1. George Flynn - Bucks Harbor

    George Flynn died unexpectedly after a brief hospital stay at Eastern Maine Medical Center on Sunday, March 18, 2018.

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  2. Dorothy A. Johnson - Robbinston

    Dorothy Ann Johnson, 70, passed away at her home on March 27, 2018 with her nieces by her side and her cat at her feet. Dorothy was born to Clarence and Estella (Barnes) Johnson on July 17, 1947 in Calais. 

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  3. Ellery (Bud) Morrell Merchant - Addison

    Ellery (Bud) Morrell Merchant Jr., 82, passed away on March 24, 2018 at a Lewiston hospital.

    He was born on November 14, 1935 on Beals Island, Maine, the son of Ellery Morrell Merchant, Sr. and Jessie Amanda Beal Merchant.

    He attended Beals Elementary School. He was a clam digger, worm digger, did some lobster fishing, seining, worked in a mill and for a moving van company.  He coached elementary boys’ basketball and only lost three games. He played town team basketball and traveled to Canada with them.

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  4. Sandra P. Feeney Jackman

    On Wednesday March 28, 2018 Sandra P. Feeney unexpectedly passed from this world. She was born on July 8, 1943 in Addison, Maine. She was schooled in the Jonesport and Machias school systems, graduated in 1961, and later attended college in Rock Hill, South Carolina and then Husson College in Bangor, Maine. 

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  5. Sophia DeSchiffart receives MPA Principal’s Award


    Sophia DeSchiffart of Cherryfield, a senior at Narraguagus Jr. and Sr. High School, has been selected by Principal Lucille Willey to receive the 2018 Principal’s Award. The award, sponsored by the Maine Principal’s Association, is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship.

    Throughout the four years at Narraguagus, Sophia has distinguished herself as co-valedictorian of her class.  

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  6. WA senior Farnsworth awarded MPA award


    Cameryn Farnsworth, a senior at Washington Academy, has been selected to receive the 2018 Principal’s Award, Head of School Judson McBrine announced today. The award sponsored by the Maine Principal’s Association is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship. Cameryn is the daughter of Tracy and Theresa Farnsworth of East Machias.

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  7. Girls 2017-18 hoops wrap up

    by Phil Stuart

    The 2017-18 high school basketball season is now in the record books.

    It was a tough season for a lot of area schools.

    Going into the season, Calais and Narraguagus girls were the favorites to go deep into the playoffs along with Woodland in Class D.

    Woodland was one of the Class D favorites and Michelle Ripley’s club made it to the Northern Maine title contest.

    The Dragons went into the playoffs as a number -wo seed less than a point behind Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook.

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  8. Honors for local athletes

    by Phil Stuart

    The Penobscot Valley Conference recently selected its all stars in basketball for the 2017-18 season.

    Kyle Case of Washington Academy (WA) was a Big East second team selection. Jacob Godfrey of Machias, who played for  this season, was a first team selection.

    The Washington Academy girls’ team won this year’s Class B Sportsmanship Award in the Big East.

    Tihomer Babic of WA received an honorable mention.

    Madelyn Willey and Brandon Allard of WA were winners of the Paul Souex Award.

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  9. UMA offers zero tuition with Pine Tree State Pledge

     Since its announcement in October 2017, eighteen students at the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) have taken part in the Pine Tree State Pledge program. Through the Pine Tree State Pledge, eligible students will not pay any out-of-pocket expenses for tuition and mandatory fees at UMA. An additional 36 students qualified for the Pine Tree State Pledge, however, no additional out-of-pocket expenses were needed to be covered.

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  10. Moore for the Future campaign nears goal

    Thanks to the generosity of the community, the Moore for the Future campaign is close to reaching its goal.

    The campaign was launched in 2014 to help the Henry D. Moore Library and Community Center in Steuben raise an additional $250,000 for its endowment fund. It began in 2014 with an appeal letter asking Steuben residents, regional users and library friends to help ensure the library and community center could continue to provide services and programs while meeting its growing expenses. 

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  11. Lefty’s legacy lives on

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    What is it about a well-cast fly line that furls out gently across a quiet trout pond or a roiling river? Done properly it is a graceful ballet. There is a rhythm that can mesmerize, not only the angler, but the onlooker as well. And when the softly whispering line finishes its furling roll, and the floating tippet dances the #16 parachute Adams upon the water like a descending butterfly…well, sir, that is the crescendo moment.

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  12. Pre-Easter feast feeds nearly 400 at Second Baptist Church


    by Lura Jackson

    The extended Calais community was treated to an early Easter feast on Saturday, March 24 at the Second Baptist Church. This is the second year in a row that the church has hosted a free meal to celebrate Easter and, like last year, nearly 400 people came out to join in the meal of ham, potatoes, and mixed vegetables.

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  13. Machias neighbors and officials blindsided by downtown cell tower plans

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A public notice in this newspaper on March 21 was the first announcement that a cell phone company intends to build a 100-foot cell tower between North and Court Streets in downtown Machias. The tower would stand on the back end of property owned by the Community of Christ Church.

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  14. Rep. Fredette visits Downeast Correctional Facility


    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    On the morning of Monday, March 21, Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) retiree Kevin Millay went to Helen’s Restaurant to attend a meeting of former prison employees and their supporters.

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  15. Post 9’s birthday dovetails with Legion’s centennial year

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Embedded in little-known history and often occupying an understated community role, the American Legion is announcing a year of events focusing on its 100th birthday.  

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  16. Public weighs in on truck limits and recreational marijuana


    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Machias Town Offices were overflowing on Wednesday, March 21 as the public lined up to discuss truck traffic and recreational marijuana at two separate public hearings.

    Machias Director of Public Works Mike Schoppee presented the town’s proposal to consider permanent weight restrictions on the East Kennebec Road and the Cross Road, and seasonal weight restrictions on the West Kennebec Road.

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  17. Lamb House annual meeting set for April 8

    The Lamb House, providing short term housing for families who have lost their home due to fire or other natural disaster, will hold their annual meeting on Sunday, April 8 at 12:15 pm. at the First Congregational Church 12 River Road, Cherryfield.  The public is welcome to attend.  The home serves southern Washington County. For more information contact Peter Duston at 546-7559.

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  18. Whitneyville Public Library receives grant to purchase children’s books

    The Whitneyville Public Library has received a $1,000 grant from the Rose and Samuel Rudman Grant of the Maine Community Foundation to purchase children’s books to help supplement our book and storyteller service to Rose M. Gaffney, Jonesboro Elementary and the Wesley Elementary Schools.

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  19. Public invited to discuss marijuana with Machias town officials April 4

    The town of Machias has scheduled a public work session to discuss marijuana for Wednesday, April 4 at 6 p.m. The session was scheduled after a public hearing held on Wednesday, March 21. See “Public weighs in…” page 1.

    “We would like public participation and input,” said town manager Christina Therrien. “Please come see us.”

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  20. Estate planning seminar in Machias

    Washington County Thriving in Place is bringing Rebecca J. Sargent, Esq. of Jones, Kuriloff & Sargent, LLC in Ellsworth, to Machias on May 22 for a  three-hour seminar on Estate Planning Basics.  This free event will provide strategies to give caregivers and family members the legal and financial resources to care for loved ones and themselves. Topics include Powers of Attorney, Advanced Care Directives, Wills & Trusts and asset protection.  This seminar will be held at the Kay Parker Building of Sunrise Opportunities in Machias from 1 to 4 p.m.

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  21. Public meeting set for Machias dike

    The Maine Department of Transportation will host a public meeting to discuss options for the replacement of the aging Machias dike on Route 1. 

    The preliminary public meeting has been scheduled for Monday, April 2 at 6 p.m. at the University of Maine at Machias, Science Building Room 102.

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  22. State’s DCF numbers raise more questions than answers

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Governor LePage has gone on record saying that he closed the Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) because it was too expensive to operate. 

    “That prison costs more per prisoner, minimum security prison, costs more to hold and imprison than the maximum security prison in Warren,” said LePage in an interview with WGME last week. 

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  23. Revolutionary times at Pleasant River

    A most interesting account of the very early days in the settlement of Pleasant River (now the area of Columbia/Columbia Falls) appeared in the October 25, 1875 edition of the Machias Union.

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  24. Threads - Harriet’s story

    by Sherry Rier

    This is the last of four installments in the story of Harriet Means Johnson, the grandmother of local author Sherry Rier. For more of Rier’s writing about Harriet and her family’s local history, visit www.voicesofancestors.wordpress.com. 

    Monday A.M. 

    On the train. 

    February 17, 1908

    My dear Mother and Father, 

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  25. Guest Voice - Helping veterans while creating jobs

    by Sen. Joyce Maker

    There’s been a lot of worrisome news for Washington County out of Augusta lately, but in spite of the headlines and the uncertainty that still plagues Downeast Correctional Facility, there are some great things happening this session at the State House. 

    A prime example is a new law, sponsored by my colleague Representative Brad Farrin (R-Norridgewock), which will help fill some of the critical medical vacancies around the state while also helping our veterans more successfully transition to civilian life.

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  26. Editor's Desk

    I’m writing this editorial from my grandmother’s screened porch in Naples, Florida and I’m not going to sugarcoat this — the grass is green, and the weather is nice. It’s a little bit of a shock to the system, but I think I’ll manage. 

     Yesterday I visited a Super Target that I swear contained more humans than the town of Machiasport. Not much in Washington County compares for population density, and I’m okay with that because I’ve already been honked at twice for moving too slowly off of stop signs. 

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  27. Scallop lottery, Lobster Marketing Collaborative sail to final passage in House

    On Thursday, the Maine House of Representatives voted to pass a bill extending Maine’s lobster marketing collaborative an additional three years, as well as a bill to set up a lottery for new entrants into the state’s scallop fishery.

     “Both bills went through pretty easily,” Rep. Will Tuell (R-East Machias) said. “There were no official roll calls taken in either case and both got the two-thirds’ support they needed in order to go into effect once they make their way through the legislative process.”

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  28. Letter to the Editor - Poliquin beholden to big banks

    I am looking forward to November 6 when I have the opportunity to vote for someone who is not beholden to Wall Street and big banks like Congressman Bruce Poliquin is.

    How can we expect a politician to vote in our best interests when he has received $388,000 in this election cycle alone from finance, insurance, and real estate sectors? These are the very industries that Poliquin is in charge of regulating. 

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  29. Letter to the Editor - Let’s talk trash

    As the deadline for town members to renew their contract with Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District (PRSWDD) draws near, the discussion of transfer stations seems to be generating more heat than light.  Competition from a business standpoint has always been healthy for small communities in Washington County, and when Mark Wright Transfer Station (MWTS) advertised a cost comparison to what town members are paying annually at PRSWDD (February 28 Edition of the Machias Valley News Observer), it opened an opportunity to discuss savings and negotiations.  

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  30. Forever remembered for paying the highest price

    After World War II ended there was a joyous time of growth, renewal and abiding optimism. New houses and happy families, town basketball teams and pioneering commerce marked the country’s upward swing toward a progressive future.

    Except for those who didn’t come home. Not all families were joyously embarking on new beginnings. Our prisoners of war and those missing in action will always be shrouded in an unknown abyss of loss and pain.

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  31. Letter to the Editor - An inconvenient development

    Recycling at the Machias Transfer Station appears to be no longer available to many residents of Washington County, say two town employees. “There’s no money to be made recycling,” said one.

    While trash receiving has long been limited to participating towns, recycling, according to their website (as of 3/18/2020) has been “open and free to all residents of the county.”

    Information concerning the restriction  seems to be by word-of-mouth. That does not cut it. If true, we need a public statement by the Town of Machias in order to prevent selective banning.

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  32. Letter to the Editor - Getting what you pay for

    I watched the news this morning with great interest. Governor LePage would like to see the next Governor’s salary raised from $70,000 to $150,000 per year. A raise of over 100 percent. It is a tough request to sell us here in Down East Maine since he had no problem illegally closing the correctional facility in Machiasport, reducing the wages of all the staff members working there to zero.

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  33. CDC stresses importance of screening during NCC Awareness Month

    As the nation recognizes March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages Mainers to talk with a healthcare provider about being screened for the disease. Colorectal cancer remains the third-leading cause of new cancer cases and cancer-related deaths in Maine.

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  34. Cherryfield and Milbridge news


    Nancy Willey of Cherryfield recently spoke with me about her late husband, Carlton Willey, who played professional baseball from 1958 to 1963 for the Milwaukee Braves and the New York Mets. 

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  35. Columbia News


    On Sunday, March 18 we had our corn beef dinner with our children, Michelle and David McLaughlin and Zachary, Tiffany and Konner Strout all from Harrington. I love to have them all about for a meal. If only the other three children and their families were with us, too. It is hard when the others live away.

    I guess the next gathering will be for Easter dinner and that is coming up soon. It seems I just sent out St. Patrick’s Day cards to the little ones and now Easter cards are already in the mail. How time flies from one holiday to another.

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  36. Wesley News


    Had a great time at Casey and Katrina’s open house. Everyone that was there on Sarturday the 17th got to meet Avangeline who was 11 days old. What a cutie. Even Carola was there holding the baby. The oldest resident and the youngest town resident, a good picture of the two. 

    After dropping Linda and Judy off at home I picked up Mya and went to Jenn’s in Penobscot for the night. We went out to eat that night with Maddy, John, and Jenn. Had a good visit and told Maddy to have a good trip to Florida with friends. 

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  37. Harrington News

    This is a beautiful day. The sun is shining, it is warm, and FRANKIE’S TAKE OUT on Beal’s Island is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Right now they are open weekends. Call and check their schedule and be prepared for the best seafood anywhere. I had the scallop dinner and it was delicious!!!

    The buoys and traps are being repaired for the 2018 lobster season!  It is lovely out on the water on a sunny day. Windy and rainy days are not ideal, but they still try to get out every day.

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  38. UMaine welcomes new wild blueberry specialist

    Lily Calderwood is the the new University of Maine Cooperative Extension wild blueberry specialist and assistant professor of horticulture.

    Calderwood most recently worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension as a commercial horticulture educator. Her research interests include sustainable agriculture, soil health and integrated pest management, and farmer-to-farmer learning.

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  39. Beals Islanders hold annual town meeting

    by Nancy Beal

    Approximately three dozen islanders turned out for the Beals annual town meeting held March 20 in the elementary school gymnasium. First Selectman Daniel Davis moderated the three-hour session during which the townspeople raised $246,305 to run the town in 2018. The most controversial item was an amendment to the harbor ordinance that sought to eliminate the need for a harbormaster to be a town resident.

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  40. Tips and resources for older job seekers

    Dear Savvy Senior,

    What resources can you recommend to help older job seekers? I’m 60 and have been out of work for nearly a year now and need some help. 

    Seeking Employment

    Dear Seeking,

    While the U.S. job market has improved dramatically over the past few years, challenges still persist for many older workers. To help you find employment, there are job resource centers and a wide variety of online tools specifically created for older job seekers. Here’s where you can find help.

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  41. CDC warns of unlicensed tattoo artist in East Machias

    If you received a tattoo at the location, the CDC recommend you get tested for Hep C, Hep B and HIV immediately.

    The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) has become aware of an unlicensed tattoo artist working out of their home in East Machias. The home is located at 16 Cove Road in East Machias. The CDC said they are not releasing a name of the individual because they believe the person has been operating under multiple aliases. 

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  42. Community Calendar

    Upcoming events

    • • • • • •

    Celtic Concert: Richard Wood and Gordon Belsher, Eastport Arts Center. March 31, 7 p.m.

    • • • • • •

    The Beal Family will present an Easter benefit concert titled “O What a Savior” at Faith Bible Fellowship in Milbridge.  Love offering will be taken to benefit Randy Beal. Friday, March 30 at 7 p.m.

    • • • • • •

    Red Cross Blood Drive, Wednesday, April 4, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Regional Medical Center Lubec, 43 South Lubec Road, Lubec.

    • • • • • •

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  43. Machias Wild Blueberry Festival T-Shirt Contest deadline announced

    Organizers of the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival want to remind everyone that May 1 is the submission deadline to enter your design in the 2018 Machias Wild Blueberry Festival T-shirt Contest. The winner’s design will be used on T-shirts made for this year’s festival, August 17 – 19. Every year a different design is featured on the T-shirts, which are sold to hundreds of festival goers. Co-chair Nancy Lewis said that it’s always exciting to see so many colorful, creative designs.

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  44. Rhythms of the Heart film presentation

    Honoring the life of Passamaquoddy craftsman David Moses Bridges

    The Grand Theatre, in partnership with the Beth Wright Cancer Resource Center and the Abbe Museum, is proud to present “Rhythms of the Heart”, a film by Maine filmmaker Thom Willey. This is the story of David Moses Bridges, a Passamaquoddy craftsman who specialized in birch bark canoe making and basketry. David balanced his family life, artwork, and culture while undergoing treatment for cancer. His legacy is one of perseverance, tradition, and passion.

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  45. Music producer to present Judy Garland’s place in the Great American Songbook

    Lawrence Schulman

    Award-winning music producer, critic and translator Lawrence Schulman will give a talk on Judy Garland entitled “Moments of Magic,” at the Porter Memorial Library in Machias, Maine on Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m.. Admission is free. The talk will examine Judy Garland’s life and career and will feature nine audio-video clips, to be followed by a question and answer session. Schulman will endeavor to answer the question: “If I had about one hour to convince you of Judy Garland’s place in classic American popular music, what film and television performances would I choose?” 

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