Parents are blaming poor road conditions in the town of Freedom for their kids missing a day of school. On Tuesday morning a MSAD 3 busdriver was unable to drive up a hill on the Sibley road were seven students catch the bus. Some of the children walk a quarter of a mile to the Sibley road to wait for the bus and ended up out in the cold for about an hour before going home to tell their parents the bus never came. Selectman Clint Spaulding is the acting road commissioner because the current one is on vacation. TV5 caught up with him to ask him why the road was not plowed, he said he called out drivers when he woke up and it should have been cleared. Spaulding said he did apologize to some of the upset parents for the inconvenience.
The holiday season is all about helping those who are less fortunate and the people at Main Street Music studios in Bangor have certainly embraced the holiday spirit. Andrew Clifford is the President there and says kids with an interest in music should be able to chase that dream. “So basically what we’re doing is trying to collect instruments, electric, acoustic,” says Clifford, “that people are willing to donate for kids that are in need of them and can’t afford them that are interested in music so we can help the kids that are interested in music play.”This is one instance where something you may have sitting in a closet somewhere could help brighten the holidays for some lucky kid out there. Anna Aldridge is an instructor at Main Street Music Studios. “How many of us have an old instrument we’ve carried around for years and hasn’t been touched and a kid could be using that so it’s a great program that we’ve got,” she says, “so if there’s an old instrument in your closet bring it in because there’s a kid who could really learn to play it.”Clifford says the response has been overwhelmingly positive. “Even students parents would come in and say we have an old violin , or an old saxophone, or even drum sticks, anything,” he says, “we’re taking accessories to so anything that can help kids cross that barrier about not being able to play because they can’t afford it.”The folks at Main Street Music Studios say they don’t want money to be a roadblock for kids who truly have a love for music. “It’s so, so important because everyone needs their niche and for some kids music could be the thing that keeps them off the street and keeps them out of trouble,” says Aldridge.They’re not stopping at instruments, the folks here are also collecting Coats For Kids, money for the Red Cross, and non-perishable food items for Manna. “They can go to our website, mainstreetmusic.com or they can come right here, 49 Main Street,” urges Clifford, “feel free to come in and drop off food, money for the Red Cross, or donate instruments.”
Since October 27th, home heating oil prices have only moved by a few pennies. The weekly survey that came out from the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security notes that this weeks prices have dropped by a penny, to $2.55 per gallon. Officials say northern Maine had the highest price at $2.80 per gallon while the lowest price of $2.28 per gallon was found in the southwestern region.
Folks in Milo will vote tonight on whether to allow the town to buy a section of downtown, destroyed by an arson fire more than a year ago. Residents will decide if they want to spend 48-thousand dollars to buy the former Milo True Value property.It, along with four other businesses, were gutted by a fire in September of 2008. Town manager Jeff Gahagan says the money to buy the building comes from a federal grant, so no town money would be used to acquire the property. Gahagan says purchasing the property will give the town better control over how to redevelop the area. But not everyone likes that idea. The town currently owns three of the five burned-out building lots.
In association with Maine’s college and university presidents, the Maine Higher Education Council has created a new website to encourage students from Maine to enroll in Maine Colleges.This website includes information about 35 public and private colleges and universities across the state of Maine. Not only does this site encourage students to enroll, but shows the importance of a higher education.The council says workers in Maine with a bachelor’s degree earn 50 percent more than those with only a high school diploma.If you would like to view the website you can log on to www.collegeinmaine.org.
Five Maine churches are working together to convert a former home for the mentally disabled in Machias into a shelter for abused women and children.The project is being led by the Lifespring Chapel Christian Church.Its pastor, Doug Watermolen says it’s been a dream of his for years.Last year an anonymous donor who heard of Watermolen’s vision donated the building.The facility will offer shelter, education, health care, skills training, and counseling.Fund raising is now under way to support it.
Bangor International Airport will continue to serve as a hub for military flights overseas, after winning a contract covering at least the next three years.B.I.A. officials say several airports had submitted transit proposals to global aviation holdings.Each vying to be the exclusive east coast location for troop flights stopping on their way to or from overseas.Bangor officials say they’ve handled nearly 4,000 troops flights in the last six years.
A 19-year-old man from Bar Harbor was found dead in the woods early Saturday morning.State Police say Benjamin Britt apparently wandered away from a party in Trenton.Police say he was among a small group of people, all of whom are under 21, that had been drinking.Police went to the party after a teen was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor stab wounds.They were told Britt was missing. His body was found around 3:30 Saturday morning in woods off the Horse Farm Road.Police say he likely died from exposure to freezing weather. They’re trying to find out who supplied the alcohol to the party.
A Burlington man has reportedly admitted to killing a husband and wife in Webster Plantation last month.31-year-old Nathaneal Nightingale was in court Monday.Court papers state Nightingale shot Michael and Valerie Miller in the head during an attempted robbery.According to the documents Nightingale admitted to police he shot the couple, and provided details of the crime.He was arrested shortly after midnight Saturday at his family’s home in Burlington.The bodies of Michael and Valerie Miller were found in the kitchen of their home on the Tucker Ridge Road.Jeffrey Silverstein is Nightingale’s attorney, he says his client did know the victims. “He understands what the charges are,” Said Silverstein on Monday. “He’s very despondent over the situation. It appears as if he’s made some statements acknowledging some responsibility. To my knowledge this appears to be a horrible accident gone wrong and we intend that, over time, we will produce additional circumstances and hope to put this in to proper context.”Nightingale is being held at the Penobscot County Jail without bail.He’s due back in court January 22nd.
Maine has received nearly $4,000,000 for technology to help folks share knowledge.The federal money will be used in partnership with the U.S.D.A. Rural Development’s “Distance Learning and Telemedicine” program.More than one hundred fifty schools, including the University of Maine, will benefit from the funding.The money will buy video conferencing equipment and computer systems that will be used to link schools, letting them share course work. “We compete with every other state in the union for a pot of money and for the past 3 out of 4 years we’ve come out at the top, so I do think need is one issue, but also the fact that we’re a very rural state and we’re a large state geographically so to be able to connect people and allow them not to travel long distances to learn is a real priority,” Said Virgina Manuel a director with U.S.D.A. Rural Development.Nearly $400,000 will go to Eastern Maine Medical Center to help pay for technology that will connect specialists to rural hospitals across the state via video.
The Bangor city council has signed off on plans for one of Bangor’s largest construction projects: a new arena.Members of the city council voted unanimously Monday to accept the report prepared by the committee.It’s a series of recommendations that include building a 5,400 seat arena that could expand to 7,400 seats.That would be phase one of the project.Phase two would be renovating the existing auditorium and civic center into conference space, for a total cost of about $73,000,0000.Officials say ground breaking for phase one of the project will begin no later than the summer of 2011, and phase two will begin as soon as funding is in place.The city council will continue discussing the issue at workshops in the near future.
Fire fighters worked around some tight spaces in Waterville Monday night.Crews were called to Pleasant Street at 7:30 for reports of smoke in the third floor apartment.When they arrived, smoke was pouring from the top of the building.The seven occupants of the building were evacuated, one had to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.Those displaced by the fire do have places to go.”They were brought across the street to a church to keep warm,” Said the Fire Chief for Waterville and Winslow, David LaFountain. “And I was told by the Red Cross that they’ve already gotten alternative arraignments for tonight, and that they’d be working with them tomorrow to see what they could do for ‘em.”No fire fighters were injured in the blaze, though the tight conditions in downtown Waterville made it difficult to bring the water to the fire.The fire marshal’s office was on scene Monday, and says that the fire is not being considered suspicious.There has been no word yet on a cause.
Amongst all the holiday shoppers out Monday night were members of the Bangor Fire Department.They were picking out toys for tots. A cause they raise money for each year.This year, they had $2,000 in donations to spend on area kids.Photojournalist Tom Round went along for their shopping trip at the Brewer Walmart…”Every year we take some donated money from our Union, Firefighters Union. And we donate it to the Toys for Tots.””Oh! Every kid wants to be a fireman.””It’s a lot of fun, we spend about two thousand dollars a year, and raise that money. And then turn around and donate the money, and come and buy the toys, and actually give the to the Toys for Tots program.””I think I’m close.””That should do.””If you look around you’ll see that many of the firefighters have brought their families, and the kids really enjoy picking out the toys for other kids. And we explain to them what we’re doing. And it’s just a nice Christmas atmosphere.””Picking out the toys I just thought were best for kids. Lotta Star Wars stuff, bikes, stuff like that.””That’s 5.””That’s 5. So that’s, like, 44 dollars we’re at.””We receive a lot of donations from LTS and from our different fundraiser. We try and spread it out as evenly as we can, and there’s a lot of kids in this neighborhood that really don’t have what they need at the Christmas season. So it’s an easy way to give back a little bit.””I want to be a fireman when I grow up.””You do! Okay.””I think their gonna feel great. A lot of times their parents can’t pay for that kind of stuff, so I think their gonna be pretty happy.”
On Monday, there were three motor vehicle accidents in the town of Sidney. All occurred within fifteen minutes of each other according to police. One man was sent to the hospital after his pick up truck flipped over on the West River Road around noon. Another accident happened on the Goodhue Road where the driver was unharmed. A third crash occurred on the Middle Road. It’s unclear if anyone was injured in that accident. Police say slippery road conditions contributed to all three accidents and in at least one of the accidents speed was also a factor.
The folks at the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor say they’re thrilled to have surpassed their goal in last week’s basket auction.They had close to 200 baskets, filled with everything from soup to pearls.People from the community were invited to bid on the baskets all week long.In all they raised more than $6700. The goal was $6000.The money will be used for Senior Center operations.
The judges have spoken, and the winner is Rebecca’s. The store was selected as the winner of the 2nd Annual Downtown Storefront Decoration Contest.They won last year too.For the first place finish, Rick and Rebecca Vigue, owners of Rebecca’s, get a $1000 advertising prize from Bangor Center Corporation.Epic Sports came in a close second, followed by Giacomo’s.Hundreds of people also cast their votes online, giving Epic Sports the People’s Choice Award.
If you have some old jewelry, and want to make some extra cash before Christmas, you might want to stop by the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor Wednesday night.Mark Dube, President of the Diamond & Gold Mine Outlet in Bangor will be setting up shop there to buy gold, silver and platinum. If your jewelry also contains gemstones, you’ll get credit for that too.Dube says you’ll see a lot of commercials about businesses buying gold, but he promises to pay you more than they do. “This is a much safer way for seniors to go ahead and bring their stuff in and we weigh it right in front of them and we will pay them more than anybody else.”Dube will give a portion of the proceeds he makes Wednesday to the Hammond Street Senior Center.He’ll be there from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM.
A Bangor business owner is showing her appreciation to Literacy Volunteers of Bangor. She’s using the skills they taught her to help pay them back.When Christine Chou first approached by Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, she was interested in volunteering according to Executive Director Mary Marin-Lyon. “She came to us and she wanted to help Chinese immigrants learn English,” she says, “she spoke Mandarin and English and she wanted to help beginners.”It wasn’t long after that chou asked for a little help. “Throughout the process, she realized she had gaps in her english as well,” says Marin-Lyon.Andrea Martin teaches English at Brewer High School and volunteers at Literacy Volunteers of Bangor. She began tutoring Chou about a year ago and she says her new student was curious right from the start. “Well she loved to read the newspaper and a lot of times we would read the newspaper together,” says Martin, “and she would ask a lot of questions about terminology.”Chou says she’s mainly curious about the cultural differences between the United States and her native China. “Well we actually read a book together called “Out of the Dust” and it was a memoir style book and I said, ‘Hey Christine you could do this too. You can write your life like this woman did,” says Martin.Chou took on the challenge. “So I just cannot stop writing and I kept going and published a book,” Chou says.The book, “A Chinese Woman’s Thoughts on American Culture,” is on sale at both of the chinese restaurants she owns: Chopsticks in Bangor, and China Garden in Orono. The book costs $7.00 with all proceeds going to Literacy Volunteers of Bangor. “Because I think I receive the favor from them and i should return the favor.”
Three years ago, the SPCA of Hancock County set out on an ambitious plan.They needed two million dollars to build a new facility, all donated.In October, they reached that goal.Joy Hollowell shows us what the money is being spent on.=========”Meow””dogs barking”These are the sounds you’d typically find at the SPCA of Hancock County. “nail going into wood”But lately, those barks and purrs have been drowned out by the sound of progress. These nails are pounding in the results of two-million dollars in community donations.”We went about going through a phase project. Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3. And the building we’re in right now is Phase 1,” says Doug Radziewicz, executive director of the SPCA of Hancock County.It opened back in 2007, and within weeks, was filled to capacity.”Really, we can only take in five dogs at a time. And our capacity for adult cats is about 20 to 25.”Radziewicz says they wanted to start with this facility, to prove to the public that the SPCA was serious about helping animals.”And when we did this, and we were able to help right away, I think that was a big step for the community to see overall, that the SPCA really wants to make a difference,” says Radziewicz.This new building is a larger version of the first one. “We’re going to be able to triple or maybe even five times the number of animals that come into our facility,” says Radziewicz.It will also house a room for small animals like rodents and ferrets. And there will be a community resource room for the public. They plan to open in the spring.By that time, Radziewicz hopes the shelter will be well on its way to raising enough funds for the final phase.”Our third phase is to build a large animal barn and a paddock so that when the state goes in, and they do need to remove a couple of animals quickly, they have a safe haven for them right away,” says Radziewicz.Joy Hollowell, WABI TV 5 News, Trenton.=========The SPCA of Hancock County is a non-profit organization.They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. To 5 p.m.If you’d more information on the SPCA of Hancock County, including how to donate to their endowment fund, you can log onto www.spcahancockcounty.org or call them at 667-8088.
Folks can now get the 2009 University Bookstore Commemorative Ornament.Proceeds from the ornament sales go to the University of Maine organization that best achieves the altruistic goal of helping others.The ornament program began in 2003. Over the years the money has gone to several different organizations, including Alternative Spring Break, and College Against Cancer.Proceeds from the sale of 2009 ornaments will go to Engineers Without Boarders, a group that makes water treatment stands for people in Honduras.The ornaments cost $16.99, and can be purchased at the U-Maine bookstore.