Lee Retreat Helps Grieving Military Families Find Support

Updated 5 years ago

Two years after their son was killed in Iraq, the parents of a Lee man are working to help other military families dealing with loss. On Wednesday, they received support that will allow them reach even more people.Sgt. Joel House was 22-years old when he was killed while serving in Iraq. It was at a memorial service when his parents, Paul and Dee, realized it helped to talk to other families who’d lost loved ones overseas.”It was just a great sense of, we’re not alone. We’re not the only ones crying at night, remembering our sons and daughters. That brought comfort to our family. I thought – there’s got to be something we can do, to help other families,” Paul House says.So, they started “A House in the Woods,” a small retreat for military families and veterans at their home in Lee.Paul says it’s a place where people can visit to find peace in the outdoors, and comfort from others who know what they’re going through.”If they want to talk about their loved one, they can. If they don’t, that’s OK. I think the therapy is just being together and realizing that they’re not alone, and we’re not alone. And if they cry, that’s OK,” Paul says.The retreat offers outdoor programs like hiking, canoeing and fishing, and other activities.”I think it’ll be a great help to people. I know it has been to me,” says Lee resident Bill Emery. His son also died while serving in Iraq. “We’ve spent a lot of time together and it helps both of us, to just talk. And talk about everything.”Paul was presented with a 10-thousand dollar check from Wal-Mart, and a 10-thousand dollar grant from the state to help the program grow.”He said, ‘Thank you for being here,’” Governor Baldacci said Wednesday, referring to Paul. “And I said, ‘Thank you for being here for all of us.’”Paul also credits Sen. Elizabeth Schneider with helping to raise awareness for their program.”I told him I thought he had a great idea, bringing people not only from Maine, but eventually and hopefully bringing people from outside Maine and introducing them to the Maine experience,” Schneider says.Paul and Dee say their goal is to raise enough money to buy a piece of land for a larger camp, to lend support to more families and veterans.

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Both Sides Debate Tabor In Brewer

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

Round one in the battle over Tabor took place in Brewer today and both sides came out swinging. Weighing in for those in favor of the “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” were Steve Bowen of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, and State Representative Carol Weston of Distrrict 23 (Waldo County). For the opposition it was Representative Jim Martin of District 18, and Chrostopher “Kit” St. John Executive Director of Maine Center for Economic Development. “From our point of view it’s the same bad idea Maine voters rejected back in 2006,” says St. John. Proponents say things have changed since voters rejected Tabor back in three years ago. “Well I think people have had a longer time to wait for those promises to be fulfilled,” says Rep. Weston, “they have been promised over and over.”Both sides spoke about what they see for Maine if Tabor 2 is passed in November. “For the long term we’re concerned for all municipalities being second guessed in their present decision making process,” says St. John, “and overlaying that process with a cumbersome and expensive referendum on any budget they decide should go over the limit.”Rep. Weston has served in the State Legislature for the past 12 years and she says something has been missing in Augusta. “One of the things that seems to have escaped us there is tying what people earn, what struggles their having at home to what we’re spending in Augusta.”Colorado had adopted Tabor in 1992 and both sides disagree on how effective it’s been. “You know Colorado, before they put Tabor in place in 1992, was about 29th or 30th in per capita income and by 2002 they had gone up to about 3rd, now they’re at 12th,” says Bowen, “in 1992 Maine was 35th in per capita income and today we’re 35th we’ve kind of flat lined.” Representative Martin also points out that Colorado voters voted to suspend Tabor. “But they did vote to suspend it,” he says, “that suspension is up next year and they just did a Republican poll in Colorado to see where the voters were and the majority agreed that they want Tabor gone because they lived with the consequences for 12 years.”While both sides say they want what’s best for Maine hey both have very different ideas of how to get the job done. “It is designed to shrink government year after year,” says Representative Martin, “because the purpose of Tabor, or those that have proposed it or developed it, are those who don’t believe in government, don’t believe in taxes and this is a designed way to impede government from doing it’s job and that’s providing necessary services to Maine people.” The proponents have their idea of how to fix the struggling economy in Maine. “It really goes back to two different philosophies about how to develop prosperity in Maine,” says Bowen, “we think you develop prosperity by limiting the growth of government by investing in the private sector, getting the private sector to create jobs.”We can all expect this debate to last clear to November, when the voters will make the ultimate decision.

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Energy Company Helps Schools, Towns Convert to Wood Burning

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

An energy company in Sumner wants to helps schools and public buildings stay warm and go green.Skanden Energy installs heating systems that run on wood. The company is currently converting oil burning systems to wood pellet boilers at Strong and Kingfield Elementary schools. Skanden worked with MSAD 58 to snag $1 million in federal funding for the projects.Superintendent Quenten Clark says the high school already burns wood for fuel and it’s made quite a difference.”We got stability in prices, we got money kept locally, we got better heat for our kids and like I say, it’s amazing how little smoke the wood burner produces, its far less than oil burners.”Skaden spokesperson Dan Cashman says, “Maine residents and consumers spend about a billion dollars overseas in heating costs alone. That money can stay in the state of Maine we we just being to start converting some of these facilities over to something that can be beneficial to the state.”More than $11 million in federal money is available in Maine for wood-to-energy projects in schools and public buildings.

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Harrington Man Recovering from Lung Transplant

Updated 5 years ago

A young man from Harrington is now off life support, after undergoing a lung transplant on September 28.When he was just 2 months old, Brandon Beal was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, a condition that limits him from being very active.Friends and family of Brandon have been raising money for him through several fundraisers.A family friend tells us Brandon was taken off a ventilator last Friday.

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Ellsworth Students Celebrate International Walk and Bike to School Day

Updated 5 years ago

The rainy weather didn’t keep some Ellsworth students from walking to school today.About 650 students from the elementary and middle schools celebrated International Walk and Bike to School Day.Meghan Hayward caught up with the kids along their route.Ellsworth students in kindergarten through eighth grade hit the streets on foot in celebration of International Walk and Bike to School Day.They all met at two locations, one being the high school, then headed to either the elementary or middle school.”We really want to raise awareness about walkable communities. Our goal is that walking to school wouldn’t be an event but the norm.”Kelly McKenney, Health Coordinator for the Ellsworth Schools, says kids are not moving enough these days.McKenney says this event will get them on the right track.”We know that physical activity in the morning raises test scores. Kids do better academically when they’ve had physical activity in the morning. So if we can get kids up and walking to school in the morning it can make a huge difference.”Ninth grader Rachael Searchfield helped make sure the younger kids made it to school safely. She was happy to take part in the event.”Pretty important for exercise and just the experience of walking to school.”Seventh-grader Nathan King says he and a few of his friends walk to school often.But his favorite part about today’s walk.”Jumping in the puddles.”Fourth-grader Ashton Gardner liked being at the front of the line.”Because you got to lead them wherever you go.”McKenney says they’re planning another walk in the spring, then they’ll build from there.”And then hopefully our plan is to have a scheduled once a month walk to school day and have the kids know it’s coming and look forward to it every month.”

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Grand Jury Indicts Milbridge Woman for Stealing from Purses

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

The Hancock County grand jury handed up an indictment of a woman from Milbridge, accused of stealing from purses during a high school graduation.Police say in June, 35-year-old Erica Atcherson was caught rifling through purses left in the Ellsworth High School cafeteria while seniors received their diplomas elsewhere in the building.School staff members called police after spotting her in the cafeteria. Atcherson was arrested at a nearby mall.Police say they recovered $381, as well as driver’s licenses, gift cards, clothing, a digital camera, a cell phone, and an i-pod.

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Stonington Man Indicted in Car Chase

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

The Hancock County grand jury indicted a man from Stonington accused of going more than 100 miles per hour during a car chase with police.18-year-old Davis Bradshaw is charged with criminal speeding, driving to endanger and eluding an officer.Police say in June they tried to stop Bradshaw in Blue Hill. But he took off, leading officers through three towns before his car hit a spike mat in Sedgwick.

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Woman Charged with Hit and Run in Lincolnville

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A woman from Lincolnville is charged in connection with a hit and run that injured a teenage boy. Waldo County deputies arrested 35-year-old Tiffeny Green last night. She’s charged with driving to endanger, failure to report an accident and leaving the scene of an accident. Police say Green ran into 17-year-old Andrew Widdecomb Monday night while he was walking with a friend along the Heal Road in Lincolnville.Widdecomb was thrown about 10feet and landed in a ditch.He’s recovering at home from his injuries. Green was released from the Waldo County Jail today on $2,000 bail. She’s due back in court next month.

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L.L. Bean to Close Waterville Call Center

Updated 5 years ago

L.L. Bean says it is closing its call center in Waterville next spring. Spokeswoman Carolyn Beem says that the Freeport-based clothing and outdoor-goods retailer will consolidate its Waterville call center operations with its other call centers in Portland, Bangor and Lewiston. The Waterville center opened 12 years ago. It employs about 200 people year-round and about 500 more during the Christmas season. It is slated to close at the end of April. Beem said the year-round employees will be offered jobs at L.L. Bean’s other call centers, and about 100 may be able to work out of their homes as part of a test program.

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EMS Save ATV Rider’s Life

Updated 5 years ago

Team work by Fire and EMS workers in Warren helped save a man’s life early Wednesday morning.Knox County dispatchers got a 911 call just before midnight of an ATV that had rolled over somewhere in the woods.Two people were on the machine at the time, and one of them was hurt.Dispatchers were able to track the location through the caller’s cellphone.Fire fighters and emergency medical service workers had to carry the victim about a mile out of the woods on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.There has been no word yet on the condition of the rider. Their name has not yet been released.

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Early Morning Fire in Bucksport

Updated 5 years ago

Crews from Bucksport and neighboring towns were out battling a house fire on Coleman Lane Wednesday morning.The call came in just before 7 am.The home was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived on the scene, reports say that the building collapsed soon afterwards.No one was reportedly inside the residence at the time.We have a crew on the scene and will bring you more information during our TV5 news at noon.

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Credit Classes Offered For Free

Updated 5 years ago

The Maine Centers for Women and Community are offering folks a chance to fix their credit, and possibly win a $250 grant in the process.They are offering free classes designed to help people get their credit in order.If you successfully complete the class, and make a financial plan, you will be eligible to apply for a $250 grant.Ten grants will be awarded statewide.For all the information you can call Jane Searles at 262-7843. Or send her an email at

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Missing Boater from Freeport

Updated 5 years ago

Coast Guard crews are searching by land and by air at this hour, for a missing boater in the Bar Harbor region of Frenchman’s Bay and Eastern Bay.Dr. Jon Myers of Freeport was last seen leaving Hancock Point in a 12-foot motorized skiff around 3 yesterday afternoon.He was heading back to Salsbury Cove after dropping off a sailboat.Earlier this morning, officials discovered Myer’s boat…A friend of Myers tells TV5 they were suppose to have dinner together last night and Myers never made it.Several of Myers friends are searching the waters off Lamoine Beach.Myers has a vacation home along the beach.The Marine Patrol, several area fire departments, and local fisherman are also aiding in the search.And right now the coast guard has a helicopter from Cape Cod out and a 47 foot boat from Southwest Harbor.Lamoine Harbor Master David Herrick says the weather and wind conditions make the search even more difficult.He says they are having to cover quite a large area of water too.” But later on we found he went to Hancock to the marina and started from Hancock back to Salsbury Cove and that’s quite a strip of water. Between Lamoine Beach to Salsbury Cove wouldn’t have been a bad shot but when he broke down around Hancock Point and the way the wind was yesterday, westerly it was quite rough out there all day.”Myers is described as six feet tall with brown hair.He was last reported wearing a green fleece and blue jeans.Anyone with any information regarding his whereabouts is urged to call the Coast Guard 767-0302.

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Winslow Crash

Updated 5 years ago

Fire and rescue crews from Waterville and Winslow had a busy afternoon Tuesday.Both departments received reports of an accident around 11:30 Tuesday morning.One happened at the intersection of Carter Memorial Drive and the China Road in Winslow.Officials say 93-year-old Kenneth Clark of Winslow was driving his Jeep when he went through a stop sign.Witnesses say the vehicle was going around 50 miles-per-hour when it went off the road and down a steep embankment, into a brook.Naomi Clark was also in the Jeep.Authorities tell us both suffered rib injuries and were taken to a hospital.First responders on the scene say the two were wearing their seatbelts.

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Keith’s Korner: Baton Twirling

Updated 5 years ago

Need something for your kid to do to get through the winter months? How about six weeks of baton twirling?The course is being offered by the Park and Rec Departments of Bangor and Augusta.”As soon as you catch it ….do a neck wrap… from the neck wrap to the allusions to the ice cream scoop, the terminology is the only thing easy about this sport.””Oh it definitely is a sport, it’s a combination of dance gymnastics coordination…I have broken more bones twirling than I have playing soccer, I played varsity soccer in high school. Never was I more hurt than in twirling, it takes a lot of dedication practice and self motivation.”And it’s the goal of Andrea Fletcher, the coach of the Central Maine Twirling Core to get you involved.”Start very very young 4, 5, 6-years-old, and right up through and it takes a lot of dedication and practice.The Twirling Core is backed by the Bangor and Augusta Rec Departments, and the Mainiacs are the travel component of this program.”Well the competitions are so much fun you make so many friends and you get to travel everywhere…and show off the sport to everyone..””Get to travel last year we were in the national cherry blossom festival parade in Florida… and those are the kids that we travel around with and they eventually put in a lot of practice time and they are very dedicated to the sport.”A lot of people think it’s easy just like twirling a stick around but it’s not.And you have to perform, which can be hard…if you think your child is interested contact the Bangor or Augusta Parks and Rec Departments.

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Children Learn About Domestic Violence

Updated 5 years ago

It may sound unusual to hear preschoolers learning about domestic violence awareness, but that’s exactly what was going on at the Building Blocks Preschool in Augusta on Tuesday.October is domestic violence awareness month.Hillary Wing is a youth educator with the Family Violence Project, which serves Kennebec and Somerset Counties.She’s visiting all kinds of schools with a message for young kids: “When you think about preventing domestic violence sometimes people assume we only visit the high schools but we do want to start as early as possibly so you don’t go and talk to 3 and 4-year-old about domestic violence however you do talk about them about sharing and it’s ok to share ideas and feelings and toys. We also share with them that it’s ok not to share some things like toothbrushes, hats and what not.”The class lasted about an hour.This group of 3 to 5-year-olds all received teddy bears afterwards.

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Maine Soldier Killed

Updated 5 years ago

A soldier from South Portland was among eight service members killed in an attack in Afghanistan Saturday, in what’s being called the deadliest assault against U.S. forces in more than a year.Taliban militants attacked American and Afghan troops in Nuristan Province Saturday, opening fire on the outpost from multiple locations with rockets, mortars and heavy caliber machine guns.Army Sgt. Joshua Kirk, of South Portland was among those who died.His flag draped coffin arrived at Dover Air Force base in Delaware Tuesday, with the bodies of several other soldiers.

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Christian Action Network Sues Maine

Updated 5 years ago

The Christian Action Network is suing the state, saying they were denied the group a charitable license for a fundraising letter that talked about privileges it says were given to Muslims in America.They claim the state violated their right to free speech under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.Maine Assistant Attorney General Thomas Knowlton says he hasn’t seen the complaint, but he doesn’t believe the state violated the group’s rights.The network is asking a federal court to find the Maine Charitable Solicitation Act unconstitutional.The group says its letter was “an informational and educationalpacket alerting citizens to the remarkable privileges afforded thereligion of Islam in American public schools and universities.”

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Moores Conviction Upheld

Updated 5 years ago

A Bangor man serving a life sentence for rape and murder has lost his appeal to Maine’s highest court.61-year-old Ashton Moores was convicted in November of raping and murdering a woman in his apartment in 2007.Moores appealed the conviction, claiming the evidence was mostly circumstantial and didn’t support a conviction.The Maine Supreme Judicial Court reviewed the findings, and ruled that the evidence was sufficient to support a guilty verdict for Moores.

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Wind Energy Draws Attention in Augusta

Updated 5 years ago

A wind energy expert says an upgraded power transmission system is needed if Maine is to achieve its goals for generating that renewable energy source. Larry Flowers of the National Wind Technology Center also told the 350 people attending a conference Tuesday on wind energy in Maine that transmission infrastructure is a problem all over the country as wind power develops. Gov. John Baldacci, who opened the daylong conference, said he wants Maine to be the first state to develop offshore wind power. He also agreed that a transmission upgrade is critical to wind power development. The conference drew about a dozen demonstrators. A leader, Steve Thurston of Roxbury, who said erecting all the windmills needed to meet Maine’s goals will have a devastating impact on the state’s mountains.

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