Children who witness domestic abuse or its aftermath are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with depression. Others can suffer from behavioral problems, as well as increased drug and alcohol abuse. Those numbers are disheartening, but thankfully, they don’t represent all kids who’ve lived through a domestic violent situation. Organizations like Spruce Run out of Bangor are doing their best to make sure children aren’t just surviving their ordeal, they’re overcoming it. Joy Hollowell concludes her special report on children of domestic violence.************ “When anyone hears about domestic abuse, they think about the children first. And how is this impacting the children,” says Francine Stark. Francine Stark is the training coordinator for Spruce Run in Bangor. The organization helps people, including kids who are affected by domestic violence. “Our focus on kids from the very first minute we meet them is to try to help them feel as safe as possible,” says Stark. Stark says even if an abuser leaves their children alone, they still suffer effects of domestic violence. “Kids are afraid, what’s going to happen? They’ve heard their other parent sometimes threaten to kill them, or I’m going to take the kids and you’ll never see them again. Unfortunately, abusers use children as pawns, they don’t allow children to have that kind of predictability, stability sense of safety and choice that they deserve,” says Stark. Spruce Run works to give that back. “When we have groups going on for the parents, we have a group for the kids. The focus of the group with the parents is how am I going get through the day. The focus of the group with kids is, what can we do for fun,” says Stark. The whole idea, says Stark, is to give them a new focus, one that isn’t full of crisis. More importantly, it gives these kids a choice. “It’s important for us to know that our life experiences are our history, not our destiny.” This group is known as Stand Up Kids. They have all experienced some sort of domestic abuse in their young lives, which is why we’re not showing their faces. “Most of them had come through our shelter and they’ve written sort of like a welcome to the shelter book for other kids to take about what it’s like to be here, how things were for them,” says Stark. The kids have also baked cookies for fire fighters, and visited seniors in nursing homes. “It’s a great way to sort of pay forward the good things that they’d had happen to them in their life and try to reach out to help others,” says Stark. Stark says she’s amazed at how many success stories comes out of Spruce Run. “Children love their parents, even if they’ve done something bad. But they want the bad behavior to go away. So they’re hopeful, but it’s a complicated ride. The important thing is that kids quickly come around when they’re in a circumstance where in fact they’re safe, safe people are available to them and they get the kind of support that they deserve,” says Stark.************************* If you are in an abusive situation, there is a statewide hotline number that you can call 24 hours a day. It’s 866-84 4help. Spruce Run also has a hotline. That number is 1-800-863-9909. On March 28th, Spruce Run is holding its annual silent auction and dessert party. It takes place at the Buchanan Alumni house at the University of Maine in Orono. Tickets are 15-dollars each. For more information, call 945-5102.
Police continue to investigate what appears to be a random stabbing at a coffee shop in downtown Bangor.Officers were called to Java Joe’s on Central Street just after 11 Monday morning.They say that 32-year-old Jason Dean went into the coffee shop, walked up to a female, and cut her neck with a knife.Dean then left the coffee shop. Police caught up with him on Franklin Street.He’s been charged with aggravated assault. More charges may be added later on.The victim did go to the hospital, but we’re told her injuries are not life threatening.Officials say that the victim did not know her attacker.
Folks travelling between Searsport and Houlton Tuesday morning may experience some delays.Two tractor trailers will be carrying wind turbines up to Canada.They will be escorted by state police.The caravan starts at 8 o’clock Tuesday morning on Route 1 in Searsport. They’ll be in Bangor mid-morning, then head North along I-95 to Houlton.
Opening a methadone clinic in a neighborhood can cause controversy. That’s why some Brewer city leaders want to head off the issue entirely.A team of city leaders recommended to the planning board Monday that Brewer modify its zoning, to regulate where narcotic treatment facilities could open – and where they’d be prohibited.”We ran into a situation several years back with adult entertainment, and we didn’t have an ordinance in place, and it caused the city quite a bit of heartbreak and headaches,” says Code Enforcement Officer David Russell.He says Brewer wants to stay ahead of what could be another controversial issue.Even though no methadone clinics have approached the city, he says they should have a zoning ordinance in place now.”Without an ordinance they can basically go anywhere they want to. We’re trying to keep this within the business district in the Wilson Street and Dirigo Drive corridor.”The ordinance includes a 250-foot restricted zone around schools in the area. One neighbor shared a concern Monday. “I’m just a property or two away. That’s the distance.”The city’s team researched case law and clinics in other towns before recommending the zoning change.”These treatment programs are for people who have the addiction they just can’t battle by themselves,” says Brewer Police Chief Perry Antone, “so, there is a place for them in our society.”Methadone clinics are federally protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.”The clinics that have more of a holistic treatment approach, that have psychotherapy, and work with the clientele to rebuild life skills – in combination with the methadone therapy are typically more successful clinics,” says Brewer Police Lt. Christopher Martin.”Law enforcement,” says Antone, “holds people accountable who abuse these sort of programs.” All but one member of the planning board OK’ed the zoning change. The ordinance will go before the Brewer City Council at their meeting next month.
Legislative budget writers settled down to business after the ranking Republicans on the Appropriations Committee backed off previous GOP criticism of how details of a new $65 million Medicaid shortfall were released by officials of Democratic Gov. John Baldacci’s administration. Rep. Sawin Millett, R-Waterford, and Sen. Richard Rosen, R-Bucksport, on Monday absolved Baldacci budget chief Ryan Low of withholding information and noted that any delay in making the shortfall disclosure to lawmakers was at least partially due to legislative scheduling. Not all Republicans, however, seemed satisfied. Majority Democrats on the committee, as well as Low and Human Services Commissioner Brenda Harvey, let the comments by Millett and Rosen go by with little reaction.
Maine’s seed companies say business is booming because of the tough economy and the growing interest in locally grown food. Joann Matuzas at Johnny’s Selected Seeds store in Winslow says home garden sales are up 50 percent. Winslow Agway True Value Owner, Brent Burger is seeing similar sales which are up 38 percent compared to last year. Seed shoppers tell TV5 News that it’s about savings, quality, and the satisfaction of growing their own food. Although Spring may be right around the corner Matuza and Burger agree to not get to ahead of yourself when it comes to planting early. They recommend sticking to the cold crops which include, lettuce, onion, eggplant, and peppers until Old Man Winter leaves Maine for good.
Police didn’t have to look far to find a woman accused of robbing a business in Biddeford Monday. She was found across the street ordering pizza.It was just after noon Monday when police say 48-year old Mary Gorsuch walked into Paul’s Variety Store. She threatened to “blow the clerks head off” if she didn’t hand over money. After getting what she wanted, the clerk says she watched as Gorsuch walked across the street to a pizza parlor. Se was arrested at that same pizza shop a short time later. Gorsuch was on federal probation for a previous robbery when she was arrested Monday. She once lived in Brewer, and was convicted of robbing the Fleet bank in downtown Bangor in 2002.
The University of Maine system needs to trim about 43-million dollars in its budget for the next four years..Chancellor Richard Pattenaude recently put together a 12-member task force to work on that.That panel has been holding open forums on U-maine campuses to get suggestions on how to close the gap.An update on those meetings was presented to the Board of Trustees in Bangor Monday.The board is focusing on many cost-cutting options, including staffing and academic and structural changes.It’s also looking for ways to increase money coming into the U-maine system. “We’re struggling with trying to make reductions in the middle of a fiscal year in order to try and break even by the end of the fy ’09. And we’re not really sure that we’ve seen the end of the problem even in the current fiscal year,” says Rebecca Wyke, Vice Chancellor for the UMaine Finance and Administration office.The task force wraps up their open forums Tuesday, at the Lewiston -Auburn College and University of Southern Maine.Recommendations will be given to Chancellor Pattenaude in June.
Between Friends Art Center in Brewer is celebrating its second year in business this month.It opened soon after the owner’s husband, lost his job.Joy Hollowell tells us how the Marceron family turned bad luck into a business venture.”It’s amazing to me that we were able to take an empty building that hadn’t had anything done to it for so many years,” says Tracey Marceron.And turn it, into this. Between Friends Art Center is the vision of Tracey Marceron. She had wanted to start something like this for years. Then, Tracey’s husband, Dave was laid off from the Georgia Pacific mill in Old Town.”I just said, you know, I’ve got to take some kind of control here over what we’re going to be able to retire on. So we took our life savings and a lot of faith and hope that this would work out,” says Tracey Marceron.The Marcerons say it was the worst and best time to start a business. “When you hit rock bottom with your finances, you gotta start somewhere,” says Dave Marceron.Tracey enlisted the help of a business advisor in Bangor. The service was free and she learned a lot. “We started off with an original business plan and that grew and changed and we added a lot of things, we dropped some things from the original business plan. We just crossed each bridge as we came to it. We opened the gift shop first, and started getting a little income from that, we built the dance studio two months later, we built the theater a month and a half after that,” says Tracey Marceron.And Tracey is not done yet. Plans for a lunch cafe inside the Next Generation Theater are now in the works. “I think the key to surviving in a bad economy is have a lot of branches on one business. If I had just relied on the gift shop, I’d be in big trouble right now,” says Tracey Marceron.Tracey’s husband as well as her two daughters help run the place. The family is extremely fortunate their business is actually growing during this tough economy, but Tracey has also learned what kind of toll it takes personally. “In the last two years, I have probably only had 15 days off. I work about 90 hours a week and for the whole first year, I paid myself 50 cents an hour. So if you think that you’re going to get rich by starting your own business, you have to love what you’re going to try and you have to be willing to get 0 in return for at least a couple of years. I now make $1.50 an hour,” says Tracey Marceron.For more information on Between Friends Art Center, including what’s going on at the Next Generation Theatre this month, you can log onto www.betweenfriendsartcenter.com or call them at 989-7100.You can also catch Tracey Marceron every Monday morning on the TV 5 morning show. Her weekly arts and crafts segment air during our 6:30AM half hour.
A teacher from Hampden Academy is asking his students to travel back to Ancient Rome, and his lesson plan has won an award from Google.Google Earth developed 3-D software to allow folks to navigate the streets of Rome as they looked around 300 AD.Then they sponsored a contest, asking teachers to develop a curriculum around the program.Latin Teacher Ben Johnson submitted his idea and won. He’s asking his student to choose an ancient Roman, then find ten places in the city that can be used to explain themes about that person.Johnson says the lessons get more kids interested in the class. “Instead of just reading about the places in Rome, or reading about their historical character, they’re actually manipulating parts of the city. They’re finding information on their own, which is always good, then they’re taking it and putting into something that is different than just writing a paper.”Johnson won a new laptop, with a 3-D navigational Mouse, a projector, and a digital camera, all things that will help him in his classroom lessons.Plus, he got a Target gift card, that he says he’ll use for diapers. He and his wife are expecting a baby.
Three men are accused of stealing more than $100,000 in more than a dozen burglaries around the state over the past several months.Police arrested 31 year old Willis Jordan of Lewiston, 30 year old Michael Warner of Cape Elizabeth, and 31 year old Kenneth Michael Childs of Lewiston at their homes last week.Authorities say the men broke into businesses from Orono to Lebanon, including the IGA in Orono, the Flagship Cinemas in Waterville, and the Kennebec Ice Arena in Hallowell.Jordan, Warner and Childs are facing charges of burglary and violating their probation.
Last year, the number of domestic-related homicides in Maine more than doubled to 19.In five of those cases, children were the victims.And, they were present when many of the other killings took place.Joy Hollowell begins a special report on how our state’s youngest victims are affected by domestic violence and what Maine is doing to help. “I don’t remember a whole lot because I was so young. But there are certain things that I do still remember in terms of certain situations where there was physical and mental harm going on.” “Police ever called to your house?” “Yes.”James Bell was only five years old when his mother decided to leave her abusive situation. She could only take James and his younger sister at the time, leaving two older brothers with their father. Less than a year later, James’ 9-year old sibling would be dead.A jury would eventually find James’ father guilty of murdering his son, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison. “To this day, he won’t admit that he did it, which I think is a little messed up to be honest, just because of what he’s put our whole family through. But, the thing that sucks the most for me, is the fact that I don’t really have the memories with my older brother, which is kind of a tough thing so,” Says James.James says he’s had no contact with his father since the trial. He has lots of questions, but no desire right now to ask his dad for the answers. “It’s kind of tough because, I mean, he’s your father so I mean, he’s kind of the reason you’re in the world.” Says James. “But at the same time, you think, why did he has to do this, it affected everybody in our family, it affected me personally, and that’s something that’s kind of tough to swallow sometimes.”James admits he’s gone through some rough periods, during his teenaged years and again just this past summer. But through it all, James relied on his family for support.As for his mom, James doesn’t blame her for not leaving their dad sooner. Looking back, he says he now understands the situation she was in and the decisions she had to make. “Wow, my mom’s incredible. She really is. She’s the main reason that me, my brother and my sister are who we are. Without her, we wouldn’t be what we are today,” Says James.Today, James is a third year student at the University of Maine, majoring in finance. His sister is a freshman here. Their older brother is happily married. The family remains close.James says he thinks about what happened to his family every day. And, he’s very aware of the stories of sons following in their abusive father’s footsteps. That he guarantees won’t happen to him. “That’s the thing that I pride myself on the most, in terms of what I have learned from this situation, is I’ve learned who I don’t want to to be. I’m not glad it happened, but its something that definitely has made me a better person,” Says James.James’ mother now works with other families who’ve survived domestic abuse situations.
Fire investigators are trying to find the cause of a fire that destroyed a garage in etna… Crews from four towns were called to the scene around 2:30 this morning…It’s located across the street from the fire station on route two and had been abandoned…Officials say this is the second fire the owner has dealt with in the last 8 days…We’re told he recently lost a house too…It was also a chance for a state fire investigator to use a specially trained dog to search for the cause..Senior fire investigator Scott Richardson says–“you take a scene like the one behind me. If there was an accelerant used you would take a number of samples. The dog can actually pinpoint within an inch of where the hydrocarbon based accelerant is and you can sample from there and screen the sample with her. Then you have a much higher success rate when you get it to the lab”. The dog named “metro” was given to the state by the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms…Richardson recently traveled to virginia to be trained to handle metro.Both are now part of a national response team and could be called to investigate any fire in the u.s. That the a.t.f. Is asked to look into..
Patrick Rosa (19) will spend four months in jail after pleading guilty to reckless conduct and criminal trespassing. The Maine Warden Service says in December 2007 Rosa and three friends were racing snowmobiles on property in Limerick that was closed to the machines. Rosa’s snowmobile struck 42-year old Darrin Smith and his dog, seriously injuring both. Rosa and his friends took off. Smith’s injuries included two broken legs and a broken arm he had to drag himself about 100-feet to a nearby snow bank where his 8-year-old daughter later found him. Rosa called the Maine Warden Service the next night and admitted to the crash.
It was a bitter sweet day at Bangor International Airport.A flight with Soldiers and Marines came in this morning and reunited with family and friends.While the 286 out of Bangor left to head to Afghanistan.The 286 has 80 soldiers who have been training for over a year for this tour.Colonel Don Lagace, Commander of 52 Troop Command, has complete confidence in the men. He says they’re a well trained and well led troop.For some of the men it’s their second or third trip overseas.Family and friends were there to see their loved ones off.This is the second tour for Eileen Lasselle’s Husband. She says, “Doesn’t get any easier, you know more what to expect, makes things a little easier, no guessing what’s gonna happen, but you worry twice as much because you know what going on.”The 286 is scheduled to be in Afghanistan for a year.Colonel Lagace looks forward to a safe return and expects things to be looking up in the near future.
Lots of folks headed outside to take advantage of the sunshine this weekend. “Oh, the sun is awesome,” says Mike Celestino, who was riding his bike on Pushaw Lake Sunday. “That’s our first catch right there,” says Carl Franck, who was ice fishing with his brother.But, with the beautiful weather comes the consequences.”The sun is warm, the rays are strong, and we’ve had some rain, that leads to runoff and snow melt,” says Game Warden Jim Fahey.He says now that we’re on the backside of winter, we’re losing more ice than we’re gaining. As the sun melts it from the top, currents underneath erode it from the bottom.”The result,” he says, “is bad ice.”He says now you need to be extra-careful venturing out on the ice. If you do fall in, use your forearms to pull yourself out and roll away.Franck says the ice was still more than 20 inches thick where he was fishing on Pushaw Lake Sunday.”It was good and solid this morning,” he says. “Now, it’s getting a little mushy.”Celestino says, “It’s getting a little bit mushy – but I’ll tell you what, you can’t beat it.””We enjoyed some good solid ice early,” says Fahey. “But this happens every year. It gets to the point where people need to use extra-good judgement and be prudent with deciding whether they want to go on the ice.”He says if you have an ice shack, take advantage of the conditions to pull it in now, before the April 3rd deadline.Franck says he hopes to enjoy at least more weekend with their ice house.”It’s a lot of fun.”
The federal stimulus package increases law enforcement funding that has been cut in recent years and Maine’s Justice Assistance Council is scheduled to meet Monday in Augusta to take public testimony on how Maine’s $9.6 million share should be spent.Maine Public Safety Commissioner Anne Jordan says the state is likely to propose spending the funds on computer upgrades. Stimulus funds could also go toward replacing bulletproof vests for state troopers.Monday’s Justice Assistance Council meeting is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Safety in Augusta.
The financial status of Maine’s Medicaid program has drawn new cries of alarm from Republican lawmakers. But Gov. John Baldacci’s budget chief says the GOP math is flawed.The Legislature’s top Republican leaders, backed up by prominent House and Senate colleagues, issued a joint blast late Friday accusing the Baldacci administration of seeking to bury news that the state MaineCare program – as Medicaid in Maine is known – faces a $235 million shortfall through June 30.Commissioner Ryan Low of the state Department of Administrative and Financial Services said Saturday the General Fund shortfall was $65 million. He said the figure of $235 million would represent not only the state’s portion but the federal share of the jointly funded health care program.
Music lovers who turned out for a symphony concert Sunday afternoon also had the chance to help feed their hungry neighbors.The Bangor Symphony Orchestra took part in a national food drive organized by the League of American Orchestras.They asked patrons to bring non-perishable food items to today’s concert at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono.The food will be donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, which will then distribute it to food pantries, cupboards and shelters across the state.Good Shepherd staffers say the timing of the food drive couldn’t have been better since the demand for food is up by about thirty percent.”so we tried to figure out any possible way to help those less fortunate people, and the bangor symphony orchestra helped a lot.”So far, more than 200 orchestras from all 50 states have held food drives at their concerts.
Another year of the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show is in the books, and it looks like it was a huge success.This was the 71st year the show has taken over the fieldhouse at the University of Maine in Orono.More than 150 vendors were on hand, selling everything from sporting goods to beef jerky.There were also plenty of live shows and demonstrations: even a personal flotation device fashion show featuring the Umaine cheerleaders!Organizers say this year’s turnout was fantastic, even though the weather had many folks outside.They say the tough economy doesn’t seem to be keeping outdoor enthusiasts from buying.The folks from the Penobscot County Conservation Association use money from the admission fees for scholarships for students at schools like the University of Maine and Unity college.That money will also help send about fifty kids to conservation camp this summer.