‘Four Girls’ achieve goal of building new playground at Jonesboro Elementary School

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Two years of fundraising came to a happy conclusion last week when four young cousins wielded a pair of giant scissors, cutting the ribbon on a brand new playground for Jonesboro Elementary School.

Aynslee Emery, Vanna Smith, Evelyn Leahy, and Claire Leahy, known as Four Girls with a Goal, together raised $46,239 over the course of two years, with generous support from the community, school faculty, and their families, Evelyn and Claire’s mother, Devon Appleby, remembers how their fundraising efforts began with some drawings.

Read More

UMM changes draw mixed reactions

by Hailey Wood

The University of Maine at Machias last month revealed new rebranding plans that will transition the school colors from Clipper green to Orono blue and the mascot from Cappy the Clipper to Bananas the Bear, as part of UMM’s move to become a regional campus of the University of Maine.

Opinions on the matter run the gamut from enthusiastic to mournful. UMM Student Council President Julian Bauman said he believes most students are upset by the changes.  

Read More

Vaccine numbers climb as hospitals grapple with COVID case hike

by Ruth Leubecker

As more people are getting vaccinated in Maine, the state’s hospitals are struggling with an increase in COVID patients over the past weeks. 

“It’s not unusual to have a COVID patient in the hospital. We have two right now,” said Julie Hixson, communications director for Down East Community Hospital. “We’ve had COVID patients on ventilators, although none now. But as you know, Washington County’s kind’ve a hot spot right now.”

Read More

Rocket launch company eyes Jonesport island launch site; Brunswick firm targets small, cube satellite market

by Nancy Beal

Just as Moosabeckers were adjusting to the arrival of a multi-million fish farming plant, word went out that an aerospace company had been looking for a launch site into the Gulf of Maine, perhaps in the Jonesport/Beals area. Last week (October 27), Sascha Deri, CEO of Blushift Aerospace, traveled from Brunswick to host an informational meeting in the Jonesport Elementary School gym to introduce his company.

Read More

Service to honor first game wardens killed on duty

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The public is invited to attend a memorial service for Lyman Hill and Charles Niles, the first two Maine game wardens killed in the line of duty. Both wardens were murdered in Washington County 135 years ago. Next week, several law enforcement agencies will meet at the headstone of Lyman O. Hill at 1 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 8, on Gardner Lake Road in Whiting.

Read More

Fire destroys East Machias home

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Fire consumed an East Machias home on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 29. East Machias Fire Chief Jack Gardner said the call came in as a fully involved structure fire. Machias and Marshfield Fire Departments were toned out along with East Machias. The Machiasport and Cutler Navy fire departments also responded.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Read More

Outrage update II

by Jonathan Reisman

 

King Responds

Senator Angus King voted to confirm eco-terrorist and tree spiking apologist Tracy Stone-Manning as director of the Bureau of Land Management, where the former Earth Firster will oversee the stewardship of millions of acres of public land. King also chose to vigorously defend Ms. Manning in committee, and to belittle the concerns of those who opposed her.  On Oct 1, I wrote the following the Senator King:

Subject: Voting for an Eco-Terrorist is a Betrayal

Read More

Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee to perform ‘Bygone Ballads of Maine’ Nov. 16

On Tuesday, Nov. 16, starting at 6 p.m. on Zoom, the Pembroke Historical Society will sponsor a an exceptional evening of musical performance, poetic beauty, seafaring and shore folklife, and song collecting and book editing, featuring Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee, in what PHS Program Coordinator, Dr.

Read More

Machias crime scene investigation ongoing

Video coverage: https://fb.watch/93Q_-zXCzC/

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Law enforcement was this morning called to High Street in Machias where neighbors report the discovery of a body, apparently shot.

Multiple residents report hearing gunshots late on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 3. 

Read More

State police rule Machias death homicide

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit is investigating the death of a 17-year-old boy as a homicide, according to Lieutenant Darrin Crane, who led a press conference today, Nov. 5, on the steps of the Washington County Sheriff's Office on Court Street.

Because the victim is a juvenile, their name will not be released.

Read More

Alfred B. Porter (January 9th, 1929 - October 19th, 2021)

Jacksonville - Alfred B. Porter, 92, of Jacksonville passed away October 19th, 2021 at the Downeast Community Hospital. He was born in Cutler on January 9th, 1929. He was a beloved Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and cared greatly for the community. He was always willing to lend a hand to those in need. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.

Read More

Downeast Jewelers To Add 'Sparkle' In The Community

by Cindy Joyce, Correspondent

Gabrielle White and Sean Gray,  comprise a duo of excellence, as owners/designers of Downeast Jewelers, LLC, located at 63 Dublin Street, Suite # 3, in Machias. Gray stated, “We still have a lot of people driving around, missing us.” The description of the physical location is on Rt. 1, at the top of ‘College Hill’, across from the University of Maine in Machias.

Gray purchased the business from Brett Leighton of Leighton Jewelry & Design, earlier this year.

Read More

Remembering WWII vet Mac McKean

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Friends and family of Francis “Mac” McKean mourned his passing on Sept. 8, when he died in a Florida nursing home at the age of 101. Mac moved from Machias to Florida in late 2019 to be near his son, Tom McKean, for the winter, and remained there due to the pandemic.

Mac was a local businessman and local legend, the proprietor of Court Street Variety, then of Court Street Plants where his lifelong passion for growing things materialized each spring in the form of geraniums and Big Boy tomato plants. 

Read More

Prison/jail outbreaks combat mounting twofold challenges

by Ruth Leubecker

Current outbreaks and constant policy updates are keeping Maine’s Department of Corrections on the alert to changes in the path of the deadly delta variant.

“We currently have two outbreaks. One in Mountain View with 21 cases, and a second one at Bolduc Correctional Facility with 69 cases,” explains Benjamin Beal, DOC director of classification. Responding to claims that the delta variant has exacted a stronger toll, he adds, “We’re not seeing that. It’s pretty similar actually, to what outbreaks looked like 18 months ago.”

Read More

Masks optional at BES; new hires at JES

by Nancy Beal

Since September 15, students in Beals Elementary School have been the only students in Union 103 required to wear masks as a precaution to Covid-19. That was the result of a 2-0 vote September 20 in favor of masking taken by the BES school board five days after the joint board governing Jonesport-Beals High Schools voted 5-4 for optional mask wearing at the joint high school. (Two of the three Jonesport Elementary School members on that joint board voted with the majority, so a separate meeting that might yield a different verdict was not needed.)

Read More

County COVID-19 update: cases remain elevated, vaccination rate climbs

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) last week reported 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Washington County, bringing the region’s cumulative total to 2,058 cases since March 2020, and making last week the third highest case count in the same period. Three new hospitalizations are reported, bringing that cumulative total to 65. Two more deaths are reported, bringing that cumulative total to 23.

U.S. CDC recommends universal indoor masking throughout all of Maine, which is still classed as “high transmission.”

Read More

WAA home to Military Women's Grove in Columbia

On Sept. 27, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA), as part of its Veterans Remembrance Tree Program, in partnership with the Military Women's Memorial Foundation, dedicated the Military Women's Grove on the balsam tip lands in Maine. The balsam fir trees in this Grove will now hold the replica dog tags of thousands of America's military women, in honor and memory of all women who have served our nation – past and present.

Read More

Muttley post-election and outrage notes

Muttley was a Hanna-Barbera animated character, the sidekick/foil of Dick Dastardly. Muttley was infamous for his snickering, rasping laugh, usually unleashed after some Dastardly shenanigans backfired and foiled his plans. I could hear Muttley’s laugh as Terry McCauliffe and his dastardly Democrat campaigning compadres (Obama, Biden, cackling Kamala, Stacey Abrams and the Critical Race Theory (it’s not taught, but it’s awesome!) toting teachers unions crashed and burned in Virginia.

Read More

Needle felting workshop coming up at EAC

Popular EAC instructor Ann Cannizzaro will lead a needle felting workshop from 1-4 pm, Sunday, November 21, at Eastport Arts Center. Attendees will get ready for the holiday season with several individual projects which can be combined in a seasonal centerpiece or display. Alternately, pieces can stand alone as ornaments or little treasures to gift to someone special. “We will be making colorful acorn ornaments, jingle bell stars, miniature holiday trees, and finally a guardian gnome to watch over those you love,” notes Cannizzaro.

Read More

Public invited to Downeast Trout Unlimited program: Acadia’s Great Meadow Restoration, Nov. 17

Downeast Trout Unlimited will host Brian Henkel, the Wild Acadia Project Coordinator for Friends of Acadia, who will describe the Great Meadow Restoration Project in Acadia National Park.

Read More

DECH Auxiliary honors Machias cardiac rehabilitation

Down East Community Hospital Auxiliary this month honors our cardiac rehabilitation department.

The department offers an adult exercise program for patients at risk of or with a history of heart disease. The goal is to strengthen the heart and return to normal activities of daily living.

If you have had a heart attack, been diagnosed with angina, have had cardiac by-pass surgery, have a pacemaker, or have had valve surgery, you could be a candidate for this program.

Read More

Open border and expensive energy are Brandon policy choices

“That’s Hilarious”- Brandon Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, in response to query as to Brandon administration plans to reduce price of gasoline and energy, following a Vice-Presidential Harris like cackle.

“That’s a garbage report”- President Brandon lying about reported planned $450,000 “settlements” with illegal immigrants as part of open border diversity, equity and inclusion incentives 

Read More

‘Christmas Stories’ in Cherryfield Dec. 3-5

Cherryfield will be having it's 8th Annual Christmas Exhibit, with the theme "Christmas Stories" on Friday, Dec. 3, from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday Dec. 4-5 from 2-8 p.m.  The eveng will be held in the Cherryfield Academy Community Center, 53 Main Street. 

Read More

Volunteers needed to set up Danny’s Village Nov. 20

Volunteers are needed to set up a village of Christmas inflatables called “Danny’s Village” at noon on Saturday, Nov. 20.

Read More

Maine Veterans’ Homes Machias is the November beneficiary of new Hannaford Community Program, ‘Bloomin’ 4 Good’

Brighten up your day with a bouquet of flowers that gives back to the local community! MVH-Machias has been selected by local Hannaford store leadership as the benefiting non-profit organization in Hannaford’s new ‘Bloomin' 4 Good’ Program for the month of November! 

Read More

Gone but not forgotten: memorial service honors 19th c. wardens killed in line of duty

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Not far from the Whiting farm where he was raised, Lyman O. Hill’s descendents on Monday, Nov. 8, gathered with representatives from six law enforcement agencies and the state house to honor Hill and cousin Charles Niles, the first two Maine Game Wardens to die in the line of duty. Together with his parents, wife, and children, Hill is buried in his family cemetery, overlooking Gardner Lake.

Read More

Rocket resistors register displeasure

by Nancy Beal

The inquiry of a tiny aerospace company into a rocket launch site on a Jonesport island and a command and control center on Beals Island brought out a vocal group of detractors to what is usually a laid back weekly selectmen’s meeting in Jonesport last week (Nov. 10). Ordinarily, Chairman Dwight Alley pounds his gavel once, calling the meeting to order, and lays it down for the rest of the session. Last week, he held it throughout, used it frequently, including while ejecting one unruly speaker.

Read More

Food pantry raising funds for new Machias home

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Machias Area Food Pantry has purchased land for a brand-new pantry building to be located near the intersection of Route 1 and the Kennebec Road. Now, fundraising for the building is in full swing, and not a moment too soon. The pantry’s current location, in the basement of Centre Street Congregational Church, is overflowing with crates, carts, and bags of groceries.

Read More

This Saturday, ARISE Addiction Recovery to host dinner and dessert fundraiser in Machias

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The county’s only residential drug recovery program, ARISE Addiction Recovery, will this weekend host its biggest fundraiser of the year, the popular ARISE Benefit Dinner & Dessert Auction, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Lee Pellon Center in Machias.

Read More

Obituary: Rhonda (Smith) Reynolds

Rhonda (Smith) Reynolds

July 30, 1959 - November 13, 2021

Machias - Rhonda (Smith) Reynolds, 62, passed away Saturday, November 13, 2021, after a long illness with family and friends by her side.

Rhonda was born July 30, 1959, in Fort Riley, Kansas to Thomas and Carol Ann Smith. She graduated from Machias Memorial High School and the University of Maine at Machias.

Read More

Moosabeckers wary of rocket company

by Nancy Beal

Personnel from the small Maine company that aspires to launch little rockets from an outer island near the boundary between Beals and Jonesport was back in town last week, hosting another public meeting. It was the second of such meetings  (see MVNO Nov. 3, 2021). In between was an outpouring of opposition voiced to Jonesport selectmen (see MVNO Nov. 17, 2021), so word had gotten around in the towns straddling Moosabec Reach that rockets could be coming, and upward of 70 people showed up for the November 18 session in the high school gym.

Read More

3 arrested in Machias murder case

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Three men have been arrested in connection with the murder of 17-year-old Brandin Guerrero of Massapequa, New York, who was found dead on High Street in Machias on the morning of Nov. 4.

Maine State Police first announced the capture of Nathanael Genao, 23 of New Bedford, Massachusetts, who was Nov. 19 arrested without incident at his home by the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and the New Bedford Police Department, assisted by the US Marshals Service Boston. 

Read More

Local Christmas charity asks for community support

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Community Christmas Giving Tree is in its 21st year of serving Downeast children, senior citizens, and adults with disabilities. Normally, the group’s 50-plus volunteers meet in late November to start packing up their stock of toys carried over from the previous season. This year, though, those stockpiles are small, in part due to reduced support from national partners. 

Read More

Meet an independent woman whose goals came true

by Ruth Leubecker

Heather Anderson was always a physical therapist with a mission, but one day she simply decided to put her eggs in one basket and target her own path to success.

“I’m an independent person, and was always working hard for someone else,” she explains. “So I decided I should work hard for myself.” As a physical therapist with years of experience, providing quality care was her goal from the onset of Coastal Physical Therapy Services.

Read More

Lobstermen’s association announces major campaign to save industry

New federal rules intended to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale will effectively kill Maine’s lobster industry, yet fail to save the whale. The Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) says the threat is very real and urgent action is needed to prevent irreparable damage to one of Maine’s most treasured industries.

Read More

Washington County COVID-19 update: Case counts decline again

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports 71 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Washington County for the week ending Sunday, Nov. 21, a decrease of 18 percent over the previous week, bringing the region’s cumulative case count to 2,293. One more person has died with COVID-19, raising that total to 28, and two more people are hospitalized with COVID-19, raising that cumulative total to 68. 

Read More

Thanksgiving notes

by Jonathan Reisman

 

I will be spending my favorite Holiday with family in New Orleans. Here are some of the things and people I am thankful for.

My family

Read More

Machias Valley News Observer wins 6 press awards

At its annual state conference, held virtually on Nov. 13, the Maine Press Association recognized Machias Valley News Observer for its exceptional work in journalism, presenting it with 6 awards. Its sister paper, the Calais Advertiser, won 14 awards, for a total of 20 awards combined between the only two weekly newspapers in Washington County.

Read More

Machias teacher named Maine Financial Educator of the Year

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Maine Jump$tart Coalition has named Caitlyn Roy the 2021-22 Financial Educator of the Year. Roy teaches fifth grade at Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School in Machias, where no one is surprised Roy was chosen for this honor.

Read More