Andrew Birden

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Stories from Andrew Birden

22 July 2014

AROOTSAKOOSTIK BONSAI - The July music festival is a near-secret celebration of music and eclectic sensibilities that only folks who have the inside knowledge of the music scene can enjoy at Thomas Park in New Sweden. Each year, the organizers decorate the stage and surrounding forest with interesting pieces of art, including this tiny bonsai tree that was resting on the ground along a trail that circled the entertainment venue. The image of this out-of-the-ordinary trail discovery is this week's jigsaw puzzle.  - Andrew Birden image

19 July 2014

(CORRECTION - In a previous version of this story, Fiddlehead Focus incorrectly identified Don Cyr as the photographer and the date of the event as July 5. Paul Cyr was actually the photographer, and the event occurred on July 15. Fiddlehead Focus strives for accuracy in our reporting, and we regret any confusion this error may have caused.)

NMMC building
17 July 2014

FORT KENT – In an earlier news story on July 1, Northern Maine Medical Center CEO Peter Sirois made statements that conflict with newly revealed documents from the Department of Health and Human Services.

16 July 2014

FORT KENT – The colorful statue of Jesus had stood to the left side of Daniel Plourde's grave for years, but at some time between Memorial Day and July 13, someone took the figurine.

Fort Kent Police Officer Dalen Boucher said he received a complaint on Sunday, July 13, that a two-foot tall statue was missing from the grave of former Plourde Masonry owner Daniel Plourde. His grave is at the Station Hill cemetery near Northern Maine Medical Center.

Pierre Plourde, son of Daniel Plourde, reported the theft.

15 July 2014

FORT KENT - At approximately 1:45 p.m. on July 15, the Fort Kent Fire Department received a dispatch call to the Blake Library on the campus of the University of Maine at Fort Kent, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

15 July 2014

PULLING FOR THE CAUSE - Now that is one pink tractor.  Fiddlehead Focus publisher Andrew Birden caught this image of a pink Ford tractor on July The beautiful lupin is a common splash of color in June and July 12 when the annual Tractor Trek was passing by his house.  The tractors, which came in a variety of shapes , sizes and colors, had stopped on the road while one participant made repairs to his farm equipment.  While they were paused in the street, Birden captured several images, including this one of a tractor that advocates for breast cancer research.

15 July 2014

FORT KENT –Freedom Fest 2014 will feature a parachute jump with Maine’s First Lady Ann LePage and Wounded Warrior SSG Travis Mills, one of only five surviving quadruple amputees. They will jump into Freedom Fest 2014 with the All Veterans Group parachute team during the afternoon of Aug. 9 courtesy of Wreaths Across America.

15 July 2014

SAINT-FRANCAIS, New Brunswick – A couple from Georgia received injuries as a result of an ATV accident on July 12 in Saint-Francais, New Brunswick, according to Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Marc Violette.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on July 12, Ronald Bouchard and Leola Bouchard were riding an ATV near Chemin Beaulieu (Beaulieu Road) in a group. Sergeant Violette said the size of the group was unavailable, but consisted of at least three people on at least two ATVs, including Mike Bouchard of Van Buren.

14 July 2014

NEW SWEDEN – The entertainment of the Arootsakoostik Music Festival launched on the night of Friday, July 11, with several bands taking the stage at Eureka Hall Tavern as the annual event continues to stretch itself across several days.

14 July 2014

FORT KENT - Two luxury vehicles met each other on Saturday, July 12, when a Ducati motorcycle rear-ended a Cadillac on the west side of Fort Kent.

According to Fort Kent Police Chief Tom Pelletier, 19-year-old Charles Michaud of Fort Kent was driving a 2006 black Ducati motorcycle heading west. He was traveling too close behind another vehicle, a 1995 Cadillac that James Ouellette, 71-years-old of Fort Kent, was operating.

9 July 2014

FORT KENT – Police have charged a Fort Kent man with criminal trespassing in an incident on the 4th of July which resulted in $450 damage to one of the police cruisers.

Police Chief Tom Pelletier said police became involved with Gene Charette Jr., age 35 of Fort Kent, when dispatchers received a call from the local McDonald's restaurant at 10:15 p.m. Police responded and asked Charette to leave, which he did. Charette was intoxicated, according to Pelletier.

9 July 2014

FORT KENT – Local police arrested a Pennsylvania man after a fight at the Circle K convenience store on Tuesday night, July 8.

According to Fort Kent Police Chief Tom Pelletier, police received a report of a fight at 11:45 p.m. between two men.

An officer responded to the scene. According to Pelletier, the fight between Charles Surrells, 24 of Eagle Lake, and Wayne Miers, 28 of Exeter, Pa., began as a result of an altercation at a local bar.

Police arrested Miers and charged him with assault before transporting him to the Houlton jail.

9 July 2014

CYR PLANTATION - While responding to a report of a previous moose collision, a second moose stepped in front of Maine State Trooper Dennis Quint's Ford Interceptor in Cyr Plantation, injuring the officer.

9 July 2014

CYR PLANTATION – Two women received injuries on Tuesday evening, July 8, after colliding with a moose on Route 1 in Cyr Plantation.

According to a press release from Sgt. Brian L. Harris of the Maine State Police Troop F out of Houlton, Melissa Martin, 26-years-old of Van Buren, was northbound on Route 1 at approximately 11:15 p.m., when a moose crossed the road in front of her. Martin was unable to stop her 2000 Plymouth or avoid the moose.

She struck the animal.

8 July 2014

FORT KENT - The full force of the Fort Kent Volunteer Fire department responded to an alarm at the Crosswinds Residential Care on Tuesday afternoon, but the facility was free of flames.

8 July 2014

THE LUPINS AND THE BARN - The beautiful lupin is a common splash of color in June and July in Maine. In recent years, lupin seeds are reemerging as a natural food source. According to the authors of the 1998 book. "Lupins as Crop Plants: Biology, Production and Utilization", users soak the seeds in running water to remove most of the bitter alkaloids and then cooked, toasted or boiled the seeds to make them edible. The image of this bluish purple plant beside a local barn is this week's jigsaw puzzle.  - Andrew Birden image

7 July 2014

ST. AGATHA – A St. Agatha woman is uninjured after her car plunged into Long Lake on Monday morning.

2 July 2014

FORT KENT -On Tuesday, July 1, personnel at the U.S. Post Office in Fort kent noticed that someone had damaged the handicapped ramp the provides access to the facility.

NMMC building
1 July 2014

FORT KENT - An investigation through the Department of Health and Human Services Licensing and Regulatory Division — that ended on March 4 of this year — shows that Peter Sirois, the current CEO of the Northern Maine Medical Center, ordered changes to the medical records of a patient, and documents show he may have misled interviewers from an earlier investigation in 2010 of the same incident.