1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Whiting School alums return for Service Day

     

    by Lauren Koss

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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. The Nature of Phenology: Bluets

     

    by Hazel Stark

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  11. 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.

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  12. 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.

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  13. 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.

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  14. Machias board talks marijuana, moving forward after setbacks

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine Wild Blueberry / Cherryfield Foods has withdrawn their offer to purchase the Machias Telebusiness Center. “The cost to convert it to housing was too high,” said Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien. Maine Wild would have used the center to house seasonal workers and had offered $250,000. The town has returned their $1,000 in earnest money.

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  15. Cancer Foundation rep visits Downeast

     

    by Nancy Beal

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  16. Chamber celebrates vibrant Machias Bay business scene

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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  17. Court denies motion, rockweed still private property

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A legal attempt to define rockweed as a marine organism held in the public trust failed last week when the Maine Supreme Court issued a denial on Friday, April 26.

    Acadian Seaplants, defendants in a three-year lawsuit originally filed in Machias, filed the Motion of Reconsideration on March 28 after the seven-justice Court declared rockweed to be a privately owned resource.

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  18. Gendron speaks at Rotary, ‘There’s no such thing as a perfect hockey player’

     

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Red Gendron in 2013 became the fifth head coach in University of Maine history to coach men’s ice hockey.

    His stellar career has constantly built on the steady achieving that led him back to Maine. From the New Jersey Devils to the Albany River Rats to the Indiana Ice, he then moved to coaching positions at the University of Massachusetts and Yale, where he guided that team to their first national championship in the school’s history in 2013.

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  19. MVNO named Business of the Year

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  20. Blevins brings his musical talents Downeast

     

    by Wayne Smith

    Randy Blevins and Crossroads were playing at the VFW in Harrington on a recent cool Saturday night when the moon was full. People came in with beer and beer coolers. Equipment came in from the back door where Blevins was dressed in a nice shirt. He had the long hair and mustache. He likes Downeast Maine, he said It was his second home. His best place to play. He hopes that anybody within 100 miles comes out and joins in the party.

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  21. IGA building, boarding dogs, police protection

     

    by Nancy Beal

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  22. Hitchings named WCCOG Destination Director

     

    Washington County Council of Governments Executive Director Judy East is very pleased to announce the promotion of Regional Planner Crystal Hitchings to the position of Destination Development Director.

    Ms. Hitchings has proven herself as an exceptional promoter of the Bold Coast Region (https://discoverboldcoast.com/) and has developed solid working relationships with businesses, Chambers, municipalities and schools to help us all see this beautiful region in which we live through the fresh eyes of an eager new visitor.

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  23. Porter Memorial Library calls for homeschool student art

    Porter Memorial Library celebrates the accomplishments of homeschooling families by sponsoring an annual art exhibit to showcase the work of homeschool students who live in Machias and surrounding towns.

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  24. The Nature of Phenology: Rhubarb

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  25. Rep. Alley’s bill to provide internet access in rural Maine signed by governor

    A bill sponsored by Rep. Robert Alley, D-Beals, to allow rural Mainers to check out mobile wi-fi devices from their local libraries was signed into law Tuesday by Governor Mills. The bill was enacted unanimously in both the House and the Senate.

    “We had a grant a couple of years ago that paid for devices people could check out of the local library and have wireless internet service in their homes,” Alley said. “This was a great benefit to people, especially students who don’t have regular access to the internet at home. Then the grant ran out.”

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  26. Machias talks grease traps, speeding and an unlicensed marijuana shop

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    An unusual assortment of subjects made up the agenda of the Machias Board of Selectmen on Wednesday, April 10.

    First, Maine Coast Heritage Trust representative Jacob Van de Sande answered questions regarding the trust’s offer to donate the Machias River Redemption Center to the town for demolition, to create a new green space alongside Main Street. The town will vote on that question on Tuesday, April 23.

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  27. At Rotary, publisher extols value of community papers, slams fake news

     

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Pierre Little, MVNO publisher, was welcomed as a Machias Rotary speaker last week. His brief talk focused on weeklies as the backbone of communities and fake news as the dangerous scourge of truth in print.

    Little, born in Moncton, New Brunswick, and educated in New Hampshire, has deep ties to New England. He has owned the MVNO for five years and the Calais Advertiser for seven. Under his leadership, editorial content and advertising revenue have steadily expanded.

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  28. King urges IRS to stop targeting Wash. Co. with audits

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In a letter sent by Senator Angus King (I-ME) to the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, he expressed concern that the IRS is conducting a disproportionate number of tax audits in Maine’s two poorest counties — Piscataquis and Washington.

    “The IRS’s misdirected audits of lower-income Americans have led to higher-than-average audit rates in two of Maine’s most underprivileged counties,” wrote King.

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  29. Jonesport selectmen open bids on tax-acquired properties

     

    by Nancy Beal

    It was not a clash of towns but a clash of cultures that brought Beals Selectman Louis “Tony” Unger to his feet to speak angrily to Jonesport selectmen last week after losing his bids on a pair of tax-acquired properties. On April 17, the Jonesport panel opened, reviewed and voted to award five properties that had undergone foreclosure due to non-payment of taxes. Unger had bid on two of them but acquired neither.

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  30. State board issues injunction against Machias doctor, veterinarian speaks out

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Maine Board of Veterinary Medicine issued a statement on Wednesday, April 19, advising that Dr. Cynthia Teer has not been licensed to practice veterinary medicine since January 2018. In October 2018 Teer signed a consent agreement and paid a $10,000 find to the state for “gross negligence, incompetence, misconduct or violation of an applicable code of ethics.” Teer practices at the Machias Animal Hospital.

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  31. Out and about in Columbia

     

    On Friday evening April 12, 20 members of Eastern Star attended the stated meeting of Rumery Chapter #46 at the Masonic Lodge at Addison Point. Refreshments were served afterward during the social hour. Six Eastern Star members came from Irene Chapter 97 of Ellsworth.

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  32. Taking wrestling outside the ring

    by Wayne Smith

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  33. Walk for Life cancer fundraiser adds a walk in Ellsworth

    by Nancy Beal

    The 19th Beth Wright Center’s annual Walk for Life will take off from the center of Addison village on May 18 and, for the first time, will run simultaneously with one in Ellsworth. The Ellsworth event will be part of the Pink Tulip Project sponsored by the Ellsworth Garden Club. That walk will start at Knowlton Park on State Street, go out the Shore Road and double back, ending at Donald Little Park where there will be food, face painting, a silent auction and a plant sale, including pink tulips.

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  34. Tickets on sale now for GoldenOak at The Grand: A benefit concert for Healthy Acadia’s Gleaning Initiative

    Healthy Acadia is raising funds for food security with a GoldenOak benefit concert at The Grand on Saturday, June 8. This event will support Healthy Acadia’s Downeast Gleaning Initiative, a farm-based food collection and donation project that feeds people experiencing hunger with surplus nutritious produce.

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  35. Dave Gunning kicks of Calais Celtic Concerts 2019 season

    Calais Celtic Concerts will present Dave Gunning at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 2 Park St., Calais, Maine on Sunday, April 28, at 7 p.m. U.S., 8 p.m. Canadian time. The doors will open at 6 p.m. EST.

    Entering its eighth season, Calais Celtic Concerts is coming off its best year last year with huge audiences and making Calais a destination with award-winning groups from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the USA.

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  36. Arts campers reached for the stars at Eastport Arts Center

    Rocket ships, UFOs, aliens, pastel space paintings and more added up to an action-packed Outer Space themed April Vacation Arts Camp April 16-18 at Eastport Arts Center. Thirteen children from Eastport, Robbinston, Pembroke, Edmunds, Parsonsfield, Bangor, Scarborough and as far away as Bolivia (South America) explored their ideas of extraterrestrial life, intergalactic travel and heavenly bodies using a wide variety of media.

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  37. Block printers explored African art form over two weekends

    A group of 13 gathered at Eastport Arts Center for two four-hour Saturday sessions, March 2 and 9, to explore block printing on fabric with Susan Lehnen, an artist and educator who lives in Perry. The first meeting included a lesson in the traditional techniques and symbolism of adinkra cloth, a hand-printed fabric developed by the Ashanti people in Ghana. Workshop participants then began developing their own symbolic stamps, cutting designs into linoleum mounted on PVC plastic plates and making their first efforts at printing the stamps.

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  38. Big night

     

    by Hazel Stark

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  39. Maine quarantine on Emerald Ash Borer announced

    The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has announced a formal quarantine on emerald ash borer (EAB) and material that may harbor it.

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  40. We need community journalism now more than ever

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon, Editor

     

    I was chatting with a local businessman last month when he said, “So, how is the newspaper doing, you know, now that no one reads newspapers anymore?” The newspaper is doing pretty well, I said, in part because people actually do read community newspapers like ours.

    That said, a recent Pew Research Study on the news habits of American adults found that 41 percent preferred to get their local news from television, 37 percent online, 13 percent in print, and 8 percent from the radio.

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  41. Machias veterinarian still illegally operating without license, says state

    The  State Board of Veterinary Medicine issued this warning today, April 17, about Dr. Cynthia Teer in Machias.  

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  42. Acadian Seaplants asks Court to reconsider rockweed decision

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    On Thursday, April 11, attorneys for Acadian Seaplants filed a Motion of Reconsideration with the Maine Supreme Court asking the Court to reconsider its recent decision in the case of Ross v. Acadian Seaplants. In the three years since the case was filed, both the Washington County Superior Court and the Maine Supreme Court declared that rockweed is not publicly owned, but instead “the private property of the adjacent upland landowner.”

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  43. ‘When the Chevy Breaks’ film looks at how we solve big problems Downeast

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    There were lights, there was action, and now there’s going to be a film premiere at the University of Maine at Machias. “When the Chevy Breaks (How Small Towns Solve Big Problems)” is a production of the film class led by Alan Kryszak and features interviews with more than a dozen people from Eastport to Jonesport. The title plays on the Led Zeppelin song, “When the Levee Breaks” and looks at the unique ways people in small towns big address problems, even dating back to the founding of Machias.

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  44. Machias to vote on four questions at April 23 meeting

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias will hold a special town meeting on Tuesday, April 23 to hold a vote on four different matters.

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  45. PRSWDD to stay open—for now

    by Nancy Beal

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