A technical error last week at a state office meant hundreds of people’s Social Security numbers were mistakenly sent out in the mail.600 people received letters containing the name and Social Security number of someone else.The letters were sent to advise people about unemployment compensation benefits. Dick Thompson, the state’s information chief, says the security breach happened after a malfunction when the letters were being printed.When they restarted the printers after a glitch, they were one page off — and no one caught the mistake.People then received letters with half of their information, and half with someone else’s.Thompson says there’s no excuse for their mistake. They’ve sent letters to those affected, and have spoken to their print operators about the problem.”We’re also looking at and have changed some of our quality assurance and what happens when a print run is interrupted,” Thompson says. “And, we want to take the Social Security number off the document in the first place and end that problem.”The printing office where the error occurred runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, printing 9 million images a month.So far, no one has reported any foul play with the Social Security numbers. Thompson says since they know who received what information, they don’t expect any issues, but they have advised folks about credit monitoring services.
The average hair salon produces about a pound of hair clippings every day. Normally, it’s just thrown away. But there is someone out there who wants to put those wasted ends to work.”It’s becoming quite the topic of conversation around town, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” says Carole Young. She was getting her hair cut at the Lisa Nichols Salon in Belfast Thursday.In doing so, Young was also donating her hair, which — believe it or not — will be used to help clean up oil spills.”Who knew!” says salon owner Lisa Nichols. “It was a hairdresser who found this out. They were watching the Exxon Valdez oil spill and he thought, ‘Hey, you know, hair is very absorbent, it’s like a magnet to oil.’”A non-profit in California, called Matter of Trust, recycles the hair into mats, which are then used to soak up the oil from spills.”I thought it was a great idea,” says stylist Kelsey Payson. They’ve been sweeping up and saving their clean hair clippings for the past month and a half.”So now we have two big garbage bags filled, and in the next week or so, we’ll send out our first shipment,” Nichols says.In an industry known for its harsh chemicals, Nichols says her salon was already trying to be more environmentally-friendly when her distributor told her about the hair mat project.”So the hair clippings goes right along with making the changes we want to make to grow forward,” she says. “I have children and I care about the environment and their future so I thought, anything we can do to help make sure there’s clean water and a safe world for them.”Nichols says customers are surprised at first, but pleased. “They love it,” she says.”I think of those pictures of the seagulls and things with the oil all over them, and it’s pretty sad. If there’s anything we can do to save those animals – it’d be pretty terrific,” Young says.Any salon can donate to the hair mat project. You can find more on the website www.matteroftrust.org.
A 59-year-old man has died after his motorcycle struck a moose on Route 2 in Enfield. Officials say Peter Dauphinee of Enfield was killed almost instantly in the Wednesday night accident in a 55-mph zone about three miles north of the Route 155 intersection. Chief Deputy Troy Morton of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office says that it was dark at the time and it doesn’t appear that there was anything Dauphinee could have done to avoid the crash. Morton said Dauphinee, who was thrown from his bike, was not wearing a helmet, but it probably would not have made much difference if he had been. The moose was severely injured and was put down.
The class of 2009 at Mount View High School in Thorndike will be the last group of seniors to be handed diplomas in the old school. The new 40-million dollar K through 12 building will open this fall. To mark the occasion this weekend’s graduation ceremony will bring a piece of the past back. Graduates from 1965, Mount View’s first class, will march along side seniors. Principal Lynda Letteney says the day is about the current graduates, but she says the community and school also thought a brief tribute to the classmates of 65′ would be appropriate. Letteney says invitations were sent out to the class of 65′. About twenty former graduates have responded and will be recognized at Sunday’s ceremony. Senior class president Jami Childress says she’s proud to be part of the last class to graduate from the old school. She adds that it will be a memory that will hold forever.
You’ve either seen or heard about giant pieces of windmills coming through town for big projects in Maine.A home in Dover Foxcroft is getting in on the act with a large addition to its backyard.As Meghan Hayward reports.”Seeing some of them go up and the big ones go up, I said this is going to be the coming thing and I decided if I got a chance, I was going to try it.”When the opportunity to install a private windmill came about, Dover Foxcroft resident Greg Dyer jumped on board.Dyer paid 14-thousand dollars for the windmill, but after several federal reimbursements the project qualified for, he’ll only be paying about 6-thousand dollars out of his pocket.”I’m in hopes within five years that I’ll have this paid off and that thing stills running.”He points out his wife was a little skeptical, but he expects it to grow on her.Dyer thinks he’s setting an example for his community.”I think you’re going to have a lot of people stop in. I’ve heard a lot of people in town talking about it already.”Burdins Renewable Energy Sales Manager David Nguyen helped get this project started.”So what we did is we actually came out and did a free site evaluation took a look at the property made sure it met all the guidelines.”Nguyen says this particular windmill fits perfect in a home setting like the dyers.”It’s actually designed to be silent as the breeze in the trees, its designed to be very silent. It’s designed to be in every backyard in America.”A backyard that dyer says is ready for the windmill.
Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor will receive nearly $900,000 in economic stimulus money to help with biomedical research. The Department of Health and Human Services is giving the lab $883,000.It will support genetic, neurological and cancer research projects.Maine Medical Center in Portland has also been awarded $406,000. That money will go toward cardiovascular studies.
An anonymous donor has stepped forward to save Brewer’s K-9 program.Chief Perry Antone announced last week that because of budget cuts, the department would have to suspend the program.But the very next day, he got a call from someone in the greater Bangor area, offering to fund the program for the year, at a cost of about 35-hundred dollars.That money will help provide food and veterinary care for the two dogs who work with Brewer police officers.Their main function is doing drug searches.Chief Antone says the dogs, Sierra and Mace, play a big role in helping the city enforce its zero-tolerance policy on drug use.< "these dogs are tools to help us get that done. As everyone knows, their ability to detect odors are so much greater than humans...narcotics, marijuana...so their presence is extremely important to us.">Brewer often loans the dogs out to other departments who need them…they’ve gone as far as Ellsworth to assist in drug crime investigations.
More than $6,000 has been collected for a family in Eastbrook working to move into a new home built through Habitat for Humanity. Hundreds of dollars of that came in the form of pennies.Construction stopped on the Rumill family home when someone stole copper pipes from the project last month. But some students in Sullivan, Winter Harbor and Bar Harbor started a “Copper for Copper” penny drive to help out. The Jackson Laboratory hosted a benefit concert. And a number of area businesses donated copper piping, building materials, appliances, furniture and heating oil. In all, more than $3,300 in donations came in and a matching grant doubled that money. Construction is back on, too, and the goal is to get the Rumills moved into their new home by August.
More than $4 million is on its way to Maine to provide housing for low-income families. The money is part of the national economic stimulus package. Folks with the Maine State Housing Authority say about half of the money will go to the Greentree Project in Augusta, updating an existing housing facilityThe rest will help build 54 senior housing units across from the federal building in downtown Bangor and 28 units in Houlton. All of the construction is expected to generate more than 300 jobs, too.Maine is one of five states to receive stimulus money for affordable housing.
Several central Maine fire crews responded to a fire in Orneville early Thursday morning..The fire on Route 155 was called in by a passerby a little before 4 o’clock.The building, which is being called a camp, was completely engulfed in flames when crews arrived.Fire crews from Bradford, Lagrange and Milo all responded to the blaze.According to sgt. Tim York with the state fire marshal’s office, the location of the fire made fighting it the most difficult. “The issue is it’s in Orneville and it’s a distance for every fire department to get here.”The structure is being called a complete loss.There was no one inside the building at the time of the fire.Fire fighters had the flames extinguished and cleared the scene in a couple of hours time.
Seventy-two years and counting. That’s how long Agnes and Almon Brown have been married.Family and friends gathered at the Phillips-Strickland House Wednesday.”It’s been wonderful. He’s been such a nice husband. He does an awful lot for me,” says Agnes Brown.The Browns are better known as “Dee” and “Brownie.””When we were younger we used to go dancing a lot — quite a lot,” she says.Today, they celebrate 72 years of marriage. “I proposed to him,” Dee says.They met growing up in the same town. “Stetson, the big town of Stetson. We went to school together. I’ve known him all my life, practically,” she says.They married in their early twenties and adopted their son Brian when he was six days old.”They’re the most wonderful people in the world,” Brian says. “I couldn’t ask for a better set of parents.”Now in their nineties, there are grandkids and great-grandkids, all happy to celebrate… “For nanny and poppa’s anniversary. That means it’s a big party,” says 5-year-old Mayako Brown.They’re also learning the lessons of love.”It means we can be together for a very long time,” Mayako says.”A lot of love,” says Brian. “All the time I was home, growing up, I never so much as ever heard a cross word from either one of them to the other. They’re just very good people.””He’s so thoughtful and always trying to make me happy, doing things to make me happy,” Dee says of her husband.Their advice to young couples — be nice to each other.”And try a little harder to stay married, I guess,” Dee says.Brian and his wife are going on 32 years, hoping one day they’ll also see anniversary number 72.”We’ve been pretty nice to each other,” Dee says, and laughs.
A man accused of bringing a loaded gun into the Bangor Mall made his first court appearance today.24-year old Brian Murphy of Enfield was ordered to report to Acadia Hospital for a mental health evaluation within three hours of making bail.We’re told by jail officials Murphy was released earlier today.Police say another man went to mall security Tuesday, claiming murphy had threatened him and displayed a gun.He also said Murphy threatened to “shoot up” the mall.Security officers held Murphy and called police.When an officer arrived, they say Murphy reached into his pocket.Murphy was tackled and police say they took a loaded handgun away from him.As part of his bail conditions, Murphy cannot return to the Bangor Mall or have contact with the alleged victim.
A unique Verizon store held its ribbon cutting ceremony in Bangor today.This store is different from others because of how interactive it is, allowing customers to experience the devices before buying them.Public Relations Manager for Verizon Wireless Michael Murphy says this store isn’t just significant to local Verizon customers, but also to the company itself.” It’s one of only about 150 or so evolution stores across the country so it’s a very special store for us.”Verizon Wireless also presented a 25-hundred dollar check to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence at the ceremony.
Anti-abortion advocates in Bangor are reacting to the murder of doctor George Tiller.Today protestors stood outside the Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center.Activist Jean Barry says while they don’t agree with the murder of doctor Tiller, they also didn’t support his practice.Barry hopes their protest will save at least one life.” We’re here to give witness to the truth. Because the truth will set you free. We’re here to pray and to educate and to hopefully stop any mothers who might be coming into this place to get an abortion.”Barry says the protesting is a weekly effort that she and a few others take part in.
A cup of coffee is going a long way today at Tim Hortons.Every penny of their coffee sales will go to the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation.That helps sends children to camp in the United States and Canada.So today’s fundraiser was “Camp Day.”Besides the coffee, the restaurants have been involved in a fundraiser called “Rent-A-Tent,” everything raised from that helps sends kids to camp too.The Tim Hortons in Brewer works with the Brewer Schools to choose the children being sent to camp.Brewer store owner, Mark Nicknair says he’s happy those kids now have the chance to try new things.” They can gaze at the stars and lots of arts and craft activities, horse back riding, boating and tubing. And each of these activities are planned to help build leadership skills, self-confidence skills and self-esteem.”Last year the fundraiser meant that more than 14-thousand kids could go to camp.
A payroll company in downtown Bangor is closing after more than 20 years. Advantage Payroll on Harlow Street will shut its doors June 15th. The Director of Business Development for Advantage Payroll says the franchise owner has decided to leave the business. Three to six people will be put out of work by the closing. We’re told the customers who use the service will be shifted to the office in Auburn and all of them have been notified of the move.
Police in Washington County say they’ve busted up a burglary ring with the arrest of four people. Sheriff Donnie Smith says three men and one women are responsible, in combination, for eight burglaries and thefts between Machias and Lubec in the last three months. 20-year-old Walter Heathcote of Biddeford, 22-year-old Kristopher Preston of Roque Bluffs, 23-year-old Adrian Simmons of Machias and 26-year-old Priscilla Tenney of Machias are charged with burglary. Since February three restaurants, three other businesses, the American Legion Lubec Post and a home have all been broken into. Cash, jewelry and other items were stolen. Smith says he expects more people to be arrested, too.
Students at Mount Desert Island High School are tackling a unique project these days.They’re trying their hands at building a boat…with the help of some pros from one of the biggest names in the business.Amy Erickson has the story.< "It looks pretty good for what we've done. A few mishaps but it came out good."Will Dickey is pretty proud of what he and his classmates have been able to accomplish this semester.They've helped build this fourteen foot skiff, with the help of teacher George Deans and the folks from Hinckley Yachts.The company began a partnership with MDI High School last fall."They wanted to give us the opportunity to have these kids experience state of the art technology and the quality of craftsmanship it is known for."Each day, 11 students in the class work with Hinckley yacht carpenter Barry Buchanan, who teaches them the art of boatbuilding."It's nice to be able to have these people come in who are there and do this everyday and the kids see what can be done.""They keep asking, why is it taking so long? Cause there's a lot of handwork involved and it's the same with our boats at the Hinckley Company. That's why they are what they are."Deans says besides carpentry skills, the students are also learning life lessons. Patience is a big one."Sanding is not the most glamorous thing to do but it has to be done. There are exciting things to do like working with the power equipment, but that's not all the time either."Dickey says he had no idea just how much work goes into crafting a Hinckley boat.20:02:52 "I thought it was quite amazing. When we went over on a field trip for the first time, I was overwhelmed."Buchanan's hoping these students will carry the knowledge they've gotten from him into their adult lives."It's also a lot of fun to work with the students and to see them start to develop life skills they can take with them.""Putting it all together and having it all function as a unit, that's what I'm seeing them tie this together and it's just a nice life experience."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Mount Desert Island.>
The Millinocket family featured in the Discovery Channel show “American Loggers” is going into the restaurant business.They’re renovating the former Downtown Restaurant on Penobscot Avenue in Millinocket and plan to re-open the place as a bar and grill this fall.The Pelletiers bought the restaurant at auction last month, along with a laundromat next door…they plan on using both spaces for the eatery.No word yet on what they’ll call it…but they say they’re considering a tie-in with their TV show, which was recently renewed for a second season on the Discovery Channel.
Fire marshal investigators are digging through a former topless coffee shop in Maine as they try to determine what caused a blaze that gutted the building. Wednesday afternoon investigators told media that the fire was intentional and that the shop and surrounding area is a crime scene. The fire was reported at about 1 a.m. Wednesday at the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, just north of Augusta.Owner Donald Crabtree lived in the former motel, and he and six others including his daughters and their babies escaped unharmed. The shop opened to national headlines in February, but it raised the ire of many local residents. The fire happened hours after Crabtree met with planning officials to discuss his proposal to expand the business to make it more like a strip club. Crabtree says he spent $277,000 buying and renovating the building. It wasn’t insured.Investigators from the fire marshal’s office are encouraging anyone with any information to call 1888-870-6162.