Close to 10 large trucks were stuck on a hill in dixmont for over 3 hours Wednesday.A scene that many truck drivers say is a perfect example of why the trucking project Senator Collins is promoting should be passed.All the trucks were struck on a hill along Route 202 because there was no sand on it.This is a normal path they follow because current weight limits say their rigs are too heavy for part of the highway in Maine.For many of the drivers, the delay means a day without pay because their loads will not be delivered on time.But they say, more importantly, them being stuck poses a danger to other motorists.” It’s unsafe. I was stuck on top of the hill and I had to go back all the way down as cars were coming. I had to stop, we could jack-knife. There’s a lot of dangers.”” It’s a major traffic hazard. We’re not out here because we want to be, we’re out here because the law tells us we have to be. Now it’s to the point where there are 8 to 10 trucks down here that are waiting to go up the hill and we can’t. I had to back down and I met a school bus, it’s just dangerous.”We spoke with the Eastern Region Manager for Maine DOT Dale Doughty who released this statement.” It does take an hour to two, to make a cycle around.And at times when it’s snowing hard, the snow will pack and become slippery depending on the type of snow. But that does not mean we won’t get to it.”
Patients are filing through the doors of the new Penobscot Eye Care Facility in Brewer.It features equipment to make frames right on site.Optometrist Kathy Ward says sometimes they have eye wear ready to go before a patient’s appointment is over.Ward says they wanted the new facility to be comfortable and convenient for patients.”It’s a lot of advances over the old building. It is bigger, there’s more space. We have several more exam rooms and extra screening rooms for pre-diagnostic evaluations.”Nickerson and O’Day of Brewer built the facility which, we’re told, was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.
”If you’re not unique, you better be cheap.”That was the oft-repeated message at the Bangor Chamber of Commerce’s Early Bird Breakfast on Wednesday. University of Maine graduate, and author and inventor, Doug Hall was the guest speaker.Hall is known for his “Jump Dtart” book series, as well as his appearance on the ABC television series American Inventor.He started his inventing career at age 12 and is now the founder and CEO of the Eureka Ranch, located in Cincinnati.But Hall says he is partial to the state of Maine, and especially UMaine.Several of his family members are Maine graduates.He says the UMaine connection to business is crucial.”We can do it in the State of Maine, especially in the Bangor area. If you look around the country all the regions where you see growth from North Carolina research triangle to Cambridge, Massachusetts to northern California it’s all about being connected to the universities. And the University of Maine is here to help.”The Eureka Ranch specializes in creating new products and services for corporate clients that include American Express, Nike and the Walt Disney Company.
This first big snow storm of the year has one local business booming.As Meghan Hayward tells us a lot of Mainers have waited until the last minute to get their vehicles ready for winter.The folks at Tires, Batteries and Accessories in Bangor are seeing customers line up before they’re even open.”This whole week has been absolutely insane. But we’re trying to accommodate our customers. Getting in early and doing everything we can.”Owner Al Belanger says folks can expect to wait a little over two hours.He says they’ve put on about 800 tires since Sunday, and there’s no end in sight.”Oh probably 300 tires just today.”Belanger says the sudden boom in business is always expected this time of year.”Every year. We do live in Maine. We do get snow around the same time every year.”He says there are a few things drivers should keep an eye on this time of year.”Make sure you watch your air pressure, your battery. Check your wiper blades, anti-freeze. All the normal stuff we have to do every year.”And, Belanger jokes that he has an easy way for folks to tell if it’s time for new tires.”If your tires look like my head, you need new ones.”
A Bangor woman is facing assault charges, after an incident last week that left a man badly injured.27-year-old Laura Smith turned herself in to police Tuesday night. She appeared in court Wednesday. According to police documents, a 43-year-old man called Bangor police a week ago Sunday after waking up with severe burns on his back.Officials say the man had passed out at a party on First Street. According to a witness, Smith threw hot water on the man and assaulted him with a wooden dowel.They say the man is still in serious condition, with internal injuries and second-degree burns.Smith is charged with elevated aggravated assault and gross sexual assault. She’s being considered for a mental health exam, due to pre-existing issues.Her bail is set at 10-thousand dollars cash.
An Industry man is under arrest after police say he sexually assaulted a 17 year old female.The juvenile reported being assaulted just before 8:00 last night. She told police she was picked up by a man in a van while she was walking from Farmington to Industry.Police arrested Dean Martin for unlawful Sexual Touching based on information supplied by the victim.
There are 35 to 50 Hands of Hope trees standing in the entrances of Walmarts, restaurants, schools, corner and other stores. On the trees are tags with gift requests by children from poverty-level families.Kathy Harvey, the director of Hands of Hope explains she has seen a difference in the requests of the children this year. Harvey says, “Last year somewhere about twenty or twenty five on their lists were bedding, this year that’s been moved up to 4, we have families that are asking for needs over wants.” Hands of Hope helps over a thousand kids each year in 29 communities. The gifts will be given out on december 19th so shoppers are asked to make the purchases before that day. For more information on Hands of Hope: http://bangorhandsofhope.tripod.com/
A health center in Bucksport is getting nearly $2,500,000 to help it meet the needs of patients in the area. The money comes from the federal stimulus plan. The Bucksport Regional Health Center will use the $2.46 million to add mental health services and counseling for patients with chronic conditions.The executive director of the center, John Corrigan, is at the White House today, along with Representative Mike Michaud, to talk about the importance of community health centers, like the one in Bucksport.
A man accused of raping a 60-year-old woman in her home in Passadumkeag is going to prison for the next 15 years. 39-year-old Derwin Springer, Junior, was sentenced Tuesday on sexual assault and burglary charges. Prosecutors say Springer was a neighbor of the victim.He pleaded no contest to the charges this fall, claiming he doesn’t remember what happened the night of the attack.State police arrested him after matching up his DNA with evidence from the crime.Springer was sentenced to 10 years on the burglary charge, which he’ll serve at the same time as the 15-year sentence.
Firefighters have released the identity of the of a man found in the rubble of a fire that flattened a farmhouse on Route 1 in Cherryfield. State Police Public Spokesman Steve McCausland says 35-year old Chris Farnsworth’s body was found Wednesday. Officials with the State Fire Marshal’s Office say the fire broke out before dawn. Mary Farnsworth owns the home and managed to escape. She told firefighters her son woke her, said his bedroom was on fire and that he was going to get water to put it out.We’re told firefighters tried to go upstairs to search the home, but the heat and smoke was too intense for them to reach the bedrooms.State Fire Marshal Investigator Tim York says the damage to the home is too great and a cause can not be determined.
The infrastructure committee of the Bangor city council met Tuesday night and discussed the issue of nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries.It was just the opening discussion regarding the issue.Councilors brought up some of their initial concerns: such as the location of the dispensaries, the number of them that will be allowed in bangor, and the security of the facilities.However those involved say it’s still very early in the process. “We will be looking at city zoning regulations and whatever else the council is interest in regarding this issue.” Said Bangor’s Assistant City Solicitor Paul Nicholas. “I think once we’ve heard back from the state we’ll be in a position to put in any regulations on a municipality level.”The council will take a more in depth look at the issue at their first meeting in January.
A West Gardiner man who robbed five banks in central Maine will spend the next eleven years in prison.44-year-old Paul Rivera robbed three banks in Augusta, one in Hallowell, and one in Gardiner beginning in November of last year.Police found a toy gun during a search of his car.District Attorney Evert Fowle says even though a real gun wasn’t used, the victims were traumatized just the same so the sentence is appropriate.
A woman Bangor Police were looking for in connection with an assault turned herself in late Tuesday afternoon.On November 29th, police got a 911 call from a home on 1st Street.They found a 43-year-old man in the home with severe burns on his back.Police say Laura Smith, a former resident of 1st Street, is responsible for the incident.Smith is expected to be charged with elevated aggravated assault and gross sexual assault.
A victory for truckers on Maine’s highways.A government subcommittee has given the final approval for a one-year pilot project, easing weight limits for big rigs on major roadways.They voted on the topic Tuesday night.Senator Susan Collins is behind the program. She believes “A uniform truck weight limit would keep trucks on the interstates where they belong, rather than on the rural roads that pass through our small towns and villages.” Collins says the one year project will give officials an assessment of the impact of the safety, commerce and road wear and tear.The report must still receive final approval from both the House and Senate. It would then go to the president for his signature.
State Police believe a man whose body was found inside his cabin in Vienna died after being struck in the head by a tree he was cutting.The state medical examiners office says an autopsy revealed 49-year-old Peter Miller died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck.State Police found Miller’s chainsaw near a tree a short distance from his cabin, where he lived alone.Police conclude that Miller made his way to the cabin after his injury and died.His body was found on Sunday. Police believe the accident happened the previous week.
Tis the season to give gifts.The folks at the American Red Cross hope you consider giving the Gift of Life.And now they have more opportunities for you to do so.”I am very excited to cut the ribbon to officially open the Bangor apheresis donor center”It’s new technology at the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross.For years, they’ve asked people to donate whole blood which includes, red cells, platelets and plasma.The apheresis machine, can collect just one component, most of the time platelets.”The machine separates the whole blood into components and collects a measurement of the desired component. The other components of the donors blood are then returned to the donor.”That means more platelets can be collected each time, that’s helpful for patients who often will only be able accept platelets from one particular donor.Platelets are life savers to people with blood diseases, cancer and bone marrow transplants.”I started when I was 17.”Christopher D’Amico has been donating blood for 30 years, and was the first here to donate platelets.He says there’s a down side, it takes longer, up to 2 hours. On the other hand…”The up side is the needle is a lot smaller. I don’t mind that a bit.”And that sounds good to about 130 people who have already signed up for apheresis donation. The folks at the Red Cross say that speaks volumes of the generosity of the people of the region.”I’ve never been to a grand opening of a platelet pheresis center that already has that many donors lined up, ready, willing and able to give. It’s outstanding.”If you’d like to become a platelet donor, call the donor center at 941-2900 to make an appointment.
They say it’s a way to make the view at Acadia National Park even better.State officials gathered there Tuesday. State Senator Seth Goodall is introducing a new bill aimed at improving air quality and clearing up regional haze.His bill calls for reducing the sulfur content of fuel oil that’s used in homes and in industry, which he says reduces visibility.At times, he says haze makes the view in spots like Acadia just one-fifth of what it would be otherwise.”There’s a big movement in the market now to produce more low-sulfur fuels. So it’s a good thing, not only for our economy, but also for our health,” says Sen. Goodall.He’s proposing a gradual reduction, that would start in 2014 and extend into 2018, which he says would give producers and distributors ample notice.The bill will be on the docket in the upcoming legislative session, which starts next month.
The Maine Children’s Alliance is looking for photographs of children that best show what it’s like to be a kid in Maine. The photos selected will appear in the annual Maine Kids Count Data Book, which offers a statistical snapshot of how children in Maine are faring. Photographers will be credited for their photos in the book. You can submit photos and find release forms www.mekids.org. Deadline for submissions is January 8th.
This Saturday is being called a day of making miracles in Camden.Local business communities will be celebrating the miracles of the holiday season.It kicks-off with the Maine Pro Musica Holiday Pops Concert at 4 pm.All ticket proceeds go toward the United Midcoast Charities.Following the concert, doors will stay open for holiday shopping and dining.And participating businesses will donate up to 10 percent of their sales to UMCC.President Russell Brace says the generous fundraiser could not come at a better time.” The need is always great. We can never raise enough money. We feel we perform a great service to the people of Waldo and Knox County through these social services.”Once again, the Pro Musica Holiday Pops Concert will be Saturday December 12th at 4 pm in the Strom Auditorium at Camden Hills Regional High School.Tickets can be purchased at the door.The cost is $15 for anyone 18 years or younger.Or range from $30 to $50 for adults.For more information contact United Midcoast Charities at 236-2299.
A federal judge raised a few eyebrows in a Bangor courtroom yesterday while sentencing a Millinocket man on child pornography charges. The judge asked Phillp Scott Fournier to tell police everything he knows about the killing of an East Millinocket girl 30 years ago.Pam Mclain says she wasn’t surprised to hear that the 48-year-old Fournier was a person of interest in the 1980 killing of her daughter Joyce Mclain. “I’ve always known Scott. His name has always been brought up in Joyce’s murder.”Mclain says she was surprised that Judge John Woodcock was the one who brought this up. She says police have a list of several persons of interest, and she has had face-to-face talks with four of those people. “I ask them to come over and they know what they’re here for and we have a long conversation,” says McLain, “sometimes it lasts 3 or 4 hours and I really badger them.”One of the people she had a conversation with was Phillip Scott Fournier, who she knows as Scott. “Scott Fournier I talked to last summer.”McLain says she came away from that meeting unsure whether Fournier had something to do with the death of her daughter. Fournier allegedly stole an oil truck the night of the killing and Mclain says that was suspicious. “When he had the oil truck, it was after midnight so it was on the night and it was very early in the morning on Saturday,” she says, “do I think he might have seen something or know something? He was running from something.”Mclain says her faith has gotten her this far and she feels an arrest will come soon. She does have a message for those who may know something about that horrible night 30 years ago. “If they would go public with their story, where they was, what they were doing, and look people in the eye and say they didn’t kill Joyce, it might help get the one that did. If they didn’t do it, come forward and say so.”TV 5 spoke with Phillip Scott Fournier’s attorney, Virginia Villa, she says it’s common knowledge that Fournier is a person of interest in the case, and she has never seen a judge do this in open court before.