Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Game Wardens Search for Missing Autistic Girl [check for update] (Livermore Falls)  A missing 16 year old girl with autism had Maine Game Wardens and the Livermore Falls Police Department on another all night search Sunday.  Authorities say Asia Brown was last seen about 8:30 Saturday night at her residence on Campground Road […]

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Local News 08/01/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Game Wardens Search for Missing Autistic Girl [check for update]

(Livermore Falls)  A missing 16 year old girl with autism had Maine Game Wardens and the Livermore Falls Police Department on another all night search Sunday.  Authorities say Asia Brown was last seen about 8:30 Saturday night at her residence on Campground Road in Livermore Falls.  Brown is described as five feet four inches tall with blonde hair and blue eyes.  She was wearing blue jeans and a light colored tee-shirt.   Anyone with information is asked to call the Maine Warden Service.

Man Accused of Killing His Young Niece Appears in Court

(Alfred)  A man accused of fatally shooting his 22 month old niece in Wells in May appeared in court Friday for a bail hearing.  WMTW reports Andrew Huber-Young pleaded not guilty to all charges earlier in July.  An affidavit documents the shooting took place during an argument between Andrew and his brother Ethan over a t-shirt.  Ethan was holding his young daughter, Octavia, when Huber-Young allegedly fired through a door, injuring Ethan and his father and fatally wounding the toddler.

Aroostook County Woman Charged in Death of Infant Son

(Easton)  An Aroostook County woman is charged with manslaughter in the death of a one yo boy, Jayden Raymond, who was a family or household member, according to court documents.  An affidavit reveals 28 yo Mariah Dobbins of Easton is charged with “reckless or criminal negligence”  in the March 19th death of the young boy.  An autopsy ruled the child’s death a homicide, but the cause of death is not being released.  Dobbins was indicted last month by a Grand Jury and is expected to be arraigned on September 14th.

Four Teens Charged With Vandalism, Graffiti

(Rockland)  Rockland police have charged four teens for allegedly vandalizing property at Oceanside High School in Rockland.  According to the police department FB page, two juveniles, along with 18 yo Khyllie Cochran and 19 yo Jason Hurley, are charged with doing extensive damage at an RSU 13 outbuilding.  The July 13th damage involved broken windows and graffiti that included swastikas and racial slurs.  Since the case involves potential civil rights violations and hate speech, the Attorney General’s office is also reviewing the incident.

Hancock Eyes New Fire Station

(Hancock)  The town of Hancock is hoping plans for a new fire station will finally catch fire.  The Ellsworth American reports plans were first proposed over a decade ago, but building costs prohibited the project from becoming reality.  Chief Chris Holmes said the current station, which was built in 1958, is too small, has no running water and no bathroom.  And not all the department’s vehicles can fit in the garage.  The proposed design is estimated to cost $2.2 million dollars.  If built, the new station would sit directly across the street from the current facility.

Local Politics

Mills Presses for Federal Heating Assistance

(August)  The heat is on – and Governor Janet Mills wants to make sure it stays that way this winter for countless Mainers who rely on heating oil to warm their homes during the long Maine winters.  As oil prices have skyrocketed, Mills Friday sent a letter to Federal officials requesting increased funding and expanded eligibility for the Low Income Heating Assistance, or LIHEAP program.  Extra funds in 2021 helped households enrolled in the LIHEAP program to receive one and a half tanks of heating oil.

(August)  Many Maine families are feeling the heat – and not just from the recent dog days of summer.  The state’s long winters, coupled with skyrocketing oil prices have many concerned about keeping their homes warm this winter.  On Friday, Governor Janet Mills requested additional federal funding for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.  Maine expects to receive about $39 million dollars in LIHEAP funds this year.  In 2021, the program received an additional $55 million dollars through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Business/Economy

Maine CF Offers Grant Funding for Transportation Projects

(Ellsworth)  Grant funding is available through the Maine Community Foundation to organizations that provide community-based transportation.  Eligible organizations and projects must provide transportation and/or delivery services to people with limited or no access to transportation.  A virtual information session will be held from Noon until 1 on Wednesday, August 17th.  Register or submit a proposal through maine c f dot org.  Grant proposals are due by September 15th.

Health

Banana Boat Recall

(AP)  If you happen to be using a certain Banana Boat brand sunscreen, put it aside and smooth on another option.  The company behind Banana Boat has issued a voluntary, nationwide recall for the brand’s Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30.  Trace levels of benzene, a carcinogen, were found in the product because of the propellant that sprays the product out of the can.  While no adverse effects have been reported, officials advise tossing the affected products.

Beth C. Wright Offers Session on Chemo Brain

(Ellsworth)  If you’ve received chemotherapy treatments, you may have noticed a decrease in mental sharpness.  The inability to remember things, trouble finishing tasks, and difficulty concentrating or learning new skills is known as “chemo brain”.  The Beth C. Wright Cancer Center in Ellsworth, in conjunction with Dempsey Centers, is offering a Zoom Q&A session that breaks down the characteristics of chemo brain, as well as providing strategies to help manage symptoms.  Register for the August 8th, 10:30 a.m. session at Dempsey center dot org.

Environment

Maine on Track to Meet Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

(Augusta)  A report released last week shows Maine is well positioned to meet its goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, which was recently added to state law.  The report from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection found as of 2019, gross GHG emissions in Maine were 25 percent lower than 1990 levels, which surpasses the state’s goal of reducing GHG emissions to 10 percent less than 1990 levels by January 1, 2020.

ANP Gets Funds to Restore Great Meadow Wetlands

(Bar Harbor)  Acadia National Park is set to receive half a million dollars to help restore the Great Meadow Wetland.  Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider said the money will go toward making improvements to trail conditions, helping prevent future washouts.  National Park Service Director Charles Sams III was on hand Friday for the announcement.  Park officials say the improvements will be enjoyed by people and wildlife for generations.

Federal Government Says Ships Must Slow to Protect Whales

(AP/Portland)  The federal government says ships along the East Coast must cut back on speed in order to protect the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.  Vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are said to be the two biggest threats to the whales, which number only about 340.  Strict new regulations have been imposed on lobster and other fisheries, although no whale has ever been known to have been killed by entanglement in fishing gear in Maine’s waters.

Maine’s Marshes Threatened on Multiple Fronts

(Scarborough)  Salt marshes comprise less than 1 percent of Maine’s land area, but The Bangor Daily News reports their value is extensive – protecting land and buildings from ocean flooding during storms, absorbing carbon and filtering sediments and pollutants from water. They’re also hunting and fishing grounds, a recreation area and nurseries for fish and other animals.  The state is currently in a race to save the 3,200-acre Scarborough Marsh — Maine’s largest contiguous salt marsh, but is running into the challenge of rising seas, complicated by the area around the marsh being highly developed with houses and commercial buildings. Experts say the dearth of open land for migration means it is unlikely for even aggressive conservation efforts to keep up with the rising tides.

Disease Threatens Castine’s Elms

(Castine)  More than two dozen trees in Castine are already affected, and Dutch elm disease could decimate one of New England’s last remaining hubs for the leafy giants.  The Bangor Daily News reports a state forestry expert says the number of elms with the disease in 2022 is triple that of in years past, and the state’s dry conditions are hastening the trees’ demise.  Castine currently boasts about 200 elms, which were once a common sight in New England.  Dutch Elm Disease destroyed the trees in towns like Ellsworth, that are working to rebuild their tree canopies

Infrastructure

Maine PUC Approves New Electric Utility Performance Standards

(Hallowell)  It’s report card time for Maine’s major utilities.  The Maine Public Utilities Commission has approved new electric utility standards that will affect both Central Maine Power and Versant Power.  New amendments include substantial modifications intended to measure utility performance with respect to power outage frequency and duration, call center responsiveness, billing errors and customer satisfaction.  Commission Chair Philip L. Bartlett II said the work in such important areas is ongoing to ensure the new standards help improve utility performance.

Human Interest/Entertainment

Orchard Tour at the Jonathan Fisher House

(Blue Hill)  This Saturday in Blue Hill, Leslie Cummins will guide visitors through the reconstructed orchard at the Jonathan Fisher House.  The orchard was reconstructed 20 years ago, based on Fisher’s original orchard map and contains a 200 year old tree planted by Fisher whose limbs still produce pears that won a blue ribbon at the 2019 Blue Hill Fair.  The tour is Saturday, August 6th from 1-4.  Tours are free, but donations are welcome.   House tours are also available at select times – email jonathan fisher house at gmail dot com.

Schoodic Arts Festival

(Winter Harbor)  August means the Schoodic Arts Festival, sponsored by Schoodic Arts for All in Winter Harbor.  From fresh flower crown crafting to oil painting, to music, lawn games, a lobster photo booth, food, food, food and more.  Don’t miss one of the season’s biggest and best events.   For more information, visit schoodic arts for all dot org.

Donate Garden Extras

(Ellsworth)  Got more kale than you know what to do with?  Is your garden overflowing with tomatoes?  Are all your friends tired of that zucchini bread you’ve been delivering?  Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Gleaning Initiative continues to partner with farmers across the region to harvest and distribute excess produce to food pantries and free meal sites, and they welcome donations from backyard gardeners, as well.  To donate or to be partnered with a local food pantry, visit healthy acadia dot org.

“Blockbuster” Returning to Maine

(Brunswick)  Remember Blockbuster?  The movie rental store allowed patrons to rent from libraries of movies and games.  Of course, that was before Netflix, Showtime, Amazon Prime – well, you get the picture.  Now, NewsCenter Maine reports, people are building on the idea from the concept of those mini lending libraries for books. Nationwide, Free Blockbuster incorporates a box or other vessel filled with movies and games from which people can borrow or TO which people can add.  Alexander Calder of Brunswick thought, “Why not here in Maine?”  Calder and his uncle built the box, a first in Maine, filled it with movies, and even put lights inside so you can see during evening hours.  He says the project fills a gap in streaming services.

Sports

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell has died.  Russell was a member of the Boston Basketball powerhouse from 1956 to 1969 and captained a gold-medal winning US Olympic team.  He was the first black head coach of any North American professional sports team, and received honors and accolades for his activism off the court, as well.  Russell was 88.

Red Sox in Houston tonight to take on the Astros.  In weekend action against the Milwaukee Brewers, Brewers won Friday, Saturday; Red Sox pull off 7-2 win in final game Sunday.     Red Sox in Houston through Wednesday, then they head to KC for a weekend series against the Royals.