Gouldsboro Town Manager Resigns   (Gouldsboro) – For a 3rd time in 3-years, the Town of Gouldsboro is searching for a new town manager.  Current manager Andrea Sirois has told Selectmen she will not renew her contract when it expires in June.  Sirois cited the Coronavirus situation and a desire to be closer to her […]

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Local News – March 26, 2021

Gouldsboro Town Manager Resigns

 

(Gouldsboro) – For a 3rd time in 3-years, the Town of Gouldsboro is searching for a new town manager.  Current manager Andrea Sirois has told Selectmen she will not renew her contract when it expires in June.  Sirois cited the Coronavirus situation and a desire to be closer to her family.  The office reopened Monday after closing down a little over a week ago due to a virus exposure.  The town’s police department has also been in turmoil.  The town hired Sirois last spring.

 

Mail Theft

 

(Bangor) – A former mail carrier from Hancock faces up to 5-years in prison and a big fine after pleading guilty to stealing money from the mail.  The US Attorney’s Office reports to Star 97.7 that 35-year old Daniel Hindes entered the guilty plea this week in federal court.  Between November 2019 and March 2020 Hinds would open the mail he was delivering for the Bar Harbor Post Office and swipe cash and gift cards, then throw the mail away.  He’ll be sentenced later.

 

Franklin Pot Vote

(Franklin) – Voters in Franklin decide today whether the town will allow sales of medicinal marijuana.  An ordinance endorsed by the Planning Board places some severe restrictions on shops that offer pot for sale for medical purposes, including a 200-foot setback from abutting property lines.  The Ellsworth American reports a license will cost $5-thousand dollars, similar to what’s charged in Maine’s largest cities.  Voting today is from noon until 7PM.

 

Builder Indicted

 

 

(Augusta) – A former building contractor in the Midcoast faces criminal charges for ripping off his customers.  The Maine Attorney General’s Office reports to Star 97.7 that a grand jury in Knox County indicted 56-year old Malcolm Stewart who operated Castle Builders.  Stewart would collect down payments from customers, then never perform the work.  Two customers allegedly loaned Stewart money that he never repaid.  Castle Builders closed in 2019 and Stewart moved to South Carolina.  A civil lawsuit against him is still pending.

 

Economic/Tourism Outlook 2021

 

(Ellsworth)  The hospitality industry in Maine is already seeing signs of bouncing back in 2021, which means there will be plenty of opportunities for those looking for a job.  Maine Tourism Association Board Member Brian Langley tells Star 97.7, the industry offers free training with digital badging. Langley said when the training launched on the Hospitality Maine website last year, 150 people signed up the first weekend, and by the end of the season more than 4,000 had taken the free training.

 

Updated Guidelines for Summer Camps, Restaurants

 

(Augusta)  Seated food and drink establishments in Maine are once again permitted to have buffets and self-service food stations.  The Mills Administration Wednesday released new pandemic guidelines for restaurants and summer camps.  The newly-relaxed rules also allow bar areas to remain open after the kitchen closes.  Rules for day and overnight camps have been eased to allow for all sessions and lengths to operate, with each facility urged to develop a COVID-19 testing strategy.

 

Bar Harbor “Name That Snow Plow”

(Bar Harbor)  Bar Harbor has decided to put a little fun into bleak Maine winters. The town is asking for entries to name its sanding and snow plow trucks.  The contest originated in Scotland and has been spreading its way through New England    Such names as Grit Expectations, Gritty-Gritty Bang-Bang, and Han Snow-lo have made the cut across the pond.  The Bar Harbor Town Council will accept naming entries through April 15th and can be emailed to town council.

 

Southwest Harbor Seventh in Top Grossing Ports

(SW Harbor)  The town of Southwest Harbor has taken seventh place on the state’s Department of Marine Resources’ list of top 10 ports by value.  The Mount Desert Islander reports fishermen bringing their catch ashore there brought in a total cash value of $11,630,000.  Former Harbormaster Adam Thurston remarked he had noticed more unfamiliar commercial fishing vessels in the harbor last summer and that many people are now coming in from other towns to sell their catch.  The town boasts a newer lobster buyer, drawing fishermen from Bar Harbor and Mount Desert to offload their catch, which them benefited the fishermen by sparking competition from a similar business across the harbor.

 

Drug Overdose Data Released

(Augusta)  Drugs caused 45 deaths in Maine in February, with 27 of those confirmed drug deaths and 18 suspected. Those statistics released Thursday by the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner.  The most frequent cause of death in these cases is non-pharmaceutical fentanyl.  Attorney General Aaron Frey said February’s numbers are an important reminder of the opioid crisis’s continued grip on the state and on the country and highlight the need to work proactively to see that people are connected with the resources they need to treat substance use disorder.

 

Northern Light MCBH Hospital Opens Vaccination Clinic in Ellsworth

(Ellsworth)  The Northern Light Maine Coast and Blue Hill Hospital will open its Ellsworth vaccination clinic and begin administering vaccines next Thursday.  Director of Communications Kelley Anne Columber tells Star 97.7, the clinic is located on High Street in the Shaw’s/Reny’s Shopping Plaza.  Volunteers are needed.  If interested, visit covid dot northern light health dot org slash volunteer.

 

DOL Unemployment Figures

(Augusta)  The Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1400 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance for the week ending March 20th – down 500 from the previous week – and 300 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.   In just the last year, Maine DOL has paid out over two billion dollars in federal and state unemployment benefits with over 3 point 6 million weekly certifications filed.  Persons receiving unemployment insurance benefits must be registered on the Maine JobLink, which includes a weekly newsletter for job seekers highlighting opportunities and training.

 

Hepatitis Exposure

(Orono)  The Maine CDC has identified a case of acute hepatitis A in an Orono food service worker.  The person handled food in the Circle K at 2 Stillwater Avenue in Orono while infectious on the following dates – March 6-9, March 13-16, and March 20-21, and the CDC says some store patrons may be at risk.  There is a 14-day window after exposure during which a hepatitis A vaccine is effective, so anyone exposed March 6-9 is outside the window and should watch for symptoms, and anyone exposed should seek medical attention promptly.

 

Blue Hill to Get New Hospital Building

(Blue Hill) – Blue Hill is getting a new hospital building.   Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2022 with the new building.  The Ellsworth American reports the new hospital will have a full-service emergency department, laboratory, imaging, rehabilitation services and primary and select specialty care.  The facility will also allow for patients to have private rooms.  The current hospital was built in 1922.  Ground breaking for the new building is anticipated to take place next year.

 

 

Ellsworth Door Dash

(Ellsworth)  Door Dash delivery stalled a bit when it first rolled into Ellsworth on February 23rd.  In fact, the Ellsworth American reports service was so rough initially, Wicked Munchies dropped the service the day it launched, citing incorrect prices and failed food deliveries.  A lack of drivers and technical issues added to the bumpy start.  The bugs have reportedly since been worked out, and as of last week, McDonald’s, KFC, Governor’s, Wendy’s and Aroma Joe’s in Ellsworth were using the service, along with Walgreen’s offering snack food and beverages.  Ellsworth area residents can access the service at Door Dash dot com.  While there’s not a delivery charge, restaurant prices may be higher than the standard prices.

 

 

Collins Condemned

(AP/Bangor)  Republican Senator Susan Collins may be a native daughter in Aroostook County, but that didn’t stop GOP leaders there from delivering a rebuke over her vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial.  The delegation signed a resolution last weekend “vigorously condemning” the senator’s actions.  The Maine Republican Party is set to meet Saturday morning, and Collins could face further censure.  The Senator, described as the most bipartisan in the U.S. Senate, has said she upheld her constitutional duty to render “impartial justice.”

 

Vaccine Update

(Augusta)  Maine will receive 45,200 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine next week.  A breakdown of vaccines shows 13,700 doses of Moderna – that number remains flat, 23,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine – up 3,510 doses from last week, and 8,100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, up 6,500 doses over last week.  Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said the numbers do not include a separate direct federal allocation to retail pharmacies and qualifying health care facilities.  Those numbers are usually released on the weekend.

 

Sports

 

  • The Celtics have obtained Evan Fournier from the Orlando Magic for Jeff Teague and two draft picks.  Boston also traded away Daniel Theiss to the Bulls for Mo Wagner and Luke Kornet
  • NY Islanders 4  Boston Bruins 3 (OT)
  • (Spring Training) – Minnesota Twins 7  Boston Red Sox 4

High School Volleyball

Ellsworth  3  Brewer 1

George Stevens 3  Jonesport Beals 0

Washington Academy 3  Calais 0

Woodland 3  Lee Academy 0

Today:  MDI @ Bucksport, Sumner @ George Stevens