Local holiday gift giving program now spans generations of children

by Ruth Leubecker

From 12 needy children to over 12,000, it’s taken Rhonda French 34 years to achieve a giving miracle of leading by example.

“It all began 34 years ago when I was just out of college and running my own nursery school, and one little boy said he’d like to give a toy to another little boy who wasn’t going to get one for Christmas,” says French, reflecting on what would become a momentous day. “Well, we helped 12 children that first season, and I gave the toys to the Salvation Army to distribute.”

Read More

Young entrepreneur builds business success Downeast


by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Tyler Farrington can make a wreath in just five minutes, but he knows someone who can do it even faster. “Beth Hawkins was about the best,” he said. “If I broke brush for her, she could make one in about three minutes.”

Speedy wreathing is something Farrington appreciates as the owner of Machias Bay Wreath, a business he founded in 2013 at the age of 20. Employing about 18 people this year, Machias Bay Wreath will produce thousands of wreaths for wholesale and retail customers before the season ends mid-December.

Read More

Sports dominate Moosabec school news

by Nancy Beal

The separate school boards that govern the two elementary schools and joint high school in the Moosabec region met this month, and sports was much on the agenda. At the November 14 meeting of the Moosabec CSD, which oversees Jonesport-Beals High School, the board voted unanimously to join the Penobscot Valley (Athletic) Conference (PVC).

Read More

Cora Proctor Quimby remembered


by Sandra K. Prescott

Cora Proctor was born on Thursday, March 4, 1909, in the Larrabee District of Machiasport. According to her birth certificate, her parents had eleven girls  and Cora was child number nine. Last Saturday a celebration of her life was held at the Larrabee Baptist Church and Cora Proctor Quimby returned home to Larrabee at the age of 109.

Read More

Logbook of local shipwrecks recovered at Old Town auction

by Lura Jackson

In an area with as much history as Down East Maine, it isn’t uncommon to find remnants of past eras – although the quality of the contents wildly varies. Brian Smith of Baileyville recently found a piece of local history at auction that contains accounts of ill-fated voyages of vessels traveling through the area.

Read More

The State We’re In: Maine Stories by Ann Beattie, Scribner, 2015.

A Review by RJ Heller

“No day failed to contain the unexpected,” says it all about this book. Sometimes situations in real life never really resolve themselves; they just keep on going with no end in sight. Or the unexpected happens and another situation intercedes and takes over without the first one seeing closure. Much can be said of life and it is reflected beautifully in a new book by Ann Beattie.

Read More

Scouts in service

Read More

River Otters


by Hazel Stark

Read More

Machias Valley News Observer and Calais Advertiser recognized by MPA


The Maine Press Association [MPA] has recognized two Washington County publications — the Calais Advertiser and the Machias Valley News Observer — for their exceptional journalism work between April 1st, 2017 and March 31st, 2018. The awards ceremony was held in Sunday River on October 20th. 

The Machias Valley News Observer received four awards. The paper’s cartoonist Bob Bryson took home second place in the Editorial Cartoonist category. One judge lauded Bryson saying, “These cartoons are simple, but pack a big punch.”  

Read More

MSB brings $4M expansion to Machias Planning Board


by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Josh Bragg unrolled a stack of architectural renderings in front of the Machias Planning Board at their monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 7. 

Read More