The body of a clammer has been found following a search of the area where he went clamming in eastern Maine.Marine Patrol Specialist Mark Murry said the body of Arthur Calder Jr., who is thought to be around 50, was discovered around 1 p.m. Monday on the shore of East Cove in Perry.Murry said Calder was last heard from on Tuesday and that relatives called the Marine Patrol late Sunday afternoon after checking on Calder and discovering his clamming equipment was gone from his home.Murry said an autopsy is expected to help determine the cause of death.
Volunteers with a project in Orrington are already busy boxing up Christmas gifts. They’re hoping to put together about five thousand boxes this year, as part of an effort to help a lot of kids they’ve never even met.”Last year we did about 47 hundred boxes we processed here, this year we’re hoping to process about 5 thousand boxes,” says Assistant Pastor James Lord at Calvary Chapel in Orrington.He says they’ve already collected 500 boxes, and counting. They’re taking donations all week, filling this truck with gifts for children in more than 150 countries.”This is a high point of their whole year, as such. They give all the boxes out at once and the kids just go crazy. And they’re not as impressed by the toys and the things our kids here are spoiled by, they’re really just blessed to have received anything,” Lord says.It’s called Operation Christmas Child, a national project for countries impacted by natural disaster, war, disease and poverty.The boxes contain toys, supplies and things kids who don’t have a lot can really use.”They’ll show us videos of them taking boxes by mules, backpack, boats, planes, whatever to children in countries where they don’t really have anything,” he says.Pastors at local churches overseas make sure the gifts get to the children safely, and volunteers from home sometimes tag along.”We’ve had one girl from here who actually got to go distribute boxes and was honored to do that. It was quite the experience for her. So they get a lot of volunteers, it’s an all-volunteer thing. Nobody gets paid for this,” Lord says.Calvary Chapel processes all the donations from our part of the state. They’ll be around all week.”It’s a good lesson for us to teach our kids to be selfless,” Lord says.The folks at Calvary Chapel at 154 River Road in Orrington will be taking donations there every day, until Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on the project or what they’re looking for, you can call them at 991-9555.
Workers at a healthcare facility in Milbridge say their being treated unfairly by ownership and they’ve decided to let their voices be heard. They’ve decided to take their frustration to the streets. LaVerne Coopersmith, a CNA at the facility, says their demands are not that unreasonable. “Maybe a 2% raise and a signed contract, that doesn’t seem like asking too much, it seems fair,” she says.The workers say management got a pay raise and they want what they say is fair. Dr. Stephen Weisberger is the owner of the facility and he told TV5 the following over the phone. “To my knowledge, no raises have been given to any administrator or manager since the wage freeze. These are tough times. My workers are fantastic and we’re working towards a solution that is financially viable for them.”Workers claim management received their pay increases just a month before their own wages were frozen and they say that isn’t right. “We realize the economy is bad,” says Marie Leighton a CRMA at the facility, “but I guess if management hadn’t gotten theirs, it wouldn’t have been so bad, but they got theirs in April and we got a freeze in May and I don’t think that’s quite fair.”Patients and their families say the staff here works hard and deserves fair treatment. Jackie Jellison’s mother is being treated in the Narraguagus Healthcare Facility and she says the care there is first rate. “The care that these ladies have for these residents is wonderful. I mean they go out of their way and like Marie said, they stop in on their off time to see how patients are.”The protestors say they will continue to picket as long as it takes. The two sides are scheduled to sit down at the negotiating table on December 4th.
A local radio host will be talking and taking lots of turkey this week.Z107.3’s The Kid will be camping out in the Hannaford parking lot in Brewer.The “Z” is holding its annual Thanksgiving turkey drive for local families.The goal is to collect 2009 turkeys this year– and The Kid will stay in the parking lot until that goal is met.You can stop by to donate turkeys, cash or checks made out to Hannaford.”Whatever you can give. We have little kids bring in change, we have businesses bring checks for a thousand dollars. Everything is appreciated,” says The Kid.”Free The Z” starts Tuesday morning at the Hannaford parking lot in Brewer. The turkeys will be distributed through Manna and other area food cupboards.
Fluctuating prices haven’t been making it easy for many family farmers in Maine.But then, when has the life of a farmer been easy? When faced with economic pressures, families on lots of farms across the state just keep pushing on. Like all dairy farmers, folks at the Thomas Farm in Garland are dealing with falling prices. We talked to them about how they’re making it work.”It’s steady! It’s non-stop…it’s a way of life. I had bad dreams one time, if the cows were all gone. It’s just something that you’re so used to,” says Mary Wilson. She’s a dairy farmer at Thomas Farms of Garland. “We’re milking about 400 cows. My parents started out with about six cows, 50 years ago, and those were cows that that had come from my grandfather’s farm,” she says.”You’re saying, if I just had 12 cows, I could put some money away,” says her father, Jim. “And, well, that didn’t seem to work. Maybe if I double it again I could put some money away. But that didn’t work either,” he says, laughing with his wife, Sandra.Now in their seventies, Jim and Sandra Thomas still work on the farm, along with Mary’s husband, Peter, and other family members and employees. They say they’re doing all right, making ends meet.”It’s hard when you’re trying to pinch the penny and you want your family to have something, and I think that’s the hardest thing we have to do- stretch that dollar,” Jim says.”I don’t think I know any other way, really. It’s nice when you drive by another farm and they’ve got brand-new choppers and tractors and all that,” Mary says. “My dad would never go out and buy a brand-new anything, if he could get by with something older.”Most of the buildings on the Thomas farm, the family built themselves. This is Jim’s tractor, 42 years old– but still running.”Even though he’s out in the weather and he’s cold, he doesn’t owe any money on it. So that’s the way he likes it,” Mary says. “It’s a pretty nice tractor. It does the same thing a brand new one would do,” Jim says.Getting along in tough times, and coping with falling dairy prices, is something the family says comes with the territory.”If you look at the third, fourth and fifth generation farm communities, if they’ve survived that long, they’ve been through a lot of challenges,” says Maine’s Agriculture Commissioner, Seth Bradstreet.”They’ve very innovative, they’re resilient and they do. They can hunker down with the best of them.”Bradstreet says there are still real challenges ahead for the dairy industry, but he’s optimistic.”We’ve had a program in place that’s been very supportive at a break-even level, at best, for the dairy industry. And we’re going to weather a little bit more of a storm here. And we hope that the federal price, the national price comes up enough in the interim to lessen the burden on these folks,” he says.Bradstreet says price supports have helped Maine dairy farmers get their bills paid, and cope better than dairy farmers in other New England states.”But, we’re in the midst of perhaps losing a vast number of farms in the dairy industry if the federal order doesn’t get corrected, at least to a break-even price,” he says.On the Thomas farm, they say until the price of milk goes back up, they’ll just keep going.”And so you just have to kind of think ahead. The price of milk always has its ups and downs. When it’s up, you have to plan ahead and when it’s down, you’ve got to hope that you have enough assets to get by,” Mary says. “And the the highs and lows are higher all the time now.”Coming up Tuesday night, we’ll look at how the face of many family farms is changing across the state, in ways you might not expect.
Thousands of dollars in damage was done at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course when it was broken into last week.Police say on November 10th they responded to a report of a burglary that happened overnight at the course’s maintenance building.The building was broken into and thousands of dollars in damage was done to at least one of the golf carts and other lawn tractors. Tools, equipment, and a computer tower were among the items stolen.Police are looking for the person or persons responsible. If anyone has information that could help the investigation. They are asked to call the Bangor Police at 947-7382.
The Furry Friends Food Bank is run by Eastern Area Agency on Aging. The organization helps senior citizens with some of their pet care needs. Funds raised help with pet food, cat litter and a spay/neuter clinic. Many seniors consider their pet their only family, this program aims at keeping them together.If you want to donate goods or money to this cause call 1-800-432-7812 or 207-941-2865. You may also go online to http://www.eaaa.org/furryfriends.shtml.
Fire investigators were in Medway on Monday, trying to figure out what sparked two fires there Sunday night.Crews from several towns responded to the Medway Road around eight p.m.Flames gutted the back of an abandoned house. Nearby, a separate fire burned another abandoned house.No one was injured.The Fire Marshal’s office says it looks like someone was involved in starting the fires, since both homes were empty and neither had electricity hooked up.”One had been set on fire and the other one had a small fire that didn’t go, it ended up burning itself out. It looks right now like both fires are human element fires,” says Scott Richardson, senior fire investigator with the Fire Marshal’s office.They took samples from the scene today and say the investigation continues. They are still looking into who owns those homes.
Part of I-95 North near Medway was closed overnight and this morning, as crews cleaned up a hazardous material spill.Right now traffic is down to one lane near Medway.State police say a big rig from Tennessee rolled over around 9-30 last night, spilling most of its contents.They say the chemicals are not dangerous to drivers.45-year-old Kenneth Taylor of Tennessee was driving the truck.He wasn’t hurt but he was arrested for OUI.Police say it could take a couple of days to clean the area. Environmental crews are also on scene.
The Maine Warden Service and Maine Marine Patrol will begin searching for a missing clammer from Perry Monday morning.Few details are available right now.We’re told the person has been missing since Wednesday, and their gear was found Sunday night.We’ll have more on this as it becomes available…
We’re still 11 days out before “black friday,” the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season.But what happens in the next few weeks may serve as an indicator as to what kind of spending we’ll see.The National Retail Federation says Americans will focus primarily on practical gifts and shop on a budget.In Saco, shop keepers are keeping an eye on sales trend from years past, wondering how it will all shake out this year with the recession still in full swing.Shop keepers are also cross-promoting to help drive-up holiday sales.
A major cost-savings plan for the University of Maine System is on the agenda as the trustees gathered for a two-day meeting.The meeting kicked off on Sunday and will continue on Monday in Bangor. Board members will discuss approval of a final report and implementation of a plan identifying more than $42 million in cost-savings or new revenue over four years.Hundreds of faculty, staff, students and community members havesubmitted comments on the Chancellor’s report.The trustees will also review the system’s annual financialreport for fiscal 2009.
It was a turkey collection with a twist: the 5th annual turkey toss. Participants donate a turkey and receive a rubber chicken, that they toss at a target. The hope is to win prizes, including CD’s, DVD’s and t-shirts. Everyone walks away a winner. Solution FM and their sister station are assisting Manna Ministries in the collection. The goal was to collect 5800 turkeys. In the first hour about 107 were collected and event organizers say the donations will be a big help.”I think it’s really important to help those in need, it’s been a really tough economic year. A lot of people are having trouble putting turkeys on the table at all let alone a big thanksgiving spread, and you don’t want anyone to try to figure out how you’re going to feed your family a thanksgiving dinner.”The turkeys collected will be distributed to families in need in the Bangor area.
Folks heading over to the Brewer Auditorium got a chance to find some unique Holiday gifts Sunday. The Zonta Club held their biggest fundraiser of the year, the Zonta Marketplace.They had more than 70 vendors selling all kinds of items, including crafts, antiques, and collectibles. Plus they had a silent auction and raffles.All the money raised will support Zonta’s charities. Sharon Leavitt, President of Zonta, says one of their focuses right now, eliminating human trafficking. “We are a group of ladies that support the betterment of women and children and one of our biggest things is we advocate for women, and human trafficking is big for us right now. It’s big everywhere but people don’t seem to understand how bad it is. So we’re working towards that with our fundraising. We also give to women’s care, rape response, the shelter and we have seven scholarships that we give away.”To help raise even more money, Zonta club members spent weeks cooking and baking for Sunday’s events. They even offered homemade frozen meals.
It wasn’t the best day to be in nature, so nature went indoors Sunday at the Maine Discovery Museum.Kids and their parents got to learn all about owls, thanks to a presentation from Doug Soholt, an environmental educator at the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset.He showed the crowd in Bangor a slide presentation, but the highlights were the owls themselves.He brought along with him the great horned, barred, and saw-whet owls, all native to Maine.Soholt knows a lot of the kids won’t remember many of the facts that he shared with them, he just hopes they take away a general appreciation for owls and a desire to learn more. “There’s just something really different about seeing an actual live owl, as opposed to reading about it in a book, and our goal at the Chewonki foundation is conservation. So, we feel that when people get that personal connection with an animal, they’re much more likely to understand and have a desire to conserve that or learn more about it.”The Chewonki Foundation was started back in 1918, and they offer camps at their campus. Now they’ve started outreach programs like the one they presented Sunday at the Discovery Museum.
It’s been a good year at Bangor Raceway. That’s what Corey Smith, Director of Raceway Operations is saying.Sunday was the last day of racing at Bass Park. They were hoping to start the season in April, but mother nature didn’t cooperate. So they ended up starting to race in May.Despite a bad economy, attendance was about equal to past years early in the season, although it did go down a bit in the fall.Still Smith says, people realize they can get a good deal at the race track. “It’s an inexpensive night out on the town, so instead of spending 40-50 dollars they can come spend a couple of dollars on a race. 20 dollars they’ve had a night of entertainment. So it’s a value.”They plan to start racing next year on May 11th. This past year they had some weeks when they had four days of racing, but that didn’t work out too well. So next year they plan to cut down to three days a week.
The folks at Bangor Parks and Recreation are doing their part to help kids stay active when the cold weather arrives. Every Sunday at the Parks and Recreation building on Main Street in Bangor they’re offering an open gym.Kids will be able to play basketball or take part in a variety of other activities. Kids in grades K-5 can come from noon-2:00 and grades 6 and Up are welcome from 2:30-4:00 every Sunday.
This week is hunger and homelessness awareness week across the country and local food pantries say they’re already busy with Thanksgiving right around the corner. Brenda Davis is the Founder and Director of the Crossroads Ministries in Old Town and she says they’ve been swamped. “We’ve had over 215 families up for Thanksgiving dinners ahead of time,” says davis, “that doesn’t address the people who are going to come in at the last minute that are emergencies and trying to do the best they can hoping they’re going to be able to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for their families.”Davis says while they’re scrambling to get ready for Thanksgiving, hunger and homelessness week does make her stop and reflect. “It’s pretty much business as usual but we do ask people to take a minute to think about people being hungry.”She says the downturn in the economy has caused a rise in people who need a little help. “We have a lot of people dropping down to poverty because of the economy,” shge says, “we have working people with families, young families working 2 jobs that just need a little help.”The folks at the University College of Bangor have come up with a creative way to help their students better understand hunger and homelessness awareness week. “It’s called the Hunger Banquet,” says Rebecca Perkins, a staff associate with the Student Life Department at UCB. “Basically the point is we wanted to give students the opportunity to sit and have a meal together and have a discussion about the topic of hunger in our country and around the world.” Here on Monday students won’t know what they’re getting to eat until it’s served to them. “There’s going to be 3 classes that people are going to be randomly assigned to so they could get something as nice as a full spaghetti dinner with all the the fixings or they could get as little as rice and beans,” says Perkins.The hope is that the experience will give students a glimpse into the world of those less fortunate. “I think it will be important for them to think outside of their own communities and think about how other people live and the challenges of other people in the bangor area and around the world,” Perkins says.Meanwhile over at the food pantry in Old Town, with a little over a week to go until Thanksgiving, Brenda Davis is confident they’ll get the things they need. “Maine is a great place to live and when people know we have a need they’ll respond.”
Two convicts who escaped from a minimum security prison last weekend have been caught.36-year-old Arden Shaw and 28-year-old Robert Fogg escaped from the Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren last Saturday.The men were caught Friday night. Additional details are not available at this time.Both men were serving time for burglary and were due to be released in 2013.
In 2007 a fire destroyed the eastern maine snowmobile club’s club house. The club has since been rebuilt, and the club has been running fundraiser to pay for the new building. One such fundraiser held today was the 5th annual club craft fair. Local artists from all over maine came out to share their crafts. Event organizers say it’s also a way for the club to support maine artists. Its a good one it gives people the opportunity to come out and see the club, and meet some of the members, and learn about sledding, and give people the opportunity to get christmas gifts.” says Rita Griffin, a club member.The event was also a chance to invite new members. Officials say Eastern Maine has had a snowmobile club since about 1975.