Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Marine Patrol Investigates Boating Fatality (Phippsburg) – The Maine Marine Patrol is investigating a recreational boating fatality that occurred Tuesday on Flag Island near Phippsburg. Patrol officers were notified by a fisherman who reported a vessel aground on the island. Officers arrived on scene around 7:00 a.m. and found the deceased, identified as 37 […]

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Local News 06/23/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Marine Patrol Investigates Boating Fatality

(Phippsburg) – The Maine Marine Patrol is investigating a recreational boating fatality that occurred Tuesday on Flag Island near Phippsburg. Patrol officers were notified by a fisherman who reported a vessel aground on the island. Officers arrived on scene around 7:00 a.m. and found the deceased, identified as 37 yo Vincent Wells of Phippsburg, aboard a Yamaha Jet Boat. The vessel was recovered and will be examined by Marine Patrol as part of its ongoing investigation.

Young Children Vandalize Lewiston School

(Lewiston)  Four children, ranging in age from 10 to 14, are accused of causing $100,000 in damage to a Lewiston school.  Longley School security cameras show desks overturned, cans of paint splattered on walls and floors, technology toppled and classrooms and hallways littered with books, materials and school supplies.  The cameras allowed officials to identify a 10 year old, two 12 year olds, and a 14 year old who were summonsed and released to their parents with conditions of release.

(Lewiston)  Officials estimate four young children caused $100,000 in damage to the Longley School in Lewiston over the weekend.  School security cameras enabled police to identify a ten year old, two twelve year olds, and a 14 year old as the vandals.  The suspects apparently forced their way into the school, found cans of paint they spread down hallways, across doors and walls, toppled technology, desks, and other furniture, and emptied file cabinets.  The children were summonsed and released to their parents with conditions of release.

Baileyville Man Killed in Crash

(Princeton)  A Baileyville man died Wednesday morning after he lost control of his pickup.  The Washington County Sheriff reports 43 yo John Gagner was on West Street in Princeton about 11 a.m. yesterday when his truck left the road and hit a tree.  Gagner died at the scene.  The crash remains under investigation.

(Princeton)  A 43 yo Baileyville man died in a crash in Princeton Wednesday morning.  The Washington County Sheriff reports John Gagner was driving his pickup on West Street about 11 a.m. when the vehicle left the road and crashed into a tree.  Authorities are trying to determine what caused Gagner to veer off the road.  Gagner died at the scene.

Bangor Man Arrested in Stabbing Incident

(Bangor)  Police have arrested a Bangor man in connection with a Tuesday morning stabbing.  31 yo Stephen Hunt is charged with domestic violence elevated aggravated assault.  The stabbing happened at an apartment on Third Street.  Officers arrived to find a person bleeding heavily.  The victim was taken to a hospital.  Hunt is being held at the Penobscot County Jail.

Local Politics

Ellsworth Rejects Ban on Overnight Houseboat Moorings

(Ellsworth)  Houseboats can stay on Ellsworth waters long term.  That’s the determination after city councilors rejected proposed regulations that would have banned people from anchoring them on local lakes overnight.  The Bangor Daily News reports the issue has been ongoing for two years and stems from a houseboat on Green Lake that drew complaints from shorefront property owners.  The issue isn’t totally off the table – Councilors say they’re just not happy with the way the proposed ordinance was written.

Ellsworth to Hold July 12th Election

(Ellsworth)  If you need an absentee ballot or want to vote absentee in person at City Hall in Ellsworth, you have exactly two weeks to take care of that.  The City says an election to approve the school budget that was adopted at a previous City Council meeting is scheduled for July 12th.  You can vote absentee now through July 7th.  For detailed information and a sample ballot, visit the city’s elections page on their website.

Health

American Red Cross Encourages Blood Donations as Holiday Draws Near

(Bangor)  During holiday weeks, such as the upcoming 4th of July, the Red Cross sees about a 21% decline in blood and platelet donations.  As a thank you to those who come to give June 30th through July 10th, the Red Cross will give an exclusive Red Cross recycled cotton tote bag, while supplies last.  Find a drive near you and register at red cross blood dot org.

Maine Deemed in Violation of ADA

(AP/Portland) The U.S. Department of Justice says Maine is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because it unnecessarily institutionalizes youths with mental health and developmental disabilities.  The DOJ said Maine’s lack of sufficient community-based services prevents many Maine children with disabilities from living with family. The investigation began after advocacy group Disability Rights Maine filed a complaint on behalf of a group of children. The Mills administration said Wednesday improving behavioral health services for Maine children is one of its goals.

Collins Advocates for Lower Insulin Costs                                                                                                                                  (Washington Post) U.S. Senators have unveiled a bill to curb insulin prices, although the measure faces an uphill battle in the Senate, if it gets a vote. According to The Washington Post, the bill would place a $35 monthly cap on the cost of insulin for patients with private insurance and those enrolled in Medicare. The bill also seeks to make insulin more accessible by cracking down on previous authorization requirements from insurers. In addition to Maine Senator Susan Collins, nine other Republicans would have to support the bill to clear a 60-vote threshold.

Balance Linked to Longer, Better Life                                                                                                                                              (CNN)   We all know we need balance in our lives.  A new study shows an inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in later life is linked to nearly double the risk of death from any cause within the next decade.  CNN reports the simple balance test may be useful to include in routine physical exams for people in middle and old age.  While aging leads to a decline in physical fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility, balance tends to be reasonably well-preserved until a person’s 50s, when it starts to wane relatively rapidly.

Lights Out for Best Sleep

(CNN)  Lights out!  And keep those phones off.  A new study finds even dim light can disrupt sleep, raising the risk of serious health issues in older adults. “Exposure to any amount of light during the sleep period correlates with a  higher prevalence of diabetes, obesity and hypertension in both older men and women,” senior author Phyllis Zee, Chief of Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, told CNN.  Zee says people should do their best to avoid or minimize the amount of light they are exposed to during sleep.

Environment

Fungus Killing Browntail Moths in Maine

(Maine)  A natural “predator” may be helping with the state’s invasion of browntail moth caterpillars.  Researchers with the Maine Forest Service have discovered the rash-inducing creepy crawlers are susceptible to a fungus that thrives in wet, cool conditions.  People are asked to keep an eye out for infected caterpillars, which will be covered in dust-like fungal spores and will have a swollen appearance.  If you see them you’re asked to contact the Maine Forest Service.

Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Shut Down Roundup Lawsuits

(AP)  The Supreme Court has rejected Bayer’s appeal to shut down thousands of lawsuits claiming that its Roundup weed killer causes cancer. The justices this week left in place a $25 million judgment in favor of a California man who says he developed cancer from using Roundup for decades to treat poison oak, overgrowth and weeds on his San Francisco Bay Area property. The lawsuit had served as a test case for thousands of similar lawsuits.

Infrastructure

Machias Landowners Fear Flooding Threat with New Bridge and Causeway

(Machias)  Machias landowners say a plan to replace a decades-old dike will mean potential flooding due to tidal fluctuation.  A new bridge planned where Route One crosses the Middle River will have a wide span in the middle to allow for tide flow.  That change will allow fish passage currently blocked by the dike.  The upgrade will include removal of tide-control gates under Route One.  Landowners say flooding would negate use of their land for pasture and grazing.  The state promises compensation, but it’s unclear to what extent.

Work Continues on Major Section of Road in Aroostook County

(Cyr Plantation)  A project spokesman says supply chain difficulties and uncooperative weather are hampering repairs to a busy section of roadway in northern Aroostook County.  Flash flooding from heavy rain and a beaver dam that broke loose during the storm caused a major washout last month, affecting access to 22 miles of Route 1 between Van Buren and Caribou.  The repairs are expected to be completed and the road opened early next week

Hampden Bridge Bundle Work Continues

(Hampden)  The third of four new southbound bridges on I-95 is Hampden is scheduled to open this Sunday night.  The Maine Department of Transportation reports the new West Souadabscook (SOW-uh-DABS-cook) Stream Bridge will open to traffic on the southbound side on the night of the 26th.  There will be lane closures Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights.

Business/Economy

Larger Minimum Lobster Size Considered for Gulf of Maine

(Maine)  The lobster industry faces much uncertainty, with global warming, new regulations designed to protect an endangered whale species, and more.  The Working Waterfront reports one constant the past 30-plus years has been the minimum legal size for lobsters.  But changes are now being discussed.  Experts say if the fishery were to decline below a predetermined threshold, there could be an increase in the minimum legal size in the Gulf of Maine.

MDOL Awarded Funds to Help in Underserved Communities

(Augusta)  The Maine Department of Labor will use nearly $300 million dollars in grant funding to help eligible workers understand the application process for claiming and receiving unemployment benefits and related services.  Maine is one of seven states awarded such funds through the U.S. Department of Labor to help reduce disparities in unemployment benefits and services.  Maine’s funds will be utilized in underserved communities to help residents understand the temporary financial resource during periods of job loss while they seek new employment.

One of Maine’s Largest Employers Pulls Out of Russia

(AP/Westbrook)  One of Maine’s Largest employers is permanently closing its Russian subsidiary and will stop doing business in that country.  Idexx Laboratories in Westbrook is a leader in veterinary medicine.  Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Idexx had 18 workers in Moscow.  The company says it is liquidating the Russian subsidiary.

Human Interest/Entertainment

Theatre to Recognize Betty White Anniversary

(Madison)  It was 60 years ago that the incomparable Betty White wowed audiences at the Lakewood Theatre in Madison, Maine.  To celebrate, the theater is kicking off their summer this evening with a performance of “Critics Choice”, the play performed at the theatre and starring White and Allen Ludden back in 1962.  Ticket information is available on the theatre’s FB page.  A dollar from each ticket sold will go to the Somerset Humane Society in honor of White’s love of animals.

Juneteenth is This Weekend at Knowlton Park

(Ellsworth)  This Sunday looks to be a much nicer day for Ellsworth’s Juneteenth celebration at Knowlton Park.  The event was postponed from last Sunday due to the rainy, cold conditions.  The event will run from Noon until 4 and will feature special speakers, poets, music, and food … and all are welcome.

Sports

Cooper Flagg is one of twelve players named Wednesday to the 2022 USA Basketball Men’s U17 National Team.  The 15 yo former Nokomis standout was chosen from a field of 18 finalists to compete next month in Spain.

The Red Sox swept their series against the Detroit Tigers with last night’s 6-2 win.  Boston has the night off.  They’ll be in Cincinnati this weekend to take on the Guardians.