The 185-year-old lighthouse which sits on a point at Owls Head will undergo a renovation.The American Lighthouse Foundation will begin an $80,000 upgrade on the Owls Head lighthouse today. Bob Trapani, Foundation Executive Director, says that this is necessary because weather batters the lighthouse each year. Besides the $80,000 used to refurbish the lighthouse, the Coast Guard will invest $168,000 to restore the lantern, granite slabs the lantern sits on, the ironwork, and windowpanes that surround the light.
Maine utility regulators will soon be taking up the FairPoint bankruptcy reorganization plan.The Public Utilities Commission has scheduled hearings for Wednesday, May 5th, and Thursday, May 6th on FairPoint’s petition for approval of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, and for modifications of the january 2008 Verizon-FairPoint merger order.FairPoint’s petition seeks to delay from April to December the deadline to complete the first phase of the its broadband expansion project.It also seeks to reduce the percentage of lines that will be capable of carrying broadband upon completion of the five-year broadband expansion project.The hearings are open to the public, but are not a forum for public comment.
A grass fire kept fire crews busy in Hermon Sunday night.Fire fighters were called to an area near Newburgh and Swan Roads around 5:30 pm.Hermon Fire Chief Larry Willis says they found at least 9 small fires.He believes the blazes may have been caused by a grass fire that was spread by a passing train.One of the fires came close to a house but firefighters were able to stop in time. “It is very dry and right now people don’t know but [Saturday] was a red flag day, so it’s very dry and a tiny spot can start a fire right now,” Said Chief Willis on Sunday.The fire was under control at about 8 o’clock Sunday evening.
According to reports, Mainers are responsible for nearly $13,000,000 in unpaid criminal and civil fines. Some of them date back nearly three decades.Justice Nancy Mills says there are more than 1,300 cases of unpaid fines in the Kennebec County Court alone, with some cases dating back to 1982.And now Maine courts are stepping up efforts to collect those old fines from the people who have neglected to pay them.Last week nearly a dozen people appeared in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta for defaulting on old criminal fines.At those hearings most people paid up or arranged a new payment plan. But some elected to go to jail to pay off their debts at the rate of either $5 or $10 a day.
Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office are trying to figure out exactly what caused a fire at a business in Sidney early Sunday morning.Crews were called to Hilltop Log and Timber Homes on Lyons Road at around one o’clock Sunday morning.When they arrived, a manufacturing building was engulfed in flames.Fire fighters were able to put the fire out without any major problems, but the building was destroyed.The company was closed at the time, officials think the fire probably started in a kiln.
Some high school students from Newport rolled up their sleeves and got to work this weekend at the Bangor Auditorium. It’s the fifth year Nokomis high school has brought students to work at the circus in bangor.Students sold cotton candy, snow cones, and other circus souvenirs. Members of this years graduating class are using the money they earn to help pay for project graduation. Freshmen from Nokomis were also on-hand helping out and raising a little money for their class. The JROTC from the school earned some money to help support their group.Organizers say the students worked hard this weekend but also managed to have a little fun. “We have them in nice bright shirts so we as chaperones, we have 5 or 6 chaperones here at all times, we can look up into the the stands pick out where our kids are and make sure they’re busy,” says Coordinator Dawn Hale, “and looking around you can see they’re always busy, always moving and selling stuff and hopefully very nice and polite representing warrior nation, which is Nokomis, very well.” most of the students were at the circus working all weekend…organizers say they’re already planning on bringing a group fo students back to the auditorium next year.
A local youth group at the Bangor First Church of the Nazarene held a fundraiser today. They’re goal? Raising enough money to help a local woman replace her ailing dog. But replacing this particular dog is proving to be a challenge. Josie White counted on her dog Hunter to do a variety of things for her. Josie lives with cerbal palsy and Hunter helped her manage her day to day life. “He helped me open and close doors. When I fell he would go fetch the phone for me, open and close drawers, help me do laundry he would drag the basket into the living room,” says Wells. Hunter developed a neurological problem that weakened his hips and caused him to collapse. Josie realized she could no longer care for him and she gave him away to a family that could provide the necessary care. That meant she needed to find a new dog to help take care of her. “I had him for 6 years so I was pretty attached to him,” White says.Valene Whitty is one of the young parishoners that gives Josie rides to church every Sunday. “I was bummed because we’re pretty close with Josie and Hunter,” says Whitty, “it’s hard to find a well trained dog, he’s just very lovable and he’s been at our house a few times. I got to know him really well so I was sad that he wasn’t going to be here anymore.”The cost of a new service dog like Hunter is around $20,000. A national non-profit that specializes in service dogs told Josie if she could raise $1000 they would out in the additional $19,000 and she could get her new dog. After hearing the news Josie’s friends at the church, led by Valene Whitty and her family, sprung into action organizing this spaghetti supper with all the proceeds going towards getting josie her new dog.Jeremiah Mutty is the youth group organizer at the Bangor Church of the Nazarene. He says Whitty first approached him about Josie’s situation three weeks ago. “She had first hand knowledge of the situation with Josie and her service dog having to retire,” says Mutty, “she thought it would be a really good idea if we did something and we’ve done a really good job getting it together in three weeks so i’m pretty excited.” Kaitlyn Stevens is a member of the youth group that organized the spaghetti supper. “It’s definitely really awesome to be able to help another member of our church,” says Stevens, “it’s really awesome to all those people come together to help her out.” At the end of the day the spaghetti dinner raised nearly $1200 was raised, more than enough to get Josie her new helper. “As far as the dog goes I don’t care what it looks like you know as long as it meets my needs than I’m more than willing to have him,” says White.
Police are on the lookout for a woman who robbed a bank in Maine’s largest city. Portland police say a woman entered a Norway Savings Bank branchat about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, told a teller she had a gun and demanded cash. After getting an undisclosed amount of money, she was seen leaving in a compact car. Police say the Hispanic woman was between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighed between 180 and 220 pounds. She was described as being in her 30s or 40s.
The New England Slalom Series or NESS is a white water slalom series designed for racers in open boats We caught up with one such Race in Bangor, organized by Clayton Cole. He says these races are good practice for those who want to row. The series warmly welcomes people of all ages and abilities, from those who are complete beginners to those who race regularly. Organizers say Prizes are awarded at each race and there are series awards presented at the final race in the fall for those who have participated in the required number of races.
The annual March of Dimes 2010 March for Babies was held in 15 locations all over Maine this weekend. All funds from the event will go towards research and advocacy for babies that were born premature and their families. Organizers say this was a chance for people to be part of something powerful, to talk, laugh, and walk with friends in support of a great cause. The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
Some high school students in Kennebec and Somerset Counties have been participating in a mini “Amazing Race” competition for scholarship prizes.The Taconnet Federal Credit Union was one of the sponsors.Today, was the final competition day.They started it off at Fortin’s Home Furnishings in Winslow with a memory challenge.From there they had a food challenge.Items were pureed and they were blindfolded and had earphones on to try to guess the food from sauerkraut to asparagus.In the last challenge, the competitors had to start a primitive fire and burn some twine until it split.When the competition started there were 16 students and Saturday it was down to the final four.Jordan Taylor of Skowhegan High School came in first place and won a 5-thousand dollar scholarship.Second place went to Forest Franzose of Winslow High School, who won a 25-hundred dollar scholarship.Third place received a 1-thousand dollar scholarship and fourth went home with a 5-hundred dollar scholarship.
Businesses and crafters came out Saturday for the 14th annual Chamber Trade Show and Community Fair in Pittsfield.A new addition to the show this year was a youth and adult dessert contest.Our own meteorologist Jared Plushnick was one of the judges tasting the treats.Organizers say the event has grown over the years and they are pleased with the turn-out.” It may be the largest number of exhibitors we’ve had this year. We’re trying to make it around the chamber area because Sebasticook Valley covers a 12 town area.”There were also a variety of activities kids could take part in and several door prizes.
Hundreds of folks gathered at the Bangor High School Saturday to recognize members of the 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, of the Maine Army National Guard.As Meghan Hayward tells us, they are happy to be home and recognized for the sacrifices they have made.It was a celebration for the soldiers and their family members.The Freedom Salute ceremony recognized members of the 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, of the Maine Army National Guard.The 81 soldiers from that unit returned from a one year deployment in Afghanistan in January.” We’re really happy with the accomplishments we made in Kandahar. To be back on US soil on the first of the new year was a new beginning for a lot of soldiers.”Tracey and Ronald Ruhlin were overseas together.” Well we both come from a long line of military families who enjoy the comradery that we have with each other, with our fellow soldiers. Both our sets of families were proud of us when we enlisted.”Marcus Dunn is also proud.His mother diane dunn also belongs to the 286th CSSB.” It’s cool and I’m happy she is home.”Governor Baldacci was on hand at the ceremony, giving praise to the soldiers.” We stand united for our troops. We’re very much committed to them and we want to let them know that we’re there to support their families, we’re there in a pinch and we come together as a community to thank them for our freedoms and liberties.”The unit coordinated logistics in Southern Afghanistan to support combat operations against Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces.
You might have heard some music while in Bangor today during the 8 hour concert “Skate Against Drugs ‘2010″ Music, Skateboarding and Healthy Living along with Local Resources came Together for the event. Performing were nine bands including A Loss For Words, Too Late The Hero, Beyond City Lights and others including Bangor favorites Legend Has It, Wolves Among Sleep, and Life Still Sufferer. A skateboard competition provided the backdrop. Organizers say it was a way to connect area youth with information and services ranging from HIV testing and overdose prevention to career opportunities and addiction recovery support.
More than five years ago a massive fire wiped out their historic hall in downtown Bangor. No one was hurt in that fire, but officials say the building would have cost too much to rebuild. The Masonic foundation has announced its new location on Hammond Street is now open. Officials say they purchased the new hall site for 550-thousand dollars.
Auburn Police and the State Fire Marshal’s Office say they have made an arrest in connection with yesterdays early morning fire that occurred at 22 Webster Street. 21-year-old Randen Schmidt of Greene was arrested after an interview at the Androscoggin County Jail where he was being held on an unrelated charge. Police say Schmidt is a former tenant of the apartment building who had been evicted recently. The two-story building was mostly vacant with only one family living on the first floor. Schmidt became a suspect after investigators tracked down several leads. Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Auburn Police Department were able to develop enough evidence together to arrest Schmidt, charging him with Arson and Burglary. They say Schmidt remains at the Androscoggin County Jail on $35 thousand dollars cash bail. He is expected to be arraigned on Monday.
A report of a serious accident on the Lyford Road in Orneville TownshipThe call came in around 8:30 Friday night.We have heard one passenger is deceased, another missing and one seriously injured.Authorities blocked off the scene detoured traffic onto the Lagrange Road.We will have more details as they become available.
The lights of the Thomas Standpipe were turned off for 94 seconds earlier Friday night.In memory of Catherine Kay Lebowitz.Lebowitz died Monday at the age of 94.She served as a State Representative and a Bangor City Councilor.More recently she was a troop greeter, showing her support for members of our military passing through Bangor International Airport.Bangor City Councilor Cary Weston organized the event.Folks attending were encouraged to bring a candle and wear something Kay would have enjoyed, like a broach, a pink item or some pearls.Reverend Bob Carlson emceed the event.” She’s touched the hearts and lives of tens-of-thousands of people and her community service has been just legendary.”Chapel Hill Florists of Bangor donated 94 pink carnations in celebration of Kay’s life.
They’re calling it their Spring Spectacular.And the folks at the Enchanted Garden and Greenhouse in Brewer have a variety of new plants this year.They just opened on Monday.But they say the first Saturday they’re open is always the busiest.They will also be taking donations for the Humane Society on SaturdayAnd giving out free gardening advice.” The most common question we get right now is when can they leave their hanging baskets or plant their stuff outside and leave it out overnight. As a general rule, you do not want to do that this early. It still gets too cold at night or a day like yesterday where it’s raining and cold. They’re just not going to make it.”The Enchanted Garden and Greenhouse will be open from 9 to 4 Saturday.They will also be having some giveaways at the event.
A funeral was held Friday in Bangor for a woman many describe as remarkable. Catherine Kay Lebowitz died Monday at the age of 94.Services were held at Brookings-Smith Funeral Home in Bangor. Hundreds attended, including many state and local leaders.Lebowitz served as a State Representative and a Bangor City Councilor. More recently she was a troop greeter, showing her support for members of our military passing through Bangor International Airport.Fellow troop greeter Bill Knight knew Kay for six years, and says everyone liked Kay. “She had a real easy personality.” Friday night at 8:00, a candlelight memorial is being held at the Thomas Hill Standpipe.In Kay’s memory, the lights of the Bangor Landmark will be turned off for 94 seconds.