Nomination Papers Due in Ellsworth
(Ellsworth) The deadline for submitting nomination papers for local elections in Ellsworth is a week from Friday. The Ellsworth American reports there are two open seats on City Council, currently held by Heather Grindle and John Phillips. Four people have taken nomination papers, but the newspaper reports only John Linnehan has returned his. Open seats for the Ellsworth School Board include a three year seat currently held by Abigail Miller and a one-year seat held by Muneer Hasham. Miller returned her papers on August 31st.
(Ellsworth) Seats are open on the City Council, School Board, and for Library Trustees in the City of Ellsworth; but the deadline for submitting nomination papers is a week from tomorrow (today). The Ellsworth American reports nomination papers with at least 50 and no more than 100 signatures must be submitted to the City Clerk by 5 p.m. on September 17th. There are two open seats on City Council, a three-year and a one-year seat open on the school board, and two three year seats open for Library Trustees. Several potential candidates have taken out papers but few have returned them. Star 97.7 spoke with the City Clerk’s office who reports as of Thursday afternoon, only John Linnehan had returned papers for City Council, and only Abigail Miller had returned papers for School Board. Miller is a current Board member.
Ellsworth Autumn Gold Seeks Volunteers
(Ellsworth) The Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce is seeking volunteers to help with Autumn Gold Weekend! Volunteers are needed for the Car Show at Home Depot and on the Waterfront at Harbor Park on Saturday, September 25th. If you’re interested, stop by the Chamber office at 151 High Street or call them at 667-5584.
RSU 24 Board Approves Remote Learning Plan
(Sullivan) The RSU 24 School Board has approved the District’s COVID remote learning plan. Superintendent Michael Eastman and the leadership committee were tasked with completing the plan at a recent board meeting when the board voted for mask-wearing to be optional this school year, in spite of the surge in COVID cases. Remote students will work with a liaison at their individual schools through EdOptions Academy, a remote schooling plan taught by Maine certified teachers. RSU 24 includes the communities of Sullivan, Eastbrook, Franklin, Gouldsboro, Mariaville, Steuben, Sorrento, Waltham, and Winter Harbor. Details of the plan can be found on the RSU 24 website.
Letter Implores Biden Admin to Rescind Lobster Fishing Restrictions
(Augusta) A bipartisan letter signed by more than 150 legislators from across the state calls on the Biden Administration to rescind a recent order designed to protect the endangered Atlantic right whale. In addition to other new, stringent regulations, the order closes a nearly 1,000 square mile area to traditional lobster fishing practices between October and January – prime time for the industry. The letter was initiated by Representative Billy Bob Faulkingham of Winter Harbor, himself a lobsterman. Among other arguments, the letter points out there has been no documented right whale entanglement in Maine lobster gear in more than 17 years, and the Maine lobster fishery has never been known to kill or seriously injure the endangered mammals.
Ellsworth Man Injured in Motorcycle Crash
(Surry) An Ellsworth man was injured Wednesday shortly before 5 p.m. when his motorcycle rear ended a Ford Ranger on North Bend Road in Surry. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports to Star 97.7, 29 yo Joshuah Murray of Surry had slowed to make a turn when he was rear-ended by a motorcycle operated by 62 yo Robert Locke of Ellsworth. Locke was transported to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Buckfield Man Indicted in Infant’s Death
(Buckfield) A Buckfield man has been indicted for the July 2020 murder of his infant daughter. Maine State Police report to Star 97.7, 27 yo Trevor Averill, formerly of Turner, is charged with depraved indifference murder and manslaughter. Deputies were called to a home on North Parish Road in Turner on July 22, 2020 on the report of a two-month old infant who was in medical distress. The deputies attempted CPR on Harper Averill, who was then transported to Portland where she ultimately died of other injuries. Averill was arrested at his home on Wednesday.
Maine Leads New England in COVID Cases
(Augusta) Maine’s statewide surge in COVID-19 cases has given it the dubious distinction as having a statewide case rate now higher than any other New England State. The Bangor Daily News reports while the case rate is still 15th lowest nationally, some counties are experiencing higher transmission than most U.S. states. Aroostook and Piscataquis counties have seen more per capita cases than the majority of U.S. states, with infection levels on par with Ohio and South Dakota. An average 10 cases per day were reported in Hancock County, a 38 percent increase from two weeks ago. So far, September has been the month with the highest average cases in Hancock County, which is rated at a very high risk for unvaccinated people, according to the U.S. CDC.
Southwest Harbor Town Manager Rescinds Acceptance
(SW Harbor) The newly-hired town manager of Southwest Harbor has withdrawn his acceptance of the town’s offer. The Bangor Daily News reports Michael Patterson contacted Don Gerrish, a consultant hired to help the town find and hire a new city manager, with the news earlier this week. Patterson reportedly had been fired from a town manager position in Colorado, although officials there declined to say why. Gerrish told the newspaper he and the town select board knew of Patterson’s past involvement in the criminal court system that reportedly involved a 2008 domestic incident to which Patterson pleaded guilty and was ordered to undergo counseling.
COVID-19 Cases Prompt Remote Learning in Hermon
(Hermon) A surge in COVID cases at Hermon High and Middle Schools has prompted the district to switch to remote learning. WABI-TV reports a letter from the Superintendent informed parents of 13 cases at the middle school and 21 cases at the high school. There will be no school for students in grades 5 through 12 on Friday, with virtual classes beginning Monday. Hermon’s elementary school will remain in regular sessions.
NL/Blue Hill Reopens Testing Sites
(Ellsworth/Blue Hill) Recent outbreaks have prompted a change in Northern Light Blue Hill and Maine Coast Hospitals’ COVID-19 testing process starting tomorrow (Friday). Maine Coast Hospital is reopening their testing building in the parking lot across from the hospital at 50 Union Street Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until Noon. Blue Hill Hospital is utilizing the testing building on their campus weekdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Testing is available by appointment only for those who are symptomatic or asymptomatic with an exposure. State ordered testing sites can no longer accept or process samples for people looking for pre-travel or event clearance due to the current volume of testing.
COVID Patient Numbers Reach Record High on Thursday
(Maine) The number of COVID-19 patients in critical care and on ventilators reached a record high in Maine on Thursday. WMTW reports the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists 193 people hospitalized, with 74 in the ICU and 38 on ventilators. One month ago, 47 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, with 23 in the ICU and 9 on ventilators. The recent surge is being fueled by the delta variant and state officials say the unvaccinated are being hit hardest.
Move Over Demonstration
(Bangor) Move Over laws, requiring drivers to move over or slow down when approaching stopped emergency and public service vehicles with flashing lights activated, are in effect in every state, including Maine. Despite the law and ongoing education, Public Safety Spokesperson Shannon Moss reports emergency responders are seeing an increase in drivers who fail to follow such laws. On Friday, September 10th, the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety will team up with Maine State Police and the Bangor Fire Department to speak about the law and demonstrate in real time how the law is not always followed by motorists. Demonstrations will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the I-95 overpass on Chase Road in Bangor and at 10:30 in Wells at the I-95 overpass on Coles Hill Road.
Yellow Tulip Project
(Maine) Friday (Today) is World Suicide Prevention Day. It’s no secret, there’s been a rise in suicide across all ages. Five years ago, a Maine teen started the Yellow Tulip Project. Director of Public Relations Conrad Gabriel tells Star 97.7, the group s dedicated to spreading hope and reminding others they are never alone in their suffering. (((Tulip 1 “…about combatting the rising rates of suicide.” :25))) Yellow represents a favorite color of one of Julia’s friends who died, and tulips were the favorite of the other. You can learn more and connect with The Yellow Tulip Project Community on Facebook.
(Maine) September is Suicide Awareness Month. Conrad Gabriel is Director of Public Relations for the Suicide Prevention Group The Yellow Tulip Project. Gabriel tells Star 97.7, the statistics are sobering. (((Tulip 2 “…has gone up 35% since 1999.” :22))) Gabriel says suicide rates in marginalized communities, like the LGBTQ+ community, are even higher. The goal of The Yellow Tulip Project, which was started by a Maine teenager, is to smash the stigma surrounding depression and other forms of mental illness. You can connect with them on FB.
(Maine) Depression, mental illness, suicide – Friday (today) is World Suicide Prevention Day. Director of Public Relations for The Yellow Tulip Project Conrad Gabriel tells Star 97.7, the group began five years ago in Maine and works to smash the stigma through FB tips, volunteers in schools, and their Back to School Care Kits. (((Tulip 3 “…like Back to School advice.” :22))) Gabriel said the group sent the kits to over 400 ambassadors, complete with journals, and they contain specific, relevant advice for young people often facing a world of pressures and problems.
(Maine) September is Suicide Awareness Month, and Conrad Gabriel, Director of Public Relations for the Yellow Tulip Project, tells Star 97.7, people feeling depressed often feel alone and isolated. But Gabriel says, there’s always someone to support you. (((Tulip 4 “…from seeing them or talking to them about it.” :25))) Gabriel said never be afraid of the consequences. If you need help, reach out for it. The Yellow Tulip Project welcomes you to connect with them through their FB page, and Gabriel says someone will always reach back out to YOU.
UBM Toy Run
(Windsor) Who says it’s too early for Christmas? Robbie Perkins, Coordinator of the 2021 United Bikers of Maine Toy Run tells Star 97.7, this weekend is the perfect time to start collecting for needy kids. (((Toy 1 “…split ‘em all up and distribute ‘em.” :23))) Perkins says the toys all go to kids in the state of Maine, distributed to all the counties. This year, they’ve also invited Jeep Clubs, Car and Truck Clubs to participate, and he says there’s plenty of parking at the Windsor Fairgrounds.
(Windsor) Get your Christmas cheer on and support a great cause this Sunday. For nearly 40 years, the United Bikers of Maine have collected new, unwrapped toys to be distributed throughout the entire state for needy children at Christmas. This year’s event is Sunday, September 12th from 10 until 4 at the Windsor Fairgrounds. Toy Run Coordinator Robbie Perkins tells Star 97.7, this year’s run is more inclusive than ever. (((Toy 2 “…we have plenty of parking; come on down!” :09))) Get your motorcycle, car, jeep, or truck buddies together and head to Windsor this Sunday for a great ride and a truly great cause.
The Red Sox only needed two runs last night to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1. Red Sox currently second in the American League East.
(AP) The Justice Department is suing Texas over a new state law that bans most abortions, arguing it was enacted “in open defiance of the Constitution.” The Associated Press reports the lawsuit, filed today (Thursday) in federal court in Texas, asks a federal judge to declare the law invalid, “to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated.” The Texas law, known as SB8, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity — usually around six weeks, before some women know they’re pregnant.
(CNN) President Biden has announced he will impose stringent new vaccine rules on federal workers and large employers in a sweeping attempt to contain the latest surge of COVID-19. CNN reports the President plans to sign an executive order requiring all government employees be vaccinated against COVID-19, with no option of being regularly tested to opt out. The President will also sign an executive order directing the same standard extended to employees of contractors who do business with the federal government and will direct the Labor Department to draft a new emergency rule requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees ensure all their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week or face thousands of dollars in fines per employee, according to a senior administration official.