Mike Fern

Mike Fern

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Gov. Janet Mills shuts down more businesses

Lockdown: Life in Maine grinds to a halt amid COVID-19 concerns

A note from our editor


DAILY UPDATE: Current information as of 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) reported Sunday that there are 470 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maine, up 38 from Friday's figure of 432. This includes a total of 22 cases now in Penobscot County, which according to Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, may indicate that community transmission is now occuring in Penobscot County. The Maine CDC is no longer tracking negative cases due to the number of outside labs that are now testing samples, but Shah said previously that at least 8,400 cases have tested negative.


The Maine CDC also reported that 86 of all cases required hospitalization or are currently hospitalized, 156 have recovered and 75 cases include healthcare workers. The lab's backlog of tests has been reduced even further from the 400 that Shah reported earlier, and he said the state is currently underway in obtaining new equipment and test kits to conduct testing. He added that the state does have sufficent supplies for about 3,500 tests. Maine will also be receiving 15 of the new Abbott Laboratories ID Now rapid test platforms, and Shah said the state will get 100 test kits of which each kit can conduct 24 tests. 


There are now 273,880 cases across the U.S. - up nearly 30,000 from Friday - and the death toll has now reached 7,077, up from 5,949 on Friday according to the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. Worldwide, infections are nearing 1.1 million with 58,773 deaths - China's numbers remain suspect.


According to Shah, two counties have formally been designated as "community" transmission counties, which are Cumberland and York counties. Cumberland County remains the hardest hit, with a total of 238 confirmed cases, followed by York with 101. With the virus now present in 15 of Maine's 16 counties - Aroostook and Washington counties both recorded its first case on April 2 - Shah stressed that there is a strong likehood that the coronavirus is present in all counties and residents should act accordingly.


Gov. Janet Mills ordered Friday the closure of all lodging and the requirement that all travelers arriving in Maine self-quarantine for 14 days. The order, which took effect at midnight April 5, prohibits the operation of any hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, inns and short-term rentals unless for an essential reason such as housing healthcare workers. She said the order may be enforced by law as a Class E crime subjet to a penalty of six months in jail and a 1,000 fine.


These restrictions are append her previous shelter-in-place orders limiting the number of people traveling in a single vehicle to persons within an immediate household and a prohibition on classroom or other in-person instruction until May 1, 2020. Mills made exceptions for travel related to shopping for necessities, jobs in essential service industries, and caring for dependent relatives. The latest order follows her previous emergency orders closing all public-facing businesses.


Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, and lower respiratory distress. Individuals who exhibit those symptoms are advised to contact medical providers before going to a health care facility. Medical providers will make initial determinations about who should be tested.


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A note from our editor

Lockdown: Life in Maine grinds to a halt amid COVID-19 concerns 

Covid-19 Daily Update: Maine deaths now reach three

AUGUSTA – Gov. Janet Mills elevated her previous state of emergency Tuesday and ordered all non-essential public-facing businesses such as gyms, hair salons, theaters, shopping malls and others to close at midnight Wednesday, March 25. The order is in effect for the next 14 days until April 8.

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A note from our editor

COVID-19 Update: Maine records first COVID-19 death

AUGUSTA – Maine Governor Janet Mills declared a state of emergency on March 15 in an effort to combat the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

BANGOR – When terrorists struck the twin towers at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham was working at Getchell Bros., his family’s business in Brewer. His brother, Don, heard about the first plane hit on the radio and called Farnham. He then turned on the TV just in time to see a plane strike the second tower as the first one was burning.

“I said, ‘This is not an accident,’” he recalled. “One of the guys there in the office said, ‘Is this going to affect you in the Guard?’ I always remember that question because that completely changed everything for me. I wouldn't be doing this if it hadn’t been for that day.”

September is upon us and with it comes a slew of new TV series making their fall debut. From ABC’s mysterious drama “Emergence” to CBS’s creeper “Evil” and The CW’s DC Universe expansion of “Batwoman,” the month promises to always present viewers with a range of new offerings in hopes that it may be the next breakout show.

Conversely, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have never taken a calendric approach to their programming and instead refresh their shows more often throughout the year. As subscription-based services that depend upon new offerings launched more often to keep viewer interest, this has only helped fuel their growth and spawned more of them like Walt Disney Company’s upcoming Disney+, which just announced Monday that its now available for preorder with an expected launch date of Nov. 12.

And the original programming we’re seeing on these streaming services is top-notch, especially when compared their network brethren. In fact, several walked away with multiple awards at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards this past Sunday. And with Disney’s entrance into the market, the streaming disruption will only continue.

Fall is great time to see the new stuff or catch up on some of these award-winning shows you may have missed, plus there’s something to be said for binging on older shows that continue to live on in the streaming world.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019 22:08

When only a horse will do

STETSON – As they approached a small bridge overlooking a stream on Saturday, Mark Merrill turned in his saddle to the group of horseback riders meandering along the wooded trail and gave a simple instruction.

“Keep the horse on the mat,” he said loudly, referring to a small black mat that covered one side of the wooden span. “Don’t let it go to the side.”

Despite the rising temperature in what would be one of the hottest days of July, it was still surprisingly cool in the back woods of Stetson – a testament to the ubiquitous contrast of much of Maine’s countryside on any given day. Trailing about a mile off Village Road, riders were navigating a mix of snowmobile thoroughfares and tight, thin paths where only a horse could go.

It showed the allure of what Maine’s backwoods are all about.

BANGOR – If you’ve ordered a drink at a bar or restaurant in Bangor lately, you may not have noticed your server keeping a closer eye on you. A new ordinance involving those who serve alcohol, which was passed by the Bangor City Council on April 9, officially took effect this month. The new rules require all staff of city-based liquor licensees who serve alcoholic beverages, including servers and bartenders, to successfully pass a Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS) course.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:21

Binge alert: Your neighbors might be spies

Although we’re on the cusp of the fall TV season, where many networks will kick off their new September offerings in the next few weeks, video streaming continues to be the broadcast industry’s disruptor. With a constant shift in their programming, services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu continue to grow by giving past and current shows another life in a commercial-free format that continues to attract millions of subscribers.

More often than not, many of these shows have already lived out their broadcast lives. Yet in some cases these shows are still on the air or will be soon completing their final seasons, and these hidden gems are available when you want.

What may be more of a long-term concern for the broadcast industry is the likes of Netflix and Amazon are offering their own original programming, and some of it is damn good. In fact, some of these shows are on par with some of the best productions ABC or CBS has to offer. And for second-tier networks like TBS, TNT or SyFy, it’s a chance for viewers who typically don’t tune in to see great programming that may otherwise have been ignored or forgotten.

It’s been known as sweeps month – the time when networks air their best offerings to gain ratings for the upcoming advertising season. Yet it’s also a time when you’ll see some of the best story lines, plot twists and cliffhangers that keep you coming back for more.

The networks are good about showcasing their main programs, sure. But some of the best television entertainment is off the main networks and lies within what we call second-tier programming. In fact, networks like SyFy, AMC and TNT offer such quality that they have gained a solid following.

Wednesday, 04 April 2018 13:14

Black Bear Brewing making tracks to Bangor

BANGOR – Orono’s popular Black Bear Brewing is making tracks to Bangor; the company will open its new taproom this Friday in the Nichols Block on Exchange Street.

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