Abigail Curtis

Belfast Bureau


Poverty forum planned for Belfast

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 30, 2014, at 7:44 p.m.
The annual Greater Waldo Community Network Forum being held here Thursday will for the first time be focused specifically on poverty, according to one of the organizers. “We’ve obviously had a long-time interest in poverty in Waldo County. It’s a big issue,” said Patrick Walsh of Broadreach …
Wildlife photographer Bill Brown, who lives in Arizona, saw this osprey swoop down to catch a large goldfish at The Muck in Belfast in this April 2014 file photo.

Maine wildlife department proposes changes to Belfast’s Muck, getting rid of giant goldfish

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 30, 2014, at 5 p.m.
This spring, birder and wildlife photographer Bill Brown of Sierra Vista, Arizona, happened to be at Belfast’s Kirby Lake when several ospreys flew down for a snack. One of the ospreys dove under the water of the small pond — better known locally as the Muck — …
Hartley Curtis (right) of Waterville, seems younger than his 95 years during a horse-drawn wagon tour of Frye Mountain, a former farming community where he was born and lived until the government purchased the land from the farmers in 1937.

Maine history remembered at Frye Mountain in Montville

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 29, 2014, at 4:37 p.m.
When Hartley Curtis, 95, is asked his age, he chuckles and points to his T-shirt, which reads, “So far, this is the oldest I’ve ever been.” The old Mainer seemed more spry than his decades would indicate as he climbed into a horse-drawn, hay-filled wagon Sunday morning …

Unity man arrested after allegedly choking, assaulting woman

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 29, 2014, at 3:10 p.m.
A local man remained behind bars on Monday after he was accused of choking and assaulting a woman early Saturday morning at their home. Stephen Smith, 26, was charged with domestic violence assault and obstructing the report of a crime after the events of the night, Chief …
Residents of the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center have been volunteering to work at a garden project that supplies vegetables to needy folks in the area. They grow vegetables that are donated to food pantries and senior centers and also are used at the re-entry center kitchen.

‘It’s a big motivation’: Midcoast area garden nurtures inmates preparing to rejoin society

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 29, 2014, at 7:20 a.m.
SWANVILLE | The 3-acre farm looked ordinary in the early autumn sunshine. Piles of orange pumpkins by the tractor hinted at Halloween celebrations to come and honeybees lazily dipped and buzzed around the last remaining fall flowers. Several fields were a tangle of dying vines and others were brown, …
The Islesboro Department of Public Safety helped Canadian Space Agency engineers recover this downed stratospheric balloon that went off course and landed in tall trees on the northern part of Islesboro.

Islesboro police assist Canadian Space Agency in retrieving wayward research balloon

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 28, 2014, at 5:52 p.m.
ISLESBORO, Maine — It’s not every day the Islesboro public safety department receives a call from the Canadian Space Agency, asking for help finding a wayward high-altitude research balloon. But that’s exactly what happened last Saturday, according to Public Safety Director Fred Porter. The stratospheric balloon was launched Friday, Sept. …
Michael Kelley (left) is profoundly disabled. His family relied on their conversion van, nicknamed Tank, to transport him for outings and for medical appointments. His mother, Carol Kelley (right), said the family's van was totaled in an accident in August and the used van they have found as a replacement will cost $25,000.

‘Totaled’: Family with disabled son seeks help to buy replacement mobility van

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 28, 2014, at 3:45 p.m.
WALDO | Carol Kelley — mom, chauffeur, primary care provider, physical therapist and social director for her profoundly disabled 24-year-old son, Michael — packs a lot into each carefully managed day. But in the blink of an eye this August, something happened that slowed her family down and made …
Corey Darveau and his wife, Christina Darveau, of Bucksport lost their daughter Taylor Darveau in a car accident on Oct. 3, 2013.  The Darveaus came up with the idea of T.A.Y.L.O.R. tags that they hope would be placed on vehicles that are used by young drivers with intermediate driver's licenses. Taylor was the passenger in a vehicle whare the driver had an intermediate license and was not supposed to have anyone but family members in the vehicle.

Grieving parents work to prevent more teen driving deaths

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 28, 2014, at 5:55 a.m.
BUCKSPORT | Corey and Christina Darveau are getting closer to the kind of one-year anniversary they would like no other parents to have to endure — the death of their daughter, 15-year-old Taylor, in a terrible car crash last October. The Darveaus are trying to channel their grief at …
Firefighters responded Friday afternoon to the report of a truck fire on Route 52 in Belfast. The driver, Stan Sarnacki of Swanville, escaped without injury, police said.

Swanville driver uninjured in Belfast truck fire

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 27, 2014, at 3:42 p.m.
Police said that a Swanville man escaped injury — and also managed to rescue his tree stand and his boots, after his pickup truck burst into flames Friday afternoon on Route 52 in Belfast. “He got the important stuff out,” Sgt. John Gibbs of the Belfast Police …

Neighbors win chance to appeal fireworks store in Searsport

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 23, 2014, at 3:46 p.m.
A group of neighbors opposed to the construction of a fireworks store on U.S. Route 1 in Searsport have been granted an opportunity to appeal the local planning board’s approval of the new business. The Searsport board of appeals Monday night agreed by a vote of 3-2 …

Belfast police seek woman they say was involved in an accident

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 22, 2014, at 4:57 p.m.
The Belfast Police Department is asking for the public’s help to find a woman they said zoomed away Friday from the scene of a personal injury accident she is believed to have caused. The mystery woman was driving a white pickup truck on the northbound U.S. Route …
Val Derosier (second from left) of Long Shadow Farm in Morrill was surrounded Friday by volunteers who came to help run her booth at the Common Ground Fair. Derosier's life and farm partner, Mark Thompson, died unexpectedly just a week before the busy, important fair weekend and the community joined together to make sure she had plenty of help.

After sudden death of a farmer, his community comes together to help out at Common Ground fair booth

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 20, 2014, at 5:05 p.m.
When farmer and retired Game Warden Mark Thompson died suddenly a week ago, his community mourned. Then, they got out their calendars and planners. The 63-year-old’s life and work partner, Val Derosier, wasn’t sure if she would be able to run their Long Shadow Farm booth during …
This 2008 photo of Ned, an Asian elephant that performed at a circus in Bangor, helped generate awareness he was emaciated.

Bangor photographer ordered to testify in DC in case against elephant trainer

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 20, 2014, at 6:07 a.m.
Avid photographer Jeff Kirlin had no ulterior motives when he asked for backstage access to the Anah Temple Shrine circus that came to the Bangor Civic Center in April 2008. But among the thousands of photos he took that week of spangled trapeze artists, jolly clowns and …
Bre Bebb, director of Our Town Belfast, will be among the performers at next weekend's arts telethon to raise money and awareness of the Belfast Creative Coalition.

Mimes, ukuleles, burlesque dancers on tap for arts telethon in Belfast

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 19, 2014, at 4:23 p.m.
Elaine Bielenberg always loved watching telethons that featured people like famous comedian Jerry Lewis. Now she’s organizing one in Belfast that should provide hours of televised local entertainment for a cause that’s close to her heart. “A telethon is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I …
James Laurita

OSHA investigating death of Hope Elephants co-founder

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 18, 2014, at 5:52 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Occupational Safety and Health Administration office in Augusta on Thursday confirmed that the federal agency is investigating the Sept. 9 death of James Laurita, who was crushed by one of his elephants after he fell and hit his head on the concrete walkway around the animals’ …

Waldo County budget below $5 million for first time in four years

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 18, 2014, at 4:03 p.m.
BELFAST | The Waldo County commissioners said this week that they’re pleased to tell taxpayers the proposed 2015 budget is lower than last year’s by more than $175,000. Altogether, the 2015 budget is $4.98 million, which is the first time the budget has been under $5 million in four …
Opal, an Asian elephant that arrived at the Endangered Ark Foundation this week, greeted Margaret, a member of the herd already living there.

An elephant never forgets: Old friends trumpet arrival of Rosie, Opal in Oklahoma, says shelter director

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 17, 2014, at 5:51 p.m.
HOPE | A week after Hope Elephants co-founder Jim Laurita’s sudden, tragic death in his elephant pen, the two Asian elephants he always called “his girls” are settling in at the Endangered Ark Foundation in Hugo, Oklahoma. Rosie and Opal left Maine over the weekend and were transported by …
Rep. Brian L. Jones, D-Freedom

Waldo County lawmaker charged with indecent conduct

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 16, 2014, at 7:27 p.m.
FREEDOM | A Democratic lawmaker from Waldo County was arrested Monday night after a Maine state trooper allegedly caught him engaged in a sexual act in a van at the West Gardiner Park & Ride. Brian Jones, 56, of Freedom was charged with indecent conduct and failure to give …
David Weiss, the founding director of Northeast Historic Film, recently announced he plans to retire after nearly 30 years at the helm of the nonprofit film archive.

Northeast Historic Film co-founder reflects on 30 years of archiving, preserving celluloid history

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m.
BUCKSPORT | After nearly 30 years and 10 million feet of film safely stashed in the Northeast Historic Film archive, founding director David Weiss said it is time to retire. “It’s been a great deal of fun,” he said last week while reminiscing about his accidental career path that …

Police urge owners to license pets after spate of calls over ‘dangerous’ dogs

By Abigail Curtis on Sept. 15, 2014, at 5:56 p.m.
BELFAST | Police are asking dog owners to make sure their pets are licensed and up to date on their shots, after the department received multiple calls about several dangerous dog incidents in the last week. One dog owner was issued citations for having a dangerous, unlicensed dog last …
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