Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Bath School Fire Reignites (Bath)  For a second time in less than four days, firefighters were on the scene Monday morning at Dike Newell Elementary School in Bath.  Flames and a large plume of smoke could be seen coming through the roof of the K-2 building as first responders battled a second blaze.  […]

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Local News 06/14/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Bath School Fire Reignites

(Bath)  For a second time in less than four days, firefighters were on the scene Monday morning at Dike Newell Elementary School in Bath.  Flames and a large plume of smoke could be seen coming through the roof of the K-2 building as first responders battled a second blaze.  30 yo Allan Thomas Vigil is in jail facing arson and burglary charges after a first fire broke out at the school on Friday.

(Bath)  Firefighters were back on the scene of Friday’s fire at a Bath Elementary school Monday.  First responders said a large void space between the original fire and the second floor likely allowed the fire to get up there and hide over the weekend, then resurface Monday morning.  Police have arrested 30 yo Allan Thomas Vigil in connection with Friday’s fire.  He’s charged with arson and burglary.

Local Politics

Governor Signs Executive Order Creating State Cabinet on Aging

(Portland)  Governor Janet Mills yesterday signed an Executive Order creating the Cabinet on Aging, a newly formed body aimed at helping the state prepare policies for seniors and retired workers.  The creation of the Cabinet comes at a time when Maine’s median age makes it the oldest state in the nation, with tens of thousands of people expected to retire in the coming years, removing them from the state’s workforce and increasing demand for aging-related services.   The Cabinet will reportedly advance policies that will support Maine people in aging safely and affordably

Election Day

(Maine)  Today, of course, is Election Day, with polls in most locations opening between 6 and 10 a.m., depending on a town’s population, and closing at 8 p.m.  If you’re not sure where you vote, you can use the Maine Voter Information Lookup Service at maine dot gov.   If you need assistance reading or marking your ballot, you can ask a relative or friend for assistance.  The helper doesn’t have to be a voter or even old enough to vote.  For the primary election, you must declare a specific party; for those voting in the Special Election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Democrat Louis Luchini in January, a party affiliation is not required.

(AP/Portland)  Former Governor Paul LePage is seeking a political comeback.  With no opposition, he will coast to the Republican nomination for governor today, setting up a fierce general election campaign against Democratic incumbent Janet Mills. The race is among just a handful of competitive governor’s contests this year, and revives a long-standing rivalry between LePage and Mills. The two were often at loggerheads when LePage was governor and Mills was attorney general.

Representative Gifford Dies

(AP/Lincoln)  Representative Jeffery Gifford, a retired paper mill worker who served five terms in the Maine Legislature, has died at age 75. Gifford served four terms from 2006 to 2014 and was elected to another term in 2020. The Republican from Madison, who died Sunday, was unopposed on the Tuesday primary ballot. He’s the fourth sitting state legislator to die this year.

Health

New Beth C. Wright Director

(Ellsworth)  Angela Fochesato will take over as Director of the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center in Ellsworth next month.  Fochesato has previously served as Patient Navigator for Washington County through Healthy Acadia.  She replaces Michael Reisman, who is retiring after 18 years as Director of the Center.

Regulators Say COVID-19 Shots for Ages 5 and Under are Safe

(WSJ)  U.S. health regulators say three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc.and BioNTech were effective at preventing symptomatic disease in children ages 6 months through 4 years in recently conducted studies.  The FDA staff also said there were no new safety concerns using the vaccine in young children compared with older age groups. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the assessment is the latest sign authorities are moving closer to clearing inoculations for children under 5 years old, the only group not yet eligible for Covid-19 vaccination.

Environment

New Right Whale Protection Rules Affect Shipping Industry

(AP/Portland)  The federal government is close to releasing new rules with which the shipping industry might have to comply to help protect a vanishing species of whale. NOAA has spent a few years reviewing the vessel speed rules it uses to protect North Atlantic right whales. The whales are vulnerable to collisions with large ships. The agency anticipates publishing proposed rules within the coming weeks.  A public comment process would follow.

Head North to Avoid Deer Ticks

(Fort Kent)  Want to avoid those disease-carrying deer ticks?  Head north on U.S. Route 1 and keep driving until you reach the Canadian border in Fort Kent.  Deer ticks have spread to all 16 of Maine’s counties since they were first sighted in 1996, according to the Bangor Daily News. But UMaine Cooperative Extension Tick Lab Manager Griffin Dill says areas with the highest populations are in southern Maine and along the coast.  The further north you go, Dill says, the lower the population, with numbers dropping significantly once you reach Aroostook County.

Limestone Residents Questioned About Water Use

(AP/Limestone)  Researchers exploring the presence of so-called forever chemicals around the former Loring Air Force Base are asking residents how they use the local waters. A contractor will interview residents of Limestone, Caswell and Caribou about water used for swimming, farming and fishing, along with drinking water from private wells. Officials are concerned PFAS contamination from firefighting foam used on Loring’s runway may have spread elsewhere.

Infrastructure

Cottage Street Repairs

(Bar Harbor)  The Bar Harbor Public Works Department will be making a planned emergency infrastructure repair on the sewer line at 6 Cottage Street.  If you’re planning on driving or walking in the area, be aware about half of Cottage Street will be closed today and part of tomorrow to make the needed repairs. Plan accordingly.

Education

Sam Waterston to Speak at COA Summer Institute

(Bar Harbor)  Sam Waterston of TV’s Law and Order will be one of the featured speakers at this year’s College of the Atlantic Summer Institute.  This year’s institute will focus on the world’s oceans, in partnership with the National Geographic Society.  Registration is now open.  Contact Rob Levin at C O A dot e d u.

Business/Economy

State Lawmakers Concerned with Price Gouging as Price of Gasoline Climbs

(Augusta)  As the price of gasoline continues to rise past $5 a gallon, state lawmakers want to know if companies are taking advantage of consumers.  WMTW reports dozens of lawmakers last week sent a letter to Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey, asking him to investigate the possibility of price gouging or market manipulation.  The group acknowledged the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other factors, but also pointed to growing oil company profits.

Maine Third in Nation in Maple Production

(AP)  U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show the nation had a sweet maple season this year. Vermont — the country’s top maple producer — yielded a record 2.5 million gallons of maple syrup. Second was New York with 845,000 gallons, followed by Maine with 672,000 gallons. Vermont producers installed over 6 million taps in maple trees this year.

Wild Acadia Opens Campground

(Trenton)  Wild Acadia Fun Park reopens this year, but with a new name and a new twist.  The location, opening July 1st  in Trenton, is now Wild Acadia Camping Resort.  The water slides, mini-golf, and ropes courses will be available to the public, along with 90 new campsites, most with water and electricity hookups for RV’s.  Owner Andrew Allen told the Bangor Daily News Wild Acadia is the last amusement park in eastern Maine.  He says demand for such entertainment is on the decline, while interest in campgrounds has soared.

Lobster Roll Day

(Ellsworth)  Craving a lobster roll, but don’t want to break the bank?  The Bangor Daily News says just – well, roll with it for a couple of weeks.  Wednesday, June 29th is Lobster Roll Day at Governor’s Restaurants in Ellsworth, Bangor and elsewhere, and the restaurant chain will be selling the sandwiches for around 10 bucks that day.  Governor’s says the day is crazy and a lot of fun, but they’ve fine tuned the event, which they say is their way of saying thanks to those who support them throughout the year.

Human Interest/Entertainment  

800 Cyclists to Participate in Trek Across Maine

(Augusta)  This weekend, more than 800 cyclists will be on the road in the American Lung Association’s 38th Annual Trek Across Maine.  The riders plan to cover 180 miles between June 17th and 19th,  beginning and ending at Thomas Point Beach in Brunswick, and traveling through Lewiston, Standish, and other communities.  Trekkers hope to raise one million dollars for research, education, and prevention of lung disease.

Island Connections Matching Grant

(Bar Harbor)  Island Connections has been providing transportation to seniors and those with disabilities on MDI for 25 years.  Now through June 25th, all contributions up to $25,000 will be matched as part of their “25 for 25 More” campaign.  To donate, visit island connections dot org.

Florida Teen Accepted to All Eight Ivy League Schools

(CNN)  Congratulations to all the graduates out there, and here’s one that says set your sights high.  CNN reports Florida teen Ashley Adirika applied to all eight Ivy League schools last Fall.  Not only was she accepted at all eight – Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and the others – but at seven other universities to which she applied as well, including Stanford and Vanderbilt.  Most of the Ivy League schools accept fewer than 5% of applicants.  Ashley’s mother emigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria 30 years ago.  Ashley plans to attend Harvard and credits her work ethic to the women in her life, including her mother – a single mom to five children.

Bragdon-Kelley Support Group

(Ellsworth)  Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home in Ellsworth is hosting an in-person grief support group this Thursday, June 16th.  The group will run at least eight weekly sessions from 2 to 3:30 p.m.  There’s no charge, and all are welcome, but you need to make a reservation by calling 667-8325.

Juneteenth at Knowlton Park

(Ellsworth)  Juneteenth 2022 will be celebrated this Sunday, June 19th at Knowlton Park in Ellsworth.  The holiday commemorates June 19th, 1865, the day Black Americans in Galveston, Texas were first told they were freed from slavery.  The event is free and everyone is welcome to enjoy poets, speakers, musicians, and food and arts vendors.

Lamoine Holds “Joining for Jina” Event

(Lamoine)  Lamoine community members are invited to the 17th annual “Joining for Jina” Remembrance Walk on Monday, June 20th.  The walk starts at 7 p.m. at the Lamoine State Park.  The walk is in memory of Jina Haslam, who was killed in a car/bike accident near her Lamoine home in 2005.  Monies raised go to a scholarship fund and other school and local projects.

Sports

Red Sox at Fenway tonight for the first of three games against the Oakland A’s.

It’s back to Boston for Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.  The Warriors beat the Celtics last night 104-94 in San Francisco.  Warriors lead 3 games to two going into Game 6