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Local News – November 8, 2017

State Referenda


(Augusta) – In an off-year election Maine will generally see about 20-percent voter turnout.  Not yesterday – turnout was about double that in many communities. In towns with no local issues, Medicaid expansion and a very unpopular casino question brought voters to the polls.  Many said they were surprised to see two other questions on the statewide ballot, as the first two questions drew a lot of campaigning.  Voters rejected the casino question – big time, with more than 80-percent opposing the measure to approve a 3rd casino. And voters approved the Medicaid expansion question which will cover health insurance for a lot more people. Opponents said previous Medicaid expansion failed years ago.


Killer Convicted

(Belfast) – A Waldo County woman faces up to 40-years in prison for killing her 7-week old son.  Jurors returned a guilty verdict against 32-year old Miranda Hopkins.  Last January her son Jaxon died while she was passed out after drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. She blamed her two other severely autistic sons who are ages 6 and 8 for the death.  Hopkins attorney says they will likely appeal the verdict reached last evening in Belfast.


Ellsworth City Council

(Ellsworth) – A new face will take a seat at the city council table in Ellsworth Friday.  Community Health and Counseling Services Executive Director Dale Hamilton replaces incumbent councilor John Phillips after balloting yesterday.  John Moore will return to the city council after winning the most votes.  Hamilton finished 2nd in the 4-way race, 21-votes ahead of Phillips.


Belfast Mayor

(Belfast) – The city of Belfast has a new mayor, and she’s the youngest in the city’s history.  Village Soup dot-com reports 26-year old Samantha Paradis outdistanced incumbent Walter Ash by about 300-votes in fairly heavy balloting yesterday.  Ash told The Republican Journal that he was surprised by the voters decision to go with someone with no political experience to lead the city council.


Holiday Marketplace

(Ellsworth) The holiday marketplace returns to downtown Ellsworth for a second year. Heart of Ellsworth executive director Cara Romano says the pop-up shops will showcase local businesses, some who participated last year. Opening day at the holiday marketplace is November 16th. Booth spaces and weekend craft tables are still available to vendors. Contact Heart of Ellsworth on Facebook for details.


New EFD Recruits

(Ellsworth) The Ellsworth Fire Department swore in 11 new recruits Monday night, two as permanent career fire fighters. At a time when most fire departments struggle to find help, Deputy chief Gary Saunders says several of the new recruits are from out-of-the area. Saunders says 5 of the new recruits already volunteer at other fire departments in the area.


Emera Update

(Bangor) – Maine’s 2nd largest utility company says power to all customers affected by the windstorm on October 30th is restored. Emera Maine spokeswoman Judy Long says during the next few days Emera crews will patrol key power lines to clear weakened trees that could cause future outages. For customers who sustained damage to their private equipment and required an electrician first, Emera worked closely with those customers and says their power has been restored as well.


Columbus Day 2018

(Gouldsboro) Gouldsboro may be the next town in Maine to consider changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The idea was brought forth during a board of selectmen meeting in October but did not receive support. Selectman Roger Bowen tells the Ellsworth American he now expects the issue to be added to next year’s town warrant articles through a citizen’s petition. Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrates Native Americans and revokes the notion that Christopher Columbus discovered America. Gouldsboro’s annual town meeting is scheduled for June 13th, 2018.


Inappropriate Promotion

(Skowhegan) A Maine business group has apologized for a holiday promotion it called “Hunt for the Indian,” after residents took to social media to decry it as racially insensitive. The promotion by the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce asks its members to place a small Native American figurine inside their businesses, with clues on social media encouraging shoppers to find it. The promotion was announced Saturday, and residents quickly started lambasting the effort through social media.


Wal-Mart Shooting

(Augusta) Augusta police say they believe the man who pulled out a gun at Wal-Mart entrance Monday was a patron who engaged in a verbal disagreement with another shopper. During the confrontation 31-year-old Robert Potter pointed a gun at the other customer who then attempted to disarm Potter, causing the gun to discharge. A female customer entering the store witnessed the event and ran back to her vehicle where she suffered a medical event. Police tended to the woman but she died before Augusta Fire-Rescue arrived. Potter is charged with Criminal Threatening with a Dangerous Weapon.


NE Drug Take-Back

(New England) Authorities say New England as a whole turned in a record 48-tons of prescription drugs during the annual Drug Take-Back Day last month, with Maine leading the pack at over 41-thousand pounds. The Drug Enforcement Administration says when the program started in 2010, its New England Field Division collected a total of more than 25-thousand pounds of unwanted drugs.



  • Former major league pitcher and Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay died yesterday when his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The Celtics will host the Los Angeles Lakers tonight.
  • The Bruins are in New York to skate against the Rangers tonight.