Crime/Public Safety/Drugs Human Skeletal Remains Found in Ellsworth (Ellsworth)  Authorities are searching for clues after human skeletal remains were found in the woods off Red Bridge Road in Ellsworth Tuesday morning.  Maine State Police report commercial land surveyors discovered the remains about 9 a.m. yesterday.  The remains were taken to the Office of the Chief […]

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Local News 11/15/23

Crime/Public Safety/Drugs

Human Skeletal Remains Found in Ellsworth

(Ellsworth)  Authorities are searching for clues after human skeletal remains were found in the woods off Red Bridge Road in Ellsworth Tuesday morning.  Maine State Police report commercial land surveyors discovered the remains about 9 a.m. yesterday.  The remains were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta where an autopsy will be performed to try to determine the cause and manner of death.  No further details were released, but police say there is currently no risk to the public.

(Ellsworth)  A grisly discovery Tuesday morning in the woods off Red Bridge Road in Ellsworth. Ellsworth Police notified the Maine State Police of the discovery of human skeletal remains.  The remains were found by commercial land surveyors around 9 a.m. yesterday and were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta to try to determine a cause and manner of death.  Police are not releasing any other details at this time but say there is currently no risk to the public.

(Ellsworth)  Few details available at this point, but commercial land surveyors yesterday uncovered human skeletal remains off Red Bridge Road in Ellsworth Tuesday morning.  The remains have been taken to Augusta where the Chief Medical Examiner will try to determine a cause and manner of death.

Local Politics

Michelle Beal Named Chair of Ellsworth City Council

(Ellsworth)  There was little question who was favored to step in as Ellsworth City Council Chair at Monday’s regular meeting.  Tammy Mote nominated former City Manager Michelle Beal.  The only nominee was then elected by unanimous vote and began the meeting by acknowledging the work ahead in 2024, saying Ellsworth has a great Council and she’s very much looking forward to the year ahead.

(Ellsworth)  Ellsworth City Council member Michelle Beal will fill the role of Council Chair left vacant when Dale Hamilton decided not to run for reelection.  Beal was the only nominee and was supported with a unanimous vote at Monday’s regular Council meeting.  Beal is a former City Manager who was elected to the Council in 2022.  She works as a Firm Administrator at Rudman Winchell in Bangor.

Economy

Top Gun: Maine Expands to Washington County

(Machias)  Yesterday, we told you Ellsworth will be a host city this year for the state-wide Top Gun program.  If you live in Washington County and are thinking of starting your own business but don’t know where to begin, Top Gun will be offered there as well.  The training is a 15-week intensive program that provides hands-on mentorship, business projections, and preparation for a regional pitch competition, this year to be held in Houlton and Calais.  The program is about building a strong entrepreneurial basis for start-ups and innovative business owners, helping them grow the skills needed to succeed in business. An informational session is set for tomorrow from 12 to 2:30 at the MaineStreet Business Building in Machias.

(Machias)  Mainers are nothing if not resourceful, and if you’re starting a new business in Washington County and would like some help or support, you’ll want to look into Top Gun: Maine.  This 15-week intensive program provides hands-on mentorship, business projections, and prepares you for a regional pitch competition where winners move on to a statewide competition and a chance to bring home a monetary grand prize.  An informational session is scheduled tomorrow, November 16th from 12 to 2:30 at the MaineStreet Business Building in Machias.  Ellsworth will also be a Top Gun host city this year, with an informational session coming up here on November 28th.

Maine’s Largest Ski Resorts Open this Week

(Maine)  If it has to be winter, bring on the snow.  Skiers and snowboarders are rejoicing with the announcement of the opening of the state’s ski resorts.  Opening Day at Sugarloaf is this Friday, November 17th.  Sunday River opened yesterday for certain pass holders, with daily lift tickets accepted beginning today.  Saddleback Mountain is waiting a bit longer, planning to open December 2nd and 3rd just for the weekend, and then will begin full operations on December 8th.  Of course, Maine is home to many cross country ski trails and other smaller resorts – check with specific locations on conditions and opening dates.

(Maine)  Not everyone hates winter – ski enthusiasts are rejoicing this week as the state’s two largest resorts announced opening dates.  Sunday River opened yesterday for certain passholders, with daily lift tickets accepted beginning today.  Opening Day at Sugarloaf is this Friday, November 17th.  Saddleback Mountain is waiting a bit longer, with open dates planned for the weekend of December 2nd and 3rd and then full operations beginning December 8th.  Lots of smaller places to downhill, snowboard and cross country ski here in Maine – check with your favorites on conditions and opening dates.

Heating Guide Now Available

(Augusta)  The 2023 Winter Heating Guide for Mainers is now available for viewing. The guide contains tips and resources to help Mainers save money and keep warm this winter, including information about heat pumps, weatherization improvements and emergency fuel assistance. To view the guide, go to Maine dot gov, forward slash energy.  .https://www.maine.gov/energy/winter-heating-resources

(Augusta)  Preparing for Maine winters is almost a year-round process in Maine.  The 2023 Winter Heating Guide for Mainers can now be viewed at maine dot gov.  The guide provides helpful tips and resources for Mainers to save money and keep warm this winter, including information on heat pumps, weatherizing your home, and emergency fuel assistance.  Visit maine dot gov forward slash energy.

Heating Funds More Critical Than Ever This Year

(Ellsworth)  Many will be asking you to open your hearts and pocketbooks this holiday.  One of the more critical needs will be for heating assistance. Congress has reportedly cut the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, with one source reporting folks who received $1200 in benefits last year will get just $500 this year.  And last year, there were supplemental benefits that have gone away in 2023.  Downeast Community Partners asks you to consider donating to their THAW fund, which helps the elderly, families, and individuals in need in Hancock and Washington Counties. Donate at downeast community partners dot org.

(Ellsworth)  Baby, it’s cold outside.  And that’s no fun, especially for the elderly living on fixed incomes or those who find they’ve fallen on hard times.  This year promises to be especially difficult, with Congress cutting LiHEAP benefits from $1200 to just $500, and last year’s supplemental benefits having totally gone away.  You can help by donating to DCP’s THAW – the heating and warmth fund that is based on need, not income.  Donate at downeast community partners dot org.

Education

College of the Atlantic Ranked Number One Green College

(Bar Harbor)  When it comes to eco-friendly colleges, no one is greener than College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.  For the eighth year in a row, COA snagged the top spot in the Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges”.  MaineBiz reports the number two spot also went to a Maine institution – Colby College moved up from Number 15 a year ago.  The list included more than 500 schools selected for programs, policies, and practices related to sustainability and the environment and serves as a resource for students wanting to attend schools that foster a culture of environmental stewardship.

(Bar Harbor)  Reading, writing, and responsibly caring for Mother Earth.  College of the Atlantic’s commitment to fostering a culture of environmental responsibility has once again landed it in the top spot in the Princeton Review’s “Guide to Green Colleges”.  It’s the eighth year in a row the Bar Harbor institution has captured the top spot.  Coming in at Number Two – Colby College, which moved up from last year’s Number 15 ranking.  The list includes more than 500 schools nationwide selected for programs, policies, and practices related to sustainability and the environment and serves as a resource for students wishing to attend schools focused on a culture of caring for the environment.

Health

Life Expectancy for Men Falls

(KFF)  The life expectancy of men in the U.S. is nearly six years shorter than that of women, according to new research published this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association . At least partially as a consequence of over 1 million Covid-19 deaths, life expectancy in the U.S. has declined significantly over the past few years, falling from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77 in 2020 and 76.1 in 2022 — undoing over two decades of progress. This puts the country far behind its wealthy peers: Countries such as Japan, Korea, Portugal, the U.K., and Italy all enjoy a life expectancy of 80 years or more. Countries such as Turkey (78.6) and China (78.2) also fare better.

(KFF)  The gap in life expectancy between men and women in the United States grew to its widest in nearly 30 years, driven mainly by more men dying of Covid and drug overdoses.  That’s according to a new study published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association.   The New York Times reports in 2021, women had a life expectancy of 79.3 years, compared with 73.5 years for men, according to the study.  By comparison, Japan, Korea, Portugal, the U.K., and Italy all enjoy a life expectancy of 80 years or more, and even countries such as Turkey and China fared better than the U.S.

Human Interest

State Ferry to be Named in Honor of Maine D-Day Veteran

(Matinicus)  The new state ferry that will serve Matinicus Island will be named after 99 yo Charles Norman Shay.  Shay was a combat medic who worked saving lives at Omaha Beach on D-Day, earning him a Silver Star and the French Legion of Honor.  A Penobscot who hails from Indian Island, Shay was drafted at age 19 and is believed to be the last living Native American to have been a part of the D-Day invasion.  Construction of the new ferry is underway in Alabama.  With a capacity of 149 passengers, the Maine Department of Transportation expects the ferry to arrive in Rockland early next year.

(Matinicus)  The seas were rough and roaring on D-Day when troops came ashore at Omaha Beach at a battle that would turn the tide of World War II.  Now, a new ferry that will serve calmer waters will be named after the last living Native American to serve during that conflict.  Charles Norman Shay grew up on Indian Island and was drafted into the military at age 19.  He served as a combat medic, saving lives on that fateful day, which earned him a Silver Star and the French Legion of Honor.  The Maine Department of Transportation says the new ferry that will serve Matinicus Island will be named for Shay, who is now 99 years old and living in France.  The new ferry will carry up to 149 passengers and is expected to be in service the first half of next year.

Dinner to Honor Longtime MSM Volunteer

(Cherryfield)  The Downeast Community is invited to come together this Sunday, November 19th, to honor the life of longtime Maine Seacoast Mission volunteer Nancy Neu, who passed away last month.  Nancy spent more than 30 years working and volunteering Downeast, including working in the gardens at the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Ellsworth.  Nancy was working on the dinner to support the community when she passed away.  The event will be held from 3:30 to 5 Sunday at the Weald Bethel Community Center in Cherryfield.

(Cherryfield)  When long-time volunteer Nancy Neu passed away last month, she was planning a community dinner to serve the people of Downeast Maine.  Maine Seacoast Mission has decided to carry on with the dinner in her honor, which is scheduled for Sunday, November 19th, from 3:30 to 5 at the Weald Bethel Community Center.  Nancy spent more than 30 years working and volunteering Downeast, including at Maine Seacoast Mission and Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Ellsworth.  The public is invited to the dinner Sunday to celebrate and honor her tireless service.

Sports

The Celtics take on the 76ers tonight at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly.

Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2.  Bruins off now until Saturday, when they host the Montreal Canadiens.