A man who wants to be our next Governor announces his plans for the Great Maine Forest Initiative.Democrat Patrick McGowan chose to make the announcement on Earth Day because he says his vision would help to create green jobs for our state.The initaitve calls for conserving our state’s forests for wildlife, recreation and economic development.McGowan says that it will also support Maine’s paper mills, protecting those jobs.Plus he says the forest offers new opportunities for our future. He says many new ideas are developed at the University of Maine Pulp and Paper processing Center.McGowan toured the facility Thursday, and pointed to the fact that research developed there lead to a real life application at the Old Town Fuel and Fiber mill, creating 200 jobs. “The Old Town Mill was closed and opened and closed again and re-opened with some very new energy and new vision. They are going to make cellulosic ethanol at the Old Town Mill. They are going to make jet fuel out of trees.”McGowan says his Great Maine Forest Initiative also aims to reduce Maine’s dependency on fossil fuels, and maintain public access for recreational opportunities.
The Coast Guard is asking the public’s help in identifying the person who made a distress call Wednesday.They believe it was a hoax. It was made in the Penobscot Bay area yesterday at 1:18 PM.The caller said, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. Help me, I’m on dry land.>Hoax distress calls placed to the Coast Guard are a felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine.If you have any information about who may have placed this call, contact the Sector Command Center at 741-5465.
It may be school vacation week for many students, but it’s not stopping some kids from learning. There is a new camp in Waterville called H.E.L.P. Camp – short of Handling Emergencies like Professionals. More than 20 volunteers from a dozen different agencies including the Waterville Police Department and State Fire Marshal’s office are dedicating time to the 3-day camp. Each day kids will learn about a public safety profession including emergency medical services, law enforcement and firefighting.
Some students at Maine Maritime Academy are working out a way to make ships run more efficiently. Thursday during their capstone presentation, they showed off their work and took us on a tour inside a new kind of hybrid vessel.It’s part of an ongoing project at MMA, in thermoelectric energy generation. For the past year a group of students has been developing an application for that technology in a hybrid vessel.The system uses something that, in a typical ship, goes to waste.”Something that would have been just sent out the exhaust as heat, we’re making useful power out of it,” says Andrew Blackman.”We’re using the temperature difference between that and seawater to generate our electricity,” says Travis Wallace.These students have spent many hours developing their idea inside what they’ve affectionately dubbed “the green monster.” A former Coast Guard lifeboat, it’s becoming a test model for their green technology.Next month, they’ll see if it floats.”What’s really exciting is being able to harness something that’s being wasted and put it back into the system without any moving parts, there’s no maintenance,” Wallace says.Wallace worked on the project as an MMA student last year. Now he’s a grad student at UMaine, writing his thesis on it.The thermoelectric power is used to augment the vessel’s main power grid, providing better efficiency, and savings, Blackman says.”We can get in time maybe 5-10 percent fuel savings, which on ships that spend millions of dollars a year on fuel, that adds up,” he says.Several organizations already expressed interest in the students’ work. Now Wallace says he’s forming a company to market it and provide consulting on custom systems.
April 22nd is Earth Day and in celebration of protecting the environment and finding peace in the world, the 16th annual HOPE Festival will be held in Orono this weekend. Children were practicing songs with members of Voices for Peace and other community members of all ages in Bangor. They are coming together to form the HOPE Festival Singers. About 60 people will be lending their voices to these songs. HOPE stands for Help Organize Peace Earth-wide. Organizers say many peace groups will be coming together for the festival. They say it is a way to encourage involvement, provide a peace group networking day and provide research and information on peace, justice, and environmental advocacy. It’s also a chance for groups to sing songs with HOPE related messages. The festival is this Saturday, starting at 11 o’clock in the morning in the Student Recreation and Fitness Center on the UMaine Campus.
There has been a spike in the number of vehicle break-ins in Bangor, according to the Bangor Police Department. They say the number of break-ins reported in the past two weeks is far higher than normal. Most of the vehicles affected have been parked on the street. They believe the warm weather and school vacation has contributed to the spike.Sargent Paul Edwards has these tips for folks to help keep their cars safe. “If you are going to leave you vehicle out, obviously we’d like to see you lock it and take everything out of the vehicle. I know it’s easy to say and hard to do with all the electronic things we keep in our cars – our radar detectors, GPS, but those are the things that are getting stolen. From GPS to laptops, change, whatever is in there, they’ll take it.”Sargent Edwards strongly suggests filing an official report with the police if you are the victim of a break-in. He says this allows police to make a map of where the crimes have occurred, giving them a better idea of who may be responsible.
The folks at Bangor Federal Credit Union held their annual Ending Hunger in Maine celebration Thursday.The credit union handed out almost 12-thousand dollars to the community.The bank branches have fundraised for the campaign throughout the past year.And were able to give money to 7 organizations.The Good Shepherd Food Bank was the biggest recipient, receiving over 5-thousand dollars.”It’s something that we all put our hearts into to end hunger in Maine. No family, no child should ever have to go to bed hungry in Maine.”” This will feed thousands of people. Good Shepherd is a provider of food, we’re just the suppliers. But we supply enough food to feed 36,000 people a week. And this will go a long way to feed a number of people in this general area.”Organizers say they can’t wait to do the campaign again next year.
A new sandwich shop in Bangor is drawing so many customers, it’s literally stopping traffic. The crowds outside the Coffee Pot CafÃ© have forced a neighboring bank to hire help to keep drivers moving. Meghan Hayward explains.Wayne walls is working security.But not for the kind of work he is use to.” No believe me. I was here Monday and it was horrendous.”Walls was hired by Bangor Savings Bank to help the flow of traffic at the branch on Broadway in Bangor.Since the Coffee Pot Cafe opened up next door the traffic through the lot has picked up tremendously.Customers trying to get their hands on the sandwiches are even backing up along the road. ” All you have to do is we ask them whether they’re going to the bank. If they’re going to the bank we shoot them on through and if they’re going to the Coffee Pot then we instruct them to park out back or on the side over here behind me.”Bangor Savings Bank officials say they believe things are going smoother this week.Before bank customers were having a difficult time finding a parking spot.They also say they are happy to have the Coffee Pot CafÃ© as a neighbor and wish the new owners success.Walls says the extra effort to keeping traffic under control is important.” I think right now yes. Until everything gets ironed out and then probably people will start dragging their feet as to when they’re coming in. They’ll start alternating their times coming in to pick up a sandwich or whatever.”And walls says for the most part, folks have been patient.” Only 2 or 3 of them probably during the day will get irritated that they’re being held up in line but most people are pretty good.”
A new facility matching people looking for jobs with businesses offering jobs is now open in Hancock County. Community leaders cut the ribbon today on an office they hope will boost the local economy and workforce. Eastern Maine Development Corporation and the Tri-County Workforce Investment Board consider themselves in the match-making business. In this office in the Mill Mall in Ellsworth, they hope to marry employees with employers.Roxanne Jobe, a community and business development specialist at EMDC, says”We now have the ability to help businesses find workers or help workers find the businesses that are looking for them.”The organizations teamed up last year when the Tri-County Workforce, which helps Mainers find jobs, nearly had to close in Ellsworth, because of a tight budget. Jon Farley, Director of Economic and Workforce Development at EMDC, says now they can offer help to both workers and businesses under one roof.”Interviewing, developing resumes, practicing their pitch for their job search. We’re also listing job hires. This is a place where employers can list their job openings.”Jobe says for businesses, “We have a lending department that works with small business loans and lending. We have small business development councilors on staff.”Officials say Hancock County is primed for new economic growth. They hope the free services here will encouraging people to prepare for the jobs businesses are trying to fill, while helping those businesses expand their payrolls.Farley says “We’re in direct contact with all of the employers in the region. We’ll have staff who’ll be going out to visit businesses to interview them to determine what their needs for new employees.”Jobe adds “We’re bringing all of those pieces together that make a great workforce, a skilled workforce and also have access to the businesses that are going to need them going forward in to the future.”
The Penobscot County Job Corps had a duel celebration this afternoon in Bangor. Faculty and students celebrated the 30th year of operation for the Job Corps in Bangor.This week all Job Corps nationwide are celebrating Earth Day with the, Earth Day, Every Day promotion.The Penobscot County branch also received a $5,000 recognition award for their campus wide commitment to earth day.Staff there say they plan to continue their efforts to make their campus greener.”It didn’t start this week and it’s not going to end tomorrow,” says facilities manager John Dionne. “It’s just a way of life. Perhaps reducing our consumption reusing what we can and then recycling which we’ve been promoting very heavily.”Staff at the job corps will use their prize money to purchase equipment that will help them with their green effort.Representatives for Governor Baldacci and Senator Susan Collins were on hand to read letters of congratulations.The Penobscot County Job Corps has been in operation since 1980.
49-year-old Andre Picard of Riceville, New Brunswick pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to import marijuana and conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana. Picard was arrested April 1st in Madawaska. He is charged with smuggling 2,200 pounds of marijuana into Maine and distributing it as far south as North Carolina between September of 2006 and March of 2007.Police say Picard brought the marijuana across the border in a hidden compartment in his tractor-trailer. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked that Picard be held without bail saying he might flee to Canada if released. His trial has been delayed as officials determine if his sister-in-law’s residence in Frenchville is a suitable place for Picard to stay during the case. Officials say Picard has no criminal record in Canada or the U.S. His bail hearing is scheduled to resume on Friday, April 30th. If convicted of the charges Picard faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in federal prison.
Russ Van Arlsdale was in our studio Thursday, April 22nd to talk us through Maine’s newly enacted Silver Alert program, aimed at helping to locate seniors with dementia who wander away.For more information, check out these websites Russ recommends:www.medicalert.org/safereturnwww.nationalsilveralert.org
A man severely burned in an house fire in Augusta has died.Firefighters were called to eastern avenue just before five o-clock Wednesday night. When they arrived, they were told the homeowner, 51-year-old Michael Adam, was trapped inside. A tenant who was renting a room at the house actually tried to pull Adam from the building, but was forced out by the intense heat and smoke. Firefighters were finally able to go in through a window and pull adam out of the building. Investigators aren’t sure what started the fire, but say it looks like it started near the kitchen stove. Two people were also injured in the fire. One firefighter was treated at the scene for burns to his head and a police officer was taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation.
Orrington residents will vote on Friday on whether to overturn their selectmen’s decision regarding the clean-up at the former Holtrachem site.The site contains mercury and other toxins.Last month, selectmen voted to support a clean-up and management plan proposed by the company that’s now responsible for the property.The state favors a more extensive plan.Town manager Paul White says some people in town feel they weren’t properly represented by the selectmen’s decision, which is why it’s now going to a public referendum.White tells us it’s hard to gauge where most residents stand on the long-running issue. “We have certainly heard some opposition to the selectman’s decision,” Said White. “But that opposition hasn’t been overwhelming. There are certain individuals that are upset with the decision but I think when the vote is done, you’ll find support for that decision, support for the selectmen.”The ultimate decision on the issue lies with the board of environmental protection.White says he’s not sure if Friday’s vote will have much of an effect with the board’s decision, since the time for public testimony for the state has passed.But it could send a message to the company in charge of the property.
Lawyers for a woman from Standish accused of attacking her husband and then shooting herself to make it look like a home invasion, say she lacked the strength to cause his injuries.48-year-old Linda Dolloff is 5’5″ and weighs 120 pounds, while the victim, 53-year-old Jeffrey Dolloff, is 6’2″ and weighs more than 200 pounds.Prosecutors say Linda Dolloff was angry about her impending divorce when she attacked him with a baseball bat early on easter 2009. Officers who responded initially didn’t believe Jeffrey Dolloff would survive.Linda Dolloff pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, as well as elevated aggravated assault, and filing a false police report. She’s being tried in Cumberland County Superior Court.
Crews responded to a fire on the Foster Road in Ellsworth earlier this evening. Officials say the fire was called in by a passerby at around 5:30.The fire started in the bedroom of an apartment above Tracey’s Salon. No one was home at the time.Crews from Ellsworth and Lamoine responded to the call. “When we arrived there was heavy smoke and fire coming from the second floor of the building, from the eves. The initial crew made entrance and knocked it down. We got a crew into the second floor and got the rest of it overhauled.” Says Ellsworth Fire Chief Jon Marshall.Officials say the fire was contained to that apartment. There was some water damage to other parts of the building. The Red Cross has been called to assist the family.No word yet on what caused that fire.
A fire at the Stucco Lodge on Rt. 2 in Veazie called the attention of crews from three communities this afternoon. Fire Fighters from Veazie, Orono, and Bangor responded to the blaze.When crews got there they say there was heavy smoke and fire coming from the kitchen of the first floor apartment. Officials say it started as a grease fire in that kitchen. “Quite a bit of damage in the kitchen area on the first floor, but again the fire was contained to the kitchen. A lot of heat and smoke and water damage to the rest. Just checking for extension, and checking for heat sources throughout.” Says Captain Pete Metcalf with the Veazie Fire Deptartment.One person suffered a minor injury and was treated at the scene. The red cross has been called to help the family that lives in that apartment.Rt. 2 was down to one lane and traffic was diverted to the Kelly Road while crews were putting out that fire.
Organizers of the Rockland Community Sailing Team are looking for more high school students to fill out this years roster. They’re holding their spring kick off Thursday at the apprentice shop on main street in Rockland.Students in grades 7-12 and their parents are invited to attend. Organizers are hoping this event will help spread the word about sailing. “The other important thing is that parents can see how excited the students are and what the potential is,” says instructor Kevin “KC” Heyniger, “how they can sail with other high schools, sail with other students from all over New England and nationals if we get to the level where we compete at that level.”They now have 12 students on the sailing team. Instructors say they would like to have 25.
A group of students from rockland high school are spending part of their April vacation helping to provide transportation to residents of a local homeless shelter.Here at the Youthlink outreach program in rockland students are learning all about repairing bicycles as well as giving back to their community. It’s all part of the Bike Rehab Project. Scott Browning is the manager of the program. “We’ve had a great outpouring from the community as far as people that have bikes to donate,” says Browning, “at this point we’re still taking bikes that need minor fixes.” The repaired bikes are sent to the Hospitality House, a homeless shelter in Rockport, where the residents use them to get around town and back and forth to work. The students involved are fulfilling their community service requirements for school. As a senior Patric Mank must do 20 hours of community service. “I don’t know of anything else I’d want to do for community service,” says Mank, “this is a blast! Working on bikes getting your hands a little greasy, it’s good.”Browning says the students are learning valuable lessons. “The kids are learning a lot,” he says, “one they’re learning about community service and learning about giving back to their community and two they’re learning how to fix a bike. The mechanics of it, believe it or not the trigonometry of trueing the wheel and that sort of thing.”Local businesses have also gotten involved. Chris Christy, owner of BikesenJava in Rockland, is volunteering his time to help teach the kids about basic bike repair. “They’re great. I mean these kids have so much passion. They’re fun, they’re laughing, yet at the same timethey’re super eager to learn.”The students say nothing beats the feeling they get from helping out those a little less fortunate. “The sense of accomplishment of knowing someone can use something you have done work on is a good feeling definitely,” says Mank.
April 21st is Administrative Professionals Day, a day to honor some of the many people who help hold businesses together. A conference in Dover-Foxcroft attracted mostly female business professionals, including a woman from the cast of “Survivor”. The women’s gathering called “WOW” is short for the “Women of Worth” conference. Among the speakers was Tina Scheer, owner of the World Champion Lumberjills, “Chicks with Axes” and former “Survivor” contestant, for whom the gym was decorated in a tropical theme. She explained to the women what it is like surviving in the male dominated industry of lumber. Organizers say this networking event is also a means for support. They say they plan to hold this conference again next year and every year as long as there is a need.