Thousands of folks lined the banks of the Kenduskeag Stream Saturday to check out the biggest canoe race in New England.The 43-rd annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race kicked off at 8 a.m.510 boats started the race in Kenduskeag Village.5 craft were released every minute until about 9:30.From there, they moved on to the trickier spots, like 6-Mile Falls and the Maxfield Bridge on Valley Ave. in Bangor.Rescue crews were on standby throughout the route to help out those who fell into the water.The water was only a chilly 40 degrees or so.The 16.5 mile race ended up in downtown Bangor.Parks and Rec director Tracy Willette says overall, the race went well.< "some low water today! I think our paddlers found it a little bumpy in different places. It certainly wasn't too low, but I think it was lower than what some folks may have expected. It was a pretty good course all the way around. We've seen some good times today and good results.">951 paddlers took part in this year’s race.
A train track fire ripped through several towns Friday.A train started the fire on Snake Route Rd., then it spread through Pittsfield, Clinton, Burnham and Detroit.Fire fighters say dry weather contributed to the fire and estimate ten to twelve fire crews were on scene fighting the blaze.There were also two helicopters and ATV’s there helping to put out the fire.Despite the size of the fire, fire fighters say there was minimal damage.
Firefighters responded to a report of a fire at the Gardner Chip Mill off route 116 in Chester Friday.When crews arrived on the scene, black smoke could be seen pouring out from multiple sides of the building and flames were visible in several areas.According to Deputy Fire Chief Hervey Clay, the high winds complicated their efforts.Fire crews from Mattawamkeag, Lee, Howland, Passadumkeag, Burlington, East Millinocket and Medway were called in to help Lincoln crews put out the fire.The cause has not yet determined, but authorities say it isn’t uncommon for the machinery in the areas that caught fire to throw sparks.
There weren’t any celebrities or a red carpet, but it was still a highly anticipated opening night.The Pittsfield Community Theater opened for business Friday night, after being closed for four months.”It’s a great feeling to have everyone want it back up and running.” Donna Dunphy is the Manager of the Pittsfield Community Theater, and the question she’s answered most often lately is, ‘When is the theater opening?’ Now she can tell them Friday night.Four months ago, the roof was found to be unsafe. Wooden trusses had been cut and leaking water caused even more damage. The theater was closed so the roof could be reinforced. Now that work is done.”To have it back up and running, it’s gonna be great for the community and surrounding towns so they don’t have to go so far and spend a lot of money.”General admission is just $3.00, $2.00 for Seniors, and if you see a show on Monday, it’s just a buck.That fits right into the budget of a lot of folks, not to mention it’s convenient.”This is like the only place to hang out in Pittsfield” says Jessica Huff, who is glad to have the theater back open. So is Justine Dunphy, “It’s a lot better to have it here close in town so you can come here during the week or something.”This is a building that dates back to 1915, a centerpiece of the community since then. But what the kids of today understand, is they’re glad to have it back.”6:00 All my friends said they’re coming just cause it’s the opening, they don’t care what movie’s playing.”The first movie showing is “Hotel for Dogs” rated PG.
Nearly 300 doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals turned out in Augusta Friday to talk about health reform. Some of the tone revolved around how much talk there is about change, but no action. Quality Counts 6 (QC6) is the latest in a series of conferences to promote the transformational changes needed to create dramatic and sustainable improvements in health and healthcare in Maine. The conference provided an opportunity for a diverse set of stakeholders to consider a bold set of statewide quality goals and examine them in the context of our complex healthcare system. Two priorities Dr. Janet Corrigan who is a national leader in improving health care quality says reorganizing the system starting with strengthening hospital and primary care provider relationships should be a priority. Quality Counts 6 is made possible by the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Maine Aligning Forces for Quality initiative.
“The Way We Get By” documentary about Bangor Troop Greeters is playing in Waterville Saturday afternoon.The film made it’s debut at the Collins Center for the Arts last week.The screening takes place at the Railroad Square cinema at 3 p.m. as part of the Lumina 3 day festival of film, food and live music that promotes the exchange of culture and ideas.After that, the award winning documentary makes it’s way to Narrow Gauge Cinema in Farmington on Monday the 20th for 4 days.Director Aron Gaudet will be on hand at the Farmington screening for Q&A following the showing.The movie will open nightly at 7 p.m in Farmington. And don’t forget the showing in Waterville tomorrow at 3 p.m.For more information or to get tickets you can log on to thewaywegetbymovie.com
Thrills and spills are on tap for tomorrow, as hundreds of participants take to the water for the annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race.TV 5’s Amy Erickson gives us a preview.< "it's finally springtime. The kenduskeag certainly marks that turn of the corner, whether it's official on the calendar or not, that spring is finally here."About 800 participants from around Maine and the country are ready to usher in spring with a splash Saturday at the 43rd annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race.As director of Bangor's Parks and Recreation department, Tracy Willette overseas the event.He says things are looking good. "the water is not as high as it's been over the years...but now as low either. So I think the course is going to be good for beginners as well as our expert paddlers."Those who are brave enough will travel a 16.5 mile course from Kenduskeag Village to downtown Bangor...Rescue crews will be stationed and ready at the trickier spots along the way. "we station personnel at historically dangerous spots. Like 6 mile falls...they always fall out of boats there."They'll also be standing by on the Maxfield Bridge on Valley Ave in Bangor.Thousands of spectators are expected to line the banks of the stream for a look at the action...Experts have a word of advice for those bringing little ones to take part in the excitement."make sure you keep them off the banks. We've had a lot of water and the banks can get undercut...so if they get to close to the stream, they could fall in."The race is famous for its thrills...and spills...especially at 6 Mile Falls...but safety personnel are ready to react in seconds if someone gets into trouble. "we'll throw the throw bags first. If we have to go in, we'll go in after them. We're equipped to go in and get them pulled back to shore."Willette says all paddlers..beginners or experts...should come prepared with lots of warm gear...in case you end up going for an unexpected swim. "whenever the temperatures are warm, there's a misconception that the water is equally as warm and that's not so. It's still probably only 35 to 40 degrees."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>The race starts Saturday morning in Kenduskeag Village.Canoes and kayaks will be launched five at a time every minute starting at 8 a.m.There are still spots for folks who’d like to take part.Race day registration is from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the starting line.
Folks in Bangor can expect to see a house on fire on Main Street Sunday, but there’s no need to be alarmed.Bangor firefighters will be burning down a vacant two-story apartment building as part of a training exercise.The structure, as well as a building next to it which use to house The Henrys’ bridal shop, need to be removed from the site so construction can start on the new Tim Horton’s restaurant.Fire crews will use the burn as a way to practice their skills.< "they'll learn how a fire progresses. Hopefully, if conditions are right, we'll be able to watch the progression of the fire before we put it out and give them the experience of seeing how fire can grow and how ventilation will affect the fire.">Fire Department officials chose to do the burn on a Sunday so Main Street traffic would be fairly light.They expect the burn to start at about 9 a.m. and it could last several hours.While it’s burning, one side of Main Street will be closed to traffic.
The Old Town Knights of Columbus have lined up a familiar face for a fundraiser next week.The “Mardens Lady,” Birdie Googins, will host an evening of comedy at the K of C hall on Gilman Falls Ave. next Friday evening.Tickets are $10 each, and proceeds will go towards several Knights of Columbus programs, including helping families in need, and giving scholarships to college-bound students.< "I think everyone should come out to this fundraiser because the knights of columbus do a lot of good for the community. And if you all come, you get to see me! And tickets are cheap and they can send everyone on to college! Well, not everyone, but some of 'em!">The fundraiser is next Friday, April 24th, at 7 p.m.Tickets are available at Birmingham’s store in Old Town.You can also get tickets by calling the Knights of Columbis at 827-7371.Tickets will also be available at the door.
A man from Connecticut is in critical condition after a fall at Acadia National Park.55-year-old Jeffrey Dugan was hiking on a path between Otter Cliffs and Otter Point on Wednesday when he fell fifteen feet onto the rocks below.It took crews close to an hour to rescue Dugan after the fall.He was flown by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with multiple injuries.The accident happened on opening day at the park.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Gov. John Baldacci’s office saysfast-track legislation signed by the governor could benefit 10,000laid-off workers by the end of the year. Maine unemployment law changes enacted Thursday offer additionalweeks of benefits to workers who are still unemployed and have runout of other unemployment assistance. Officials say extended aid may be paid on top of up to 59 weeksof benefits already provided. Currently, 26 weeks come through regular unemployment benefitsand 33 weeks are available in emergency unemployment compensationbenefits. The new extended benefits provide up to 13 additionalweeks. The governor said Maine can now access additional federal fundsmade available through the Recovery Act.
A long-time music teacher for schools in Searsport, Frankfort and Stockton Springs is free on bail.Authorities say 39-year-old Bill Wiley of Searsport, sexually assaulted a girl between the age of 12 and 13.He’s charged with gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact.The alleged victim told reportedly police that the incidents took place five years ago.Wiley posted bail at Waldo County jail Thursday night and was released. Wiley has worked for SAD 56 since 1991.
A former teacher from Mount View Junior High School in Thorndike has been arrested on child pornography charges.State police arrested 41-year old Michael Douglas Thursday afternoon in Augusta.Douglas was a science teacher at Mount View as recently as last week.This week, police conducted interviews with teachers and students at the school.Police aren’t saying if the pornography was found on school property or at Douglas’ home.Douglas was released from the Kennebec County jail after posting a $1,000 bail Thursday night.
For more information on the free prescription drug program Adrienne Bennett reported on, log onto www.caremark.com/nlcIf you’re an Augusta resident, you can pick up the card at one of three locations-City hall, the Lithgow library, or the Buker Center.++++++++++++++++++For more information on Shaken Baby Syndrome or about the Period of Purple Crying program, you can visit the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome’s website at www.dontshake.org++++++++++++++++++The Goodwill store Bridal Dress showcase starts at 9AM Saturday morning and goes until 1PM.It’s located on Western Avenue in Augusta.If you’re planning a wedding, professionals will be there to help, and there will be prizes and free refreshments too.+++++++++++++++++The Home Show will continue Friday from 1-9PM at the Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center.Then on Saturday from 10AM to 9PM, and Sunday from 10AM until 5PM.
If you’re looking for ideas for your home improvement projects, then you might want to head to the Bangor Auditorium this week-end. The 39th annual Bangor Home Show kicked off Thursday afternoon.It features 250 booths from all kinds of vendors, from builders to remodelers to people who sell pools. Plus, you’ll see other businesses that sell everything from jewelry to fresh bread.Some retailers are also taking the chance to raise money for charity. Craig Smith of Boulderz Poolz & Spaz is asking people to throw coins into a spa he has set up. All of that money will go to the Children’s Miracle Network. “The Children’s Miracle Network helps out kids in the hospital and we had a son that was in the hospital for a while so it’s just our way to give back.”The Bangor Home Show hours are:Friday: 1:00 PM – 9:00 PMSaturday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PMSunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The most recent figures show Mainers spent more than $800 million dollars for prescription drugs in just one year.Thursday, Augusta’s mayor rolled out a new program that’s giving people a discount on their meds, for free.One in four Mainers under the age of 65 were without health insurance in 2007 and 2008 according to a report released last month.Louanne Manter is one of those people.She runs her own business in downtown Augusta, and was the first person to receive a prescription discount card from the city.”You don’t have to pay or be a member to get the card, you just have to be a resident of Augusta, and that’s pretty cool.” Augusta is the first place in Maine to take part in the program that will save customers on average about 20% per prescription.The card can be used on meds that are not covered by insurance.All major pharmacy chains are taking part, and if you’re wondering what the catch is, mayor Roger Katz says there isn’t one. “There is no catch. The city is paying nothing for this program. It doesn’t cost individuals anything at all.” If you have insurance already, Katz says it’s worth having a card just in case.”There are many prescription drugs not covered, so this card will still apply. Also, it’s going to apply to a lot of folks pets.” Yes, some pet prescriptions are covered too. Nearly 200 cities across the U.S. have signed up.”We launched this in November with four pilot cities.”CVS Caremark representative Brad Stone says pharmacies will be absorbing the costs in exchange for getting more people through their doors. “While people do purchase a prescription, they’re likely to purchase some over the counter products as well.” Monthly reports are sent to each participating city showing how many residents use the card and how much they saved.Manter says any savings these days.”Is a good thing.” If you’re an Augusta resident, you can pick up the card at one of three locations.City Hall, the Lithgow Library or the Buker Center.For more information on the program, log onto www.caremark.com/nlc.
Babies cry, it’s normal.There’s a typical period of time in their young lives when the crying reaches its peak. That’s when infants are extra prone to being injured by frustrated parents and caregivers.That’s why “The period of purple crying program” was created.It’s a national program to promote awareness about the problem and to protect babies.Thursday the program was discussed in a big way at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth.For many parents the reality of a crying baby is a lot to handle.”By the time they’re 6 to 8 weeks old, they hit what we call a peak period of crying. That can be for some babies as much as 6 hours.”This leaves many new parents frustrated. Experts say many cases of shaken baby syndrome stem from this frustration.”Typically, crying is the trigger, so we want to get this educational program out there to try to impact how people understand and deal with baby crying.”There’s now a program aimed at educating caretakers on what to do.”We felt that the period of purple crying had the best mix of education about crying and discussion of shaken baby syndrome. We really wanna focus on how families understand normal crying and how they respond to it.”Educating the public about this now is particularly important.”We’ve seen a dramatic, if not three fold or more, rise in cases of abusive head trauma.””Experts say there’s a number of reasons why the number of infant head traumas has gone up. However, they say the economy could be a major factor.””The best predictor of the abuse rate is the employment rate, so there’s no question that plays a role.”Experts say alcohol, drug abuse and a rise in domestic violence may also play a role.They say an average of 12 to 15 cases have been reported in Maine in the past two years, but those are just the tip of the iceberg. “For every baby hospitalized with shaken baby syndrome as many as 10, even perhaps 100 babies are actually shaken.”For more information on shaken baby syndrome, or about the period of purple crying program, you can visit the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome’s website.
The University College of Bangor has been providing education to folks in the area for 40 years, and Thursday night they are celebrated that anniversary.Students, staff and alumni gathered on campus to mark the milestone.The evening’s presentation included a look back at the history of the school, a proclamation by the city of Bangor and a ceremonial cake lighting.Dean Gillian Jordan says, “Forty years is not as long as some of the very old institutions but we’ve seen a lot of students go through and have seen a lot of changes. It was just time to thank the community and our students and have fun.”Dean Jordan also says they plan to have a couple other events this year to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
A fire in Bradford Thursday afternoon, destroyed a home, and torched some woods nearby. Crews were called to the scene on the Jones Road just after one.By the time firefighters got there, the fire had a good head start. It took them about 20 minutes to knock down the flames, but several hours to put out all hot spots.Lyda Koslowski lived there with her husband. They weren’t home at the time. Bradford Fire Chief Scott Demoranville says some people who were visiting next door noticed the fire. “Some guests had pulled into the yard, noticed the fire and smoke down back and actually thought that the owners were down there burning brush and they mentioned it, and said nobody was burning brush and it turned out to be an actual structure fire.”There were two cats and a dog in the home. They died in the fire.Koslowski did not have insurance.The fire chief isn’t sure what started the fire, but suspects it might have something to do with the electrical wiring.
Students and staff at Sebasticook Valley Middle School are doing their part to support Maine troops overseas.The spent the day folding flags into pocket bags…they’ll be sent to deployed servicemen and women.One of the flags will be sent to Afghanistan and then returned to the school to be displayed as a reminder of the troops’ sacrifices.Teachers say the project is especially important because several staff members and students have loved ones who are actively serving overseas.The students say they were glad to help.< "because they're fighting for our freedom and some of them are dying and we're just helping them out because the families need it.">Students and staff members have also been collecting donations to send to troops overseas.They’re preparing boxes with all kinds of snacks and toiletries to be shipped to Maine soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.