1. Lubec man makes initial appearance on murder charge

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Following extradition from Virginia where he was arrested Jan. 11, Paul DeForest of Lubec today made his initial court appearance via Zoom. DeForest is charged in the murder of 58-year-old Eva Cox, also of Lubec. Cox was found deceased in the locked trunk of a car.

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  2. Machias native Christi Holmes revels in her passion for the outdoor life

    by Ruth Leubecker

    From Costa Rica to Gray and all points in between, Christi Holmes has remained a Machias girl, born and bred.

    “Growing up Downeast, there was never much to do, so it seemed like a natural progression,” explains Holmes of her innate propensity for all things outdoors. “After college I wanted to understand and see where my food came from, so I suppose that became part of (my interest in) hunting and fishing.”

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  3. Downeast Cornhole League brings hot game to Washington County

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Note: This is the first in a series of stories on the games we play Downeast. Know of a Washington County league or club that’s having fun? Send us the details to [email protected].

    Ryan Currier found his way to cornhole by way of a similar game called washers. Both are played by tossing something, either a washer or a bag, into a hole or holes on a board.

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  4. Machias Chief Mercier pleased with PD progress

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    When Keith Mercier accepted the position of Machias Police Chief, he knew he would need to jump into rebuilding mode. Every position in the four-man PD was vacant at the time, making hiring his top priority.

    In the two-plus months since his Nov. 1 start date, Mercier says he’s pleased with the department’s staffing progress. Two out of the three vacant officer positions have been filled, with the remaining slot likely to be filled by April.

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  5. Jonesport fish farm holds (another) public meeting; Moosebeckers split on support for Kingfish

    by Nancy Beal

    By rough count, January 17 was the sixth time that principals from Kingfish Maine, a Dutch-owned company that seeks to replicate its Netherlands yellowtail operation with a land-based fish farm in Jonesport, had faced the public to explain their operation. It was held in the firehouse, a cavernous building where the 60-or-so who came to listen and speak could sit socially distanced in the second winter of Covid 19.

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  6. JES again takes part in WinterKids

    by Nancy Beal

    For the third time, Jonesport Elementary School is participating in WinterKids, a nation-wide four-week program designed to encourage students and their families to learn healthy habits and enjoy outdoor winter activities. JES is one of 22 Maine schools—four in Washington County, including Cherryfield Elementary — that are taking part. Besides enjoying the fun, schools compete for money prizes, including a grand prize of $10,000.

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  7. The storied career of MVNO journalist Ruth Leubecker

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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  8. The storied career of MVNO journalist Ruth Leubecker

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

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  9. Passing the torch

    by Rep. Will Tuell

    For the past eight years, I have done my best to serve much of coastal Washington County in the Maine House of Representatives. While there have certainly been ups and downs, successes and defeats, I am honored that so many of you have entrusted me with your support along the way. I love the Maine Legislature and have enjoyed serving there. 

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  10. Virtue signaling follies

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    A great deal of resources, freedom and integrity are sacrificed daily in support of policies that advertise moral superiority but accomplish little or nothing promoting their supposed goals and, in fact, are often counterproductive. Climate change, Covid and assorted Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) mandates all offer excellent examples of authoritarian moral preening that damages the country without actually averting any global warming, infections, or racial animus.

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  11. EAC Sunday Series welcomes Navy ships, visits 18th c.

    EAC’s Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series will continue on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m., when Captain Bob Peacock gives attendees a glimpse into what it takes to bring a Navy ship to Eastport, with a special eye to past and future Fourth of July celebrations. “This year we have several ships that wish to come for the Fourth of July, with officers and crews that were here previously for the 4th on other ships,” noted Peacock. “The commanding officers had such a great experience as junior officers they wish to return.

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  12. The Nature of Phenology: Painted turtles in winter

    by Joseph Horn

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  13. Nonlocal nurses blast CDC for bowing to hospital pressure

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Last week’s National Day of Action for Maine’s nurses was aiming to focus on holding hospitals accountable for staffing shortages, but instead veered onto another topic. 

    “The major issue is the CDC weakening the COVID isolation guidelines,” explained Jennifer Nappi, spokesman for the Maine State Nursing Association. “We want them to make these decisions based on science, not what’s good for the industry. Shortening the isolation time down to five days during the most contagious variant is not a smart decision.” 

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  14. J-BHS gym opens its doors to all; school board relaxes attendance policy

    by Nancy Beal

    Last December, the Moosabec CSD school board’s decision to adhere to a ban on visiting spectators at basketball games was challenged as overly restrictive. That challenge lost when the board’s chairman suggested that the group retain the ban until after the holidays and revisit it at their January meeting. That meeting took place last week and, by a vote of 7-0, the ban was lifted.

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  15. Machias selectboard talks vaccine mandate, plumbing inspector

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    For the first time since last year adopting a remove participation policy, remote participants were able to attend last Wednesday’s meeting of the Machias Board of Selectmen via Zoom. Selectman James Jackson, who is currently traveling out of state, attended the meeting online. As always, the meeting opened with the pledge of allegiance.

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  16. John Glowa challenging Mills in 2022 governor’s race

    by Nancy Beal

    Retired state employee John Glowa recently visited the Washington County Democratic Committee to introduce himself and explain why he is challenging Gov. Janet Mills in the race for the Democratic candidacy in next November’s gubernatorial election.

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  17. History Downeast: the Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machiasport was once home to a historic piece of American engineering and railroading history, the Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad. Today, the remaining pilings of the Machiasport trestle are still visible from the Port Road. 

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  18. Washington County COVID-19 update: vaccine clinic Jan. 28

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Two more Washington County people have died and three more people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 for the week ending Saturday, Jan. 15, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The deaths and hospitalizations bring the region’s cumulative totals to 43 deaths and 90 hospitalizations.

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  19. Muppets for diversity, equity, and inclusion

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    Sesame Street is now a property of HBO, which has made the Muppets even more woke and insufferable than they were on PBS.  There are now specific BIPOC and LGBTQ Muppets, and Sesame Street has apologized for earlier incarnations, which apparently promoted systemic racism, implicit bias, and white supremacy. I was a big fan of the Muppet Show back in the day, and I wondered how some of my favorite iconic characters would fare in wokeville.

    Statler and Waldorf : My role models

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  20. Schoodic Arts for All presents: Fire & Ice!

    Join us for events and classes through February and March that will warm up your cold winter days. 

    “All of the techniques and subjects we will be covering in the coming months focus on the awesome potential of cold and heat to be harnessed in our artistic practices. These classes and events cover fun topics from pottery and needle felting to enameling and cooking” - Colt Neidhardt, Executive Director, Schoodic Arts for All 

    For registration or to learn more about events, please visit www.schoodicartsforall.org. 

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  21. Sunday series continues with diverse presentations

    EAC’s Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series continues January 23 with Stage East Artistic Director Mark Macey on Theater Appreciation and the Basics of Dramaturgy. Macey will cover the basics of theater history and dramatic theory. Attendees will learn to better "read" and understand scripts, staging, and design. "I'm providing folks with a toolkit to enjoy theatre in a more engaged and meaningful way," said Macey, a graduate of Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre who also holds a BA in Theatre Studies from the University of Utah.

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  22. The Nature of Phenology: Blue jays

    by Hazel Stark

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  23. Milbridge nursing home evacuates after roof collapse

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Residents and staff of Narraguagus Bay Health Care nursing home in Milbridge have been evacuated after high winds created roof damage. Parts of the roof have collapsed during the storm which covered the entire coast of Maine today, Monday, Jan. 17. The National Weather Service warned of gusts greater than 65 mph.

    An employee of the nursing home has confirmed that no one has been injured by the damage.

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  24. Lubec man accused of killing his girlfriend is arrested in Virginia

    The Maine State Police today released the following information concerning the arrest of Paul DeForest of Lubec, suspected in the murder of Eva Cox. 

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  25. Jonesport-Beals reverses ban and spectator limit

    The Jonesport-Beals School Board has reversed its original ban on out-of-town basketball spectators and limited numbers of home fans and voted unanimously Tuesday night to open the gym to all fans.

    The Jonesport-Beals girls and boys have a total of three home games between today, Jan. 12, and Jan. 14, and another home game on Juan. 22.

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  26. Notes for a ‘new’ year

    January 6th: the divide that binds

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  27. Welcome Baby New Year!

     

    Kristi Doten and Dan Jones’ daughter, Indira, is seen here with Mom and Dad shortly after becoming the first Washington County baby born in 2022.

     

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  28. Washington County COVID-19 update

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Four more people are hospitalized and two more Washington County people have died with COVID-19, bringing those cumulative totals to 87 and 41 respectively for the week ending Saturday, Jan. 8, according to Jan. 10 data released by Maine Center for Disease Control on their COVID-19 page. The county reports 71 new cases of COVID-19 for the week ending Saturday, Jan. 8, bringing the county’s cumulative case count to 2,861. 

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  29. Aerospace committee seeks town input

    by Nancy Beal

    Several members of the committee tasked with writing an ordinance covering aerospace activities attended the Jonesport selectmen’s meeting last week (Jan. 5) to request help in determining what the town’s citizens want in the ordinance. Reading from a prepared request, Jane McMichen said the group specifically wanted a yes-or-no vote from the town at a special town meeting.

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  30. How Washington County measures up in COVID battle

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Climbing numbers and shrinking test sites provide the foreground picture of Maine’s coronavirus battlefront, as CDC’s Dr. Nirav Shah continues his Wednesday briefings.

    “Unfortunately, there are 26 more deaths to report today,” said Shah, in opening his first briefing in 2022. “Three hundred eighty-two are hospitalized, 117 in critical care and 59 are on ventilators. Seventy percent of those in hospitals are not fully vaccinated.”

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  31. Carole Cook Donovan donates $10,000 to DECH’s Comfort Care Suite

    Stuart Donovan, from Englishman’s Bay in Jonesport, visited Down East Community Hospital at the end of December to deliver a check in the amount of $10,000 for the Comfort Care Suite in memory of his wife.  Stuart’s wife, Carole M. Donovan, who passed away on April 30, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer, told her husband she wanted to donate to the suite. “This is what my wife wanted, and this is what I’m doing”, stated Mr. Donovan when presenting the check.

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  32. UMaine, UNH Extensions offer hydroponics for home gardeners Jan. 24

    University of Maine Cooperative Extension and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension will offer a webinar for home gardeners about hydroponic gardening from 6–7:15 p.m. on Jan 24.

    “Hydroponics at Home” will explain how to build a working hydroponic system for year-round indoor gardening with a few simple tools and materials. Jonathan Ebba, UNH Extension field specialist, will lead the workshop. 

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  33. Locals share Wreaths Across America experience

    by Jayna Smith

    In 1992, the Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington first sent wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. Those wreaths were placed in one of the older sections of the cemetery that had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year.

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  34. The Nature of Phenology: Why wildlife needs snow

    by Hazel Stark

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  35. 5th person indicted in Machias murder case

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Nathaniel Kerruish, 23, of East Machias, on Jan. 5 was indicted by a grand jury with charges of felony murder and burglary class B, according to the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit - North and Washington County Jail.

    Kerruish was directed to report to the jail on Jan. 5 and was released the same day on $2,500 bail.

    Kerruish is the first local person indicated in the Nov. 4 shooting of 17-year-old Brandin Guerrero, whose body was found on High Street in Machias. 

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  36. Season's first blizzard moving Downeast; how to be courteous to snow removal crews

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for central and coastal Washington County due to a storm predicted to drop between 8 and 11 inches of snow starting Friday, Jan. 7 at 7 a.m. The warning will expire Saturday at 1 a.m. Winds gusting up to 45 mph will lead to significant blowing and drifting snow, especially during the afternoon and evening. White-out conditions are possible at times. High winds could cause tree damage and lead to scattered power outages. 

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  37. Opposition to Jonesport fish farm mounts; lack of environmental study cited

    by Nancy Beal

    The environmental activists who organized against a proposed aerospace company that intends to launch nano-rockets from a Jonesport island has turned its sights on a Dutch company that proposes to build a $100 million land-based fish farm on 94 acres fronting on Chandler Bay. The most recent battle site was a Jonesport planning board meeting late last month at which Kingfish Maine sought approval for structures covering over half a million square feet on the property locally known as Dungarvin.

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  38. Equitable health care in Maine emerging as hot issue for 2022

    by Ruth Leubecker

    Assailed by runaway prices and rampant red tape, Mainers, particularly seniors, are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate a consumer-unfriendly healthcare system. 

    “Health care should be universal. It will save lives,” said Sen. Angus King last week. “My beliefs stem from my experience of many years ago. I caught cancer as a young man, and it would never have been caught without insurance.” 

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  39. Time to clean the closets? Here’s where to donate

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    In the new year, a person’s fancy turns to thoughts of clean closets, garages, and attics. But after you’ve cleaned out that extra toaster, those dusty golf clubs, or winter coats, how can you put them in the hands of someone who could use them?

    If you live in the Machias area, making that donation could mean taking a bit of a drive, but it all depends on what you have to donate.  

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  40. Perry woman makes first court appearance for murder charge

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Danielle Wheeler of Perry has been charged in the murder of her ex-boyfriend, 50-year-old Jason “Cowboy” Aubuchon of Eastport, who died by gunshot on Sunday, Dec. 26, just before 9 p.m., according to Maine State Police. 

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  41. Risk and Reward off Cape Horn Jan. 18

    The Pembroke Historical Society is honored host Charles Lagerbom on Tuesday, January 18th, for his Zoom presentation "Risk & Reward off Cape Horn: The Story of Captain Jesse Thayer Carver, of Searsport, Maine, and the Wreck of the Maine-built Downeaster St. Mary. The presentation will start at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Register at www.pembrokemainehistoricalsociety.org under Events.

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  42. 2022 Stories i’ll be warily watching

    by Jonathan Reisman

     

    The Jan 6 “insurrection” inquisition

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  43. Machiasport repairs the Port Road Slip for clammers

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Extensive planning by the Machiasport Shellfish Committee has led to the reconstruction of a concrete slip that allows clammers to put their skiffs into the Machias River alongside the historical society’s Gates House museum. Rob Boynton, Zach Wood, Whitney Stevens, and David Cale serve on the shellfish committee. 

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  44. The Nature of Phenology: The phenological calendar

    by Joseph Horn

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  45. UMM students to return to in-person learning this month

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    University of Maine at Machias students will return to in-person classes on Tuesday, Jan. 18, according to a Jan. 4 press release from the UMaine system.

    Though UMM has held in-person classes since September 2021, the announcement ends weeks of speculation following news that many New England schools, such as Harvard, have already announced students will return from winter break via remote learning due to the nationwide upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

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