Labor group alerts public to wage theft

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The labor group Food and Medicine said wage theft is costing the state and it's workers dearly.

Food and Medicine's Worker Center of Eastern Maine joined Maine workers outside the federal building this morning to call attention to the issue.

Food and Medicine says it hopes to increase awareness in the community and prevent wage theft through the passage of federal legislation called the Fair Playing Field Act.

They are urging senators Snowe and Collins to support that bill.

The group says the bill would increase enforcement against employers who don't provide proper insurance for their workers or pay them proper wages for the work they do.

Bangor resident seeks to put proposed arena to voters

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Bangor resident says he plans to gather signatures to force a pair of referendums on a proposed Bangor arena.  

Bob Cimbollek says he's just an ordinary citizen who doesn't want to see taxpayer money to towards a new Bangor arena.  The city council is currently awaiting a report that would outline cost estimates to build a new arena at Bass Park.  The city council plans to share that information with the public at a workshop Thursday night.

In the meantime, Cimbollek has submitted language to the city attorney for two referendum questions.  One asks taxpayers if they would want a new arena built if it requires taxpayer money.  The second seeks a recall for any city councilor who approves the arena and does not send it out to voters.

Groups announce support for EMMC nurses as lockout will commence on Saturday

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Some organizations have announced their support for unionized nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center just days before the hospital is expected to lock out the nurses before the union goes on a one day strike.

The Eastern Maine Labor Council and the Maine People's Alliance are two groups getting behind members of the Maine State Nurses Association at E.M.M.C. Negotiations between the union, which represents roughly 830 nurses at the hospital, and administrators broke down earlier this week. Healthcare benefits and staffing levels at the hospital continue to be two of the issues that are dividing the groups.

Unionized nurses have been working at the hospital without a contract since the end of September. Administrators at Eastern Maine Medical Center plan to lock them out from Saturday November 20 through the end of the nurses' announced strike day on November 22.

Special Olympics holds first special state bowling tournament

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group of special bowlers from all across the state put their skills to the test and went for gold Wednesday afternoon.

The Maine Special Olympics held its first Ten-Pin State Bowling Competition in Bangor.

Thirteen teams and nearly 120 bowlers practiced for eight to ten weeks to get ready for the competition.

Mark Capano with the olympics said although the level of competition is high, the bowlers are happy whether or not they get a gold medal.

"We have athletes that bowl 300s, we have athletes that do their best and if they have 125, they're happy with that," said Capano. It's all about what they can do."

For more information on the Special Olympics, click here.








Brewer woman uses social media to share story

CARMEL, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Social media like Facebook and Twitter bring people together every day.

Christina Parish is using those sites to share her battle with cancer.

Christina was 40-years old when she was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

During her treatment, she started sharing her experiences with the world. She signed up with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even has her own blog where she writes about and posts videos about her experiences.

"It gives people and inside view of what I go through, but in turn, they give me a lot because of the support and well wishes," said Parrish. "If I can help someone the way they help me, well, that's the purpose of it."

For more information on how you can follow Christina's battle, click here

Orrington group spreads holiday cheer worldwide

ORRINGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group in Orrington is working to spread the holiday spirit--all the way across the world.

It's all a part of the Operation Christmas Child Project.

The group in Orrington is just one part of the national project which hopes to send 8 million boxes worldwide.

A box for each child will be filled with hygiene products, school supplies and small toys and will travel as far as Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq--nearly 90 countries across the world.

"We're always honestly surprised how it works out," said Coordinator Peter Gorczak. "There are strategies in place for our goal. Our goal this year is 7,000 boxes. Last year for the first time we went over 5,000."

Operation Christmas Child will be collecting donations from Nov. 15 - 22.

Items can be dropped off at the collection center at 696 River Road in Orrington between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Nov. 22.

EMMC planning to lock out nurses two days before potential strike

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Administrators at Eastern Maine Medical Center have made their plans clear for handling a potential nurses strike at the end of the month.

About 830 unionized nurses at E.M.M.C. are planning to walk the picket line on November 22. In all, they have been working without a contract at the hospital since the end of September.

E.M.M. C. has responded by signing an agreement with a temp agency to bring in replacement nurses. Hospital administrators say if the union moves forward with its plans to strike on November 22, those nurses will be locked out on November 20 and 21 as well. Leaders at E.M.M.C. say they decided on that scheduling to give replacement nurses ample time to return home for the Thanksgiving holiday.