Coronavirus – the Latest Numbers   (Augusta) – The total number of Coronavirus cases went over the 10-thousand mark during the weekend, and the death count rose to 176.  The Maine CDC reported 2,392 active cases as of mid-day Sunday, with 236 new cases.  The daily average during the past week is now more than […]

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Local News – November 23, 2020

Coronavirus – the Latest Numbers


(Augusta) – The total number of Coronavirus cases went over the 10-thousand mark during the weekend, and the death count rose to 176.  The Maine CDC reported 2,392 active cases as of mid-day Sunday, with 236 new cases.  The daily average during the past week is now more than 200-new cases per day.  Currently, 94 Mainers are hospitalized with complications from the virus, 42-of them in critical care.  CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah cautioned today’s pandemic in Maine is fundamentally different than it was back in March when the pandemic began. Shah said other differences include the pandemic moving from a mainly urban phenomenon to both urban and rural, has moved from affecting mostly large gatherings to smaller gatherings as well, and from affecting mainly the older population to the risk now being everywhere.


Brewer Standoff


(Brewer) – Police arrested a 48-year old Brewer man during the weekend after a standoff on State Street.  The Brewer Police Department posts that Antonio Burke attempted to assault another person with a knife and then return with a gun to murder his former girlfriend.  Police surrounded Burke’s home and called in help from Bangor and the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department.  Police kept Burke on the phone while other officers obtained an arrest warrant.  After more than 5-hours of negotiation, Burke came out of his home and officers arrested him without injury.  He faces numerous domestic violence related charges.


Vinalhaven Fire, Gun Theft

(Vinalhaven) – A teen-aged boy is held at the juvenile detention center in Portland after he allegedly set a car on fire and stole rifles last Friday.  Village Soup dot com the car fire involved a Lincoln parked at the site of a fatal stabbing occurred earlier in the year.  Knox County deputies recovered rifles taken from vehicles nearby.  The youngster is charged with a probation violation and is held at Long Creek Correctional Facility while the investigation continues.


Recount Result

(Augusta) – The Democrat who initially won the House seat in District 96 in Waldo County has officially won the race by a few more votes than originally counted.  The Secretary of State’s office reports to Star 97.7 that Stanley Zieglar outpolled Republican Katrina Smith by 73-votes.  Prior to the recount, Zieglar had a 67-vote lead.  The recount in House District 98 in Searsport will also stay the same after a recount showed no difference from election night.  Democrat Scott Cuddy outpolled Republican Jessica Connor by 105 votes.


DECP Christmas Magic Toy Drive

(Ellsworth)  An agency serving Downeast Maine with energy assistance and transportation will help at Christmas.  Downeast Community Partners is holding its Christmas Magic Toy Drive on Saturday, November 28th  from 9 to 3 at the Maine Coast Mall.  DECP’s Sharrie Curtis tells Star 97.7, the need is as great as ever this year.  Downeast Community Partners will be accepting new, unwrapped gifts at the toy drive.  Suggestions for different families and age groups are posted on their website.


Food Drive Results

(Ellsworth)  Requests for food through the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry are up overall about 20% this year.  Generosity was in abundant supply at Saturday’s Food Drive.  Lincoln Ehrlenbach of the Ellsworth Rotary Club tells Star 97.7, the drive netted great results.  Loaves and Fishes buys the bulk of their food at a discounted rate from the Good Shepherd Food Bank – and every one-dollar donation buys enough food for FOUR people.


Senior Playground

(Ellsworth) –   A playground for seniors at Knowlton Park in Ellsworth is in the works, after city councilors earlier this month unanimously approved bid contracts for the playground’s equipment and installation.  The Ellsworth American reports the playground will consist of free-standing stationary bicycles, an elliptical machine, outdoor game tables and other equipment that is walker and wheelchair accessible.  Jo Cooper, Executive Director of local nonprofit Friends in Action originally set the project in motion.  The project will be funded through grants, donations, and fundraising dollars already in hand.


Lighting Up Ellsworth

(Ellsworth) – A tough 2020 will be a little bit brighter as Ellsworth lights up downtown for the holiday on Small Business Saturday, November 28th.  Cara Romano, Executive Director of Heart of Ellsworth, tells Star 97.7 News,  this year, 36 of Maine Street’s iconic lamp posts will twinkle in an environmentally sound way with new, encased LED marine lights, powered by the City of Ellsworth.  The display is made possible thanks to support from First National Bank and First National Wealth Management.  Downtown Ellsworth’s lamp post lights will be up through the new year.


Hepatitis-A Exposure

(Dover-Foxcroft) – The Maine Center for Disease Control has identified a case of acute hepatitis A virus infection in a Dover-Foxcroft food service worker.  The person handled food at the Dover-Foxcroft Pat’s Pizza while infectious on November 11th.  Anyone who may have had dine-in, take-out, delivery, or curbside pickup of food from the restaurant is encouraged to ask a medical advisor about receiving a vaccine.  There is a 14-day window during which vaccine can reduce the likelihood of illness, which means exposed persons should receive the vaccine by November 25th.


School Health Advisory Update

(Augusta) – The Mills Administration on Friday updated its color-coded Health Advisory system that is designed to assist schools as they continue with their plans to deliver instruction and support students safely this Fall.  York County’s rising positivity rate moves that county’s schools from green to yellow, joining Androscoggin, Franklin, Washington, and Somerset Counties.  Knox County’s new case rate is now below the state average, so the county was moved to green.  According to Maine CDC, case trends in Cumberland, Hancock, and Kennebec Counties continue to require close monitoring.


Second Round of Economic Recovery Grants



(Augusta)  – More than one thousand businesses and 115 non-profits began receiving relief Friday as the Mills Administration began distribution of a second round of financial awards through the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program.  Under phase 2, businesses and non-profits that employ up to 250 people are eligible for grants, along with licensed childcare and behavioral health organizations, and businesses and non-profits in their first year of operations.  Grants may be used to cover payroll costs and expenses, rent or mortgage payments for business facilities, utilities and other operating expenses.


Grants for High Speed Infrastructure

(Augusta) – Students in underserved Maine communities received a boost Friday as the Mills Administration awarded five-point-six million dollars in grants to build high speed infrastructure.  The funds will benefit more than 730 students in rural Maine by providing access to high speed broadband to support remote learning by the end of the year as part of the Governor’s Connect Kids Now! Initiative.  Funding comes from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund and will allow construction of permanent internet infrastructure.


Scallop License Lottery Winners Announced

(Augusta) – The Maine Department of Marine Resources has notified this year’s winners of the state’s scallop license lottery.  The new licenses are the result of a limited entry system established by the legislature in 2018 and allow someone who did not hold a scallop license in the previous year to be eligible for one.  Winners are responsible for applying for a license within 30 days of notification.  Ten drag licenses were awarded, along with four dive licenses.  Lottery winners were chosen at random.


CDC Update

(Augusta) – The Maine CDC on Friday reported two more deaths, bringing the state’s total to 173.  It was the third highest daily COVID-19 case count, with 234 new cases reported.  The total number of cases in Maine now stands at 9,958, with 2,195 active cases.


Drought Conditions Improve

(Augusta) – Maine’s Drought Task Force met virtually last week, and noted that in the past two weeks, conditions have improved across much of the state.  Northern Maine is close to coming out of drought status, with the remainder of the state moving to moderately dry conditions.  Donald Dumont of the National Weather Service tells Star 97.7 News October is typically one of the wettest months of the year and came through in 2020.  Groundwater levels are also showing improvement, though some areas are still in need of a rain event.


Boost for Renters

(Augusta) – Families struggling economically due to the pandemic received a boost Friday as Governor Janet Mills dedicated an additional 6 point 2 million dollars in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to Maine Housing’s COVID-19 Rental Relief Program.  Maine Housing will extend the program through December for renters who cannot afford to pay their rent due to the pandemic.  Maine Housing will continue to help cover October and November rent.  Both previous and new applicants may apply for a maximum of $1,000 per month for October, November, and December.


Bath Iron Works Outbreak

(Bath) – Bath Iron Works says it has identified 10 cases of coronavirus among its workforce. Five of the cases were previously reported as potentially positive in workers at the Brunswick facility, along with five new cases identified through contact tracing.  Bath Iron Works and the Maine CDC will offer testing to employees in areas affected by the ten cases.




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