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.
An Amber Alert in Kentucky Saturday afternoon has authorities in Maine on the lookout.The Amber Alert was done because authorities say a 13 year old girl was taken and may be headed to Maine, New York, or Florida.Haley Willett was last seen in Owensboro, Kentucky at about 4:30 saturday morning. She is described as five feet five inches tall and 102 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing jean shorts and a white tank top.Authorities say haley received a text message from a man identified as 43 year old Archie Whalen.He is described as about six feet tall, 200 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. He may have a mustache.It is not know if the two previously knew each other. They are thought to be traveling in a red Chevy Silverado pick up with Maine license plates 8071 RF.If you have any information authorities are asking you to call (270)-685-8544.
Their motto is one thousand miles, 10 days and one goal.And they finished up the third leg of their ride Saturday in Brewer.Their goal is to raise funds for cancer research.In 2001 37 year old Peter Thomas was diagnosed with GIST cancer, he was a professional cyclist, and after being diagnosed, he organized a ride in the United Kingdom in 2006 to raise money for research.Peter passed away in April of that year and didn’t make the ride.This year Peter’s widow, son and brother continued the tradition and started their trek in Montreal, Canada and plan to finish up in Rocklands State Park, New York.The team of 23 riders and support personnel finished this leg in Brewer at the Vacationland Inn, where 13 rooms had been donated to them.” We can’t do this kind of thing without the help of the people that support us along the route, every little act of kindness, generosity, contribution, just helps us do what we’ve come to do it’s Magic,” said Wayne Thomas.” Obviously being a hotel this is one thing that we could do was provide lodging for these guys,” said Vacationland Inn manager Brock Bradford. ” They’re a great group of people we didn’t know them before but just spending a few minutes with them you can tell they’re really passionate about their cause. We’re certainly happy to be able to help them out like this so.”If you’d like more information on their ride, or their cause you can log on to their website at www.giste2e.net
The 5k Multiple Myeloma race and walk kicked off from Paul Bunyan Park in Bangor.The turnout for this was also higher than it was a year ago.This is the third annual event, and in the 2008 race 30 runners took part.This year it nearly doubled to 52 participants.The runners made their way through the west side of Bangor.Multiple Myeloma is a rare blood cancer, and this race is done to raise money for research.” The medical field has made a lot of advances even in a short period of time,” said race organizer Becky Reeve. ” What was the gold standard for treatment three years ago is not the same today, but there is no cure and I think any cancer you know whether it’s breast cancer or Multiple Myeloma or anything it’s important to raise money for research so we can find a cure.”Reeve’s goal this year was to get more support and therefore raise more funds for research.And she topped her amount raised from last year.This year the race raised 31 hundred dollars.
The weather may have been at or below freezing Saturday morning in the Greater Bangor area, but that didn’t cool off support for a number of local events this weekend.For weeks groups have been registering for this year’s Memory Walk to support the Maine Alzheimers Association.Nearly 400 walkers showed up in their team colors to take part in this years event.It started at the grand stand at Bass Park near the race track.Walkers from several different organizations like Dirigo Pines, Ross Manor and Westgate Manor took pledges and raised money.The turnout was great they had 380 walkers this year which was 50 walkers more than last year, and 37 different teams. Organizers expected to raise fifty thousand dollars which is about six thousand more than last year’s event.One of the reasons so many are involved is because so many are effected by dementia said Kristie Miner.” It’s so very important because there are 37,000 Mainers with Alzheimers or related dementia and the disease itself is very devastating it can really cause a lot of hardship for families and families can always need a lot of support and education which the Alzheimers Association provides statewide.”This walk is one of 14 Memory Walks held statewide. It is the largest fundraiser of the year, and the money helps with local programs.
Some folks took to the streets of Bangor on foot today, all for a good cause.It was the first annual 5k walk-run to support Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine.Participants either donated a minimum of $30 or asked their friends and family to sponsor them.Executive Director Bette Hoxie says this walk is a great way to get information out.Hoxie says with times being so tough financially, It it hard for folks to provide the extra things.So she says this fundraiser will help them out a lot.” Well this is huge. We get seventy percent of whatever comes in. And it looks like it’s a pretty significant take for what is a small group.”After the walk, participants were treated to a BBQ and some prizes were given out.
Folks could help in the fight against cancer today by simply taking a tour of some kitchens.The Eastern Maine Medical Center Auxiliary hosted their fifth annual Kitchen Tour of the greater Bangor area.All the proceeds of ticket sales goes toward Cancer Care of Maine.Each kitchen has special features about them.And every year there are different kitchens to be toured.Incoming Auxiliary President Paula Ballesteros says it’s one of their biggest fundraisers.And she credits its success to the unique fundraiser.” I think people are always curious about what homes look like. So by coming and looking at the kitchens they get to peek about other features of the home.”Folks on the tour visited six different kitchens this year.After the tour was complete there was a tasting held a Wellman Commons in Bangor.If you would like more information on the EMMC Auxiliary you visit their website www.emmcauxiliary.org.
Members of the Mount Desert Island High School band received some exciting news today.As Meghan Hayward reports they’ll be ringing in the new year in royal fashion.In about fifteen months members of the Mount Desert Island High School band will be tapping their feet to the beat of their music, in London.It’s a special honor but not a first time honor for some of the band members, they’ll be going back for a second time.” I didn’t believe it. I think it took me about a week before I realized he was serious and I actually had the opportunity to go from a rural town in Maine to one of the biggest and best cities in the world.”That city is London, England.The opportunity is to perform in the 25th anniversary New Year’s Day Parade.There will be more than 10,000 performers in the parade, which will have a street audience of about 500,000, and it will be on TV around the world.They’ve done it once before so they know what it was like the first time around.” Excitement, happiness. I felt like I was part of something, a bigger part of the world.”Executive Director of the parade Bob Bone and Deputy Lieutenant of London Roger Bramble traveled to MDI to deliver the news.Bone says they were an easy choice.” A very very good reputation for making very good music. We we’re attracted to them first of all because they have a good concert reputation.”Bone says it may have been an easy pick for them, but it took twelve years to convince the high school music director to make the trip.He says they brought a lot to the parade two years ago, and he is sure they will add even more this time around.” Every American band adds a great deal to the parade. But I think it’s the first band from Maine that had ever marched in the parade so that was quite something for the audience.”Music Director Daniel Granholm says now the real work begins. ” The marching part is a big effort because we don’t march very often. So in order for us to look good and sound good and play outside that’s a lot of hard marching band work.”A lot of hard work for an opportunity Deputy Lieutenant Roger Bramble says will stay with the students for a lifetime.” I have always felt that kids who love and practice music are more alive to all that’s out there.”
It was a bittersweet day here at our station Friday.After seven years with the TV5 Family, Amy Erickson is moving on.Amy is heading back to her home state to take a public relations job in Boston.She and her twin girls will be closer to her family. Aislin and Emma will be five in December, so Amy says the time is right to make the move before they start school.Amy has been a big asset for us, both as a reporter and anchor. We will miss her, but wish her the very best in her new career.We get to hang onto her husband, Keith, a while longer. He’ll be with us a few more weeks before he joins Amy and the girls in Massachusetts, which is also his home state.