Missing Ellsworth Teen Returns Home
(Ellsworth) Police say an Ellsworth teen who had been missing since Tuesday has returned home. Ellsworth Police reported 14 yo Sophia Glass had not been seen or heard from since 6 a.m. on May 16th. They say she returned home Wednesday afternoon.
(Ellsworth) An Ellsworth teen reported missing earlier this week has reportedly returned home. Ellsworth police say 14 yo Sophia Glass left home around 6 a.m. Tuesday and had not been seen or heard from. They say the girl returned home Wednesday afternoon.
(Hampden) The Maine Forest Service was called Wednesday evening to help with a wildfire off Route 202 in Hampden. WABI-TV reports the fire was called in about 5:45 and ended up being about a mile into the woods. Crews were able to drive part of the way on a service road, but had to walk a quarter of a mile to reach the blaze. The fire spread to about an acre. Crews are expecting to return this morning to investigate.
(Hampden) Crews from the Maine Forest Service plan to return to the scene of a wildfire that engulfed about an acre off Route 202 in Hampden Wednesday evening. WABI-TV reports a number of surrounding towns responded to the remote fire and were assisted by a helicopter making water drops. The fire was called in about 5:45. Crews were able to drive part way to the fire via a service road, but had to walk and carry equipment about a quarter of a mile to reach the blaze.
New Political Party Makes Its Way Into Maine
(Augusta) A new political party has reportedly caused no little confusion in Maine, with some voters saying they were mislead by the No Labels Party into believing they were signing a petition, but actually changed party affiliation. While the group insists they did not intentionally mislead anyone, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows has sent letters to anyone who recently changed their affiliation to ensure they were clear on what that change entailed.
(Augusta) One fairly recent attempt at creating a third viable political party in the U.S. is by a group called No Labels. The Party claims to support centrist, bipartisan policies and was actually established back in 2010. With an important election year coming up in 2024, No Labels’ inroads into Maine have caused no little confusion. Secretary of State Shenna Bellows’ office reports some voters feel they were mislead into thinking they were signing a petition, when in fact they were changing party affiliation to No Labels. Secretary Bellows has sent letters to anyone who changed their affiliation recently to ensure they were clear on what that change entailed.
EMS Funding Bills
(Augusta) Legislators held a public hearing Wednesday on LD 526, which would provide $31M dollars, available immediately as emergency funding to all EMS transport and first responder services. It’s based on a formula using rurality and call volume to determine distribution. Governor Janet Mills added the proposal developed by the Maine Ambulance Association to her supplemental Budget Change Proposal. But a different proposal and process from Maine EMS threatens to limit the critical funding that would be immediately available to services upon becoming law, and could slow distribution of the badly-needed funds, particularly in those rural areas.
(Augusta) A bill that would have increased MaineCare reimbursement to 200% of Medicare appears to be headed to a holdover to the next legislative session. The increase is a critical and necessary one for the sustainability of Emergency Medical Services, which currently get just a fraction of reimbursement funds, resulting in a loss on every ambulance run. Experts say behind-the-scenes discussions could save it for this session because it is so important to the survival of EMS services.
Fatal Case of Powassan Reported
(Sagadahoc) The state has reported its first fatality this year from the tick-borne Powassan virus. The Maine CDC yesterday said an adult from Sagadahoc County developed neurologic symptoms and died in a hospital. Cases of Powassan are extremely rare in the U.S., with about 25 cases a year reported since 2015.
(Sagadahoc) An adult from Sagadahoc County is the state’s first fatality this year from the tick-borne Powassan virus. The virus is extremely rare in the U.S. The victim was just the third in the state to die from the virus since 2015. Experts say symptoms may include fever, headache, confusion, memory loss, seizures or other neurological symptoms that usually develop between one to four weeks after having been bitten by a tick.
Blueberry Barrens Humming with Bees
(Milbridge) The blueberry barrens in Milbridge and across Washington County are humming with bees. The Bangor Daily News reports it’s a rite of spring, with the bumblebees, which are larger than honeybees, vibrating and shaking until the pollen begins flying. Experts say bumblebees, like sand bees, are also ten times more efficient, but a variety of bees is necessary to pollinate the state’s wild blueberry crop. Wyman’s, the country’s major producer of wild blueberries, imports about 20,000 hives containing 70 million honey bees each year.
(Milbridge) Blueberries are a major contributor to Maine’s economy, but those berries have a critical and mutually beneficial relationship with bees. Native bees pollinate about 20 percent of the blueberry crops that dot the Washington County landscape, while imported bees pollinate the rest. The Bangor Daily News reports Wyman’s, the country’s premiere blueberry grower, imports about 20,000 hives of honey bees a year. When finished pollinating, the hives are moved to other areas of the country to continue their work, although a new generation is probably populating the hives, as honey bees only live between 21 and 28 days.
Ellsworth Tree Planting
(Ellsworth) Trees are a growing thing here in Maine. The Maine Forest Service received nine Tree Planting and Maintenance Grant proposals and seven Planning and Education proposals from across the state and is funding all 16 proposals for the 2023 funding cycle. You can help plant right here in Ellsworth Saturday. Green Ellsworth is hoping to plant 80 young trees at the Jordan Homestead Nursery on May 20th. Meet at 10 a.m., wear sturdy shoes, bring a shovel if you have one, and be prepared to plant trees that will one day help restore the City’s lush tree canopy.
(Ellsworth) The Maine Forest Service received nine Tree Planting and Maintenance Grant proposals and seven Planning and Education proposals from across the state and is funding all 16 proposals for the 2023 funding cycle. You can be a part of tree growth here in Maine, by planting the seeds, so to speak, that could one day help restore Ellsworth’s lush tree canopy. Green Ellsworth is hoping to plant 80 young trees at the Jordan Homestead Nursery this Saturday, May 20th. Meet at 10 a.m., wear sturdy shoes, and bring along a shovel if you have one. Rain date is Sunday.
Haddock Catch Quotas Cut by More Than 80%
(AP) Fish and chips will likely cost consumers a few more chips this summer. Overfishing has resulted in regulators cutting catch quotas by more than 80 percent to prevent the fish’s population from collapse. Last month, NOAA added the Gulf of Maine haddock stock to its overfishing list. The unexpected decline could be caused in part by New England fishermen relying more on haddock because of the collapse of other species, such as Atlantic Cod.
(AP) Regulators have made extreme cuts in haddock catch quotas – restricting fishing for the popular New England seafood by more than 80%. The cuts come after a recent scientific assessment found the Gulf of Maine haddock stock declined unexpectedly, leading to concerns of overfishing. Experts say that could be due in part to New England fishermen relying more on haddock due to the collapse of other species, such as Atlantic Cod.
DEP Lifts Suspension Order for NECEC Project
(Augusta) One more obstacle to completion of the New England Clean Energy Corridor has been removed. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has lifted its suspension order. MDEP says the licensees must give the Department written notification providing a date and locations at least five days before construction operations resume, and each segment of the corridor must have a minimum of one third-party inspector that will make weekly inspections.
(Augusta) The Maine DEP has lifted its suspension order for the New England Clean Energy Corridor, removing one more obstacle for the project to resume. However, stipulations remain in place. The licensees must give the Department of Environmental Protection written notification providing a date and locations at least five days before construction operations resume, and each segment of the corridor must have a minimum of one third-party inspector that will make weekly inspections
Hampden Chess Team Mirrors “Queen’s Gambit”
(Hampden) If you haven’t seen the movie “Queen’s Gambit”, it’s highly recommended. Or you could just visit a couple of elementary and middle schools in Hampden and watch it in action. The schools somewhat mirror the movie in which a custodian becomes a chess coach, leading to one student becoming a chess grandmaster. The Bangor Daily News reports by day, David Bishop works as a janitor at George Weatherbee Elementary. But Bishop has taken students under his wing, teaching chess and taking the teams to national competition and prominence.
(Hampden) David Bishop works as a custodian at George Weatherbee Elementary, but his hobby has been teaching chess to elementary and middle school students in Hampden. Students from two schools recently “cleaned up” themselves, returning with impressive standings in national competitions. The real-life scenario mirrors the movie and Netflix series “Queen’s Gambit”. Still, the Bangor Daily News reports Bishop was surprised to hear from chess grandmaster Julio Sadorra, who actually recognized the janitor-turned-chess-coach. The two even competed in a three minute blitz game. Bishop also received a message from the daughter of the fictional story’s author, who wrote she thought Bishop honored her father’s name. Talk about a win.
Bob Fernald Death
(Somesville) Longtime funeral director Robert “Bob” Fernald has died. Fernald ran the funeral home for 63 years before daughter, Lauri took over operations in 2018, although the Ellsworth American reports he remained active in the business and they worked together for 35 years. Fernald was a generous supporter of local causes He is survived by his wife, Elaine, son Barry, and daughter Lauri. He was 89.
(Somesville) The longtime director of Jordan Fernald Funeral Homes has died. The Ellsworth American reports Robert “Bob” Fernald passed away Friday at Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital. Fernald was a lifelong resident of Somesville and a generous supporter of multiple causes. Daughter Lauri joined the business in 1988, and the two worked together for 35 years, with Lauri taking over in 2018. He’s survived by his wife, Elaine, son Barry, and daughter Lauri. Fernald was 89.
Round 3, Game 1 of the NBA playoffs between the Celtics and the Miami Heat goes to the Heat 123-116…..Game 2 Friday in Boston.
The Red Sox have the night off. They beat the Mariners last night 12-3.The Red Sox begin a weekend series against the Padres Friday in San Diego.