Home safety: national fire prevention week

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In the spirit of National Fire Prevention Week, fire officials are teaming up with the American Red Cross on a new initiative to get working smoke detectors installed in more homes statewide.

"In 2014, we had 25 fatalities to fire in the state of Maine," said state Fire Marshal Joe Thomas. "I do know that in 24 of those cases, a working smoke detector would have made a difference for people."

He has seen his share of devastating fires. So has Hermon Fire Chief Ray Pipes. He said that in the 23 years he has been on the job, he has never been to a fatality where there was a working smoke detector in the house.

Officials believe that sixty percent of homes in the state of Maine do not have working detectors installed – a staggering number.

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Judge finds man charged with mailing cyanide competent

BANGOR, Maine (AP) -- A federal judge says a Maine man charged with mailing cyanide to a suicidal Englishman is competent to stand trial.
Sidney Kilmartin of Windham has pleaded not guilty and filed a notice in March of his intent to use an insanity defense. Prosecutors say Judge John Woodcock found Kilmartin competent on Friday and Kilmartin withdrew the notice.
Kilmartin is charged with mailing cyanide that resulted in the death of Andrew Denton, a depressed 49-year-old man in Hull, England. Denton was found dead in 2012.
Prosecutors say the case was set for trial in November. However, the parties expect to postpone the start date when they return to court.
Kilmartin faces a maximum life sentence.


Hammond Street Senior Center to close temporarily

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Some senior citizens in Bangor say they are not happy about finding out that the Hammond Street Senior Center will be closing its doors temporarily.

Members were notified of the closing through an email this week. The letter indicated it will be closed for a few months.

The center is looking to sell its building at 2 Hammond Street in the hopes of moving to a new location that's more cost efficient.

Most members of the senior center are being relocated to other places around the city for their normal social activities. The board hopes to expand programming once the center reopens at its new site.

Hermon High students get close up look at court

HERMON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Hermon High students were all ears this morning as Maine's Supreme Court paid a visit to their auditorium. The court conducted real hearings in front of the student audience.

Hearings covered topics such as OUI and drug charges. The enrichment program is designed to help students see what they learn in school practiced in real life.

Students were captivated by the court, listening silently and then eagerly asking questions to the attorneys.

"I was very surprised with the amount of kids that were very involved," said Bailey Bryant, a senior at Hermon High. "Usually when we have events like this or anything like this at all, there's not a whole lot of talk."

Marissa Cox, another senior, agreed. "It was just very interesting. It was something that not everybody gets to see, and that's kind of cool that we got to see it."

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Bangor Police: Man loses part of ear in fight

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Bangor police have arrested 27-year-old Casey Cole after police say he was involved in a fight at an apartment complex in Bangor. 

According to police, one man was severely injured in the fight including losing a significant portion of his ear. The suspect in the case left the scene prior to arrival of the police officers, police say. 


Bangor police building dedicated to former chief

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Bangor police are honoring one of their own today.

A plaque memorializing former Bangor Police Chief Don Winslow, dedicating the building to him, was placed outside the entrance to the police department during a special ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

Members of Winslow's family stood alongside officers past and present from the police force.

Winslow served as police chief of Bangor from 1998 to 2007.

He died in July of 2014 after a long battle with cancer.

Penobscot County Sheriff seeks money for crowded jail

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Too many inmates and too few beds, that's the problem facing several county jails here in Mane. The Penobscot County Jail currently houses more than 200 inmates and its capacity is 157. One solution would be to transfer the overflow of inmates to other county jails and board them there. But the sheriff says that costs money that the Penobscot County Jail doesn't have.

A new law has given control of county jails back to the county and allows them to see their budgets. But that means Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton can see that his jail is already more than $440,000 in the hole for the year.

"And that is not one dollar set aside to pay other counties to house Penobscot county inmates," Morton said. "There are no funds to pay those other counties. So why would they want to take inmates from other counties and not be funded?"