News

Fire Rips Through Brooksville Home

Updated 5 years ago

A fire in the coastal town of Brooksville had several area departments busy Monday night.The call came in a little after 7:30 Monday night.A residence on the Bagaduce Road was fully engulfed in flames by the time crews arrived.Seven departments responded to the scene, and were able to save what’s being termed as a “good portion” of the house.The Bagaduce Road was closed for a time because of the fire.No injuries were reported in relation to the fire. The Fire Marshal’s office will be on scene Tuesday morning to determine a cause.

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Accident In Brooks Sends Four to the Hospital

Updated 5 years ago

An accident Sunday night in Brooks sent four people to the hospital.Police say a van driven by Andrea Clifford of Brooks was hit at the intersection of Bog Road and Route 139 by a pick-up driven by John Pelletier of Unity.A 9-year-old girl in Clifford’s van was ejected. She ended up pinned under the van. Rescuers managed to lift the vehicle off the girl.She was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center. There has been no word yet on her condition.Another passenger in the van, a 13-year-old girl, was taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast. The driver, Andrea Clifford and two other children were not injured.The driver of the truck, John Pelletier and one of his passengers were also taken to the hospital.Police say another passenger in the pick-up fled from the scene.The accident remains under investigation.

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Wilkins Sentenced

Updated 5 years ago

A former member of the Republican Party has been sent to jail.64-year-old Connie Wilkins will spend the next 6-months at the Kennebec County Jail for embezzling $48,000.Wilkins took the money from the Republican Party when she was in charge of finances for the party.In addition to the jail time, she’ll have to pay back the money. “Even though she confessed and showed remorse she can’t undo the damage that she caused, and so it was very important for Justice Nivison of the court to send a message that if you steal these sums of money you’re going to go to jail for a significant amount of time,” Kennebec County District Attorney Evert Fowle told TV5 Monday.Wilkins will also be on probation for three years.

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Schools Eye Flu Vaccinations

Updated 5 years ago

Several Maine schools are poised to begin flu vaccinations as soon as doses arrive, as early as this week.A Maine Education Department spokesperson says two schools in Aroostook County were planning to inoculate students on Tuesday, but more than 200,000 doses of flu vaccine purchased with federal stimulus money have not yet arrived. He says schools will begin their vaccination clinics in earnest over the next two to three weeks.The flu shots are separate from H1N1 swine flu vaccinations, which will arrive in Maine later in the season.Those shots will be given in two separate doses in October and November. All are available free of charge to students, but they won’t be forced to get them.

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FairPoint Denies Wrongdoing

Updated 5 years ago

FairPoint Communications is denying allegations it faked its readiness to take over the major phone networks serving Maine as well as Vermont and New Hampshire.Officials in the three states are investigating an anonymous email.It claims investigators were duped by a specially created computer program to make them think FairPoint was ready.The author of the email says he was present when the alleged incident occurred, during meetings in Atlanta.FairPoint denied the allegation in a filing Monday with the Vermont public service board.

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Back Tax Easement

Updated 5 years ago

Maine residents who owe back taxes to the state are getting a break, starting Tuesday.From September 1st through November, 90% of the penalties owed will be waived, while all of the tax and interest owed would need to be paid within the 90-day window.The state conceived the program as part of the budget to collect some of the more than $250,000,000 in overdue taxes, penalties, and interest owed the state by more than 70,000 taxpayers.The program is projected to bring in $9,000,000 to help balance the $5,800,000,000, two-year state budget.Democratic state senator Joe Perry of Bangor says a similar program in 2003 brought in $37,000,000.

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Almanac Predicts Cold

Updated 5 years ago

The 2010 edition of the Farmer’s Almanac goes on sale Tuesday, and Mainers may not like what its predicting for this winter.Numbing cold from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians.Managing editor Sandi Duncan says it’s going to be an “ice cold sandwich,” with milder weather on the coasts.The Almanac issues forecasts based sunspots, planetary positions, and the effects of the moon.On the other hand, the National Weather Service is calling for a warmer-than-normal winter because of an el Nino weather system that has developed in the Pacific Ocean.

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Orono PD Goes Green

Updated 5 years ago

The Orono Police Department is saving some green, by going green.The town has recently added a hybrid to its fleet of cars.The vehicle is a 2010 Ford Fusion.The police department says the cost ended up being about the same as purchasing another Crown Victoria, when you factor in all the bells and whistles that come along with the regular cop cars.This hybrid is being used in the detective division, as well as for alcohol detail and other special patrols. So it only needed to be equipped with low profile lights and a radio. “The chief has been thinking for a few years that we needed to get something a little more fuel efficient,” Said Orono Police Captain Josh Ewing. “There’s no need for our detective to be driving one of the regular Crown Vics for the type of work he does. So, we went looking this year, and we located this car down in Augusta.”Captain Ewing says the hybrid actually tracks miles per gallon.Currently its averaging about 38 miles to the gallon.Compare that to 11 or 12 per gallon for the Crown Victorias, and the police department is already seeing a significant savings at the gas pump. The Orono Police Department is one of only a few law enforcement agencies in Maine using “green machines.” The Indian Island police department recently switched its entire fleet of patrol cars to hybrids too. And the University of Maine at Orono has six hybrid vehicles that they use for patrols as well as motor pools and parking enforcement.

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One Dead, Others Sick After Hepatitis “A” Outbreak

Updated 5 years ago

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says one person has died and at least five others have been sickened by an outbreak of hepatitis A on Swan’s Island. Dr. Dora Mills says Tuesday that all six victims stayed in the same island home, though not necessarily at the same time. She identified the victims as being from the Midwest and Middle Atlantic states. Mills says the source of hepatitis A is unclear. She says the home had a problem with its septic system and nearby clam flats were shut down as a precaution. Mills says one of the keys to preventing it is good hygiene. Hepatitis A is spread through unsanitary conditions, through saliva or fecal contamination. (AP)

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A Pink Path to the Cure

Updated 5 years ago

Golfers in Lincoln will be swinging clubs for a cure this September. The folks at Jato Highlands say it’s all thanks to a fluke in course design.”This all sprang from just looking at the course.” Says April Burnell, Event Ambassador. “It wasn’t thought out, it wasn’t schemed, it’s just something we drew out and got done and looked at it and said hey, it looks like a breast cancer ribbon.” adds Eric Bubay, General Manager of Jato Highlands.”With the contributions from Sherwin Williams and the town of Lincoln and just a ton of volunteers we’ve actually painted the path pink.” says Burnell.The cart path is 200 feet long and Rally for the Cure says it’s the only one of it’s kind.”One of the things you can see right beside our ribbon is our sand trap, and it’s shaped just like a heart. A ribbon and a heart side by side, what more could you want?” adds Heidi Stevens, Event Co- Ambassador.The pink path led to an idea — a golf tournament to raise awareness and benefit breast cancer research.”This one’s a little more special obviously. It’s getting the local people more involved where a lot of them can look at breast cancer and actually think of somebody, a family member that it may help.” says Dubay.Burnell adds, “I lost my own mother to breast cancer. Everyone who does something is gonna make a difference.” Burnell says folks at Jato Highlands hope the tournament grows.”We’re hoping to do well this year and do even better next year and the year after and the year after that. Every year we do raise money is one more life we can save.”The tournament will be held September 12. For more information you can visit their website, www.pinkpathtothecure.com.

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Rain Draws Festival Crowds Inside

Updated 5 years ago

The rain sent folks scattering from the American Folk Festival Saturday, and apparently steered them to some area businesses in record numbers.Nearly 10 thousand people headed to Hollywood Slots, and a record amount of money went into their machines.”The total coin-in, or the amount wagered, was about 6.1 million. Now, you realize, we don’t keep all that, we actually pay out about 92 percent of that amount back to our players,” says Jon Johnson, general manager, Hollywood Slots.He says Saturday’s numbers beat their opening day record, thanks in part to festival crowds put off by rain. A Camaro giveaway helped, too.”It was nuts. Around the car drawing time we had around 31-hundred people on the gaming floor. It was a riot. It was a lot of fun. Everyone was well-behaved and they had a terrific time,” Johnson says.Crowds also made their way to other attractions in town, like the Maine Discovery Museum and the Bangor Mall.”It looked like Christmas,” says James Gerety, general manager, Bangor Mall. “Cars were parked out to the Ring Road. All the lots were full, the shopping center was absolutely jumping. So for us, it was fantastic.””We had over 400 that came through the door and it was pretty much a steady stream of people,” says Laurie Claverie, at the Maine Discovery Museum. “The rain had everything to do with it, I think, and the amount of people in town for the Folk Festival.”The rain has already provided a bit of a boost to these businesses this summer, but in a down economy they say the weekend numbers were welcomed.”Some of our merchants have posted significant increases. Although we don’t have the hard numbers yet, certainly they are commenting they had the best Saturday they’ve had in a long time,” Gerety says.”When it rains, it really draws people in here,” Johnson says, “and we kind of like the rain.”

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Local Aviation Company Sold To Company from Wisconsin

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

In 1982, Telford Allen Junior founded a company that specialized in corporate air charters, passenger and cargo flights.In recent years, the Telford Group Incorporated has turned their focus to turbo prop and small jet overhaul along with parts support.Now, 27 years later, the company has been sold.It was announced Monday that Aircargo Carriers, based in Milwaukee, has acquired the company.In a news release, they say both companies have shown strong results in the last three years and expect to continue to perform well.

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Brewer Federal Credit Union Supplies Kids Going Back To School

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

Kids heading back to school in Brewer got a helping hand from a local credit union. Members and staff at the Brewer Federal Credit Union have been busy collecting school supplies, and today all the donated supplies were delivered to the State Street Elementary School.The folks at the credit union say the tough economy was the main reason for the project. According to the National Retail Federation’s latest surveys, families of students in grades K-12 will spend $548.72 on school merchandise. That’s a drop off of nearly 8%. Layaway sales at discount stores like K-Mart are back because financially strained shoppers are feeling the credit crunch.David Stanhope is the branch manager with the Brewer Federal Credit Union says the members and staff there are usually anxious to help out. “They’re fantastic,” syas Stanhope, “every event we do, be it our yard sale in the spring, food drives, angel trees at Christmas time, our members are amazing, they do nothing but support at every single one of our events.”

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Folk Festival Organizers Unsure If Event Will Remain Free

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

Let the tear down begin on the waterfront as the curtain has been drawn on the 2009 American Folk Festival. Festival Director Heather Mccarthy says this year’s event was a mixed bag. “It was highs and lows,” says Mccarthy, “had a couple of highs on Friday, and Sunday, but Saturday with the weather and the audience, boy Saturday was kind of a low as far as the weather goes.”Even with the soggy weather Saturday, organizers say donations were still strong. “Bucket brigade was incredibly generous,” says Mccarthy, “and we made over $100,000 this year in the bucket brigade despite the fact that Saturday was such a wash out. it’s really amazing.” Considering the weather Saturday, they did raise quite a bit, but is that enough to keep the event free next year? “We’re going to have to count the numbers and see what it looks like for next year,” Mccarthy says, “it’s going to be a discussion with our board of directors and some of our stake holders to see what happens next.”The one thing that makes this event run so smoothly every year is the tireless work of the volunteers, but what keeps them coming back? “Well it’s the fact that it’s free and open to the public,” says Linda Silvia, who came all the way from Owls Head, “and the community and cultural parts of it are really great.”Jack Kearse is the volunteer leader and he’s been here every year. “It’s just great people,” he says, “it’s a lot of fun and we enjoy the work.”A big part of Kearse’s team of volunteers is a group of inmates from the Charleston Correctional Facility. Anthony Murphy is one of the inmates. He has one year left on his sentence and he relishes the chance to give back. “If it’s anyway to give back to the community then I’m there for them,” Murphy says. Leo Gerry is the Correctional Officer assigned to this detail. He says he has never had a problem with any of the inmates and tells me this is a prized detail for them. “They work as a team away from the facility,” Gerry says, “for a short period of time they can get rid of the games and politics of being incarcerated.”Now that this year’s festival is in the books most of the volunteers here say the same thing: see you next year.

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Free Shuttle Service at UMaine

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

It was the first day of school for students at many colleges and universities around the state, including the University of Maine in Orono.This year, there’s another option to the age-old aggravation of parking on campus.Joy Hollowell tells us about the “Black Bear Orono Express.”==============It looks like your typical bat bus, until you take a peak around back. This is the new Black Bear Orono Express and anyone can ride it, for free.”The shuttle will work Monday through Friday from 7 in the morning until 10…in the evening. And then on Saturday, it will be from noon time until 10 in the evening,” says Joe McNeil, Superintendent for Bat Community Connector.The first day of classes was also the first day for the new shuttle service. The bus makes half hour loops from campus to Pat’s Pizza on mill street, stopping at designated spots along the way. Students can save on gas money, but more importantly eliminate the stress of having to find a parking spot at school.”We drove around for a half hour the first day, looking for a parking space,” says Daniel Wendell, a freshman.”Well, it totally sucks, especially in the winter when there’s no place to park. You have to get here a good half hour before any of your classes,” says Sarah Hinman, a senior at UMaine.The idea of a free bus service has been shuttled around for years. Uncle Sam and the state helped seal the deal.”The total cost of operation is about $144,000 a year. The University of Maine and the town of Orono are splitting the deficit. The federal government gave us $90,000 over three years and the state of Maine Department of Transportation provided the two vehicles,” says McNeil.The bus is handicapped accessible, and even has a bike rack.Senior Jesse Meserhati rode the shuttle for the first time Monday morning.”I’m so very glad that there’s a shuttle so now I don’t have to drive everyday. I don’t like have to look for a spot. So, it’s really a good service and I’m really happy to have it,” he said.Joy Hollowell, WABI TV 5 News, Orono.===========The shuttle is not just for students.Folks travelling to and from sporting events and other activities on campus will also be able to take advantage of the free service.

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Another Maine Horse Dies of Triple-E

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

Health officials say a third horse in Maine has died of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or Triple-E. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the horse was in the Penobscot County town of Stetson.Two other horses in Waldo County were euthanized after getting the virus earlier this month.None of the horses were vaccinated for the disease. Triple-e is transmitted through infected mosquitoes, which pick it up by feeding on infected birds….. State Health Director Dr. Dora Mills says there are no reports in Maine of people getting the infection, but she urges people and horse owners to take precautions against infected mosquitoes.

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Third time in Five Days a Working Smoke Detector Saves Lives

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

It was a middle of the night wakeup call that no one wants to hear, but it likely saved lives overnight Monday in Lincoln.The smoke alarm went off at the home of Sam Clay.He was sleeping when the detector went off and was able to escape the Mallet Road residence unharmed and call for help.Crews from Lincoln with mutual aid from Howland and Lee arrived at around one thirty and had the flames knocked down in about fifteen minutes time.But because of the time and the location of the fire if it wasn’t for the alarm going off this could have been a much different result.” Sam was awakened by the sound of the smoke detectors,” said Hervey Clay the Assistant Fire Chief in Lincoln. ” He immediately got up and noticed the fire inside the wall in Jonathan’s room and quickly got Jonathan out he and Jonathan left the trailer through the back door because the living room was also on fire and I can not stress the importance enough of having fire detectors in your house.”” I think I would have been able to get out in time but I’m not sure if I could have saved my son without it,” said the home owner Sam Clay.The home was extensively damaged.Clay did have insurance on the home, and they do have a place to stay, but they do expect to be in contact with the Red Cross.No word yet on a cause, the fire will be investigated by the state Fire Marshal’s office.

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School in Session for Maine Colleges and Universities

Updated 5 years ago

School is back in session at colleges and universities across the state.Classes begin today at the University of Maine campus in Orono.About 12,000 students are enrolled for the fall semester.The class of 2013 is down in student numbers from years past.School president Robert Kennedy says poor economic conditions have affected first year enrollment, but overall enrollment is up one percent, partly due to an improved retention rate.Husson University in Bangor is boasting a recording breaking enrollment this year, both in undergraduate and graduate classes.School officials credit the new healthcare programs, including the new pharmacy school.Husson University has already had to lease more than two dozen off-campus apartments as university residences, since the dorms are filled to capacity.

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Smoke Detector Saves Lives Again

Updated 5 years ago

For the third time in just five days, smoke alarms have saved the lives of Mainers whose homes caught fire.A father and his four year old son escaped their burning home in Lincoln early this morning.Authorities say the owner of the Millett-Mallett Road residence was sleeping when the smoke detector went off.Fire fighters from Lincoln as well as Howland and Lee arrived around 1:30 AM.They had the flames knocked down in about 15 minutes.We’re told the mobile home was extensively damaged.No word yet on a cause.The Fire Marshal’s Office will be on scene today, investigating a cause.On Sunday morning, smoke alarms woke up a homeowner in Carmel.That house was only slightly damaged from flames.And last Thursday morning, a Hermon mother and her toddler escaped their burning home, again thanks to working smoking detectors.

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Nice Weather Returns For Final Day Of Folk Festival

Rob Poindexter

Updated 5 years ago

Thousands of music lovers packed the Bangor waterfront Sunday for the third and final day of the 2009 American Folk Festival. “Well midday Sunday we’re certainly looking forward to a great day today,” says heather Mccarthy Director of the Folk Festival, “the sun has come out, the crowds have come out, the performers are all here and the schedule is running you know we’re off to an amazing festival day.”While Saturday’s heavy rain did keep some people away, the folks who did show up managed to have a good time. “We had a lot of people here regardless,” says Mccarthy, “our tented venues were very full, our food vendors and craft vendors were happy with the business considering that it was rainy.” The folks in attendance had a good time despite the rain. “The rain didn’t manage to hold us back yesterday,” says Diane Jackman of Old Toen, Florida, “we had just as much fun so if next year it’s raining everybody should come down for it.” The rain on saturday did affect donations. “Our bucket brigade revenue was way reduced,” says Mccarthy, “we’re hoping we’re going to be able to make that up today because we really do need those funds to help the folk festival continue to be free of charge.”For Folk Festival die-hards, the weather didn’t seem to make a bit of difference. “I just think it’s the most amazing thing that this city could put on,” says Donald Skolfield from DeLeon Springs, Florida, “to bring in such diverse entertainment it’s absolutely amazing, it’s wonderful and to be free!!” “Music just has such a great energy,” Diane Jackman says, “and everyone is here to have a good time sharing great experiences and the artists obviously love to be here as well they put on some pretty phenomenal shows.” Mccarthy says this year has been a success. “It’s been an amazing year for the Folk Festival we had a lot of challenges this year including the weather, we really appreciate everyone who has come out to join us and especially those who were able to volunteer and support us and we hope to be able to do it again next year.”

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