Sheriff’s Actions Condemned (Ellsworth ) – County Commissioners in Hancock County won’t ask the Sheriff to resign, but they’re not pleased with his decision last summer to end a program that provided substance abuse counselors to jail inmates.  At yesterday’s meeting the commissioners turned down public calls that Sheriff Scott Kane resign by a 2-to-1 […]

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Local News – February 17, 2021

Sheriff’s Actions Condemned

(Ellsworth ) – County Commissioners in Hancock County won’t ask the Sheriff to resign, but they’re not pleased with his decision last summer to end a program that provided substance abuse counselors to jail inmates.  At yesterday’s meeting the commissioners turned down public calls that Sheriff Scott Kane resign by a 2-to-1 vote.  Kane broke a contract last summer with Healthy Acadia after the organization came out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which the Sheriff called a terrorist organization.  The service was recently re-instated, with Kane saying he could have handled things differently.

 

Nichols Obits

(Ellsworth) – An Ellsworth couple who celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary last fall and was featured in local papers for their secrets of staying together has died within minutes of each other.  John and Rachel Nichols lived on Buttermilk Road in Ellsworth, and died in their home 10-days ago with family and friends by their sides.  She was 99 and he was 98.   The Ellsworth American featured the couple in a story last November after they marked their 74th anniversary in late October.  Both were in hospice care when they passed away.

 

Robbery Plea

 

(Bangor) – A 43-year old Bangor man has admitted he robbed a credit union near Eastern Maine Medical Center.  The US Attorney’s office reports to Star 97.7 that Earl Torrence pled guilty to bank robbery in federal court yesterday.   Police arrested Torrence a short time after he held up Acadia Federal Credit Union after reviewing surveillance video.   He faces up to 20-years in prison and a quarter million dollar fine.

 

Coronavirus 

 

(Augusta)  A second case of the UK variant of the Coronavirus has been detected in Maine, this time in York County.  Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah says there is no connection between that person and the person from Franklin County found to have the variant last week.  Shah says as the CDC is actively looking for variants, they expect to find more cases. Shah said the York County resident is isolating and doing well, but he urges Mainers to continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols as other variants are expected in the state.

 

COVID Numbers

(Augusta) – For the first time in months, the number of new Coronavirus infections in Maine dipped below 100 for the day.  The Maine CDC reported 91 new cases yesterday.  That’s the lowest number since early November.  Two more people with the virus have died, bringing that count up to 651 since last March.  Hospitals are treating 94 Coronavirus patients with 24 in critical care beds.

 

BHHT February Offerings

 

(Blue Hill)  As part of Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s “A Year of Caring for the Land” series,  Brett Chickatelli of the Downeast Salmon Federation has posted a video on the BHHT website, detailing how and where to do winter smelt fishing, a bit of history of the sport, and how climate change has affected the activity.  Outreach Coordinator Landere Nesbitt tells Star 97.7, the teaching video will be followed up by   a Q and A session later this month.  The Q and A session will be held via Zoom from 5-6 p.m. on February 23rd.

 

CDC Stats – Tuesday

(Augusta)  The Maine CDC on Tuesday reported two new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the state’s death toll related to the pandemic to 651, with 91 new cases reported, the first time the number of new cases dropped below 100 since early November.  Nearly 43,000 Mainers have now been diagnosed with the virus since the pandemic began in the state almost a year ago.

 

MMSA Hopes to Broaden Participation

(Augusta)  Young women who live in Maine’s rural areas will soon get a boost to help them pursue math intensive STEM careers.  The Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance recently received a one-year planning grant from the National Science Foundation which will, in part, address the issue.  MMSA says young women from rural areas are not pursuing careers involving mathematics, even though they are skilled and capable mathematicians, scientists, and engineers.  The grant will enable MMSA to look across the K-12 system in rural communities to identify and address barriers faced by rural girls in pursuing careers involving advanced Mathematics.

 

Republicans Could Censure Collins

(Augusta)  The Maine Republican Party could vote within the next two weeks whether to censure Senator Susan Collins over her vote to convict former president Donald Trump of a second impeachment charge.  The Bangor Daily News reports the vote by Collins and six other fellow Republicans angered many conservatives.  Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas emailed party members Saturday to be prepared for an emergency state committee meeting in the near future to discuss Collins’s vote.  Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana was quickly censured by his state party, as was Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina in a vote just yesterday.

 

Fire Destroys Garage

 

(Hermon)  A towing company garage in Hermon was completely destroyed by an early morning blaze Tuesday.  Firefighters rushed to Bouchard & Sons Towing, near the Hampden-Hermon town line, around 1:30 a.m. and found flames already shooting through the roof.  Icy conditions which worsened during the early morning hours made battling the blaze even more difficult for firefighters. Hermon Assistant Fire Chief Cody Sullivan tells Star 97.7, no on is hurt, but the garage and its contents are a total loss.  The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.

 

Bill to Protect Motorists from Snow/Ice

 

(Augusta)  If you’ve driven in Maine in the winter, you’ve no doubt had to dodge flying ice and snow from other vehicles.  Although motorists are required to clear snow from windshields and side mirrors, there’s no rule about clearing roofs, and that flying debris can prove fatal.  The issue has prompted State Representative Dustin White of Mars Hill to submit a bill that mandates the removal of snow and ice from vehicles, giving law enforcement officials more power to keep the public safe.  The bill requires prior approval from the Legislative Council in order for a public hearing and full consideration by the Legislature.  The Council is scheduled to meet on the issue on February 18th.

 

Veterans Ice Fishing Event

(Dedham) Maine veterans who want to participate in an outdoor experience can sign up for The Maine Veterans Project ice fishing trip.  The event is set for March 13th from 9 to 3 at Camp Capella in Dedham.  Maine Veterans Project President Doc Goodwin told WABI-TV the event will be a safe, comfortable and accommodating experience.  It’s the first event of the group’s new recreation program designed to offer indoor and outdoor recreational services to vets.  For more information, visit Maine Veterans Project on Facebook.

 

Sports

 

  • Boston Celtics 112  Denver Nuggets 99 (Jaylen Brown 27-points)
  • The Celtics host the Atlanta Hawks tonight.
  • The Red Sox have signed relief pitcher Hirokazu Sawamura who has played 10-years in Japanese baseball.