Attendants at the Penobscot Narrows Observatory say they’ve gotten off to a good start this season.”It’s a foggy rainy day today, but we’ll still have 30 to 40 visitors.” says Harold Beck, an observatory attendant. Lynn McDonald, another attendant adds, “Some are recurring customers and other people are new in the area. They’ve come for a visit. I just had some folks from Florida that came in, that are visiting some friends up here.”The tower in Prospect is one of three observatories of it’s kind in the world, but this Maine marvel has a special claim to fame.”It’s the only bridge observatory in the northern hemisphere and it is the tallest one in the world that is open to the public.” says Beck.The tower is also home to the tallest and fastest elevator in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.McDonald says, “Their elevator ride will be 50 seconds up to the top to 400 feet, even though the actual observatory itself is at 420 feet.””On a really clear day, you can see about 70 miles to the north and you can see Cadillac Mountain to the east, about 40 miles away. And you can see down to Penobscot Bay, about another 30, 40 miles in that direction.” adds Beck.Visitors say this birds-eye-view is out of this world. “Breathtaking, it’s beautiful.”The observatory is open through October from 9 to 5, seven days a week. They have extended hours in July and August.Tickets are five dollars for adults, three dollars for children ages five to eleven, and free for kids under four.
Staff from the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth gave an update on the swine flu friday.Members of the hospital want the community to know they are working to make sure that all necessary actions are being taken.A tent has been set up outside the hospital, in the event that the Pandemic Flu Plan has to be put in action…..The medical staff stressed that it is just a precaution and people should not be alarmed.”Right now I don’t think there’s any reason for worry or panic. We’re all concerned but I think all the proper precautions are being taken.”Hospital employees say it’s important people wash their hands frequently and make sure all surfaces are covered.They say the surface between fingers and fingernails are often overlooked.
Hundreds of folks are expected to turn out for the 10th Annual City-Wide Cleanup in Bangor this weekend.It’s co-sponsored by the City of Bangor and United Way of Eastern Maine.Volunteers will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the following locations:-Broadway Park-Coe Park (Court Street)-Chapin Park -Downeast school playground and fields-Fairmount park-Fairmount school playground and fields-Hayford Park fields and trails-James F. Doughty school fields-Mary Snow School playground and fields-Stillwater Park (Howard Street)-Fruit Street & Cohen School playground and fields-Thomas Hill Standpipe (Summit Park)-Williams Park (Newbury Street by Hancock Street)Volunteers will be rewarded with a barbeque at 11:30 a.m. at Stillwater Park.The clean-up also helps Camp Bangor children meet their community service requirement.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria surrounding the swine flu scare, with all the precautions being taken this week to keep the virus from spreading.But experts say it’s just as important that people don’t panic.Amy Erickson has more.< "It is kind of scary for someone who doesn't have much of a clinical background, but really, it's a mild flu."Eastern Maine Medical Center Patient Care Administrator Karen Clements has two words for folks worried about becoming infected with the Swine Flu. Don't panic."People just need to take it in perspective. This is a very, very mild flu. We are not seeing the lethal side effects like we do with our regular flu season, our influenza a and influenza b. We lose over 35,000 people every year in the country to our regular flu season. We haven't seen one American death yet from this, and very, very few hospitalizations."Clements says while it's always a good idea to take precautions, coming down with this particular strain isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world."Yes, you're going to feel crappy for a couple of days with a fever and body aches, but the good side is, you're going to build immunities to this virus.""It's a great time of year to have a flu season. People can open their windows up. It's not mid-January."Clements says the scare is causing Mainers to pack local emergency rooms and walk-in clinics but not all of those folks really need to be there."We are seeing a significant amount of patients with 'nervous symptoms', like 'I was exposed to someone who just came back from Texas last week,' with no symptoms whatsoever, all the way to the folks who do have symptoms.""Hospital officials say if you come to the E-R or the walk in clinic and you have a cough and fever, you will be required to wear a mask. But that's actually something they normally do during the regular flu season as well."Clements is urging folks to stay away from the ER unless they're seriously ill.Most people just need a few days of bedrest at home.By going to the E-R, you're potentially exposing yourself to more germs."You're going to be sitting in a waiting room, cause it's very busy right now, sharing all kinds of germs with yourself and the family members you brought with you."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News.>
Police have ruled the deaths of a Westbrook couple a murder suicide.The couple was found dead in their condo earlier this week by their two daughters.Police say 45-year old Kenneth Taylor stabbed his wife, 43-year old Belinda Taylor, then stabbed himself.There was no history of domestic violence. The couple was in the process of ending their marriage.
Guilty of murder. That’s the verdict in the trial of Joseph Dumas of Prentiss, who shot and killed a friend in the fall of 2007.After deliberating over two days, the jury announced its verdict today.There was no reaction from Joseph Dumas as the verdict was read. Later, there were tears. His attorney says Dumas still doesn’t know why he shot his best friend, Mario “Sonny” Litterio.Dumas is facing twenty-five years to life in prison and will be sentenced at the end of June. Jurors had some questions Thursday about expert testimony related to cocaine-induced psychosis, which was a significant part of the defense’s case. Some testimony was re-read to them this morning.Once that was through, it took jurors less than an hour to return the guilty verdict.”We appreciated the effort that the jury has put into this case,” says defense attorney Richard Hartley. “They certainly thought very hard about the evidence that both sides put forward. We believe that they analyzed that evidence and I certainly respect the verdict they have given.”The state says they’re pleased with the outcome.The Litterio family says they are relieved.Joseph Dumas’ wife, Cheryl, says she still doesn’t believe her husband intentionally shot their friend, and she still loves and supports him.She says if there’s anything we can learn from this case, it’s the dangers of drug use.
Governor John Baldacci says he is counting on government shutdown days, cuts in health care and education and what’s being called stepped-up tax enforcement coupled with a tax amnesty program to bring his current budget proposal back into balance. The governor outlined a new plan Thursday to plug a gap of about $570 million created earlier this week when the state revenue forecasting committee sharply cut back estimates. In all, Baldacci said his original $6.1 billion two-year general fund budget package will shrink to $5.8 billion. The governor wants a new state commission to identify $37.5 million in savings. He’s also proposing to use $75.5 million from the state rainy day fund and nearly $41 million more in other state government reserves.
The board of selectmen in the town where a topless coffee shop raised eyebrows when it opened earlier this year has revised its anti-nudity ordinance. The town of Vassalboro is no longer proposing to ban partial or full nudity at local businesses. The Central Maine Morning Sentinel says a revised ordinance approved Wednesday instead would specifically regulate where, when and how those businesses may operate in town. A public hearing is set for May 14, and a final vote will be held at the June 8th town meeting. The proposed “adult-only businesses ordinance” says its purpose is not to prohibit sexually oriented businesses from operating in the town, but to regulate their location and manner of operation. Some residents complained after the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop opened February 23rd.
A former selectmen from Glenburn who helped run a day care will be in court Friday afternoon on charges of molesting a 10-year-old girl.49-year old Ronald Tewhey was indicted by a grand jury.He’s facing three counts of unlawful sexual contact and unlawful sexual touching.Tewhey co-owned a daycare on Norway Road in Glenburn.According to police, the victim was in Tewhey’s care at the time of the alleged crime.If convicted, Tewhey faces up to ten years in prison and fines up to 20-thousand dollars.
Some pretty big stuff arrived in Eastport on Thursday.Twenty blades, each 125 feet long, pulled into port aboard a cargo ship.It’s just the first shipment of large equipment that will be assembled into wind turbines to generate power here in Maine. “I can not tell you exactly how much this day means to us and ironically what sits behind me or stands behind me today is really what is before us for the future.”A future that’s looking up and one Gardner says has been made possible by the Rollins Wind Project in northern Maine.The project consists of turbines that will produce enough clean renewable energy to power more than twenty-three thousand homes.It will also create jobs for a number of people who have been out of work. “[Thursday] they are working, they’re importing the new industry to Maine, which is wind power. And I’ll tell you, that means very much to them.”Matt Kearns, First Wind Vice President of business development in New England, says this is a time when residents of Washington County should be happy to live where they do. “So while the rest of the country has tough economic times, bad news keeps coming out, we have good news in Washington County. Today we have something really to be proud of.”First Wind played a key role in ensuring the blade shipment went through Eastport…the first 20 blades arrived Wednesday evening.Crews spent Thursday unloading and placing them on the trucks that will transport them to project sites in Lincoln, Burlington, Lee, Winn and Mattawamkeag. The economic downturn has affected Eastport, like so many other small towns, but they are ready to move forward….. “We have to level the playing field and we have to do that by being unique and we have to do it by doing things that are different from other communities.”
(AP) – Maine’s top health official says two adults and three children are now thought to have swine flu. Dr. Dora Anne Mills said Thursday the Maine Center for Disease Control has identified three people as having the virus: an adult in Kennebec County, an adult in York County and a youth in Penobscot County. A day earlier, the Maine CDC identified three adults as having swine flu, but one of those three was found to have conventional flu following additional tests. Mills says two children in York County are listed as suspicious because they have symptoms and came into contact with an adult with the virus. Officials have closed Kennebunk Elementary School and the Crayon Academy day care center in Arundel for at least seven days. The federal CDC considers all of those cases to be suspected – not confirmed – swine flu because they’re awaiting confirmation with additional tests.
On Wednesday, we brought you the story of a mystery in the woods of northern Maine more than 80 years ago.Two Game Wardens went missing in 1922…their bodies were found underwater months later.The deaths were ruled drownings…but for years, doubt has persisted…and rumors have abounded as to what really happened.For close to a hundred years, family members, fellow Game Wardens and other law enforcement personnel have doubted that David Brown and Mertley Johnson drowned.Tonight, we look at the other scenario that many believe played out in the woods that fall…and brought their lives to an end.< "all you had was two bodies that drowned up in big bog and you're way back in the woods. you're about as far back as you can get. so no evidence or anything. but they felt it was suspicious at the time."As the former Police Chief in Greenville, Maxim Squires has heard many theories over the years about what really happened at Big Bog back in November of 1922.It's been a mystery for decades.Candy Canders Russell runs the Moosehead Historical Society.She has files bursting with newspaper accounts of Brown and Johnson's deaths."each article seemed to have different details as to what had happened, but there was certainly no final conclusion."Many in the Warden Service have never been able to shake the feeling that Brown and Johnson did not, in fact, drown.bite 4:04 "there's a possibility that they were shot by a trapper up there."At the time they went missing, Brown and Johnson had been investigating illegal beaver trapping in the Saint John Valley.bite 17:05 "at the time, beaver was worth a considerable amount of money. i believe that's right around when it was worth a dollar an inch. and there was some speculation that a Canadian would probably take quite a few chances for something that valuable.""the names David Brown and Mertley Johnson...they mean a lot to game wardens."Retired Game Warden Bill Allen recalls that there was, at one time, a suspect in the Wardens' disappearance."there were two brothers from Canada that were poaching beaver in Maine around the same time Johnson and Brown went among the missing."One of the brothers returned to Canada when he heard the Game Wardens were in the area."the other one stayed. And he was later being given a ride back to the border in a horse drawn wagon and he mentioned to the driver that he'd got a couple deer. The driver asked him where they were and he said 'well, they weren't that kind of deer.' That kind of makes you wonder if he wasn't somehow involved."Allen admits that it's unlikely anyone will ever prove that Brown and Johnson were actually murdered.He'd like to see their bodies exhumed...since, according to at least one present-day medical examiner, the autopsies that were performed back in 1922 could have easily missed a bullet hole.But Allen knows that in all likelihood, the answers will remain forever buried in the woods at Big Bog..."as to what happened to them, I don't know and I don't know if we ever will know what happened to them...and that's too bad. Because men that did the job they did and paid the price they paid have a right to have their story told. And I'm not sure it ever will be.">Fourteen Maine Game Wardens, including David Brown and Mertley Johnson, have died in the line of duty during the department’s history.Their names can all be found on the Maine Law Enforcement Officers Memorial outside the State House in Augusta.
City of Bangor Health officials briefed the public Thursday on their response to the Swine Flu.Health and Community Services Director Shawn Yardley says he and his staff are in daily communication with the Maine Centers for Disease Control.Yardley says although the outbreak is world-wide, the solutions to actually limiting the spread of the virus are local and individual.City health officials are reminding residents to do their part to stay healthy, through vigilant hand-washing, using hand sanitizers and covering coughs and sneezes.They’re also urging anyone with symptoms to stay home and avoid contact with others.< "we want you to focus on your personal responsibility. Take the actions you can...take care of yourself and protect others in your community.">Bangor officials advise folks with questions or concerns to visit the Maine C-D-C’s website at www.mainepublichealth.gov .There, you’ll find the most up-to-date information for the state.
You might think someone who works with pigs every day would be especially concerned about the health scare.Not necessarily.Amy Erickson spoke with a pig farmer in Athens who says she’s not worried.
Bangor Police say an unruly passenger was removed from a flight that was diverted to Bangor International Airport Wednesday night.The United Airlines plane was flying from Los Angeles to London.After landing at B.I.A., the woman from England was taken off the flight and the plane continued on to London.She was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for an evaluation. No charges have been filed at this point.
AP- A bill to legalize gay marriage has won all-but-final approval in the Maine Senate.The measure now moves to the House of Representatives forconsideration next week.In initial voting after extended and emotional debate Thursday, the Senate voted 20-15 to give its preliminary approval.Next, an amendment to require a statewide referendum on thematter was rejected, 22-13.Then the Senate registered its support for the original measureagain, this time by 21-14.Gay marriage supporters were elated. But one organizer, Maggie Ricker of Chelsea, echoed a number of lawmakers in saying she expects opponents of same-sex marriage to use a petition drive to force a people’s veto referendum even if the bill wins enactment.
One-hundred-thousand dollars was given to Husson University on Wednesday in support of their new pharmacy program.Hannaford charitable foundation made the donation.Husson University says the new program will prepare students for careers as pharmacists in northern New England.Hannaford’s donation will go toward a new skills laboratory, which is still being built.The program starts in september.Organizers say Hannaford’s support is crucial.
Dexter’s police chief called it a career on Wednesday.63-year-old Arthur Roy has retired.He headed the dexter police department for the past five years.He was a Maine state trooper for years and spent some time working in Florida before taking the top spot in Dexter.He plans to spend more time with family now.Sergeant James Emerson has stepped in as acting chief for now.
The Katahdin paper mill will soon be reopening its doors.Starting Tuesday, a paper machine that makes directories will be back on line.Shortly thereafter, another machine which makes newsprint paper will be up and running.A human resources officer for the mill says it’s not yet known just how many people will be returning to work.