At their last meeting of the year, the directors of the Dirigo Health Agency voted Thursday to proceed with collecting the controversial $34.3 million savings offset payment from Maine insurance companies. The money is needed to assure the continued viability of the agency’s subsidized DirigoChoice health insurance product… Read More
    AUGUSTA – There are few, if any, Mainers who do not watch television or listen to radio or use a phone or the Internet every day. The laws that govern everything from ownership of the media to public access are up for reauthorization this year, and two Maine… Read More
    The Penobscot County court news on Page B2 of Friday’s paper contained incorrect information about Daniel J. Willette, 34, of Milford. The listing should have read that a charge of rule violation, operation of vehicle beyond 14-hour rule, was dismissed. He faced no other charges. Read More
    AUGUSTA – U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has completed her tenth year in the Senate with a perfect voting record, according to a statement issued by her office. With the conclusion of the 109th Congress, the number of consecutive roll call votes that she has made… Read More
    BANGOR – There will be no mail delivery Tuesday, Jan. 2, as the nation observes a day of mourning for former President Gerald R. Ford. Most federal offices also will be closed State and municipal offices will be open that day and classes are expected… Read More
    AUGUSTA – Gov. John E. Baldacci will lead a remembrance ceremony for former President Gerald R. Ford at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Blaine House. The ceremony will provide an opportunity for residents and state employees to pay tribute to Ford, who died Tuesday at… Read More
    As an 82-year-old reader of the Bangor Daily News and in the past the Bangor Daily Commercial, I have only one thing to say. The Commercial folded and how does the BDN expect to survive when all you do is print news you can pick… Read More
    Dean Girdis, president of Downeast LNG, claims a “bottom-up approach to gather public support for the project.” (“Second LNG applicant files with FERC,” BDN, Dec. 23) What he really means is he sold the idea to the citizens of Robbinston as a concept rather than with its industrial… Read More
    I am writing to support Sen. Bill Diamond’s proposal for sixth-offense OUI offenders. Your editorial of Dec. 26 was simply wrong when it stated that “nearly 9,000 offenders would fall into this category.” Perhaps 100 people each year arrested for OUI have five or more prior offenses. In… Read More
    Only about 10 percent of Maine homes, says the State Planning Office, are sold to people from out of state, a population that is being targeted by Gov. John Baldacci as a source of higher revenues under a proposal to cap property taxes. Unfortunately, his plan would also… Read More
    On Friday, Dec. 22, I went to visit my husband, Gene McBreairty, at the Veterans Affairs nursing home in Caribou. While I was there, I called my sister-in-law to come over and we would have lunch together. My husband decided he wanted to go out to eat with… Read More
    As a part-time resident of Maine and otherwise resident of New Jersey, I try to keep up with news of both places. It was therefore of great interest to me to read a column in the Op-Ed section of the Dec. 24 Philadelphia Inquirer about the Bangor custom… Read More
    The holidays and coming of the New Year are times we celebrate the comforts of home and family. A home is perhaps the single greatest asset a family can have – but unfortunately, too many Mainers are finding out just how fragile the gift of a home can… Read More
    As Alice in Wonderland’s queen was fond of saying, “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.” Alas, that’s where I am as I attempt to recall the notable events of the year scheduled to come to a screeching halt at midnight tomorrow. Read More
    SOUTH PORTLAND – Maine real estate sales tumbled into the double-digit range last month as decreases in prices and sales followed a national track downward, an industry group said Friday. In November, 997 single-family homes were sold in Maine, representing a decrease of 12.5 percent… Read More
    The majority of members of a task force examining Maine’s many trash-related issues favor repealing a state law that prevents power plant operators from firing up biomass boilers solely with wood waste from construction and demolition sites. Maine now limits waste-to-energy plants to using no… Read More
    BANGOR – A fire at an apartment house on Cottage Street claimed the life of a local woman early Friday night, officials said. Althea Marshman, 56, was home at 6:53 p.m. when the fire was reported, and neighbors said flames spouted from the lower front… Read More
    What began with the toss of a Christmas light-encrusted beach ball two years ago has mushroomed into Downtown Countdown – an evening’s worth of New Year’s Eve festivities spread out among six venues in downtown Bangor. It’s the city’s first evening-long New Year’s Eve celebration… Read More
    It has been a bit of a slow news week around 491 Main St. It is every year at this time as most of our newsmakers have, like the rest of us, turned our attention to the home front. That is how it should be. Read More
    VERONA ISLAND – The new Penobscot Narrows Bridge is expected to be officially opened today in a ceremony that also will mark the closure of the Waldo-Hancock Bridge. The new bridge will be opened to traffic after a brief 1 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony in the… Read More
    HERMON – A community group looking to expand the facilities and services of the town’s athletic complex will ask the municipality for $400,000 at a special town meeting Jan. 18. The committee seeks funds to construct a second phase of the Greater Hermon Community Athletic… Read More
    TOWNSHIP 7 RANGE 5 – Driver inattention is the only cause Maine State Police had found Friday that might explain a motor vehicle accident in which an Ashland woman died on Route 11. Brenda Parker, 57, was killed almost instantly just before noon Thursday when… Read More
    NORTHPORT – A local man was arrested after an alleged domestic assault Thursday night on Beech Hill Road. Corey J. Pendleton, 37, of Northport was arrested on charges of domestic assault, reckless conduct and operating after revocation after having been declared a habitual offender of… Read More
    BANGOR – The widow of a state fire inspector who worked part time as a Penobscot County deputy sheriff has sued the Maine Municipal Association and an insurance company over their refusal to pay claims associated with her husband’s death two years ago. Douglas J. Read More
    BELFAST – The Maine Snowmobile Association will hold its coastal and central Maine regional meeting beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6. The meeting will be held at Troy Howard Middle School. The meeting will feature presentations by speakers on subjects including landowner relations and… Read More
    SOUTHWEST HARBOR – Since the town’s water treatment plant was built eight years ago, two things have happened that are making local officials look into upgrading the facility. Chemical compounds that result from natural substances in the water being treated with chlorine have been detected… Read More
    AUGUSTA – John H. O’Neil Jr., a lawyer who lives in Kennebunk, was nominated for a District Court judgeship, Gov. John Baldacci announced Friday. O’Neil, a partner at Smith, Elliott, Smith & Garmey in Portland and Saco since 1991, also has served as an assistant… Read More
    Joshua is a 9-year-old boy with brilliant red hair and a great smile. He is interested in sports, being outside and exploring the world. Joshua enjoys meeting new people and will often initiate play with peers. He is able to play independently, but prefers to… Read More
    TOWNSHIP 10 – A female trucker from Kenduskeag, her daughter and her dog escaped injury Friday morning when a log truck the woman was driving rolled over on Route 182, according to police. Lisa Oliver, 40, was driving east on the road past Fox Pond… Read More
    NORTHPORT – A local woman faces several charges after allegedly destroying some household furnishings Thursday during an argument with a male companion, then chasing after him when he left the home and crashing her car into a ditch. Mary E. Steele, 56, of High Street… Read More
    MACHIAS – Since 1997, more than 164 people from Washington County have participated in a unique leadership seminar, finding ways to network and bring a new economic outlook to the Down East region. “If you go to any meeting in Washington County and ask who… Read More
    A Texas veterinarian who pleaded no contest in October to poisoning her husband, Lee native Michael Leslie Severance, in January 2005 proclaims her innocence in one of two letters she wrote to San Angelo judges that are part of her notice of appeal of her conviction, court officials… Read More
    BELFAST – The following are divorces granted in 5th District Court during December on grounds of irreconcilable marital differences: Myles G. Gilliland, Ball, La., and Lourinda J. Gilliland, Prospect; married at Pineville, La., on Feb. 12, 2000; shared parental responsibility for two children; Lourinda Gilliland… Read More
    This isn’t the first year Bangor has planned events to ring in the new year. And nobody expects this weekend’s activities to include a plastic foam flying saucer or a weather balloon covered with Christmas lights with an alien wishing peace on Earth. Those were… Read More
    Bangor Opera House . “Holiday,” 1938 movie starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, 4:30 p.m. . Charlie Chaplin film, “The Cure,” 6:10 p.m. . Bluegrass and more with Evergreen, 7 p.m. . Charlie Chaplin film, “The… Read More
    BELFAST – Many have long suspected that Mayor Mike Hurley is a direct descendant of the Pied Piper of lore. In addition to being its ambassador on business and civic fronts, Hurley is the city’s biggest cheerleader, a role that preceded his election as mayor. Read More
    Throughout the year, several outstanding people were recognized for their good deeds, quick responses to emergencies, and continuing efforts to improve the lives of their fellow community members and all Maine residents. Today, as 2006 draws to a close, we join the organizations that recognized… Read More
    MILFORD – Although the all-out search for a canoeist missing and presumed drowned in the Penobscot River has been called off, local Game Wardens and other rescue personnel continue to keep an eye out for Richard Jenkins of Milford. Jenkins and Richard Holmes, 36, of… Read More
    AUGUSTA – Three centenarians, including one who may have been the state’s oldest resident, were among the notable Mainers who died in 2006. The year also saw the passing of Mount Desert resident Caspar Weinberger, who was a former Reagan Cabinet member, as well as several media figures… Read More
    At this time of year people of all different faiths are celebrating the beginning of winter. We all have customs which include lighting candles at this dark time of year so as to beckon the sun and moon to brighten and warm our days and nights. Read More
    ESTERO, Fla. – Junior defenseman Bret Tyler is one of the quarterbacks on the University of Maine hockey team’s power play, which had been struggling of late but was still ranked fifth in the nation entering Friday’s Florida College Classic opener against Western Michigan. Tyler… Read More
    HIGH SCHOOL At Presque Isle Orono boys 54, Presque Isle 36 Orono 60, Washington Acad. 15 Presque Isle 40, Washington Acad. 21 200 freestyle: Eric Fochesata (WA) 2:31.78, Egenhofer (O) 2:42.90, Johnson (PI)… Read More
    The boys basketball game between Piscataquis and Fort Kent set for today at Fort Kent has been postponed because a member of the Piscataquis team was being tested for whooping cough, Piscataquis coach Jamie Russell said Friday night. Russell declined to release the name of… Read More
    STANDISH – Chad Pulkkinen poured in 21 points to lead Saint Joseph’s College past Husson College 73-53 in the opening round of the Maine Event men’s college basketball tourney Friday. Colby College of Waterville defeated Southern Maine of Gorham 78-59 in the earlier game. Read More
    FORT FAIRFIELD – Danny Hayes led a balanced scoring attack with 12 points to lead Limestone Community School/Maine School of Science and Mathematics past Fort Fairfield 47-40 in high school boys basketball action Friday. Chris Kirchner chipped in with 11 points for the Eagles while… Read More
    While still pondering which number will be higher – the number of people who watched the Texas Bowl on the NFL Network or the number of people who actually attended the MPC Computers Bowl on New Year’s Eve – I can’t help but offer a few resolutions that… Read More
    COLERAINE, Minn. – Three Aroostook County natives who compete for the Maine Winter Sports Center picked up top-three finishes in sprint competition at the U.S. Biathlon Junior World Championship trials Friday at the Mount Itasca center. Stockholm’s Russell Currier placed second in the junior men’s… Read More
    HERMON – Ashley Kelley tossed in 12 points and Hillary Keith chipped in with 11 as Hermon held off Caribou 43-41 in high school girls basketball action Friday. Erin Arnold finished with eight points and five steals for the Hawks. Allie Richards… Read More
    WALDOBORO – Stephanie Lee scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the second half as Medomak Valley rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit and Anna Lufkin completed the comeback by scoring all five of the Panthers’ points in overtime as they knocked off Lincoln Academy of Newcastle… Read More
    Anglers looking to learn more about their pastime will get the chance beginning in January as the Penobscot Fly Fishers host beginner fly-tying classes in Bangor. The first class is Thursday at 6 p.m. Classes will be held weekly for eight consecutive Thursdays through Feb. Read More
    University of Maine hockey coach Tim Whitehead served a one-game suspension for a secondary NCAA violation during Friday’s Florida College Classic opener against Western Michigan in Estero, Fla. Maine hockey associate head coach Guy Perron filled in for Whitehead behind the Black Bear bench. Read More
    They might be one of the fastest growing networks on TV, but since G4 launched in 2002, it hasn’t entered the realm of reality – until now. With the start of a new year, the network is gearing up to premiere its first-ever original reality… Read More
    PORTLAND – “Survivor” host Jeff Probst and his girlfriend, former contestant Julie Berry, served up Christmas dinner at a soup kitchen before being spotted the following day shopping at a Target store. Probst said the experience of volunteering to serve meals at the Wayside Soup… Read More
    Dear 2006… I’m writing to thank you for the trends you brought. They were the best in recent years. I especially loved the long shorts and the forgiving Empire-waist tunics. My belly couldn’t be happier, because, well, let’s be honest: I like to eat, and… Read More
    “The Hulk,” HD DVD: A long-winded disappointment that only finds its footing at the end – but by that time, the film might as well be wearing clogs. This is a movie whose few gripping moments and technically superb set pieces are quashed by director Ang Lee’s decision… Read More
    Brussels sprouts get a lot of bad reactions. I remember not liking them either, until I finally had ones that had been through a fairly heavy frost. A friend cooked them up and only put butter on them, and I thought, “Uh-oh, I am going to have to… Read More
    I think it was 1963. I know it was the seedy Boston Arena. And I know it was my demented cousin Jerry with me. No other white boy I knew was crazy enough to go see James Brown, not when the entire audience was black. Read More
    With winter comes questions from readers about avoiding salt damage to garden plants. Passing cars and snow plows spray salt-laden slush onto garden beds, winter buds of deciduous plants, and the needles of conifers. De-icing salts slowly spread from driveways and sidewalks into nearby garden soil. Decisions made… Read More
    Add a new name to the list of mind-altering drugs readily available in Maine. Salvia divinorum, a potent hallucinogen closely related to an ornamental plant commonly grown in Maine herb and flower gardens, is for sale at smoke shops throughout the state. It’s not illegal,… Read More
    AUGUSTA – State health officials are keeping a watchful eye out for hepatitis B in the wake of an outbreak since June in the Bangor area and for influenza B after the first case was confirmed last week in the state. Health care providers and… Read More
    AUGUSTA – Although scores indicate more than half the high school juniors who took the SAT tests last spring failed to fully meet state standards, education officials said they are pleased with the results. This was the first year the SAT was used instead of… Read More
    PORTLAND – Tom Andrews, the Maine congressman-turned-anti-war activist who heads a national coalition that opposed the invasion of Iraq, says the group plans to step up efforts to get the new Democratic Congress to bring the troops home. Asserting that last month’s election was a… Read More
    These words echo the true sentiment of this past holiday season. From turkeys to Christmas gifts, the community took care of thousands of people that without their support might have had a very bleak holiday season. The people at Cumulus Radio that braved high winds… Read More
    Sometime on or before Nov. 7, nearly 3,000 voters in House District 7, cast their votes to send a representative to Augusta. Post election plus, nearly two months later the seat has a body, but the winner has yet to be declared. It seems after… Read More
    Are you a veteran, are you the spouse of a veteran, are you related to a veteran, are you the friend of a veteran, are you interested in helping veterans? Veterans met for their 65th Pearl Harbor Reunion on Dec. 7. As I watched them… Read More
    Sensible friends of mine are working to ban Deca, a brominated fire retardant, in Maine. Therefore I was surprised to see the letter from Michael Spiegelstein of the Bromine Science and Environmental Forum, defending Deca. It seemed so convincing. He even claims, “after an extensive 10-year risk assessment… Read More
    Contrary to what Diana Graettinger quoted Mr. Eddie Bassett as saying in her article of December 21, the Godfrey’s are not speaking on behalf of the Passamaquoddy people. Rather they are being critical of a faction of the tribe that has taken upon themselves the right to unilaterally… Read More
    While military prosecutors in California were charging five Marines with murder in the killing of Iraqi civilians last year, Pentagon officials were holding a hearing on mental health services after reports that soldiers at Fort Carson, Colo., were not receiving adequate treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The murder… Read More
    Just wanted to express our thoughts on the loss of the articles by Tom Weber. His was one that we looked forward to reading. So many times, we enjoyed them so much that we sent them to our relatives in Rhode Island. His insights, observations… Read More
    A group looking for agreement on the future of Sears Island has made progress and should continue its work to develop a mixed-use plan for the state-owned island. Such a plan could be used by the Legislature to evaluate proposals for development or other uses of the 940-acre… Read More
    Most of us are familiar with “three strikes laws” for habitual offenders. The idea is to require the courts to hand down mandatory and extended periods of incarceration to persons who have been convicted of serious criminal offenses on three or more separate occasions. It seems more than… Read More
    MACHIAS – In urban areas of Maine, where an E-911 call can have an ambulance at the caller’s front door in five minutes, obtaining urgent medical instructions from the dispatcher or operator on the phone may not be critical. But for someone who lives in… Read More
    MOUNT DESERT – A witness has died of natural causes in a murder case involving a caregiver accused of using a ceramic gargoyle to bludgeon to death a retired professor. Dari C. Burke, 63, died last week from lupus, according to an obituary published Thursday… Read More
    READFIELD – A woman who shunned publicity before she died earlier this year has left more than $2 million to central Maine charities and nonprofits, including a soup kitchen-shelter, cancer hospital and humane organization. Ilse Westman left $500,000 of the total to the Bread of… Read More
    OLD TOWN – A 115-acre expansion of Juniper Ridge Landfill is being proposed by the facility’s operator, Casella Waste Systems Inc., in conjunction with the State Planning Office. The proposed expansion of the former West Old Town Landfill is not a surprise and is a… Read More
    BANGOR – All a Pennsylvania-based gaming and racing firm needs to begin construction of its $90 million complex on Main Street is a wrecking ball. The owners of the Holiday Inn-Civic Center closed on the sale of the 31-year-old hotel Thursday to Penn National Gaming… Read More
    TOWNSHIP 7, RANGE 5 – An Ashland woman died after the van in which she was a passenger left the road and struck a group of trees off Route 11 just before noon Thursday. Emergency personnel pronounced Brenda Parker, 57, dead at the scene due… Read More
    AUGUSTA – University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Alternative Poultry Association will sponsor a training afternoon for poultry producers from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the Augusta Civic Center. Jacqueline Jacob from University of Minnesota’s Extension Service will lead the… Read More
    ROCKLAND – American Legion Post 1 will host a meeting to plan the completion of the Rockland Veterans Memorial at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9. For more information, call 596-6242 or e-mail mcneil@ieee.org. Read More
    MACHIAS – The Breast Feeding Coalition serving Hancock and Washington counties will host its third meeting from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, at the Machias Career Center. A video-conferencing option will be offered at the Hancock County Higher Education Center in Ellsworth. Read More
    Rockland District Court Cases Dec. 19-26, 2006 Carlos S. Arteaga, 22, Union, violating condition of release, jail 48 hours. Brandon S. Cain, 20, Phoenix, Ariz., sale, use of drug paraphernalia, $300. George R. Chapman, 31, Cushing,… Read More
    Penobscot County Superior Court Cases Nov. 1-30, 2006 Nazareth Alexander, 50, Bangor, assault; two counts disorderly conduct, dismissed. Teresa Babbitt, 48, Lincoln, manslaughter, prison 10 years, all but 18 months suspended, probation four years, restitution, $4,625; unlawful… Read More
    HOULTON – Now that it’s winter, students aren’t always thinking too much about playing on their school’s playground equipment. But the season has not deterred the parents of pupils at Houlton Elementary School, as volunteers are still working to raise money to build an upgraded… Read More
    Staff Sgt. Ben Hazen of Lincolnville was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal for his service in the Maine Army National Gurad. Hazen is assigned to A Battery, 1-152 Field Artillery, in Waterville as a howitzer section chief. A graduate of Camden-Rockport High School, Hazen… Read More
    BELFAST – Ethnic dance begins at the Belfast Dance Studio with a four-week session of Salsa for Beginners, Jan.4-25. Salsa is a popular, Latin-style social dance. John Titus and Sylvia Moreno will instruct couples and singles in dance style. No experience is… Read More
    CARIBOU – To be singled out to receive a grant is always exciting, but being hand-picked as an “honored grantee” by a philanthropic organization is even better. Dixie Shaw, program director of the Catholic Charities Maine Home Supplies and Food Bank, said Thursday that she… Read More