Body Found   (Port Clyde) – A 54-year old Knox County fisherman has died and the Marine Patrol is investigating.  Searcher found 54-year old Travis Thorbjornson’s body in Port Clyde harbor during the weekend.  His skiff was spotted adrift in the harbor earlier in the day, and a massive search followed.  The Medical Examiner’s office […]

Star 97.7 - Smooth Rock n' Roll Local News - March 29, 2021 - Star 97.7
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Local News – March 29, 2021

Body Found


(Port Clyde) – A 54-year old Knox County fisherman has died and the Marine Patrol is investigating.  Searcher found 54-year old Travis Thorbjornson’s body in Port Clyde harbor during the weekend.  His skiff was spotted adrift in the harbor earlier in the day, and a massive search followed.  The Medical Examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy on Thorbjornson.


Collins Censure Rejected


(Bangor) – Republicans have opted not to censure the only GOP Congressional office holder in New England.  Senator Susan Collins faced censure after voting to convict former President Donald Trump in his 2nd impeachment trial following the Capitol building riot in January.  Collins won re-election to the US Senate last November, despite Maine voting overwhelmingly in favor of Democrat Joe Biden for President, and being outspent in the most expensive campaign in state history.  Only 19 of the 60 GOP members present at a party committee meeting this weekend opted for censure.


Triple Killer Venue


(Machias) – A Northfield man who allegedly killed three people more than a year ago in the Machias area remains in jail awaiting his trial.  The Bangor Daily News reports it’s likely that the court in Washington County will not hear the case, but the trial instead will move to Bangor because of extensive publicity.  Thomas Bonfanti, who is 64 years old, is charged with three counts of murder.  He allegedly shot two people in Machias and one in Jonesboro to death in February 2020.  Police arrested him outside the American Legion Hall shortly after the shootings.


Hermon Party Arrest

(Hermon) – A 17-year old who is on probation faces charges after he allegedly stole a car at a party in Hermon and rammed a Deputy Sheriff’s police cruiser during the weekend.  The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department responded to the Fuller Road late Friday night after getting reports of a large party and an attempt to steal a neighbor’s vehicle.  A responding deputy pulled into a neighboring drive and the teen backed a Jeep into the cruiser.  One deputy was injured and the teenage party host faces charges as well.


York Murder


(York) – A brutal killing on a beach in York left a Massachusetts woman dead and her partner in jail charged with murder.  Local police responded to Short Sands Beach after receiving several 9-1-1 calls about the assault.  They found 35-year old Rhonda Pattelena’s body behind a rock and arrested 33-year old Jeffrey Buchanan.  State Police spokeswoman Shannon Moss reports to Star 97.7 that she died from blunt force trauma to the head.  Buchanan is held without bail pending a court appearance sometime this week.  The couple had one child together who was not at the scene.


Couch Potato .0006K


(Ellsworth)  It’s a “mash” made in heaven – a short, flat, sweet course, a small donation, and a wide open opportunity to run anytime between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on April 1st. The Sixth Annual Couch Potato Masked .0006K is planned for Thursday  Participants are guaranteed not to be “fried” or even “whipped” at the end of the not-so-grueling course, and won’t go away half-baked either because they get a cool butter-yellow t-shirt and a chance for a selfie with the potato himself.  And there’s the gravy on top – the race entry fee is just ten bucks.  Participant’s can sign up at the Downeast Family Y or on their website.


Capacity Limits Increase

(Augusta)  Capacity limits increased to 50% Friday for bars, restaurants and other indoor establishments and to 75% capacity for outdoor spaces.  Bars and tasting rooms can also now resume indoor service.  Safety guidelines such as mask wearing and social distancing remain in effect, but venues can expand service if they have the space.  Capacity limits increase to 75% for indoor and to 100% for outdoor venues on May 24th.


Norridgewock Shooting [May be updates over the weekend]

(Norridgewock)  A Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy is on paid administrative leave after he shot a man early Friday morning in Norridgewock.  The incident took place at Cumberland Farms, where the Maine Attorney General’s office tells Star 97.7 the deputy shot a person at the store.  Authorities aren’t releasing many details but say the shooting was non-fatal.  The Maine Attorney General’s Office continues to investigate.



Lincoln Shooter Arraigned

(Bangor)  A Lincoln man accused of killing his mother last summer was arraigned in court in Bangor Friday morning.  45-year-old Adam Groves is charged with the murder of 63-year-old Pauline Taylor at her Transalpine Road home last August.  He then posted about the murder on Facebook.  A witness to the shooting said Groves and his mother were both drinking and involved in an argument and that Taylor pointed a gun at Groves before he then got a handgun from his car and shot his mother.  Groves pleaded not guilty, but a judge Friday ordered him to continue being held without bail.


Shooting Dispute

(Hudson)  A late evening dispute between two men Thursday night in Hudson led to shots being fired and left an Old Town man facing numerous charges.  The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office said they received several calls just before 9 p.m. Thursday reporting shots being fired on the Hudson Road.  One caller told Dispatch, 27-year-old Justin Loring of Old Town had shot his vehicle after a verbal dispute.  The victim was able to get away from Loring, but Loring caught up with him and physically assaulted him, then fled.  Police later apprehended Loring, who was arrested and charged with criminal threatening, reckless conduct with a firearm and assault.


School Advisory System Updated

(Augusta)  The color coded health advisory system designed to help schools make learning decisions through the pandemic continued to designate all counties green Friday.  Positivity rates for all counties are below 5 percent, including Piscataquis County which was being closely monitored as of the last update on March 12th.  The designations are provided for the consideration of school administrators in determining the safest way for schools to deliver instruction, whether in person, remote, or a hybrid model incorporating both.


February Workforce Conditions

(Augusta)  Workforce conditions in Maine continued to show gradual improvement in February.  Jobs remained down about 23 percent in the leisure and hospitality sector and down eight percent in public and private education, K-12 and higher ed combined.  But the Maine Department of Labor reports jobs in the professional and business services, construction and manufacturing sectors, each of which lost jobs at the beginning of the pandemic last spring, have mostly recovered.  The unemployment rate dropped from 5.2 to 4.8 percent in February; that’s up 1.7 percent from a year ago.


North Atlantic Right Whale

(Stonington)  The public comment period on proposed regulations for the lobster fishery intended to minimize the risk of entanglement of the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale is now closed, but the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries reports to Star 97.7 the issue received more than 170,000 comments.  Under the proposed new rules, fishermen would be required to use longer strings of traps, depending how far out to sea they are fishing.  Conservationists favor elimination of vertical lines altogether, advocating for devices that rely on a fisherman being able to send an electronic to the string of buoys, triggering an inflatable device to deliver a haul rope to the surface.  Lobstermen say the technology is expensive and unproven and likely not feasible.  NOAA must provide their final proposed rules by May 31st.


Ellsworth Chamber Office Opens

(Ellsworth)  The new Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce Office opens to the public this morning (Monday).  Executive Director Gretchen Wilson tells Star 97.7, the location next to Martha’s Diner on High Street offers new options for displaying business materials to visitors and the community.  The new location will open its doors at 8:30 a.m..


Grief Support Offered

(Ellsworth)  Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County is offering a free online grief support group for those who have lost a loved one.  Meetings will be weekly for eight weeks from April 19th through June 7, with the weekday and time to be determined according to the availability of registered participants.  Grieving during a time of social isolation can be especially challenging, and Hospice Volunteers wants you to know you are not alone.  Register by April 9th by visiting hospice of hancock dot org and clicking on Grief Support.




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