News

Meals from Maine coming back to Bangor


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Meals from Maine, a nonprofit that collects food and sends it to starving families worldwide, is coming back to Bangor.

After taking a year off, the husband and wife in charge of the organization, Beverly and Joe Kostusyk, are setting up for this year's packaging event on Saturday.

This year the group will also be boxing seeds so struggling families can grow food too.

Right now, Meals from Maine has less than half the 800 volunteers it said it needs, so it's asking for help.

"We still need volunteers," said Beverly Kostusyk. "We have 200 maybe 250 signed up, and we need a lot more volunteers, so please if you have two hours that you can give up of your time on Saturday, this is the place to be."

Bath salts decrease as opioids increase


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Despite seeing drops in cases of bath salts in the emergency room in Bangor, doctors said the drug is still here, and drug agents said its spreading north too.

EMMC MD Jonnathan Busko said in 2001, he could see up to eight patients each day in the ER on bath salts, and now it's just one patient a week. That's a good thing for doctors at EMMC because they said people on bath salts can have vivid hallucinations, become agitated, and act irrationally.

While doctors and even police confirm that bath salts cases are on the decline in Bangor, drug agents said they are on the rise in Aroostook County. Lt. Chris Martin of Brewer Police Department said another drug is back on the rise in Bangor - opiates.

Sex offender charged after dating dupe


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Bangor Police said a recent incident with a sex offender illustrates why it is necessary to be careful when dating online.

Police said a man named Eric Kingston was enrolled on several dating sites. He met one woman online and got to know her, and police said eventually the woman let Kingston babysit her children from time to time.

The woman had checked the name "Eric Kingston" on the sex offender registry and it had come back clean, so police said she had felt assured.

Recently Kingston showed her his new driver's license and she noticed that the name on it was not Eric Kingston, but Eric Hasenbank. She asked him about it and police said he gave a plausible story. She decided to look his new name up on the Maine Sex Offender Registry and discovered that Hasenbank is a lifetime registrant.

World's largest plane lands in Bangor


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The world's largest and heaviest plane touched down at Bangor International Airport to refuel Saturday afternoon.

The plane, also known as the Antonov AN-255, lifted off from Houston and is now headed to Ireland. It's as large as a football field if you measure it from nose to tail and wingtip to wingtip.

Dozens of people parked had their cars along Odlin Road and Maine Avenue to hoping to witness the event. The crowed was so large the Bangor Police Department had to ask the public on Maine Avenue to move because traffic was unable to get through.


Bangor Garden Show prepares for opening


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The 2015 Bangor Garden Show takes place this weekend at the Cross Insurance Center, and along with more than 100 vendors, there will also be garden displays.

Landscapers have been working to finish six different displays with a nautical theme. They normally have three to four full days to set up, but due to a scheduling conflict with a recent event, the designers only had two and a half days to get their designs together. Many of them worked close to 18 hours per day to get the job done.

"As soon as I found out about the theme, I started planning probably... I'd say last October. We started setting up probably about a week ago, like, prefabbing the building you see in back of us. And then we came in last night and started setting up. We worked until about midnight," said Joe Ladd, owner of J.L. Landscaping.

Wayne man pleads guilty to theft of veterans benefits


BANGOR, Maine (AP) -- A Wayne man has pleaded guilty to illegally receiving veterans unemployment benefits while he had a job.

Lawrence Stewart pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to charge of theft of public money.

Prosecutors say the 48-year-old Stewart received more than $54,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled between August 2011 and January.

Stewart was earning $6,200 a month through his job at one point while collecting more than $3,300 a month in unemployability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prosecutors said Stewart was entitled to receive about $1,800 monthly in disability benefits, but not unemployability benefits.

Stewart is free on personal recognizance.


Bangor town hall discussing raising the minimum wage


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – On Thursday, there was a town hall style meeting at Abraham Lincoln School in Bangor, to discuss the merits of raising the minimum wage in Bangor.

Raising the minimum wage is an ongoing topic across the nation and state. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and the state's minimum is $7.50 per hour. There's a push to raise that minimum wage for Bangor.

The plan being floated by Bangor City Councilor, Joe Baldacci is to raise that wage in steps, bringing it to $8.25 an hour in 2016. Gradually increasing the minimum wage throughout the years in the city, until it reaches $9.75 in 2018.

Baldacci said the state and federal minimum wage has stayed the same for the last six years, so it's time for the city to take action. The majority of attendees support the increase in minimum wage including Jim Wellehan from Lamey-Wellehan Shoes.