Driver Killed in High Speed Chase (Phippsburg)  A high speed chase in Phippsburg Saturday night ended in tragedy for the fleeing driver.  Authorities say dispatchers at the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office got a 9-1-1 call and could hear voices and engines revving, but no direct contact was made with the caller.  When a deputy went […]

Star 97.7 - Smooth Rock n' Roll Local News 09/20/21 - Star 97.7
409 High Street - P.O. Box 1171 - Ellsworth, ME 04605 - Phone: 207-667-0002 Fax: 207-667-0627

Local News 09/20/21

Driver Killed in High Speed Chase

(Phippsburg)  A high speed chase in Phippsburg Saturday night ended in tragedy for the fleeing driver.  Authorities say dispatchers at the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office got a 9-1-1 call and could hear voices and engines revving, but no direct contact was made with the caller.  When a deputy went to the location of the call near Meadowbrook and Basin roads, an SUV parked in the area sped off and refused to stop, even as the deputy engaged his lights and siren.  During the chase, several baggies were tossed from the suspect’s car.  Police later determined they contained illegal contraband.  As the suspect continued to flee, he crashed into a telephone pole.  The driver, the lone occupant of the SUV, was identified as 27 yo James Black of Phippsburg, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two Arrested in Drive-by Shooting

(Raymond)  A drive-by shooting in Raymond Saturday night has landed two men in jail.  Police say 21 yo Dylan Sanphy of Raymond and 24 yo Austin Yates of Windham were arguing over their phones with the shooting victims who lived on Raymond Hill Road.  After driving by the victims’ home several times, Sanphy and Yates allegedly fired multiple shots from their car at the home.  Sanphy was arrested sometime later during a traffic stop in Windham, and one of the weapons used in the drive-by was found in his car.  Yates turned himself in to authorities.  Both men face multiple charges, including criminal threatening and discharging a firearm near a dwelling.

Person Hit, Killed by Car

(Sabattus)  Police are searching for a Dodge Ram seen on security video after  a person was hit and killed on Bowdoinham Road in Sabattus Sunday night.  WMTW reports the area between Beaver Road and Williams Road was closed as of 8 p.m. last night as emergency crews investigated the scene.  The truck was captured on video fleeing the scene westbound on the Middle Road.  The victim’s identity has not been released.

[Update]  (Sabattus)  Police have located the driver of a Dodge Ram pickup seen on video fleeing from a fatal hit-and-run.  Police say the truck hit and killed 28 yo Renata Schalk as she was walking on Bowdoinham Road in Sabattus Sunday night.  The driver was taken into custody, but police have not yet released that person’s identity.

Schools Close

(Ellsworth/Sullivan)  Two local schools had to make changes Monday due to COVID concerns.  Ellsworth High School students are participating in remote programming at EHS and HCTC.  HCTC students form Bucksport, MDI, Sumner, Deer Isle Stonigngton, and George Stevens Academy are attending in-person classes at HCTC as regularly scheduled.   After school and extracurricular activities at the high school are cancelled for this afternoon as well, after notification of an individual at EHS tested positive for COVID-19.  Meanwhile, in Sullivan, school was cancelled for K-8 students at Mountain View School.  A post on the RSU 24 FB page said school was cancelled for COVID reasons but that teachers and staff were to report as usual.

Franklin Armed Standoff

(Franklin)  Authorities have confirmed an armed standoff shut down Route 182 in Franklin Sunday night.  Further details weren’t immediately known.  The road was reopened early this morning.  We’ll keep you updated.

[Update] (Franklin)  An armed standoff in Franklin Sunday led to the shutdown of Route 182 for much of the evening and early morning hours.  Maine State Police tell Star 97.7 they responded to a complaint of threatening with a firearm at 6 West Franklin Road Sunday evening.  When authorities arrived, 43 yo Justin Gibson told them his neighbor from across the street, 34 yo Christopher Cunningham, had challenged him to a fight.  During the altercation, Cunningham showed a pistol, fired a shot, and then retreated to his residence.  When State Troopers arrived, Cunningham refused to answer his phone or communicate with police.  A State Police Tactical Team responded and Cunningham was eventually arrested and charged with criminal threatening with a firearm and reckless conduct.

(Franklin)  A Franklin man was arrested early Monday morning after he allegedly pulled a pistol, fired a shot, then retreated to his house during an altercation with his neighbor. According to Maine State Police, authorities responded to a complaint of threatening with a firearm at 6 West Franklin Road on Sunday evening.  Upon arrival, 43 yo Justin Gibson reported the incident involving his across-the-street neighbor, 34 yo Christopher Cunningham, who had challenged Gibson to a fight.  When police arrived, Cunningham refused to answer his phone or communicate with authorities.  A State Police Tactical Team and deputies from Hancock County assisted, and police were finally able to arrest Cunningham, who is charged with criminal threatening with a firearm and reckless conduct.

Search for Petito’s Boyfriend On Hold

(AP/St. Petersburg) Authorities have halted their search of a wooded preserve for 23 yo Brian Laundrie, following the apparent discovery of his girlfriend’s body in Wyoming.  Gabriel “Gabby” Petito went missing on a cross country trip with Laundrie. A cause of death has not yet been determined.  Officials in North Port, Florida, said Monday the search has now turned to Laundrie’s home. Police and FBI surrounded the home on Monday morning.  Petito and Laundrie left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van, but Laundrie returned to Florida alone Sept. 1. He’s been named a person of interest.

(CNN)  Investigators spent Monday searching the home of Gabby Petito’s fiancée, 23 yo Brian Laundrie, after authorities found remains in Wyoming believed to be those of the missing 22 yo.  CNN reports Laundrie’s parents were escorted from the home before the search and then brought back inside for questioning.  Meanwhile, investigators continue their search for Laundrie, although they are no longer searching in a nearby nature reserve.  Petito and Laundrie left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van, but Laundrie returned to Florida alone Sept. 1. He’s been named a person of interest.

Judge Halts Work on One Mile Stretch of CMP Corridor

(Augusta)  A judge delivered a ruling on Friday that essentially halts Central Maine Power’s work on public land along a one-mile stretch of the 145-mile so-called “Clean Energy Corridor”.  In spite of the ruling, the developer can continue work on all but that one mile stretch of leased land in the West Forks Plantation and Johnson Mountain Township.  The Bangor Daily News reports that section was originally leased to CMP in 2014 under Republican Governor Paul LePage, and the lease was renegotiated by Democratic Governor Janet Mills at a much higher cost to CMP.  Both LePage and Mills back construction of the corridor.  A referendum on the November ballot aims to halt the corridor and ban future such projects on public land without a two-thirds approval by the Legislature.

Mushrooms Not All Bad

(Undated)  If your yard seems to be sprouting almost as many mushrooms as blades of grass after the rainy summer, you’re not alone.  But some experts say not to worry.   The folks at Scott’s lawncare say mushrooms are an indication your yard has a lot of organic material in the soil.  Mushrooms help break down that organic material and make your soil more productive.  To help prevent the growth of the fungi, if they’re just too annoying, make sure your yard is properly drained and gets plenty of sunlight.  But if that’s not possible, Scott’s says just knock the offending mushrooms over and wait for the sun to come out.

More Than Half Maine’s Youngest Eligible Now Vaccinated

(AP/Portland)  More than half Maine’s youngest residents who qualify to get the COVID-19 vaccine are now fully vaccinated.  The office of Governor Janet Mills today (Monday) reported 53% of youth ages 12-15 in the state have had their final dose of coronavirus vaccine.  Overall, 74% of Maine’s eligible residents are now fully vaccinated, an encouraging number as cases of the virus continue to rise as well.  Doctors say fully vaccinated individuals are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms and/or be hospitalized, even if they contract the virus.

MDOT Survey Work in Deer Isle

(Deer Isle)  The Maine Department of Transportation will be conducting survey work on the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge from Tuesday, September 28th, through Wednesday, October 6th.  The work will entail partial and full closures of the bridge.  Drivers should expect alternating single-lane traffic patterns between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on September 28th and 29th and October 1st and 6th.  On Thursday, September 30th, there will be three full one-hour closures of the bridge between 9:00 and 2:30.  Work is weather dependent, and backup days may be utilized.

MDOT Progressing with Hampden Bridge Bundle Project

(Hampden)  The Maine Department of Transportation says it will be shifting traffic onto the fourth of four new northbound I-95 bridges on September 27th.  In case of bad weather, that shift on the Emerson Mill Road Bridge will happen on the 28th.  The shift substantially completes the replacements of the four northbound interstate bridges, although finish work will continue and may result in additional impacts on traffic.  On the southbound side, traffic is currently using three temporary bridges to accommodate construction work, which is expected to continue into 2022.

Friends and Family Weekend

(Orono)  This weekend is Friends and Family Weekend at the University of Maine’s Orono campus.  Shawn Laatsch (Lawtch), Director of the Versant Power Planetarium, tells Star 97.7, offerings at the astronomy center are out of this world.  (((F&F Friday   “…so that’s on Friday.  “  :14)))  Saturday promises even more excitement, with programs on NASA, dark matter and energy, black holes, and more!  For a complete schedule, visit astro dot umaine dot edu.

(Orono)  Friends and Family Weekend at the University of Maine in Orono is just as it sounds – a weekend filled with welcoming activities for students and their families, from youngsters to grandparents.  Shawn Laatsch (Lawtch), Director of the Versant Power Planetarium, tells Star 97.7, Saturday at the Planetarium will take participants through NASA, to the moon, and into black holes.  (((F&F Saturday   “…will explore those mysterious objects as well.  :31)))

(Orono)  Friends and Family Weekend on the Orono campus at the University of Maine is always a fun and educational weekend.  At the planetarium, the weekend will be filled with exciting programming, wrapping up Sunday with a special event for kids and some Pink Floyd.   (((F&F Sunday   “…sort of the last showing of that program.”  :23)))   For a complete schedule of Friends and Family weekend events at the planetarium, visit astro dot umaine dot edu.

Sports

  • The Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-6 Sunday – Red Sox have tonight off.
  • The New England Patriots crushed the New York Jets 25-6.