Nicholas McCrea

Reporter

Nick McCrea covers Orono and Old Town from the Bangor bureau.
 
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.
BANGOR, Maine — 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, Maine — 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.
BANGOR, Maine — 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, Maine — 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.
BANGOR, Maine — 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.
BANGOR, Maine — 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.
BANGOR, Maine — 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.
BREWER, Maine — 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, Maine — 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.
BANGOR, Maine — 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 …
VIDEO
Gov. Paul LePage and first lady Ann LePage get a tour of  the Shepherd's Godparent Home in Bangor on Monday afternoon.  Director Barbara Ford toured the couple through the no-cost residential maternity home for women in crisis ages 13-28.

LePage visits Bangor shelter that helps young, at-risk mothers find independence from welfare

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 25, 2014, at 6:23 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — There’s no shame in asking for help, but don’t make it a lifestyle. That’s the message Barbara Ford spreads at her Bangor shelter for young and expectant mothers who need a hand. Gov. Paul LePage on Monday toured Shepherd’s Godparent Home alongside First Lady Ann LePage. Ford …

Bangor’s Whistling Pig Smokehouse closes after less than a year in business

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 22, 2014, at 12:15 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — The Whistling Pig Smokehouse, a Bangor barbecue eatery that opened less than a year ago on Main Street, has closed. The message “It’s with a heavy heart that we have to announce The Whistling Pig will be closing its doors,” was posted to its Facebook page Thursday. …
The Cross Insurance Center switched on its new sign for the first time Friday morning. Members of the Cross family, which donated the sign, joined city and arena officials Friday morning for a ceremony to commemorate the new promotional sign.

Cross Insurance Center in Bangor unveils new sign donated by Cross family

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 22, 2014, at 12:09 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Curious about what’s coming up at the Cross Insurance Center? Just drive by. The multi-purpose facility, which has been open for about a year, switched on its new marquee Friday morning during a ceremony attended by arena and city officials, as well as members of the Cross …

Bangor man arrested after allegedly firing handgun in apartment in front of his caseworker

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 21, 2014, at 5:16 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — A 59-year-old man was arrested Thursday afternoon after he fired a bullet into the ceiling of his Bangor apartment in front of his caseworker, according to Bangor police. Officers arrested James Corbett, 59, of 60 Cumberland Street about 3:45 p.m., about three hours after he allegedly raised …
Crews have torn down the iconic carport over the entrance to the former Pilots Grill on Hammond Street in Bangor. Some took that as a sign that the building is being demolished, but that's not the case. A dance studio is moving into the building, which has been vacant for nearly two years. Owners say the carport was seriously damaged by ice and snow last winter.

Former Pilots Grill now home to a dance studio, damaged carport demolished

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 21, 2014, at 3:19 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — No, the old Pilots Grill building isn’t being torn down, but it is getting a new lease on life. This week, construction crews tore down the former restaurant’s iconic carport, which sheltered diners getting out of their cars on blustery or rainy days for decades, sparking rumors …

Winterport child suffers serious injuries when truck strikes bicycle he was riding

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 20, 2014, at 8:14 p.m.
WINTERPORT, Maine — A local child suffered serious injuries Wednesday evening when the bike he was riding was struck by a pickup truck, according to police. The crash happened on Whig Street, also known as Route 139 and 69, near the Elm Street intersection, shortly after 4:30 p.m., according to …
A Maine State Police officer exits the new state police barracks in Bangor on Wednesday.

New Bangor barracks for state police brings Troop E units together under one roof

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 20, 2014, at 8:04 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — For the first time in decades, Maine State Police investigators, troopers and dispatchers are working under the same roof. Maine State Police Troop E celebrated its new, roomier barracks near Bangor International Airport on Wednesday afternoon with an open house and dedication ceremony. When the Orono barracks …
Construction crews work to cut up the road near the intersection of State and Exchange streets in Bangor on Tuesday.

Major road projects along Bangor’s Main Street should wrap up before snow flies

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 20, 2014, at 5:26 a.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Road work on Main Street in Bangor appears to be winding down, but drivers and pedestrians in the city should brace themselves for more orange cones before the summer is over. Replacement of about 3,500 feet of water mains along Main Street from Railroad Street to Dutton …
Lucas St. Clair pitches his proposal for a 150,000-acre national park and recreation area at a Penobscot County commissioners meeting in Bangor on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2014.

Penobscot County commissioners divided on whether national park would help faltering Katahdin region

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 19, 2014, at 4:09 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Penobscot County’s commissioners are divided on a proposal to establish a 150,000-acre national park and recreation area in the Katahdin region. Commissioner Peter Baldacci is vehemently supportive, arguing the park would boost the economy in a region where the historically dominant paper industry appears to be in …
 
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