Waterville Fire Follow Up
(Waterville) Officials say the victim in Monday’s fire at a senior living complex in Waterville was 65 yo Ronald Kennerson. Kennerson was found on the fourth floor of Elm Towers, where the fire was reportedly concentrated. Lt. Thomas Pickering reports the building did not have a sprinkler system, but that that was not a requirement in the early 1970’s when the building was constructed. The Fire Marshal’s Office continues to investigate, but says there is no evidence of foul play.
(Waterville) Authorities have identified the victim of Monday’s fire at a senior living complex in Waterville as 65 yo Ronald Kennerson. They did not say how Kennerson died, but his body was found on the fourth floor of Elm Towers, where the fire was reportedly concentrated. Fire officials say the building did not have a sprinkler system, but that that wasn’t a requirement when the building was constructed in the 1970’s.
Top Gambling Regulator Placed on Paid Administrative Leave
(Augusta) Maine’s top gambling regulator has been placed on paid administrative leave, following allegations of tweets about women and a white nationalist group. WABI-TV reports Milt Champion was placed on leave May 17th due to the tweets, which were reportedly posted on his personal account. Champion is the Executive Director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit. His case is now pending a review being conducted by the Bureau of Human Resources.
(Augusta) Maine’s top gambling regulator appears to have lost some ground after rolling the dice on recent tweets reportedly found on his personal page. WABI-TV reports Milt Champion, who serves as the Executive Director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit, was placed on leave a week ago following discovery of the tweets, which allegedly involved women and a white nationalist group. Champion’s case is currently pending a review by the Bureau of Human Resources.
Downeast Project HOPE to Benefit from Shaw’s Reusable Bag Program
(Ellsworth) Downeast Project HOPE has been selected as a beneficiary of Shaw’s Supermarkets’ “Give Back Where It Counts” reusable bag program. The Ellsworth-based organization is a police-led initiative that works to connect area residents seeking treatment for heroin and opioid addiction with recovery resources and treatment. During the month of June, every time a HOPE $3 reusable bag is purchased at Shaw’s in Ellsworth, the organization will receive a $1 donation.
(Ellsworth) Recovery is in the bag. Downeast Project HOPE has been selected as a beneficiary of Shaw’s Supermarkets’ “Give Back Where It Counts” reusable bag program. The Ellsworth-based organization is a police-led initiative that works to connect area residents seeking treatment for heroin and opioid addiction with recovery resources. During the month of June, every time a HOPE $3 reusable bag is purchased at Shaw’s in Ellsworth, the organization will receive a $1 donation.
Conservative Activist Handed Losses in School Board Lawsuits
(Bangor) State and federal judges have handed conservative activist Sean McBreairty a pair of losses in cases involving Maine school board lawsuits. The Bangor Daily News reports the judges ruled in favor of the Hermon School District and RSU 22. McBreaity had reportedly challenged the district’s rule that staff may not be named publicly at school committee meetings, saying it violated his free speech rights. The Hermon district’s lawsuit against McBrierty for remarks he allegedly made, referring to a teacher as a “sexual predator”, will go forward in state court in Bangor.
(Bangor) A lawsuit filed by the Hermon school board against conservative activist Sean McBreairty will go forward in state court in Bangor. The Bangor Daily News reports the district sued McBreairty a year ago after he allegedly referred to a teacher as a “sexual predator” and made other such remarks in statements on social media, local radio, and his podcast. According to the complaint, the teacher, who no longer works in Hermon, had to change classrooms, seek counseling and miss work because of emotional stress suffered from the purported attacks.
Honeybee Cafe in Sullivan Up for Sale
(Sullivan) The Honeybee Cafe in Sullivan is up for sale. Owner Lexi Howland bought the facility that once housed Chester Pike’s in Sullivan to open a coffee shop and bakery, but she says the market wanted a breakfast place, and the expansion is more than she can give without sacrificing time with her young children. Howland says she’ll continue to operate the cafe until it’s sold and that she’ll continue with her passion of baking. Anyone interested in purchasing the Honeybee Cafe can reach out to Lexi or Brandon Howland.
(Sullivan) To say the announcement is bittersweet is an understatement. Lexi Howland has announced on her FB page she is selling the popular HoneyBee Cafe on Route 1 in Sullivan. Howland says she bought the facility with the intent of pursuing her passion of baking; but the public wanted a breakfast place like it once housed under the name of Chester Pike’s. So Howland expanded. But she says the expansion is costing her priceless time away from her young children. Anyone interested in purchasing the Honeybee can reach out to Lexi or her husband, Brandon.
Maine Hospitals Implement Unique Approach to Newborns Exposed to Opioids
(Maine) Maine hospitals are implementing an alternative treatment for newborns exposed to opioids. WABI reports the Eat Sleep, Console approach encourages involvement from parents and prioritizes care that doesn’t involve medication like Methadone or morphine. Instead, the approach is caring for the tiny ones in quiet, low-light environments, with swaddling, skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding when possible. Maine Coast Hospital plans to fully implement the Eat, Sleep, Console approach by July.
(Maine) Babies exposed to opioids often start life at a disadvantage, but an alternative treatment being implemented by Maine hospitals brings hope and doesn’t involve medication like Methadone or morphine. WABI-TV reports, instead, the approach is caring for the tiny ones in quiet, low-light environments, with swaddling, skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding when possible. Maine Coast Hospital plans to fully implement the Eat, Sleep, Console approach by mid summer.
KWW Plans Visitor Center, Upgrades
(Patten) The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument continues to draw more visitors each year. To make the monument more accessible, Friends of KWW this week announced a $35M capital campaign to fund a visitor center with a focus on the Wabanaki heritage of the land. The initiative, dubbed “A Monumental Welcome” has already raised nearly $23M, with The Quimby Family Philanthropies, Roxanne Quimby Foundation, and Elliotsville Foundation committing a large portion of the funds raised so far.
(Patten) Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will one day boast a visitor center focused on the Wabanaki heritage of the land. To that end, Friends of KWW has launched a $35M capital campaign to fund a visitor station, park projects, and Wabanaki initiatives. Funds will also help build a 3.6 mile access road to the (Tuh-gkah-gkah-PEE-muck) Tekakapimek Contact Station, welcoming visitors to the monument.
Update on Lamoine Traffic Light Situation
(Lamoine) Long delays in letting traffic enter from Jordan River Road onto Route 3, especially during the morning hours, have frustrated drivers in Lamoine. The town reports the glitch in the Routes 3 and 204 traffic light are the result of a traffic detection module not working properly. A new module which had to be approved by the Select Board due to the cost, has been ordered, and will likely take another week to ten days to arrive and be installed. If you use the intersection, the town advises you to be prepared for another few days of continued long delays.
(Lamoine) Motorists attempting to enter onto Route 3 from the Jordan River Road have experienced long delays with the traffic signal recently. The Town of Lamoine reports the town’s maintenance company has determined that’s due to a faulty traffic detection module. The cost of a new module, a bit over $15,000, had to be approved by the Select Board. It’s now been ordered, but will likely take another week to ten days to arrive and be installed. You might want to choose an alternative route in the meantime … or prepare to practice your patience.
Franklin Street Parklet is Open
(Ellsworth) The Franklin Street Parklet in Ellsworth is OPEN! A big thanks to Lisa Sekulich and the Public Works Crew, Economic Development Director Janna Richards, and City Planner Matthew Williams for working together to set the parklet up for outdoor dining and socializing!
(Ellsworth) Time to dine out – outside, that is, as soon as the weather clears. The City of Ellsworth says the Franklin Street Parklet is now open. Lots of hands worked together to get the site ready for outdoor summer dining! Frequent the downtown eateries, bring your own lunch, or just enjoy those fabulous purchases you made while browsing the shops of Downtown Ellsworth.
Knowlton Park Playground Temporarily Closed
(Ellsworth) The playground areas at Knowlton Park in Ellsworth will be temporarily closed today. Wood chips were delivered yesterday; and weather permitting, the Public Works crew needs today to spread and install them.
(Ellsworth) Men and women at work today so you can play tomorrow – the City of Ellsworth asks you to avoid the Knowlton Park playground today so the Public Works Crew can install wood chips. The wood chips were delivered Wednesday, and crews will be working to spread and install them today, weather permitting.
Schoodic-opoly at Shanahan’s Sweet Retreat
(Sullivan) Schoodic-opoly is here from Shanahan’s Sweet Retreat in Sullivan! This winter, proprietor Erin Shanahan and crew produced a board game featuring local businesses. Games will be available at various businesses in the Schoodic area beginning tomorrow. Better get yours fast – only 500 produced. Game on!
(Sullivan) How sweet is this? Shanahan’s Sweet Retreat proprietor Erin Shanahan and crew spent the winter developing a locally themed board game! Schoodic-opoly features businesses from Sullivan and throughout the Schoodic area. Games will be available at various businesses beginning tomorrow. But don’t pass … well, on second thought, DO go to get yours right away. There are only 500 available. Game on!
(Ellsworth) Ellsworth PRIDE volunteers are planning the third annual Pridefest, a free, family-friendly event set for Sunday, June 11, from 11:30 to 4 at Knowlton Park. There will be local entertainment, food trucks and vendors, and more. Learn more at heart of ellsworth dot org, forward slash pride.
(Ellsworth) Heart of Ellsworth and Ellsworth PRIDE volunteers are busy planning the third annual Pridefest. The free, family-friendly event is scheduled for Sunday, June 11th, from 11:30 to 4 at Knowlton Park. Come enjoy local entertainment, food trucks and vendors and more. For the latest updates on the event, check out Ellsworth PRIDE on Instagram and Facebook.
If the Celtics want to stay in the game, they have to beat the Heat tonight in Boston. Celtics go into Game 5 down 3 games to 1.
The Angels had a heavenly run against the Red Sox, beating them all three games with last night’s 7-3 win. Red Sox have the night off. They’ll be in Phoenix this weekend for a series against the Diamondbacks.