Maine’s Make-a-Wish Foundation Appeals for Help

Updated 6 years ago

Since it was started in 1992, the Maine chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation has granted wishes to more than 800 children with life-threatening medical conditions.That’s more than a wish a week.Tough economic times are making it harder for the Foundation to find the money to grant those wishes these days…But there’s a way you can help.Amy Erickson has more.< "they never turn anyone down. And the average wish costs 6 thousand dollars."Pediatrician Colette Sabbagh is a board member for the Make-a-Wish Foundation's Maine chapter.She's hoping more folks will get on board and take part in the Foundation's "walk for wishes" this year, because funding is tighter than ever. "economic times are hard, charities are suffering and these wishes still need to happen. These kids with medical conditions have no idea about the economy and it's not their fault. They really still need to be granted these wishes."The Guernsey family can't say enough about what Make-a-Wish did for them.6-year-old Abby has Rett syndrome...her wish was granted last summer. "she doesn't walk or talk and she goes to bed really early so the traditional wish, like going to Disney World or meeting a character wasn't really a good fit for Abby." "we thought a pool would be a great choice for a wish because Abby loves the water, when she has seizures, we put her in the tub and it's very soothing to her."Within months, the family had a brand-new above ground pool...complete with special stairs and a lift...all thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.Mom Katie says it's changed Abby's life. "to just see the joy in her eyes when she gets in the pool and the happiness..."The Guernseys are encouraging others to give whatever they can to help kids like Abby have their wishes granted. "before, we'd get stuff in the mail, saying donate to make a wish, and honestly, i'd toss it. But now I tell people don't ever throw it away. Even if you can only give 5 dollars! Look at what it's done for my daughter!"Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>The Bangor “Walk for Wishes” takes placy May 28th at 6pm in Paul Bunyan Park.You can form a team or walk on your own.For more information or to donate, log on to

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Maine basketball players on CBS Early Show

Updated 6 years ago

Two Maine high school students wound up on national television today.Patrick Thibodeau of Greely High School, and Josh Titus of Edward Little High School were managers of their schools’ basketball teams.They first made news after they were put into their team’s final games of the year.Thibodeau has Down Syndrome, and Titus is Autistic.Thibodeau hit two three-point shots, including one at the buzzer.Titus entered his game in the fourth quarter and hit four baskets, including a three pointer.They say they were inspired by the story of Jason Mcelwain, a young man from New York who is autistic.Mcelwain made the news in 2006 when he also played basketball in his team’s final game, only to go on a long-range scoring binge and finish with twenty points.Mcelwain, Thibodeau and Titus appeared on the CBS Early Show this morning.A representative from McDonald’s stopped by to give them a surprise.”I’m here to present you with the opportunity to attend a summer basketball camp with the Boston Celtics! It’s a very exciting opportunity for you! Patrick, Josh….What do you guys think? I’m, I think I’m excited for this because I’m a huge Celtics fan! Yeah, we heard that!”>And Maine McDonald’s owners chipped in to send the two kids from Maine and their folks to the Final they got to see North Carolina take the title Monday night.

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Boil Water Order in Ellsworth

Updated 6 years ago

There is a boil order in effect for sections of Ellsworth because of a water main break. The break is also responsible for closing several streets and the early dismissal of local schools. It happened just before 8 Thursday morning, near city hall. The streets that were closed Thursday included, State, Franklin, Main, Water, and Pine. Schools in Ellsworth were dismissed at 10 a.m.We’re told the cleanup will take most of the day.Areas Under Boil OrderBayviewBirch From Oak Street EastCarlisleCentralChurchDavisFairgroundFifthFletcherFoxJudeLincolnMacDonaldMaddocksMain from Beals EastMain from School to WaterMcKenzieNorthParcherPark from Oak Street EastPond from State to 5thSchoolShore State to Middle School EntranceSpencerState from Main to OakSterlingThirdUnionWoodThe Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross has some tips for people during the boil order.1.Water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil for at least three minutes prior to use in all food preparations, drinking, diluting juices or formulas and brushing teeth.2.Dispose of ice cubes and do not use automatic ice maker.  Remake ice with water that has been boiled.3.Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces with clean tap water mixed with one teaspoon of household bleach per gallon of water.

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Winslow Man Sentenced for Federal Gun Crimes

Updated 6 years ago

A man from Winslow will spend nearly 3 years in prison for federal gun crimes.26-year-old Dennis Whitman pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a stolen firearm and possesion of a stolen firearm after conviction for a domestic violence misdemeanor.In 2004, Whitman was convicted of assault against his then live-in girlfriend.From that point on, he was prohibited from possessing firearms.Later that year, he accidentally shot himself in the leg with a gun that had been stolen from a home in Searsport.Court documents indicate that after the shooting, Whitman had a friend throw away the gun.Divers later recovered it in the river below the Waterville-Winslow bridge.Whitman was sentenced Wednesday in Bangor.After he spends 33 months in prison, Whitman will also have 3 years probation.

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Body of Missing Dexter Man Found

Joy Hollowell

Updated 6 years ago

A sad ending to the search for a Dexter man, missing since October.The body of Matthew Lee Ricker was found Tuesday night in some woods in town.Dexter’s police chief tells T-V 5 a relative made the discovery while walking along the road.He says a note was found near the body.Ricker was last seen in Dexter in October.His family posted Ricker’s photo on a number of missing person websites.An autopsy on Ricker’s body is being done in Augusta Thursday.

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Upbeat Message for Maine’s Paper Industry

Updated 6 years ago

Governor John Baldacci had an upbeat message for Maine’s paper industry at a two-day conference. Speaking on the opening day of Paper Days 2009 Wednesday in Orono, Baldacci said that while Maine’s paper industry is not immune from the global recession, he sees reason for hope for the industry in the state. Baldacci said Maine remains the second-largest paper producer in the nation, and the production level in Maine is higher than ever. The governor said value added products, produced in a sustainable way, are the future of the forest products industry in Maine. He said pulp and paper contribute nearly $1.5 billion to the gross state product and represent 20 percent of state exports.

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Convicted Murderers Argue for Appeals

Updated 6 years ago

Convicted murderer Richard Reynolds, formerly of waterville, is appealing his prison sentence to Maine’s highest court. 43-year old Richard Reynolds was sentenced last month to forty-five years for killing his estranged wife, Rhonda Wakefield-Reynolds, in Fairfield in 2007. The couple’s two young sons who were four and six at the time, were in the next room when Reynolds shot their mother. Reynolds’ appeal argues that he did not inflict pain and suffering on Wakefield-Reynolds and that in similar homicide cases defendants were treated with lighter sentences.Shannon Atwood has filed an appeal as well and wants his case reviewed by the Maine Supreme Court. The 38-year old Atwood is from canaan. He was sentenced to fifty five years for murdering his girlfriend, Cheryl Murdoch in the summer of 2006. Atwood’s trial lawyer, John Alsop will not be handling the appeal. An attorney from Portland will take over.

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Dechaine and Bailey Team Up for New Trial

Updated 6 years ago

(AP) – Famed defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey has agreed to serve as a consultant on Dennis Dechaine’s petition for a new trial. Bailey met Wednesday with Dechaine at the Maine State Prison, where he is serving a life sentence. Dechaine is convicted of kidnapping and killing 12-year old Sarah Cherry in Bowdoin in 1988. Dechaine has maintained his innocence and last August he petitioned for a new trial based on DNA evidence not available at the time of his trial. Bailey, who’s 75, has worked on a number of high-profile cases, including the trials of Sam Sheppard, Patty Hearst and O.J. Simpson.

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Gas vs. Taxes What are You Paying For at the Pump?

Updated 6 years ago

(AP) – Motorists in Maine will pay higher fuel taxes under a highway budget that’s being reviewed in the Legislature. The Transportation Committee held a work session Tuesday on a $649 million budget for the two years that start July 1. The bulk of the money comes from fuel taxes, and those taxes are scheduled to rise in July. The current 28.4 cent-per-gallon gasoline tax would rise by 1.1 cent as of July 1, and the 29.6 cent-per-gallon diesel fuel tax is to also rise by 1.1 cent on the same day. Further fuel tax changes in July 2010, also based on the consumer price index, are pending. Most of the transportation budget goes to highways, bridges and other transportation facilities, and the rest goes to motor vehicle and public safety agencies.

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Peter Rabbit Comes to Glenburn

Updated 6 years ago

After weeks of practice and lots of preparations, Kindergarteners at Glenburn Elementary School are ready to put on their tails and take the stage for Peter Rabbit.The performance is tonight, but Kristen LaVerghetta got a preview at the kids’ dress rehearsal.It all started with story time.”Like a long time ago, Lucus had a book about Peter Rabbit and we read it and I think that’s why she picked us to be like all different kinds of characters for the Peter Rabbit play.””She just picked me first to be Mr. McGregor.””Mrs. Reese picked me to be Mrs. Rabbit.”It took a lot of practice.”I think we practiced for, ummmm six weeks!”And learning the lines was tough.”Some of them are pretty good that I know, but some of them are not pretty good.””My mom put them on little notes to I could flip the pages so I can know which ones I could do.”But they’re finally ready to put on their ears.”We got the costumes and she had to duck tape them to our heads.”Paint on some whiskers.”I think the costumes look like fantastic!!!” And take the stage.Peter, Mr. McGregor, and the whole gang hippidy hopped through their frist performance without a hitch.They can’t wait to preform for real in front of a packed house!”I’m really excited!”

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Sargent to Begin Manufacturing for Austrian Company

Updated 6 years ago

A local company has signed a contract to start manufacturing parts for a firm in Austria.The Sargent Corporation will make heavy equipment attachments for the Wimmer company.Company officials had been looking to start production in the U-S, and after meeting with Herb Sargent, decided to go with the Maine corporation.Sargent says his company has used Wimmer attachments for years on their excavators.They’re now building a seven thousand square foot addition to their welding facility in Stillwater to produce the Wimmer parts.Governor John Baldacci toured the plant Wednesday. Sargent officials expect that when the new facility is complete, they’ll add about 10-20 new workers to help produce the Wimmer parts.

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New way to register at Sebasticook Valley Hospital

Updated 6 years ago

Patients at Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield now have an option when it comes to how they register for their visits.Cori Skall has the story.”To my knowledge, in a hospital in the state of Maine, we are the first to implement the self check-in kiosk.””It’s about communicating with our customers, and making it convenient for them.”Checking in to the hospital just got a lot easier for patients at the Sebasticook valley hospital.The administration recently unveiled two new self check-in kiosks for patients in the hosptial’s entrance.”Our kiosks, which allow people to come in and actually register themselves, rather than to sit in a chair, waiting to be called in and get registered. So it’s all automated.””Couple of things about the kiosks is that this is a free standing unit. This is all antimicrobial, chemicals built it, so, to the screen. It’s all touch screen. The patient just walks up and presses start. The other thing to notice is, if you’re even standing slightly to the side, you won’t be able to see what’s on the screen. Privacy screen that’s built in to this is really quite superior.”Information officer, peggy romano, says the kiosk check in process is easy.You simply answer a couple of questions, touch a button, swipe a card and sign your name.”And that’s pretty much it. It’s as easy as that.”You need a healthpass card to use the new system, which you can get at the hospital.”Every patient that walks through the door is asked do you have a health pass card, and if they don’t, they’re given one.”Romano says the kiosks are not meant to replace personnel, and patients can still check in with the registration desk.”We give people the option, although I will tell you our first patient that checked in here was well in to her 80’s and did very well.”Romano says the hospital hopes to eventually have kiosks at every check in point on the campus, including physician’s offices, and rehab centers.Cori Skall, WABI TV 5 News.

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Maine Premiere of “The Way We Get By”

Updated 6 years ago

A new documentary directed by an Old Town native will have its Maine premiere tomorrow night in Orono.”The Way We Get By” documents the work of the Maine Troop Greeters.It also looks at their personal struggles as they strive to keep the promise they made to the soldiers.Amy Erickson has the story.***Video Clips Courtesy of The Way We Get By Productions, Inc.***< "welcome home, heroes! Welcome home."When director Aron Gaudet and producer Gita Pulapilly set out to make a documentary about the Maine Troop Greeters, they had no idea what they'd end up with.Gaudet, who grew up in Old Town, became interested in the greeters after his mother, Joan, became involved.In 2004, he took a trip to the airport to see what it was all about...and he was hooked. But the story grew from there. "once we went home with all of them and saw all the struggles in their lives, we were like, hey, this could be something that's more than just about the troop greeters...but about growing old in America, all the struggles you go through."More than four years later, the end result is the 80 minute film "the Way we Get by." "my life don't mean a hell of a lot to me, but if I can make it mean something to someone else...that's my endeavor." "in the end, I think it's pretty inspiring, because they have this purpose they've found in their life and it gets them through everything."The movie's winning critical acclaim and film festival prizes across the country. "it's been amazing, the response because we didn't know what we had...even when we finished. You're so close to it, you know, you kind of forget the emotion that's there. So to see an audience watching it and they're laughing and crying. It's just been overwhelming." "it's the largest project we've ever committed to in the history of the company."Yellow Light Breen is a senior vice president at Bangor Savings Bank.He saw the movie trailer and convinced his boss to get involved...The company ended up as a corporate sponsor, donating more than 100-thousand dollars towards production and distribution of the film.Breen says it's worth every penny. "this movie had to be made and it has to be seen. The trailer, it just spoke to what Bangor is about, what Maine is about, and I guess what being a human being is about."Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>The film premieres this week at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono.Thursday night’s showing is invitation-only.The Friday and Saturday showings are open to the public.To purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 581-1755.Tickets are $7 apiece.All service personnel and veterans will be admitted free.For information on future Maine screenings of the film, log on to

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Waterville Drug Bust

Updated 6 years ago

After a two-month investigation by the Kennebec County Drug Task Force, officials in Waterville say they’ve completed a significant drug bust.More than 80 grams of Cocaine were found hidden in a Waterville home.With a street value of $8,000, or as much as $16,000 if cut and redistributed.Officials have charged 41-year-old Kathleen Lynn Kennedy and 42-year-old Frederick Herman in the case.Both have June court dates in Augusta Superior Court.

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Milo Chief Steps Down

Updated 6 years ago

Milo police chief Michael Poulin, has resigned.Poulin was charged in March with assault, for allegedly attacking his wife.Town officials unanimously accepted Poulin’s resignation. Before he resigned, Poulin was suspended with pay until an investigation into the allegations was completed.Poulin is expected to make his first court appearance on April 27.

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Gustin in Court

Updated 6 years ago

A man charged in two armed robberies made his first court appearance in Bangor Tuesday.29-year-old Travis Gustin is facing two charges of robbery in connection with hold ups at convenience stores in Bangor and Kenduskeag last month.Bail is set at $50,000 cash.Penobscot County District Attorney Chris Almy says Gustin is likely to face more charges.Gustin is also charged with burglary in connection with another incident at The Curtain Shop in Bangor last month.He faces up to ten years in prison on each robbery charge.

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Health Care for Soldiers

Updated 6 years ago

(AP) The Commission to Protect the Lives and Health of Members of the Maine National Guard issued a report to the Legislature on Tuesday as lawmakers gave final approval to a joint resolution calling on Congress and President Obama to address health care reforms for service personnel. The commission is led by Barbara Damon-Day of Newcastle, the mother of a Maine National Guard member who died suddenly while serving in Afghanistan. Captain Patrick Damon had been a longtime legislative staffer. Recommendations for federal action include increasing efforts to diagnose and treat illnesses and making anthrax vaccine safety data available to independent researchers.

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Brewing up Business in Bar Harbor

Updated 6 years ago

The folks at Atlantic Brewing are excited to bring Bar Harbor Brewing back into the hands of Mainers. Doug Maffucci, President of Atlantic Brewing says, “It had been sold a year ago to an out of state group, and I think they really didn’t understand how to run a Maine business.” Atlantic Brewing already runs a brewery and winery in the area – and now Bar Harbor Brewing.Even though they’re expanding, they say they plan to keep the company focus local and maintain the unique styles of both brands. “They’re both good. The Atlantic Brewing beers are well respected, and the Bar Harbor beers are well respected and we want to keep that difference there for the consumer.” says Maffucci.The Bar Harbor beers will be sold out of the Downtown Bar Harbor Brewery and the Town Hill location will still feature Atlantic’s beers. They say the only major change will be the label. “Even though the recipes are the same, the look and the feel is gonna be a lot more in keeping with the methodology that we employ at our brewery.”Atlantic’s expansion will even ‘brew-up’ a few new jobs.Maffucci says, “We are picking-up and employing people to really make this transition. In fact, we’re bringing the former brewer aboard. We’re gonna bring on some marketing people, some sales people, and in that regard, we’re excited in this sort of tough time to create a few jobs anyways.”They say, despite the tough times, they haven’t seen a drop in sales. “They still want to have a nice beer at the end of the day. So the result of that is we’re seeing beer sales doing pretty well.”

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Roads from Hampden to Camden damaged by floods.

Updated 6 years ago

Maine’s DOT and Public Works crews will have their hands full for the next month, as they repair the mess Mother Nature left in her path.From swollen river banks, to washed out roadways and culverts, the recent rain has wreaked havoc along many of Maine’s coastal roads, especially in the Camden area.Cori Skall has the story.”We’ve had some good ones out here, at times.”While a lot of rain can be fun for some, for others, it means a whole lot of work!”As you can see, it’s coming off the hillside, and when it gets down to where our drainage is, it usually brings leaves and things with it…leaves, trees, debris.”When drains and culverts fill up, that water’s got to go somewhere…usually, the road.”As it goes downhill further, it erodes and erodes and gets to the next culvert and plugs that one. By the time you get a half a mile away, in this case here it’s almost a mile away, it tears the ground up.””You can see, in some places, where the water has come through and washout out even the under parts of some of the roads.””Most of the damage has been to our shoulders, and some of it, they have to be grated…but when you get water flow like it is, all you can do is just stand there and look at it go.”Maine DOT Supervisor, Harry Fitzgerald, says fixing this damage could take some time.Crews first have to redirect the water and rebuild to shoulders before they tackle the roads.”I’m sure it will at least be a couple of weeks, anyways. You know, we’ll try and get it so the traffic can get through, earliest as possible. But as far as fully, the way it should be, it’s gonna be a couple of three weeks.”We’re told one motorist in the Appleton area had to be rescued after driving into water.Fitzgerald urges motorist to obey road closed signs, and avoid flooded areas.But most of all, have patience.”This piece of the road is just a small piece of the pie. When you got a couple of three hundred miles of road, you still have to maintain them, too. We don’t want any of those see them like this here.”Cori Skall, WABI TV 5 News.

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Storm Damage Costs in Knox, Lincoln, and Waldo Counties

Updated 6 years ago

Knox County Emergency Management Director Ray Sisk estimates the cost of road repairs due to flooding will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. Sisk adds that the number is conservative at this point since damage assessments are in the initial stages. Waldo County Officials are reporting road repairs could cost at least 150-thousand dollars in Northport. Damages in lincolnville are expected to exceed that. Searsport is up to 60-thousand dollars. Maine Emergency Management Spokesperson, Lynette Miller urges citizens to report any problem to local officials. When those damages are reported to MEMA it can be determined whether or not towns can apply for federal aid to pay for repairs. For more information on flood safety please visit this site.

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