News

Maine Soldiers Headed to Baghdad

Updated 5 years ago

More than four dozen Maine soldiers are on their way to Iraq.Members of the 101st Air Refueling Wing’s Civil Engineering Squadron will spend the next six months in Baghdad.They had an emotional sendoff at Bangor International Airport Thursday morning.Amy Erickson has the story.

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FairPoint CEO Change

Updated 5 years ago

FairPoint Communications has appointed a new person to take over the reins amid worries that the telecommunications company will seek bankruptcy protection if it can’t meet its interest payments by the fall.David Hauser succeeds Gene Johnson as FairPoint’s C.E.O. and chairman of the board.Johnson is co-founder of the company.In a filing with the securities and exchange commission last week, FairPoint said it wants to delay an interest payment to bondholders due in October.If the bill can’t be put off, the company said it may have to seek alternative debt restructuring plans, and that could include bankruptcy.

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Tuna Recall

Updated 5 years ago

North Coast Seafood, a Boston-based company, is recalling fresh tuna steaks distributed in New England because of high levels of Histamine, a potentially harmful chemical that can develop naturally in poorly stored fish.The recalled tuna steaks were sold at Shaw’s, Star Market and Big Y stores between June 20 and June 24. Customers may take the fish back to the store for a refund or replacement.Symptoms may include tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, rash on the face and upper body, hives and itching skin, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

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Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Waterboro

Updated 5 years ago

State police say speed and alcohol played a part in a deadly motorcycle crash in Waterboro.Troopers say 28-year-old Nicole Perrault of Waterboro died after the motorcycle her husband was driving went out of control a short distance from their home.32-year-old Travis Perrault was treated for cuts to his head.Perrault told police the motorcycle hit a deer, but troopers say there was no evidence of that.They say Perrault was speeding when he lost control.Neither rider was wearing a helmet.

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Biker in Critical Condition After Crash in Pembroke

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Pembroke is in critical condition after his motorcycle collided with an SUV. State police say 57-year old Nicholas Gamertsfelder was heading north on Route 1 in Pembroke about 5 o’clock last night.At the same time, 58-year-old Barbara Baig of Edmunds was making a left hand turn from the Old County Road on to Route 1. The two vehicles crashed and Gamertsfelder was thrown from his motorcycle.Troopers say he was not wearing a helmet. Gamertsfelder was flown to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where he’s being treated for head injuries.Baig was not hurt.

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Emergency Order Issued for Maine Potato Farmers

Updated 5 years ago

The rainy weather has put the state’s potato crop in jeopardy. The conditions are perfect for the spread of late blight. That’s the fungal disease that lead to the Irish Potato famine in the 1840’s.Farmers need to spray their crop to kill off the disease, but haven’t been able to get into the fields because of all the rain.So they need aerial pesticide applicators, but there aren’t enough licensed pilots in the state.On Wednesday the Board of Pesticides Control voted for an emergency rule change, that will allow out-of-state aerial sprayers to work in Maine.It’s a vote that Henry Jennings, Director of the Maine Board of Pesticides Control says is crucial to helping save the crop. “So, we know the spores are present, so we know the potential is there to get the infection started and that can have catastrophic results for farmers in terms of significant losses, if not the total loss of the crop.”The out of state aerial sprayers have already passed exams in their home state, the rule change will mean they won’t have to pass Maine exams before working here.That process usually takes about a month.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Updated 5 years ago

Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that is triggered by the seasons. The most common type of SAD is called winter-onset depression. Symptoms usually begin in late fall or early winter and go away by summer. Some experts think the cause of SAD is from the lack of sunlight during winter, when the days are shorter. A much less common type of SAD, known as summer-onset depression, usually begins in the late spring or early summer and goes away by winter. In the United States, it is much more common in northern states. Light therapy, in which patients expose themselves to a special type of light for 30 minutes every day often helps. While some may link ominous weather with depression Waterville Dr. Jeff Matranga says, “When people find ways to engage in spite of the weather their mood and energy levels seems to pick up.” Matranga is a psychologist in Waterville, “Neurons in the brain really like activity. Physical activity, but also engagement. Neurons like to be fired and when we slow down and withdraw the whole system gets kinda sluggish and depression can result.” he says. Light therapy is one option for treating this type of SAD because increased sunlight can improve symptoms.If your doctor suggests you try light therapy, you may use a specially made light box, or a light visor that you wear on your head like a cap. Generally, light therapy takes about 30 minutes each day. *Symptoms of summer-onset SAD include:A loss of appetite Weight loss Insomnia Irritability and anxiety Agitation Increased sex drive

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Bangor Chamber Seeks New Director

Updated 5 years ago

The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce is looking for a new president & CEO.Candy Guerette had been the chamber’s director for 13 years. A message left at Guerette’s home has not been returned. Board chairman John Diamond would not say if Guerette voluntarily left her job or was removed by the board. Diamond says Karen Cole, the chamber’s current director of marketing, will become acting director of the chamber and assume the duties of president and CEO.He says the search process for a new president and CEO will begin in the near future.

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Quilt Raising Money for Civil Air Patrol

Updated 5 years ago

There will be many patriotic displays during 4th of July celebrations this weekend. A red, white and blue quilt in Brewer will also be helping to raise money for some patriotic young adults.Deborah Norton owns the sewing and quilting shop, A Straight Stitch, in Brewer. When her son Robert joined the Civil Air Patrol this year, she had an idea.”So I asked the girls if they’d mind if I finished the quilt and gave it to Civil Air Patrol to help fund some of their programs,” Norton says.She says she’s seen the difference the Air Force base program makes for young men and women.”I like to clean my room now, which is surprising,” says her son Robert, smiling.”I’m not as immature as I used to be,” says James Culp, a fellow Civil Air Patrol member. “I take responsibility for things I do. Civil Air Patrol has helped me out a lot with that.”Norton is selling raffle tickets at a dollar a piece for the quilt. Its estimated value is 900 dollars – that’s how much she wants to raise.”I was very pleased, very tickled that she thought the program has impacted her and her son. And that she was willing to do something so generous for the unit,” says Capt. Cathie Spaulding. Spaulding says cadet programs teach about aerospace, while encouraging respect, discipline and other life skills.”Physical training. I do a lot of push-ups, sit-ups and I run a mile,” says Zachary Baker, of his favorite part of Civil Air Patrol.”I’ve learned a lot about aerospace, planes and rockets,” says Cassandra Bortell.”It’s a really building block of life,” Culp says.The quilt will be on display during the 4th of July parade in Brewer. Tickets are also on sale at Norton’s shop on North Main Street in Brewer until July 8th.”The more revenue we are able to generate, the more we can do for the individual cadets to attend different things, like their encampments and flight academies,” Spaulding says.”I’m so proud of my son and what he’s done, and I’m so proud of these other kids,” Norton says.

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Change of Command Ceremony at Jonesport Coast Guard Station

Updated 5 years ago

The Coast Guard Station in Jonesport is seeing a big change.As Meghan Hayward tells us, there are some big shoes to fill.Members of the Coast Guard Station in Jonesport stood at attention as their new and former commanders made their way in.Gregory Teagle has been the commander at the Jonesport station since 2005.”So, he’s been very great. Good resource for education and teaching us how to do our everyday jobs and save lives.””He’s helped a lot of us become just better people. Better assets to the coast guard for him.”Morris says she’s always felt confident working under Commander Teagle.”He’s understanding, he’s patient. And i think that has a lot to do with how successful he’s been.”At Wednesday’s Change of Command Ceremony, the hard work of Teagle and his unit did not go unrecognized.”To me nothing defines the Coast Guard more than a small boat station and stations like this are the life blood of our service and represent diversity, dedication, and professional values of the modern Coast Guard.”While Commander Teagle is not originally from downeast Maine, he says it didn’t take long to feel like a member of the Jonesport community.Teagle says he has no doubt the new commander will feel the same way in no time.”Senior Chief Purdy, Andrea, Zack and Ashten welcome to Jonesport. I have no doubt that your transition and success will be smooth and assured if not for the support of your fellow Coasties but for the support of this fine community.”And with that, the Change of Command was made.Changing of command.Commander Christopher Purdy says he’s excited and ready to take on the new job.”Believe me, I won’t let the community down. You know where I live. All you have to do is come get me.”

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Four Dogs Journey From Kuwait To Bangor

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

The Bangor Humane Society is known for taking in abandoned and unwanted pets from all over the area. However recently they took in four dogs who made quite a journey: all the way from Kuwait.One of the volunteers at the Bangor Humane Society heard from her sister, who worked in a dog shelter in Kuwait, that they had dogs that were in desperate need of adoption”They underwent a quarantine in Kuwait, and again in the United States, they’ve received all their shots, and have been spayed or neutered before coming to the us,” says Suzan Bell the Executive Director at The Bangor Humane Society.Bell says the dogs are in good condition, considering their journey, and now the only thing left for these dogs is just to be adopted. “They’re in tip-top shape, they’re beautiful pets, they came from a really desperate situation, I know they’ll find wonderful homes in the community.”In addition to the dogs from the Persian Gulf Bell says they have other dogs from this area that are looking for good homes. The cost of adopting a dog from the humane society generally runs between $50 and $180,(for puppies), and the price includes all the shots and the dogs are spayed or neutered.Bell says she’s not sure if they’ll be taking on anymore dogs from Kuwait, that will depend on how much room they have here in Bangor. However she is more than happy to help these, or any other dog a good home.These dogs needed to come here and we’re fortunate to have them here and I know they, along with all our other dogs will find good homes.”

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Maine Air Guard Members Head to Iraq

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

More than 40 members of the Maine Air National Guard in Bangor are heading to Iraq.The men and women from the 101st Air Refueling Wing, Civil Engineering Squadron will leave for a six-month mission tomorrow morning.They’ll be based at the Baghdad International Airport. Their job is to maintain and repair infrastructure at the base, as well as the military air field. A sendoff for the guard members and their families is set for 7:30 tomorrow morning at the airport in Bangor. Their first stop is in Qatar for a few days of training, then they’ll go on to Baghdad.

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EMHS Takes Over Down East Community Hospital

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Eastern Maine Health Systems is taking over operations of Down East Community Hospital in Machias. A judge appointed EMHS as emergency receiver of the hospital today.The Department of Health and Human Services and the hospital filed a petition for the move yesterday.The goal is to keep Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements coming in. The federal government notified DECH that it’s set to pull that funding July 10th based on a number of deficiencies found at the hospital. Doug Jones, the former Chief Executive Officer of Maine Coast Memorial, will be the interim C-E-O in Machias during the receivership process. DHHS Commissioner Brenda Harvey says turning over the operations of the hospital over is an important step toward bringing the hospital into compliance.She says she hopes the federal government will extend its reimbursements, based on the new plan for the hospital.

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Car Burglary Prevention Tips

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A recent increase in car burglaries throughout Bangor has police sending out a warning. They’re reminding drivers to lock their cars and not to leave anything valuable inside, especially overnight. Police say if you do leave something important in your car, put it out of plain sight and consider locking it in the glove compartment.They say drivers should also park in well-lighted areas and turn on any alarm system you have in the car.You can also consider marking your property to make it easier to track down if it is stolen. And if someone does break into your car, report it to police.

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Great Works for Salmon

Updated 5 years ago

Maine is expected to receive $7,700,000 from the federal stimulus plan to help the recovery of Atlantic Salmon.Most of the money would go to the demolition of Great Works Dam on the Penobscot River. $1,600,000 would be used to replace culverts as part of a collaboration between local industry, the state, and the federal government on Atlantic Salmon restoration.The funding is expected to create at least 60 jobs in Maine in the next two years.

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Dam Anniversary

Updated 5 years ago

Government leaders and conservationists gathered Tuesday at a park along the Kennebec River in Augusta to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the breaching of the Edwards Dam.The removal of the longtime landmark in Maine’s capital is seen as a major step toward returning one of the state’s largest rivers to its natural state. The project has been held up as an example that could be followed in other states, especially those with sea-run fish species.Since the Edwards Dam came out in 1999, more than 430 dams have been removed.

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Free Fair Tickets For Blood Donors

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

The folks at the Maine Blood Center in Bangor are once again holding their Bangor State Fair Wristband Blood Drive. Anyone donating blood on thursdays in July, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, at the Maine Donor Center on Union Street, will receive a ticket for free admission and rides at the fair.The rules for those wishing to donate are also a little different this year. In the past a donor had to be 17-years-old, but now 16-year-olds can donate with parental consent.One other change, if you recently got a tatoo at an establishment licensed in the state of Maine, you can donate blood immediately. In the past people were required to wait one year.Heather Babcock, a donor recruiter at the Maine Blood Center, says she’s hoping for a big donor turnout. She’s urging those who would like to take part in this years event in July to call and make an appointment. The number to call is 207-262-8797.This years blood drive is in honor of Maggie Rudnicki, a 10-month old girl from Levant. Maggie suffers from a rare blood disorder called diamond blackfan anemia. It reqiuires her to undergo blood transfusions every 2-3 months.

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Small Fire at Pat’s Pizza

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

Pat’s Pizza in Orono has re-opened for business after a small fire there on Tuesday. The call came in at around 11:30 Tuesdsay morning reporting smoke coming from a second floor window of the restaurant on Mill street.Orono, Old Town, and Veazie fire crews responded to the call. One of the tenants on the second floor of the building put out the fire with a fire extinguisher just prior to the firefighters arrival.There was very minimal damage to the building and nobody was hurt.

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New Jobs Coming to Old Town Canoe in Old Town

Updated 5 years ago

Close to fifty new jobs are being created at Old Town Canoe in Old Town.Johnson Outdoors Inc., which is the parent company of Old Town Canoe is consolidating its paddle sports brand to its old town facility to help with future growth.The company will transfer all operations in Old Town to a single location next year.The new site is designed to be more efficient and reduce energy use.

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Job Cuts at Belfast Plant

Updated 5 years ago

Fifty positions are being eliminated from the Moss plant in Belfast. The company said on Tuesday that it is consolidating its operations and closing part of its facility there.Moss engineers and manufactures tensioned fabric structures and display hardware.The company says it is moving its production work to a facility near the Chicago O’Hare airport.Moss VP Shelly Alex says engineering and customer service employees will stay at the Belfast site. The fifty manufacturing employees will be cut in sixty days.Belfast City Manager Joe Slocum says while it’s not a reflection of the quality of the workforce, it is a sad day. He says they are working to bring more businesses to the region.”I feel for the families most affected, and I feel for the businesses that will be affected – where those families bought their groceries, and got their hair cut and places they went for entertainment and things like that – because it will have a ripple effect in the region. But we work in economic development in the midcoast region every day of the year,” Slocum says.Moss says they are offering severance to the fifty employees, as well as career placement and counseling services.

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