Some folks got together earlier this evening at the Edythe Dyer Library in Hampden to make cards for troops and veterans.Both kids and adults got creative with the cards. Some thanked the troops for their service, while others let them know they’re in our thoughts.This evening’s event was also part of the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day program, which allows folks to earn a free pass to Disney by volunteering.If you missed tonight’s event, there will be another card making session held at 10:00am on January 30th at the Edythe Dyer Library.
The Bangor Y wants to get people moving this winter.That’s why they’re launching a program called the Biggest Mover.Teams of five will meet with trainers each week for 12 weeks, and then work on assignments to get the participants active.They’ll have 5 weeks on their own to keep it up. Then they’ll have a final team challenge at Camp Jordan.That’s where they’ll have a final weigh in, and the person who loses the biggest percentage of their body weight will be named the Biggest Mover.”Everybody that’s applied says it helps them so much more when they have to be accountable not only to themselves and their trainer but everybody else on their team cause their entire team is going to be counting on them as well.”The winner will get $200 in cash, plus $200 donated to the homeless shelter in their name.The program is filling up fast, but if you’re interested contact the Bangor Y at 941-2815.
A children’s shop in Bangor is closing its doors. The Mad Hatter opened here three years ago, after a more than 30-year history in Presque Isle. The Mad Hatter sells all sorts of high-quality children’s clothes, from everyday tees to fancy frocks. They have a loyal following of customers, like Jennifer Doyel of Medway. “It’s just good quality stuff. And it’s different things that you don’t find in other locations,” Doyel says.The store moved into the Bangor Mall last year. Now their lease is up, and owner Harmony Allen says the time has come to close.”In this economy, it hasn’t been worth it to stay open. Maybe another time would have been better. But we opened in ’07 and everybody knows what happened in retail that year,” Allen says. “The people that used to come in and spend 200-300 dollars or a hundred dollars a visit are now spending 30-40-50, so our average sale has changed.”She tells us she’s been talking things over with her mother– now a silent partner, who opened the first store in Presque Isle 33 years ago. Allen says it’s the right decision for them, but it won’t be easy.”I have truly enjoyed being here and I love all the kids. I’m going to miss my customers the most,” Allen says.Her customers say that feeling is mutual.”She’s a great person and a great personality and always had great customer service,” Doyel says.Allen says while she doesn’t know what comes next for her, The Mad Hatter will stay open until they sell the rest of their inventory.”I appreciate all the business. It’s been a wonderful ride while it lasted,” Allen says. “I’m going to focus on what we have here now which is a lot of inventory which we need to move. I want to get my customers in here and I want to make them happy. And I’m going to continue to do that until we close.”
Anglers, lobstermen and state officials are seeking public support for a bill that would require Maine saltwater fishing licenses. Under Rep. Leila Percy’s bill, the licenses would cost $15, but children under 16 and residents 70 and older, and those fishing from charter boats, would be exempted. Representatives of several groups held a news conference in Augusta on Wednesday to say the state’s under the federal government’s gun to require licenses. A new federal saltwater recreational fishing registry is free this year, but it could cost $25 next year if the state fails to create its own. Percy, a Phippsburg Democrat, says the federal government wouldkeep the license fees if Maine does nothing.
School officials at Bangor High School are threatening to cancel all of the school dances for the rest of the year if students don’t change the way they dance.They say they have repeatedly warned the students there to stop the practice of grinding on the dance floor, now they say the problem has gotten worse. “When this happened again at the November dance the administration talked about it and decided to go to the student council and to say that we need to clarify expectations,” Superintendent Betsy Webb says.The school’s policy is simple. “If students are grinding they will be informed that they will have to leave the dance and that parents will be called and informed that their child has been told to leave the dance,” Webb says.Lauren Fitzgerald is a Senior at Bangor high School and she says that not everyone is to blame. “Some people are as bad as what the paper says but most of it is not.”Other students, like Joe Saccareccia say times have changed. “Times have changed since the 70’s and 60’s and it’s a different style of dancing really that we’re used to and we’ve grown up around.”But Saccareccia says students need to respect the decision made by school officials. “You know it’s up to the school really to implement the decision made and it’s one of those decisions where it’s up to the people in charge.”The next school dance is scheduled for February 26th. Webb is confident the students will respect the decision and act appropriately. “I have been so impressed with the student leadership at the high school and I know the student council members will be able to work through this and that we’re going to be fine. I do not foresee that we’ll have to cancel even the february 26th dance and that is our next school dance.”
Staff at the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor say admission has declined since the museum opened 10 years ago. Executive Director Andrea Stark believes it’s a combination of many things — the economy, fear of swine flu, and school budget costs. She says,”We’ve had a number of cancellations. We’ve had schools book us and then they just can’t get the funding to come.” The museum is privately funded and relies on donations. Admissions cover about one third of the museum’s operating costs. The museum has reduced staff and closed the store. In an effort to bring people in, the museum is running a promotion, Tuesday through Friday until February 12th, where admission is only five dollars.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A man charged in the shooting death of afriend during a night of sex play in a “dungeon” has beenconvicted of manslaughter by a jury in Maine’s largest city. Defense lawyer Tom Hallett told jurors Wednesday that three menhad been using guns as part of their sexual play and that thevictim may have put a bullet in a revolver to increase the thrill.Defendant Bruce Lavallee-Davidson told police the shooting was anaccident. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese (mahr-KAY’-zee) says itwas still Lavallee-Davidson’s responsibility to make sure the gunwasn’t loaded before handling it. The trial has shed light on a dungeon in victim Fred Wilson’sSouth Portland home filled with sex toys. Wilson died from a singlegunshot to the head.
More than $2 million is on its way to the Greater Bangor area to help retrain local workers for green construction jobs. Eastern Maine Development Corporation is getting $2.1 million in federal stimulus money. EMDC will work with a number of local partners, including Eastern Maine Community College and the United Technologies Center, to create the retraining program.More than 100 workers will learn how to construct more energy efficient buildings. In addition to being re-trained, they’ll also build seven energy efficient homes in the area.
A Presque Isle doctor will no longer practice medicine because of drug abuse.Holly Arato surrendered her medical license to the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. Arato agreed that the Board could conclude she suffers from mental or physical conditions which may result in practice that endangers the health and safety of patients. Arato was placed on probation in a December 2005 Consent Agreement after the Board found she had used poor judgment in attempting to manage her own pain. In Decmeber 2008 the Board reviewed information indicating that Dr. Arato, was at high risk for inappropriate drug use and determined that she presented an imminent danger to the public.
A Presque Isle firefighter charged with arson was indicted by the Aroostook County Grand Jury Tuesday.24 year old Timothy MacFarline of Easton is accused of starting a fire that destroyed the Northeast Packaging Storage Warehouse in Presque Isle on November 13th.MacFarline was arrested the day after the fire.He was employed by Northeast Packing and was a paid on-call firefigher in Presque Isle.Over 50 firefighters from at least six different departments battled the blaze.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross is holding off on sending volunteers to Haiti in the wake a devastating earthquake.But it is collecting donations for those in need. Officials with the Pine Tree Chapter say they’re waiting for the national headquarters to let them know when volunteers from Maine might be able to go to Haiti to help. Authorities say thousands of people, perhaps as many at 100,000, may have been killed by the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Tuesday. They say it’s too soon to get an accurate count.Before sending volunteers, Red Cross disaster relief specialists are trying to assess the situation with the Haitian Red Cross. They’re also using cots, blankets and water from a Red Cross warehouse in Panama to help victims and survivors.Mainers interested in finding out about heading to Haiti can contact the Pine Tree Chapter 941-2903.Donations for earthquake relief can be made on-line at www.pinetree.redcross.org.The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is also responding to the disaster by taking up a special collection this weekend. Officials with the diocese are trying to get word on the status of people with Catholic Relief Services working in Haiti, as well as local missionaries serving in the country.
A local tax preparer wants to give folks a break on their taxes, while helping others in need. H&R Block is collecting food for Manna Ministries in Bangor. Anyone who brings in a donation to one of the three locations in Bangor and Brewer will receive $25 off their tax preparation fees.This is the first year for the food drive. Organizers say they know the economy is hurting a lot of people and they hope giving a donation to Manna will make difference. Office manager Stacey Hussey says, “Some of the things they need are cereals, kids snacks, canned meats – like canned spaghetti-o’s or canned spaghetti. Things of that nature. Basically non-perishable goods that they can hand out.”Again, taxpayers can visit one of the three H&R Blocks in the area to get in on the deal.You’ll find them in Bangor at 15 Perkins Street and inside Sears, at the Bangor Mall. They’re also in the Twin City Plaza in Brewer. The offer runs until the last day of tax season, April 15th.
Former Husson University president William Beardsley has filed paperwork to run for governor on the Republican ticket.Beardsley left Husson December 31st, after leading the school for 23 years.He’ll make a formal announcement about his candidacy later this week.Nearly two dozen people have registered to run for governor.The party primaries are held in June, the general election is in November.
Maine’s anti-tobacco report card has taken a hit.Four years ago, our state was tops in the nation: scoring straight A’s on the American Lung Association’s report card.But last year, Maine scored just one “A.” It was in the category, “protection from second hand smoke.”Maine got C’s in the other three categories: tobacco prevention, helping smokers quit, and cigarette taxes.The lung association’s Ed Miller says the falling grades translate into premature deaths and preventable illnesses.He believes lawmakers should hike the cigarette tax to further discourage smoking.
If you fill out your own tax forms you just might be missing out on some substantial tax credits.As it turns out, thousands of people in eastern Maine are missing out on a key tax credit.It’s called the Earned Income Tax Credit, and it’s available to low-income workers and families.It’s estimated that one in four taxpayers nationwide who is eligible isn’t even aware of the money available to them. “The EITC program is the largest anti-poverty program in the U.S.” Said the director of Casey Family Services, Mark Millar. “More dollars come to the most vulnerable and needy families throughout the US through this program, but we also know that up to 20% is left on the table.”Cash Maine is a statewide network with programs that offer free tax preparation to low-income workers and their families.Last year more than 3,000 households were helped.To learn more on how to take advantage of those services dial 211 to find out more about a program in your area.
Maine dairy farmers are getting a boost from Hannaford supermarkets.The grocery chain will stock locally produced dairy products, with a sticker that says “keep local farms.”It’s an effort, they say, to help New England’s struggling dairy farmers make more money and stay in business.
Fire fighters spent part of the night battling a fire in Washington.Crews from four departments were called to the Augusta Road around 10:45 Tuesday night.We’re told the homeowner was slightly injured when he escaped from the burning mobile home.He was able to run to a neighbor’s house, where they called 911.Fire fighters were on the scene for about two hours.There has been no word yet on damages or a cause.
Five people are under arrest in connection with a burglary that netted about 22,000 doses of prescription drugs.Authorities say the Pleasant Point Health Center was broken into on Friday, Jan. 8th.On Sunday morning, police searched a home in the town, and say they found quite a few of the missing drugs.Further investigations lead them to a residence in Princeton, where more of the medications were recovered.The following individuals were arrested in the investigation:33-year-old Sugum Francis, 39-year-old William Smith, and 30-year-old Jillian Francis, all of Pleasant Point.40-year-old John Moholland, and 28-year-old Rachel Brown of Princeton are also facing charges related to the burglary. So far officials say they ave recovered about 80-85% of the missing drugs.Police say even more arrests are anticipated.
A drunk driver who ran over and killed a summer camp counselor in Mount Vernon was sentenced on Tuesday.35-year-old Joseph Rouleau was sentenced to 8 years in jail and four years probation.He pled guilty to manslaughter in December after he struck a deal with prosecutors.21-year-old Corrie Lazar of Seattle, Washington was a college senior working a summer job at Camp Laurel.She was walking when she was struck by Rouleau’s car.Police say his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.
On Tuesday the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it is awarding nearly a half-million dollars to Auburn and to the county to help communities improve their energy efficiency.According to Congressman Mike Michaud, the city of Auburn will receive 1-hundred-five-thousand dollars, while Aroostook County is slated to get 3-hundred-six-thousand From the fund.Projects eligible for the funds include conservation strategy programs, energy audits, transportation, financial incentive programs, and the installation of energy efficient technologies on municipal buildings.