Cable barriers have big impact in preventing serious accidents

YARMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Yarmouth Fire Chief Michael Robitaille has seen many serious accidents along the seven mile stretch of Interstate 295 his department covers, but says the recent addition of median cable barriers has made the highway safer.

"They are certainly a life saver as far as I am concerned," he stated. 

"It actually brings that car down slower," explained Robitaille.  "There is a lot less damage to the vehicles.  There certainly is a lot less injuries is what we are finding."

The Maine Department of Transportation started installing median cable barriers in 2010 along sections on I-295 and U.S. Route One where the median was less than fifty feet wide between the northbound and southbound lanes of travel.

"Medians were originally designed as a safety cushion, but we are finding, on medians that are under 50 feet wide, something more is needed," said MDOT Safety Manager, Duane Burnell.

Fit at Five: Yamuna Body Rolling

Yamuna Body Rolling is a workout that is now gaining popularity in Maine, but has actually been around for the past thirty years. Creator Yamuna Zake started working with the different diameter balls exploring how they could help create space and length in the muscles. What she developed is a therapeutic approach to helping the body reach it's full potential.

Similar to the idea of using a foam roller, the balls are much softer, allowing your body to relax and go deeper into the movements. The results are often instant after working the simple routines. The result of Yamuna Body Rolling is a long list of benefits including muscle tone, increased circulation, nerve root stimulation, and even increased metabolism.

We have provided links for more information on Yamuna Body Rolling.

Environmentalists worry decision made in Canada could impact Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- On Thursday afternoon, the Canadian National Energy Board ruled in favor of a project that will allow tar sands oil to flow east from Alberta Provence to Montreal, Quebec.

Environmental groups in Maine believe the decision paves the way for energy companies to seek to have tar sands oil flow from Canada to Casco Bay via the Portland Montreal Pipeline.

"Up until this point, the line that comes from Alberta down towards the New England border has not been able to carry tar sands," explained Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.  "So it is literally now at our doorstep."

While environmentalists believe the operators of the Portland Montreal Pipeline will now push to reverse its flow and pump tar sands oil onto ships docked in South Portland, and on to refineries around the world, a company spokesman says that is not the case.

Commissioner discusses corrections system after recent attacks

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - In the wake of two high profile attacks, including the deadly stabbing of a prison inmate, the state's Commissioner of Corrections went on the offensive.

Appearing at a news conference today Joseph Ponte would not discuss specifics of the incidents because they are on going criminal investigations.

"I can't change what happened. I wish I could. Very tragic event, but what can we learn from this so we don't mistake the same mistake", he said.

Instead he touted safety improvements at the state's secure facilities. He says there are not widespread problems with security within the system, just the opposite. He says Maine's corrections facilities are safer now than they were 3-years ago.

"We do a very good job in Maine as far as managing of inmates. I believe our institutions are safer now than they were before". he said.

Fire chiefs educate students on the keys to success

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Thirteen fire departments from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts responded to a call for assistance at Southern Maine Community College this afternoon, but the aid they rendered was not for emergency purposes.

"It is a huge commitment for them and a it is a great benefit for us," explained Steve Willis, Chair of SMCC's Fire Science Department. 

The fire chiefs and various department representatives met with students to talk with them about the skills and qualities they are looking for in their departments in an effort to educate the students about the tolls they'll need to successfully land a job after they graduate.

"They are only going to have a 5 to 10, maybe a 15 minute interview, so they really have to have the skills to make a positive first impression, and that is really what we are focused on here," stated Willis.

UMaine swept by Providence, misses out on Hockey East bye

ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Maine men's hockey team's road to through the Hockey East playoffs got a little more challenging on Sunday after the Black Bears were swept in their regular season finale by Providence. 

A night after UMaine lost 4-3 to the Friars, Saturday's defeat to their rivals was also by a one-goal margin: 3-2. 

The Black Bears trailed from the outset as Shane Luke put Providence ahead just 1:49 into the game.  Maine forward Ryan Lomberg tied the game at the 12:18 mark of the first, but that was the last time Maine was level with the visitors as Bradnon Tanev and Anthony Florentino provided the Friars with their other two goals.  Steven Swavely scored 3:39 into the third to make it a one-goal game again, but South Portland's Jon Gillies closed the door the rest of the way making 35 saves in the contest. 

Proposal for South Portland outdoor concert venue canceled

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The potential for an outdoor concert venue in South Portland is off the table - at least for now.

John Cacoulidis withdrew his application this week for a 10,000-seat theater overlooking Portland Harbor near Bug Light Park. The plan was backed by city officials.

According to Mayor Jalbert, the city will continue to look for venues and hope to have a venus ready to host concerts this summer. That includes reexamining the Portland Pipe Line land as a potential location.

Cacoulidis says he will consider the property in the future, but felt that the idea wasn't being handled properly from an operational or financial standpoint.