Crime/Public Safety/Drugs One Year Old Clinton Child Dies (Clinton)  The one year old child in Clinton who was found in a plastic tote with water in it has died.  Authorities were called to an Elwood Drive home Tuesday after the mother found the child unresponsive in the tote.  As is protocol, Maine State Police Detectives […]

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Local News 07/01/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

One Year Old Clinton Child Dies

(Clinton)  The one year old child in Clinton who was found in a plastic tote with water in it has died.  Authorities were called to an Elwood Drive home Tuesday after the mother found the child unresponsive in the tote.  As is protocol, Maine State Police Detectives continue to investigate the incident.

(Clinton)  A sad passing to report – the Clinton one year old who was found unresponsive in a plastic tote with water in it has died.  Authorities were called to the Elwood Drive home on Tuesday after the child’s mother was alerted by a sibling.  The child was life-flighted to Maine Medical Center where he later died.  Per protocol, Maine State Police Detectives continue to investigate.

Perry Woman Stabbed Nearly 500 Times

(Perry)  New information has been made public on the April murder of 43 yo Kimberly Neptune, who was found dead in her Perry apartment by her brother.  Court documents reveal Neptune was stabbed 484 times.  39 yo Donnell Dana and 38 yo Kailie Brackett are charged with murder.  A witness said they went to Neptune’s house to rob her, stole money, jewelry, and Xanax before attacking and killing her.  Dana reportedly had previously lived with Neptune and had a son with Brackett.  Both are being held in the Washington County Jail.

(Perry)  Gruesome details made public Thursday show 43 yo Kimberly Neptune was stabbed nearly 500 times in her Perry apartment in April.  39 yo Donnell Dana and 38 yo Kailie Brackett allegedly went to Neptune’s apartment to rob her, stole money, jewelry and Xanax, and then stabbed her 484 times.  Dana and Brackett are charged with murder and are being held in the Washington County Jail.

(AP/Perry)  Newly unsealed court documents show a woman killed in her Perry apartment in April was stabbed 484 times. A state police affidavit indicates Kimberly Neptune had wounds on her legs, stomach, neck and head when her body was discovered wrapped in a blanket in her Perry home. The affidavit indicates the two people charged with murder knew Neptune and planned to rob her. Their attorneys didn’t immediately return a request for comment on Thursday.

American Red Cross Offers Tips on Fourth of July Safety

(Undated)  The American Red Cross wants you to enjoy your long holiday weekend safely.  They say be sure to keep fireworks away from small children, keep a supply of water nearby as a precaution, when lighting fireworks, wear eye protection, light only one firework at a time, and never attempt to relight a “dud”.  And when storing fireworks, make sure they are in a cool, dry place, away from children and pets.

Searsport Fire Chief Suspended

(Searsport)  The Town of Searsport has suspended longtime Fire Chief Andrew Webster.  Town officials declined to comment on a reason for the suspension, which is pending the completion of a town investigation.  Webster reportedly told the Republican Journal he was confident he would be reinstated, that the move was just protocol, and that the investigation had nothing to do with him.

Local Politics

Summer School Meal Programs Bill Signed into Law

(Washington, DC)  Upwards of 400,000 kids in Maine alone will have access to meals this summer when they’re out of school.  Senators Collins and King co-sponsored a bill known as the “Keep Kids Fed Act”, which was signed into law on Thursday.  The legislation extends free school and daycare lunches through summer as families wrestle with supply chain challenges and high food costs for the upcoming school year.

Blue Hill Hires New Town Administrator

(Blue Hill)  Nicholas Nadeau will be the new town of Blue Hill Administrator, effective August 1st.  Nadeau currently serves as the Assistant Town Manager in Waterbury, Vermont and replaces Blue Hill’s first administrator, Shawna Ambrose, who resigned last Spring.

Ellsworth Finance Director Steps Down

(Ellsworth)  Ellsworth City Finance Director Josh McIntyre is stepping down, a little over a year since being hired.  McIntyre told the Ellsworth American he had planned to work in the position much longer, but needed to make the move for personal reasons.  McIntyre helped guide the city through adoption of a $21 million dollar budget for the coming fiscal year.


Surry Receives AARP Challenge Grant

(Surry)  The Town of Surry is one of 11 Maine organizations that will receive 2022 Community Challenge Grants.  The grants are designed to help make communities more livable, especially for Mainers age 50 and older. Surry will use the monies to install signage along Route 172 to slow speeding traffic by drivers who are often unaware of the small town’s presence as they shuttle between Ellsworth and Blue Hill.

DCP and MSM Receive Grant

(Cherryfield)  The partnership between Downeast Community Partners and Maine Seacoast Mission recently received a $75,000 gift from the C.F. Adams Charitable Trust.  Since 2015, with help from the Trust, the two have improved and weatherized sixty homes in Downeast Maine. This summer, DCP and the Mission have identified 15 homes in Washington County and the Schoodic Peninsula area to receive such repairs and weatherization.

 Maine Air BnB Bookings Surge in Rural Maine

(Maine)  More and more people are finding a getaway in Maine’s rural beauty is more enticing than a city vacation.  The Bangor Daily News reports Air BnB host earnings in 2021 were up $13,000 on average.  That totals more than 95 million dollars in Maine’s 12 rural counties – up about a third from 2018.  AirBnB used US Census Bureau definitions to define what constitutes a rural area.  They say the trend is spreading nationwide.

Island Nursing Home Won’t Reopen

(Deer Isle)  The Island Nursing Home in Deer Isle, which closed in October due to a severe staffing shortage, won’t reopen in its former scope as a facility for residential and nursing care to older adults.  A spokesperson told the Ellsworth American, reopening in that capacity became a safety issue.  The INH Board held out hope until May when they received a report from Covenant Health System, which studied the feasibility of reopening independently or in partnership with another organization.


Schools to Expand Mental Health Services

(Bangor)  Students across the country and here in Maine have been forced to struggle with the pandemic, school shootings, and the high costs of going to college.  NewsCenter Maine reports that’s why schools in Bangor and Caribou have plans to offer mental health care to students.  Penobscot Community Health Center opened a new healthcare clinic in Bangor High School earlier this year and plans to expand that to lower grades.  RSU 39 Caribou says it will hire a social worker for its lower grades.  The school district said one hundred percent of their work will be with students in one-on-one sessions or group classroom discussions.


Climate Change Funding Helps Maine’s Coastline Communities

(Maine)  Maine’s coastlines are already feeling the effects of global warming, with rising coastal flooding and erosion prompting the need for improved infrastructure.  NOAA hopes to help with funding from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  NOAA plans to launch “Climate Ready Coasts”, an initiative that will invest nearly one-point-five billion dollars in Maine’s coastal climate resiliency.  The law was supported by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden.

Slugs Prolific This Year

(Maine)  Slimy, slinky slugs – gardeners in Maine are battling it out with the slippery critters that love nothing more than to munch on their flowers and vegetables.  The Bangor Daily News reports this summer’s soggy, wet conditions are ideal for slugs and snails.  How to win the battle?  Gardeners are picking them off by hand, spreading  diatomaceous earth, cinders or sawdust around plants, and putting bowls of beer in the garden – a slug attractor that draws them in and helps them die with a smile on their slimy little faces.

Air Quality Alert

(Maine)  There’s an air quality alert in effect today.  The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued the alert for coastal areas, including Acadia National Park, as ozone concentrations are expected to rise.  Active children and healthy adults who exert themselves and those who suffer from respiratory issues are advised to limit exertion.

(Maine)  Take it easy if you plan to hike, run, bike or otherwise exert yourself in coastal areas today.  The Maine Department of Environmental Protection says winds will turn and are expected to bring ozone into the Gulf of Maine, impacting coastal areas from Kittery through Acadia National Park.  Officials advise limited exertion for children, healthy adults, and especially those with respiratory issues.

Human Interest/Entertainment

Versant Power Planetarium July

(Orono)  Just how close are we to landing on Mars?  That’s one of the fascinating topics covered as the Versant Power Astronomy Center kicks off the month of July tonight!  And, of course, Director Shawn Laatsch tells Star 97.7, the month is also packed with activities for kids!  (((JulySky 1  “…and taking a rocket into space.”  :21))).  This month’s Sunday night music program features Pink Floyd!  For show times, tickets, and all the wonderful July programming offered at the planetarium, visit astro dot umaine dot e d u.

(Orono)  July 20, 1969 – the day the United States’ Apollo 11 landed the first man on the moon.  Shawn Laatsch, Director of the Versant Power Planetarium, tells Star 97.7 News, there’s no better way to celebrate that milestone than with Pink Floyd!  (((JulySky 2  “…so that will be a fun music program.”  :12)))  For ticket information, information on summer programming for the kids, and all things astronomy, visit atro dot umaine dot e d u.

(Orono)  Be one of the first to see amazing images from the James Webb Space Telescope when they’re released this month.  Shawn Laatsch, Director of the Versant Power Astronomy Center on the University of Maine campus at Orono tells Star 97.7 it’s part of the Planetarium’s special July programming.  (((JulySky 3  “…with the Challenger Learning Center, as well.”  :17)))  Laatsch says they also have their regular matinees during the summer months on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m., with new offerings for the kids weekly.  Get tickets and more information at astro dot umaine dot e d u.

(Orono)  Besides a full moon coming up on July 13th, Shawn Laatsch, Director of the Versant Power Planetarium, tells Star 97.7, there are some pretty cool things happening in the night sky this month. (((JulySky 4  “…ya might check out that comet, as well.”  :19)))  The astronomy center is closed this Monday for the holiday, but they offer summer programming for kids and adults alike all summer long – check it out at astro dot umaine dot e d u.

Downeast Family Y Names Gym in Honor of Volunteer

(Ellsworth)  Maralyn “Pete” Turnbull worked tirelessly to fulfill the mission of the Downeast Family YMCA.  She’s been an avid advocate for more than 60 years.  For her dedication and passion, the Y plans to honor her by naming the Wiggins Center gym in her honor.  The honor will officially be awarded at the Y’s Annual Meeting on August 4th.


The Red Sox had the night off last night.  They’ll be in Chicago this afternoon (2:20) to take on the Cubbies.