News

Questions Remain on State Budget

Updated 5 years ago

It’s been a long haul for state legislators, and there’s still more work to be done on the budget.After months of review, they still face some crucial decisions on state borrowing…and the Maine tax code.They’ll also take up the issue of highway project financing..They’re debating sticking with the current system or possibly raising the state’s fuel taxes by 11 cents over four years.As far as borrowing goes, the Governor has proposed a 306-million dollar bond package…it would be submitted to voters in two elections and spent over two years.To pass that package, though, Democratic House and Senate majorities and Baldacci will need Republicansupport to get the required majorities of two-thirds or better.

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Wildfire Training Academy Underway in Waterville

Updated 5 years ago

Firefighters from around the state got some intense, hands-on training this weekend in Waterville.The Maine Forest Service hosted the 7-th annual Maine State Wildfire Training Academy at Thomas College.The event is a chance for rookie volunteer firefighters to learn some new skills, and for seasoned vets to improve their techniques.Crews were trained to use everything from portable pumps and chainsaws…to GPS devices.For the first time, the Academy also offered two advance level incident management courses.< "a lot of firefighters have a lot of training on structural fires, yet wildfires happen throughout the state....we've had 300 this year...so it's good to get them trained up in wildland fire techniques.">The academy continues in Waterville next Saturday and Sunday.

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Troop Greeters Welcome Public To BIA

Updated 5 years ago

It’s been six years since the Maine Troop Greeters started welcoming soldiers at Bangor International Airport.During that time, they’ve greeted more than 800-thousand troops as they’ve come home from Iraq and Afghanistan.Sunday, the troop greeters welcomed members of the public to their post at the airport…sharing stories, plus their collection of mementoes given to them by soldiers passing through.The troop greeters have earned international recognition for their dedication to the cause…There are about 40 of them total…and when a plane comes in, day or night, they’re there to give hugs and handshakes.On Sunday, they were happy to open up their home away from home to the public.< "i think it's mostly so we can show the community what we've been able to accomplish over the last couple years and what their community's been able to accomplish, in terms of all the mementoes...and they're appreciative of what's going on.">Since they started greeting in May of 2003, the Maine Troop Greeters have been at the airport to welcome more than forty-one hundred flightsThey also provide soldiers on layovers the use of cell phones to call loved ones while they wait.

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Ellsworth Commerce

Updated 5 years ago

Movie buffs in the Ellsworth area can rejoice. The city’s movie theatre is once again open for business starting Friday.And that’s just the beginning of what some are calling a business boom in the area.Times may be tough, but you wouldn’t know it in Ellsworth.Chamber of Commerce officials say new businesses are popping up everywhere.The Maine Coast Mall Cinema is open again under new management.Steven Richardson and his wife are locals committed to bringing more entertainment options, and jobs, to the area.”Really, the next closest first-run movie theatre was bangor, so it really left a void. We’ve gotten a lot of positive comments from people in the Ellsworth area.””Doing what we can to promote the local economy is fantastic. Right now we have eight people hired. A couple full time, six part time and we see that increasing over the next couple months as well.”He’s not the only one hiring.”The Goodwill Store is shaping up. We’re expecting, in the summer or fall, to have that open. It’ll bring 30 new jobs to Ellsworth.”Phyllis Young is associate director of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce.She says this is just the beginning.”We have a new bridal shop that just opened. Computer Essentials of Bangor expanded, and they brought a shop here. Renys and Mardens are looking to expand. So it really is exciting times in Ellsworth.””I think it’s going to be a reason to come to Ellsworth and to shop here, so it should be a win-win for all our businesses.”Local merchants like Richardson are hoping all this new business brings in lots of shoppers, and money, this summer.”Look how many areas Ellsworth can draw from. Whether it’s the MDI area, the Bangor/Brewer area or the downeast area. It almost can be a focal point. It’s a fantastic thing and I’m thrilled to be a part of that.””Our doors are open, we’re expanding and we’re positioning ourselves to be ready when the economy really turns around and we’re excited about that.

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Battlefield Cross Memorial Dedication

Updated 5 years ago

On Friday during a ceremony in the state house hall of flags 39 Maine soldiers were remembered for their sacrifice in the name of freedom. Those men and women remembered died in the line of duty supporting the global war on terrorism which began on September 11, 2001. The ceremony, which included remarks from Major General John Libby of the Maine National Guard and the Governor was an emotional occasion for family as the battlefield cross memorial was unvieled. The statue has a symbolic meaning and the origin of the battlefield cross dates back to the civil war. The battlefield cross is made by standing the soldier’s boots upright, standing the rifle upright in the boots, and hanging the helmet from the rifle’s stock. All 39 I.D. tags hang from the stock serving as a reminder of who has fallen. The battlefield cross will remain on display at the capitol building to remind those who pass by it of what Maine and so many families have lost fighting for freedom. CDR Robert Schlegel GrayMSgt Evander Andrews SolonLCDR Robert Clukey OronoMAJ Jay Aubin WatervilleSPC Daniel Cunningham Lewiston1SG Christopher Coffin Kennebunk SGT Nicholes Golding AddisonSGT Jeremiah Holmes North BerwickSGT Christopher Gelineau Portland SGT Lawrence Roukey WestbrookSPC Beau Beaulieu Lisbon CPT Daniel Tranchemontagne Portland SSG Lynn Poulin Sr. FreedomSGT Thomas Dostie Somerville1SG Michael Jones UnitySFC Shawn Dostie LewistonSPC Joshua Humble AppletonSGT Corey Dan NorwaySPC Dustin Harris PattenSSG Dale Kelly Jr. RichmondSSG David Veverka UMO StudentCPT Patrick Damon FalmouthPFC Andrew Small WiscassetCPT Benjamin Keating ShapleighCPL Dustin Libby Presque IsleSSG Kristofer Ciraso BangorSSG Eric Ross KenduskeagLCPL Angel Rosa South PortlandSGT Jason Swiger South PortlandSGT Edmund McDonald CascoSPC Christopher Wilson BangorSGT Richard Parker PhillipsSGT Joel House LeeSPC Jason Dore MoscowSGT Blair Emery LeeSFC Jonathan Lowery HoultonPFC Tyler Smith BethelSFC Nicholas Robertson Old TownSPC Justin Buxbaum South Portland

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Union Reaches Deal

Updated 5 years ago

A vote by the largest union at the Portland Press Herald clears the way for the sale of the newspaper, along with other local newspapers. Members of the Portland Newspaper Guild voted 161 to 19 Friday accept wage and benefit cuts. Richard Connor, an editor and publisher in Bangor, has been negotiating to buy the Press Herald, The Morning Sentinel in Waterville, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta and other Blethen Maine Properties.The new contract for union members includes a 10-percent cut in salary, a two-year pay freeze and suspended 401k and pension contributions.In return, employees get a 15 percent stake in the company through a stock ownership plan.The Guild says the sale of the papers is expected to close before June 15th.

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Supporters of Employee Free Choice Act Speak Out

Updated 5 years ago

A giant billboard rolled into Bangor Friday, called “Faces of the Economy”.It’s part of a national campaign by supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act.They say the legislation would make it easier for workers to form unions and bargain for better wages, health care and job security.Paul Murphy of the Bureau of Labor Education says without a union, workers are at-will employees. “If you’re an at-will employee that means your employer can fire you, demote you, suspend you, do literally what they want to as long as they’re not violating minimal state or federal employment laws and that is probably one of the biggest reasons why you want to have a union in your workplace.”Two women who spoke out, told stories about workers being intimidated and threatened while trying to form unions.They say the Employee Free Choice Act would help stop those tactics.The bill is now being considered by Congress.

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Not Guilty of Manslaughter

Updated 5 years ago

Not guilty of manslaughter, not guilty of aggravated operating under the influence.That’s the verdict of the jury in the trial of Ryan Hurd of Lincoln who was in a deadly car crash in New Vineyard in October 2007.But he was found guilty of a lesser crime–letting a drunk friend drive his car.A man from Dover-Foxcroft died in the crash, a man from Medway was seriously hurt. The defense claimed Hurd wasn’t driving the car.

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Hylton Pleads Guilty

Updated 5 years ago

A man accused of breaking into a home in Pittson and attacking a father and his daughter with a machete admitted to the crime Friday. 19-year-old Leo Hylton of Augusta pleaded guilty Friday afternoon to three counts of attempted murder and other charges linked to the assault and robbery last May. William Guerrette, a former lawmaker, and his daughter, Nicole, who was then 10, spent weeks in the hospital.Both still bear scars from the attack.As part of Hylton’s plea deal, five other charges against him will be dropped.Prosecutors are recommending Hylton spend 50 years behind bars.Also charged in the case is Hylton’s foster brother, 21-year-old Daniel Fortune.

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New Parking Garage Open at EMMC

Updated 5 years ago

It’ll now be easier to find a parking space at Eastern Maine Medical Center.The hospital celebrated the opening of a new parking garage on campus.It will not only provide better access to patients and visitors to the hospital, but it will also be a big help to employees.For years, more than 300 employees have been asked to park off campus, then were bused in.This new parking garage will mean they can all return to campus, or as some put it, they’re coming home.”Our moving out caused anxiety for all of us. Travelling has also added minutes on either ends of our days, minutes that none of us have in our busy work day or in our home responsibilities. Berta Burbank was part of the travel team, and although she says it was hard, it was the right thing to do to make things easier for patients.Burbank also says she’s happy that she won’t have to do that anymore.

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18 Goats and Growing in Etna

Updated 5 years ago

Rick Kelley lives in Etna. He and his wife have full-time jobs and four children. But they also have – goats.”We didn’t know a thing about goats,” Kelley says. That was five years ago, before his son brought one home.”They’re so loveable. You try to say a number that you’re going to stick with, and they next thing you know, you’re buying another, and another and another,” he says.They tried to keep it to ten – now they have 18. They have Nubians, LaManchas, and another kind.”We have a couple of Tennessee fainters.”That would be Oreo and Anabelle. They’re fainting goats, pretty to look at – until they get too excited or scared.”Their muscles stiffen up and it causes their legs to lock up and typically they will fall over,” Kelley says. “It’s when you least expect it is when they’ll fall over. Our buck, I’ve seen him just standing there and the next thing you know you hear a thud, and he’s on his side.”No goats fainted during our stay at Hollow Maple Farm.”They learn to keep their legs stiff and they just hobble along,” he says of his three-year-old pair.Kelley’s family breeds and shows their goats. They make goat milk soaps, and have plans to sell their milk and cheeses.”Do we make a lot of money here off the farm? No. We don’t break even here,” he says.He says that’s really not the point.”The milk is nice, the cheese is nice,” he says, “but the companionship is the best part about having goats.”

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Levant Accident Update

Updated 5 years ago

One of the children hurt in a car accident in Levant on Tuesday has passed away.Five-year-old Alyssa Buzzard died Thursday afternoon at Eastern Maine Medical Center as a result of her injuries.Three of the other children injured in the accident are still in the hospital, including her 7-year-old brother, Caden, who’s still listed in critical condition.The children and five adults were injured when three vehicles collided at the intersection of Route 222 and Stetson Rd. Tuesday night.Police are still investigating.

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Maine State Envirothon Held at University of Maine

Updated 5 years ago

High school students from all over Maine brought their boots, brains and outdoor skills to the University of Maine Thursday.They were vying for the Maine state Envirothon title.High school students from across the state arrived at the University of Maine to compete in the Envirothon competition.Nokomis Regional High School student Autumn Silk just might have an edge over other students.”My family has always been very outdoorsy and that’s definitely helped me here.”Silk says she’s been looking forward to the competition.”Fun being outdoors and observing different animals.”She thinks the soil category is going to be the most difficult of the day.At this station, students had a pit where they had to identify the different types of soil.While Silk expects it to be challenging, she says it’s all a part of the competition.”Encourages them to not only be competitive by broaden their horizons with different aspects in regards to nature.”Kendra Lyman from Livermore Falls High School, says her group was definitely challenged, but overall she’s happy with their work.”Today I think we’ve done pretty good. I don’t know if it’s as good of a performance as last time but the questions were more difficult here too so maybe in relativity we’ve done the same just the questions are different.”The Envirothon has been taking place since 1990.The group that organizes the event says the competition has expanded each year.Tish Carr of the Maine Association of Conservation Districts says the competition gives students the opportunity to show off what they’ve been working on all year.”Put in a tremendous amount of effort and this is kind of like the icing on the cake.”

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Coastal Communities Get Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Updated 5 years ago

Emergency Management officials from around the state say they’ll be better prepared the next time a hurricane bears down on Maine.They’ve spent the last two days in Acadia National Park getting tips from the experts.Amy Erickson has more.< "Preparedness is something we don't always do well in when it comes to high winds and hurricane situations."When a hurricane blows in, there often isn't much time for the state and counties to prepare.So the folks from the Maine Emergency Management Agency invited dozens of local, county and volunteer agency officials to take part in a first-of-its-kind, two day FEMA course.It focused on hurricane preparedness for coastal communities."With the threat of hurricanes always looming in the state of Maine, we've decided it's important that we address preparedness issues to prepare for potential hurricanes."Participants spent their time hearing from experts, working on hurricane threat scenarios, and crafting plans for their own communities."You can't wait until game day to make your plan on how you're going to keep people out of harm's way. It's something that needs to be done in pre-planning stages."The key components of the class?How to best notify people that severe weather's on its way and how to get them out safely once it arrives.Participants also learned the benefits of forming partnerships with other communities during a crisis."Making sure all the communities work together because an area is only as good as its weakest link, so you need to make sure every community is doing its share and their part so we can all succeed."Pinkham says thanks to the course, he now has more tools to use the next time a hurricane hits...and chances are...it will."History tells us we have a few every decade and we may be overdue, so perhaps this is a good time for us to be prepared."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Acadia National Park.>

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Bradford Standoff Ends

Updated 5 years ago

A state police tactical team was called to a home in Bradford Thursday in response to a reported standoff.Officials say 57-year-old Clarence Rairdon Jr. threatened his ex-girlfriend with an axe.By the time officers responded to the scene at the intersection of Rt. 221 and Rt. 155 around 11:30 a.m., the ex-girlfriend had fled the home, and Rairdon refused to come out.Officials later secured the area and blocked off the street because Rairdon suggested he may have explosives.Sergeant Sean Hashey says tactical teams used a robotic camera to get closer to the home, eventually using tear gas to get Rairdon out of the building.State police say Rairdon was intoxicated when he was taken into custody just before 6:45 p.m.As authorities were taking Rairdon into custody, he told TV5 that he “was only trying to protect his home.”The ex-girlfriend was reportedly not injured, and no weapons or explosives were found in the home.Rairdon has been charged with felony terrorizing and is being held at Penobscot County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.

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Traffic Changes in Bangor for 5/28 – 5/30

Updated 5 years ago

A section of Downtown Bangor will be closed this afternoon as event organizers gear up for this year’s Soap Box Derby.As of 5 Thursday afternoon, Buck Street will be closed to traffic between Main Street and Third Street, and will remain closed until the races end on Saturday.There will be no parking along both sides of Third Street, from Buck Street to Walter Street, and both sides of Dutton Street.

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JB Parkers’ Bourbon Steak Marinade

Todd Simcox

Updated 5 years ago

Ingredients:½ cup bourbon½ cup soy sauce½ cup Worcestershire sauce3 cloves of garlic, minced1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger2 teaspoons black pepperDirections:Combine all ingredients. Pour over meat and let marinate for no more than 20 minutes.

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Sexual Harassment Trial Gets Underway

Updated 5 years ago

A woman suing a convicted rapist and her former employer for sexual harassment, took the stand at a trial in Ellsworth Wednesday.Patty Smith worked at Manset Yacht Service in Southwest Harbor.So did Peter Mills. He was convicted of drugging and raping three women in 2005.Now Smith alleges that Mills and the Boatyard owner, Robert Brown subjected her to almost daily harassment.On the stand, Patty Smith testified that the alleged harassment she endured while working at Manset Yacht Service in 2004 and 2005 made her feel “terrible, humiliated and degraded”.She says that defendants Peter Mills, who was an employee at Manset Yacht, and owner Bob Brown often talked explicitly about female body parts, and Brown would look through lingerie magazines suggesting the outfits become the uniforms for female employees.Smith left for a time, but returned to work at the boatyard, because she says Mills was not working there. He was eventually rehired as her boss.Smith says when she complained and asked Brown to put an end to the harassment she was told to “get over it”.Smith says she eventually resigned after Mills physically assaulted her in July 2005.A counselor took the stand, saying he diagnosed Smith with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to the alleged harassment.Brown’s attorney, tried to poke holes in his story along with Smith’s.He suggests the PTSD diagnosis can be tied to assaults that happened before Smith ever worked at the boatyard.Then it was time for Mills, who is representing himself to question, Smith.Something that was difficult for Smith’s family to watch.”Very difficult because I don’t think he should have been able to go up there and ask the questions.”They say the last five years have been difficult for Smith, but she just wanted to get her day in court to face her alleged perpetrators.”I can’t reiterate again how proud I am of her what a giant step she’s taken not only for her and her family that’s present but also for the women not only in the area but statewide and hopefully nationwide someday.””that’s the big cause, she’s trying to get across, is to help the other woemn who come behind her in these situations. I think she did that and I’m proud of her.”Another woman who also worked at the boatyard, testified Wednesday, saying she also witnessed harassment by the defendants.Brown has filed a countersuit, alleging the complaints are false and have hurt his business.The trial recessed on Wednesday. No date has been set for it to resume.

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Recovery Act Funds at Work

Updated 5 years ago

Stimulus dollars are being used in different ways around the state. A pair of local business owners say their new restaurant is proof of how the small business loan program works.”Machias Savings Bank gave us a call one afternoon to let us know it went through,” says Roy Boothby.Boothby and his wife, Mary, say thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, they were able to open a second location for their ACME Pizza and Wing Company, on outer Hammond street on the Bangor-Hermon town line.Provisions of the act eliminate fees and temporarily increase the SBA loan guarantee to 90 percent.”Because with the 90 percent guarantee, that closed the gap between capitalized and undercapitalized, so it made the loan doable, and it actually helped us be in business,” Boothby says.They saved about two-thousand dollars in fees.”They employ 16 people here, so it’s a good turnaround for the money,” says Marilyn Geroux of the Small Business Administration.She says the number of loans in our area isn’t increasing that much, but the amount of the loans is going up.”It’s jumped by almost 69 percent in the amount of dollars loaned, in just the two and a half months since the recovery act,” Geroux says.”One of the things we’re seeing is fewer new businesses starting, there’s some hesitancy in existing businesses to grow,” says Jim Donnelly of Machias Savings Bank.He says ACME’s success could help new business owners see their potential.”They’re just nervous about what’s going on. We want to kind of help them make that next step, which I think will help us all,” Donnelly says.”We’re an example of probably many,” Boothby says. “The good news is, we’re Main Street Mainers in Bangor, and we’re working hard to create a living for ourselves in a very tough economic environment.”

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Selling Health on a Strip

Updated 5 years ago

A local businessman is having some early success with a new product. It’s sold through multi-level marketers, similar to Mary Kay.But Clayton Fowlie isn’t selling make-up. He’s selling health, on a strip.Fowlie brought Enlyten strips to the East Coast in January. The product delivers supplements through a strip placed on the inside of your cheek.”Rather than ingesting supplements through the digestive tract, they determined going through the buccal mucosa, a highly vascular region of your cheek and gum, could deliver them more effectively and efficiently,” he says.Enlyten was developed by researchers a few years ago. Fowlie, who’s the director of the Maine Center for Integrated Rehab, is hoping they’ll catch on in our area.There are strips with electrolytes, antioxidants, melatonin, energy, and most recently, strips developed for weight loss.”These are things people are using already. We’re just giving them a new delivery system,” Fowlie says.Tim Jundt sells the strips at Snap Fitness in Brewer.”I worked shift work for 21 years and I couldn’t sleep,” Jundt says. “The melatonin made me sleep seven to eight hours. And I haven’t slept more than 4-5 hours in years.”Trainer Stacy Stack says the energy strips work for him.”I recommend this to my clients because it’s the best. This right now, you get the most bang for your buck,” Stack says.Fowlie’s now working with area college sports teams. He hopes to take the product down the East Coast.”I realized as I got involved with the company in the first couple of weeks,” he says, “I was onto something huge.”Enlyten strips haven’t been approved by the FDA. Fowlie says they’re not required to be, and that most of the ingredients in the strips are things people are using already.As with any such product, if you have questions, be sure to ask your doctor.

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