News

Katahdin Paper Mill to Reopen

Updated 5 years ago

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.

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Drowning…or Murder? Part One of Amy Erickson’s Special Report

Updated 5 years ago

It’s a story that’s captured the attention of Game Wardens and other law enforcement personnel throughout Maine for close to a hundred years.Back in 1922, two wardens went missing in the North Country.Their bodies were discovered five months later.It was thought that they drowned…but as the years passed, speculation has grown as to what may have really happened. “There are a tremendous amount of questions that probably will never be answered.”When Game Warden Jared Herrick goes into the woods, his mind can’t help but wander back to a story he first heard years ago…of two Wardens who went missing more than 80 years ago in the Saint John Valley.Chief Warden David Brown of Greenville…and Warden Mertley Johnson of Patten headed up to Big Bog to investigate illegal activity. “They were looking into canadian poaching of beaver…illegal beaver trapping.”The men left home on November 11th, telling their families they’d be home by Thanksgiving…but they were never seen again.A massive search ensued…but turned up nothing…until the spring…when their bodies were discovered in the water near Big Bog Dam. “The autopsies…apparently, they didn’t find anything at that time, but then again, you’re talking a couple of bodies that had been underwater all winter and probably not in the best of condition.”In 1923, it would still be more than 40 years before the Medical Examiner’s office came into existence…so two doctors out of Skowhegan performed the autopsies.They believed the men drowned.But to this day, there are plenty who aren’t convinced that’s what *really* happened to Brown and Johnson. “It doesn’t look like a place where two game wardens would drown. that seemed to be the consensus of opinion.”Maxim Squires is a former Chief of Police in Greenville.He remembers how the case puzzled the lead investigator for years. “They felt it was suspicious. i mean, how do two game wardens drown?”If you ask most modern-day wardens, they’ll tell you there are several problems with the drowning theory.First, there wasn’t any water found in either man’s lungs.Add to that the fact that the water where they were found was fairly shallow at the time they went missing. “It’s unlikely that the water would’ve been over their head. it’s most likely that the water level would’ve been maybe waist deep maximum.”Some guessed that the wardens had tried to cross thin ice with fatal results.But retired Game Warden Bill Allen, who’s studied the case…says there’s no way. “It would be pretty unusual for an experienced game warden supervisor like david brown or an experienced warden like mertley johnson to just wander out onto a flowage in northern maine on thin ice in the middle of november. Woodsmen of their caliber don’t do that, period. And I don’t think they did.”Bill Allen says he has a pretty good idea of what really happened to Wardens Brown and Johnson…and his theory is shared by many others.The problem?How to prove it.We’ll look at that part of the story Thursday night at 6 on TV5 News.

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Drunk Driving Reality Shown to Lincoln Students

Updated 5 years ago

Every 15 minutes, someone in this country dies in an alcohol related car accident. The students at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln got a very visual reminder of that Wednesday.Every 15 minutes a student at Mattanawcook Academy was pulled from their classroom. An obituary was read. “Alexa we will miss your beautiful smile and nothing will ever fill the void.” Each one symbolized a victim of an alcohol related crash. For the rest of the day, they walked the halls as the living dead. Their parents were notified by law enforcement officials at home. “My mom, we’re really really close, and I know she’ll take it hard.” Their classmates were left behind to contemplate the harsh reality. “It’s showing us what goes on. The reality of what goes on, the reality of drinking and driving.” “I hope it opens everybody’s eyes to it all.”That’s what organizers hope, as we approach prom and graduation season, that this will help kids make smarter decisions. Principal Henry Pietras says, “I think the more realistic this looks like and feels like, I think the more impact it’s gonna have.”Lincoln Police Chief, Bill Flagg adds: “Will we ever stop students from drinking? I wish we could but, no. But to educate them about making the right decision, if it’s gonna happen, they can’t get behind the wheel.”Then the students got to see exactly what can happen if you get behind the wheel, when you’re drunk. A simulated car crash was set up outside the school. Students could only watch as emergency crews cut through the wreckage to get to their classmates. The lifeflight helicopter flew in to take away one of the most injured, but two did not survive this crash. Their parents were asked to come identify the bodies. A visual reminder that some victims of drunk driving crashes, do survive. “This was a lot harder, even though it’s fake, it’s a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be.” Roger Coolong identified his daughter as part of the scenario.Kim Pelkey, who identified her son, agrees. “Everybody kept saying are you OK with this, and I’m like yeah, it’s a staged event, it should be OK. But when the officer knocked on the door to come here, it’s a lot more real.”Sending home a hard lesson, and hoping this scenario never does become reality.The students who were pulled from their classroom as the living dead, were taken to a retreat Wednesday night. They won’t be reunited with their parents until a funeral Thursday morning at the school.

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Maine Day

Updated 5 years ago

Black bear pride filled the UMaine campus in Orono Wednesday.A morning parade kicked it off.The University of Maine Campus was the sight of fun games, sizzling food, and students having a good time.Wednesday marked the university’s annual Maine day. “It’s a day of service for the community we begin with a great parade. We had about 1300 students this morning celebrating the onset of Spring and the coming finals.”Events were planned all across the campus and throughout the entire day.The Delta Tau Delta fraternity set up an event called bash out drunk driving. “We wanted to be really different so we were like lets take a car and let some students take out some stress.”And bash they did.All proceeds from the event will go towards Mothers Against Drunk Driving.And for one UMaine student the event hit close to home. “At the age of 6 I was injured in a drunk driving accident and as a result I am a paraplegic. And it will be 23 years in October that I’ve been in a wheelchair because of drunk driving.”Hadley thinks this event is a great way to get the word out. “Especially on college campuses. I feel it’s really important to get the word out because the demographic of people around here tend to drunk drive and they don’t really think about it.”Though for some students Maine day wasn’t all about having fun in the mud or winning at human foosball.Some spent their day beautifying the UMaine campus. “It’s very important. A lot of times we take things for granted. We don’t have to work very hard as students but being able to take time out of your day to do this is something nice a way to give back to the campus.”No matter how they students spent their day…they all had a great time. “It was exciting to play with my co-workers it was great.” “It was chilly but it was good, it was great.” “It’s wicked awesome. Why is it so awesome? I just like being outside with everyone and seeing people I don’t see much because I live off campus”

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Winterport Waterline Repairs

Updated 5 years ago

People traveling along Route 1-A in Winterport on Thursday can expect some delays.The winterport water district will be repairing a waterline leak beginning at 9 a-m.the area of construction is on South Main Street near the Post Office.South Main Street residents from Marine Street to Mountain View Drive may also have an interruption in their water service.Repairs are expected to take all day.

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Forest Service Warns Against “Mudding” on Private Forest Roads

Updated 5 years ago

Mud season is a rite of spring in Maine.But Forest Rangers say this year, some truck drivers are enjoying the season a little too much…and destroying roads in the process.Amy Erickson has more.< "in the spring, people like to get out and about because they have cabin fever. Unfortunately, April's not the time to be going out there."John Bryant's company, American Forest Management, oversees more than a million acres of land in Maine.He's seen firsthand the damage being done this spring by people out 'mudding' in their trucks on privately-owned forest roads.Bryant is working with the Maine Forest Service to get the word out that this kind of activity is more than just disrespectful and damaging...it's illegal...and could result in a summons...or a stiff fine."up to 500 dollars. You could get jail time up to a year."Kent Nelson is the Forest Service's Fire Prevention Specialist.He says the beat-up roads are making things difficult for his crews to get to fire scenes in a hurry."we've had trouble getting to some of these roads because they're so rutted.""it's very difficult to access in the event of a wildfire."Nelson says the damage also threatens wildlife habitats and water quality...and many local landowners find themselves facing steep bills to repair the damage done by these 'joyrides.'"to correct the damage caused by these people who mud on these roads, landowners often have to pay contractors up to $200 an hour for special equipment to repair these roads.""if they want to do this mudding, they can do it on their own land.""in another 2 weeks or so, when things dry out, it's a whole different story, but there's just this time period right now that things are a little muddy in the woods that we want to avoid that type of vehicle use."Bryant worries that if folks don't smarten up...they could start losing access to one of Maine's greatest resources."i think this hurts - potentially - all users. All fishermen, hunters, all people who like to recreate on private lands. Because as time goes on, landowners will restrict access if this continues."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Old Town.>

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Swine Flu Comes to Maine

Updated 5 years ago

Maine health officials say laboratory tests have confirmed three cases of what is now being called H1N1 which was previously reported as swine flu. All three positive results are from adults in the state. Health officials have not released names or the ages of the patients, but they say two people are from Kennebec County and one person is from York County. Maine CDC Director, Dr. Dora Anne Mills says the three individuals have been isolated from others and are now recovering in their homes.Governor Baldacci, in conjunction with Education Commission Susan A. Gendron, Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine CDC and local education officials, announced the closure of Kennebunk Elementary School and the Crayon Academy day care center in Arundel due to two children with suspected H1N1 influenza. Both are in York County.The two children have symptoms consistent with H1N1 and are in household contact with a person identified with H1N1 infection.”This is a serious situation,” Governor Baldacci said. “We are taking these precautions to slow the spread of the flu and to make sure Maine can respond quickly and efficiently.”The news came as President Barack Obama suggested school closings may be necessary in the health emergency, which has claimed its first life in the United States. Maine’s Education Commissioner Susan Gendron has told TV5 News that school superintendents in the state have been put on alert and praised local school officials and the owner of the day care for taking quick action to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. She said that there are no other schools that are being considered for closure at this time.According to Gendron, in the event that Maine CDC becomes aware of a confirmed or probable case of swine flu in a public school student, Maine CDC or the Department of Education will contact the superintendent of the school in order to close the school and send students and staff home.Guidelines determine that schools closed because of a swine flu outbreak will be closed for seven calendar days.In addition, Governor Baldacci signed an executive order declaring a Civil Emergency that will allow the State to better respond to the emerging threat posed by H1N1 flu.Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday the disease has spread to four more states and 91 cases now have been confirmed. To continue to monitor the current numbers click here.For more information or to ask general questions about this disease you can call the State H1N1 Hotline at 1-888-257-0990 between 9am-5pm.FOR MORE H1N1 INFORMATION AND A CHECKLIST FOR PREPARING FOR A PANDEMIC CLICK HERE

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State Earning Shortfall

Updated 5 years ago

Maine will soon be even deeper in debt.A state panel is estimating that between now and June of 2011, Maine will fall short by an additional $570,000,000.That’s on top of the $340,000,000 they already anticipated.Governor Baldacci is expected to present a response plan later this week.

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Augusta Man Killed in Crash

Updated 5 years ago

A 78-year-old Augusta man is dead after his vehicle went into a ditch and struck a culvert Tuesday night.It happened on the Church Hill Road in Augusta.Police say that Rosaire Dubord was ejected from his Jeep during the crash.It was reported at 5:15 Tuesday night.The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy on Dubord’s body.

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Shirley Schoolhouse Vote Returns

Updated 5 years ago

A couple of weeks ago, the school committee in Shirley voted 3-to-2 to close the one room schoolhouse next year.But then a petition was turned in at the town office, with enough signatures to put it to a vote.That vote was held Tuesday night. The final count was 60 votes to 30 in favor of closing the school’s doors.The two students currently enrolled will be transferred to nearby Greenville for the next school year.

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Smoking Ban on Beaches

Updated 5 years ago

On Tuesday, the Maine senate voted to enact a bill that would ban smoking at state park beaches. The bill bans smoking on state beaches, as well as places where people commonly congregate together at state parks or other historic sites. It would apply only to areas within 20 feet of beaches, playgrounds, snack bars, group picnic shelters, enclosed areas, or public restrooms. The bill also requires the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to erect signs and help educate the public on the smoking ban. This bill has an emergency clause written into it, meaning that upon signature by the governor, it will be immediately enacted.

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Solon Fire Called Arson

Updated 5 years ago

A fire at the former Solon Manufacturing plant over the weekend was most likely arson, according to Ken Grimes from the state fire marshal’s office.He says they’re now looking for the responsible person or persons.Sergeant Grimes is not saying how the fire was started.The plant has been vacant since 2003.Sunday’s fire was the seventh there in two years.Investigators say a few of those fires were accidental while others were intentional.

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Westbrook Deaths

Updated 5 years ago

A husband and wife were found stabbed to death in their Westbrook condo Tuesday.The bodies of 45-year-old Kenneth Taylor and 43-year-old Belinda Taylor were discovered by their two teenage daughters.The girls found their parents in the living room around mid-afternoon.Autopsies will be done by the state medical examiner. Police hope that will help them determine who is responsible for the stabbings.Right now police believe no one else was involved.They say there’s no history of domestic violence, but the couple was in the midst of ending their 14 year marriage.

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Gay Marriage Bill Moves Forward

Updated 5 years ago

A same-sex marriage bill is going to the Maine Senate and House with a strong committee endorsement. Eleven of the 14 Judiciary Committee members voted Tuesday to pass the bill, while two voted against it and one proposed sending it to voters in a November referendum. Gov. John Baldacci remains undecided. Supporters said the bill corrects an inequality that’s long existed in Maine law, while one of the opponents pointed to overwhelming constituent opposition to the bill. Republican Sen. David Hastings of Fryeburg said he prefers sending a straightforward question to voters. The committee session was interrupted by an outburst by a protester, who shouted that the bill is morally wrong. She was escorted by police from the State House.

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Funeral for Veteran Who Died Eleven Years Ago

Updated 5 years ago

Joseph Poirier was a veteran of the United States Navy. He worked as a custodian for years at Bangor High School.Poirier passed away in 1998, and his cremated remains were left unclaimed at Brookings and Smith Funeral Home in Bangor, until Tuesday.”Joe Poirier has been at our facility since 1998, and it’s an honor to place him to rest in a dignified fashion.” Funeral Director at Brookings Smith, Jim Fernald says the events leading up to this day started about six months ago, when he was contacted about the Missing in America Project.Sally Belanger, Executive Director of the Maine Funeral Director’s Association says she heard about how successful it had been in Connecticut. “I brought it back to the Maine Funeral Director’s Association, it didn’t take any convincing for them to understand it was the right thing to do.” Said Belanger.The mission of the project, is to find the unclaimed remains of veterans at funeral homes across the country, then give them a proper burial. That’s what happened for Joseph Poirier on Tuesday. His cremated remains were taken to the Maine Veterans Cemetery in Augusta. A chapel service was held, and dozens of people showed up, to see him laid to rest. “Our mission at Wreaths Across America is to remember honor and teach, our motto is we shall never forget, so we figure it was appropriate that we come today.” says Wayne Merritt of Columbia Falls.Sister Elizabeth Kilbride wanted to pay her respects too, she worked with Poirier when he was a custodian at Bangor High School. “He was always optimistic, very happy, very pleasant person, the kind of person who makes your day.”Although it might be a bit late, this day was finally all about Joseph Poirier. A chance to thank him him for the service he gave to our country in the U.S. Navy. It’s been said that Poirier had no family, that’s why his remains went unclaimed for so long. Larry Dearborn of the Patriot Guard says that’s not true. On this day, his brothers and sisters in arms showed up to pay their final respects. “I think it’s damn important. We never forget a veteran or we wouldn’t have the freedome we have now, you or I. I thank the veterans everyday.”The Missing in America Project discovered the remains of two other veterans in Maine that were not claimed but then family members stepped forward in those cases.

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Murphy Penalized

Updated 5 years ago

GARDINER, Maine (AP) – State regulators have revoked an Ellsworth loan broker’s license for five years for mishandling clients’ money and failing to demonstrate financial responsibility. Officials said Tuesday that Eric Murphy Jr., who operated under the name Murphy Home Loans, was also assessed Penalties and costs of $21,500 under terms of an administrative order. William Lund, superintendent of the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection, said Murphy was both a loan broker and an investment facilitator and shuffled funds from one investment project to another, making payments to earlier investors using funds from subsequent investors. Murphy has 30 days to appeal the administrative order.

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Arson Fire in East Millinocket

Updated 5 years ago

An arson fire gutted a home on Beech Street in East Millinocket today.Crews got the call around four this morning. We’re told they arrived on scene within five minutes, but the fire was well under way.The front porch had already burned off. Sergeant Joel Davis with the Fire Marshal’s Office says that’s likely where the fire was started.He says the house was unoccupied.The blaze grew so large at one point that crews were worried about it spreading to nearby homes — some of which wound up damaged from the heat.About a dozen of the town’s firefighters helped put it out.The Fire Marshal’s Office is still looking into who set that fire.

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Seniors at Local Center Make May Baskets

Updated 5 years ago

Have you ever made a May basket and left it on someone’s doorstep?Members of the Hammond Street Senior Center have been putting their artistic skills to work and have done just that.< "In days past on May First, it could be a Unisex a male or female and young to old and you would go knock on a neighbors door or ring a bell and leave a basket, and when someone comes to the door, you wait long enough for them to see who it is and they're supposed to chase you and give you a kiss."An old tradition that Kathy Bernier says is tailor made for the past generation, but one she hopes to bring forward to the next...It made for a great activity for seniors to get involved with."It was something they were use to doing so it was fun for them and also the making of the fudge, they also know how to do that, it's kind of a lost art."The center has spent the last four weeks creating the May baskets. More than one-hundred and fifty were made.They went on display Tuesday and are available for the public to purchase. Even the pattern of the basket goes back in time."I found this pattern on the internet out of a 1947 magazine. So this is an original 1947 May Basket design."Member Mary Huskins grew up learning how to make may baskets and says she hadn't seen one in awhile. But that doesn't mean she's forgotten the tradition."We always put candy in them and we would run to our neighbor's place where there was a good looking man and hang it on the door and hope they would come out and chase us."Even though Huskins is enjoying all the baskets, she's still partial to a particular one."Well because it just brings back memories, they were so pretty to me."If you are interested in picking up a basket you can stop by the Hammond Street Senior Center during their regular business hours...from 8:30 a-m to 4:30 p-m.

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Fire on Bog Road in Hermon Wakes Residents

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

A fire early this morning awoke residents on the Bog Road in Hermon.They heard the explosion of a propane tank in the attached garage, and called the fire department a little before five o’clock this morning.Hermon crews arrived on the scene quickly, and with mutual aid from other departments had the flames under control in about an hours time.Both residents made it out of the house safely, and because of the quick response, the house should be spared according to Hermon Fire Chief Larry Willis.”We knocked it down with the first truck and we got a couple tankers here and vented the roof between the garage and the house, cut a good trench in there so a good stop all the way around so the house is pretty well usable.”The Fire Marshal’s Office said this afternoon the fire was accidental, and started after an electrical malfunction in an attached barn.

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Early Morning Fire in Hermon

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

Residents on the Bog road in Hermon awoke early Tuesday morning to explosions and a fire.They heard the explosion of a propane tank in the attached garage, and called the fire department a little before five o’clock Tuesday morning.Hermon crews arrived on the scene quickly, and with mutual aid from other departments had the flames under control in about an hour’s time.Both residents made it out of the house safely, and because of the quick response, the house should be spared.The cause of the fire is unknown at this point but Chief Willis said that he will do some preliminary investigation and then call in the fire marshal’s office.

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