Local group opposes marijuana legalization


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A local addiction recovery organization listed several of its concerns with legal recreational marijuana.

Two groups are collecting signatures to get legalization on the 2016 ballot; they need to collect at least 61,000 signatures by the end of the year.

The Bangor Area Recovery Network, or BARN, held a public session Thursday night where it discussed what it calls the pitfalls of legalization.

BARN noted that with legalization comes the possibility of dispensaries moving into the state. Looking at Colorado, where marijuana is legal, Jean Baker, a BARN board member, said there are 827 marijuana dispensaries. That's more than the number of Starbucks and McDonald's in the state combined.

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Maine hospital, nurse union extend contract through July 2


BANGOR, Maine (AP) -- Representatives for a Maine hospital say bargaining teams and a nursing union are agreeing to extend the nurses' current contract through July 2.

A spokesman for Eastern Maine Medical Center says bargaining teams representing the hospital and Maine State Nurses Association, National Nurses Organizing Committee and National Nurses United met on Wednesday. The spokesman says the parties were not able to come to an agreement on a new contract but did extend the current one.

The spokesman says several proposals the hospital and union have been discussing for weeks are now resolved. He says there was little progress on staffing ratios and compensation. Those are the biggest issues remaining on the table.

The hospital spokesman says parties will return to the table on June 24.


Mercury clean-up trial resumes in Bangor


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A federal trial on removing mercury from the Penobscot River continued in Bangor Wednesday.

Federal judge John Woodcock heard closing arguments from attorneys and wants both sides to figure out a way to clean up the river.

He ordered prosecuting attorneys from the Maine People's Alliance and Natural Resources Defense Council and defense attorneys from Mallinckrodt Inc. to discuss how to do that after three and half hours.

Since both sides think the river can be restored, Woodcock believes they should figure out where they agree and disagree before he makes a decision in the case.

It has the potential to force Mallinckrodt to clean up tons of mercury dumped in the river by a now defunct chemical company in Orrington.

Kristina Lowe appeals convictions to Maine Supreme Court


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine's highest court took up a case Wednesday involving a young driver and texting.

In May of last year, a jury convicted Kristina Lowe of two counts of manslaughter and one count of aggravated leaving the scene of an accident. She was acquitted on the OUI charges.

Her attorney has appealed the convictions and told justices of the Maine Supreme Court Wednesday morning that the crash that killed two teens was not the result of a crime being committed.

"We feel Kristina's conduct that night did not rise to the level of gross negligence or criminal recklessness. We feel this was an accident, a horrible, horrible accident, but nonetheless not a crime," Jim Howaniec said.

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Bangor Fire Dept. hiring firefighters


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Bangor Fire Department has three paid positions to fill.

Bangor Fire Department is looking to hire three qualified applicants who can handle the duties of firefighting and EMS services. Bangor's fire house shares those combined services. Officials require applicants to have their basic EMS license. Bangor Fire Department respond to more than 9,000 calls a year.

Assistant Chief, Anthony Riitano said they're looking for an eager team player to join their crew.

"You have to be a very service oriented person. You have to like to work closely with the other people on the department. You have to like working out in the public because that is our job. And you have to like EMS because that's 80% of our business, right now," said Riitano.

Bangor Humane Society speaking out


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Bangor Humane Society is asking Maine residents to speak up in an effort to pass a bill that would prohibit stores from selling dogs and cats that were not born and cared for by the pet store owners.

The bill, which was vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage, will be going for a vote Wednesday in an effort to ban inhumane breeding practices.

Stacey Coventry, the Director of Development and Public Relations for the Bangor Humane Society, said that this bill would not only eliminate the practice of puppy mills but it would also make sure that the dogs and cats being sold were coming from healthy humane sources and practices. She said puppy mills are dangerous and an inhumane way to breed animals.

Air Canada flight makes emergency landing at BIA


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A plane with almost 100 people on board made an emergency landing at Bangor International Airport Monday afternoon.

According to airport officials, the plane's pilot reported an in-flight emergency because there was smoke in the cockpit around 2 p.m. None of the 98 passengers and crew on the Air Canada flight reported injuries.

Emergency personnel including the Bangor Fire Department responded to the airport and the plane only had to wait 20 minutes before pulling up to the terminal.

The plane was on its way to Newfoundland from Toronto. Its passengers were waiting in the international arrival lounge while Air Canada sends another plane for them.

The airport's director said everything went according to plan and staff here practice for situations like this.