The federal government is spending $200,000 to help potential property investors in Hancock County separate fact from fiction. “So the idea is you know there’s a lot of older industrial sites, gas stations sites, landfills etc. that people are afraid to invest in because of real or perceived environmental conditions,” says Glenn Daukas. Daukas is the project manager for Campbell Environmental Group who is spearheading the Brownfield Project. The mere perception of environmental issues can reduce the value and use of properties even if there are no issues present, and that can scare off investors. “The idea of this program is to identify these sites and do investigations on them to determine what are the true environmental risks associated with them,” says Daukas. Once the risks are determined they can either clean them up or let investors know the price tag of any needed cleanup. “It’s not an unknown,” Daukas adds, “it’s not some type of thing where they’re saying there used to be ethal-methal bad stuff here and we could be looking at $500,000 to $1 million in cleanup when in reality it may not need any cleanup or in fact a $25-$50,000 cleanup.”One site that is already being called a Brownfield success is Gordon’s Wharf in Sullivan. Tom Martin is the Executive Director of the Hancock County Planning Commission. “Gordon’s wharf was an old granite loading site and the town wishes to acquire it,” says Martin “using the grant money, as a public access to Taunton Bay in Sullivan.”Gordon’s Wharf is close to getting a clean bill of health from the Maine DEP and that has organizers of the project smiling. “That’s the goal of this entire program,” says Daukas, “to identify these sites, identify the risks, and get the property back into a viable economic use, whether it’s open green space, waterfront access, both are a success of this program.” >
A man from Glenburn who admitted to breaking into the Family Dollar Store in Brewer last Halloween night will spend a year behind bars. 20-year-old Charles Dion was sentenced today for robbery and theft by unauthorized taking. He was ordered to pay back more than 26-hundred dollars to the family dollar store, too.Dion will also serve a concurrent sentence for stealing and wrecking two trucks, along with some misdemeanor charges. Dion worked at the Family Dollar store and was one of four men who robbed the place.18-year-old Raeleigh Hill of Eddington, 20-year-old Jason Goodin of Holden and 19-year-old Jesse Hatch of Eddington are already serving time for the crime.
Budding archaeologists are spending the week at Fort Knox in Prospect.A special field school is allowing amateurs to try their hands at digging for clues to the past.Amy Erickson has more.”A tremendous amount of history. You just have to find it.”That’s just what Faith Campbell intends to do.She and six other students are spending the week at Fort Knox’s second annual Archaeology Field School.It’s a chance for budding archaeologists to study under a master…and help dig up clues to the Fort’s past.They’re focusing on an old foundation near the Visitor Center.The spot once housed support buildings while the Fort was under construction.”My working idea is that this is the blacksmith shop. We found a number of artifacts that went along with that, including nailstock that was used to make nails…and other tools that make sense together only if they’re at the blacksmith shop.”Historical Archaeologist Peter Morrison is the project leader.He’s helped the students uncover everything from railroad spikes to buttons…even some old crockery.”It makes the history quite real when you find something that…the last person that held it was a blacksmith, this is where he dropped it…sometimes you get a really direct connection to that history.””It’s adding to the story of Fort Knox. There were many support buildings here. We don’t know where they were. There is, in fact, an undiscovered Fort Knox, so every time we do a field school, we’re discovering more about it and adding to the base of knowledge about Fort Knox.”Campbell, for one, wants to do her part to help others make that connection to Maine’s history.”So many of our history textbooks talk about Virginia and Massachusetts.””not a lot has been written about Maine history, or as much as we’d like.”
Julia Usher is the former owner of AzucArte, a boutique bakery known for its one-of-a-kind wedding cakes. Usher’s work has been featured in Vera Wang on Weddings, Modern Bride, Brideâ€™s, and Elegant Bride.Now a freelance food writer and stylist, working from part-time residence in Stonington, Maine and also from St. Louis: Usher’s work has appeared in Bon AppÃ©tit, Fine Cooking, Better Homes and Gardens, Mary Engelbreitâ€™s Home Companion, Gastronomica, and several other regional/local publicationsJulia dropped by our studios to tell us about her new book “Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year.” She shared some upcoming events, and a couple recipes!For more information check out Julia’s website: www.juliausher.com”Cookie Swap” Events:Blue Hill Library, Blue Hill, Aug. 6, 6:30-8:00pmStonington Farmersâ€™ Market, Aug. 7, 9am-12pmgShermanâ€™s Books & Stationery, Bar Harbor, Aug. 7, 7pm-9amBlue Hill Farmersâ€™ Market, Aug. 8, 9am-11:30am Bookstacks, Bucksport, Aug. 8, 1-2pmThe Good Table, Belfast, Aug. 9, 2-4pmShermanâ€™s Books & Stationery, Camden, Aug. 10, 1pm-3pmLeft Bank Books, Searsport, Aug. 11, 3-5:30pmRecipes:Top Dogs with Coffee Cream Filling Makes 2 â€“ 2 1/2 dozen 2 1/2-inch sandwich cookiesHereâ€™s another backyard barbeque look-alike that will make your summer party sizzle. To streamline the preparation, you can mix and bake the meringue â€œbunsâ€ up to 1 week ahead: then fill them right before youâ€™re ready to dig in.Note: Though I think the bitter espresso powder in the filling is a necessary foil to the sweetness of the meringue â€œbuns,â€ kids may not agree. For a more kid-friendly filling, increase the vanilla extract in Italian Buttercream to 1 tablespoon and substitute 2 ounces melted, cooled semisweet chocolate for the espresso powder in Step 6, below.Cookie Key:Complexity: MediumActive Time: 2 hoursType: Piped: sandwichPrep Talk: Store unfilled meringue â€œbunsâ€ in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks. Once filled, the cookies must be refrigerated. (The filling is perishable.) Store in airtight containers in the fridge up to 2 â€“ 3 days. For best eating, serve at room temperature. Note: The â€œbunsâ€ will be quite crunchy to start. If you prefer a softer texture, allow the cookies to sit for 1 -2 days in the fridge before serving.Hazelnut Meringue â€œBunsâ€1 cup granulated sugar, divided3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (with skins)2 tablespoons cornstarch4 large egg whites, room temperature1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar1/8 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon pure hazelnut or vanilla extract Coffee Buttercream Filling2 cups (about 1/2 recipe) Italian Buttercream (below), divided15 – 20 drops yellow liqua-gel food coloring 15 – 20 drops brown liqua-gel food coloring, divided 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1 teaspoon boiling water 1 – 2 drops red liqua-gel food coloring1. Prepare hazelnut meringue â€œbunsâ€: Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 300Â°F. (If you have two ovens, position racks in the middle and preheat both ovens. The cookies will bake more evenly in this configuration.) Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, the hazelnuts, and cornstarch in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until the nuts are finely ground, but not pasty.3. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment. (Note: The bowl, whip attachment, and all mixing utensils should be completely free of fat, or the egg whites will not stiffen.) Beat on medium speed until frothy and add the salt. Continue to beat to firm peaks: then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and gradually add the remaining sugar. Quickly scrape down the sides of the bowl: then resume beating on high speed until the whites are stiff and glossy, about 1 â€“ 2 minutes.4. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the reserved nut mixture along with the hazelnut extract. Turn the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip. Pipe 2 â€“ 2 1/2 dozen small (3/4 x 2 1/4-inch) â€œbunsâ€ onto each of the prepared cookie sheets, spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart. Smooth any peaks in the meringue with a barely damp fingertip. (Note: There will be leftover batter: but if it isnâ€™t baked immediately after piping, it will quickly lose volume.)5. Place both cookie sheets in the oven at the same time and bake 25 â€“ 30 minutes, or until the cookies are crisp and lightly browned. To ensure even browning, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom rack, and vice versa, midway through baking. (Alternatively, place one cookie sheet in each of two ovens.) Immediately transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely before filling or storing.6. Mix the buttercream: It is best to make the buttercream just before youâ€™re ready to assemble the cookies so it is at the ideal working consistency. (If made in advance, it must be refrigerated and then softened at room temperature to working consistency.) Mix 1/2 cup Italian Buttercream with the yellow food coloring and a drop of brown coloring to make the â€œmustard.â€ Combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups Italian Buttercream with the dissolved espresso powder (or 2 ounces melted premium semisweet chocolate for the kids) and whisk well. Deepen the color to a hot dog hue by adding the remaining brown and red food coloring. 7. Assemble the cookies: Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch round tip and fill with the brown buttercream. Fit another pastry bag with a 1/8-inch round tip and fill with the yellow buttercream. Turn half of the cookies flat-side up. Using the first pastry bag, pipe a short (1/2 x 1 3/4-inch) â€œhot dogâ€ along the length of each cookie. Top each â€œhot dogâ€ with another â€œbun,â€ placed flat-side down, and gently press together. Turn the sandwiches on their sides so that the â€œhot dogsâ€ are clearly visible from the top. Using the second pastry bag, pipe a squiggle of yellow buttercream on top of each â€œhot dogâ€ to mimic a squirt of â€œmustard.â€Italian ButtercreamMakes about 4 1/2 cups Unlike classic American buttercream, which consists primarily of butter and powdered sugar, this icing starts with whipped egg whites and ends up fluffy and light â€“ ideal for cookie toppings and fillings.Notes: 1. Though the egg whites are heated in this recipe, pasteurized whites can be substituted to minimize the risk of food-borne illness associated with raw eggs. Use about 2 tablespoons pasteurized whites for every large white.2. If a recipe calls for any fraction of Italian Buttercream, it is best to make a full batch and portion off what you need, as the ingredient quantities below are too small to practically mix in any smaller quantity. Unused icing may be frozen for later use, as described below.Cookie Key:Complexity: MediumActive Time: Â½ hourType: N/APrep Talk: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Once refrigerated or frozen, the icing must be softened to room temperature and re-beaten before use. 4 large egg whites, room temperature (or about 9 tablespoons pasteurized egg whites)1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar2/3 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon light corn syrup 1 2/3 cups (3 sticks plus 2 2/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (increase to 1 tablespoon if you do not add other flavorings)Additional flavorings, as desired1. Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment. (Note: The bowl, whip attachment, and all mixing utensils should be completely free of fat, or the egg whites will not stiffen.) Beat on medium speed to firm peaks.2. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and corn syrup in a large nonstick skillet and stir to evenly moisten the sugar. Place the mixture over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring as needed to make sure the sugar completely dissolves. Continue to boil approximately 30 seconds, until thick, syrupy, and bubbly through to the center.3. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and gradually add the hot sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream, with the mixer running. Once all of the syrup has been incorporated, quickly scrape down the sides of the bowl, taking care not to scrape any hard, crystallized sugar into the meringue. Resume beating at high speed until the meringue has cooled, about 7 â€“ 10 minutes.4. Add the butter 2 tablespoons at time, beating well after each addition. (Note: The icing will initially deflate and look grainy, but will get quite thick and glossy as more butter is incorporated.)5. Add the vanilla extract and additional flavorings, as desired, and mix well.
Maine law enforcement officials say two lobster boats were intentionally sunk in Owls Head amid growing tensions among lobstermen two weeks after a lobster turf war escalated into a shooting on Matinicus Island.Marine Patrol Col. Joe Fessenden said lobstermen arriving to pull traps Wednesday morning discovered two boats were sunk and a third was half-sunk in Owls Head harbor.Fessenden said the half-sunk boat was brought to shore, where it was determined that a pipe had been cut inside the boat allowing ocean water to fill the boat’s bilge. Efforts were under way to lift the other boats from the harbor bottom.Both lobstermen involved in the Matinicus shooting have ties to the Owls Head area. But Fessenden says investigators have found no connection between the shooting and the sinkings.
A man from Ellsworth has been indicted by a Hancock County grand jury for a car crash in Deer Isle that killed his passenger. 33-year old Anthony Robbins is charged with manslaughter and aggravated criminal OUI, among other charges.He was driving south on Reach Road in Deer Isle back in January when he lost control of the vehicle and smashed into a telephone pole.47-year-old Lisa Martin of Ellsworth owned the car and was riding as a passenger. She was killed.Police say speed and alcohol were factors in the wreck.
A familiar face has been nominated to a top position in Washington.The U.S. Armed Services Committee says former University of Maine chancellor Joseph Westphal has been nominated to be undersecretary of the Army.Senator Susan Collins is a member of the committee.Westphal’s nomination will now be considered by the full Senate.Westphal stepped down as chancellor in 2007.
Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who held up an Augusta bank Tuesday afternoon.Police say the robber was wearing a ski mask when he entered Northeast Bank on Western Avenue around 4 o’clock Tuesday.The suspect was armed with a handgun. We’re told customers were inside at the time, but no one was hurt.He got away on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. Police trailed him to a parking lot where they think he drove off.Witnesses say the suspect is around six feet tall and weighs between 170 and 200 pounds. He was wearing gloves, a light grey sweatshirt and sweatpants.Augusta police are asking anyone with information to call them at 626-2370
A man who hopped on his bicycle near Seattle nearly three months ago arrived, on his bike, in Bangor today.And it was to help out Disabled American Veterans along the way.Meghan Hayward has the story.Paul Halverson arrived via bicycle at the Central Maine Harley Davidson in Hermon on Tuesday.Paul started bicycling across the country on May fifteenth to raise awareness about the Disabled American Veterans organization.”To more or less do an outreach to the newer generation of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to help make them more aware of what the DAV can do and does do.”Paul started just north of Seattle and Bangor Maine is his last stop.Local DAV’s rely solely on donations.So this journey also acted as a fundrasier for local chapters.The Harley Davidson Corporation contributed nearly 1 million dollars.Paul says the feedback has been great.”To help boost the membership, to help build a better, bigger and stronger DAV. Because the bigger you are the stronger you are and the stronger you are the better you become.”Paul says he traveled through rain for at least three days.And most nights he set up camp.Did he run into any problems?”A challenge, you know there wasn’t.”So what pushed him along?”Desire keeps you going and if you have a good attitude.”Paul’s daughter Shara Halverson ran alongside him at his starting point and also joined him for the last five miles of his journey.”So I wanted to be here for the finish.”Shara is glad her dad decided to take this adventure.”His efforts are just astronomical and I’m just so proud of him and what he’s done.”And when asked if he’ll do it again?”Oh ya, I think I would.”
A hospital in Pittsfield is on its way to saving even more lives, thanks to new equipment that can help better detect breast cancer.The Women’s Health Center at Sebasticook Valley Hospital is actually the first hospital in the nation to use the digital technology, too.Sandi Delano, the director of the center, says the Digital Now H-D machine turns old mammogram films into new computer images.”So all of the images go from film to an image on a computer and then the radiologist can read them much easier, with a lot more clarity.”Bob Pierce, who sells the equipment, says that can help medical staff track trends in patients, too. “Radiologists will find it easier to compare a digital film to another digital film, rather than comparing a film screen which may be on a view box mammogram to what they’ve just taken today, this year’s exam being a digital version.” The Health Center recently bought the film digitizer, along with a new mammogram machine and bone density scan. Delano says the timing of the purchase makes the Pittsfield facility the first in the country to put the digitizer to use.”Calcifications can be detected much sooner, breast cancer can be detected much sooner and so that will help our women in the community be able to detect cancers much sooner.”The equipment’s is not limited to women, either.”Men also get breast cancer and its on the rise. So it’s also very important for men to do the self breast exams and also see their providers and come in and have their mammograms, too.”Delano says she hopes the new technology translates into earlier, easier and more accurate breast cancer detection – all key components to beating the deadly disease. The hospital is paying for the digital mammography equipment through fundraisers and a capital campaign that starts this fall. Already, a golf tournament last month collected more than $55,000 dollars.
Habitat for Humanity is continuing their efforts to raise money for the a Winn family who lost everything to a fire in June.Megan and Richard Plaisted of Winn lost their home and nearly all of their belongings after a stove left unnatended caused their house to catch fire. The Plaisted’s have 6 children and a 7th on the way. They’re planning to rebuild on the same site on Old Military Road in Winn.Habitat for Humanity is raffling a 2009 Schwin Valo 50cc gas-powered scooter. Tickets are $5 each or 5-for-$20. You can pick up the tickets at the following events and locations.The State Little League Tournament at Demeyer Field in Ellsworth.Winter Harbor Lobster Festival.The Gateway Music Festival.Cadillac Mountain Sports in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor.The winner of the scooter will be drawn at the end of the Blue Hill Fair.
The price of heating oil in Maine has gone up for a second consecutive week. According to the Office of Energy Independence and Security, the statewide average for heating oil was $2.32 a gallon on Monday. That’s 4 pennies higher than last week. The price also rose 4 cents the week before. As always, there’s a wide variety of prices across the state, with the lowest price of $1.95 found in southwestern Maine and the highest price of $2.70 found in eastern Maine. The average price of kerosene also rose 4 cents to $2.75. The federally funded low-income heating assistance program known as LIHEAP is currently taking applications through community action programs across the state. For appointments and income eligibility information, individuals and families should contact their local program. The Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP) serves people in Kennebec, Somerset, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties. KVCAP’s telephone number is 1-800-542-8227. You can also find them on the web at KVCAP.org
At the Cancer Care Center of Maine the staff has seen an increase in just about everything over the years including the number of patients and physicians.The one thing that hasn’t grown is the size of their facility. “It’s been a shuffling of staff, a shuffling of offices,” says Ambie Hayes-Crosby, a C0linical Research Nurse Manager, “all the while trying to maintain a spacious area for the patients which is why we’re really in a pinch now and that is we’ve got this great cancer center coming.” They serve about 250 patients daily at the facility, now located at Eastern Maine Medical Center, but the center is only equipped to handle half that many. Besides having one of the oldest populations in the nation, Maine also has the highest cancer rate of any state. There are other key factors that have contributed to the rise in patients at the center. “We have new new treatments that are are buying more and longer lives for patients,” says Hayes-Crosby, “so therefore we have patients living longer, we’re in the disease of cancer which has become more chronic than it has become acute.”More patients means a bigger workload for staff. “We’ve extended our hours, depending on day-to-day, it depends on what time we get out, we can be here until 7:30 treating patients just to fit everybody in,” says Carol Guptill. She’s a radiation and oncology manager with 41 years of experience.The extra time and effort the staff puts in does not go unnoticed by the patients, like Paula Harmon who commutes from Hancock County to recieve her treatment. “Wonderful, wonderful care, people always concerned,” says Harmon, “you know, they’re always asking you how are you doing, how are you today, can I help you, and any issues, do you have any pain.” Harmon was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989, and again in 2006, and has come to the center for all of her treatments. She hopes she doesn’t see much of the new facility in Brewer but she does think the extra space will be crucial for the care and treatment of other cancer patients. “One of the nice things is when people come and they have to be treated for many different illnesses, they’re like a group, a community group that gets to talk and I think that space will be a big difference to do that type of support system and talk to each other.” While the new facility will have a plethora of new and improved amenities, there is one thing the old center here provides that they will carry over to their new place: Hope.”Again the whole hope that people are surviving, and surviving, and surviving,” says Harmon, “unfortunately this has a terrible name called cancer but we all have to deal with things in our life, we have to move on and deal and let’s go on, it’s a great life!”The new facility is scheduled to start seeing patients on December 14th if all goes according to plan. For more information on the new facility in Brewer, you can see the website at www.championthecure.org.
Overheating equipment is to blame for a fire that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage in Corinth. A cooling stacker inside the building overheated and ignited the blaze.The call came in to the Corinth wood pellets plant around 7:00 Monday night. Officials say fire alarms alerted them to the fire. Crews from 8 towns helped battled the fire.When fire fighters entered the smoke filled building, they found a cooling tower filled with flames.They were able to put the fire out quickly and crews were officially cleared from the scene just before 11:00 Monday night.One of the machines at the plant was destroyed. The fire was contained to the manufacturing plant, officials say no damage was done to the rest of the building.
A man from Massachusetts accused of pulling off a paving scam in Lincoln is pleading not guilty in the case. 24-year-old William Stanley entered the plea today in writing through his lawyer.In June, Stanley allegedly offered to cut a deal on paving projects for at least four people in Lincoln, but police say the work ended being overpriced and shoddy. Stanley’s charged with three misdemeanor violations of a state law aimed to keep consumers safe.Police in Millinocket are investigating similar complaints against Stanley and are considering filing charges, too.
A landmark building in Orono was demolished Tuesday.Most recently the structure had housed apartments. But after fire gutted the inside in June, folks knew it would never be the same.”It’s quite a bit of history there,” says resident Frank Morrison.The Katahdin building has stood in Orono since the late 1800’s, but was so devastated after the fire that it had to be demolished as a matter of safety.”We’ve had the structural engineers tell us there’s just no way, the damage was just too massive to save any part of it. So we know it has to come down,” says Jennifer Dudley. She and her husband have owned the apartment building since 2001. They watched with mixed feelings Tuesday.”There’s a lot of sadness, because we were always really proud to own the building,” she says.For the many folks that gathered, this building has always been a landmark.”It’s just been around forever,” says Marlene Doucette, president of the historical society. “On Mill Street, there was a brick factory and the first bricks they made were put into the building.”Frank Morrison was born and raised on Mill Street. “It’s just hard to believe,” Morrison said, as he watched a wall come down. “They used to have a restaurant downstairs. Out in the front downstairs there used to be a shoe repair, Ben’s shoe repair,” he says.Through the years the structure grew and changed, housing various groups.”A men’s club called the Katahdin, which is where it got its name,” Dudley says. “It had the town’s first public library, it had a bank. Some of the bank vaults actually were still inside, some of the tenants got a kick out of that.”The crowd was silent as structure’s front brick wall came down. The owners say they don’t yet know what they’ll do with the property. “I hope they rebuild an apartment complex. They need it,” Morrison says.No matter what becomes of this space, an effort is being made to preserve some of its history.”We’ve been promised a few bricks and some of the granite,” says Doucette.Dudley says all of the building’s tenants have found new housing, at least temporarily. Everyone made it out safely during the fire, which was ruled an accident.The site should be cleared by Wednesday evening.
A fire in a Corinth manufacturing plant caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage Monday.The call came in around seven Monday night.Officials say fire alarms at Corinth Wood Pellets alerted them to the blaze.Crews from eight different towns helped fight the fire.When fire fighters entered the smoke filled building, they found a cooling tower filled with flames.They were able to extinguish the fire quickly, and crews were officially cleared from the scene just before 11 Monday night.However, we’re told some fire fighters were still there Tuesday morning. “Basically very typical of fires that we have at this facility,” Said Corinth Fire chief Scott Bragdon. “It was a stubborn, smokey fire, and had to be dug out. Matter of fact, crews will be here most of the night doing that, wetting down hot spots.”One of the machines at the plant was destroyed.The fire was contained to the manufacturing plant. Officials say no damage was done to the rest of the building.
Police are looking for a man seen running from the area where two men were shot and killed Monday evening in Rumford. Police say the man had long black hair and may have been wearing gloves.Authorities were called to Pine Street around 10 p.m.There, they found two roommates shot to death in their home.According to the Medical Examiner’s Office, 22-year-old Victor Sheldon and 48-year-old Roger Day were both shot in the head.State Police say they’ve questioned several people about the shootings, but no arrests have been made.
No one was home and no one was hurt when fire tore through a home in Madison Sunday.The flames were reported by some folks passing by – who also stayed to help.”When we got here, there were flames coming out of the back corner and a there was a lot of fire. Heavy fire,” says Madison Fire Chief Roger Lightbody. Jay Webb lost nearly everything after flames ripped through his house. His father Alvyn lives nearby. “I smelled smoke and heard a lot of traffic, so I hopped on my 4-wheeler to see what was going on,” says Alvyn Webb. “Flames were licking the backside of the garage. And I figured, that’s Jay’s livelihood. If he lost his garage, he’d lose everything,” he says.Webb makes his living as a mechanic and keeps the tools of his trade in his garage. But, thanks to the help of friends and total strangers, those items stayed out of harm’s way.”A lot of them I didn’t know. There were neighbors that kicked right in. Billy up the road, he came down, he was pointing, here get this, get that, running and getting stuff out,” Alvyn says.”There were a lot of people here that were lugging stuff out of the garage. There were some people driving by on motorcycles that stopped before I got here,” Lightbody says.Lightbody says the work of six fire departments helped keep the flames from reaching the garage. More than a dozen other people also pitched in.”If that were my house and total strangers were helping haul stuff out, yeah, that’s a very good feeling,” Lightbody says.Jay Webb is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and Bosnia. He’s lived here for more than 10 years. “All that stuff is just material things. It can be bought again. Nobody was hurt,” Alvyn says. That’s including Webb’s children, who live here part of the time. A neighbor took his horse from out back and his cat has returned home. The state Fire Marshal’s office says the fire started in a back bedroom. They say the fire was accidental and “cannot rule out electrical malfunction.”Until he can rebuild, Webb says he’s looking to stay in a camper borrowed from a friend. “Get a camper to stay right here on this place,” Alvyn says. “Because it’s his home.”
Seven years ago Don and Kay Kenerson moved to Maine. After purchasing 116 acres of land they needed something to put on it. The couple tried raising llamas and cattle, but today, it’s bison. Twenty of massive creatures roam on the farm in Solon. Bison, also commonly referred to as the American buffalo is the largest land mammal in North America. Currently there are about a dozen bison farms in Maine. Don and Kay Kenerson don’t raise the animals as pets, instead they are sold for their meat. If you’re interested in trying out the meat you can find the Kenerson’s at the Skowhegan and Waterville farmers markets or at their farm at 1266 South Solon Road in Solon. In the late 1800’s, less than 1,000 bison were left and those were saved by the combined efforts of William Hornaday (Director of the Bronx Zoo) and a small group of ranchers. In 1905, the American Bison Society was created to save the bison and protect rangeland for the animals. Today, those efforts are carried on by the National Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Association. The bison herds of today number in excess of 350,000 and are growing.The Kenerson Farm 1266 South Solon Road Solon, ME643-2008 email@example.com