Farmer’s animals survive fireworks, despite ‘terror’

While thousands of people turned out to enjoy L.L. Bean’s 100th anniversary fireworks show on Saturday, for one woman and her farm animals, the event was “pure terror.”

Susan Campbell owns a farm on Hunter Road near where fireworks were launched. She was concerned in the weeks before the fireworks that they would cause her animals to stampede and hurt themselves. Campbell was particularly concerned about a 30-year-old rescued pony prone to panic attacks.

However, she said the pony survived, her cows didn’t break down any fences and the horses appear to be all right, though one was slightly limping.

Campbell said she spent all week preparing her four horses and 10 cows for the event by playing loud music and turning on the barn lights at night. She also began giving them calming medication in increasing doses.

“(The show) lit up the entire pasture like it was daytime,” she said. “It was just a constant barrage of shots coming from all around.”

L.L. Bean offered to help Campbell pay for veterinary and transportation services to remove animals from the farm during the fireworks. But as of late last month a suitable livestock trailer was not available to borrow or lease, and L.L. Bean declined to buy one at a cost of $6,000, Campbell said.


Couple on motorcycle die of injuries from collision

A 52-year-old man and his wife died following a head-on collision between his motorcycle and a car in northern Maine.

Maine State Police say Allen Rossignol of Woodland was driving his motorcycle on Route 161 in Cross Lake Township shortly after noon Sunday when he drifted into the lane of an oncoming car, throwing him and his wife, Judy Rossignol, 50, from the motorcycle.

Police say Allen Rossignol died from injuries while being taken to Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent. Judy Rossignol died after arriving at the hospital.

Authorities say both were wearing helmets.

The driver of the car, Stephanie Dumais, 42, of Mapleton was taken to Cary Medical Center in Caribou for treatment of a cut to her leg.


Injured teen carried out from 100-Mile Wilderness

The Maine Warden Service says a 16-year-old girl had to be carried two miles over treacherous terrain after injuring herself while hiking the Appalachian Trail in northern Maine.

Officials received a report at 7 p.m. Friday that the Wisconsin girl had hurt her ankle while hiking with a group of 11 girls on a rugged portion of the trail known as the 100-Mile Wilderness, which runs from Monson to the trail’s northern terminus of Mount Katahdin.

The girls camped for the night before a rescue team met up with them on Saturday morning.

Authorities say it took rescuers four hours to bring the girl to safety before taking her to a Greenville hospital. Officials did not release the girl’s name.


Lepage urged to apologize for his Gestapo comment

Democratic lawmakers are calling on Gov. Paul LePage to apologize for his remark comparing the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo.

The Democratic leaders of the state House and Senate issued a statement Sunday calling LePage’s language “intentionally offensive.” Rep. Emily Cain and Sen. Justin Alfond said Holocaust survivors and Word War II veterans who witnessed the terror of Adolf Hitler’s secret police “should not be trivialized for political shock.”

Also on Sunday, the Anti-Defamation League called on LePage to retract his comment.

ADL New England regional director Derrek L. Shulman said in a statement, “Gov. LePage’s use of language that evokes the Holocaust is hurtful and inappropriate. The governor should immediately apologize for his remarks and demonstrate an understanding of why they are offensive to all who value civil discourse.”

In his weekly radio address Saturday, LePage attacked the Supreme Court’s decision that upheld President Obama’s health care law.

LePage said the court’s decision has “made America less free” and that people have no choice but to buy health insurance or “pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.”


Fire departments receive grants to strengthen staff

Two Maine fire departments are receiving federal grants totaling more than $400,000 to bolster their firefighting ranks.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted $234,000 to the Ellsworth Fire Department and nearly $197,000 to the department in North Yarmouth.

The money can be used to recruit, hire or retain firefighters.

The funding comes from what is known as the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response — or SAFER — grant money.


Police seek help in finding woman missing since 1998

Police in Maine are asking for the public’s help in locating a woman who went missing nearly 14 years ago.

Authorities say Starlette Vining has been missing from the Presque Isle area since October 1998. Police say she was known as a dependable employee at a Presque Isle grocery store, but suddenly stopped coming to work and never returned to pick up her last paycheck.

State police told the Bangor Daily News that new information has led investigators to believe people in the community may have additional information regarding her disappearance.

Police said Vining, who would now be 52, was known to move about but had never been out of her family’s lives for more than a few years at a time.


Farnsworth honors Ipcar for her art contributions

The Farnsworth Art Museum has named painter, illustrator and children’s book author Dahlov Ipcar as the recipient of its 2012 Made in America award.

The Rockland museum grants the award each year to an individual or a group who has made an outstanding contribution to Maine’s role in American art.

Ipcar, 94, lives in Maine’s midcoast and is known for the intricate patterns and geometric designs in her paintings featuring farm and jungle animals.

Her works are included in art institution collections around the country as well as in many corporate and private collections. The Farnsworth has 11 of her works in its collection.


Congressman Frank marries his partner from Ogunquit

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank has tied the knot with his longtime partner in a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

A spokesman said the 72-year-old congressman married 42-year-old Jim Ready in a Saturday evening wedding at the Boston Marriott hotel in Newton, with more than 300 friends, family and colleagues attending.

Frank, a Democrat who is retiring after more than three decades in office, represents the 4th Congressional District in southeastern Massachusetts.

Ready, of Ogunquit, Maine, has a small business doing custom awnings, carpentry, painting, welding and other general handyman services. He’s also a photographer.


Giant tree found fallen beside Androscoggin River

A tree thought to be nearly 400 years old has toppled to the ground. A silver maple that measured more than 26 feet around its trunk was found fallen along the Androscoggin River in Leeds on June 30.

Leeds dairy farmer John Nutting told the Sun Journal he was stunned when he discovered the tree on its side.

State foresters dated the tree to between 1620 and 1650 after Nutting’s stepfather discovered it in 1980.

Nutting said he suspects heavy rains this spring saturated the soil around the tree, causing it to fall.


Film festival offers discounts on early purchases of passes

Passes to this fall’s Camden International Film Festival are now on sale. The 8th annual festival is scheduled to take place from Sept. 27-30 around Camden and Rockland.

The festival features dozens of documentary films from around the world as well as discussions, special events, forums and question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers. More than 5,600 people attended last year’s event.

Festival passes are available at discounted prices from $65 to $125 if bought before Aug. 1. After that, prices increase to $75 to $150.

Passes are available on the festival website, at

— From staff and news reports