Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Yacht Burns, Sinks (AP/New Castle, NH)  Three people were taken to the hospital when a 70-foot yacht burned and sank in New Hampshire Saturday. The vessel, called the Elusive, was on the Piscataqua River heading toward a marina in New Castle at about 4 p.m. Saturday when a passenger noticed black smoke below […]

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Local News 06/20/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Yacht Burns, Sinks

(AP/New Castle, NH)  Three people were taken to the hospital when a 70-foot yacht burned and sank in New Hampshire Saturday. The vessel, called the Elusive, was on the Piscataqua River heading toward a marina in New Castle at about 4 p.m. Saturday when a passenger noticed black smoke below deck. Three passengers and two dogs jumped overboard as the boat became engulfed in flames. All were rescued by other boats and taken to a hospital, where they were treated and released. The yacht eventually sank in Maine waters.

(AP/New Castle, NH)  A 70-foot luxury yacht caught fire on the Piscataqua River on Saturday, eventually drifting into Maine waters where it sank.  Three passengers and two dogs were able to jump overboard and were rescued by other boats.  The Coast Guard says a 9-1-1 call came in about 4 p.m. Photos show the yacht, dubbed the Elusive, totally engulfed in flames.  The incident remains under investigation.

Versant Power Line Crew Honored

(Orono)  Four Presque Isle workers will be honored tomorrow morning by the American Red Cross for actions that saved the life of a fellow lineman last February.  Versant Power employees Cameron Bragg, Steve Sager, Scott Madore, and Danny Morin had just completed a refresher course in CPR that morning, when they arrived at a jobsite to find a crew-member unresponsive.  The men called 9-1-1, began CPR and attached an AED before EMS arrived.

Fatal Crash in Union [CHECK FOR UPDATE]

(Union)  One person was killed in a Saturday night crash in Union.  The Pen Bay Pilot reports the crash happened just before 2 a.m. when the vehicle failed to negotiate a turn on Depot Street and went off the road, slamming into a tree.  Authorities have not yet released the name of the person killed.

Motorcycle Fatalities Up Significantly

(Maine)  If it seems you’ve been hearing about an awful lot of fatalities involving motorcycles, you’re spot on.  WABI-TV reports motorcycle crash deaths so far in 2022 are double what they were this time last year.  The Bureau of Highway Safety has recorded 13 motorcycle-related deaths, compared to seven this time last year.  In addition, there have been more than 150 non-fatal motorcycle or moped crashes.

New Suicide Hotline

(Undated)  A new three-digit dialing code will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, beginning July 16th.  Anyone dialing or texting 9-8-8 will be connected to a trained counselor who will provide support and connect them to resources if needed.  The current 800-number will remain available to anyone in emotional or suicidal crisis, even after 9-8-8 is launched.

Waldo County Sheriff Warns of Scam

(Waldo County)   The Waldo County Sheriff’s office is warning of a scam.  They say someone is making calls locally and pretending to be from the Sheriff’s Office, soliciting money to bail out a family member.  They say if anyone is picked up and held for bail, monies will be paid at the jail, in person, and never over the phone.

Moosehead Lake Drowning

(Greenville)  A 40 yo Portland man drowned Saturday afternoon in the east outlet of the Kennebec River.  Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Spokesperson Mark Latti tells Star 97.7, Truc Huynh was fishing with a friend on the outlet, which flows out of Moosehead Lake.  The two were in a raft which went through some whitewater rapids and overturned, throwing the men into the water.  Huynh was not wearing a life jacket and never resurfaced.  His friend, who was wearing a life jacket, made it to shore and called 9-1-1.  Huynh’s body was recovered Saturday afternoon and taken to a local funeral home.

Maine Medical Center Bomb Threat

(Portland)  Authorities say a bomb threat at Maine Medical Center yesterday led to a temporary halt in visitation, but the facility is fully reopened this morning.  The bomb threat reportedly came through the hospital switchboard.  Portland Police say an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Health

Maine Health Care Systems Tops All States in Handling of the Pandemic

(Maine)  Which state’s health systems performed best during the COVID-19 pandemic?  That would be Maine and Hawaii.  Kaiser Health News reports new rankings by the Commonwealth Fund were based on vaccination rates, capacity in hospital and intensive care units and death rates.  Vermont, Washington, and Oregon rounded out the top five.  Alabama ranked at the bottom of the scorecard, followed by Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Georgia.

(Maine)   A new report by the Commonwealth Fund ranks Maine the top state when it comes to how its healthcare system performed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Maine tied with Hawaii on the scorecard, which compared vaccination rates, capacity in hospital and intensive care units, and death rates.  Kaiser Health News reports Vermont, Washington, and Oregon rounded out the top five.  Alabama ranked at the bottom of the scorecard, followed by Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Georgia.

Environment

Tape for Ticks

(Maine)  Let’s face it, the tick situation this year in Maine is a sticky one.  So how about tape for ticks?  People are resorting to taping the bottoms of their pants legs with duct tape to keep the creepy crawlers out.  The Bangor Daily News reports you just want to make sure it’s tight enough so the little devils can’t get through – but don’t cut off your circulation, obviously.  Just one more use for the universal fix-it-all.

State Looks at Tightening PFAS Guidelines

(Augusta)  The Environmental Protection Agency last week tightened guidelines for PFAS or “forever chemicals” that have been found in Maine in everything from deer, to soil, to fish.  But the guidelines don’t come with legal enforcement or money to help states enforce them.  It could be another year before the EPA’s standards are formally adopted.  State lawmakers say Maine should use the time to review current standards, figure out how to adopt near-zero standards and how to enforce them.

Infrastructure

Bar Harbor to Create Master Plan for Ferry Terminal

(Bar Harbor)  The Town of Bar Harbor will use its share of Shore and Harbor Planning grants to create a master plan for the former Ferry Terminal property near downtown.  The $200,000 in grants, awarded through the Maine Department of Marine Resources, went to five locations, including Thomaston and Chebeague Island.  Bar Harbor’s plans reportedly include a boat launch and public marina for recreational and commercial use.

U.S. Navy’s New Destroyer, Courtesy of Bath Iron Works

(Bath)  The U.S.Navy has a new destroyer as of Saturday, courtesy of Bath Iron Works.  Governor Janet Mills and Senator Susan Collins attended the christening of the USS John Basoline (BASS-alone) at the shipyard this weekend.  It’s the second ship named after the Gunnery Sergeant, who served as a Marine during World War II.

Push to Revitalize Loring AFB

(Loring)  Loring Air Force Base closed more than three decades ago, but the state is pushing to revitalize the former base in northern Maine.  The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development is undertaking a two-year business and marketing campaign to draw business to the complex.  Planners envision aerospace industries, agricultural and wood products, and energy operations.

Education

University of Maine Failed to Follow Policy in Contract Extension

(Orono)  The University of Maine system failed to follow policy in approving a short-term extension of Chancellor Dannel Malloy’s contract, according to the Bangor Daily News. The system’s lead trustee and Malloy arrived at a “mutual agreement” to extend the contract through July 11th.  University policy reportedly doesn’t provide for unilateral action by a board chair.  Malloy has come under fire for actions during a search for a President for the Augusta campus.  The Chancellor said an over reliance on an outside consultant led to bad decision-making.

Business/Economy

Monies to Help Cut Energy  Costs in Schools, Public Buildings

(Augusta)  Maine schools, towns, cities, and tribal governments will soon be able to cut energy costs and create savings for taxpayers.  That’s the goal of a $15 million dollar initiative from the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan announced Friday by the Mills Administration.  The Initiative from Efficiency Maine comes at a time of rising prices for heating fuels and is designed to increase energy cost stability and decrease carbon emissions.

Human Interest/Entertainment

Ellsworth Juneteenth Rescheduled

(Ellsworth)  Rain put a damper on Healthy Acadia’s plans for celebrating Juneteenth Sunday at Knowlton Park.  Not to worry, the celebration will take place this coming Sunday, June 26th, instead.  The event is scheduled for Noon until 4 pm. with music, poets, speakers, and delectable food for everyone wishing to attend.

Sunday Music and Coffee at Woodlawn

(Ellsworth)  Kate Hall kicks off Woodlawn’s first Sunday Sounds concert series on June 26th, with Vivian Hyde on the keys.  The concert kicks off at 10:30 a.m., with a treat and coffee provided by Steamy Buddha.  Bring a lawn chair and a picnic brunch if you like.  Sunday is the first of five such concerts scheduled this summer at Woodlawn.

Unspoken Returns to the Grand

(Ellsworth)  The Christian music group “Unspoken” returns to the Grand in Ellsworth for one night only – Thursday, July 7th.  It’s been six years since the group last performed at the Grand to a sold-out audience.  Tickets are going fast – get yours at grand online dot org.

Ellsworth Boys Bring Home State Championship

(Ellsworth)  Ellsworth High School sports added another to their list of accomplishments this weekend.  The Eagles baseball team defeated the Freeport Falcons for the Class B State Championship.  Hunter Curtis, David Baugh, and Craig Burnett were selected for the Class A/B North vs. South Senior Baseball game, along with Coach Dan Curtis and MDI Trojan Quentin Pileggi.  That game is set for Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College.  The Machias Bulldogs were runners up in Class D.

Senior Preparedness Expo

(Ellsworth)  Don’t forget the Senior Preparedness Expo offered this Thursday and Friday via Zoom.  FEMA Region 1 will host Disaster Preparedness for Older Adults 55-plus, their families and caregivers and agencies that serve them.  Topics include flood and heavy rainfall, severe winter weather, cybersecurity and personal health and wellness.  There’s no charge, but you need to register through the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency.

Sports

Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, home of the New England Patriots, has been selected among the FIFA World Cup 2026 host sites

The Ellsworth Eagles baseball team brought home the Class B State Championship.  The Machias Bulldogs were runners up in Class D.

The Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday 6-4.  Next up is a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway, starting this evening.