1. Life on the run

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  2. Beware “The Bull”: Remembering Bull Powers

     

    by the St. Croix Historical Society

    Among the most iconic law enforcement figures in the living memory of the Calais and greater Maine community is State Trooper Francis “Bull” Powers. Known for his size as much as his demeanor, Powers served the area well with his particular approach to justice until 1964.

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  3. MVCS celebrates reading with Dr. Seuss

    It was an exciting week at Machias Valley Christian School leading up to the celebration of National Read Across America Day on March 2. The week focused on a different Dr. Seuss book each day with coordinating outfits and hands-on activities. “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”, “The Lorax”, “Wacky Wednesday”, “Green Eggs and Ham”, and “The Cat in the Hat” were the chosen books. The teachers decorated their rooms and the entrance with a “Seussville” atmosphere. Guest readers were invited into the classrooms to read a book aloud to the students.

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  4. WA takes prize in 2019 Titan Challenge

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  5. A Royal race well run

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  6. Poliquin assesses shifting priorities

     

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Noncommittal about future plans but still dealing with the loss of his 2nd District congressional seat, Bruce Poliquin arrived in town to greet friends and touch base.

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  7. Rep. Perry cosponsors Indigenous People’s Day bill

    by Lura Jackson

    Testimony is currently being heard in Augusta to weigh the case of changing the second Monday in October from Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day at the state level. The bill, LD 179, was introduced by Representative Benjamin Collings of Portland and is co-sponsored by nine other legislators, including Anne Perry of Calais. In her testimony, Perry referenced the important role of the Passamaquoddy in the St. Croix Valley.

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  8. When dolls went on parade in Machias

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  9. Local author speaks at PML March 1

    Porter Memorial Library is happy to have Ruth Fenton come and talk about her new book — It’s 3 a.m . — on Friday, March 1 starting at 5 p.m. The book is a collection of poems, lyrics, anecdotes, letters to the editor and something we all have, random thoughts. Alternating between whimsical and profound, Ruth’s voice is both intensely personal and universal. Come and hear Ruth read from her book and share her thoughts on the writing process. No doubt,  you’ll find that some of the stories from the book are your stories, too.

    What others are saying about It’s 3 a.m. —

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  10. Legislative update

    On Monday, Feb. 25 Rep. Will Tuell’s bill to exempt fraternal and veterans organizations from cribbage tournament licensing requirements passed committee unanimously, meaning it will likely sail through the legislature, and the American Legion will no longer have to pay a fee to allow its members to play cribbage. Tuell’s bill to reorganize the Wash. Co. County Budget Committee also passed committee.

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  11. The Editor's Desk

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The news never sleeps but sometimes I do, and so last week I took a vacation from this page, and this week I’ve taken a vacation from the other pages.  

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  12. Orphaned bear cub gets fresh start with new mom

     

    by Amanda DeMusz, Regional Wildlife Biologist

     

    Last April, an orphaned bear cub from Caribou was placed in a den with a new mom, Jen, an experienced mother bear that had been found in good shape with her single cub when her den was visited by the department bear research crew a few weeks before the orphaned cub was found. Warden Alan Dudley managed to catch the cub whose mother had been hit by a car on the highway, and Biologists Randy Cross and Amanda DeMusz took the cub deep into the woods to its new family.

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  13. Raccoon breeding season

     

    by Hazel Stark

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  14. Local buoy goes back to the old country

    A scientist living on the Waterford Coast of Ireland sent the Machias Valley News this picture of a buoy he recently found washed up on an Irish beach and belonging to Dave Fraser of Harrington. “I do my best to return flotsam to its owner, but this one is a little awkward to return because the Gulf Stream is relentlessly one way,” wrote Andrew Lloyd, who published the Maine buoy find on his blog. “Perhaps you could tell Dave, though, so he isn’t fruitlessly scouring the waves for his buoy.”

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  15. 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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  16. Jonesport-Beals Royals headed to semifinals

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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. WA swim team competes in state finals

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  23. Lady Clippers’ victory advances team to semifinals

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  24. Students become authors at MVCS

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  25. Doves, wild and feral

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. Taking time off from the farm

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  35. Bird irruptions

     

    by Hazel Stark

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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. Local picker finds historic naval lithograph

     

    by Lura Jackson

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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. Milking days

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  45. Local legislators tour Downeast Institute with Congressman Golden

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