Manhunt on Main Street

State Police surrounded Sunrise Cannabis in Machias on Thursday, Feb. 15, looking for its owner, Robert Boggia. He was not located until the next day. See article page 2. Photo courtesy Jacob Berry

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Columbia News

I am in Boston visiting with my grandchildren Asa and Mabel during school vacation.  I left real early from home to make the 7 a.m. bus in Bangor.  I think that ever one else wanted to get somewhere early for the upcoming vacation. We ended up in Portland with a full bus so that we could leave early and get into Boston earlier than normal. 

On my arrival my grandchildren and their parents met me at the bus station with a huge balloon saying Happy Birthday and lots of hugs and kisses for me. A wonderful surprise.

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Community Calendar

Upcoming events

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Open Mic Night, family friendly; free admission; February 24, 6-8 p.m., 4th Saturday all types of performers welcome. Sponsored by Dastardly Dick’s Wicked Good Coffee and Dastardly Dick’s Dog Boarding & Care. Info: alison@eastportartscenter.org, Eastport Arts Center.

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Notice of 2018 Republican Caucus

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Northern Maine cheering results

by Phil Stuart

The Northern Maine regional Cheering Championship was held at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on January 27th with four Washington County high schools represented.

In Class D, Penobscot Valley of Howland unseated perennial champ Central Aroostook of Mars Hill.  The Howlers edged the Panthers 67.6 to 62.4. The Machias Bulldogs were a distant 3rd at 48.1 and were followed by Bangor Christian 45, Deer Isle-Stonington 42.5, Woodland 40.2, Fort Fairfield 39.4 and Buckfield 22.4.

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Jonesport-Beals boys’ varsity basketball team

Pictured is the Jonesport-Beals boys’ varsity basketball team. Members include front l-r: Judson Carver, Alex Farnsworth, Marc Crowley, Alvin Beal, and Stephen Cirone. Back l-r: Coach Skipper Alley, Rafael Sanabria, Luke Wilson, Adam Robinson, Kaiden Crowley, Isaiah Faulkingham, Austin Grant, Brady Reynolds, Tyler Alley, and Assistant Coach Matt Alley.

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Bulldogs finish strong

by Phil Stuart

Despite heavy losses to graduation and transfers, the Machias High School boys closed out the regular season with six consecutive wins and are hoping to get through the preliminary round with a win and earn a berth in the Northern Maine Class D tournament. The Bulldogs closed out the season with a pair of victories over Stearns and one win each over Deer Isle-Stonington, Narraguagus, Shead and Bangor Christian.

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Eleven teams in post season

by Phil Stuart

Eleven out of a possible 16 Washington County girls’ and boys’ high school basketball teams have qualified for post-season play based on their performances in the recently completed 2017/2018 season. There are five girls squads out of a possible eight.

In Class D girls, the Woodland Lady Dragons got narrowly edged out of first place by the Southern Aroostook High School Warriors. The Dragons finished second at 15-3 and will go directly to the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor without going through the preliminary round.

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Road wins for Lady Clippers

by Phil Stuart

The University of Maine at Machias Clippers and Lady Clippers went on a three-game road trip to the Bay State and New York for games on February 3rd, 4th and 5th.

On the 3rd, the Lady Clippers met Hampshire College for the second time this season. On November 4th, the Clippers defeated the Black Sheep 72 - 25.

The second meeting would be similar when the two teams met on February 3rd in Amherst, Mass.  UMM led 22-11 after a quarter and 32-20 at the half-time break.  The Clippers coasted through the second half to a 75-26 win.

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Janice Elizabeth (Johnson) Pineo Hudson

]anice Elizabeth (Johnson) Pineo, 73, went to be with her Lord and Savior on February 10, 2018. She was born August 7, 1944, in Machias, the daughter of Elmer R. and Vivian (Stoddard) Johnson.

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Marion Shirley Ellsmore Foss Machias

Marion Shirley Ellsmore Foss, 90 years young, died on February 9, 2018 in Machias after a period of declining health.

She was born in Lyman, Maine on August 4, 1927 to Louise (Miller) Ellsmore and Clarence R. Ellsmore Sr. Marion grew up in the town of Machias, the eldest of 8 children.  She attended schools in Machias.

After graduating from Machias High School in 1945, she lived for a period in Augusta, Maine, where she was a clerk for the Department of Motor Vehicles. She also worked for a time for the Department of Internal Revenue.  

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It’s time for green eggs and ham radio

Children in preschool through first grade are invited to experience some real, live telecommunication at the Henry D. Moore Library in Steuben. The library will host Green Eggs & Ham Radio 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 22.

 The Dr. Seuss classic “Green Eggs & Ham” will be read to participants over the ham radio. Afterward, children will participate in some related activities, including using Morse Code.

 

The event is sponsored by Kidz radioActive, a group dedicated to inspiring children through science, electronics and amateur radio.

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Popular ‘locavore’ to lead sauerkraut workshop

Anne Hopkins will lead a workshop on making sauerkraut from 2-4 p.m., Saturday, March 10, at Eastport Arts Center. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn to ferment vegetables using traditional methods customized to the modern kitchen. Students will bring home two pint jars of kraut they’ve made during the session. Also included will be a discussion of the health benefits and traditions of fermented foods, with attention to identifying some of the pitfalls of fermentation. There will be Maine-grown organic produce for processing and homemade krauts for attendees to taste.

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Court News

Kevin Beal of Machias, Maine:  1.)  Burglary on 2/12/2016 in Marshfield.  DISP  2.)  Criminal Trespass pn 2/12/2016 in Marshfield.  SNTC date 12/5/2017, Department of Corrections 364 days all suspended, admin release sentence 1 year.  GLTY

Richard Lauze of Machiasport, Maine:  1.)  Criminal threatening with dangerous weapon on 8/3/2016 in Machiasport.  DISP  2.)  Criminal threatening on 8/3/2016 in Machiasport.  SNTC date 12/19/2017, unconditional discharge.  GLTY. 

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The Pemmican Perspective

by V. Paul Reynolds

Long-distant hikers and backpackers looking for that elusive silver bullet in selecting a highly nutritional trail food might want to take a closer look at pemmican, long known historically as the ultimate survival food. Insofar as I know, you can’t buy traditional pemmican from trail-food manufacturers, but you can make it yourself like your ancestors did.

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Dead River fueled the love on Valentine’s Day

Dead River driver Mark Roussel poses with Janet St. Pierre of Machias after telling St. Pierre they were ripping up the bill for her most recent oil delivery. Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Ten lucky customers received surprise visits from the Dead River oil delivery truck on Wednesday, Feb. 14. 

At each stop, Dead River manager Stacy Crosby went up to the door carrying flowers, a heart-shaped box of chocolate, and the news that they were about to have their oil tank filled for free. Crosby said many customers were confused at first, then elated. 

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Legislation to strengthen organic farming research

Organics continue to be one of the fastest growing sectors of American agriculture–providing vital support to farming families and creating jobs in communities across the country. Federal investment in organic agriculture research has not kept pace with this strong industry growth, however, and as a result domestic production of organic products is failing to meet consumer demand.  To address this disconnect and help farmers benefit from the growing demand for organics, U.S.

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Cherryfield and Milbridge news

Madison Leighton is a senior that goes to Narraguagus High School and lives in Milbridge. She is the captain of the girls’ basketball team. Leighton is also the class president and is a member of the student council  She was a big part of the girls’ basketball team winning the first gold ball in Narraguagus High School history back in 2016. This is her story.

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Democratic hopefuls make their pitch to county party Jared Golden, 2nd CD candidate, and Zak Ringelstein, U.S. Senate seat seeker

by Nancy Beal

Two Democrats vying for seats in Washington appeared before the Washington County Democratic Committee on Feb. 11 sharing their views and aspirations with approximately 20 listeners in the East Machias community room behind the firehouse. Jared Golden, a 35-year-old from Lewiston, has his eye on Bruce Poliquin’s seat as representative from Maine’s second congressional district, and Zachary Ringelstein is aiming at Independent Angus King’s seat in the U.S. Senate.

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Treasurer Hayes’ statement on governor LePage’s unexpected closure of DCF

State Treasurer Terry Hayes, Maine’s only non-partisan constitutional officer and independent, Clean Elections candidate for Governor released the following statement about the unexpected closure of the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport on Friday.

 “On Friday morning, dozens of workers in Washington County were ‘no call, no show’ because of Governor LePage’s unexpected and immediate closure of the Downeast Correctional Facility,” said Treasurer Hayes. “Are we open for business, or aren’t we?”

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Wesley News

Kim Carlow is doing rehab at Marshall’s in Machias and is hoping to be home soon. Stop in and say hi to her. Also, Alton Norton is back home and doing better.  Because of the snow, Ron took us down to Whitneyville on the 10th.  The Craft Fair was quite slow and there were five empty tables. We got to visit with the crafters quite a bit. 

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Embattled prison embroiled in further hurdles

by Ruth Leubecker

With battle lines drawn and legal entanglements taking center stage, the Downeast Correctional Facility remains alive to fight another day.

“Odds are it will change 10 more times before the week is out,” said Rep. Will Tuell on Valentine’s Day. “Washington County is behind this facility. We need it.”

“We’ll continue to fight on multiple fronts,” said area resident Andrea Guerra, in Augusta for the most recent hearing. “This is not just about jobs.”

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Candidate Garrett Mason speaks to WaCo Republicans

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Sen. Garrett Mason (R-Lisbon Falls) is the first person on the Republican ballot for Maine’s 2018 gubernatorial election. “If the election were held today, I would win in a landslide because I’m the only person on the ballot,” quipped Mason, who currently serves as Maine’s Senate Majority Leader. 

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Machias, Calais Rite Aids to become Walgreens

by  Lura Jackson

Pharmacy customers at Rite Aid were among the first to be informed that the Calais and Machias stores will be undergoing a transformation into a Walgreens over the next few years. The pharmacy itself is already mostly integrated into the Walgreens system, while the rest of the store will be overhauled by 2020. The local stores are among 1,932 Rite Aid stores that were acquired in January of 2018 by Walgreens as part of a major corporate acquisition totaling $4.4 billion.

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Jonesport to explore purchase of campground

by Nancy Beal

Three members of Jonesport’s working waterfront access and harbor committees attended the selectmen’s Feb. 14 meeting to discuss an offer from the Sawyer family to sell the town the campground property on Henry Point. In response to an inquiry from the town, the Sawyers recently wrote to the town, offering to sell the seven-acre mini-peninsula for $450,000.

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Manhunt ends with arrest of local business owner

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

On Thursday, Feb. 15, Maine State Police cruisers could be seen parked outside Sunrise Cannabis on Machias’ Main Street, looking for its owner, Robert Boggia. They were also seen pulling over vehicles along Route One and at the base of Scotts Hill Road in East Machias. 

The same afternoon, public information officer Stephen McCausland issued an alert titled “Whiting man wanted,” and asking for the public’s help in locating the 32-year old business owner.

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Machias native supports one of the Navy’s most versatile combat ships

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James H. Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach

A 1996 Machias Memorial High School, 2004 Maine Maritime Academy and 2010 Naval Post Graduate School graduate and Machias native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the staff aboard Surface Division 11, supporting one of the country’s most versatile combat ships.

Lt. Cmdr. Justin Hayward is a material and maintenance officer serving in N4 at Surface Division 11 in San Diego.

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Body of local clammer recovered

The body of 62-year old Delbert Caler of Harrington was discovered Thursday, Feb. 15 by a local fisherman working with Maine Marine Patrol to locate the shellfish harvester, missing since Wednesday, Feb. 14. 

 Marine Patrol received a report this morning at approximately 6 a.m. that Caler, a licensed shellfish harvester, was missing after he had gone clamming last evening.

The search, coordinated by the Maine Marine Patrol, began immediately and involved many locals searching on the water and shore, as well as members of the Maine Warden Service.

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Guest Voice - Opinion - Now is the time for action

by Sen. Mark Dion

Prayers are not enough, and never will be, for the children and their families who have been irreparably shattered by these acts of senseless slaughter.

We can no longer stand aside, using the excuse that it is not “the time” to take action.

We cannot be turned away or silenced by those who claim we are playing politics on the graves of the murdered.

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Editor's Desk

I recently interviewed a young man who is a recovered drug addict. He said, “You’ll never understand addiction as a problem until you understand addiction as a  solution.

When an addict starts using drugs, he said, they’re making a rational decision in the moment. This, of course, is true for every poor decision any one of us has ever made. 

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Guest Voice - Opinion - LePage’s actions are despotic, not democractic

by Zak Ringelstein

Here’s what really happened at Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport at 4:30 a.m. last Friday morning: at the command of Governor Paul Lepage, state troopers abruptly arrived and hauled 63 inmates out of their beds and onto buses, taking 39 jobs of hard-working Washington County residents with them.

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State of the Union attendees: Movers, shakers and Senator Maker

by Sen. Angus King 

Even after five years as a Senator, there are some things you just never get used to, and the State of the Union is right there at the top of that list. This yearly tradition isn’t about the President – it’s about the presidency. It’s an honor to be in the House chamber for this annual event, and fortunately I’m given the opportunity to share this unique privilege with one guest.

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No frolicking, but foraging for those fruits of February

By now woodpiles have diminished, days are noticeably longer and the holiday season has faded into a bittersweet memory. It’s February, the shortest month, and the only one bisected by affairs of the heart. And, arguably, housing the most offbeat collection of observances in the entire calendar year. 

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Letter to the Editor - AG Mills addresses the prison closure

“The action of the Governor and the Department of Corrections flies in the face of the clear intent of the Legislature as expressed in the biennial budget, in statute and in the deliberations of the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

The Legislature has every right to protect an institution which not only provides needed rehabilitation services to persons convicted of crimes but is also an economic mainstay of one of Maine’s poorest counties.

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Letter to the Editor - Children’s dental program

 

 An overdue note to thank you for the feature article you did on the Children’s program a couple of weeks ago. The part about its inception warmed my heart to see that someone appreciated how hard Kathy worked to get the it up and running. Those were hardworking and fun days for Kathy in the program, and her fondness for the kids and helping them get dentally healthy is reflected in the fact that we still act as a storage depot for their dental  supplies in our office basement. We are glad that Theresa is doing a fine job of continuing the legacy.

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Letter to the Editor - Renaming the FBI

The fabled and feared Federal Bureau of Investigation should soon have a new nickname, perhaps courtesy of POTUS: the Failing Bureau of Investigation, or possibly the Fake Bastion of Integrity. 

Jon Reisman

Cooper

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Tourney contenders Downeast

by Phil Stuart

This year, as usual, several Downeast area high school teams are well qualified for the the postseason. But how many will actually set foot on the Cross Insurance Center floor and win a game or two? That will depend on how well they play the rest of the season and whether they can survive a preliminary round. 

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Washington Academy Raiders in action photos

Pictured are the Washington Academy Raiders. Members include front left-right: Kyle Case, Micah Vose, Jim Lin, Ryan Easton, Nathan Lund, Nevin Rhodes, and Jeffrey Graham. Back left-right: Donald Soctomah, Brandon Allard, Joe Bragg, Marek Veal, Daniel Agyemang, Tihomir Babic, Milan Filipovich, and Coach Barry Terrill.

 

Team Captains Kyle Case and Jim Lin are pictured with Coach Terrill.

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Take the February #ReadtoME Challenge

The Maine Department of Education is sponsoring the #ReadtoME challenge for the month of February to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood literacy.

 Reading aloud to children not only provides a bonding experience with caring adults, but the simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement. 

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Balloons, drones, and rockets in Milbridge

Kidz radioActive, a group based out of Milbridge, is planning a “Sky’s The Limit” project for the Downeast region to be held this summer. The group’s president, Phil Duggan, said that the project is intended to pique kids’ interest in science and technology and to get them outside and having fun.

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Jonesport-Beals schools take STEM to elementary kids

by Steve Colhoun

   With the growth of knowledge, there are always changes to education, in both content and methods. Yet because of the rapid advances in technology in recent years, the teaching profession has struggled to adapt, as we witness ongoing teacher shortages along with the evolution of STEM curricula. The importance of science, technology, engineering and math  in school is unquestionable, but how to apply class time, and at what age, is still developing.

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Community Calendar

Upcoming events

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Joseph W. Ellsmore Machias

Joseph W. Ellsmore, 83, passed away unexpectedly in Zephyrhills Florida on February 5, 2018 after cardiac surgery.  He was born in Machias on February 14, 1934 to Herbert and Beatrice Ellsmore. 

He lived and worked in Machias and in his retirement years he enjoyed spending the cold winter months in Zephyrhills.  

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Doris Mae Ingalls - Bucks Harbor

Doris Mae Ingalls, 98 , went to be with her Lord and Savior on February 4, 2018 at a Machias hospital. She was born March 9, 1919 the daughter of the late Guy and Alta (Colbeth) Clark. She worked at the sardine factory in Machiasport for many years, as well as the clam shop in Bucks Harbor. She was a faithful member of the Bucks Harbor Baptist Church. She enjoyed sewing, knitting, and crocheting, and volunteering time at the Sunrise Workshop.  She was a wonderful mother, and grandmother, and loved being a wife to her husband of 70 years Kenneth.

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Whitneyville Library news

The Friends of the Whitneyville Public Library would like to thank those that came out on Saturday, Feb. 10 for our Cabin Fever Craft Fair. Even though the weather was not the best, some of the library’s faithful came out to enjoy lunch and see the many crafters that were on hand. Due to the weather that day, the craft fair will be held again on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hillgrove Community Center in Whitneyville. So if you missed the craft fair on the 10th come and join us on the 24th.

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Raiders improve to 11-5

by Phil Stuart

With recent victories over the Orono Red Riots and Calais Blue Devils, the Washington Academy Raider boys are currently 11-5 with road games remaining at Old Town and John Bapst. 

On Jan. 25 Barry Terrell’s Raiders hosted the Orono Red Riots at Gardner Gym in East Machias which resulted in a great fourth quarter Raider comeback to pull out a win.

Orono held a 14-10 first quarter lead and a 34-27 half-time.

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Royal Boys sweep Tigers

by Phil Stuart

The Jonesport-Beals boys upped their regular season record to 12-2 with victories over the Shead Tiger’s on Jan. 25 in Eastport and Jan. 29 in Jonesport. On Jan. 25 the Royals and Shead switched home dates and played their first matchup of the season in the port city. This was a rough and physical foul plagued contest throughout but the Royals were able to survive. 

The contest was relatively close the majority of the game but the superior depth of the Royals prevailed which resulted in a 66-56 win over Skip Alley’s club. 

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Machias Memorial High School news

The power of positivity and the power of PAWSitivity are the foundation for People Acting Wicked Super (P.A.W.S.), MMHS’s rewarding and fun system of ‘catching students doing something right’.  Staff give students a PAWSitivity PAW when they show acts of respect, responsibility and rapport.  Examples of behaviors that can earn a PAW include: showing acts of unity, kindness, inclusion and acceptance; being polite and considerate; volunteering;  being a positive team/club member; and helping others. When a large number of PAWS are earned, everyone gets to enjoy a PAWSitivity Pizza Party!

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Moose lottery application process now open

 

Dreaming of the hunt of a lifetime? The 2018 Maine moose permit lottery application process is now open.

 Applications for the 2018 Maine moose permit lottery will be accepted online only.

The online application process is fast and simple and you receive instant confirmation that you have successfully entered the lottery. 

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Scouts pack the Sheriff’s Office

The Tigers and Lions from Pack 125 were given a tour of the Washington County Jail and the Machias Courthouse as part of their program to earn belt loops. The tour was guided by Sheriff Barry Curtis and Captain Rich Rolfe. The boys had lots of questions about what it takes to become a Police Officer; how do they arrest people, how they get them to jail and many others. The boys were accompanied the local Cub master and several parents. At the end of the tour the boys were given challenge coins from Sheriff Barry Curtis. 

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The longest paddle

by V. Paul Reynolds

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) winds from Old Forge, New York to Fort Kent, Maine. Established in 2000, it is the longest mapped inland paddling route in the country: 740 miles.

How would you like to paddle that? No thanks. The NFCT is the canoeist’s version of the Appalachian Trail,  another intimidating outdoor challenge that has never been on my bucket list, even though I enjoy hiking and paddling in small doses.

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Campground reservations opening for Maine State Parks

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks and Lands announced that campground reservations for the 2018 season will open for Sebago State Park on Feb. 1 and for all state parks on Feb. 5. 

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands reservations system and call center will be open for Sebago Lake State Park campground reservations only on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 9 a.m. and for all state park campgrounds at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 5.

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Three ways to cut hearing aid costs

Dear Savvy Senior,

I’ve heard that hearing aids will soon be available over-the-counter and will be much cheaper than they currently are. What can you tell me about this? My husband desperately needs hearing aids but we simply can’t afford them. 

                   Searching Spouse

Dear Searching,

Unfortunately, for many years the high cost of hearing aids has kept millions of Americans with hearing loss from getting hearing aids because they can’t afford them. 

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Washington County Gem and Mineral Society invites area rockhounds to join

 

by Lura Jackson

If you have ever found yourself scouring the ground for interesting rocks, then a newly-formed group may suit your fancy. The Washington County Gem and Minerals Society is looking for anyone with an interest in rockhounding or sharing specimens in group settings. The group held its first meeting at Washington County Community College at the end of January, and it will be meeting again on February 17th at the Cobscook Community Learning Center.

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Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School Second Quarter Honor Roll

Grade 12: High Honors: Elizabeth Chartrand, Brittney Church, Emma Denbow, Sophia DeSchiffart, Mary Hammond. Honors:  Angel Alley, Shalynne Barbee Bamford, Tiah Bickford, Joshua Brooks, Taylor Colbeth, Sasha Crowley, River Fenton, Madison Leighton, Kegin Schoppee, Emily Williams. Grade 11: High Honors: Gabriel Blomgren, Kajsa Brown Morrison, Breanna Smith.

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Paper Orchestra offered for preschoolers

The Paper Orchestra program, led by Alice St. Clair, director of Eastport Strings, will be the Eastport Arts Center’s KinderArts offering for February. The hands-on program is designed to engage younger children in the magic of music making, and will introduce stringed instruments and include singing, movement and crafting with the help of caregivers. The creativity based curriculum will help children begin to find their musical voice while starting the process of being instrument-ready.

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Machias Memorial High School news

The power of positivity and the power of PAWSitivity are the foundation for People Acting Wicked Super (P.A.W.S.), MMHS’s rewarding and fun system of ‘catching students doing something right’.  Staff give students a PAWSitivity PAW when they show acts of respect, responsibility and rapport.  Examples of behaviors that can earn a PAW include: showing acts of unity, kindness, inclusion and acceptance; being polite and considerate; volunteering;  being a positive team/club member; and helping others. When a large number of PAWS are earned, everyone gets to enjoy a PAWSitivity Pizza Party!

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Cherryfield and Milbridge news

On its third year anniversary, open mic in the small village of Cherryfield is a hit. It takes place in an ancient old building called the Community Center, which was once an old high school that has since  been fixed up. Musicians from all over perform on the second Thursday of the month from 6-8 p.m. Corrie Hunkler talked about that one day she drove past it in Cherryfield and got the idea. 

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Wesley News

Kim Carlow was in Bangor Hospital on Jan. 31 and had surgery in a week. She hopes to be home in a weeks. Hope she’s up and about soon.

There are eagles hanging around the snowmobile trail on Route 9 in Wesley, close to the cemetery. 

Four tractor trailers were off the road on Route 9 on Friday, Feb. 2. The fire department was called out to Maine River to supply flashing lights to slow traffic down.Crawford and Beddington were another couple of places where trucks had trouble.

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Harrington News

A happy birthday to Ronie Strout!  She is always busy.  I hope she had a great day.

Tim and Dea attended a dance and dinner in Bangor this weekend.  Tim stopped in to say hello and show me some videos of the dance. They looked very handsome and beautiful.

Kristine and Tyler were here to visit today.  It was lovely to see them.

Cortney Hammond brought over a wonderful meal of deer meat and vegetables.  It was delicious.  Thank you Courtney.

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New Lubec school and community organization seeks members

Lubec Elementary School announces the formation of the Parent Teacher Community Collaboration (PTCC), a new group focused on bringing engaging programs and fun events to the children of the community.

“We wanted to create something a little different than the traditional PTA (Parent Teacher Association),” said teacher Anna Street, “something that taps into the phenomenal pool of life experience in our community, while focusing on doing things for the children’s enrichment.”

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Basketball tournament to benefit Arise Addiction Recovery

Come on out to watch or play and join the fight against addiction in our community. Arise Addiction Recovery is hosting a three-on-three basketball tournament to support its services in the Machias.

This will be a 20-team double elimination tournament, ages high school and up. There is an entry fee for each team, and spectator admission is by donation. $300 prize for the winning team!

Two courts will be playing at once, basic tournament rules apply. Because it’s double elimination, there will be 38 total matches that will last nine minutes each.

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Porter Memorial Library news

 

For gardeners in winter

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Jonesport responds to county’s push for more deputies

by Nancy Beal

Following two meetings hosted by the county commissioners last month on the increase in crime in Washington County because of the drug trade, county manager Betsy Fitzgerald wrote all 46 towns in the county with information about what the commissioners wanted to do in response, and to ask towns for their reaction. Jonesport’s letter was discussed at the selectmen’s February 7 meeting.

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DOC proposes Machias jail closure

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Though the words prison and jail are often used interchangeably, in the case of local facilities they refer to two different places. The Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) in Machiasport is a state prison used for long-term incarceration, and the Washington County Jail in Machias is run by the county and used for shorter-term incarceration. 

This week they have something more than geography in common—the state wants to close them both.

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Lawmakers, commissioners, move to contain damage after surprise prison closure

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Only the legislature can formally close a state prison, but Governor LePage effectively closed Machiasport’s Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) when he ordered the removal of its 63 prisoners on Friday, Feb. 5, and issued pink slips to its remaining 38 employees.

Now, state representatives and county commissioners are exploring what can be done to minimize the damage. 

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Rural roads big losers in upcoming rehab

by Ruth Leubecker

Although transportation dollars will be awarded once spring arrives, Maine’s rural roads will not be the big recipients of such funding. “They’re already starting to advertise,” said Maria Fuentes last week of the start of the process. 

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So long regular season, hello tourney time!

Coach Jim Getchell’s Machias Bulldogs said goodbye to regular season play and will be competing in a preliminary game with hopes of heading to Bangor. This year Getchell became the winningest coach in Bulldog history with a total of 123 wins during his 20-year tenure. For all the local basketball news, enjoy our 2018 basketball insert included in this edition. Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon.

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Sawyer family to Jonesport: “Yes” to sale of campground

by Nancy Beal

The recently promised letter from the John Sawyer family responding to the Jonesport selectmen’s query about buying the campground and/or obtaining a release of the family’s right of first refusal on the sale of the marina arrived last week and was shared and discussed at their February 7 meeting.

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Guest Voice - The Common Sense Coalition and the future of the senate

by Sen. Angus King

Sometimes, when a football team has a prolonged losing streak, it creates a cycle that’s hard to break. The good folks of New England haven’t recently experienced this challenge, but unfortunately, the United States Senate is currently dealing with exactly that problem.

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Letter to the Editor - Statement from senate republican leaders on governor’s closing of DCF

 The people of Washington County deserve better than this. Maine senate republicans are currently looking at all available options.

 The Maine legislature’s commitment to keeping this facility open has been consistent. In addition to fighting for funding in the budget, legislators in 2016 reached agreement on a government facilities bond that mandated a correctional facility exist in Washington County. This action appears contrary to the agreement that was reached.

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Editor's Desk

Since governor LePage removed the inmates from the Machiasport prison last week, I’ve had occasion to speak with countless people working the situation. I’m thoroughly impressed by the care and concern shown for the employees most impacted by the prison’s closure. 

There are so many people here working toward creating economic wellness here in Washington County, and I’m afraid one part of that team suffered a terrible blow last week. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the 38 people who woke up Friday morning expecting to spend the day at work.

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Columbia News

Condolences go out to April and Daniel Atwater of Unionville who lost their home and all of their processions to a fire on Feb. 3. There will be a Benefit Supper & Chinese Auction for them on Sunday, March 18, from 1-4 p.m. at the Ella Lewis Elementary in Steuben. This will be a pot luck meal for anyone that would like to add to the table to help these folks.  Contact Melissa Wright at 263-4387 or on Facebook. The Atwaters are staying at the Lamb House in Cherryfield for the time being.

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AARP warns of online Valentine’s Day scams

It’s Valentine’s Day, and time to watch out for the “Sweetheart Scam” targeting people on dating websites.  Be careful about what information you reveal on social networks. On dating sites, take extra care.  If someone asks for money – particularly money that must be wired or provided by a credit card – it is probably a scam.  Beware what you share.  This Valentine’s Day, we want Cupid’s arrow to strike your heart, not your wallet.  

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.  

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Letter to the Editor - Reply to Jon Reismann’s letter to the editor

 In his letter to the MVNO published Feb. 7, Jon Reismann tries to draw a distinction between people taking a knee at the Portland Jetport with people greeting the troops at the Bangor Airport.  In Professor Reismann’s mind, somehow these two events are polar opposites and mutually exclusive.  

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Letter to the Editor - An open letter regarding hunting along the Middle River

 

To the Machias Board of Selectmen and the Downeast Coastal Conservancy,

Where habitats intersect within our town boundary, should we begin a dialogue of designating these areas between town and the Middle River park and its trails as non-hunting areas?  Even at 15 feet, the width of the main trail is too close to hunting when considering safety. Our area houses children, people with animals walking the trail, motorized vehicles, propane tanks and the list goes on. Safety is the word.

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Trees need space

Whether in the forests, in our yards, or on our streets, all trees need their space. Pruning and thinning trees in our forests really help trees grow and be more productive in producing seeds and food for birds and other wildlife. Orchards and other trees in our yards also need space and pruning. February is the proper time to prune fruit trees to be more productive and produce quality fruit. Street trees in our communities, especially in our cities, benefit from having protective guards to keep people and pets from trampling and compacting soils near trees.

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Downeast Homeschool Co-Op Valentine’s Day love

The Downeast Christian Homeschool Co-Op meets weekly on Fridays in Machiasport. Students age eight and up put together candy bar bouquets at last week’s gathering. “We plan to drop them off at doctor’s offices, the emergency room and the like to thank people who give to our community,” said Dawn Wright, one of the co-op’s teachers. “We’d like to show them love back on this Valentine’s Day as a thank you for all they do!” Photo courtesy Dawn Wright

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EMBRACing a changing demographic one step at a time

Somewhere around 2005, when John Baldacci was governor, this reporter announced the horrifying, off-the-charts per-pupil cost in Machias as a little over $8,500.

Now that number doesn’t look so horrifying, all things being relative. That figure’s been left in the dust as deficits and dollars skyrocket to keep pace with the times. All schools, factoring in everything from special needs to transportation, have undoubtedly at least doubled that amount. And recently Deer Isle-Stonington drove the point home when they announced a per-pupil cost of $24,000 to taxpayers.

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Letter to the Editor - Pardon the deep state

The country is in for a rough ride over the actions of senior Obama administration officials and leadership in the Department of Justice and the FBI. The resultant damage to the deep state would be well deserved, but President Trump can take one step to limit the damage and protect American institutions which might be needed to Make America Great Again: Pardon President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, Susan Rice, Samantha Powers, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bruce Ohr, Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein.  We need to Move on. Amnesty for all!

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Homeschoolers in the house

Members of the Downeast Christian Homeschool Co-Op visited the offices of the Calais Advertiser and visited with Jessica Griffin, the whiz behind layout on the Machias Valley News Observer. 

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Dry dock

Waiting out winter in Alleys Bay, Beals Island. Photo by Nancy Beal

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Businesses learn how to bring cyclist dollars Downeast

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Cyclists are unlike any other kind of tourist, and not only because they’re come in on two wheels. They spend 20 percent more per day than the average tourist, they’re out for adventure, and they want to absorb the local culture just as it is. “They’re very low impact,” said Kim Roos of the Maine Bicycle Coalition. “They want to become part of the community for the time that they’re here.” 

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Machias switches transfer station contract, accepts riverfront bid

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

When the town’s contract with the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company (PERC) expires at the end of March, Machias plans to switch transfer station services to a company based in New Brunswick. 

Machias town manager Christina Therrien said that she visited the company’s facility last month. “It is cheaper and it is closer,” said Therrien. “I believe we’re going to save in transportation, and we’re going to save in disposal costs.”

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Struggle intensifies for closing prison

by Ruth Leubecker

An uphill battle to keep the doors open at the Downeast Correctional Facility has only intensified following a hearing with all factions weighing in.

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Machias Bulldogs defending state champs

The Machias Memorial High School varsity boys basketball team hopes to advance to the preliminary playoffs after their final home game in Machias on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Pick up our next issue dated Feb. 14 for our annual local basketball insert for all the local pre-playoffs basketball news. Front row from left to right: Jordan Grant, Noah Albert, Alex Wentzell, Dallas Moody, Reece Alley, Alex Marotta, Mark Merserean. Back row from left to right: Coach Jimmy Getchell, Jacob Holland, Evan Dray, Russell Hanscom, Alex Look, Tyler Wentzell, Josh Archer, Carl Bragg, Dustin Getchell.

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Groups drug recovery centers to accept MaineCare

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

For many addicts, the cost of treatment is yet one more barrier to sobriety.  Beginning March 21, the Groups outpatient drug recovery centers located in Machias and Calais will be able to accept MaineCare, removing that barrier for many. 

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Four chaplains to be remembered at Balsam Valley Chapel

Wreaths Across America will host a special service of remembrance in honor of the four chaplains who gave their lives to save others when the U.S.A.T Dorchester sunk on the night of Feb. 3, 1943. The ship was struck by a submarine’s torpedo. 

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Porter Memorial Library news

 

If you’re a gardener, then chances are you’re already dreaming your way through seed catalogs. You’ll be happy to know that Gordie the Groundhog is back at Porter Memorial Library to pull you closer to spring with our annual Fedco seed sale fundraiser. Stop in anytime before March 1 to collect your order forms. Help a Maine seed seller, your local library and your garden all in one fell swoop!

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Trump immigration policy protest in Portland

Portland Jetport: Taking a knee for identity politics Bangor International Airport: Troop greeters. Can’t make the difference between the 1st and 2nd congressional districts and Chellie Pingree vs. Bruce Poliquin any clearer.

Jon Reismann

Machias

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Editor's Desk - commercials aired during last Sunday’s Super Bowl

In one of the more amusing commercials aired during last Sunday’s Super Bowl a priest, a rabbi, an imam and a buddhist monk get into a truck to go to a football game. The spot is part of a series of commercials based on the old jokes, and takes aim at religious intolerance through humor. Toyota calls the series “One Team.”

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Sad gnome

Despite gnome’s enthusiastic display of team spirit at Helen’s Restaurant in Machias, the New England Patriots could not defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl held Sunday, Feb. 4.  Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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Clams on ice

Despite ice and cold, a handful of clammers brave the elements on the flats of Beals Island daily. Photo by Nancy Beal

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PRSWDD releases scale weight figures, sets 2018 budget

by Nancy Beal

Totals from the six towns that make up the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District indicating how much trash their townsmen deposited on scales at the Columbia Falls Route 1 facility were shared by Jonesport Selectman Harry Fish with his colleagues at their weekly meeting last week. Scales at PRSWDD include a large truck scale and a small scale in the office for trash brought in that is not in the designated bags sold at PRWSDD and from town offices.

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Machias Memorial High School news

The art program has been very busy creating exciting and colorful artwork!  Miss Lee supports students in imaginative and unique opportunities to express themselves through art.

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Raiders finish 13-5

by Phil Stuart

The Washington Academy (WA) Raiders boys completed their 2017-18 regular season on Feb. 1 with a 69-53 victory over the John Bapst Crusaders of Bangor. The win gave Barry Terrell’s club a season’s sweep over the Crusaders, and a 13-5 regular season mark which currently has them seeded seventh in the standings.  

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Clippers weekend split

by Phil Stuart

The University of Maine at Machias (UMM) Clippers men’s and women’s teams hosted two Yankee small colleges on the weekend of Jan. 27-28 at the Reynolds Center. On Saturday, Jan. 27, the Vermont Technical Institute of Randolph Center, Vermont came to town. The Lady Clippers took the court first against the visiting Knights. 

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Lady Raiders in action photos

Lady Raider Madelyn Willey takes the ball down the sideline.

Strong baseline drive by Lady Raider Sydney Verge.

Katie Leighton Brings the ball down over midcourt against Woodland.

 

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Washington Academy wrestlers

Tanner Rolfe starts his match in Calais.

Raider Isaac DeMott working for an escape.

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