Arrest Made in Biddeford Killing (AP/Biddeford)   The owner of an apartment house in Biddeford was fatally shot and a suspect  arrested hours later in New Hampshire. Officials say the U.S. Marshal Service’s Maine Violent Offender Task Force arrested 30-year-old Randal Hennessy, of Biddeford, without incident Tuesday night in Durham, New Hampshire. Police were alerted to […]

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Local News 09/15/21

Arrest Made in Biddeford Killing

(AP/Biddeford)   The owner of an apartment house in Biddeford was fatally shot and a suspect  arrested hours later in New Hampshire. Officials say the U.S. Marshal Service’s Maine Violent Offender Task Force arrested 30-year-old Randal Hennessy, of Biddeford, without incident Tuesday night in Durham, New Hampshire. Police were alerted to the shooting shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. The victim, 31-year-old Douglas Michaud, of Biddeford, died on the porch of the building. The Portland Press Herald reports property records show Michaud was the owner of the multi-unit building.

Jackson Tests Positive for COVID-19

(AP/Augusta)  Maine Senate President Troy Jackson has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the highest-ranking state official in state government to contract the virus. Jackson, who is fully vaccinated, said he is isolating after testing positive in Augusta. He said he is not experiencing symptoms but decided to take a test after learning a close contact had the virus. Several other state lawmakers have contracted the virus. U.S. Sen. Angus King also experienced a breakthrough infection and has since recovered. New cases of the coronavirus in Maine have risen by nearly 70% from two weeks ago.

Murder Conviction Overturned in Machete Killing

(AP/Portland)  Maine’s Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a man accused of killing his neighbor with a machete in 2016. The court ruled Tuesday that police violated Bruce Akers’ rights and that a judge should have suppressed evidence and statements gathered by police. Akers was sentenced to 38 years in prison for killing the victim in Limington in 2016, following an argument about allegations of stolen alcohol. Douglas Flint’s body was hidden under a pile of deer carcasses.

Maine’s Fisheries Push Back on New Restrictions

(AP/Portland)  The head of Maine’s fisheries department is making the case that endangered right whales face numerous threats that have nothing to do with the lobster fishing industry. Maine’s lobster fishing industry is the subject of numerous new restrictions as part of a federal government push to save the North Atlantic right whale. The whales number only about 360, and the mammals are vulnerable to lethal entanglement in fishing gear. Maine Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher says more weight needs to be given to other threats facing the whales, such as low birth rates and ship strikes.

SPCA Spay/Neuter Spots Open

(Trenton)  The SPCA of Hancock County has spots open for male and female cats at their upcoming spay/neuter clinic for low income families.  Dog appointments are fully booked for the September 29th thru October 1st clinic, but this is a great opportunity to save lives, cut down on overpopulation, and take advantage of affordable care for those kitties.  To register, visit spca hancock county dot org.

Fright at the Fort Cancelled

(Prospect)  The Coronavirus is haunting this year’s Halloween.  Friends of Fort Knox in Prospect say Fright at the Fort will again be cancelled in 2021, due to the virus.  The Grand in Ellsworth is, however, currently planning a third year of Terror Theatre, which WAS held last year with safety protocols in place.  This year’s chilling event will have a carnival theme that will take you on one scary ride.  Stay tuned for all the creepy details.

(Prospect)  The coronavirus has just about everyone spooked, including the Friends of Fort Knox in Prospect.  According to the Fort Knox FB page, Fright at the Fort will be cancelled again in 2021, due to virus concerns.  Event organizers say they hope to be back in 2022, and volunteers who wish to be part of next year’s event can write them at info at fort knox maine dot com.

Town of Sullivan Offices Closed Thursday

(Sullivan)  The Town of Sullivan Office will be closed all day tomorrow (Thursday) for staff training.  The town reminds residents re-registrations and hunting and fishing licenses can be completed online at Sullivan maine dot org – just follow the links.

COVID Cases in Maine Schools

(Maine)  Nearly a thousand cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Maine schools so far this month.  The Bangor Daily News reports Education Commissioner Pender Makin as saying Maine is dealing with a perfect storm of factors, including more testing and more students inside classrooms this year, along with having to battle the highly contagious delta variant.  While several schools have switched to remote learning, Makin said the Department of Education is not looking at any type of wholesale school shutdowns, but is working diligently with districts to provide information and support. The CDC reports Mainers younger than 20 now make up nearly half the state’s cases of COVID-19.

Brewer Opens Door for Adult Use Marijuana

(Brewer)  The City of Brewer will now allow adult use marijuana, after City Council passed an order amending the land use code, zoning districts, and performance standards to allow adult use marijuana for retail and testing.  WABI-TV reports the zoning change allows for shops to set up in the professional business zone in the area of Dirigo Drive, where a medical marijuana dispensary is already doing business.

Husson Distinguished Speaker Series

(Bangor)  Husson University is offering a new Distinguished Speaker Series to educate students, alumni, and community members on the challenges facing businesses and related professions and to inspire future leaders. While the series is free and open to the public, seating is limited, due to concerns about COVID-19.  The first speaker is U.S. Senator Susan Collins, scheduled for Thursday, September 16th, from noon until 1 p.m.  Register in advance through Husson University to receive an email confirmation.  Masks must be worn by attendees.

Penobscot Nation Awarded Funds to Combat Domestic Violence Against Women

(Portland)  The Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women has awarded more than $433,000 to the Penobscot Indian Nation to support the tribe in exercising jurisdiction over individuals who commit crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, or violating certain protection orders on tribal lands.  Prior to a 2013 Act, if a victim was Indian and the perpetrator was non-Indian, the crime could generally only be prosecuted by the United States.  Acting U.S. Attorney Donald Clark congratulated the Penobscot Nation on securing the funds that will enable tribal leaders to more effectively combat domestic violence on tribal lands, regardless of the ethnicity of the perpetrators.

Justice Department Awards Over $1M to Address Violence Against Women

(Portland)  Maine is set to receive over a million dollars to address violence against women.  Acting U.S. Attorney Donald Clark announced Wednesday the award from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women is making 56 awards nationwide, totaling $153 million dollars, through the Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors – or STOP – program.  STOP encourages partnerships between law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and victim services organizations to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable.

Organ Donation Campaign

(Augusta)  In the state of Maine in 2020, 1,027 lives were saved thanks to organ donation.  This morning (Wednesday), Secretary of State Shenna Bellows joined organ donor recipients and advocates to launch the statewide Maine Organ Donation Campaign.  Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices have received banners and window clings to help educate the public and to encourage Mainers to register as donors when getting or renewing their drivers’ licenses.  People will be asked to “Have a heart and get a heart” by registering as a donor when obtaining a license.

Recovery Coalition Formed in Penobscot County

(Bangor)  The overdose crisis is serious and escalating, and a newly-formed coalition of some 30 agencies and organizations in Penobscot County has joined forces to combat both the drug and mental health pandemics facing the county.  According to the group, the problems in Penobscot County include an overdose crisis with the second highest percentage of deaths among all counties in 2021 … and twice as many per capita as Cumberland County … shelters at capacity, a chronically overcrowded jail, and waiting lists for mental health care and substance use disorders.  The coalition will kick off National Recovery Month with a demonstration and speakers at 11 a.m. Thursday near Pickering Square in Bangor.

Northern Light Hospitals face COVID Challenges

(Bangor)  Northern Light Health hospital officials say the rapid rate of increase of coronavirus cases and the care people are requesting are two of the biggest challenges currently facing the facilities.  Dr. James Jarvis tells WABI-TV, the hospitals are facing all time highs across the board in terms of COVID patients in their care and positivity rates.  More than 12 out of 100 people the past week have tested positive.  While the hospitals have room at the present, Dr. Jarvis said data he follows provided by the Mayo Clinic shows cases in Maine continuing to rise over the next two weeks, presenting further challenges in bed capacity, nursing staffing, and the ability to take care of non-COVID patients.

Autumn Gold at the Grand

(Ellsworth)  A brand new youth membership drive, tours of the newly improved Grand Theatre, a teen trivia night, and a preview of the comeback of live theatre, featuring songs and dialogue from Nunsense!  Director  Nick Turner, tells Star 97.7 it’s all part of The Grand’s plans for Autumn Gold weekend!   (((AG Grand 1  “…just to kick off the Autumn Gold Weekend.”  :23)))  And, of course, they’ll be selling those gigantic bags of delicious popcorn for just $5 bucks!

(Ellsworth)  Director of The Grand in Ellsworth, Nick Turner, tells Star 97.7, as far as he knows, the theatre has never offered youth memberships.  On Autumn Gold weekend, that’s about to change!  And just wait until you hear how much bang you get for your buck!   (((AG Grand 2  “…50% discounts on all programming.”  :25)))  Youth memberships are for ages 5 to 17, and Turner says it’s really important to get kids fully involved in The Grand and in owning the Grand.

(Ellsworth)  There is SO much planned in downtown Ellsworth for the upcoming Autumn Gold week, especially on Saturday, September 25th.  Director of The Grand, Nick Turner, tells Star 97.7, the theatre will host its first  youth membership drive, a teen trivia night, an afternoon preview of the upcoming performance of Nunsense, and live music OUTSIDE the Grand.  (((AG Grand 3  “…what shape The Grand is at this point.”  :16)))  And of course, you’ll want to get your GIGANTIC bag of that famous Grand popcorn to keep you satisfied while you enjoy all the Grand has to offer that day!

(Ellsworth)  Trivia night at The Grand Theatre in Ellsworth was a huge hit during the pandemic!  So on Autumn Gold Saturday, September 25th, Director Nick Turner tells Star 97.7, they’ll be hosting a special version just for teens.  (((AG Grand 4  “…to participate in a Disney-themed trivia contest.”  :26))).  Turner says they’ll be following CDC protocols for all the events, with spacing inside the theatre, and masking required unless eating and drinking and actively participating in the trivia competition.

State Data Shows School Vaccination Rates

(Augusta)  State data released Wednesday shows more than 75% of school staff in Maine is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  The information is updated monthly by the middle of the month and shows staff vaccination rates as of the end of the previous month.  While some schools did not report, others report as much as 100% vaccination rates.  The COVID-19 vaccination rates apply to staff of all public schools, including charter, magnet, town academies and career and technical schools, as well as to private schools instructing students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

Sports

The Red Sox defeated the Mariners Tuesday 8-4.  Teams meet up again tonight in Seattle.