1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Local picker finds historic naval lithograph

     

    by Lura Jackson

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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Milking days

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  10. Local legislators tour Downeast Institute with Congressman Golden

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  11. The Nature of Phenology: Groundhogs

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. Ermines in winter

     

    by Hazel Start

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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. Sheriff’s office seeks vandals who ransacked Bill Coperthwaite’s yurt

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon 

    The yurt that was home to Machiasport legend Bill Coperthwaite was severely vandalized in December and now the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the property’s caretakers and owners are hoping to find those responsible.

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  26. Paper route carriers sought to continue award-winning initiative

    by Lura Jackson

    In the summer of 2017, this newspaper’s sister publication, The Calais Advertiser, started a new initiative to return paperboys to the streets of Calais. Young workers willing and able to deliver newspapers every week to the neighborhoods of Calais were sought.

    The initiative was successful and one paperboy in particular - Shane DelMonaco - embraced the task with gusto. DelMonaco, now a student at Calais High School, operated his own school newspaper in elementary school and champions the cause of local newspapers.

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  27. Skowhegan ‘Indians’ debate draws Passamaquoddy participation

    by Lura Jackson

    In the center of Maine, a debate has taken hold of the community: should Skowhegan Area High School change the name of its high school teams from the “Indians” – a change supported by many indigenous members of the extended community – or keep them as is, in keeping with the group calling itself Skowhegan Indian Pride? At the most recent meeting, which took place on Jan. 8 in Skowhegan and drew approximately 200 people, Passamaquoddy Dwayne Tomah was the first to speak out.

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  28. Thoughts on a Winter Day

     

    by Wayne Smith

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  29. More new titles at Porter Memorial Library

     

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  30. Sunrise Senior College brings you the Saturday Matinee Double Feature!

     

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  31. Machias seniors learn from Machias alumni

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  32. Frogs in winter

     

    by Joseph Horn

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  33. Publisher addresses fake news, future news technology

    View full video of talk at www.machiasnews.com/facebook-fakenews

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias Valley News Observer publisher Pierre Little spoke at the monthly meeting of the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Jan. 10. Little also publishes the Calais Advertiser.

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  34. Pierre Little, the newspaper's publisher, explains how to spot Fake News

    Fake News, Facebook and Newspapers

    Talk presented to member of the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce January 10, 2019 at Helen's Restaurant in Machias, Maine.

    Thank you for having me, a special thank you to Sharon Mack and President Steve Richardson at the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce for allowing me to speak to you this morning.

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  35. MMHS cheerleading squad takes first place!

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  36. Town sets public hearing to discuss proposed Machias TIF before vote

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias residents are invited to a public hearing on Thursday, Jan. 31 to discuss three matters including the proposed Machias Revitalization Municipal Tax Increment Financing District and Development Program, or “Machias Revitalization TIF” for short.

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  37. New corrections commissioner says Bucks Harbor prison is a top priority

    by Ruth Leubecker

    During his first week in office, Randall Liberty, newly appointed commissioner of corrections, announced his top three priorities for action.

    “The Downeast Correctional Facility, Long Creek and the women’s prison population are tops on my list, and those are not in any order. They’re all right there at the top,” he informed the Machias Valley News Observer last week. “With DCF we recognize the value of the facility in providing employees to businesses that use them, and we also realize the value of the prison as an employer.”

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  38. DOT says East Machias potholes mended, for now

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) has plans to repair 1.79 miles of Route 1 in East Machias but, unfortunately for frustrated local drivers, those repairs can’t take place until 2020. 

    The stretch of Route 1 northbound that immediately follows Pope’s Bridge in East Machias has become notorious for its enormous potholes during the winter months. Though DOT crews work regularly to refill the holes, many local drivers complain of damage to their vehicles.

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  39. Garet Beal's #24 retired

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  40. Wild Blueberry Commission agrees to increased grower representation

     

    by Nancy Beal

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  41. Flash mob shopping success

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  42. Smith cleared of child assault charges

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Seven charges against Jason Smith of East Machias have been dismissed and he has pled no contest to aggravated assault, for which he will be on probation for three years.

    Smith spent 125 days in the Washington County Jail after being charged with gross sexual assault, unlawful sexual conduct and assault, visual aggression against a child, solicitation of a child, and endangering the welfare of a child. The charges dated to an alleged incident in June, 2017.

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  43. The trail of Hannah and Rebecca Weston

    Editor’s note: With the support and encouragement of Charlie Robbins, Rep. Will Tuell has submitted legislation to honor the long walk of Hannah and Rebecca Weston by naming a stretch of Route 1 in their honor. For those of us unfamiliar with their story, Valdine Atwood brings us this account of the girls’ heroic journey, edited by Atwood and taken from the 1903 edition of “THE REVOLUTION - Life of Hannah Weston” by George W. Drisko, as related to him by grandchildren of Mrs. Weston.

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  44. Senator Collins hires Columbia Falls native

    U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced today that Hannah Hudson, a Columbia Falls native, has been hired as a legislative correspondent in her Washington, D.C. office.  Hannah is the daughter of Tom and Cheri Hudson of Columbia Falls.  She was previously a Senior Associate at The Cohen Group, a firm led by former Secretary of Defense and Maine Senator Bill Cohen.

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  45. Mosaic Making Workshop Offered at EAC

     

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