A man charged with robbing five central Maine banks remains in jail on half-a-million dollars bail.43-year-old Paul Rivera of West Gardiner was arrested last Friday by police investigating an armed robbery three days earlier at Northeast Bank in Augusta.Rivera’s also charged with four other bank robberies.A police affidavit says Rivera confessed to the crimes after police found cash from one of the robberies in his motel room.They also reported finding a silver toy gun during a search of his vehicle.
Brewer police are asking for the public’s help in finding a vehicle and the person or persons involved in a home burglary.Police say around 1:30 Wednesday morning, someone entered an occupied residence on Starlight Drive.The homeowners, who were sleeping at the time, awoke to some noise and found the place had been burglarized.A state police dog tracked the suspect to Parkway South. Brewer Police believe the vehicle used by the suspect or suspects was parked in the municipal basketball court parking lot, across from Pendleton Street.Anyone who saw anything suspicious, or might have seen that vehicle from around midnight to 2 am Wednesday, should call Brewer Police at 989-7001.
Laptop computers, cameras, jewelry, and cash: just some of the items that have been stolen from vehicles in the outer Ohio Street residential areas in Bangor. Bangor Police have received several calls over the past week from that area of the city. The burglaries have taken place on the street, in driveways, and even unlocked garages.Police are urging folks to lock their vehicles, garages, and to keep valuables out of their cars.Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Bangor Police’s anonymous tip line at 947-7382.
As part of national health center week, Penobscot Community Health Care has announced that three of their clinics have been selected to take part in a statewide project.The Helen Hunt Center, Penobscot Pediatrics, and Penobscot Community Health Care will all participate in the “Maine Patient Centered Medical Home pilot project.”The goal is to improve primary care for patients while also lowering costs.And, Penobscot Community Health Care will partner with a national health research group called Altarum Institute, for a project also designed to improve primary care. “And our objective is to improve the performance, the patient experience and ultimately, their lives. I’m struck by the dynamic environment I see here. The level of energy and commitment to both innovation as well as simply doing the day to day things well,” So said Altarum representative Jim Lee.Most of the speakers at Thursday’s event mentioned the current national debate about health care reform.They say projects like the ones Penobscot Community Health is participating in will help find out what really works for the benefit of the patients.
Visitors to Acadia National Park can get in for free this weekend.The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees on Saturday and Sunday.They’re hoping it will encourage more Americans to visit national parks.Acadia is one of the country’s 391 national parks.This will be the third and final such weekend this year.
There’s a new piece of artwork to admire at Northeast Occupational Exchange in Bangor thanks to the work of a Bangor High School graduateLindsey Giles created the piece as part of her advanced placement art project last year.One of the guidelines of the project was to create something enjoyable for many people rather than just a personal gift to one person. “Although there are a lot of different faces I didn’t want to use anyone in particular. I wanted it to represent the whole of the agency and how every person is important,” Said the young artist on ThursdayNortheast Occupational Exchange is a mental health and substance abuse agency serving children, adolescents, and adults across Maine.
Senator Olympia Snowe spent the morning at Husson University in Bangor, focusing on business. The senator was part of a panel talking to small business owners about issues effecting them in today’s economy.Also on the panel was Karen Mills from the United States Small Business Administration. The group spoke on topics ranging from the impact of federal stimulus money to green jobs, and of course health care.Time was given for the audience to ask the panel questions, a number of the questions focused on the issue of health care. “Some people would prefer to have us do it sooner rather than later,” said Senator Snowe, “and I say you can’t be confined by by unrealistic time frames on such a complex and costly matter, I think that has been some of the problems to begin with quite frankly, you know you have to write a thousand page bill, it takes time.”
For Dennis and Wendy Glidden, the thought of owning their own restaurant sounded like fun. “Actually my wife and I have done a ton of traveling,” says Dennis Glidden, “and so we just always wanted to do it, we’re both French teachers and we said we got to do something different.” “We had a lot of ideas,” adds Wendy Glidden, “and we thought let’s just do it, we thought we could accomplish that, accomplish our goal.”They found the ideal spot while driving around the Bangor waterfront. “We were riding by one day and we saw a restaurant for lease and we came up and decided that was it, but it was more difficult than that,” explains Glidden. At first glance one might think L’apertif is the type of establishment that would have a dress code, but that is not the case says Dennis Glidden. “It’s been a little bit of an issue because someone comes to the door and they look and they say, oh my goodness it’s elegant, and we say, come in please, no matter what you’re wearing.”The Glidden’s have kept their business venture a family affair, their daughter Amanda is in charge of the wait staff and she says she’s excited about the opportunity to work with her parents and thinks they have a great idea for a restaurant. “We have kind of a modern theme going on,” she says, “a lot of black and white and gray, a lot of comfy couches which is awesome, everyone loves sitting down, chilling out after a long day of work or whatever they’re doing.”Despite both owners being french teachers, the cuisine is wide open. It is a tappas restaurant which means they serve food that is designed to share. “Just an amazing array of food from england to france to germany,” says Executive Chef Paul Beaulieu, “we’re going to have some Thailand, just basically representing all the regions of the world.”That includes some home cooking. “Like for example, one of the features on our menu was my Mom’s spaghetti dish, so a little bit of everything,” says Glidden.The Glidden’s also say Bangor has welcomed them. “The restaurant owner from Paddy Murphy’s, the guy is just phenomenal,” says Glidden, “he came up the first day we were here, anything he could do for us.”
A lobsterman accused of shooting another lobsterman on Matinicus Island last month told police he fired his gun while defending his daughter. 68-year-old Vance Bunker was back in court today to ask a judge to amend his bail conditions. Bunker faces charges of elevated aggravated assault. Police say last month, Bunker shot fellow lobsterman Chris Young in the neck.Court paperwork filed today says Bunker claimed he was trying to protect his daughter, who was with him at the time of the shooting.Bunker was ordered off the island and originally planned to ask the judge today to amend his bail conditions so he could return. But Knox County District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau says Bunker withdrew that request until the investigation is complete. The judge did amend Bunker’s bail so he can use or possess alcohol.
You could consider it one-stop-shopping for health care. A new medical facility in Lincoln is bringing together doctors, patients and services – all under one roof. For doctors, nurses and staff at Health Access Network in Lincoln, the building represents five years of planning and more than $5 million.Dr. Noah Nesin says it was designed with patients in minds.”The waiting room is bright and uplifting and warm. And we have lots of exam rooms so it makes us more efficient. People don’t spend a lot of time in the waiting room. They can see their provider on shorter notices now because of the efficiency of the system.”The 28-thousand-square foot building has 22 exams rooms, space for up to 10 doctors and areas for mental health services, too. CEO Dawn Cook says “We’ve centralized the facility so that it’s visible, it’s easy to get to. Transportation is always an issue in rural communities. We’re also consolidating services. We have podiatry, ob, primary care. We’re looking at putting pharmacy services here.”Cook add it’s also good for doctors who’ve spent years working in the community together, yet not together. “They were all individually spaced in different offices around town so we consolidated six offices so that not only could we lure new physicians but allow the ones that we did employ to work together, to cover each other.”The new facility is expected to serve up 8,000 patients a year. Health Access Network will continue to operate other offices in Enfield, Medway and Millinocket.But Nesin says, for many, this is now home.”It’s comforting to the patients and to the staff to be together in the ways that they were together, prior to moving into this building and yet have all of the benefits of the facilty like this to help us better serve our patients.”Cook says the facility was built with the environment in mind, too, featuring green technology and energy efficient equipment.The offices opened in late June but officials with Health Access Network are holding a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 o’clock Thursday night to celebrate the new home. Then they’ll offer tours to the public until 7 o’clock .
Lincoln’s police chief is stepping down.William Flagg announced his resignation on Tuesday.He’s been Chief for almost two years, but says it’s time for a change.Flagg says he’d like to eventually get into law enforcement education, so he wants to further his own education by taking classes.He says the Chief’s job is too demanding to allow him to do that, so his last day will be August 25th.Flagg has accepted a temporary patrol deputy position with his former employer, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.He says the job will allow him the flexibility to take classes and further his education.Meanwhile, Lincoln town officials have begun the search for a new Chief.
The Bangor man charged with murdering a 19-year-old woman from Old Town made his first court appearance Thursday morning.Colin Koehler remained quiet throughout the brief proceedings.Amy Erickson was in the courtroom. She has the story.34-year-old Colin Koehler kept his head down in court Thursday and told the judge he understood the charges against him.He’s accused of killing 19-year-old Holly Boutilier, whose body was found in a shack along the Penobscot River last Sunday.In the complaint read in the courtroom, Koehler is alleged to have killed Boutilier the day before her body was discovered.”I don’t really want to comment on the facts of the case, other than the Bangor Police has put together a very strong case, I think, against the defendant.”Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson is prosecuting the case for the state.He says Thursday’s proceedings went as expected.”He hasn’t been charged by the grand jury yet, so the only issue was whether bail was going to be set. Currently, he’s being held without bail and a harnish hearing, a full blown bail hearing may be scheduled for next week.””It’s my suspicion that even if bail was set, it’d be set at a very high level.”Benson asked that Koehler be given a psychiatric evaluation.”This is certainly an unusual situation for anyone to be in…it would be quite a shock for anyone and I think it’s fair to say that Mr. Koehler finds himself as most of us would in a situation like this.”Koehler’s attorney, Richard Hartley, declined to comment on a potential defense.”I’ve had some chance to speak with Mr. Koehler, some chance to speak with his family, but frankly, it’d be far too premature to predict what might happen.”No date has been set for Koehler’s bail hearing, but it’s expected to happen sometime next week.Still no word on how Boutilier was killed.An autopsy was completed, but the cause of death has not been released.
(AP) – More than a dozen neighbors of the Mars Hill wind farm in northern Maine are suing the owner, town and companies that built it.The civil suit was filed in Aroostook County Superior Court in Caribou. Plaintiffs say they’re bothered by noise from the turning blades at FirstWind’s 28-turbine wind farm and claim their property has lost value. The neighbors also say they weren’t fully notified about the construction process.The suit seeks compensation for the alleged devaluation of properties and stress they say the wind farm has brought.FirstWind spokesman John Lamontagne told the Bangor Daily News on Tuesday that he couldn’t comment on pending litigation. But he said that others in Mars Hill are happy with the project and that the company completed all regulatory steps needed to build the wind farm.
The first day of school is in just a few weeks and Brewer Federal Credit Union is trying to help kids get off to a good start.The bank is holding a school supplies drive. They just started the effort about two days ago.They’re asking folks to drop off anything they think kids might need for school.The vice president of the bank, David Defroscia says there is a real need in the community for this type of support. “We are in touch with our members, deal with them one on one all the time – kinda know what some of their economic needs and challenges are most of the time, and when we see a need we try to step up and help out. Our members have always stepped up. Anybody that can afford a little extra has always done this and it helps out those who maybe can’t afford it right now.”Supplies can be dropped off at the North Main Street and Dirigo Drive branches of the Brewer Federal Credit Union.The drive runs until August 24th. The supplies will then be delivered to area schools to be given out.
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.