News

Seven Businesses Get Economic Boost from the State

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Seven businesses in Maine will split 840-thousand dollars from the state to help boost their businesses and grow the economy. Officials with the Department of Economic and Community Development say the block grants are also expected to create at least 47 new jobs in the state. Among the businesses to receive the money – Old Town Canoe, which is getting the biggest piece of the pie.$200,000 will be used to consolidate manufacturing operations and buy a more efficient molding oven.Rockland Marine will get $180,000 to build a better railway to make room for larger vessels. And Lakeview Restaurant in St. Agatha is receiving $60,000 for upgrades to the building.

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Maine Horse Tests Positive for EEE Disease

Updated 5 years ago

Maine’s state veterinarian is urging horse owners to make sure their animals are vaccinated against eastern equine encephalitis. Dr. Don Hoenig issued the advisory Tuesday. Hoenig said a horse in Troy that tested positive for the disease was not vaccinated against it. The 4-year-old quarter horse gelding was euthanized last week. State health director Dora Anne Mills says a horse with eastern equine encephalitis does not pose a health threat to humans. But a horse with the disease indicates that local mosquitoes are infected, contracting it from birds. Mills says EEE is transmitted to humans and horses from mosquito bites, so it’s important for people and horse owners take precautions. EEE was first detected in Maine in 2005. (AP)

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Maine’s Maple Trees at Risk

Updated 5 years ago

This summer’s wet weather is promoting the growth of fungi on maple trees across Maine. In some cases, leaves on maple trees have begun to curl up, turn brown and fall off the trees. But foresters say the good news is the infection won’t cause any long-term damage to the trees. Bill Ostrofsky of the Maine Forest Service says there are two leaf diseases prevalent in the state right now. He says tar leaf spot and anthracnose infections become worse in wet years. (AP)

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No New Name for the Augusta Civic Center

Updated 5 years ago

The Augusta Civic Center won’t be getting a new name, at least for now. City officials say that after a yearlong effort to sell the naming rights to the center, no companies made the city an offer. Civic Center Director Dana Colwill says a few companies expressed interest in putting their name on the building, but none came through with an offer. Colwill says that last fall there was a lot of interest, but that was before the economy went bad.

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The Cancer Care Center of Maine is preparing for a big move.

Updated 5 years ago

The Cancer Care Center of Maine is preparing for a big move.They will move to a larger building which could not come at a better time. The current center sees over 250 patients a day and is only designed to see about half of that. In addition to more space, the new center will offer tons of new amenities.The new radiation center will offer private changing rooms and each radiation machine will have it’s own waiting area. They have also designed the area to have what is called the spine of light which will allow tons of natural light to come in. Executive director of the center Allen L’italien says the new center will offer the most advanced cancer treatment anywhere in maine and is designed foremost with the patients in mind.For more information on the new cancer center and what sorts of treatment will be available you can go to their website e-m-h.org.

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Fire in Warren Home

Updated 5 years ago

Fire investigators have labled a fire that damaged a home in Warren Monday evening as suspicious.Firefighters were called to a residence on Eastern Road around five o’clock for a fire on the outside of a log cabin home.Crews got the fire knocked down quickly, but not before it caused some damage to the home.No one was hurt in the blaze.Officials from the state fire marshal’s office continue to investigate a cause.

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Rumford Suspects Held Without Bail

Updated 5 years ago

A Maine State Police affidavit says a double murder in Rumford may have been retribution over an assault on one of the defendants’ girlfriends.20-year-old Richard Moulton and 19-year-old Eric Hamel, both from Mexico, Maine, made their first court appearances on Monday.Moulton and Hamel are charged with the killings of 48-year-old Roger Day Jr. and 22-year-old Victor Sheldon in Rumford last week.According to the affidavit Hamel and Moulton were seeking revenge because Sheldon allegedly assaulted his estranged girlfriend, who had started dating Moulton.Police say Moulton admitted to assisting in the planning and carrying out the shooting.Police say Moulton was in the house with the two victims when Hamel arrived. Then Moulton stayed and called police after the two men were shot.Hamel and Moulton are being held without bail.

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Northern Governors Seek Aid for Borderlands

Updated 5 years ago

The governors from New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Maine are seeking $30,000,000 from the federal government for the Northern Border Regional Commission.The governors requested the investment to support sustainable forestry, economic development, and land conservation in the northern forest region of their states.The governors wrote the region’s U.S. senators and agency officials that the northern forest area has been hard hit by the recession. They also asked for money for other programs that support the region’s economy.

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Judge Cyr Honored with Portrait

Updated 5 years ago

There’s a new portrait hanging in the U.S. District Court building in Bangor.It honors retired judge Conrad Cyr.The Limestone native served on the U.S. District Court from 1981 to 1989, when he was appointed to the first circuit court of appeals. He reached senior status in 1997.Cyr has held many other positions during his distinguished career which began after he graduated from Yale law school in 1956.Cyr is also credited as the founder of the American Bankruptcy Law Journal.In 2008 he was honored for his work in the bankruptcy system with the Norton Judicial Excellence Award.

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Ethics Meeting Over Old Town Rep.’s 4th of July Incident

Updated 5 years ago

The House Ethics Committee will hear testimony next week in the case of a Maine lawmaker accused of improperly trying to exert influence when he was summonsed for possession of illegal fireworks on the Fourth of July.The committee met briefly on Monday in Augusta to establish ground rules. It reconvenes on Aug. 18, when witnesses will testify.Rep. Richard Blanchard of Old Town has come under fire for his actions when two fire marshals and a game warden who showed up at his camp in Enfield. A report says he identified himself as a state lawmaker and told the officers they were making a mistake.His attorney, Jerry Conley Jr. of Portland, says witnesses for Blanchard will give a different account of what happened.

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EMMC Gets Taser

Updated 5 years ago

Bangor city councilors voted Monday night to accept a taser from Eastern Maine Medical Center.On july 28th, the Government Operations Committee voted to recommend the city accept the gift from the hospital.Eastern Maine Medical Center hires police officers on off hours, and would like the officers to be equipped with a taser. It would be under lock and key with only the officer having access to it.The concern comes after a nurse was nearly stabbed by a patient.Several people spoke at the meeting, including members of law enforcement and concerned citizens.The council passed the issue and will accept the grant from the hospital to purchase the taser.

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100 Years Young

Updated 5 years ago

There was a party today at Friendship Cottage in Blue Hill.Friends of Violet Tompkins gathered to celebrate a major milestone in her life.”Today is Mom’s 100th Birthday.” Says Louis Stevens Violet’s daughter.Violet Tompkins was born in 1909 in Crockers Cove Newfoundland. She had a happy childhood, spending her days playing with her five siblings.Violet moved to Boston when she was 18, and met her husband soon after. She dedicated most of her life to raising her family.”She had five children, I’m the youngest, and there’s an eleven year span. So for 28 years she really didn’t have a break. She was raising a kid of one age or another.” says Stevens.Violet’s had many hobbies, including latch hook and liquid embroidery, but the most impressive by far, has to be hunting.”I took from Newfoundland the second largest moose that was ever taken out of the country.” says VioletAnd at 100 years, Violet’s still impressing. Her family says, she’s active and sharp as tack.”I think it is marvelous. I just hope that she can keep that way as long as she is left here on earth.” says Stevens.Violet adds, “I’m thankful for health and strength and eyes to see and ears to hear.””Mother has a sense of humor. She has always had it, and that I think is a saving grace, she’s loved by people other than just her family.” Says Stevens.

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Unique Fundraiser For Swan’s Island Library

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

A vacant lot is all that remains of the library on Swan’s Island after fire destroyed nearly everything last year. “Very tragic,” says Donald Carlson, a member of the Swan’s Island Noard of trustees, “a lot of disappointed, disheartened people, a lot of work really went into it and a lot of historical items. It was really a major loss for the island.”Liz Awalt, a local artist, was visiting the site days after the library burned when she noticed something that caught her eye. “I noticed papers everywhere flying in the air, down in the meadow,” says Awalt, “it was astounding really to see how many papers were still intact.”As the old adage says, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, Awalt began collecting the charred pieces of paper. She came up with the idea of jotting down some memories on the old pieces of paper. “I began with the idea,” she says, “it slowly evolved and I thought at first maybe I’d make a few pages then it turned into a community project.”The art project quickly ballooned into much more. Awalt began organizing events to get the community more involved. Members of the community started sharing their memories on the paper she recovered. However she didn’t stop there. “I thought if I could ask some Maine artists, fairly well known Maine artists around the state, if they would like to do a page for the benefit at the library.” The response was overwhelmingly positive. Now all the artwork is set to be auctioned off later this month with all the proceeds going to help build the new library.With the library temporarily being packed in the same building as the Town Office and the Post Office, the new building will be a sight for sore eyes. As for the artist who started it all, she couldn’t be happier. “So I think it’s wonderful and I think just to have everyone on the island make their mark and say something visual about their connection either to the library or the island is very exciting and heart warming.”Te art is set to be auctioned off August 26th at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor. There’s an open house from noon-to-4:00, followed by the auction that starts at 5:00. Tickets for the auction are $25 with all proceeds go toward the new library. For more information visit their website: http://www.swansisland.org/library.htm.

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Pittsfield Teen Gearing Up for World Yo-Yo Championships

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

Most teenagers are relishing the last few weeks of summer vacation.But one teenager in Pittsfield has been studying lately.Studying new tricks to try out on competitors from around the world.17 year old Colby Bradshaw starts his senior year of high school in just a few weeks, but right now he has bigger things on his mind, like the World Yo-Yo Championship. “I know what tricks I want to do, like my newest stuff and then I just try to match them up to the music that I choose.”When he started messing around with a yo-yo a couple of years ago, his Dad Bill never saw it progressing to this point. “I yo-yoed when I was a little you know with a Duncan butterfly, around the world, that’s about as far as I go, around the world yeah.” Bill is proud of his son, “I don’t think that just anyone can pick this up and just do it. I think it’s a special skill.”It’s a skill that will take Colby to Orlando to compete against the best in the world, but he knows he’s a newcomer to the international stage.”Maybe just get recognized, meet some friends that I’ve met online in Yo-Yo forums and stuff and just have a good time,”Colby said. “These guys that win have been doing it for ten years plus and they’re sponsored players and they’re really good. I’ve been doing it for two years and yeah they’re at a higher level.”The Duncan Butterfly Yo-Yo that Bill used as a kid, costs a little more than three bucks today. The Yo-yo’s Colby uses are made of metal, and titanium and have ball bearings, and can cost more three hundred dollars. “Well I have one that’s $350, and the rest are like $120, and then I have a bunch of like these twenty dollar yo-yo’s””I figure it’s a good investment” says his Dad, ” You know they’re something he’s gonna have, they’re gonna last and they have trade value, he can trade them with other players, and get other neat yo-yo’s it’s a means of him building friendships as well will is really nice.”

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‘Let’s Go!’ Program Aims to Keep Kids Fit

Updated 5 years ago

Childhood obesity is a concern for folks in all areas of the state. Now, an educational program that’s had some success in other parts of Maine is being rolled out here.The Let’s Go! program partners with schools, community groups, healthcare agencies – places that have the opportunity to teach kids healthy habits.It’s based around the “5-2-1-0″ slogan, which encourages five fruits and vegetables a day, two hours or less of screen time a day, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugar sweetened drinks.Eastern Maine Health Systems will be coordinating the Let’s Go! program here and helping community groups develop their own educational programs.Senator Susan Collins says since 36 percent of the adults in Maine are overweight, obesity is a big healthcare problem. She says that’s why she pushed for 285-thousand dollars in federal funds to support the program.”If we can teach children good healthcare habits, if we can educate them about nutrition and exercise, we can set them on a path of a lifetime of good health,” Collins says.Some folks from Aroostook county and the greater Portland area say the program has had measurable success in their communities. In some Portland schools, they say children are now choosing milk over soda, and fruit over cookies, all on their own.Organizers say the program will get underway here this fall.

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Body Found in Bangor Identified; Death Ruled Homicide

Updated 5 years ago

Bangor Police say the death of a woman whose body was found in a shack along the Penobscot River Sunday is a homicide. Investigators continued to look for clues Monday as to what happened.Police have identified the victim as 19-year-old Holly Boutilier of Old Town. Her family has been notified.An autopsy was completed in Augusta Monday which ruled her death a homicide. Officials are not saying how she died since they are still investigating.Police got a call around noon Sunday there was a body in a shed near the railroad tracks, in an area near the 395-bridge. They were on the scene for the better part of the day collecting information.Lt. Tim Reid with the Bangor Police Department says while he can’t release the details of what they’ve found, they are conducting interviews and the area is being treated as a crime scene.”Without getting into specifics, the entire thing appeared suspicious. People are just conducting area searches right now. It appears to be a large area, and there’s a lot of foot traffic down there, so at this point, we’re looking,” Reid says.Police are still looking to speak to anyone who might have seen Boutilier in the 24-hours before she died.They say she was last seen walking downtown around noon on Saturday in a pinkish bikini top and grey sweatpants.If you saw her on Saturday or have any other information, Bangor Police are asking you to call them at 947-7384 extension 9-5-8-1-1.

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Bangor State Fair a Success

Updated 5 years ago

The 160-th Bangor State Fair wrapped up Sunday at Bass Park…and organizers say it was a huge success.With the economy in trouble, fair directors weren’t sure what to expect, but say their new ten dollar wristband promotion seemed to work.For the first time, folks could buy a wristband for one price and get admission to the grounds, shows and all the rides they want.Bass Park Director Mike Dyer says the wristband idea was in response to the tough economic times, and it seemed to be popular with families attending the fair.He says attendance was up…and so was spending.

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Lee Auto Malls to Buy Linnehan’s

Updated 5 years ago

Maine’s Lee Auto Malls is buying Linnehan’s Credit Now Auto, based in Trenton.Lee has nine locations across the southern, central and western parts of the state.CEO John Isaacson says buying Linnehan’s will allow the company to get a foothold in other parts of Maine.Linnehan’s has dealerships in Ellsworth, Bangor, Brewer, Lincoln, Presque Isle, Oakland, Auburn and Westbrook. Isaacson says the purchase should be completed this fall.

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Raceway Holds Benefit for Wheelchair-Bound Driver

Updated 5 years ago

The folks at Unity Raceway did their part Sunday to help out one of their longtime drivers who has a special need.Jim Dennis has been racing at the track for seven years.He’s confined to a wheelchair, but uses a car outfitted with special hand controls so he can compete. He’s second in the points race this season and has two wins under his belt so far this year.But Dennis is in need of a new wheelchair so he can live his life more fully.He’d like what’s called a “Renegade Chair,” that can conquer all kinds of terrain…he compares it to a mountain bike.Folks at the Raceway held a special fundraiser to help Dennis come up with the money for the chair.They put on a barbecue and pig roast and donated all the proceeds to the wheelchair fund.Raceway employees were hoping to raise at least half the cost of the four thousand dollar wheelchair at Sunday’s benefit.

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Small Plane Crashes in Hodgdon

Updated 5 years ago

State Police are investigating a plane crash in the Aroostook County town of Hodgdon.It happened Saturday night at about 7:30 pm.Troopers say a single seater plane made an emergency landing in a hay field off Route One…the plane flipped over once it hit the ground.The pilot, 49-year-old Wesley Tidd, was taken to Houlton Hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.Police say Tidd had taken off from the Houlton Airport for a pleasure flight when he experienced engine trouble.Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will be on site tomorrow to investigate.

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