News

COA Wind Turbine Update

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

They built a wind turbine as part of a college class. Now students from the College of the Atlantic plan to share their knowledge with the town of Bar Harbor. Students installed the turbine on Beech Hill Farm last month. It’s used to generate electricity for a farmhouse and office.Tomorrow night, the students will meet with the Bar Harbor Planning Board to talk about the potential for other residential wind power projects in the area. They’ll also discuss concerns surrounding wind turbines, like their impact on birds and noise from the spinning blades. The meeting is set to begin at 6 o’clock.

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Vassalboro Strip Club on Hold

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

The owner of a topless coffee shop in Vassalboro is putting his plans to open a strip club on hold. Donald Crabtree was originally expected to go to before the planning board tonight to talk about expanding the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop. But the town’s code enforcement officer says Crabtree wants to wait to outline those plans until after a town vote next Monday.That’s when the community will consider an ordinance to regulate adult-only businesses.Tonight Crabtree’s expected to ask for minor changes to his current business permit, such longer hours and allowing employeees to park in back of the coffee shop.

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Milo Looks at New Police Plan

Updated 5 years ago

Milo officials are still looking for a new police chief. Their most recent chief resigned after being charged with assaulting his wife.The town is also without a police sergeant. Folks on the force have been stepping up, but Milo Town Manager Jeff Gahagan says they can only last so long. “We reach a point where burnout becomes an issue,” he says. Gahagan says they could just fill the position, or, they could look at other, potentially money-saving options.”The sheriff’s department approached us to offer their services while we’re in a bit of a state of flux here,” he says.A third solution — find a way to join forces with the neighboring town of Brownville.”It seemed timely that we talk about the police force because with the situation we’re in right now, we’ve been talking about everything from garbage removal to public works,” Gahagan says.The towns tried sharing a police chief before, several years ago.”We had a very informal agreement in we both hired the same police chief and shared coverage on times that we’re statistically less busy,” says Brownville Town Manager Sophia Wilson. “It was a project. It was an…experiment.”She says she’s open to options that save townspeople money, but only if they proceed with more caution than before.”When things got bumpy, there was nothing to fall back on,” she says.Both town managers stress no proposals have been drafted yet and everything will be decided by public vote.Gahagan says they hope to have a plan for a new chief in place in the next 30 to 60 days.”We just want to keep all of our options open,” he says. “We’ve got great neighbors in Brownville and they’re very easy to work with, so it seemed like a natural fit.”

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Maine Dealerships and the GM Bankruptcy

Updated 5 years ago

(AP) President Barack Obama is defending the government’s intervention in the auto industry, saying the collapse of GM and Chrysler would have been devastating for the economy and American workers. Obama said his policies will help both General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LC – storied companies in America’s industrial history survive after restructuring and bankruptcy. He said his administration had no choice but to intervene, putting the government in “the unwelcome position” of having a financial stake in the companies. Obama said that GM’s move into bankruptcy proceedings willactually improve its situation, calling the move a “viable, achievable plan.” He said the new plan will allow GM to start growing for the first time in three years. In Maine, there are about 45 dealerships that carry the GM logo. GM spokeswoman Susan Garontakos told TV5 News that she does not know how many Maine dealerships may be affected by contracts that will no longer be renewed by the company. Garontakos says performance levels coupled with supply and demand were the two factors GM officials looked at when considering which dealerships to end contracts with. Calls to GM dealers in Bangor, Skowhegan and Waterville revealed they were not targeted for termination. Of GM’s 6,000 dealerships nationwide 1,100 letters indicating contracts would not be renewed were sent out to dealerships. Garontakos says GM expects downsize to 6,200 dealerships by 2010. GM’s bankruptcy comes on the heals of Chrysler’s filing. Four Maine dealers were effected by Chrysler’s decision to not renew contracts.

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Shurfine Golf Tournament to Benefit Four Charities

Updated 5 years ago

A golf tournament to benefit four local charities is teeing off tomorrow in Vassalboro.It’s the 13th Annual Shurfine Food Stores Charity Golf Classic. It’ll be held at Natanis Golf Course.The money raised will benefit the two Ronald McDonald Houses in Maine, the Make a Wish Foundation, and the Maine National Guard Foundation Fund.Dina Casey of the Bangor Ronald McDonald House says the funds are badly needed. “It’s a great day to be outside, but what’s important that these funds are going to four different non-profit organizations and in these tough economic times, it’s really important that people continue to support the organizations and this is one way to help out.”The folks from Shurfine Food Stores say they expect to raise $30,000 dollars this year for the charities, and over the 13 years they’ve sponsored the golf tournament, $850,000 have been raised for charity.

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New Website to Educate About Addiction Recovery

Updated 5 years ago

A local organization to get people talking about substance abuse recovery, has launched a new website.The Bangor Area Recovering Community Coalition was formed a little more than a year ago. It’s made up of people who are recovering from substance abuse and their supporters.They say they came together because they wanted to shed the mystery surrounding substance abuse, and reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with addiction.The website is their latest tool to help them accomplish that. Chair of BARCC, Bruce Campbell says it will provide information and communication. “Information is where people can come to get information about treatment resources about what’s available in the community and where to go to ask for help. Communication is more of a dialogue.”The group hopes instead of the community seeing all negative stories surrounding addiction, they can see the positive side of recovery.The new website is: http://sites.google.com/site/bangorrecovery/

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BSO Ends Season on Youthful Note

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

A classical concert performed before a contemporary audience.The Bangor Symphony Orchestra wrapped up its 113th season today, with a special show.Joy Hollowell reports.++++++++++++++++Chances are that Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky are not programmed into kids Ipods. But they just might be after Monday.The Bangor Symphony Orchestera presented a youth concert at the Collins Center for the Arts Monday, and 1,600 students from all over Maine saw the show.”It’s very exciting to do this. I mean, I got my start this way. I was maybe 8 or 9 years old and we went to see the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a kids program. And I got so excited, I immediately wanted to play in an orchestra,” says BSO guest conductor Eric Thomas.The program featured Russian dances, including Romeo and Juliet as well as The Firebird.In keeping with the theme, finalists from the BSO Maine High School Concerto Competition performed along with the orchestra.”It was pretty good, it was the best one I’ve seen, the first one I’ve seen actually,” says 4th grader Bernice.”The music was really soothing and you didn’t really know what was going to happen next,” says 4th grader Jerry from Mary Snow Elementary School in Bangor.”It was different, but it was a good different,” says 7th grader Sierra from Mount Jefferson Junior High School.===========The Bangor Symphony Orchestra has formed a search committee for a new conductor, after Xiao-Lu Li resigned last fall.Guest conductors will audition with the symphony next season. A spokesman for the BSO says there is no timetable on a decision.

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Man Arrested in Bradford Standoff Appears in Court

Updated 5 years ago

A 57-year-old Bradford man arrested last week after a seven-hour standoff at his mobile home in Maine remains behind bars after he appeared in court on a charge of terrorizing. Bail was set Monday at $10,000 cash or $75,000 in property for Clarence Leo Rairdon, who entered no plea in Penobscot County Superior Court. The Associated Press reports that Rairdon appeared confused during his brief appearance. He told Justice Michaela Murphy that he didn’t understand what was happening and had not spoken with an attorney. Officials said the standoff began Thursday after a former girlfriend of Rairdon called police to say he was drunk and had threatened her with an axe. A state police tactical team used tear gas to flush Rairdon from the home.

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Pomeroy Pleads Guilty to Murder

Updated 5 years ago

A 24-year-old Hope man has pleaded guilty to murdering a 22-year-old Waldoboro woman last summer after they went to his home following a party. Steven Pomeroy entered his plea Monday in Knox County Superior Court, where jury selection was to begin for his trial. Pomeroy told authorities that he hit Jessica Marie Nichols over the head with a frying pan and stabbed her repeatedly after he she made a disparaging remark about his former fiance. The AP reports Pomeroy’s lawyer as saying the plea was not a last-minute decision and that Pomeroy had wanted for some time to accept responsibility for what he had done. Lawyers say there was no plea agreement and that Pomeroy will face between 25 years and life when he’s sentenced early next month. (AP)

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“The Cat” Ready to Set Sail for Summer

Updated 5 years ago

The high-speed ferry known as “The Cat” is getting a late start this year.The catamaran started its season today with a trip from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Bar Harbor.The regular schedule begins Monday, with the ferry leaving Bar Harbor at 8 a.m.From now until July 3, the Cat will go from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings and from Portlandto Yarmouth on Friday and Sunday mornings.Crossings from Yarmouth to Bar Harbor will take place on Monday and Tuesday afternoons and crossings from Yarmouth to Portland willoccur on Thursday, Friday and Sunday afternoons.

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Questions Remain on State Budget

Updated 5 years ago

It’s been a long haul for state legislators, and there’s still more work to be done on the budget.After months of review, they still face some crucial decisions on state borrowing…and the Maine tax code.They’ll also take up the issue of highway project financing..They’re debating sticking with the current system or possibly raising the state’s fuel taxes by 11 cents over four years.As far as borrowing goes, the Governor has proposed a 306-million dollar bond package…it would be submitted to voters in two elections and spent over two years.To pass that package, though, Democratic House and Senate majorities and Baldacci will need Republicansupport to get the required majorities of two-thirds or better.

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Wildfire Training Academy Underway in Waterville

Updated 5 years ago

Firefighters from around the state got some intense, hands-on training this weekend in Waterville.The Maine Forest Service hosted the 7-th annual Maine State Wildfire Training Academy at Thomas College.The event is a chance for rookie volunteer firefighters to learn some new skills, and for seasoned vets to improve their techniques.Crews were trained to use everything from portable pumps and chainsaws…to GPS devices.For the first time, the Academy also offered two advance level incident management courses.< "a lot of firefighters have a lot of training on structural fires, yet wildfires happen throughout the state....we've had 300 this year...so it's good to get them trained up in wildland fire techniques.">The academy continues in Waterville next Saturday and Sunday.

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Troop Greeters Welcome Public To BIA

Updated 5 years ago

It’s been six years since the Maine Troop Greeters started welcoming soldiers at Bangor International Airport.During that time, they’ve greeted more than 800-thousand troops as they’ve come home from Iraq and Afghanistan.Sunday, the troop greeters welcomed members of the public to their post at the airport…sharing stories, plus their collection of mementoes given to them by soldiers passing through.The troop greeters have earned international recognition for their dedication to the cause…There are about 40 of them total…and when a plane comes in, day or night, they’re there to give hugs and handshakes.On Sunday, they were happy to open up their home away from home to the public.< "i think it's mostly so we can show the community what we've been able to accomplish over the last couple years and what their community's been able to accomplish, in terms of all the mementoes...and they're appreciative of what's going on.">Since they started greeting in May of 2003, the Maine Troop Greeters have been at the airport to welcome more than forty-one hundred flightsThey also provide soldiers on layovers the use of cell phones to call loved ones while they wait.

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Ellsworth Commerce

Updated 5 years ago

Movie buffs in the Ellsworth area can rejoice. The city’s movie theatre is once again open for business starting Friday.And that’s just the beginning of what some are calling a business boom in the area.Times may be tough, but you wouldn’t know it in Ellsworth.Chamber of Commerce officials say new businesses are popping up everywhere.The Maine Coast Mall Cinema is open again under new management.Steven Richardson and his wife are locals committed to bringing more entertainment options, and jobs, to the area.”Really, the next closest first-run movie theatre was bangor, so it really left a void. We’ve gotten a lot of positive comments from people in the Ellsworth area.””Doing what we can to promote the local economy is fantastic. Right now we have eight people hired. A couple full time, six part time and we see that increasing over the next couple months as well.”He’s not the only one hiring.”The Goodwill Store is shaping up. We’re expecting, in the summer or fall, to have that open. It’ll bring 30 new jobs to Ellsworth.”Phyllis Young is associate director of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce.She says this is just the beginning.”We have a new bridal shop that just opened. Computer Essentials of Bangor expanded, and they brought a shop here. Renys and Mardens are looking to expand. So it really is exciting times in Ellsworth.””I think it’s going to be a reason to come to Ellsworth and to shop here, so it should be a win-win for all our businesses.”Local merchants like Richardson are hoping all this new business brings in lots of shoppers, and money, this summer.”Look how many areas Ellsworth can draw from. Whether it’s the MDI area, the Bangor/Brewer area or the downeast area. It almost can be a focal point. It’s a fantastic thing and I’m thrilled to be a part of that.””Our doors are open, we’re expanding and we’re positioning ourselves to be ready when the economy really turns around and we’re excited about that.

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Battlefield Cross Memorial Dedication

Updated 5 years ago

On Friday during a ceremony in the state house hall of flags 39 Maine soldiers were remembered for their sacrifice in the name of freedom. Those men and women remembered died in the line of duty supporting the global war on terrorism which began on September 11, 2001. The ceremony, which included remarks from Major General John Libby of the Maine National Guard and the Governor was an emotional occasion for family as the battlefield cross memorial was unvieled. The statue has a symbolic meaning and the origin of the battlefield cross dates back to the civil war. The battlefield cross is made by standing the soldier’s boots upright, standing the rifle upright in the boots, and hanging the helmet from the rifle’s stock. All 39 I.D. tags hang from the stock serving as a reminder of who has fallen. The battlefield cross will remain on display at the capitol building to remind those who pass by it of what Maine and so many families have lost fighting for freedom. CDR Robert Schlegel GrayMSgt Evander Andrews SolonLCDR Robert Clukey OronoMAJ Jay Aubin WatervilleSPC Daniel Cunningham Lewiston1SG Christopher Coffin Kennebunk SGT Nicholes Golding AddisonSGT Jeremiah Holmes North BerwickSGT Christopher Gelineau Portland SGT Lawrence Roukey WestbrookSPC Beau Beaulieu Lisbon CPT Daniel Tranchemontagne Portland SSG Lynn Poulin Sr. FreedomSGT Thomas Dostie Somerville1SG Michael Jones UnitySFC Shawn Dostie LewistonSPC Joshua Humble AppletonSGT Corey Dan NorwaySPC Dustin Harris PattenSSG Dale Kelly Jr. RichmondSSG David Veverka UMO StudentCPT Patrick Damon FalmouthPFC Andrew Small WiscassetCPT Benjamin Keating ShapleighCPL Dustin Libby Presque IsleSSG Kristofer Ciraso BangorSSG Eric Ross KenduskeagLCPL Angel Rosa South PortlandSGT Jason Swiger South PortlandSGT Edmund McDonald CascoSPC Christopher Wilson BangorSGT Richard Parker PhillipsSGT Joel House LeeSPC Jason Dore MoscowSGT Blair Emery LeeSFC Jonathan Lowery HoultonPFC Tyler Smith BethelSFC Nicholas Robertson Old TownSPC Justin Buxbaum South Portland

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Union Reaches Deal

Updated 5 years ago

A vote by the largest union at the Portland Press Herald clears the way for the sale of the newspaper, along with other local newspapers. Members of the Portland Newspaper Guild voted 161 to 19 Friday accept wage and benefit cuts. Richard Connor, an editor and publisher in Bangor, has been negotiating to buy the Press Herald, The Morning Sentinel in Waterville, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta and other Blethen Maine Properties.The new contract for union members includes a 10-percent cut in salary, a two-year pay freeze and suspended 401k and pension contributions.In return, employees get a 15 percent stake in the company through a stock ownership plan.The Guild says the sale of the papers is expected to close before June 15th.

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Supporters of Employee Free Choice Act Speak Out

Updated 5 years ago

A giant billboard rolled into Bangor Friday, called “Faces of the Economy”.It’s part of a national campaign by supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act.They say the legislation would make it easier for workers to form unions and bargain for better wages, health care and job security.Paul Murphy of the Bureau of Labor Education says without a union, workers are at-will employees. “If you’re an at-will employee that means your employer can fire you, demote you, suspend you, do literally what they want to as long as they’re not violating minimal state or federal employment laws and that is probably one of the biggest reasons why you want to have a union in your workplace.”Two women who spoke out, told stories about workers being intimidated and threatened while trying to form unions.They say the Employee Free Choice Act would help stop those tactics.The bill is now being considered by Congress.

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Not Guilty of Manslaughter

Updated 5 years ago

Not guilty of manslaughter, not guilty of aggravated operating under the influence.That’s the verdict of the jury in the trial of Ryan Hurd of Lincoln who was in a deadly car crash in New Vineyard in October 2007.But he was found guilty of a lesser crime–letting a drunk friend drive his car.A man from Dover-Foxcroft died in the crash, a man from Medway was seriously hurt. The defense claimed Hurd wasn’t driving the car.

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Hylton Pleads Guilty

Updated 5 years ago

A man accused of breaking into a home in Pittson and attacking a father and his daughter with a machete admitted to the crime Friday. 19-year-old Leo Hylton of Augusta pleaded guilty Friday afternoon to three counts of attempted murder and other charges linked to the assault and robbery last May. William Guerrette, a former lawmaker, and his daughter, Nicole, who was then 10, spent weeks in the hospital.Both still bear scars from the attack.As part of Hylton’s plea deal, five other charges against him will be dropped.Prosecutors are recommending Hylton spend 50 years behind bars.Also charged in the case is Hylton’s foster brother, 21-year-old Daniel Fortune.

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New Parking Garage Open at EMMC

Updated 5 years ago

It’ll now be easier to find a parking space at Eastern Maine Medical Center.The hospital celebrated the opening of a new parking garage on campus.It will not only provide better access to patients and visitors to the hospital, but it will also be a big help to employees.For years, more than 300 employees have been asked to park off campus, then were bused in.This new parking garage will mean they can all return to campus, or as some put it, they’re coming home.”Our moving out caused anxiety for all of us. Travelling has also added minutes on either ends of our days, minutes that none of us have in our busy work day or in our home responsibilities. Berta Burbank was part of the travel team, and although she says it was hard, it was the right thing to do to make things easier for patients.Burbank also says she’s happy that she won’t have to do that anymore.

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