1. Local Scouts Win Award at Cobscook/Moosehorn Camporee

    Cobscook Bay State Park was the scenic locale for the 61st Annual Cobscook/Moosehorn International Scout Camporee recently. More than 140 Scouts and Scouters attended with some driving hours, or even days to attend, while a Machias-area troop picked took home the Bob McVicor Award during the “Dungeons and Dragons”-themed event.

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  2. Court Street Paving a Long Overdue Blessing

    By Paul Sylvain

    If Court Street had a theme song, it would be “Shake, Rattle and Roll” by Bill Haley & the Comets. Well, until last week, that is.

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  3. The Nature of Phenology: Wooly Bear Caterpillars

    by Hazel Stark

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  4. Pageantry, Fanfare as Generations Rededicate ‘Battle of Machias’ Monument

    By Paul Sylvain

    Amid a backdrop of Revolutionary War reenactors and members of the Hannah Weston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a plaque set in a granite stone monument was dedicated Sept. 27, to the memory of those townspeople killed in the Battle of Machias in June 1775.

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  5. All Hands on Deck: Navy Commissions USS Augusta in Fog-Shrouded Ceremony in Eastport

    By Paul Sylvain

    Downeast Maine is known for its sometimes unyielding coastal fog and Saturday dawned with a thick veil of it shrouding Eastport’s downtown pier and waterfront. In other words, it was a perfect day for commissioning a Navy ship.

    The cool, raw, foggy morning also failed to deter a large crowd of spectators from coming out to witness the tradition-filled, hour-long event on Sept. 30.

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  6. Reduced Presence by State Police Driving Up Sheriff’s Department’s Budget

    By Paul Sylvain

    Asked how his department's budget looked for the coming year, Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis chuckled and replied, “I think it looks great.”

    The Sheriff’s Department’s proposed budget for 2024 is up 14 percent over the 2023  budget. In dollars and cents, Curtis is asking for $2,536,901, which is up $315,994 from this year.

    “Unfortunately it had to go up,” Curtis said in an interview with this publication Sept. 28. “It’s just the nature of the beast, where things are changing with coverage here in Washington County.”

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  7. Jonesport Selectmen Hear Broadband Pitch, State Approves Comprehensive Plan

    By Nancy Beal

    Jonesport Selectman Harry Fish told those attending the Sept. 27 selectmen's meeting that the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) had reviewed the town’s newly-revised comprehensive plan and pronounced it “complete and consistent” with the standards of the state’s Growth Management Act. 

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  8. ‘Clock is Ticking’ on Machias Selectboard Marijuana Ordinance Overhaul

    By Paul Sylvain

    The clock is ticking down for the Machias Selectboard to present to town voters a revised marijuana ordinance that is expected to include both adult-use — or “legal” — marijuana storefronts as well as medical marijuana storefronts.

    The handful of residents who attended a special town meeting on Sept. 14, voted unanimously in favor of placing a 180-day moratorium on accepting any new applications for medical marijuana businesses in Machias. Town officials said at the time there were no new applications pending before them.

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  9. Machias Selectboard Snaps Up 2014 Ambulance Despite Questions

    By Paul Sylvain

    Without having the more detailed “financial picture” it requested two weeks ago but did not receive, the Machias selectboard on Sept. 27, finally agreed to seal the deal on the purchase of a 2014 Chevy ambulance from Brooks Ambulance Inc., for $30,000.

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  10. Who Will Defend Us From Our Defenders?

    by Jonathan Reisman

    If you think area chambers of commerce, prominent banking institutions, and government-supported nonprofits, such as the Sunrise County Economic Council, are doing everything they can to defend Washington County’s way of life based on America’s founding principles, think again.

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  11. Direct Descendant of Patriot Wounded in the 1775 Battle of Machias Tells History of the Taking of HMS Margaretta

    By Paul Sylvain

    Nathan Beal of East Machias is a local historian and direct descendant of Ebeneezer Beal, who was wounded by a hand grenade tossed by HMS Margaretta’s commander, Midshipman James Moore, in the June 1775 Battle of Machias. He shared the story of the events of that historic day at the Sept. 27 rededication of a monument in memory of John McNeil, James Coolbroth and Robert Avery, who were killed in that battle, and Ebeneezer Beal and John Berry Jr., who were wounded. Here is a transcript of McNeil’s telling of the story in his own words. 

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  12. The Nature of Phenology: Green-Stain Fungus Fruiting

    By Hazel Stark

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  13. King Wins Conditional Permit for Townhouse Apartments in Fiery Planning Board Meeting

    Accuses Appeals Board Chairman of Conflict of Interest

    By Paul Sylvain

    It took two meetings in as many weeks and several fiery exchanges, but Northfield developer Justin King finally won conditional planning board approval on Sept. 20 for a multi-unit townhouse-style apartment complex at 53 Fremont St. in Machias.

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  14. State Police Push Back at Commissioner Chair Gardner

    Deny They’re ‘Pulling Out’ of Washington County

    By Will Tuell

    In a September 21 interview with this publication, Maine State Police Lieutenant Michael Johnston soundly rejected the idea that Maine State Police (MSP) is “pulling out’”of Washington County

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  15. Machias Food Pantry Opens on Kennebec Road

    By Paul Sylvain

    The Machias Food Pantry opened its doors Sept. 23 for a grand opening celebration from its new home on 43 Kennebec Rd. The new building, which began construction last year, was the realization of a three-year dream for the pantry’s own stand-alone building

    Originally begun 37 years ago in 1986 by three women from the Centre Street Congregational Church’s mission committee, the Machias Food Pantry has grown from helping “a few needy families” in Machias to serving around 150 families weekly in Machias and 11 surrounding towns.

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  16. Augusta Coming to Eastport for Historic Commissioning Ceremeony On Sept. 30

    By Will Tuell

    Country singer Alan Jackson’s ‘90s hit “Dallas” where the singer pines for his lost love (Dallas)  to rejoin him in Tennessee -- to the point where he even wants to “move Texas east”, may not be the most direct comparison, but for one week -- Sept. 25 to Oct. 2 -- Augusta -- the USS Augusta that is -- will be in Washington County, and thousands of curious Downeasters will converge on the county’s easternmost city for a historic commissioning, slated for 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30

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  17. ‘A Dream Come True!’: Lubec 7th Grader Gets Sworn In As Junior Game Warden For a Day

    By Joe McBrine

    Connor Haskins dreams of becoming a game warden one day, and his mother, Ashley Handzlik, wants to see her child’s dreams to come true. 

    That’s why Handzlik recently contacted Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Game Warden Matthew Tenan to see if Connor could spend some time with him to see what being a game warden is all about.

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  18. A Ride to Remember One of Their Own -- Garret Sprague

    By Paul Sylvain

    Undeterred by a tropical storm that showed up like an uninvited guest downeast a week before, more than 40 four-wheeling, all-terrain vehicle drivers and their passengers took to the trail from Machias to Harrington Sunday for their fourth “Ride for Garret.” 

    The ride was originally scheduled for Sept. 17, but was postponed a week to Sept. 24 because of tropical storm Lee.

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  19. Machias Board of Appeals Voice Frustration Over Lack of Planning Board Documents

    Appeal Hearing Postponed on Sandwich Shop, Used Furniture Store

     

    By Paul Sylvain

    Michael Acebal thought he was good to go with his plans for a small take-out sandwich shop and used furniture store at 97 Court St. when the Machias Planning Board approved his application for a permit on July 12.

    More than two months later, Acebal is still waiting to begin the project after Mary Angarola, who resides across the street from where the sandwich shop and furniture store would be located, appealed the decision.

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  20. Downeast Atlantic Salmon Habitat Restoration Groups to Receive Half-Million Dollars

    By Paul Sylvain

    Project SHARE (Salmon Habitat and River Enhancement) and Downeast Salmon Federation will be receiving a combined $541,000 of the nearly $1.2 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Maritime Fisheries Service for restoring and preserving wild Atlantic salmon  habitat in Maine.

    On Sept. 20, Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King announced that in all, $1.196,000 would be going to four Maine organizations to aid habitat restoration efforts in the state. 

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  21. The Nature of Phenology: Northern Harriers Migrating

    By Hazel Stark

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  22. End of an Era as Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant Sold, to Close Doors Oct. 1

    By Will Tuell

    Proprietress Beth (Prout) Foss sent shockwaves through the Machias Valley this past week as she announced that she is selling the Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant to Mason’s Brewing of Brewer. 

    Even with the restaurant’s pending closure, Foss and her crew showed their continuing commitment to the community late Saturday afternoon by preparing lunches-to-go for crews busy restoring power to homes and businesses that lost power because of Hurricane Lee.

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  23. Heroic K-9 Credited with Rescuing Missing DECH Patient

    By Paul Sylvain

    A Sheriff’s K-9 named Kia is credited with tracking down and rescuing a seriously ill patient who disappeared from Down East Community Hospital (DECH) in Machias on Sept. 12.

    Machias is fortunate to have both a town police department as well as access to resources at the Washington County Sheriff's Department, also based in Machias. The spirit of interdepartmental cooperation between the two law enforcement entities in Machias came into play Sept. 12, in saving the unidentified patient.

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  24. Lawmakers Hail Joe McBrine as North American Wildlife Officer of the Year

    By Paul Sylvain

    Framed against woodland trees and a fast-flowing river, Mill Park in East Machias was the perfect setting to honor town native-son and Maine Game Warden Joe McBrine on Sept. 12. 

    McBrine, who was born and raised in East Machias, has been a Maine game warden for 28 years. His resume even includes appearing for a couple of seasons on the Maine edition of the TV reality show North Woods Law.

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  25. Voters Pass Moratorium on New Medical Marijuana Storefront Applications

    By Paul Sylvain

    The Machias selectboard now has 180 days to forge and present to voters a new or revised marijuana ordinance following a vote by about two dozen residents at a special town meeting Sept. 14.

    Machias Town Manager Bill Kitchen opened the session by explaining the public hearing was called for voters to consider enacting a 180-day moratorium on the acceptance of any new applications for a medical marijuana storefront license. 

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  26. Local Businesses, Community Groups, Area Schools Gear up for Annual Turkey-A-Thon

    By Will Tuell

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  27. Court Street Paving, Police Activity Top Machias Selectboard Meeting

    By Paul Sylvain

    Driving on Court Street in Machias can be a bone-rattling experience. Navigating the potholes, cracks, ruts, humps and bumps by car, is akin to driving through a minefield. However, relief may soon be in store, as Town Manager Bill Kitchen reported to the board at its Sept. 13 meeting.

    “We’ve been told that the Route 1 paving project has been  pushed to next year,” said Kitchen. He noted that frequent spring and early summer rain “has thrown off paving schedules” statewide. The Route 1 project is now slated for spring, he said.

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  28. Washington Academy Senior in Running for Prestigious National Merit Scholarship

    By Will Tuell

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  29. Eastport Arts Center to Feature ‘Eclectic’ Singer, Teen Photographer

    By Lauren Koss  

    Eastport Arts Center will present Charlotte, North Carolina-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Patrick Mawn for an evening of music on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. (Please note: this concert was originally scheduled for September 16, and postponed due to expected storm conditions).

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  30. Jonesport Dentist Looks to Add Restaurant to Historic Building

    By Nancy Beal 

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  31. The Nature of Phenology: Blue-bead Lily Fruiting

    by Hazel Stark

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  32. Tempers Flare Over Plans For New Townhouse Apartments in Machias

    By Paul Sylvain

    An application for a six-unit townhouse-style apartment building at 53 Fremont St. took on a life of its own at the Machias planning board’s Sept. 6 meeting, leading to several tense exchanges between the developer and an appeals board member.

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  33. Commissioners Propose $8.7 Million Budget, up 20.6% from Current Year

    By Will Tuell

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  34. Jonesport Church Ladies Raise $4K for Steeple Fund

    by Nancy Beal

    When Jonesport’s church on Sawyer’s Square held its Summer Fling festival, the $4,000-plus that it netted resulted from a tradition of service by its women that reaches back a century and a half. A decade before 1887, when Daniel J. Sawyer commissioned what would be the Sawyer Memorial Congregational Church, the Ladies Aid and Parsonage Society was formed and took up, as its first task, raising money for the installation of a clock in the church’s bell tower, a pinnacle so prominent that it became a feature on nautical charts.

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  35. Out of This World: Machias Teachers, Students Snag Statewide STEM Awards

    By Will Tuell

    While many focus on state and regional athletic championships, Machias Memorial High School can add some truly out of this world academic hardware to its trophy case later this year. That’s because science teacher Jim Lenke and his Space Program students are being recognized for their work on a statewide program designed to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in Maine schools, Educate Maine, the organization which oversees the program, said in a Sept. 6 announcement. 

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  36. Machias Marketplace Expands Hours to Meet Growing Demand

    By Paul Sylvain

    Machias Marketplace on 167 Dublin St. is literally and figuratively a home-grown business that is blooming and booming to meet the demands of happy customers wanting the best in organically-grown fruit, vegetables and meats.

    KayLee Pettegrow has owned the business for the past four years and said she couldn’t be happier at her new location next door to the Machias Hannaford’s.

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  37. Wisecracking County Manager Retires to Standing Ovation

    By Will Tuell

    Longtime Washington County Manager Betsy Fitzgerald was full of quips and jests as she bid adieu to the people she has worked with for over a decade last week. Officially Fitzgerald stepped down from her post at the helm of county government Aug. 31, but the diminutive dame of all things county government attended the Sept. 7 commissioners meeting where employees and commissioners toasted her time at the helm. 

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  38. Renovations Gain Steam, Hit Snags as County Looks to Move DA Office

    By Will Tuell

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  39. Aquaculture Moratorium, Port Road Closure, Liberty Hall Fundraiser Top Machiasport News

    By Will Tuell

    The Town of Machiasport announced last week that it will be holding a public hearing Sept. 25 at 4:30 p.m. to discuss whether the town should adopt a 180-day moratorium on further development of “large scale aquaculture” in the community. The meeting will be held at the Town Office. 

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  40. The Nature of Phenology: Purple Pitcher Plant Flowers

    by Joseph Horn

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  41. Machias Voters to Act on Medical Marijuana Moratorium at Sept. 14 Special Town Meeting

    By Paul Sylvain

    Voting residents of Machias will have an opportunity to voice their opinions on future marijuana businesses in the shiretown at a special town meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Rose M. Gaffney School in Machias. 

    Article 2 of the four-article warrant states simply, “To see if the Town will vote to put a moratorium on additional medical marijuana storefronts. A moratorium would delay acceptance of additional medical marijuana storefront applications.”

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  42. Personal Testimonies Punctuate Overdose Awareness Vigil

    By Paul Sylvain

    A string of 24 colorful paper butterflies fluttered in a gentle early-evening breeze, as some 40 people gathered at the University of Maine at Machias Aug. 31 for a candlelight vigil to mark International Overdose Awareness Day.

    Abby Frutchey, substance use response coordinator for the Community Caring Collaborative, explained the significance of the butterflies.

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  43. Jonesport Fish Farm Wins Key Legal Battle

    by Nancy Beal

    Maine Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy rejected a challenge to one of a handful of licenses Maine regulators have granted Kingfish Maine for a $100 million land-based fish farm on Jonesport’s eastern shore in an Aug. 23 ruling. 

    The dismissal of the petition from the Roque Island Gardner Homestead Corporation and the Eastern Maine Conservation Initiative removes one of two legal barriers standing in the way of Kingfish breaking ground on its 100-acre site abutting the western side of Chandler Bay.

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  44. 106-Year-Old Obeline Crowley Feted in Milbridge Birthday Bash

    by Wayne Smith

    The Narraguagus Bay Health Care facility in Milbridge threw a very special birthday party Aug. 29 for Obeline Crowley on her 106th birthday.  The conference room came to life with cake, cards, and conversation as residents, staff and Obeline’s loved ones gathered to celebrate her remarkably long life. Organizers even decked out the conference room with 106 carnations as they paid tribute to Crowley. 

    Rachel Smith, secretary for Narraguagus Bay, spoke lovingly about Obeline. 

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  45. Washington County Commissioner Summoned for OUI

    By Will Tuell

    Washington County Commissioner Chris Gardner was summoned for operating under the influence last week. While Gardner and Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis declined to comment on the specifics of the case, or in Curtis’s instance that there was a case, an unidentified source who received anonymity from this publication alleged that Gardner was summoned by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Aug. 26.

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