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August 15, 2019

Medway man charged in Interstate 95 crash that killed wife

MATTAMISCONTIS TOWN-SHIP – A Medway man was scheduled to appear at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor on Tuesday on drug charges in connection with an Aug. 9 crash on Interstate 95 that killed his wife, according to state police. Joshua Bell, 31, of Medway was charged with drug possession just after he was released from Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical in Bangor, where he was taken following the crash that killed his wife, Stephanie Bell, 36, according to a statement released by state police. Heroin and methamphetamine were found at the scene of the crash at mile 226 in the southbound lane of Interstate 95, according to state police, leading them to investigate whether drugs played a role in the crash.

Lincoln councilors opt to approve property maintenance, ATV ordinances

LINCOLN – Discussion on a pair of ordinances filled the Lincoln council chambers Monday night at the board's monthly meeting.
 Both ordinances – one concerning property and grounds and maintenance and another on ATV operation in town – were unanimously approved by the town council at the meeting.  • Several long-time residents expressed concern for what they described as a change in the way properties are maintained – or not – in recent years.                                                                                   

Sen. Susan Collins visits Chester business during Tuesday blitz

CHESTER – U.S. Sen. Susan Collins spent about 45 minutes touring Treeline Inc. and hearing concerns and plaudits from its president as part of a four community tour of Penobscot County on Tuesday. Maine's senior senator also stopped at Dennis Paper and Food Service in Hampden, Northern Light Acadia Hospital in Bangor and the grand opening of the Nine Dragons Paper mill in Old Town.  Collins is seeking a fifth Senate term in 2020 in a campaign where millions have already been raised. Experts project $55 million in advertising spending in the race, which would more than double the $23.2 million spent on the 2018 2nd Congressional District race, won by Jared Golden.

Lincoln firefighters extinguish Libby Street dryer fire

LINCOLN – Lincoln firefighters were able to quickly extinguish a Monday afternoon fire on Libby Street. According to an incident report, Lincoln firefighters were called to 27 Libby Street for what was first reported as a building fire, with a resident in the two-story building telling dispatchers that a dryer was possibly on fire. When firefighters arrived, no flames or smoke were showing from the outside of the building, the report notes. Once inside, firefighters encountered heavy smoke and found that the bottom of the dryer was on fire.

Sanitary District exploring options to finance upgrades

LINCOLN – The Lincoln Sanitary District may have to take a different approach to funding upgrades to its collection system and plant, its superintendent explained last week. Superintendent Scott Hesseltine updated the board on efforts to secure funding through the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development program at the board's Aug. 8 meeting. Hesseltine told the board of a recent email the district had received from Rural Development officials, noting that the district could be eligible for a 35 percent grant as part of an overall financing package, spread out over 40 years, if more information was provided. The district has identified $5 million in necessary upgrades to its collection system and plant, including replacing some equipment that has been in service since the plant opened in the early 1980s.

Lincoln town council approves a payment to the Masons for town office rent

LINCOLN – At least for now, the town of Lincoln has made its final payment to the Lincoln Masonic Fraternity for its time at 63 Main Street. By a 4-3 margin on Monday night, the council approved taking $6141.44 from undesignated funds, despite a request from one Mason and an ultimately defeated motion to table the matter. The Masons own 63 Main Street, which leased space for Lincoln's town office for decades until councilors approved a move to 29 Main Street earlier this year to a space formerly occupied by Machias Savings Bank and a Penobscot Valley Hospital billing office.

Reports: Gardner accepts plea deal in 2017 crash

BANGOR – A Lincoln man charged with manslaughter in the 2017 all terrain vehicle crash that killed a Millinocket woman has entered a guilty plea Tuesday to some of the charges, according to media reports. Parker Gardner, 22, of Lincoln pleaded guilty to aggravated operating under the influence of intoxicants, reckless operation of an ATV and violating bail conditions, according to media reports. According to a plea deal with the district attorney's office, a manslaughter charge will be dropped when Gardner is sentenced. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 6 at 9 a.m.

Thieves return flags taken from numerous locations on Tuesday

LINCOLN – Not all police work results in charges. Early Tuesday morning, Sgt. John Walsh received a report of the American flag stolen from Northern Penobscot Tech Region III's flagpole. Before he was able to head out to answer that call, a Fleming Street resident came to the lobby of the public safety building to report that a flagpole had been pulled out and the flag taken from that property. While headed to West Broadway for the Region III call, a Lincoln firefighter notified Walsh that the flag in front of the Lincoln post office was also missing.

Recent public hearing on SAD 31 tennis courts draws small crowd

HOWLAND – While the cost of renovating Penobscot Valley's tennis courts will remain the same regardless of their final position, those attending a public meeting on Monday night were still interested in perhaps moving them to a more prominent location in town. Voters from Howland, Enfield, Maxfield, Passadumkeag and Edinburg will head to the polls on Aug. 20 to approve borrowing no more than $130,000 to rebuild the courts, currently located next to the PVHS/HMS complex.  The courts have not been used for several years due to their state, including large cracks on the surface. In addition to not being usable for the public, Penobscot Valley's tennis teams have been forced to play home matches in locations such as Milo, Lincoln and East Millinocket.

Granite Street Bridge to close August 19

MILLINOCKET—Granite Street Bridge will be closing for eight weeks beginning on Monday, August 19 Manager John Davis announced from the Manager’s Report at the council meeting on Thursday, August 8. “The Granite Street Bridge will be closed for approximately eight weeks beginning on August 19,” Davis informed councilors. In the Manager’s Report, Davis included a list of signs that would be distributed around Millinocket by the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT). Flashing “billboard” signs have begun appearing near the closest access streets proclaiming the road closure with access to “local traffic only”.

Medway board declines KACC membership; gets septic system grant

MEDWAY – Saying they can’t identify any service for their membership, the Medway Board of Selectmen voted not to renew the town’s membership to the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce Monday. The move saves the town $1,000. However, Selectman John Lee, who is serving as one of Medway’s representatives to the KACC board of directors, said if the organization can regroup and return to being more involved in Medway and its activities then he would gladly reconsider joining.

Sidewalk annexation probably won’t happen; yard sale ordinance to be tweaked

MILLINOCKET—Annexing the sidewalks to property home owner probably won’t happen; at least according to responses from town councilors at the regular council meeting held on Thursday, August 8. Councilors’ opinions overwhelmingly were opposed to the possibility of annexation of the sidewalk to residents on Maine Avenue. The question arose amidst discussion that from the previous council meeting held on July 25th about the proposed yard sale ordinance. Residents of Maine Avenue stated at that meeting that sidewalks were in terrible shape and the way that it was prohibitive to pedestrian traffic and luring customers for yard sales.

State exploring rehab, replacement options of Route 11 bridge

TOWNSHIP 3 INDIAN PURCHASE—State transportation officials are exploring options to rehabilitate or replace the newly named Detective Benjamin Campbell Bridge that carries Route 11 over Quakish Lake west of Millinocket. Andrew Lathe, project manager for the Maine Department of Transportation, said the state is currently in the preliminary design process regarding the future of the span, which was built in 1948 and is designated as a historic bridge due to its thru-truss structure. Lathe said preliminary design options under consideration are rehabbing or replacing the bridge. He said both on-alignment at the current location or off-alignment further upstream are being considered as replacement options while rehabilitation is looked at as a first choice because of the historic designation of the span.

Report of erratic vehicle leads EMPD to Mexican citizen

EAST MILLINOCKET—A call that started out as a report of an erratically operating rental truck on Route 157 in East Millinocket ended with the apprehension of a Mexican citizen who admitted to being in the United States illegally. Belisario Cortazar-De La Cruz, 33, was taken into custody by federal authorities following the Friday incident investigated by Corporal Brad Fitzgerald of the East Millinocket Police Department.

Man wanted on warrant charged with resisting arrest

MILLINOCKET—A local man who was wanted on a failure to appear warrant is facing an additional charge after he allegedly became uncooperative and resisted being taken into custody. Derrick Sirois, 37, was arrested Thursday afternoon on the warrant and also charged with refusing to submit to arrest or detention. He was transported to the Penobscot County Jail and was released on bail later that same day. He is scheduled to appear Oct. 9 in Millinocket District Court on the resisting arrest charge.

Dog’s bite leads to summons for Millinocket canine owner

MILLINOCKET—A Millinocket woman was summonsed on a charge of keeping a dangerous dog after her doberman allegedly bit another woman days after the animal was released from quarantine following a prior biting incident in another town. Jessica Redmond, 39, was summonsed to appear Sept. 4 in Millinocket District Court on the charge stemming from the incident earlier this month that was investigated by Animal Control Officer Lorri Haskell of the Millinocket Police Department.

Local man arrested for alleged drug possession, bail violation

MILLINOCKET—A 28-year old Millinocket man was arrested earlier this month accused of violating his bail conditions by possessing drugs and associated drug paraphernalia. Billy Bernier, Jr. was arrested Aug. 4 and charged with one count each of violation of conditional release, unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transported to the Penobscot County Jail, where he remained incarcerated as of late last week, and is scheduled to appear Sept. 4 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the trio of charges.

Local man facing harassment charge from ongoing incidents

MILLINOCKET—A 59-year old Millinocket man was charged with harassment last week stemming from the latest incident in an alleged series of ongoing complaints from a neighboring homeowner. Dennis Manzo was summonsed to appear Oct. 9 in Millinocket District Court stemming from the Aug. 7 incident investigated by Officer Michael Winslow of the Millinocket Police Department.

Save-A-Lot closing Aug. 31, distributor problems cited

MILLINOCKET – After much thought, discussion and tears, Millinocket Save-A-Lot manager Katy Pangburn announced Monday that the store will be closing at the end of business on Aug. 31. Pangburn, whose parents Alan and Linda Pangburn purchased Millinocket IGA 24 years ago, said a number of factors went into the decision to close. The two most predominant are the fact that Save-A-Lot distributors are having a difficult time getting food products which means Pangburn is unable to offer the variety of products needed to serve customers; and new regulations passed by the Maine Legislature has burdened small business to the point where it’s become untenable for Pangburn’s family to keep the doors open.

Motorist accused of illegally attaching two different false plates to vehicle

MEDWAY—A Sherman man found himself in trouble with the law in Medway earlier this month when he was allegedly spotted with two different license plates, both of which belonged to other vehicles, on his Dodge sport utility vehicle. Francis Qualey, 35, was summonsed to appear Sept. 4 in Millinocket District Court on a charge of attaching false plates stemming from an Aug. 3 incident investigated by Sgt. Gary Lakeman of the East Millinocket Police Department.