(Augusta) Maine reports having 142 cases of the coronavirus statewide, an increase of 24 cases since Tuesday. Maine CDC director Dr Nirav Shah says protective equipment is a scarce resource in Maine. Dr Shah said protective equipment will be distributed based on facilities with the fewest supplies and greatest needs. Dr Shah called on all healthcare providers who are capable of operating ventilators to register at Maine Responds dot Org in the event they are needed to volunteer. Dr Shah says a DHHS employee from Lewiston has contracted COVID-19 and that office is now closed while health officials investigate.
Ordie Alley Obit
(Beals) – A Maine basketball coaching legend has died. Ordie Alley coached the Jonesport Beals basketball teams to 9-state championships during his 39-year coaching career. He started his teaching career at the Pemetic School in Southwest Harbor, and is a member of the U-Maine Machias athletics hall of fame. His sons Skip and Troy are both successful basketball coaches in Washington County. Ordie Alley was 77.
Rockland vehicle breaks
(Rockland) – A 56-year old Rockland man faces charges after his arrest for burglarizing motor vehicles. The Rockland Police Department reports to Star 97.7 that Anthony Bates is likely responsible for several recent burglaries in cars in Rockland. He’s charged with burglary and theft and more charges are likely.
(Bar Harbor) – Acadia National Park is shutting down operations tomorrow. The Park Service reports to Star 97.7 that Acadia will offer no services other than support of resource protection. The park has closed Park Loop Road and Ocean Drive. No restrooms will be open. The carriage roads were closed because of mud season, but campgrounds, visitor center and visitor services are also closed. No date was given for reopening.
Maine Made Masks
(Farmington) Maine companies are jumping in to restore items in short supply. An athletic wear manufacturing company in Farmington is developing and producing masks for the general public. Origin USA has retooled its production lines to go full production on a mask they designed, called the Defender DEF mask. Owners Pete and Amanda Roberts say the mask is not N95 rated, but their supply chain is 100% domestic. According to the company website, Origin USA is currently making a thousand masks per day which are available online.
National Park Closings
Three of America’s best known national parks closed their gates Tuesday, as park officials struggle to keep recreation areas open while still heeding warnings from the CDC about how best to prevent spreading coronavirus in congested places. Officials at the National Park Service say it has become increasingly impossible to monitor crowds at Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. Acadia National Park remains open at the moment, but there are no in-person Visitor services available, and the carriage roads remain closed for mud season.
(Augusta) School’s out … maybe not forever, but it’s sounding more and more like at least through this year. The head of Maine’s Department of Education, Pender Makin, sent a video message to districts Tuesday suggesting parents should be prepared for kids to return to class possibly as late as the Fall. While there’s no official determination at this point, Makin said CDC guidance would recommend an 8 to 20 week interruption in classroom basked instruction. Makin said the Department is waiving the minimum required number of school days this year as well as many of the state requirements that would be impossible to meet due to the coronavirus emergency.
(National) There’s no Amazon Smile when it comes to price gouging. The company announced this week it suspended 39 hundred selling accounts and removed more than 500 thousand listings from its stores due to coronavirus-based price gouging. Amazon said it will continue to monitor its stores for unfair prices and listings in response to the Covid-19 crisis. Earlier this month, Amazon reportedly blocked or removed over one million products for suspect or misleading claims.
(Tremont) The Town of Tremont is asking seasonal residents to adhere to Maine CDC recommendations of staying in place for now. The Board of Selectmen issued a statement Tuesday saying they would respect the decision of any seasonal residents who wish to return at this time, but asked that they self-isolate for a 14 day period upon arrival. The Board further asked returning residents, if they are feeling sick, to call their physician first before returning to Tremont
(Trenton) In the town of Trenton, Selectman Fred Ehrlenbach tells Star 97-7 the Town Office is maintaining regular hours and staffing. However, the office is closed to all foot traffic. Ehrlenbach said if you need to register a vehicle, you can do it online or speak with someone inside Town Hall who can handle it for you and mail you the tags and paperwork. Staff is available at 667-0543 during regular business hours.
(Blue Hill) – The Town of Blue Hill still plans to hold town elections on April 3rd. The Ellsworth American reports polls will open from 10AM to 8PM right after voters present chose a moderator. But the town meeting planned for Saturday the 4th will be recessed until April 25th. Maine law contains no provisions for cancelling town meetings if the warrant has been posted for more than 7-days.
(Bangor) St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor is asking for the public’s help with regards to the shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE. Along with first responders, hospitals are finding it difficult to provide the equipment needed to keep staff, patients and the community safe. If you would like to donate N95 respirators, Non-Venting Safety Goggles, face shields, or disposable masks or gloves, you can drop them off in the bins located at the hospital’s main entrance on Broadway.
NLH President Named
(Brewer) Northern Light Health has announced the appointment of a new President and CEO. Current Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Tim Dentry will begin the new position on April 1. Dentry became Chief Operating Officer of Northern Light Health in 2016. He replaces M. Michelle Hood, who is leaving the position at the end of this month for a leadership position with the American Hospital Association.
Mills Bolsters Healthcare
(Augusta) Governor Janet Mills’s office has announced two new actions designed to promote access to healthcare in response to Covid-19. In an Executive Order issued today, the state is allowing licensed physicians, physician assistants, and nurses greater flexibility to contribute to Maine’s response during the civil state of emergency. In addition, all physicians, physician assistants and nurses licensed in Maine may provide services through all methods of telehealth, including video, audio, and other electronic technologies, to treat Maine people for all medical needs. You can find complete details at maine.gov.
(Ellsworth) Ellsworth City Manager David Cole is encouraging business owners and mangers to contact the city with current and future expected needs for business continuity. Cole tells Star 97-7, the City’s mission is to create a type of bulletin board. If you have questions, you can get connected through the City’s Facebook page or their website, Ellsworth Maine dot gov.
- Legendary basketball coach Ordie Alley has died. His teams at Jonesport Beals won 9-state basketball championships. Alley was 77.
- The donation into the sign stealing allegations against the Red Sox is over and Major League Baseball will announce the results before the start of the season.
- The Boston Bruins have laid off 68 full time workers at the TD Garden and cut pay to 82-part timers.