1. Speaking out about life with learning disabilities

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Despite lifelong struggles with reading, Shannon Davenport just wrote an essay on what it’s like to live with a learning disability.

    “It just came to mind, writing about it. It just came to me,” said Davenport. “I could see the words on the paper, and that just helped.”

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  2. Living and having a learning disability

    by Shannon Davenport

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  3. Teachers unhappy with board’s rejection of recommendation

    by Nancy Beal

    Sixteen teachers from the three schools in the Moosabec area’s Union 103 district gathered in the art room at Jonesport Elementary School May 14 to air their grievances and plan their next step. They have been working without a contract for over a year during which time the negotiating teams from their union, the Moose-A-Bec Teachers Association (MAT), and the school board have been unable to reach an agreement on a new three-year contract.

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  4. Margaretta Days Festival right around the corner, June 14-15

    Mark your calendars for the 19th Annual Margaretta Days Festival and Crafts Fair, which will take place June 14-15 on the lawn of the University of Maine at Machias.

    The festival celebrates the “Lexington of the Sea,” the first naval battle of the American Revolution, fought — and won — by Machias patriots in June 1775.

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  5. Moosabec Ambulance Service honors its own during EMS Week

     

    by Nancy Beal

    The Moosabec Ambulance Service (MAS) took part in EMS Week (Emergency Medical Services) last week with a service award luncheon at its hangar on Jonesport’s Main Street, where members of the MAS crew were recognized for their years of service. The event was organized by MAS service chief Renée Gray, a homemaker, Lubec town manager and a 20-year veteran of the ambulance service.

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  6. Right from the barber’s chair

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  7. Preseason benefit to support landmark 50th season of Machias Bay Chamber Concerts

     

    The Machias Bay Chamber Concerts will present a fundraising pre-season piano show on Sunday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Centre Street Congregational Church in Machias. This concert will feature local pianists who perform in a variety of styles, including classical, jazz, blues, and experimental. There will be a mid-show intermission with refreshments, as well as a visual-art display. This presentation will benefit this 50th season of the series, and we’re asking a minimum $5 admission for this amazing evening. Here’s a preview of the musicians for this night:

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  8. PBSO presents spring concert series

     

    The Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra concludes its spring season with three performances on Friday, June 14 at 7 p.m. at the Eastport Arts Center; Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m. at the Centre Street Congregational Church in Machias; and Sunday, June 16 at 3 p.m. at the Calais Congregational Church.

    The program includes Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischutz Overture, Paul Hindemith’s Metamorphosis and two works for orchestra and cello, Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei and David Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody.

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  9. The Nature of Phenology: American Shad

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  10. Machias Memorial Day Parade

     The American Legion Post #9 will lead a Memorial Day ceremony at Longfellow Cemetery on Monday, May 27, at 10 a.m. Longfellow Cemetery is located on Court Street on beyond the hospital, heading toward Whitneyville. Then the Memorial Day parade will line up at Machias Memorial High School at 10:30 a.m., and march at 11 a.m. down Court Street.

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  11. Democratic Party controlled House and Senate pass taxpayer funding for abortion

    by Pravda Gladio

    For the first time in Maine, on May 16, Democrats controlling both the House and Senate in Augusta have passed taxpayer-supported abortion services under LD 820.

    Many Mainers who objected to the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion attended the Committee Hearings in April and gave testimony.  Mainers testified that they did not want their tax dollars being used to fund abortion, which is an elective procedure 99% of the time.

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  12. Reduced tonnage could cost towns planning withdrawal from PRSWDD

     

    by Nancy Beal

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  13. Stevenson sentenced, receives 30 days jail time, four years probation

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Christopher Stevenson of Roque Bluffs pleaded nolo contendere to charges of operating after suspension, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and manslaughter for an accident that took the life of his 11-year-old daughter on the night of Dec. 14, 2017. An earlier charge of operating under the influence was dismissed.

    Stevenson was sentenced to 30 days in jail and four years probation. His daughter, Keagan Stevenson, was a student in the 5th grade at Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School in Machias.

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  14. CRH nurses: ‘We’re fighting to keep this hospital alive’

    by Ruth Leubecker

    With negotiations ended and issues unsettled, Calais Regional Hospital nurses are asking the community to turn out for a vigil to marshall support for their jobs.

    “I negotiated their last contract in 2015, and with good results,” says Todd Ricker, Maine Nurses Association labor representative, “but since then, the administration has changed. My idea is the CEO decided to take an aggressive stance against the nurses.”

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  15. Roque Bluffs says yes to municipal broadband network

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    At a town meeting held Wednesday, May 15 residents of Roque Bluffs voted 63 to 27 in favor of building their own high-speed broadband network, funded either by a USDA grant or loan taken out by the municipality.

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  16. The evolution of Memorial Day

     

    by Ralph Canevali

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  17. Librarians meet In Whitneyville

    Washington County Librarians along with Lisa Shaw and Jennifer Melvin, both of the Maine State Library, met on Monday, May 13 at the new Whitneyville Public Library. Librarians came to discuss what is new and what is happening at their libraries.

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  18. Hannah Weston DAR installs new officers

     

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  19. DECH Auxiliary announces 2019 scholarship winners

     

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  20. Machias Memorial High School proudly announces Class of 2019 Honor Parts

     

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  21. Machias High School News

     

    Does it seem like there is always a police vehicle at Machias Memorial High School (MMHS)?  Well there is!  MMHS and Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School (RMG) are coming to the end of the first year of their School Resource Officer Program. Through a partnership between the Machias School Department and the Town of Machias a police officer has been present on campus five days a week for the 2018-2019 school year.

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  22. Chorus to present a World Tour in Song

     

    Quoddy Voices will present its spring concerts on Friday, May 31 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, June 2 at 3 p.m., at the Eastport Arts Center. The program, Around the World In 80 Minutes, is a rhythmic and joyful exploration of the great diversity of musical traditions in our world.  The featured work is one recently composed for Quoddy Voices by Chinese composer Yujing Bai.

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  23. The Nature of Phenology: Shadbush

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  24. Fiddleheads, a springtime delicacy

     

    by Jayna Smith

    Fiddleheads, the young coiled fronds of the ostrich fern, are a springtime delicacy in Maine and New Brunswick, and in other Northeastern states and Maritime provinces.  According to University of Maine Cooperative Extension, nearly all ferns have fiddleheads, but not all fiddleheads are edible.

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  25. 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. 

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  26. 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.

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  27. 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.

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  28. 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.

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  29. 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.

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  30. 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.

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  31. 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.

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  32. Wool felting double header enmeshed participants in a fascinating medium

     

    by Lauren Koss

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  33. 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.

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  34. Washington Academy Class of 2019 Honor Parts

     

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  35. Jonesport-Beals High School Class of 2019 Honor Parts

     

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  36. 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.

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  37. 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.

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  38. 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.

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  39. 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.”

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  40. Whiting School alums return for Service Day

     

    by Lauren Koss

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  41. 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.

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  42. 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.

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  43. 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.

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  44. 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.

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  45. The Nature of Phenology: Bluets

     

    by Hazel Stark

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