Last December we told you about a group of students at Eastern Maine Community College who had been teaming up with college students in France.Their mission? Design and build a tennis ball launcher.Today all four teams got the chance to show off their creations and go head-to-head with their classmates.Charlie Wharton is the Instructor for the Integrated Machines Instructor and says the students have been working on these launchers all semester. “I’m satisfied with them,” he says, “a couple of them are a little scary but I think they’re going well.”The teams communicated via video confrence and shipped parts overseas until each team had built their launcher. The 4 teams competed in distance and accuracy. A few students came all the way from France to take part in the competition.”It’s good to see if something works or not,” says french student Adrien Benoist, “it’s good to see how different people work in different countries.”Kevin Rousic also made the trip over from France. “I think it’s very interesting to compare the devices from France and the USA,” he says, “we worked very hard to make this. We took a lot of time in the workshop. I’m very happy with the result and I think we’re going to win.” Rousic was right. He and his teammate Cole Wills won the distance competition after firing a tennis ball more than 179 feet. “You know it was a lot of fun working with people from another culture and building the project and seeing it work through all of the work that we put into it,” says Wills, “I enjoyed it.”Phillip Moulton’s design won for accuracy after grouping five shots within 12 feet of each other. “It’s been a great experience,” says Moulton, “I learned a lot about myself and I learned a little bit about the metric system. I gained a lot from this opportunity.”Wharton says he hopes the students take away, not only a working knowledge of mechanics from the experience, but a variety of lessons. “Well the launchers are a very small part of it. I think they’ll get more from the cultural exchange. The french students over here they’ve developed quite a friendship with them and we do a lot of stuff outside of class so I think the camaraderie is the the biggest gain.”
A former State Representative and long-standing member of the Maine troop greeters has passed away.As Meghan Hayward tells us, the folks that had the privilege of working alongside Catherine “Kay” Lebowitz have nothing by kind words to say about her.” She was a wonderful lady. Most important I think is the fact that she has touched literally tens of thousands of lives in ways she’ll never know because of her generosity, her volunteer time and her true committment to wanting to make this a better community.”” An institution really because she was a little of everything. She was always willing to help people.”Those are just some of the ways people describe “Kay” Lebowitz.She passed away Monday in Bangor at the age of 94.Lebowitz was a former Bangor Mayor and city councilor.She was also a troop greeter at Bangor’s airport.Senator Susan Collins was the first recipient of the “Catherine Lebowitz Award for Public Service,” from the Bangor Chamber of Commerce.In a statement Collins says, “Although her health had declined, she still showed the remarkable and loving spirit that we all knew and admired.”” She was active right up until last week. She walked into the Heart Ball with Reverend Carlson and was looking to dance. She was always full of spirit and you couldn’t take that out of her. She gave you more than you probably deserved.”Lebowitz was born in Massachusetts and moved to Searsport at a young age.She left Maine later, but returned in 1955, and now leaves a legacy few will forget.” Great role model. We should all be like Kay when we grow up.”
Delta flight 237 en route from Paris to Atlanta was diverted to Bangor International Airport Tuesday after a passenger, 26-year-old Derek Stansberry, claimed to have a bomb in his luggage.Officials say the former Air Force Intelligence Specialist from Florida became disruptive during the flight, forcing an air marshal to take Stansberry into custody until the plane landed.None of the 235 passengers or 13 crew members were injured. Everyone was escorted off of the plane after US Customs, Border Patrol Agents and other agencies took Stansberry into custody.
Two people are accused of running a pot growing operation in North Haven that authorities say could have put about $80,000 worth of drugs on the streets. Knox County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 24-year-old Devon Haskell on Saturday. He’s charged with cultivating marijuana and selling and using drug paraphernalia. Authorities say they seized 141 pot seedlings at a house on North Main Street that Haskell rented with another man – 23-year-old Geoffrey Barrett. Barrett was issued a summons for cultivating marijuana. Haskell was taking the Knox County Jail where he made bail yesterday after his first court appearance.
An evening of wining and dining is helping out The Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra. The Youth Orchestra is hosting a Wine Dinner Fundraiser this Thursday night. It’s at Luna Bar & Grill in Bangor. The restaurant’s planning a special multi-course meal, paired with a variety of wines. The cost is $65 a person.For more information or to reserve a seat, call Glenn Martin at 974-7798.
A local man is on a huge hike to raise money for animals in need. The Furry Friends Food Bank collects and gives food to seniors in the area who can’t always afford to take care of their pets.It’s organized, in part, through the Eastern Area Agency on Aging. 54-year-old Phil Pepin is hiking the Appalachian Trail to raise money for the food bank. He’s looking for 1,000 people to sponsor him a penny a mile for 2175 miles. If you’re interested, you can contact Ken Banks at the Agency on Aging. The number to call 992-0149.
A Stetson man has died, after what police are calling a sad accident.Officials say a 49-year-old Gary Bellefleur was working on a racing vehicle in his garage late Monday night when the car came off its stand and pinned him underneath. One of the man’s family members discovered what had happened Tuesday morning.Penobscot County Sheriff Sgt. William Sheehan says “I believe he was weighing the car on scales when it rolled off the platform and came down on top of him.”Bellefleur was a well-known racing enthusiast. He participated in many racing events including the Pro All-Stars Series, over the last 28 years. Bellefleur also was a track announcer at the Unity Raceway.Although Bellefleur did not race this last year, he was planning on getting back to the track this coming racing season.
A former State Representative and long-standing member of the Maine Troop Greeters has passed away.Catherine “Kay” Lebowitz died on Monday in Bangor.Kay also served as Mayor of Bangor, as well as a member of several committees.Senator Susan Collins said in a statement Monday: “Kay was a remarkable woman, a wonderful friend and a great patriot. She truly will be missed by all of us who loved her dearly.”Senator Collins was the first recipient of the “Catherine Lebowitz Award for Public Service,” from the Bangor Chamber of Commerce.Kay Lebowitz was 94.
John Richardson has dropped out of the race for governor.The Democratic candidate made the announcement on Monday after finding out he didn’t qualify for for clean election act funding.The Maine Ethics Commission found several problems with Richardson’s petitions, claiming some campaign workers falsified qualifying contributions and forged names on money orders.Richardson says he self-reported the irregularities when they were discovered.He says he won’t appeal the commission’s ruling, because it would be a distraction from the race.
Federal transportation officials have agreed to delay action on a proposal to abandon 233 miles of railroad tracks in Northern Maine.The delay is reportedly to give the state and the railway more time to find a way to keep the line going.The federal government will conduct mediation talks between the Maine Department of Transportation and the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, which wants to abandon a stretch of line from Madawaska to Millinocket because it’s losing money on that run.Earlier this month, Maine lawmakers voted to send a bond package to voters in June that calls for money to buy and maintain that section of track.
Hannaford is removing a lot of trans fat from the foods it sells.The Maine-based supermarket chain says the recipes of nearly 300 of its private label products have been changed to get rid of artery-clogging trans fat.Hannaford has 174 stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.
A Waldoboro woman will not go on trial for murder.Instead, 43-year-old Corina Durkee has pleaded guilty to murder charges in connection with a stabbing that left a 27-year-old mother dead.Police say Durkee and Earl “Buddy” Bieler stabbed Rachel Grindal to death and severely injured another woman during a burglary last April.Bieler pled guilty earlier this month to murder charges.Prosecutors and attorneys for Durkee say they’ll recommend a 15 year prison sentence.Durkee had been scheduled to go on trial in the next few weeks.
The company will provide broadband in schools and libraries across Maine for the next five years.The contract is worth nearly $26,000,000.FairPoint says it will serve more than 650 schools and libraries that are part of a statewide consortium for web access.
Fishery regulators are considering putting an early end to the New England shrimp fishing season because the catch has been so strong.The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said on Monday that it will hold an emergency meeting and public hearing by telephone on Friday, April 30th to review data and decide if the fishery should be closed.Last fall scientists recommended limiting the harvest to about 10.8 million pounds, but the catch has already exceeded 10.9 million pounds.
A live webcam aimed at a nest with peregrine falcon eggs caught one hatching last week.It’s the first of four peregrine eggs to hatch in that nest.The live video feed is provided by the Gorham-based Biodiversity Research Institute.The feed provides around the clock coverage of the eggs. You can watch the nest from two different angles.The institute also has cameras aimed at other nests. They recently caught two chicks hatching in an eagle’s nest, and they’re also monitoring ospreys.To check out the live feeds, log on to www.briloon.org
On Tuesday, April 27th, Bobbie Fowler indroduced us to Ralph, a 6-year-old cat from the Old Town Animal Orphanage.If you’d like to meet Ralph, or any of the other animals at the orphanage, head on up to 77 Airport Rd in Old Town. Or give them a call at 827-8777Open 7 days a week.
Canaan and Clinton officials say enough is enough when it comes to the reckless disposal of trash.Land along the Pease Rd, which goes through both towns, has been a dumping ground for many years.Local folks say the problem has gotten worse lately.Tires, TV’s and other chunks of junk have been put on the side of the road recently.Town officials aren’t sure if it’s new debris or if someone’s trying to clean up old stuff that’s been in the ditches.Clintons town manager says local police are looking into it.Canaans code enforcement officer says it could take thousands of taxpayer dollars to clean up the mess.They tell us they will prosecute anyone found responsible.
There are about two dozen murders in Maine most years, and the Maine Department of Public Safety says about half of them involve domestic abuse.Children that have to leave a home because of domestic discord, often leave with nothing but the clothes on their backs.That’s the reason why the Waterville Rotary Club was handing out backpacks.The packs are filled with things that can help children in need.The Rotary Club donated the bags to the Family Violence Project, which will help get them to kids who need them.The Family Violence Project also offers abuse prevention programs to schools in Kennebec and Somerset counties.They teach about healthy relationships, teen dating violence and the effects of domestic abuse on children.
Some people set it out on the curb and forget about it.But others, whose job it is to deal with all your trash and recycling, are thinking about better ways to dispose of all that waste. We visited a conference in Rockport with that goal in mind.It’s a big job, dealing with all the waste Mainers produce. But the focus of this year’s Maine Recycling and Solid Waste conference is reducing the impact of it all on the environment, and the economy.”People don’t realize how much of the town budgets are taken up by solid waste issues. After schools and roads, and in some cases even more than the roads, solid waste is the second or third line item on the budget,” says John Albertini.Albertini works for the Maine Resource Recovery Association, which puts on the conference. He says it’s paying to get rid of solid waste, by taking it to the landfill or incinerator, that’s so expensive.”So anything they can do to recycle to reduce their tonnage going to the incinerator or landfill reduces the cost to the taxpayer,” he says.More than two hundred people came to town for the two-day conference, representing municipalities across the state.”The emphasis a lot of people are thinking about today are the finances,” says Jerry Hughes, with Bangor Public Works.”Especially in the Bangor area. We’re thinking about efficiency and what we can do to work more productively, thinking about recycling and how we can manage that as economically feasibly as possible,” he says.Hughes tells us the recycling committee in Bangor is already looking into several new ideas.Albertini hopes all the folks here go home with new ways to help their waste and recycling programs run more efficiently, and let citizens in on their ideas, too.”To let their citizens know what they can do and what services are offered by their town to recycle, compost or minimize their waste stream,” he says. “So they understand that waste is expensive.”
You can’t leave the interstate and turn left onto Stillwater Avenue in Bangor, but that could change. The Bangor city council is holding court on that tonight.The intersection, just off of I-95 in Bangor, is causing frustration for local buisness owners and their customers. The problem? No left turns. Business owners on that side of Stillwater say it makes things difficult for them, their customers, and even delivery drivers. Kathy Wadleigh is the owner Paper & Clay and she says the intersection makes it difficult for her customers who aren’t familiar with Bangor to find her. “It’s hard for us to give them directions from the Broadway exit,” she says, “it would be much easier for them to take a left turn at the exit and just come a half mile or a mile to get to us.”Forest Grant is the owner of 304 Stillwater Avenue Furniture. He says the intersection makes life particularly difficult for delivery drivers. “The place is tight enough as it is then you put 2 or 3 18-wheelers in there especially around Christmas time and by the time they get to my store they’re ready to burn the store down,” says Grant.Not being able to turn left leaves drivers with two options. They can make an illegal left turn on to Stillwater Avenue or take a right and try to find a place to turn around.Jeff Leadbetter, owner of Leadbetter’s Community Stores, thinks the left hand turn would be less dangerous. “That adds to the cluster quite a bit,” Leadbetter says, “they do try to take a right and go into the mall then they gotta turn right quick around and come back.”Forest Grant has contacted the city council and the state officials and isn’t totally satisfied with the response. “Everything is a process,” says Grant, “I guess we’re all familiar with that word. Of course money now is an issue. They spent all their money doing it wrong to start with now they don’t have any money to make it right.”But does grant think the problem will eventually be fixed?”Well I think in time. This isn’t gonna happen overnight I realize that. As a matter of fact I might even be dead by the time it happens. However somebody will be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor I would hope.”