Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Officer Placed on Leave Following Presque Isle Shooting (AP/Presque Isle)  A member of the Presque Isle police department has been placed on paid administrative leave following a Sunday evening shooting.  Police found 25 yo Jacob Poitraw around 7 p.m. Sunday.  Poitraw was wanted for questioning in regards to a road rage incident involving […]

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Local News 06/07/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Officer Placed on Leave Following Presque Isle Shooting

(AP/Presque Isle)  A member of the Presque Isle police department has been placed on paid administrative leave following a Sunday evening shooting.  Police found 25 yo Jacob Poitraw around 7 p.m. Sunday.  Poitraw was wanted for questioning in regards to a road rage incident involving a firearm.  Poitraw allegedly rammed and disabled a cruiser driven by Sergeant Tyler Cote.  Cote reportedly shot Poitraw, who later died.   The incident remains under investigation.

(AP/Presque Isle) Officials say a man threatened a motorist with an assault rifle a day before he was killed in a confrontation with a police officer. Presque Isle Police say 25-year-old Jacob Poitraw was shot after ramming a police officer’s cruiser several times Sunday evening during a pursuit. He died later at a hospital. Presque Isle Police were on the lookout for Poitraw after being contacted about the road-rage incident Saturday evening. The officer who fired the fatal shot is on administrative leave while the attorney general investigates.

Motorcyclists Injured After Hitting Bear

(NH)  It’s that time of year when motorcyclists enjoy hopping on their bikes and traveling through the beauty of New England.  Not only do they have to watch for cars, trucks and other vehicles, wildlife can pose a danger, as well.  WMUR reports two people are recovering in New Hampshire after they hit a 300-pound bear on their motorcycle this weekend.  The bear, unfortunately, did not survive.

Body Found in Kennebec River

(Skowhegan)  The body of a Fairfield man was found in the Kennebec River.  WABI-TV reports the body was found near the boat launch in Skowhegan.  Police believe 52 yo David Kufeldt went for a swim in the river a few days ago. They say they do not believe the death to be suspicious.

Public Defenders Lawsuit to Proceed

(AP/Augusta)   A lawsuit over Maine’s system that provides attorneys to those who can’t afford one is being allowed to proceed. The class-action lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine contends there’s a failure to train, supervise and adequately fund a system to ensure the constitutional right to effective counsel for defendants. Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy late last week rejected the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Maine is the only state in the nation without a public defender’s office for people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.

Local Politics

Golden Outraises Poliquin in Lead-up to June Primaries

(Washington, DC)  U.S. Representative Jared Golden outraised former Representative Bruce Poliquin in April and May by a significant amount.  Golden raised more than $350,000 over the two month period, while Poliquin’s campaign reports just over $150,000 in contributions in a lead-up to the June 14th primaries.  The November general election will use ranked-choice voting, a system Poliquin claimed contributed to his loss to Golden in the previous matchup.

Sullivan Candidates Forum

(Sullivan)  The Town of Sullivan tonight will host a town forum with candidates for RSU 24 School Board and Sullivan Selectman.  The Forum is sponsored by the Frenchman Bay Library and Age Friendly Sullivan, and will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 at the Sorrento Sullivan Recreation Center.

Health

Maine High School Student Develops Antibiotic Alternative for Horses

(Boothbay)  A young high school student from Boothbay has created an antibiotic alternative for horses.  NewsCenter Maine reports Emma Markowitz lives on the remote island of Trevitt, is home-schooled, and follows in her parents’ footsteps in the world of science.  Emma’s parents raise horses and bees, and Emma found Manuka honey was effective at inhibiting certain bacterial strains.  The high school junior won an international award for I her groundbreaking research.

Environment

Maine Residents’ Day

(Maine)  Put June 19th on your calendar – not only is it Father’s Day, it’s Maine Residents’ Day.  That means all Maine residents receive free day-use admission to Maine State Parks and Historic Sites from 9 a.m. to closing.  The free pass is for day use only, and there are a few exceptions.  Visit the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands at maine dot gov.

Loring Sites to Be Tested for PFAS Contamination

(AP/Bangor) The U.S. Air Force plans to test at least 20 sites at the former Loring Air Force Base for contamination by so-called forever chemicals. Officials are concerned PFAS contamination from firefighting foam on Loring’s runway may have spread elsewhere. So far, it has not been found in any drinking water supplies. The Bangor Daily News reported a previous analysis showed low levels of PFAS, warranting further investigation.

MDIFW Seeks Rusty Patch Bumblebee

(Augusta)  The Rusty Patch Bumblebee hasn’t been seen in Maine since 2009.  But officials with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife say the endangered bee could still be here, and they’re asking residents to keep their eye out.  If you see one, you’re asked to snap one or more close up photos or a video and submit them to Bumble Bee Watch, where experts will confirm their identification.  You can find photos of the Rusty Patch on the MDIFW website.

Infrastructure

Rail Trail Could Be Extended to Canada Border

(Calais)  The popular Down East Sunrise Trail begins right here in Ellsworth and extends 90 miles north to Pembroke.  If Calais officials have their way, the trail could be extended all the way to the Canadian border.  The Bangor Daily News reports the Calais City Council has asked the Maine Department of Transportation to consider using 12 miles of state-owned, unused rail line for the extension.  The trail is a favorite among ATV drivers, cross country skiers, and other recreation enthusiasts in Hancock and Washington Counties.

Bicycle Coalition of Maine Makes Progress in Augusta

(Augusta)  Roads and trails are buzzing with bikes.  During the 130th legislative session, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine helped get a number of bills passed that will help make Maine a better place to bike and walk. BCM worked to pass a bill that will help ensure all crashes involving an automobile and a pedestrian or cyclist get reported to a district attorney, a resolution to create Maine’s first Statewide Active Transportation Plan, and a change to storm water regulations to allow low-impact, off-road bike trails to be built.  For more information, visit bike maine dot org.

Education

Sumner Learning Campus Raises Funds for Naming of Wood and Metal Shops

(Sullivan)  The new RSU 24 Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus in Sullivan will house state-of-the-art wood and metal shops.  Past students and community members want to raise $15,000 for a Material Lab in Memory of Bob Tukey, who taught three generations of students at the school as an Industrial Arts educator.  You can find the GoFundMe link on the Town of Sullivan FB page.

Business/Economy

Small Businesses Finding It Difficult to Pay Rent

(Maine)  Higher costs and lower numbers of workers are making it difficult for many small businesses to pay rent.  The Bangor Daily News reports while business has largely recovered to pre-pandemic levels and tourism is expected to bring revenue this summer, some 40% of small businesses surveyed say they did not pay rent in full or on time in May, up 15% from April.  Small businesses make up more than 99 percent of all businesses in the state and more than half the workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Gas Tops $5/Gallon in Many Maine Counties

(Portland)  The price of gas is now averaging more than $5 per gallon in five of Maine’s 16 counties.  WMTW reports the state average is higher than the national average of $4.86 per gallon.  Speaking on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said increased production would be part of a solution to lowering prices; but oil executives say they don’t want to increase production as they draw in record prices.  Buttigieg said oil companies are sitting on thousands of permits.  President Biden is calling for a “use it or lose it policy.”

Jordan’s Snack Bar Now Open for the Season

(Ellsworth)  Haddock, Clams, Lobster Rolls, Clam Chowder – Ellsworth residents’ mouths have been watering since last fall for the opening of Jordan’s Snack Bar at 200 Downeast Highway.  The take out opened for the summer on Monday, and lines were already snaking around the building.  Although closed on Tuesdays, they’re open 11 to 7 five days a week, 11 to 3 on Mondays.

Heart of Ellsworth Seeks Student Voice

(Ellsworth)  Heart of Ellsworth is accepting applications for the 2022-23 Board of Directors Student Position.  The volunteer position includes attending one board meeting per month, plus involvement in events and programs during the year.  Applications for a second student member to join the board close on June 14th.  Visit heart of ellsworth dot org to apply.

Ellsworth Chamber Breakfast

(Ellsworth)  Members of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce are invited to the Annual Membership Breakfast this Thursday at the Ellsworth Elks Club.  The complimentary breakfast runs from 7:30 to 9, with special guest Sutherland Weston speaking on Mindsets of Maine.  There’s limited seating, and reservations are required by emailing k burpee at ellsworth chamber dot org.

Human Interest/Entertainment

ATV Jamboree and Benefit Ride

(Machias)  More than 400 ATVs and other trail vehicles will hit the Sunrise Trail in Machias this Saturday for the First Annual ATV Jamboree and Benefit Ride.  Registration starts at 8 a.m. on the trail next to the train station.  50% of registration donations will benefit the Ark Animal Shelter, and participants are encouraged to bring bags of cat and dog food to donate.  As part of the celebration, there will be music, food trucks, and more than 60 arts and crafts vendors in Machias on the 11th, as well.

Farmstead Barn in Sullivan to Host Art Shows

(Sullivan)  The Farmstead Barn in Sullivan dates back to 1803.  It’s been a Tea House with fortune telling, hosted a summer theater and arts program, and more.  But in 2012, the barn was closed and fell silent.  On June 18th and 19th, the barn will once again be abuzz with activity as Sullivan hosts a once-a-month weekend art show, showcasing the work of local artists.  The shows will run through September – visit the Town of Sullivan FB page for more dates and times.

Sports

The Red Sox scored only one run last night against the LA Angels, but that was enough to beat them.  The teams have three more games scheduled.

The Celtics and the Golden State Warriors face off in Game Three of the NBA Finals on Wednesday.  The series is tied at a game apiece.

Newport’s Cooper Flagg is one of only four high school basketball players from the Class of 2025 invited to participate in the 202 USA Basketball Men’s U17 National Team Training Camp.