News

New Details Released About Railroad Fatality

Updated 5 years ago

AP) The manager of a hostel in Bethel says a guest punched a 25-year-old Raymond man not long before the man’s parked car was hit by a freight train. State police have not indicated a cause for the February 20th death of Scott Libby, which remains under investigation. Autopsy results have not been released. Police said damage to Libby’s car was minimal even though it waspushed 850 feet. Bethel Police Chief Alan Carr said injuries were too severe to have been caused by the impact. Wyling Cambrium, who’s manager of the Bethel Hostel, tells the Bethel Citizen that the guest was interviewed by police and admitted hitting Libby. The manager said the guest had worked during the summer for Libby, who was a landscaper, and Libby had visited him at the hostel to collect a loan.

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Tobacco Users Beware: Smoking Can Be Hazardous to Your Wealth

Updated 5 years ago

If you purchase tobacco products, get ready to shell out a lot more money at the store.Starting in April, the tax on some of those items will go up by as much as 22-hundred percent.”We’re the ones that keep getting hit.”Robert Loch is a smoker. He says while he understands the country’s in dire financial straits, he doesn’t agree with continually increasing the tax on tobacco products to help make up for it. the latest hike could be the biggest yet. Starting April first, the federal tax on cigarettes will go from 39 cents to a dollar and a penny.But it doesn’t stop there. “All the tobacco…cigars, roll your own, cigarette tobacco.”Frank Coglitore owns the Cigar and Smoke Shoppe in Bangor. He says the roll-your-own tobacco will be hardest hit. “A one-pound bag of tobacco will go from $16 up to $55. How do you think customers will react to that? How would you react? It’s absolutely insane!” “I believe it’s somewhere in the 2200 percent increase.” “I actually thought it was a joke. I couldn’t believe it could ever go that high. But it has.”Coglitore says if the increases continue, he and others like him could be forced out of business. The new tax revenue will help fund the federal children’s health insurance program. While he appreciates the need for healthcare coverage, Coglitore doesn’t think it’s fair a minority group like smokers are paying the price.”I think it’d be great if we went after a larger industry like the hamburger industry, then we’d be able to tax everybody instead of a minority tobacco industry where there really aren’t that many people who do smoke.”As for Robert Loch, he says he’s tired of smokers being penalized for their choices. “I think it’s ridiculous. If they want to smoke, they should be able to without worrying about being taxed or if they want to smoke cigarettes or tobacco…that’s their choice. The government’s just looking for ways to pull money out of nowhere.”

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“The Taking” of the Sail Inn

Updated 5 years ago

The Taking, launched this week is a workbook aimed at helping landowners through the eminent domain process. The first of its kind workbook sketches the story of the five year process of the taking of the Sail Inn Restaurant by the Maine Department of Transportation starting in 2003. Author and publisher, Dick Dyer who is a brother to the former Sail Inn landowners says, his family never wanted to become a poster child for eminent domain, but they became one. The Taking is available through internet sales now at www.dyerpr.com/publications or www.thetaking.net. Excerpts of the book are available online at through Amazon.com. For more information contact 1-800-671-1282. The Taking retails for $24.95 plus $5 shipping and handling.

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Robbery Suspect Arrested

Updated 5 years ago

A man wanted in connection with an armed robbery in Hartland has been found and arrested.David McGregor was taken into custody early Thursday morning at a house on Route 152.Police say he and another man, 26-year-old Gary Page of Canaan, were involved in the February 12th robbery.Page was arrested the night of the crime.McGregor had been on the run since then.He’s now being held at the Somerset County Jail.

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Fire Damages Northeast Harbor Home

Updated 5 years ago

Fire crews had their hands full with a bad fire in Northeast Harbor thursday night.They were called to a home on the Manchester Road around five o’clock.Fire Chief Mike Bender says by the time crews arrived, heavy fire and smoke had spread throughout the first floor.It also got into the walls, which caused flames to spread up into the second floor and the building’s attic.Crews did manage to snuff it out, and the chief believes the home can be repaired.It’s a summer cottage, and no one was living there at the time the fire broke out.There has been no word yet what caused the fire. The fire marshal’s office is expected to investigate.

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Fire at Frankfort Home

Updated 5 years ago

Fire crews say a wood stove is to blame for a fire in Frankfort Thursday night. Crews from several towns responded to a home on Loggin Road just after 5 p.m. Frankfort Village Fire Chief Earl Anderson says even though it looks like the homeowner took all the necessary precautions around his stove, the area around the chimney got too hot and started the walls on fire. Flames then spread quickly to the eaves. No one was home at the time the fire started.Anderson says when he pulled up to the scene he wasn’t sure if they’d be able to put the fire out in time to save the house.”It just went right up through the walls,” he says. “We were lucky to get it out and with the mutual aid we had. I’d like to thank all the guys for showing up. It really counts.”Crews had to take out an interior wall to put out the flames, but while there is damage, Anderson says it should all be repairable. No one was hurt.

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The Pelletier Brothers

Updated 5 years ago

Gerald Pelletier logging in Millinocket has been around for more than fifty years.Seven brothers now run the business their father began.The Pelletiers were approached by a Bangor native that now does production for the Discovery Channel and asked to do a television show.They’re getting ready to make their national t-v debut.”When they first came around it was like, we didn’t believe that this was happening after a few months, then they kinda convinced us that it’s the real thing.” Says Gary Pelletier.It is the real thing – and so are the Pelletiers. They’re a family of 8 kids…and all seven brothers are all loggers.Rudy Pelletier says, “Some people say it must be hard to work with family members and stuff, at times it is, but I really wouldn’t wanna have it any other way.”They’ve been followed by Discovery Channel camera crews for the past year. Danny Pelletier says, “Its gonna show the country what the Maine woods is really like.””You have to be prepared when you come up in the woods, you just…anything can happen.” “Hopefully people will really understand when they go to a hardware store and buy a 2×4, they’ll really realize what people had to go through to get it there.” Says Rudy.They say being in front of the camera was hard at first.”We were starting to get used to camera, but it’s still hard on the job site. You gotta think about what you’re doing and they ask questions, ya know. You get distracted a little bit.” Says Larry Pelletier.”It’s not like us to do this ya know working in the woods and it’s been pretty though, kinda stressful in a way.”But they’ve adjusted to the spotlight – and they’re excited for their big night.”Everybody asks me if I could give them an autograph and I look behind me, cause I don’t expect that coming from most people.””When we go to stores and what not, they ask when is it gonna happen? I say well, Friday and that’s all I can tell you, just watch tv.”

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Brewer VFW Closing Ceremony

Updated 5 years ago

The VFW Post in Brewer officially closed Thursday.The veterans organization has been around for decades, but they just don’t have the members or the money to continue operations.”It’s a very sad day for us, but we’ve got to face reality.” says Post Commander, Don Mattson.The Isaac Clewely VFW Post in Brewer started out in the 1940′s with 600 members.Now they’re down to just a couple hundred, with only 5 active members.Mattson says that’s not enough to plan activities or generate revenue.They’re out of money too.”There are a lot of good memories in this building, we’ve had some great times here and great functions and it’s just too bad that we’ve fallen by the wayside.”But Mattson says that’s been a problem facing other VFW’s across the state. Membership is down.So this group will merge with the VFW in Bangor.”We’re gonna strike our flag for the last time out here on our post so it will be brought down and then we’ll go from there.”Their flag was burned according to military regulations during a ceremony outside their building.The property is now up for sale. A difficult end for an organization that has served our country at war, and within the Brewer community.”We’re gonna continue on doing everything that we’ve done but we’ll be under a new name.”The VFW will now be called the Norman Dow, Isaac Clewely Post to honor both the Bangor and Brewer organizations.

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Topless Coffee

Updated 5 years ago

Cup size has more than one meaning at a new central Maine coffeehouse. Servers are topless at the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop, which opened its doors Monday on a busy road in Vassalboro. A sign outside says, “Over 18 only.” Another says, “No cameras, no touching, cash only.” Thursday, men, women, and couples were customers at the new cafe where a handful of topless waitresses and two bare-chested waiter served up $3 coffee and $2 donuts. The coffee shop has been opposed by dozens of residents when it went before the town planning board last month. Town officials said the coffee shop met the letter of the law.

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WABI Welcomes New Family Members

Updated 5 years ago

Catherine and her husband, Jeff, welcomed their twin baby girls into the world Tuesday night. Caitlin Faith arrived at 7:29 coming in at 5-pounds-3 ounces, 19-and-three-quarter inches. Her sister, Ainsley Hope, arrived more than stylishly late at around 8, 17-and-a-half inches long and 5-pounds-2 ounces in weight.Caitlin and Ainsley are both doing well and so are their parents.”I’m not sure I can describe it. I mean it was, it was amazing. In the delivery room I wasn’t sure I could go in. I mean nose bleeds and I’m out, and I’ll tell you what. I was cutting cords and giving the doctors advice and talking sports with them, it’s just amazing.””I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s a miracle. It’s an absolute miracle. There’s no other way to put it into one word. I mean to know that we created those children…””two miracles I guess technically.” LAUGHTER”Now we’ve been given the privileged to raise them. We’re blessed. We are doubly blessed.”We here at TV5 are immensely happy about Jeff and Catherine instantly doubling the size of their family.Of course Catherine will be taking some time off to enjoy her daughters.Catherine, Jeff, Caitlin and Ainsley have fun and good luck.

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Police on the lookout for a vehicle they say was used in a drive-by assault last week.

Updated 5 years ago

Ellsworth Police are looking for suspects after a walk into town turned into a frightening journey for two people from Ellsworth.Authorities say a 24-year-old man and 17-year-old girl were walking on the Surry Road near the intersection of Routes 1 and 172 last Tuesday night when a car approached them.Police say the girl was hit in the chest with an egg. They say someone inside the car then threw something more dangerous when the car returned. “It was a cup of bleach that hit {The Man} in the chest.” Said Ellsworth Police Lieutenant Harold Page. “The bleach went all over him and caused some burns to the face and eyes.”The victims were taken to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth.The victims say the car was a dark 4-door sedan, and they believe there were three people inside.Anyone with information is being asked to call the Ellsworth Police Department at 667-2168

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Cushing Pleads Guilty to Arson and Murder.

Updated 5 years ago

An Old Orchard Beach man charged with killing his mother, stepfather, and brother has pleaded guilty to murder and arson.22-year-old Matthew Cushing previously pled not guilty to three counts of murder, as well as one count of arson.A prosecutor said Cushing acted out of concern that the marriage was breaking up, and that his mother would not be able to support herself.Court documents previously indicated he was angry because his parents declined to fund a backpacking trip in Europe.Cushing admitted to stabbing his mother and stepfather, Carol and Christopher Bolduc, and his 15-year-old half brother, then setting fire to their Old Orchard Beach home in February of 2008.Defense lawyer Joel Vincent says his client wanted to take responsibility his actions.He says there was no formal plea agreement.

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Monson Elementary School Closure Debated on Wednesday

Updated 5 years ago

On Wednesday night, folks in MSAD #68 got to say what they think about the possible closing of Monson Elementary school.The board of directors is considering closing the school and busing the three dozen students to Sedomocha Elementary School in Dover-Foxcroft.Superintendent Ann Bridge says she hates the thought of folks in Monson losing their school, but financial times are tough. And the district is having a hard time paying close to $300,000 a year to operate a school with less than 40 students. “We’ve never come to the financial straits we’re in: the state crisis, the federal crisis, how that’s affecting folks here.” Superintendent Bridge told TV5 on Wednesday. “We had to cut 650k last year and can’t do that again, so it’s time for that discussion to take place.”If the school board and state Department of Education approve the closure, folks in Monson could still opt to keep the school open. But that would mean they’d have to pay the school’s operating costs. Residents attended a public hearing Wednesday night and asked the MSAD #68 directors to hold off on any decisions for a year.Another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 3rd.

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Bill Would Change Maine Pot Law

Updated 5 years ago

A committee in Augusta heard about a new bill Wednesday that would change limits and fines for marijuana possession. Rep. Patsy Crockett introduced the measure, which she says would streamline and clarify current law. The bill would raise the amount of what’s a non-criminal offense when it comes to marijuana possession, from one and a quarter ounces, to four ounces. It would also redefine criminal possession – and is already getting mixed reviews.Crockett says local prosecutors approached her to propose the bill last summer, to save the state money prosecuting people who they say they can’t prove are criminals intent on distributing.”Because if somebody is in possession of a small amount of marijuana for their own use,” says Crockett, “then they probably are not a criminal. So it saves the state money in court-appointed legal fees and the expense of a criminal trial.” The bill would make possession of up to four ounces of marijuana a civil violation.Those opposed to the bill as it stands now include the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.Director Roy McKinney says he agrees with better defining criminal marijuana possession, but says the new standard would be too much of a departure.”This bill’s proposal would give Maine the distinction of having the most extreme policy, if you will, with regard to simple possession of marijuana – by far,” he says. “Most states have settled on about one ounce as that threshold for decriminalized possession.”McKinney says given that Maine youth have one of the highest marijuana use rates in the country, he doesn’t want the state to appear to be loosening the rules.”I definitely don’t think they should lighten up on anything like that,” says Bangor resident Ryan Matthews. “I think they should crack down maybe harder on it.”The Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Maine ACLU support the bill.”I think it’s an excellent idea,” says Christopher Ruhlin of Bangor. “I think Maine needs to take a mature, realistic assessment of the situation…to have a responsible person using cannabis is completely normal, millions of people do it everyday.”

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Coping with Job Loss

Updated 5 years ago

Research shows that as the economy takes a downturn, so does the mental health of many Americans. Folks who find it hard to cope can wind up doing a lot of damage to themselves and those around them.The stress of job loss can extend beyond the person directly effected, it can put a strain on entire families.”In kids you start to see they have, they may not understand specifically but they feel the change, they feel the cutbacks.” Says Dr. David Prescott, a psychologist.Prescott says that job loss can cause couples to argue more, forcing them to switch roles, and may even change the decision making processes in the family, changes that can really take a toll on the person who loses a job.”One of the things we worry about in an economic recession is that the incidents of certain mental health problems or psychological problems goes up.”There are a few things that people can do to better cope with the stress of job loss. Like expressing feelings in open discussions and creating an active plan to deal with it.”In any time when you hit a crisis or a difficult thing that active coping is way better than passive coping and not only does it help you get things done but it reduces the likelihood that you’re going to get a psychological or mental health problem.”Prescott suggests that when discussing things with kids, talk to them at their level, acknowledge the issue, but don’t overdo it, give simple and truthful explanations, and he says be ready to talk when they’re ready.He says dealing with job loss in a positive way – will often lead to a more positive outcome.”A lot of families are spending more time together. A lot of families feel kind of good that they figured out how to deal with it, that you feel like you’ve overcome something and that’s good for people and for families.”

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University of Maine Looking for Ways to Save Money

Updated 5 years ago

The University of Maine is looking for ways to save money and would like your help.The “new challenges, new directions* task force, was put together recently by chancellor Richard Pattenaude. Task force members have set up a series of public meetings, to take place on each campus in the system. The first was held at Wells Commons in Orono, Wednesday afternoon.Those who attend are being asked to suggest ways to lower operating costs and develop ways to stay financially sustainable. They’re also being asked for input on the future structure and function of the entire U-Maine system.Anthroplogy archivist Pamela Dean says closing some campuses is an unpopular option but is one that would prevent the duplication of services throughout the university system. Other speakers asked the task force to preserve funding for research, sighting that as a key part of what the university offers.Similar meetings are scheduled for Augusta on Thursday and Farmington on Friday. There will be meetings held on the other campuses next week.

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A new home for an old engine….

Updated 5 years ago

Its not so much the little engine that could, but the little engine that still can.Folks in Veazie are trying to find a new home for an old fire engine.And as Cori Skall explains, they’re hoping to help a community in need, along the way.”It’s just a fantastic little truck, its a great drafting truck, so whether its a large community, or a rural community, it would serve the purpose of anyone, even an island, it would be fantastic.”This fire engine has been in service in Veazie, since before Gerry Martin joined the fire department, 27 years ago.”Its an original Mac, so that means the engine and all the parts are original Mac…our service maintenance program…we did 2 major service runs a year, so its well kept….rust down is, there’s hardly any rust to speak of…running truck, its in great shape.”Recently, the department acquired two new trucks, but with no room to store the old Mac, the town is looking to find it a new home.”Its a great truck, I’d like to keep it, but I really think it would serve the community, we want to keep it in the state of Maine, so I think it’ll serve somebody great.””They wanted to preserve the truck, and hopefully help another community.”Veazie Town Manager, Bill Reed, says the town will be taking requests from any community in the state, that’s looking for a good truck.”We’d be willing to give the truck away to a community that was in need, understanding that at the present time, a lot of communities are cutting back on their capital programs to avoid tax increases.”The town will take requests for a brief period of time, before the council decides where the truck will go.”We can give out good fortune to somebody else, and, as tough as things are, economically, and with the federal mandate, it would give some communities that couldn’t get anything, or only have one piece, a back up, or a lead engine.”The town is asking that interested communities, contact either the Town Manager, or the Fire Chief, at the town office.The number there is 947-2781, that’s 947-2781.The Veazie Town Council hopes to pick a community, by the end of March.

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Atwood Sentence

Updated 5 years ago

A Canaan man has been sentenced to 55 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, Cheryl Murdoch.The Superior Court Judge who found Shannon Atwood guilty of killing his girlfriend won’t be handing down his sentence.Justice Nancy Mills found Atwood guilty last summer in the bludgeoning death of 38-year old Murdoch.After the verdict, Atwood’s lawyer claimed Mills’ decision was tainted because the judge knew a woman Atwood had been convicted of assaulting years earlier.Mills decided to recuse herself from sentencing. Atwood was sentenced by Justice Thomas Delahanty II. We’ll have more on the sentencing in tonights news.

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Pharmacy teller thwarts robbery

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

A quick thinking store employee helped thwart a robbery at Goggins IGA in Randolph.Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Libery says a woman approached the drive-in window at the pharmacy Tuesday afternoon and handed a note to the teller.It said she was unable to speak.A second note then demanded as many Oxycontin pills as possible, at the highest dose possible, be turned over to her. The note instructed the teller not to call police until five minutes after she left. The woman claimed she had someone in the store and that quote “there would be a blood bath.”The teller told police they did not see a weapon, and therefore chose to close up the drive up window and dial 9-1-1 instead.The woman remained at the window for a few more minutes, then took off.Police say they have several leads in the case.The female suspect is described as being between 40 and 50 years old. She’s approximately five foot two inches tall, and heavy set.She was wearing blue jeans, a jean jacket with a blue hooded sweatshirt and sun glasses at the time of the attempted robbery.Anyone with information is asked to call the Kennebec County Sheriff’s office at 623-3591.

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Missing Sledder Found, Says He Was Visiting Friends…

Updated 5 years ago

There was a happy ending in the search for a missing snow-mobiler from New Hampshire.Kevin O’Neal, 44, planned to ride from Pittston farm to Millinocket on Saturday to meet friends, but he never showed up.10-wardens and a plane were used to search for him Tuesday.Then, late Tuesday afternoon, O’Neal called from a snowmobile repair shop in Greenville to say he was okay.He has apparently been snow-mobiling the whole time, and staying with friends along the way.

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