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Author Stephen King announced last month that his Bangor, Maine radio station would try to raise $70,000 in donations from listeners that would go towards paying for heating fuel for low-income residents, and that his Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation would match it.

In a telephone interview with Bangor Daily News, King said, “This economy is terrible and Tabitha and I both worry so much about Bangor because it truly is a working-class town and we are always looking for ways to help.”

The newspaper reported that the federal government is expected to cut back over $30 million in heating assistance in Maine this year. The stark advice coming from Bangor’s community services is not false hope in getting help to fill oil tanks, but rather on how to stay safe in a cold house, avoiding fire risks and carbon monoxide poisoning, and recommending moving in with friends or family in order to survive this winter.

“The cost goes up, the need goes up and the assistance goes down,” says King. “That’s the bottom line. That’s what is happening. We are chipping in. Can we raise the whole amount? I don’t know, but we’ll do what we can.”

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