An Augusta mother was injured after she and her two children escaped their burning home Thursday night.Firefighters got the call around 6:30pm.When they arrived on the Ridge Road, they found a woman suffering from minor burns.We’re told she was taken to Maine General Medical Center for treatment.Meanwhile, crews kept the fire contained to the apartment on the second floor.Investigators believe it started in a bedroom.The family is being helped by the Red Cross.
Two New Sharon residents are behind bars after police allegedly caught them red-handed robbing their neighbor’s home.Franklin County sheriff’s dispatchers tell TV 5 that another neighbor saw the burglary going on and called police.When officers arrived, they arrested 18-year-old Matthew Kerr and 21-year-old Leo Bissonette, then asked if they could search the suspects’ home.In addition to stolen goods from the home across the street, police say they also found 22 marijuana plants.The two suspects are at the Franklin County Jail as of Friday morning.
The coast guard is asking for help with an on-going search and rescue case off the coast of Rockland.Around 4:40 p.m. Thursday, the coast guard heard a mayday call over the radio, but has been unable to locate the vessel.The search spans a 15 square-mile area near Rockland Harbor. They’ve called the search off for the night but plan to continue it in the morning.They’re hoping someone in the community might have information to help them out.Anyone with information that could help with the search should contact the coast guard at 767-0303.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the number of swine flu cases in Maine has risen to 12.They are also reporting the first swine flu related hospitalization.Dr. Dora Anne Mills said Thursday that state testing confirmed two more cases. The latest include students at Bridgton Academy and Lunt elementary school in Falmouth. Mills did not announce any plans to close either school.John Martins of the Department of Health and Human Services says the hospitalization involved a person with underlying health conditions.Mills says common sense should rule. Current guidelines call for those with swine flu to stay home seven days from onset of symptoms or until 24 hours after symptoms end.
Bail has been set at a thousand dollars cash for an Orrington man charged in a high speed chase. State police say 23 year old Jeremy Lovley was clocked driving his motorcycle 112 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. The chase started in Bangor last night and ended when Lovely pulled into a home in Glenburn.Lovely appeared in court Thursday on charges of eluding an officer, and criminal speed. At last check he was still at the Penobscot County Jail.
In part one of our report, we introduced you to Ranger, a dog rescued from a Breeding kennel in Newport. State Animal Welfare officials say this case points to the need for better standards for dog kennels in the state, and they are now working to do that, but even if they do get that accomplished, will they have enough people to enforce the changes?”All in all we have 600 licensed facilities with one inspector to accomplish all those inspections each year. Which is not possible. No.” admits Norma Worley, Director of the State Animal Welfare Program.That means state animal welfare officials only have time to respond to animal welfare complaints. They receive about 900 each year.As for the kennels, they say there are about 25 licensed facilities that meet current state standards, but are on the verge of a violation so they need constant attention.Worley says ideally she’d like to see three inspectors, so every facility in the state can be looked at every year, but that doesn’t appear to be in the budget.So for now they rely on Animal Control Officers in each town and city to help out, but they say that can be unreliable.”Unfortunately because it’s a statute requirement that municipalities have an ACO many towns look at it as an unfunded mandate and with today’s economy what we’re seeing is the hiring of a person who already has a full time job and they pay them 50 dollars a year.”Still Worley, and State Veterinarian Christine Fraser say there is work that can be done, by improving standards for kennels, like the one Ranger came from.The dogs at this kennel are outside all the time, on dirt surfaces. That presents a real problem if there is an infestation of parasites or some disease. So state officials would like to require that kennels have surfaces that can be disinfected.They are also concerned about the size of the individual kennels. They would like to require that the amount of space be compatible with the size of the dog. For example, a great dane would require more room than a chihuahua. And state officials tell me they doubt that Ranger and the other dogs at this kennel, ever got out of their pens to be socialized, or walked. Currently there is no state regulation calling for that.”I’m not saying that certainly is right, that’s one of our biggest problems. We’ve talked with people who bought a dog from a kennel and it was not socialized and they really have a problem on their hands.”Those dogs can become fear biters, be afraid of people, and suffer from separation anxiety.State officials say they know they’ll face some opposition to these rule changes, but they believe they are necessary. They say that way they’ll be better armed to protect animals like Ranger, from a life of neglect.”I think all of our agents are mentally strained at all times, dealing with what we do and working with a system that isn’t always as rapid as we would like.”State lawmakers will consider these rule changes during the next legislative session.State officials say you can do your part, by making sure you buy dogs from a reputable kennel.Here are some red flags to look out for:If they won’t let you see at least the puppy’s mother:They should let you see the kennel where the dogs are bred, they should not require you to meet them at a park or in a parking lot:If they only ask for cash:and If you don’t get paperwork for the puppy.If you do find a situation where you believe dogs are being neglected or abused, call animal welfare officials at 1-877-269-9200, or you can e-mail them at email@example.com
The budget hole has grown larger for the University of Maine system. Last year U-Maine officials expected to have to slash 43-million dollars from their budget, but the number has gone up. Earlier this year a task force was created to help find savings and those member met Thursday in Augusta. Last week the Governor submitted his budget plan which decreases state funding to the U-Maine system by 2-million bringing the system’s deficit to more than 43-million for the next four years.There are seven universities state-wide. David Flanagan chairs the committee and says shutting down campuses will not be an option, but reducing some academic programs and services are likely to make the list. Flanagan says jobs may also be on the line.The Chancellor and Board of Trustees will look at the final report and consider the proposals this summer.
The search for a missing hiker from Pennsylvania last seen on Park Tote Road in Baxter State Park was called off today, after it was discovered that he wasn’t missing.On Monday, a Brewer resident contacted authorities to report that they had found an expensive backpack left on the Appalachian Trail west of Abol Bridge.Park rangers investigated the report and discovered the backpack. Upon further investigation they came to the conclusion that it belonged to a hiker named John Meharg of Reading, Pennsylvania.When investigators contacted Meharg’s family, they discovered that he was at his home in Pennsylvania.While Mr. Meharg initially denied leaving his backpack behind, he later admitted that the backpack was his.According to Meharg, he had planned on starting at the top of Mount Katahdin and then head south on the Appalachian Trail. Unable to reach the top of the mountain because of weather conditions, he ended up near the West Branch of the Penobscot River. He then made his way to a road for help after injuring himself.Meharg made it to Millinocket Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, then took a taxi to Bangor, where he rented a vehicle to drive back to Pennsylvania.The Maine Warden Service strongly urges people who are going hiking to let someone know your route, when you are leaving and when you are expected back. The hiking trails are wet and slippery this time of year so caution should be taken.
Lights…Camera …Action.Students at Sebasticook Middle School in Corinna took the stage Thursday to show off their acting skills.As Meghan Hayward tells us, it’s a play with a message.Why didn’t I wear my bike helmet?The importance of wearing your bike helmet. That’s the message sixth graders at Sebasticook Valley Middle School are trying to get across.As part of the awesome body project the middle schoolers chose to focus on the brain.Sixth grade teacher Kelly Flagg says they had no clue how well the children would do.”They have just run with it. I mean they took our ideas and they improved them. I mean they made everything so much greater than we had envisioned that it’s been exciting for us to see what they’ve come up with.”All the sixth graders had recently read the book “Mick Harte Was Here” and decided to base their play on the novel. It’s about a boy who rides his bike without wearing a helmet and gets in an accident.”The story was very touching and very emotional too. And it made it perfect for what we’re doing.”The students have spent over a month putting the project together. Flagg says it was a great learning experience.”You know if we could prevent one, its worth it.”Fourth grader Justice Hodges says he got a lot out of the play.”I learned the most is to not ride you bike without wearing a helmet because you can get horribly injured.”Sixth graders Michaela Dumont and Shawna King also learned a lot.”That an inch of styrofoam can save you life. There’s no point of not wearing something. It might make you look bad but it will save your life.””And I think you should wear your helmets because I wouldn’t want to end up like Mick and because the doctors said he could have lived if he was wearing his helmet.”A single story with a powerful message. One that will now echo through the heads of young students.
A paper machine in Lincoln is being temporarily shut down.The machine at Lincoln Paper and Tissue will stop Friday and be off line for at least a week.We’re told it’s because of low demand for products made at the mill.The company says up to sixteen workers will be affected.President and C-E-O Keith Van Scotter says most of those workers will be reassigned to other jobs.But he expects two to four workers to be temporarily laid off.
Maine Maritime Academy’s training ship, the “State of Maine,” has been delayed on its training cruise.The ship set sail from Castine Wednesday on a two-month journey.As it was leaving East Bay, an engine malfunction occurred.The crew immediately turned around and headed back to Searsport Harbor, where they’re now anchored.MMA officials have located the part they need to fix the engine and are waiting for it to be shipped from Germany.No word yet on when the ship will be able to continue on its way.The ship’s captain, Larry Wade, says the situation is providing valuable training for students in dealing with the unexpected at sea.The training cruise will take the students as far as Florida, Puerto Rico and Newfoundland.
Students at the McGraw School in Hampden will have a much easier time doing their math homework from now on…They’re now the proud owners of some important learning tools…and it’s all thanks to a unique partnership between the school and the community.Amy Erickson has the story.< "you can count by numbers."It may not seem all that exciting to grownups, but when these little ones at the McGraw school were presented with their very own calculators...it was cause for celebration."what do you do to turn it on? You hit the 'on' button."The school has had calculators on their wish list for a while...but with all the budget cuts, there wasn't much extra money to spend.Lucky for the students, the folks at Maine Savings Federal Credit Union stepped in to help.They heard about the wish list from one of their vendors."when he approached us about the need, it was a no brainer. We said sure, we'll take care of it right away."Don Poisson dropped off 300 calculators to the school Thursday...they were an instant hit."i think it's pretty nice of them to do that.""it's going to help us learn...help us in math and science and addition.""to divide and help us...add.""usually, you use calculators for math, like 9 plus 2 equals 11."Dawn Beswick is president of the school's PTO.She's hoping this is just the beginning of the organization's partnerships with community businesses interested in fostering learning."i think it's great that the community's helping the school out. It's certainly going to be a need now with the cutbacks with the budget."bite "we're going need to look at more creative ways to raise money and make the difference for the budget cuts.""anything we can do to help education, it really makes sense that we do that. And it helps our community.""i hope what they get out of that is to learn math skills, money skills and hopefully have deposits with us as they grow up (laughs)!"Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Hampden.>
Lawmakers in Augusta continue to debate, at least for another day, as to whether or not changes should be made to Maine’s sex offender registry.The criminal justice and public safety committee has a bill before them that aims to give courts more power on which restrictions convicted sex offenders should abide by.Current law sets the same restrictions for all convicted sex offenders.Another bill being looked at by committee members seeks to remove some offenders from the registry.Towns are currently allowed to notify neighbors if a convicted offender has moved to the area.Both bills were tabled on Wednesday. Lawmakers will revisit them Thursday afternoon when a committee vote is expected.
Traffic on Route 1A in Winterport is back to two lanes.It had been reduced to one lane as of 6:45 Thursday morning following a car crash.Authorities tell TV5 that only minor injuries were reported in the accident, which took place near the post office in town.
Officials have identified three new cases of swine flu in Maine, bringing the state’s number of total cases to 10.The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the new cases include a child in Cumberland County and adults in York and Kennebec counties.All four cases that have been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are in York County.State officials said five of the Mainers who contracted the virus have a history of travel.Kennebunk Elementary School, the only Maine school to close because of swine flu, reopened Wednesday, a day earlier than expected.
Both the Cherryfield and Columbia Falls elementary schools are slated to close at the end of this year, following a decision by S.A.D 37.But voters next week could decide to keep the schools open — at a significant cost.”This town doesn’t have a lot. We have a church, we have a post office, and we have a very nice school,” says Columbia Falls Selectman Vance Pineo. “And, we want to keep it.”Columbia Falls selectmen say the state has put residents of the town in a tough spot. They can vote to keep their school open, and face a tax increase — which they figure would be around 70-percent — or close their school.”The general consensus is no, we don’t want to close our school,” says Selectman Grace Falzarano.”It’s a hard choice to go into a voting booth, and vote to raise my taxes by 70 percent — or to close my grammar school,” says Selectman Alan Grant. “That’s a no-win situation.”They say most people in town can’t afford the increase, no matter how much they want to keep the school they call the center of their community.”They’re forcing the community to close the school, ourselves, because of dollars and cents. That’s what they’ve done for us,” says Falzarano.S.A.D 37 Superintentendent David Beal says the money just isn’t there.”The board understands fully what the loss of those schools in the communities would mean, absolutely,” he says. “But, there is a tremendous burden on taxpayers as well because of the loss of revenues in the state.”If voters keep the schools, taxes would go up to cover the projected costs savings from closing.”Until we have all those figures we don’t know what the assessment would be to Columbia Falls or to Cherryfield. But whatever that assessment is, obviously costs will go up,” says Beal.He says no matter what voters decide next Tuesday, it will take the district awhile to recover. Selectmen Pineo says, “I just don’t see, really, much of a choice.”Columbia Falls held a public hearing Monday on the issue. Cherryfield is holding a similar hearing tonight at 6:30 at the elementary school.
Bangor Police are investigating the burglaries of three churches in the downtown area.Last Sunday, an officer responded to an alarm at the All Souls Church. He heard noises inside, called for back-up, but whoever was inside got away.Two days later, the Columbia Street Baptist Church and the First Baptist Church on Center Street reported that someone broke in. A small amount of cash was taken in those cases.Police aren’t sure if all three break-ins are connected. Anyone with information should contact Bangor Police.
The pink tulips are blooming around Bangor, and this year you’ll find yellow ones too. The gardens are part of the Pink Tulip Project, to raise money for breast cancer research.The program was started four years ago, by a breast cancer survivor in southern Maine. She got the idea to sell each tulip, and then plant them in public gardens.The money goes to the Maine Cancer Foundation, plus when the flowers arrive, awareness of the disease blooms among all those who see them.This year, you’ll also see yellow tulips. Community Organizer, Ann Marie Orr says, that’s to let people know that breast cancer can strike in men too. “This is for awareness and breast cancer for men is just as deadly as it is for women and although we have more awareness in early detection, men don’t necessarily. So, it’s important to be aware of that.”There are now eight gardens in Bangor, and two at the University of Maine.To find out how you can be a part of this, you can log onto www.pinktulipproject.org.
Laws and rules to protect animals in Maine are considered among the strongest in the nation, but we still see cases of cruelty and neglect. In fact, the state Animal Welfare Division gets more than 900 reports each year.The problem is, there aren’t enough people to enforce those rules, and so animals sometimes slip through the cracks. That was the case for Ranger.”Everyday it’s a miracle to see him do something new, exciting”Ranger has recently found a new home with Anita Buss, Maureen Connolly and their other standard poodles.For the first eight years of his life he lived at a breeding kennel in Newport. He was found at the facility last December by Barbara Skapa of Maine Poodle Rescue. She found him and the other dogs at the facility advertised, in what she considers the bible for puppy mills in Maine: Uncle Henry’s. The red flag, these standard poodle puppies, which normally would sell for over $1000 were going for only $250.”So we decided to go check it out with my friend here. We did find the situation there absolutely appalling, appalling.”The huskies are housed in the front, and the standard poodles are hidden from view out back. Barbara negotiated a deal with the owner of the facility, Carol Thibeault. Barbara would buy several puppies in exchange for getting a breeding dog for free. That turned out to be Ranger.She says, he was in bad condition.”We went to pick him up and put him in the truck. We took his collar off. It was so tight and so rusty that when we brought him to the vet the next day, he said his trachea is damaged, he can’t bark.””You could put your fingers into his spine and feel between his vertebraes when we went to pick him up which was quite disgusting”Vet records also show that Ranger was underweight, his ears were badly infected, he had severe dental disease that required several teeth to be extracted, and he had worms.Not to mention, Ranger has behavioral issues, that suggests he wasn’t around people very often. He’s very scared and isn’t social.”So how would you describe this facility in Newport? I guess borderline is how I describe it.”, says Christine Fraser, State Veterinarian.State Animal Welfare Officials say they’ve had this facility on the radar for years. In 2004, Thibeault turned over 50 dogs, and in 2007 surrendered another 15 to animal welfare. At last report she still had 17 dogs.Investigators have looked into several other complaints about the facility, including one prompted by the rescue of Ranger. They went back to the kennel last January where they did find a violation of a state rule. It was so cold in the kennels that water buckets were freezing. So state officials gave Thibeault a chance to correct the problem so the dogs could always have access to fresh water. They say she’s done so. But for animal lovers like Barbara and Anita, it’s difficult to understand why this facility can be the target of state investigations for so many years, and still be in business.State officials say their hands are tied. They say the kennel might not be pretty, but it meets all current standards.”The housing was adequate as to our standards as of this date. And she cares for them they have food, they have shelter. By law, she does what she needs, but it is always a concern about the degree of care they need. “We asked Carol Thibeault, the owner of the Newport Kennel for a comment. She declined.State officials say they are now working to improve the standards for kennels in the state.And even if they do, they might not have enough people to enforce the rules. We’ll have more on that in part two of our story.One note, there are reputable dog breeders that advertise in Uncle Henry’s as well, you just need to watch out for some red flags.
A teenager from Winterport had his wish come true.Now he’s working hard to make sure other children have their wishes granted too.At first glance, Tony Cote looks like your average 13-year old.But take a step closer and you’ll find a unique and courageous boy.”Tony was diagnosed with CF when he was nine months old. We had issues from the day he was born. Literally from the time we brought him home from the hospital, well before I brought him home from the hospital, I knew there was something not right.”Tony wakes up at 6 a-m each morning for treatment and takes 35 pills every day.When he heard about the Make A Wish Foundation and the chance to escape it all for a week, he jumped at the opportunity.”It was nice to be able to like get out, stop, take a break with the treatments and stuff. I still had to do them, but it didn’t seem as long. It felt better down there.”Before Tony could escape, he had to choose a wish.He says he had a little help.”My mom pretty much said that I had to do something that wasn’t totally selfish and we had been talking about how we wanted to go to Disney World for awhile and I just decided on that.”A decision Tony is happy he made and one Jim Christie of the Make A Wish Foundation is glad he could grant.”He is just incredible, I mean the kid is a dynamo.”Tony was given V-I-P treatment from the minute he was picked up in a limo.After his experience, he decided he wanted to help other children with their wishes.The Winterport Dream Walkers were created.”Mom wanted something that would have the town’s name in it.”The Dream Walkers are trying to raise enough money to grant two maine kids in the Bangor area their wishes.The average cost of a wish is six thousand dollars.Jim Christie says it’s people like Tony that allow them to be able to do what they do.”When somebody like Tony steps up and says I want to do my part its tremendous, its just tremendous.”