Mall Santa Claus giving toys to all children


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- A Santa Claus Ambassador at Bangor's Airport Mall wants to make sure every child he meets gets a special gift on Christmas.

Mike Strout has been the mall's Santa for 10 years. Strout says over the years, many children have told him their parents don't have enough money for Christmas gifts, so he wanted to change that. Four years ago he and his wife Brenda began buying toys with their own money to give to each child, whether they were getting their picture taken with him or just saying hello. Now many local organizations and community members donate toys for the children each year.

"These kids really need this, especially in this area. My wife and I could never have children of our own and this is our way to have kind of a replacement for that, to make these kids happy and do something we've always wanted to do," says Strout.

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136th Engineer Company sourced for 2016 deployment


SKOWHEGAN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Army National Guard said its 136th Engineer Company will be deployed to Kuwait in the Spring of 2016.

The company is made up of soldiers with skills in carpentry, masonry and engineering. Between its offices in Skowhegan and Lewiston, the Army National Guard will be sending 160 guard members to Kuwait to maintain temporary bases that serve as the first stops for troops coming home from active duty in Afghanistan. It's the first time the company is being sent into a combat zone, but not the first deployment for many of the troops.

"Going through the process myself, knowing what it meant to come home to your family after a long grueling deployment and have a little bit of comfort before hand provided to you, it means a whole lot," said Sergeant First Class Tenny Noyse.

Wreaths for Hope

Wreaths for Hope

Finally got a wreath on our front door. It's from Wreaths for Hope and is in the shape of a cancer awareness ribbon.

Reducing the Risk of Flu is Worth a Shot

Reducing the Risk of Flu is Worth a Shot

Guest post by Dr. Jane Ho, pediatrician in Westbrook and clinical adviser to the MaineHealth Childhood Immunizations Program.

As a parent of three teen boys and a local pediatrician, it concerns me that many people fail to get an annual flu vaccine. Over the course of my 20 years in practice, I’ve seen plenty of previously healthy patients succumb to influenza. And I’ve even had to comfort scared parents, wishing they had done more to try to prevent their child’s illness in the first place. Read more about why Dr. Ho strongly advocates flu shots ...

 

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School department fires teacher facing unlawful sexual contact charge


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Bangor School Committee fired a teacher accused of unlawful sexual contact Wednesday evening.

James McHenry has been charged with two misdemeanors, unlawful sexual contact and assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday in court through his attorney. The 48-year-old previously taught math at Bangor High School.

"Given his position dealing with young people as a teacher, we think it's an important case regardless of the nature of the charge," Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts said.

A few weeks ago, Superintendent Betsy Webb said that McHenry was "no longer at Bangor High School." After conducting its own investigation, the committee concluded Wednesday evening that McHenry is unfit to teach "based on his interactions with a minor off school grounds," wrote Webb in a statement. She said his employment would not profit the school department.

Drug trafficking investigation leads to possible meth lab


BREWER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- MDEA and Brewer Police searched a home Wednesday for a possible meth lab, the 35th meth bust of the year, said MDEA officials.

Brewer Police Chief said a detective was investigating a drug trafficking ring at 35 Maple Street. The detective stopped two males associated with the residence, which is near the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge. She recognized one of the men as 32-year-old Jorge Irizarry. Police said Irizarry had an active warrant for his arrest and when the detective tried to arrest him, he resisted, ran and tossed a small bag of heroin. The detective chased him across the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge into Bangor. The detective subdued Irizarry with a Tazer and two motorists also stopped to help.

Police said the deputy chief spotted 56-year-old Thomas White of Dedham leaving the suspected residence on Maple. Police arrested him on violations of release.

Wet Wednesday morning posed risky road conditions


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Wednesday morning saw some messy weather in Bangor as the nor'easter that passed through died down. Heavy misting continued to keep everything wet even after the rain stopped. Police said their biggest concern was black ice forming on the roads and making hazardous driving conditions for motorists. More salt trucks were placed on the roadways as the morning went on and traffic grew heavier. All Bangor school openings were delayed an hour due to the inclement weather.