(Augusta) – The opioid epidemic has claimed at least a life a day in Maine for the past few years. Governor Janet Mills says she’s taking steps to try to curb opioid abuse. In her weekly radio address, Mills says she’s ordered more life-saving naloxone to be distributed across the state and she wants to help people kick the habit with more recovery coaches. The Governor says the money to pay for the programs is coming from federal funding sources.
(Winter Harbor) – Acadia National Park workers will start removing vegetation below utility lines in the Schoodic Point area of the park. The eventual plan is to replace the 50-year old utility lines and poles which have started to rot. The vegetation removal begins today and will proceed until April 1st. Park officials report to Star 97.7 that they will take extra care to protect rare plant areas and the time table will protect tree roosting areas for Northern Long-eared bats. The brush will be burned on site.
(Lamoine) – More scalloping areas have shut down effective yesterday. The Department of Marine Resources has placed Gouldsboro and the Dyers Bay Rotational Area, the Upper Machias Bay Rotational area and the Vinalhaven Island area off limits to scallopers. The season closes later this winter to all areas, but the DMR has implemented a series of closures to prevent over harvesting.
(Greenwood) – A 30-year old pregnant Massachusetts woman and her unborn baby died in a snowmobile crash in Western Maine during the weekend. The Maine Warden Service reports to Star 97.7 that Elizabeth Abelson of Gloucester Massachusetts died Saturday morning after a crash in Greenwood. She lost control of the sled and was ejected and struck trees. Abelson was due to give birth next month.
(Portland) – Two Hancock County men already in jail on other charges are accused of breaking into a Cable TV office in Portland and wheeling out a safe containing cash and checks. The Portland Press Herald reports 33-year old Michael Luchini of Ellsworth and 39-year old Matthew Smart of Southwest Harbor allegedly forced their way into the safe that had more than $67-hundred dollars in cash inside. They’re charged with burglary and theft and have been in trouble with the law before.
Overdose Death Loss Group
(Ellsworth) The death of a friend or family member by any circumstance can be devastating, but the loss of a loved one by drug overdose can be particularly challenging. Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County is offering a free support group for folks who have lost someone because of a drug overdose. Spokeswoman Janice Ronco says the group will connect people who may better relate to each other over their type of loss. The support group will meet each Wednesday beginning February 20th at the Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County office in Ellsworth.
(Bangor) Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor is implementing temporary changes to their visitors’ policy in an effort to reduce the spread of influenza. As of today only visitors 12 years and older will be allowed in, and each patient is limited to 2 visitors total. Everyone entering the hospital will be filtered through the main entrance where they’ll be checked for flu-like symptoms. Anyone who’s recently had flu symptoms or been exposed to someone with influenza will not be permitted to enter the hospital.
Animal Abuse Arrest
(Skowhegan) A Skowhegan man was arrested last week in connection with 6 dead dogs found in trash bags in the town of Canaan. WABI-TV reports state animal welfare agents contacted Skowhegan police and were able to trace the animals back to 24-year-old Brett Plourde. A search of his home on Wednesday revealed several malnourished dogs and puppies in cages, some matted in dog feces. The dogs and a few cats were taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment. Plourde is charged with violating probation but more charges are expected.
(So Paris) A South Paris man will spend 5 years in prison for maliciously damaging property used in interstate commerce by fire. 21-year-old Daniel Thompson was also ordered by a judge Friday to pay over $184-thousand-dollars in restitution. Court records say in June 2017 Thompson broke into the Dead River Company in South Paris and set fire to the building, which was destroyed.
Food Salvage Program
(Local) Healthy Acadia’s farm-based food collection and distribution project to address food insecurity and prevent food waste, salvaged over 26-thousand-pounds of food from across Hancock and Washington counties in 2018. Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Gleaning Initiative derives produce from nearby farms, gardens, and farmers markets and redistributes it to a network of food pantries, free meal sites, school backpack programs, rehabilitation programs, and health services. To get involved in gleaning opportunities in Hancock or Washington Counties contact your local Healthy Acadia office.
(Maine) An online group of Maine bird spotters is asking members to stop posting specific locations of rare species over concerns they may be targeted by hunters. Maine Birds Facebook group administrator Robin Robinson tells The Portland Press Herald members are now asked to limit posts to only mention a bird’s location in a town or county. Robinson acknowledges social media can increase the harassing of wildlife, but she says it also has the capacity to be an educational tool.
Gov’s Budget Proposal
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine’s new Democratic governor released the details Friday of her first two-year $8 billion budget proposal, which includes funding for the state’s Medicaid expansion. Gov. Janet Mills wants to move forward on campaign promises to address health care access, the opioid crisis, education funding and economic development. Mills says the budget protects Maine’s rainy day fund while not raising taxes.
- Boston Bruins 2 Colorado Avalanche 1 (Overtime)
High School Cheering
Class “B” Hermon 1st, Ellsworth 2nd
Class “A” Biddeford 1st, Bangor 2nd.
Class “C” Lisbon 1st, Central 2nd, Sumner 3rd
Class “D” Central Aroostook 1st, Penobscot Valley 2nd, Machias 3rd.
Ellsworth Boys win the Small School Indoor Track Penobscot Valley championship
Ellsworth boys wins the PVC swimming and diving title