(Frenchville) Authorities now believe the fire that destroyed much of the Dr. Levesque Elementary School in Frenchville on Sunday was electrical in nature. Public Safety Spokesperson Shannon Moss reports to Star 97.7 the Frenchville Fire Department was called to the school just before 7 a.m. Sunday morning and arrived to find heavy smoke pouring from the roof. Investigators returned to the school on Monday and have determined the fire started in a space in the wall and ceiling between the gym and nursing station, where several electrical components may have contributed to the cause of the blaze. The fire destroyed the main portion of the school, known as the White Wing, which included the gym and some classrooms. The Fire Department was able to save the portion of the school known as the Red Wing, which included the original building and an addition built in the 1980’s.
(Frenchville) Fire investigators have determined the fire that roared through the Dr. Levesque Elementary School in Frenchville on Sunday started in a void in the wall and ceiling between the gym and nursing station. Although heavy damage to the building made it impossible to pinpoint an exact cause, officials say there were several electrical components in the area which likely contributed to the cause. The fire was called in shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday and totally destroyed a wing containing the gymnasium and classrooms. Firefighters were able to save the portion of the school known as the Red Wing, which included the original building and an addition built in the 1980’s.
State Reports Second Case of Powassan (Augusta) The Maine Center for Disease Control has confirmed the state’s second case of Powassan virus infection in 2021. Laboratory tests confirmed the case in a Knox County resident, who likely contracted the tick-borne virus in June. Cases of Powassan are rare in the U.S., with about 25 cases reported each year since 2015. The state’s first case this year was in late June in a Waldo County resident who is recovering after spending time in the hospital. The disease is contracted from the bite of a deer or woodchuck tick. Maine has identified 10 cases of Powassan since 2010.
Maine State Police Awards Ceremony (Augusta) A ceremony to recognize past and present members of the Maine State Police, both civilian and sworn members, and citizens of Maine who have gone above and beyond what is expected is set for Wednesday, July 28th. Awards will include Trooper of the Year, Legendary Trooper, Leadership Award, Wounds Received, Bravery, and the Colonel’s Award. Those honored at the 10 AM ceremony tomorrow in Vassalboro include a motorist who stopped to help a driver with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a Trooper who spent 45 minutes with an emotionally distraught young man whose mother later said had likely saved her son’s life.
Powerball Winner (Portsmouth, NH) Someone in northern New England is a million dollars richer today. A Powerball ticket worth a million bucks in Saturday’s drawing was sold at the Cabot Street Market in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, just a mile from the Maine border – and a town where many Mainers visit and do business. The ticket matched all five winning numbers of 1, 4, 11, 59, and 67 but not the Powerball number of 10. Six stores in the Granite state have sold winning Powerball tickets worth a million dollars or more this year.
Affordable Housing Crisis (Maine) Lack of quality affordable housing in Maine is nothing new, especially in coastal communities. But experts say the problem is quickly worsening and the pandemic has intensified the demand for housing as out-of-staters buy up real estate in a land where COVID numbers remained relatively low. The Bangor Daily News reports even families with two good incomes find they can no longer afford to live in the communities where they’ve planted roots. The statewide median monthly cost for a two-bedroom rental is over a thousand dollars a month, and the median home price has climbed to $255,000. Maine doesn’t have enough new affordable housing being built, even though Maine Housing is working on it. In order to respond effectively to the trend, Maine needs about 25,000 more affordable housing units, according to a 2020 report.
DaPont String Quartet at EPL (new) (Ellsworth) A week from Thursday, the Ellsworth Public Library will host the DaPonte String Quartet performing a tribute to Maine’s Bicentennial. Entitled “Maine’s 200th: Music of Early Maine”, the program highlights significant events along Maine’s pre-statehood timeline, with selected music to share some of the cultural influences. The free concert will take place after hours from 5-7 p.m. on the library’s main floor. Registration is recommended to reserve a seat and can be done on the library’s website. Masks are required for the event.
Yard Sale to Benefit Civil Air Patrol (new) (Hulls Cove) The Colony Cottages – you know the ones, right across from the water at 20 Route 3 in Hulls Cove – are getting a makeover. An exciting new renovation this Fall will lead to a reopening as the Summer Salt Cottages in the Spring of 2022. But what to do with all that current furniture and equipment? Owner Tim Harrington has donated the contents of the cottages to be sold at an August 7th Yard Sale to benefit the local Bar Harbor Civil Air Patrol Squadron. Rain or shine, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day, you’ll find chairs, tables, dressers, flat screen TVs, microwaves, refrigerators, stoves, couches and living room chairs. The event will be staffed and run by Civil Air Patrol volunteers and cadets, who’ll be on hand to help you load up your purchases. Water and hot dogs available for donations as well. That’s Saturday, August 7th, from 7 to 3 at Colony Cottages in Hulls Cove.
July is Now Blueberry Month (AP/Washington, DC) It’s no longer just Maine – the blueberry has gone national. Well, no one can compete with Maine’s wild blueberries; but the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a resolution to designate July as “National Blueberry Month”. The resolution was co-sponsored by Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins and Independent Senator Angus King. The wild blueberry is Maine’s state berry, and the state is the only commercial producer of the fruit in the U.S.
Dexter Man Jailed for Shooting at Police Officer (Dexter) A Dexter man is in jail, accused of shooting at a police officer. WABI-TV reports police went to a home on Mill Street in Dexter just after Midnight this (Monday) morning after a woman said there was a person she didn’t know behind her house. When the officer arrived, 54-year-old Robert Chandler allegedly shot at him from a nearby home. The officer was hit by debris from a ricocheting bullet but was unhurt. The officer was able to arrest Chandler and charged him with aggravated reckless conduct. Chandler is being held without bail in the Penobscot County Jail.
Cross Insurance Center Goes Live (Bangor) From a vaccination clinic to a bunch of bull … Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center this weekend returned to live events for the first time in almost 18 months. Professional Bull Riders had sold out the Center multiple times over the last few years, and Friday through Sunday performed to the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd. Upcoming events range from the Bangor State Fair in August to a Pink Floyd type show to Cirque Dreams Holidaze planned for December. Visit the Cross Insurance Center’s website for a complete list of events.
Western Wildfires’ Smoke Reaches Maine (Maine) Smoke from the wildfires in the western U.S. and Canada is creating air quality problems in Maine. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection said the air quality is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups and is expected to remain so through Tuesday evening. People with heart or lung disease, the elderly, teens and the very young are encouraged to reduce exertion while outside. If indoors, close windows and circulate indoor air with a fan or air conditioner. The Maine DEP reports the fires in Canada are the main source of the smoke across the Pine Tree State. Steve McKay says a cold front will move through Tuesday afternoon, bringing thunderstorms that should help clear out the smoke.
Bangor Airport Traffic Resumes (Bangor) Travelers are flying high from Bangor once again. Bangor International Airport reports passenger levels have returned to those of 2019 as travelers become more comfortable, and COVID-19 restrictions ease. According to the Bangor Daily News, although 2021 exact numbers have yet to be released, June and July 2019 figures show just over 61,000 and just over 74,000 people traveled through the Bangor Airport during those months, respectively.
Wilton Crash (Wilton) Six people were injured Monday when a loaded dump truck rolled onto a car in Wilton. The crash happened around 11 a.m. on Route 2 near the intersection with Jay Street. All five people in the car, including three children, were taken to a hospital in Farmington. An adult passenger was then Life-flighted to another hospital. The driver of the dump truck was also injured in the crash and transported to the hospital in Farmington. The crash remains under investigation.
Milford Drug Arrests (Milford) Agents arrested at least 12 people and recovered drugs and firearms in an arrest Monday night in Milford. Authorities say an ongoing investigation led Maine State Police , the Maine State Warden Service, and Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team to execute a search warrant at a residence on Water Street that resulted in the arrests. Few other details were available.
Mother Indicted in Toddler’s Death (Waldo County) A Waldo County Grand Jury has indicted a Stockton Springs mother of depraved indifference murder in the death of her son, 3-year-old Maddox Williams. 35-year-old Jessica Trefethen and her mother had taken Maddox to Waldo County General Hospital on June 20th where he was pronounced dead. Trefethen claimed his injuries stemmed from rough play with his siblings, but an autopsy revealed a fractured spine, internal bleeding, and other injuries consistent with ongoing abuse. No word on when Trefethen will be arraigned.
(Ellsworth) Pack the Backpack The stores are supplied, the sales have started – time to start thinking back to school with this Saturday’s annual “Pack the Backpack” event. Star 97.7 will have a bus in front of Hannaford’s from 10 until 1 on Saturday, and our goal is to pack that bus with pens and pencils, notebooks, binders, crayons, colored pencils, glue, masks – homemade or commercial -, scissors; you get the idea. All things needed to ensure our kids ALL go back to school well prepared. Thanks in advance for the generosity this community shares every year.
(Ellsworth) This Saturday, you’ll see a big yellow bus parked in front of the Ellsworth Hannaford. It’s the annual “Pack the Backpack” event, and Star 97.7 has teamed up with Ellsworth City Schools to make sure no one goes back to school without all those necessary supplies. You’ll find a list of supplies on our FB page, and we hope you’ll stop by and contribute if you can.
- Red Sox rally late in the game for the second time in a row to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4. Teams meet again tonight.
- Olympics – today, first round of women’s soccer tournament, USA Australia
- S. brings home the gold in Women’s Shortboard surfing, with USA’s Carissa Moore beating out South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag.
- Women’s Artistic Gymnastics all around event (began at 6:45 a.m.)
- Women’s Basketball tournament prelims, USA advances over Nigeria 81-72.