(Chester) – State police say a 3-year old girl is safe this morning after they issued an Amber alert. Audrey LaFerriere of Van Buren was said to be in danger and with her parents. Shortly after cell phones activated statewide, state troopers spotted the car in Penobscot County.
(Trescott) – Three men face drug charges after a standoff in Washington County. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency reports to Star 97.7 that 31-year old Mark Fields of Trescott refused to come out of his home when agents attempted to serve a warrant. The State Police tactical team surrounded the house and eventually convinced Fields and two men from New York to surrender. Agents recovered drugs and $10-thousand dollars in cash from the trio.
(Augusta) The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports 3 more Maine residents have died of COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll to 69. The state has recorded 14-hundred-and-5 cases since the outbreak began. 378 cases are currently active with 160 more cases considered likely positive. 958 Mainers have recovered from coronavirus while 3 more elderly residents have died for a statewide total of 69 deaths. The Maine CDC reports they’ve confirmed 14-hundred-and-5 cases since the outbreak hit the state. 37 residents are currently hospitalized, 18 of them in critical care.
(Augusta) Lodging establishments may begin accepting reservations for June 1st and beyond. Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner Heather Johnson says this change comes as Governor Mills’ Administration works collaboratively with the tourism and hospitality industries to reexamine the 14-day quarantine requirement. A previous Executive Order prohibited such reservations.
Have you found your recycling building up during the COVID-19 crisis? Or maybe you’re wondering if it’s even worth it to recycle. The National Resources Council of Maine says recycling is more critical than ever. Recycling markets had been struggling even before the pandemic, with national recycling rates only around 25 percent and plastic recycling rates in the single digits. To make matters worse, corporations often find it’s cheaper to acquire virgin commodities than recycled ones. Yet, most people understand reducing waste and recycling is critical for the environment. What can you do? NRCM recommends reducing reliance on single-use plastics to start. And if you’re not sure WHERE to recycle, simply ask SIRI about recycling in your area.
2020 County Teachers of the Year
(Augusta) The Maine Department of Education released the names of educators from each Maine County as part of the 2020 County Teachers of the Year celebration. Among this year’s educators are Hancock County’s Kathryn Meyer of Mount Desert High School, Washington County’s Debra Carver of Jonesport-Beal High School, and Penobscot County’s Kristy Dube of Fourteenth Street School in Bangor.
Searsport Celebration Cancelled
(Searsport) – The Searsport 175th Committee today voted to postpone this year’s celebration of the town’s 175th anniversary. Plans for the festivities had been in the works since 2018, but the committee felt in light of current circumstances, there was no other safe choice. Events were originally scheduled for July 4th and the week prior this year. Organizers say they’ll postpone until June 28 through July 4th 2021 and promise the fireworks alone will be worth the wait.
Emera Name Change
(Bangor) – Emera Maine is now Versant Power. The new name comes after the utility was acquired by ENMAX. Versant Power customers can still pay bills and reach customer service at the current billing address and phone number. A new email address is in the works. The company says costs associated with the name change would be born by ENMAX and not passed along to utility customers.
(Augusta) – About 21 thousand Mainers filed initial unemployment claims in the week ending May 9, down about 55 hundred from the week before. 11,500 of those claims are identified as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The Maine Department of Labor reports 87 thousand continued claims were filed last week for state unemployment, an increase of nearly 11,000 over the pervious week, with 41 thousand filed under PUA, including for retroactive benefit weeks. Call in hours for filing are 8 to 3 daily, but the DOL recommends filing online with a computer and asks persons with last names A-H to file on Mondays, I-Q on Tuesdays, and R-Z on Wednesdays if possible to help alleviate filing volume.
Maine State Police Sued
(Bangor) – A Scarborough man is suing the Maine Intelligence Analysis Center, claiming he was demoted after telling his bosses the center was collecting and maintaining data illegally. The Bangor Daily News reports 50-year-old George Loder alleges in the suit that staff at the Center, a division of the Maine State Police, gathered and kept information from social media about people who legally protested Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission corridor in September 2018. The Maine Attorney General’s office disputes the allegations and said they will respond in court.
(Ellsworth) – Both Ellsworth City Schools and Hancock Grammar School have announced an early end to the 2020 school year. The last day for students will be June 5. What students will return to in the Fall is unknown, but Mount Desert Island Superintendent Marc Gousse says there is a good chance that when the new school year begins in August, the buildings will remain closed and teaching and learning will continue remotely. According to The Mount Desert Islander, Curriculum Director Julie Meltzer told the school board Wednesday the expectations will have to be different, whether learning continues remotely or as a hybrid situation.
- Former big leaguer Bob Watson who was the first black general manager to win a World Series has died of kidney disease. He was 74.
- Former major league manager Art Howe is in intensive care with Coronavirus. He is 73-years old.
- Maine High School basketball officials will be sporting new uniforms next season – changing to black and white stripes instead of the gray and pinstripe shirts.