Rope Regulations Part 2

Updated 5 years ago

New fishing regulations took effect in early April for lobstermen.The regulations are meant to help protect the endangered right whale, but many lobstermen are unhappy with the new rules.Most lobstermen used floating rope to set traps, because right whales can get caught in the floating lines, new regulations have made this type of rope illegal.Lobstermen are now forced to use expensive sink rope, and they say the extra costs don’t end there.”Before I could just grab the bouys and just hall them up, now what we have to do is when we grab a bouy we have to get right up over the traps and try to pick them right straight up. So it makes sure they don’t get caught down around the rocks.” says Danny Staples, a lobsterman.Hauling traps was never an easy job, but the new sink rope makes it that much more difficult. “You have to work awful hard to get them back, and you’re still gonna lose some.” adds Staples.And lost traps means lost wages.Gerry Cushman, a lobsterman, says “An average trap I would say is gonna cost 70 dollars. For every one that you leave at the bottom of the ocean, if you leave a pair that’s 140 dollars – not including that you’re not gonna be able to fish that trap for the rest of the year.” While the State says the new rules have been put in place to protect whales, Cushman, a lobsterman out of Port Clyde, says the waters he fishes don’t support right whales – making the new rules unnecessary.”Why would whales want to go up on 8 or 10 fathom of water on rocky bottom… it doesn’t make sense.”Cushman says tracking the whales and fishing equipment could be key to making reasonable regulations. “Buoy marking I think we could improve on that, I think we need to improve on that to understand more about the whales, and I hope in the future we have more regulations on that.” But even if there are more regulations on the water, is there enough in the water to sustain the whales.”They need up to, something like 4 thousand pounds of feed in a certain area and there’s only a few areas in the state of Maine that that happens.” explains Staples.Cushman and Staples agree some regulation is needed to protect endangered species, like the Right Whale.”The public out there thinks that we’re the bad guys and we’re not, we don’t want to kill the right whales anymore than anyone else.” Staples says. But they want more research done before rules are put in place. Cushman explains, “There’s a lot that we do not know about them and we need to find out before we make regulations about them that can put fishermen out of business, or put costs significance on them that’s unnecessary.”

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Rope Regulations Part 1

Updated 5 years ago

For years the right whale was a popular target for whalers but now it’s believed there are only between three hundred and four hundred left. Actions being taken to save these whales have a direct impact on many Mainers.Floating rope was used by lobstermen when they set traps, but it posed a threat to the right whale. Many have died after getting caught and tangled in the lines.A new regulation went into effect earlier this month that stops lobstermen from using floating rope – they now have to use sink rope.But trading in the old ropes that are now illegal for new ones carries with it a financial burden too big for many to bare.”It’s a double edge sward. They’re grateful for the financial assistance, they think the rule is cockamamie and they don’t want anything to do with it, but they know it’s a regulation they’ve got to comply with.” says Laura Ludwig with the Gulf of Maine Lobster Association.The financial assistance comes in the form of the Rope Exchange….Federal Grant money was used to fund it. For each pound of old rope that was brought in Fishermen were paid a dollar 40. The old rope will not go to waste, it will find a welcome new home.”All of the good stuff will be used to make woven door mats by a company here in Waldoboro” adds Ludwig.The Exchange was meant help defer the cost of the sink rope.Ludwig explains, “They weren’t going to be able to afford to do a swap over without some sort of financial assistance.”But it won’t cover it all.”The cheapest sink rope around is probably around 2 dollars, 2 dollars and 20 cents … plus a third more in weight, so it is expensive.” says Pat White of the Gulf of Maine Lobster Association.Frank Thompson, a Lobsterman, says “Last winter it cost me 22 thousand just to rig over one boat with the neutral buoyant rope.”While the State points to the safety of the whales, Some lobstermen, like Thompson, say where they fish, whales are not a concern. “We don’t have a problem with the whales, all we got is humpbacks, and we aint never caught a whale in 43 years of fishing , so.””I’ve only seen one or two Right whales in 22 years on the water here in Maine.” says James O’Brien, a lobsterman.”The downeast guys I think are getting a little bit of an unfair shake out of this because of the area that they fish… They don’t fish anymore than 10 miles out and the whales that are sited are all 40 or 50 miles out.” White explains.They say the old rope could last for five years… but because of the rocky Maine coast the sink rope may only last a season.White goes on to say, “Some of the stuff, the guys have complained they’ve only been able to haul it three or four times. Rope manufacturers are going to get better at what they do hopefully, but that’s gonna take time.”Until that time comes, lobstermen will have to find a way to cover the cost and stay afloat financially.”We’ve applied through congress two different appropriations to see if we can get more money, because I know we’re gonna need it.” says White.Ludwig adds, “I have a huge long waiting list at this point. We ahve pretty much run out of money for this program until we can hopefully garner more support from the federal governement.”

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Warren Fire

Updated 5 years ago

Fire destroyed an old farm house in Warren Wednesday afternoon.Fighters from Warren, Union and Waldoboro responded to the home on the Anderson road.Family members were not home and we’re told the family dog is safe.Outbuildings were still standing on the property.As for the home…only the chimney was left standing.The State Fire Marshal was called in to investigate but a cause can not be determined because of the extent of damage.

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Penn National Gaming Reports First-Quarter Earnings

Updated 5 years ago

The owner of Maine’s only casino is reporting flat first-quarter earnings that still managed to beat Wall Street’s expectations. Casino operator Penn National Gaming reported today that it earned $40.7 million, or 38 cents a share, for the three-month period. Analysts were expecting a profit of 33 cents a share. The Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based company also boosted its full-year profit forecast. Penn National owns the Hollywood Slots and Raceway casino in Bangor, along with gambling and racing operations in 13 others states and in Ontario. (AP)

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Pair Accused of Murder Appear in Court

Updated 5 years ago

A man and a woman from Waldoboro have made their initial court appearance in last weekend’s stabbing attack that killed one woman and left a second woman critically wounded. No pleas were entered when 24-year-old Earl “Buddy” Beiler and 42-year-old Corina Durkee, both of Waldoboro, appeared in Lincoln County Superior Court in Wiscasset where a judge read the charges against them. They were charged Thursday afternoon with the murder of Rachel Grindal, the attempted murder of Tracy Neild and burglary. Detectives said the two victims, along with a third woman who ran to a neighbor’s house for help, had interrupted a burglary inside Neild’s mobile home. Neild is recovering at a Lewiston hospital.

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Corinth Boy Needs Special Care

Updated 5 years ago

Two hours after Jacob Hall was born in Bangor, he was on his way to a hospital in Boston.”I mean, it’s just a shock to have someone come into your room and say, your son’s not gonna make it, I mean…”Jacob had C-D-H, a birth defect that stops a baby’s lungs from growing.”I was petrified”After an operation and a 17 day stay in Boston, Jacob got to go home. But the relief was short lived.”July 31st he was fussy and vomiting, so we decided to take him to the emergency room.”Doctors discovered Jacob’s hemoglobin level was at 3.8 – a normal level would be about 14. He was in for another long hospital stay.”We were there from that Thursday to Friday, until Monday. He had six transfusions over that weekend.”Since then, Jacob has had blood transfusions every two weeks to keep his count up. If it dips too low, it could be fatal. But there’s a lingering question.”Why does the blood count keep going down?”Doctors can’t figure out what’s making him sick.”There’s got to be somebody, somewhere that can puzzle this out.”He’s seen several specialists and Jacob’s parents are looking everywhere for answers.”We’re headed to Boston Children’s hospital on May First to have a consult and some tests.”They’re even looking into the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, but their insurance doesn’t cover tests done there. “In order to even be seen, you have to pay five-thousand dollars down and turn before they’ll do any tests. You have to pay them upfront for the tests.”Jacob’s parents say they’re taking it day by day, but they don’t know what they’d do without the support of those around them.”Family members is the biggest comfort to Jessie and Ray. To have family that can step in and give them a little help.”To help raise money to see the specialists in Minnesota. Jacob’s family is having a spaghetti dinner.It will be Sunday, April 26, from 2 to 8 pm. They’re having it at the Corinth Snowmobile Club. There will be raffles, arts and crafts – and of course a delicious dinner.

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Affordable Animal Services Offered

Updated 5 years ago

With Rabies season right around the corner, vet tech students at a local university are doing their part to make sure people get their pets vaccinated.Meghan Hayward has the story.Vet Tech students at the University College of Bangor are offering their services to the public at an affordable cost.”we’re going to be offering basically it’s a rabies clinic but we call it Wellness day. We’re going to do a quick but thorough physical of all the animals that come in. We’ll also offer nail trimming with that.”Doucette says their concerned about the animals in these tough economic times.He understands how difficult it is for some owners to shell out money for their pets.but Doucette says it’s important to remember that this expo does not replace an actual visit to a vet clinic.”having a vet and having your pet taken care of and having a good physical exam with a licensed vet is of supreme importance.”This is the second year this event has taken place and Doucette expects an even bigger turn-out this year.”if the calls I’ve received indicate growth, we’re going to have a lot of people here on Saturday.”The clinic works with the organization Save Our Strays which finds stray animals and brings them to the clinic.From there…the students take over.”we nurse them back to health, give them the shots, vaccines, the physicals.”Students graduating from the three year vet tech program receive an associates degree and then have to be licensed.”once you pass that licensing test than you are a licensed vet tech and at that point the only thing you can’t do is prescribe, surgery and diagnose. The vets need to do that but we are the vets right hand for everything else.”

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Gay Marriage Debate Fills Civic Center

Updated 5 years ago

Emotions ran high in Augusta Wednesday during a day-long public hearing on a bill that would legalize same sex marriage.While most bills are heard at the state house, this one had to be moved to the civic center to accommodate the thousands of people who wanted to be heard.The debate has begun with voices from both sides speaking loud and clear.The bill’s sponsor, Senator Dennis Damon, spoke first. “Live and let live.”Followed by a standing ovation.But it wasn’t long before opponents had their say. “Parenting will no longer exist. Now I know I’m simply a farm boy from central Maine, but I learned many years ago that children don’t happen without a mom and dad.” Said state representative Phil Curtis.While some say family tradition will be lost to government if the same sex marriage law passes, others say killing the bill would deny civil rights just as history has to minorities. “I remember 40 years ago even people in Maine told us it was wrong to get married.” Said NAACP member Bob Talbot. “Blacks and whites should never marry, people say the same thing today about gay and lesbians. It was wrong 40 years ago, it’s wrong now!”With seating for 4,000, the auditorium filled up fast. Revealing a common theme, red, the color supporters of gay marriage wore to show their unity. But there were plenty of others representing those against the measure too.Pastor Bob Emrich says the foundation in which marriage is based on would be compromised if gay and lesbian couples were allowed to wed. “What we’re concerned about is that this experiment with redefining marriage no one really knows the long term consequences. We don’t know what the impact would be on children.” Same-sex couples who have adopted children couldn’t disagree more. “That was hard for me to swallow, because when we came in we talked about love, family, and security. ‘Because he’s not living with a male and female he’s going to be a drug addict, he’s going to fail in school’ and that’s absurd, it’s fear.” Gay father Rodney Mondor said. “To say that kids absolutely need a mom and dad negates all the wonderful things single parents have done, divorcees, widows, and by us.” Added mother and former Bangor Humane Society director Bev Uhlenhake.Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont are the only states to allow same sex marriage. On Friday, gay and lesbian couples in Iowa will be given the same rights. This public hearing only marks the beginning of Maine’s debate with the issue which could take weeks or months to come to a decision on.

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Windfall for Paper Companies

Updated 5 years ago

A law to promote alternative fuels is giving paper mills an unintended multibillion-dollar tax windfall.Paper companies discovered they qualify for federal tax credits because they use a byproduct in the paper-making process to power their mills.International Paper has received nearly $72 million in creditsfor a single month. Verso Paper got a nearly $30 million credit fora single mill in Maine for the fourth quarter of 2008.Congress offered firms 50 cents a gallon to blend renewable fuels like ethanol with traditional fossil fuels like diesel oil.When turning wood into pulp, paper mills produce a liquid substance called “black liquor” that is often used as fuel to power the mill.The tax credit, however, is only available to firms that produce a blend of renewable fuels and traditional fossil fuels. Late last year some paper companies realized they could qualify for the credit by adding small amounts of diesel to the black liquor used for powering their mills.Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is working on a bill that could end the credits for paper companies.

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Bangor Hydro Employees Celebrate Earth Day

Updated 5 years ago

Some Bangor Hydro employees spent the day on Wednesday sprucing up a childcare facility in Bangor. It was part of their Earth Day celebration. They decided to clean up the yard around the Penquis Childcare Center on Venture Way.This is just one of their activities they have planned for the week. They are also holding an auction within the company of recycled and unused goods donated by employees, they’re asking employees to take a Green Pledge, and they have a recycled art contest for their workers.Kendra Overlock, member of Bangor Hydro’s Green Team says it’s part of the company mission to be as green as can be. “This gave us an opportunity to highlight that but we’ll be doing activities throughout the year to engage in the community and inside our company as well to be more environmentally friendly, more efficient with our resources. So it’s not just a one day event for us.” Overlock also says the company is trying to achieve L.E.E.D. Certification for their new facility on Illinois Avenue in Bangor. L.E.E.D. stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

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Money for Acadia National Park

Updated 5 years ago

Acadia National Park will get more 8-million dollars from the National Park Service.Senator Susan Collins says the money comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.It will be used to make repairs and improvements to the park.

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Colby College Student Challenges Bail Conditions

Updated 5 years ago

One of three Colby College students arrested on Easter is challenging bail conditions that bar him from possessing alcohol and require that he submit to searches and testing for alcohol use or possession.22-year-old Ozzy Ramirez is charged with assault and criminal trespassing for allegedly trying to interfere with efforts to assist a student who was ill after a dance on campus. Ramirez’s attorney told the Morning Sentinel that the bail conditions violate his client’s fourth amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure. District Attorney Evert Fowle says the bail conditions are appropriate and that Ramirez’ drinking helped get him into trouble.

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Foreclosures Hitting Home

Updated 5 years ago

During these tough economic times people are finding it hard to even take care of life’s basic necessities – Like food and medicine – and still make the mortgage.For some, the bills just add up too fast – and lead to the devastation of foreclosure.Barbara McIntosh’s problems began years ago when she had to spend time in the hospital for a slew of medical issues – and couldn’t get health coverage. “Evidently I was deemed 27 dollars over the limit to get coverage so the hospital sued me.” explains McIntosh.To pay her medical bills McIntosh mortgaged her home.”My payment was 610 dollars and 98 cents and that was supposed to come out of 800 a month.”McIntosh couldn’t make the high payments.Her daughter Jamie says, “About a year ago she was served with papers by the sheriff, a foreclosure notice.”McIntosh’s story is a sad one, but it’s not the only of it’s kind.Larry Dansinger, a friend of McIntosh, says “When I looked in the registry of deeds for Waldo County the number of foreclosures doubled in two months from 16 to 32.”The Waldo County Sheriff says ten years ago having ten foreclosures in the county each year would have been a lot. The sheriff says in 2008 there were 180 foreclosures, and there have already been 80 in 2009 – a sure sign of tough times.”And if you extend that out to a whole year for a whole state, we maybe talking about 10 thousand foreclosures.” says Dansinger.And McIntosh says help is hard to find right now. “Trying to get help has been really really difficult because all of these social services, they’re so overworked.””It just seems like there’s so much red tape to go through to try to get any type of answers.” says her daugher.The mortgage company has given McIntosh until May first to leave the house. She’s not sure what she and her cats will do when that day comes.

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Two People Arrested on Drug Charges

Updated 5 years ago

Two people from Washington County were arrested on drug charges.48-year-old Gerald Perry is now charged with unlawful trafficking of schedule drugs.34-year-old Melissa Cox was charged with aggravated trafficking of schedule drugs.The Washington County Sherrif’s office along with agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement agency seized 42.5 grams of cocaine and over fifty pills worth over $900.Both are being held at the Washington County jail on $25,000 bail.

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St. Joe’s Honors Volunteers

Updated 5 years ago

St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor honored hospital volunteers today.St. Joe’s hosted a luncheon. They presented certificates to those who donate their time to the hospital.The volunteers spend their time fundraising, assisting staff, caring for patients, and helping visitors.The volunteers say they often get more back than they give. Mary Ann Ruhrole, a volunteer, says “I feel wonderful when I leave. They cheer me up. I’ve always said I’ve had such a wonderful life, I have to give something back.”The hospital says the volunteers put in a combined total of more than 21,000 hours in 2008.They say if they had to pay for people to work those hours, it would cost the hospital more than $400,000.St. Joe’s says they truly are thankful for all that the volunteers do.

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UMaine Celebrates Earth Day

Updated 5 years ago

The University of Maine took Earth Day as an opportunity to educate their students on how to become greener.The University of Maine was all about the green Wednesday…going green that is. In honor of Earth Day UMaine had several events and presentations educating students on how they can help the environment. “Getting people to come out and realize that they can be active participants in improving UMaine’s environmental behavior and reducing our impact on the environment. There are certainly a lot of students, faculty, staff and everybody can do just in terms of day to day behavior.”One step UMaine is taking toward becoming greener is installing solar panels.Chris Straka is C.E.O. of the company installing the panels.He says this project has been in the works for several years but will be put into effect in the next sixty days. “What we’ve done here is to make a combined affordable solar unit that takes more advantage of the sun and available energy.”Various student organizations on campus also participated in the day’s festivities.UMaine’s Green Team had a display educating students on how much energy they use. “That is 123 cubic feet, turns out it fills up that entire box and that’s in oil and natural gas.”Green Team President Walter Lazarz says Earth Day is a great start in getting the message out but there is plenty more to be done. “Realistically it takes more work than one day, definitely a good thing in terms of convenient thing to do on one day so that people can come together and think about it.”

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Bangor Kids Learn About Conservation on Earth Day

Updated 5 years ago

A group of parents from greater Bangor used Earth Day as an opportunity to teach their little ones about protecting the environment.They took the kids for a tour of the Wastewater Treatment Plant.The youngsters enjoyed it a lot more than you might think.When you’re only 3 or 4 years old, Earth Day usually doesn’t mean too much. But this group of parents really wanted to get their little ones thinking about what it takes to care for the planet. So they brought them for a tour of Bangor’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. “We don’t make water for drinking. We take the dirty water from people’s homes and make it clean again.”City employees gave the group a VIP tour of the place…starting with the salmon who live in a tank of treated city water in the building’s lobby. “This is what they eat. See those little pellets?”From there, it was on to the yucky stuff: magnified images of the good and bad bacteria found in water before it’s treated. “This is all bacteria that’s alive.” “Yucky bugs!” “I think they were pretty cool.” “Big bugs.” “I just saw a spider!” “Would you wanna drink the water that was in there?” “No.”As the tour progressed, even the Moms and Dads took away some new information. “The water they put out into the Penobscot is cleaner than the background water that’s there now so this process is helping our water.”Kathryn Ravenscraft is the mom of two young girls.She’s hoping her daughters take home some of the lessons they’ve learned today and put them into daily practice, now that they know how much work goes into cleaning the water they use every day. “Turn off the water when they’re not using it. Don’t stand there brushing your teeth with the water running, take a quick shower, just little things like that.”Ravenscraft is hoping more parents will introduce their kids to places like this. So the idea of conservation really hits home. “They were really excited to get kids in here, because they think it’s important, as I do, to start giving kids awareness now. We underestimate their capability to take that baton from us.” “Earth Day is an opportunity but it shouldn’t be the only day we take to explain these things to our kids.” “That it is about celebrating the environment and doing what we can to protect it and that this is part of that process.”

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No Arrests in Bangor Robberies

Updated 5 years ago

Still no arrests in any of the robberies that have taken place in Bangor over the past several days.Sergeant Jim Hodges of the Bangor Police says the investigations are underway, but no suspects are in custody.On Saturday evening, a woman was robbed at knifepoint in downtown Bangor.She wasn’t injured, but the suspect made off with her cash.On Monday, a man who said he had a weapon robbed the T-D Banknorth on Union Street.He also made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.Then on Monday night, a man was assaulted and robbed by two other men with whom he’d shared a taxi.The suspects punched the victim repeatedly, and stole several hundred dollars from his wallet.

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Copper Theft

Updated 5 years ago

Folks in Lincoln might have been wondering why there was crime scene tape at the boat landing on Rt. 2 from Sunday night into Monday.Lincoln Police Chief Bill Flagg says they received a call Sunday evening about smoke coming from the woods area of the landing.When they got there, police discovered what looked like copper wiring that had been burned.Flagg says he believes the wiring came from an industrial plant, and that the owners of the wiring might not know it was stolen.Anyone with any information about this incident is encouraged to call Lincoln Police at 794—2221.

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Car Break-ins on the Rise

Updated 5 years ago

Burglaries and robberies have been on the increase lately, and with that in mind, the Old Town Police Department is issuing a few words to help protect yourself.Sgt. Scott Casey says cars are an easy target for burglars.He says you can make things tougher on them by remembering to lock up your vehicle or removing all valuables inside.GPS units, cd players, MP3 players, cell phones and purses are all things often things left in plain view. They also make attractive targets for thieves.To read more about the concerns from the Old Town Police Department, you can visit their profile page on facebook.

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