1. Fremont Street String Band to perform at Cobscook Fundraiser

     

    Students at the Cobscook Experiential Program invite the community to an all you can eat pizza and music fundraiser on Friday, March 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. Students are raising money for two upcoming trips, one to Saint John, New Brunswick in March and another to Washington, DC in April. Washington County’s favorite Yankee bluegrass quintet, Fremont Street String Band, will perform. Students are also organizing a raffle of new family camping items and children’s life jackets. The suggested donation for the dinner is $10 per person or $25 per family.

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  2. Jonesport-Beals Royals headed to semifinals

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  3. New legislation could cool U.S. tensions in heated ‘grey zone’

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Despite a history of congenial relations, a 277-square-mile expanse of water stands out as a persistent disagreement between the United States and Canada.
    The “grey zone” is the name given to prime lobster waters between Washington County and Grand Manan, New Brunswick, where the matter of jurisdiction has been in question since the 1700s. Today it is fished by lobstermen from both nations, but each side fishes according to different rules.

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  4. Jonesport to act on medical marijuana ordinance Feb. 27

    by Nancy Beal

    An ordinance governing the licensing of medical marijuana retail stores, manufacturing and testing facilities will be placed before Jonesporters next week. Starting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 27, the proposed nine-page ordinance will be aired at a public hearing followed by a vote to accept or reject it. If accepted by a majority of those present and voting, it will become effective immediately. Copies of the proposal are available at the town office, where next week’s hearing and vote will be held.

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  5. Resource shortfall can’t handle surge in elder abuse

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Magnified by the growing demographic of the elderly and the aversion to report, elder abuse must now also contend with inadequate staffing and stagnant funding.

    State caseworkers are short-staffed enough that they often can’t read through all the new cases in a given day. One caseworker, stipulating that she remain nameless, said that the daily number of reports of abuse and neglect among the elderly and disabled ha beesn increasing steadily over many months.

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  6. Machias’ Porter library sets goal to make its facility fully accessible

     

    by RJ Heller

    A lofty goal has been set by the Porter Memorial Library (PML) board of trustees to implement a plan that will make the historic structure fully accessible to the public while also adding much needed programming space. The anticipated expansion will cost approximately $1.5 million.

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  7. Bakers and gardeners wanted for cake and seed fundraisers at the library

    Porter Memorial Library’s first dessert auction was sadly sidelined by last week’s pre-Valentine’s Day storm. But we will not be deterred!

    Please consider baking or buying a dessert to donate to our new dessert auction, which will take place in person and on our Facebook page on Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. If you are donating a dessert (chocolates, cakes, cookies, you  name it!) please drop it off at the library on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

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  8. WA swim team competes in state finals

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  9. Lady Clippers’ victory advances team to semifinals

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  10. Students become authors at MVCS

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  11. Doves, wild and feral

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  12. Atwood receives prestigious award for exceptional service to Washington County

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias Rotary Club organizers surprised Valdine Atwood with a prestigious honor called the Paul Harris Fellow recognition, which they bestowed at their weekly meeting held Tuesday, Feb. 5 at the Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant.

    The Paul Harris Fellow is given by the Rotary Club in honor of an individual’s exceptional service to their community. Along with the honor, the club made a $1,000 donation in Atwood’s name, which will support the charitable work of the Rotary Club nationwide.

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  13. Machias votes overwhelmingly in favor of revitalization TIF

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon
    Machias voted in favor of adopting the Machias Revitalization TIF at a town meeting held Thursday, Feb. 7. More than 50 people attended and voted unanimously in favor of the TIF or Municipal Tax Increment Financing.
    The town also voted unanimously in favor of a new Communications Facility Ordinance, which will give the town the power to weigh in on placement of new radio and cell tower construction, and a small amendment to the town’s building permit regulation.

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  14. Lobster license wait list bill heard in Augusta

     

    by Nancy Beal

    A bill that would grant to apprentice lobstermen who have been waiting for a license for 10 years or more was heard in Augusta February 5. Most spoke against it, including the president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. The Department of Marine Resources, which issues lobster licenses, did not take a position, indicating that it would wait until after any new restrictions on fishing were issued by the federal government in its attempt to protect North Atlantic right whales.

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  15. State’s plans for Bucks Harbor prison ricochet, but predicted to gain scope

     

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Definitive plans for the future of Downeast Correctional Facility were announced on television news this past week, but apparently, from those in the know, the news was premature.

    The early announcement said the Bucks Harbor prison would receive $4 million this year and another $5.8 million in 2020. Inmates and staff would be returned to DCF in October 2019.

    The news two days later: “It is unclear at this point if the prison will be a pre-release facility, or if a new facility will be built.”

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  16. After months of red tape, Machiasport says goodbye to epic demolition pile

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    When David Wood volunteered his services to demolish and relocate a house, he thought the Machiasport Fire Department would soon proceed with their plans to use it for a training burn, per the owner’s wishes. Instead, the monster two-story pile of demolition debris has greeted drivers entering Machiasport from the Rim Road since last October.

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  17. Fort O’Brien School students to compete in engineering challenge

     

    by RJ Heller

    Technology is all around us, and some students from a local Machiasport school believe they will have something to say about it in a way that could see impactful change made in harnessing the wind for power.

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  18. Small growers’ bill to expand blueberry council heard in Augusta

     

    by Nancy Beal

    Legislation that would expand the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission (WBC), under discussion since December by members of the WBC and by small growers who sought the expansion, was heard in Augusta February 5 by the legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Not scheduled at press time, but expected to follow soon, is a second bill on the subject prepared and promoted by the WBC itself.

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  19. MMHS senior Madison Conlin earns full scholarship to Bowdoin College

    MMHS senior, Madison Conlin, has been awarded the QuestBridge Scholarship to attend Bowdoin College. This is a full scholarship for four years to one of Maine’s most elite schools. QuestBridge Scholarship is a national program that connects high achieving high school seniors with full scholarships to the nation’s top colleges.

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  20. Taking time off from the farm

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  21. Bird irruptions

     

    by Hazel Stark

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  22. Sheriff’s office adds new deputies, towns explore additional coverage

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis and Chief Deputy Michael Crabtree say they’ve hired two new deputies and identified a third to hire in April. One new hire will backfill a vacant position, and the other will fill one of three new positions funded for 2019.

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  23. Trailrunner Wireless brings new rural internet option to Washington County

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    There are wide swaths of Washington County where it’s not possible to get high-speed internet access, and a new company hopes to change that.

    DownEast Wireless has announced it will begin offering Trailrunner Wireless broadband service in Washington County beginning this week.

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  24. Roque Bluffs to explore building a municipal fiber network

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12 will invite residents of Roque Bluffs to learn more about the potential for a town-owned internet offering. Roque Bluffs Selectwoman Lisa Hanscom said this is the third in a series of conversations the town has held since last year.

    “The people who have attended are really interested, “ said Hancom. “We’re asking people from the community to come again and discuss all this with Axiom and Island Institute.”

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  25. University partnership pioneers new path to maritime law degree

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Shaving a year off the overall time to earn two degrees beneficial to Downeast Maine, a two-college partnership aims to boost the number of attorneys in rural practices.

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  26. Jonesport budget committee readies figures for March 11 town meeting

     

    by Nancy Beal

    The Jonesport budget committee met January 30 and reviewed selectmen’s recommendations for a 2019-20 budget that totaled $728,961. After an hour’s discussion, the five-person panel added nearly $6,000 to that total. Members of the committee present included Wendy Beal, chair, John Church, Shane Farris, Lois Hubbard and Jane McMichen. Absent for medical reasons were Boyde Crowley and Paul Iossa. Also present were the town’s three selectmen, their office assistant and the town treasurer/tax collector.

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  27. Local picker finds historic naval lithograph

     

    by Lura Jackson

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  28. Award-winning journalist to speak on the search for truth

    Whether the journalist’s assignment is about politics, religion, or scallops, there are always at least two sides to every story, and everybody in the story thinks she holds the golden mantle of truth. Perhaps never before – in today’s climate of fake news and sharply divided politics – has this been truer. But the truth, as Edward R. Murrow observed, doesn’t always fall equally on both sides.

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  29. Public hearing answers TIF, cell tower questions before Feb. 7 vote

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Despite unusually cold temperatures a large crowd assembled at the Lee Pellon Center on Jan. 31 to learn more about the proposed Machias Revitalization TIF, a proposed Communications Facility Ordinance and amendment to the town’s building permit procedures.

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  30. Milking days

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  31. Local legislators tour Downeast Institute with Congressman Golden

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  32. The Nature of Phenology: Groundhogs

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  33. Machias Selectboard’s lively meeting covers police report, senior housing

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias Police Chief Grady Dwelley presented to the Machias Board of Selectmen at their bi-weekly meeting held Wednesday, Jan. 23. Dwelley submitted a report for his department’s activity between July and December 2018.

    “During that time we issued 37 criminal summons, including terrorizing, theft, criminal mischief, assault, burglary while armed and criminal threatening with a weapon,” said Dwelley.

    In total, the Machias Police Department took 676 calls in six months, for an average of 112 calls per month. 

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  34. New chapter in blueberry history debuts Feb. 4

    by Ruth Leubecker

    On a dramatically significant journey from the blueberry barrens to the far reaches of Iceland, Maine’s signature crop will be the subject of a five-part television series beginning February 4.

    Lynn Thurston, owner of Blue Sky Produce, is promoting the series “Ship Me Out”, which will be televised on newscentermaine.com and News Center’s YouTube page during the 5:30 newscasts the week of February 4. (While News Center’s Channel 6 out of Portland may be the sole channel, the series can be found on their web page.)

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  35. Jonesport writer draws on her heritage, life experience

     

    by Nancy Beal

    Wendy Newell Dyer, 54, of Jonesport, was taken from her 15-year-old mother at the age of 17 days and placed in foster care. Her early removal from her mother’s arms was the demand of the young mother’s father, and the reason was that the baby’s father was a Native American. Wendy’s foster parents, who were Caucasian, became her adoptive parents. She was raised in their culture, went to public school and college (UMaine-Machias 2003) and married a Jonesport boy. 

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  36. Local schools advance in quest for tech education center Downeast

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Washington County may be on the verge of getting its first dedicated Career and Technical Education center for youth. A group of schools who filed a state grant application last November have been told they are one of four grant winners statewide but do not yet know the exact amount of the state’s award. 

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  37. Public supper adds $3k to local firefighters’ Cancer Prevention Fund

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Several hundred people turned out to support their local fire departments at a public supper held Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Rose M. Gaffney School in Machias. 

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  38. DOT says East Machias road repair process will be lengthy

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Last week’s heavy rains exacerbated rough road conditions along a stretch of Route 1 in East Machias, which is slated for repairs next year.

    Whiting resident Gregory Maxwell said his wife had to replace two wheels after driving through the now-infamous potholes that appear after inclement weather at a cost of $800. The potholes are located just north of Pope’s Bridge. 

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  39. Machias Bay Chamber Concerts welcomes President Aceto

    The revitalized Board of the Machias Bay Chamber Concerts (MBCC) is happy to announce Susan Aceto has agreed to serve as President of the concert board and there will be a 50th season of concerts in Machias. Ms. Aceto has had a long association with the MBCC as a supporter, volunteer, benefactor and performer. 

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  40. Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services announces Maine Women Veterans Memorial Challenge, urges recognition

    The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services (MBVS) is partnering with Joy Asuncion, Maine’s Ambassador for the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation (Women’s Memorial) for the first “Maine Women Veterans Memorial Challenge.” The Challenge is a statewide, community-led drive to register all eligible women veterans from the state of Maine, past and present, for recognition on the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

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  41. Culinary arts students prepare for state competition

    Pictured:  Chef Beriau, students Robert Swallow, Aric McCurdy, Destiny Floyd, Leif McKenna and Tyler Demerest. Submitted photo

     

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  42. Ermines in winter

     

    by Hazel Start

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  43. An open letter to residents of Machias

    Publisher’s Note: This letter is being published with our full support and we hope all Machias residents vote in support Feb 7.  Any initiative that will bring jobs and economic growth to our community is exactly what we need.  Congratulations on this excellent initiative.  Pierre M. Little, MVNO Publisher

    Dear Machias Community,

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  44. As cancer rates climb, firefighters raise funds to protect themselves from deadly chemicals

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Fighting fire has always been a dangerous profession, and scientists are now learning that the risks to life and limb continue long after the fire has been extinguished. Simple exposure to fire smoke is a silent killer, and 27 local firefighters spent an evening last week learning how to protect themselves from the toxins that are spiking cancer and heart disease rates in their field.

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  45. Machias to address complexities of tax increment financing at public hearing Jan. 31

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Residents of Machias are invited to a public hearing to be held Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at the Lee Pellon Center. Three subjects will be discussed that night, but the first, and arguably most complex, will be the proposed Machias Revitalization TIF. The town will vote on the TIF on Feb. 7.

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