With Haiti’s rainy season quickly approaching and almost 800,000 still homeless after the devastating earthquake, the need for temporary shelters is greater than ever.One Mainer is trying to help by organizing a drive to collect old sails. John Eide is a long time member of the sailing community. He says sails can be made into great make shift shelters. Eide is asking folks to donate any old sails they may have.There are three drop off locations for the drive. Maine sailing partners in Freeport and Pope Sails and Rigging in Rockland will be collecting sails from March 5 through the 19. The Portland Yacht Service will be a drop off point during the Maine Boatbuilders Show on March 19, 20, and 21.
Road conditions are to blame for two accidents in Bucksport Thursday morning.An SUV was traveling north on the Millvale Road when the driver hit a patch of ice and rolled over onto it’s side.The driver was pinned in the vehicle for a short time.But escaped with minor injuries.Another vehicle on the same road also slid off the road and had to be pulled out by a tow truck.That driver did not receive any injuries.Sean Geagan, Chief of Police for Bucksport says even though it looks like winter has left us, drivers still need to be aware of the changing weather and road conditions.” This is one of those storms where it’s very spotty. You can go from bare tar from one second to icy spots and black ice the next. People really need to pay attention to the road conditions.”The names of the drivers are unknown at this time.
Layoffs are coming at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.The hospital says it will let nearly 50 employees go, including 23 nurses.Jill McDonald, a spokeswoman for EMMC says the workers were notified on Wednesday and most layoffs are expected to take place March 19th.In January, the hospital announced it’s cutting 100 full-time jobs to save them between 5 and 7 million dollars.They were hoping to eliminate many of the positions through early retirement, but McDonald says of the 300 senior staff that were offered the incentives, only 50 took the offer.
A Bangor city bus turned into a crime scene Wednesday afternoon, after a passenger reportedly fired off a .357 Magnum.20 people were on board the bus at the time.No one was hurt.Police say the bus was traveling down State Street when it happened.The alleged shooter then fled the scene.According to authorities, the BAT bus driver flagged down police officers, and told them someone had shot her bus.About an hour and a half later, authorities received a tip from a passenger from the first bus, that the man had boarded another bus.State police stopped that bus in Orono at around 5:45pm, and arrested 24-year-old Jason Robinson of Bangor.Police say Robinson had the gun in his coat.He told officers he was going to sell the gun in Old Town. Robinson claims he was showing the weapon to someone on board the bus, when it accidentally went off.He’s charged with reckless conduct with a firearm, and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Robinson is also being held on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court.He is currently behind bars at the Penobscot County Jail.
A group of people holding a vigil in Augusta say they’re shocked someone defaced their signs Tuesday night.Several people have been taking part in a 40 day vigil outside Family Planning in Augusta.They set up outside the facility and say they pray there daily from eight to eight, then at night they store their signs at a nearby business.They say they arrived Wednesday morning to find someone had spray painted over their signs. “We spent a lot of time on those signs, making them,” Said rally particepant Bob Garrett. “Now they’re destroyed. We’re going to have to remake them, but we will remake them and put them back up. We understand some people take their anger out that way.”Garrett says they will continue their vigil despite the setback.The group holds a 40 day long vigil twice each year.
A Jonesboro man, who’s been missing since last Friday, has been found dead.The body of 73-year-old Charles Fagonde was discovered about a mile from his home.Two workers who were cutting trees in the area found Fagonde around 3pm Wednesday. He was lying next to his car, on a trail in the woods off the Bagley Road in Jonesboro.Police say it appears Fagonde’s car had become stuck in mud along the trail.The medical examiner was called to the scene. Officials say there’s no sign of foul play.
Maine is one of just 11 states nationwide that allow public inspection of birth records. Marriage records are also open for public viewing.Now state officials are saying that opens many Mainers up to fraud and even identity theft.So to counter that, lawmakers are considering a bill to restrict the release of those records to the person on the document and that person’s spouse, parents or guardians, descendants, and designated agent or attorney.The administration is backing the bill and no one spoke in opposition to it on Wednesday.
Governor Baldacci put forward Wednesday changes to his budget he says will ease the impact of cuts that had been proposed to close the state budget gap. He now wants to restore nearly 79-million dollars in cuts, most of it in the areas of health and human services, and education.The money comes in part from a slightly improved state revenue projection and a change to the Medicare program that delivered extra federal dollars to the state.The governor’s budget revisions include restoring 37-million dollars in cuts that had been proposed in health and human services, which includes increased support for nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home-based care.”On 24-hour-a-day care, on 7-day-a-week operations, I mean that really is life and death. People say, why did you pick this area more than another, I say, look, all these areas are all important. But these are life and death issues,” Baldacci says.The revisions also include restoring 20-million dollars to K-through-12 education for fiscal year 2011, and eight million dollars to higher education.With the adjusted funding, the state budget gap now stands at 360-million dollars, down from 438-million.For more information about the governor’s changes, visithttp://www.maine.gov/budget/budgetinfo/2010supplemental.htm
Twin sisters from Maine were guests on “Let’s Make a Deal”The 38-year-old twin sisters Terri Pine-Pepin from Lincoln and Tracy Pine-Trecartin of Buxton made a special trip to Las Vegas, and ended up on the 100th episode of the show. The show is a revival of the old game show where members of the audience dress in outlandish costumes to win cash and prizes by making deals with the host Wayne Brady. Terri watched the show with friends and neighbors at Shooters in Lincoln Wednesday. Tracy made an appearance via online video messaging. Terri received a deal-ie, for “best impersonation of an animal,” one of the special awards given out for the best costumes. She and her sister went as Maine coon cats. Tracy was edited out of the final show, but viewers watched as Terri was given the chance to trade her costume award for what was behind curtain number 2. She picked the award which turned out to be worth about 2 thousand dollars after taxes. The sisters decided to split the winnings.
New discoveries are being uncovered every day in a old house in Lincoln since the Historical Society has been renovating the house as its new location. Renovations, mostly done by society members, have been slow but steady since last June according to President Jeanette King.King says the society has been leasing the house, built in 1836, from the town for about a dollar a year. She says since renovations began last June the group has uncovered a stove and cooking area. They’ve also come across different old style forms of walls and paneling.
The fishermen are what have sustained this community for 200years or more. When they’re lost it really hits hard, even thoughit wasn’t a close personal friend or a family member, it hits thewhole community.Over the past year three vessels have gone down in the Cobscook Bayarea – the crew of the Miss Priss survived their boat sinking â€¦however five others were not as luckyâ€¦ Four of the men were found, butJoseph Jones, the stern man for one of the boats, remains missing.Russel Wright, a specialist with the marine patrol, used to fish thewaters around Lubecâ€¦ for him, these losses hit especially close tohome.(Russel Wright) Everybody knows everybody, and of course I deal with them on adaily basis, and I grew up with them – I’m from hereâ€¦ When you havesomeone missing like that, it puts a lot, I put a lot into this, intotrying to locate these people.The U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Patrol, and State Police divers have allsearched the rocky coast for the wrecks â€¦ NOAA – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – came to the area to run sonar to see if they could locate the vessels – and possibly find themissing crew memberâ€¦(Lt. Alan Talbot with marine patrol) There was a huge community support for that whole effort. Rightfrom Senator Collins office right on down. Capt. Bob Peacock was apilot in the area, and was instrumental in getting them down there.Three areas of interest were identified by NOAA – two turned out to benothingâ€¦ a boat was found in the third spot – but strong currentsprevented crews from bringing it to the surfaceâ€¦ the boat was neveridentified. Although the wrecks were never recovered – the memories ofthe men aboard them will never be lost â€¦ It’s been a great loss for the community. One of the firstvessels that went down last year was my next door neighbor’s LorenLank, and that’s how this all started.Shelley Tinker lives in Lubec. Her husband is a fisherman — so thisis a cause that’s close to her heart… she’s heading up an effort tocreate a lost fishermen’s memorial in Lubec. There needs to be a place to meet and to be with friends andfamily, and this would be a great spot to gather and remember andreflect and celebrate.A committee has been formed to begin planning and designing thememorialâ€¦ They want to build it on a plot of land near Lubec’s boatdock. We want to have a beautiful gardens with native plantings. Wewant a stone walkway. We want a statue in the middle with a compassrose in the pavers around the bottom with a stone wall and then wewant places for names, lots and lots of names.Engraved on the memorial would be the names of lost fishermen fromWashington County and Charlotte Countyâ€¦ but to get the project startedthe group needs fundingâ€¦We need around 150 to 180 thousand dollars to make this memorialhappen, and we’ve got 6 thousand so far. So, it’s a start, it’s a goodstart, because we haven’t really pursued anything it just trickles inbecause the people want this to happen
If you thought the Winter Olympics were over, think again.As Meghan Hayward found out, the Olympic spirit is alive and well at a school in Bangor.Students at the Vine Street School in Bangor held their own opening ceremony for the Olympics.”We kind of latched on to the Olympic theme and in the early part of the year, each classroom adopted a country. And during the first semester, the teachers took the opportunity to gather information and weave in information about their country.”Besides the United States, one of the other countries represented was Spain.”The weirdest thing I learned is they actually have supper or dinner at 10:00 at night and they take a break from school from 12 to 3 for a siesta and they end school around 5 or 6.”So how do the kids think their opening ceremony was compared to the real one?”Well the real ones were really incredible. Ours were really really good, but I think the real Olympic ceremonies topped ours.”The school tried to make their ceremony as close to the real one as possible.The Olympic flag was brought in and they even had a torch.”Nat” Torch being brought inSchool staff say it’s important for the kids to get a hands-on lesson like this.”I think it makes a big difference on how much more they learn when they’re fully surrounded by the culture and activities. It really enhances their learning and gives them an opportunity to put some of their learning into action.”There’s no argument it was a lesson the kids were happy to learn.”I think it’s important. It’s not just our country that’s in the world. We need to learn about other countries.”
Some local college students got a chance today to learn a little bit about what it takes to report the news. About three dozens students at the New England School of Communications in Bangor heard from a panel of local television and radio journalists, including TV5’s Jon Small. As part of the Intro to Media class, the students are exploring different aspects of the communication industry.They turned the tables on the reporters, too, asking questions about their jobs, why they like working in the media and how the news gets on the air every day.Freshman Beth Churchill says, “The finished product is so remote. It’s not like realistic and it really brought it down to earth for me, so that I can see that, yes, there are people and they go crazy trying to make deadlines.” Besides meeting some of the people they watch on the news, students say it was also interesting to see people they hear on the radio – and put a face to a voice.
More than 65,000 votes were cast in a contest to help Bangor Savings Bank give away money to some deserving community groups. Organizers of the “Community Matters More” program are now counting those votes – which could top 80-thousand or better when they’re done. They plan to announce the winners later this month. Up until yesterday, people could vote on-line for their favorite non-profit organizations. 48 were nominated and they’ll all receive $1,000 for the honor. The top eight vote getters will receive $5,000.
The “American Jamboree” country music festival in Milo has been cancelled. It was supposed to run this Saturday, March 6th, from 5:30pm until 9pm at the town hall in Milo. However, due to unforeseen events it has been cancelled.
The United Way is also doing their part to help out those less fortunate. Today they officially kicked-off the United Way Pantry Project at Oxford Networks in Bangor.Employees there were allowed to wear jeans for the day to encourage people to donate. Businesses all across eastern Maine are taking part by putting up one of the United Way’s traveling shelves.Employees are being asked to bring in non-perishable food items to fill the shelves up.The food will be distributed to local food pantries. The folks at the United Way say this is the time of year when people can tend to forget about the food pantries in the area. “This program runs through April,” says Emma Pope-Welch of the United Way, “the spring is a time when a lot of the pantries experience shortage. Some of the holidays bring in a lot of food and then come the start of the year a lot of the pantries are struggling.”If your business would like to take part in the United Way Pantry Project you can call the United Way at 941-2800.
The Crossroads Food Pantry in Old Town has been lending a helping hand to those in need for nearly 7 years. Now they’re asking for a little more help to keep up with the rising number of folks who have turned to them.Keith Whitmore is the manager at Crossroads and says the need is on the rise. “What we do is anybody who comes in that says they need food we will help them.” Whitmore says at Crossroads that need has been on the rise. “We’re increasing families every week,” he says, “we picked up 115 children just a couple weeks ago, we’re doing around 2000 a month, people, around 600 to 700 families a month there’s definitely an increase.”Folks here say the numbers include people they’ve never seen here before. “We’re seeing more middle class because of the economy drop off,” says Whitmore, “you know we have our people we’ve been serving for many years but now we’re getting people who have never had to use a food bank.”That includes people who once donated food and other items here. “A woman that for years has been a donator, works for the university, got laid off, all of a sudden she’s in here needing help…so really it’s a crushing blow to people like that.”Crossroads is open to the public 6 days a week. Whitmore says the area they serve has grown. It spreads from Old Town to Veazie and all the way to Enfield and Greenbush. Whitmore says the community and local businesses like Hannaford have helped out tremendously but there are some items they’re running low on. “Right now we’re really in need of soup, crackers, pasta we’re getting low on, but soup and crackers is the big thing with the sickness,” says Whitmore, “everybody wants chicken noodle soup and we don’t have any.”Crossroads also provides clothing, heat assistance, and drug counseling for those who need it. If you would like to donate food, clothing, or other items you can call Crossroads at 827-1298, or just stop by there office at 2 Wood Street in Old Town.
A California company that had wanted to bring a mega resort to Brownville is filing for bankruptcy.More than 3-thousand acre site was supposed to be auctioned Wednesday because of WHG development breached its mortgage.Developer Jim Dennehy proposed creating “the reserve at Norton Pond” more than four years ago.The plan called for a hotel, convention center, golf course and several hundred time share units.
Two men were arrested Monday after a break-in at the apartment of one of the men’s former girlfriends in Swanville.Charges against 18-year-old Dalton Hines of Swanville and 21-year-old Adam Skinner of Belfast include burglary, criminal trespassing and assault.Police say a woman called late Sunday night claiming that the two broke into her home.She told police that her former boyfriend, Hines, punched her current boyfriend in the face, then choked her and threatened to kill her.The two men turned themselves into police early Monday morning.
Senator Susan Collins is expressing skepticism over the U.S. Postal Service’s proposal to cut Saturday mail delivery to fend off huge budget shortfalls. Collins is the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight over the postal service. She said the postal service should focus on serving its customers better, attracting new customers and increasing volume -not on cutting services. She said businesses will seek other alternatives if mailing days are cut, which will further erode the postal service’s shrinking mail volume and lead to more severe financial problems. (AP)