Local News 2-15-21   Covid Numbers (Augusta) – Maine saw its new COVID-19 infection numbers fall to one of the lowest since last summer, with 110-ne cases reported on Sunday.  The Daily Update from the Maine CDC shows a total of 649-people with the virus have died since the pandemic was declared last March.  Hospitals […]

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Local News – February 15, 2021

Local News 2-15-21


Covid Numbers

(Augusta) – Maine saw its new COVID-19 infection numbers fall to one of the lowest since last summer, with 110-ne cases reported on Sunday.  The Daily Update from the Maine CDC shows a total of 649-people with the virus have died since the pandemic was declared last March.  Hospitals are treating 101 people, with 28 in critical care beds.  Virus cases have crept down since the holiday surge in January.


(Augusta) – The number of new COVID-19 infections continues to fall in Maine.   Yesterday, the Maine CDC reported 110-new infections, the lowest one day number in several months.  Two more people with the virus died, bringing the total death count up to 649 since last March.  Maine continues to have one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the nation, and the surge attributed to the holidays has subsided significantly.


Bucksport Motel

(Bucksport) – The Code Enforcement Officer in Bucksport is looking to designate a motel as a dangerous building.  The Bangor Daily News reports the Fountain Motel on Route 1 has no working furnace and the town is looking to close it down and order residents to leave.  Code Officer Luke Chiavelli says some residents are using space heaters in their rooms and it’s a matter of time before the motel catches fire again.  He said inadequate plumbing has caused sinks to drain into buckets and many residents smoke in their rooms.  A town council hearing is set for April 8th to decide whether to condemn the building.


Turner Double Murder


(Turner) – A 24-year old man is charged with killing his two landlords inside their home in Turner.  State Police report to Star 97.7 that Patrick Maher is under arrest for stabbing 52-year old Troy Varney and his wife Dulsie.  Police found Mahar inside their home Friday morning after dispatchers got a 9-1-1 call about a home invasion.  Mrs. Varney was a nursing instructor at the Lewiston Regional Technical Center.  Mahar was reportedly a tenant of theirs at another location in Turner.


Smith Obit

(Mt. Vernon) – The former executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine has died after a 4-year battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.  George Smith continued his writing career after his diagnosis, and frequently appeared in the Bangor Daily News.  The Mt. Vernon resident ran SAM for nearly 20-years and was an advocate for conservation in Maine.  He was 72-years old.


Officer-Involved Shooting


(Waterville) – The Attorney General’s office is investigating a police involved shooting that left a 32-year old man dead in Waterville.  According to police, Eric Porter of Hartland charged a responding police cruiser with a knife and then ran up an Interstate 95 exit ramp and sat on a guardrail.  He refused to comply with police who’d responded to reports of an erratic person with a knife.  They ended up shooting him to death late last Thursday night.


Scallop Grounds Closed


(Dennysville) – Maine’s Department of Marine Resources has closed down scallop fishing in Cobscook, Whiting and Dennys Bay as of today.  There is one day of dragging allowed today in the three bays, and one day of diving for scallops next Saturday.  The Downeast bays traditionally close to scalloping before the season ends in order to conserve scallops in the lucrative fishing area.  The St. Croix River, though, will remain open until further notice.


Teen Asks to Serve Time at Home

(Augusta)  A 17-year-old who pled guilty to manslaughter after a deadly crash in Clinton last February is asking a judge to let him serve out his sentence at home.  Timothy Silva was 16 when he took three passengers on a joyride, ultimately slamming into a tree.  The accident claimed the lives of 15-year-old Thomas Porfirio, 14-year-old Emily Baker, and 12-year-old Ashlin Baker, all passengers in Silva’s vehicle.  In December, a judge sentenced Silva to be held at Long Creek Youth Development Center until he is 21 – the maximum sentence for a juvenile.  Silva’s attorneys argue the decision failed to consider if it was the least restrictive path toward rehabilitation for their client.


MDOC to Expand MAT Services


(Augusta)  Inmates at the Maine Department of Corrections who suffer from opioid addiction will soon see more help as part of the Medication Assisted Treatment Program, or MAT.  Director of Government Affairs Anna Black tells Star 97.7, the program, which began as a pilot in July 2019 with medical provider Wellpath, announced Friday it will be expanding, making more MDOC residents eligible for the program and extending continuity of care services.  The 2021 expansion plan will provide universal access to the program for any MDOC resident identified as medically appropriate, regardless of sentence length – which Black says is rare in correctional settings.


Bulky Winter Jackets Hinder Car Seats

(AAA)  If you’ve been outside at all the past few days, you know you REALLY have to bundle up!  But Triple A Northern New England says those warm, puffy jackets can pose a threat to children’s safety when worn underneath their car seat harnesses.  Triple A suggests when buckling a child into their seat during winter months, warm up the car before your trip; when not in use, keep the car seat inside where it’s warm; and make sure those little ones wear a hat and mittens, so you can limit the layers of padding or clothing between a child and their harness.  According to Triple A, seat belts are best worn close to the body and have long been proven to help the body slow down and protect the brain and spinal cord in the event of a crash.


Color Code School Designations Updated

(Augusta)  Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford, and York joined Maine’s 12 other counties this week in being designated green under the state’s color code system for schools.  The four counties had been yellow, but case rates have dropped, indicating in-person learning at the counties’ schools is now safe with COVID-safe precautions in place.


Insurance Bureau Conducts Investigations

(Augusta) Maine’s Insurance Bureau recovered close to one-point-four million dollars for Maine consumers through investigations in 2020.  Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa tells Star 97.7 the Bureau was able to maintain daily schedules and support services while working remotely and also put into place a number of pandemic-related orders and bulletins to protect Mainers.  The Insurance Bureau conducted 450 investigations for consumers last year.


Browntail Moth Discovery

(Augusta)  The Maine Forest Service is asking residents to give a “heads up” this winter in searching for webs created by the invasive browntail moth.  A winter web was recently spotted in Smyrna, after another new web was recovered earlier this week from Fort Fairfield.  The Forest Service tells Star 97.7 the winter webs are colonies of Browntail Moth caterpillars in white silk tightly woven around a leaf or leaves in trees or shrubs.  Suspected sightings should be reported to the Maine Forest Service.  Winter webs can be any size from a single leaf without much silk to the size of a large fist.




  • Washington Wizards 104  Boston Celtics 91
  • The U-Maine women split a weekend series with Stony Brook, winning Sunday 54-49.
  • The U-Maine men’s basketball team has ended its season due to coronavirus issues
  • Michael McDowell won the Daytona 500 yesterday after a crash on the final lap between Brad Keslowski and Joey Logano.  It was the only lap that McDowell won.