Fake phone calls are going around from people who claim they are from a charity. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is warning Mainers about these possible bogus calls.Tom Peaco, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine, indicated that they have a nationwide policy against door-to-door and telephone solicitations. Peaco said that he has received calls from Maine residents questioning the legitimacy of the phone calls.The Make-A-Wish Foundation raises money to grant children with life-threatening medical conditions, with wishes they desire. The Maine chapter has an annual budget of over $1.2 million. Peaco encourages those interested in supporting Make-A-Wish to visit its Web site at www.mainewish.org or to call the Maine chapter at (800) 491-3171.
Phone callers from Canada have been targeted by a financial swindle. Auburn police said that several residents have already been fooled by this scam. So far, the con has called seniors to wire money to his account. In one case, a woman was called by a man claiming to be her son. Additionally, the caller told the woman that he was in an accident in Canada and needed money to get home. He requested $2,350 to be wired to a location in Canada and told the woman not to tell anyone. Police say it’s difficult to get your money back in phone scams. Police advise seniors that if they hear lines like that, they should just say no thank you and hang up the phone.
If you live in Brewer, the city will help you get rid of your christmas tree.Don’t leave your tree curbside for regular trash pickup. Instead, drop it off, free of charge, at the Brewer Auditorium by Thursday, January 21st.Free tree disposal is also being offered at the Brewer landfill during regular business hours through Tuesday, Jan. 5th.Before dropping off your tree, remove the tree stand and all decorations. And don’t wrap it in plastic.The city of Bangor is offering curbside christmas tree pick-up until January 15th. They’ll take your wreaths curbside in Bangor too, but only on regular trash pick up days.
An interstate exit ramp in Augusta was closed for most of Monday after a propane truck hit a patch of ice and rolled over.53-year-old Mark Doughty of Brewer was the driver of the truck owned by Maine Energy of Bangor.Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette says crews had to extricate Doughty from the truck, which rolled onto its side at quarter to five Monday morning.Doughty was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.Audette says no propane leaked from the truck, but the exit was shut down until around four Monday afternoon, when the area had been cleared.
A 27-year-old Levant man was taken to the hospital after crashing his car on the interstate in Carmel Monday morning.Police say Adam Coltart was heading south on I-95 on his way to a funeral.They say he was going too fast and lost control.The vehicle flipped over, and ended up on the side of the road.Coltart was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center. His injuries are not life threatening.No charges will be filed.
A 2-Year-Old child was killed Monday morning after being hit by a car in the midcoast town of Bremen.Deputies with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department were called to a home on the Nobleboro Road just after 7:30.They say the child was struck by a vehicle operated by a family member.The toddler was taken to a local hospital and later died.The incident is still under investigation.
The search continued Monday for a missing snowmobiler.18-year-old Richard “Shaw” Jackson of China was last seen Friday night.The search as lasted for three days now, but rescuers are not giving up. On Monday morning a forest ranger helicopter scoured the shore line of China Lake.Two planes were also on the lookout for Jackson.The Erskine Academy junior was last seen Friday night at Pinkham’s Corner Fuel, just a short distance from his house. “He said he was gonna go home that was around 8:40 and that’s the last we saw of him,” Said Jackson’s employer, David Pinkham.More than a dozen snowmobile clubs and their riders have joined the search helping wardens travel the trails in the area with hopes to find clues to where Jackson went.With nearly every trail covered, wardens have had to regroup.Leading investigators to China Lake. But one volunteer we found says Jackson had no reason to be on the ice if he was going home. “We’re trying to reevaluate what he may have done,” Said Lt. Gormley with the Warden Service. “As we go further in this we’re going to try and put a boat in the water. I don’t know how feasible that’s going to be at this point, but we do have some equipment that can look underwater.”While wardens focus their efforts on the water, it won’t be easy. China lake covers 4,000 acres and with remnants of this weekend’s storm finding any kind of trail officials say will be difficult. “As you can imagine it snowed upwards of 18 inches and covered any possible tracks that would have been left Friday night,” Said Lt. Gormley.Authorities say even with the lake as a focal point the search is still in rescue mode rather than recovery. A switch nobody wants to have to make. The search was suspended again Monday night, but authorities say they’ll be back out again Tuesday morning.
A Brewer man has pleaded guilty to arson charges.Prosecutors say Kyle Cunningham set fire to a rooming house on Webster Avenue in Bangor, wile residents were inside sleeping.It happened in November of 2008. Cunningham was set to go on trial, possibly this month, but on Monday, he entered a plea of guilty.Cunningham was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
(AP) – Maine officials say an exit ramp off Interstate 95 in Augusta has reopened after being closed most of the day after a propane truck rolled over when it hit a patch of ice. Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette says crews had to extricate the driver from the truck after it rolled onto its side about 4:45 a.m. Monday. Officials said none of the propane leaked from the truck, but the exit was shut down for most of the day while the propane was transferred to another truck. Maine State Police said the driver, 53-year-old Mark Doughty of Brewer, was not hurt. The truck was owned by Maine Energy of Bangor.
Of all the customers who frequent the IGA in Jonesport, there’s one shopper in particular who seems to stand out. The sight of Tammy Tibbetts and her cat, Salem, doing their weekly shopping doesn’t even seem odd anymore, but that wasn’t always the case. V.J. Lenfesty is a butcher at the store and remembers when the pair first came in to the store. “A little surprised,” he says, “you know it’s not every day you see a cat in the grocery store. She carries him all over the place and the customers get a kick out of it.”In fact, you’d be hard pressed to see Tammy anywhere without Salem nearby. “He goes to Machias with me, he goes for rides with me,” says Tibbetts, “pretty much where I go, he goes.”Some shoppers and staff here say Salem has quite a life, but he very nearly had his life cut short not long after he was born. “My mother found two kittens and a mother out in the cold and she took them in,” says Tibbetts, “the kittens were about 3 to 4 weeks old and I told my mother I’d like to have an all black kitten and she gave me this one when he was ready to leave his mother.”Today, you could argue that Salem has become the most popular shopper at the IGA. “He enjoys seeing Millard and everybody,” Tibbetts says, “he just loves the people and the customers.””It’s interesting to see what he’s got on from day to day, whether he’s in his santa costume,” Lenfestey says, “I guess there are several people who have made outfits for him.”In fact, Salem has over 13 outfits to choose from and he isn’t quite 1 year old yet but does all of this mean Salem is just a bit spoiled?”Very, very,” says Lenfestey, “everybody from management on down. He gets treats and slim jims and everything else.””I’d have to agree,” says Tibbetts, “but he doesn’t think so.”
The United Way of Eastern Maine is making it a little easier for folks to help their neighbors in need.Beginning Tuesday and right through April, traveling shelves will be visiting businesses in Eastern Maine.It’s part of “The Pantry Project.”The shelves will go up at designated businesses for a month.Workers and customers place upon them non-perishable foods for the Good Shepard Food Bank.This month, the shelves can be found at the Bangor Y, Camden National Bank, Hollywood Slots, Sam’s Club and The United Way office in Bangor. “14% of Maine families are actually facing hunger or at risk of facing hunger,” says Emma Pope-Welch of the United Way of Eastern Maine. “And, we’re trying to help out those pantries that at this time of year, sometimes experience a shortage.”The kick off for “The Pantry Project” will take place Tuesday morning at Sam’s Club in Bangor.For information on how to get involved, call the United Way of Eastern Maine at 941-2800 or log onto www.unitedwayem.org
The calendar has been flipped from 2009 to 2010.That means W-2 forms and 1099’s will be showing up in your mailbox at the end of the month, and a trip to get your taxes done will soon follow.There are some changes you should be aware of as you get ready to file before that April 15th deadline, says Sean Thomas of Thomas Tax and Financial Services.”There’s a credit formerly known as the Hope Credit, which is an educational credit for post secondary education that has been modified in a very good way where some of the credit now may qualify as a refundable credit.””If you found yourself receiving unemployment, the first $2400 of your unemployment benefits are not taxable which is a wonderful thing to hear in this economy”The Government has also brought back the Residential Energy Credit, last seen in 2007, which is for improvements made to increase energy efficiency.”The difference is now they are taking thirty percent of the purchase rice and it’s up to a fifteen hundred dollar credit.”But the qualifications for energy efficiency has changed and to update those, Thomas suggests you check out www.irs.gov.There is a change that will catch some off guard. Married couples who both have jobs want to be aware of the Making Work Pay Credit, said Thomas.”The reason being is that the credit is a maximum of eight hundred dollars but what they did earlier in the year was adjust the withholding tables. There, two individuals will now get more out of their paycheck throughout the year but it might exceed that $800, greatly, and if that’s the case, if they are used to getting a refund, it might be far less and if they are used to being right on the bubble then they might end up paying this year.”Thomas said that while many may procrastinate in doing their taxes, you may want to get a jump start instead.”This year with all the changes and things that could potentially impact our tax return, I think it’s very important to get in to see your tax professional early.”
Folks who’ve invested in Maine’s college savings plan received some disappointing news recently.The state will be cutting out its annual matching grant program.It’s a loss of up to 200 dollars per child each year for many who have the 5-29 accounts.Joy Hollowell tells us why the state is doing away with the money, and what that means for investors…=========It was an incentive for many Mainers to keep investing in the Next Gen college program. Each year, the state would kick in up to 200 dollars per child. But as of January first, the annual matching grant program is gone…”it’s very popular and becoming more so. It just looks to us like it would be unsustainable at the level that we had been funding it.”Beth Bordowitz, Chief Executive Officer for the Finance Authority of Maine says they are victims of their own success, and much of that success has to do with the recently established Harold Alfond College Challenge. More than 2,000 babies in Maine have been given half a Grand, to open a 529 plan with the state.”Happily what we’re finding is that a parent will come in and open an account with the Alfond grant for their new baby, and then they’ll open one or two accounts for the baby’s older brothers or sisters, using our initial matching grant,” says Bordowitz. “So, we’re seeing a real snowball effect, and that has been a huge implication for our ability to continue the ongoing annual matching grant.”Marion Syverson, President of Norumbega Financial in Hampden, says there are still some really good incentives to stick with the Next Gen plan, even without the annal matching grant.”There’s no fee on this account, when it comes to the annual fee, that’s a $50 fee that is waived as a Maine resident,” says Syverson.Contributions to the fund are tax free, and there’s a tax incentive of up to 250-dollars for each beneficiary. Syverson also warns, all that grant money you’ve earned, will go away if the 529 does.”that grant money only sits inside this account. And it is only applicable if the kids uses it for school,” says Syverson.=======Again, the initial matching grant program of $200 is available for new enrollees.And, folks who invested money in 2009 can still apply for the annual matching grant, as long as the form is sent in by June 30th of this year.For more information on the Next Gen College Investing Plan, you can call 1-800-228-3734 or log onto www.nextgenplan.com
By- Mike Bush, PenquisThere are new rules facing contractors, and that will require more training. All contractors that disturb more than 6 square feet inside or 20 square feet outside need to be certified before April.Upcoming Trainings1.Â Essential Maintenance Practices for Landlords â€“ This Â½-day course teaches landlords how to maintain their pre-1978 residential properties as lead-safe.Â This includes information on lead and its health effects: where and how to find it: how to perform routine maintenance to correct and prevent lead hazards: and worker protection.Â Additionally the course informs landlords about the EPAâ€™s Renovation, Repair and Paint Rule which comes into effect in April 2010 and allows them to make decisions on further training and certifications to meet the requirements of this rule.Â State and federal legal requirements related to lead in rental housing are also reviewed.Â The course will be held February 6, 8-12 at Penquis, 262 Harlow St.Â This course is reserved for GBAOMA members, but will be open if the slots donâ€™t fill up.Â Bangor an exclusive offering for GBAOMA members to receiveÂ Please register by calling Brandy at 973-3612.Â Â 2.Â Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) â€“ This 1-day course is designed for workers doing renovation, repair and painting work in pre-1978 housing, and will be offered January 11 and March 8 in Bangor.Â It includes information on lead and its health effects, occupant protection planning, lead-safe work practices, waste handling and disposal, and lead dust clearance standards.Â It also covers the OSHA lead in construction standard, personal protective equipment and hygiene practices, and state and federal regulations that apply to renovation, repair and painting in pre-1978 housing.Â Â This course meets the training requirements of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Renovation, Repair and Painting rule for work beginning on or after April 22, 2010.Â To register contact Peter Crockett of the Maine Labor Group on Health at 622-7823.Â Bangor landlords can attend this course at a cost of only $25 (a savings of $50) if they participate in the Bangor Rental Lead Dust Wipe Program, and should contact Rob Seavey (see article above) to learn more.Â Â Free Lead Dust Wipe Program for Bangor LandlordsA free lead dust wipe program is being offered to landlords in the Bangor Area.Contact Robert Seavey 973-3552
When the new year comes around many want to make a resolution. Some of the top priorities include, going to the gym, saving money, and to quit smoking. Maine officials say that they are experiencing a sharp incline in the number of people that are seeking help to quit smoking. The Maine Center for Tobacco Independence begins the busiest time of year for the state’s Tobacco HelpLine, which offers personal coaching and other services to help people quit.The line, which can be reached at 1-800-207-1230, receives about 8,000 calls a year. Maine health officials say that makes it one of the top quit-smoking help lines in the country.
A discussion was brought up among Bangor officials, whether to have a park just for dogs. Approval was given for a resident committee to work with the parks and recreation department on creating a park where dogs can roam free.This idea is still early in the process, and there is no concrete funding yet and no exact location for the park picked out. Joe Knox, the founder of a group that supports a dog park, illustrated that he wouldn’t expect any financial contribution from the city outside of perhaps a donation of land.
A small plane crashed in water near Greenbush Monday morning. Officials confirm that the pilot aboard the aircraft died in the crash. They have identified him as 78-year-old James Beaton from the United Kingdom. The pilot is believed to have been the only person on board the small Cessna plane, which was headed overseas.Crews started searching for the plane shortly after 11 a.m. The pilot had just left the Bangor airport when he radioed that he was taking on ice. “That the pilot was in distress, his wings were icing up and he was going to attempt to make it to Old Town. And they lost sight of him on the radar and assumed he went down,” says Lt. Wesley Hussey, with Maine State Police.We’re told an emergency locator signal had also been activated.Officials searched for the craft by air and by foot. The wreckage was discovered submerged in water just after one o’clock on Olamon Island.Several agencies responded for the search and recovery operations throughout the afternoon. They brought in a hovercraft from Brewer to cross the stream. Federal authorities were expected to arrive Tuesday for the investigation. Crews planned to continue their recovery work into Monday evening.
More than $814,000 is coming to Maine.Senator Susan Collins says the federal dollars are coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, through the Emergency Food and Shelter program.According to Senator Collins the program helps families at risk of losing their homes or going hungry because of circumstances beyond their control.The money will be distributed to 14 counties in Maine.It will be used to supplement food pantries, soup kitchens, meals on wheels programs, or address emergency shelter and housing needs, among other things.
State lawmakers return to work in Augusta on Wednesday.On top of their to do list is the budget.They are still looking at ways on how to make up for a 438 million dollar shortfall in the states two year five point eight billion dollar budget.Other topics for this first session of 2010 will be concerns about the deteriorating condition of Maine’s highways and bridges.Cell phone safety and atv regulation also will be on the agenda.Other bills would allow wardens to stop atv operators on private land without reasonable suspicion, strengthen Maine’s laws against operating “puppy mills,” and require that firewood brought into the state by campers is kiln dried to avoid importation of harmful insects coming into Maine.
An elderly man from the town of China has died from his injuries after a plow truck struck him. Police say a plow truck ran over 82 year old Arthur Poulin Sunday morning.State police say the man was helping clean snow in his driveway on Lakeview Drive around nine o’clock when he somehow ended up beneath the pickup truck.Poulin is the father of retired Maine State Police Colonel Craig Poulin. No charges are expected to be filed against the driver.