Downeast Community Hospital has another three months to get up to speed with federal standards for medicare and medicaid.Hospital CEO Doug Jones says he received a letter Wednesday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.The original deadline for the hospital was in June, but that was extended to the end of September.Now the deadline is December 30th.This summer, a judge appointed Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems to take over the hospital and bring it back into compliance.Jones says he’s confident all the standards will be met by the new deadline.
The Senate has approved lifting federal truck weight limits in Maine for one year.The pilot project would exempt Maine’s federal interstates from the 80,000lb federal truck weight limit, and provide an opportunity to assess the impact on safety, commerce and road wear and tear. Maine’s congressional delegation has been working since 1994 to change the law that forces northbound trucks off the interstate in Augusta onto smaller, secondary roads that pass through cities, towns and villages.
It’s apple season in Maine!Â Maine apples are good snacks and dessertsright off the tree.Â They can also be a delicious side dish taking theplace of potatoes or rice, too!Â Jackie Conn, from Weight Watchersshares her recipe for Barley with butternut squash, applies andonions.Barley with Butternut Squash, Apples and OnionsPOINTSÂ® Value: 3Servings:Â 4Preparation Time:Â 25 minCooking Time:Â 35 minLevel of Difficulty:Â EasyWorks with Simply FillingAdd sweetness to your Rosh Hashanah meal with these wonderful fallflavors. Double or triple the recipe for larger gatherings.Ingredients:Â Â 3/4 tsp table salt, dividedÂ Â 1/2 cup(s) uncooked barleyÂ Â 1 Tbsp olive oilÂ Â 2 cup(s) butternut squash, dicedÂ Â 1 cup(s) onion(s), choppedÂ Â 1/2 cup(s) sweet red pepper(s), dicedÂ Â 1 medium apple(s), peeled, cored, dicedÂ Â 1 1/2 tsp minced garlicÂ Â 3/4 tsp dried thymeÂ Â 1/4 tsp black pepperÂ Â 1/3 cup(s) fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken brothInstructions:Â Â * Bring 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil in amedium saucepan: add barley. Cover saucepan and simmer barley untiltender, about 30 to 35 minutes: drain.Â Â * Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-highheat: add squash, onion and red pepper. Cook, stirring often, untilvegetables are browned and almost tender, about 8 minutes.Â Â * Stir in apple, garlic, thyme, black pepper and remaining 1/4teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, until apple is almost tender, about2 minutes: stir in broth, scraping bottom of skillet with a woodenspoon to loosen any browned bits. Stir in cooked barley: toss over lowheat to mix and coat. Remove from heat and serve. Yields about 3/4 cupper serving.Notes:Â Â * Butternut squash doesn’t need to be a labor-intensiveingredient. Save time by buying it peeled, seeded and cubed at yourgrocery store.Enjoy!
Hundreds of folks from local businesses and organizations walked the track at Bass Park in Bangor today.It’s the kick-off for this year’s United Way Campaign, “Power in Volunteerism.”Area businesses provided some prizes for donors.A new Ford Focus from Darlings Ford and 500-hundred gallons of heating oil from R.H. Foster are just a few of the incentives.United Way helps with many projects, everything from painting to building shelves or having a pizza party for homeless youth.”It’s incredibly important. Last year we helped over 45,000 people and our goal is to exceed that.”To learn more about the united way, visit their website, www.unitedwayem.org.
A former assistant attorney general could go on trial on child pornography charges as soon as next month. Tuesday, a federal judge ruled to dismiss three motions in the case, that claimed politics lead to the charges against 46-year-old James Cameron. Cameron pleaded not guilty in February to 16 counts of transporting, receiving and possessing child pornography.Cameron’s lawyer claimed his client was being prosecuted because of political differences between the Maine Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.The judge rejected that and set jury selection for next month. Cameron was the state’s top drug prosecutor until he was fired in April of last year. An investigation revealed that between july 20-06 and january 20-08, Cameron allegedly uploaded child pornography to a Yahoo photo album under multiple screen names.The investigation also showed he was sending digital images on-line.
In Winter Harbor lobster fishing is big business, but for years, lobstermen here have been at the mercy of the market price. Bob Harmon is the manager of the Winter Harbor Lobster Co-Op and he’s seen the frustration firsthand. “We were tied to selling everyday,” says Harmon, “we had no facilities to store anything it had to be sold and the highest bidder takes away the product at the end of everyday.”Often times the highest bidder was an out of state wholesaler who would store the lobsters until the market price increased, then sell them back to Maine merchants. “Even today, a lot of our product goes to Canada, is processed in Canada, and is sent back to the U.S.” says Harmon, “the lobstermen are all frustrated by that because they see the middle man taking a big chunk of their profit.” Their frustration continued to grow. “You look at some of the retail outlets in the area,” Harmon explains, “and lobster is $8 or $9 a pound and our lobstermen are being paid $2 or $3 a pound and they’re struggling to survive right now, that $6 in between is a big chunk, they would like a little piece of that.”A group of 32 lobstermen decided enough was enough. “About 3 years ago, the Co-Op members here got together and started thinking about expanding the facility with a holding tank,” Harmon says, “so we could keep some lobsters here for a period of time and hope to generate increased revenue”There solution is a $300,000 holding tank that can store around 20,000 pounds of lobster. Now the lobstermen here will no longer be forced to sell at the market price of the day. They can now store the lobsters themselves. The hope is to cut out the middle man and keep the lion’s share of the profits with the fishermen here in Winter Harbor. “With the tank operational and we’re looking to into expanding that market now and generating new markets,” Harmon says.The new tank will allow them to sell the lobster online to out of state customers and keep the profits here, on the shores of Acadia where these fishermen believe it belongs. Now that their idea has become reality, all the eyes of the lobstering community are squarely on the folks in Winter Harbor. “They’re watching closely to see how we make out,” says Harmon, “we’ve had a lot of interested people calling to look at the tank, everybody wants to see how it works out, there are other Co-Ops in the area that are looking at the same kind of thing to see if we can actually generate a profit with this.”They hope to have their website up and running in a few days for ordering and shipping. You can find them at www.winterharborlobster.com.
A man from Isleford is in jail waiting to be sentenced for producing child pornography. The federal judge found 43-year-old Daniel Poulin guilty of taking secret video of his former girlfriend’s teenage daughter. The cameras used were hidden in bathroom walls.Poulin told police he made the recordings showing the girl dressing and undressing, but that he didn’t share the video with anyone else. Poulin, who’d been out on bail, was taken into custody after last week’s verdict. He’s now in the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. A sentencing date has not been set yet.
Thinking Ahead …Many steps can be taken before an emergency to protect your home and family. For helpful information including planning, evacuating and creating emergency kits please visit Maine Prepares.
Mosquitoes seem to be sticking around longer this year and it’s posing a prolonged threat to humans and horses.Meghan Hayward explains.”Folks may have noticed they’ve been swatting flies away a lot more this year. That’s because they’re sticking around longer and we found out why.””What we have this year is because of the wet May, June and July, we have kind of a delayed season or at least a season where mosquitoes are still out and in full force.”Jim Dill of the UMaine Cooperative Extension says homeowners should make sure there are no buckets with water in their backyard that can attract mosquitoes.”Usually it’s 60 degrees and above when they’re active. So evenings, it’s not so bad anymore.”Because mosquitoes are sticking around longer, they pose a threat to humans and horses because of the Triple E virus.”So what we have is the mosquito vector and it bites a bird. Which is infected and now it’s in the mosquito. And then this will go and bite a healthy bird and it gets this cycle between a few species of mosquitoes and birds. Then you get a different species coming in called bridge vector that has picked it up from biting a bird and then it takes after it’s bitten a bird and bites a human or horse.”Triple E is one-hundred percent fatal in horses and thirty percent fatal in humans.Dill says human cases that don’t result in death usually lead to neurological damage.”Anywhere from minor ticks to some serious complications due to the disease. So it’s a very insidious disease that we want to make sure no one gets.”There is a vaccine for horses, but not humans.Dill says the symptoms of Triple E are flu-like and it’s important to get checked out by a doctor if you’re not feeling well.Dill says they are taking precautions.”Dry ice goes in here, The CO2 then comes out the bottom, hits this and goes all around the sides and comes down. The mosquitoes come flying in. There’s a fan here and it sucks them down here.”Once the mosquitoes are collected, they’re shipped to a lab in Augusta where they’re tested for Triple E.Dill says mosquitoes shouldn’t be a threat for much longer because after two good frosts, they usually disappear.
A family in Prospect who says construction of the Penobscot Narrows Bridge damaged their home, took their case to the Maine Supreme Court today.Vera Dyer and her sons are appealing a lower court’s ruling.The Dyers say the blasting by Maine Drilling and Blasting left cracks in the basement and made existing ones in the basement and garage, worse.The house was next to the bridge construction site. A lower court judge previously ruled in favor of the company, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the blasting caused the damage to the house.Dick Dyer says if the Supreme Court overturns that ruling, his family will push to have a jury decide the case. No word on when the high court could hand down its decision.
(AP) – Police say they have recovered $75,000 worth of jewelry, silver coins, cameras, electronics and other valuables believed stolen in a rash of burglaries in central Maine over the past several months. Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said Thursday the items were recovered from a vehicle and an Augusta home this week. He said many of the items were family heirlooms, including jewelry and old military medals that had been passed down through generations. Deputies have arrested 36-year-old Luke Greenlaw and his girlfriend, 27-year-old Sarah Vitale, of Augusta on theft and other charges. The couple was arrested Sunday when they attempted to trade in some of the stolen items at a Hallowell pawn shop. Liberty said the burglaries were committed to support the suspects’ drug habits.
Two Bangor-area physicians have joined forces to offer a unique cosmetic surgery procedure.It’s called “Smart Lipo”…it uses lasers to remove unwanted fat cells.And as Amy Erickson reports, the doctors are the first in Maine to be doing it.This is laser liposuction.And while it may look a lot like traditional lipo…there are some big differences.The patient behind the drape is wide awake…talking and listening to music.”The procedure’s done in an outpatient setting. No general anesthesia. So the patient is anesthetized with a topical anesthesia and given a mild sedative.”Doctors Stephen Nightingale and Richard Mazzei have teamed up to form “Contours.”It’s a Bangor practice devoted to laser lipo…it’s the only one of its kind in Maine.”It’s for people who are not grossly overweight but have an area of fat deposition that’s been difficult to get rid of with dieting and exercising…traditional means.”Here’s how it works.The doctors use a laser to heat up and melt away the fat cells…they’re then suctioned out through a canula.The heat from the laser also helps with the look of the skin after the procedure.”That causes, over the course of a couple months, some really nice tissue tightening. So you get a better aesthetic contouring result.”So why would a patient choose laser over traditional lipo done in a hospital?”You get less complications, no need for general anesthesia…it’s a way of taking the fat cells out without having to put the patient to sleep.””with the use of the laser, we can reduce bruising, swelling and as a result, the patient can get back to work within just a couple of days.”The doctors estimate the cost is about half of traditional lipo…since there’s no hospital stay or anesthesiologist to pay for.Right now, the belly and thigh areas are the most popular with patients…but there are other options.”Areas that classically need more tightening as opposed to fat removal such as the chin area or underarm area are also very popular.”
A Massachusetts man, with a long criminal record for drug violations, is in custody today after Kennebec County Sheriff’s found him in possession of crack.Authorities responded to a call on Wednesday reporting drug activity in a home on Windsor Street in Randolph. When they arrived they found Shahen Edwards of Massachusetts asleep in one of the rooms. A Detectives and a Probation Officer awoke Edwards and found him in possesion of nearly 2 grams of crack, and 3 Vicodin tablets on him.Edwards is currently on proabation in Massachusetts and wasn’t supposed to leave the state without permission, which he did not have.He is being held at the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, bail has been set at $2000. Edwards has a long history of drug arrests. He was charged with Possesion of Cocaine in 1999, and Possesion of Cocaine within 1000 feet of a school zone in 2000 and 2002. He was also charged with Possesion with Intent to Distribute in 2002. All of those arrests happened in Massachusetts.
Bangor’s troop greeters have been getting a lot of attention with the showing of the documentary about them, “The Way We Get By,” at Bangor Cinemas.But on Wednesday the attention was turned back on the people the greeters say really deserve it: the men and women who serve.Members of the United States Navy passed through BIA around 11 o’clock Wednesday morning.They flew in from el Paso, Texas. The troop greeters were there, as usual, to shake their hands as they went by.Many of the greeters here are veterans themselves, who say they just want to show their appreciation. “It’s just a privilege to be here and I don’t know what I’d do without it.” Said greeter Gerry Mundy. “I’m just overwhelmed by how many young people are willing to put it all out there and do what they have to do, I wish the whole country would be so grateful for it.”At this point they’ve seen nearly 4500 flights pass through B.I.A. carrying more than nine-hundred-thousand troops.
Four men are charged in connection with a large marijuana growing operation outside Farmington.Maine Drug Enforcement Agents seized more than 40 pounds of harvested marijuana, and another 125 plants, growing in a basement in the town of Industry.The street value of the seizure was more than $200,000.Police arrested 50-year-old Charles Correll: the homeowner, 56-year-old Robert Sirois of Farmington: 38-year-old Eric Hall of Industry: and 45-year-old Matthew Hemingway of Farmington.
With the November election approaching, some groups are working to raise awareness on question #2: an excise tax initiative.City and town officials joined others gathered in Bangor on Wednesday to urge folks to vote “no” on two.The initiative would cut excise tax on vehicles less than six years old, by an average of 55%.It would also exempt some hybrid and other fuel-efficient vehicles from sales taxes and three years of excise taxes.Opponents say it’s a bad deal since excise taxes help cities and towns pay for road projects like maintenance and snow removal. “We’re very concerned that that proposal could create major problems in terms of the ability of towns and cities to maintain 14,000 miles of local roads statewide and 850 local bridges. And it could also possibly result in a shift onto the local property tax,” Said Chris Lockwood of the Maine Municipal Association.On Thursday a campaign urging a “yes” vote on two kicks off.Folks with More Green Now say the excise tax cut would save Mainers $80,000,000 a year, while promoting more fuel-efficient cars.On Wednesday, Sept. 23rd at the Muddy Rudder in Brewer there is a debate on this issue that will start promptly at 8am.
It’s one of the top 10 leading causes of cancer death.But chances are, you’ve never heard of it.Joy Hollowell introduces us to two local women battling Multiple Myeloma, and tell us about their mission to find a cure.==========”When you tell people you have Multiple Myeloma, 99% have never heard of it.”Irene Bartlett never had, until she was diagnosed with the disease in 1994. “I just went to the doctor because I did not feel well and somehow they did the right blood test,” says Irene.Multiple Myeloma is a rare type of blood cancer that attacks plasma cells. Doctors don’t know what causes it, or how to cure it.”I was a 41-year old woman that looked like she had osteoporosis. So your bones all throughout your body look like they have holes in them. So you can get fractures.”Becky Reeve says she and Irene are both the exception when it comes to this type of cancer. Typically, it affects elderly men. “The life expectancy statistics that you look at, are not good at all. And my doctor had said, don’t look at those, we’re going to do everything we can. And that’s what I’ve done, tried to do everything I can,” says Becky.That includes organizing a race. Becky and Irene are co-chairs of this year’s annual Multiple Myeloma 5K Walk and Run in Bangor. It’s the third year for the event and all the money raised will go toward research.”I had thought that I probably would not live to see my grandchildren grow up. But I have, at least most of them are all grown up, and now, I’m looking forward to seeing them graduate from high school and college,” says Irene.Joy Hollowell, WABI TV 5 News, Bangor.===================The Multiple Myeloma 5K Walk/Run takes place on Saturday, September 26th.Registration begins at 9AM and the walk/run starts at 10AM.They’re also selling raffle tickets for a number of gift certificates.The individual entry fee is $15 for those over the age of 5, and that includes a free t-shirt.For more information, you can contact Becky Reeve at 356-0425.
Below is a list of community-flu shot clinics for the seasonal flu being held by MaineGeneral in October and November. Again, patients are urged to contact their primary-care physicians, employers and watch for school information as well.Â Thursday, October 15 from 1 â€“ 5 p.m.Hallowell – Granite Hill Estates, 60 Balsam DriveÂ Tuesday, October 20 from 9 a.m. â€“ 1 p.m.Winslow – Winslow VFW, Dunbar RoadÂ Thursday, October 22 from 9 a.m. â€“ 1 p.m.Augusta – The Inn at City Hall, 1 Cony StreetÂ Tuesday, October 27 from 9 a.m. â€“ 1 p.m.Waterville – Seton Village, 1 Carver StreetÂ Tuesday, November 3 from 1 â€“ 5 p.m.Augusta – Augusta Lodge of Elks, 367 Civic Center DriveÂ Thursday, November 5 from 1 â€“ 5 p.m.Waterville – Waterville Lodge of Elks, 76 Industrial RoadÂ Tuesday, November 10 from 9 a.m. â€“ 1 p.m.Gardiner – Boys & Girls Club of Gardiner, 14 Pray StreetÂ Tuesday, November 17 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.Winthrop – Winthrop Congregational Church, 10 Bowdoin StreetÂ A flu shot costs $20, which Medicare covers. In most cases, private insurance companies will reimburse patients who send in receipts. Help is available for people who cannot afford the shots. IMPORTANT: Community flu-shot clinics are open to people who are 18 years or older. Parents of younger children should work with their primary-care physician and local school.Â
Lobstermen can get back to work in waters off Seal Island.The Coast Guard had recently banned lobstering there after an old bomb was found.The Navy used the island for target practice up until about fifty years ago.Congresswoman Chellie Pingree says the Coast Guard has rescinded the ban because the risk is unknown and the economic impact on fishermen is greater than first thought.Seal Island is located 20 miles off the Maine coast and is fished by more than 30 lobstermen from nearby Vinalhaven.
Two men accused of attacking two people with a baseball bat in Milford are behind bars. 24-year-old Scott Coogan of Brewer and 22-year-old Robert LaCroix of Waterville are charged with aggravated assault.They’re accused of trying to beat a woman in her home on Monday. When a man at the house came to the woman’s aid, police say Coogan and LaCroix turned the bat on him. A judge set bail for the men today at $7,500 cash or $25,000 worth of property.Both are in the Penobscot County Jail.