Monday, January 5, 2009

Economic Struggles? How Rural Maine Stirs Up New Business

Vassalboro Views vary on proposal for topless coffee shop

BY SUSAN M. COVER for the Morning Sentinel

VASSALBORO -- Neighbors who live near the Grand View Motel, which could soon offer a grand view of another sort, offered mixed opinions Sunday on a proposal to turn the old motel into a coffee shop with topless waitresses.

Members of the Vassalboro Planning Board on Tuesday will consider Donald Crabtree of

Ellsworth's request for a business permit. Crabtree, who was working inside the building on Sunday, said he did not want to talk about his proposal prior to the meeting.

"I'd rather not talk," he said. "Not right now."

The former motel, which has been the site of many business ventures in the last several years, is on Route 3 just over the Augusta line. It was most recently Mac Daddy's Pub at the Fat Cat Grille, which closed three or four years ago, said Planning Board Chairwoman Virginia Brackett.
The one-story building with log cabin-style siding still has an array of signs out front, including a real estate sign, a Pepsi sign, a solicitation for someone to lease the building, and one that says

"Entertainment Thursday, Friday, Saturday."

Becky Young, who lives on Mudget Hill Road, which runs behind the motel, said they got a lot of unwelcome traffic when there was a bar open at that location. She's not in favor of a topless coffee shop.

"This is a rural town," she said as she walked her two dogs. "It's country. People move here to be quiet. I think it would bring a bad crowd."

Yet others said they hope some sort of stable business is able to make a go of it, regardless of whether waitresses wear tops or not.

"I'm hoping whatever takes place, hangs in there," said Mike Provencher, who's lived on the road for 20 years. "There were entertainment gals there before and it didn't seem like it was problematic."

Susan Smith, who rents a house on the road, said there were strippers at the bar a few years ago.

She isn't worried about a topless coffee shop.

"I work a lot, so it's no big thing," she said.

Randy McKiel said he too isn't bothered by his potential new neighbor.

"I don't mind what they do," he said. "They're just trying to make a living."

When the Planning Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Town Office, it will not have the power to judge the business based on the attire of the staff, Brackett said. The business is required to apply for a permit because that site hasn't been used for more than 90 days, she said.

The board is charged with considering whether the site can handle the traffic the business is expected to draw, whether there's adequate parking, and other things such as lighting and the septic system. Brackett said she has no opinion on the topless aspect of the proposal.

"It's not within our ordinance to say anything about it," she said.

Man accidentally shoots self in hip during target practice; Says he'll dress like New York Giants Star-Wideout for Halloween

(Insert your best Plaxico Burress joke here...)

BY BETTY JESPERSEN of the Morning Sentinel/Kennebec Journal

TEMPLE -- A Temple man is being treated at a Lewiston hospital for a gunshot wound in his hip after he accidentally fired his 9 mm handgun Saturday while reloading the weapon during target practice, according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.

Chad Baker, 20, was able to get back on his own to his car, where his girlfriend had been waiting for him, and she rushed him to the emergency room at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington.

About noon, Baker was target shooting alone in a sand pit on Maple Street and was trying out a gun he had acquired recently, Sgt. Steve Lowell said on Sunday.

Emergency workers are required to report all gunshot injuries to police. Lowell and Deputy Kenneth Charles questioned Baker at the hospital before he was transferred to CMMC.
The officers recovered the handgun at the scene, and no charges are being filed.

"The incident highlights the need for proper training when handling firearms," Charles wrote in a news release. "Proper maintenance and repair of firearms should also be promoted."

Police said a possible malfunction may have been a secondary cause of the incident.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where $2 PBR Pounders Will Leave You in the Morning

From the Portland Press Herald:

Police charge man with OUI on Zamboni
David Hench

A Portland man faces charges of drunk driving and burglary after police found him atop an idling Zamboni inside the Cumberland County Civic Center this morning.

Firefighters and police were called to the civic center at 2 a.m. for a fire alarm. It turns out someone had been driving a forklift inside the facility and had hit a sprinkler line, damaging the system and setting off the alarm.

Officers investigating the damage found Adam Patterson, 25, sitting on the Zamboni which was running but not moving. He appeared extremely intoxicated, police said. There were signs that the building had been broken into, police said.

Patterson is being held without bail at Cumberland County Jail because of a charge of violating bail conditions. He also is charged with aggravated criminal mischief, burglary and operating under the influence.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Speeding tales you won't believe

By David Hench
Portland Press Herald

Sometimes, it might be better to be late.

Public Safety Department spokesman Steve McCausland today provides these gems from the State Police newsletter of late motorists who wound up in even more trouble.

On Sunday, Trooper Marvin Hinkley stopped a 20-year-old man on Interstate 295 in Freeport driving 99 mph with his hazard lights flashing. The man told him he was late getting to the methadone clinic, an appointment which he did not make.

Trooper David Andreasen, driving an unmarked 2008 Dodge Charger on the Maine Turnpike, was recently passed by two motorists: one who was late for a Portland court date and so was going 97 mph, and another going 100 mph trying to get to work on time.

Finally, McCausland's speeders of the week were a couple who were driving separate cars on the interstate in Clinton, trying to see which one was fastest. The man hit 107 mph, just edging out the woman at 106 mph.

Both were arrested.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Maine: Where Sesame Street and Harlem Intersect

From The Morning Sentinel:

Police: Man shoots 12-year-old with BB gun

SKOWHEGAN -- A 23-year-old Sesame Street resident was arrested Wednesday after he fired a CO2-powered BB gun at a 12-year-old boy alongside Dr. Mann Road, hitting the boy in the stomach, according to police. Randall L. Brackett, 23, has been charged with assault and may face other charges, Deputy Police Chief Rick Bonneau said Thursday.

Bonneau said neighbors began calling police at around 6:30 p.m., saying they heard a ruckus near a mobile home park on MRI Drive, off Dr.Mann Road, and said people were fighting.

"Three boys were out playing by the road on a pogo stick when people began yelling profanity at them," Bonneau said. He said one of the adults in a nearby mobile home came out and began staring at the boys and one of them raised the gun and fired.

Witnesses told Patrolman Joel Cummings that they heard a "pfft" or the sound of a pellet gun going off, according to Bonneau.

The suspect apparently had aimed at and struck a 12-year-old boy in the stomach. The pellet did not pierce the skin, but did cause a wound, Bonneau said. The boy was not hospitalized.

"A CO2-powered BB gun can be powerful, and it can be very damaging," Bonneau said. "I'm assuming the boy was protected by some clothing" and still got hurt. "I wouldn't want to have one pointed at me."

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Note to my Valued Reader(s)

While every other news outlet can not get enough of Sarah Palin, Financial Crisis's and other issues, let me come forth and say "Only In Maine" will remain what it's always been about, Maine.

But while I do have your attention, do you feel like Sarah Palin is the second coming of Paris Hilton? Suddenly famous for not really doing much. I don't know, just a thought.

Let me introduce you to a "Maine Mechanic"

From the Morning Sentinel:

WINSLOW - Police stopped a vehicle that had its passenger-side headlight out at 1:47 a.m. today, on Bay Street.

According to the report filed by Officer Haley Fleming, the operator stepped out of the vehicle and punched the headlight. The headlight came on and was functional, and no action on the part of police was required.

What the report failed note was that the man originally fixed his headlight with a roll of duct tape, a bottle of Allen's Coffee Brandy and a 9-iron.