FBI nabs 13 in Wash. Co. drug sweep

 

On Thursday, May 4, the FBI made a major sweep across Washington and Hancock Counties, charging 13 people with drug trafficking. The raids came after months of investigation by Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Three separate raids occurred in Beals, Jonesport and Sullivan. More than $16,000 in cash was seized, along with illegal drugs and a sawed-off shotgun. The drugs involved include fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

Read More

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES NEW PRERELEASE CENTER WILL BE BUILT ON SITE OF MACHIASPORT PRISON

 

Governor Mills & Washington County Legislators Announce Agreement on Future of Downeast Correctional Facility

Governor Janet Mills and the Washington County Delegation announced today that they have reached an agreement to build a new pre-release center on the grounds of the existing Downeast Correctional Facility. This agreement comes in lieu of an earlier proposal to open a facility elsewhere in Washington County.

Read More

Cutler, Lubec, Jonesport residents swept up in county wide drug bust

 The following two stories were released today from the US Attorney's Office and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

On Thursday, May 2, more than thirty Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force Agents joined law enforcement partners from county, state and federal agencies in Washington and Hancock Counties to arrest a number of individuals who are now charged with criminal drug offenses either in state or federal court.

Read More

State’s prison plan ‘a place to start’

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A press release from Governor Janet Mills’ office lit up the statewide media on Friday, May 3, saying that the state will build a pre-release facility on the site of the old Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport.

In March, Department of Corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty stated that the DOC would not support reopening the prison, but would consider a pre-release center in another Downeast location, such as the Supertek building in East Machias.

Read More

Local students aim for space in CubeSat Challenge

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A group of students have embarked on a mission which could launch a Washington County-built satellite into space. And like many space missions, this one could take a very long time.

Read More

Machiasport urges residents to weigh in on embattled Pettegrow Point purchase at special town meeting

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The town of Machiasport has scheduled a special town meeting to discuss how to proceed with its proposed purchase of 37 acres of land abutting Bucks Harbor. The town’s plans to purchase the property were thwarted when it came to light that a residential covenant applies to all 37 acres. That means that without the approval of abutting landowners, the land may only be used for private housing, and not to expand harbor parking and public harbor access.

Read More

Hospital CEO announces new projects, the end of Northern Light connection

 

by Ruth Leubecker

Steve Lail, Down East Community Hospital CEO, reporting a first-quarter loss of $27,733, nonetheless anticipates a productive and eventful year at the Machias hospital.

“We’ve had an increase in temporary personnel and lab positions,” he said. “Nursing is still a very big expense. And about 10 of our nurses are pregnant, so that means more temps.”

Read More

Machiasport gets new wheels courtesy of Volkswagen settlement

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Students from Machiasport are riding to school in style, due in part to funds received from the state’s settlement with Volkswagen.

In 2017 then-Attorney General Janet Mills won $5.1 million by joining a 10-state coalition that sued the automaker for selling diesel vehicles fitted with “defeat devices” that concealed illegal amounts of emissions.

Read More

Drug raid targets residences in Beals

by Nancy Beal

Luke Crowley may have been the first Moosabecker to notice the new sheriff in town when he was coming over the Beals-Jonesport bridge before 5 a.m. on May 2 to go to haul with his father. While stopped for the traffic light, he watched a significant contingent of law enforcement vehicles pull out around him and burn through the red light. He phoned his parents, who were up and waiting for him, to tell them of the strange sight he had just witnessed.

Read More

MLB Jr. Home Run Derby to be held in Calais

 

by Jayna Smith

The Major League Baseball Jr. Home Run Derby is back for a second year in Calais. This fun and exciting youth competition is hosted by Calais-Area Fall Baseball, under the direction of coaches Matt Vinson and Matt Dana.

This local event is a free way for all area youngsters to showcase their hitting abilities, with the opportunity of competing at the National Finals in Cleveland during MLB All-Star Week in July.

Read More

Machias grad wins Bangor leadership award

Bangor Region Leadership Institute (BRLI) is proud to announce the 2019 G. Clifton Eames Leadership Award will be presented to Jillian Piehler, BRLI Class of 2014.

The G. Clifton Eames Leadership Award is presented each spring to an outstanding BRLI Alumni who has demonstrated exceptional community leadership and whose efforts have made a lasting positive impact on the Bangor Region. The award is named for Clif Eames, who is a model of leadership in the Bangor region, and an example of what BRLI graduates should strive to be in the community.

Read More

Fact-finding fails to unlock stalemate in Moosabec teacher contract talks

by Nancy Beal

Teachers at the three schools in the Moosabec area have been working without a contract since last September when the three-year collective bargaining agreement with the joint school board expired and teachers and the board failed to agree on the terms of its replacement (see MVNO, December 5, 2018). Last month, the recommendations of a fact-finding panel were handed down and last week they became public. The two sides were still at an impasse.

Read More

Small berry growers struggle for fair playing field in Augusta

by Ruth Leubecker

Battered by foreign competition and diving prices, Washington County’s wild blueberry growers are hoping for a legislative helping hand.

LD 145, sponsored by Rep. Bob Alley from Beals, seeks to even up the Wild Blueberry Commission board, upping the number of members from eight to 10, so that instead of five processor members and three growers, there would be five of each - if the bill passes as intended.

Read More

How to prevent tick diseases in prime Lyme season

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

So far this year there have been 103 confirmed new cases of Lyme disease in Maine, and the most active tick months are still in front of us. Scientists and other experts agree that an integrated pest management (IPM) approach is the most effective way to minimize your chances of contracting a tick-borne illness.

“Generally, people want this silver bullet solution that can do one thing and it will eliminate the ticks,” said Griffin Dill, scientist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Read More

Meet Millie, the cat with no eyes

 

by Jayna Smith

May is National Pet Month, a time to celebrate the benefits that pets bring to people’s lives--and vice versa. One feline friend showing lots of love and affection to her owner is Millie, a cat who has never seen her owner, Greg Williams, because she has no eyes.

About 12 years ago, Greg saw Millie’s picture in The Machias Valley News Observer. Millie was the featured cat that week by The Ark Animal Shelter in Cherryfield.

Read More

Young entrepreneurs buck all the trends with popular Machias game shop

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

We’ve all heard that young people spend too much time on screens, and we’ve all heard that young people are leaving Maine, but there’s a place in Machias that runs counter to both trends. Mahoney’s Gaming Emporium is a shop where young people crowd in almost every night to play tabletop games together, and its young owners moved to make a home for themselves right here in Washington County.

Read More

Machias Airport capital campaign takes off

 

The Machias Airport Committee, supported by the Town Manager and Selectboard, announced the official launch of the MVM Phase I Capital Fundraising Campaign beginning with a $50,000 pledge from Machias Savings Bank, bolstered by a $12,500 pledge from Bold Coast Smoke Shop, and further backed by numerous private citizen donations.

Read More

Jonesboro students travel to the Cosmodome in Canada

 

Imagine being able to travel to space, the moon or even to Mars. What would it be like to live and work in space? What would the training be like to be an astronaut? Jonesboro Elementary School’s Principal Marjorie Hicks and her dedicated team were able to fundraise and be the first group from Maine to go to the Cosmodome. In partnership with Professor Chris Abbandonato, Director of STEM Outreach at UMM, their team brought 24 fifth to eighth-grade students to the Cosmodome in Laval, Québec to participate in the Atlantis Space Camp program.

Read More

Machias arrests expand on countywide drug sweep

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

On the evening of Thursday, May 16, multiple local sources reported an apparent group arrest taking place at the Machias River Redemption Center on Main Street in Machias. 

Today, Maine State Police spokesperson Steve McCausland confirmed that three more people were arrested as part of a crackdown on the acquisition of illicit drugs in New York City and the distribution of those drugs throughout Hancock and Washington Counties. 

Read More