Area clergy and social justice representatives gathered in Bangor to speak out for investment in people.The group met to support the “One Nation Together Rally” taking place in Washington, D.C.Organizers say the march is intended to continue and expand the question of whether as a nation, we have our priorities in line with our principles of equity and justice.Members at today’s press conference say they stand in solidarity with the purpose of the march.For more information on this weekend’s march, visit onenationworkingtogether.org.
Lawmakers in Augusta began sifting through changes in federal insurance laws Friday.The Health Care Reform Opportunities and Implementation Committee met to discuss the recent changes to health insurance laws as part of national reform.State options for health insurance exchanges were also discussed.Exchanges are a way to help small businesses and individuals access affordable health care coverage.Right now, Maine has a million dollars to start a state run exchange or opt to go with the federal government’s plan.A final report is expected to be turned over to the full legislature before the end of the year.
A Belfast window manufacturing company has come out with a green product they say will bring green jobs to Maine.The Mathews Brothers Company says its new Clara Starrett Energycore is made of recycable materials and uses a small amount of energy to process.Governor John Baldacci toured the facility as part of the company’s product announcement.David Petratis, Chairman of Quanex Building Products, the company that helped manufacture the product says the Mathews Brothers Company an innovative leader.”Mathews Brothers has had the innovation mind to put this together to offer their customers the most energy efficient vinyl window in the world at our 6 point 8 it’s clearly worldclass,” he said.The product was named after Clara Starret Mathews, wife of one of the company’s original founders.
According to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, every year, more than seven thousand Maine women are physically or sexually assaulted by a partner.October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a local group in Ellsworth is spreading the word.”These aren’t strangers, these are their partners and they live with these individuals every day,” said Kelly Brown, program manager of the Next Step Domestic Violence Project in Ellsworth.Brown says the center has seen more than eight hundred victims of domestic violence this year.It’s a harsh reality that startles many.According to next step, one out of every four women have been physically or sexually assaulted.For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the center will create a nature path for its clients to enjoy and escape reality.”We want to give them some part of the day where they can just go out there and be a family and have fun,” Brown said.The one mile path will connect to Gail Patrick Brook so families can fish and picnic.Josh Scott with Coastal Builders is on the team building the path using GPS technology.”We’re gonna follow the forestry officer just to show us the limitations where we can run our bridge and how he wants us to set up the steps,” he said.The path is a step in the right direction to help domestic violence victims rebuild, but in order for it to come alive, the center says it needs the help of the community.”We realize we have this great piece of land and we wanted to utilize it to its fullest, but we need people,” Brown said.If you’d like to help build the path, you can call the center at 667-0176.The center will begin building the path on October 23rd.
The Bangor Humane Society received a big donation from Sprague’s Nursery Friday morning.Last month, Sprague’s hosted an “Art in the Garden” event as a way to raise money for the humane society.The gathering brought in $1,500 and that money was presented to Suzan Bell, executive director of the Bangor Humane Society, Friday morning.”$1,500 can actually help us quite a bit with veterinary care and with purchasing food and toys for our animals,” said Bell.Sprague’s plans on hosting the “Art in the Garden” fundraiser for the humane society again next year.
Students at the Downeast Elementary School in Bangor got a big surprise in their library…”New bean bags, new bookcases, school supplies, bookmarks, just a wonderful day here for the students at the Downeast School,” said Richard Fournier, principal of the Downeast Elementary School.The makeover is thanks to Target’s “Take Charge of Education” program.The program provides a $500 book award each year to a local school that has 65% or more of its students qualifying for free and reduced lunch.
Today, Governor Baldacci signed a curtailment executive order to slash state spending by 10 million dollars.The cuts come after the state found out it would be receiving 10 million dollars less in Medicaid funding from the federal government.DHHS is hit hardest, with about 5.5 million dollars in government cuts.
A two-day business conference kicked off in Bangor Friday morning.Accelerate Maine 2010 is the first state-wide business conference geared towards business owners, professionals and decision makers invested in the economy.The conference consists of 46 sessions across 6 tracks, all with the goal of helping professionals learn new skills and network.