Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Gull Cottage Fire Ruled Accidental (Prospect Harbor)  It was simply an accident – that’s the ruling by the State Fire Marshal’s Office on the Monday morning fire that burned Gull Cottage in Prospect Harbor.  They say the fire started in the ventilation fan in the bathroom ceiling.  While the lighthouse was untouched, the […]

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Local News 06/29/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Gull Cottage Fire Ruled Accidental

(Prospect Harbor)  It was simply an accident – that’s the ruling by the State Fire Marshal’s Office on the Monday morning fire that burned Gull Cottage in Prospect Harbor.  They say the fire started in the ventilation fan in the bathroom ceiling.  While the lighthouse was untouched, the cottage likely will need to be torn down due to smoke and water damage.

(Prospect Harbor)  The State Fire Marshal’s Office says the early morning fire Monday at Gull Cottage in Prospect Harbor began in the ventilation fan in the bathroom ceiling.  They’ve ruled the blaze accidental.  The family staying in the cottage escaped without injury.  The blaze mostly affected the upper story, but firefighters say due to smoke and water damage, the cottage will likely need to be torn down.

Vandals Destroy Hives in Albion

(Albion)  Vandals destroyed hives housing hundreds of thousands of bees this week in Albion.  The Bangor Daily News reports Swan’s Honey suffered five thousand dollars in damage when someone knocked over the hives used in the company’s educational programs to teach beekeeping.  Tire tracks are visible, showing where a vehicle drove through the hives in a grassy area where pieces of hives had honey bees still clinging to them.  Each hive reportedly held between fifty and sixty thousand bees.

(Albion)  A beekeeper in Albion suffered the loss of hives housing hundreds of thousands of bees in Albion this week.  The Bangor Daily News reports photos posted on social media show tire tracks where a vehicle drove through the hives, leaving them broken and with bees clinging to the debris.  There was no sign of scratches or bear bites – a spokesperson for Swan’s Honey said if someone was on an ATV they likely were stung several times by bees trying to protect their hives.  Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Local Politics

Maine Prepares for Anti-Abortion Pushback from Other States

(Augusta)  Maine is bracing – and preparing – for anti-abortion activists’ plans to reach into states like Maine where abortion remains legal.  The Bangor Daily News reports Maine is keeping tabs on abortion laws in other states that could affect Mainers, according to Attorney General Aaron Frey.  The state is looking at adding further protections to insulate the state from more conservative ones planning to limit abortion after last week’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade.

(Augusta)  Maine’s laws protecting a woman’s right to choose remain strong, in spite of last week’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade.  But activists warn anti-abortion prosecutors in other states are already talking about how they are going to reach into states like Maine where abortion remains legal.  The Bangor Daily News reports Governor Janet Mills, who has expanded access to abortion during her time as governor, said she was reviewing her options to ensure women from other states seeking abortions in Maine would be protected.

(Augusta)  Opponents of abortion rights have proposed broad laws aimed at undermining access to abortion, even in liberal states like Maine where a woman’s right to choose has broad public support.  The Bangor Daily News reports the state is keeping tabs on abortion laws in other states that could affect Maine.  Attorney General Aaron  Frey said further protections could be needed to ensure access to abortion here, depending on laws enacted in anti-abortion states. Frey said Maine would be watching and would react as necessary.

Environment

Black Fly Season Longer Due to Climate Change

(AP/Portland)  You can’t live without the net in Maine – and we’re not talking the internet.  Maine’s season for black flies appears to be taking up more of the year due to factors including cleaner water and climate change. Black flies feed on human blood and bedevil outdoor adventure seekers, gardeners, and anyone trying to enjoy the outdoors.  At one time, black fly season in Maine ran from approximately Mother’s Day in May to Father’s Day in June. Experts caution hang onto those bug nets – the season now extends through the summer.

(AP/Portland)  Cleaner water and climate change – two factors that appear to be extending black fly season in Maine.  The little insects can pack some big, nasty bites as they feed on human blood.  Jim Dill, a pest management specialist at University of Maine Cooperative Extension, told the Bangor Daily News a few decades ago the Maine season for black flies was from the end of May into the first weeks of June when they would then die off.  Experts say the season now runs through the summer.

Ducks Stuck in Chimneys Apparently Quite Common

(Presque Isle)  Who knew ducks had a habit of falling down chimneys?  Apparently it’s quite common.  Vonda Lavway of Presque Isle posted a photo of a Merganser rescued from a friend’s chimney after being stuck for two days.  The post generated multiple comments by people who had had the same experience!  One woman said her mother came home to find a duck in her fireplace looking through the glass at her.  Everyone’s experiences seemed to end on a positive note, with no ducks harmed.  No word on whether anyone sent the fowls a “bill” for their rescues?

Infrastructure

(Islesboro)  Islesboro Ferry travelers will notice a temporary change beginning this morning.  The Captain Richard G. Spear will be replacing the Margaret Chase Smith on Islesboro at 11:20.  Captain Richard G. Spear will serve Islesboro until the Smith completes its US Coast Guard hull inspection and shipyard period. The Spear is a 23-vehicle ferry and will not have the same capacity as the Margaret Chase Smith at 30 vehicles. This change is expected to last through the first three weeks of July.

Education

Outdoor Learning Initiative

(Augusta)  Governor Janet Mills has launched the Maine Outdoor Learning Initiative.  The program will provide more than a thousand middle and high school students with the opportunity for outdoor learning experiences this summer.  The focus will be on lower-income families from parts of Maine that don’t typically have access to such experiences.  Participating organizations include Maine Maritime Academy, Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Science in Beals, and Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park among others.

UMaine Revisits Malloy’s Contract Extension

(Orono)  The University of Maine Board of Trustees Executive Committee will meet today to decide whether to extend Chancellor Dannel Malloy’s contract until July 11th, when the full board meets.  Malloy’s current three-year contract expires Thursday.  The committee reportedly failed to follow policy earlier this month in adding 11 days to the employment agreement.

Business/Economy

 Versant Customers to See Slight Decrease in Bills

(Bangor)  Beginning July 1st, Versant Power residential customers will see a slight decrease in electricity delivery rates.  Customers using 500 kilo-watt hours per month will see an average reduction of about $5.00.  New rates for customers will be posted beginning Friday at versant power dot com.

Summer Job Tips

(Undated)  Looking for a summer job?  The Finance Authority of Maine, or FAME, says there are plenty of them out there.  FAME says students should consider pay, length of commitment, experience to add to that resume, and a flexible schedule when earning money for college or trade school.  They say jobs are plentiful in retail sales, hospitality, working with children, working on college campuses, and even internships.  Obviously, jobs that offer tuition assistance are a plus!

National Park Visitors Boost Economy

(Undated)  If you’re overwhelmed by tourists this weekend, consider this:  a new National Park Service report shows visitors to national parks in Maine spent $490 million dollars in 2021.  With a total of more than four million visits, tourists and locals supported over 7,000 jobs.  National parks in Maine that were included in the report were Acadia National Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and St. Croix Island International Historic Site.

(Undated)  Maine’s National Parks attract millions of visitors every year – and Mainers for the most part welcome them with open arms to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of our coastlines, lakes and forests.  A new National Park Service report shows visitors bring a hefty economic boost to the state, as well.   National park visitors spent $490 million dollars in 2021. National parks in Maine that were included in the report were Acadia National Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and St. Croix Island International Historic Site.

Governor’s Hosts Lobster Roll Day

(Maine)  It’s Lobster Roll Day at Governor’s Restaurants.  Beginning at 8 this morning, lobster rolls are just $9.63, plus tax, in celebration of the restaurant chain’s 63 years in business.  Governor’s asks that while lines may be long, you just show up and be patient.  They say calling ahead with orders just slows things down.  The special runs until sold out.  Last year, Governor’s sold over 21,000 lobster rolls across six stores.

Human Interest/Entertainment

Swan’s Island Artist Association Hosts Open Studio Events

(Swan’s Island)  The Swan’s Island Artist Association will be hosting two Open Studio events this year – one on July 5th and another on August 5th.  Make a stop at Odd Fellows Hall, Harbor View Studio and Iver Studio to meet the artists and see their beautiful artwork.  Painting, ceramics, photography, wood artistry, and other disciplines will be on display from 1 to 3 p.m.  Ferries between Bass Harbor and Swan’s Island run six times a day, making for a great day trip to enjoy the island and the offerings of its local artists.

Friday Night Live Summer Concerts in Milbridge

(Milbridge)  Get your boots on and get ready to kick up your heels!  The Friday Night Live summer concert series in Milbridge kicks off Friday, July 8th with Whiskey Bent on the Milbridge Theatre Outdoor Stage.  Concerts are free, and you can enjoy refreshments and snacks by donation.  Bring a chair for when you tire of dancing. Music concerts start at 6:30 p.m.   Concerts and open mic nights are scheduled all summer long.  Visit The Milbridge Theatre and Community Arts Center on FB for a complete schedule.

Mosman Park Centennial

(Searsport)  Mosman Memorial Park in Searsport is celebrating its 100th birthday with a free “Picnic in the Park” this Saturday.  Searport’s Official Town Historian Charlene Knox Farris tells Star 97.7, the park and its amenities have some almost magical qualities.  (((Mosman 1  “…it appears that you can walk on water.”  :17))) Besides the sand bar, the park has lovely views and a beach that is open to the public.  The picnic begins at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, and all are welcome.

(Searsport)  This Saturday, the town of Searsport will celebrate the Mosman Park Centennial.  Searsport Town Historian Charlene Knox Farris tells Star 97.7, the town came close to losing the land when the great, great granddaughter of the original owner, Nahum (NAY-heume) Mosman,  reportedly planned to sell the land to be subdivided into cottages … blocking the town’s only access to a public beach.  Enter a woman with a vision.  (((Mosman 2  “…in honor of the Mosman family.”   :21))).  Bake sales were held, the money was raised, and the rest – as they say – is history.

(Searsport)  Mosman Park in Searsport sports ball fields, picnic areas, a sand bar on which you can walk at low tide, and the town’s only access to a public beach. But Town Historian Charlene Knox Farris tells Star 97.7, a hundred years ago, the town almost lost the public space to development.  But a resident, Mrs. Margaret Parse, got the town involved and raised the money to buy the land and keep it a public space honoring the Mosman family.  (((Mosman 3  “…that takes care of the park.”  :14)))  Knox-Farris says everyone in the town pitched in to raise just over $2,600 to purchase the land.  The Mosman Park Centennial Celebration kicks off this Saturday at 10:45 with a “Picnic in the Park”.

(Searsport)  Searsport’s Mosman Park is a treasure that was almost lost to the town 100 years ago.  Saturday, the town will kick off the 100th anniversary of the town’s beautiful public park and beach access.  One feature of the park is a sandbar you can walk out on at low tide, when it’s not covered in 10 feet of water.  Searsport’s Official Historian Charlene Knox Farris tells Star 97.7, rumor has it the sandbar has another treasure all its own.  (((Mosman 4  “…of course, we’ll never know for sure.”  :16)))  Everyone is welcome to attend the “Picnic in the Park”, which begins Saturday at 10:45 a.m.

(Searsport)  This Saturday, the Town of Searsport will celebrate the Centennial of Mosman Park, the centerpiece of Searsport that was almost lost to development.  Before fields were built at the high school, the park was used for games – but there were no facilities.  And while Mainers have their own special terms – deah, dooryard, etc. – Searsport Town Historian Charlene Knox Farris tells Star 97.7, the park did as well.  (((Mosman 5  “…slang expression everybody knew about.”  :18))).  Knox Farris has a wealth of fascinating information – she researched it all herself.  We highly recommend her fun, informative historical walking tour.

Cat Lost in Motor Home Crash in Maine Back Home in Texas

(ANP)  Max the black cat got really lucky this week.  The friendly feline was lost when his family from Texas was visiting Acadia National Park.  The family’s motor home was involved in a crash; and while the family was ok, Max was not to be found.  WABI-TV reports the family returned to Texas, but the wrecked motor home remained in Maine and was towed to a spot where workers heard a loud meow.  After surviving on his own 11 days, Max made it known he was alive and well.  He’s now safely back in the arms of his family in the Lone Star State.  Max, you have eight lives left – enjoy them all.

Sports

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 6.  One more game tonight in Toronto.  The Red Sox will be in Chicago this weekend for games against the Cubs.