Folks suffering from osteoporosis have a new place to go for treatment.The Blue Hill Memorial Hospital is hosting an open house Thursday evening from 4 to 6pm to showcase their new bone density screening equipment.Refreshments will be served, and staff will be on hand to answer any and all questions.Anyone wishing to attend the open house are being asked to report to the diagnostic imaging department just off the main lobby of the hospital.
A group known as Hearty Girls, Healthy Women is trying to empower young women to reach their full potential.On Tuesday the group showed a documentary called “Killing Them Softly III” at the YMCA in Dover-Foxcroft.It’s the first in a series of films the group plans on showing.The film screenings are open to anyone who would like to attend.The screenings are followed by discussions that they hope will enlighten the community.And help to create happier and healthier young women. “Hearty Girls Healthy Women. Our goal is to be there for the young women in our community and make sure they grow up in a world that accepts them and embraces them and doesn’t just cast them into a the stereotypes that as young women we’re facing,” Said Community Outreach Educator Brianna Bryant.For more information about the groups activities you can visit their website.www.hghw.org
Problems continue to plague some FairPoint customers, six months after the company took over Verizon’s landline and internet business in Maine.Today, company executives and representatives from the Public Advocate office appeared before a legislative panel in Augusta.”The best thing for the state of Maine, your customers and others, is to have this all work and we move forward.”Representatives for FairPoint said Wednesday the problems in their systems were created when they consolidated Verizon’s six hundred existing computer systems down to sixty.”Right now it’s mostly complex things,” Fairpoint spokesman Jeff Nevins says of the problems. “It’s not simple things like ordering high speed internet or installing a telephone line. It’s some of the more complex orders that are still having problems and we need to get those fixed.”Fairpoint says they have more than 550 thousand lines in Maine. They estimate 10 percent had problems during the switch, but those problems at times had serious consequences.”A large majority of the population of Houlton couldn’t call its own hospital,” says Deputy Public Advocate Bill Black, during the hearing.Members of the Legislature want to know – can the problems be fixed – and how quickly. Public Advocate representatives say a real fix could be another six months in the making.”What we would like to see, and what we have not seen happening, is for someone with an independent knowledge of OSS systems to come in, and in effect, advise FairPoint, and let the regulators know where the problems are,” Black says.”We want people who can come in and actually help us. Who have the knowledge of the systems and the expertise to help us go forward,” Nevins says.While the details of third-party review are debated, those on the panel say the questions will continue.”We have a responsibility to our constituents to make landline service, and the lifeline of public safety in Maine, be adequately provided for by FairPoint Communications.”
The community is coming together for a family from Winterport who’s newborn son is dealing with some serious medical problems.Phineas Tracy was born almost six weeks ago with heart, lung and kidney trouble.He’s been in the neonatal intensive care unit in Bangor, but was recently transferred to Portland where he underwent two surgeries on his heart.His parents, Ben and Jess, have been by his side since his birth, even though they were both supposed to return to work.They’ve also been caring for his two sisters.Friends and neighbors are quickly organizing a spaghetti dinner and silent auction to help the family.Benefit organizer, Tara Smith says: “Hopefully we’ll be able to get a good chunk of change for them. They’ve haven’t been able to go to work so I know that’s tough on any family, especially in these economic times so – and just so that they know everyone’s there to help them, if they need any additional help, too.” The dinner and auction is this Friday night from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Hampden Kiwanis Club.A donation will get you in the door. Auction items include everything from dinner gift certificates to tanning sessions. Two tickets to an upcoming U2 concert will also be raffled off.If you’d like information on how to help or just make a donation to the family, you can contact Tara Smith at 557-4787.
The people of Piscataquis County have been hit hard during these tough economic times. Wednesday they were given a glimpse at some of the public resources available to help them make ends meet at a block party sponsored, in part, by Bangor Savings Bank. “The block party today is for laid off workers, disadvantaged, as well as under employed for an opportunity to access resources of the greater Piscataquis area such as fuel assistance, child care, health services, the food cupboards as well as other resources they can access,” says James Macomber, one of the organizers of the event. Folks were treated to a free barbecue lunch and tables were made available to help them better understand what help is out there. Shannon Bishop, from the Piscataquis Public Health Council was on hand to help out by handing out grab bags. “In the bags we have water bottles, we have materials from partnership tobacco free maine, materials from the office of substance abuse, stickers that have to do with nutrition,” sais Bishop.For organizers, an event like this makes it easier to get their message out there. “We could try to do this by mail, we could try to do this by phone,” says Bishop, “but this is a great way to gather those people together who can actually benefit from these resources.”It also gives them a chance to reach people who feel a little too proud to ask for help. “Mainers by nature are hard workers and want to be independent,” Macomber adds, “but sometimes it’s hard to ask for that assistance, so this is an opportunity to get that information out in front of them so when they decide they need that kind of assistance it’s there.”For a community like this, it’s a chance to maybe help out a friend.”I think it means a lot for the region you know it’s a way to connect people,” Macomber says, “we’re a small county, as far as population numbers go, large in space you know we all know each other, we’re all neighbors, and we all want to help out.”
Some former Hannaford workers gathered in Bangor Wednesday to speak out against what they say are anti-union practices within the grocery store chain. The workers were also joined by members of the Maine People’s Alliance and the group, Food and Medicine.They say they want to put an end to what they call Hannaford’s misinformation and intimidation campaign against the Employee Free Choice Act. The legislation, which is pending in Congress, would make it easier for employees to form unions. The folks with the Maine People’s Alliance say they’ve heard dozens of stories about Hannaford employees being harassed at work. Here’s what Kate Brennan had to say: “Workers being called into mandatory meetings. There being anti-union signs in the break rooms. Actually managers meeting with workers and telling them they shouldn’t support the Employee Free Choice Act, a piece of legislation.”A spokesperson for Hannaford says the company believes that open and direct conversation between employees and managers is the best way to resolve issues.He adds that while the company believes everyone’s interests are best served without a third-party union, Hannaford does follow all labor laws and regulations.
A Cushing man has been charged with cutting lobster traps.According to the Maine Marine Patrol, a surveillance unit witnessed 31-year-old Heath Yeaton cut 22 traps in two separate areas near Cushing and Friendship.The Marine Patrol seized Yeaton’s boat and charged him with two counts of trap molesting.Trap molesting is a civil violation, but a conviction carries a mandatory three year loss of lobster and crab fishing license and the ability to assist any lobster license holder as a crew member.Because of recent lobster fishing disputes, including the shooting of a lobsterman on Matinicus Island and the sinking of boats in Owls Head, the Marine Patrol has been conducting surveillance efforts throughout the midcoast.
Councilors in Saco approved plans for the launch of a solar project. The Council unanimously approved the option for GridSolar to enter into a 20 year lease with the city to install solar panels. This marks the first land-lease agreement for GridSolar. GridSolar, under its agreement will pay $25,000 for its annual lease, for the currently vacant property. Finally, GridSolar is continuing discussions with other landowners and communities for similar installations elsewhere.
Police say a man from Augusta has confessed to a string of burglaries in Waldo County and Wiscasset. Police arrested 33-year-old John Howard at his home last week in connection with six recent break-ins in Wiscasset.Authorities say he was caught on video inside a business there. That’s when they noticed he looked similar to the man seen on surveillance inside Angler’s restaurant in Searsport, in June.Searsport Police Chief Richard Lahaye says Howard admitted to breaking into four businesses in Belfast, Searsport and Stockton Springs, three of which were restaurants. He also confessed to the Wiscasset crimes. Howard is charged with those six burglaries and is in the Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset.Lahaye says he expects Howard to be charged for the Waldo County crimes, too. He adds the investigation is on-going and Howard could also be connected to more burglaries.
The future holds problems down the road for highway and bridge funding, and there is no immediate action likely before next year’s session. The Maine Legislature’s Transportation Committee members meeting on Tuesday talked about raising tax and license fees. The also considered taking money from the bridge fund to come up with millions of dollars needed to pave rural roads. Furthermore, with no more sessions for the rest of the year, no further action is likely before 2010. Members have been asked to find ways to fund maintenance that is scheduled on 600 miles of rural roads, likely coasting close to $25 million per year. The committee co-chair, Democratic Sen. Dennis Damon of Trenton, says no money’s availablefor next year’s work.
A phrase that has everyone’s heart pounding is, “increased premiums.” Studies have showed that family health care premiums have grown four times faster than income this decade. A report from Families USA illustrated that from 2000-2009, premiums rose nearly 101 percent, while earning rose by a meager 22 percent. Additionally, the average annual family health insurance premium rose from $6,915 to $13,927. Executive Director, Ron Pollack said that health care cost continue to grow, even though employers are scaling back their health plans, raise deductibles and co-payments.
A Houlton woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing at least a thousand dollars from Kentucky Fried Chicken.22-year old Lacey Malone is a member of KFC management at the Houlton restaurant.According to police, Malone was one of four managers authorized to take deposits to the bank. Investigators believe 22 of those deposits never got there. They say more than 26-thousand dollars was taken.Police won’t say how much they believe Malone stole, only that it was more than one-thousand dollars.Malone is free on bail.The investigation continues.
109 years and still running. The Skowhegan State Fair started in 1818.Gates open Thursday once again to keep the tradition going.Adrienne Bennett has a preview.”He’s pretty much the ring leader of all the goats.” Meet Gramps… and Twigs…and Jeffrey…”Oh yeah, they’re very gentle.”From goats and giraffe’s…to llamas and wallabes — these are a few of the sights you’ll see at the Skowhegan State Fair.But they’re not the only act in town. Back by popular demand, Circus Hollywood will have daily shows under the big top.”It’s the only entertainment left that you can bring the entire family to. You don’t have to worry about seeing anything bad, you know, with everything going on today it’s still for young and old.” There’s plenty of free entertainment and shows with paid gate admission.”We got Confederate Railroad from Nashville on Monday.” Admission prices range between 6 and eight bucks depending on the day— with one exception. “Thursday is dollar day, to get in and each ride is a dollar. Last year we had rain but this year we should have better weather. Channel 5 says we’re going to have good weather for the whole ten days so we gotta go with that!”Adrienne: “So you’ve got the food, the free shows, the circus, but what is a fair without the rides and this year there are some new ones that are sure to give you the thrills and chills you’re looking for.” There are more than thirty rides for the young…or the young at heart.But they won’t be around long. The fair wraps up August 22nd. “What fun, excitement, you gotta be there, bring your family friends for the best time anywhere.”For a complete list of what’s going on at the fair you can visit their website at skowheganstatefair.com
A man from Bangor is in jail, charged with murdering a 19-year-old woman from Old Town.34-year-old Colin Koehler was arrested Tuesday night after a standoff with police.Amy Erickson has the story.34-year-old Colin Koehler is behind bars, charged with the murder of 19-year-old Holly Boutilier.Police arrested Koehler Tuesday evening, after a standoff at his Columbia Street apartment.It all started when officers showed up to execute a search warrant.”When we got there, entry was denied, but we knew the person we were looking for was inside that apartment.””The building was evacuated, gas was deployed into the building…we did have negotiators from CID on scene…but contact was never established through the door or by calling the cell phone.”When officers finally got inside, Koehler was arrested without incident.”The person was brought to the station, was questioned…and subsequently, Colin Koehler has been arrested and charged with the murder of Holly Boutilier.”Boutilier’s body was discovered Sunday in a shack near the Penobscot River in Bangor.Detectives say the victim and the suspect knew each other.”They were familiar with each other. The extent of that, I am not sure, but they were familiar with each other. It was not a random thing.”Still no word on a motive…police are hoping information from the public will help shed some light.”The investigation is ongoing. We do expect we’ll probably receive a lot of phone calls now that he’s being held.”Police say Koehler is originally from New Jersey, but has been in the Bangor area for about 6 years.Koehler is expected to make his first court appearance tomorrow.Meanwhile, funeral services for Holly Boutilier will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Birmingham Funeral Home in Old Town.
Our own Amy Erickson switched jobs again.This time, she put on a hairnet and headset, to try her hand at working the Tim Horton’s drive thru.We’ll see how she did in this month’s “Take This Job and Love It.”As the owner/operator of the Tim Horton’s in Brewer, Marc Nicknair is charged with making sure hundreds of folks get their caffeinated wakeup call each morning.”Customers come through, they want their coffee fast, they want it fresh, they want it friendly. so that’s what we do here at Tim Horton’s.”Marc says he can teach me to get the job done…but first…the necessary accessories.”We’re gonna outfit you with a hair net. Just what i’ve always wanted!”Once I’m outfitted with a headset, it’s time to hit the most popular spot of the morning.”So we’re doing the drive thru? we’re going to the drve thru, let’s head over there.”This drive-thru gives a whole new meaning to the term “fast paced.”These ladies consistently rank in the top ten for the fastest stores in New England.”Our goal is to serve the customers in 25 seconds or less during peak hours. that was 7 seconds. i don’t know if i can do 7 seconds! sure, you can do it.”I’m not so sure.But I’m on the job as the orders start coming in.”Large coffee, they want it half decaf, cream and a sleeve…half decaf, right.”It’s harder than it looks, with orders coming in in your headset, plus up on the screen…never mind the foot traffic in the busy drive thru area.And the coffee orders aren’t as simple as “cream and sugar.””It’s amazing how people drink their coffee. i drink it black so that’s easy. we have flavored coffees…everyone drinks it a little differently.””Now you could really mess with someone if you gave them hi test instead of decaf. well, we wouldn’t want to do that. i wouldn’t want to be responsible.”After a while, I get the hang of it.”Not bad! But you guys go so quick! That was pretty fast! Not as quick as you!”From there, it was on to packing up donuts…To doing a little bagel baking…to keep up with the morning demand…”you gotta put your mitts on. oooh, they’re warm!”By the end of the shift, I’m ready for a break…and to get my review.”Alright, Marc, so how did i do? you did wonderful. want an application? so i have to work on my speed a little, cause these girls are fast. yes. speed and accuracy are very important to our customers.”Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Brewer.
A man from Bangor is behind bars in connection with the murder of a woman from Old Town over the weekend.Police arrested 34-year-old Colin Koehler after a stand-off in downtown Bangor Tuesday afternoon.Police had a warrant to search Koehler’s Columbia Street apartment.When they attempted the search around 3 p.m., Koehler wouldn’t let them inside.The swat team was called in and tear gas was used.Koehler was taken from the scene by Bangor Police. He’s been charged with 19-year-old Holly Boutilier’s murder.Her body was found on Sunday morning in a shack by the Penobscot River.Lieutenant Tim Reid of the Bangor Police Department say the two knew each other. “They were familiar with each other. The extent of that I’m not sure, but they were familiar with each other. It was not a random thing. The investigation is ongoing. We do expect we’ll probably receive a number of phone calls now that he’s being held.”Koehler is expected to appear in court Thursday morning.
A new study shows family health care premiums have grown more than four times faster than income this decade in Maine. Families USA said Wednesday health insurance premiums rose by 101 percent, while median earnings rose by only 22 percent from 2000 to 2009. Ron Pollack, executive director, says health care costs continue to grow even as employers scale back health plans and raise deductibles and co-payments. Families USA says the average annual family health insurance premium rose from $6,915 to $13,927 over the 10-year period. The report was released a day after President Barack Obama visited Portsmouth, N.H., to press the case for health care reform. (AP)
FairPoint Communications officials are going before a Maine legislative committee to discuss ongoing problems with the company’s delivery of land line telephone and broadband Internet service. Wednesday’s session comes two days after regulators in Vermont opened a probe into whether to revoke FairPoint Communications’ right to do business in that state. Frustration is strong in Maine as well over billing errors,service order delays and long waits on call-in customer service lines. Senator Barry Hobbins, co-chair of the Utilities and Energy Committee, said FairPoint’s system is not functioning at an acceptable level.FairPoint bought Verizon’s land line business and Internet operations in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire in a $2.3 billion deal last year. (AP)
A Bangor man has been taken into custody in connection with the murder of 19-year-old Holly Boutilier.Officials say that 34-year-old Colin Koehler was arrested after a stand off in downtown Bangor Tuesday afternoon.Koehler lives in an apartment building on Columbia Street.Police had a warrant to search that apartment.Around three-o’clock Tuesday afternoon, members of the criminal division of the Bangor Police Department went to the suspect’s apartment to execute the warrant.The stand off started when the suspect denied officials entrance. “The warrant was approved earlier this afternoon as a result of a number of interviews that we’ve done. I’m not going to reveal the content of the interviews,” Said Lt. Tim Reid of the Bangor Police Department.The swat team was called in and tear gas was used.Koehler was taken from the scene by Bangor Police, we’re being told he’s been charged with Boutilier’s murder.Her body was found on Sunday morning in a shack by the Penobscot River.
Organizers of a block party to be held Wednesday afternoon in Dover-Foxcroft say they hope the event will also help laid-off workers.Organizers say they’ll be serving up free barbeque for folks between 11am and 1pm and offering information about free local resources.Free food will also be available from the Good Shepherd foodmobile as will information about transition services and Penquis resources.They hope the event will help folks who used to work at True Textiles in Guilford and other places.The block party will be held at 50 North Street in Dover-Foxcroft.