Juveniles Charged with Murder (Lewiston)  Two 13-year-olds and a 14 yo have now been charged with felony murder in connection with a fire in Lewiston last month that claimed the life of a 70 yo man.  Felicien Betu jumped from a window on the fourth floor of the Blake Street building. He died from his […]

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Local News 10/22/21

Juveniles Charged with Murder

(Lewiston)  Two 13-year-olds and a 14 yo have now been charged with felony murder in connection with a fire in Lewiston last month that claimed the life of a 70 yo man.  Felicien Betu jumped from a window on the fourth floor of the Blake Street building. He died from his injuries.  There were no other casualties, but dozens of residents of the apartment building were displaced.

Veazie Man Accused of Murder Released

(Bangor)  A Veazie man accused of murdering a man in Bangor and setting fire to his house has been given a lesser charge and released from jail.  41 yo Cote Choneska pleaded guilty Friday to hindering apprehension of a co-defendant in the case, 32 yo Joseph Johnson.  The two men were initially charged in the November 2019 murder of 59 yo Berton Conley.  Although Choneska withheld information, he wasn’t there at the time of the fire.  He was sentenced to five years in prison, but has served two and was released on the lesser charge.  Choneska is expected to testify in Johnson’s trial next year.

Another Mandate Appeal Denied

(AP/Augusta)  Another attempt to block a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for Maine healthcare workers has been denied in court.  The mandate is set to go into effect on Oct. 29. A group called Coalition for Healthcare Workers Against Medical Mandates sued in state court seeking a temporary restraining order to stop enforcement of the rule. A justice ruled Friday the plaintiffs’ arguments are unlikely to succeed on merits, and that the motion is denied.

COVID Infections in Maine Surpass 100K

(AP/Portland)   The Maine CDC today reports the number of COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic has now surpassed 100,000.   Maine has faced a lower burden of COVID-19 cases than states with similar populations, such as Rhode Island and Montana. Vermont and Hawaii are the only states significantly below that number.

Drug Take Back Day

(Ellsworth)  Tomorrow (Saturday) is National Drug Take Back Day.  Members of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department will be in the parking lot at Shaw’s in Ellsworth from 9 until 1 to collect unwanted, outdated, and unused prescription drugs, no questions asked, and you don’t even have to get out of your car.  They’ll be collecting most prescription drugs excluding liquids and sharps.

Comfort Cases

(Hancock)  COVID halted our lives but not our compassion.  Since April 2020, Maine’s Comfort Cases Coordinator, Lesley Robinson of Hancock, along with a host of volunteers, has packed and delivered more than 1500 new backpacks filled with pajamas, a book, toiletries, a stuffed animal and more – all brand new – to children transitioning to foster care.  Foster children typically carry their meager belongings in trash bags, and a Comfort Case makes that first night in a new home more welcoming and less scary.  To learn more, visit comfort cases dot org.

Child Welfare System Investigations

(Augusta)  The deaths of five young children in Maine in a little over a month this past summer led to an investigation by Casey Family Programs, an independent organization that this week offered seven recommendations for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.  Those recommendations include establishing a protocol for working with law enforcement, and better communication among families, workers and others in the child welfare system.  All the children who died were under the age of five, and parents are charged in three of the five cases.

Maine Plans for Child Vaccinations

(Augusta)  Maine plans a school-based approach to the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines for 5 to 11 year olds.  WABI-TV reports the state will also utilize pediatricians and other clinics to get first shots into the arms of children in early November – the expected timeline for approval by the US CDC.  That would allow most children to be fully vaccinated by winter break.  Pfizer says its vaccine for children is safe and more than 90% effective.

Shawnee Peak Sold

(Bridgton) Shawnee Peak in Bridgton will be under new ownership when skiers arrive this winter.  WMTW reports Boyne Resorts, the new owner, owns three other resorts in New England.  Chet Homer has owned Shawnee Peak for 27 years and said he never considered selling until this year when approached by Boyne.  Homer says he trusts Boyne will maintain the special family vibe of Shawnee.  The company also owns Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Loon Mountain in New Hampshire.

Mills Urges Commerce Sect’y to Rescind Right Whale Rule

(Augusta)  Calling the restrictions “flawed and unfair”, the Mills Administration Friday called on the Commerce Secretary to rescind a recent rule designed to protect the North Atlantic Right Whale.  Among other restrictions, the regulations would close a large area of the Gulf of Maine to lobster fishing during several months of prime harvesting.  A recent court ruling blocked the closure, which would have gone into effect this month.

Birch Harbor Culverts Removed

(Birch Harbor)  Residents of Birch Harbor aren’t used to helicopters hovering over their quaint village, so the sound of multiple rotors above the tidal flats recently caused some alarm.  Not to worry, it was just the U.S. Forest Service removing four or five culverts.  The Ellsworth American reports the 20-foot-long culverts had broken loose from nearby Route 186 during a rainstorm and flash flooding in early June.  The Maine Department of Transportation said the culverts may be in good enough shape to be recycled.

Ellsworth Broadband Expansion

(Ellsworth)  Funding for the expansion of broadband in Hancock County will be the topic of an October 25th Zoom forum.  The Hancock County Commissioners say they’ve received more than 5 million dollars in American Rescue Plan funds, with another 5.3 million expected in 2022.  Some of those monies will be used to expand broadband access across the county.  A link to Monday’s 5 p.m. meeting can be found on the Hancock County website.

Sullivan Benefit Dinner

(Sullivan)  A benefit dinner for a Sullivan man who was badly burned in a bonfire accident in September is planned for Saturday.  The take-out spaghetti dinner and raffle at the Sorrento-Sullivan Recreation Center, which begins at 4:30, will benefit Dereck Connors.  Connors was LifeFlighted to Portland after the accident and continues to undergo skin-graft surgeries.  He does not have medical insurance and was a primary provider for his wife and children.

Gouldsboro Considers Waste Disposal Changes

(Gouldsboro)   The town of Gouldsboro hopes to install drive-on scales to more efficiently manage waste at its Walker Road facility.  But town officials say that’s a few years down the road.  Until then, selectmen are considering reinstatement of windshield stickers, coupled with a five-visit punch card to better control who is disposing of bulky waste at the town’s transfer station.  The Ellsworth American reports the changes are necessary to address disparity of usages by different households under the current pass system.

Keynote Speaker at EPL’s Big Read

(Ellsworth)  The Ellsworth Public Library has been participating in “The Big Read” all this month, with virtual presentations involving authors, a memoir workshop, and free books for adults and children.  Tomorrow (Saturday) night, keynote speaker Roz Chast who writes for the New Yorker and other publications, will speak on her book, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, a serious but lighthearted look at Chast’s end-of-life conversations with her aging and engaging parents.  Register for the virtual presentation on the library’s website.

Burger King Comeback

(Ellsworth) – The empty Burger King fast food restaurant in Ellsworth may reopen soon.  The High Street restaurant closed last December.  The Ellsworth American reports the city of Ellsworth has granted a permit to make $800-thousand dollars worth of alterations on the building.  An architectural firm is handling the renovations, but the application did not say who owns the building which should reopen next spring.

Oldest Lamoine Resident

(Lamoine) – Lamoine’s oldest resident passed away this week at the age of 101.  June Davis’s family returned the Boston Post cane to the town office and the Select Board last night awarded custody of the cane to resident Betty Adams.  Adams, who is a retired school teacher, has lived in the Hancock County town for nearly 40-years and is 97-years old.


  • L-A Dodgers 11 Atlanta Braves 2 (Braves lead NLCS 3-2)
  • The Red Sox and Astros meet for game 6 of the ALCS tonight in Houston. The Astros lead 3-2.
  • Thursday Night Football: Cleveland Browns 17  Denver Broncos 14
  • The Celtics have their home opener tonight against the Toronto Raptors
  • The Bruins are in Buffalo to skate against the Sabres tonight.