An emergency preparedness official has declared that the threat of flooding from an ice jam on Maine’s Kennebec river is over.Richard “Beau” Beausoleil of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday that the flood fears have melted away. While ice clings to the river banks and some municipal piers were damaged, the danger’s passed. Flooding fears mounted after a thaw and rain in January sent the river above flood stage in augusta and created a huge ice jam several miles downstream. The ice weakened and cleared out, allowing the water to pass through.
Gov. John Baldacci will be presented with an award from The American Medical Association (AMA) for promoting public health.Baldacci received the Dr. Nathan Davis Award in Washington yesterday at the AMA conference. The Maine governor is one of nine recipients among public officials of the award, which is named for the AMA’s founder. Baldacci is being recognized for his work leading to the creation of Dirigo Health, Maine’s state-subsidized health insurance program.
To get in contact with the Eastern Area Agency on Aging, give them a call at 1-800-432-7812, or log on to their website at www.eaaa.org
The governor of Maine’s Passamaquoddy tribe says efforts are under way to get a question on November’s statewide ballot asking voters to allow a tribal casino in Eastern Maine.Governor William Nicholas said tribal legislative representatives are working on details that would allow a referendum to move forward without the tribes having to collect more than 50,000 signatures to get on the ballot.If lawmakers put the measure on the ballot, it would compete against another question seeking approval for a casino proposal in Western Maine. Voters would also have the option of rejecting both questions.
Nine Maine airports will soon receive more than 4.5 million dollars in grant funding from the federal aviation administration to be used for local airport improvements.The funds will help local airports make the necessary upgrades and developments to improve air service and safety.Bangor International Airport will receive $2,500,000.Old Town Municipal Airport will receive $130,000.And Bar Harbor Municipal Airport will get $200,000.
Maine’s two democratic legislative leaders are proposing a $99,000,000 jobs bond package that includes money for highways, rails, and other projects.Gov. John Baldacci plans to announce his bond proposal next week.About half of the package announced Tuesday would go to highway reconstruction. It reserves $20,000,000 for the purchase of rail lines in Northern Maine Railroad that are abandoned. The rest goes to school energy conservation and clean water projects.
Fire investigators say there’s not enough left of a boat shop in Steuben to figure what caused an explosion that destroyed the building.R.P. Boat Shop on Route 1 caught fire about 9 o’clock Monday morning.Owner Richard Pinkham says he was in another building when he heard an explosion.He says the fire leveled the building in 10 or 15 minutes. No one was injured.The building housed the company’s boat molds, which are used to form fiberglass hulls.
A committee in Augusta soundly defeated a move to adjust Maine’s minimum wage each year, based on the cost-of-living.The vote was 12-to-1 against the bill.Labor committee members say because of the weak economy, the timing is wrong for such a law.The vote almost assures the bill’s defeat when it reaches the house and senate.Maine’s minimum wage is $7.50 an hour, $.25 higher than the federal minimum.
Senator Susan Collins met with the CEO of Bumble Bee Tuesday to talk about finding another use for the Prospect Harbor sardine cannery.Bumble Bee announced last month the plant will close in April, putting nearly 130 people out of work.Collins says she’ll be working closely with officials from the company to help find a new use for the facility.She says there are a few prospects, but said the most promising appears to be the idea of converting it into a lobster processing plant, which would help preserve about 100 jobs.The plant is the last remaining sardine cannery in the U.S. It’s been in operation for more than 100 years.
The Penobscot Theater is opening its doors for a free event Wednesday night.You can stop in to hear a speech by Lucy Anne Hurston.She’s the niece of Zora Neale Hurston, one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth century African-American literature.This all ties in because Penobscot Theater is hosting a production of “Spunk” which is a stage adaptation of three of the author’s stories.”Spunk” features a lot of terrific blues music as well as dancing to help relate the stories.Lucy Anne Hurston will speak Wednesday night at 7 at the Bangor Opera house again, it’s free.
Calling all canoers and kayakers.The annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe races are just a few weeks away. And Bangor Parks and Recreation Department is now accepting registrations for the race.It’s scheduled to take place Saturday, April 17th.Pre-registrations will be accepted until 1 on Friday, April 16th.The fee is 18-dollars per person with pre-registration—if you wait, it will cost you 35-dollars the day of the race.For more information or to register you can visit the website www.bangorparksandrec,com or call 992-4490.
History was made in Eastport Tuesday.As Meghan Hayward tells us, it’s also a project that’s creating jobs.The largest ocean energy device ever deployed in US waters was unveiled in Eastport.”Today establishes Eastport, Maine as the tidal energy capital of America.”Christopher Sauer, President and CEO of the Ocean Renewable Power Company, says there are a couple of reasons this milestone happened in Eastport.” One is we have the best tidal current in the Eastern Coast of the US here in Eastport, Maine. Second of all we have a workforce here that has worked on the waters for generations.”The company’s turbine generator unit has a capacity rating of 60 kilowatts, it was engineered with composite materials.And nearly all of the project components were made or assembled in Maine.” We will go out into Cobscook Bay. We will lower the turbine generator unit down so it’s directly underneath the barge and as the tidal currents start to build, it will start turning and generating electricity and then of course it will go into flack tide and stop generating and then when the currents reverse, the barge will actually move around the mooring and will go through the same cycle again.”Sauer can’t say enough good things about the Mainers who made this possible. “The workmanship is amazing. We have a lot of hero stories. People have just gone way above and beyond.”The company expects to install the first full-scale grid connected tidal turbine generator unit in Maine in 20-11.
Three people are facing charges in a case that Drug agents describe as a drug deal gone sour.On Saturday, authorities arrested 32 year old Terrence Garner, 32 year old Adam Widgins, and 20 year old Sidney Wilcox, all of Bangor.Agents say they learned that a man, whose name is not being released, was being held against his will at a Brewer motel.They say the victim was allowed to make phone calls to collect money he owed for cocaine supplied by the suspects. He contacted state drug agents through text messages.The man escaped while being left alone in the room, and was picked up by police.Authorities then arrested the three suspects. Each one is facing different charges, ranging from criminal restraint to possession of methadone.
Two people from Augusta will be in court Wednesday in Vermont after being arrested in that state.Vermont State Troopers say they were chasing a car driven by 28 year old Sarah Vitale Monday when it went off the road.She was arrested along with a passenger in the car, 36 year old Luke Greenlaw.Police say they found property that belonged to a local school in the car, along with some jewelry and electronics.Troopers tell us Vitale and Greenlaw are also wanted for crimes in Maine.
Washington County Commissioners are standing by a recommendation by the Sheriff to fire a Deputy.Scott Francis was put on administrative leave when he was served a temporary order of protection from abuse on behalf of his estranged wife.Sheriff Donnie Smith pulled Francis off the force, saying he should be terminated for conduct unbecoming a Washington County Deputy Sheriff.Last week, the commissioners voted to uphold that recommendation.
Americans have been watching from afar, as people in Chile deal with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake last Saturday.There is one University of Maine student who has had a front row seat. Amy Marchessault is planning to spend a semester at the University of Chile, and was there when the earthquake hit.”So I woke up to the lantern above my head falling on my head, I didn’t really know, I was really disoriented. I didn’t know what was happening. My bed was moving all about the room.”20 year old Amy Marchessault describes the moment the 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit. She was in her apartment on the sixth floor, and very confused. After all, she grew up in Maine, and really didn’t know what an earthquake felt like, not to mention she had just arrived in Chile four days before.”I texted my parents and said hey, we had an earthquake just letting you know, i’m ok. I didn’t think it was gonna be a big deal and my dad looked on the news and responded back to me and said, Amy, Chile is in a state of emergency this is a big deal, so then I kind of started panicking. O.K. I’ve been involved in something big.”Amy is in Santiago, the nation’s capital. She says there is damage around the city.She says some basic necessities are running low, but for the most part buildings around the city are still standing and conditions are good, Amy says amazingly people in Santiago are in good spirits.”which has kind of set the mood for me cause I don’t know how to act. I don’t want to be that crazy American girl who’s freaked out.”Amy also knows conditions in Southern Chile are much worse. Hundreds are confirmed dead, and the infrastructure has been devastated.Amy thought about returning home but has decided to stay put. She was supposed to start classes this week at the University of Chile, but doesn’t know if that’ll happen. So she’s just concentrating on living life in new surroundings on foreign soil, and grateful she survived this major catastrophe.”In a new culture, a new language, and a new situation all at the same time. I think it’ll make me a stronger better person, and like I said, right now I’m just living day to day.”
For nearly 20 years, the Animal Orphanage in Old Town has been taking in and caring for stray animals. Donations keep them going, and as they found out Tuesday, that help comes from donors of all ages.The Old Town-Orono Animal Orphanage is caring for about two dozen cats right now. Cats that are well taken care of until they find permanent homes, thanks to donors like these.First and third graders at Lewis Libby School in Milford have been collecting donations for the past two weeks.”We got over 225 dollars. People at the school that helped are very nice. Because I can tell they’re very good animal lovers, and they care about animals a lot,” says third grader, Haylee Hannan.Roberta Fowler with the Animal Orphanage says every dollar helps, since it costs a dollar just to take care of one cat for one day.”Our annual budget, we spend about 56, 57 thousand. We get four thousand from Old Town and four thousand from Orono. The rest we have to raise so it’s a big help, every cent we get,” Fowler says.She says with spring around the corner, the shelter will soon see many more kittens, and these donations are their essentials.”Dry food, moist food, paper towels, bleach, things that we use daily at the orphanage to take care of the animals. We gave them a ‘wish list’ to start with and I see boxes of toys for the animals and all kinds of different things,” Fowler says.”We just spread the word,” says third grader, Gabby McCullagh. “They like to play with toys. It keeps them busy for when they’re bored.”Fowler also took the opportunity to teach children about caring for animals, and to thank them for lending a hand.”They’ve done a great job,” she says. “And as I said to them, when you start when you’re young like that, it carries over into adulthood.”
Edgard Anziani will be returning to Maine in the next few weeks to face a murder charge.He made an appearance in a Maryland courtroom Tuesday after being arrested by FBI agents in that state Monday.He’s accused of killing a 1-year-old boy in Bangor last week.Police had responded to a home on Bald Mountain Drive and found Damien Lynn not breathing.27-year-old Anziani told police the infant fell down stairs. The medical examiners office says the boy died from trauma that was not accidental.”He did waive extradition and will be returning to the state of Maine within the next two weeks to be arraigned on a murder charge up here,” says Lt. Tim Reid, with Bangor Police.Anziani remains in FBI custody in Maryland.
Repeat Olympic gold medal winner Seth Wescott is heading back home to Maine this weekend.Folks will be welcoming the champion snowboarder Saturday at Sugarloaf, where he trains.Wescott won his second gold medal in snowboard cross two weeks ago, defending his title from four years ago.Things get going at Sugarloaf on Saturday at ten in the morning. A big party starts at one, and from two to four, Wescott will be signing autographs.
(AP) Supporters of a bill to require cell phones in Maine to carry warnings that they can cause brain cancer say the United States is lagging behind other countries that have endorsed warnings. The Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday opened a hearing on Rep. Andrea Boland’s bill, which would make Maine the first state to require manufacturers to put labels on phones and packaging warning of the potential for brain cancer. The Sanford Democrat says numerous studies point to the risk due to electromagnetic radiation. The cell phone industry opposes the bill. TechAmerica says scientific evidence does not back up claims of a risk and says warning labels would be misleading. Gov. John Baldacci’s administration also opposes the bill.