With a mixture of pollution and heavy rains, clam diggers in eastern Maine are facing closures due to toxic red tide algae. Over the weekend, Darcie Couture of the Maine Department of Marine Resources stated that the state will shut down most of the flats to clam and mussel harvesting from the Roque Bluffs to the Canadian Boarder. However, good news is that areas from East Penobscot Bay to Machias will remain open,
Without assistance, a 67-year old man became the first to travel the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in his kayak. This incredible journey stretches over 740 miles from New York to Maine. Gil Whitney took over 57 days to complete this remarkable feat. The trail starts in Old Forge, NY and concludes in Fort Kent, Maine. Though there have been solo canoeists, Gil Whitney, a retired tractor trailer driver from Lakeville, Maine, was the first solo kayaker to complete the trail. During his adventure, he shed nearly 30 pounds, paddled through 9 days of rain, and even had an encounter with a swimming black bear.
A section of Route 137 in Knox was shut down due to a collision between a tanker truck and a passenger vehicle. The crash happened on Route 137, also known as Belfast Road, just after 11am Monday. Route 137 was closed for much of the day, but has since re-openned.A Waldo County emergency management assistance team member who was on scene has told TV5 that the two drivers were taken to the hospital. Waldo County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Jones says the driver of the truck is 51 year old Raymond Pottle of Carmel. TV5 has been told by officials that the driver of the truck does not have injuries that are life-threatening. The identity of the driver of the car has not been released. The tanker was carrying a hazardous liquid that has partially spilled into 15 Mile Stream. A HazMat team was called to the scene, along with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and State Police.
(AP)- Maine’s first island wind-power project is being ushered in Monday with a groundbreaking ceremony.The $15 million project involves building three turbines on 250-foot-high towers on the west side of Vinalhaven, the largest of Maine 15 year-round islands.Once erected, the 1.5-megawatt towers will supply electricity to residents of Vinalhaven and the neighboring island of North Haven.Construction begins in July, and the turbines are expected to be generating power in November.The project was approved last summer by members of the Fox Islands Electric Cooperative, a cooperative that supplies electricity to Vinalhaven and North Haven.
(AP) – A new law gives active military personnel and veterans access to free day passes to Maine state parks and historic sites.On Tuesday, Gov. John Baldacci will mark enactment of the bill with a ceremonial signing. The bill authorizes the state to issue free day passes to Maine residents who are active military personnel or veterans. Their children and spouses must still pay to get into the parks.The new law, which resulted from a pair of bills passed during this year’s legislative session, is in effect in time for the summer season. The passes have no expiration date.
60 members of a Bangor church who are currently in Honduras are safe following a military coup in that country.The group is affiliated with All Souls Congregational church.The adults and youths are on a volunteer mission.Both Maine Senators say they’re in contact with the state department as well as the U.S. embassy in Honduras, and will do everything possible to ensure the safety of the Mainers.On Sunday, the Honduran army ousted president Manuel Zelaya, and flew him to Costa Rica, where he is now in exile.Shortly before the coup d’etat, Zelaya held a controversial referendum on constitutional reform opposed by most of the Honduran government.Reverend James Haddix is the pastor of All Souls Congregational church, and is leading the church mission in Honduras.He’s spoken to Reverend Bob Carlson, reporting that everyone in his group is safe.Senator Olympia Snowe says her first priority is to ensure the mainers current security as well as their ability to leave the country safely, should it become necessary.
After eight years of fundraising, Dover-Foxcroft’s Domestic Violence Advocacy program has a new home.The folks from Womancare held a ribbon cutting and open house at their new building on Mechanic Street.Womancare is in its 30th year.It serves close to 500 people annually through its programs, which include a 24 hour hotline, transitional housing, legal advocacy, and community education.Representatives from the USDA were on hand for the ribbon cutting, as they were partners in the project: investing about $480,000 in the new facility.
Get ready to start paying a little more for gas and diesel…and to reinstate a suspended driver’s license or vehicle registration.A couple new laws go into effect on Wednesday.Maine’s gas and diesel fuel taxes will rise by one point one cent per gallon.There were efforts during this year’s legislative session to increase the tax further to address deteriorating road conditions,but they were rejected by lawmakers.Another new law raises the cost of restoring a suspended driver’s license or registration. The fees will rise from 35 to 50 dollars to reinstate a suspended driver’s license or vehicleregistration.Beyond raising money, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says the change sends a strong message that drivers should behave safely inorder to keep their driving privileges intact.
Fairpoint Communications could file for bankruptcy. That word comes from company officials.The North Carolina company took over Verizon’s landline phone network in Maine last year.Fairpoint officials say bankruptcy is a possibility if they don’t get more time to pay interest in 530-million dollars in loans.The prospect of bankruptcy has been raised by analysts, but thecompany had never mentioned it directly until Wednesday in a filingwith the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fairpoint has asked its lenders to postpone interest payments due in October and says if lenders won’t agree, it willneed to restructure. That could include filing for bankruptcy.Fairpoint lost 8-point-78 million dollars in the first quarter of this year.The company has been plagued with consumer complaints in recent months.
Motorcycle crashes are all too common in Maine at this time of year.Riders came together in Gardiner Sunday to remember those who’ve been killed in bike accidents.The second annual Blessing of the Motorcycles was held at the Christ Episcopal Church in Gardiner.Father Jacob Fles began the tradition last year, after a member of his church…who was also an avid biker…died of a heart attack.Close to a hundred bikers from across Maine and New England turned out today for the event.Father Fles blessed the motorcycles and offered prayers and blessings of safety for all bikes, their riders, passengers and other traffic on the road.He also asked those in attendance to offer prayers for those who’ve been killed in crashes.
The folks at Fort Knox started their season off with a bang this weekend.Civil War reenactors set up shop at the Fort with their full sized Civil War cannon.There are firings all weekend, providing explosive excitement for the visitors who packed the grounds.Friends of Fort Knox Executive Director Leon Seymour says the event is a good way to teach adults and kids alike a little bit of history…while showing them a good time as well.Next weekend, the Psychic and Paranormal Faire takes over the grounds at Fort Knox…it’s usually the busiest weekend of the summer.For a complete listing of the events planned at the Fort this season, log on to www.fortknox.maineguide.com
Hampden residents spent Saturday making their town more beautiful.The town teamed up with the Hampden Tree Board for a special Arbor Day activitity.Volunteers planted about fifty trees and shrubs at the Lura Hoit Pool on Western Ave.The project was funded by a Project Canopy grant from the Maine Forest Service.Project Canopy now formally recognizes Hampden as one of the communities in the state committed to developing and preserving community forest resources.
Folks driving into Maine on Interstate 95 this summer should bring some extra change.Starting on Wednesday, the toll in Hampton, New Hampshire increases from a dollar fifty to two dollars.The E-ZPass discount will still be 30 percent for in-state drivers and 10 percent for in-state business accounts.The state will use the extra money to create two lanes in each direction where drivers can go through a full speed. Construction work for those lanes will begin later in the summer. The goal is reducing traffic backups and thus air quality.
Officials say a Bethel woman who was founddead after a three-day search committed suicide. Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCauslandsaid Saturday that an autopsy indicated Kim Vanderlaan died of aself inflicted gunshot wound. Vanderlaan, a 40-year-old mother of two, was found dead Fridayon Walkers Mountain behind her home on Route 26. Vanderlaan’s boyfriend called police Tuesday evening afterdiscovering that she was gone but that her purse, keys and cellphone were left behind. Wardens searched an area around the home on Wednesday andThursday before organizing a larger search on Friday. Officials said Vanderlaan moved to the area about a year agofrom Rhode Island, where her two children live.
A well-liked Maine dessert was taking over Dover-Foxcroft today.The Center Theatre was hosting their first annual Whoopie Pie Festival.The theatre invited businesses, home-bakers and organizations to show-off their whoopie pie recipes.Folks attending the festival paid five dollars and got to taste over 20 different whoopie pies.There was even a ballot for the “people’s whoopie pie.” in which people got to vote for their favorite one.Executive Director of the theatre Patrick Myers says he thought the festival would be a fun event and help out the theatre too.”We’ve got a 25,000 dollar challenge that we’re working under this year. If we can raise 25,000 dollars the Maine Community Foundation will match that for our endowment. So for every dollar we raise today we get 1 dollar from them towards our goal of 50,000 dollars.”At today’s festival folks could find more than the traditional whoopie pie.Some booths had peanut butter, chocolate raspberry and coffee flavored whoopie pies.
Pancakes were being served up this morning at the Morse’s Corner Baptist church in Corinna.The red, white and blue pancake breakfast was the kick-off event for the Corinna days.The breakfast was by donation and all the money will go toward their military operations support.Which sends care packages to local members of the armed forces when they are overseas.Organizer of the event Ron Richards says it’s important to show their support.He says Corinna days is a great way to unite as a community. “Oh I think it’s great to keep the community together and share the spirit we have. I can hear the ladies in there laughing now having such a good time. And seeing old friends and relatives and meeting new ones it’s really been fun.”All sorts of other events were taking place all throughout the day.
It was a day full of emotions for family members and friends of the 619th Transportation Company.They gathered in Dexter, Corinna and Auburn to say their good-byes and show support.Family and friends gathered at the Dexter Army Reserve Center to send off the 619th Transportation Company and show their support.”It is wonderful last time when we left in ’03 we had no support. It was short notice so there was no support. But this is a crowd and wait till you see the road.”Sergeant Thomas Keuspert says everyone’s support means a lot to him and his fellow soldiers.”Very much important. It shows we are at least appreciated for what we’re doing.”The unit is heading to Fort Dix in New Jersey for training and will then head to Iraq.While in Iraq the unit will conduct route clearance and provide security for coalition forces.Besides his family, what will Sergeant Keuspert miss the most?”Me myself will miss the most is the colors. It’s very dreary over there. You notice it a lot when you come home.”RYAN CAHILL AND MATT GUIOD DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS LEAVING BUT THEY ARE FRIENDS WITH THE MCALPINE FAMILY…SHAWN MCALPINE IS AMONG THE SOLDIERS DEPLOYING TO IRAQ.”I’m proud to know the soldiers but it’s upsetting to know they may not come back.””Just to show how special our troops are and what they do for our country.”Maranda McAlpine stayed closed beside her dad up to the last minute she had with him.She says she is proud of her dad.”It’s really exciting but it’s scary when he leaves.”And what was it like for Specialist Shawn McAlpine to have all these people there to support him.”It’s a good feeling.”And all those supporters lined the streets to join the police and fire escort out of Dexter as they waved on members of the 619th Transportation Company.
An accident this evening in Northport has left two people injured.It happened around 5:30 at the intersection of Saturday Cove Road and Route One.The accident involved a minivan and a car. Both vehicles were traveling north on Route One at the time of the crash.The minivan flipped over. Officials aren’t sure how the accident happened.There were two people in the van and one in the car.Two of the passengers were transported to Waldo County General Hospital with minor injuries. Officials are not releasing the names at this time.
Maine Wardens will be on the water in full force this weekend as part of a nation wide effort called ‘Operation Dry Water’.Maine is home to more than six thousand lakes — Wardens will be patrolling those waters this weekend to send a safety message to boaters.A major part of that message involves the dangers of boating under the influence.Alan Gillis, a Game Warden says, “The OUI laws that apply to a vehicle also apply to a boat. In a boat, your blood alcohol content cannot exceed .08 or greater. If you’re under 21 there’s a zero tolerance.” Gillis says heat, wind, and the motion of the boat, can increase the effect alcohol can have.”It could be that a little bit of alcohol, that ordinarily wouldn’t bother you on dry land now affects you more when in a boat.”Gillis says the wet weather we’ve had has made the waters colder than normal for this time of year.”I would plan this weekend just as you would a weekend early in the spring. If you go out, dress for the weather and make sure your wearing a life jacket, so if something does happen it will already be on.”Children under 10 *must* wear life jackets — and Gillis says everyone aboard a boat should have one with them.Other tips:Make sure you tell someone your plan — where you’re going and when you’ll be back…Keep the boat stable by placing equipment in the middle of the craft…and don’t overload your boat …If your boat does flip over — Gillis says your should stay by it.. This gives you something to hang on to.”It also may give you the opportunity to climb up out of the water on to your overturned boat…. it gives people coming to your rescue a nice large target to search for.”He says the key to staying safe on the water — is being prepared….
It was shocking news that came out of Los Angeles Thursday. The death of Michael Jackson at age 50.Today fans across the globe are mourning his loss, including here in Maine.”Mike and Mike Kiss 94.5 paying tribute to Michael Jackson this morning.”D.J.’s Mike and Mike dedicated their show this morning to the King of Pop, and heard from a lot listeners who were in shock at his passing.”There’s a great sense of loss that people felt, like in a way a part of themselves was gone when Michael Jackson died.”Jackson put out great music through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, it was just in recent years that his life took a slide, with several scandels and tabloid talk.But today, it seemed like everyone wanted to remember the old Michael.”I think people want to remember him for all the great accomplishments that he achieved over a lifetime and not so much the controversy over the past few years.”Jackson sold hundreds of millions of albums over his career, and it looks like that number will take a jump. Amazon.com is reporting that they sold out of all CD’s by Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 within minutes after his death.Mark McCrillis, Manager at Bull Moose Music in Bangor also noticed a jump in sales. “We’ll probably beef up the stock a little and have a big selection for people to choose from.”He says the big request is for Thriller, the album that probably earned Jackson the title of King of Pop.Whatever you think of Jackson’s legacy or music, there’s no doubt that the world has lost a music icon.”You know he had it all and I think a lot of people even today look up to him because he’s a showman he was it.””Everybody remembers where they were when they heard the news that Elvis had died, and everybody remembers where they were when John Lennon passed away. This is another day like that.”