Crime/Public Safety/Drugs MCJA to Graduate Largest Class in Program’s History (Augusta)  It will be the largest class ever from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Friday, when 68 police cadets graduate from the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program in  Vassalboro.  This Friday’s graduating class includes eleven women and the first female cadet to be elected as […]

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Local News 05/18/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

MCJA to Graduate Largest Class in Program’s History

(Augusta)  It will be the largest class ever from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Friday, when 68 police cadets graduate from the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program in  Vassalboro.  This Friday’s graduating class includes eleven women and the first female cadet to be elected as class president – in fact, three of the four elected class officers are female.  Graduates will take the oath of office to become the state’s newest law enforcement officers.

Game Wardens Recover Body of Missing 78-Year-Old

(Masardis)  Game wardens have recovered the body of a missing 78 yo Masardis man.  Wardens began the search for Donald Whipple late Monday night.  Whipple had gone fishing on the Aroostook River some hours earlier; and when he did not return, his family searched for him and then reported him missing.  A State Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy, but authorities say the death does not appear suspicious.

Local Politics

Town of Mt. Desert Change of Polling Place

(Mt. Desert)  If you plan to vote in any election in the Town of Mt. Desert from here on out, be aware of the change in voting location.  The Secretary of State has approved changing the voting place to the Town Hall Meeting Room, located at 21 Sea Street in Northeast Harbor.  Parking will be available in the upper and lower lots, with accessible parking next to the polling place.

Maine Prepares to Take Legal Action Against Manufacturers of PFAS

(Augusta)  Maine is preparing legal action against manufacturers of chemicals which are increasingly being found in farmland and water.  The Bangor Daily News reports at this weekend’s Democratic Party convention in Bangor, Attorney General Aaron Frey told the crowds his office is working with the Mills Administration on a lawsuit to hold the manufacturers of so-called “forever chemicals”, or PFAS, accountable.  It’s unclear exactly what the state will file.

Hancock County Administrator Leaving

(Ellsworth)  Hancock County Administrator Scott Adkins is stepping down as of Friday, June 3rd.  No reason was given as to why Adkins, who has been in the position since 2016, resigned.  Former Bar Harbor Town Manager Cornell Knight will reportedly serve on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is hired.


EMS Week – Carlene Jay

(Jonesport)  During EMS Week, Star 97.7 is highlighting the critical need for first responders at all levels, especially in the state’s rural areas.  In talking with Carlene Jay of Moosebec Ambulance Service, we found there are many opportunities – and many paths – to becoming involved with EMS.  Jay joined the Sorrento Fire Department in 2017 and fell in love with being a first responder.  When she moved to Jonesport a couple of years ago, she joined the Fire Department there.  (((EMS CJ  1 “…it just made sense.”  :13)))  Carlene just this week learned she passed the test – with flying colors – to become a full-fledged EMT.

(Jonesport)  Time and again as we’ve talked with EMS workers, we find a common theme – despite the sometimes long hours and low pay, they LOVE the job.  Carlene Jay is an EMT with Moosebec Ambulance Service in Jonesport, and tells Star 97.7 … (((EMS CJ 2  “…but it felt like my true calling.”  :14))).  Rural areas like Washington County, in particular, need EMS workers in many capacities.  If you’re interested – maybe looking for a job out of high school or college; or if  you’re ready for a career change, stop by your local EMS – they’ll welcome you, answer any questions, and may even take you along on a run.

(Jonesport)  There are many ways to become involved with your local EMS Department.  EMT Carlene Jay with Moosebec Ambulance Service in Jonesport tells Star 97.7, when it comes to the medical part, there are four steps:  (((EMS CJ 3  “…and then there’s paramedics.”  :09)))  Jay says if you decide to become an EMT, there is some schooling and hands-on training.  (((EMS CJ 5  “…certification for emergency vehicles.” :12))).  Stop by the EMS expos in Machias or Calais today to learn more.  You’ll find times and locations on our Star 97.7 FB page.

(Jonesport)  Long hours, sometimes low pay, a worker shortage – all part of rural America’s EMS.  Yet, as Star 97.7 talks with first responders like EMT Carlene Jay of Moosebec Ambulance Service in Jonesport, we find to a person, they genuinely love what they do.  (((EMS CJ 4  “…it really is a labor of love.”  :17))).  Jay says there are both volunteer and paid opportunities as drivers, in accounting, and in all aspects of being a first responder.  And she says what you get back in return far outweighs any commitment you give.

Anonymous Donor Gives One Million Calories of Nutritional Drinks to Christine B. Foundation

(Eastern Maine)  One million calories worth of nutritional therapeutic drinks and liquid formulas – that’s what an anonymous donor has gifted to the Christine B. Foundation.  The generous gift allows the Cancer Nutrition Assistance program to provide cancer patients in Eastern Maine with healthy and nutritious food items.  Patients with cancer and their families have been able since 2014 to access nutrition assistance and other benefits through CBF.

WIC Steps Up to Provide Baby Formula

(Bangor)  In the wake of the shortage of baby formula, the state’s Women, Infants, and Children – or WIC – program is stepping up to help.  WABI-TV reports the clinics have been receiving some shipments of formula and have expanded the approved list of formulas to accommodate more families.  Visit maine dot gov for more information on the WIC program.

Washington County EMS Expos

(Machias)  Washington County first responders are holding mini-expos this afternoon as part of EMS Week.  They encourage everyone to stop by the Bluebird Ranch Restaurant in Machias or the Calais Fire/EMS beginning at 4 p.m. for hands-on CPR and Stop the Bleed demonstrations, along with door prize drawings and more.


Clam Size Studied

(Machias)  When it comes to the question of whether or not size matters, some people tend to, well –  clam up – including UMaine Machias marine ecology professor Brian Beal, who’s launched a study to determine if large soft shell clams produce more eggs than their smaller counterparts.  The Bangor Daily News reports if, like lobsters, larger clams produce exponentially more eggs, it could justify taking another look at statewide conservation measures to stem the trend of dwindling numbers of clams along Maine’s coast.

Proposal for Downeast National Heritage Area Approved by SEC

(DE Maine)  The proposal for a Downeast Maine National Heritage Area has been approved by the Senate Energy Committee and now goes before Congress.  The Sunrise County Economic Council says legislation would designate all of Hancock and Washington Counties as an area with national importance, making the region eligible for additional federal investment and helping drive economic activity to the rural Maine region.

Maine Fisherman Spots Orca Off of Cape Cod

(Cape Cod, MA)  A Maine fisherman was treated to a rare sight off the coast of Cape Cod this weekend.  Jerry Leeman shared video of an Orca.  Leeman captains the Teresa Marie IV with Blue Harvest Fisheries and says in his 20-plus years as a fisherman he’s seen six of the so-called “killer whales”.  Orcas in the Gulf of Maine are rare.  The one spotted this weekend is thought to be Old Thom, who’s seen almost every year in the Bay of Fundy.


Brunswick Cook’s Corner Closure

(Brunswick)  The Maine Department of Transportation will be replacing the railroad crossing at Cooks Corner in Brunswick this weekend.  The work will require the closure of the Route 1 exit ramps at Cooks Corner between 8 p.m. Friday and sometime Sunday afternoon or evening.

I-395/Route 9 Connector Work Begins

(Brewer)  Work has officially begun on a project to connect I-395 in Brewer and Route 9 in Eddington.  WABI-TV reports crews working on the six-mile stretch are doing ground and other prep work to get ready for the laying of the new road.  The work is estimated to cost just over 100 million dollars and is scheduled for completion in mid-2025.

Potholes Cause Mail Delay in Northern Maine Town

(AP/Dyer Brook)  Neither rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night  … but maybe potholes can stop the swift completion of the appointed rounds of your mailperson.  Residents of a town in far northern Maine are experiencing trouble with mail delivery that officials blame on roads full of potholes. WGME-TV reports officials with the postal service told town officials last week, mail carriers were suspending deliveries because of unsafe roads. Deliveries have resumed as the potholes are starting to get filled in. Still, the town planned to hold a meeting about the subject on Tuesday.


UMaine Fort Kent Goes Pet Friendly

(Fort Kent) College students who just can’t bear the thought of leaving that furry companion behind might want to consider the University of Maine at Fort Kent.  The school plans to allow students to bring certain pets to live on campus with them.  The University sees the move as not only beneficial for pets, but also for students – many of whom in today’s world struggle with anxiety and mental health concerns.  Pets must be approved by a veterinarian, and cats must be spayed or neutered.  The University said students must plan to take the pets with them when they leave school.


Sunrise Seed Grants Available

(Machias)  Sunrise Seed Grants are now available to Washington County startups and small businesses.  The grants are made possible through the Maine Community Foundation and private donors to help address hurdles and propel business development.  Grants are available to new or newly acquired businesses in operation zero to three years, which are unable to find alternative funding elsewhere, and that comply with grant guidelines.  Email “s” hatton at sunrise county dot org to apply.

Heart of Biddeford Receives National Award

(Biddeford)  Heart of Biddeford, a nonprofit focused on economic development and quality of life in downtown Biddeford has been honored with the 2022 Great American Main Street Award.   The recognition by Main Street America recognizes communities for excellence in preservation-based commercial district revitalization.  Heart of Biddeford was one of just three organizations selected nationally to receive the award.

Winter Takes Heavy Toll on Aroostook County Pollinators

(Easton)  The winter took a heavy toll on pollinators in Aroostook County. The Bangor Daily News reports many beekeepers lost half their hives before spring arrived.   Moisture is the number one killer of bees in the wintertime; so climate change is already having an effect.   And it’s not just bees that are at risk.  The County depends on butterflies, moths, ants, bats, and hummingbirds to pollinate Maine’s wild blueberry and other crops. Some experts say cell waves from cell phones and towers, pesticides, and disease are also hazards.

Little COVID Monies Have Been Spent

(Washington, DC)  It was just over a year ago, in March 2021, the Biden Administration announced it was investing two and a quarter billion dollars to address COVID health disparities, particularly among rural areas and within racial and ethnic minority groups.  Fourteen months later, with a million people in the U.S. having succumbed to the virus, CNN reports little of the money has been used.  The CDC initially said the money had to be spent by May 2023, but has now told states they can apply for an extension.  States say they need time to hire people and work with nonprofits to set up programs.

Fiddlehead Prices Skyrocket

(New Gloucester)  When it comes to one tasty spring delicacy, prices aren’t fiddling around.  NewsCenter Maine reports baby ostrich ferns, known as fiddleheads, are getting more expensive.  The verdant vegetation is harvested early in the season, right before they uncurl.  Two years ago, fiddleheads ran just a few dollars per pound.  That price in 2022 has sprung up to a whopping $15 to $30 per pound.


Red Sox lose to the Astros 13-4.  The teams have one more game this evening before the Red Sox begin a four game series against the Mariners on Thursday.

Celtics lose to the Heat in Game One – 118-107.  Game Two is Thursday night in Miami.