Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Five Year Old Drowns on Ambajejus Lake (Piscataquis County)  A five year old boy drowned Tuesday afternoon in Ambajejus (Am-BAY-juh-sus)  Lake.  The Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office says the boy’s family was renting a camp on the lake. The child was fishing off a dock when he fell in the water about 2 p.m..  […]

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Local News 06/16/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Five Year Old Drowns on Ambajejus Lake

(Piscataquis County)  A five year old boy drowned Tuesday afternoon in Ambajejus (Am-BAY-juh-sus)  Lake.  The Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office says the boy’s family was renting a camp on the lake. The child was fishing off a dock when he fell in the water about 2 p.m..  His father began CPR before emergency responders arrived, and the boy was taken to a hospital where he died.

McConnell Lends Support to Bipartisan Deal to Toughen Gun Laws

(Washington, DC)  A tentative bipartisan deal to toughen federal gun laws picked up momentum in the Senate this week after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lent public support to a framework released by negotiators.   The Washington Post reports McConnell’s backing provided further evidence that the current round of gun-law negotiations, which kicked off after last month’s deadly shooting inside a Texas elementary school, might just have what previous attempts at bipartisan compromise did not — sufficient GOP support to overcome a filibuster.

Local Politics

U.S. House Committee Advances Vote to Benefit Maine Tribes

(AP/Washington, DC)  A U.S. House committee has voted to advance a bill that would allow Native American tribes in Maine to benefit from future federal laws, despite a state land claims settlement. Wabanaki tribes in Maine are governed by a 1980 Act that stipulates they’re bound by state law. That sets them apart from the other 570 federally recognized tribes. Democratic Representative Jared Golden, the bill’s sponsor, said the House Natural Resources Committee vote brings tribes in Maine a step closer to “better economic opportunity and basic fairness.”

Corinth Voters Reverse Ban on Alcohol Sale

(AP/Corinth)  It will soon be “drink up” in a rural Maine town with a decades-old ban on alcohol sales.  Residents of Corinth, a town of about 2,800 some 20 miles from Bangor, voted in the late 1960s and ’70s to impose bans on alcohol sales. But residents on Tuesday narrowly voted to allow the sale of beer, wine and liquor every day of the week except Sunday. The public vote allows licensed establishments to sell liquor for on-site consumption. The vote also allowed retailers to sell beer and wine for off-premises consumption.


Study Suggests Link Between COVID-19 and Hepatitis in Children

(Undated)  ABC News reports a new study points to prior COVID-19 infection as a possible culprit for the global wave of severe hepatitis cases among children — though experts caution the true cause is still a medical mystery. Researchers in Israel added evidence for the theory in a small study published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, suggesting some children might develop liver inflammation in the weeks after recovering from a mild COVID-19 infection.   A child in Maine this week was identified as the first child in the state treated for hepatitis, similar to cases seen in other states.

Dogs Sniff Out Long COVID

(KHN)  Talk about Pup Power … dogs can detect viral compounds in sweat from Long COVID patients up to 18 months after they first caught the virus. Kaiser Health News reports that’s the findings of a study co-authored by Grandjean and published in the Journal of Clinical Trials.  Canines in that study detected evidence of the virus in samples from 23 out of 45 Long COVID patients in the trial, but not among any of the sweat samples that came from 188 people without Long COVID.

Maine Could Look to WVA to Bolster EMS Services

(Augusta)  With the state’s EMS crisis, perhaps Maine could take a page from West Virginia.  The Mountain State is allocating $10 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to bolster West Virginia’s emergency medical services workforce.  Kaiser Health News reports the Community and Technical College System, EMS community partners and state lawmakers reviewed current education and training opportunities for emergency medical technicians and paramedics and looked at areas of need.  A press release issued by Governor Jim Justice said among the changes, the state will buy mobile ambulance simulators to allow educational programs in all regions.


FBC Acquired 400 Acres Behind Ellsworth High School

(Ellsworth)  The conservation of Whitney Forest behind Ellsworth High School will permanently protect the largest remaining green space accessible by foot from Downtown Ellsworth.  Frenchman Bay Conservancy recently received funds from the state to help with the purchase of the 400 acre property.  FBC Executive Director Aaron Dority told the Bangor Daily News the purchase is an incredible opportunity to protect habitat and canopy cover with the city’s urban zone and ensures Ellsworth becomes a place where people want to live and do business.

Major Fish Kill at Brookfield’s Dam in Ellsworth

(Ellsworth)  Another major kill of migrating native river herring has reportedly occurred at Brookfield’s dam in downtown Ellsworth.  The Downeast Salmon Federation reports the killing of thousands of adult river herring occurred as they were heading downstream and back to the ocean after spawning upstream.  DSF said they documented the kill in a video recorded on June 3rd, just hours after flashboards at the dam were repaired.  The Union River has been designated one of America’s most endangered rivers for fisheries impacts.

(Ellsworth)  The Downeast Salmon Federation Wednesday released photos of what they say is another major fish kill of migrating native river herring at Brookfield Renewable’s dam on the Union River in Downtown Ellsworth.  DSF said the fish were likely killed while passing through breached flashboards operated by Brookfield and then falling from the top of the dam onto the rock ledges below.  The Board of Environmental Protection ruled more than a year ago that Brookfield Renewable failed to meet Maine’s water quality standards.


Pandemic Leads to Freelance/Work from Home Shift

(Undated)  The COVID-19 pandemic created a shift in the workforce and work habits – particularly in an area that’s not necessarily new.  Brent Messenger, Vice President of Public Policy for Fiverr, a group that connects businesses with freelancers, tells Star 97.7, the freelance movement has grown into an economic powerhouse.  (((Freelance 1  “…a real economic force.”  :17)))  Messenger says it’s important that policymakers take notice of the shift.

(Undated)  Maine is a cradle of entrepreneurs and freelancers, from writers to artists, to procurers of soaps, sweaters, and services for others.  But how has inflation impacted those who, especially since the pandemic, have begun freelancing?  Brent Messenger, Vice President at Fiverr, tells Star 97.7, not so badly.   (((Freelance 2  “…and so far, so good.”  :18)))  Messenger says a recent report found freelance workers in Boston raked in 6.6 billion dollars in skilled independent work.

(Undated)  Where have all the workers gone?  Brent Messenger, Vice President of Public Policy at Fiverr, a group that connects businesses with freelancers, tells Star 97.7, many have turned to freelance work.  And it’s not just about the money.  (((Freelance 3  “…in a traditional 9 to 5 job.”  :14)))  Messenger says, 89% of those surveyed say they value being able to control when and where they work, so it seems like freelance is here to stay.  To learn more, visit Fiverr – that’s f  i v e r r  – dot com.

(Undated)  Maine certainly saw an influx of people during the pandemic.  With advances in technology, it’s likely many brought their jobs with them in the form of freelance and skilled independent work.  Fiverr’s Freelance Economic Impact Report found such workers are finding there’s money to be made and that they’re more satisfied with work than ever. (((Freelance 4  “…so we’re seeing those kinds of patterns as well.”  :11)))   That was Fiverr’s Vice President of Public Policy, Brent Messenger.

Hampden Trash Facility Likely to Be Sold to MRC

(Hampden)  It appears the former Fiberright trash facility in Hampden will be sold to the Municipal Review Committee.  Even though at a huge loss to investors, MRC Executive Director Michael Carroll says as the promised  deadline approaches, the Receiver has determined no interested bidders were qualified to purchase the property.  Final approval of the sale must be approved by the court, with a target date to close before June 30th.   Before being shut down for financial reasons, the facility processed household trash for more than 100 Maine communities.

Autumn Gold

(Ellsworth)  The Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce is already making plans for the best Autumn Gold celebration ever!  If your business or organization is planning any special events, special sales or yard sales, please contact the Chamber to let them know so they can get the information out to the public as soon as possible.  The Chamber also has a limited number of Autumn Gold flags for purchase.

Human Interest/Entertainment

Maine Man Walks to All Four Corners of State

(Madawaska)  Motorcyclists, a bicyclist, and drivers of cars have done it, but no one had actually walked to all four corners of Maine.  That is, until recently.  69 yo Roger York of Waterville completed the trek in Madawaska, which not only marks one of the four corners of Maine, but of the U.S. as well.  In case you want to put on YOUR walking shoes, the four corners are located at the Lubec Post Office, Kittery Trading Post, Grafton Notch State Park and Madawaska.

Summer Resident Pays for Comfort Cases Supplies

(Ellsworth)  Just in case you need a story to restore your faith in humanity, Lesley Robinson who heads up Comfort Cases here in Maine, called Star 97.7 yesterday.  Lesley says she was in line at the Dollar Tree in Ellsworth, buying supplies to fill the brand new backpacks given to children transitioning into foster care.  As the clerk rang up her $113.00 worth of items, the man in line behind her, who only gave the name of Mark, pushed his credit card into the slot and paid for the entire purchase.  Mark told Lesley he’s here for the summer and was looking for a way to do some good.  Well, Mark, you sure did.  Thanks for paying and for the uplift to us all.

(Ellsworth)  A supporter recently donated a hundred dollars to Comfort Cases, the program that fills new backpacks with items to help children transitioning into foster care.  Maine coordinator Lesley Robinson tells Star 97.7 she was in line with personal care and other items for Comfort Cases, when she turned to speak with the customer behind her.  As the clerk totaled the bill, the customer – who only wanted to go by “Mark” – put his own card into the card reader and paid the bill – all $113.  “Mark” said he was here for the summer and was looking for a way to do some good.  Lesley said she couldn’t help but hug him, and she now still has the $100 donation for pajamas and other needed items.  Mark, wherever you are, we just want to hug you, too!!!  Thanks for spreading the good!


Red Sox beat the A’s again last night 10-1.   Last game of the series this afternoon at Fenway  (1:35 pm)

Game 6 is do or die for the Celtics tonight in San Francisco.  The Warriors lead the series 3 games to 2.