BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — A bipartisan proposal that would help address maintenance backlogs at national parks including Acadia National Park has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. The proposal, championed by lawmakers including Maine Democratic Rep. Jared Golden, would allocate $9.5 billion to address the needed maintenance. Golden said public lands “have taken on new importance for families in Maine” during the pandemic, and it’s time to address the backlog. Acadia’s overdue maintenance stretches back years. The National Park Service said the park had almost $66 million in deferred maintenance in 2018.
Bar Harbor Recounts Requested
(Bar Harbor) – A pair of ordinance votes in Bar Harbor will undergo a recount. The Mt. Desert Islander reports that Question 5 on the ballot passed by just 14 votes, and petitioners requested a recount on that and one other question decided by a narrow margin. Town officials say they’ll have to hire ballot clerks to conduct the recount on the roughly 21-hundred ballots cast.
Blue Hill Pesticide Vote
(Blue Hill) – Town officials have discovered an ordinance passed by voters last week won’t count because the ordinance was not sent to the State Board of Pesticides Control ahead of time. Voters overwhelmingly approved the ordinance which would have banned synthetic pesticides in town. The Weekly Packet reports Blue Hill would have become the first town in Maine to pass such a ban, and if the state approves of the wording now that it has the ordinance, voters may try again in November.
(Augusta) Maine saw no new deaths Thursday related to coronavirus, freezing the statewide death toll at 118. There are 12 residents currently hospitalized, while 3,239 residents have fully recovered from the illness. Maine has recorded 3,737 confirmed and probable cases, 380 remain active.
Town Office Burglary
(Garland) The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a burglary at the Garland town office. Surveillance video shows a tall, thin male wearing a knit hat, gloves, a plain long-sleeve shirt and jeans entering the building on Saturday, July 18th. The suspect rummages through several desk drawers, but police have not said what he stole. The Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help identifying the suspect.
Double Fatal Crash
(Augusta) Two women died this week in a car crash in Augusta. Police tell Star 97-7 the drivers in each vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene on Eastern Avenue around 2:45 Wednesday afternoon. Dead are 26-year-old Kelsey Buckmore of Augusta and 26-year-old Rachel Paquet of Smithfield. Augusta police and state troopers are investigating what led to the crash.
ANP-Gold Star Family
(Bar Harbor) The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a proposal from 2 Maine lawmakers to give families of fallen military service members free access to national parks. Senator Angus King and Representative Jared Golden introduced the Gold Star Families Park Pass Act, which passed Tuesday as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The proposal would give immediate family of service members access to the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program.
(Lewiston) Bates College is considering putting up students in local hotels as it tries to figure out where to safely house students during the pandemic. The Maine college told students recently it is “working quickly to add to our existing housing resources” to ensure everyone has a place to stay. It’s unclear how many of its 1,800 students are going to show up at its Lewiston campus starting in about a month.
MMA Ship to Return
(Castine) – It’s not exactly an exotic final cruise for seniors aboard the Maine Maritime Academy training vessel, State of Maine. Unlike other years, the ship has not traveled to exotic ports worldwide – it’s just gone across Penobscot Bay to Searsport, and that was only following noise complaints on the Castine waterfront. The ship will return home a week from today, but students will remain aboard the ship until August when they sit for their Coast Guard exam. Visitors and traffic will be barred from the waterfront the day the ship returns.
Make A Wish
(Verona island) – If you spot signs that say Happy Wish Day Grayson in the Hancock County area, you’ll probably wonder why. The Make A Wish Foundation is granting a wish to a 4-year old boy named Grayson from Verona Island who is battling cancer. His wish was to go camping – and the foundation is supplying his family with a popup camper. Ellsworth area businesses have been asked to display signs that wish Grayson a happy wish day.
- The Red Sox open their “regular” season tonight against the Baltimore Orioles. Nathan Eovaldi is scheduled to be the opening day starting pitcher
- The Yankees beat the World Champion Washington Nationals 4-to-1 in the rain-shortened baseball season opener last night.
- The Dodgers beat the Giants 8-to-1 last night, scoring 7 times in their last two at bats. Mookie Betts went 1-for-5 in his Dodger debut and scored the winning run.
- The University of Maine at Machias has dropped all its athletics programs, suspending athletics indefinitely. That includes soccer and volleyball in the fall, and basketball in the winter.