Bar Harbor Businesses Rebound From Rainy Start To Season

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

For business owners here in Bar Harbor it was a painfull start to the summer season. Jared Erskine manages Acadia Bike Rental and says the first few months were tough. “Usually we kick off in June and July and it was so rainy and wet no one wanted to go outside,” says Erskine, “plus the economy was so bad, but we were affected by the rain.”The restaurants here were also hit hard says Peter Gilbert, sous chef of Stewman’s. “Oh it was very slow as you can see around here the majority of our seating is outdoor seating,” he says, “so foul weather unfortunately doesn’t make for the best seating around here.”As the sunshine came back into the picture merchants here noticed a steady rise in their business. “We definitely picked up towards the end of July and on through the month of August,” says Gilbert, “we held strong right through the month of September.” “I think people got bored of just sitting in their hotels and decided to come on out and ride anyway,” says Erskine.Now that the summer has turned to fall, the hope is the foliage will bring enough people in to make up for the slow start. Denise Martin is the Operations Manager of Oli’s Trolley and she says business is booming now. “Well September has been great it’s really pulled us out of the rainy slump we had in the spring, the weather held, the people were here, it’s just been great,” says Martin, “October has started off strong as well, the cruise ships are really coming in fast and furious as long as the weather holds out october’s going to be great.” “It does because people like to get on a bike and hit the trails in Acadia and look at the foliage,” says Erskine.Considering all the factors this season has rebounded nicely for the folks around here. “Well in perspective with the whole recession I think we did have a successful season,” says Gilbert, “you know we are very fortunate to get the business we have had this summer.” “It will be a little bit slower but not the worst we’ve ever had we were a little bit nervous in June and July we went and bought raincoats then the sun came out.”

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Tinkering with Toys at Maine Discovery Museum

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Toys have fascinated children for centuries. Now’s they have a chance to find out what makes them tick – and click, and dance and roll. A new traveling exhibit opened today at the Maine Discovery Museum in downtown Bangor. It’s called Toys – the Inside Story. Here, the inner workings of all kinds of toys are on display – from cranks and gears to pulleys and circuits. Executive Director Andrea Stark says in a day of computers and electronics, it’s hard for kids to get excited about how toys work. So the exhibit features a lot of classics – like Simon, Operation and Jack in the Box.And it allows kids see them from the inside out, with tearing up their own toys.”Or if you’ve ever really wanted to do it, this gives you permission to see what’s inside. But its not only seeing what’s inside, it’s also getting to manipulate and there’s a big gear table and a big pulley table, so visitors get to try to put together their own combinations to see how they move.”The display also looks at modern day toys, like hokey pokey Elmo and toys that transcend all ages, such as the etch-a-sketch. Visitors will have a chance to tinker at the toy exhibit from now until January 3rd.

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Bangor Remembers the Brady Gang Shootout

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Downtown Bangor turned back time to one of the most notable days in the city’s history – the Brady Gang shootout. For a few hours Saturday, West Market Square transformed into the Carmel Auto Rest Park.That was the last place Al Brady and his gang stayed before he and another man were shot and killed on Central Street, 72 years ago. The auto park closed in the 1950’s.It was the second of three days of activities billed as Bangor Beats the Brady Gang.Brady-era re-enactors walked the streets, posing for pictures, while moonshiners took over the fountain.The Skyline Dance Orchestra also played jazz and swing-time music for the crowd.Mayor Gerry Palmer says it’s important to remember Al Brady’s place in Bangor’s history. “While we’re not wild about having shoot outs in our downtown, this was during the height of the depression. There were a lot of things that were happening, there were many people. this touched a nerve.”Sunday afternoon, a vintage auto parade will wind through the streets of downtown. It starts at 2 o’clock and runs along Water Street, Main Street and then against the normal traffic flow on Central Street, since in 1937, Central Street was a two-way road. The weekend’s activities are also part of the celebration marking the 175th birthday of Bangor.

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Hermon Fire Engine Dedicated to 50-Year Volunteer

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

For years, volunteers on the Hermon fire department have answered the call for help. Today, the community recognized that commitment with a new fire engine. It’s actually dedicated to one volunteer in particular, Ray Goodspeed. He spent 50-years with the department. Goodspeed started when he was a teenager and continued for most of his adult life. He died in October of 2003 but Hermon Fire Chief Larry Willis says the standard Goodspeed set for other volunteers has never been forgotten. And now his half-century of service will be remembered by everyone who rides Engine 4-11.Chief Willis says, “It’s an honor that we want to make sure that we do so people will remember him. In this day and age for somebody to give 50 years total is one things but to do it for the same organization is pretty amazing.”The dedication was also a part of the department’s Fire Prevention Week open house. Children could practice exit drills in a fire safety trailer and take part in a hunt for home hazards contest. Firefighters also conducted a live-fire demonstration, by burning a small building with and without a sprinkler system.

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Catholics Contribute to Fight Against Gay Marriage

Updated 5 years ago

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine Catholics gave about $86,000 duringcollections in September to the effort to pass a referendumoverturning the state’s same-sex marriage law. A report turned over to Commission on Governmental Ethics andElection Practices, to be made public on Tuesday, says the RomanCatholic Diocese of Portland raised $41,000 in cash placed inbaskets during a second collection taken at masses in September. In addition, the church turned over envelopes collected in itscampaign on the issue directly to the Stand for Marriage Mainepolitical action committee, bringing the total to about $86,000. The diocese said Friday that between July 1 and Sept. 30, moneycontributed by other dioceses and bishops amounted to $214,550.

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Maine Soldier to be Laid to Rest Tuesday

Updated 5 years ago

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A funeral will be held Tuesday for aMaine native killed fighting in Afghanistan. Thirty-year-old Sgt. Joshua Kirk was among eight soldiers killedOct. 5 in a fierce fire fight in a remote Afghan outpost. Kirk was born in Maine, but moved to Idaho at a young age. Hereturned to Maine as a young adult and received his GED from CamdenHills Regional High School. The office of Gov. John Baldacci says the military listed Kirk’shometown as South Portland. The funeral will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Saint Michael’sChurch in Exeter, N.H. Baldacci has ordered the United States andMaine flags be flown at half-staff that day.

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Police Search For Canaan Shooting Suspect

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Police continue to search for the person who shot a 63-year-old man outside a motorcycle club in Canaan.State police responded to reports of gunshots near the entrance to a Hell’s Angels clubhouse on Route 23 Thursday night – that’s where police found Gary Watson of Madison.Neighbors say he has taken care of the clubhouse for a number of years.Police believe the suspect may have taken off in a car heading toward Hinckley. State Police Lieutenant Gary Wright told TV5 that Watson had surgery and at last report was in critical condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.The hospital has no information on his condition.

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Boy from Corinth Tags a 410 Pound Bear

Updated 5 years ago

A 13-year-old boy from Corinth has a pretty big prize show off for some time in the woods.Charles Berry the Third got his fourth bear in his hunting career today.But this one outweighs the others by quite a bit, weighing in at 410 pounds.He and his father, Charles Berry Junior were out in Township 28, which is near Aurora, when they saw the bear.They had set up bait out that way and also had dogs along with them.Even though this isn’t his first bear, Charlie says it’s still scary when you come up on such a big animal.” Well I felt kind of nervous because the bear was in the hole not very far from me.”” He did awesome. I told him to shoot between the eyes and there’s a hole right there between his eyes. He couldn’t have done any better.”Charlie says he’s not a big fan of bear meat.But he will definitely be mounting the bear.

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Pittsfield Community Theater Getting New Seats

Updated 5 years ago

The Pittsfield Community Theater is on its way to getting brand new seats.Thanks to a fundraiser that involved local artists.Meghan Hayward has the story.The fundraiser was called “Chairs for Chairs.”And it did just that.” With the $2,000 we should be able to purchase about seven chairs. The whole theater will be renovated.”Back in July 18 adirondack chairs that were all donated were painted by local folks and displayed throughout Pittsfield.And then auctioned off by the Town Council.Nicole Steeves is on the Pittsfield Community Theater Fundraising Committee.She is happy with the success of the fundraiser.” Hopefully this was a good way to get the whole community involved and more knowledgeable that we are fundraising.”And with over 250 seats in the theater.Steeves says they have plenty of fundraising left to do.” The theater serves a lot of people so we want people of all ages to help out with the fundraising.”The building dates back to 1915.Steeves says while the upgrades are necessary they also want the theater’s history to remain intact.” Hopefully everything allows the theater to look nostalgic and old and a part of the Pittsfield community. However, it would be nice to come to the theater and sit in comfort.”Hazel Mitchell was one of the artists.” I think it is good to give something back to the community and to bring the artists together. It was just a nice thing to do.”Steeves says not only was the fundraiser successful financially.It was also a hit with residents of Pittsfield.” All these people that did this have regular jobs and so it was fun to hear throughout the community who was doing what chair and just to see the finished project was exciting as well.”

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Lewiston Arson

Updated 5 years ago

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the fire that destroyed an historic textile mill.Flames shot through the windows and the roof of the vacant 60,000 square-foot Cowan Mill in Lewiston back in July. At the time, investigators ruled the fire an arson.Now the state fire marshal’s office arrested a boy for the crime, he is being held at a youth correctional facility.The destruction of the mill ended stalled efforts to rehabilitate it, but could make the waterfront property more appealing to developers.

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Station 6 Ready for Action

Updated 5 years ago

The Bangor Fire Department’s new Station 6 is already up and running.Friday, folks got their first official peek inside.The station on the Griffin Rd. is 9000 square feet, cost 2.4 million dollars and was built with an eye on future growth.It has three bays, which can hold up to six trucks.There are separate bunk rooms for men and women, a kitchen, living room and a work-out area.Station 6 is also the first building built by the city to meet a prestigious environmental standard, Gold Leed Certification.As for the environmental features, there are big insulated windows bring in natural light, low-flow plumbing fixtures, motion sensing lights and zoned heating and air conditioning with computerized controls.

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A Food Pantry in Whiting is in Need of Donations

Updated 5 years ago

A food pantry in Whiting isn’t getting the number of donations they once received.As Meghan Hayward tells us, with the holiday season quickly approaching, they’re worried they won’t have enough food for everyone.The Whiting Food Pantry is available to help folks 24/7. But now it needs some help of its own. “You’re talking Thanksgiving, you’re talking Christmas is coming and we have always had enough turkeys and stuff to give people. But this year, the way it looks, we’re not going to, and we have tried.”William Sawtelle has run the food pantry for 5 years. He says it’s a necessity for the area.”These are working poor, these are people that are working that need this.”Sawtelle says last October, the food pantry had about 400 registered families. They now have close to 600.But as the number of families grows, the donations are decreasing.”The last 4 months, donations have dropped off tremendously. People just don’t have it.”Sawtelle says they will make the best of what they have.”We will do something for them. We have to. Now that’s positive thinking.”Sawtelle just recently underwent an operation for cancer, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. But he remains optimistic and passionate about the food pantry.”I’m here because I care. I’m here because the people depend on me. Believe it or not, they all love me, and I love them.”If folks need any more convincing, Sawtelle has one message.”Would you send your kids to bed at night without any food? Not if you could help it. I don’t want to send any of these people to bed at night without food, not if I can help it.”Anyone interested in donating money can make the checks payable to Whiting Community Food Pantry.Checks can be sent to 340 US RTE. 1, Dennysville 04628And food donations can be dropped of at the Whiting Town Office which is located at 169 US RTE. 1.

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Cherryfield Receives Big Gift to Help Cover Hefty State Fine

Updated 5 years ago

The town of Cherryfield is getting a big gift to help cover a hefty state fine.The Boston Foundation sent a check for $200,000 from an anonymous donor.The grant is to help pay for the school penalty they received from choosing not to consolidate.The large sum of money will pay for half of the penalty fee.Cherryfield Selectman Richard Fickett says the $400,000 penalty was going to be split over two years and taxpayers were going to see a 21 percent increase both years.But now Fickett says they have the money to put towards next year.” It’s very important not only financially. I guess it’s saying the town benefited from taking a stand on what we did and the town really stood behind this in a big way.”Cherryfield Elementary is part of SAD 37, which did choose to close Columbia Falls Elementary School, a plan that was also endorsed by voters in that town.

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Public Input Needed on Bangor Trail Use

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

More people are taking to the city’s trails in Bangor and the Parks and Recreation Department want to make sure they’re being used in the best way. So it’s asking people to fill out a survey about the trails.We’re told one of the biggest topics is how to address the growing concerns of dog owners and non-dog owners.The Parks and Rec department will compile the information to help develop some policies for the trails. If you’d like to fill out a survey, you can do it on-line at You can also call the department for more information at 992-4490.

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Lawmaker Pushes Plan to Prohibit Mandatory Vaccines

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

With all of the talk of protecting against the flu this fall, a lawmaker from Ripley wants to make sure Mainers won’t be order to get a shot. Representative Doug Thomas is submitting a bill that would prohibit mandatory vaccines.He says it’s a proactive measure and that people should be able to maintain sovereignty over the own bodies. A spokesperson for the governor’s office says only an extreme public health emergency would allow for all mainers to be vaccinated and a measure like that would have to clear a number of hurdles, including court. Thomas’ bill will be introduced to the legislative council next Thursday. The lawmakers there will then decide whether to assign the bill to a committee or throw it out. Thomas says if the legislation is thrown out, he’ll keeping pushing to have it heard.

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St. Joseph Hospital Fall Fashion Show and Evening Event

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

TWO gala Venetian-Themed Masquerade EventsFriday, October 9 at the Bangor Civic CenterOur Fall Festival of Fashions and Luncheon will take place at 12 noon. Join us to see a delightful variety of the latest in Fall Fashions for the entire family, complete with a sprinkling of Venetian masquerade fun! Well known community figures, local celebs and hospital employees will strut their stuff on the Bangor Civic Center runway, decked out in the latest in clothing and accessories from Bella Luna, CJ Banks, Christopher & Banks, Dream Dress, The Grasshoper Shop, The Mad Hatter, Pretty Woman and Simply Jules. WABI-TV5 personalities Jon Small and Catherine Pegram will serve as commentators for this high fashion event.Or, GET IN ON THE ACT at our Evening Venetian Masquerade Event from 6 to 9 p.m.! Feel free to don an elegant mask with your evening attire, or purchase a mask at the event that evening! You will enjoy tapas tasting stations presented by the area’s fine dining establishments. The small plate offerings will be provided by the following establishments: The Fiddlehead Restaurant, Muddy Rudder, Pairings-Winterport Winery’s Event Center, Perrihouse, Thistle’s, and an elegantly themed dessert provided by Morrison Food Services. The evening event will include a silent auction, 5-minute live auction interludes every half-hour beginning at 7 p.m. and a cash bar. Reverend Robert Carlson will be the auctioneer during the evening. Auction items for the evening event include: a Persian rug, an Old Town Kayak, a Tom Hennessey limited artist copy print: a handcrafted bow front table: a Sugarloaf vacation rental, a day sailing trip, and numerous gift certificates for heating oil, restaurants, hotels, computer assistance, and gift stores. The variety of auction items available will be appealing to all guests. Guests are encouraged to don an elegant mask with their evening attire or purchase a mask at the Masquerade Emporium at the event that evening. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $35 or for general admission tickets that evening for $40. All proceeds benefit the St. Joseph Hospital Auxiliary. Purchase Tickets at Patrick’s Hallmark in the Broadway Shopping Plaza, or by calling Marie Demaso, 945-5700Afternoon Event: advance tickets $25at the door: $30Evening Event:advance tickets $35at the door: $40

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Power Out in Howland Area Friday

Updated 5 years ago

Residents of Howland will be in the dark for a little while Friday morning.Bangor Hydro is going to be shutting down service in that area to perform repair work to a line that was damaged during recent excavation work.Power will be out from 9am to 11am in the greater Howland area, and will affect the high and middle school as well as the post office.Other affected towns include Maxfield, Seboeis Plantation, Edinburg, Lagrange, and Medford.

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Government Shutdown Day

Updated 5 years ago

Many state government offices will be closed Friday.It’s the fourth of 10 shut down days this year, to save the state money.Maine’s parks and historic sites will stay open. They will be staffed and will offer their regular attractions.Maine Forest Service Rangers will also remain on duty.The state court system will also be open.And of course, all law enforcement and public safety personnel are working on Friday.

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Young Teen Arrested in connection with Lewiston Mill Fire

Updated 5 years ago

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the fire that destroyed an historic textile mill in Lewiston.Flames tore through the former Cowan Textile Mill back in July.Developers were thinking of turning it into residential units or a hotel.Investigators ruled the fire an arson.On Thursday night, the State Fire Marshal’s office arrested a 13-year-old local boy.He was being held at a youth correctional facility.

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Overnight Fire in Gouldsboro

Updated 5 years ago

Fire fighters have been called back out to a fire in Gouldsboro that first sparked Thursday night.The initial call came in around 7:45pm from the West Bay Road. The fire was at an abandoned residence.Fire fighters cleared the scene around 10:45 Thursday night.They were called back there around 3:45 Friday morning for some flare ups.The Fire Marshal’s Office has been notified.

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