One person was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries after a crash at the intersection of the Billings and Fuller roads in Hermon Wednesday.Police say the accident happened when the driver of a van stopped at the intersection and sneezed, causing his foot to come off the brake.He ended up going through the stop sign, and striking another vehicle, pushing it into the ditch. Shortly after, that vehicle caught on fire, and the occupants had to be pulled to safety.The Billings road was closed while the scene was being cleared.
Elevated levels of red tide poisoning has forced the closure of much of Maine’s coastline to the harvesting of certain types of shellfish. Dr. Doras Anne Mills, the Execut”For more than 30 years we didn’t see any red tide poisoning in people,” says Dr. Doras Anne Mills, the Executive Director of the Miane CDC, “but the last two years we have had 2 confirmed incidents and both of them involved people harvesting mussels or clams for their own personal use.”The toxin that cause red tide poisoning tends to accumulate in warm and well lit waters such as the surface of the ocean. In the past areas that were contaminated were physically posted, but thats not the case anymore. “If your harvesting shellfish yourself for personal use make sure to check the department of marine resources website (www.maine.gov/dmr) to see if those clam flats or mussel beds are opened or closed.”Another important thing to remember is, some shellfish, for the most part are safe to eat, such as lobster, crabs, and scallops. People should not be afraid to buy shellfish that is already being sold.”The main thing is this is a great time of year to enjoy Maine seafood including shellfish and you can enjoy it,” says Mills, “just make sure to buy from a certified dealer because those shellfish are routinely and intensely monitored.”
Benita Schmitt says the best parts of riding her motorcycle are “the wind and the sunshine.”The open road has long attracted riders. And as more take to the roads, the faces of people driving those motorcycles are changing. Women now make up ten percent of the country’s riding population. Women like Aimee Houtari.”People will come up to me, guys will come up to me, and say, ‘Is that your motorcycle?’” Houtari says. “That’s my motorcycle. And they just seem really fascinated, even now.”Women would “rather drive, than ride on the back of their husband or partner’s motorcycle,” Schmitt says.More women are enrolling in local training courses. Eric Curtis at Central Maine Harley Davidson says over the past two years his classes have grown to 70 percent women — of all ages. “Their kids are out of college, out of high school. It’s their second life, they always wanted to do this,” Curtis says.”I think it’s very liberating for a woman to take charge,” Houtari says.But with more people on the road in general, whether you’re male or female, what’s important is keeping everyone safe.”There’s no air bags, there’s no seat belt,” Curtis says.”Motorcycle fatalities have doubled in the last 10 years,” says Russell Chretien, of Allstate insurance in Bangor. “We see a lot of claims, and a lot of avoidable claims.”He says obstacles like potholes, sand, even a crack in the road present real hazards.”If that motorcycle is swerving to avoid one of those dangerous obstacles that a car does not recognize, that can cause an accident. We see that frequently,” Chretien says. “Proper lights, daytime lights, blinkers are functioning and your gear helps you be seen.”As always, staying alert to changing technology and changing road conditions helps everyone avoid accidents.”Some of the local roads here are challenging,” Houtari says. “There’s sand still on some of the roads and roadwork, but it doesn’t keep us off them.””It’s just this feeling of open road and freedom that attracts not just the male operators but this huge population of female operators coming out now,” Chretien says. “It’s just fun to be out there on the road – as long as you’re safe.”
Maine’s school system consolidation project – the subject of a repeal referendum this fall – is taking hold, according to Education Department officials. Officials from the department said Wednesday that one year after the firstreorganized school unit got up and running, 25 new school districts began operations July 1 as part of a statewide reorganization. According to department officials, the combined districts, which werepreviously 98 separate units, have more than 55,000 students – almost 30 percent of the state total. Adding in 42 school systems with over 100,000 students that may have met requirements without merging, state officials say 85 percent of the state’s students are in complying school systems. One hundred and twenty-seven school systems with 15 percent of the students in the state still face reorganization requirements.
Redevelopment plans for the former Moosehead Manufacturing Building in Dover-Foxcroft are being put in motion.As Meghan Hayward tells us, the community could not be happier.”We’re just trying to create jobs, hopefully locate some businesses at the site.”The Pine Crest Business Park Board of Directors has accepted ownership of the the former Moosehead Manufacturing Building.”In some cases, there are funding opportunities available to non-profit development corporations that we wouldn’t have to access to, so we want to work with them in that regard.”As the owners, Pine Crest is eligible to apply for a $250,000 profit grant from the state’s Community Development Block Grant Program.Money that can help the redevelopment process begin.It’s something Dover-Foxcroft Town Manager Jack Clukey says is important to the community.”As you come in from Route 7, it’s the first thing you see when you come into town and we kind of call it the gateway of the community. It’s right in our downtown. It’s really important that if we could get some business activity going there it will help the rest of the businesses.”Donna Cleary, Manager of Mr. Paperback, says that business is needed.”We’ve noticed the difference, the change. Just the lack of jobs for people.”Cleary says it will also help the community.” It’s vital I think. We definitely need it and I’m hoping to see all kinds of action over there.”Sherry French lives in Guilford, but works in Dover-Foxcroft.She’s happy with the decision to redevelop the building.”I am really thrilled that somebody is taking it over and going to have great ideas I know, and make something of that building because we can’t lose anymore. We need people to come and things here for people to come and see.”Clukey says they’ve explored several ideas as to what could go into the building.”We hope to see a mix of uses. It could be some retail space, could be some business office space in parts of the building. It could be housing in parts of the building.”Clukey says it will be a long process, but one they plan to follow through with.
State Police have released the identity of the motorcyclist who died in a Waterford crash Wednesday morning.51 year old Horace Wallace of Richmond was killed instantly when his motorcycle veered into the opposite lane on Five Kezars Road and collided with a pickup around 8:30 a.m.The truck was driven by 74 year old Stanley Rowe of Waterford who was slightly injured. Wallace was not wearing a helmet. A team of four State Troopers and two deputies from the Oxford Sheriff’s Office investigated the crash.
The University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine are teaming up to help shape the future of the state, thanks to a 20-million dollar grant.The money comes from the National Science Foundation to support a new project called the Sustainability Solutions Initiative. Governor Baldacci and other state leaders made the announcement today in Orono. For the next five years, Umaine, USM and other government and business partners will pool their resources as they learn how to spark economic and community development, while protecting the environment.The Governor says the effort will also create a number of jobs.”Directly they’re talking about 200 to 300 jobs but the ripple impact would be enormous. they’re talking on the order of thousands of people being able to ultimately be recognized through the research and development that this will provide.”The project will be lead by Umaine’s Senator George J. Mitchell Center.Initially, it’ll focus on problems related to urban sprawl, forest management and climate change, such as the rapid growth in Southern Maine versus the sale of forest lands and mill closures in Northern Maine.
The largest retail store in Bangor is now open for business.The WalMart Supercenter on Stillwater Ave opened its doors Wednesday morning to huge crowds.Store Manager Dale McMindes says folks came from as far away as Canada to check out the new space, which includes a full grocery store, plus a Dunkin’ Donuts and a nail salon.At 209,000 square feet, it’s the second-largest Wal-Mart in the state.The new store is open from six a-m to midnight, seven days a week.
More than a dozen vintage cars were on display in Bangor Wednesday.Their owners came from as far away as California to take part in a unique event.Amy Erickson has more.<"this is a 1929 REO Flying Cloud."Jim Robbins of Searsmont says they just don't build them like this anymore.He's the proud owner of this REO..."they stopped building these in the mid 1930s and it's just a real fun car to drive. Spoke wheels, a regular 3-speed transmission.""my wife and I cruise around in it a lot, take the grandkids out for ice cream. That's a really fun thing to do."Robbins and other members of the REO Club of America met at the Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor on Wednesday.They're spending the week in Rockland for their annual convention.Museum Founder Galen Cole was happy to welcome the group, since he's an REO fan himself."they're one of a kind all the way. We have a few in our museum. Some of these have come from as far away as California to be here for this event.""some of the vehicles date back to 1904. That little 2-cylinder one tooling around here? That makes it 105 years old."The car's name has an interesting history.It was built by the man who started Oldsmobile...Ransom Eli Olds..."he got in a fight with the other owners and he left the company. He wanted to use the name and they wouldn't let him so he said 'you don't have a patent on my initials' and that's how he came up with REO."Stephen Bono's spent years restoring his REO to its original glory..."this was all in pieces when I got it. We put it all together. It was all in pieces."And how's this for storage space?The trunk is...well, an actual trunk!"that would be an early trunk."Bono says it's just one of the features that make these cars so appealing."they were just a good, well-built car."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>
The new Walmart superstore in Bangor is now officially open.A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at seven o’clock Wednesday morning.The new Stillwater Avenue store features a full assortment of grocery items along with much wider aisles.On Tuesday the company hosted an open house at the new location, where they handed out more than thirty-thousand dollars in donations to various non-profits and other organizations in the community.One of the recipients was the Good Shepherd food bank, which will host a food drive at the new store on Saturday, July 18th at 10am.
Officials from the federal aviation administration will be in Chesterville Wednesday, investigating a plane crash that took place Tuesday afternoon.One person was hurt when a float plane overshot it’s landing on Egypt Pond and crashed into the woods.62-year-old Parker H. Tyler from Skowhegan was flying the float plane when it overshot its landing on Egypt Pond and crashed into the woods.Tyler was the only person on board the single-engine plane: he received only minor injuries.The county emergency management director, a couple fire departments, and an ambulance service responded to the crash along with members of the sheriff’s office.
Investigators are trying to determine how a man, whose body was found floating in a stream in Dexter, died.Three children riding bikes along the North Dexter road Monday made the grisly discovery.Authorities say it’s not clear how 23-year-old Timothy Sherwood of Guilford died or whether foul play is involved.Dexter Police Chief James Emerson says the area where the body was found is well traveled, which leads him to believe it hadn’t been there long.”It just didn’t look like the body should have been there. No good reason for it to be where it was.”Emerson says a backpack, shirt and hat were discovered near the body, which they believe belonged to Sherwood.An autopsy has been performed, but the cause of death may not be known for up to six months.
Donald Crabtree will be allowed to rebuild the Grandview topless coffee shop in Vassalboro.Crabtree went before the planning board Tuesday night.The last time he went before the board was June 2nd. That night, his business burned to the ground.Investigators determined it was arson…no arrests have been made.Last night, Vassalboro planning board members agreed to a larger building that will hold 80 people. And they’ll allow the hours to change from 6 pm to 1 am for a closing time.But, the board also placed two stipulations for Donald Crabtree.The exterior of the building must be complete before he occupies the building.And once he does move in, Crabtree has one year to remove the debris from the fire of the original coffee shop.Some on the planning board wanted the burnt debris removed before the coffee shop opened, but Crabtree said it would cost $16,000 to remove the 650 yards of material, and that would set his business up to fail.Crabtree did ask about music and waitresses dancing in the establishment.The planning board told him those would be substantial changes, and would therefore fall under the town’s new adult business ordinance.
A husband and wife who own an organic beef farm in Blue Hill got an unexpected and rare delivery this summer – twin calves. But the surprises didn’t stop there.John and Betty Tyler are the proud owners of Blue Hill Blondes, raising a rare type of beef cattle.”Blonde D’Aquitane. It’s a French breed that has been in this country since 1972. Most of the animals are up in Canada,” says John Tyler.”It’s just fun to watch them,” Betty says.This summer their rare breed started really beating the odds. “The twins were a surprise,” John says. It started when one of their pregnant females didn’t give birth when she should have. “She was late delivering and she was huge. We thought she was having an awful big critter and it turned out she was having two little critters.”Her sister was also pregnant…and when she gave birth, they couldn’t believe what they saw.”She was having a second one,” Betty says. Two sets of twin girls, all thanks to their 1900-pound bull, Stan.”He fathered two sets of twins this year,” she says, and laughs.The odds of even one set of twins are slim – they’re told between one and seven percent.”They dynamics are different when it’s twins, as opposed to one,” Betty says. “Twins pair up and play with each other – if it’s just one they stay with mom all the time.”It’s nothing new to the Tylers. Twins run in the family.”Our youngest children are twins – twin girls I might add,” John says.But, they say surprises are one of the best parts of having a farm.”Watching the evolution of what happens on a farm – it’s sort of interesting to see the variety of things that await you when you get up in the morning,” he says.
Some kids in Bar Harbor did a little reconstruction work today, piecing together the skeleton of a whale. They were surprised at how easy it was. “It was pretty easy. Once you got the whole thing up you knew that you could do it.”Eight-year-old Zachary Corson is talking about the the Bones, Baleen and Whale Ecology demonstration at the Dorr Museum in Bar Harbor.Children ages eight and up can assemble the skeleton of a 24-foot Minke whale. “I think this really enforces things they learn during the school year through repetition and re-emerging in a school-like atmosphere. And also being out here and being in a place that is not too structured.”Museum Educator Addams Samuel says it also encourages the children to think on their own. “I think it encourages students to do more things hands-on not just within the museum but also out in the wild.”Zachary says he enjoyed putting the whale skelton together.But what was his favorite part? “Well, I think it was the skull they did a good job with it.”Nine-year-old Catherine Ding says she’s never done anything like this before. “The bones, I’ve never seen that before.”Even though it was her first time Catherine says it was pretty easy. “Because we had a picture that we could look at.”And what does Samuel hope the children get out of the demonstration? “A better understanding of how to ask questions about what you do know and do not know and how to fill in those holes.”One thing’s for sure, the students were satisfied with their work. “I think it looks like a masterpiece.”
About thirty clam harvesters gathered at the Hancock Town Office today.All with a common goal in mind, to create an ordinance among surrounding towns that would make it more difficult for people from other areas to dig their clams.The local clammers feel they’re being put out of business by out-of-towners.They say the increased number of clammers is also destroying the clam flats.At today’s meeting, clammers from Hancock, Sullivan, Sorrento, Franklin, Lamoine and Trenton dug in, to put a plan in motion.< "When the red tide's gone basically all our clams will be gone. So we want to manage what we have and better protect it.""We're still about a year away but their next step is to go to each of their town selectman and talk with them to help build these ordinances.""It's very important for this community and that goes from the local stores to everyone. If we're not making money they are not making money either."At today's meeting they selected a few people from each town to go before their Selectmen to take the plan to the next step.
A woman from Lincoln has died as a result of her injuries from an accident in Milford on Saturday.Sgt. Will Sheehan with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department says Penny Darr was riding on the back of a motorcycle, operated by her husband, Tom Darr, also of Lincoln. The Darrs were on Route 2 near the Greenbush town line.Sheehan says the motorcycle rear-ended an S-U-V, driven by Linda Cary of Milford. Sheehan says Cary was making a lefthand turn.As part of the investigation, Sheehan says Cary failed a breathalyzer test and was charged with OUI.
Police have not arrested anyone yet after raiding a home in Veazie where drug dealing may have been going on.Police say they found pot and prescription drugs last night in a house on State Street. They tell us four people live there. A report of an attempted armed robbery at the house last Friday prompted police to look into possible drug crimes being committed there, too. Veazie police worked with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Special Response Team and the Old Town and Orono police on the case. Sargeant Paul Haslam says he’s still investigating both the attempted robbery and possible drug dealing.
Bangor police are still searching for a man who robbed the Big Apple Store on State Street monday night. Police responded to the call around midnight late Monday night. Several officers arrived along with a K-9 unit. The area was searched but the suspect was not found. No weapons were used and the robber got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.Police are reviewing surveillance video from the store. Last nights robbery at the Big Apple is the 6th robbery reported in the past 2 weeks.That makes 17 reported already in 2009. There were 19 robberies reported in all of 2008.The Bangor Police department says there are a number of factors that have contributed to the spike in robberies. The rough economy is on the top of that list according to Sgt. Paul Evans. “Obviously since the economy kind of tanked last year we’ve seen an increase in these robbery calls, crimes against people, places, burglaries to homes, burglaries to motor vehicles have been way up this year,” says Evans, “so yeah we can blame the economic factors and probably other things also.”The suapect in last nights robbery at the Big Apple is described as, male, 5’9″ to 5’10”, medium build, wearing baggy clothing, a white hooded sweatshirt, and a white bandana on his face. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Criminal Investigations Divisions at 947-7382.The Bangor Police would also like to pass on the following safety tips to help people avoid being the victims of a robbery.Avoid Walking Alone On The Street At NightÂ· Use well-lit roads. Â· Walk near the curb – away from shrubbery where someone could be hiding. Â· Walk against traffic, so that cars cannot surprise you from behind. Â· Keep an arms length away from strangers. Â· If you think someone suspicious is approaching you or following you, cross to the other side of the street and head for the nearest public place. Don’t Make It Obvious That You’re In Unfamiliar TerritoryÂ· Giving the appearance of not paying attention and not being alert is what suspects look for in a victim. Â· Stay sober enough to be able to take care of yourself. Criminals see drunken persons as easy prey. Â· Walk briskly and with confidence. At Night, Avoid Public Parks, Vacant Lots, Alleys and Areas With Excessive Trees and BushesÂ· Know which stores and other public places are open along your route. Â· Don’t hesitate to run back to where you came from to get help. Â· Look for anyone “hanging” around your car or your path to your car. Â· Have your keys in your hand and be ready to open the car door. What Should I Do If I am a Robbery Victim? Â· DO NOT PANIC â€” get a grip on yourself and stay calm. Take some deep breaths.Â· DO NOT RESIST â€” the robber wants your valuables, not you. “Things” can always be replaced … you can not.Â· OBEY THE ROBBER’S INSTRUCTIONS â€” listen closely to what the robber says and do not argue. Try to remember the exact words spoken by the robber as it may help with the police investigation.Â· BE ALERT â€” notice what is happening.Â· LOOK FOR DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS â€” look for things that can not be changed such as scars, marks, tattoos, limps, accents, etc.Â· WEAPONS â€” take careful note of any weapons. You will have to describe it later to the police. If the robber indicates that there is a weapon in his pocket, assume it is a gun. If the robber has a gun, assume it is loaded.Â· DESCRIPTION OF ROBBER â€” compare the robber to your own height and weight to estimate the size of your attacker.Â· COOPERATE WITH THE POLICE â€” if you are robbed, or see someone else being robbed, report it to the police immediately.
A dairy farmer in China says vandals destroyed about 10-thousand dollars in crops after holding a party on his fields.Spencer Aitel owns Two Loon Farms and grows hay and alfalfa to feed his cows. He says Saturday a group of people parked on one of his remote fields, started a bonfire and started drinking.They left behind a lot of trash, but Aitel says tire ruts from all of the cars that pulled in did the most damage. At least two acres of fields are flattened. The vandals also abandoned a truck that state police have now impounded.Aitel says “We’re not really out to nail anybody to the wall. We just want to make sure the access that we do allow our neighbors is wisely used. All we’re looking for is a little cooperation and this sure wasn’t a good example of that.”In a normal summer, Aitel would have already harvested most of the crop that was destroyed. But that work’s been delayed because of the rain. He says he’ll try to recover what he can of the crop.If you have any information in the case, you can contact Maine State Police at 1-800-452-4664.