January 25, 2003
Bangor's new minor league baseball team will keep Lumberjacks as its nickname.
Owner Chip Hutchins made the announcement at a news conference at the Bangor Mall Friday. Hutchins bought the Adirondack Lumberjacks last fall. He also unveiled Friday the team's new logo, which features a lumberjack bearing a resemblance to the mythical Paul Bunyan, said to have been born in Bangor in 1834.
Although the Lumberjacks had hoped to play at the new John Winkin Baseball Complex at Husson College, the stadium will not have seating or lights in place for the season. Instead, the team will play in Orono at the University of Maine's Mahaney Diamond. The Lumberjacks will replace the chain-link backstop at Mahaney with a net, upgrade the stadium's sound system and install 360 temporary seats along the first- and third-base foul lines.
Hutchins said he hopes his team will be able to play in Bangor beginning with the 2004 season. The Bangor City Council has balked at helping Husson College fund construction of seats and lights for the Winkin Complex. Husson officials had asked the city for a $900,000 loan so the Lumberjacks could move in this season. In 1997, the City Council fell one vote short of approving a proposal that called for the city to build a baseball stadium at Bass Park for the then Bangor Blue Ox. The Blue Ox then moved to Quebec City.
The Lumberjacks will open the 2003 season on May 22 in Allentown, Pa. The team's home opener will be May 30, at 7:05 p.m., against the New Jersey Jackals. The 92-game regular season runs from late-May through early September.
The team was 52-38 (.578) last season.
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January 24, 2003
The frigid cold spell that has gripped much of the Northeast in the last couple of weeks continued its vise-like grip on Maine Thursday night. There is a chance the state could get a reprieve Wednesday, but don't count on it.
For the last two weeks, Mainers have endured one of the state's coldest spells in recent memory, with temperatures hovering near zero degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day. In the last few days, increased winds have dropped the wind chill index to dangerously low temperatures. On Wednesday, Bangor's temperature was only 1 degree at 2 p.m., with a 15 mph wind, for a wind chill index of 18 below zero. Portland didn't fare much better. Despite having a relatively balmy temperature of 9 degrees, the wind chill index there was 11 below zero.
But Greenville had all National Weather Stations beat, reporting a wind chill index of 35 below zero.
Wiscasset had the warmest temperature in the state Wednesday at 2 p.m. -- 10 degrees, and a wind chill of "only" 5 below zero.
Most of Maine's harbors, inlets and major rivers have frozen, locking lobster traps and boats in ice several inches thick. The U.S. Coast Guard has increased ice-breaking patrols along the Penobscot River and other major shipping rivers in the state, but the water has been freezing almost as quickly as the ice breakers are leaving their wake.
Bangor did see a warm-up Thursday -- a high of 13 degrees. But at 10 p.m. the temperature had dropped to zero and the wind chill index was 17 below. The National Weather Service predicted that wind chills could drop as low as 30 below zero Thursday night into early Friday morning.
The average high temperature for this time of year is about 27 degrees.
Temperatures are expected to rise to near 20 degrees this weekend, and Bangor might even see 30 degrees on Wednesday. Anything above 20 would be fine by most in the state.
January 13, 2003
Ice and snow bring death to Maine outdoors
You wouldn't be in Maine if the seasons weren't erratic. After recording only 65 inches of snowfall last season, Bangor has recorded 31.8 inches of snow so far this season. More than half of the snow has come compliments of two nor'easters less than two weeks apart. The Queen City received about 8 inches of snow Christmas night and another 11 inches Jan. 4 that prompted most businesses to close, including area McDonald's, Circuit City and Best Buy. Bangor is more than 7 inches above normal for snowfall so far.
Temperatures have plummeted into the teens for highs in the last week. The high in Bangor Saturday was 14 degrees, with the low dropping to 8 degrees below zero. Luckily there was no wind chill. The normal high for this time of year is about 28 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Unfortunately, the cold and icy weather has had deadly consequences, either directly or indirectly. On Jan. 2, Ski Rack owner Jeffery Peet, 47, died while hiking at Gulf Hagas, southwest of Millinocket. Neither he or his daughter, 24-year-old Dustan Peet, was wearing proper equipment for the icy conditions. Jeffery Peet's daughter told authorities her father fell about 100 feet. He was conscious when his daughter reached him, but he died while she got help.
Also, eight people have died in snowmobile-related crashes this season, putting this season as one of the deadliest on record to this point. Authorities have attributed excessive speed and alcohol to most of the accidents.
Maine Warden Kevin Adams told the Bangor Daily News last week: "I don't know what we can say to people. It's in the papers, on the news every day. We can't baby-sit these snowmobilers."
Janet Reno to speak at seminary convocation
Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno will be the keynote speaker at this year's Bangor Theological Seminary convocation later this month, the school announced recently. Reno served under President Bill Clinton from 1993-2001 as the nation's first, and so far only, woman to hold the position.
Reno's address is scheduled for 2 p.m., Jan. 27 at the Hammond Street Congregational Church, at the corner of Hammond and High streets. The public is invited. Reno told the Bangor Daily News in Saturday's issue that she has not chosen a specific topic yet. The theme for this year's convocation is "Telling the Story."
Established in 1814, Bangor Theological Seminary is one of the nation's oldest. This year's convocation, a three-day event that will run from Jan. 27 through Jan. 29, is the school's 98th.
For more information on the convocation, visit the seminary's convocation web site, or call (800) 287-6781, Ext. 150.