Maine environmental officials say a Wilton building that was once described as the worst asbestos hazard in the state has been largely cleaned up. The former Forster Mill building on Depot Street is scheduled for an inspection by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection on Friday. Department spokeswoman Samantha Depoy-Warren tells the Morning Sentinel, that enforcement team members were jubilant after seeing photos of the cleanup site. The man who owns the building and the contractor that created the safety hazard face fines from state and federal enforcement agencies. Asbestos fibers are known to cause cancer when inhaled. The volume of the material, some of which had been ground into dust, led Bob Rickett of Abatement Professionals to call it the worst he’d seen in 30 years of asbestos remediation.
State health officials say West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes trapped in Biddeford and Scarborough. State Epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears said Thursday the confirmed positive results came from routine surveillance of monitoring pools in northern York County and southern Cumberland County. The terrain at the two new sites is similar to where West Nile was found earlier in Gorham and Standish. The Portland Press Herald, reports there have been no instances of West Nile or the more dangerous mosquito-borne disease Eastern equine encephalitis infecting humans in Maine this summer. Sears urged residents to prevent mosquito bites by avoiding the outdoors from dusk until dawn, if possible: wear loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants: and use insect repellants. People infected with West Nile often experience flu-like symptoms.
Some southern Maine commuters might see a lot of activity involving emergency vehicles for the next couple of days. On Friday and Saturday, a hazardous materials drill will be conducted at Monson Chemical Co. on Runway Road in South Portland. Officials say the drill will run from 8 a.m. until about 2 p.m. each day. A lot of equipment and personnel will be on the scene each day. Many mutual aid companies from other towns will be there as well as part of the drill.
A federal appeals court has rejected Maine’s lawsuit demanding swift action from the federal government on the state’s request to wipe out Medicaid for more than 20 thousand residents.The court today ruled the lawsuit premature because the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid has until November 1st to consider Maine’s request.Maine lawmakers voted to cut coverage to parents with incomes between 100 and 133 percent of the federal poverty level, 19 and 20 year-olds, and seniors and disabled people in the Medicare savings program.
There’s a measure in congress that, if passed, would ensure Maine gets as much federal home heating help as it got last year.US Senator Olympia Snowe says a resolution to fund the federal government for six months includes language that would give states low income home enrgy assistance, or li-heap, funding at last year’s levels.Last year, Maine received 38.6 million dollars in li-heap money.The resolution is expected to be voted on by the house and senate over the next several days.
The US Commerce Department has declared a national fishery disaster in New England.That opens the door for a hundred million dollars in federal relief funds for fishermen and their industry.Senator John Kerry says the industry has been devastated by federal regulations.He says fishermen have followed rules designed to stop overfishing but have been dealing with ruinous catch limits.
With Electon Day less than two months out, candidates are stepping up efforts to be seen and heard.It includes campaign ads which involve big money, as well as big monsters.”See this guy?” Starts a new Angus King ad. “He’s supposed to be scary… and over the next couple of months some folks from away are spending big money trying to convince you that this is me.”Angus King’s response to ads attacking him, begins running Friday, and so does part of a huge ad blitz by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.”I don’t mind running against Charlie Summers or Cynthia Dill,” King commented. “It’s difficult to run against these dark clouds that are somewhere else in the country that don’t care about Maine and make stuff up.”More than a million dollars in outside ad money has come into Maine in attempts to influence the race to replace Olympia Snowem, most of it an effort to move the needle for republican Charlie Summers.”What some outside group does, that’s beyond my control,” remarked Summers. “I can’t get distracted by that. I have to focus on my campaign and focus on the issues that I think are critical to this country.””it’s difficult to tell,” Summers continued, when asked if he believed the ads were helping him, “I just don’t know.”As Summers and King squared off in their first debate on Thursday, the state GOP took a jab at King over his first TV ad.State Party Chair Charlie Webster filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying the ad doesn’t include the right disclaimer.”If Charlie Webster is confused, we’re going to change it so he will no longer be confused at least on this issue,” King said.”Is that an acknowledgement that it was incorrect to begin with?””No, I just don’t want Charlie confused.”Absent from today’s debate was Democrat Cynthia Dill, who was teaching a class instead.”It was a private debate, not open to the public and my responsibilities were with my students at the community college.”The National Republican Senatorial Committee ad went public on-line Wednesday night. It’s an attack ad targetting both King and Dill.
Energy and the environment were among topics discussed in the first debate between the top three candidates for US Senate from Maine.Democrat Cynthia Dill, Republican Charlie Summers and Independent Angus King squared off today at the university of Southern Maine in Portland.Summers said the potential for nuclear energy shouldn’t be dismissed while Dill and King agreed that disposal of high-level nuclear waste remains an unanswered question.Summers says a central waste repository makes sense.The three candidates will debate again Monday. That one will be held at the Franco-American Center in Lewiston.
Actress Sally Struthers was arrested for drunk driving in southern Maine early Wednesday morning.Police say she was pulled over on Route One in Ogunquit at 12:40 AM and charged with criminal OUI.Struthers was freed on $160 bail.She’s been performing at the Ogunquit Playhouse in the musical “Nine to Five.”
On Tuesday, Embassy attacks in Libya killed U.S Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, along with many others.On Thursday, A libyan state-run news agency reports authorities have made arrests in connection to the attack.It is still unclear what role the suspects allegedly played in the killing. The U.S. is tightening security at embassies worldwide.Congressman Mike Michaud was in norridgewock on Thursdays, where he share his condolences for the lives lost in libya. “My thoughts and prayers are with the family members. The President has beefed up security at our embassy’s overseas, which is extremely important.”SenatorO lympia Snowe also issued a statement on the events, saying “I condemn in the strongest terms the violent attacks on our diplomatic posts in Libya and Egypt, where dedicated foreign service officers and their families are serving heroically on the front lines each and every day on behalf of our nation.”The U.S. is sending two warships toward Libya in case they’re needed, as the government tries to figure out if the attack was planned.United States intelligence officials believes it is very unlikely it was core al qaeda behind the attack.
A Falmouth couple has been charged with allowing high school students celebrating state championships in two sports to drink alcohol at their home A Cumberland County grand jury this week indicted 53-year-old Barry Spencer and 52-year-old Paula Spencer on nine misdemeanor counts each of allowing a minor to possess or consume alcohol. The charge includes a $1,000 fine if the minor is under 18. The charges stem from a June 16 party, the same day Falmouth High won state championships in baseball and lacrosse. Police say members of both teams were at the party attended by 75 to 100 teenagers. The couple’s lawyers say what was supposed to be a small gathering spiraled out of control and their clients will plead not guilty. Their arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 4.
If you’ve seen the gas prices today, you’re probably considering getting a bicycle.The average price in Maine is now up to four bucks. A week ago it was 3.90, a year ago, 3.73.The national average is 3.86 a gallon.Viewers have told us they are paying as much as 4.19 a gallon in Calais and Gouldsboro.The highest recorded state-wide average for a gallon of gas in Maine was 4.14 in July 2008.
The Premier of Nova Scotia says he’s committed to subsidizing a new ferry service between Nova Scotia and Maine.Ferry service ended in 2009 when Bay Ferries Limited stopped running “The Cat” between Nova Scotia, Portland and Bar Harbor. The Nova Scotia Government said it could no longer subsidize the service.The Premiere says he is committed to finding a new operator and providing $21 million dollars over seven years to help get the new ferry service underway.An 80 page report on the revitalization says service to Portland would make the most sense financially and city leaders in Portland agree.”They did recommend Portland because of the cultural activities,” said Michael Brennan, mayor of Portland. “The fact that we are a tourist destination and they recognize Portland is an up-and-coming destination on the cruise ship route.”The fate of the ferry still hinges on whether officials in Nova Scotia can convince the Canadian federal government to finance the $21 million, plus, an additional $13 million to refurbish Yarmouth’s terminal facilities.If all goes as planned, Portland could reap the benefits from Canada’s investment.”…But,certainly when you put thousands and thousands of people on the streets or the restaurants or a hotel it is great for the city, commented W. Godfrey Wood, CEO of the Portland Chamber of Commerce. The ferry would actually be more of a cruise-style ship, unlike the high speed ‘Cat’ which lost $7 million dollars annually.One local business owner, Brewster Harding, is excited about reviving the service. He thinks the Canadian economy will once again support a ferry, adding that a cruise-style ship is a perfect fit for Portland’s downtown.”Portland is ideal for the cruise-type ferry because it is just ten hours over and ten hours back, a perfect two hour turn-around, so it is ideal for the operation.” The report on reviving the ferry also says it is unlikely the service would start before 2014.
Amtrak’s Downeaster is ready to roll to northward to Freeport and Brunswick, Maine. The Boston-to-Portland service becomes a Boston-to-Brunswick service effective Nov. 1. Patricia Quinn of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority says tickets go on sale on Oct. 1. Banners making the announcement are going up in stations along the route on Wednesday. Expanding the service required improvements to more than 30 miles of rail, rehabilitation of 36 crossings and constructions of two station platforms. Remaining track work will be completed in weeks. The service is coming off a record year with 528,292 passengers. Initially, two of the five daily roundtrips between Portland and Boston will travel to Brunswick. The expanded service is expected to add 36,000 more passengers each year.
A northern Maine family is offering an unusual reward for the return of a vintage canoe stolen a month ago. Darlene Kelly Dumond of Allagash says the family is offering $250 and a gallon of gin for any information leading to the recovery of what she calls a family heirloom. The canoe that belonged to her father, Tyler Kelly, was last seen tied up at the village’s public landing on Aug. 12. Kelly, now 75 and retired, was a well-known guide and riverman who used to race canoes. His daughter tells the Bangor Daily News, the unusual reward was thought up by a friend who figured a gallon of gin would spark some interest in the dry town. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is investigating.
Rumford man who continued to collect his mother’s insurance annuity payments for more than three years after her death has pleaded guilty. Rupert Malchisky was sentenced Tuesday in Oxford County Superior Court to one year, all suspended, and two years of probation. He was also ordered to repay $1,200 to the insurance company. The 57-year-old Malchisky pleaded guilty to forgery and theft by deception. Prosecutors say Malchisky’s mother was receiving annuity payments from Allstate Insurance Co. until her death in April 2008. An insurance company investigator found Malchisky and his ex-wife had cashed more than $12,000 in checks meant for Malchisky’s mother. The Sun Journal, reports that his ex-wife told investigators that Malchisky had coerced her to sign the checks
The last in a series of public sessions on financial abuse of seniors will be held in Presque Isle. The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday. Earlier public meetings, also sponsored by a coalition of state government and non-profit agencies, were held in Hallowell, Scarborough, Lewiston and Bangor. The sessions are being held as financial exploitation of elders escalates in numbers in Maine and throughout the country. Maine’s Office of Securities says the sessions are open to the public, including seniors, caregivers and service providers.
A former school bus driver in southern New Hampshire and Maine has pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting children on his bus. Milton, N.H., resident John Allen Wright was arrested last fall and charged with filming child pornography on the bus using cameras hidden in glasses and pens. The 46-year-old worked as a bus driver for special needs children. Federal prosecutors say a search of Wright’s home and computer uncovered several videos showing him sexually assaulting children who were passengers aboard his bus and thousands of child sexual assault images downloaded from the Internet. Wright pleaded guilty on Tuesday to six counts of sexual exploitation of children. He faces a mandatory prison term of 15 years on each of five counts and a total maximum sentence of up to 160 years.
A Windham man won’t go to jail for a deadly car crash.22 year-old David Kimberlin pleaded guilty to causing the death of a person while committing a traffic infraction.Police say Kimberlin was speeding last year when he lost control of his pick-up in Unity township and crashed into a car driven by 36 year-old Jessica Eldridge of Winslow.A local paper reports Kimberlin lost his license for three years, was fined $1,500 and has to do 250 hours of community service.
Maine’s newest Teacher of the Year has been announced.Shannon Shanning is a seventh and eighth grade special education teacher at Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland.The announcement was made at a surprise, all-school assembly Monday.Shanning now goes on to compete in the selection process for the 2013 National Teacher of the Year. That will be announced next April at the White House.