A Kennebec county grand jury has indicted a West Gardiner man in connection with five bank robberies in central Maine.Augusta Police say 44-year-old Paul Rivera, robbed the Northeast Bank in Augusta in August, the Maine Educational Credit Union in Augusta in March, Key Bank in Gardiner in January, the Savings Bank of Central Maine in Hallowell in December 2008 and the Savings Bank of Maine in Augusta in November.A police affidavit says that Rivera confessed to the robberies, after police found money in his motel room that police said that was from one of the robberies.Police also reported finding a silver toy gun during a search of his car.
A jury has found a 23-year-old man from Windham not guilty of murder.Agostino Samson was accused of killing a former employer and leaving the body in a car on train tracks to try to make the death look like an accident.Jurors met briefly Monday in Oxford County Superior Court, and deliberated throughout the day. They delivered a verdict late Tuesday afternoon.Prosecutors say Samson killed 25-year-old Scott Libby of Raymond by strangling him and beating him with a frying pan.This morning, jurors were re-read testimony from a fingerprint expert with the Maine State Police Crime Lab.Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said a key point of evidence in the case is Samson’s fingerprint on a doorknob, which likely contains the victim’s blood.The defense disputed that likelihood, and raised questions about the quality of the police investigation.
One of the issues Mainers will be deciding in November is a measure that would cut the excise tax on newer and more fuel efficient vehicles.Folks who have questions about that ballot initiative can head to a forum at the Muddy Rudder Restaurant in Brewer tomorrow morning.Meghan Hayward spoke with two of the panelists.In November, residents will be asked whether they want to reduce the municipal excise tax on motor vehicles less than 6 years old by an average of 55 percent and to exempt hybrid and other alternative-energy and fuel-efficient vehicles from sales tax and three years of excise tax.The topic will be debated at an Excise Tax forum Wednesday which will give folks the opportunity to ask questions and form their own opinions.Old Town City Manager peggy daigle says only about 30 percent of mainers will benefit from the decrease in excise tax rates.”It affects those people who can afford to buy a new car or have newer cars. Those people that don’t, whose vehicles are at least six years older, are going to see very little to no impact.”But the Chairman of the More Green Now Campaign, Chris Cinquemani, says mainers will see benefits.”I believe Maine’s excise taxes are too high and too much of a burden for Maine families and businesses. And I know by reducing that excise tax burden, we will have a tremendous positive financial impact on Mainers across the state.”Cinquemani will be one of the panelists at the Excise Tax Forum at the Muddy Rudder.”Maine’s excise tax is the seventh highest in the nation. And 22 other states pay no excise tax at all. So here we have another example of Maine leading the pack when it comes to tax burden.”Daigle says if the measure passes, services like road work will have to be cut.”The problem that we’ve encountered is that what some people think is a service you can do away with is not what someone else feels you can do away with.”The Excise Tax Forum will be held tomorrow morning at the Muddy Rudder in Brewer as part of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce early bird breakfast to RSVP, you can call 947-0307.
The Glenburn Fire Department is $1,000 closer to purchasing the jaws of life.G & H Ambulance Service donated the money to the department.They need about $12,000 to purchase the equipment and have about $2,500 so far.The generous donation will help the town of glenburn and the G & H Ambulance Service too.” We have to wait for jaws to come into Glenburn anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. So what we’re looking to do is bring a piece of equipment into town that will save someone’s life.”” Many of our members are on the Glenburn Fire Department and we partner with them so we felt it would be a generous gift from us to actually kick off the fundraising.”If you would like to help the Glenburn Fire Department purchase the equipment you can contact them at 942-6118.Or email them at email@example.com.
Organizers of the American Folk Festival held a press conference today to talk about the financial shape of the event. They tell us the festival drew more than 100,000 people to the waterfront this year. Despite having one of their biggest opening days ever, organizers say they are still around $130,000 in debt.They’re now asking for a little more help to dig out. Maria Biaza is the Chairperson on the Folk Festival Board and she says they’re asking they’re supporters for a little more help. “We’re having a conversation with our major sponsors who we couldn’t have done this without,” she says, “the city we couldn’t have done this without them, but yet they need to be included in this conversation, and our festival goers, would they come to the festival if they were charged, would they give to the bucket brigade if there was a charge, these are all things we need to look at.”Rain put a damper on the final numbers for the Folk Festival this year. The bucket brigade managed to raise more than $100,000. The festival costs about $1,000,000 to put on every year.
Some seniors in Bangor found a tasty way today to wrap up summer and welcome in fall – with a good old fashioned clam bake. Jean Davis is use to a coast of Maine meal. “My husband came from Stonington. We had lobster, clams and all that stuff all of the time. Crabs.” But it’s a taste she’s never grown tired of.”Oh, yes – it’s a delicacy – love it. Don’t have it that often.”Davis one of nearly 80 residents at Phillips-Strickland House in Bangor to take part in this end of summer treat. Activities Director Linda Nickerson says “We have lobster and clams. For those who don’t like lobster and clams, we have chicken and we have corn on the cob, potato salad, cole slaw and Maine blueberry cake for dessert.”Nickerson says, for years, the residents use to board a bus and take a trip to the coast for a meal like this. Now, with the help of Bangor Savings Bank, the coast comes to them. “It’s just been a hit because we’ve been able to let all of our residents enjoy the meal. Not as many people could go on the bus trips now as they did in the past.”Gilberte Bickford’s been looking forward to this plate full of food for a long time.”Oh, it’s wonderful. The lobsters – they’re so big! And the clams, I don’t eat clams, but some does. But it’s everything that’s good.”And Nickerson says it’s a good way to say goodbye to summer.”The residents are just truly enjoying this. This is something extra special. They don’t get lobster and clams on their regular menu, so this is just an extra treat for them. And it’s nice to see the the full dining room and everyone enjoying themselves.”
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has wrapped up its investigation into a fuel spill in Deer Isle. A truck hauling lobsters went off the road, rolled over and caught fire Monday afternoon. Fuel from the truck spilled into the water.Police say 60-year-old Franz Gerani of Rockland lost control of his truck on a sharp curve near the Deer Isle-Stonington town line. The driver suffered minor injuries.Sand was used to absorb diesel fuel from the truck and 70 gallons of diesel fuel was caught. The lobsters were unloaded and quarantined. The wrecked truck was hauled to Orrington.
A Litchfield woman has been charged with trying to sneak drugs to 2 inmates at the Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset. The arrest comes after a week long investigation by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Two Bridges Regional Jail, and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.45-year-old Faylene Bronn was found with 4 Oxycodone pills hidden inside a deflated baloon Saturday morning at the jail. Both inmates were also charged with trafficking in prison contraband. They are 43-year-old Jeffrey Richards of Dresden, and 25-year-old accused murderer Earl Bieler. Bieler is being held in connection with a Waldoboro homicide earlier this year. He and a female accomplice are accused of killing one woman, and seriously injuring another in a botched robbery attempt in Waldoboro in April.
For many of us cancer has affected someone we know. It’s a disease that knows no boundaries and it can strike at anytime.Betty Adams of Fairfield has had cancer hit home, not once, twice, but three times between her and her husband. In 2000 her husband don was diagnosed with kidney cancer. They removed his kidney and he’s doing fine today. In 2005 Betty was told she had breast cancer, a fight she battled and won. But now, she’s facing another round — this time with sarcoma cancer that was found in her pelvic bone. To many in the fairfield area, Betty Adams is known for her volunteerism, strong faith and community spirit. Family friend Lisa Riportella says, “Betty is an example for every woman, young girl in our community especially and that’s why when I heard what was going on with her I had to do something.” A statement that Betty is humbled by and says, “I have the most awesome support system I mean, barely a day goes by that I don’t get a card in the mail and phone calls and I don’t know how people do it who don’t have that support and my family it’s overwhelming most of the time because who am I?” A cancer benefit is being held for Betty Adams with 100% of the proceeds going to Adams. The event will showcase lia sophia jewelry from the new fall catalog as well as pampered chef catalog. Jewelry and kitchenware will be set up at Calvary Temple in Waterville on Thursday, September 24 from 6pm-8:30pm. There will be demonstrations and orders will be taken during that time. Lisa Riportella, who is helping head up the benefit says, “It would be a great way to get some holiday shopping done early and for a great cause.” Riportella would like to invite everyone from the community to the benefit with a special invite to those who may have been touched by cancer in one way or another who may just want to come to talk and develop friendships.What: Betty Adams Cancer Benefit When: Thursday, September 246pm – 8:30pm Where: Calvary TempleWest River Road, Waterville100% of proceeds go to Betty Adams. If you would like to place an order, but are unable to attend you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for that contact information.
The scheduled delivery for the remaining doses of the seasonal flu vaccine has been delayed.The delay is a result of the prioritization of H1N1 vaccine.And is being felt all across the country.Maine CDC recommends that all health care providers continue to vaccinate patients with seasonal influenza vaccine during routine visits and scheduled clinics while the supply lasts.Director of Maine CDC Dora Anne Mills says luckily it is still early and they have not seen the seasonal flu disease yet.Mill says they expect the H1N1 vaccine to start arriving in the next 2 to 3 weeks.
A couple of city streets in Bangor are back open again after construction crews hit a gas line. The accident this morning forced emergency responders to close off Union and Godfrey Streets, by the airport.The two-inch line that was hit is linked to a 30,000 gallon gas tank, which feeds the entire Airport Mall and McDonalds on Union Street.Assistant Fire Chief Rick Cheverie says the wind worked in their favor by helping move the gas around and keep it at the lowest explosive level.”You never know when you have something like this here. Of course you know people aren’t supposed to smoke and occasionally they do and sometimes they put the things outside their vehicles. All it would take is something like that going into that ditch area and we could have had quite a different result.”The gas has been shut off will crews make repairs.
Every sixty seconds someone tries to commit suicide.A person taking his or her life is something that affects entire communities, and that’s why a series of walks will take place Saturday.They will raise awareness and funds to help those left behind.The Coastal Maine Out of the Darkness walk begins at 9 Saturday morning at the old Rockport Elementary school building.Then at two Sunday afternoon walkers will step off from the University of Maine at Orono campus.On Sunday, October 18th, the north central Maine walk will take place in Waterville.The money raised goes to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.For more information including how to register, you can log onto www.outofthedarkness.org
The daughter of a lobsterman charged with shooting a fellow fisherman is now charged in connection with that incident.45-year-old Janan Miller is accused of reckless conduct. Police say she pointed a shotgun at Young and another lobsterman during the confrontation.Miller was arrested last Friday and released on bail.Her father, Vance Bunker, faces multiple charges, including aggravated assault.He’s accused of shooting 41-year-old Christopher Young on a wharf on Matinicus in July.Young has been charged with criminal trespassing. He’s accused of refusing to leave Bunker’s fishing boat.
The Maine Organic Farmer and Gardener Association is getting ready to host one of Maine’s biggest annual fairs.Preparation for the 33rd annual Common Ground Country Fair in Unity has been smooth according to organizers.Since the fair began in 1976, a focus has been to get out information on how to live more sustainable, energy efficient lives.Tens of thousands of fairgoers are expected to converge in Unity beginning on Friday. “Set up has been going great. We’ve probably got 2/3 of the tents set up,” Said the Associate Director of MOFGA, Heather Spaulding. “We’ve got lots of volunteers and over the course of the week and weekend we’re probably have 1500 volunteers who we’ll have help put on this wonderful show.”Organizers want fairgoers to take extra precautions this year in regards to triple-e, the virus transmitted by mosquitoes.Doctor Dora Anne Mills of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says she’s concerned since triple-e has killed seven horses in Waldo County, where the fair is held, and it’s considered a high-risk area.They say to cover up with extra clothing and wear insect repellent.
The Coast Guard has stopped searching for a boat they received a distress call from near Penobscot Bay, about one mile off the coast. Around 4:15pm Monday the Coast Guard received a radio distress from a man claiming to be aboard a boat that had run out of gas between Camden and Lincolnville.A Coast Guard boat searched the area, but found no sign of the boater.On August 2nd the Coast Guard received a similar radio distress call from the same area and found no signs of a boater in trouble then either.Anyone with information that can help authorities identify the caller is encouraged to call the command center at 767-0303.
City councilors in Bangor met again Monday to talk about transferring the city’s public safety answering services to the Penobscot Regional Communications Center, a facility Bangor taxpayers help fund.It’s a question that’s been discussed in Bangor for years. City councilors’ last vote on the issue was tied.Monday night they decided to postpone voting again on the issue until after the results of an ongoing study have been released.Police Chief Ron Gastia says the state is currently looking into what the appropriate number of public safety answering services, or PSAPs, in Maine should be. A private company is expected to present the findings of an independent study on the issue to the state in January.Chief Gastia says he’s pleased the council chose to wait.”I think there’s a lot of information out there that we don’t have. It’s very important that the citizens of Bangor, as well as the council, have as much information as possible as to what could happen with a PSAP here in the future, once this study is complete.”The city pays the county for the service, but doesn’t use it. If the switch is made, the PRCC would have to add personnel.Officials say citizens wouldn’t notice much of a difference on the other end of the phone.The issue is set to come back up for vote in April.
A man from Fayette faces a manslaughter charge in connection with the death of a camp counselor who was run down while walking along a road in July.Police say 35-year-old Joseph Rouleau was driving drunk when his car struck 21-year-old Corrie Lazar as she was walking along Route 41 in Mt. Vernon.Lazar was a college senior from Seattle, working as a counselor at Camp Laurel in Fayette.Police say Rouleau’s blood alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit at the time of the accident.He is free on $60,000 property bail.
They are a “Maine-made” company with a story that is unlike many small businesses. Castine Candle Company is family-owned and operated in Benton, Maine. They have invested in research (actually hiring a chemist!)and product redesign, but what may set them apart is the fact that every online order they take they are giving back a portion of the proceeds to a charitable cause. Micah and Carrie Thurston, owners of the Castine Candle Company have created “Candles for a Cause” which supports the New England Society and The Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing. The online effort is something the Thurston’s say will make a difference without competing with the very stores that carry their product. “We don’t want to be in competition with the very shops that carry us, so we decided we would become exclusively a wholesale distributor.” The Thurston’s goal is to raise at least 5-thousand dollars for the cancer center by October 4th, which is the day of the “Dempsey Challenge”. The Dempsey Challenge is a fundraising experience for The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine. Comprised of various cycling distances (10, 25, 50 and 100 miles), and a 5K (3.1 mile) run/walk, participants are encouraged to raise funds as they prepare for The Dempsey Challenge. The Dempsey Center provides high-quality education, support and wellness services to patients, survivors and caregivers. More information on Patrick’s personal story and commitment, as well as services provided by the Dempsey Center, can be found at Dempsey Challenge.Candles for a Cause isn’t a temporary deal either, it’s something the couple says will stick with them showing that a profit doesn’t always beat out people. For more information on the Castine Candle Company please visit them online at www.castinecandle.com
Friends of Bob Curtis are trying to help, after the Pittsfield man’s home was destroyed by fire.His friends tell us Curtis heard a crackling sound around 11:30 Sunday night and saw smoke. By the time he got his two animals out of the house, it was in flames. No one was hurt. We’re told all Curtis has left is a photograph of his late son.The Fire Marshal’s office says it appears an electrical problem sparked the fire.Curtis’s friends are now hoping to help him get back on his feet by collecting things he needs.”He’s going to be staying in a camper – hopefully. Bedding, furniture, cookware, clothes,” says friend Cindy Cline. Friends say the 49-year-old Curtis is hoping to stay on his property, to be able to take care of the rest of his animals.They’ve set up a fund for donations at Sebasticook Valley Federal Credit Union in Pittsfield. It’s under his name, Bob Curtis.
Mother Nature was not kind to Maine farmers this year, and that includes the pumpkin crop.All the rain in June and July caused seedlings to turn to mush in the soil or rot out the vines.Those patches that did survive the soaking, are now having a hard time turning from green to orange.This year’s harvest is expected to be off by about 50%, according to the Associated Press.Some farmers in Maine are fairing well when it comes to their pumpkin patches.And that includes Albert Tate of Tate’s Strawberry farm in corinth.As Joy Hollowell tells us, he’s hoping to turn the worst season ever for strawberries into the best season yet for pumpkins.+++++++++++”I put in 20,000 seeds. I raised them up on a raised beds, and we said the worst that could happen was give them water if it didn’t rain. It rained 20 inches in three weeks,” says Albert Tate.All that water, combined with some hot and humid days in August, have turned into this.”What ruined my strawberries actually helped the pumpkins,” says Albert Tate.Tate estimates he has 25 to 30,000 pumpkins available for picking this season. There are five varieties, to please pumpkin pie makers as well as jack-o-latern decorators.”I put in a couple acres last year and I did well with it, so I said, ‘Well, I’ll go three times that size.’ They’re all out here orange right now, so I’m happy we get a good crop,” says Albert Tate.Tate hopes his pumpkin crop will make up for the sagging strawberry sales. “I’m a farmer and that’s been in my blood ever since I was a baby. So, we’re gonna keep on going,” says Albert Tate.Tate says his pumpkins range in price from three to five dollars. His farm is open every day, from 7 AM until dark.Joy Hollowell, WABI TV 5 News, Corinth.