1. Another Dirl to replace Steve Carver’s incinerated Bigger Dirls

    by Nancy Beal

    Chris Smith and his sternman were aboard Smith’s lobster boat, the Pamela Jayne, near Smiths’ Wharf in West Jonesport at sunrise September 8, 2016 when they noticed flames coming from the cabin of a nearby boat. Veteran lobsterman Steve Carver’s Bigger Dirls was on fire. Smith immediately grabbed his VHF radio mic and called the coast guard base, just a half-mile down the shore.

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  2. Guest Voice - Opinion

    by Gov. Paul LePage 

    As we look forward to the new year, one of the big challenges facing our state is growing our workforce and keeping our economy on a roll..

    In 2017, we hit record lows in unemployment and all-time highs in private sector job growth. To meet this demand, our employers need skilled workers.

    We are the oldest state. Record numbers of baby boomers are entering a well-deserved retirement. Employers need to replace these skilled workers.

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  3. Editor's Desk

    Washington County is its own small world, with a total population hovering near 30,000 people. It is one large community in many ways, in large part due to its communal use of social media. Most Facebook users know that the site can be a blessing and a curse, both a useful communication tool and a black hole where productivity goes to die. I like to use Facebook to keep in touch and find out about local events, but I have certainly lost an hour or two endlessly scrolling through the feed.

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  4. Letter to the Editor - DECH ED is a lifesaver 

    On Wednesday, Dec. 20 I had a heart attack. Those of you who know me probably didn’t expect that Wayne Peters would be a candidate for a heart attack, and I certainly didn’t either. Although I’m 70 years old, I am not overweight, I never smoked, I eat a healthy diet, and I work out most every day. However, at about 10:20 a.m I was putting on my boots to take my dog for a walk before I headed off to the UMM gym. The simple act of bending over caused a pressing pain in my chest and some slight numbness in my arms.

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  5. Letter to the Editor - Moose Peak Light restoration responsibility

    Editor’s note: In our issue dated Dec. 27, we published an article on Jonesport’s Moose Peak Light. We reported “[AMMBS] is not burdened with restoration of the lighthouse, only the boathouse above the landing ramp.” The following two letters point out that this is not the whole story.

     Dear Editor,

     Your story about Moose Peak Lighthouse being donated to Arnold Memorial Medical Building Society (AMMBS) in Jonesport contains one major error.

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  6. Letter to the Editor - Potential Liability

    Dear Editor,

    In accepting this gift our board was very concerned with potential liability and obtained good legal advice regarding our responsibilities as the owner.  While we have no legal obligation to restore the light, we do have a duty to the community to help preserve this very valuable part of our history and will be taking that into account over the next several months while developing a plan that best serves the community, the lighthouse and the board’s mission.  

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  7. Somewhere between turbulence and compromise

    No, it’s not like being somewhere between East Machias and Bangor, because there is a relationship between these two places. Might be a little rivalry or a snit of some sort now and then, but everyone heads to the city for needed appointments or to buy a pair of socks or … let’s not ignore the beckoning finger of that popular casino. 

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  8. Nonprofit warns of telephone scam

    A person using a fraudulent phone number identified as the Maine Community Foundation has made calls in an attempt to solicit gifts from people in Maine.

    The caller thanked people for previous gifts and asked them to consider making a credit card gift or another type of gift. These calls are not associated with the Maine Community Foundation and the public should hang up immediately.

    Anyone with concerns about similar calls may contact the Maine Community Foundation at (877) 700-6800.

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  9. Wesley News

    The wind blew hard on Wednesday, December 27th on top of the hill on Route 192. A few trucks had to wait for the road to get plowed to continue on their route. The wind takes your breath away. 

    Carola N. had her son John and wife Sharon come to visit on Christmas day along, with two great granddaughters Sara,  Kendra and a friend. All had a great visit and all made it home safe. Also Carola turns ninety five on the twenty eighth, hopefully she receives at least ninety five cards for her birthday. 

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  10. Columbia News

    Where has the year gone? It does not seem possible that we will be entering into a new year. I am looking forward to health and happiness in the coming months.

    Christmas has come and gone; now the decorations will come down and packed away till next December. The celebration of the holidays goes to fast and January is usually a cold month with no holidays to decorate for.

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  11. Cherryfield and Milbridge news

    by Wayne Smith

    Growing up on a Cherryfield dairy farm made for some challenges, but it was all in good fun. It went from having a little fun off the farm such as playing in a local snowball tournament, to my father clearing snow out using a bucket tractor, and everything in between. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and join me on my snowy journey back in time.

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  12. Whitneyville Library news

    Happy New Year! With school back in session children’s librarian Patricia Brightly will be once again sharing books and reading aloud to the classroom’s at Rose M. Gaffney and Jonesboro Elementary School.  She will also be sharing books with Wesley Elementary.

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  13. Community Calendar

    Upcoming events

    Friends of the Whitneyville Public Library will hold a Cabin Fever Craft Fair that will be held at the Hillgrove Community Building in Whitneyville on Saturday February 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Snow date is set for Saturday February 17. 

    Recurring events

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  14. Christmas kitten

    Dear Cat Lady, 

    Pebbles the kitten we got the kids for Christmas is hiding. What can we do? 




    Poor Pebbles. First let’s make her feel safe.

    Christmas is generally is a busy and noisy time with lots hazards , not the best time to bring a new family member into house.

    Give Pebbles a quiet, out of the way place with her litter pan, food, water, and maybe even a stuffed toy for her to snuggle. This would be an excellent start. 

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  15. Raiders basketball in full swing

    by Phil Stuart

    After getting off to a 2-0 start with a come-from-behind victory over the Presque Isle Wildcats, an easy road win at Calais, following a home loss to highly-rated Hermon and a lopsided defeat on the road at MDI, Barry Terrell’s Raiders hosted the purple Panthers of Waterville in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

    Normally the Washington Academy Raiders (WA) play schools from the Penobscot Valley conference in the Big East League, but this year the schools have added a team from the Kennebec Valley conference.

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  16. The Cross experience

    by Phil Stuart

    For the last few seasons the northern Maine boy and girl basketball tournaments have been held at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor after the old Bangor Auditorium was torn down.

    For the past three seasons Narraguagus High School had the opportunity to play one regular season contest there for both girls and boy varsity and junior varsity.

    For the first two years the Knights teamed up with Summer High School of East Sullivan to play a regular season contest there.

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  17. Defending state champs Machias Bulldogs at 3-2

    by Phil Stuart

    The defending state class D champion Machias Bulldogs have gone into their holiday break with a 3-2 record with road makeup games to be played at Greenville and Bangor Christian.

    On Dec. 18 the Bulldogs journeyed up to East Millinocket for the first ever regular season game against the Schenck High School Wolverines.

    The host Wolverines led all the way in that one after dropping down from class C to class D.

    Schenck led 15-8 after a quarter and 28-22 at the break.

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  18. Talented Bulldogs in action shots

    Pictured is the Machias Bulldogs Varsity squad. Members include front left -right: Dexter Moody, Noah Albert, Russell Hanscom, Alex Marotta, Alex Wentzell, Dallas Moody, Jordan Grant and Breckin Gooch. Back left - right: Head Coach James Getchell, Dustin Getchell, Evan Dray, Riley Tinker, Josh Archer, Alex Look, Tyler Wentzell, Jacob Holland, Mark Mersereau, and Assistant Coach Carl Bragg.

    Evan Dray earns inside position for the rebound.

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  19. Keagan Jane Stevenson Roque Bluffs

    God welcomed home an angel,  Keagan Jane Stevenson, 10,  on December 14, 2017. Keagan was born August 18, 2007 in Bangor, the daughter of Faith Ann Mitchell and Christopher Allen Stevenson.

    She was a 5th grader at Rose M. Gaffney School in Machias and enjoyed gymnastics, cheerleading, and basketball. She had a passion for arts and crafts, and a love for music.

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  20. Paul C. Hoyt - Machias

    Paul C. Hoyt, 77, drifted off to be with the Lord on December 22, 2017 after a brief illness. He was born in Machias February 19, 1940 the son of the late Curtis and Ida ( Mugnai) Hoyt . He attended Machias schools, and graduated from Machias Memorial High School in 1958. Paul married Velma aHurlbert in 1962.

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  21. How to divvy up your family belongings peacefully and sensibly

    Dear Savvy Senior,

    What’s the best way to distribute my personal possessions to my kids after I’m gone without causing hard feelings or conflict? I have a lot of jewelry, art, family heirlooms and antique furniture, and three grown kids that don’t always see eye-to-eye on things. 

    Planning Ahead

    Dear Planning,

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  22. A great meal is about how - not what - you eat

    Everyone knows it’s important to eat the right foods to live a long and healthy life, but many of us fall short of that ideal.

    We eat on the run, pulling into a drive-through and scarfing down a hamburger on the way to the next appointment. We grab a candy bar at the grocery checkout and munch it on the way to the car.

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  23. Navigating the 3 stages of retirement

    People often view retirement as just one more stage of life.

     But that’s not exactly the case. Retirement isn’t just one stage; it’s at least three – although all three do share something in common.

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  24. Checking the backtrack

    by  V. Paul Reynolds

    The slate is clean as we start another year anew. Nobody knows what lies ahead, even as friends and family offer seasonal salutations that wish us well. As we look ahead with hopeful expectations, it doesn’t hurt to check the back track.

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  25. Church with a view

    The historic Machiasport Congregational Church creates a striking profile for drivers passing through the village of Machiasport. It sits high on a hill overlooking the bay, once providing a landmark for incoming sailors. 

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  26. MEMA encourages caution with dangerously low temperatures

    As sub-zero temperatures continue across the State, MEMA urges Mainers to use extreme caution to avoid hypothermia or even death. 

    The National Weather Service reports that very cold air will continue across the region this weekend and through at least the middle of next week with most locations unlikely to get above the freezing mark for the foreseeable future. 

    MEMA offers the following tips to help Mainers stay safe during the dangerously cold weather:

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  27. Vandalized

    “Danny’s Village” of inflatable Christmas decorations had to be removed for its own protection last month. Vandals damaged two of the 10 pieces erected to the memory of local man Danny Manchester, who passed away in 2017. The pieces have since been repaired, and the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is already working on a more secure display for next year. Photo by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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  28. Honoring veterans in Harrington

    Konner Strout, seen here laying a wreath on the grave of veteran Paul Ramsdell, was one of many Harrington students who laid wreaths on graves at the Foresthill Cemetery last week. Photo courtesy of Michelle McLaughlin

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  29. An old-fashioned island Christmas

    by Nancy Beal

    Beals Island had no bridge to the mainland until 1958, so for four sisters born in the 1940s, Christmas was not about department stores, cultivated trees, or fancy light displays. It was simple, family-oriented and religious. “We were taught that it was Jesus’ birthday,” says Vanessa, next to the oldest. The family started the day by going to church and taking part in the traditional Christmas concert, singing noels and speaking their “pieces.”

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  30. Legislature under the gun for action in opioid crisis

    by Ruth Leubecker

    After years of discussion and debate over Maine’s escalating opioid epidemic, Mainers are demanding that lawmakers take aggressive action when the legislature convenes.

    While the Task Force to Address the Opioid Crisis includes specific recommendations, even the legislators themselves have questioned that immediacy is lacking in the equation.

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  31. Machias schools grapple with bomb threats, fatalities

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In the pre-dawn hours of Thursday, Dec. 14, phones rang and text messages beeped notifying Machias families that school was cancelled due to another threat against the elementary and high school campus. It was the fourth school day lost to threats since October.

    “My first 13 years in Machias, we didn’t have any. Not one,” said Superintendent Scott Porter. “It just started up last year and this year.”

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  32. Rose M. Gaffney student dies in car crash

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A fatal motor crash on Route 191 took the life of an 11-year-old Rose M. Gaffney student on the night of Thursday, Dec. 14. The Machias schools started one hour late the next day in response to the tragic news.

    Christopher Stevenson, age 45, of Roque Bluffs was southbound on Rt 191 when his 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis went off the roadway striking a tree.

    Stevenson’s daughter, age 11, was a passenger in the vehicle and died at the scene.

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  33. Fa la la la la

    Beals Elementary School students put on their annual Christmas concert Dec. 14, ending with an audience sing-along that got both singers and teachers dancing. The program was directed by BES music teacher Elizabeth Goodliff. Photo by Nancy Beal

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  34. Beals Island trap tree

    In 2010, the Moosabec Summerfest committee constructed a 50-foot lobster trap tree on Perio Point, Beals Island. The tree took 1,000 lobster traps to build. Photo by Nancy Beal

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  35. Sullivan waitress receives $500 tip


    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Trisha Murphy works as a waitress at Denny’s in Ellsworth, and this week she received a tip that raised her eyebrows. She told her story on Facebook in a post which has gone viral around the region with more than 437 shares in the first 24 hours, a number which will surely climb.

    When Murphy granted permission to reprint her story, she said she wishes she could find the customer’s name. “I’d love to make him famous for literally saving my Christmas!” she said.

    Here is the story, in her words.

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  36. Holiday memories

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas

    Izyck and Blake Archer of Dennysville sit in front of their family’s Christmas tree every year for the family tradition of reading Twas the Night Before Christmas aloud. Photo courtesy Alison Archer. 

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  37. Sens. Collins and King participate in Wreaths Across America ceremony at US Capitol

    U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King participated in the Wreaths Across America capitol wreath laying ceremony this morning in Washington. Beginning in 2007, and each December since, wreaths Across America, based out of Columbia Falls, Maine, has placed a remembrance Wreath at the U.S. Capitol Building. The wreath laid at the U.S. Capitol is adorned with flags representing each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and POWs/MIAs, and it is decorated with a red bow.

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  38. Teaching lechery and getting lechers - Opinion

    by Everett Piper

    Reprinted with  permission, originally published in the Washington Times, Nov. 29.

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  39. The Editor’s Desk

    Last week I had the pleasure of eavesdropping on a group of local high school freshmen who were discussing the day’s current events. The chief topic of conversation was the repeal of net neutrality, accomplished by a vote of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last Thursday. Not only were the students broadly informed on the issue — a complex one even by adult standards — some of them had taken action to voice their concern over the repeal via calls and emails to representatives in Washington, D.C. And think of it —  teens socializing by discussing current events! 

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  40. Tuell previews bill to keep Bucks Harbor prison open

    Earlier this week, Rep. Will Tuell (R-East Machias) previewed his bill to keep the Downeast Correctional Facility in Buck’s Harbor open for at least one more year.

     “Things are moving forward,” Tuell said. “Several of us will be meeting with the prison’s Board of Visitors later this week to discuss the case for keeping DCF open. And Monday I’ll be going to Augusta for bill signing day. That’s when I’ll be asking other legislators to sign on to the prison bill and formally submitting it for next session.”

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  41. Christmas joy is all around, help yourself

    Wafting wood smoke and soft snow falling signal this special time of year. And if you’re lucky enough to have big windows looking out on birches and deer, you’re lucky enough.

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  42. Candidate Thibodeau visits Downeast

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Michael Thibodeau has a lot to think about this time of year. His family business is the only producer of snow shovels in Maine, so he keeps an optimistic eye on the weather. “Get on down to Pineo’s, because Snowmageddon is on the way,” he said, laughing. 

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  43. A Christmas story

    One father’s letter to his daughter

    Dear Tracy,

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  44. Sweet Christmas memories

    Kendall Archer  and her cousin Kendall worked very carefully to decorate their family’s Christmas tree. Kendall’s mother Alison said that holiday traditions are very important in the Archer family. Photo courtesy Alison Archer

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  45. Dear Cat Lady is here to help our local cats.

    Over the last year more than 100 stray cats were spayed with the efforts of former Animal Control Officer Bob Seelye, myself and other concerned Machias residents.

    Most of these cats were not wild, but simply former pets trying to survive on the streets after whatever sad story left them there. 

    So why are there so many stray cats in Machias? Folks are not getting their cats spayed and neutered.

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