now set to expire April 5th, with hopes Congress will come up with a more permanent fix before then. Catherine Pegram, WABI TV5 News, Augusta.