(Oxbow) The Maine Warden Service is investigating a fatal snowmobile crash that occurred Saturday afternoon and involved three snowmobiles. The crash happened around 2:20 on ITS 85 in Oxbow and claimed the life of 57 yo Darryl Sittler of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. A group of three other snowmobilers was reportedly headed in the opposite direction when they crested a hill and Sittler, and snowmobiles driven by 20 yo Scout Sylvester and 23 yo Jack Sylvester of Greene collided. All three snowmobiles were heavily damaged. Wardens closed the trail for about three hours to investigate. Sittler died at the scene. Scout Sylvester was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
(Oxbow) Two people were injured and another man was killed in a snowmobile crash Saturday afternoon on ITS 85 in Oxbow. The Maine Warden Service reports 57 yo Darryl Sittler of Chelmsford, Massachusetts was northbound on the trail, followed by his wife, when they crested a hill and he collided with two other snowmobilers who were headed south, 20 yo Scout Sylvester and his brother, 23 yo Jack of Greene. All three machines were reportedly heavily damaged. Scout Sylvester was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Sittler died at the scene. Wardens closed the trail for about three hours in order to investigate.
Authorities Not Releasing Transcripts of Hoax Shooter Calls
(Maine) Three months after law enforcement agencies in Maine received numerous fake calls reporting shootings at high schools around the state, officials are still refusing to release transcripts of the calls. The Portland Press Herald reports authorities are also not saying why they are denying access, except to say it would compromise an ongoing investigation. The hoax calls happened last November and involved schools in Ellsworth, Rockland, Portland, Fort Fairfield and six other schools.
(Maine) First amendment advocates are crying foul, but law enforcement agencies say releasing transcripts of last November’s hoax calls claiming there were shootings at numerous high schools across the state would jeopardize an ongoing investigation. Officials are refusing to release the transcripts, which the Portland Press Herald reports were requested by the Kennebec Journal. The hoax calls forced thousands of students to huddle in their classrooms while armed law enforcement officers responded to the ten high schools, including in Ellsworth, Rockland, Sanford, and Fort Fairfield.
Hospitality Maine CEO Resigns
(Portland) After two years at the helm of HospitalityMaine, Matt Lewis has resigned as president and CEO. MaineBiz reports Lewis did not disclose future plans, and HospitalityMaine’s Board of Directors has not announced a replacement. HospitalityMaine is the nonprofit trade group representing some 1200 hospitality businesses in Maine.
(Portland) HospitalityMaine will be looking for a new President and CEO, following Matt Lewis’s resignation last week. MaineBiz reports Lewis did not say what his future plans were, and HospitalityMaine’s Board of Directors has yet to announce a replacement. The nonprofit trade group represents some 1200 hospitality businesses in Maine. Lewis had served in the head role for two years.
Stonington Once Again Maine’s Top Lobster Port
(Stonington) Stonington continues to hold the top spot for lobster landings statewide. The Ellsworth American reports Stonington boasted nearly 12 million pounds caught in 2022, with a value of just under $45M. Southwest Harbor was the seventh top grossing port in the state for the third year in a row, bringing in $11.2M worth of product.
Elver Harvesters Fare Well in 2022
(Augusta) Maine elver harvesters earned more than twenty million dollars in 2022, making it the state’s second most valuable commercial fishery. The Maine Department of Marine Resources reports the value of Maine-caught elvers reached $2,131 per pound, which has only been exceeded twice in the history of the fishery.
Soft Shell Clams Rank as Third Most Valuable Fishery in 2022
(Augusta) Soft shell clams brought Maine harvesters about $16,700,000 in 2022, making it the state’s third most valuable fishery behind lobsters and elvers. The Maine Department of Marine Resources reports by funding new positions at DMR to address climate change impact on clams and other nearshore species, the state has taken a vital step in supporting the resilience of this and other fisheries, like mussels, seaweed and worms.
NRCM Accuses Brookfield Renewable of Breaking Environmental Law
(Portland) The Natural Resources Council of Maine says Brookfield Renewable Partners, owner of the Milford Dam on the Penobscot River, is actively breaking federal environmental law by harming endangered Atlantic salmon. They say that’s based on documents obtained through the state’s Freedom of Access Act. In the documents, a federal biologist reportedly confirms most Atlantic salmon are not able to migrate upstream past the dam in a timely way in order to reach the ocean and spawn, continuing to stall recovery for the endangered fish.
(Portland) The Conservation Law Foundation reports it is considering legal action against the owner of the Milford Dam on the Penobscot River. In a press release issued by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the group says Brookfield Renewable Partners is actively breaking federal environmental law by harming endangered Atlantic salmon. They say documents obtained through the state’s Freedom of Access Act show most Atlantic salmon are not able to migrate upstream past the dam in a timely fashion, something they must do in order to get to the ocean to spawn.
Green Careers Seek Future Employees
(Undated) PFAS in the soil and water, arsenic in wells – runoff from industry. These are just a few of the issues affecting horticulture in Maine. Now more than ever, green businesses need to recruit students as the future of the industry. Executive Director Jazmin Albarran, tells Star 97.7, that’s the reason behind Seed Your Future. (((Green 4 “…working with plants, flowers, trees, and produce.”))) Check out their website to learn about the more than 100 career pathways available.
(Undated) Green Career industries are looking for qualified candidates to move industries such as agriculture and horticulture forward. Jazmin Albarran, Executive Director of Seed Your Future, tells Star 97.7 what Green Career Week is all about. (((Green 1 “…and the environment that we drive in.” :18))) Albarran says such industries are hoping to connect with high schools and trade schools to find candidates who will one day be their next generation of employees.
(Undated) Green careers are literally a “growing” business – from the food we eat, the landscapes where we live and play, and the environments in which we thrive. Jazmin Albarran is Executive Director of Seed Your Future, which teaches businesses how to connect with students interested in Green Industries. (((Green 2 “…and do something similar.” :14))) Green businesses will find resources and a toolkit on connecting with students at seed your future dot org.
(Undated) Horticulture is the business of managing and using what we grow, while maintaining the health of our soil, air, and water, and the well-being of our children. Jazmin Albarran, Executive Director of Seed Your Future, tells Star 97.7, with PFAS, arsenic, and other chemicals threatening our landscape, it’s more important than ever to recruit students into careers in horticulture. (((Green 3 “…to hopefully one day be a part of it. :18))) Find more information at seed your future dot org.
Group Accuses Casella of Sludge Crisis
(Augusta) Defend Our Health officials, an environmental public health nonprofit, is reportedly accusing Casella Waste Systems of manufacturing Maine’s sludge crisis, leaving 30 wastewater treatment plants across the state with nowhere to send their sludge. The Portland Press Herald says Casella calls the claim false, saying it’s insulting to the men and women who operate their facilities. Earlier this week, Casella officials cited two state laws passed last spring that hamper the company’s ability to handle sludge produced at the wastewater treatment plants with which it contracts for sludge removal.
(Augusta) An environmental public health nonprofit is reportedly accusing Casella Waste Systems of manufacturing Maine’s sludge crisis. The issue has left 30 wastewater treatment plants across the state with nowhere to send their sludge. The Portland Press Herald reports Casella vehemently denies the charge. Officials at Casella have cited two state laws passed last spring as hampering the company’s ability to handle sludge produced at the wastewater treatment plants with which it contracts for sludge removal.
Compost Company Expands
(Brewer) Want to compost but not sure where to begin? A Hampden-based curbside compost pickup business aimed at reducing the amount of food waste in Maine landfills is expanding to serve Bangor and Brewer residents. The Bangor Daily News reports 1 Earth Composting currently serves about 20 clients, offering a weekly curbside food scrap pick up service. Subscribers receive a five-gallon bucket to fill with their organic waste. For a $15 sign up fee and $25 a month, the buckets are collected once a week and taken to a professional composting facility.
(Brewer) Curbside composting – it’s available in the Portland area, but until recently, there wasn’t anything locally. So the Bangor Daily News reports Katie and Matt Saunders “wasted” no time in offering a weekly curbside food scrap pick up service to the Bangor/Brewer/Hampden area. For a $15 startup fee and $25 a month, 1 Earth Composting will pick up your 5 gallon bucket of organic waste and deliver it to a professional composting facility. The US EPA says food waste makes up 24 percent of solid municipal refuse that ends up in landfills, and only 4% typically gets composted.
Governor Taps Blaine House Maple Tree
(Augusta) Governor Janet Mills took the opportunity of kicking off Maine Maple Sunday weekend later this month by tapping the Blaine House Maple Tree. The Governor was joined yesterday by Maine Maple Producers Association President Lyle Merrifield and a group of school children. Maine Maple Sunday weekend is March 25-26 this year. The industry generates close to $56M in economic activity and supports more than 800 sweet full and part time jobs across the state.
Sea of Blue Walk & 5K
(NE Harbor) Runners and Walkers, it’s time to start thinking about one of the area’s premier events, the Sea of Blue Walk and 5K to benefit the Autism Society. The race was started eight years ago by local runner Christopher Heel, as part of his high school Senior X project on how his autism affects his life. The event has since raised more than $40,000 for state and local agencies. This year’s walk and run will be held April 29th in NE Harbor, and they’re looking for donations to help them add more food items or raffle items to the event. Learn more at sea of blue autism dot com.
Caribou SnowBowl Draws Thousands
(Caribou) If Caribou’s first SnowBowl is any indication of success, it looks like the event will become an annual draw for the town. Hotels and other lodging in local towns for miles around were booked solid, as more than 8,000 visitors and locals enjoyed snowmobile riding and racing. The SnowBowl was created in part to help boost the area’s economy, and organizers say it exceeded their expectations and will definitely be on the calendar for next year.
The Celtics lost to the Cavs 118-114. Celtics host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The Red Sox kick off Spring Training with a 7-1 win over Detroit. Boston at bat against the Braves this evening. And tonight’s the big night for the Ellsworth Lady Eagles. They take on Spruce Mountain tonight at the Portland Expo as they go for the Class B State High School Basketball championship.