1. Fire and ice

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

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

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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

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  3. Lubec’s controversial brining shed draws attention of international press

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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

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

    by Ruth Leubecker

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

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  5. PRSWDD to adopt semi-weighted voting

    by Nancy Beal

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

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  6. Police charge Pembroke Dollar Store robber who escaped by bicycle

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

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  7. CDC confirms case of feline rabies in East Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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

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  8. WA to host Father Daughter Dance Feb. 10

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

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

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

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  9. Porter Memorial Library news

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

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

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  10. Middle River Dyke, Machias - Part 1

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

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  11. Rain defrosts the deep freeze

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

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

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  12. Leading Maine progressives endorse Jonathan Fulford for Congress

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

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  13. Editor's Desk

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

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  14. Letter to the Editor - RAISE Family Caregivers Act

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

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  15. Letter to the Editor - Medical expense deduction

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

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

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

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

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  17. Collins, King support for bill to protect net neutrality

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

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  18. Guest Voice - Results of Machias Area Fishermen’s Survey

    by Rep. Will Tuell

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

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  19. Cobscook Outing Club starts Sunday, Jan. 28

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

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

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

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  21. Jonesport selectmen await answer from Sawyer family on shore properties

    by Nancy Beal

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  22. Exclusive interview with Lubec’s brining shed

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

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

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

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  23. Harrington News

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

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

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

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

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  24. Wesley News

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

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  25. Whitneyville news

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

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

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

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

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  26. Columbia News

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

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  27. Whitneyville Library news

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

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  28. Cherryfield and Milbridge news

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

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  29. WA Raiders varsity swim defeats GSA Eagles

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

     

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

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

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  31. Senate leaders warn of widespread flu activity

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

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  32. Help with home-care bills

    Dear Savvy Senior,

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

    Stressed-Out Daughter

    Dear Stressed-Out,

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

    Medicare Coverage

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  33. Carla Anthony White Florida

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

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  34. Aubrey Herbert Carter Ellsworth

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

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  35. Paul M Johnson Machiasport

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

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

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  36. Community Calendar

    Upcoming events

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    COLD WEATHER – WARM WATER

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

    • • • • • •

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

    • • • • • •

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  37. Narraguagus Knights in action shots at UMM

    Lawrence Merritt powering it to the hoop.

    Josiah Couture goes in for a lay-up

    Soft shot out front by Guagus Knight senior Kegin Schoppee.

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  38. Royals and Dragons are major contenders

    by Phil Stuart

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

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

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

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  39. Two more casualties

    by Phil Stuart

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

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

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

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  40. Blowouts way too common

    by Phil Stuart

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

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

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  41. Royal squads topple Machias

    by Phil Stuart 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  43. BHS recipient of Davis Family Foundations grant

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

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  44. Court News

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

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

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

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

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