Washington County Institute of Technology names Nicholas Mathews ‘Student of the Year’

Coastal Washington County Institute of Technology Director Brian Leavitt announced this week that Nicholas Mathews has been nominated and selected as the 2019 Student of the Year. Each center or region in Maine, 27 in all, selects one outstanding Career & Technical Education student to represent their school.

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Without any shelters, how do we handle homelessness Downeast?

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A single mother whose landlord turned off her heat, an inmate recently released from Washington County Jail, an elderly veteran living in his truck, an addict with nowhere to go for the night — all true cases of homelessness in Machias just within the last six months. What do we do — and what can we do — when we encounter homelessness here in Washington County?

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PRSWDD board to decide transfer station fate April 9; Jonesboro stays in; Beals to vote April 8

 

by Nancy Beal

When the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District (PRSWDD) board of directors met March 25, four of the six towns that make up the Route 1 transfer station in Columbia Falls had held votes on whether to stay with PRSWDD or leave.  By a vote of 113 to 43, Addison, which had been the lead town in founding the district in 1993, opted to stay in.  Columbia also voted to stick with PRSWDD, but voted no money for it, pending the outcome of other towns’ votes.

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Nurses fight to hang onto seniority

by Ruth Leubecker

Faced with unsustainable financial losses, Calais Regional Hospital in its most recent move to slice costs, continues in mediation to allegedly cut back on its senior nurses’ benefits.

Negotiations between CRH and the Maine State Nurses Association, according to the nurses, are focused on pay cuts, decreases in time off, and other benefits related to seniority. The hospital administration counters that CRH goals will always be delivering high-quality patient care and maintaining financial responsibility.

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DOC opposes reopening of Machiasport prison, suggests Route 1 sites in East Machias, Machias

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

One of two buildings which just left a contentious local debate has been thrust back into debate with a revelation from the Maine Department of Corrections. Instead of advocating for the reopening of the shuttered Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport, the DOC is now looking at building a pre-release center at Blueberry Ford in Machias or at SuperTEK in East Machias.

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‘Beauty’ pageants a thing of the past

 

by Jayna Smith

What used to be called “beauty” pageants are few and far between nowadays. Many of today’s pageants focus not on beauty, but on qualities and skills such as academics, public speaking, and community service. Such is the case with the upcoming Miss Eastern Maine Pageant.

The pageant originated in 2006 and welcomes girls and women from all over Maine. Each participates in an interview with a panel of judges with a resume required, much like one would have in a job interview; fashion wear, a favorite among many contestants; and gown.

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Spring memories

 

by Wayne Smith

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Kaylee Bosse receives MPA Principal’s Award

Kaylee Bosse of Harrington, a senior at Narraguagus Jr/Sr High School, has been selected to receive the 2019 Principal’s Award, Principal Lucille Willey announced today. The award, sponsored by the Maine Principals’ Association, is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship.

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Kate Somes receives 2019 Maine Principals’ Award

 

Kate Somes, a senior at Washington Academy, has been selected to receive the 2019 Maine Principal’s Award, Head of School Judson McBrine announced today. The award, sponsored by the Maine Principals’ Association, is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship. Kate is the daughter of Sara and Adam Somes.

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Caldecott-winning author to visit Downeast schools

 

It’s not every day that a Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator visits your school. But students in five Downeast schools will have the opportunity to meet Sophie Blackall, whose picture book Hello Lighthouse was awarded the prestigious children’s book award in February, this spring.

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Mad as a March hare

 

by Joseph Horn

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Out and about in Columbia

 

by Ronie Strout

 

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Machias Memorial seniors finish unique academic rite of passage

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Covering topics as diverse as Nutrition for Infants, the Evolution of the Ford Mustang and Seasonal Employment in Downeast Maine, area seniors have just completed their Senior Exhibitions, a rite of passage at Machias Memorial High School. Students choose their subjects and their mentors early in the school year, then conduct their research all year long before delivering a formal presentation for their final grade. Every MMHS senior participates in the seminar, which is conducted as part of the English program.

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Arise Addiction Recovery celebrates three years and a permanent home

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Fundraising is a regular part of Arise Addiction Recovery Director Paul Trovarello’s job because it takes a lot of money to run a 12-bed residential addiction treatment center. But starting last week, the house that serves as the Arise home base is one less thing they’ll have to pay for.

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Milbridge Theatre fundraising surpasses $300K

by Ruth Leubecker

For many decades the hub of its community, the Milbridge Theatre, as part of a lively comeback, recently announced an ambitious summer season as well as an impressive milestone in its capital campaign.

“The CF Adams Charitable Trust gave us $20,000 for a matched challenge,” explained Richard Bondurant, chair of Gateway Milbridge and the Milbridge Theatre Project. “We have recently topped $300,000 in fundraising, and now the building fund has $200,000. We have a goal we want to reach by September, and a second goal to reach by 2020.”

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Jonesport war memorial, food truck law, IGA repair

 

by Nancy Beal

The site of the original Jonesport-Beals High School on Jonesport’s Main Street is currently being used to store various sizes of crushed granite going into the construction of the new bridge to Beals Island, but from 1968 to 2016 it housed the old brick school building—and a war memorial standing in front of it. Prior to the demolition of the high school, the memorial was moved to the library lawn. Now, some in town want to see its replacement back on the old location.

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House approves bill to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day

 

by Jayna Smith

A recent vote in the Maine House of Representatives has approved the bill to trade what we know as Columbus Day for a tribute to Native Americans--Indigenous Peoples Day. The vote count in this initial approval was 88-51.

Columbus Day, recognized as a federal holiday on the second Monday in October, remembers the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492. In today’s times, most know that the holiday is a controversial one.

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Senator King presses interior nominee on offshore drilling

Last week U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) questioned Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on a number of environmental issues important to Maine people, including the possibility of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Maine, the status of the Katahdin Woods and Water Monument, and Senator King’s legislation to address the National Park Service’s $12 billion maintenance backlog. Senator King’s questioning came during a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider Acting Secretary Bernhardt’s nomination to serve as the permanent Interior Secretary.

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Democrats are trying to tax heating fuels and gasoline

 

by Rep. Jeff Hanley (R-Pittston)

Living in Maine is more expensive than many parts of the country. Our size and location require Mainers to pay more to heat our homes in winter and to travel longer distances to and from work.

In spite of this fact, Maine Democrats in the legislature seem to be relentless in their pursuit of taxing our fuels. They are seeking to tax home heating fuel, our propane, kerosene, diesel, gasoline and other fuels.

They are intent on taxing every conservable thing we need in our daily lives.

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Finding love after retirement

 

by Wayne Smith

If you pay attention, you can see Paul and Margie Toussaint driving the streets of Milbridge. In the summertime, Paul’s smile lights up everybody’s day for whoever he sees while he’s walking down the sidewalk. They might get a hot cup of coffee at the local coffee shop. Maybe even a donut- just for good measure. You might even see them at the free dinner every Sunday in Cherryfield called the Downeast Table of Plenty. Often, they are in the lobby of West Manor working together to  put a puzzle together.

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Youth theater group presents Arthurian spoof

Eastport Arts Center’s Children’s Theater Workshop will present a comedy, “Of Kings and Coconuts” on Saturday, April 20 at 3 p.m. Featuring a cast of 14 ranging in age from 7 to 27, the show pokes gentle fun at the legends of King Arthur and his knights. Participants include: Rachel Bailey, Marion Look, Tucker Thompson, Kali Wallander and Kieran Weston from Eastport; Siobhan and Roy Duffy and Wren Fraser from Perry; Cadence and Zephyr Nickerson from Pembroke; Owen Leavitt from Pembroke and Trescott; and Erin Harrell, Ivy Owens and Liam Rouleau, from St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

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Vacation week screening of ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’ Vacation week screening of ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’

The Grand concludes it's 2018-2019 season of matinees for families during school vacation weeks (sponsored by The City of Ellsworth & Morton’s Moo) with the crazy sequel to one of the most popular animated movies in years “Ralph Breaks the Internet- in 3D!” See this great family film the way the directors made it to be seen- through a state-of-the-art digital projection system- on the Coastal Eye Care giant screen.  See it any other way... and it wouldn't be Grand! “Ralph Breaks the Internet” screens daily at 1 pm from Monday, April 15 to Friday, April 19.

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Felting weekend offered in Eastport

Eastport Arts Center will offer back-to-back wool felting workshops with Audra Christie on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28, from 12:30-4:30 pm. Wet Felted Fiber Beads will be Saturday’s offering; Wet Felted Vessels will follow on Sunday; attendees may pick one of these workshops or attend both to score a 25% discount.

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Wrestling event to support Arise Addiction Recovery set for Machias on Saturday, April 13

Victory Championship Wrestling will be in Machias on Saturday, April 13, in support of Arise Addiction Recovery, a Christian residential drug treatment facility. Tickets purchased in advance through Arise directly benefit the charity.

The event will be held at the Lee Pellon Center and doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the bell will sound at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets call (207) 271-7060, or message Arise directly through their Facebook page by visiting: www.facebook.com/ariseaddictionrecovery.

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Rockweed case continues as Acadian Seaplants files motion with Maine Supreme Court

 

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

On Thursday, April 11, attorneys for Acadian Seaplants filed a Motion of Reconsideration with the Maine Supreme Court. The motion asks the Court to reconsider its recent decision in the case of Ross v. Acadian Seaplants, which found that “rockweed attached to and growing in the intertidal zone is the private property of the adjacent upland landowner.”

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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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Is sportsmanship improving Downeast?

by Phil Stuart

After a winter of less-than-adequate sportsmanship during the high school, junior high school and travel team season, things seemed to have turned around some this spring during mud season.

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A smelt story

 

by Wayne Smith

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Design the 2019 Wild Blueberry Festival T-shirt

 

It’s been a cold, icy winter, but believe it or not, we’ll all be in T-shirts soon — Machias Wild Blueberry Festival T-shirts, that is.

Help coax warm, sunny days our way by entering the festival’s T-shirt design contest. If your design is selected, you’ll see it not only on hundreds of festival-goers but on the US Postal cancellation stamp available during the festival and for an additional month at the Machias post office.

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Cherryfield student accepted to Miami Institute for the Gifted

 

Kristian Gerrish is currently a sixth-grade student who attends Cherryfield Elementary School. He has recently been accepted to attend the Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) at the University of Miami. SIG is an educational experience for gifted and talented children to explore new interests, strengthen current skills and interact with other children who are also driven to explore learning.

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RMG teacher nominated for Kevin McCarthy Education Innovation Award

 

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) recently celebrated a Machias teacher for her achievements teaching science literacy to her students.

Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School sixth grade teacher Lizzy Douglas is nominated for the annual award founded by GMRI in 2014 which in collaboration with the insurance company Unum honors dedicated teachers across Maine that are involved with GMRI programs and exemplify the leadership qualities of the award's namesake, former Unum CEO Kevin McCarthy.

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Playing basketball as a second grader

 

by TJ Holmes

I am eight years old and I love to draw and read. I go to Jonesboro Elementary School. Our school is very small but we have big hearts.

I was asked to play on the basketball team as a second grader because there were not enough boys in fourth to sixth grade.

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‘Field Of Dreams’ part of Throwback 80s celebration

On Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m., The Grand continues its 80th birthday year of monthly “Throwback 80’s” screenings of beloved 80s movies through its state-of-the-art digital projection system on the Coastal Eye Care giant screen, with a movie that will make you fall in love with baseball all over again - “Field of Dreams.” See it any other way... and it wouldn’t be Grand!  

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Local film ‘When the Chevy Breaks’ premieres at UMM

When the Chevy Breaks (How Small Towns Fix Big Problems) tells a collection of stories, ranging from Machias taking on the world’s most powerful navy (on a Sunday after church), to an amputee father waiting for his son to return from Afghanistan so they can hike up Mt. Katahdin together. All these stories of overcoming obstacles, big and small, are set against the spectacle of Downeast Coastal Maine, including Eastport, Jonesport, Machias and way out west Kingfield — a parade of persistent people you’ll only meet here.

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Beals voters raise $246K, including money for transfer station

 

by Nancy Beal

Despite an early spring snowstorm that kept schools closed, nearly three dozen Beals Islanders pulled on their boots and came to town meeting April 11. They authorized nearly a quarter of a million dollars, elected a new select person, and opted to raise their assigned percentage of costs at the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District. (See related story for the discussion on the transfer station.)

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‘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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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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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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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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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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Big night

 

by Hazel Stark

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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