Free Saturday movie matinees open to public

Warm up this winter with a good movie! Sunrise Senior College will be offering Saturday afternoon movies this winter that are free and open to the public. All films will be shown in the Science 102 room on the University of Maine at Machias campus. Plan to attend one or all!

 Saturday, January 27, 1:30-3:30pm

The Magnificent Seven

This classic tells the story of a Mexican village that hires seven American gunslingers to free them from bandit raids. 

Saturday, February 3 – 1:30-3:30pm

Some Like It Hot

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Cassidy helps orphans ‘touch the sky’ in Sierra Leone

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Prior to speaking to the Machias Rotary Club on Tuesday, Jan. 16, the last rotary meeting Katherine Cassidy attended was in Uganda. 

“I had gone to...Uganda to do some leadership lessons with vanilla bean farmers whose vanilla ends up going to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream,” said Cassidy. “And probably the next Rotary Meeting that I attend will be in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.”

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Cherryfield and Milbridge news

Twenty years ago this month, the 1998 Ice Storm paralyzed Washington County for nearly a week. I caught up with some residents in Cherryfield and Milbridge and asked them about some of the hardships that they had to face during that time. Here are some of the different stories that they shared with me.

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Wesley News

Thursday, Jan. 11, Evan H. slid off a side woods road with a big truck and took out a mirror, but he was fine and had to wait for another big truck to pull him out.

An ambulance was called to the Norton’s on Tuesday night Jan. 9. Alton was having a hard time breathing. He was taken to Eastern Maine Hospital in Bangor where he had a couple of stints put in. He is doing better but is still in Bangor as of Wednesday the 17th in room 671 if anyone makes it to Bangor to say hi.

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Columbia News

It was a very nice day while I was out and about on Monday as I went to the eye doctor in Ellsworth then I motored to Winterport for a visit with Molly and Dick Woodsum. I had a very nice visit with them; it has been quite some time since we have visited.

On my way home I stopped at the Chicken Barn and did a look-see, then onto L.L. Bean in Ellsworth for a shopping spree and from there to US Cellular to update my phone.

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Harrington News

The benefit dance held for Tom Perry was a success Saturday night.  Tom is a young man who works for Kennedy Marine in Steuben. He probably has worked on many of the lobster boats in the area.  Even though it was very cold, a good crowd was there.  The band played good music and the crowd was happy.  The name of the band is Deep Six.

This flu bug is hanging around a bit too long. I for one have felt rotten. I believe I am on the mend.

Jenny and Jeff from Grand Falls had supper with us the other night. It was very enjoyable.

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Financial tips for retiring abroad

Dear Savvy Senior,

What are some financial factors to consider when retiring abroad? My husband and I will be retiring in a few years and are interested in living in a foreign country that’s cheaper than the U.S.

                         Frugal Couple 

Dear Frugal,

Retiring abroad has become a growing trend for millions of U.S. retirees who are looking to stretch their retirement savings. Here are some tips and resources to consider that can help you prepare. 

Researching tools

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Healthy Acadia and WCCC offer free healthy cooking class for students

Healthy Acadia is thrilled to offer a free six-class “Cooking Matters” series in partnership with Washington County Community College on Tuesdays beginning Jan. 30 and continuing through March 13. The series is specially designed for those struggling with a tight food budget who are looking for healthier options. Classes will offer participants an opportunity to learn about easy ways to prepare healthy, delicious meals and stretch food dollars.

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Community Calendar

St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church,  Dublin Hill, Machias. Services, 9 a.m. April through November; 9:30 a.m. December through March. FMI: 207-259-3328 or staidansmachias.org.

• • • • • • 

Beals Wesleyan Church, Elm Street, Beals. 10 a.m. Sunday school; 11 a.m. worship; 6 p.m. evangelistic hour. Wednesday 6 p.m. prayer time. Pastor Nick Wilson, 207-497-2262 or 207-530-0567.

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Sumner Cheerleaders wins 2018 DAC Crown Action Photos

Pictured are the 2018 DAC Cheerleading Champions from Sumner High School. Members include front left -right: Allexis Martin, Lillian Young and Gabriella Richardson (all 3 are Seniors and Captains) Middle left - right: Josie Temple, Scarlet Capitano, Lauren Nault, Autumn Mowery and Abigail Bell. Back left - right: Coach Jessica Snowdeal, Audrey Buswell, Lauren Hanna, Rhiannon Alley, Meagan Eastman and Coach Monica Pettegrow.

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Battle of unbeatens

by Phil Stuart

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Machias Bulldogs drop 5-6

by Phil Stuart

 After a big emotional win over second -seeded Jonesport Beals, the Bulldogs have dropped two in a row and are currently 5-6 on the season. On Jan. 13 the Bulldogs made the long trip to Greenville to play the Lakers in a makeup contest originally slated for early December. It was the first meeting between the two teams since the Bulldogs defeated the Lakers for the state class D title last February. The Lakers had their key players back from a year ago and were this year’s preseason favorite,  while the Bulldogs had a much different look.

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Washington Academy Raiders improve to 7-3

by Phil Stuart

The Washington Academy (WA) boys hosted a pair of games last week at Gardner gymnasium in East Machias and now stand at 7-3.

 On Saturday, Jan. 6 the Raiders hosted the Foxcroft Academy Ponies and ended up dropping a close contest 67-63.

 The game featured a back and forth battle that wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders held a 17-14 edge after eight minutes of play before the Ponies outscored Barry Terrell’s club 15-10 in the second quarter to take a 29-27 lead at the break.

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Lady Clippers edge Knights 55-52

by Phil Stuart

A two-game trip into the Green Mountain state saw the Lady Clipper’s salvage a win on Jan. 15 at Randolph Center, Vermont where they edged the Vermont Tech Lady Knights 55-52. The University of Maine at Machias (UMM) got a boost on the trip with Linda Rilex back in the lineup after a year’s absence from the team.

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Touch the sky

Katherine Cassidy of Lubec is volunteering in Sierra Leone to keep the country’s girls in school. She organized a Listening Tour for 16 schools in November to understand all the barriers that keep girls from finishing secondary school.  She also works with 30 orphan girls, ages 8-17, at the Home of Hope in Kambia, Sierra Leone. Cassidy recently told of her passion for Sierra Leone at a meeting of the Machias Rotary Club. See story, page  10.

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Wardens issue ice warnings

by V. Paul Reynolds

With prolonged cold spells and bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures, the ice this year on Maine lakes and ponds is solid and safe for people and snowsleds, right?

Wrong.

During mid-January over one 24-hour period,  no less than nine  snowmobile operators and riders broke through thin ice with their sleds into icy waters. Miracles of miracles, all escaped drowning and potentially deadly hypothermia.

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National Park Service seeks six teachers for summer fellowship

The National Park Service (NPS) is recruiting six Acadia Teacher Fellows to spend the summer learning about Acadia National Park’s diverse natural and cultural resources, and ways to protect them. Teachers will be selected to work on Mount Desert Island and at Schoodic Point. In addition, the NPS will select one teacher to work at Saint Croix Island International Historic Site in Calais.

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Youth yoga offered at EAC

The Eastport Arts Center will offer Tiny Yogis, children’s yoga classes, on Jan. 25 from 9:30-10:15 am. Instructor Caroline Coleman Dilio will teach yoga through music, dance and storybooks, and young participants will even learn meditation. 

These classes are offered as an extension of EAC’s KinderArts programming for preschoolers, and are intended for children up to age 5; participants must come with a parent or caregiver. The classes are free of charge. Funding for KinderArts is provided by the Maine Community Foundation and the Crewe Foundation.

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Children’s theater group resumes

The EAC’s Children’s Theater Workshop staged “The Bubbles, the Beatles, and the BFG” in 2015 and “The Curse of the Mona Lisa” in 2017, receiving in return bouquets of roses, ovations and looks of pained confusion from its adult audiences. No matter! We forge ahead into the unknown, because we are aware that theater is always about risk and certainly never for the faint of heart. A new season is currently underway. All those interested in acting, directing, set design, costume, or backstage roles are urged to join us Saturdays from 10-11:30 am (snacks provided!) at the EAC.

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DEI delivers results of clam experiment’s first year

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A group of Machiasport’s commercial clam harvesters came together on one of the coldest, darkest nights of the year to hear the results of their six-month “predator exclusion” clam experiment. 2017 was the first year of what will be a three-year experiment.

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UMM launches Lunchtime Concert Series

 

The University of Maine at Machias Student Engagement and Inclusion organization has launched a monthly concert series to take place in Kilburn Commons. Tunes at Noon will feature a different musical artist each month, and will take place from 11:15 to 12:30. Students, staff, faculty, and community members are all welcome to attend for no charge, though lunch is not included. 

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Andrew Egan named UMM vice president and head of campus

Andrew Egan has been named vice president for academic affairs and head of campus at the University of Maine at Machias (UMM), effective Aug. 13.

Egan was one of four finalists in the national search for the next leader of the regional campus of the University of Maine. As UMM vice president and head of campus, Egan will report to UMaine President Susan J. Hunter.

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Medicaid expansion struggles against state deadline

by Ruth Leubecker

Although the referendum to expand Medicaid passed resoundingly last November, there’s a strong probability that implementation will be delayed, possibly even until Maine elects another governor.

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Machias voters approve $250k loan to secure $4.7M for airport

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Ed Pellon moderated a special town meeting held in Machias on Wednesday, Jan. 17, to ask Machias voters to approve a loan up to $250,000 needed to lock in federal funding for the Machias Valley Municipal Airport. 

The loan represents five percent of estimated costs to repair the airport’s aging runway, install new lighting, construct hangar space and install fuel pumps, also called a fuel farm. 

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Gardner recognized for 55 years of breaking new ground

 

by Bill Kitchen

Around these parts, Dick Gardner is a bit of a legend, both in Downeast sports and in education. And although he would be quick to say he simply followed and filled in his father’s footsteps, most would argue that he charted his own groundbreaking course, leaving an indelible mark on Washington Academy (WA) and Washington County.

Dick retired from Washington Academy last year, after more than 50 years of service. And he leaves quite a legacy, both on the fields and in the classrooms. 

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Guest Voice - An Act Forbidding Food Shaming

by  Sen. Joyce Maker

I think we can all agree that it is a parent’s responsibility to adequately provide for their child and that failure to do so due to oversight or neglect is by no means the child’s fault. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to sponsor LD 1684, “An Act Forbidding Food Shaming, Food Denial and the Use of Food as Discipline Involving Any Child in Maine’s Public Schools.”

For those of you who aren’t aware, food shaming occurs in some school districts around our states as a means to collect debts owed for hot lunches. 

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Democratic congressional hopeful Jonathan Fulford speaks to county committee

by Nancy Beal

One of several Democrats hoping to return Maine’s second congressional district to Democratic hands laid out his case before the Washington County Democratic Committee on January 14. Jonathan Fulford, a Waldo County farmer, builder and small business owner, brought a progressive message to the gathering of 16 in the East Machias municipal building.

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Middle River Dyke, Machias - Part 2

There were ‘side’ advantages to the dyke. The Dec. 8, 1868 issue of the Machias Union reported “Lively times on the ‘Skating Rink’ above the big dyke.” A March 1877 issue of the Machias Union reported that Dyke Park is open to the public. The track was finished and persons and parties driving for pleasure are invited to use the course. No toll or tariff at present, so that trotting speed can be tested and horses initiated to Dyke Park.  Again in June 1877 the Machias Union stated that “parties driving for pleasure are invited to use the course”.

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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Speaks on ‘State of Democracy’

by  Lura Jackson

In a wide-ranging public discourse, Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, addressed an at-capacity crowd at the Eastport Arts Center on Saturday, January 13th. While many topics were raised, the overall theme of de Blasio’s presentation was the state of democracy in the United States. 

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The Editor’s Desk

The Washington County Commissioners have called a second special meeting to discuss the impacts of escalating crime. Scheduled at a time that may work for more people, the meeting will take place at Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. on the third floor of the Washington County Courthouse, 85 Court Street, Machias.

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Opioid overdose prevention training offered in Milbridge

Joe Locke from Bangor Public Health and Community Services will be at Door to Door Doctors in Milbridge on Monday, Feb. 5 from 1 p.m. onward for small group and private trainings in opioid overdose. 

If someone in your family is taking chronic opioids, this program is for you. If someone in your family has a problem with opioid abuse, this program is for. If you just want to learn how to handle an overdose if you come across one, this program is for you.

For more information, contact the office of Cathleen London, M.D., 40 Main Street, Milbridge. 207-847-8020.

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DMR issues emergency closures

Effective Sunday, Jan 21, the Maine Department of Marine Resources has issued emergency closures for two Downeast scallop rotational areas: Casco Passage in Swan’s Island Rotational Area (Zone 2), and Johnson Bay & Eastport Breakwater in Cobscook Bay (Zone 3).

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Sen. Maker invites area students to serve

With the Second Regular Session of the 128th Legislature just around the corner, Senator Joyce Maker (R-Washington) would like to once again invite all area students to join her at the State House for a day to serve as a page in the Maine Senate.

 As a page, students have the opportunity to participate in a legislative session, delivering messages and distributing documents within the Senate Chamber.

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How salvage rights can intrude on erstwhile recovery

Triggered by a blizzard and fanned by the flames of ardent preservationists, McCurdy’s brining shed has not received this much attention since it was humming at its peak.

The January 4 storm claimed the shed, and in swift waters it drifted away to land on the beach in Campobello. Rachel Rubeor, Lubec selectwoman, head of Lubec Landmarks, and rabid champion of preserving the McCurdy buildings, brought matters quickly to a new level.  Referring to the Canadians who were taking pieces of the historic building as vandals, suddenly an international incident notched up. 

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Winter Twilight hike offered at Hamilton Cove Preserve

On Sunday, Jan. 28, Maine Coast Heritage Trust steward Melissa Lee invites you on a Winter Twilight ski/showshoe hike on the Hamilton Cove Preserve in Lubec from 4-6 p.m. The moon will be bright, made even brighter if we are lucky enough to have snow on the ground. 

 Bundle up, bring your headlamp and join us for a two-mile round trip evening adventure. It’s a good time for winter tracks, camaraderie, and enjoying what winter has to offer. For more information contact Melissa at mlee@mcht.org or 733-2412.

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Aubrey Herbert Carter Ellsworth

Aubrey Herbert Carter, 89, left this earth to begin eternal life with his heavenly father on December 30, 2017 after a long period of declining health. He was born in Ellsworth on September 8, 1928 to Ralph H. Carter and Helen (Card) Carter.

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Carla Anthony White Florida

Born January 26, 1959 in Machias, Maine, the daughter of Joan Libby and Earl Anthony passed away unexpectedly December 1, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  

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Help with home-care bills

Dear Savvy Senior,

Do you know of any resources that can help with my mother’s home-care bills? Mom is recovering from a stroke and needs in-home care, but I understand Medicare doesn’t cover it, and she doesn’t have long-term care insurance.

Stressed-Out Daughter

Dear Stressed-Out,

Depending on your mom’s circumstances, there are a number of government and not-for-profit programs can that either subsidize or pay for your mom’s home care or offer aid in other ways. Here’s where to look for help.

Medicare Coverage

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Senate leaders warn of widespread flu activity

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, are warning older Americans about this very active flu season. During a telephone briefing today, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said in the first week of January 2018, every state in the continental United States was listed as having “widespread” influenza activity… that’s the first time this has occurred in 13 years.  In addition, the CDC reports that currently the highest rates of influenza hospitalizations are for those aged 65 and above.

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King, colleagues urge administration to renew the opioid public health emergency declaration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) joined 10 of his colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump, urging him to renew the opioid public health emergency declaration. 

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WA Raiders varsity swim defeats GSA Eagles

Washington Academy varsity boys’ swim team defeated the George Stevens Academy (GSA) Eagles during a meet held at the University of Maine at Machias on Friday, Jan. 12. The score was WA boys 62, GSA boys 42. 

 

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Cherryfield and Milbridge news

Kevin Pinkham of Milbridge has been selling smelts for 15 years and as the new season starts up, I had a chance to catch up with him. “People are happy to see them again. They haven’t seen them for three years. The smelts come out in the wintertime and maybe the first days of spring. That’s the only way you can catch them, through the ice. Not in brooks or streams, as they stay in the larger bodies of water,” he said. “When I caught my first smelt of the night, I hollered to my son in his shack.

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Wesley News

Met up with Clint and Karen a week ago at the grocery store in Machias before the big storm. Clint was crazy as ever but in a good way and Karen looked great. I have one snow bird hanging around the bird feeders with all the other birds. Even had a few redpolls the other day, they really are hungry. 

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Whitneyville Library news

Last week librarian Patricia Brightly shared over 200 books with Rose M. Gaffney and Jonesboro Elementary School teachers. Patrick Yee’s Winter Rabbit was read aloud to 6 classrooms.  Every two weeks Patricia visits these schools sharing books with 14 classrooms and reading aloud. This service began in 1972 and is still going strong.

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Whitneyville news

A special Town Meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 to approve the transfer of funds to clean up the town’s trailer debris on Middle Street.

Dog licenses are available at the Town Office or by contacting the Town Clerk.

Maine state law requires all dogs receive a rabies vaccination and be licensed.

All residents in the Dan Hill Brook neighborhood should be aware that there have been two dog bite incidents requiring medical attention and a dog has been killing neighbors’ livestock there as well.

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Paul M Johnson Machiasport

Paul M. Johnson, 65, of Machiasport passed away in the care of hospice at Eastern Maine Medical Center January 7, 2018 after a long illness.

Paul was gentle and generous to a fault, the person who offered you the shirt off his back, always concerned for the welfare of others. He was a student of history and loved to immerse himself in the Sunday NY Times.

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Community Calendar

Upcoming events

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COLD WEATHER – WARM WATER

Songs for Sailing from Cold Ports to Warm Seaperformed by: Jim Sherman & Kris Paprock, Wednesday, January 17 at  6:30 p.m. Pembroke Library 221 Old County Road, Pembroke, Maine. INFORMATION: Pembroke Library 207-726-474 or  kwpaprocki@gmail.com

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Tiny Yogis  January 18 and 25, 9:30-10:15 a.m,, a free children’s yoga class, Eastport Arts Center.

• • • • • •

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Hire-A-Vet Campaign offers employers veteran recruitment, retention training

Maine’s Hire-A-Vet Campaign is offering businesses attendance at Military Culture 202, a no-cost training seminar to help employers recruit and retain veterans to their workforce. A panel of employers, including IDEXX, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS) and the State of Maine, will also share their best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans during the seminar. Two dates are available: Jan. 25 at Bangor Savings Bank, 5 Senator Way in Augusta, and February 1 at the Greater Portland CareerCenter, 151 Jetport Blvd. in Portland, each from 1 to 4 p.m.

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Court News

Sarah Fredericks of Baileyville, Maine: Theft by unauthorized taking or transfer on 6/12/2015 in Baileyville.  SNTC date 11/08/2017, Fine $150, Restitution $90.  GLTY

Jason J. French of Harrington, Maine:  Operating after habitual offender revocation on 2/25/2016 in Harrington.  SNTC date 11/6/2017, Washington County Jail 7 months, 25 days, probation revoked.  PV

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BHS recipient of Davis Family Foundations grant

The Beals Historical Society Executive Board is happy to announce receiving a grant award from the Davis Family Foundation (DFF). The grant funds will be used to complete the electrical work at the new “Cold Storage Area” building. The DFF is the society’s largest contributor and we much appreciate their continued support and trust in our most worthy cause.

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New year, no debt: Tips to manage and pay down your debt faster

Millions of Americans are struggling to overcome personal debts, which can have a ripple effect in many other facets of their lives. From meeting monthly bills to dream vacations to homeownership, debt can stall many life goals.

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Royal squads topple Machias

by Phil Stuart 

Both the Jonesport-Beals Royalettes and Royal basketball teams were victorious over the visiting Machias High School Bulldogs Friday, Jan. 5 in Jonesport.

The Royalettes upped their season record to 5-3 with a 43-19 victory over Logan Wood’s club.

Roger Beal’s Royalettes got off to a good start and led the Lady Bulldogs 12-5 after the first eight minutes of play.

A 15-3 second quarter run put the hosts up 27-8 at the halftime break.

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Blowouts way too common

by Phil Stuart

In recent seasons, there seems to be too many lopsided scores in girls’ basketball and this season is no exception.

On Wednesday, Jan. 3, four Washington County schools were involved in such games.

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Two more casualties

by Phil Stuart

Basketball is by far the most popular of all high school sports in Washington County, but some schools are finding if it more and more difficult to build a program.

Just recently the Shead High School boys and Jonesport-Beals girls dropped their junior varsity programs, which isn’t a good sign for the future.

One would never expect this to happen when you look at the numbers playing in the junior high system for most schools, but a large majority don’t seem to play at the next level.

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Royals and Dragons are major contenders

by Phil Stuart

With the season half over for many teams, early indications might suggest that the Royals of Jonesport-Beals and the Woodland Dragons could be the favorites in northern Maine Class D.

Defending state champ Machias got wiped out by graduation and transfers. Southern Aroostook and Easton got hit hard by graduation and Central Aroostook moved  up to Class C.

Last year, Jonesport-Beals and Woodland both had young teams and this year they are ready to take the next step.

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Narraguagus Knights in action shots at UMM

Lawrence Merritt powering it to the hoop.

Josiah Couture goes in for a lay-up

Soft shot out front by Guagus Knight senior Kegin Schoppee.

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Moosehead Lake Togue Derby

by V. Paul Reynolds

Cabin fever? An ice fishing derby can bring your temperature down.

 There are a number of popular derbies that take place annually throughout Maine. Fishing and fellowship, the hallmark of these winter events, mixed with friendly competition to snag the biggest fish – and the biggest prize- make for a fun time.

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Harrington News

This has been a lovely day, warm and all.  I hope it stays nice before the snow comes again. It is hard to believe this is January.

There are still a few lobster boats not hauled up yet.  I will stop worrying when they are.

Ronie Strout just stopped by for a visit.  She was showing me photos of different places around here in earlier days.  It sure brings back memories.

It is unbelievable how the snow disappeared  after the rain. The weatherman is predicting more snow this week.

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Exclusive interview with Lubec’s brining shed

After collapsing off its pilings during a storm on Jan. 4, the Lubec brining shed sailed itself under the International Bridge to land on Campobello Island, where it rests today.  The event has sparked strong emotion and controversy on both sides of the border.

Once we learned that we could speak directly to the Lubec brining shed via its Facebook page, we submitted a formal interview request. Though the shed went to pieces over the weekend, it found time to respond to our query.

What was life like when you were a young brining shed?

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Middle River Dyke, Machias - Part 1

The need for a shorter way to travel from Machias to points east had always been on the minds of Machias residents. Travelers had to go by the road up around the settlement of Marshfield, some 5 miles, instead of being able to cross the several hundred yards across the river.  First mention of constructing a dyke over the Middle River appears in the Machias Town Records in 1832. An 1835 map shows a toll bridge, privately owned by the ‘Proprietors of the Machias Bridge’ which had been incorporated February 5, 1822 by act of the Maine Legislature.

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Porter Memorial Library news

The winter months are perfect for cozying up in a snug stone library, which is why we make sure to keep our winter calendar as active as our summer calendar. Nothing beats cabin fever like the company of others, and winter is a great time to tuck into learning, too.

This month our resident computer expert, John Michell, is busy helping people with their nagging computer questions every Wednesday afternoon from 1-5 p.m. Because of the popularity of this service, it’s suggested that you call ahead to sign up, 255-3933.

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WA to host Father Daughter Dance Feb. 10

Fathers and daughters are invited to attend Washington Academy’s annual Father Daughter Dance, scheduled this year for Saturday, Feb. 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m in the Washington Academy Cafe.

Pre-sale tickets are available at a reduced rate. Tickets can be purchased at Washington Academy.

If Dad can’t make it, a dad, uncle, older brother (18 or older) or another special someone would make a wonderful dance partner. There is no age limit this year.

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CDC confirms case of feline rabies in East Machias

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

 Dale Miller was keeping an eye on a cat that had taken up residence in her barn when she noticed it limping after a snowstorm.  “I decided to bring him in after Christmas. He was very pleasant, very sweet,” she said. “That was when I knew he had belonged to somebody, because he used a litter box.”  Miller later discovered that the cat belonged to a neighbor, but roamed for weeks at a time.

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Police charge Pembroke Dollar Store robber who escaped by bicycle

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported that on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at approximately 4:45 p.m. a 911 call came in from the Dollar General Store located at 481 Route 1 in Pembroke, reporting an armed robbery. A white male subject, 6’1 to 6’2, wearing a white jacket, a black hat and a black face mask covering part of his face displayed a handgun at the clerk and took cash from the drawer and fled on foot from the store, running towards Route 1.

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PRSWDD to adopt semi-weighted voting

by Nancy Beal

Harry Fish Jr., a Jonesport selectman who recently took on the role of his town’s representative to the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District’s board of directors, told his fellow selectmen January 10 that he had persuaded the board to change its way of voting.

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Why do these New Year’s resolutions always mean restrictions?

by Ruth Leubecker

Last week following unanimous passage by both the House and the Senate, the RAISE Family Caregivers Act next landed on Pres. Donald Trump’s desk, soon to be signed into law.

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Special commissioners’ meeting addresses rise in crime, drop in police officers

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

County commissioner Chris Gardner led a special commissioners’ meeting at the Washington County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 8 to discuss the escalating impacts of crime in Washington County. Despite slippery roads and a prior weather cancellation, courtroom number one was filled with local law enforcement, selectboard members and concerned citizens.

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Fire and ice

While above-freezing temperatures were welcome at a house fire on Kennebec Road in Machias on Thursday, Jan. 11, water sprayed on the icy ground was challenging and dangerous for crews fighting the blaze. The house was saved, as was what was described as a “herd” of family cats. Responding departments included Machias, Marshfield, East Machias, Machiasport, Roque Bluffs, and Jonesport. Photo by Bill Kitchen

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Rain defrosts the deep freeze

Heavy amounts of rain flooded many roads in Washington County last week, loosening up the ice and pushing the large chunks onto the banks of our local rivers and ocean shores. 

This photo was taken in downtown Columbia Falls on Point Street on Pleasant River. Photo courtesy of Leslie Howe

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Leading Maine progressives endorse Jonathan Fulford for Congress

Several key Maine leaders are among those endorsing Jonathan Fulford, Democratic candidate for Congress in Maine’s 2nd District:

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Eastport Arts Center features historical music, Winter Sea Birds of Passamaquoddy Bay

The Sunday afternoons  series, a winter offering of informal and interactive programs every Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Eastport Arts Center, will feature local music educator and musician Kris Paprocki on Jan. 21. Historical and traditional music of Downeast Maine is the focus of Paprocki’s presentation, titled “I Hear Washington County Singing.” In the past, working men and women wrote, sang, and recited songs and poems describing their everyday lives. Paprocki has researched extensively to find songs and poems written in Washington County.

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Cobscook Outing Club starts Sunday, Jan. 28

Know a high school student interested in learning more about ways to explore the outdoors during winter? Curious about how to get into rock climbing? Wanting to give sea kayaking a try? The Cobscook Experiential Program has just the opportunity.

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Guest Voice - Results of Machias Area Fishermen’s Survey

by Rep. Will Tuell

At long last, here are the results of my fishermen’s survey. I had planned to do an analysis of every question, but this cold has kind of gummed up the works, so I’m going to try and hit on a few things here.

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Collins, King support for bill to protect net neutrality

U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today released a joint statement outlining their support for a bipartisan Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to restore net neutrality, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed in December:

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Why do these New Year’s resolutions always mean restrictions?

When each new year rolls around it brings a slew of resolutions -- almost always destined to fail and almost always designed to be a lifestyle subtraction. Taking off pounds or giving up drinking probably head most of these vows for the coming year -- but whatever the resolution, why a negative, why is something being taken away? 

Why not promise to be kinder, pay it forward, do something good for somebody else, if not daily, weekly? Why not a positive, which these resolutions never seem to be.

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Letter to the Editor - Medical expense deduction

Recently, Americans who had high healthcare costs faced a big tax increase just because of their medical expenses. Senator Susan Collins was one of several leaders in Congress who fought back against the measure. She and her colleagues helped to ensure the medical expense deduction was maintained, including restoring a 7.5 percent income threshold for two years.  This allows families to deduct large expenses like wheelchairs, prescription drugs and home care costs.

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Letter to the Editor - RAISE Family Caregivers Act

On behalf of the 178,000 unpaid family caregivers who reside in our state, AARP Maine applauds Senator Susan Collins for her leadership in sponsoring the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act.  AARP was pleased to endorse this important legislation and we thank Senator Collins for her efforts to work on a bipartisan basis to support family caregivers here in Maine and across the country. 

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Editor's Desk

During the large storm that hit our region on Thursday, Jan. 4, the Lubec brining shed collapsed and the Machias River climbed high into the parking lot between Helen’s Restaurant and the town dock. In recent months, we’ve seen that water come up and over the dike frequently, and according to Professor Tora Johnson at the University of Maine at Machias, these events will increase in frequency as time goes on. 

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Lubec’s controversial brining shed draws attention of international press

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A headline in last Sunday’s Wall Street Journal reads, “On This Border, The Problem Is a Shed, Not a Wall,” referring to Lubec’s wayward brining shed. After a fierce storm hit Downeast on Thursday, Jan. 4, the historic shed collapsed, then drifted to the shores of Campobello Island where it has been lodged ever since. The shed was once the first place where incoming sardines were unloaded to begin their path through the McCurdy Smokehouse complex built along Lubec’s Water Street.

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$1M pledged to create longest trail in the world

by  Lura Jackson

In a momentous occasion for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant announced on January 3rd at the Garcelon Civic Center in St. Stephen that the province is committing $1 million to connecting St. Stephen with the Trans Canada trailhead in St. John. The connection is a key part of a larger vision that will see the Trans Canada Trail connected with the East Coast Greenway, thereby creating the longest trail in the world.

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Columbia News

What a week we have had with the temperature first being below zero and then as high as 50 degrees above. We just don’t know what we will get from one day to another; but at least we know how to survive when we have snow, rain and wind coming at us. We just hunker down and keep the wood stove burning for whatever may come to us.

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Task force report to pave way for opioid bill

by Ruth Leubecker

Focused on urgency and bipartisanship, this upcoming legislative session is predicted to come up with a new bill that will incorporate the findings of its task force.

The Task Force to Address the Opioid Crisis was appointed in March 2017 and given one year to study and make recommendations for aggressively tackling the unprecedented epidemic that continues to ravage Maine. “This new report is the possible basis for a new bill,” said Rep. Will Tuell last week.

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Lubec’s brining shed collapses, sails to Campobello Island

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

One of Lubec’s most prominent landmarks has fallen into the sea, and then set sail upon it.

The brining shed, part of the McCurdy Smokehouse complex on Water Street, collapsed during the blizzard of Thursday, Jan. 4. 

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Maine’s shining star on loan to the nation

During a torrential afternoon rainstorm in 1994, I looked up from my desk in the Bagley Building and here was this totally bedraggled dripping wet woman with an outstretched hand. “Hi, I’m Susan Collins and I’m running for governor of Maine,” she said.

Twenty-three years later, alternately praised and criticized from both sides of the political aisle, Susan Collins is a household word operating on a national stage. She dominates the political landscape with unprecedented courage and unswerving loyalty to a constituency uniquely her own. 

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Marianne Moore to seek Senate District 6 seat

by Senator Joyce Maker vacating seat

Having served three terms in the Maine House of Representatives and one term in the Maine Senate, Senator Joyce Maker (R-Washington) has decided not to run for reelection in November 2018.

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Committee for RCV opposes LD 1726 - Opinion

Our constitutional right to direct democracy is under attack in Maine.  This year, our Legislature has overthrown the results of a free and fair election by blocking all four of the November 2016 citizen-approved referenda in one way or another.  Now with this latest bill, they are trying to stop the people from exercising our right to petition our government by blocking our access to the polls.  

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Chorus presents Winter Follies Revue

Quoddy Voices, Eastport Arts Center’s international community chorus, will present a Winter Follies show on Friday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. The show will be a welcome diversion from the icy doldrums of midwinter and a showcase for the myriad talents of the musicians who are part of the Quoddy Voices fold. 

The audience will be treated to musical performances of all kinds, ranging from chanteys to show tunes, as well as comical skits. Dalton Young will preside as master of ceremonies. There will also be the opportunity to socialize with choir members and friends after the show. 

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Fort O’Brien School to perform Midsummer Dream

One of Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedies comes to life on stage on Saturday, Jan. 20, in Children’s Stage Adventures’ new musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Dream.

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NYC’s Mayor de Blasio to speak at EAC

The Eastport Arts Center (EAC) is excited to announce the appearance of Bill de Blasio,  the mayor of New York City, on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 3 p.m. Mayor de Blasio will give an informal talk on “The State of Democracy in America” and take questions afterwards. EAC is particularly proud to present a nationally recognized politician in a rare visit to rural Maine. This event is a special benefit for the arts center, in support of its many programs.

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Wesley News

Sorry to hear about the passing of Aubrey Carter on Dec. 30 in the early morning at Machias Hospital. Condolences to his wife Jean and the rest of the family. Aubrey and Jean were the best neighbors when they lived on the hill in Wesley. I miss visiting them and having tea. He will be missed by all the friends and neighbors in Wesley.

Ruth Ann and Eric went to Falmouth to have a late Christmas brunch with family last weekend. They had a great time visiting both families.

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Columbia News

Happy New Year! It does not seem possible that another year has arrived; hopefully this year will bring better health to my household. 

Well, we made it through the first blizzard in the new year with no power outage. Looks like we will continue to have the cold weather stay with us. There was no school on the fourth and then we had a two-hour delay on Friday, Jan. 5.

The road to Woodland on Friday evening with the Narraguagus Knights wasn’t great but we made it to and from without incident. Let’s just say I was glad to get back in my driveway that evening.

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The first blizzard of the year

Tanya Ruscosky of Addison and her dogs ventured out into the storm that hit all of the northeast on Thursday, Jan. 4. Snowfall totals Downeast came in significantly lower than predicted, but rainfall and icing made travel treacherous. Photo courtesy Tanya Ruscosky.

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Steuben Library News

Library to host first winter concert

Victor “Vic” Kunitsky and Vicki Lutz will perform from  2-4 p.m. at the Henry D. Moore Library and Community Center in Steuben during the first of the library’s winter concerts.

Kunitsky, a country/Americana singer and songwriter, will perform music from his 2017 CD release, “The Shores of My Youth,” along with select cover songs. Lutz will sing a few duets with him.

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Cherryfield and Milbridge news

I was recently told about a heart-warming, miraculous story with a message about never giving up hope. It has been a three year journey for “Cinda”, Laura Merrill’s cat. She had been missing from her Milbridge home for three years and has now returned.

Merrill talked about the fall day when the cat went missing. “Cinda went outside with the other cats and she didn’t come back. I looked up and down the road. She might have gone in the woods. I called her for a week afterwards but never saw her again.” 

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Harrington News

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  The Peterson’s had a lovely one.

Welcome to 2018!  How many times will we mistakenly write 2017?  We will see.  2017 went out leaving us with frigid temperatures! Stay in and keep warm!

Happy belated birthday to Katrina Hatt.  Mike and Tracey Peterson are having cake and ice cream at their new home in Harrington.

Now that hunting season is over, deer, turkeys, and other wild creatures are frequenting the feeding stations thoughtful people set out for them.

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