Project Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Dylan Voorhees, says Maine is the most dependent state on heating oil in the United States.But he says the state is taking huge steps in decreasing that dependency. The legislature has just adopted a goal to weatherize all Maine homes and half of Maine businesses by 2030.Voorhees says the clean energy economy in maine has potential for huge growth.”So we’re really well poised to capitalize on the resources and skills we have and the workforce we have to make this clean energy economy even larger than it is today.”Voorhees says current clean energy businesses are involved in a variety of projects.From performing energy audits to installing wood pellet stoves and solar panels.
For the second striaght week, prices on heating oil in Maine has fallen by one penny per gallon.The price of oil had fallen to $2.35 a gallon in its weeklysurvey. Kerosene was also down 1 cent in the past week, to $2.76 agallon.Prices were lowest in southern Maine and highest in northernMaine.
Growing jobs in a not too top notch ecomony is great news for Mainers. New England’s newest and largest greenhouse is growing opportunity. Maine Gov. John Baldacci picked several tomatoes off the vine onTuesday at a celebration of the first harvest.Over the summer, Backyard Farms completed construction on an 18-acre glass-covered greenhouse. With its completion there are now two greenhouses totaling 42 acres, with 450,000 tomato plants. For the new greenhouse, 75 workers were hired during the summer, expanding the work force to 200 employees.Backyard Farms harvested its first tomatoes in 2007 and has nowsold about 40 million pounds to stores across the Northeast.
State Fire Investigators say a fire at a popular restaurant in Houlton was caused by an electrical problem in the kitchen. The Houlton Fire Department responded to the call at the Elm Tree Diner about 11 p.m. Sunday.A person checking an alarm at a business across the street heard breaking glass and noticed the fire in the kitchen window.Crews were able to get the fire under control in about 45 minutes, but not before it did some substantial damage to the roof.The restaurant is insured.
Firefighters say they cannot determine what started a fire that heavily damaged a home on Verona Island.A passerby spotted smoke coming from the eaves of the house on Verona Park just before 10 Tuesday morning.By the time Bucksport firefighters arrived a few minutes later, the smoke had turned into flames.Crews from Orland, Orrington, and Penobscot were also called to help.Crews were on the scene for about four hours.
The head of Maine’s judicial Marshals and a county courthouse are reviewing an outburst ouside a courtroom and see whether more security is needed.The event occured last month outside the Cumberland County Courthouse. Upset about a sentence in a manslaughter, family members got into a physical and veral match with judicial marshals.Police were called and the situation was soon under control.
Drivers who park in downtown Bangor could soon be able to linger in their space a bit longer. The city council is scheduled to vote tonight on a plan to change the time limits on nearly 100 parking spaces, from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. The plan would affect spaces mostly on Main Street, State Street, Central and Hammond streets. The hope is to attract more visitors and keep them downtown longer.It would also help out people who live and work there, who move their cars every hour.
A lobsterman from Matinicus Island accused of shooting another lobsterman in a turf war can now return to the island, but only on a limited basis. 68-year-old Vance Bunker was ordered off the island after a shooting in July. Today a judge ruled he can go back again, only to retrieve lobster gear and only when accompanied by a Maine Marine Patrol officer or other law enforcement officer. Bunker also pleaded not guilty today to four charges. He faces two counts of elevated aggravated assault against lobsterman Chris Young – the man who was shot in the turf tussle. Bunker’s also charged with criminal threatening and reckless conduct against another man, Weston Ames.
Duck hunters are flocking into Maine.The inland season started this weekend. Sea duck season begins Thursday.Maine’s coast provides some of the finest eider duck hunting in the world. “This is a mature Eider Drake. They are spectacular flying in the air and on the water,” Says Arnie Clay of Thornehead Guide and Travel.When it comes to Eiders, Maine is one of the best places to hunt, the male Drake can weigh up to 6 pounds, and is the biggest duck in the northern hemisphere. “I had a client last summer, who I guided from Alabama, and he said ‘this is a dream come true,’ and ‘I always thought it would be like this.’”Landlocked as a kid, but Arnie Clay moved to the Bath area and has guided for 15 years. “The Eiders that come to Maine migrate from the north, and Maine is their vacationland in the winter months, it’s their summer vacation in the winter months.”According to Clay he’s guided clients from all fifty states, and you can’t underestimate the economic impact it has on our coastline economy.There are lot more duck hunting guides down east…the duck population is strong and the recession hasn’t seemed to deter people from their pursuit of ducks.spectacular to look at and great to pursue. “Hunter Eiders treacherous to say the least…it could be deadly…I hunt the three months of November, December, and January. Freezing temperatures, whipping winds, and very cold ocean temperatures.”Why then do you duck hunt? “For the excitement.”There is a daily bag limit of five per day, and ten in your possession.
Authorities are looking for a man suspected of home invasion.According to police, two women were assaulted Monday night when an unknown assailant entered their residence on Wadsworth Cove Road in Castine, and demanded money.The assailant took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene on foot.The victims described the perpetrator as a heavy set white male, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with strawberry blond hair and blue eyes, and appeared to be in his mid twenties.He was also wearing a long sleeve brown hoodie and gray work pants.Anyone with information on this suspect is asked to call the Maine State Police at 1-800-432-7381.
People living with diabetes may have another way to keep their disease in check, even turn it around.It’s called the Wellspring Diabetes Program. The plan centers on a plant-based diet, teaching people with type-2 diabetes what to eat and when, along with exercise.Paul Shortall of Hudson learned about it and now wants to share it with others, like Rob Gibbs.He was diagnosed with diabetes in February. Since he’s been on the program, Gibbs has lost nearly 60 pounds, and his blood sugar levels are practically back to normal.Gibbs says it’s a total lifestyle change – but well worth it. “It’s changed not only how I eat but how the whole family eats,” Said Gibbs on Tuesday. “And now we exercise. That’s the major key to this. You gotta do both. You can’t not exercise and eat right. You gotta do both.” “If you’re a diabetic or you’re pre-diabetic, the future is grim,” Said Shortfall. “You can lose your feet, you can lose your leg, you can lose your eyesight. Most diabetics die of heart attacks. and i don’t want to see people sick”There are two informational sessions about the program coming up.One is Thursday night at seven at the 7-day adventist church in Hermon.The other is next Monday night, October 5th at 6:30 at the Bangor Public Library.To register, call 478-6711.
Workers who will be losing their jobs at the Lemforder plant in Brewer are eligible for some extra federal help.Senators Snowe and Collins announced the trade adjustment assistance on Tuesday.The senators urge the workers to get the assistance as soon as possible.The Lemforder plant is scheduled to close next year, with one hundred workers losing their jobs.
A defense lawyer says a former Sheriff in Washington County accused of holding a couple at gunpoint with their two children nearby, was acting as a security guard.The defense says 63-year-old Joseph Tibbetts was protecting blueberry land and $100,000 worth of farming equipment in Columbia when the couple’s car appeared on August 13th.The defense says Tibbetts put his handgun away after determining there was no threat.The couple say they were looking for black bears.Tibbetts is charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.Tibbetts and the woman in the car knew each other. She’s a former county corrections officer.
Innovation Engineering is a class based on creativity.”We teach students how to create, communicate, and commercialize meaningful, unique ideas.” Say Professor Doug Hall.Hall is an idea man — he’s a master marketer who’s worked with major companies — now he’s helping students at UMaine think outside the box.”A key part of the course is that we do real problems for real companies.” Hall adds.”We’re part of a global economy and they’re getting us involved with a bunch of different businesses.”says a student.Today the problem on tap is how to market organic products. Nell Newman – President of Newman’s Own Organics – joined the class via video conference.”She mainly stated how she began her company as a division of her father’s company. She started it about 15 years ago.” a student explains.Newman presented a Challenge to the students.”She wants us to create ideas to help her expand her organics line. Make it more popular through marketing.””When we send them the idea they look at them and they tell us their top 10 favorite ideas.” Says Hall.To help jump start the students’ creativity — and as part of National Coffee Day — they got a taste of Newman’s Own Coffee, which was provided by McDonald’s. “I think they gave us a really good example today of how it can be done, by just showing up with so much coffee and free stuff. And it kind of inspired a little thought in my mind.” a student says.”It will be interesting to see with some of the background about how we did things, what ideas they might have for marketing.” Newman comments.Hall says the lesson reached the students – on many levels.”On one level they really enjoyed it. There was some learning going on, we talked, and discussed. But obviously ya know, free coffee, when you’re on a college campus … free food is free food, no matter how you do it!”
A Medway man is out on bail once again after a judge rejected a plea agreement that would have put the former town selectmen behind bars for four years. The desison surprised just about everyone in the courtroom, including the victim’s family. “It was actually kind of surprising,” said Amy York, who’s husband was severely injured in the crash, “I don’t know what to say. I came in expecting a plea bargain apparently that didn’t happen. It’s kind of good news in a way.”Superior Court Justice Jefferey Hjelm said 44-year-old James Lee of Medway would have to serve six years in prison if he pleaded guilty to manslaughter today.Lee admitted he was speeding and caused an accident in Monroe last September that killed 28-year-old William Russell, and severely injured 38-year-old William York, both of Medway.Lee withdrew his guilty plea, then entered a plea of not guilty to manslaughter and aggravated driving to endanger.The case will now be set for trial.Family members of the victims were surprised by the judge’s decision. They say there are no winners here. Donna Russell lost her son that night. “William’s gone forever and I know he knows that and I feel really bad for his family,” she says, “I’ve known them all my life, but he killed my son, you can’t just dismiss it.”The judge says the impact on the victims was one factor in his decision to reject the plea deal.The judge also said Lee’s driving record was another reason. Lee has 36 violations in the last 20 years, 25 of which are speeding violations.
Toyota is recalling 3.8 million vehicles in the company’s largest US recall.Toyota and Lexus vehicles are being warned about safety problems tied to removable floor mats.They say the mats could interfere with the vehicle’s accelerator and cause a crash.The transportation department says owners should take out the floor mats on the driver’s side and not replace them. The consumer alert affects 2007-2010 model year Toyota Camry, 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon, 2004-2009 Toyota Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES350 and 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 AND IS350.
While some companies are reducing their workforce, US Cellular is looking to hire more employees.US Cellular is growing in the Bangor area, making room for more jobs.The cellular company held a career day.They are looking to hire folks for several different positions.Area Sales Manager Sean Griffith says career fairs have worked well for them in the past.” And we’ve had some really strong success in the past from getting people in the community in and really brought some great talent into the organization.”If you missed today’s career fair but are interested in employment with US Cellular you can visit their website www.uscellular.jobs.
State regulators are getting public input on a plan meant to guide the future of nearly half the state’s lands.The Land Use Regulation Commission is hosting public hearings this week about its comprehensive land use plan. The 10 year proposal will help shape policy decisions about more than 10 million miles of Unorganized Territory. It’s designed to take into consideration trends for development, recreational use and preservation of the land. Dozens of people addressed LURC members at the hearing in Bangor today. Director Catherine Carroll says anyone can speak up.”It can be somebody who works in the Unorganized Territory, who recreates there, who are landowners or residents – even people who’ve never stepped foot in the Unorganized areas. It’s important we get public participation, otherwise this would not be a useful plan for anybody.”The final public hearing is tomorrow at the Presque Isle Inn in Presque Isle.Written comments will be accepted until October 21st. Then the plan goes to lawmakers for approval.For more information, e-mail LURC@maine.gov.
Maine Senator Olympia Snowe joined other Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee to vote against created a new government health insurance plan to compete with the private market. The final vote was 15-to-8. Five Democrats joined the Republican block. The outcome was expected but is still considered a defeat by those who see government-sponsored insurance for the middle class as a key to President Obama’s health care overhaul. They say it would give consumers more choice and competitions. Opponents say a public option would drive private insurers outof business and amount to a government takeover.
Hollywood Slots has a new general manager.Fifty-two-year-old John Osborne will take over for Jon Johnson.Osborne comes from a casino in Mississippi, where he had been general manager since 1998.The job in bangor opened up when Johnson took the job of GM at one of Penn Nationals’ other casinos in Joliet, Illinois.