News

Testimony in nurse's license trial ends


MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A registered nurse from Steuben fighting to keep his nursing license from being suspended testified Thursday as the case drew to a close.

In 2010, the state nursing board voted to suspend John Zablotny's license for two years. They were holding him responsible for discharging a heavily medicated patient and letting him leave the hospital on a New Year's Day snowstorm in 2008. The patient, 61-year-old Reid Emery, was found dead the next day not far from the hospital.

Zablontny teared up three times on the stand as he explained a play-by play of the two hours Zablotny interacted with Emery. His lawyer, Zablotny's attorney Joe Baldacci argued that his client clearly did not have the information he should have had about Mr. Emery.

Eastport-Deer Island Ferry won't run this summer


EASTPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A summer tradition in Eastport will be taking a vacation of its own this year.

The seasonal ferry between Eastport and Deer Island, New Brunswick won't be running.

According to the Eastport Port Authority, the Canadian company that runs the ferry got an offer from the province to operate another ferry route in New Brunswick.

Although the number of passengers on the ferry dropped significantly after 9/11 when passports were needed to go to Canada, it's still a local tradition.

Helen's Restaurant holds soft opening


MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Destroyed by fire last July, a popular restaurant in Machias is back up and running.

"So glad this opened back up because I know how good it was. The community has come together to support this. So, just happy to have it open again," said Hampden resident David Lowell.

It's been several months of emotional and financial struggle, but Helen's Restaurant has managed to rebuild and restock its kitchen.

Construction began only three months after the devastating fire destroyed the beloved restaurant.

At a soft opening Tuesday, owners David and Julie Barker said they are happy to be back in their routine.

The grand opening will take place on the anniversary of the fire, July 11.

Nurse battling license revocation after '08 patient death


MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A registered nurse from downeast Maine continues to fight in the courts to overturn a ruling by a state board to revoke his license.

The state board of licensure revoked John Zablotny's license in 2010, citing his handling of a patient who died after leaving the Downeast Community Hospital on New Years Day of 2008.

Zablotny was a nursing supervisor at the hospital. It was on Jan. 1, 2008 that he discharged 61-year-old Reid Emery from the hospital. Emery left during a heavy snowstorm wearing light clothing and while he was heavily medicated. He was found dead in a snowbank outside the hospital the next day.

In opening statements, Prosecutor Andrew Black called this "a healthcare nightmare" and said Zablotny callous disregard led to Emery's death.

Details on new charges against former sheriff emerge


MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- New details are emerging Tuesday about new charges filed against former Washington County Sheriff, Donnie Smith.

Two of the charges accuse Smith of theft. The third charge claims he was aware he violated his duty by misusing property entrusted to him that involved a "substantial risk of loss."

Officials allege the former sheriff mishandled funds of more than $10,000 between 2007 and 2012. Prosecutors said they discovered the theft after an investigation by the state Attorney General's office.

"The Attorney General's office detectives took the information and basically performed their investigation and they came to the conclusion that former Sheriff Smith was culpable in these thefts," said Washington County District Attorney Matt Foster.

News about the charges is slowly sinking in with Smith's neighbors and friends in Lubec.

Former sheriff indicted on multiple charges


WASHINGTON COUNTY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A former Washington County Sheriff is facing felony theft charges.

A Washington County Grand Jury indicted Donnie Smith Monday on charges including two felony theft counts related to illegal expenditures from an inmate benefit account at the Washington County Jail.

Current Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis confirmed Smith was indicted on charges of theft by unauthorized taking, theft by misapplication of funds and misuse of entrusted property.

The indictments come after an investigation by the Attorney General's office.


Acadia is boosting the cost of a visit this season


BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) -- Fees at Maine's only national park are going up this season.

After a six-year moratorium, the federal government is increasing the price of admission at some of its public lands and raising the fees charged for camping, boating, and other activities.

Effective May 1, Acadia National Park anticipates that the fee for a seven-day vehicle park pass will increase from $20 to $25; the annual park pass will increase from $40 to $50; and a seven-day individual pass will increase from $5 to $12. A spokeswoman said camping fees will go up but are not yet final.

Only about a third of the 400-plus properties within the National Park Service system charge an entrance fee. Acadia officials say the fee increases will help offset costs of running the park.