Gaziano finalists revealed

SOUTH PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER) - The list from 31 semi-finalists has been whittled down to six final nominees, three on offense and three on defense, for the 3rd annual Gaziano Award.

The awards go to the players who epitomize character, leadership, and perseverance on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.

Offensive Linemen
Bobby Begin, Thornton Academy
Jack Lucy, Orono High School
Andy Martel, Bonny Eagle High School
Defensive Linemen
Greg Duff, Bangor High School
Zachary Kendall, Mt. Blue High School
Kurt Massey, John Bapst

The winners will receieve a $5,000 scholarship, while the runners-up will earn a scholarship for $1,000.

The awards banquet will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Sunday, January 27th at 9 a.m.

NEWS CENTER's Csaba Sukosd will be the master of ceremonies.

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First tour of Cross Insurance Center

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Construction of Bangor's Cross Insurance Center has been going on for months. Today, for the first time, we got a glimpse of how the inside of the arena is coming along.

The $65 million facility will seat up to 8,000 people who will get to enjoy some of the countries biggest concerts and events thanks to the arenas 27,000 square foot floor.

"The floor space with all this seating out in this building is the same size as any large arena in the country," said the center's general manager Mike Dyer.

According to Dyer the arena will make for a much more modern facility compared to the older Bangor Auditorium. The Cross Insurance Center will boast state of the art sound panels, an 1,100 person conference center and 12 private party suites.

"It's bringing people in from out of town that spend money that wouldn't have been spent in Bangor otherwise," said Dyer.

RSU 19 voters to take up school loan next week

NEWPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- After months of dealing with a massive school budget shortfall, voters in RSU 19 will now decide on another plan to get out of it.

Next Tuesday, residents in Newport and the district's other seven towns will decide whether to take out a $2.9 million loan. School administrators say that should help lift a spending freeze in RSU 19 that's been in place since last summer.

District leaders say it was accounting errors by past administrators that caused this budget crisis. Since the beginning of this school year, RSU 19 has had to cut about $1.6 million in spending to deal with it. The superintendent and school board still feel that the only way to escape the shortfall is to borrow money.

Black Bears visit area elementary schools

OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Twice a month, the Maine women's basketball team visits Old Town Elementary and Asa C. Adams Elementary in Orono. Players read to students in their classrooms, then join them for lunch hour in the cafeteria.

During lunchtime, players emphasize the importance of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and getting at least one hour of exercise a day. Students say they especially love getting tickets to see the Black Bears play in Orono.

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RSU 19 voters to consider second loan to solve budget crisis

NEWPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- School leaders in RSU 19 will once again be looking for the public's help Tuesday evening to solve a massive budget crisis in that district.

District residents in RSU 19 --- which is made up of Newport, Hartland, Dixmont, Etna, Palmyra, St. Albans, Plymouth and Corinna --- will be meeting at Nokomis Regional High School this evening. Leaders in the RSU will be asking them to approve taking out a $2.9 million loan to help with a massive budget shortfall the district is facing.

The shortfall has already caused hundreds of thousands of dollars to be cut from this year's budget in the RSU. On Election Day district voters rejected taking out a $3.6 million loan to deal with the crisis. That resulted in $700,000 in cuts to district programs and services.

Bangor police warn of purse snatchers

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Bangor Police have answered over a dozen calls from women saying their purses were snatched from their shopping carts. Police are urging women to keep a close eye on their belongings when shopping. For the victims, however, the theft is only the beginning.

Phyllis Moore of Dover had her purse stolen while shopping in Bangor. Moore said, "I had no cell phone, no keys to my car, nothing. I was there with no money, no credit cards, nothing...people came and stole my life out of my pocketbook. and then I'm left with this mess to clean up."

Moore was shopping at a local crafts store when she noticed her purse was missing. She was one of three victims within only a few hours Monday.

There have been nearly a dozen incidences since December 1st.

Get your flu shot


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)--Doctors offices, pharmacies, and clinics are starting to see a spike in people coming in seeking flu shots.  Health officials say that is a good thing.

State Health officials and hospital infection experts say this year's outbreak appears to be the worst since 2009.

They are urging you to take precautions and to get vaccinated if you haven't already.   In addition to getting vaccinated, Health officials are urging people with flu-like symptoms to stay home to curb the spread of the virus.  If you haven't got a flu shot yet, you can call your doctor's office to set up an appointment.