1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Wool felting double header enmeshed participants in a fascinating medium

     

    by Lauren Koss

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  6. 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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  7. Washington Academy Class of 2019 Honor Parts

     

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

     

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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. Whiting School alums return for Service Day

     

    by Lauren Koss

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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. The Nature of Phenology: Bluets

     

    by Hazel Stark

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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. Cancer Foundation rep visits Downeast

     

    by Nancy Beal

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  24. Chamber celebrates vibrant Machias Bay business scene

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. MVNO named Business of the Year

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  28. 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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  29. IGA building, boarding dogs, police protection

     

    by Nancy Beal

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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. The Nature of Phenology: Rhubarb

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. Taking wrestling outside the ring

    by Wayne Smith

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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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