A group advocating for healthcare reform spent part of Monday afternoon in Bangor trying to get their message out.The group, known as Americans United for Change, has spent the summer collecting videos of Maine residents telling their personal stories about their dealings with insurance companies.On Monday, the videos were shown on a flat screen television at the corner of harlow and cumberland streets in Bangor.The group said they chose the location because it was near Senator Olympia Snowe’s office. “We want Senator Snowe to reach across party lines to work with the folks on the other side of the aisle and enact meaningful health insurance reform and bring some competition to the industry,” Said Frank Gallagher on Monday. Gallagher is the acting director of the Maine chapter of Americans United for Change.The group says reaction was almost all favorable.Congress continues to work on a healthcare reform bill.
Monday was the first day of Maine’s 2009 moose hunting season.The season’s first week ends Saturday, and the second week will be Oct. 12th-17th in a number of other areas of northern Maine.Permit holders will also be allowed to hunt moose in very select areas of southern Maine this year from Nov. 2nd-28th.Biologists estimate Maine’s moose population at 29,000 this year.
Four men accused of robbery were indicted on Monday.They are 21-year-old Jeremy Sigouin of Hampden, 20-year-old Richard Wentworth, 28-year-old Chad Theriault, and 24-year-old Ryan Gaudet, the latter three from Bangor.Police say the men picked up a 21-year-old victim, took him to a store in Brewer to cash his check, then went to a park on Court Street in Bangor to buy pot.Police say that’s when the men attacked and robbed the victim.The victim then jumped into the Kenduskeag Stream and floated to the back of the old police station, where he got out and sought help.
The second man charged in connection with the August murder of 19-year-old Holly Boutilier of Old Town has been indicted by a grand jury.27-year-old Justin Ptaszynski is charged with murder and hindering apprehension or prosecution. He was indicted Monday by the Penobscot County grand jury.34-year-old Colin Koehler of Bangor has already been indicted in this case.Boutilier’s body was found on the Bangor waterfront in August.Both Ptaszynski and Koehler are being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail.
Taxes will be the focus of debate in madison Monday night. Some residents are questioning the way their properties were assessed this year. Madison taxpayers were notified by town officials in August about a tax increase that may affect them. That notice relayed that taxes on buildings are up six percent, rural land values — up by ten percent and lakefront property are up by 20-percent. It’s because of those higher valuations that residents will see higher taxes, but some are questioning the increase.TV5 spoke with the Madison tax assessor who says the states 2008 property valuations did not accurately reflect sale prices and without this year’s adjustments, the board would not be able to keep its targeted ratio of 1-hundred percent, which is the goal. There is a public meeting set for 6 o’clock Monday at the former old point avenue school.
Country music fans who tuned into “The Bear” this morning woke up to a new morning show, and may have found one of the voices very familiar. “This was the first day today,” says Dupuis, “it went very well, it was surreal for both us.” The Paul and Kat show features country radio veteran Paul Dupuis, formerly of q 106.5, and Katrina Walls.After nearly a year out of radio, Dupuis remembered one thing about morning drive radio, “It was early….yeah mornings are early.”Dupuis had left radio for another opportunity, but couldn’t forget about radio. “It wasn’t in my heart and radio was chewing at me and as anyone in the radio business says, once it’s in your blood you’re trapped, you can never get out of it.”What can country fans expect from the new show? “The response has been great,” says Dupuis, “it’s just a load of fun, and what we do is just talk about ourselves and what we think Maine people are going to like from wacky stories, to what happens with us to keeping them updated with the stars.”They’re both hoping fans will appreciate having a local feel to their mornings. “It brings everything, the ability to interact with the show, to get your input on the show,” says Walls, “local weather, I mean I can open up the shades and see the weather, the same as you would so you don’t even have to get out of bed.””We’ll be able to relate to the audiences,” dupuis adds, “a syndicated show I guess the one advantage is they have they can have Carrie Underwood in the studio, hey she was invited this morning, we invited her, no calls, she never responded back, but maybe that will change.”
It was a year ago this week Congress approved and enacted the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.It was done in response to the subprime mortgage lending crisis.The Dean of the Business School at Husson University, Robert Kuhn says faculty members were wondering if it would be the start of something similar to the great depression.It didn’t get to that level and Kuhn says some of the leading indicators are saying we’re through the worst of it.But to say yes or no to the question of did the bailout work, he says it’s too complex to answer that way.”The main thing that it did do is it stabilized the downturn and it gave enough confidence in markets that the government would come up with a stabilizing program. That confidence is beginning to return, that’s what you have to do when you go through a situation like we went through in September when all the confidence in the market collapsed. It froze up, credit froze up, I mean money was not circulating.”Kuhn says a capitalist economy will not return completely until people start spending again, and there is still a lot of debt to work through both privately and in the government.
There’s been a lot of discussion about H1N1 flu and seasonal flu in recent days.Now the federal government is advising small businesses how they should handle the flu season and what they can do to keep their workplaces and employees healthy.” I think many small businesses owners take a wait and see attitude with something like this but they also the successful and realize the importance of the program,” said Umaine Economics Professor Jim McConnon.The Small Business Association along with the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security have put out a pamphlet that have a number of useful tips for business owners to have as we enter the flu season and most deal with having a healthy personal hygiene in the workplace.” They can do that for example by providing tissue to having hand sanitizers and encouraging employees to practice good personal hygiene,” said McConnon, who is also the Business and Economics Specialist with the UMaine Cooperative Extension. ” Sometimes business owners get busy doing what they do and you don’t realize that some of the basics are really important and just reminding them of that has been very positive.” ” Developing a publication, educational materials to help plan for that I think is very positive and again as I said this is the first time that I’ve seen it on this side.”Because in this tight economy with businesses working with as little wiggle room as possible one sickness can be difficult to deal with in the workplace according to McConnon.” The fact of the matter is if someone gets sick to the point where they’re really unable to work or they’ll spread this to other employees then there has to be a policy in place to have to deal with that.”To see the plan you can log on to the website www.sba.gov/flu .
Sheriff Donnie Smith has concerns over the future of the Washington County Jail. It stems from a letter sent by the Department of Corrections about budgeting for next year.Smith says his jail budget is already bare-bones this year.”I was running pretty efficiently, in my estimation. We have asked for no increases here. So now that the state has a financial crisis, they are tapping into county resources to balance their budget. I just think that’s unfair to taxpayers,” Smith says.The letter sent last week asks officials in every county to look at their current budgets and figure out how they might be able to keep jail operations at a certain level of expense.Smith says for him, that means a cut of 32-thousand dollars, and the only way he could do that would be to cut one of his corrections officers and reduce the inmate count.”It would be impossible for me to hold 42-45 inmates without the correct staff. It would be unsafe for the corrections officers and unfair for city taxpayers if something goes wrong,” Smith says.In Penobscot County, Sheriff Glenn Ross says they wouldn’t have to cut jobs to comply with the request, but they are looking at lean operations.”There already have been job losses. Three counties were downsized. You can only cannibalize a system so far and keep it going. So this is going to be a very difficult year for the powers that be in the budget process,” Ross says.Denise Lord with the Department of Corrections says the letter was only supposed to be an initial request for information.”The reaction may be premature, as the letter was clear. It talked about preliminary budgets and it was clear that the counties were to look at their corrections and only build in the costs associated with maintaining the status quo,” Lord says.”They have to fund it correctly so we can operate it safely. And I will stand by that,” Smith says.The state has asked for a response from county officials by October first.
A man from Augusta is facing charges in at least four residential burglaries over the past two weeks. Augusta Police charged Shaun Ross in burglaries that happened from mid to late September. Police say Ross made off with an estimated $9,000 in personal property, including jewelry and tools.In addition to the four burglary and theft charges, Ross is also charged with violation in condition of release, since he was out on bail conditions on an unrelated charge.
Five people were taken to the hospital Sunday after an accident in Bradford.We’re told none of their injuries appear to be life-threatening.Officials say around 2:30 Sunday afternoon a pick-up driven by 35-year-old Shawn Roy of Hermon failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Route 221 and the East Road.It collided with another pick-up, driven by 36-year-old Kelley Hall of Bradford. Hall had two passengers. All were taken by ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center.Roy had one passenger in his truck. Both were treated and released at EMMC.Both vehicles spun out of control and one truck rolled onto its side. Trapping some of its passengers inside.Lifeflight was called in for one of the truck’s passengers. No word on their condition.Officials say speed was a factor and charges could be pending against Roy.
New England’s largest greenhouse tomato grower is celebrating the first crop of tomatoes grown in its newly constructed greenhouse.Backyard Farms built its first greenhouse in the central Maine town of Madison back in 2006. The second glass-covered greenhouse is 18 acres, giving the company a total of 42 acres of greenhouses.Governor John Baldacci will be on hand Tuesday when the company celebrates the first harvest from its new structure.Since its first crop in 2007, Backyard Farms says it has grown more than 40 million pounds of tomatoes for sale across the northeast.The company hired 75 new employees this summer, bringing its work force up to 200.
One of the people charged in the home invasion and machete attack in Pittston has had a request granted for a new lawyer.19-year-old Leo Hylton is charged in the attack on the former lawmaker William Guerrette and his family last year.The Kennebec Journal reports that justice Nancy Mills told Hylton that given the serious charges he is facing, he should be comfortable with his court appointed lawyer.Hylton is charged along with his one-time foster brother, Daniel L. Fortune.Hylton already has pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder and one count each of robbery and burglary. The 21-year-old Fortune has pleaded not guilty to the charges he is facing.
Just across the street from the Common Ground fair in Unity Sunday, some alpaca farmers were celebrating, it was national alpaca farm day.Alpaca farms across the state opened their doors and welcomed visitors, to explain exactly what the alpaca lifestyle is all about, and the benefits of having the animals.The owners of Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm in Unity participated in the event.They say while rain did put a little bit of a damper on the day’s festivities. They were happy to talk to folks who are thinking of opening an alpaca farm since they say making the decision can be a big one. “I would say do your research, don’t just hear from one farm and think you know what you need to know, there is an incredible information online, do your research, do your reading, we actually researched for 3 years, volunteer on a farm if you can and go to as many farms as you can possibly visit,” Said Corry Pratt, co-owner of Northern Solstice.Pratt says her farm had around one-thousand visitors on Saturday alone. She attributes much of the crowd to the Common Ground fair across the street.
More than 150 young athletes showed up for the first-ever Cub Tracks Triathlon at U-Maine Sunday.The triathlon is hosted by Eastern Maine Medical Center for kids ages seven to thirteen.Organizers hope it becomes an annual event.They started the triathlon with a swim in the university pool, then took to bike trails behind the school, and finished up with a run and walk.A special attendee was gold medal winning olympic swimmer Ian Crocker.He says he loves to meet young athletes in his home state and get them excited about sports.Organizers say the triathlon is the first one for kids in this area, and they look forward to it becoming a yearly tradition. “I think this is extremely important because with all of our health care issues here in the united states that we’re trying to resolve, right now I think one of the most important things to teach is getting kids active at a young age,” Said Crocker, Sunday. “We had a lofty goal of 100 and at one point I didn’t think we were quite going to get to one hundred, but this past week we far exceeded our goal, with over 150 athletes,” Said Lisa Trimper, from EMMC.Ian Crocker says he saw some very promising young swimmers out there Sunday.Organizers say the triathlon is the first one for kids in this area, and they look forward to it becoming a yearly tradition.
There was a prize for the biggest dog and the waggiest tail.It was a dog show, put on by the Old Town-Orono animal orphanage.Folks entered their dogs into 15 different categories, from shortest dog, to longest tail.They asked the pups to show off their best tricks, and there also was a game of musical chairs.Each category cost a dollar to enter.Organizers say it’s not a serious type of dog show, but the proceeds do go to help a good cause. “We just wanted people to come out and have a good time, and show their dogs off is what we wanted to do,” Said Roberta Fowler of the Old Town Animal Orphanage. “And all the proceeds go to the orphanage to help take care of the animals that don’t have homes.”The Animal Orphanage is a no-kill shelter that takes in strays and houses them until they can find them “forever” homes.President Roberta Fowler says they’re currently housing 88 cats who are looking for homes.The dog show is now in its 16th year, and Fowler says it just gets better every year.
To those of our viewers wishing to watch their morning news over the airwaves, we are sorry, but technical difficulties have disrupted our off air signal. Crews are currently working on the problem, and hope to have it fixed soon. Cable customers are still able to receive WABI TV 5, but viewers that rely on antennas will be in the dark for a little while this Monday morning.Again we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, and will have the problem rectified shortly.
A group of 200 people took to the streets around the University of Maine Sunday, for an event called the Out of the Darkness Community Walk.The goal of the walk is to raise awareness and money for suicide prevention.Kylie Cole is a psychologist with the counseling center on the UMaine campus. She says suicide is an issue that doesn’t get discussed enough because it can seem so hard to talk about.But, both organizers of the event and those who’ve been touched by the issue personally say that talking about depression can help a lot. “Adolescents 15-24 are in the highest risk group for suicide. It’s the second leading cause of death for those students, so it’s really an important time to bring people’s awareness to it. It’s not something that people talk about,” Cole says.”If you open the lines of communication, you never know. You might be able to save someone you never even know you saved,” says Wanda Cunningham, of Orono.The Out of the Darkness Walk is an event taking place in more than 200-communities this fall.Proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, an organization that funds programs in research, education and awareness, while providing support to those affected by suicide.Cole says a good portion of the proceeds end up back in local communities.
According to jum Ahearn, the fair director at the Common Ground Fair, this may be the most unique event in Maine. “The Common Ground Fair is a traditional Maine fair in many respects,” he says, “it’s an agricultural fair, we’re here to celebrate the harvest of Maine.” On Sunday they brought the curtain down on the this year’s Common Ground Fair in Unity. This marks the 33rd year of this fall tradition here and the early numbers say it just may be the best. “This has been an amazing weekend,” Ahearne says, “it’s a little on the damp side today but yesterday was our biggest day ever, almost 26,000 people, and friday was the second biggest Friday ever.”This fair is known for bringing the people of maine a little closer together. “People making connections,” says Ahearne, “people getting to know who their farmer is, getting to know people where they can get advice and resources on, not just farming, we have artisans in a lot of different trades and crafts people here, furniture builders, fleece we have a tremendous fleece market, the whole gamut.”They also offer a food court serving primarily organic foods made from homegrown Maine products which means a big boost the food economy statewiede. “The food vendors here generate over $350,000 of direct buying from farmers and food processors right here in Maine, and that’s just on the wholesale level of what they’re doing to support Maine’s food economy.”Put it all together and the folks here have put on an event that has attracted the eyes of people from all over the country. “We’ve had guests that have come from Wisconsin,” Ahearne says, “we’ve had guests that have come from Georgia, from other organizations that have come here to figure out how can they do what MOFGA, Maine Organic Farmers Association, is doing here with the Common Ground Fair, it’s a truly unique event.”
Do you use TD Banknorth for your banking business?Well on Monday that will be different.This weekend bank officials are changing out the 6,600 signs in the 426 branches across New England and upstate New York to represent their new name.They will be TD Bank.The name change is the final step as it becomes one company with New Jersey based commerce bank.TD Bank Financial Group which is the parent company of TD Banknorth acquired Commerce Bancorp for eight point five billion dollars earlier this year. The newly merged company will be headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and in Portland, Maine.