News

Lewiston Standoff Ends

Updated 5 years ago

A police standoff in Lewiston ended early Thursday morning, more than 13 hours after a man barricaded himself inside an apartment.Authorities say the man, identified only as “Dan” was found dead inside the apartment around 1 am. He appeared to have shot himself.Police surrounded the building early Wednesday morning, after a man refused to come out.Shortly before 7 Wednesday night, police fired 20 rounds of tear gas inside the building.Meanwhile, negotiators continued to talk to the barricaded man inside, trying to persuade him to come out.The Red Cross has offered assistance to the building’s other resident.

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Trailer Lost in Newport Fire

Updated 5 years ago

A fire on the New Road in Newport destroyed a trailer Wednesday afternoon.Crews from three towns responded to the fire.Newport Fire Chief Jeff Chretien says they were a bit short handed, but still able to knock down the fire in shortly after they arrived.There was one person home when the fire started. “He said it looked like the bed caught on fire,” Chief Chretien told TV5. “He wasn’t completely sure. It did happen in the bedroom. He said he shook the bed a couple times, went into the bathroom, came out and the bedroom was fully involved. He said it wasn’t cigarettes, it smells like wiring, we’re not really sure.”Officials aren’t sure how many people live in the trailer.No one was hurt.The cause of the fire is now under investigation.

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Gardiner Mill Fire Ruled Arson

Updated 5 years ago

Investigators say a fire that swept through an abandoned paper mill in the central Maine town of Gardiner was intentionally set. Sgt. Ken Grimes who is with the State Fire Marshal’s office says they do not have any firm suspects, but adds they are following leads. He says it appears the fire was set in two separate parts of the building.Officials say about half of the old Gardiner Paperboard Mill on Water Street was razed by the fire, which was reported at around 3 a.m. Wednesday. Police found a man Wednesday hiding in the woods near the mill. They took him into custody. He has since been released.

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More Cuts to Education?

Updated 5 years ago

More cuts may be in store for education this school year.Education Commissioner Susan Gendron has warned superintendents they could be looking at a cuts in state funding as bad or even worse than the $27,000,000 in cuts ordered by Governor Baldacci last year.And unlike last year, there won’t be federal stimulus money to bail out the state and local schools.

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Two More Cases of Equine Encephalitis

Updated 5 years ago

Two more horses, one in Unity the other in Gorham, have died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis, bringing the tally to five.There are another two suspected cases.No humans have been infected with the potentially fatal brain infection, but health officials are warning residents to be vigilant when it comes to mosquito.Just a reminder, there is also going to be a public meeting in Thorndike Thursday night at Mount View High School.Center for Disease Control (CDC) and agricultural officials will answer questions regarding Triple E. The meeting will begin at 6 pm.

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Blue Hill Fair Opens Thursday

Updated 5 years ago

A fair that usually signals the end of summer gets underway tomorrow. Gates open at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon for the Blue Hill Fair. The price of admission tomorrow is just $5.00 for adults, children under 12 get in free.Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the adult admission price goes up to $8.00 but children under 12 still get in free. Rides cost .75 cents per ticket, or 20 tickets for $13. Labor Day will be wristband day. Wristbands cost $20 and gets you unlimited access to all the rides.

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Blue Hill Mother Heading To Space Camp

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

A Blue Hill mother is about to fulfill her lifelong dream of finding out what it takes to be an astronaut.27-year-old Cassy Osgood is heading to the Adult Space Academy in Huntsville Alabama. She says she’s always wanted to be an astronaut ever since she was a child, now that dream is about to become reality.Osgood leaves for space camp in about 2 weeks. She says she’s been waiting for this moment her whole life “In our busy lives we have challenges everyday,” she says, “things that are thrown at us a lot of times we get so wrapped up in our life that we don’t make time to do the things we’ve always wanted to do and I’ve never lost sight of that.” Osgood works in human resources at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital. Her husband Justin and 6-year-old daughter Kylie are behind her all the way.

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Employee Free Choice Act

Updated 5 years ago

Some local business owners came together today for a common cause.The business owners in the Bangor area, along with State Representative Andre Cushing, are urging congress to stop the Employee Free Choice Act.The legislation, which is pending, would make it easier for employees to form unions.Karl Ward is the President and CEO of Nickerson and O’Day out of Brewer.Ward says he is concerned with the idea of someone from away coming into his business and negotiating between management and employees.” When a unionization occurs it means everything is at arms length. My open door policy, anyone can come in and talk with me. That goes away.”Ward and the others say the act, also known as the card check plan, will only hurt small, Maine businesses.

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Folks in Maine Show their Support for Health Care Reform

Updated 5 years ago

”Healthcare Now” was the message some folks in Bangor delivered today.Dozens of mainers delivered 40,000 written notes to the members of Maine’s congressional delegation.Trying to urge them to support President Obama’s healthcare reform proposals.Karen Hover is a local doctor who handles several uninsured patients.She helped deliver the messages.” Well we have 47 million patients that are uninsured in the country and that’s way to many. People shouldn’t be falling through the cracks. What bothers me is that simples things don’t get treated. There are many diseases which are not that expensive to treat which are not getting taken care of because of the lack of insurance.”Similar events were also held in Lewiston and Caribou today.

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‘Mothball’ Smell Expected During Penobscot Cleanup

Updated 5 years ago

Prep work has started along the Bangor waterfront, for a project that’s been nearly a decade in the making.In the coming days, work will start in earnest to rid the water there of coal tar deposits, left over from the area’s industrial past.City engineer Jim Ring says the coal tar that’s in the river has been there a while.”It’s a product of 100 years or so of commercial activity, the gas plant, and some of the handling of the by-products that ended up in the river,” Ring says.Coal tar contaminants can be toxic during prolonged contact or if injested. “It’s enough of a risk that we feel and others feel it needs to be dealt with,” he says.For 11 years, the city has been working with a Wisconsin-based environmental consulting group to decide how to address it. In the coming days work starts on a two-phase project – first, dredging the river. “We’re going to be dredging up several thousand yards of materials to get it out of the river before we do the cap construction. That disturbance is going to release odors,” Ring says.”A smell that will be like asphalt and mothballs. It’ll be a heavy, oily smell,” says Eugene McLinn, a consultant for RMT, Inc.They say the 15 days of dredging could produce that smell. Potentially strong, it will be monitored to make sure it’s within safe levels.”And the tar we don’t remove here, stays within the cap,” Ring says.Then they plan to build a sloped roof of sorts underwater to cap off the contaminated area, with a vent to the side, out of the public way.”This is actually a cap that was developed for this project and we’ve applied for a patent for it,” McLinn says.They’ll be working on an area just more than an acre, which officials say has 98-percent of the contamination. It’s a 7-million dollar project, paid for mostly through settlement funds from companies a judge ruled was responsible. “I’m very glad we’re finally to this point,” Ring says.Construction should last around three months.The city is holding a public meeting Wednesday night to talk about the project and the odors expected during construction. The meeting starts at 6:30 at Bangor Waterfront Park, which is located at the corner of Front and Railroad streets.

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Donation Given to Popular Tourist Stop In Orrington

Updated 5 years ago

The budget of a popular tourist stop in Orrington is a bit bigger now, thanks to a donation from some summer visitors.As Meghan Hayward tells us, the guests were impressed with the history behind the Curran Homestead.” Well we’re excited about this. This is a small and struggling non-profit here in the region.”Irv Marsters treasurer of the Curran Homestead says the $2,000 being donated by the Maine Tourism Association will help the future of the homestead.He says the family farm is disappearing and with each lost farm, Maine loses another symbol of it’s unique culture.” It’s an opportunity to reconnect with generations and with school children that need to learn some of those characteristics.”The donation was made possible through a tour called “Barnstorming Maine,” which brings classic car enthusiasts from across the country to explore Maine.The event was started so the Maine Tourism Association could make a donation to a Maine cause.Chief Executive Officer of the association Vaughn Stinson says this year’s stop at the Curran Homestead made quite an impression on the classic car crews.” True to it’s nature as to what they would expect. They saw what a working farm and homestead would be like. The thing that impressed them the most was what we hear from all of our visitors. It really comes down to the people they meet when they’re in Maine visiting.”The folks at the Curran Homestead are a great example.” It’s exciting to be around them because there’s an energy level that spins off that it’s so easy to gravitate yourself toward them.”Right now the homestead has four major events a year and sees about 1,500 people come through.But Marsters envisions an even busier future.” We now have a director of education who has all kinds of new plans. And I think we’ll probably triple that next year in terms of school children.”

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Public Hearings Announced For Wind Power Demo Sites

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

The Maine Department of Conservation and the State Planning Office has announced 7 areas they’re looking at as possible sites to test a new deepwater technology for harnessing wind power, including one near Ellsworth.Supporters of this techonology say it has the potential to bring thousands of new jobs to the state. Jake Ward is the Assistant Vice President of Research and Economic Development at the University of Maine and he’s one of the people trying to bring the new technology of deep water offshore wind power to Maine. “So the process now is looking at the places that have deep enough water, are within state waters, have high enough winds and aren’t obviously in a shipping channel,” says Ward, “areas we can now focus on and the public meetings are to see what the public thinks about that.” The public meetings will take place in Ellsworth, Wiscasset, Machias, Rockport and Wells and will help to determine what other activities would be disrupted by the wind project. The hope is to have the project paid for with federal money according to Ward. “We have just submitted a proposal to the Department of Energy to build three prototypes and put them in the water and monitor them over time and do all the evaluation…and so that project, as far as the proposal to the Department of Energy stands is about 12 million dollars.”The Obama Administration has set a national goal of 20% wind energy by 2030, and Governor Baldacci wants Maine to host 3000 megawatts of wind energy by 2020, with at least 300 megawatts offshore. While $12 million is a hefty pricetag, Ward says the rewards could be worth it. “Well the ultimate impact is if we can generate locally renewable sustainable electricity and displace foreign oil the long term economic impact is one stabilization of energy prices.”There are only around 10 states that have deep enough water and strong enough winds to support this project. What they’re trying to figure out is whether or not this will make smart business sense for Maine. “Is it economically feasible, that’s part of what we’ve got to figure out,” says Ward, “it becomes more economically feasible the higher the price of oil goes, so really the upside for Maine is really to take the initiative so this happens and our folks get the jobs, the downfall is if they do it in Deleware and we miss the opportunity.”The contruction of the turbines could also provide work for local businesses according to Ward. “The other economic impact is if we can actually establish commercial farms out there and we’re talking about billions of dollars to construct these farms, a lot of the pieces and parts can be made in Maine, so we’re working with companies like Cianbro and Bath Iron Works.”That means the potential for new jobs in Maine. “There would be needs for people who service them, to maintain them, once you put them out there they’re out there for 20 years or so, there’s an ongoing industry to support that and we think it could be 15-20,000 jobs easily for a utility scale commercial farm.”The Public Meetings Schedule:September 9 Ellsworth, Ellsworth Holiday Inn 6:30-9:30September 15 Wiscasset, Wiscasset Community Center 6:30-9:30September 16 Machias, UMaine Machias Performing Arts Center 6:30-9:30September 22 Wells, Wells High School Auditorium 6:30-9:30September 29 Rockport, Samoset Report 6:30-9:30

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Bucksport Driver Arrested After High Speed Chase

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A 66-year-old man from Bucksport is under arrest – accused of stealing a car and leading police on a high speed chase that spanned three communities. Kent Hanson is charged with theft, speeding and driving to endanger, among other counts.Bucksport police say about 9 o’clock this morning a woman working in town noticed someone getting into her car and driving north on Route 15, toward Orrington.Police tried to pull over the driver, who took off, speeding up to 90 miles per hour. Authorities placde spike mats near the Orrington and Brewer town line, which blew out Hanson’s tires. His car glanced a telephone poll before it stopped. Hanson was arrested on South Main Street in Brewer and taken to the Hancock County jail.

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Gay Marriage Law to Go to Voters in November

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine election officials say gay marriagefoes have reached the threshold of petitions necessary to put thestate law on the November ballot. The gay marriage law was supposed to go into effect this month,but it was put on hold as the secretary of state’s office verifiedthe number of petitions. With the signatures validated, Gov. JohnBaldacci on Wednesday signed a formal proclamation putting thematter to a statewide vote on Nov. 3. The announcement came as no surprise. Gay marriage opponents needed the signatures of at least 55,087registered voters for the so-called People’s Veto, and they turnedin nearly 100,000 signatures. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlapsays officials stopped counting once they found that more than60,000 of the submitted signatures were valid. (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Bangor Man Pleads Guilty to More Than a Dozen Crimes

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Bangor who’s been building quite a criminal history pleaded guilty today to more than a dozen charges. 29-year-old Travis Gustin admitted to holding up two convenience stores on back-to-back days in March – one in Kenduskeag, the other in Bangor.Along with those robberies, Gustin also pleaded guilty to eight burglaries, seven thefts and aggravated forgery.Prosecutors say Gustin stole items from Aaron’s Rental in Bangor, Marden’s in Brewer and the construction site for a new Curtain Shop in Bangor. He’s expected to be sentenced in about three weeks.

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Keith Looks Into Summer-Long River Racing

Updated 5 years ago

Many paddlers forget that river racing continues long after the Kenduskeag Stream canoe race in April.Jeff Owen is a local paddling leader.He’s put together the first of a nine-race championship under the Maine Canoe and Kayak Racing organization.Owen’s goal is to expand the sport to a younger generation.Everyone is there to have a good time. “Yeah we keep it fun but it’s also competitive. When we are out there we want to be in that front boat but there are a couple fast kayaks out there.” “Well my grampy got me into paddling and stuff, and it makes we feel pretty good… healthy and stuff.”And Crystal Ludwig is exactly who Jeff Owen wants to see in his new race series.The big emphasis in on new paddlers and youth. “I did pretty good tonight the water was a bit low… so it was hard to turn and stuff.” “Are you going off the rope swing?” “I don’t think so…”This is the last of the nine race series. They did also race on the Messalonskee and Androscoggin, but they had their best participation here on the Stillwater. “If we try it again next year, we will center it a little bit more here in Orono.”Competitive paddlers are a close nit group, even though some are from away like Stephen McAleer of New Brunswick. “Been coming down here for 30 years racing in Old Town and Bangor, and I love coming down here.” “How’s the view?” “It’s so calm and with the sun setting it’s really nice.”Even though this is the last race of this nine race series, Mackro is putting on one last race September 12th called the Ebb Tide Marathon from Brewer to Orrington.

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Husson Looks to the Law Again

Updated 5 years ago

Husson University is one step closer to offering a law degree.University officials say they hope to start law school courses in 2010, and are now accepting applications, contingent on approval from the Maine supreme court.The school has submitted an application to the court to allow Husson Law School graduates to sit for the Maine bar exam.Passing that test allows lawyers to practice in the state.Husson President William Beardsley says they’re looking to fill the need for lawyers in many Maine towns. “Our initial plan is to focus on these Mainers who’ve expressed a desire who want to stay in Maine and go to law school here, they just can’t uproot, they’re place bound by their jobs and families and they’re the students we’re really focusing on.”Husson hopes to eventually become an American Bar Association school, which would allow graduates to sit for the bar exam in any state.

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Governor Baldacci Weighs in on Swine Flu

Updated 5 years ago

Governor Baldacci has issued an executive order declaring a civil emergency with a goal of easing liability concerns for school vaccination clinics this fall.Baldacci aide David Farmer says the goal is to extend immunity from lawsuits to public health workers who administer seasonal and swine flu vaccinations.Maine has ordered 200,000 seasonal flu vaccinations. Enough for every public school student in the state.Swine flu shots will be administered free of charge, though they are not mandatory.

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Abandoned Paper Mill Goes up in Flames

Updated 5 years ago

A fire swept through an abandoned paper mill in the central Maine town of Gardiner, and police took a “person of interest” into custody. Officials say about half of the old Yorktown Paper Mill on Water Street was razed by the fire, which was reported at around 3 a.m. Wednesday. The building formerly belonged to Gardiner Paperboard Corp. Officials say that two fires engulfed separate ends of the building, but Gardiner Police Chief James Toman couldn’t say whether the fire was deemed suspicious. Toman says a man was detained after authorities noticed a door open in a nearby building. They found a man in nearby woods and took him into custody.

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Life Guard Goes to Worlds

Tim Throckmorton

Updated 5 years ago

Camp Capella lifeguard Janet Klisiewicz is off this week to Australia… she’s earned a spot in the aquathlon world championships… the sport combines running and swimming…..Yeah, this is a cool thing, UPS brought the suit and I was dancing around I have video took a lap around the house not giving that to you. So yeah, its very cool to go do this.Finishing 4th is her age group in the US national championships last month earned a spot on the team and the USA swim suit.Klisiewicz grew up in Orrington and graduated from Bangor high. She didn’t swim in school, but picked it up as an adult. The competition part though is inate.I have a competitive edge taking a class want the highest score always been somewhat competitive. This is a natural progression of that. The event features a 2.5 K run, a one K swim followed by another 2.5 K run. The world championships also have two triathlon events and feature athletes from 50 countries. But this aquathlon without the bike ride seem better suited to Klish-ev-itz.For me aquathlon is an improvement swimming and running are my better sports at 5′ 10″ I’m heavy for a cyclist. Power to weight ratio is everything in cycling. I gotta tell you there will be a lot of kids and staff rooting her on we’re proud of her to see her compete in a world championship its terrific.

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