Another vacant home caught fire in Medway early Thursday morning. It is the third such fire in less than a week.Crews from three towns were called to Route 116 at the corner of the Powersville Road around 3:45 Thursday morning.When the first fire fighters arrived, the home was already engulfed in flames.The home is being called a total loss.On Sunday night, crews battled flames inside two other vacant homes on the Medway Road.All three fires have been ruled the product of arson.
A well known big band is coming to Husson University, and their show will be televised.The Al Corey Band will preform big band music this Friday in the Husson University’s Gracie Theatre. The show, which starts at 7pm, will be a chance for students to test their skills. New England School of Communications video and audio students will be recording the show live, after which portions will be broadcast right here on WABI as part of our christmas special.As Audio Engineering Instructor Josh Small tells it, the Al Corey Band has quite a history. “The band has been around for over 50 years, it’s just a part of Maine history, so we thought it would be a great way to get people involved and a great thing for christmas time. So we have these people coming in.”The band is now headed by Brian Nedeau. tickets are $10 at the door, $5 for students.
A group of sportsmen got together in Brewer to ask Senators Collins and Snowe to pass the federal climate change legislation.The gathering took place at the Penobscot County Conservation Association.It included folks from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, as well as the Atlantic Salmon Commission.The group says the future of Maine’s hunting and fishing community depends on the government taking action when it comes to climate change.The group says wildlife in Maine is being significantly impacted by climate change.They say hunting and fishing brings around 1,000,000 people to Maine annually.
With the state facing a $400,000,000 shortfall, the governor has less than a month to come up with a balanced budget.That means more cuts to state programs and services.State revenues in October came up nearly $27,000,000 short.Department of Administrative & Financial services commissioner Ryan Low says most of the missing money is individual income taxes that were not paid.80% of the state budget goes to education and health and human services.Low says those two areas will be hit hard by cuts.DHHS is expected to take another $9,000,000 hit, but it’s not clear which services will be trimmed.The governor will release the details of the cuts Friday, which will take place immediately.
Theater has a way of conjuring up creativity, and some students and staff at Colby College have done just that.This week, the Theatre and Dance Department is offering a free show retelling the story of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.The unique staging has most of the cast is in the water during the show.A twelve by thirty foot pool was constructed which holds 2,500 gallons of water.Director Lynne Connor says the performance takes mythology, and swimming, to a whole new level.Performances will be held on thursday, Friday and Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m at the Strider Theater, located in the Runnals Building on the Colby campus.
Maine insurance companies are taking steps to encourage people to get their H-1-N-1 flu shots.Medical Directors from local insurance companies met with Maine CDC Director, Doctor Dora Mills Wednesday.They told her they’re using a billing approach that makes it easier to hold vaccine clinics across the state, easing the pressure on doctors.They are also looking to change the classification for certain anti-viral medications, making it more accessible as well.H1N1 has already contributed to five deaths in Maine.
Fire destroyed a car dealership in Milo today.The fire was reported at K&L Auto on Elm St. just after noon.Firefighters arrived to find the building engulfed in flames.The fire started after a car explosion inside the shop.Everyone got out safely.Fire crews from Milo, Brownville and Brownville Junction responded.They had to deal with a few minor explosions, but were able to get the flames under control within an hour.The owner, Kirk Beard, did have insurance.K&L Auto sells and repairs cars.
Two years ago, a company started looking into the potential for placing wind turbines along Mt. Harris in Dixmont. Since then, local residents have been talking about what that could mean for them– and Thursday, the issue comes to a vote.Mt. Harris Wind had plans to build about ten turbines along this ridge in Dixmont, says project partner Andrew Price.”We have suspended activity, permitting activity, for basically the past year to allow the town to research and develop an ordinance that will be voted on this Thursday,” Price says.For the past nine months, the Dixmont planning board has been researching the effects of industrial turbines on nearby residents. The ordinance they’ve written sets technical requirements for the sound and shadow flicker they produce, the distance to other structures, and other regulations.Planning Board Chair Stuart Cohen says they hadn’t always heard good things from facilities in other towns.”We see neighbors saying, ‘It’s not what I expected, the sound is different. I was told it’s not going to be like this,’ and unfortunately, that’s the problem we have tried to address in Dixmont,” Cohen says.Price says, if passed, the ordinance would essentially prohibit them from putting turbines anywhere in the area– and sends the wrong message about wind power in Maine.”It’s not an ordinance that will allow any wind development to occur, because there’s no property in Dixmont that can satisfy these restrictions. That may have been the intent of the ordinance,” Price says.Cohen says that’s not the case.”It provides for the responsible development of it. And if responsibility is restrictive, then so be it. But the public’s health, safety and welfare is the crux of what this ordinance is meant to address,” Cohen says.Voters will decide the issue at a special town meeting Thursday night. It starts at seven at the Etna-Dixmont school.To read the Dixmont Wind Energy Facility Ordinance, click here.
Chad and Jessica Lothian are pretty regular users of the social networking site Twitter. “I’m considered a chronic tweeter,” says Chad Lothian. But where does a chronic tweeter draw the line? “I guess it started as a joke with friends in the area,” says Chad, “they all asked, are you gonna tweet during labor? You guys are always tweeting, are you gonna Tweet during labor, and we kind of joked around, yeah of course we are.”Jessica went into labor Tuesday night, about three weeks early and the couple, true to their word, Tweeted while she was in labor. “It was something to kind of keep us occupied because we could have just been focusing on the pain,” says Jessica, “but if we’re going to tweet, we might as well keep doing it while we can and keep people updated while we can. We knew there would be a point where we would have to stop. We did for quite awhile.”The couple had a lot of folks glued to their screens. “I probably picked up 30 or 40 people that i don’t know over the course of last night,” says Chad. “Yeah we definitely had a really good cheering section online,” Jessica adds, “I got a lot of ones that said you rock I can’t believe your tweeting and in labor.”The couple welcomed Cullen James Lothian into the world weighing in at 6 pounds 11 ounces, and yes, Cullen has already started Tweeting. The lothians say they’d recommend tweeting to any couple heading into the delivery room. “I think so I mean if you’re capable of doing it it’s great. It was a lot of fun, it was something different to do. You can’t really do a whole lot while you’re in labor but you can type 140 characters or less and get it out there.”
One person was hurt after the car he was riding in rolled into a lake in East Orland. Authorities say two people – a man and a woman – were in the car and had parked on a camp road, off of Hatchery Road. The woman got out, her passenger stayed inside. We’re told the car apparently was out of gear and rolled down the road into Alamoosook Lake. The passenger was rescued and taken to the hospital. Crews spent the afternoon trying to pull the car from the lake. Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what happened.
A local radio personality is more than half way to his goal of collecting more than 2-thousand turkeys. “The Kid” from Z 107.3 is camping out in the Hannaford parking lot in Brewer for the radio station’s annual Thanksgiving turkey drive. All of them will be donated to families in need. “The Kid” wants to round up 2009 turkeys this year and he’ll stay in the parking lot until he does. So far, he’s up to at least 1749, as of 6:00 p.m.The turkeys will be distributed through Manna and other area food cupboards.You can also donate turkeys during the TV5 Turkey Telethon, which is Friday during our 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts.
Investigators are pointing the finger at a propane heater for a fire in a home in Winterport.The call to Souder Station Lane came shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday. Several fire departments responded. The house had an addition on the backside. Investigators say the fire started there, in the area near a propane heater. They’re calling it an accident. No one was home, but two pets died in the fire. The local Red Cross chapter is helping the family with food, shelter and clothing. If you would like to support the Disaster Relief fund you can call the Red Cross Pine Tree Chapter at 941-2903.
Folks in Machiasport gathered this morning to watch a “flying object” soar to the top of a historic building.As Meghan Hayward tells us, community members have worked hard to see this day.As the sun came up, residents of Machiasport gathered to see something else rising in the sky.The ornately carved belvedere tower that once topped the town’s historic Liberty Hall is back where it belongs after being restored.”It’s wonderful because over the years people have worked so hard to bring this thing to a reality. And now here we are just about to join the new with the old.”The tower will be capped by it’s newly constructed cupola, which was rebuilt from the original 1873 design.”We collected historic images. Postcards and old photographs and we worked closely with Maine Historic Preservation Commission. We actually did a paint analysis and that’s where the brown color comes from.”Friends of Liberty Hall was the organization that worked with the town on the restoration project.They started the effort back in 2006.Warren Knowlton and his wife Judy contributed 150-thousand dollars to the project.”Well the historical importance of this building is paramount to us. When I was a kid I spent time here with my grandparents and we enjoyed it here tremendously. For that reason and also the town itself, we believe that this is the right thing to do for the town.”Until now, the french-inspired victorian cupola had only been seen in historic photographs of Liberty Hall taken around 1900.On-lookers couldn’t believe the resemblance to the photos.”That’s great. That’s great to hear because we sort of feel some of this is conjecture but we have a pretty good feeling that we’re close.”A 60 ton crane had to lift the belvedere, which weighs over 14-thousand pounds and is 25 feet tall.”Yesterday of course, they were were all day working on doing a test pick with the crane. So we didn’t just drive up here this morning and decide to fly a building.”The crowd watched and snapped photos as the belvedere was returned to it’s rightful place.”Tell everyone congratulations.”” Clapping.”
Auburn’s mayor-elect describes the councilors who attend their meetings as if they just walked out of a barn. Gleason says that some of the council members come to their meetings in shorts and jeans, setting a poor example for the public. He is not asking for members to come to meetings in jackets and ties, but to present themselves better.Councilor Dan Herrick says clothes don’t make the man. Herrick says he’s never come to a meeting without taking a shower. As he put it, “Believe it or not, I have hot water, too. I even have floors in my home.”
A clammer Downeast whose body was found earlier this week died from an accidental drowning.Officials released the results of his autopsy Wednesday.The body of 50 year old Arthur “Skip” Calder was found Monday. He’d been missing for nearly a week.The Maine Marine Patrol recovered the body on the shore of East Cove in Perry.Calder’s mother was the last to hear from him last Tuesday, before he went clamming. His brother discovered Calder’s clamming gear on Sunday and reported him missing.
Arthur Verow will serve another term as Mayor of Brewer.He was re-elected at Tuesday night’s Brewer City Council Meeting.The council also elected Joseph Ferris as Vice-Chairman, or Deputy Mayor.The new councilors were sworn in, along with the new members of the school committee.Verow says Brewer faces a few challenges in the upcoming year. “We’re not sure what we’re going to be receiving from the state in the way of educational aid, that sort of thing, and we have of course always the on going challenge of keeping our employment base up.”Brewer city council meetings will be held at the second Tuesday of every month at city hall.
Folks in Monson are raising money for a friend who has cancer.A baked bean supper this Saturday will benefit Douglas Villone, who has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.Doors at the Monson gym open at 5pm.On the menu, baked beans, hot dogs, coleslaw, and rolls. Those attending are also welcome to bring a dish to share.There’s no admission fee, though donations are encouraged.To donate or volunteer, you can contact Christine Richards at 717-8771.
A woman from Cambridge is going to jail for helping steal money from a soldier who has been sent to Iraq.20-year-old Ashley Gamblin pleaded guilty to forgery.She was sentenced to 15 days in jail and two years probation.Prosecutors say Gamblin is one of four people involved in the scheme.They say the group stole a box of checks from 24-year-old Shawn Burke of Texas, and then wrote checks from his account in Maine totaling nearly $15,000.Burke is now in Iraq on his second deployment.He was only able to recover $4,000.Prosecutors say they are now considering charges against the man they say planned the scheme, Bernie d’Augostine.
Another volunteer fire fighter in Maine has been charged with arson.28-year-old Jeffrey A. Tyler of Bethel faces two counts of arson for fires that destroyed two vacant houses in western Maine.Investigators say Tyler volunteered for the Greenwood department.He’s accused of setting fire to the back of a building in Locke Mills early Tuesday morning. The fire then spread to an adjacent house.
Folks in Old Orchard Beach are trying to make sense of the death of a couple well known in the community.State Police say 55-year-old Bruce Savoy left three suicide notes in the house, and that it is likely he shot his wife 50-year-old Stacey Savoy and then himself. Detectives say the suicide notes indicated that Bruce Savoy was upset about the pending break-up of his marriage.Neighbors are shocked, saying the Savoys were well known for being active with the state’s Search and Rescue dog team.Bruce savoy was the assistant code enforcement officer for the town of Wells. He was also a part-time police officer there.Before that he served as an animal control officer in Old Orchard Beach.Stacey Savoy was a vice president at Unum, she grew up in Old Orchard Beach.