A World War Two veteran from Farmingdale was honored posthumously Sunday with a Gold Star Honorable Service Medal.Staff Sergeant Alden R. Littlefield died in service in Western Germany, while serving with the 42nd Infantry Division and General George Patten’s 7th Army.Littlefield was killed while providing covering fire for his squad, and was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for his heroic actions. Littlefield’s nephew and namesake, Alden Daigle, accepted the medal on his uncle’s behalf at a ceremony at the Gardiner Commons.The medal ceremony was part of a change of command ceremony for the 133rd Engineer Battalion.
Several new state laws took effect this weekend.One makes smoking illegal at all public outdoor dining areas, including snack bars…Another requires motorcyclists and their passengers up to age 18to wear helmets. Under the old law, passengers under 15 were required to wear helmets, along with motorcycle permit holders andthose who’d held their licenses for less than a year.Maine bicyclists are no longer allowed to pass a stopped schoolbus whose red lights are flashing.Another new law requires motorists to give walkers and runners atleast three feet of clearance and allow operators to passpedestrians only when it’s safe.
Everyone knows about Mother’s Day and Fathers’s Day, but Granparent’s Day is often overlooked. At the United Methodist Church in Eddington they didn’t forget about their grandparents.Church goers honored them with ice cream sundaes after the church service this morning. The sundaes were prepared by some of the grandchildren and served to their grandparents.”It was just something that we came up with and thought what a great idea to get the grandparents and grandchildren here,” says Mabel Lufkin, “so I think it just brings to mind what its all about and how fortunate we are when we have grandchildren and especially when we have grandchildren that live close.”Overall the event was a big success. The folks at the United Methodist Church say they plan on doing the same thing next year to honor grandparents.
On a beautiful sunny day here in Hampden over 350 runners got together for the Run For Hope, a 5k run to raise money for cancer research. Peter Daigle has been an organizer here for the past 16 years and he’s pleased with the progress he’s seen. “Excellent turnout,” he says, “I just checked with our timer and the were 367 people registered so we look like we’ll have well over 300 finishers which is a wonderful number for this event.”The run originated back in 1982 and was known as the Terry Fox run. “This year all the proceeds of this will go to the new cancer facility right here in the community,” Daigle says, “as a matter of fact we want all the money to stay local.” Dr. Eric Hartz is not only an oncologist here in Bangor, he’s also a runner. He sees first hand what the money generated here can do. “I remember when I first came here we often would send patients to comprehensive cancer centers like Boston to receive the newest and best treatment,” Dr. hartz says, “and what this event does is it helps us to raise money so we can do clinical research so we can make sure our patients can receive the best care right here in Bangor.” Runners of all ages and backgrounds participated in this years event, including some pretty good local athletes. “We’ve had wonderful support from the University of Maine with this event we have three of their teams here today and we have some serious runners who participate in this event as well.” One of those runners was Abby Barton, a senior at UMaine, and a member of the women’s hockey team. “It felt good,” said Barton after her team’s run, “it felt good to do it as a team too, and as part of the athletic department, there’s other athletes here as well, the men’s team is here, softball players, basketball players, so it’s good.”At the end of the day the hope is too eclipse last years money total, “Well last year we raised $25,600 and we want to beat that this year and we’re pretty confident that we will,” says Daigle, “and we’re looking at doing some things next year to, as Emeril says, to kick it up a notch and maybe find some more sponsors and get people to raise a little more money.”
The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a31-year-old Maine man who apparently fell overboard from a fishingboat off Cape Cod. Coast Guard Petty Officer Lauren Jorgensen said the agencysuspended its search for Chris Hopkins of Bass Harbor at about 1:30p.m. on Saturday. The crew of the 63-foot stern trawler Bella Rose called for helpFriday afternoon when they realized Hopkins was missing. Fishing boats joined Coast Guard boats and a helicopter crew inits search Friday in an area about 125 miles east of Truro. A Coast Guard jet went out early Saturday and a New Jersey-basedcutter looked through the day until the search was suspended.
The new Orono Public Library was unveiled today.It’s taken four years of fundraising to come up with money to build the library.Which has new lighting and heating that is more energy efficient and a new self check out.Vice President of the Orono Library Foundation Dana Devoe says the opening marks an important day in the history of Orono.” We’ve never had a free standing public library of our own. We’ve always shared a space in another building with someone else. So this buildings gives us a place of our own.”>The new library is located on Pine Street.
Some folks took to the streets of Bangor today, walking for security.The Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine is trying to raise awareness to what they feel is needed for everyone to feel secure.The walk started at the Bangor Homeless Shelter, bringing attention to the need for everyone to have a safe shelter and then headed to Eastern Maine Medical Center, insisting the need for affordable healthcare.Education Director of the organization Doug Allen says he encourages anyone to join them in their fight for security.” We really need new people to contribute. And also when you get involved you get back a lot more than you give. Because when you act on your own values and join with others in terms of a sense of community it actually enriches your life.”For more information on the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine you can contact them at 942-9343.
Some folks in Bangor might just have been lucky ducks today.The annual Rubber Duck Race for the Good Samaritan Agency took place.The ducks are sold for $5 each or six for $25.Each duck is numbered and the folks whose number is called is the lucky recipient of a variety of prizes, all donated by local area businesses.President of the Good Samaritan Agency Larry Napoleone says the fundraiser will be a great help to them.” In this tough economy it’s really difficult to raise money so we can keep these programs going.”The Good Samaritan Agency helps individuals who have special needs concerning pregnancy and parenting.
Folks who had unwanted electronics piling up in their house or garages could dispose of them today.The Bangor Mall and eWaste Solutions teamed up to bring the community a free electronics recycling drop-off.Michael Duran of eWaste Solutions says it’s important to offer a service like this to local residents.” There’s lead in the glass from televisions and monitors so if you have a solution that’s being paid for the alternatives aren’t environmentally friendly.”All the materials collected today will go back to the eWaste Solutions warehouse in Auburn.From there they will go through a crusher and be separated into plastics, glass, and other categories.
Starting today, folks may notice more no smoking signs posted.Especially at outside dining areas, that’s because a new law just went into affect.Meghan Hayward explains.Folks will no longer be “lighting up” at outdoor dining areas in Maine anymore.The new law bans smoking at any eating establishment including restaurants, bars and snack bars.Brett Settle is the owner of Giacomos in Bangor which has an outdoor seating area.They have always been smoke free.” It’s cleaner. It look’s nice. It’s still an eating establishment and even though your eating outside it still does waft across there.”Even though his business is already smoke-free doesn’t mean he agrees with the law.” I am a firm believer if it’s my business and I decide to make an important decision by letting people smoke I should be able to make that decision.”Maddelyn Harden is a smoker and is on the fence about the new law.” Well obviously I feel the rights of others and the needs of others need to be respected. If people don’t want someone smoking around them while their eating I completely respect that and won’t do it.”But on the other hand.” Kind of an invasion of my rights. You know I like to smoke.”Chris Geaghan is the owner of The Whig and Courier in downtown Bangor.Which has been smoke-free since they added an outside seating area.” My customers wanted me to go non-smoking. By the people who pay the bills. The people whose this dining area is. It’s their dining area and they told me they didn’t want to have smoking in the area.”But he doesn’t agree with the law either.” Actually I don’t feel it’s a good idea for the government to decide this. I feel it’s a business’s choice.”He says he think the government may feel like they need to protect us.But what does he think needs to take place instead?” If you don’t wish to be in a smoking environment and you open the door and smell smoke don’t go in. Don’t support it.”
Seaplanes started flying into Greenville — for the annual seaplane fly-in.The festivities kicked off this evening with a barbeque. Tomorrow the show starts and the games begin. There will be a water bomb drop, a take off competition, and a cross country race, among other festivities.This is the 36th year for the event. Folks from around the world come to Greenville for the fly-in. We’re told this is the largest, and longest running event of it’s kind.”It’s grown from an event where just a few airplanes come in here on a Friday to a pretty big event where people start arriving on Wednesday and they have been as many as, in a good year with good weather, 420 airplanes at the airport at one time.” says John Pepin, a member of the flying committee.They expect three to six thousand people to travel to Greenville for the weekend.The seaplane fly-in wraps up Sunday afternoon.
Northwoods Healthcare in Gilford will be relocating soon. The practice will move to 22 Haley Court in Sangerville.They say they’ve outgrown the old location. The new office will allow them to expand and renovate the practice.They’ll be able to offer more services to patients, like more exam rooms and a computerized medical records system.”We are going to be offering additional specialty services. Currently we do have podiatry and our general surgeon come down. We will support our family practice with orthopedics and some gynecology services.” says Geno Murray, President and CEO of Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital.Murray says Northwoods Healthcare sees about five-thousand patients a year.Folks at the practice will hold an open house at the new facility on October 5th from five to seven o’clock.
Some Mainers marked September 11th by giving the gift of time.In Bangor, dozens of people volunteered to clean up and restore a park in the Park Woods Transitional Housing area. The local Lowe’s store provided most of the materials.The project was organized by the Maine Commission for Community Service.It was designed to honor the wishes of family members of those killed in the terrorist attacks. They say the best way to keep the memories of their loved ones alive is to for people to give back to their communities.Rochelle Runge with the Maine Commission for Community Service says, “I think it would be great if people took away a spirit of community service. If they would look at this opportunity and think about other ways in which they can contribute to their community so this great state we live in can be a better place to work and live.”Governor Baldacci kicked off the clean up.The project is also part of a nationwide campaign, prompted by the President, to promote service. For information about other volunteer opportunities, log on to volunteermaine.org.
Students at University College of Bangor honored the local men and woman who serve and protect, in remembrance of emergency responders who died on this day.Members of the student government held a commemoration ceremony at the UCB flagpole. They passed out plaques to representatives from Bangor’s Police and Fire Departments, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department and Maine State Police. Local members of the military were also invited. Student Government President Alice Ireland says “I just think its important that people realize how important people are. Not just law enforcement, but everybody. Your family, your loved ones. Because people can be gone at any time.”Organizers say it’s important to thank those who put their lives on the line for the community every day.After the ceremony, the students put on a barbeque for everyone who attended the event.
Some students from Holden got a hands-on lesson in freedom today.Students from the Holbrook Middle School were at the Cole Land Transportation Museum for the annual ” Interview a Veteran” program.Students were paired up with veterans who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam or Desert Storm.Kristen Settele is an eighth grader at the school.And she had a list of questions she wanted answered.” We all have a different opinion of what freedom means to us but we don’t know what the veterans think of freedom and they’re the ones who went through war to give us it.”The students will take their notes from the interviews and write essays.Settele says she is leaving the museum with more knowledge and a bigger appreciation for the veterans.
Is your house or garage full of electronics you don’t use anymore?You can head over to the Bangor Mall tomorrow and drop off all your unwanted electronics.From 9 am until 3 pm, the Bangor Mall and E-Waste Recycling Solutions are hosting a free electronics recycling drop-off.If you’d like more information on what items you can drop-off go to their website www.ewastesolutions.com.
Starting today, the Bangor Mall Cinemas will be showing “The Way We Get By,” a national award winning documentary profiling maine troop greeters at Bangor International Airport.Meghan Hayward has the story.”Sometimes all it takes is a handshake to save a life.”A short message but a powerful one that radiates throughout the documentary “The Way We Get By.”Director Aron Gaudet, an Old Town native, says he had no idea how big the film would become.”We started and I think we were just naive enough to just jump in and start doing it. And then got far enough in that even when we doubted ourselves we were too far in to quit.”The film shadows the lives of three senior citizens serving as troop greeters at Bangor International Airport, the main departure and arrival point for troops since the start of the first Iraq war. Gaudet became interested in the greeters after his mother Joan got involved and he went with her to the airport.”That was just a really emotional moment where we said, you know I think there’s a story here.”The film first premiered in April at the University of Maine.Since then, Gaudet has been traveling across the country showing the film.He’s happy to have it back in Bangor, where most of it took place.”So to see it on the marquee and see it playing here I think it’s pretty cool. I mean more than any place it’s played this has more meaning because this was the movie theater I came to.”Gaudet’s mother Joan is one of the greeters featured in the film.”It blows my mind every time I see the film. This is probably my nineteenth time seeing it. But it still gives you that strange feeling like is this really happening?”Terry Archer was one of the first in line to watch the film.This will be her first time seeing it, but she says she’s heard great reviews.”There are marvelous stories all around us and when somebody can capture something like this it’s a great thing.”The film will continue to play at the Bangor Mall Cinemas through September Seventeenth, with daily showings at 1:00, 4:00, 7:00 and 9:30.DVD copies are also available to purchase for twenty dollars.
Leaders of a people’s veto effort to overturn Maine’s newly enacted tax law changes have submitted cartons of petitions seeking a referendum to state election officials. The Republican-led campaign called Still Fed Up With Taxes said Friday it turned in petitions containing more than 60,000 voters’ signatures. At least 55,087 signatures must be certified in order to force a June 2010 referendum. The law targeted by the people’s veto campaign extends the state’s sales tax to a number of currently untaxed services and raises the food and lodging tax. It also lowers the state’s top income tax rate from 8.5 to 6.5 percent for most Mainers. Friday’s submission of the petitions blocks the changes in the tax law, meaning they may not take effect on the Jan. 1, 2010 effective date.
Penquis will soon be taking over assisted living services for 90 residents in Bangor, Camden and Millinocket.Eastern Area Agency on Aging recently announced it could no longer afford to offer help for those living in Freeses, Merry Gardens or Sterns.Under a new contract with the state, Penquis will now provide such things as meals, personal care and medication help, starting October 1st. We’re told nothing will change for any of the residents.
Students at the University of Maine found their own way to remember the September Eleventh attacks.Folks from the Division of Student Affairs organized a food drive in remembrance of the terrorist attack.They say they want to focus not on the tragedy that occurred, but on the way members of the community joined forces and supported each other.For three hours, staff members accepted donations on non-perishable foods and personal care items.They’ll be distributed to the Black Bear Exchange…it’s a community initiative that operates a food pantry and thrift shop to serve UMaine and surrounding towns.Folks who took part say they hope the spirit of giving carries on well after the food drive ends.