News

Paul Bunyan Makeover Needs Communities Help

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

The Paul Bunyan statue was introduced here in Bangor back in 1959 to help celebrate Bangor’s 125th anniversary. As time and weather have taken their toll, it became clear some major work was needed to restore the iconic landmark to its original form. “Paul was not feeling very well,” says Karl Ward, Presidetn and CEO of Nickerson & OD’ay Inc., and member of The Paul Bunyan Preservation Committee. “First of all he needed a makeup job, and lastly some vandals had taken, well one of things they had taken was his peavey, and the structural foundation here was in very tough shape,” says Ward.The Paul Bunyan Preservation Committee is a group of local businesses who have donated their time and money to restoring the Bangor landmark.”We wanted to commemorate it this year, in it’s 175th anniversary,” says Ward, “we have some serious structural issues we want to repair, besides, the original architect is still with us today. He’s in his 80′s, and we thought what a great thing to do if he could still be with us to see it restored to it’s former glory.”With the restoration just about finished, the committee still sits about $3000 short. Ward also says there is no shortage of people to thank for the top to bottom restoration. “Lane Construction did all the paving, and S&S Masonry did a wonderful job restoring the base, Modern Decorators and Jeanne Savoy of DaVinci Signs who repainted Paul and shaved him up to get him looking good.” With all the help they have already recieved, the giant undertaking is causing the committee to call on some other local businesses, as well as members of the community to help out in any way they can to get them over the hump. “Well what we’re looking for here is, even though some businesses have stepped up, we’re hoping that others can, and we’re also hoping that the everyday citizen of Bangor can step up. It doesn’t matter, we’ve had someone as young as the age of 4 painting Paul’s socks, so any contribution, 10$, 25$, 100$ would be helpful.”Anyone wishing to make a donation can mail it or drop it off at the Bangor Parks and Recreation Office, 647 Main Street in Bangor. Make checks payable to the City of Bangor, and make sure to write “Paul Bunyan Restoration” in the memo line.

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Weinberger Passes Away

Updated 5 years ago

Publisher and author Jane Weinberger of Somes Sound, Mount Desert Island, has died.The Mount Desert Islander newspaper reports that she died Sunday night in Bar Harbor.She Founded Windswept House Publishers and wrote several books.She was married for 63 years to former U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who served in that role in the Reagan Administration.He died in 2006.She was born in Milford and met Caspar on a troop ship while she was a nurse with the U.S. Army.Jane Weinberger was 91.

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Todd Curry Petitions for Visits Outside Facility

Updated 5 years ago

Todd Curry shot and killed his girlfriend’s son in Palmyra three years ago. He’s been at a state psychiatric hospital for the past couple of years. Now he’ll be allowed to leave the grounds for supervised visits.According to testimony given Monday, Curry has made extraordinary progress in the past six months at Riverview Psychiatric Facility compared to his earlier behavior.In 2006, Curry shot and killed 13-year old Anthony Tucker during a domestic dispute. Curry pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, claiming he heard a voice in his head saying he needed to kill someone in the house in order to save the world. In 2007, a judge ruled Curry was legally insane when he committed the crime and so wasn’t criminally responsible. Since then, he has been at the facility in Augusta.Monday, the court heard Curry’s request for supervised off-premise outings, starting in 2-hour blocks. His psychologist and the state forensic service testified that such activities, under the close watch of a staff member, are the logical course of action for people in his circumstance. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese says that’s the purpose of these hearings. “It’s important to remember that when people are committed under an NCR to Riverview that the idea is rehabilitation, and going back into society. So this was an appropriate first step for that.”During testimony, a psychologist called the shooting, quote, “A horrible crime, occasioned by serious mental illness and heavy substance abuse.”They say Curry’s progress means he would benefit from gradual release into the community, noting that his father is supportive of him.Family members of Anthony Tucker were also in the courtroom today to watch the hearing. After Curry’s request was granted, Tucker’s uncle said, “That’s the process…what else can you say.”

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Fatal Accident Closes Interstate Exit

Updated 5 years ago

State Police say the Bowdoinham exit of Interstate 295 will be closed from 10 to 2 Monday as troopers investigate a fatal crash that took place late Sunday night. Troopers said a car went off the exit and struck several trees.  25 year old Rachel Mooney of Brunswick was killed in the crash.  She was a passenger in the vehicle driven by 27 year old Matthew Doucette of Portland. Doucette was taken to Mid-Coast Hospital in Brunswick with non-life threatening injuries.  Mooney was flown to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston by the Lifeflight helicopter, where she died early Monday morning.Troopers said speed and alcohol are considered factors in the crash.  A team of troopers will be taking measurements and examine skid marks Monday, while the exit is closed,  attempting to determine how fast the car was going when it left the roadway.  

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Lyme Disease Cases on the Rise

Updated 5 years ago

Lyme disease has been on the rise in Maine.Maine health officials say cases of the disease were up by 72 percent last year.According to The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 900 cases of the tick-borne illness in humans in 2008.Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria that’s transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected deer tick, also known as a black-legged tick. Biting ticks are particularly prevalent this time of year as they search wooded areas for a host to bite.While the disease often causes symptoms such as joint pain and fatigue, it’s much more serious for some people who becomeinfected. It is often difficult to detect.

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Maine Man Awarded Millions in Priest Sex Abuse Suit

Updated 5 years ago

A federal judge has awarded more than four-point-four million dollars to a former altar boy who says he was molested by a priest 24 years ago.39-year-old Steven Boyden syas he was abused at age 15 by Reverend Ronald Michaud, his former pastor at St. Hyacinth’s Parish in Westbrook. The judge awarded Boyden 3-point-four-six million dollars in compensatory damages and another million in compensatory damages.Michaud was removed from the minstry in 1989.

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Topless Coffee Shop Owner Seeks Permission to Rebuild

Updated 5 years ago

The owner of a topless coffee shop that burned down wants permission to build a replacement shop.Donald Crabtree owns the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro.It was destroyed in an arson fire last month.Crabtree plans to go before the Vassalboro Planning Board on Tuesday to apply to build a new structure.He’s also considering asking for some operating changes.Last time Crabtree appeared before the Board was June second, when he asked about extending the shop’s hours and offering music for waitresses to dance to.Later that night, the shop burned down.The shop first opened for business back in February.

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McGowan Safe After Making Emergency Landing

Updated 5 years ago

Maine’s Conservation Commissioner is safe after making an emergency landing on a golf course.It happened Saturday morning.Patrick McGowan of Hallowell and a passenger were flying in McGowan’s 1946 Aeronica Champ when engine started having problems.McGowan made an emergency landing on the fourth fairway of Fox Ridge Golf Course in Auburn.The plane ended up on its belly in a gully, with its landing gear sheared off.Neither McGowan nor his passenger was hurt, and there was only minor damage to the fairway.McGowan has been flying for 35 years…he says he’d been heading from Waterville to Hampton, New Hampshire.

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Machiasport Man Killed in MA Crash

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Machiasport was killed in a car crash in Massachusetts this weekend.Police say 67-year-old Robert Elmer was travelling on Route 90 West in Hopkinton Saturday afternoon when the crash happened.State Troopers say Elmer lost control of his pickup truck, which then rolled over.Elmer was taken to to the hospital with serious injuries…he died Saturday night.The crash is under investigation.

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Governor’s Race Seen as Wide Open

Updated 5 years ago

For the fourth time in a row Maine faces a broad scramble to succeed a two-term governor. Next year’s contest may become the most wide open since 1994.Both major party nominations could be hotly contested and a number of independent figures are under close watch as Maine’s third gubernatorial campaign under the Clean Elections system that offers a public financing option gets under way.Democrats, Republicans and Greens hold primary elections next June.Steven Rowe of Portland, a former state attorney general and House speaker, has a leg up among Democrats. Another declared Democrat is little-known state Rep. Dawn Hill of York, a lawyer and small business owner.Among Republicans, early activity was stirred by untested longshots: Matthew Jacobson, president and chief executive of Maine & Co. from Cumberland and developer Bruce Poliquin of Georgetown. Republican Les Otten of Greenwood, the former ski mogul, has formed an exploratory committee and others are waiting in the wings on both sides, so the field could grow.

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Charlie Howard Remembered

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

Sunday marked the end of a weeklong remembrance of the death of Charlie Howard. He was killed in Bangor back in 1984: because he was gay.”It’s important to remember Charlie because his life and death happened here, this is our story, our tale and so both our hearts and our minds were involved and are involved in this,” says Reverend Rich Forcier, who delivered an emotional sermon titled “Why We Remember Charlie.”More than 70 people turned out at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bangor for the service. “This is a wonderful opportunity today, a wonderful occasion to celebrate his life, to change things, to make things better,” said Suzanne Kelly who lead a hymn and dance in honor of Howard.The 23-year-old howard was beaten and thrown to his death off the State Street bridge 25 years ago: all because he was gay. Today’s sermon focused on acceptance. “I think it starts from the inside out,” said Reverend Forcier, “I think a person comforts their discomfort with difference, with strangeness within themselves, and on a one to one level, an interpersonal level they challenge themselves to meet and learn and understand each other.”Most of those who attended the service then walked to the State Street bridge and threw flowers into the river. Some of the onlookers were overcome with emotion.Lois Reed, a Bangor historian, has been in contact with Howard’s mother. She has not been back to Bangor since her son’s death 25 years ago, but she’s hopeful that by honoring her son’s memory, the community can learn a valuable lesson. “We must remember, we must make sure it doesn’t happen again…I hope we send a message that such events are intolerable.”

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Rock Thefts Up at Acadia National Park

Updated 5 years ago

It sounds strange, but it seems visitors are taking some odd souvenirs from Acadia National Park these days…rocks.Park officials say rocks are disappearing, some carried away as mementos in backpacks, others loaded into pickups for faraway landscaping projects.Acadia’s chief ranger, Stuart West, says he’s noticed a decline in the amount and variety of loose stones at the park’s busiest beaches. He says taking a rock doesn’t sound like a major problem, until you multiply it by hundreds of thousands of people.Rangers say they charge about a dozen rock thieves a year, who end up facing fines of 50 to a hundred fifty dollars apiece.

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Tourism Season Hit Hard by Rainy Weather

Updated 5 years ago

The rainy, cool weather we’ve had most of the past month was bad news for Maine’s tourism industry.Merchants across the state are hoping this weekend’s winning weather can help salvage their season.Businesses catering to tourists already anticipated a slow season because of the recession. Then they got a double-whammy with the wet, raw weather. Vaughn Stinson of the Maine Tourism Association puts the damage at millions of dollars in Maine alone. He says what the season needs is more days like Friday, when the temperature hit the 80s across the state.

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Brooksville Man Killed in Crash

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Brooksville is dead after a car crash in that town.It happened Friday evening, just before 6 p.m.The victim is identified as 46-year-old Michael Bernal.Police say his car ran off Varnumwille Road and landed upside down in a stream.Rescue crews pulled Bernal from the car and took him to Blue Hill Memorial Hospital…he was later pronounced dead.Police are investigating the crash.

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Two Seriously Injured in ATV Crash in Moscow

Updated 5 years ago

A brother and sister from Clinton are seriously injured after an ATV crash.It happened around noontime Saturday in Moscow.Game Wardens say 20-year-old Sarah Green was driving an ATV on the Palmer Pond Road…it’s a multi-use ATV trail and road that leads to Bingham.Green’s 10-year-old brother was a passenger on the four-wheeler.Wardens say the ATV collided with a Jeep.Sarah Green suffered internal injuries…Wardens say she was not wearing a helmet.Her younger brother, who was wearing a helmet, suffered a compound leg fracture.Both were taken by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.No one in the Jeep was injured.

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Teenage Girl Safe After Being Swept Away in Penobscot RIver

Updated 5 years ago

A 16-year-old Pennsylvania girl was swept downstream in the Penobscot River in northern Maine, but was able to reach shore just before she would have dropped over a waterfall. The Maine Warden Service says Rebecca Levine of Pittsburgh floated and bounced two and a half miles downstream and through rapids Friday evening. She is working on trails for a student conservation association. Wardens say Levine was floating with two other friends near a campground when she was swept downstream. She was wearing a life jacket. She told wardens she scrambled to get to shore when she heard the noise of the approaching falls, known as the “Big A” Falls. Levine was treated for scrapes, bruises and bug bites.

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World Premiere of Tapped at Maine International Film Festival

Updated 5 years ago

The world premiere of Tapped will be tomorrow at the Maine International Film Festival.Tapped is a documentary that trails the path of the bottled water industry.It shows the lives of those affected by the industry.Sarah Gibson one of the producers says the documentary shows those caught at the intersection of a big business and the public’s right to water.Tomorrow, before the movie premiere there will be a truck of 7,000 Poland Spring water bottles outside the Waterville Opera House.The 7,000 bottles represent one-fourth of the amount of bottled water Maine consumes in one week.Showings for the movie are tomorrow at 3:30, Monday at 6 pm and Wednesday at 9:30 pm.For more information on the movie or buying tickets you can go to www.miff.org.

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History Comes Alive in Bangor

Updated 5 years ago

History was brought alive today in Bangor.As Meghan Hayward tells us folks present learned a history lesson that will not be soon forgotten.The Mount Hope Cemetary in Bangor took a trip back in time Saturday.” This is the 175th anniversary of Bangor as a city and the 175th anniversary of Mount Hope Cemetary as a cemetary. We wanted to commemorate and do a rededication of the Civil War Monument that is here.”Bangor City Council Chairman Gerry Palmer says Bangor and the state of Maine paid a heavy price during the Civil War.He says they wanted to bring that event alive.An event that is important to to Bangor and surrounding residents.” Our history is all here in this cemetary and it’s a treasure for our community and other communities would be well served to have something like this.”David Gould of Winterport had the honor of being Hannibal Hamlin, a role he enjoyed playing.” We just kind of bring back a little bit of history for everyone. If nobody was willing to do that we’d just have modern speakers. It doesn’t have the same flavor.”Gould says he thinks the re-enactment will help more people understand the history.” It may capture their interest so they do a little more research and learn a little bit about Hannibal Hamlin, a unique vice president from the state of Maine.”Celeste Livengood of Orono was a spectator at Saturday’s events.” The rededication of the monument, there was a history that I didn’t know about and when they read the history it was very interesting.”Her son Michael Livengood also got to see everything firsthand.What was his favorite part?” The cannons. It was loud and stuff like that.”Palmer’s hope is that children like Michael who were present at Saturday’s events will return to the cemetary one day.” Really like them to do is go back to the trees that Lincoln and Hamlin planted. Young children that will be 50 to 60 years or older and say I remember when Lincoln and Hamlin planted those trees.”

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Native American Festival

Updated 5 years ago

The artistic community of Native Americans was on display in Bar Harbor today.The Native American Festival kicked off with a traditional prayer facing each cardinal direction.Folks attending the festival had the opportunity to collect baskets and jewelry from the artisans.It also allowed them a unique look into the Native American history.An opportunity that Director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, Theresa Secord says benefits them.” It really generates income for the tribal artisans and in this economy that’s important. It also encourages the next generation. They’re able to see others practicing our ancient traditional art and they get encouraged by some little sales of their own baskets and things.”Secord says one of the things she is most proud of about the festival is how it brings together three and four generations of family.

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Brooksville Fatal

Updated 5 years ago

A man died in a bad car accident Friday in Brooksville.Police received a call around 5:30 that a vehicle had gone off Varnumville Rd. and landed upside down in a stream.When crews arrived, they pulled the driver from the car and took him to the hospital in Blue Hill, where he was pronounced dead.Officials later identified the driver as 46-year-old Michael Bernal of Brooksville, his family has been notified.Police are investigating, but believe driver inattention may have been a cause.

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