Domestic Violence Arrest
(Ellsworth) A Hancock County man is under arrest this morning after allegedly assaulting his wife. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department reports to Star 97.7 a woman showed up at Northern Light Maine Coast Memorial Hospital shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday with injuries reportedly caused by her husband, 53 yo Mark Freeman. A short time later, a vehicle in which Freeman was riding was stopped on the Downeast Highway in Ellsworth. Freeman reportedly armed himself with two large knives and threatened to harm himself and others, but eventually passed out from a combination of drugs and alcohol. He was treated at the hospital and taken to the Hancock County Jail, where he faces Domestic Violence Assault and other charges.
(Ellsworth) A 53 yo man is in the Hancock County Jail this morning facing Domestic Violence Assault and other charges. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department reports to Star 97.7, a woman showed up at Northern Light Maine Coast Memorial Hospital shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday with injuries reportedly caused by her husband, Mark Freeman. A short time later, a vehicle in which Freeman was riding was stopped on the Downeast Highway in Ellsworth. Freeman reportedly armed himself with two large knives and threatened self-harm, but eventually passed out from a combination of drugs and alcohol. He was rendered NARCAN and treated at a hospital before being transported to the Hancock County Jail.
Bar Harbor Councilor Resigns
(Bar Harbor) Longtime Bar Harbor Town Councilor Jeff Dobbs has resigned. The 73 yo Dobbs, who suffered a heart attack last November, said it’s time to consider his health and his family. Dobbs said he would stick it out if he was younger. The town is currently facing a multitude of challenges, including the recent loss of its Town Manager, a lawsuit over cruise ship limits, and a much-needed school reconstruction project at Conners Emerson.
(Bar Harbor) Health problems have forced long-time Bar Harbor Town Councilor Jeff Dobbs to resign. The 73 yo Dobbs, who was first elected in 1990, suffered a heart attack last November and said he is also facing kidney failure. Dobbs said it was a difficult decision, especially as the town is facing a multitude of challenges, including a dire school reconstruction project, a lawsuit over cruise ship limits, and the recent resignation of its Town Manager.
Local Man to Buy Aroostook Centre Mall
(Presque Isle) Tenants and shoppers at the Aroostook Centre Mall are breathing a sigh of relief after it was announced a local businessman has stepped up with the intent of purchasing the mall. Presque Isle developer Dana Cassidy is expected to become the new owner. In February, it was announced the mall would close after the current owner failed to pay the center’s electric and water bills.
(Presque Isle) For the first time since it opened in 1993, the Aroostook Centre Mall will be owned by a local developer. Last month, it was announced the mall would close after Kohan Retail Investment Group out of New York failed to pay utility bills. Sources say Presque Isle developer Dana Cassidy has stepped up and is expected to become the new owner. The sale should be finalized within the next few days.
RSU 24 Moves Forward on Cistern Project
(Sullivan) There’s finally light at the end of the cistern for the RSU 24 school district. Full use of the Charles M. Sumner Learning Center campus in Sullivan has been restricted because of issues with the cistern, which has lead to safety concerns with the facility’s sprinkler system. The Ellsworth American reports the district has come to an agreement with contractor Nickerson & O’Day to complete the water cistern project. While there’s not yet an official timeline, in a letter to parents this month, Superintendent Michael Eastman said the goal is mid-May.
(Sullivan) It’s been a lesson in perseverance for students and staff at the new Charles M. Sumner Learning Center in Sullivan, but the RSU 24 District has finally reached an agreement with contractor Nickerson & O’Day to move forward on completion of the cistern project that has prevented full use of the building due to a lack of water to adequately supply the fire sprinklers. The Ellsworth American reports whether or not graduation will be held at the building depends on completion of the project, but this year’s prom will be held at the Schoodic Institute, and even after a bit of a late start, middle and high school students will finish the year on June 21st.
RSU 24 School Board Votes to Keep Two Books on Library Shelves
(Sullivan) Student access to two challenged books on sexuality proved to be a hot topic at the most recent RSU 24 School Board Meeting in Sullivan. The Ellsworth American reports parents and others voiced strong opinions on both sides in regards to the books, Gender Queer: A Memoir and Queer – the Ultimate Guide for LGBTQ Teens. Most objections focused on the reportedly graphic images in one of the books. Ultimately, the School Board voted to leave the books on the library’s shelves, but make them accessible only to high schoolers and not students in the middle school.
(Sullivan) The line between appropriateness and censorship can be a vague one. Such was the case at this month’s RSU 24 School Board meeting, where parents and others on both sides voiced strong opinions about access to two challenged books on sexuality at the Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus. While some objected to the books altogether, others focused on the reported graphic images displayed in one of the books, Gender Queer: A Memoir. The Ellsworth American reports after much heated discussion, it was decided the two books would remain in the school library, but not be accessible to middle school students.
DISHS Principal Resigns Abruptly Resigns
(Deer Isle) Deer Isle Stonington High School is without a Principal in mid-year. Principal William Emery this week submitted his resignation, effective immediately. The letter cited personal reasons, but did not go into detail. The school has gone through several Principals in recent years. Superintendent Daniel Ross will reportedly lead staff while the district looks for a replacement.
(Deer Isle) Deer Isle Stonington High School is under new management, so to speak. In a letter Tuesday to the School Board, Principal William Emery submitted his resignation, effective immediately. Sources say the letter cited personal reasons for the mid-year resignation, but did not give details. Emery was the school’s third Principal in as many years. Superintendent Daniel Ross will step in to lead staff while the District looks for a replacement.
MaineCF Offers Scholarships
(Ellsworth) Who doesn’t need money for school these days? The Maine Community Foundation offers more than one thousand scholarships to graduating high school seniors, graduate students, and adult learners pursuing varied areas of study and professional certifications. A new scholarship this year will support those pursuing a degree in engineering. For more information on applications and deadlines, visit maine c f dot org.
Medicaid Trims Enrollment
(Augusta) In just a matter of weeks, many Mainers will lose Medicaid coverage, as a year-long shift in public health insurance goes into effect. The Bangor Daily News reports Maine DHHS has rolled out a PR campaign to help those who will be dropped from Medicaid rolls in April. It says most Mainers are eligible for other plans. The Department plans to send mail, email, and text reminders to recipients who are still eligible, reminding them to renew. For those becoming ineligible, DHHS will transfer account information to CoverME dot gov and provide notifications and a special window to find plans.
(Augusta) Beginning in April, thousands of Maine residents could drop off Medicaid rolls, as a year-long shift in public health insurance takes effect. The Bangor Daily News reports Maine DHHS has rolled out a campaign to help those who will be dropped. For those who have not signed up for electronic notices, the Department will send mail, email, and text reminders to recipients who are still eligible, reminding them to renew. For those losing coverage, DHHS says it will transfer account information to CoverME dot gov and provide notifications and a special window to find plans.
(Maine) Casella Waste Systems says it has found a temporary home for Maine’s sludge in New Brunswick. The Portland Press Herald reports Casella used the state-owned landfill that had stopped accepting biosolids from wastewater treatment because of a capacity issue at Juniper Ridge Landfill. The company warned the threat of environmental catastrophe – sludge washed from sewage treatment plants into Maine rivers – could still be a threat if New Brunswick were to follow Quebec’s example of banning the importation of all U.S. sludge.
(Maine) Casella Waste Systems says it has found a temporary home for Maine’s sludge. The Portland Press Herald reports Casella used the state-owned landfill that had stopped accepting biosolids from wastewater treatment because of a capacity issue at Juniper Ridge Landfill. Casella says New Brunswick has agreed to accept the state’s sludge; but there could be a dirty angle to the agreement. Just last month, Quebec issued a moratorium on the importation of all biosolids from the US, including sludge from Maine that came into THAT province through a New Hampshire composting company.
Daylight Saving Time
(Maine) Daylight Saving Time is this Sunday. The American Red Cross of Northern New England is reminding everyone to “Turn and Test.” Turn your clocks forward one hour and test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. According to the Red Cross, working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half.
Hampden Trash Plant Months from Liquidation
(Hampden) The group that represents waste management for more than 100 towns must find $20M to restart the shuttered trash plant in Hampden or it will be forced to liquidate the facility within months. The Bangor Daily News reports the nonprofit Municipal Review Committee has long estimated it would need outside funding, and a timeline for raising those funds has been set at early summer. One investor after another has fallen through as the former Fiberright plant, which closed its doors due to financial problems in May 2020, has attempted to reopen the plant and again begin serving towns and municipalities that have been left without a plan to handle their waste.
(Hampden) The embattled Hampden trash plant that closed its doors two years ago may be forced to liquidate unless it can raise $20M by early summer. One investor after another has fallen through, leaving the 115 towns and municipalities it once served on their own when dealing with waste management. The Bangor Daily News reports The Municipal Review Committee has long estimated it would need outside funding, but had hoped for a major investor. Without the Hampden facility, there’s only one option between Wiscasset to the south and Smyrna in the north for processing waste that doesn’t involve landfills.
Sheriff’s Cup Basketball
(Ellsworth) Even with the big Eagles girls’ win, Downeast Maine never gets enough basketball! This weekend, come see middle school players shine at the Sheriff’s Cup Basketball Tournament in Ellsworth! After two long years away, the tournament is back, beginning today through Sunday. One fee each day gets you into the Middle and High Schools and the Y to see all the exciting games, as teams from all over the state compete. Proceeds benefit the Y and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Charities.
(Ellsworth) The weekend is finally here, and so is the Sheriff’s Cup Basketball Tournament! Today through Sunday, watch middle school teams from across the state compete right here in Ellsworth. Games at the elementary middle school, high school and the Y, and proceeds benefit the Y and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Charities.
Red Sox continued their winning streak yesterday with an 11-7 win over the Yankees. Red Sox vs. Blue Jays this afternoon.
Celtics in Atlanta Saturday to run the court against the Hawks.
Bruins suffering a rare defeat yesterday – losing to Edmonton 3-2. Bruins host the Red Wings Saturday
And this weekend is the Sheriff’s Cup in Ellsworth – middle school teams from around the state will compete today through Sunday.