Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Foxcroft Academy Students Fail to Attend Classes (Dover-Foxcroft)  Two Foxcroft Academy students accused of sexually assaulting a classmate in February are not in attendance at the private prep school, in spite of a judge’s ruling they may do so.  The 17 yo from Dover-Foxcroft and a 16 yo from Charleston were allowed to […]

Star 97.7 - Smooth Rock n' Roll Local News 05/19/22 - Star 97.7
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Local News 05/19/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Foxcroft Academy Students Fail to Attend Classes

(Dover-Foxcroft)  Two Foxcroft Academy students accused of sexually assaulting a classmate in February are not in attendance at the private prep school, in spite of a judge’s ruling they may do so.  The 17 yo from Dover-Foxcroft and a 16 yo from Charleston were allowed to attend classes but were ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim.  Students and others from the community protested the judge’s decision outside the school yesterday.  Foxcroft Academy administrators are reviewing the judge’s decision with legal counsel.

Bail Set at $200,000 for Man Held in Machete Killing

(AP/Alfred)  A man whose murder conviction was overturned by the state’s highest court will have to pay $200,000 in bail to leave jail while he awaits a new trial on the machete killing of a neighbor. Bruce Akers has been held without bail since his 2016 arrest, stemming from the death of Douglas Flint.  Akers was initially found guilty and sentenced to 38 years in prison, but the court overturned the conviction last year. The Portland Press Herald reports his case was in court for a hearing on Tuesday. His attorney, Kristine Hanly, asked that he be released. The judge instead set bail at $200,000.

Union Teen Killed When Sand Collapses

(Union)  A teen from Union died Tuesday after a hole he was digging on a New Jersey beach collapsed.  Authorities report Levi Caverly and his 17 yo sister were digging a hole on the beach near Toms River when it collapsed on the two.  Caverly’s sister was rescued from the approximately 10-foot deep hole and survived.  The family was vacationing in New Jersey, but was expected to return home on Wednesday.

Protestors Seek Change in Child Welfare System

(Augusta)  Foster parents and other concerned citizens held a rally outside the Statehouse on Wednesday to call for change within the state’s child welfare system.  The rally began with 178 seconds of silence for the number of children who have died in Maine since 2007.  Advocates say change must begin with transparency and accountability from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Local Politics

Ellsworth Special Election Set

(Ellsworth)  Two familiar candidates will face off in a special Maine Senate election in Hancock County.  Former Republican Senator Brian Langley and Democratic Representative Nicole Grohoski are running in the special election for Senate District 7 on June 14th.  The seat was vacated by former Democratic Senator Louis Luchini of Ellsworth, who resigned earlier this year to take a position with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Grohoski and Langley are running unopposed in their respective primary elections, which are also set for June 14th.

Passadumkeag a City Without Officials

(Passadumkeag)  Passadumkeag, situated about 30 miles north of Bangor, is a city at a standstill.  The Bangor Daily News reports Christen Bouchard was first hired as Town Clerk to oversee the November 2020 election.  When she resigned last month, she had also taken on the roles as deputy treasurer, was in charge of licensing pets, registering vehicles, maintaining vital records, and working with the State Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  Bouchard submitted her resignation April 7th after Selectmen refused her request for a two-week vacation because there would be no one to take over while she was gone.  It’s unclear when key town positions will be filled.

Health

(Columbia)  Ken Monroe has worked as a first responder for 30 years, over ten of those as a paramedic.  With the critical shortage of EMS workers, especially in rural areas, Star 97.7 asked Ken how the larger EMS services can help the smaller ones.  (((EMS KM 1  “…so it’s the smaller ones covering for them.  :15)))   Monroe said there are a lot of volunteer opportunities, as well, if you’re just looking for a way to help out.

 (Columbia)  In spite of the low pay, long hours, and other challenges, Ken Monroe has worked in EMS for more than 30 years.  He currently serves as a paramedic with Pleasant River in Columbia; and is the only paramedic with Schoodic Ambulance Service in Gouldsboro.  Star 97.7 asked Ken why someone should look to join the field.  (((EMS KM 2  “…so I kinda just walked into EMS.”  :11)))  Monroe says when it comes to life-threatening situations, there’s nothing like working hand in hand with firefighters, law enforcement, and other first responders to make that often lifesaving difference.

(Columbia)  Rural areas, like Washington County in particular, are facing a critical shortage of EMS workers.  Still, paramedic Ken Monroe, who works for Pleasant River in Columbia and Schoodic Ambulance in Gouldsboro, tells Star 97.7, he prefers the rural areas.  (((EMS KM 3  “…alone until an ambulance shows up.”  :20))) Monroe says that’s in addition to up to 30 minutes’ transport time, so his expertise is critical.

(Columbia)  The shortage of EMS workers is at a critical level, especially in rural areas like Washington County.  Ken Monroe works for Pleasant River in Columbia and Schoodic Ambulance Services in Gouldsboro, and he says both services back up at least 2 to three others in the rural areas of Hancock and Washington County.  (((EMS KM 4 “…talk to the guys; they’ll be honest with ya.”  :12)))  Monroe says you absolutely don’t have to start out as a paramedic.  You can be a driver, or participate in a host of other opportunities that will give you on-the-job training and experience.  Contact your local EMS provider to learn more.  They’re happy to talk with you.

Anthem Disputes Highlights State Limitations

(Portland)  The dispute between Anthem, the state’s major health insurer, and MaineHealth has highlighted the state’s limitation in managing the relationship.  The Bangor Daily News reports the argument puts the state in a semi-helpless position, as Republicans and Democrats disagree on how to handle the situation.   MaineHealth cites $70 million in unpaid claims.  The split will mean costlier out-of-network services for Anthem subscribers at Maine Medical Center, except in cases of emergency care.

Environment

GearShare Aims to Get Kids Outdoors

(Brunswick)  Get the kids outdoors – that’s the goal of GearShare in Brunswick.  Governor Janet Mills stopped by this week to donate a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife backpack from L.L Bean.  The nonprofit acquires, maintains, and lends outdoor recreation equipment to trip leaders and nature-based educators.  GearShare recently outfitted more than 100 students from 13 Maine high schools on a “Teens to Trails” weekend whitewater rafting trip.

BHHT Monitors Maine’s Great Blue Herons

(Blue Hill)  Join Blue Hill Heritage Trust this afternoon for a webinar monitoring Maine’s Great Blue Herons as they travel beyond state lines.  The 4 p.m. Friends from the Field webinar will follow the magnificent birds on their journey to winter destinations.  Tracking devices have revealed impressive migrations, sometimes over long stretches of open ocean to the Bahamas and beyond.  To register for the webinar, visit the BHHT website.

Local Land Trust Urges State to Nix Offshore Wind Work on Sears Island

(Isleboro)  Sears Island has been identified as a site for a potential wind port, but the Islesboro Islands Trust is pushing back against a permit filed with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.  The Bangor Daily News reports the permit would allow Maine DOT to clear trees and do borings and test pit explorations on the site.  The first meeting of the Offshore Wind Port Advisory Group, a group of 19 stakeholders who will advise officials on the plan, is scheduled for next Thursday at the Searsport Town Office.

Brewer Land Trust Looks to Convert Old Rail Bed to Trail

(Brewer)  The Brewer Land Trust wants to convert a run-down stretch of railroad into a wooded trail, but the Maine Department of Transportation cautions the plan could hit snags.  The trail can’t be developed until ownership of the two-mile stretch in question transfers to a new company next month.  The company must then agree to sell the parcel to the state, and after that the Legislature must sign off on removing the old tracks.  The trail would begin at Wilson Street and run near Brewer High School, providing a safe area for the school’s cross country teams.

ANP Receives Federal Funds for Wetlands Restoration, Trail Improvements

(Washington, DC)  Acadia National Park has been awarded $500,000 for wetland restoration and trail improvements.  The monies will be used for an ecosystem restoration project for the Great Meadow Wetland, part of a larger network of wetlands, streams and ponds.  Modifications to the area will include improvement of trails and roads that have hindered the area’s ability to act as a wetland and that have allowed non-native species to thrive instead of freshwater plants.

Ticks Decimate Maine’s Moose Population

(Maine)  Ticks are decimating Maine’s moose population.  The Bangor Daily News reports eighty-six percent of the moose calves collared in a remote wildlife management district last winter died – a record high mortality rate.  Scientists and others with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife say climate change has caused an explosion of winter ticks, and that it’s not uncommon to find moose infested with between 40 and 90 thousand ticks.

Infrastructure

Efficiency Maine Trust Launches New Triennial Plan 

(Maine)  Maine homeowners and businesses will have expanded access to heat pumps, weatherization, and other programs proven to save energy costs, in a new $300 million dollar strategic plan approved by utility regulators on Tuesday for the Efficiency Maine Trust.  Efficiency Maine’s heat pump program has received national attention for helping install more than 28,000 heat pumps in Maine homes and businesses.  To learn more about the strategic, three-year plan, contact Efficiency Maine.

Old Town Looks at Electric Scooters

(Old Town)  A pilot program that would allow residents to zip around the streets on electric scooters is on the agenda of the Old Town City Council for June 3rd. The Bangor Daily News reports the Council will consider a partnership with a company known as “Bird”, which has programs across the country and internationally that allow people to rent scooters or bikes with the click of a button on their phones.

Ellsworth to Close Franklin Street Again

(Ellsworth)  The City of Ellsworth will once again this summer close Franklin Street between Main and Store streets to accommodate the Franklin Street Parklet.  The Parklet is set up with picnic tables conducive to outdoor dining from nearby downtown restaurants and eateries.  The parklet will be closed off to traffic beginning at 7 a.m. next Monday, May 23rd.

Human Interest/Entertainment

Bucksport Pride Back in Summer 2022

(Bucksport)  The Bucksport Waterfront will play host to the town’s second annual Bucksport Pride 2022.  This year’s celebration, set for June 18th, will feature musicians, speakers, free pizza, vendors, artists and more.  There’s no admission fee, but donations will be accepted, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Bucksport LGBTQIA-plus youth organizations.

2022 Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce Awards

(Ellsworth)  Warmest congratulations to everyone involved in last night’s Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce Awards.  The New Business Award went to Tutu Cute Dance Studio, Mike’s Country Store captured the Revitalization Award, the Hospitality Award went to Helen’s Restaurant, the Director’s Award went to Pat’s Pizza, the late Deputy Luke Gross was honored as Citizen of the Year, and the 2022 Top Drawer Award went to our own Mark Osborne and Natalie Knox, for serving the business community in so many ways these past 40 years.  Congratulations!

Sports

Red Sox beat the Astros 5-1.  Red Sox remain at Fenway for a four-game series that begins tonight against the Mariners.

Celtics battle it out with the Heat in Miami tonight – they’ll try for their first win in Round Three of the NBA playoffs.  (Heat won Game One on Tuesday)

U.S. Soccer and Women’s players have agreed to settle an equal pay lawsuit.  The athletes will receive $24 million dollars and a pledge of equal pay for men’s and women’s national teams.