1. After the fire, the story of Liberty ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien

    by Valdine Atwood

    Upon hearing the news of a fire at San Francisco’s Pier 45, many area residents were filled with fear for the safety of the WWII Liberty ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien but were relieved to learn that more than 150 San Francisco firefighters had saved the historic vessel. But why would Machias residents, living across the country from that California city, be so interested in what had happened to a vessel so far away?

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  2. Maine press pressures state for local COVID-19 case data

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine newspapers have filed multiple requests asking the state to release the de-identified location data of its positive COVID-19 cases. Currently, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports positive case data only at the county level, making Maine an outlier in New England where all other states report cases by town or zip code.

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  3. CDC urges precautions against tickborne diseases

    The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) urges Maine people to take precautions against ticks during May, Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

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  4. Get your browse back on! With Porter's curbside pickup

    Porter Memorial Library invites you to join us as we reopen to the public. Now's the time to Get Your Browse Back On! with Porter Memorial Library's new curbside pickup service, new relaxed membership and return policies, and a socially-safe pop-up used book sale.

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  5. The Nature of Phenology: Hawthorn blossoms

    by Joseph Horn

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  6. MSB investment brings ‘world class’ internet to downtown Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Downtown Machias will soon have access to fiber optic high-speed internet thanks to a partnership between two mainstay Main Street businesses.

    Machias Savings Bank (MSB) has paid for the installation of fiber optic cable which will allow many downtown businesses and residents to tie into the fastest available internet in the nation, with symmetrical upload and download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. The network will be built and managed by Axiom Technologies, a Machias-based internet service provider.

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  7. Hunger pains increase as needs mount

    by Ruth Leunecker

    Partnering to end hunger has always been the standard mode of operation in Maine. But in these days of COVID-19, distribution has become as vital an operation as the partnerships.

    Food banks, food pantries and meal sites have gone into overdrive, daily meeting more obstacles and varied challenges. At the same time, they are uniquely positioned to distribute tens of millions of pounds of food. But in these months of 2020 fewer people have the money for gas or the jobs they desperately need. The impact has encroached on the wellbeing of many families.

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  8. Firefighters say ‘thank you’ for cancer prevention gear

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    After two years of fundraising, area fire departments can now safely remove carcinogens from their turnout gear using a new industrial-grade washing machine and dryer. Marshfield Fire Chief Daniel Bowker said he washed three sets of gear last week and the results were astounding.

    “The water that came out of the extractor...was horrendously black, it was some of the dirtiest water I think I’ve ever seen,” said Bowker.

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  9. Machias talks traffic stops, sidewalks, and COVID-19

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A stop sign proposal drew a chilly reception from the Machias Board of Selectmen, who discussed the matter at their bi-monthly meeting held online Wednesday, May 13.

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  10. Jonesport news: nuisance bear, speed trailer, library curbside service, sidewalk cleanup

    by Nancy Beal

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  11. City council says, ‘Calais is open for business’

    by Jayna Smith

    The Calais City Council voted last Thursday to declare all businesses can open as they so choose, citing the City cannot tell a person how to make a living. The decision comes despite statewide restrictions still in place by Gov. Janet Mills due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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  12. Scrubs Softball: nothing like it

    by Wayne Smith

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  13. Marc Michaud receives Maine Principals’ Association Award

    Machias Memorial High School Principal Brian Leavitt has announced that Marc Michaud will receive the Class of 2020 MPA Principals’ Award.  The honor includes a $2,000 MELMAC Scholarship to be awarded in the second semester of college.    

    “Since coming to Machias Memorial High School, Marc has been a top academic student and an asset to his school community” states Leavitt.  “In addition, he has a great personality, high level of personal character, and passion for science and visual arts.  I’m very proud of Marc and all he has accomplished.”

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  14. Jonesport-Beals High School Class of 2020 Honor Parts

    The Faculty and Administration of Jonesport-Beals High School proudly announce the class parts for the school year 2019-20.

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  15. The Nature of Phenology: Rhodora

    by Hazel Stark

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  16. Trescott drug raid nabs three

    State Police Spokesman Steve McCausland released the following information this afternoon.

    Maine Drug Enforcement (MDEA) says three men were arrested on drug charges in the Washington County Town of Trescott overnight that evolved into a police standoff. As part of an ongoing criminal investigation, MDEA and Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies served a search warrant at the home of Mark Fields on County Road in Trescott Wednesday evening

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  17. 101st Air Refueling flyover to honor Machias frontline personnel May 14

     Officials with the 101st Air Refueling Wing announced today the rescheduling of the second half of Maine's Operation American Resolve flyover for Thursday, May 14. The event, which began with a flyover route on May 12, is being conducted as a salute to all of Maine's front line healthcare workers and essential personnel across the state.

    The flyovers are intended to lift morale in cities across America due to the severe health and economic impacts that have resulted from the coronavirus.

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  18. Father and son team up at Wayne’s Barber Shop

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    When the state said barbershops could reopen May 1, Wayne Wood expected some pent-up demand for haircuts. He left for work at 5:30 a.m. that day, and found one customer sleeping in the parking lot so they could be first in line.

    “Had I thought sooner I would have opened at midnight,” said Wood, who shut the doors on Wayne’s Barber Shop in early March, ahead of state-imposed closures.

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  19. Moosabec July 4th fest canceled; boat races, fireworks may go on

    by Nancy Beal

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  20. Mills announces testing breakthrough amid crisis

    by Ruth Leubecker

    “I thank IDEXX for their generosity and partnership with us,” announced Gov. Janet Mills in her Thursday midday briefing to Mainers. “This will allow the state to administer more universal testing.”

    “We now have more than triple the capacity we have had,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director who shares the spotlight, six feet apart, with Mills.

    The Westbrook-based IDEXX has produced the diagnostic test that can provide results in under three hours, according to a recent news release.

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  21. Machias intervenes in water company rate increase

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Machias Water Company has filed a request to increase water rates by 25 percent, a move Machias officials fear will create too much financial strain on an already-burdened local economy.

    “I don’t know how many of these individual businesses know that the increase of 25 percent is being proposed, and I’m scared that we will come out of this COVID-19 shut down and then they’ll get slammed with this,” said Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien.

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  22. Students will not return to classrooms this year

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Area schools have announced students will not be returning to the classroom this year, a sad eventuality they were already braced for. In an online video message to his students, Elm Street School Principal Tony Maker shared his feelings about the news.

    “My heart is broken about that, and I really feel badly that we can’t get together,” said Maker. “I know the teachers so miss you. This is not the way we wanted this to be.”

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  23. As state restrictions begin to lift, Downeast slowly reopens

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Many Downeast businesses have been able to operate — in a modified fashion — since coronavirus was first detected in Maine on March 12. Others, including barbershops and hair salons, were only able to reopen their doors on May 1. Now that Governor Janet Mills has announced her “Rural Reopening” plan, all retail stores in 12 rural counties can open their doors to foot traffic this week, and next week restaurants will be able to welcome customers, too. In all cases, safety protocols apply.

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  24. Amid pandemic, cruise ship hopes to berth in Eastport

    by Jayna Smith

    Vigorous debate erupted last week after Eastport Port Authority Executive Director Chris Gardner announced the possible arrival of the 785-foot Oceania Cruises vessel, Riviera, in the coming days or weeks. If approved, the vessel would arrive in Eastport carrying only crewmembers and could stay docked there for many weeks.

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  25. J-BHS graduation goes forward—later and outdoors

    by Nancy Beal

    Despite restrictions on social gatherings necessitated by the coronavirus, graduation ceremonies at Jonesport-Beals High School will take place, just not in the usual manner or in the customary place. The event will be held a month later than usual and outdoors on the school’s soccer/baseball field. The new date is Sunday, July 12 at 1 p.m., and attendance will be restricted. Only graduates, faculty and members of the administration will be allowed on the field.

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  26. East Machias talks alewives, new school bus

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    During their second meeting live-streamed on Facebook, the East Machias Board of Selectmen addressed two important issues. The May 7 meeting was attended by selectboard chairman Bucket Davis and selectman Will Tuell. Selectman Dale Richardson was not in attendance.

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  27. MMHS teacher provides crucial PPE to DECH

    Machias Memorial High School Physical Sciences teacher, Jim Lenke, reached out to the hospital to ask if Down East Community Hospital needed face shields. “Yes!” was the answer. Mr. Lenke used the school’s 3D printers to make visors that were designed with notches spaced across the front of the visor. These notches were designed to be matched with and fit into the holes made by a 3-hole punch. The reason that is important is it made it easy to produce the plastic shields that would be attached to the visors.

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  28. UMM names Class of 2020 valedictorian and salutatorian

    Dawn Johnson of Orleans, Massachusetts is the 2020 University of Maine at Machias (UMM) valedictorian and Kirsten Lisee of Milbridge is this year’s salutatorian. Both students majored in psychology and community studies.

    A member of the Clippers soccer team and recipient of the 2018 USCAA Student-Athlete of the Year award, Johnson draws on her counseling training to help her foster youth development through athletics.

    “I love coaching soccer and inspiring young people to play the sport that I fell in love with at a young age,” she says.

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  29. UMM announces 2020 Ivy Orator and Senior Watch Awards

    Three seniors at the University of Maine at Machias are being honored with special recognition for their contributions to the campus community.

    English, creative writing and book arts major Alondra Candelario of Thousand Oaks, California was elected Ivy Orator by UMM Class of 2020 graduates. The Ivy Orator traditionally delivers a lighthearted, humorous speech at Honors Convocation to reflect on the college experience.  

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  30. Community invited to driving memorial birthday for Baylee Kilton

    On Thursday, May 14, friends, businesses, and well-wishers are invited to participate in a driving memorial birthday for Baylee Kilton, who died in April 2019. Kilton would be turning eight years old this month.

    Participants are invited to line up at Meadowbrook Materials (located before Guptill’s Logging in East Machias) at 5:30 p.m. and the procession will be lead by Dean McGuire of McGuire Seasonal Services. The parade is expected to pass Lucky Star Stables in East Machias at approximately 6 p.m. Kilton's family will be watching from the stables.

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  31. Jonesport assisted living facility in the works, seeks administrator

    by Nancy Beal

    The Sunrise Adult Family Care Home in Jonesport, in the building of the original Resthaven Nursing Home, is underway. The generator and the alarm system are working, the sprinkler system has been renovated and has passed state muster and, last week, new flooring started going in. Some fixtures and furniture still need to be purchased, but the biggest need is an administrator, according to Carol Davis, head of a committee to bring the building back to useful life, a group appointed by the local medical center, which owns it.

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  32. Group offers free tablets to seniors

    by Ruth Leubecker

    For seniors sheltering in place minus any internet connection at home, a Machias business is offering a tablet with the capability to connect online.

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  33. What do computer chips, pressure-treated wood, respiratory problems and water have in common?

    by Jim Lenke

    With so much information about COVID-19, growth curves, and transmission rates blasted at us non-stop for months, every single person paying attention should have a degree in public health by now. So, let’s find out how knowledgeable we are about the dangerous players in our corner of Downeast Maine.

    Which is worse? Consider being given two glasses of water, one with lead and the other with arsenic and being told you had to drink one or the other, which would you pick?

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  34. When O-So Grape soda was made O-So Good in Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Area children might be disappointed to know they missed the era of Machias-made soda. It’s not quite like losing the chocolate factory to Charlie, but close.

    “They were very good soft drinks, I had all I wanted of them,” said John Sprague of Marshfield. “They were in big vats upstairs, vats big enough so that they would put a big bag of sugar in them to mix it.” Sprague’s uncles Quentin “Spike” Sprague and Roland Sprague owned part of the business with Peter Palmer.

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  35. Baileyville man rebuilds cars for fun

    by Natalie Boomer

    Bruce White of Baileyville has been using his time while socially distancing the same as he would on any other occasion. Taking old things apart to make them new again.

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  36. Jonesport campground opening on hold

    by Nancy Beal

    The Jonesport selectmen continue to meet weekly via Zoom and teleconferencing. On April 22, they agreed to postpone the opening of the Henry Point Campground until at least June 1, and then review state coronavirus guidelines regarding such facilities. According to the measures issued by Gov. Janet Mills last week (April 28), lodging and campgrounds could open June 1 for Maine residents and for those who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement.

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  37. Teen camp plans virtual spaghetti dinner May 21

    Come together — virtually — as a community to celebrate and support our youth and the DownEast Teen Leadership Camp (DETLC). We are currently entering DETLC's 20th year!

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  38. Cherryfield Food Pantry giving back

    by Wayne Smith

    Cherryfield Food Pantry brings smiles and a warm glow to a community when it needs it the most. A place that lights up every Tuesday and Thursday that brings a purpose. It’s an institution where people can get food when they are in need. A place where there is caring, hope and prosperity all mixed in one. And it’s a place where a person can forget the coronavirus for just a minute. People can put two feet on the ground at the same time and get ahead of the game.

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  39. Bridge repairs begin this week

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Repairs will begin this week on three bridges known collectively as the Jeremiah O’Brien Memorial Bridge, which spans Bad Little Falls at the base of College Hill in Machias.

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  40. Organizers announce cancellation of Machias Wild Blueberry Festival

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

     

    Co-organizers Ellen Farnsworth and Nancy Lewis yesterday announced the formal cancellation of what would have been the 45th Machias Wild Blueberry Festival.

    "It is with a heavy heart that we are letting you know that we have decided, along with Governor Mills "Stay Safer at Home Order" that we have to cancel...," wrote Farnsworth and Lewis. "COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, and believe me, while we are saddened that this is the outcome, we also believe it is the responsible thing to do."

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  41. Machias land donation sets stage for historic ‘Liberty Village’

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A group of local historians plans to build a living history village that will transport visitors into 18th century Machias. The Revolutionary War Reenactors of Downeast Maine and Machias Historical Society recently received a 75+-acre land donation from Dr. Gayle Kraus, who says she is “totally enthusiastic” about the project, called “Liberty Village”.

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  42. Qualls named UMM Head of Campus

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    University of Maine President Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy last week announced professor Daniel Qualls has been appointed vice president for academic affairs and head of campus at the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) for a three-year term.  

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  43. Blueberry industry grapples with pandemic challenges

    by Nancy Beal

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  44. Legislature reopening tenuous, prison still on target

    by Ruth Leubecker

    While hundreds of bills in various stages of completion remain on the table, Maine’s 129th Legislature, closing early, inches toward a tenuous reopening on June 16, 2020.

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  45. Machias board talks bids, PD move, and PFAS

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Machias Board of Selectpersons stepped into the new swing of things with their first online meeting, held April 22.

    Jarod Farn-Guillette, director of Washington County Council of Governments (WCCOG), hosted the meeting which was attended by all five members of the board, Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien, Police Chief Todd Hand, Finance Director Meaghan Dennison, and Town Clerk Sandra Clifton, as well as several members of the public. The meeting was recorded for future viewing.

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