Ray Lahood, U.S. Transportation Secretary went to the University of Maine to check out a new way to build bridges. Researchers at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center laborartory are using a process called “bridge in a backpack” This process takes strong unfolded carbon fiber fabric, inflated and coated with resin at the construction site. Once the carbon fiber is layed out, it is filled with concrete. Overall, this allows the process for building bridges cheaper and quicker. Gov. John Baldacci escorted LaHood during his tour. LaHood requested for printed materials on the research to share with members of President Obama’s Cabinet.
A mobile home became quite immobile on I-95 in Bangor Monday night, creating traffic delays for several hours.Crews were clearing what was left of that home on the side of the highway Tuesday. It was being hauled along the interstate Monday when two wheels blew out. State police say contractors spent several hours trying to fix the wheels but the structure remained too unsteady to be safely moved. So the decision was made to tear it apart.”We wanted to create a safer work environment for not only DOT and workers here, but motorists. And so we figured if it had to be taken apart in pieces in the travel lane, it could just as easily be taken apart in pieces in the breakdown lane. So we pushed it off into the breakdown lane,” says Maine State Trooper Trevor Snowe.We’re told the trailer was being towed to a new area to be used as a storage facility, and was no longer being used as a home.
As the Obama administration triples the number of workers processing Cash for Clunkers transactions as some dealers complain the government has been slow to reimburse them for the car incentives, used car dealers say the program could have benefited more people. “I think they’re wasting a lot of good cars, a lot of cars gotta a lot of time left in them, and with all the cars being crushed, parts are going to be even scarcer.” says Dan Witham. Witham owns Dan’s Used Cars and Parts in Benton. He’s says even though business is up this year he adds that lower income Mainers who could have benefited from the clunkers being resold are being left out of the widely popular progam. With some hundreds of thousands of clunkers being crushed Witham expects it to be harder to find spare parts for older models. Senator Susan Collins has also expressed her disappointment in the program saying, â€œIt is unfortunate that the House did not stay in session to work to improve the program by increasing fuel efficiency requirements and including a voucher for consumers who purchase fuel-efficient used cars instead of just new cars.”The Cash for Clunkers program, as expected, has been a boon for carmakers — especially those in Japan and South Korea. Government data shows that while 54 percent of the top-10-selling vehicles were manufactured domestically, eight out of 10 carry Japanese or South Korean nameplates. The Toyota Corolla is the most popular car bought under the program. Only the Ford Focus and the Ford Escape cracked the top 10. American automakers are dominating one area — trade-ins. All the top trade-ins were made by U.S. companies, with the Ford Explorer four-wheel-drive leading the pack. The government data show that fuel economy of vehicles bought under Cash for Clunkers is now 25 miles per gallon, while the mileage of trade-ins stands at 15.8 miles per gallon.As for the backlog of Cash for Clunker applications from new dealerships an administration official says the Transportation Department hopes to have 1,100 public and private sector workers processing the vouchers by the end of the week. That’s up from 350 through the end of last week. The official was not authorized to discuss the work force issues publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity. Dealers have reported submitting tens of thousands of dollars worth of rebates for repayment. But many of the reimbursements are still pending. The car program offers vouchers of $3,500 or $4,500.
There’s good news from a recent survey of the scallop population off the Eastern Seaboard.It shows an upswing in the number of young scallops in a key fishing area, which scientists say could be a good sign for years to come.Scientists say the numbers of juvenile scallops they found on Georges Bank were the highest since 2000.
The man accused of plotting the nation’s biggest-ever theft of credit card and debit card information is being described as a one-time government informant.Prosecutors say Albert Gonzalez of Miami, Florida broke his own record for identity theft by hacking into retail networks, including the Hannaford Brothers grocery store chain.He was allegedly trying to gain access to 130 million credit and bank accounts.Authorities say Gonzalez is a former informant for the U.S. Secret Service who helped the agency track down hackers. The agency found out that he had also been working with criminals, and feeding them information about ongoing investigations.His efforts came to an end when he went to jail on charges stemming from a previous case.
The Maine House Ethics Committee comes up with a mixed-decision in the case of an Old Town lawmaker accused of abusing his power.Today the committee convened for five hours hearing contradictory versions of what happened on the fourth of July between Representative Richard Blanchard and law enforcement officials.Two fire marshals and a game warden showed up at his lakeside camp in Enfield after fireworks were set off.Authorities claimed the Blanchard poked an officer in the chest and say he was drunk. Blanchard said that’s not true.The committee voted unanimously that there was no proof Blanchard received preferential treatment but they agreed that his conduct was unbecoming of a legislator.
A man from Lincolnville accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl has been indicted by a Waldo County grand jury.45-year-old Brian Feener is charged with gross sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact and abusing a minor. All are felony charges.Prosecutors say the crimes took place on July 23rd.Feener was arrested four days later.He is free on $1,000 bail.
James Miekka of Surry is a target shooter with an accuracy most people would admire. He’s also completely blind. His accuracy comes from his ingenuity.”My favorite thing is when I see somebody who’s never seen him shoot before. And if they watch him shoot, their jaw just drops open. And they go, ‘How does he do that?’” says Miekka’s neighbor, Robert Duhaime.Miekka can’t see his target…he hears it, using an artificial vision system he designed himself.”It requires an extreme amount of concentration,” Miekka says.He shoots using instruments to do the same job as the eyes of sighted people, changing light into electric signals.”So, I’ve taken the light I’ve converted to electricity, and then it travels down the cord which is the equivalent of your optic nerve. Finally, I have to take that signal and put it in a way my brain can decode it,” Miekka says.For that, he uses sound. The sound frequency is proportional to the light intensity on the target.”I hear tick, tick, tick and I scan around for black next to white, and very quiet next to very loud. That white on that target should be the loudest thing out there,” he says.Neighbor Rick Zeamer helped Miekka, a former physics teacher, research the special photocells at the heart of the system, and calibrate the scope for his backyard shooting range.”I think it’s just the beginning of what could be a rather important technological development for artificial vision,” Zeamer says. Neighbor Robert Duhaime says Miekka’s accuracy is better than most people who can see.”It’s a passion that he’s had for such a long time. And he refuses to let anything stop him,” Duhaime says.”It gives me a great deal of pleasure to be able to be a completely blind person participating in a sighted sport. And usually, when people come out and shoot, they can’t beat me,” he says, with a smile.
Folks at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills in Bradley have added more pieces of the past to their living history site.The goal of Leonard’s Mills is to keep Maine’s forest and logging history alive and recreated authentic pioneer milling communities of yester-year.”We are trying to preserve as much of this old stuff, before it all gets sent to the junk yard.” Says Vernon Shaw, site manager for Leonard’s Mills.The museum is one step closer to that goal, with the addition of a clapboard mill to the site.”Another name would be siding for a building. Laid horizontally, and nailed on, and this machinery here makes them the old fashion way. There isn’t very much of this particular machinery left anymore. Some of it used to be built right here in the city of Bangor. It no longer is and hasn’t been for probably 60 or 70 years now.” says Shaw.This antique machine was actually in operation until last fall, and the clapboards it makes are still in demand by folks who restore old buildings.Shaw says, “This particular kind made by this machine were radially cut.”This clapboard mill dates back to the early 1900’s. The museum also has a saw mill from that time period, and they’re waiting to get a shingle machine and plaining mill. When the set up is done organizers hope it will help bring the era to life for visitors.Shaw says, “If somebody can come and see how a board was cut on one of these mills, or how a clapboard was actually made in that era, I think that’s where our great benefit will be, and then the other side of the coin is it’s just plain fun for us!”
Millions of trees across North America have been eaten away from the green metallic emerald ash borer beetle. So far, the beetle has not found its way to Maine. State Forest Entomologist, Colleen Teerling has spent part of the summer pairing and training volunteers with colonies of ground wasps, who feast on these type of beetles. Teerling said temporarily bagging wasps to catch the beetlesworks well, because wasps can fly to the tops of trees where the beetle begins to eat.
The Secretary of Transportation was in Orono today and it was bridges that brought him. Secretary Ray Lahood was invited by Congressman Mike Michaud to tour one of the research facilities at the University of Maine.Lahood was able to see some of the students’ cutting edge research projects first hand. Governor Baldacci was also there.Lahood seemed impressed with what he saw, and thinks the projects being done at the University of Maine will go well with the new green direction the country is leaning to. “I’m going to take this information back, I’m going to offer an opportunity for them to come to Washington,” said Lahood, “and make some presentations, there is definitely a role for our government in what is going on here in this innovative incubator is what I would call it.”Researchers with the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center have designed something called “bridge in a backpack”.It features a carbon fiber fabric that’s unfolded, inflated and coated with a resin at the job site, then filled with concrete.
During the weekend in Gilead, nine cars on the St. Lawrence & Atlantic train went off their tracks. A few of the cars were carrying hazardous chemicals, but state environmental officials say there was no indication of any leaks. The train derailment caused Route 2 to be closed down over the weekend. Though Route 2 is now reopened, state police are advising drivers to avoid the chrash site due to activiy. The Federal Railroad Administration is investigating the causeof the crash.
A 21-year-old Marine from western Maine was killed in Afghanistan on Friday. While supporting combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland died. Based out of Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe, Hawaii, Lance Cpl. Bernard was assigned to the 2nd Battalion and 3rd Marine Regiment. Thousands of U.S. Marines are trying to secure parts of theTaliban stronghold in their largest-ever operation in Afghanistan.
The Millinocket Regional Hospital unveiled their new helipad on Monday, much to the delight of hospital staff looking on. “It’s gong to be a great asset to the hospital and the community,” says Ron Brown, the President of the Board of Directors, “living this far out in the wilderness a lot of ambulances just can’t be fast enough, and this is just a fantastic service for this area.”The $125,000 pricetag was split several ways according the Executive Director of Life Flight Tom Judge. “It was a combination from the state of Maine, the transport bond of 2005, the USDA, some federal help, and obviously the local community,” says Judge, “a strong resource with the hospital and katahdin timberlands.”Congressman Mike Michaud was on hand to help celebrate. “It’s what life flight is all about,” said Michaud, “it’s more than just numbers, it’s about human beings, individuals, and what this service will definitely provide.”The day was capped off with the Life Flight helicopter making an appearance in what turned out to be a busy past week for the air ambulance. “We’ve been in Corinna, we’ve been in Swan’s Island,” says Judge, “we’ve been in Fort Kent, we’ve been in Lincoln, we’ve been sort of hither and tither, Skowhegan over the course of the past 14 days, the 2 helicopters have done about 14 flights in the last 24 hours.”Patients will be able to get from Millinocket to Bangor in about 20 minutes, and that is what this project is all about. “It really shows how Maine comes together,” says Judge, “and to make sure that in all our worries about health care that we know that in rural maine our emt’s, our fire departments, our paramedics, our life flight, we’re actually going to be there, we’re going to be there today and we’re going to be there tomorrow.”
A woman from Sidney was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash sunday.58-year-old Mary Pelletier and her husband, 61-year-old Billy Pelletier, were on a motorcycle that was hit by a jeep on Route 7 in Corinna around noon sunday.The Pelletiers were taken by Life Flight to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where Mrs. Pelletier underwent surgery. At last report, she was in serious condition, her husband Billy was in fair condition with several broken bones.Police say the Jeep crossed the center line and struck the bike. The motorcycle flipped over at least three times according to police. Police and Life Flight crews said that wearing helmets saved the Pelletier’s lives.28-year-old Becky Mitchell of Corinna who was in the Jeep suffered minor injuries. She was treated and released.
In Lewiston an 8-year-old girl who was staying overnight with her cousin and an uncle died Monday when the uncle’s apartment caught fire.Taylor McQueeney lived across the street from the apartment which began to burn around 3:30 Monday morning.Her body was found in the third floor apartment around 8 Monday morning.The fire spread to three other buildings.No other injuries have been reported but as many as seven families were displaced.The State Fire Marshal’s Office says a candle left burning overnight started the fire.Investigators say candles were being used for light in the third floor apartment because the power had been turned off because of non-payment of the power bill.
The man charged with murdering an Old Town woman along the Penobscot River nine days ago told friends he committed the crime, and there was a witness when it happened.Those are among details being released Monday related to the death of 19-year-old Holly Boutilier.According to court documents, surveillance video from Hollywood Slots shows two white males leaving the crime scene a week ago Saturday.One of them is believed to be 34-year-old Colin Koehler, who is charged with the crime.The other, a witness, says they were taking a walk along the river with Boutilier when Koehler pulled out a knife.The police affidavit says the victim died from multiple stab wounds to her abdomen and a laceration to her neck.Koehler was arrested after a police standoff on Tuesday and is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail.
An Oakland man faces charges after being accused of threatening his girlfriend and her 12-year-old daughter with a butcher knife.On Saturday police arrested 35-year-old Gregory Canham.Charges against him include domestic violence assault, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and drunk driving.Waterville Police made the arrest because Oakland Police were busy making another arrest.Police say Canham drove drunk to the woman’s home and was upset.The woman and her daughter ran from the home and called police.
“The first time I saw someone ‘throw’ a pot, I was struck by the magic. Now, some 15 years later I still feel that magic when I sit at my wheel,” says Natalie Ann Gardner.Natalie has been making pottery in her studio in Palermo, Maine for many years. Her work is influenced by her love of the outdoors and her interest in simple, sculptural form. She often receives comments on the oriental feeling of her pottery and studied with the well known Japanese potter, Makoto Yabe.Returning to college as a non-traditional student in the 90’s she pursued a degree in art, and found her niche. Natalie creates both functional and decorative ceramics. All of her work is handcrafted, mostly wheel thrown, and sometimes altered to produce an interesting shape or style. Surface decoration is kept to a minimum to allow the shape of the piece to “speak.” Each piece can stand alone as a functional work of art, or as part of a collection.You can meet Natalie Ann Gardner and check out her pottery at the American Folk Festival August 28, 29 and 30 in the folk art and craft marketplace area. For more information on Natalie Ann Gardner and her work please visit Golden Apple Pottery.***Content is from Golden Apple Pottery Website.
Folks who travel Route 2 in Bangor will need to take a detour in the Penjejawock Stream area.The Department of Transportation is replacing Red Bridge, between Meadowbrook Road and Young Street.Motorists will be directed to a detour route using Hogan Road and Mount Hope Avenue.Crews are expected to wrap up the construction by November 9th.