(Augusta) – If your vehicle registration expired in March or April, you now have until June 11th to get the vehicle re-registered. Governor Janet Mills this week issued an executive order that requires car registrations be renewed. A previous emergency order waived the registration requirement until 30-days after the emergency declaration for Coronavirus is lifted. Towns and cities across Maine reported excise tax collections plummeted in April because very few people registered cars.
(Bar Harbor) – Ferry service between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth Nova Scotia may return in mid-July. The Mt. Desert Islander reports Bay Ferries Limited said that’s the earliest that the passenger ferry could start service, and that could be pushed back depending on the Coronavirus situation. The ferry service has been working for more than a year renovating the former ferry terminal in Bar Harbor to await service by The Cat. It’s been 10-years since the ferry moved from Bar Harbor to Portland.
(Bangor) – Fire tore through the 2nd story of a Bangor home last evening, leaving 6-people homeless. WABI-TV reports the Red Cross assisted the residents of the home on Nelson Street with finding new accommodations fro the night. No injures are reported – the blaze was reported at about 5:30 last evening.
(Bar Harbor) – Health Care workers in Bar Harbor and Machias should look to the skies between 11:15 and Noon today for an air tribute. The Air National Guard plans to fly a KC-135 tanker over MDI hospital and then head to Machias for a similar fly-over. The Guard said the plane’s presence is intended to pay tribute to nurses and other health care professionals during the pandemic.
(Augusta) – Governor Janet Mills extended Maine’s Coronavirus State of Emergency another 30-days. The latest order extends the emergency until June 11th. The Governor issued the extension yesterday, saying it will make Maine eligible for increased federal funding due to the pandemic. The Governor’s office reports to Star 97.7 that the extension does not change the 4-phase reopening plan.
(Augusta) The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are 15-hundred-15 cases of coronavirus in Maine with 143 of those cases considered probable. Maine has recorded 66 deaths from COVID-19 while 943 residents have fully recovered. Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr Nirav Shah says although there is no vaccine for coronavirus yet, it’s important that folks are up-to-date on vaccines for other preventable diseases. Shah says there was a 28-percent drop in the number of vaccines distributed by the Maine CDC’s Vaccines for Children Program in March compared to the same month last year.
Virtual Nutrition Session
(Ellsworth) Healthy Acadia is offering a virtual seminar to help folks choose healthy foods at the grocery store while sticking to a budget. SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educator Nicole Gurreri, in collaboration with Ellsworth Public Library, will present an hour-long virtual nutrition education session next Thursday, May 21 at 11 AM with ample time for questions and discussion. Participants will receive a $10 Hannaford gift card and a booklet of tips and tricks to shop, cook, and eat healthy on a budget. Participants need to pre-register for this zoom session by contacting Nicole Gurreri at Healthy Acadia.
City Hall Hours
(Ellsworth) Ellsworth City Hall has reopened on a limited basis. Residents can make an appointment on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 to 5 for transactions related to real estate and personal property taxes, motor vehicle taxes, water/sewer, and solid waste, boat registration, fishing licenses and vital records. City Hall staff is also available to conduct business over the phone on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Police Station Moving
(Machias) Renovation work has begun on a building in Machias that will eventually house the police department. The Bangor Daily News reports Chief Todd Hand initiated the move because of the department’s current lack of space and security at their station on McDonald Drive. The department will take over a 9,300-square foot building on Stackpole Road that was built by the town in 1999 as a tele-business center. Improvements include installing new doors, coded locks, a new phone system, and building an interior foyer where a dispatcher or clerical assistant can sit behind a glass window. Completion of the project is expected in the next month or so.
(Augusta) Seven tourism and business groups are urging Maine Governor Janet Mills to drop the 14-day quarantine requirement for out-of-state visitors. In an open letter, the groups say tourists need to know that they’ll be welcomed to Maine this summer without quarantining. The Mills administration has said it’s looking into alternatives, but none have been made public. Under the governor’s plan, lodging and restaurants will open for Maine residents on June 1, and for out-of-state visitors on July 1st.
(Millinocket) Police in Millinocket say counterfeit money is circulating the area. WABI-TV reports a number of one-hundred-dollar bills, possibly up to $10-thousand-dollars worth, have the words “replica” located in the top and bottom corners. Police want to hear from anyone who finds the counterfeit bills or has information about where it’s coming from.
(Blue Hill) The Maine Department of Transportation will do some repairs near the Falls Bridge in Blue Hill next week. Traffic on Route 175 will detour to Route 172 while the Falls Bridge is closed. The detour will be in effect May 18th through the 22nd from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The DOT says the department may conduct more work on the bridge later this summer.
Moose Permit Deadline
(Augusta) The deadline is drawing near to apply for the Maine moose permit lottery. Maine will dole out about 2-thousand moose permits in June. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 this evening (5/14). There are typically tens of thousands of entrants into the lottery. The hunt itself runs from late September to late November.
LL Bean Locations Reopen
(Freeport) Two of L.L. Bean’s stores – the hunting and fishing store, and the bike, boat and ski store, reopened this week in Freeport. The company says they’ve opened their doors to customers with special precautions in place to make the shopping experience as safe as possible. The company’s 24-hour store and home store in Freeport remain closed, but those locations and some other retail stores and outlets are open to curbside pickup.
(Maine) The parent company of Central Maine Power is suing over the constitutionality of a referendum aimed at overturning decisions by three state agencies that approved a $1 billion utility transmission project. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, contends the citizen-initiated referendum violates the separation of power provisions and exceeds the legislative power granted under the Maine Constitution. The New England Clean Energy Connect would serve as a conduit for up to 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to reach the New England grid. It has been approved by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Land Use Planning Commission and Public Utilities Commission. But critics obtained enough signatures to put the project to a statewide vote in November.
- The Maine Principals Association has eliminated the summer “hands-off” period for coaches an players that typically begins in August. Executive Director Mike Burnham said the period is likely critical for fall sports players to get into shape.
- The PGA says it will test players once a week for coronavirus once tournaments get going again.
- Newly acquired Patriots’ wide receiver Marquis Lee says he’s anxious to get his career restarted after two seasons of injuries.