Fire crews in Brewer had their hands full containing a home fire Tuesday night.The fire broke out on Gibbons Court, which is behind the old police station off of South Main Street.Several calls came in from neighbors and the Brewer Fire Department arrived there around 10:30 Tuesday evening.Brewer was on the scene and they did have one truck on hand from Bangor.It seemed to those on hand that the fire was going before those initial calls came in, and, because of the location, fighting the blaze was difficult. “It had a good head start on us,” Said Lt. Dennis Kinkham of the BFD. “We were operating from behind the eight ball right off the bat. We’ve got exposures: houses on both sides, that have some minor damage, but these people will be able to stay in their houses tonight. The only people displaced are the people that lived here.”Crews were there for about four hours until they cleared the scene at about 2:30 Wednesday morning.There has been no word yet on if the state fire marshal’s office will be called in to investigate.
While Maine citizens are not required to receive any vaccinations, military personnel are.The Department of Defense has ordered 3.6 million doses while the army has ordered another one-million.Colonel John McKenney with the Maine National Guard says the first to receive the vaccine will be those deploying.McKenney expects 45% of the Maine Guard to ship out by March. Meaning about 900 soldiers will be mandated to take the vaccine.Officials from the Maine Army National Guard say the first shipment of H1N1 vaccine is expected to arrive in mid November.According to the DOD website, certain exemptions will be made for those with health problems that an immunization may complicate.
Maine’s senate president is introducing a bill in response to the swine flu.Senator Libby Mitchell says the purpose is to prevent the spread of H1N1. Her bill would give employees paid sick leave to get better, or take care of family members who are sick.Workers at businesses with at least twenty-five workers would get six paid days, those at smaller businesses three days.The bill also calls for paid leave for time needed to deal with domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.The bill is called “an act to aid the prevention of the spread of H1N1″, which is causing concern among some business-people who question what domestic violence has to do with the flu.The health and human services committee will take a look at the bill during next session, which gets underway in January.
There are people all across the state of Maine who buy and sell different kinds of foods. The companies are large and small, and cater to different crowds. Tuesday, they all got together in Bangor, to talk, learn from each other and make new connections.”This is a great meeting today to bring producers from all venues, all walks of life, from Fort Kent to Kittery, together with the different grocers associations, different stores and wholesalers. To be able to use Maine products in our Maine stores,” says Jay McCrum, of Penobscot McCrum.The summit, called Maine Food Means Business, has been in the works for awhile. It brings together the Maine Grocers Association with the new Maine Food Producers Alliance.”Any time we can collaborate together, we can obviously be more successful. So I’m excited to have this and to have it with the grocers makes a lot of sense. Why not work together?” says Aaron Anker, of GrandyOats Granola.Many companies are growing and looking for new distributors, in the state and across the country. Matt Bolinder started his coffee business, Matt’s Wood Roasted Organic Coffee, two years ago.”For me, it’s a way to gather information about how food is distributed through the state. And speak with other small-scale and large-scale food producers to hear what’s worked well for them,” Bolinder says.Cynthia Fisher with Bar Harbor Foods says Maine companies working together helps them all get to the next level.”There are so many wonderful food products in Maine. And they’re made by small, niche companies that have outstanding products with organic, all natural ingredients. And it’s difficult for small companies to break into that next step of distribution into retailers where consumers can get their hands on their products,” Fisher says.
Across the country today, folks who are in favor of healthcare reform attended “Time to Deliver” events.They were put on by the Organization for America, or the O-F-A, In Maine the events were held Arundel, Rangeley, and Bangor.In Bangor a roundtable discussion was held with healthcare providers to discuss the need for reform. Doctor Richard Evans, President of the Medical Staff at Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft, says the number of people covered by employer based insurance has dropped from about 70 percent to about 60 percent in recent years.Evans also says, a lack of preventative care, due to insufficient insurance coverage, is leading to more emergency room visits, which results in higher premiums for everyone.”The longer we delay providing insurance to those who are not insured, and mechanisms for those who are under-insured to get better, policy cost are going to continue to go up. So if healthcare reform isn’t passed by the end of the year, we’re just that much further behind the eight ball.” says Evans.Julian Federle, a member of the O-F-A, says the President would like to have healthcare reform passed by the end of the year.
Bottle bombs being set off in Waterville have some residents on edge. In the past week police have received reports of so call “acid bombs” also known as “bottle bombs” blowing up on front lawns. No one has been hurt, but there are concerns someone could be. Gene Abbott lives in Seton Village in Waterville. Last week one of three bombs went off in her neighborhood. Police recovered remnants of the plastic bottles used to make the bombs from yards on Mulberry, Rideout and Wilkes Streets, which aren’t far apart. Police suspect acid was used, but they don’t know what other chemicals were in the bottles. The remains of the containers have been turned over to the state fire marshal’s office for analysis.Police don’t know who’s responsible. Abbott tells us Seton Village management has invited residents to a meeting tomorrow night to talk about the bombs and safety. Police say the bombs are usually made out of one or two liter plastic bottles. If you suspect that one is on your property call 911.
Students at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor got to take a break from classes today and have a little fun.Meghan Hayward takes us to the festivities.”Every year, the school gives us the opportunity to interact with faculty and staff as well as community and this is just one of the days.”Students got to ditch classes and celebrate harvest days.They had plenty of activities to take part in.From carving pumpkins to participating in a bungee run.They even got to smash an old car.But it wasn’t all about the games.”We made a huge community service component this morning. We did a walk-a-thon sponsored by the Student Senate where they pledge 50 cents for every lap around our walking track.”Alexandria Olsson is Student Senate President.She says a day like this brings the campus together.”It seems like our college, we have the welding kids, automation kids and then the construction people and liberal studies. Everyone kind of does their own thing. So days like this is just great. Everyone can have a day off from classes and just relax.”A popular spot at Harvest Days, the dunk tank.”They’re getting a chance to dunk their resident assistants and their resident directors for charity.”A day of fun, that Olsson says took a lot to put together.But it was well worth it.
A Milo man allegedly led police on a chase through several towns Monday night.Twenty-three-year-old Sean McKinley was charged with OUI, operating after suspension and eluding a police officer.He was driving along Lakeview Road when police say he almost hit an officer head-on.The officer put his lights on and McKinley failed to pull over.McKinley led them through Medford and Howland, where spike mats were put down to stop him.He was taken to Piscataquis County Jail, and is out on bail.Milo Police tell TV5 this isn’t the first time McKinley has led them on a chase.
There was a very special birthday celebration today in Ellsworth. Bessie Chute turned 100-years-old. Vicki Billings-Rowell works for the Eastern Area Agency On Aging and knows Bessie well. “She is just a delight, she is just never quiet,” she says, “she loves to tell you about her life and it’s full, it is absolutely full of great new ideas. People think oh I never did this or I never did that, Bessie has probably done it and she can tell you how to do it, she’s just a doll.””I was born in Trenton right beside the big Baptist Church about 100 years ago,” says Chute with her signature chuckle. You would be hard pressed to find someone more beloved here then Bessie Chute. Tuesday, some of her closest friends were on hand to help her celebrate the occasion. “Bessie is as you can see very vibrant,” says Billings-Rowell, “she does her own cleaning, shovels her own steps and up until the last couple of years has had a garden.”So what does Bessie think about her birthday party? “Oh lovely dear, lovely, thank you.” Folks here look in on Bessie from time to time to make sure she’s doing ok. “She scared me one day cause she wouldn’t answer the phone when we were having a snowstorm and I said, ok if she doesn’t answer, I’m gonna call the police to go and do a health check on her and when i called back, she answered and said, oh dear I didn’t want you to slip on the steps so I was cleaning them.”Bessie says her active lifestyle has allowed her to live a long healthy life and she also credits her parents. “My father sang in the Baptist Church choir and that was my childhood, just growing up, I never got mixed in any mess,” she says, “I thought a lot of my father and mother, I never drank and I never smoked cigarettes.”
To repeal or not to repeal school consolodation.That discussion will take place Friday night at the Bangor Public Library.It will be held in the library’s lecture room and begins at 6:30.Written questions will be taken from the audience.Folks from both sides of the issue will be asked to support their positions.The school consolidation issue is question three on the ballot.
Folks can tap their feet to the beat of blues music Friday night while helping beat cancer.The seventh annual Blues for the Cure will be held at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer.The music gets underway at 7:30.You can get tickets in advance at Mark’s Music in Brewer or at the door.It’s 12-dollars to get in.Event Coordinator Susan Patten says there will be five local bands playing.All money raised goes to Susan G. Komen for the cure.”The national organization has actually copyrighted our trademark of Blues for the Cure because it’s the first of its kind as far as Komen is concerned from a national standpoint. So we hope Maine can once again provide this model for other affiliates who might want to try a Blue’s Concert.”Seventy-five percent of the proceeds from Blues for the Cure will remain in Maine.
A roofing company out of Benton just keeps giving.Top Notch Roofing re-shingled the Church of Nazarene in Pittsfield back in September.The company donated all the time.Pastor Pete Griffin was determined to raise money to give back to Top Notch for their services.Donations came in, a thousand dollars was raised.But Top Notch Roofing wouldn’t take the cash and instead donated it to some food cupboards and a family of seven in Canaan who recently lost their home to fire.
According to Gov. John Baldacchi, 300 jobs are being created from three affordable-housing developments in Maine.During a housing conference in Maine, Baldacci says that 175 jobs have already been created from developments in Houlton and Augusta. Another 120 people will be employed from a new senior housing development in Bangor. The Maine Affordable Housing Conference at the Augusta CivicCenter highlighted innovations to address housing issues during therecession. Maine housing programs have been fueled in part bynational stimulus funding.
As the United Nations comes closer to their conference on climate change, an expert in this field plans to be speaking about this subject.Director of the Institute of Ecologyand Environmental Studies in Nigeria, Dr. Ayobami Salami will speak at an invitaiton-only luncheon. The information he will pass along will be based on the nation’s view of global warming and its possible solutions. Dr. Ayobami will also be speaking in December, during the U.N.’s conference in Denmark.
After trying to cross the border into Canada, U.S. officials sent five men back after leaving their vehicle on the New Brunswick side and tried to enter Maine on foot.Due to these events, the border was closed for nine hours Sunday night and Monday while Canadian officials called in the bomb squad from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. No bomb inside the vehicle was found. Ted Woo, Customs and Border Protection Spokesman says that privacy law prevented him from releasing the details and identities of the five men.According to the Bangor Daily News, no files will be charged against the men.
Plum Organics is recalling some of its apple and carrot portable pouch baby food because of concerns over possible botulism contamination. The product was sold individually throughout the country at Toys-R-Us and Babies-R-Us stores.The California-based company says the product did not meet the FDA guidelines for proper acidity level, leaving it vulnerable to botulism contamination. The recalled product is sold in 4.22-ounce pouches, with a best by date of May 21, 2010, and UPC 890180001221.Botulism is a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition.No illnesses have been reported in connection with the baby food, and the company says no other Plum Organics products are affected.
Question 1 on the November ballot has created a lot of debate in our state. It reads as follows:”Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?”WABI TV5 will hold a live forum on the issue, Wednesday night, from 8-9pm. Each side will be represented. It’s your chance to call in and get answers to your questions before we head to the polls on November 3rd.Again, the forum is Wednesday night from 8-9pm on TV5.
Two major accidents will tie up emergency workers on Wednesday. The accidents are being staged as part of a training exercise.The first one will take place at the Fairfield Industrial Park. The second one at the Augusta airport.Howard Mette, who is coordinating the event, doesn’t want to give out specifics but does say traffic in those areas will be impacted in the morning and afternoon.The goal is to test communication and response efforts in Somerset and Kennebec Counties. “To make sure the emergency operations for both counties is activated.” Mette stated Monday. “We want to test triage of the victims at the sites and test how they get transported to the hospital and how the hospital either de-contaminates and or triages then treats those victims.”A couple dozen volunteers will be playing the parts of victims.
People living on or around Lakeview Avenue in Lucerne will lose their power for a while Tuesday afternoon.Bangor Hydro will be making repairs and upgrades.The power will be turned off between 12:30 and 2:30 on Tuesday.Lakeview Avenue and roads running off of it will be without service during that time.
The average price of home heating oil in Maine has risen ten cents a gallon in the past week.The state office of Energy Independence and Security said Monday that the price in its weekly survey is $2.48 a gallon. Kerosene prices were up 9 cents, to $2.86 per gallon.EIS Director John Kerry says there are a number of factors for the increase, including rising crude oil prices, growth in the stock market, and growing tension in Nigeria, a big oil-producing country.The lowest actual heating oil price of $2.27 per gallon was in southwestern Maine: the highest price was $2.70 per gallon in eastern Maine.