Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Video Sheds Light on Newport Campground Shooting (Newport)  A video of a fatal police shooting at a Newport campground sheds new light on the incident.  The video was released last week in response to a public records request by the Bangor Daily News.  The abbreviated video shows a man pointing a handgun at […]

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Local News 07/25/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Video Sheds Light on Newport Campground Shooting

(Newport)  A video of a fatal police shooting at a Newport campground sheds new light on the incident.  The video was released last week in response to a public records request by the Bangor Daily News.  The abbreviated video shows a man pointing a handgun at police moments before being shot and killed by a Penobscot County deputy sheriff.  In the video, the victim says there is an active shooter on the property and appears to doubt the officers who showed up at the Sebasticook Lake Campground were real officers.

(Newport)  The Attorney General’s office last week released video of a shooting at the Sebasticook Lake Campground.  The abbreviated video, released in response to a public records request by the Bangor Daily News, shows a man pointing a handgun at police moments before he was shot and killed by a Penobscot County deputy sheriff.  The victim had reportedly called for police after finding a threat from a disgruntled former employee on social media.  In the video, the victim says there is an active shooter on the property and appears to doubt the officers who showed up at the Sebasticook Lake Campground were real officers.

Turner Hit and Run

(Turner)  An alleged impaired driver is facing charges of manslaughter and operating under the influence of drugs after a hit-and-run death in Turner Saturday.  46 yo Tina White of Turner was reportedly walking on the dirt shoulder of a county road when she was hit from behind and killed.  Later that morning, dispatchers got a call about a woman passed out behind the wheel outside a business in Turner.  Police say investigators found 36 yo Amber Smith of Sabattus in a vehicle with damage consistent with the crash.  Officers say Smith’s driver’s license was suspended at the time of the incident.

Affidavit Shows Suspect in Hit-and-Run Murder Had Been Drinking and Speeding

(Portland)  New details have emerged about the alleged hit-and-run murder of a youth activist at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor in June.  An affidavit filed in federal court shows the driver, 35 yo Raymond Lester, was sharing a room with 35 yo Nicole Mokeme, who was hit and killed.  Mokeme was leading a retreat at the Institute at the time.  A witness told police Lester was “hammered” and “behaved appallingly” over dinner and was driving fast in the area where the hit-and-run occurred while holding a bottle of vodka.  While it was dark and no one actually saw the incident, Lester is the prime suspect and has been charged with Mokeme’s murder.

(Portland)  A man who fled after a deadly hit-and-run at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor in June was arrested in Mexico last week.  Now, an affidavit is revealing details about 35-yo Raymond Lester’s alleged involvement.  Witnesses said Lester was sharing a room with his then-girlfriend, Nicole Mokeme, who was leading a retreat at the Institute at Acadia National Park in June.  On the night of the incident, Lester was reportedly drinking heavily and driving his black SUV recklessly.  He allegedly made a shooting motion at a group of attendees.  Mokeme’s body was found on a paved walking path early on the morning of June 19th.  Pieces of black plastic that appeared to have fallen off a vehicle were found near the body.

Teen Arrested in Mt. Vernon Murder Case

(AP)  Police have charged a juvenile boy with murder in the death of 14-year-old Brooke McLaughlin of Mt. Vernon.  Maine State Police said Saturday detectives made an arrest in connection to the death, which was ruled a homicide. State Police released few details, but did say the two knew each other. McLaughlin was found dead in her Mt. Vernon home last Monday.

(Augusta)  Maine State Police have made an arrest in connection to the death of 14-year-old Brooke McLaughlin of Mt. Vernon. McLaughlin was found dead in her home on the evening of July 18. The Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined McLaughlin’s death was a homicide.  Saturday morning, State Police Detectives arrested a male juvenile from Maine and charged him with murder. He was taken to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland. McLaughlin and the juvenile did know each other. Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding McLaughlin’s death but are not releasing the suspect’s name, hometown, or details about what led police to the teen.

Gouldsboro Crash

(Gouldsboro)  A crash on Route One near Gouldsboro resulted in that road begin shut down in both directions for several hours Sunday night.  Maine State Police have not released details, but we’re told there were injuries.  We’ll have updates as they become available.

Business/Economy

Partner Named in Reopening of Hampden Trash Plant

(Hampden)  The Municipal Review Board says it’s moving forward on potential partnership discussions with Revere Capital to help reopen and restart the shuttered Hampden Trash Facility.  Having a private sector partner share the responsibility of owning and operating the plant reduces the need for the MRC to work with members for financing the facility.  MRC Executive Director Michael Carroll said they expect to have many more details at this week’s Finance Committee and Board of Directors Meetings, beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.  The public is invited to attend in person at the Orono Municipal Building or via Zoom – you just need to register in advance through the MRC.

Maine Based Sporting Goods Store Closing Locations

(AP/Portland)   A Maine-based sporting goods chain that once had more than 200 stores on the East Coast is closing its remaining 35 locations. Olympia Sports was founded in 1975 by Edward Manganello, who opened his first store at the Maine Mall in South Portland. The Portland Press Herald reported that by 2013 Olympia Sports had 226 locations from Maine to Virginia. Remaining locations will close by September, and liquidation sales are underway.

Jonesport Rejects Aquaculture Moratorium

(Jonesport)  Voters in Jonesport have rejected a proposal to enact an aquaculture moratorium in the town.  The moratorium was defeated by a more than 2-to-1 margin.  Kingfish Maine, a Netherlands-based firm, has proposed building a $110 million land-based fish farm in Jonesport.   Opponents had stepped up opposition to the Kingfish project over concerns nitrogen discharge from the fish farm could affect water quality and aquatic life.

Health

NLBH Hospital Named One of Best Hospitals in America

(Blue Hill)  This month’s Money Magazine included Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital on its inaugural “Best Hospitals in America” list.  Only 148 hospitals made the list, out of more than 6,000 hospitals across the country.   Northern Light Blue Hill is a critical access hospital that consistently earns a “Top Rural Hospital” designation from The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit whose mission is to “trigger giant leaps forward in the safety, quality and affordability of U.S. healthcare”.

Presque Isle Man Amasses Thousands of Followers in His Quest for Sobriety

(Presque Isle)  A Presque Isle man is finding he’s far from alone in his quest for sobriety.  The Bangor Daily News reports Chip Hafford began drinking in his teens, and recently woke up after a bender feeling saturated in alcohol and worse than he ever had.  He decided it was time to quit – and was hoping for a few followers and a wee bit of support when he posted his journey on Tik-Tok.  Within a few days, his videos went viral.  Hafford now has nearly 50,000 followers, over a million “likes” and millions of viewers.

First Case of Monkeypox Identified in Maine

(AP/Augusta)  Maine CDC  has identified a case of monkeypox in Maine, the first case reported in the state. CDC officials say risk to the general public remains low and that Maine has received a monkeypox vaccine with sufficient doses to vaccinate 311 people. Monkeypox virus causes a rash and is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Transmission of monkeypox reportedly requires close interaction with a symptomatic person.

Education

HCTC in Need of Facelift

(Ellsworth)  The Hancock County Technical Center in Ellsworth is in need of a facelift, but the Ellsworth American reports it might be more cost effective to replace the Boggy Brook facility altogether.  A consultant said the existing 36,000 square foot building requires significant structural upgrades and that the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems have exceeded their useful life.  The consultant commented on the amazing amount of education happening in the relatively small footprint.  Three separate options were presented.  The next steps for an HCTC renovation project are expected in the coming months.

Environment

ANP Sees Slight Drop in Visitors

(Bar Harbor)  Visits to Acadia National Park are down this year.  The Mount Desert Islander reports through the first half of the year, the estimated number of visits is down nearly 90,000 visitors compared to the same period last year.  In spite of the 7.6 percent drop, it was the second-highest first six months visitation number on record, with more than a million visitors during that period.

(Bar Harbor)  Campground stays were up, but overall visitation down slightly during the first six months of 2022.  The Mount Desert Islander reports about 90,000 fewer visitors came to Acadia National Park, compared to the same period last year, a drop of about 7.6 percent.  But overnight stays in the park’s campgrounds last month were up 56 percent over June 2021.  Overall indicators show tourism in Maine is mostly up as the nation recovers from the worst days of the pandemic.

Infrastructure

Ellsworth Water Main Break

(Ellsworth)   A large water main break on State Street in Ellsworth had crews scrambling Sunday evening.  The break resulted in a closure between School and Church Streets.  Some residents may be under a boil water order, although none has been issued yet.  You’ll find updates on the City of Ellsworth FB page – we’ll share those on our Star 97.7 FB page, as well.

(Ellsworth)  The Ellsworth Water Department and Public Works crews had to deal with a large water main break on State Street Sunday night – the break happened near the intersection of Birch Avenue and resulted in the closure of State Street between School and Church.  Residents can monitor the City of Ellsworth FB page for updates and any potential boil water orders.

Rising Tides Threaten Blue Hill Wastewater Plant

(Blue Hill)  Rising tides resulting from global warming and higher sea levels along the coast are threatening Blue Hill’s wastewater treatment plant.  State and town officials have plans to protect the facility, with a million dollar upgrade.  Blue Hill will put $25,000 toward the upgrade, while the state will contribute $975,000 via a grant.  Blue Hill leaders say the town is having more higher tides, making the issue a serious one that could cause issues for the entire region if not rectified.

Human Interest/Entertainment

Autumn Gold to Feature New Harborside Food Fest

(Ellsworth)  A Decorating Contest, the Go for the Gold Raffle, and the 38th Annual Car Show at Home Depot … they’re all part of Ellsworth’s Autumn Gold.  New this year, the Harborside Food Festival will feature a variety of vendors with food, food-related items, and everything from cutting boards to cookbooks. Put it on your calendar now, and then look forward to those cooler temperatures and fall in New England.  The Harborside Food Fest takes place on Autumn Gold Saturday, September 24th, from 9-2.  Local food purveyors, growers, and makers are welcome to register with the Ellsworth Chamber office.

Sports

It was an embarrassing weekend for the Red Sox that started with Friday’s 28-5 loss against the Blue Jays at Fenway.  Toronto went on to win Saturday and again last night, 8-4.  The Red Sox home tonight against the Cleveland Guardians.  In NASCAR action yesterday, Chase Elliott wins the Pocono race after Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, the one-two finishers were disqualified.