Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Ellsworth Police Department Posts Pictures of Stolen Goods (Ellsworth)  The Ellsworth Police Department has posted pictures of stolen property recovered from a home in Belfast this week.  Authorities arrested two men after finding approximately $200,000 worth of stolen items.  We’ve shared the photos on our Star 97.7 FB page.  If you have reported […]

Star 97.7 - Smooth Rock n' Roll Local News 08/05/22 - Star 97.7
409 High Street - P.O. Box 1171 - Ellsworth, ME 04605 - Phone: 207-667-0002 Fax: 207-667-0627

Local News 08/05/22

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Ellsworth Police Department Posts Pictures of Stolen Goods

(Ellsworth)  The Ellsworth Police Department has posted pictures of stolen property recovered from a home in Belfast this week.  Authorities arrested two men after finding approximately $200,000 worth of stolen items.  We’ve shared the photos on our Star 97.7 FB page.  If you have reported stolen property to the police and believe you see it in the photos, you’re encouraged to contact the agency with whom you made your report.

Gran Fondo Hincapie Series Comes to Eastern Maine

(Bangor)  Hundreds of cyclists will take to the streets Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Bangor Waterfront.  It’s the Gran Fondo Hincapie Series.  Motorists are urged to watch for cyclists on the roads of Penobscot and Hancock Counties.  Cyclists can still register for the event Saturday morning; choose from three routes – 15, 52, or 80 miles.  If you’d still like to participate, you can sign up at the Waterfront.

AG’s Office Hires First Female Chief of Investigations Division

(Augusta)  Hear that glass shattering?  Another woman has broken the glass ceiling.  Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey announced the hiring of Anna Love as new Chief of the Investigations Division, the first female to serve in that capacity.  Love began an impressive 25-year tenure with the Maine State Police as a Trooper and is a veteran investigator.  Love replaces longtime Chief Brian McMaster.

Missing Long A Township Man Found Safe

(Penobscot County)  A man missing from Long A Township in Penobscot County since Tuesday has been found safe.  Maine State Police confirmed they were able to locate 25 yo Brett Libby, who had last been seen walking into the woods off Jo Mary Road.  Libby was said to have been in crisis for at least two days when he disappeared.  No further information was available.

Business/Economy

Cruise Ship Issue Continues to Divide Bar Harbor

(Bar Harbor)  Should there be a cap on the number of cruise ship passengers disembarking in Bar Harbor?  It’s an issue that has divided the town for years, as the ships bring crowded streets – but crowded businesses as well.  This fall, Bar Harbor residents will vote on whether to cap the number of ships and passengers.  A previous survey showed many believe the ships have a negative impact overall on the community.  Town council heard two possible reduction options  on Tuesday.  They say they hope to have a resolution in time to make plans for the 2023 season.

Board Upholds State Approval of Fish Farm in Jonesport

(Jonesport)  The Board of Environmental Protection voted Thursday to uphold state approvals to build a large-scale land-based fish farm in Jonesport.  The Bangor Daily News reports the Sierra Club of Maine had filed an appeal last December seeking to overturn the approval for Kingfish Maine to build the farm.  Critics of the proposal contend treated water discharged into the bay from the farm would have high amounts of nitrogen which could affect marine life.

Restaurant Rebound

(Maine)  The tourism season cooked up some good numbers for restaurants in May.  The Bangor Daily News reports restaurants saw taxable sales rise almost 8 percent in May, compared with the previous year.  Lodging taxable sales were up more than 17% by comparison.  It’s good news for a state recovering from the pandemic, although the hospitality industry continues to face challenges with soaring food costs and a staffing shortage.

Versant Seeks to Raise Costs

(Bangor)  Versant Power is seeking a rate change in summer 2023.  If approved, the change would mean an increase of between $10 and $21 a month for the average residential customer, depending on electricity use.  Versant says the increase is necessary to replace an outdated metering system, deteriorating cables, to build a new substation in Machias, and for other needed upgrades and improvements.

Governor Opposes Electric Rate Hikes

(Augusta)  Governor Janet Mills was quick to announce her opposition to Versant’s proposed rate increase.  Mills called on Versant to not file the rate request, saying if they do, she will direct the Energy Office to intervene in opposition.  She also called on the Public Utilities Commission to reject the proposed hike.  The Governor has also pledged to oppose a nine percent rate increase proposed for 2023 by Central Maine Power.

Health

Children Need Special Care During Heat Waves

(KHN)  Public health experts caution children are more susceptible to heat illness than adults.  KHN reports children’s bodies have more trouble regulating temperature than those of adults. They say it’s important for children, especially, to drink plenty of water, avoid the outdoors during the hot midday and afternoon hours, and take it slowly when adjusting to exercise.  A flushed face, fatigue, muscle cramps, headache, dizziness, vomiting, and a lot of sweating are among the symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can develop into heatstroke if untreated.

CDC Could Update COVID-19 Guidance This Week

(CNN) The US CDC is expected to update its guidance for Covid-19 in the community, including in schools, in the coming days. CNN reports the updated recommendations are expected to ease quarantine recommendations for people exposed to the virus and de-emphasize 6 feet of social distancing. The changes, which may be publicly released as early as today, were previewed to educators and public health officials.

American Red Cross to Take Steps to Safeguard Against Monkeypox

(AP)  Organizations in the U.S. are taking steps to safeguard the nation’s blood supply.  In addition to temperature checks, part of standard health screens for prospective donors, the American Red Cross is now checking for the distinctive lesions that are a hallmark of the monkeypox as part of routine arm examinations. Beginning in October, the Red Cross will require individuals who have been diagnosed with monkeypox or exposed to someone with a monkeypox infection to wait at least 21 days before giving blood.

Education

Free EMT Course

(Machias)  Looking for a rewarding career change, but not sure you can afford college?  Washington County Community College is offering a free Emergency Medical Technician course.  Course dates are August 31st  through December 7th – classes are a hybrid mix of online lessons and in-person labs in Machias.  The class will prepare EMT students to sit for the National Registry EMT Certification Exam.  With the critical shortage of EMT’s, you won’t find any shortage of opportunities.  Contact Nichole Sawyer at WCCC to register.

RSU 24 Wrestles with Opening New Learning Campus

(Sullivan)  The water flow issue that could stall the opening of the Charles M. Sumner Learning campus in Sullivan is not unique to the new facility.  The Ellsworth American reports Superintendent Michael Eastman this week met with representatives from the state fire marshal’s office, who said the new campus is still safer for students and staff than the old building because the water flow issue is system wide.  Because of additional fire safety measures at the new school, it’s possible the building could now still open in September.  Fire chiefs from Sullivan and several other nearby towns say occupancy should not be signed off on until a new cistern system is complete for the sprinkler system.

Environment

Maine DEP Issues Cautions About Low Water Levels

(Augusta)  For the third year in a row, a significant portion of Maine is experiencing abnormally dry conditions.  The Maine Department of Environmental Protection cautions that as a result, water levels in many streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands are at low levels.  Such water bodies cannot legally be used as a source of irrigation without specific DEP approval.  Conservation and other best practices that reduce the amount of water used are encouraged.

Southern Maine Coast Facing Severe Drought Conditions

(AP/Boston)  The southern part of coastal Maine is now in a severe drought, according to the National Weather Service.  Meanwhile, temperatures at Boston’s Logan International Airport hit a record high for the day Thursday.  The service says the temperature at the airport reached 97 degrees, beating Boston’s previous record for the day set in 1928.

Infrastructure

Ellsworth Harbor Dredging

(Ellsworth)  A potential harbor dredging project we told you about this spring is one step closer to becoming a reality..  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed this week it has allocated funds for the Union River dredging project in Ellsworth.  The Ellsworth American reports even with funding in place, it will be some time before a contract is awarded.

Brewer Riverwalk Extension

(Brewer)  Construction to extend the popular Brewer Riverwalk will begin Monday.  The Bangor Daily News reports the project will add 900 feet to the southern end of the path.  The shoulder of South Main Street, also known as Route 15, will be closed during construction.

Water Main Break

(Ellsworth)  The Ellsworth Police Department reported a water main break on the Surry Road in Ellsworth about 2:30 this morning.  The break had crews scrambling to fix the problem.  If you see crews on the scene, please use caution and exercise patience.

Human Interest/Entertainment    

A Marriage of Two Towns

(Dover-Foxcroft)  A wedding that took place a hundred years ago will be celebrated again this year.  The Portland Press Herald reports Dover and Foxcroft were originally separate towns bisected by a river, but have been happily hyphenated since 1922.  The towns had previously attempted to merge, but women’s suffrage proved to put a ring on the final bonding, as it was the women’s votes that sealed the deal.  Of course, every union has its struggle…history notes the biggest complaint from Foxcroft residents was that after the two officially became one, they had to walk further to the Post Office.

Stowaway Cat

(St. Albans)  A St. Albans family decided to take a road trip to the Oshkosh, Wisconsin Air Show last month, so they packed up the car and headed west.  Not so fast, said their beloved cat, Delilah.  After driving 15 hours, the family decided to spend the night in Toledo, Ohio.  When they opened the car door, there was the fluffy orange feline.  Andrea Scholten tells WABI-TV, they decided to roll with it, headed to Target for supplies and went on their way to the air show, where Delilah was such a hit, they’re going to bring her back next year.  People have been following Delilah’s journey on social media and insist on it.

Wild Blueberry Weekend

(Maine)  For the second year, this Saturday and Sunday will be celebrated as Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend.  Mainers and visitors will have a chance to eat, drink, and be berry by visiting one of 14 participating wild blueberry growers’ farms in the Midcoast and downeast.  Check out event locations and other information at wild blueberry weekend dot com.

Halloween Not So Sweet This Year

(Undated)  Hershey’s says supply chain issues may lead to a candy shortage ahead of Halloween – and that drove consumers online to scoop up bags of treats early.  Searches on Amazon for Halloween Candy shot up 84% last week, according to research company Pattern.  Compared to 2021, the search for Smarties was up 53%, Almond Joy 41%, and candy corn, Sour Patch Kids, and Milky Way up about 15% each.

Sports

Red Sox vs. KC Royals.  Red Sox lose 3-7.  Red Sox in the Sunflower State through Sunday.

The WNBA’s Brittany Griner has been convicted at a drug trial in Russia and sentenced to nine years in prison.  The U.S. continues to call for her immediate release.