The son of a Monmouth woman has been charged with her murder.State Police have arrested 43-year-old Kenneth McDonald of Monmouth in connection with the death of his 80-year-old mother.Janice McDonald was found dead in her home on Highland Terrace around 5-o’clock Monday evening.Neighbors say Janice McDonald’s body was discovered by her grandson when he went to check on her Monday evening.Kenneth McDonald also lived at the house, and police say he did not show up for work Tuesday morning.Neighbors of Janice McDonald speak fondly of her and say she will be missed in this small, tight-knit, community. “A real great lady, sweet lady, always cared about other people, most of the time would walk to church, walk back home,” Said Janice McDonald’s pastor, Edward Spencer. “In the wintertime she made great friends here.” “I was obvious that something was up,” Edythe Morin, the McDonald’s neighbor said on Tuesday. “She was very habitual. She didn’t open the curtains above her sink and she wasn’t out. My mom had to bring Kenny to an appointment, so she called her and then there was no answer.”Police gathered evidence from the home overnight. they’ve also questioned neighbors, family, and friends.An autopsy was done on Tuesday by the state medical examiner’s office, the results have not been released yet.Kenneth McDonald was taken into custody on Baily Island in Harpswell Tuesday afternoon.He is currently being held at the Kennebec County Jail in Augusta, and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday or Thursday in Kennebec Superior Court.
A new restaurant is opening in downtown Bangor.The Fiddlehead Restaurant on Hammond Street had a ribbon cutting ceremony Today.It’s the first time owning a business for Melissa Chaiken and Laura Albin, but they’ve both been working in the restaurant business for years.They say they wanted to bring an elegant but casual eatery to the Bangor area, with local produce and meats.And, they want folks to be able to dine out often without breaking the bank.They’re also hoping to help out other businesses in downtown Bangor.”I think as far as increasing business increasing foot traffic it’s going to help everybody out. The more that move in the more people are going to to want to be downtown and walk around and check out more places so the more variety the better. And if we can be on the beginning of that local movement we want to be right in the forefront”The Fiddlehead Restaurant is open for dinner seven days a week.
There are a lot of rough roads in the region.Sections of Route Two through Hermon is high on that list.And a lot of folks who use it are upset the state isn’t doing more to fix it.Meghan Hayward has the story.”It is a vital road to the economics of the Bangor Region and it we’re not careful, it’s going to continue to hurt our economy. We need to make investments in our infrastructure and Route 2 is a vital part of it.”It’s a road Hermon Town Manager Clint Deschene says has not had any major construction in over fifty years.Deschene says an improvement project due to begin in September was originally under-funded at one million dollars, and that has since been reduced to a quarter of a million.Deschene says the DOT just continues to fix small patches to the bangor town line.”We know the base is built out of a concrete road and that concrete road is destroyed and they’ve never rebuilt it correctly. They just started paving on top of it. It needs to be dug up and started over.”Deschene says this year, the town will see testing results from the state on use of the road by heavy trucks, but it won’t give an accurate illustration of the damage done.”We’ve had a lifetime of those heavy weighted trucks going from Newport to Bangor North destroying the road and making it not safe for people to drive on.”Deschene says he’s flooded with phone calls from angry residents who have to travel along the six mile stretch of road daily.”It’s Terrible, it’s been bad for a couple years now. There’s potholes everywhere.””Ruining my tires for one thing. That my car will come out of alignment.”The condition of the road has even forced some folks to take alternate routes.”And when I go to Bangor, which is often, I either go the Fuller Road or I go down 69 and take the interstate.””Every time I can I travel down the Fuller Road because it’s a lot smoother.”So what’s the town’s next move?”Meet as a council and send more letters to the Commission and State Representatives that the project needs funding now.”Our attempts to get a response from the Maine Department of Transportation on the situation in Hermon were unsuccessful.
The Pine tree Chapter of the Red Cross has won a much needed grant to help with their disaster response services. The Stephen and Tabitha King foundation has awarded them a $150,000 grant.The Pine Tree Chapter receives no money from the national office of the Red Cross or the federal or state government. They’re funded entirely by doantions and grants from foundations like the King’s.$25,000 of the grant will go directly to disaster relief funding, the rest of the money will be spread out between the other services they provide, including services provided to active military personnel and their families. “For our troops either deployed stateside or overseas,” says Shannon Flavin Cox Executive Director of the Pine Tree Chapter, “in order for them to be able to communicate to their family members in the event of an emergency, that communication has to be passed through the Red Cross, so we provide that service and we also provide emergency military loans to military families who are in need.”The Pine Tree chapter also provides health and safety training to around 12,000 people in Maine free of charge.
Retail giant Walmart has struck a deal with JSI Store Fixtures in Milo that has the folks here, including Executive Vice President Mark Awalt, buzzing with excitement. “It’s work that we know what’s coming,” says Awalt, “we know the quantity to prepare for, we know which months we’re going to manufacture the stuff, you know there’s just a lot of benefits to winning a contract like this.”JSI is a custom manufacturer of store displays and they’ve done work on a smaller scale for Walmart in the past. It’s obvious Walmart liked what they saw. It’s not just Walmart, despite a tough economy, JSI has been busy adding other new and lucrative clients as well. “For me to say the recession hasn’t impacted us at all would be false,” says Awalt, “it has impacted us, but fortunately for JSI, yeah some of our existing customers have pulled their capital business expenditures back a little bit, but we’ve added 4 or 5 new customers this year.”When the company first moved to Milo in 2001, they employed 35 people. Thanks to these new contracts, in 2010 there will be nearly 140 people working at this facility. “We’ve increased our customer base every single year,” says Awalt, “so in the 19 years we’ve been in business, we’ve increased our sales 17 of 19 years.”The folks here are hoping this is just the beginning. “We’re hoping that $750,000 of revenue from Walmart this year or in 2010, may turn into $2 or $3 million a couple of years later.”That’s the kind of repeat business the people at JSI have grown accustomed to seeing. “We’ve been fortunate never to have lost a customer,” says Awalt, “so once we’re able to secure the business, once we’re able to deliver quality products by the time and date the customer requests, we pretty much keep the business.”
Maine State Police are investigating the suspicious death of an 80-year-old woman who was found in her home in Monmouth.Spokesman Steve McCausland said Janice McDonald was found by relatives at about 5 p.m. Monday. McCausland said detectives were awaiting word from the State’s Medical Examiner on results from an autopsy that was completed Tuesday.McCausland said police were planning to question McDonald’s 43-year-old son, Kenneth McDonald, who lived with her but went missing Monday morning.Police located the son in another town in Maine on Tuesday.Detectives spent the night gathering evidence from inside the one story house and have questioned family, neighbors and friends of the woman.
A program to help students in Maine pay for college will get some help from a yard sale Saturday.The Pine Tree State Scholarship Association raises money and awards scholarships.The combination yard and garage sale will be held Saturday at 49 Verrill Road in Pownal. It starts at 9 and ends at 3.There will be clothes, a host of household items, and even some furniture at the sale.
If you’re looking for low cost dental care, you might want to check out the University College of Bangor. That school is opening its dental clinic next week.All dental hygiene services are offered from September through April, at reduced costs.Services include oral cancer screenings, cleanings, x-rays, fluoride, and sealants.It’s provided by dental hygiene students under the close supervision of faculty.For more information you can call the clinic at 262-7872.
Maine will soon have a new Supreme Court justice.On Monday the Maine Senate confirmed the appointment of Superior Court justice Joseph Jabar of Waterville for a seat on the Supreme Judicial Court. Jabar’s scheduled to be sworn in next week by Gov. John Baldacci.Jabar replaces justice Robert Clifford, who will serve as active retired associate justice.Also confirmed on Monday were about three dozen appointments to a variety of state offices that include the courts, university trustee boards, labor and gambling boards.Baldacci’s nominees for the community college system, Maine Maritime, labor relations, and gambling control boards won confirmation.
Fire investigators say a malfunctioning laptop computer sparked a fire in an apartment building on Stillwater Avenue in Old Town Sunday night.We’re told there were three apartments in the building, only two were occupied, and no one was home at the time.The fire started in apartment number one.Crews from Old town, Orono, Glenburn, and Milford all responded.Firefighters arrived on scene to see heavy smoke showing from the living room area. “It was going up the side of the building, lapping at the eaves,” Recalled Old Town Fire Fighter Mike Hildreth. “We made an aggressive attack through the front door, knocked most of the heavy fire down. We spent three or four hours chasing it through the attic.”A cat died in the fire.The displaced tenants, including a student from U Maine, are staying with friends.
A bomb threat closed the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Sunday.The observation tower on the bridge and Fort Knox State Park were evacuated.Observatory attendant Ted Cooke said that shortly before three Sunday afternoon he spotted a scrap of paper in a stairwell which read: “This is no joke…a bomb will go off at 4 pm. Be warned.” Cooke is also a Stockton Springs firefighter.He called it in to the authorities.About fifteen visitors were in the tower, and about 200 people were at Fort Knox at the time. The bridge was shut down for about 25 minutes. No explosives were found.
Some friends of Winterport Dragway driver Al Cormier are doing something to help him out.Al’s battling some medical issues, and friends are putting on a buffet style benefit dinner for him.It will be served up at Winterport Dragway this Saturday, the 29th, dinner begins at five.There’s also a quilt up for raffle at the dinner. Admission is by donation.
A man from Surry accused of sex crimes remains free on bail after a court appearance.38-year-old Jerome Millay is accused of unlawful sexual contact with a minor.His accuser says it happened in Millay’s home eight years ago.Millay is due back in court on September 18th to be arraigned.Until then he is to have no contact with the reported victim or anyone under the age of eighteen.
The man accused of killing a woman on the Bangor Waterfront earlier this month has been indicted by a grand jury.34-year-old Colin Koehler of Bangor allegedly killed 19-year-old Holly Boutilier of Old Town on August 8th.The police affidavit says Boutilier died from multiple stab wounds to her abdomen, and a laceration to her neck.Koehler was arrested after a police standoff on August 11th, and is currently being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail.
Higher than normal surf drew crowds to Acadia National Park again today.The same site of a horrible accident just 24 hours earlier.Joy Hollowell talked with visitors as well as park officials about the tragedy near Thunder Hole.++++++++++”Well, we were going by and we heard about what happened.”Visitors to Acadia National Park swapped stories Monday of what had happened here just 24 hours earlier.Around noon Sunday, a storm surge from Hurricane Bill washed seven people into the water. Earlier reports put the crowd at Thunder Hole, but Chief Park Ranger Stuart West says the observation deck was actually closed because of the dangerous surf.”But beyond that, in the undeveloped area, the natural area of the park, that’s where people were along the shore path and down towards the ocean when this happened,” says Chief West.West says folks were up on a cliff about 20 feet above sea level.”A wave crashed down, foam and everything washed up to where they were at ankle deep or so. They immediately turned around and started retreating towards Ocean Drive, and as they did, their backs were turned to the ocean and another wave came, much larger and swept them back into the ocean,” says Chief West.Four people were pulled back on shore, but three others were swept out to sea. Chief West says the victims were in the 55 degree water for about 20 minutes before a Coast Guard boat arrived.”Once we got on scene, we were in seas approximately 15 to 17 feet. When we recovered the first individual, once we located the second individual, we grabbed a hold of him and then west to Seal Harbor,” says Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class James Rhodes.The Coast Guard released rescue vide of 55-year-old Peter Axilrod of New York City. Sadly, his seven year old daughter, Clio drowned before crews could get to her. Another girl, 12-year old Simone Pelletier of Belfast did survive the rescue. She was taken to MDI hospital with non-life threatening injuries.Chief West defended the park’s decision to stay open on Sunday. He says signs warning of dangerous surf were posted and Sand beach along with Thunder Hole were blocked off to visitors.”We have over 15 miles of shoreline in Acadia National Park, just between MDI and Schoodic. So we close one section, say ocean drive, all it does it push people into other areas. We’d prefer to know where people are located rather than try to guess. They were going to the shore no matter what, it was like bugs to a light, literally,” says Chief West.Joy Hollowell, Wabi TV 5 News, Acadia National Park.>========The man rescued by Coast Guard crews, Peter Axilrod, along with his wife, Sandra Kuhach, are still hospitalized at Eastern Maine Medical Center.No word on their conditions.An examination at Mount Desert Island Hospital Monday concluded that their daughter, seven year old Clio, died of drowning.
One of the world’s most famous defense lawyers is in Maine. F. Lee Bailey defended O.J. Simpson among his high profile cases. Today he was at the Waterville Rotary Club not to defend anyone, but rather to push a program aimed at helping prisoners trasition to freedom. Bailey believes in a program that gives inmates educational tools and skill training in jail that let’s them trasition into a job with a participating business upon release. Bailey spoke about Minnesota’s Amicus program, in which he would like to see Mainers duplicate. The program Amicus is a Minnesota not-for-profit organization with over 41 years of experience in improving public safety by helping inmates and ex-offenders through positive relationship-building, restorative justice practices and individualized transition services.Through innovative programming, Amicus helps inmates and ex-offenders reshape their lives, reach their goals, and make successful transitions from prison into the community. All of the Amicus programs are relationship-based, community-driven, culturally specific and outcome-oriented.Bailey called upon dozens of Central Maine business owners and community leaders to step up to the plate and support a program like Amicus. In 2007, Maine spent $144 million on corrections and had 58% percent of those incarcerated in 2004 return to jail in 2008. Bailey is a firm believer that if a program that encourages success is put in place those numbers will decrease saving money while it improves lives at the same time.
For a couple of years, officials in the town of Lincoln have been working to get surveillance cameras up and running to keep an eye on things downtown. But the plan hit a few bumps along the way.Councilor Stephen Clay says petty crime was why officials wanted cameras on Main Street.”There was just a lot of vandalism. We wanted a way to be able to see the vandalism take place, know who did it. So that’s how it all started,” Clay says.But the wireless system they installed this winter hit a big snag – interference from other wireless devices.”Cell phones, CBs, whenever one of those is activated the signal cut out and has to be reset in the building. So if it’s 2 a.m., and someone uses a cell phone, it resets it and there wouldn’t be a recording. The feed would be cut off,” Clay says.That’s why last week cameras weren’t recording when police say a fight broke out in this parking lot. A man passing through town died from a heart attack shortly afterward. An investigation is ongoing.”That incident last week could have been caught on tape and there’d be no question what happened,” he says.While a nearby business did catch some of it on tape, Town Manager Lisa Goodwin says a few people have asked why town cameras aren’t yet reliable.”They certainly are a resource for our police protection, while they’re doing their investigative work, to have something you can rely on,” Goodwin says.Councilors have been evaluating several options to improve reliability by running a new fiber optic system. The choices range in the thousands of dollars – costly – but officials say, an asset to the town. They’re set to choose a plan next month.”I want them running,” Goodwin says. “We’ve put them up, we’ve gone to the expense of purchasing them. I certainly want them running and useful.”
A group supporting President Obama’s healthcare reform may be coming to a living room near you. A grassroots project called Organizing For America has been setting up roundtable discussion groups in private homes. Today they held a discussion in Bangor at the home of Molly Goode. Goode’s son, Adam, represents District 15 of Bangor in the House of Representatives.State Senator Joe Perry was a part of the panel along with residents who shared their stories regarding healthcare and also discussed, what they say, is an urgent need for healthcare reform. “It’s on the front burner,” says Senator Perry, “it’s a serious problem that we’re facing, you know, healthcare costs and I came here because I want to hear the stories and I know this is a federal issue but it certainly affects every Mainer.”Director of the project, Julian Federle, says they’re trying to get the facts about healthcare reform out there, as well as provide a civilized forum for debate. “The fact is I think Mainers are very interested in this debate,” says Federle, “they’re more interested in sitting down and having a discussion like this one then they are about screaming and shouting.”
Last Wednesday the computer system at the Penobscot County Federal Credit Union went down, leaving members and staff unable to access any accounts. “I was trying to get the specifics on a loan and all they could give me was the routing number for the bank but they couldn’t give me the interest rate or my monthly payment,” says Neil Clark of Old Town, a member of the credit union.Steve Baillargeon the President and CEO of the credit union says it hasn’t been easy, but they have managed to stay open for business. “We’ve actually been open for business the entire time,” he says, “we’ve been allowing deposits and withdrawals to occur in a manual function not our typical computer function.” Members have still been able to withdraw some money. By bringing in a paystub they can withdraw money based on what the paystub shows. “But if someone has a direct deposit paycheck or something we’ve been providing them with their normal cash withdrawal if they want it that way,” says Baillargeon. The folks at the credit union also told me some of their members are so recognizable to the tellers, they’ve allowed them to withdraw money because they have a pretty good idea how much they have in their accounts.Members can still use their debit cards as well. If there’s a problem, the credit union can manually adjust the account balance to show a deposit that has not processed yet. Some members were concerned the checks they had written might bounce, but Baillargeon says that’s not the case. “The checks have not bounced,” he says, “because they have not been able to clear because of the hardware problem doesn’t allow them to clear so that is not correct.”The folks at the credit union expect to have the problem fixed by tuesday and all of the back transactions will be made. “We’re going to make all of the normal deposits and our normal daily processing will occur in sequential order,” says Baillargeon, “so whatever would have happened is still going to happen once the computer comes back online.” He also says most members have been understanding of the problem. “The members that we’ve actually been dealing with on a daily basis have actually felt kind of bad for us,: he says, “because they realize there are a bunch of us who have worked 75 hours in the 2 or 3 days so most people have been understanding.” You can count Neil Clark among those who are understanding. “I figured they would be more upset than I would,” says Clark, “you know if I needed money and they wouldn’t give it to me I’d be upset but it’s the other people that I’d be worried about.”
There aren’t many days left of summer vacation for kids now.Most schools will be starting up next week.On Sunday, kids at the Maine Discovery Museum in downtown Bangor made dreamcatchers to soak up the final days of sleeping in and no homework.The folks at the museum know that the summer season is ending for them.Summer camp just ended last week.Abby Leblanc from the discovery museum says the sunny days this summer have typically been slow, but on the rainy days they’ve been busy.Making these dreamcatchers was a chance to get the kids minds in gear before the school year starts.”Basically we’ve made the frames and they’re going to decorate them with feathers and it’s really important to get their wheels turning and have them create and do their own thing with what ever they can,” Said Leblanc.For more information or a schedule of events you can log on to their website at www.mainediscoverymuseum.org