News

Crews battle cold temps and fire in Baring


BARING, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Crews battled a fire at Knock on Wood on Route 1 Monday afternoon.

Officials said numerous towns responded to help fight the fire. The freezing temperatures caused instruments and water to freeze, which made fighting the fire difficult. The fire destroyed the gift shop.

Route 1 has been closed since the fire started and is still closed, as of 9:30 p.m.

NEWS CENTER will update this story when more information is available.


Downeast Maine slammed by snowstorms


MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- It's been a busy week and a half for Public Works crews across the state of Maine, but nowhere has received more snow and had the fewest number of people to remove it than in Machias.

Since Jan. 24, the town has gotten more than 62 inches of snow, shattering the old 10-day record of 35-and-a-half inches, which was set in 1964. Public Works employees have been working around the clock trying to clear and widen the roads for drivers.

"In a normal situation, we get the storm, we plow the snow and then we get a chance to rest, but when we get these back-to-back-to-back storms, we get one day to try to rest and then we're back to snow removal again," said Director Michael Schoppee.

2014 wild blueberry crop could be second largest ever


ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- According to a UMaine report, 2014 could be the second largest wild blueberry harvest in Maine's history.

The university has been keeping track of the state's wild blueberry harvest since 1924. Its numbers for 2014 show the total crop could be more than 100 million pounds. The largest crop was in 2000 at 110 million pounds.

Professor David Yarborough says the weather had a lot to do with the large crop, but another major factor is that farms are putting more money into growing wild blueberries.

"Without the investment, without controlling the weeds, without the irrigation, without the bees we wouldn't have the potential for the big crop," Yarborough said.

The official results for Maine's wild blueberry harvest come from the federal government. That report will be released later this month.


Two dead in early morning crash


JONESPORT, Maine - State Police say a man and woman are dead after an early morning crash Saturday.

Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Steve McCausland said the crash happened on Main St. in Jonesport just after 1 am Saturday morning.

McCausland says 26-year-old James Hatt and 31-year-old Bridget Robinson both died from injuries suffered in the crash.

Officials say the 1997 Cadilac was traveling at two to three times the posted speed limit of 25 m.p.h, left the road, hit a guardrail and flipped on its side. McCausland says Hatt was completely ejected from the vehicle and that Robinson was partially ejected. McCausland said initial investigation shows neither person was wearing a seatbelt.

One injured after Eastport breakwater collapses


EASTPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A large part of a breakwater owned by the Eastport Port Authority fell into the water at 2 a.m. Thursday. One person is has minor injuries and three boats are damaged.

"It sounded like a truck with a snowplow on it that was down, and scraping across the street," Denise Cassidy, who can see the breakwater from the back deck of her apartment, said.

The pier was built in 1962, and over the years it has undergone extensive repairs. Eastport Port Authority had just secured all the grant money it would have needed to completely replace the part of the breakwater that collapsed today.

Maine officials to meet with scallop fishermen


WISCASSET, Maine

(NEWS CENTER) -- Maine Marine officials are reaching out to scallop fishermen before the start of the season that begins on Dec. 1.

Downeast scallop fisherman had their season cut short last winter and some are wondering what this coming season will bring. Several areas around the state will have targeted closures as the state looks to rebuild the fishery. Marine resource officials said they expect to cut days if scallops become too heavily depleted during the season, just like they did last year.

There's a second meeting for scallop fishermen Tuesday night from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m at the Lincoln County 911 Communications Center in Wiscasset.

Wednesday night there's another meeting from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m at the City Hall in Ellsworth.


MDEA arrest Fla. men for allegedly trafficking cocaine


ELLSWORTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested two men in Ellsworth Saturday for allegedly trafficking cocaine from Florida.

Downeast District Task Force received a tip Saturday about two men who had traveled from Florida to Ellsworth who were allegedly selling cocaine from a Dodge van. Agents also learned they were allegedly staying in a local hotel.

Agents located the van in a parking lot and conducted surveillance as it drove around Ellsworth. Agents said they were able to do an undercover purchase from Marc Antoine Thervil, 44 of Ft. Pierce, Fla., and St. Merite Nicholas, 51 of Ft Pierce, Fla, while the car was parked off of High Street.