10 years ago — Jan. 9, 2004
(As reported in the Bangor Daily News)
BANGOR — Representatives of Penn National Gaming Inc. confirmed that they have reached a purchase agreement with the owner of Bangor Historic Racetrack Inc., operator of Bangor Raceway.
The Pennsylvania-based gaming company hopes to develop a racetrack casino at the city-owned harness racing track, as well as at Scarborough Downs in southern Maine.
The two commercial tracks won approval to install slot machines in a Nov. 4 statewide vote. Bangor voters approved slots in a local referendum in June.
BUCKSPORT — Councilors set in motion a plan that could aid the expansion of the town’s dental service.
Councilors took the first steps toward transferring a parcel of land to the Regional Health Center that could provide space for the planned construction of a new dental building. The approximately 1.5-acre parcel is located adjacent to the health center and is now part of what has been known as the WAsson property.
Town Manager Roger Raymond proposed the transfer, noting that the town has done much work in the area in recent years, including using much of the Wasson property to create and athletic field.
25 years ago — Jan. 9, 1989
BANGOR — The president of the United States, the president-elect, three members of Congress, the governor of Maine, Bangor’s council chairman, CBS anchorman Dan Rather and Tommy Lasorda, the rotund manager of the world champion Los Angeles Dodgers, paid tribute last weekend to a Bangor man who is not a politician or a celebrity.
He is Reuben “Ruby” Cohen, the father of U.S. Sen. William S. Cohen, a citizen-baker of 80 years who over the years has endured pomp and circumstance the way the W.C. Fields suffered children — with few words and grim face.
Told by his son, the senator, that he had to put in an appearance at a political benefit for Gov. John R. McKernan, Ruby walked into the Red Lion restaurant in Bangor to discover a room full of notables gathered to celebrate his birthday, view a slide presentation of his life and make jokes about his bad driving habits.
Gov. McKernan proclaimed Monday “Ruby Cohen Day,” declaring, “Your work ethic is an example for all citizens of the state. … But your driving habits are not.”
The praise for Cohen’s work ethic stems from the fact that the Bangor baker has worked 18 hours per day, six days a week since 1939, when he founded the Bangor Rye Bread Co. The jokes about the elder Cohen’s driving record trace back to a long series of fender-benders dating back to World War II.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening was a videotape of Dan Rather leading off the CBS Evening News with a jocular account of Cohen’s “Kosher-Nostra activities in Bangor.
BREWER — For the next six month Brewer police officers will get a chance to sprout some facial hair, despite the “no beard” policy within the department.
Brewer Police Chief David Koman said the policy that pertained to beards would be suspended for a while to allow officers to participate in the beard and mustache growing contest, which is part of the city’s centennial celebration.
50 years ago — Jan. 9, 1964
BREWER — A Brewer neighborhood was buzzing with wonderment after the Leon Wilson family of 52 Century St. found a stork replica atop their house chimney. Mrs. Wilson threw up her hands and said, “We have no ‘stork’ answer; someone is giving us the bird.”
As the neighborhood stared and whispered, the Wilsons surmised they were the target of a prank resulting from the breaking of a New Year’s resolution. Will the Wilson children be getting a new friend? They parents said, yes, they will — a plastic stork.
OLD TOWN — The wheels of municipal government grind slowly, it has been said, but that was not the case in Old Town.
At approximately 10:35 p.m. newly elected city councilman Alphonse F. Morin made a motion that the city’s parking meters be taken out temporarily. After roughly 90 seconds of deliberation, the motion was seconded and passed. stipulating that the city’s meters will not be operative until April 1. It was pointed out that the move was a trial run at free municipal parking, not necessarily a permanent solution.
Police Chief Otis N. LaBree wasted no time in putting the decree into effect. The city’s night crew ignored freezing rain conditions and unshackled the little devices from 200 or more posts on downtown streets.
100 years ago — Jan. 9, 1914
BUCKSPORT — The sloop Eliza West, Capt. J.T. Hutchins, cleared Thursday afternoon for Mount Desert with a cargo of produce from here, for the island ports.
BANGOR — The wedding of Miss Maud Cohen, eldest daughter of Max Cohen of Bangor, and Harry Arnold Levenson of Boston will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, in the Beth Israel synagogue, York Street. Mr. Levenson is the son of Joseph Levenson of the firm L. Levenson & Sons of Boston.
BANGOR — A treat is in store for the school children as well as for older people when Pe-ahm-e-squeet, the Chippewa Indian girl, in full Indian costume, sings and dances and relates Indian legends in City Hall. Boston audiences were charmed and delighted with her. She comes here by invitation of the Athene Club.
Compiled by Ardeana Hamlin