BANGOR - Christmas is one of the biggest memory-making holidays of the year for young and old alike. But if you have ever had the unfortunate experience of losing a loved one on or around the holiday, it can be one of the most difficult times of the year to celebrate. Rick Hathaway of Bangor knows that feeling all too well.
"Three years ago my wife had twins born at 29 weeks. My son Alex passed away from complications from prematurity, but our son Warren is 3 and a half now and is doing very well," said Hathaway.
HERMON - Few people will celebrate their 100th birthday, so turning 200 years old is even more reason to celebrate. The town of Hermon has spent the whole year marking this special milestone in its history with various bicentennial events including a New Year's Eve Gala, Summer Sizzler parade and road race, fireworks, a classic car show and so much more. Now that the year-long festivities are winding down, the celebration will end with the sealing of Hermon's Bicentennial time capsule.
"We're opening the capsule for residents to place items in so it's not just the town's time capsule, it's also theirs," said Scott Perkins, Hermon's director of parks and recreation. "People joke around and say they're going to take a photo of what gas costs now, but if that's what they want to do, go for it."
BANGOR - Geaghan's Restaurant & Pub has a lot to be cheerful about this holiday. The Bangor-based business is expanding. The family-owned company located on Main Street will soon be brewing beer across the bridge in Brewer. And the company's locally made brews are so popular, the family has teamed up with Maine Distributors to create their very own distribution truck to transport their product to restaurants and stores throughout Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock, Waldo and Washington counties.
"The Bangor location is still going to be the heart and soul of the operation and will be where new beers and specialty brews will be tested," said Andy Geaghan, owner at Geaghan's Pub and Craft Brewery. "The most popular and biggest selling beers will be the ones we brew in larger volume in Brewer for distribution."
BANGOR - The city of Bangor is all aglow over the start of the winter season. This past weekend, over 20,000 white lights that don the trees along the downtown corridor, West Market Square and Kenduskeag Parkway were turned on, illuminating the area and people's spirits as winter approaches.
"It's daylight savings and as the nights get longer and darker, we'll be lighting up downtown so folks won't feel those winter doldrums so bad," explained Caitlin Brooke, a coordinator for Downtown Bangor Partnership.
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BUXTON - Author Toni Buzzeo of Buxton has always loved the written word. These days her favorite word happens to be Grandma. She is especially fond of the Swahili term for Grandma, “Bibi.” It was “Bibi,” her love of elephants and her new found role as grandma that inspired her to write her latest African-themed children's picture book called, “My Bibi Always Remembers.” The story follows a grandma elephant as she leads her large family, including her grandchild, Tembo, to water in the wilderness.
BANGOR - There are thousands of country music fans in Maine and over 8,000 of them attended the Lady Antebellum concert at the Darling's Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor on Saturday night. Every one of them who could, stood to their feet the moment the country trio walked onto the stage, and they remained standing until the group's very last note. The trio, comprised of vocalists Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley along with guitar/mandolin player Dave Hayward, opened with their 2013 single "Compass" from their album “Golden.” The song is a mix of country, blue grass and folk music all rolled into one upbeat toe-tapping number driven by the sounds of the mandolin.
"The best way to stay warm is to dance," Kelley told the crowd before the trio launched into the song "Our Kind of Love" followed by "Just a Kiss," from their 2011 album “Own the Night.” Next, Lady Antebellum transported the crowd back in time to their first radio single, "Love Don't Live Here," during which Kelley and Scott pointed their microphones to the crowd to let them belt out the lyrics to finish the number.
HAMPDEN - The Lura Hoit Pool in Hampden is about to do something it has never done since opening its doors back in 1995. The pool, located on Western Avenue, is hosting its first-ever water carnival. The event is a way to thank all those who use the facility while also generating new business.
"The pool board and I talked about wanting to do something like an end of the summer bash to get the word out to people and raise awareness that we're here," explained Darcey Peakall, pool director.
ELLSWORTH - Keeping track of Maine's loon population is no easy task. That's why each July thousands of volunteers known as “citizen scientists” gather on Maine's lakes and ponds to assist the Maine Audubon in its annual loon count. It's a project that was started 31 years ago when very little was known about the iconic bird.
"I'm no loon expert, I just like them," said volunteer David Moores of New Hampshire. This was Moores's second year participating in the count with his kids. "My three daughters did a whole lot of research on the loon habitat which concluded with participating in the loon count last year. This is the educational piece of our summer vacation."
BANGOR - Vacationland is filled with tourists and visitors this time of year, but rather than kick back and relax, a pair of brothers from Arizona decided to turn their time in Maine into a working vacation. Justin and Ryan Speirs set up a whoopie pie stand called Whoopie Works outside of their grandfather's home on Westland Street in Bangor last week where motorists and pedestrians alike couldn't resist stopping for a treat.
"I drive by every day, but yesterday they were sold out," said Norman Hall of Hermon. "I was able to pick up four today, and two of them are for myself."
BANGOR - School may be out for the summer but that doesn't mean students are taking a break from learning. Over 25 ninth and tenth graders spent last week at Camp Survivor in Bangor, where they got a firsthand look at careers in the health field.
"This is a way to introduce kids to careers they maybe did not think about," said Sheree Tillson, EMHS recruiter. "We've had an occupational therapist teach them how to get dressed using only one hand, a physical therapist showing them the different muscles and activities to treat those muscles, a hygienist demonstrating how to scrape teeth. And we took them to EMMC, where they were able to look at an ultrasound of Jello that had various items in it."
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