Stephen Betts

Rockland Bureau

Two young snowboarders started the hike up Ragged Mountain in a 2011 file photo.

Camden Snow Bowl loss less than expected

By Stephen Betts on May 20, 2015, at 11:38 a.m.
The operating loss at the Camden Snow Bowl for the past year was less than what town officials said they expected. The $80,000 operating loss was the result of a shortened season caused by problems and delays during last year’s modernization and expansion at the ski resort …
Nancy Caudle-Johnson will be leading a tour Sunday in Camden in observance of Arbor Day.

Camden to celebrate Arbor Day Sunday

By Stephen Betts on May 19, 2015, at 1:41 p.m.
The town will observe Arbor Day at a ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday on the Town Green at the corner of Elm and Chestnut streets. After a brief ceremony, including reading Camden’s official Arbor Day proclamation and the presentation of Camden’s 20th Tree City U.S.A. Award, …
Theodore Berry

Ex-Rockland candidate arrested on assault charge

By Stephen Betts on May 19, 2015, at 11:17 a.m.
A Rockland man who came within 35 votes of being elected to the city council last fall is accused of assaulting a female companion. Theodore A. Berry, 24, was arrested on the evening of May 10 and charged with domestic violence assault, according to paperwork filed in …

Rockland seeks plans to develop Tillson Avenue peninsula

By Stephen Betts on May 19, 2015, at 10:59 a.m.
The city is soliciting creative ideas on how best to redevelop a downtown industrial area filled with warehouses and views of the waterfront. The Rockland Economic and Community Development Department sent out a request last month asking for proposals on how to best develop the Tillson Avenue …

City, schools of Rockland fail to agree on budget cuts

By Stephen Betts on May 18, 2015, at 4:07 p.m.
City administrators met Monday with school officials but were not able to agree on any budget cuts. School officials were invited to attend Wednesday night’s Rockland City Council meeting as the council continues its budget deliberations. “The discussion was cordial, as everyone in the room understand the …
Rockland firefighters spent Sunday night dealing with a large propane leak outside the Trade Winds Motor Inn in Rockland.

Rockland firefighters spend night dealing with motel propane leak

By Stephen Betts on May 18, 2015, at 3:28 p.m.
Rockland firefighters spent much of Sunday night dealing with a large propane leak outside the downtown Trade Winds Motor Inn. Crews arrived shortly after 8 p.m. A representative of Irving fuel was at the propane tank, having been called in earlier to check on a complaint of …

Swanville woman gets 15 days in jail for stealing clothes from Wal-Mart

By Stephen Betts on May 18, 2015, at 11:37 a.m.
ROCKLAND | A Swanville woman was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in jail after a jury convicted her of theft at the Wal-Mart in Thomaston. Justice Daniel Billings imposed the sentence on 32-year-old Maranda L. McCafferty in Knox County Unified Court. The sentencing came after a two-day jury trial. …
This waterfront property in Owls Head, that was valued by the town at nearly $500,000, was sold by the state for $205,000 while its owner was in a psychiatric hospital.

Family still fighting to recover losses from state’s handling of man’s properties

By Stephen Betts on May 18, 2015, at 11:25 a.m.
ROCKLAND | Mediation has failed to resolve a legal battle over the state’s sale of a waterfront home for less than half its value while the owner was in a mental hospital. Two lawsuits remain in progress in the state’s Business and Consumer Court in Portland over the Owls …

Wal-Mart drops Rockland abatement plea on eve of state hearing

By Stephen Betts on May 15, 2015, at 12:48 p.m.
The nation’s largest retailer dropped its request for a $105,000 tax rebate from Rockland on the eve of a state hearing. Attorney Timothy Woodcock of Bangor said that Wal-Mart made a “business decision” to drop its appeal, which had been filed in December. He declined to further …

City officials defend Rockland firefighters’ commitment

By Stephen Betts on May 15, 2015, at 12:22 p.m.
Rockland firefighters are committed to their department and the people they serve, the interim fire chief said Friday. The statement was made in reaction to a city councilor questioning the commitment of firefighters to the department during Wednesday night’s council meeting. At the time, the City Council …

Fire destroys Union garage

By Stephen Betts on May 15, 2015, at 9:37 a.m.
A residential garage and pickup truck were destroyed by a Friday morning fire. Union Fire Chief Kevin Soule said he suspects the fire was caused by a chicken brooder that had been plugged in about 20 minutes earlier. The homeowner had gone to get the chicks. He …
Michael Felton

Newly created St. George school district names superintendent

By Stephen Betts on May 15, 2015, at 8:20 a.m.
A Portland man with a wide range of experience will become the first superintendent for the newly created St. George Municipal School District. Michael Felton was unanimously approved Wednesday night as the superintendent by the St. George School Committee. In making the appointment, the committee cited …

Cornered by cuts: Why Rockland is struggling with high taxes

By Stephen Betts on May 14, 2015, at 6:54 p.m.
Rockland for decades has had the unenviable position of having a property tax rate well above the state average. But reduced state aid to the city and its regional school district, plus higher operating costs, have created a situation that could hike property taxes. For example, a …

Mediation set in missing South Thomaston money case

By Stephen Betts on May 14, 2015, at 5:01 p.m.
A mediation session between South Thomaston and two former firefighters accused of unjustly enriching themselves with nearly $15,000 earmarked for a new fire truck will be held next month. Mediation is scheduled for June 4, according to attorney James Strong, who represents South Thomaston. The session …
The Wednesday night meeting of the Rockland City Council attracted 140 people, many who spoke in support of the library and Recreation Department.

Rockland residents pack meeting to support library, recreation

By Stephen Betts on May 13, 2015, at 9:07 p.m.
Residents packed City Hall on Wednesday night to urge city leaders to maintain the current level of library and recreation programs but councilors were adamant that reductions were needed to prevent a huge tax increase. “I understand the troubling times we are in, especially relating to budgeting …

Ex-shelter operator in Rockland sued for trading sex for housing

By Stephen Betts on May 13, 2015, at 5:22 p.m.
A local woman has filed a lawsuit against the former operator of the region’s homeless shelter, claiming he offered her housing in exchange for sex. The lawsuit against Gordon Mank Jr. and Mid-Coast Hospitality House Inc. was filed Friday in Knox County Unified Court. The Bangor Daily …
Mark Biscone, executive director of Waldo County Healthcare and interim chief executive officer of Pen Bay Healthcare.

Pen Bay, Waldo County health groups plan merger

By Stephen Betts on May 13, 2015, at 11:55 a.m.
Pen Bay Healthcare and Waldo County Healthcare have agreed to form a new parent company that will oversee hospitals and related organizations in the two counties. The new corporation would replace the currently separate Pen Bay and Waldo County Healthcare Boards. The new corporation would have a board consisting of …
The current and planned new Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County shelter are pictured here as the groundbreaking for the new complex is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Buttermilk Lane site in Thomaston.

Knox County to break ground on new animal shelter

By Stephen Betts on May 12, 2015, at 5 p.m.
THOMASTON | A ceremonial groundbreaking for a new Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County shelter is scheduled for Saturday. The 1 p.m. groundbreaking will be followed by a reception and tours of the current facility at 17 Buttermilk Lane. The current building was built in 1991. After many …

Rockland council call for cuts in school budget

By Stephen Betts on May 12, 2015, at 3:35 p.m.
The City Council unanimously voted Monday night for a resolve that calls for “appropriate meaningful” reductions in the proposed Regional School Unit 13 budget. The councilors also directed the city manager to send a letter to the school district requesting it come up with lower budget options …

Settlement reached in fishing boat sinking that claimed two lives

By Stephen Betts on May 12, 2015, at 11:55 a.m.
ROCKLAND | The court has been asked to divide up a settlement between the families of two fishing crew members who were lost at sea last fall. Paperwork was filed Tuesday in Knox County Unified Court on behalf of the estate of 27-year-old Thomas Hammond of Rockland, who was …
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