Nicholas McCrea

Reporter

Nick McCrea covers Orono and Old Town from the Bangor bureau.
 
CAMPAIGN 2014
Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler speaks with the media after a campaign stop at a Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce breakfast at Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014.

Cutler defends Gratwick over ‘brain guy’ gaffe, decries use of out-of-context statements in campaigns

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 11, 2014, at 5:40 p.m.
BANGOR | Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler said Thursday he “feels badly” for state Rep. Geoffrey Gratwick, D-Bangor, whose conversation with a constituent was secretly recorded and released by the Republican Party earlier this week. Saying Gratwick was “a good guy caught in a bad system,” Cutler said he …
An old nozzle and a leather firefighter's helmet that have been passed down in the Morrill family for decades. They family is donating the items to the Hose 5 Fire Museum in Bangor.

Bangor 9/11 ceremony honors local firefighters who died a century ago

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 11, 2014, at 4:12 p.m.
Members of the Bangor Fire Department’s honor guard on Thursday morning folded a pair of American flags over the graves of two comrades who fell battling an inferno at the Bangor Opera House more than a century ago. Walter J. Morrill, lieutenant of Hose 3, and John …
John Giles, CEO of Central Maine and Quebec Railway, speaks to a room of business, government and transportation leaders about his plans for creating a sustainable railroad from the assets of the defunct Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway during a breakfast on Wednesday in Bangor.

Head of new Maine railroad company says he’s building transportation system to last

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 10, 2014, at 3:05 p.m.
BANGOR | The man behind the controls of the company that took over for the defunct Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway says he plans to turn a profit by 2015. That’s not an easy feat, according to John Giles, CEO of Central Maine and Quebec Railway, considering Montreal, Maine …
A rendering of what the Bangor Housing Development Corp.'s First Street apartment building might look like. The buildings to the right and left in the picture are existing homes and apartments. A new parking lot also would be constructed on the side of the street closest to Main Street.

Bangor council approves rezoning, pushing forward plans for First Street apartments

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 08, 2014, at 10:13 p.m.
A rezoning decision has cleared the way for developers to continue ironing out plans for a First Street apartment complex geared toward working families. The Bangor City Council during its Monday night meeting voted 7-2 to approve a contract zone change request that will convert two parcels …
Elise Johansen, executive director of EqualityMaine, said the group will recognize the Bangor City Council with an award for its efforts in support of marriage equality and anti-discrimination legislation at its second Community Awards Banquet.

Bangor City Council to be recognized for gay-rights efforts

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 08, 2014, at 1:08 p.m.
EqualityMaine will recognize the Bangor City Council with an award for its efforts in support of marriage equality and anti-discrimination legislation spanning more than a decade during its second Community Awards Banquet. The Community Partnership Award is meant to honor “businesses, groups and leaders who open their …
VIDEO
Passengers look at the University of Maine's floating wind turbine, VolturnUS, in Castine during a trip to celebrate its first year Friday.

‘Mission accomplished’: UMaine wind project leader says model turbine off Castine has done its job

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 06, 2014, at 5:49 a.m.
On a Maine Maritime Academy vessel floating just off Dyce Head in Castine, Habib Dagher stood in front of his 65-foot-tall, yellow-and-white brainchild, VolturnUS — the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine in the Americas. “Today, we can declare VolturnUS mission accomplished,” he shouted to a group of …
People get on a Community Connector bus in downtown Bangor in this August 2013 file photo.

Bangor committee decides not to change bus hub

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 04, 2014, at 6:43 p.m.
Bangor’s bus hub will remain largely unchanged after city officials decided against options contained in a study that were either too expensive or too uncertain to pursue in the immediate future. The Government Operations Committee decided during a meeting Wednesday night that the city shouldn’t make any …
Scott Lucas, Bangor's fire chief, announced his resignation on Thursday.

Bangor fire chief to resign in December

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 04, 2014, at 4:55 p.m.
Bangor’s fire chief announced his pending resignation on Thursday after less than two years on the job, according to City Manager Cathy Conlow. Scott Lucas submitted notice that he will resign effective Dec. 3, Conlow said in a news release. “Chief Lucas indicated that he would plan …
Ice encrusts the Bangor Opera House after a fire there on Jan. 15, 1914 in which two firefighters lost their lives. The Bangor Fire Department will honor the memories of Fire Lt. Walter Morrill, Hose Co.3, born Dec. 16, 1871 and Firefighter John Leonard, Hose Co.3, Born Aug. 21, 1877 at a graveside ceremony on Sept. 11 at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

More than 100 years after Bangor Opera House burned, two firefighters who died in line of duty to be honored

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 04, 2014, at 3:33 p.m.
A century ago, a brick wall collapsed on a group of firefighters battling a winter inferno at the Bangor Opera House on Main Street, killing two and injuring five. Walter J. Morrill, lieutenant of Hose 3, and John Leonard, a member of the same company, died around …
A rendering of what the Bangor Housing Development Corp.'s First Street apartment building might look like. The buildings to the right and left in the picture are existing homes and apartments. A new parking lot also would be constructed on the side of the street closest to Main Street.

First Street apartment project gets initial approval from Bangor Planning Board

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 03, 2014, at 5:43 p.m.
A 20-plus-unit apartment building planned for a troubled Bangor neighborhood got an early sign of approval from the city’s planning board this week. Developers say the workforce housing endeavor could be just the boost the area needs, but some residents worry more apartments will mean more of …
POLL QUESTION
View of Pickering Square and Community Connector bus near the parking deck on Saturday, March 16, 2013.

Bangor’s Pickering Square could be home to year-round food truck in 2015

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 03, 2014, at 11:33 a.m.
Bangor could have a food truck parked in Pickering Square sometime in 2015, according to city officials. Caitlin Brooke, business development specialist and downtown coordinator for the city, said she was approached recently by a vendor interested in setting up a year-round food truck in the square, …
Raynald Martin of Brewer talks about his older brother, Onias, who was killed during WWII while liberating the village of Bonnetable, France.

‘Notre Onias’: 70 years later, French villagers honor a Maine soldier’s singular sacrifice

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 30, 2014, at 5:30 a.m.
BONNETABLE, France — Second Lt. Onias Martin drew his last breath on a narrow French country road flanked by farmland and pastures. A native of Madawaska, he returned to his ancestral homeland a freedom fighter and died a hero in 1944, French newspapers said at the time. The people here …
Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy

Group addressing Maine’s addiction problem to bring U.S. drug czar to Bangor

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 29, 2014, at 5:20 p.m.
A group of area health care leaders, law enforcement officials, educators and politicians are forming a plan of attack to combat drug abuse and addiction in Bangor and, perhaps, across the state. The group of 20-plus members convened for the first time Wednesday night in a conference …
The University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center has taken in a 180-foot wind turbine blade for strength testing. This is the largest structure the center has tested to date. AEWC is one of two facilities in the country capable of conducting these tests on a blade this large.

UMaine’s wind turbine lab tests largest blade yet

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 28, 2014, at 7:04 p.m.
ORONO | The UMaine Composites Center has taken in a very, very big test subject. Wednesday, a truck brought in a 180-foot wind turbine blade for strength testing. It’s the biggest structure the center has put through the ringer in its six years of evaluating turbine components. Under the …
The L.L. Bean call center in Bangor.  The company announced that it will close the call center in the spring of 2016.

Closure of L.L. Bean call center in 2016 leaves Bangor officials wondering about future of retail businesses

By Darren Fishell and Nick McCrea on Aug. 28, 2014, at 6:25 p.m.
While the closing of a local L.L. Bean call center runs counter to otherwise positive trends in Maine call center employment, some Bangor leaders are concerned the reasons behind the closure signal a larger, negative shift for brick-and-mortar businesses and tax revenue. Ben Sprague, chairman of the …

Patience required when driving through construction zones in downtown Bangor

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 28, 2014, at 12:57 p.m.
Road construction and underground infrastructure projects continue to dominate the downtown Bangor landscape this summer. The majority of projects are on schedule and on budget, according to Bangor Public Works Director Dana Wardwell. Several of the largest efforts, including the upgrades along a more than half-mile stretch …
C&L Aerospace employee Brian Hart works last month.

Bangor aviation industry growth depends on cultivating local workforce, leaders say

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 27, 2014, at 3:56 p.m.
The success of private businesses in and around Bangor International Airport is more vital than ever to the strength and stability of the city’s major travel hub, airport director Tony Caruso said Wednesday. Owners of those businesses say their success could depend on having enough qualified workers …
People look at the vehicles displayed during the Brewer Days car show in 2009.

Brewer Days celebration to feature zombie and witch 5K run

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 27, 2014, at 2:58 p.m.
A three-day celebration of the community, Brewer Days, will kick off next week with events ranging from Zumba and karate demonstrations to live music and fireworks. Events start on Friday, Sept. 5, with a Brewer Youth Hockey family barbecue at the Brewer Auditorium. The Brewer Hometown Band …

Ex-Sangerville fire chief pleads guilty to using town money to fill personal gas tank, ordered to pay $3,700

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 26, 2014, at 1:02 p.m.
DOVER-FOXCROFT | The former Sangerville fire chief last week pleaded guilty to using town money to fill the gas tank in his personal vehicle, according to Christopher Almy, district attorney for Piscataquis and Penobscot counties. Charles “Chuck” Beane pleaded guilty to Class C felony theft in a Dover-Foxcroft courtroom …
CAMPAIGN 2014 | VIDEO
Senator Susan Collins waves to supporters as she leaves her campaign headquarters in Bangor to embark on her cross-state bus tour Tuesday.

Collins’ ‘traditional’ statewide bus tour launches in Bangor to sounds of brass quartet

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 26, 2014, at 12:12 p.m.
How do you liven up a political campaign launch when you’ve done it four times in the past? Bring in a brass quartet to jazz up the proceedings. Republican Sen. Susan Collins ramped up her re-election campaign with a statewide bus tour that left Bangor on Tuesday …
 
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