High Schoolers Learn Real-Life Finances

Updated 5 years ago

Area high school students got together today to talk about financial fitness.Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor held their fifth annual Financial Fitness Money Management Experience.Over two-hundred students were expected to attend.Local credit unions gave presentations.The event was put on to help make teens more aware of their finances.Organizers say financial education is important to start at a young age.”I think this is a wonderful way of maybe getting them exposed to things like budgeting and savings and trying to be creative monetarily and these are so many of the things they are going to have to do in real life. If they can do them now without having the consequences of making the wrong choice, when they get to make the choice for real they’ll maybe make the choice that is more fiscally responsible.”During the day students were asked to participate in an interactive “game of life”.They were given a scenario packet – with an occupation, income, and credit history, then they planned out their financial future.

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A Trip Alongside Ghost Hunters

Updated 5 years ago

Do you believe in ghosts? How about ghost towns?We tagged along with some ghost hunters today who are trying to prove there was a ghost town somewhere in the woods near Greenbush….Meghan Hayward shows us what they found.”It’s new adventure everyday.”An adventure that Harold Murray and his ghost investigating team were about to take us on.We started the first trek to what is being called Riceville case file number two. “The story we’re trying to tell people is from what was reported to us from some of the elders that knew the area and told us the plague was going through here like dysentery, there were a few others.Murray and his team first learned about this ghost town in 2000 and took it on the next year.For the past eight years, they haven’t been able to prove or disprove the town existed, but now say they’re sure it was real. “But with the new information we have now, we know the entire story.”Along the way, they’ve come across quite a bit. “Well we came across, we were told this was a mass cemetery. It took us a few years to find there’s only two to three bodies in here.Ghost investigator Kelly Moore says there wasn’t one person who discovered all of this. “This was a team effort. Everyone found everything. We involved one person that found it, pulled somebody else to help it be removed.”Parts of a leather shoe, a saw, china plates and part of a wagon are just a few of the items this team has uncovered.They’re satisfied with their findings. ” Pretty confident, we were extremely excited that we found these objects and things we had to bring back through our adventure.”An adventure where they say they’ve seen a man plowing and heard a woman screaming.But also one that Murray says is a closed case and ready for the next generation to explore for themselves.

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Wyman’s Blueberry Fields Buzzing

Updated 5 years ago

The country’s largest wild blueberry grower had a good winter. Wyman’s of Maine says layers of snow kept their bushes well insulated.Now they’re hoping for a good harvest, and for that, they need to see lots of bees this month.”I did the math. It’s roughly 450 million bees we’re importing to work our fields,” says Nat Lindquist, vice president of operations for Jasper Wyman & Son.Without bees to pollinate their eight thousand growing acres, Wyman’s wouldn’t have blueberries. And since there aren’t enough native bees to cover their fields, they bring them in on trucks from other states.”They transport them here with a net to keep the bees in,” Lindquist says. “And they’ll water the trucks and the hives down as they transport them to keep the bees in.”Bee yards are set up throughout their fields for the ten thousand hives.”As the blossom develops and opens up, the bees have a sense of what to do and where to go, and they do a great job as long as mother nature gives us the good weather,” he says.Colony collapse disorder, which threatens bee populations, is still a big worry. “It hasn’t gone away. Nobody has truly defined what the real cause of it is. They’re still working on finding the cause.”It will take the imported bees three to four weeks to finish the job and get the plants ready for a good harvest.”We look very good right now. It’s very early to make any predictions and we won’t do any crop estimates until we’re fully pollinated,” Lindquist says.They’re hoping for good temperatures, some nice rain, and the same thing as everyone who makes a business off the land.”I’m just hoping,” he says, “there are no disastrous things that happen.”

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Johnny’s Selected Seeds Selects the Maine Farmland Trust

Updated 5 years ago

The employees of Johnny’s Selected Seeds presented a $40,000 donation to Maine Farmland Trust. Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide organization that works to keep working farms working.  Since its founding in 1999, the Trust has worked with over 100 farmers and helped preserve over 13,500 acres of Maine farmland. The Trust also runs Maine FarmLink, a program that helps aspiring farmers buy or lease land from retiring farmers.  In the past five years, FarmLink has make 42 connections—that’s another 42 farms that will likely continue for another generation.  The employees of Johnny’s Seeds have chosen Maine Farmland Trust as their principal charity for this year, in recognition of the great work the Trust is doing.   

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Blood Donors Needed

Updated 5 years ago

Memorial Day represents the unofficial start of summer, and for the American Red Cross it also brings a drop in blood donations. More people take vacations during the summer, and forget to give blood. That means the blood supply can get dangerously low.The folks at the Red Cross say they hope everyone will step forward, but they especially need donors with type O-negative blood.Trudy Darling, Account Executive for the Red Cross says it’s considered the universal blood type. “Type O negative we use for trauma victims, for newborn babies for premature babies because they’re being tested. Obviously their blood hasn’t been typed yet, so we have to use type O negative. Plus, type O neg can only receive type O neg. So if you are type O neg, please consider coming into the American Red Cross Donor Center and give your gift of life as soon as possible.”If you’d like to give blood, call 1-800-Give Life to schedule an appointment.The Bangor Donor Center at 900-B Hammond street is open Tuesday through Thursday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Friday 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM, and every 1st and 3rd Saturday.

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Gay Marriage Ballot Question Drafted

Updated 5 years ago

Maine election officials have drafted the question that will appear on the state referendum ballot if opponents of the recently enacted same-sex marriage collect enough signatures. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Tuesday the question that will appear on petitions is as follows:”Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?” Dunlap said the petitioners have until 90 days after the Legislature adjourns to collect 55,087 signatures. His office then has 30 days to certify the signatures and determine whether to hold up the law until a statewide vote.

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Maine Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Bangor

Updated 5 years ago

It was a case of “He said she said.”That’s how the attorney for John Auclair desribed the sexual assault case that put him behind bars.She argued to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in Bangor today that the lower courts made a mistake by not allowing the jury to hear certain statements.John Auclair of Bangor was convicted last fall of sexually assaulting a woman. Now his attorney is appealing that conviction to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.”Exactly what he said and exactly what she said is of criminal importance.” Mandi Odier-Fink argues that the jury didn’t hear all the evidence it should have, specifically from Auclair’s girlfriend who died before the trial.She made statements to a private investigator about the victim, who happened to be her best friend. The justices questioned how much of what was said was relevant and admissable?”What would be an example does it impeach her credibility or does it go to the motive? Just give me an example of what inference they could draw that would be appropriate on the case. I think it would go to motive.”The defense argues that the victim made up the story about being raped.Then the prosecution presented the state’s argument.”It involved taking hair samples and pulling them.”Susan Pope read testimony from the trial describing the invasive examination undergone by the victim at the hospital after the assault.She argued that even if the witness in question would be alive, none of the statements made would have been admissable in the trial.Auclair is expected to spend four years behind bars.The justices heard three other cases in Bangor today. Their decisions are expected to take several weeks.

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DTV Clinic This Week in Bangor

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

The switch to digital television is less than a month away and the Federal Communications Commission is trying to help out viewers who still have questions about the transition. The FCC is hosting a number of DTV clinics in the next three-and-a-half weeks, including one in Bangor later this week.The clinics are designed to show folks how to hook up converter boxes, if they’re not receiving their signal through cable or satellite services. The clinic in Bangor is set for this Thursday at K-mart on Hogan Road. It will run from 4 in the afternoon to 8 o’clock that night. Anyone with questions about converter boxes or how to apply for government coupons for the boxes is welcome.

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Child Porn Suspect Appears in Court

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

A man from Sangerville accused of possessing child pornography made his first court appearance yesterday in Dover-Foxcroft.Larry Daggett was arrested last month after an investigation by the State Police Computer Crimes Unit.Police say he was accessing images on the internet using a peer-to-peer network called Gnuetella.Daggett’s wife operated a child care facility in the Sangerville area. Officials say there’s no evidence any of the children at the daycare were victimized.Daggett did not enter a plea yesterday and his case was continued until June.He’s being held at the Piscataquis County Jail with bail set at 25-thousand dollars.

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Train Cars Carrying Sulfuric Acid Derail in Hermon

Catherine Pegram

Updated 5 years ago

Railroad officials say four cars carrying sulfuric acid and ethanol that are derailed in Hermon don’t pose a danger to the public because none of the liquid has leaked.The cars from Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway derailed about 8 o’clock yesterday morning behind LMS Transportation. That’s in an industrial park off Cold Brook Road in Hermon. John Schultz, the vice president of transportation with the railroad company, says crews continue to make repairs to get the cars back on track. Three of them contain sulfuric acid, one has ethanol. A hazardous materials team is on site, too, while workers off-load acid from two of the cars to make the job easier. The Hermon fire department is also on the scene as a precaution. Schultz says the train was on its way to customers in Searsport when the cars left the track. He says the cause is under investigation and the re-railing work should be done by tomorrow night.

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Sebec Lake Weather Station Part 1

Todd Simcox

Updated 5 years ago

The end of an era is coming to the Sebec Lake area.Bill Larrabee has been a dedicated weather observer dating back to the early 1960s.Bill has always been instrumental for T-V 5 and the National Weather Service.Unfortunately… due to health related issues… Bill and his wife Mary Jane are moving out of the Pine Tree State and headed south to Virginia to live near his daughter.Bill began his career in upstate New York near the shores of Lake Ontario, helping out the weather bureau in Albany before moving to Maine in 1989. Since then, he has played a big role in reporting daily weather conditions at Sebec Lake to the National Weather Service office in Caribou and to us here at TV 5… at one point taking on the nickname “Chilly Willy”.”Bill has been doing the co-op observer routine going on 33 years now… but since he’s been doing this, he’s just been one person that you can rely on 365 days a year.”One of approximately 8000 co-op weather observers across the United States. Bill doesn’t take this job very lightly. “We make history every day here. No 2 days are alike, like a snowflake. They’re different somehow, by 1 or 2 degrees they can be different and I’ve seen a couple of days that were that close within a degree or two but hardly ever have I seen them exactly the same, so we’re making history here.” “We have over 7000 daily observations and they’re uninterrupted at this time.”Bill has even joined forces with another observer across the lake in Barnard to ensure the data recordings continue if he’s heading out of town.”We vowed that we’d never take our vacations at the same time.”They’re called co-op weather observers because they cooperate with the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service sets them up with the necessary equipment and then once a day, maybe more depending on the weather, they report back to the NWS things like temperature, precipitation, snowfall and snow depth, whatever data is relevant that day. All of this work is done on a volunteer basis and is considered to be vital information to the National Weather Service.”Its vital to us because they fill in the gaps between automated stations especially for climatology purposes but they also fill in the gaps between automated stations so we can use their data for warning verification, things like that.”In 2006 the National Weather Service awarded Bill with the Thomas Jefferson Award, recognizing his accurate and consistent observations and for his years of cooperation with the NWS.”It meant a lot because I remember when I began, a lot of the old timers who had been in the business at that time… They were my mentors and I kind of looked up to them.”

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Contract Expires for Electrical Workers

Updated 5 years ago

Central Maine Power Company’s largest union is now working without a contract.The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers represents more than half of CMP’s 1,200 employees.A contract between the two expired at midnight Saturday.The union says negotiations continued until early Friday night and that no further bargaining sessions have been scheduled.Union members are being advised to continue reporting to work.

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Anthem Rate Hikes Denied

Updated 5 years ago

Maine’s superintendent of insurance has said no to higher prices being proposed by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.Superintendent Mila Kofman announced the decision Monday night.The health insurance company wanted to raise its rates by an average of 18.5%.Kofman called that “excessive and unfairly discriminatory.”She’s suggesting a raise of nearly 11% instead.Anthem has about 12,000 policy holders in Maine.

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State Budget Passes Committee

Updated 5 years ago

Early Tuesday morning, state budget negotiators reached a compromise that passed unanimously, and is now on it’s way to the Senate.State workers have been spared from a pay cut.Budget negotiators decided to scrap a plan to impose a one-time 5% decrease in their salary.Instead, the appropriations committee has moved back to a plan that would rely on government shutdown days: 10 in each of the coming two years.It’s expected to save close to 14-million dollars.The revised package would also freeze merit and longevity pay, for additional savings of close to $12 million more.And, it would introduce employee contributions for health insurance.

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Walking Sticks

Updated 5 years ago

This Memorial Day, our country’s newest veterans will be among those honored by the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor.In years past, the museum has given walking sticks to more than 3,800 veterans from WWII, the Korean war and the Vietnam war.This year, they’ll be handing out specially-designed walking sticks to Maine veterans who’ve served in the war on terrorism.Organizers say it’s nice to see veterans get the recognition they deserve.New Maine veterans who’ve served since 1990 are invited to pick up the walking sticks next Monday near TD Banknorth on Exchange St. before the start of the Memorial day parade.More than 500 are ready to go.

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Palmyra Man Pleads Guilty to 1995 Crime

Updated 5 years ago

A Palmyra man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a crime that happened 14 years ago .Steven Cutting entered the plea Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court.Prosecutors say back in April of 1995, Cutting met 36 year old William Greenwood in Portland. They say Cutting was giving Greenwood a ride home to Westbrook when they started to argue. After Cutting dropped him off in Portland, he shot Greenwood with a rifle.Prosecutors admit the crime never would have been solved, if Cutting had not confessed last year.He was originally charged with murder.The defense attorney says Cutting agreed to plead guilty manslaughter to give Greenwood’s family “closure”.Cutting will be sentenced in August. Prosecutors say they’ll ask for a 25 year prison term.

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Tuition Hike is Passed for UMaine System

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

Tuition will be going up again next year for full-time students in the UMaine system.Chancellor Richard Pattenaude told the Board of Trustees at their meeting in Bangor Monday that the system is cutting costs, but it isn’t enough.The Board then approved an almost six percent tuition hike, the smallest increase in seven years.”That was the first time that the University has engaged in looking beyond one year at a time and it certainly probably more evident now how critical that is that we do that,” said the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Rebecca M. Wyke.After attempting to plan the financial future of the University of Maine System, the board’s belief is that considering the current fiscal standing of the state, the seven schools will likely have to succeed with what they have now, said Wyke.”We will do well to hang on to what we have for base appropriation or to have very little of it chipped away. They are not in a position to be offering us more. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask for more and it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fight for more, but they are in a very difficult position to give us more.”The committee wants to keep tuition increases at six percent or less each year, knowing the financial situation of families in this state that send students to the schools.Is the UMaine System getting close to the breaking point for families to send their kids to college?”Yes,” said Wyke. “and I think we’re dangerously close to it and that’s also part of the work that we need to do through the task force The New Challenges and New Direction, is to understand where that breaking point is and to make sure that we don’t go over it because the degree that we go over it we are not meeting our mission and if our primary mission is to educate Maine people then we need to have a focus on what they can afford and how we can make it more affordable.”

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Community Supported Agriculture Part 1

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

C-S-A stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it seems to be a growing thing here in Maine.There are more than 120 C-S-As in our state with more than 55-hundred shareholders.The arrangement helps support local farmers while putting fresh and often less expensive food on local dinner tables.Maine has always had ties to farming and many in our state have their own gardens.Some don’t have the time or space to keep up with it, but would still like fresh food from the garden all summer.That need is being filled by C-S-A’s.”People are really interested in local produce right now just because of all the problems that are you know, the food system right now is so corrupt and it’s such a problem people can’t trust what they’re getting from who knows where and the CSA is such a great model because people can put a face with who’s growing their food”Ryan Parker of Parker Produce in East Newport has seen his membership grow each year he’s been in business. He started by providing seasonal food to local restaurants, but he found the demand was from his friends and neighbors.Once word gets out, more people are interested.”It’s hard to make a connection between the people who want local, sustainably grown produce and the farmers who want to grow it, just because of the way the food system is set up, most people have never heard of CSA, they don’t know what that is, and once you tell people what it is most people are pretty receptive, you know, think it’s a great idea.” says 29-year-old Ryan Parker who has been farming for just four years. Mark McBrine of the Vine and Branch Farm in Bangor has always been around it.”Both my grandfathers were farmers in Maine, my parents both grew up on those farms, ended up going on to different careers but always stayed involved in farming.”The farm he runs with his wife Linda and their seven children is a little different.”We’re a diversified farm that has vegetables and meat products and it just seemed like people were interested. There weren’t very many people doing shares for meat when we started doing the meat six years ago and they really like having meats that are along with the vegetables that they can get from a local farmer.”To be a member of a CSA, you buy a share or half share from the farmer. Each week during the growing season, you get produce or meat from the farmer’s gardens. The price varies from farm to farm, but a share starts around three hundred dollars. Most payments are due before the growing season starts.”The farmer gets all the money up front, when I have to be buying seeds and tools and things like that in January. That’s when my money is coming in then the rest of the summer. I just have to work on making it happen,” said Parker. “For our full share members last year, if you had gone into the grocery store and bought as close as you could get for the same thing that I provide you, would have spent two hundred dollars more, so you save a lot of money.”McBrine agreed, “It’s a better value than going and just purchasing items say at a farmers market or individual products that you might get at a stand. But it is an initial down payment that you have to make. It’s probably a lot harder for people right now with the way the economy is but we’ve worked out payment plans for people that have needs to have that kind of a situation.”

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Community Supported Agriculture Part 2

Wayne Harvey

Updated 5 years ago

As we learned in Part One, there are more than 5,500 shareholders in 120 Community Supported Agriculture farms in Maine, or CSA’s.In Part Two we learn what farmers think is in store for them in the future.They think the future looks bright and it’s mainly because in this tough economy, people want to know where their money is going and they want to keep that money local.”There’s no better way to support the local economy than to be involved with a CSA or purchase locally from a farm, a local farmer at a farmers market either one of those options at least you know you are supporting a local farmer, a local business.””The future is local. It’s outpaced organic as the fastest growing sector of the food market and organic has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last ten years, but the local food market is just taking over.”Ryan keeps that buy local philosophy with everything he does. He tries to buy everything made in the USA.”If I can get it you know from Maine especially, I’ll do that and that goes for all of my tools and things like that. If I can, the clothes I wear and things like that and I try to cause that’s one of my things, I’m a local farmer and if I want you to support local then I should be doing the same thing and I think that what goes around comes around.”Each farm has seen their membership grow every year and growing more than Mark McBrine of the Vine and Branch Farm of Bangor expected.”We were surprised how many people have become members, become shareholders. It seems like word of mouth is the best advertising and once someone does it, they tell their friends and it seems to spiral from there.”Ryan Parker of Parker Produce in East Newport thinks one of the reasons for his success and the success of all CSA’s is the green and organic movement in the country.”The fact that people are interested in organic just goes to show you that they want something else than what’s available and it’s definitely helping not only CSA’s, but local farmers. There are farmers markets and direct marketing. It’s definitely helping them.”McBrine agreed wholeheartedly, “people seem to want to be involved with a local farm, know their farmer, know where their food is coming from. It ends up being something they can get their family involved in.”They think the future of farming and produce is not the super farms in the Midwest, California or out of the country, it’s down the street.”So I think the future is local whether it’s CSA’s or farmers markets or buying clubs or things like that. I think that is where the food market is headed.” Parker added, “It’s going to take a long time to turn around the system but I think that’s where it headed because the global system that we have now isn’t sustainable so even if people were happy with it, it couldn’t last much longer, so I think CSA’s are just one aspect of the local food future.”McBrine says it will continue even if people have to pay up front for a season’s worth of food.”Some people, it becomes very hard for them and some people may look for the cheapest option they can find. For some people that are committed to local, good nutritional food then it’s a value for them to be involved in a CSA and that’s something they are more apt to do.”To find out more about Community Supported Agriculture farms in Maine log on to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners website at on resources, and Community Supported Agriculture in Maine for a list of farms by County, or follow this link

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Frosty Gardens

Joy Hollowell

Updated 5 years ago

Gardeners are grumbling.Mother nature is throwing us a curve ball, with freezing temperatures expected in many areas of Maine Monday night.It could do a number on those hanging plants and annuals you just put in the ground.Joy Hollowell talks with a gardening guru to find out how to keep flowers frost-free.+++++++++++++++”The only thing that gardeners have the last of and we should practice the most, and that’s patience. We’re all antsy to plant for spring.”Bob Bangs of Windswept Gardens in Bangor says instead, gardeners need to follow the moon.”the farmers have always gone by that, you don’t plant until the full moon, and it’s always been Memorial Day weekend,” says Bob Bangs.That’s because Mother Nature usually has one more cold spell up her sleeve. And this season, it’s coming in the form of a frost advisory.”certain annuals will handle light frost better than others. The real susceptible ones are impatients, in your garden it’s tomato plants, peppers, and plants like that,” says Bob Bangs.Perrenials could also perish, especially those that were just planted.”if perrenials came from a heated green house and they haven’t had a chance to acclimate outdoors, they’re going to be more susceptible to a frost or freeze. Some of those would be hostas or astilbes, day lilies,” says Bangs.For those who did rush the season, Bob says there are some things you can do to protect your plants. Anything that’s portable should spend the night indoors.”things that are planted in the ground are a little bit more problematic. If you have old sheets or blankets, you can gently drape them over the top of the plant,” says Bangs.Bob advises folks to avoid plastic.”plastic, while it affords a certain degree of protection, if the plant foilage touches it, where it touches, there’s a good chance there’s going to be tissue damage,” says Bangs.And, believe it or not, Bob says watering your plants at peak frost time could actually protect them. He recommends hooking up a timer to your hose.”living in Maine, we love spring. And we always try to push the season. But mother nature always checks us in with reality,” says Bangs.==============Bob says most greenhouses in Maine and north of here start turning down the heat, to acclimate plants to the outdoor temperatures.But plants grown in states south of here have not yet had time to adjust, so they’ll be more susceptible to frost damage.

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