Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Police Investigating Franklin Sexual Assault Charge (Franklin)  Detectives are investigating a sexual assault charge in Franklin.  The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports to Star 97.7, a report of the assault was made Sunday.  No further details were available.  We’ll keep you updated. Ellsworth to Get New Police Cruisers (Ellsworth)  The City of Ellsworth […]

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Local News 07/26/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Police Investigating Franklin Sexual Assault Charge

(Franklin)  Detectives are investigating a sexual assault charge in Franklin.  The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports to Star 97.7, a report of the assault was made Sunday.  No further details were available.  We’ll keep you updated.

Ellsworth to Get New Police Cruisers

(Ellsworth)  The City of Ellsworth will be getting two new 2022 Ford Police Cruisers.  Police Chief Glenn Moshier at last night’s special city council meeting said they accepted bids for FY 2023 for $73,770 for the two new cruisers.  (((Cruisers:   “…in late September.”  :14)))  Moshier said they had planned to retire two 2017 cruisers, but with trade in value extremely low they’ll be looking at using one for backup and possibly selling one to HCTC’s law enforcement program.  Councilor Lyons was absent; Councilor O’Halloran voted against the purchase of the new cruisers.

Ellsworth to Form Committee to Look at Public Safety Housing Options

(Ellsworth)  The City of Ellsworth needs more space for its public safety needs – fire, EMS, and such.  A study done in the recent past shows building a new facility isn’t a real option due to costs.  At last night’s special City Council meeting, Chairman Dale Hamilton explained they’ll be looking at other options.  (((Public:  “…tasked with trying to look at options.”  :20)))  A committee will look at possibly renting space, who would move where, and other options so they’ll have a plan, as the need for space continues to grow.

Police Identify Teen Accused in Mt. Vernon Murder

(Mt. Vernon)  Authorities have identified the boy accused of killing a 14 yo Mt. Vernon girl as 15 yo Aidan Grant of Wayne.  The Kennebec Journal reports Grant, who was arrested Saturday, is charged with murder in the death of Brooke McLaughlin, whose body was found in her Mt. Vernon home on July 18th.  Grant is being held at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.

(Mt. Vernon)  A car stolen from the driveway of the home of a Mt. Vernon teen found dead on July 18th may have helped lead police to her suspected killer.  The Kennebec Journal reports authorities found the 2010 Chevy Impala in Wayne a day after the body of 14 yo Brooke McLaughlin was discovered in her Mount Vernon home.  15 yo Aiden Grant of Wayne was arrested Saturday and has been charged with McLaughlin’s murder.  He’s being held at the Long Creek Youth Development Center.

Update on Gouldsboro Crash

(Gouldsboro)  An update on Sunday night’s crash in Gouldsboro that closed Route 1 for several hours.  Authorities say the three vehicle crash happened when a vehicle driven by 42 yo Michelle Murphy of Harrington turned in front of a car driven by 52 yo Nichole Hartley of Corinth.  Murphy’s SUV then hit a Jeep that was stopped at the intersection of Route 1 and Clinic Road.  Hartley and a passenger were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center with serious injuries.  Murphy was taken to a hospital where she was treated and released.  No one in the Jeep was injured.

Judge Allows More DNA Testing in 34 yo Murder Case

(AP/Portland)   A judge has granted a request for additional DNA tests by a man convicted of killing a 12-year-old girl more than three decades ago. Dennis Dechaine is serving a life sentence for the murder and sexual assault of Sarah Cherry, who was abducted while babysitting in Bowdoin. Her body was found two days after she disappeared in July 1988. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has denied three requests for a new trial. Dechaine contends advancements in DNA testing technology warranted new tests.

Search Party Held for Graham Lacher

(Bangor)  Volunteers turned out at Eastern Maine Community College on Saturday to search for Graham Lacher.  WABI-TV reports the search party was held in wake of a potential sighting of the 35 yo, who walked away from the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric facility last month.  Graham is reportedly schizophrenic and on the autism spectrum and is fearful of people.  We continue to post pictures on our Star 97.7 FB page.  If you see Lacher, authorities ask that you not approach, but take photos or videos if possible and call 9-1-1.

Drowning Victim’s Body Recovered

(Falmouth)  The Maine State Police/Marine Patrol Underwater Recovery Team has recovered the body of an18-year old drowning victim.  A search for Pedro Matala of Portland began at approximately 4:45 p.m. Sunday after Matala failed to resurface while swimming with friends in the Presumpscott River in Falmouth.  No word on what caused the drowning.  The Maine Department of Marine Resources reported the incident.

Local Politics

Maine FOP Backs LePage, Golden

(Augusta)  An unlikely pair of politicians has won the endorsement of the Maine Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.  The group, representing 850 police officers across the state, has thrown its backing behind former Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, and Democratic Congressman Jared Golden.  The FOP cited the two candidates’ support of law enforcement as the reason for their endorsement.

(Augusta)  Citing their support of law enforcement, the Maine Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police has thrown its support behind former Republican Governor Paul LePage and Democratic Congressman Jared Golden.  The two candidates held press conferences yesterday to announce the endorsements.

New Administrator for Hancock County Commissioners

(Ellsworth)  The Hancock County Commissioners have a new County Administrator. Michael Crooker currently serves as Winterport Town Manager.  Interim County Administrator Cornell Knight said the commissioners would be approving a three-year agreement with Crooker at next Tuesday’s meeting.  Crooker, who hails from Newburgh, replaces former county administrator Scott Adkins, who resigned last month.

Councilor Wants Separate People as City Manager and Police Chief

(Ellsworth)  Ellsworth City Council member Steve O’Halloran says having Glenn Moshier hold dual roles as City Manager and Police Chief presents a conflict of interest.  O’Halloran spoke during the public comment portion of the most recent City Council meeting.  The Ellsworth American reports Chairman Dale Hamilton noted the item would need to be put on the agenda if it is taken up for consideration.  O’Halloran wants the city to divide the two positions when Moshier’s three year contract ends.

Business/Economy

Senior Property Tax Freeze Not Embraced by All

(Augusta)  A new program aims to freeze property taxes for seniors age 65 and older who have qualified for the Homestead Exemption for at least the past ten years.  But in a state where nearly 80 percent of Mainers aged 65 and older own homes, state and town officials say the move will cost millions.  The Bangor Daily News reports there are no income limits on those who qualify for the freeze.  Small town offices, especially, are already grappling with how they’ll handle the expected influx of applications.

Another Ellsworth Apartment Complex Proposed

(Ellsworth)  If the Ellsworth Planning Board approves the plan, Ellsworth could see another large apartment complex.  The 75-unit building would be located on upper High Street, next to Blueberry Hill Dairy Bar.  Another 142-unit apartment complex is proposed for Downeast Highway on Eastward Lane.  The Planning Board will consider the High Street proposal at its August 3rd meeting.  The projects are reflective of pandemic-related growth that has left affordable housing lacking statewide.

Health

WHO Declares Monkeypox a Global Emergency

(KHN)  The World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a global emergency, with more than 16,000 cases reported across 75 nations. The White House praised the “call to action” for a coordinated international response, but some lawmakers want the U.S. to do more.  Experts say a coordinated, international response is essential to stop the spread of monkeypox, protect communities at greatest risk of contracting the disease, and combat the current outbreak.  The first case of monkeypox in Maine was reported recently in York County.

Environment

Sea Level Rise Threatens Maine’s Coastal Areas

(Maine)  Rising sea levels are a growing threat to the state’s precious coastal areas.  Maine’s four-year climate action plan recommends the state commit to managing at least 1.5 feet of sea-level rise by 2050 and nearly 4 feet by 2100. A 1.5-foot rise could submerge 67 percent of Maine’s coastal sand dunes and reduce the dry beach area by 43 percent, significantly impacting coastal tourism, a major economic driver here.

Fate of CMP Corridor Hinges on Court Fights. 

(Maine)  While voters said a resounding “no” to CMP’s so-called “Clean Energy Corridor”, the battle to complete the project continues in the courts.  The fight for and against the billion dollar hydropower infrastructure that cuts mainly through western Maine on its way from Canada hinges on whether developers will be able to keep access of a key permit if they prevail in two court challenges.  The Bangor Daily News reports the permit was first granted last November.  But the Board of Environmental Protection on Thursday denied appeals to the permit, following two days of testimony.

Monarch Butterfly Put on Endangered List

(Undated)  After years of species decline, the Monarch Butterfly has been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  The Monarch’s struggles are the result of pesticides that destroy the only plant eaten by Monarch larvae – milkweed.  Scientists warn without more human help, the species could go extinct within the next 15 years.  The National Wildlife Federation offers tips on becoming a butterfly hero to help the species regain prominence at n w f dot org.

Ruling Could Be Lifeline for Endangered Atlantic Salmon

(AP/Portland)  The federal government is conducting a review of four dams on the Kennebec River that could result in a lifeline for the last wild Atlantic salmon in the U.S. The salmon live in a group of rivers in Maine and have been listed under the Endangered Species Act since 2000.  Brookfield Renewable US owns dams on the Kennebec and wants to amend federal licenses for the four dams and receive a new operating license for one of them. Representatives for NOAA say that requires a review of the dams’ impacts on salmon and possible mitigation measures.

Infrastructure

Ellsworth Water Main Break Prompts Boil Water Order

(Ellsworth) Ellsworth residents who live on State Street between Church and School Streets are under a boil water order.  The order comes after crews worked to repair a water main break on State Street on Sunday.  The order applies to any consumption, from brushing teeth to washing food, and remains in effect until further notice.  Affected residents should boil all water for one minute at a rolling boil before use or consumption.

Sports

The Red Sox beat the Cleveland Guardians 3-1.  Red Sox on the mound again tonight against Cleveland.