(Augusta) – The numbers of Maine residents infected with Coronavirus continue to grow. New numbers are expected out later this morning. As of Monday there are 17-positive or presumed positive COVID-19 cases in Maine. Of those, 13 are in Cumberland County, including a middle-school student in Cape Elizabeth. The furthest north and east is a man in his 30s in Knox County. The CDC in Maine has asked another 100-people who’ve had contact with those infected to stay quarantined.
Bangor – Civil Emergency
(Bangor) – The largest city in Eastern Maine is taking severe measures to try to stop the virus spread. Bangor City Officials declared a civil emergency yesterday. City Hall is now closed to the public and the city has ordered bars and restaurants to close down after 8PM for five nights, starting this evening. The city is recommending no more than 10-people be gathered at a time. The closure order does not include essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.
Northern Light Health
(Local) Northern Light Health is reducing the number of elective procedures to limit the number of individuals entering their facilities that may have or may carry the coronavirus. Incident command specialist Dr. James Jarvis says the temporary measure also frees-up resources in the event they’re needed. Dr. Jarvis says visitation is also restricted and they encourage the use of FaceTime and Skype to communicate with loved ones in the hospital.
(Lamoine) – Learning is going to become very different for students across Maine as school shut down and shift to distance learning. Hancock and Lamoine students received laptops and tablets Monday after teachers worked on getting them ready during the weekend. Superintendent Katrina Kane tells Star 97.7 those students that may be food insecure will also get deliveries. Lamoine Teachers dropped off while dressed in costumes traditionally reserved for the last day of school, something that Kane said brought a little stress relief for students who are on edge about the pandemic.
(Millinocket) A Bangor man is charged with Aggravated Attempted Murder in connection with a shooting inside a Millinocket home. Maine state police report that 45-year-old Jason Mulligan was arrested Sunday evening by the tactical team after they entered a home on Penobscot Avenue in Millinocket where Mulligan barricaded himself inside. The victim, a man in his 20’s, is receiving treatment at a Bangor hospital for a serious gunshot wound. He, along with another man and a woman, were rescued from the home after the tactical team entered around 8 PM.
(Portland) The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has advised quarantine for about 100 people due to coronavirus exposure. Director Nirav Shah says the number is fluctuating, and other individuals in the state have been advised to quarantine by employers. He says cases of the virus are spreading in different parts of the state, with evidence of community transmission, and two people have been hospitalized. The state’s first case of a child testing positive with the virus involves a student from Cape Elizabeth Middle School. District officials say the student is doing well and recovering at home.
(Ellsworth) The Ellsworth Public Library is closed again today as a public health measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Library staff can be reached by phone or email to respond to inquiries. Director Amy Wisehart advises anyone with library materials currently checked out to leave them at home for now and they will waive any overdue fines. Library trustees will meet this evening (3/17) to determine whether to extend the closure.
Lamoine Town Meeting
(Lamoine) Lamoine voters are advised not to attend the annual town meeting scheduled for tomorrow. When the meeting convenes at the school at 6 PM the Board of Selectmen is expected to immediately move to recess the meeting to a different date because of the COVID-19 situation and the advice from the State of Maine to avoid gatherings of 50-people or more. The make-up date is proposed to be May 26th. There is the possibility that the motion will not pass, but that is highly doubtful.
(Augusta) Maine’s unemployment rate held steady in January and has been at about the same low-percentage for more than 2 years. The Maine Department of Labor reported Monday the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was estimated at 3.1% for the month. It was 3% in December and 3.2% one year previously. The state’s unemployment rate has been less than 4% for more than four years.
Elver Season to Begin
(Augusta) One of the most lucrative industries in Maine is scheduled to start for the season later this week. Maine fishermen sold elvers for more than $2,000 per pound last year. Elver season is heavily regulated and runs March 22nd to June 7th. The state awarded the right to apply for an elver license to 9 residents this year after more than 3,600 applied for licenses.
Killer’s Sentence Delayed
(Portland) The sentencing of a Portland man who pleaded guilty to the strangulation death of his girlfriend has been delayed because of the state court system’s response to the new coronavirus. 62-year-old Gregory Vance was supposed to be sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to murder under an agreement that caps his sentence at 35 years. Court documents indicate Vance told police the victim, 59-year-old Patricia Grassi, was “tormenting” and “slapping” him. The hearing was delayed indefinitely after most routine court proceedings were ordered postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
(Farmington) NASA has given $300-thousand-dollars to a Maine professor to study whether an instrument on the International Space Station can help predict the effects of wildfires. U-Maine Farmington biology professor Andrew Barton was awarded the grant. He and a plant ecologist with Wesleyan University, are slated to lead a team of researchers about the work. A University of Maine spokesperson says the work concerns the growth of larger and more intense wildfires in the western United States.
- Opening Day for the Major League Baseball season is pushed back until mid-May at the earliest
- NASCAR has suspended its season until at least mid-May
- The Patriots have re-signed safety Devin McCourty who has spent his entire career with New England
- And the Houston Texas have traded receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals