Apparently kissing a pig is pretty good motivation for the kids at the Harmony Elementary School.Last school year, the principal at the school promised to do just that if the kids raised $1,000 in pennies to help pay for their new playground.The money was raised, and in June the principal puckered up for the pig.Now the playground is finished.A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 17th.
Folks turned out to the Solidarity Center in Brewer Monday for a Labor Day celebration focused on the past… present…and future… of the the American worker. “Those who clean the toilets, empty the bedpans, do the clerical work, do everything needed to keep our society and community going.”Recognizing people who work for a living Jack McKay of the Eastern Maine Labor Council says that was one goal of their Labor Day celebration.Another is understanding the contributions of organized labor across the country. “I hope they understand that organized labor is actually responsible for most of their benefits they have today. Whether it be healthcare, paid vacations, a pension plan, all those things were gotten by organized labor and then passed on.”Emergy Deabay is part of a group traveling to Washington this week to about the future of labor. They’ll be speaking to members of the congressional delegation in support of the free choice act. “This time we’re going with a very diverse group. We have farmers, religious leaders. It’s not just a labor issue, it’s a people issue.”Pastor Mark Doty is part of the group going to Washington. He says for him, the act touches on moral and civil rights issues. “It’s about raising people into the middle class who might not have an opportunity to get there. It’s about helping folks have a life free of bullying, of intimidation.”They hope to convince Sen. Snowe to support the employee free choice act when it comes to the senate making the act part of this generations contribution to the labor agenda. “We pay too much and get too little. It’s time to change the system so it works better for the majority of Americans.”The celebration also included a picnic and entertainment later in the day.Proceeds go to the group’s solidarity harvest: a program that provides locally grown food for laid-off workers’ thanksgiving dinners.
A man who allegedly robbed a Waterville store early Monday morning will face criminal charges.Waterville police arrested 26-year-old Courtney Shea of Vassalboro.Police say they received a call shortly after 1 o’clock Monday morning from the clerk at the Big Apple convenience store on Elm Street.Police say Shea walked in with a mask over his face, threatened the clerk with a tire iron, and demanded money.The clerk had a hard time opening the register, so Shea fled with a couple packs of cigarettes and lottery tickets.A witness called police with a vehicle description, allowing them to catch up to Shea within 15 minutes.
In just three days it will be the 8th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC.A Bar Harbor man is doing his part to help make September 11th a day of remembrance.For John Nicolai, a tour boat captain in Bar Harbor, it’s a day he will not soon forget. “It was shocking…of course it hit home.”It was then Nicolai realized he wanted to do something to help the first responders. “We think it’s important to remember 9/11 and our fallen heroes, firefighters, local police department, and of course the healthcare providers who help heal the wounded and comfort the dying.”All the money his tour boat takes in on 9/11 will be donated to local first responders. Half goes to the Bar Harbor Fire Department. The other half will benefit the Gouldsboro fire department. “It’s equally as important to help our first responders here locally acquire the tools they need to help our families, our loved ones, when tragedy strikes, whether it’s a car accident, a fire, a hurricane, or a cowardly terrorist attack.” They raised nearly $3,000 last year…every penny went to help local first responders. “It’s a question of debt to them, to be able to get them home safely because a lot of the times they work under harsh conditions, all hours of the night, all kinds of weather conditions, freezing cold blizzards, I mean we should be able to help them a little bit too.” Local fire departments are always grateful for the effort. “To them it’s buying an extra piece of equipment, it’s buying maybe good communication equipment, that was a big issue on 9/11: people couldn’t communicate properly, so to them it adds that extra few dollars there able to get those pieces of equipment that may not be in the budget.”
There’s a big thank you being sent out to all of you who donated so generously during this year’s Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon.TV 5 once again teamed up with the MDA to raise money for Jerry’s Kids during the Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethon.Locally your pledges raised nearly $250,000.The money pays for research and treatment for more than 40 neuromuscular diseases.Nationally the telethon raised more than $60,000,000 this year.Thank you to those who donated.
Bangor city councilors want your input on a proposal to extend street parking time limits on some of Bangor’s busiest streets.The proposal would extend the time limits from sixty to ninety minutes on parts of Main Street, Central Street and Harlow Street.People who live in the area say the additional time would certainly help them, since some are forced to move their cars once every hour. “When you have got three kids and you have got to go move a car, and you got to pile three kids in the car just to move a car.” Said Bangor Resident Christina Cessford, adding: “It’s pretty bad.”The city council is meeting Wednesday at 5:15pm in council chambers to discuss the parking plan.The public is encouraged to attend. You can also share your thoughts by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.orgThose who want to submit opinions are asked to put “Downtown Parking” in the subject line of their e-mail.You can also call Rodney McKay, at 992-4240.
It was a perfect forecast for a barbeque on this labor day.Many folks were celebrating the unofficial end to summer with a day off from work.But not everyone was on vacation: Democratic candidates for Governor made an appearance in Winthrop, hoping to sway a vote or two their way.The sounds and smells of a summer: time off for many but for others it’s a time to talk.Dawn Hill, Libby Mitchell, Steve Rowe, and Rosa Scarcelli have one thing in common: they want your vote in 2010. “Especially this year with all the gubernatorial candidates…hopefully it’ll give voters a chance to get the skinny on what their platforms are.”The Kennebec County Democratic Committee and Wintrop Democrats invited all Democratic gubernatorial candidates.Two stopped by while TV5 was there.Speeches were given: “There are some real challenges ahead of us.” Mitchell: “This is truly a grassroots state.”Questions were asked: “What do you find are the most popular issues? Is healthcare still?” “I think healthcare is right at the top.” “How many of your constituents have an extra 5-6 thousand lying around each month?” “Zero. Right.”With healthcare issues on the minds of many, The one question that will remain unanswered for now though, is who will get the most votes in a race for governor that is just getting started?There are plenty of Republicans running in the race too, including Matt Jacobson, Peter Mills, Less Otten, and Bruce Poliquin.
Route 3 in Trenton was shut down Monday night while crews worked to reconstruct a bad accident that killed one person and left several others injured.Officials say two vehicles collided head-on near Romer’s Corner on Route 3 at around 7 o’clock Monday evening.A vehicle driven by a man from New Jersey, with four passengers inside, crossed the center line on that corner.Coming the other way was a vehicle driven by a woman from Indiana and her passenger.As a result of the crash 29-year-old Ramyaa Lakshminarayananr of Jersey City, New Jersey died at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth.Six people were taken to the hospital, one person by life flight.Officials spent Monday evening redirecting traffic, while crews were working there.The accident is still under investigation.
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 8th, State St. in Bangor will be getting a makeover.Eastern Maine Health Care is teaming up with with the city of Bangor on a project designed to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety.The work includes reconstructing the traffic island at the corner of Hancock and State streets, as well as removing and resetting the curb near the bus stop.Bangor Police are urging folks to be careful in that area, and to allow extra time to travel through it during construction.They expect to be finished with the project on Oct. 16th.
A 43-year-old Farmingdale man has died after his canoe capsized on Damariscotta Lake in Jefferson.Kenneth Soucy and his son, 23-year-old Alex Soucy of Jefferson, went into about seven feet of water when the canoe capsized Sunday afternoon. Theywere about 30 to 40 feet from shore.A game warden said Kenneth Soucy did not come up. A neighbor on shore saw what happened, went into the water and pulled him to shore. Alex Soucy was able to swim to shore.Kenneth Soucy died Sunday night at Miles Memorial Hospital.Authorities are investigating.
Authorities say a Maine fisherman drowned when he jumped into the Rockland breakwater to deal with a snagged fishing line.22-year-old George Eugene Bonney of Rockland was fishing off the breakwater when, authorities say, he jumped in and swam about 30 feet off the breakwater before going under.Officials say it’s not clear whether it was the 60-degree water temperature, or whether Bonney got tired, but the water itself was calm at the time.Barthel said Bonney had been fishing with his brother, and his mother had arrived at the breakwater to pick him up just minutes after he went into the water.
Executives with FairPoint Communications Inc. will face the utilityregulatory boards from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont on Wednesday.It’s highly unusual to have all three states’ regulatory boards hold a joint meeting. But FairPoint has been plagued by ongoing order-fulfillment, customer service, billing and other problems in the three states.FairPoint bought Verizon Communications’ landline telephone and Internet business last year in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont for $2.3 billion.The regulatory boards will hold their joint status conference in Derry, N.H., seeking updates on FairPoint’s efforts to stabilize its troubled operations systems, as well as on organizational changes and financial matters.
Rt. 3 in Trenton was shut down Monday night while crews worked to reconstruct a bad accident that injured several people.Officials say two vehicles collided head-on near Romer’s corner on around 7:00 p.m.Several people were taken to the hospital, one person by life flight.
Students and staff at hundreds of older schools across New England could be at risk for health problems because of toxic caulking in windows and masonry.That word comes from officials at the Environmental Protection Agency.They’ll soon be releasing guidelines to school officials and owners of other buildings on what to do about the problem.The agency says some caulk used in the 1960s and 1970s containspoly-chlorinated bi-phenyls, or PCBs, which were banned in the late1970s because of potential cancer risks. Officials say PCBs from deteriorating materials can end up in the air.The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts Department ofPublic Health is recommending that schools test their caulking andreplace it if it is deteriorating.
A big meeting is on tap for FairPoint Communications this week.Officials will meet with regulators from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.Fairpoint will have to detail what steps it’s taking to correct service quality problems on the dominant phone network servingnorthern New England.Fairpoint took over landline and internet service in the three states in February.
Maine’s Catholic leaders are stepping up their efforts to defeat a gay marriage law in November.The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is asking its parishes to take a special second collection next weekend to help pay for a campaign to use a statewide referendum to reverse a gay marriage law passed by the stateLegislature.The money will go to Stand for Marriage Maine, which is leading the effort to repeal the law allowing same-sex marriage.Stand for Marriage also is planning a rally next Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center
A three-week campaign aimed at getting drunk drivers off the road comes to anend Monday.Sixty-seven Maine police departments, including state police, have been participating in the Over the Limit-Under Arrest campaign, which began on August 21st.It was part of a nationwide initiative involving 11-thousand police departments. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the campaign was aimed at the high-risk final weeks of summer before and during Labor Day weekend.Federal officials say 40 percent of all fatal accidents duringlast year’s Labor Day weekend involved a drunk driver.
If you were driving down Elm Street in East Newport you probably would never guess what’s going on on the other side of the trees. It’s an old fashioned Native American Pow-Wow. “The Pow-Wow is a teaching, we come here to allow non-native people to understand our culture and what we believe in,” says Micheal Paczensny. For Paczensny this is just 1 of 27 Pow-Wow’s he’ll attend this year. He’s the head firekeeper here. “Our sacred fire burns from the time we start the Pow-Wow, which is 6:00 Friday morning, and it goes until Monday night at 5:00, then we take the ashes from this fire and take it with us to the next Pow-Wow.”Paczensy says it’s an opportunity to not only celebrate his heritage, but also help people to better understand what being native american is all about. “It’s what you have in here that makes you Native American, and yourself, you were born in the United States, you’re Native American as far as we’re concerned, as long as you come and honor our traditions we are going to honor you.”Ellie Luce has been organizing this Pow-Wow for the past 10 years and she says interest has grown. “It’s taken off,” says Luce, “people are coming through and seeing that it’s not just for Native Americans, they’re seeing what we’re doing.” She says people are a little less apprehensive then they used to be. “A lot of people were a little skiddish at first to come because they didn’t know if it was a religion or what it was and it’s not and we don’t preach nothing here you know you can be yourself.”In fact it’s an opportunity for everyone to learn something new and useful. “With us if you see something that you like and you want to know how to make it we’ll tell you and allow you the chance to pick your craft.” Robert Kunnaway Turner has been making and selling flutes to sell at Pow-Wow’s and he says he’s just excited people want to learn about his culture. “So our culture is getting out there and it makes my heart feel good that finally, what we call the washee, the white people are coming to learn about us.”
Native Americans from all over New England are in Newport this weekend.The tenth annual North Country Inter Tribal Powwow is underway.It’s a celebration of Native culture and heritage, featuring dancing, drums, feasting, storytelling and demonstrations.There are also craft and food vendors.Those who turned out say it’s like a family reunion of sorts…and it’s especially meaningful for all the children who attend…and learn so much about their heritage.The powwow continues through Monday on Elm Street in Newport.The gates open at 10 a.m.General admission is $5 per adult…children under 18 are free with a paid adult.
A family from Southwest Harbor arrived back home today after a 3 month journey across the United States.As Meghan Hayward tells us they were pushed to their limits and learned a lot about each other along the way.Cars lined the road while relatives and friends waited anxiously for the arrival of the O’Donnell family.” We basically went straight east from San Francisco. And when we hit the Ohio River we started curving Northeast. And we hit Eerie Pennsylvania and so we’ve going through New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and now Maine.”The O’Donnells’ epic bike ride called “Rebecca’s Ride,” started on Memorial Day and came to an end Saturday in Seal Cove.The journey across the country was to help raise money and awareness for type one diabetes.Rebecca O’Donnell has type one diabetes.” I always have to test my blood sugar throughout the day so that’s 4 or 5 finger pricks a day and then I have to keep track of everything I eat and take insulin whenever I eat.”The ride was a challenge for Rebecca because all the exercise caused her blood sugars to drop.But she wants her determination to be a reminder for everyone with diabetes.” You can do anything now, I mean the technology is so great there’s no limitations to what you can do with diabetes.”Deb O’Donnell is Rebecca’s mother and the main reason the family decided to take the journey.She works at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor and because of the economy, her bosses were looking for ways to save money.Deb decided taking a 3 month leave of absence without pay would be the perfect solution.” So I presented it to Jackson Laboratory and my department head and they thought it was a pretty good idea.”The O’Donnells raised close to $9,000.All the money will go to the lab’s diabetes research programs.Deb says after spending so much time with her family she’s learned a lot about them.” I think the biggest thing for me is that I’ve learned the special gifts my kids and husband have that you don’t see because you don’t see them interacting with people as much as we did.”So what’s next for the O’Donnell family?First enjoying time with their friends and family they haven”t seen for three months and then maybe planning their next family adventure.