Homelessness is a problem in every community nationwide.On Monday folks across the country gathered to remember those who have passed away as a result of homelessness.It was Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.Locally folks got together for a candlelight walk from the Bangor Homeless Shelter to the Hammond Street congregational church.Dennis Marble, executive director of the Bangor Homeless Shelter, says homelessness represents a challenge to people in the community to figure out how to become better. “It’s not necessarily a matter of everyone who is homeless is a victim or we have a guilty obligation to help everybody, but it sends a message in this day and age if we literally have people who don’t have a roof over their heads at night or don’t have enough family to support them.”There was a ceremony held at the church immediately following the walk.This was the third year for the event. More than 100 people turned out.
It’s the first piece of equipment of its kind in the state, and it took a lot of effort to get it into place.It’s a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine at First MRI in Bangor.It is so big, weighing in at 12 tons, that part of the roof of the building had to be removed to lower it in with a crane.First MRI has two machines.This one will replace an older one because it’s twice as strong. “We realized a while ago that the 3T systems has a bunch of different advantages over the 1.5T stems that are quite common now,” Said the clinical director at First MRI, Dr. George Wright. “Those include, increased speed of imaging so a patient who may not be very comfortable in there will be able to scan more quickly and more importantly, improved image quality.”The machine cost about 2 million dollars.We’re told this is now the strongest MRI machine in the state.MRI is a non invasive procedure used to make images of the structure and function of the body.
A federal agency has scrapped the idea of placing an 80-foot telecommunications tower on the tallest mountain in Acadia National Park.Cadillac mountain was one of about sixty sites in Maine the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency was considering for towers to enhance homeland security communications.Park officials say they recently received a letter from the agency saying it had removed Cadillac mountain from its list because of opposition from the National Park Service and the local community.
Some officials in Nova Scotia are trying to restore a subsidy for the CAT ferry between that Canadian province and Maine.They want the province to subsidize the service for one more summer to buy time to find a different ferry to run the route.On Friday the CAT’s owner, Bay Ferries, announced it would end its high-speed service between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Bar Harbor, as well as Portland.Last year the service received $5,500,000 to help offset high fuel costs and lower ridership.Yarmouth’s mayor says the goal is to replace the CAT with a vessel that can carry trucks.
Two men appeared in a Washington County courtroom Monday, after being arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting in Milbridge last week.Officials say shots were fired into a home on Main Street Thursday. A man inside was hit, but not seriously hurt.On Monday, bail for 25-year-old Sherman Merchant was set at $25,000 cash.Bail for 28-year-old Benjamin Ray is $10,000 cash.Both face charges of criminal mischief with a firearm and reckless conduct, and have been ordered not to have contact with the victim or each other.Officials say the incident might have stemmed from a car accident the day before.
If you had the chance to meet Eben Quimby, you wouldn’t have to be told about his love for tractors, you’d either find him driving his own, or reading about them.That’s why it was only fitting for family and friends to honor him with what he loved most.Nearly fifty tractors lined the streets of Albion as the fifteen year old was carried to his final resting place. Eben Quimby died December 17th after a four year battle with leukemia.Adrienne: “What was his favorite tractor?” Chelsea: Allis Chalmers. He had a model B he absolutely loved. His very favorite.” Decorated with lights, it sits on the front lawn.Chelsea: “He always wanted a puppy dog named Festis, so we got him a dog named Festis for his tractor.”Eben spent his time working on the family dairy farm or outdoors hunting, four-wheeling or snowmobiling. He was also a member of the maine antique tractor club.Lawrence: “He knew stuff about tractors you wouldn’t expect a 15 year old to know. Eben was one of five children…kids raised by a mother and father born into farming.When Eben’s grandfather passed away, he too was given what the family calls the tractor trek.Lawrence: “He’d be thinkin’ you’re nuts, look how cold it is out there, but at the same time he’d be grinnin’ ear to ear.” Chelsea: “They loved tractors and Moxie, that’s what they did.”The Quimby family has had their share of hardships through the years – a fire destroyed their home three years ago, not long after Eben’s father was diagnosed with m-s.Still, in the midst of it all, the family remains strong.Chelsea: “We are just so blessed as a family to have support and we are so thankful, for the love they show to us.” Adrienne Bennett, WABI TV5 News, Albion.
It’s the center piece of decorating for Christmas.It’s where Santa puts all of the presents for good little boys and girls.It is the Christmas Tree.Monday, a local women and children’s shelter received a free Christmas tree, as part of a national program from Target.And while it’s nice to get presents, it’s just not the same without the tree, according to Bangor Target Team Leader Dave Scott.”Well hey you can’t have Christmas without a tree right? You sit there on Christmas Morning and you have nothing to put it under. That’s kind of sad, so this helps.”For the last 19 years, Target and United Way have teamed up around the country to provide free trees for families in need. This year, two trees were donated in Bangor, including one to the Step Up Shelter and the eight mothers who live there.”Last year’s campaign video was about a young woman who is now on her own,” said Emma Pope-Welch of the United Way. ” and we checked with Michelle to see if we could provide a Christmas Tree to her family, so this year we checked back in with Michelle and they did not have a tree for their new shelter and so it worked out perfectly.””We’re a trusting partner of them,” Scott said of the relationship between Target and United Way. ” and they understand what’s going on in the community and who they’re working with and we really trust their knowledge of the community and who is at need right now.”The United Way contacts Target, and they decorate the tree, wrap it up for safe travel and take it out to the waiting vehicle.With nine children at the shelter, ranging from four months to seven years old, it’s a welcome addition to the house, says the shelter coordinator Michelle Hamlin.”I actually can’t wait to see their faces cause when they left this morning, the Mom’s went to go to school, work, or volunteer and the kids went to child care or school, and so when they come back tonight, they’ll have a tree up and some gifts under the tree which I know the children are not expecting that at all so it’ll be nice to see their faces.”
A few weeks ago, a medical supply store that’s been in Farmington for more than 100 years announced they were closing. But now, with the help of a new owner, the store will stay open– and it’s growing.Employees say when they heard the store was closing, they didn’t know what they’d do next. Brenda Laviolette has worked here for nearly 40 years. “We just started liquidating everything, closing the doors.”She says they also didn’t know what to tell their customers, many of whom are elderly or disabled.”Especially, you’ve dealt with people for thirty-nine years, and they know you, you know them, you know their needs, and you have to tell them, they have to go somewhere else,” Laviolette says.But in a matter of weeks they found out everything, and everyone, would be staying put. “We were very lucky to re-hire the same three existing employees,” says Lance Macmaster. He heads Mac-Lin Medical supply, a company based in Bangor that’s taking over the business. He says it was an easy choice.”It’s nice that the company’s been growing…and people in the local area are able to have a local resource for products they really need,” Macmaster says.Staying local is important for customers who depend on the store as a lifeline.”If they weren’t here we’d have to go to Lewiston, Augusta, Waterville, which is quite a hike for our patients,” says occupational therapist Kelley Brown. “In a lot of instances people just don’t have the resources to travel that far,” says employee Debbie McGrath.It might be new ownership, but they say it will still be the same customer service people are used to.”The employees are going to continue having that heartfelt feeling for the customers,” says McGrath.”We’ve already had a lot of calls that have heard about it, all excited,” Laviolette says. “It’s a nice Christmas present for the area.”
The Piscataquis Santa Project is closing in on its goal of meeting the christmas wishes of hundreds of local residents.The project is a collaboration of Penquis, the Kiwanis Club, Toys-For-Tots, and many local business and community members. It provides provide presents to local children of all ages. Presents have already been given to about 600 local children, but there are still some kids on the list according to James Macomber of Penguis. “We’ve got about 22 kids left to fill at this point,” says macomber, “we’ve gone a long way so far but without a lot of help from the community, and businesses, organizations we wouldn’t have been to do it. Our partners such as the Kiwanis Club helped distribute a lot of toys and gifts this weekend.”To find out where you can drop off gifts call Penquis at 564-7116 and ask for Sharee. Or you can visit their website, piscataquisresources.org.
Workers at a local hospital in Dover-Foxcroft are using the proceeds from a charity fund raiser to give first responders all over Piscataquis County a tool that will help to save lives.For the folks at the Mayo Regional Hospital the sudden death of their colleague and friend Dennis Allen from a heart attack last year came as a tragic shock.The group used the proceeds from the 1st annual Dennis Allen charity golf tournament to provide these defibulators to communities all over Piscataquis County. Ralph Gabarro, the CEO of the hospital, it’s a good feeling to provide this service to the community. “This is just a very good reinforcement that good things can come when bad things occur,” says Gabarro, “it represents a way to memorialize Dennis Allen who was just an integral part of this hospital since it’s inception.”Nearly $20,000 was raised which was enough to purchase 18 defibrilators. “It’s nice to advance our efforts to combat what is a tough chronic disease not only in Piscataquis County but nationally.”For communities like Brownville this is another option first responders have in their life saving efforts. “I know the fire department and police department are really pleased to be getting these,” says Copeland, “it’s a relief to know you have something like this. You know it’s a comfort.”The folks here say this is another example of neighbor helping neighbor in Maine. “We have to work together,” says Piscataquis County Emergency Management Director Tom Iverson, “the call comes in and people need help and we have to be there. In the end we are working for the county and we do our best to try to assist all the towns the best we can.”According to the Mayo Hospital in cases where defibulation is provided within 5 to 7 minutes the survival rate from a sudden heart attack jumps to nearly 50%.
Manna Ministries says they still need your help if they hope to help all the families who have signed up for a little assistance this holiday season.They’re holding their annual “Adopt a Family” promotion at the Bangor Mall.People interested can simply pick up an envelpope at their display and buy the items on the list and bring them back to the Manna table where the items are delivered to the family in need.Organizers say nearly 350 families signed up this year and they are still around 100 that have not been adopted. You can also volunteer to help them wrap presents or help serve christmas dinner at the bangor parks and recreation center on christmas day.
With just a few shopping days left until Christmas the Bangor Mall is a pretty popular place these days. Folks continue to pack the mall in search of those last minute items to make their Christmas special. Nancy Strayer has been working at the Bangor Mall for mearly ten years. “I think it’s been pretty busy and everybody seems happier than usual and I think the lights are nice. It’s really been a nice season.”Some of the shoppers, like Suasan Russell of Glenburn, have already been at it for a few weeks now. “We don’t consider this last minute yet,” says Russell, “but it’s going well. We have bunches of grandchildren we want to make sure we get enough. You always find something different and new if you keep going out.”Other folks here, like Marissa Carr of Holden, are more of the last minute shoppers. “Yeah I just started on Saturday but hopefully I can finish up today.” The shoppers here are even willing to share their strategies on what to do for that person on your list who’s impossible to shop for. “Definitely gift cards,” says Carr, “I like to make baskets and fill them up with goodies, everybody seems to like that.” “Some people are harder to shop buy for that’s for sure,” says Russell, “I think sometimes when you’re out and about you think that will be creative you know and if they don’t like it then what do you do?” But there’s little argument over who’s the easiest people on your list to shop for. “The kids,” Russell says, “they’re just the easiest you can get the most things. When they’re real young especially, once they get teenaged they get to be a little bit more of a challenge.”Nancy Strayer says the kids are her favorite part of the holiday atmosphere at the mall. “That’s the special part of it because they believe in Santa Claus and I really think that’s the most special part of christmas is the children.”
For the first time in its 20 year history the Holiday Basket Project received a record number of applications from people needing food. This means a lot of volunteers were also needed. “We just finished filling eleven-hundred food boxes for families in the Waldo County area. We had about, nearly 300 volunteers.They’ll be delivered to the homes of people in Waldo County, or people will come and pick them up. “It will make it so that people can have a meal at Christmas. Its got a turkey, some fruit and vegetables, some other staples like peanut butter, rice, bread… “It brings the community together, for one, and for two it helps people get food that they may not have had. They’re being delivered by most of the fire departments in the towns, but also the Belfast Lions, and some community volunteers are doing some of the towns as well.” “We are helping to deliver food boxes for the people that are needy in this community. And the Lions club will deliver all of the boxes to the Belfast community. “So many people are in need. And it’s something we’re able to do. It’s really nice to see. It’s nice to see the teenagers, the children, you’ve got people that are in the community, some that have needed it in the past. Everybody comes together, and we all are doing it for the same reasons.” “It’s all an act of kindness out of the generosity of businesses and individuals in Waldo County. So, a community effort, and it doesn’t change the world, but it makes a touch of kindness for everybody.””13!””One More!”
With just a few shopping days left until Christmas the Bangor Mall is a pretty popular place these days.As the days wind down towards Christmas folks continue to pack the Bangor Mall in search of those last minute items to make their Christmas special. “I think it’s been pretty busy and everybody seems happier than usual and I think the lights are nice,” Said Nancy Strayer, who works in guest services at the Bangor Mall “It’s really been a nice season.”Some of the shoppers here have already been at it for a few weeks now. “We don’t consider this last minute yet but it’s going well,” Said Glenburn resident Susan Russell. “We have bunches of grandchildren we want to make sure we get enough. You always find something different and new if you keep going out.”Other folks here are more of the last minute shoppers. “Yeah I just started on Saturday but hopefully I can finish up today,” Said Marissa Carr, from Holden. “Actually I haven’t but I am going to get it done on Monday,” Said Strayer.The shoppers here are even willing to share their strategies on what to do for that person on your list who’s impossible to shop for. “Definitely gift cards, I like to make baskets and fill them up with goodies, everybody seems to like that,” Said Ms. Carr. “Some people are harder to shop buy for that’s for sure,” Said Susan Russell of Glenburn. “I think sometimes when you’re out and about you think that will be creative you know and if they don’t like it then what do you do?” But there’s little argument over who’s the easiest people on your list to shop for. “The kids,” Said Russell. “They’re just the easiest you can get the most things. When they’re real young especially, once they get teenaged they get to be a little bit more of a challenge.” “That’s the special part of it because they believe in Santa Claus and I really think that’s the most special part of Christmas is the children,” Said Strayer. “A baby doll and DS games,” Said 6-year-old Trista Allen. “MP3 Player,” Said Logan Ferrar. “A bunch of expensive things, a lot of clothes, a radio, an Ipod touch, a Nintendo DS,” Said Julia Zavalata.
The nation’s largest animal protection organization is praising Maine for having one of the year’s top state legislative achievements in animal protection.The Humane Society of the U.S. said Maine was one of 12 states it was recognizing for animal protection efforts on the legislative front in 2009.The group cited Maine’s new law that prohibits breeding pigs from being confined in gestation crates and calves from being confined in veal crates.The group says the crates are inhumane and immobilize animals for nearly their entire lives.The Humane Society says 121 new animal protection laws were passed in 2009, breaking the previous record of 93 in 2008.
Some kittens were saved from a frozen end. Two good samaritans in Augusta found a box in a snow bank on the side of the road in Gardiner with four young kittens in it, frozen to each other and barely alive. They brought the kittens to the Kennebec Valley Humane Society, where they received immediate medical treatment.The Bangor Humane Society says that during difficult financial time’s families and individuals are making the decision to surrender or abandon their pets. And with chill factors below zero, it’s good to keep in mind that pets need protection from the cold. “Be smart.If you’re cold and not feeling good outside, your pet is probably not going to be feeling good either and when it gets real, real cold it’s time for us all to come inside and sit around the fire and warm up.”Prolonged exposure can cause problems like hypothermia for cats and dogs…
While the temperatures are cold, that doesn’t always mean ice. The Maine Warden Service is urging folks not to venture out onto any ice that may be covering waterways.They say lakes and ponds may appear frozen in parts but safe ice conditions cannot be assumed even with the recent below zero temperatures.Any snow covering thin layers of ice acts as an insulation and slows the freezing process.They want people to remember to always check the thickness of the ice.And use common sense when around waterways that are covered with ice.
A state legislator wants to make Maine the first state to require cell phones to carry warnings that they can cause brain cancer.Democratic representative Andrea Boland of Sanford says there are numerous and very substantial studies that point to the risk.But there’s little consensus among scientists of the hazards of cell phone use.Cell phones carry warnings in some countries already, though no U.S. states require them.The Federal Communication Commission contends all cell phones sold in the U.S. are safe to use.But some scientists suggest erring on the side of caution.
Senator Olympia Snowe released a statement Sunday on the status of the health reform legislation currently before the United States Senate. She said: “Having been fully immersed in this issue for this entire year and as the only Republican to vote for health reform in the Finance Committee, I deeply regret that I cannot support the pending Senate legislation as it currently stands, given my continued concerns with the measure and an artificial and arbitrary deadline of completing the bill before Christmas that is short changing the process on this monumental and trans-generational effort.” But that didn’t stop people from trying to get the senator to change her mind. People were lined up outside of Senator Snowe’s offices in Presque Isle, Bangor, and Portland to encourage the senator to vote for the bill.”So we’re here today to encourage our senators to vote yes for healthcare to vote yes to helping mainers and to vote yes to small businesses in maine face an 18% surcharge just because they’re a small business,” Said the state director for Maine Change Phill Bailey at Sunday’s rally.Senator Collins also weighed in saying it is unfair that Republicans were allowed to offer only seven amendments to a bill that affects every single citizen and one-sixth of our nation’s economy.Senator Collins said: “Our nation’s health care system requires substantial reform. The status quo of soaring health care costs, families struggling, millions uninsured, and health care provider shortages is unacceptable. That is why I am so disappointed that the partisan legislation before the Senate falls far short of what should be the goals of reform. This bill will actually increase health care costs, impose billions in new taxes, fees, and penalties, and hurt our seniors, health care providers, and small businesses. I simply cannot support such a bill.” A vote to end the debate portion of the healthcare overhaul was passed by a 60 to 40 margin in the senate Sunday night. Further votes on the bill itself will be taken this week.
A Cutler man’s body has been recovered. The man’s boat sank in Cobscook Bay back in October, and was recovered by a fishing boat Friday afternoon.The crew of the fishing vessel “Trident” located Norman Johnson’s body while they were fishing.The 57-year-old from Cutler was one of three men fishing on the vessel when it sank.Also aboard were, 41-year-old Daryl Cline and 29-year-old Jospeh Jones.Cline’s body was recovered in October.Jones’ is still missing.The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the sinking.