Christmas at the Fire Department

Although the restaurants, malls, and local businesses are closed for Christmas, there's still a handful of people punching in time cards...making sure the community is safe and sound.

Manna's Christmas Day Festivities

BANGOR - For many, Christmas day is a time for family and friends to come together and spend time with their loved ones.  However, for others it can be a darker time of year.  So Manna Ministries pulled together to shine some light on those in need.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Bangor rec center Tuesday afternoon to take part in a very Manna Christmas.
 
Between a delicious Christmas meal, a singing Santa, and gifts being passed around to children young and old a like, it certainly made for a joyous occasion. Manna however, does understand that Tuesday's festivities mean more than quick meal and some holiday cheer.
 
It is a message of love and care to those in need, and while many may not be able to afford their own gifts and holiday meal, they are grateful that Manna is there to step in... treating all attendees with dignity and respect.
 
 

An Alternative Meal to the Traditional Christmas Dinner

BANGOR - Christmas day means a lot of good food, but it doesn't always have to be homemade.
 
While many people do stay home for the traditional Christmas meal, others chose to dine out. Picking some of their own favorite restaurants in Bangor that were still open today.  Enjoying a less traditional, but still very filling meal with family and friends.
 
They say it is better than having to cook and clean a whole meal, and that afterwards they still get together at someones home for dessert, play games, and be merry.
 
Happy China Buffet, Dysart's, and Oriental Jade, as well as some other Bangor favorites, were all open today serving hungry customers.

Last Minute Shoppers Brave Bangor Mall

It's the most wonderful time of the year... but time is running out.
And thousands of people hit the Bangor Mall today to snag those last minute items.

Community Restores Vandalized Auburn Christmas Display

Auburn - The Christmas display vandals destroyed two weeks ago is back up in Auburn's Sullivan Square.  Members of the United New Aurburn Association say they were heartbroken when vandals trashed the display, but people in the community donated hundreds of dollars and lots of holiday decorations and the display is back in place in time for Christmas.  The association's Ken Blais says so many decorations were donated that members couldn't put them all up this year, but that the display will be even bigger next year.  Twenty-two-year-old Joshua Philbrook of Auburn and 23-year-old Nicholas Ayer of Lewiston are charged with criminal mischief in the destruction of the original display.

Travelers Offered Free Coffee On Turnpike

Anyone traveling the Maine Turnpike can take advantage of free coffee being offered by the Turnpike Authority and concession operator HMSHost.  The free coffee will be offered between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at all five Turnpike Service Plazas.  The MTA is expecting between 500-thousand and a million vehicles to travel the Turnpike between December 22nd and Christmas Day.

Community Gathers for Holiday Meal

Bangor - It was a community gathering today at one Bangor church, celebrating fellowship while sharing in a Christmas dinner.
 
The Breaking Bread Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry located in the Apostolic Lighthouse Church on Hammond Street, fixed a holiday meal for hundreds.  It's become an annual tradition, after they fed over 500 people last year.
The pantry invited all walks of life, to celebrate good tidings.
 
After dinner, participants were welcomed upstairs to take part in Christmas caroling, and children, were given presents.

Bodies Identified in Early Morning Orono Fire

Orono - The State Fire Marshal's Office says two men have been found dead in a burned out house after an early morning fire in Orono.
 
Officials says the victims of the deadly fire are believed to be brothers...49-year-old Cris Davis of Milford, and 47-year-old Randy Davis, the owner of the house where the fire took place.  The blaze was discovered shortly after 3 a.m. on Hillside Road.  The one and a half story building was completely destroyed-- extinguised about an hour after crews responded. 
 
A team of Fire Marshal investigator's lead by State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas, was on scene Sunday morning investigating the cause...which they believe originated in the chimney, as it was not lined.
 
The two men's bodies will undergo autopsy at the State Medical Examiner's Office on Monday.  One man's body was found on the second floor and the other man was located in the first floor living room.  Investigators say the two brothers and a friend were out drinking Saturday night and were driven home by a taxi.  The friend then had the taxi continue on to his home in Bangor.  There had been concern early on that the friend might have also perished in the fire, since his vehicle was in the Davis' driveway.
 
Crews from Orono, Old Town, Milford, and Bangor all responded.  There were no working smoke detectors in the house.  This is the second deadly fire in the greater Bangor area in the past two months where smoke detectors were a factor.

 

Horse Rescue Sisters Raise Money and Spread Cheer

Bangor - Perhaps you saw Santa and a few miniature horses in Bangor today, spreading holiday cheer at the tractor supply store in Bangor.
 
Last Stop Horse Rescue greeted shoppers at the outer Broadway location throughout the day.  Sister co-owners of the organization came out to thank those that have shown support for their dedication to animal welfare.
 
The sisters run the horse rehabilitation from supporters' dollars...today they were collecting money to help purchase hay for the horses.
 
If you would like to learn more about the horse rescue or make a donation, go to www.laststophorserescue.com.

Local Boy Collects More than 2,000 Toys

Brewer - Thousands of kids will be getting new toys this Christmas, many of whom will never know, that another child made it all possible.
 
Well Brayden Mott may have only turned eight last week...but his actions, reach far beyond his years.
 
Last year, Brayden collected 322 toys to donate to Toys for Tots in just two weeks...dressing up in a Santa Claus suit he bought with his own birthday money.

But this year, he had his sights set much higher- a collection goal of 2,012 toys.
 
Support and donations from family, friends, and the community didn't cease...the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce stepped up to help this miniature Saint Nick reach his goal.
 
As a kid himself...he knows just how it feels to see a new toy waiting under the Christmas tree.
 
Brayden's actions didn't go unnoticed.  A witness to his efforts wanted to pay it forward as well- suprising Brayden with his biggest dream- going for a trip around town in a limosine.
 

One Man Arrested, State Police and Attorney General's Office Investigate Standoff

Minot - State Police and the Maine Attorney General's Office are investigating an armed standoff which happened Friday night in Minot.
 
44-year-old Michael Callahan, the homeowner, was arrested after dozens of shots were fired at his residence.  Authorities were called to 185 Verrill Road around 10:30 Friday night after another family member fled the house when Callahan began shooting inside.  Callahan was charged with reckless conduct with a firearm and domestic violence criminal threatening. 
 
Troopers said Callahan fired dozens of shots over a six-hour period, but no one was injured.  It is not immediately clear what Callahan's intended target was or how many guns were used in the shots.  One member of the State Police Tactical team did return fire at around 5 a.m. and Callahan surrendered a short time later.
 
The Attorney General's Office is investigating the incident due to officer involvement.  Among the guns seized from the residence was an assault weapon.  Callahan was initially taken to a Lewiston hospital for an evaluation before he was transported to Androscoggin County Jail.
 

Morning Crash Kills Well-Known Belfast Businesswoman

Freedom - State Police say a well-known Belfast businesswoman was killed Saturday morning when her pickup truck slid off Route 137 in Freedom and struck a tree.
 
64-year-old Ruth Holmes was pronounced dead at the scene of the single vehicle crash just after 7 a.m.  Her granddaughter, 11-year-old Cassie Jackson, of Searsport, was treated at the Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast for minor injuries.
 
Authorities say Holmes lost control of the truck on the ice covered road.  The truck flipped on its side and slid into a tree, crushing the roof.  Both Holmes and Jackson were wearing their seat belts.
 
Holmes and her family have operated Holmes Greenhouse and Florist Shop in Belfast for years.  Her husband, Allen, just retired last month after 40 years as the Belfast High School field hockey coach. 

Washington County Sheriff Calls for Ban on Assault Weapons

Machias - The sheriff of Washington County says he wants to lead the way in calling for a Maine ban on assault weapons.  This, in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.
 
Sheriff Donnie Smith says he supports the constitutional right to bear arms, but he doesn't believe that means all arms.  Smith says common sense has come into play and it's time to end the sale of semi-automatic weapons.
 
The sheriff adds that Sandy Hook shooter Adama Lanza's history of mental problems, and those who have committed similar crimes, is reason for Maine and other states to do more to address mental illness.
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