The American Red Cross is facing a severe shortfall in blood donations. Hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of more than 200 blood drives across the east coast. Now the Red Cross needs to make up for a huge donation gap, an estimated 9,000 donors. The Red Cross has set up a blood drive at 900 Hammond Street in Bangor, and says the need is greater than ever. “Every two seconds someone in the country needs blood, we need blood every two seconds,” says Christine Bessey of the Red Cross. “In Maine alone we need 300 units a day just to keep the hospitals current.”The drive will continue over the next few days. To donate, you can stop in at 900 Hammond Street between 11:00-6:00 Thursday and from 8:00-2:00 Friday and Saturday.
A 5-year-old Falmouth girl bitten by a dog while out for a walk in Portland won’t need rabies shots, but the dog’s owner faces charges. The owner gave the girl’s baby sitter an out-of-service Vermont telephone number after last week’s biting incident. The girl’s mother wanted to know whether her daughter would need rabies shots. The Portland Press Herald, reports that the dog owner left a copy of the animal’s rabies vaccination certificate near where the girl was bitten, but with the owner’s name blacked out. Police say they figured out the name by holding the paper up to the light. Now 25-year-old Alison Slattery is charged with keeping a dangerous dog. She is due in court Dec. 13. The dog is a 46-pound pit bull-Labrador retriever mix.
The family of a man who died five days after being found barely alive on the floor of his office at the University of Southern Maine says he lay there for days over a holiday weekend before he was discovered. David Norton, a senior communications specialist for the University of Maine System, died at a hospital Oct. 15, five days after he was found by campus police in his Portland office. Police and his family think Norton lay stricken by a stroke in his office from the Friday before Columbus Day weekend until the following Wednesday. Police found the 45-year-old Norton after a co-worker reported he had missed a meeting and couldn’t be contacted. Norton’s mother, Linda Norton, tells The Portland Press Herald police should check offices more often.
Court documents indicate a civilian shipyard worker accused of setting a fire that caused $400 million in damage to a nuclear-powered submarine has been offered a proposal to resolve his case without a trial. Casey James Fury of Portsmouth, N.H., faces two counts of arson at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Lawyers have been meeting to discuss a potential resolution of the trial without the need for a grand jury indictment. Fury’s lawyer said in court papers that both sides have made “significant progress” and asked the judge to delay the deadline that prosecutors must bring forward an indictment. Prosecutors say the 24-year-old Fury confessed to setting a fire inside the USS Miami on May 23 and setting a second blaze outside the sub on June 16.
Maine’s cruise ship season is coming to an end. The 962-foot Brilliance of the Seas is scheduled to arrive in Portland at 7 a.m. Wednesday with approximately 2,400 passengers and 850 crew members. It’s set to depart for New York City at 5:30 p.m. The Royal Caribbean Lines vessel is the final cruise ship of the season scheduled for Maine this year. Two ships that were expected to make port calls in Bar Harbor on Wednesday cancelled their plans because of Superstorm Sandy.
A woman accused of drug and weapons charges was sentenced in federal court Tuesday.41 year-old Sherri Mancos of Caribou will serve 33 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. In April, she admitted to possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it and having guns, illegally.Authorities say they found nearly ten pounds of pot and four firearms in a house Mancos shared with her boyfriend.Her boyfriend, 32 year-old William Quirion was sentenced back in January to more than six years in prison.
The medical examiner says the Maine woman found dead in her burned home died of blunt impact injuries to the head and stab wounds. Sixty-one-year-old Patricia Noel was found dead in her Old Orchard Beach home last week. Her grandson, who also lived at the home, is scheduled to appear Tuesday morning in York County Superior Court. Twenty-three-year-old Derek Poulin is charged with murder and arson. According to court documents, Noel described in letters and in conversations with relatives that Poulin had been disrespectful toward her, called her names, and “gotten physical” with her. The Portland Press Herald, reports that police found a golf club, an adjustable wrench and a knife with a 3-inch blade in the home. Poulin’s attorney said he could not comment.
A replica of the HMS Bounty that was docked at the public landing in Belfast in August, and in Eastport last month, has sunk in rough seas off the North Carolina coast.The Coast Guard rescued 14 crew members after the Bounty began taking on water, but two crew members are unaccounted for.The Coast Guard is using a helicopter and an airplane to search for them.Officials say they are in survival suits designed to keep them afloat and protect them against cold waters for about 15 hours.The ship was built in 1960 for the Marlon Brando film, Mutiny on the Bounty.Since then it has starred in other movies including Treasure Island, Yellowbeard, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Gay marriage opponents rallied at the state house in Augusta today.Spokewoman Paul Madore says it’s an attempt to inform voters on what he called “the real dangers and the pure insanity” of gay marriage.Speakers at the event included officials from three out-of-state groups that oppose same-sex marriage.In 2009 state lawmakers passed a law allowing same-sex marriage, but that law was overturned by voters that fall.
Maine’s only medical school has a new dean. The University of New England says Dr. Douglas Wood takes over as dean of its College of Osteopathic Medicine this Friday. Wood most recently served as senior vice president of academic affairs at A.T. Still University in Arizona, where he was dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine from 2005 to 2010. He served as president of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine from 1995 to 2005, and earlier served as dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. Wood replaces Marc Hahn, who left UNE to assume the provost position at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.
Governor LePage and First Lady Ann LePage hope you’ll stop by the Blaine House Saturday, and they’d be extra pleased if you bring along some non-perishable food.The Second Annual Blaine House Food Drive will run on three consecutive Saturdays, starting the 27th.You’re invited to tour the mansion, enjoy refreshments and meet the Governor and First Lady.All food items collected will go to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.The Blaine House will be open from 10:00 to 1:00 tomorrow, as well as the following two Saturdays, November 3rd and 10th.
The Coast Guard is planning to recover a tugboat that sank in the Piscataqua River, forcing two crew members to quickly escape. The tugboat, the Benjamin Bailey, is owned by Riverside Marine in Eliot, Maine. The business is a subcontractor to Archer Western, the firm working on the construction of the new Memorial Bridge connecting Portsmouth, N.H., to Kittery, Maine. It’s not clear why the tugboat went down on Wednesday. Neither crew member was hurt. Recovery efforts are expected Friday
A Falmouth woman is trying to identify the owner of the dog that bit her 5-year-old daughter in an effort to spare the girl rabies shots. Gia Davis says her daughter was walking with a care giver on a trail in Portland on Tuesday when the dog bit her on the back of the neck, breaking the skin. A woman called to the dog, which then retreated. The dog’s handler gave the girl’s care giver a Vermont phone number, but when Davis called it, it was disconnected. She tells The Portland Press Herald, she has to know by Friday whether the dog has been vaccinated against rabies, or else her daughter will have to undergo a series of rabies shots.
Portland police and federal authorities are investigating the theft of two hand-carved wooden eagle sculptures from the Portland Custom House building. The gold-painted sculptures are believed to be original to the building, completed in the 1860s. Authorities estimate their value at about $50,000 combined. A spokeswoman for the city tells The Portland Press Herald, the eagles were stolen from the building’s lobby last weekend. They had recently been restored and were wrapped in plastic at the time of the theft. Each eagle is about three feet tall. Acting police Chief Vern Malloch says the building has an alarm system, but he was not certain the system was activated at the time of theft. There were no signs of forced entry.
Residents are awaiting the next release of names of accused clients of a woman who police say used her Zumba dance studio as a front for prostitution in the seaside town of Kennebunk, Maine. The town of 10,000 made international headlines when dance instructor Alexis Wright was charged this month with engaging in prostitution. Police said she videotaped many of the encounters without her clients’ knowledge and kept meticulous records suggesting the sex acts generated $150,000 over 18 months. Wright and her business partner have pleaded not guilty. The scandal is unfolding in slow motion, with the first 21 johns’ names released two weeks ago and more being released Friday.
A public hearing on plans for solid waste disposal will delay the sale of a Biddeford trash-to-energy plant but officials say the purchase and eventual closure of the incinerator will still happen The Department of Environmental Protection will be holding a public hearing on the request to amend the license for Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town to allow it to accept in-state municipal solid waste, which currently is disposed of at the Maine Energy Recovery Co. incinerator in Biddeford. No date for the hearing has been scheduled. The Journal Tribune, reports that the hearing will delay the sale of the incinerator from Casella Waste Systems Inc., Maine Energy’s parent company, to the city, which was originally expected in November.
Crews are planning to retrieve a tugboat that sank in the Piscataqua River, forcing two people to quickly escape. The two people on board were able to get onto a nearby barge Wednesday and are safe. The tugboat, called the Benjamin Bailey, is owned by Riverside Marine in Eliot, Maine. The business is a subcontractor to Archer Western, the firm working on the construction of the new Memorial Bridge connecting Portsmouth, N.H., to Kittery, Maine. It’s not clear why the tugboat went down. The U.S. Coast Guard is in charge of retrieving the boat. It planned to attempt to raise it Thursday.
A Portland man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for stabbing a bouncer at what was supposed to be an alcohol and drug free party last year. Abdi Awad received a 25-year sentence with seven years suspended on Wednesday in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court on a charge of elevated aggravated assault. Authorities say Awad stabbed Donald Brown twice in the back at the party in March 2011. Alcohol and drugs were prohibited from the party, which drew a largely Somali crowd. A melee erupted after a bouncer saw alcohol passed among a group that included Awad. Awad stabbed Brown after another security person tried to prevent Awad from intervening. The Portland Press Herald, reports that Awad sobbed and apologized in court.
The Maine medical examiner’s office says more work is required before the cause of death can be determined for a woman whose body was found after a fire in Old Orchard Beach. An autopsy on the remains of 62-year-old Patricia Noel began on Wednesday but there was no conclusion. Her body was found Tuesday after firefighters put out a blaze at her house in Old Orchard Beach. Fire investigators and state police detectives are talking to relatives, friends and neighbors as they continue their investigation.
308 sick, 23 dead, those are the numbers from a national meningitis outbreak linked to steroids made at New England Compounding Center, a pharmaceutical factory in Massachusetts.So far, no one in Maine has died from the outbreak, even though more than 30 facilities in Maine received products from the pharmacy, but it has some health care providers in our state taking steps to calm patient fears. “No, the drugs used in the Meningitis outbreak we have not used at EMG,” said CEO Clement Berry, and that’s the message Eyecare Medical Group is wasting no time getting out to its patients. While the company’s CEO confirms it has purchased many types of drugs from New England compounds, none were the ‘steroids’ linked to the outbreak. “The minute the FDA published that there’s a concern about any drugs from New England compounding we actually pulled all of our drugs and quarentined them so they’re not used for any patients.” “…But it’s kept us really busy,” said Brian Marden, Senior Director of Pharmacy at Maine Medical Center. He says since news of the outbreak first hit October 5th, the hospital has received numerous calls from concerned patients. “We only had one patient receive a drug since May 21st that was a product of that compounding center. We’ve been in touch with that patient.” The FDA now recommends that all companies with drugs from New England Compounding contact patients as soon as possible to help alleviate any worries. “Staff here has done a chart review of the patients that we looked at and there’s probably over 1-thousand patients that we looked at,” said Berry, and each of those patients at Eyecare Medical Group will soon receive this letter assuring them none of their medications were connected to the outbreak. Still, as even more Meningitis cases are reported across the country, Maine Med’s top pharmacists suggests people need to be cautious. “Patients with headache, any fever, neck stiffness, those kind of things that are sort of related to potential Meningitis, that’s the biggest concern right now,” Marden commented.Massachusetts state investigators say preliminary findings indicate workers at New England Compounding failed to sterilize products properly.Federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the company’s practices.