Special Report on Longterm Unemployed

(NEWS CENTER) -- It is about as stressful a situation as you could ever find yourself in: thousands of Mainers have exhausted their unemployment benefits ... but have been unable to find work.

The Maine Department of Labor calls them "Exhaustees", and has set up a series of programs aimed at putting these Mainers back to work. Others refer to them as "The Invisible Unemployed" because they are not counted in Unemployment reports or as part of the workforce.

Contest celebrates 25 years of Habitat for Humanity

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland is ringing in its 25th anniversary with a contest.

The organization is dedicated to building affordable housing for people who may otherwise have a hard time achieving home ownership.

Since the founding of the local chapter, Habitat has built 52 homes in the Portland area.  A 53rd house is near completion and six more are slated for construction in Freeport and Westbrook.

News Center's Lee Nelson recently spoke with Habitat's Stefanie Millette about plans to celebrate those accomplishments.

Millette said Habitat is holding a 25th Anniversary Creativity Contest.  Children between the ages of 5 and 18 are asked to express what home means to them through either writing or art. 

All participants will receive a certificate of achievement.  The winners will get the chance to publicly display their submissions at Habitat events.

Man killed in Cumberland ATV accident

CUMBERLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Police in Cumberland say a 19-year-old man was killed in an all-terrain vehicle crash Monday night.

The accident happened around 5:00pm on Pleasant Valley Road in Cumberland. Police say the man had just come off a trail onto the road.

Investigators say for some unknown reason, the ATV catapulted out from under the driver, went up in the air and landed on him.

Police identified the victim as Jesse Zachs. He was taken to Maine Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Zachs was not wearing a helmet.


The Beadin' Path of Freeport, ME named 2010 Merchant of the Year

The Beadin' Path of Freeport, ME named 2010 Merchant of the Year

The board of directors of the Maine Merchants Association recently chose The Beadin’ Path of Freeport, ME, as its 2010 Merchant of the Year.  The award will be presented at the Maine Merchants Association 77th annual meeting on October 27th at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, ME.

Although a number of qualified merchants were considered, The Beadin’ Path was chosen because of its commitment to Maine as a local, women-owned business; its leadership in using cutting edge social media to expand their marketability beyond the Maine border and for their tireless commitment  in supporting the community. 

The Merchant of the Year Award has three main criteria: continued growth in employees or sales; commitment of company resources to community projects; and creation of a positive work environment for all employees.  The Beadin’ Path exceeded the criteria on all counts.

I-295 crash victim dies

YARMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Erika Jolie of York died Saturday night at Maine Medical Center.

Jolie was involved in a crash on I-295 last week.

Officials say Wednesday afternoon Jolie was traveling South on the Interstate when she lost control of her car, crossed the median and hit an SUV traveling in the Northbound lane. 

Police say Jolie may have been texting at the time of the crash. She was a student at the University of Maine and a former hockey player at York High School.









State legislator pleads guilty to OUI, apologizes to constituents

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) -- A state lawmaker from Maine has pleaded guilty to a charge of operating under the influence that stemmed from a crash in August in which his car rolled over on I-295 in Freeport.

Sean Flaherty, who represents Scarborough in the Maine House, entered the plea Friday.

Flaherty says in a statement that he sees the accident as a "humbling and important" lesson and is grateful that no one was hurt.

He also apologizes to his constituents in the statement.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Here is Flaherty's statement in full:

Sean Flaherty
PO Box 6998
Scarborough, Maine 04070