Governor Baldacci opened the 7th annual Remember ME project at the State House Friday.Â The project honored 33 individuals who live, or have lived, in nursing homes and residential care facilities around the state.â€œThis is a luxury for us to have all of you here today,â€ Governor Baldacci told the honorees.Â â€œYou have raised families, you have contributed to your communities, and you have sacrificed for your country, putting your life on the line for all of us to have the freedoms and liberties that we are enjoying today.Â It is a tremendous honor to welcome you here.â€More than 250 people attended the ceremony in the Hall of Flags, which honored a prestigious group, including war heroes, writers, nurses, teachers, mentors and leaders.Â â€œWe donâ€™t spend enough time carrying the heritage, culture and traditions from the past to the future,â€ the Governor said.Â â€œSometimes your children and grandchildren donâ€™t have the opportunity to spend that time with you.Â Those memories, the roots, the cultures and traditions are important because they give us our foundation.â€The event was sponsored by the Maine Health Care Association.
A group of 6th graders from Hampden are learning the dangers and consequences of early alcohol consumption.It’s part of the “Reach Out Now–Teach In” program.Cori Skall explains.”It’s called middle school for a reason..they’re in the middle. And if you can catch them in the middle, before they get in to high school, and give them a good grounding.”6th grade students at the Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden are learning about the consequences of early alcohol use.”Not just from a legal stand point, but physically. The effect it has on the body, and the effect is can have, long term, while using alcohol at the younger ages, while they’re still developing.”Senator Debra Plowman, sat in on one of the “Reach Out Now–Teach In” Sessions.”They’re very young, and what we are learning about brain development and the affects of alcohol on it. It’s not just experimentation..and I think the kids really need to learn that.”The student say they’ve learned a lot from the sessions.”We learned, yesterday, that it can put holes in your stomach, which really grossed me out!””you can get addicted and that can lead to many problems with the brain. It can deform it, and reduce the size of different parts of the brain.””I think it’s a lot harder to avoid alcohol, because alcohol is a lot easier to get your hands on, I think that it’s really great, and that we’ve learned how to say no, which is a really great thing.””The older you get, the more peer pressure you’re gonna have to do it. And if you don’t have the skills to say no, then you’re gonna be more likely to say yes.”At the completion of the program, all middle school students will be sent home with teaching aids to get their parents involved, as well.Cori Skall, WABI TV 5 News.>
Bangor is celebrating its 175th birthday this year.As part of that the mayor and city councilors unveiled a special Paul Bunyan citizen award program, and a time capsule.The capsule was made by the father of Bangor’s mayor, Gerald M. Palmer.Palmer used oak trees from his farm in Hermon, and hand milled and crafted the box.It’s 3 feet wide, 2 feet deep, and a foot high.Councilors want Bangor residents to donate items to put in to the time capsule.”Bangor citizens of all ages are encouraged to submit articles for possible inclusion in the time capsule, which will be sealed and stored in a vault at city hall, later this spring, June.”>Historian Dick Shaw says the entries should be focused on Bangor, and should be small since space is limited.The capsule will remain sealed until the year 2034, when Bangor turns 200.For more information about the time capsule, you can contact Bangor City Hall at 992-4200.
Police have a suspect in the two armed robberies from last weekend in the Bangor area.They’re looking for 29-year-old Travis Gustin.He was last known to live in Garland and Bangor.Gustin is described as 6’2″, 200 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. He’s wanted in connection with the two convenient store robberies on Route 15, one in Bangor, the other in nearby Kenduskeag.There are several warrants for Gustin’s arrest.Last summer he was a suspect in a robbery in Millinocket.State Police consider him armed and dangerous, and are warning people not to approach him. Anyone with information should immediately contact State Police at 866-2122 or Bangor Police at 947-7384.
House majority leader John Piotti has presented a bill that would increase some sales taxes to cut income taxes.The bill would drop the income tax rate from 8.5% to 6.5%. But it calls for taxes to be raised on meals and lodging from 7% up to 8.5%, and amusement and recreational items like ski-lift tickets and movie tickets would no longer be exempt from sales tax.The Maine Tourism Association, and it’s 1,600, are against the bill. Piotti said there’s a lot of work left before the bill is finalized, and he’s eager for feedback from those against it.
Temporary cutbacks were announced on Thursday for some workers at the L.L. Bean call center in Bangor.About 200 people work at the center. A company spokesperson told TV-5 on Thursday that they’ll keep about 50 employees on to support the business.The spokesperson says this is a slow time of year, compounded by the slow economy.They hope to start calling workers back in July.
A bill to tighten up Maine’s motorcycle helmet law is moving forward in the Legislature. The bill would require anyone under 18 who is operating or riding on a motorcycle to wear a helmet. The present law applies to those under 15. The measure won a second vote of approval without debate Thursday and still faces further House and Senate votes. A separate bill calling for a helmet law applying to all riders and operators remains in the Transportation Committee, which is scheduled to discuss it Friday.
The folks at Manna Inc., in Bangor understand times are tough, and they want to give folks hardest hit, more reason to celebrate this Easter.They are collecting donations to provide needy families with Easter Dinners.They normally do this around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they understand times are tough so they want to offer a helping hand for this holiday too.They’re hoping to give them ham steaks, or roasting chickens, along with scalloped potatoes, a vegetable and dessert.Now Manna Executive Director Bill Rae needs folks in the community to donate these items. “It’s been a long winter. People have had to spend a lot of money on fuel, they’ve lost jobs, they’ve lost income, they’ve lost a lot and let’s try to get something back. Easter is a time of new beginnings, it’s spring time. We want to be able to help people in our communities and we need your help doing it.”Manna will also accept cash donations. They figure twelve dollars will pay for an entire meal.They hope to provide these meals for up to 4-hundred families, and right now they only have a few donations. They’ll be collecting items until Good Friday.If you’d like to help out, you can send donations to Manna Incorporated at 629 Main Street, Bangor, Maine 04401, or you can log onto their website: www.mannamaine.com
In recent months, officials have seen an increase in the number of animals being surrendered, abandoned, and even killed due to tough economic times.Just last Saturday, two young Shetland sheep dogs were found dead in Norridgewock.Authorities say the dogs were killed, stuffed into a pillow case, and dumped on Sandy River Road. A passer-by discovered the dogs. The case was handled by the area animal control officer and the Somerset County Sheriff’s office…Officials want pet owners to know, that even when times are tough, there’s never a need to resort to these drastic measures…Tough times are forcing some people to make a heartbreaking decision.”We’re definitely seeing more animals coming in because of the economy. People are having a hard time keeping up on vet care, even basics like feeding their animals, giving them their monthly flea treatments and stuff like that.” Says Danielle Arbour, the events manager at the Bangor Humane Society. “I have been picking up more dogs. They have been getting reclaimed for the best part.” adds Pat Pinkham, the animal control officer in Bangor.Instead of giving up your pet, experts say there are places to turn for help when money is tight.”We have food here that people generously donated that have the means that we can cycle back into the public and help from month to month, and there are also vaccination clinics availible for some people.” says Arbour.Pet Quarters in Bangor has a clinic every third Sunday of the month, where a vet provides services like low cost vaccinations.But if there’s no way you can care for the animal anymore, Arbour says bringing it to them is the right move.”That’s why we’re here. The Bangor Humane Society and other shelters around the state are here to help re-home animals into places where they’re better off.”If you just let your animal loose or abandon it and you’re caught, there are penalties. Officials say you can be taken to court and fined up to 500 dollars. Pinkham advices people to do the right thing. “The Humane Society won’t give you any grief if you have to bring your animal here.”Arbour adds, “Don’t feel ashamed, don’t feel embarrassed to bring your animals in here, we really are here for that.”
The story of a 28-year-old unsolved murder mystery out of East Millioncket will be featured in this weekend’s “People” magazine.It’s been almost 30 years since Joyce McLain was found dead near a school in East Millinocket.McLain’s mother, Pam, has been vigilant in the fight to find her daughter’s killer.crews from “People” magazine were in maine last october as forensic experts exhumed McLain’s body to look for new clues.McLain’s mother says she’s hoping the national coverage will generate some new leads for investigators.She says stores in the Millinocket area have already ordered extra copies of the magazine.
Maine troops overseas will soon be getting a little taste of home, thanks to some local Girl Scouts. “Troops from Maine put their lives on the line, every day, so that I can live mine.”This cookie season has been a little different for 5 Girl Scout troops from Waldo County.As they went door to do to sell cookies, they came up with a special idea. “I actually had a gentleman say that he wasn’t interested in ordering any cookies for himself, but if we knew of anyone that was sending cookies to troops, that he would be more than happy to partake in that.”So the Girl Scouts teamed up with folks from the Belfast National Guard Armory, to collect money, to buy cookies, to send to Maine troops overseas. “It blossomed in a short hurry and the support from the community was just overwhelming.” “We raised over 15 Hundred dollars, and that’s 537 boxes of cookies that are going to go overseas.” “We will cover the postage to get them to soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, anywhere else troops may be deployed.”The first batch will go out to the 286th out of Bangor.Staff Sergeants Paul Lawrence and David Trojecki say this is one of the most positive missions they’ve ever been a part of. “This is one of the better ones to be able to give these folks a little taste of home.” “That would certainly make my day…The Girl Scouts of America sending a little bit of America to us.”And the Girl Scouts are excited to know they’re making a difference in the lives of some Maine troops. “It’ll make them feel like we actually care that they’re doing it…not that we just take it for granted.” “We’re thanking the troops and thanking them for serving our country and keeping us safe.” “We’re gonna make them feel like home.”The cookies will be collected and sorted this Saturday morning at the Belfast National Guard Armory.They will be sent out to troops on Monday.
The Katahdin Paper Mill in East Millinocket will shut down for close to a month, leaving more than 300 people out of work.Officials from Brookfield Asset Management, which manages the mill, say the shutdown is a result of a slowdown in orders.The mill is scheduled to close from April 9th to May 4th.The only workers who will be staying on during that time are maintenance staff. They’ll be doing routine repairs on equipment.Mill officials say it isn’t uncommon to have a shutdown in April, since it’s usually the slowest time of the year for paper orders.In February of this year, about 140 workers were temporarily laid off from the East Millinocket mill for about a month.That shutdown was also a result of an order shortage.
Two more arrests have been made by Waterville Police in an ongoing arson and burglary case.20-year-old Joseph Church of Fairfield was taken into custody on Wednesday.Police say an investigation has revealed that a group of at least nine individuals both adults and juveniles broke into the old Waterville Boys and Girls Club and set off what commonly referred to as molotov cocktails. Seven of the nine have since been arrested.A video made by two of the males involved was found during the investigation.19-year-old Nicholas Laws of Winslow and 19-year-old Jesse Ferran of Waterville were arrested Tuesday.Three juvenile males and one 17-year old female have also been arrested.All have been charged with arson and burglary.
A reward is being offered for information on an arson fire that did serious damage to a business in Friendship last fall.Friendship Trap has been in business for 32 years.The company manufactures wire lobster and shrimp traps.On October 30th, someone set fire to several rolls of lobster mesh wire.They also broke into a diesel fuel shed, broke a lock on a tank and released hundreds of gallons of oil onto the ground.It caused 60-thousand dollars in damages.The Fire Marshal later ruled that the fire was intentionally set, but no arrests have been made.Now, company CEO Mike Wadsworth is offering a $5,000.00 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.Anyone with information is asked to call the State Fire Marshal’s Office at 626-3870.
A group of protesters rallied outside a Bangor Rite-Aid store Thursday, to condemn what they say is the company’s abuse of worker rights.Members of “Food and Medicine,” based in Brewer, waved signs outside the Rite Aid at the corner of Union and Fourteenth Streets.They say the Rite Aid corporation has threatened and fired employees who wanted to unionize.Almost a year ago, Rite Aid employees voted to join a union, but according to Food and Medicine, the company has delayed reaching a contract with workers.The protesters held signs asking Mainers to urge Congress to support the Employee Free Choice Act.The law would protect the rights of workers on the job, including their right to have a union. “Membership in labor unions vastly increases your wages, your chance of having health insurance other benefits on the job, as well as having a voice on the job, having some kind of economic democracy where you work.”Similar protests were held on Thursday at Rite Aid stores around the country.
An Augusta man is facing more jail time after police arrested him Wednesday.49-year old Kevin Collins was taken into custody after a homeowner in Clinton says he interrupted a burglary in his home.Somerset County District Attorney Evert Fowle says that Collins has an extensive history of burglarizing homes. Collins has spent more than 10-years in jail for burglary. The homeowner says Collins fled out a back door and that’s when police were called. Police say some jewelry was taken.Fairfield, Waterville, Clinton and State Police had a hand in finding the suspect in nearby woods.Collins is expected to make an appearance in Somerset County Superior Court Thursday Afternoon.
The continuing slump in the paper market is being blamed for another shutdown at the Newpage Corp. mill in Rumford.Officials said on Wednesday that the mill will close from May 10th to May 18th to reduce production by 150,000 tons in order to balance output with demand.The Sun Journal of Lewiston said the closure affects about 400 hourly workers.A similar 150,000 ton decrease earlier this year led to the permanent layoff of 130 hourly and salaried mill employees.Mill spokesman Tony Lyons said about 20 of the hourly workers are being recalled to work on a pulp dryer that’s being put back in operation.
State officials are investigating allegations of animal cruelty at Maine’s largest egg farm, Quality Egg in Turner.Assistant D.A. Andrew Robinson confirmed that a search warrant was executed by officials of the state’s animal cruelty program and state police.Norma Worley of the state Animal Welfare Program, three state animal agents and two state troopers were at the former DeCoster Egg Farm site Wednesday afternoon.The Department of Agriculture was alerted to potential problems by Mercy for Animals, an animal welfare organization based in Ohio. The organization said it obtained video and photos from a farm worker in Turner that documented inhumane conditions for egg-laying hens.
For the second year in a row, Blue Hill eighth-grader Imogen Page will be representing Maine at the national spelling bee.She won the state bee by spelling “gristle,” “prodigal,” “necessary,” and “virtuoso”, among other words.The 14-year-old says she’ll resume spelling practice after a little break.Last year, Page won the state title and made it through two rounds of the National Spelling Bee.This year’s national bee will be held from May 24th through May 30th in Washington D.C.
The thick sheets of ice that covered ponds and rivers in winter is slowly disappearing, making way for the sportsmen of spring to launch their boats and cast their lines.Wednesday marks the first day of Open Water Fishing Season.After a long, cold winter, fishermen finally got the chance to dust off their rods. And as you can see, the shores were packed with people eager to dive into Open Water Fishing Season…OR NOT. “Typically on opening day in Southern Penobscot County, as you can see behind us, the streams are pretty high from the recent rain and snow melt, the opportunity just really isn’t there… Lakes and ponds still iced in. Just yesterday they were ice fishing, so it’ll be a transition here for a few weeks.” Says Jim Fahey, District Game Warden.But, for those diehard fishermen who ARE out on these partially iced in waters, Fahey says, you must fish from shore for safety reasons.Fahey also tells us that last year’s rules still apply. “For those of you going through your tackle box, this is what last year’s book was like and this is what we want you to use this year.” And as always, everyone over 16 needs a fishing license.Game Wardens say this time of year they actually expect to see more boaters hitting the waters. “What I’ll see more of in the next few weeks is, rather than fishing activity here, will be people getting ready fro the canoe race.” says Fahey.We even found one kayaker braving the Kenduskeag. “[Tuesday] there was quite a bit of ice but today it’s not that bad.” says Dustin Cyr, a brave and experienced kayaker.Fahey reminds boaters to take the proper safety precautions. He says they should review both their supplies and their operation checklists. And of course… “The helmet’s a good idea always.” Cyr adds.Fahey says anyone with questions about rules or conditions should call a Game Warden before heading out, it’s better to be safe than sorry.For more on rules, regulations, and conditions, you can visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website.Boating Supplies Checklist – Use the following boating supplies checklist as a guide for the materials you should have with you on a boating trip. Add to this list as required. The items you may actually need will vary depending upon the type of boat and water, as well as the boating activity you plan to enjoy.Proper Coast Guard approved PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) for each person on board. The PFDs must be properly sized and in good condition. For boats 16 feet and over, you must have an additional throwable device. Approved, fully charged fire extinguishers for motorboats. Bell or whistle, as required. Visual distress signaling devices. Paddles or oars. Anchor and Anchor line. Tool kit, spare parts, bail bucket and flashlight. Any needed charts, tide table, current table, and navigation equipment. For longer outings or outings to a remote location, other items such as food, water and survival equipment could be added to your checklist.Safe operation of a boat depends greatly on proper maintenance and preparation. The actions of the operator and passengers are also important in ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip. The checklist below includes items that can ensure the safe outcome of your trip. Some of these items will be the same, no matter what kind of boating you do. However, to make sure that all points are covered, create your own checklist and add to it as experience indicates.Full fuel tank. Lights and horn working. Boat checked for leaks, bailed out, boat plug in. Fuel lines and tanks checked for leaks. Weather and water conditions are suitable. All gear and supplies properly stowed and secure. Propeller in good condition, lower unit free of debris. Passengers seated and briefed on emergency procedures. Their PFDs should be checked for proper fit.