1. 25 years apart, two Machias Bulldogs join to research cures for MS, hearing loss

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Even before she met him, Catherine Luce knew she would find common ground with her chief medical officer because he, too, was from Maine. Luce is a senior scientist at Frequency Therapeutics in Woburn, Massachusetts and a Machias Bulldog, Class of 1996.

    “Everyone had been talking about him being a blueberry farmer and said that he was from Maine, so we figured we would have something in common,” said Luce. “Then, lo and behold, we were both born and raised in Machias.”

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  2. Jonesport fish farmers hold workshop on recirculating water system

    by Nancy Beal

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  3. Voters adopt five articles in 10 minutes at town meeting

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A lack of controversial agenda items might explain how five Machias selectboard members outnumbered the voters who turned up for a special town meeting held Feb. 12 at the Lee Pellon Center.

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  4. History in the making: She’s 95 years and still counting

    by Ruth Leubeker

    Like a vintage wine — or a fine antique automobile, Amy Graham sees a few good years ahead.

    Party day is March 7. It’s a celebration of her 95th birthday that may have started out as a surprise, but like many elderly, she now is totally on top of it. That’s from 1-4 p.m. at the Jacksonville United Methodist Church, and everyone’s invited.

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  5. Machias vet fined for unlicensed practice

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Dr. Cynthia Teer of the Machias Animal Hospital has been found in contempt of court and fined $10,000 for practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

    Teer’s license was suspended by the state in Jan. 2018, and revoked in Oct. 2019 following a September hearing of the Maine Board of Veterinary Medicine. Six pages of court documents from the Jan. 21 hearing held in Kennebec Superior Court list the state’s evidence, including prior disciplinary action against Teer in 2014.  

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  6. Listening for right whales in the Gulf of Maine

    Two passive acoustic data collection efforts are underway in the Gulf of Maine to gather information on North Atlantic right whales. One will deploy fixed archival-acoustic recorders mounted on the ocean bottom for a specific period of time. The other will use autonomous underwater vehicles called gliders, equipped to record acoustic information and report it back in near real-time.

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  7. Hit me with your best shot: Jonesport-Beals basketball

    by Wayne Smith

    The second part of the story of the Jonesport-Beals Royals basketball team features senior Kaiden Crowley, the point guard, and senior Ryan Alley, a guard/forward, as they talk about what it takes to be a basketball player for the Royals. They discussed what it takes to be on top and how they might want it to end, the stories of success in the past, and what kinds of things make this team special.

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  8. LCOC: Working together for each other

    The Lubec Community Outreach Center (LCOC) has started off the new year with a bang! The end of the year festivities that included the veteran/senior meal, which was attended by over 120 community members, and the monthly meal, which served over 195 community members, didn’t slow down this volunteer-based organization.

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  9. “Bear, Coyote, Raven” reading coming to Machias

    by Natalie Boomer

    Poet Jason Grundstrom-Whitney, will be reading from his book, “Bear, Coyote, Raven”, at the University of Maine at Machias on Thursday, March 12 at 4 p.m.

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  10. Golden-crowned Kinglets

    by Joseph Horn

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  11. Youth center effort draws supporters

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A meeting at the East Machias Municipal Building last month drew together enthusiastic individuals and groups who all want the same thing — a local youth recreation center. Co-organizer Liz Henry said she was impressed by the array of talented people in attendance.

    “I think we couldn’t have asked for a better group,” said Henry. “It takes a village to raise a child, and that's how I see this project, it’ll take everybody.”

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  12. PRSWDD, Jonesport, Columbia Falls at odds over withdrawal agreement

    by Nancy Beal

    At the February 5 selectmen’s meeting in Jonesport, Harry Fish reported to his colleagues the latest development in their town’s year-long effort to withdraw from the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District (PRSWDD). In addition to being a selectman, Fish is Jonesport’s representative to PRSWDD’s board of directors, and he was clearly displeased as he delivered the news from the town’s attorney to his colleagues that carried price tag nearly five times what Jonesport had anticipated.

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  13. Recycling changes at PRSWDD explained

    by Tanya Rucosky

    Residents in municipalities served by the Pleasant River Solid Waste Disposal District (PRSWDD) have embarked on a new, counter-intuitive approach to recycling.

    “You put it all in the trash?” asked incredulous Addison resident Theresa Williams.

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  14. Few details emerge in wake of triple homicide

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Thomas Bonfanti of Northfield was charged with murder on Monday, Feb. 3, after a 30-minute shooting rampage that left two men and one woman dead and another woman critically injured. The shootings took place at three different locations in Machias and Jonesboro.

    Bonfanti was arrested at the American Legion Post #9 on Court Street in Machias.

    What is known

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  15. Groups offer reassurance, support in wake of local tragedies

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    After a string of shootings rocked central Washington County on Monday, Feb. 3, the Community Caring Collaborative (CCC) quickly assembled a Community Response Debriefing event along with the support of AMHC. The event was held on Tuesday, Feb. 4 in Machias, and invitations were issued far and wide via Facebook and email.

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  16. Machias to vote on spending, ordinance amendments at special town meeting

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Machias residents will vote on six articles at a special town meeting to be held Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Lee Pellon Center.
    At a public hearing held Jan. 29, the board reviewed the articles and took questions from the eight Machias residents in attendance.

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  17. Local documentary to air on Maine Public Television

    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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  18. Feeding corn to deer could be fatal

    by Kaileigh Deacon

    As the ground freezes and snow starts to fall, the appearance of animals becomes more of a rare sight, and when people get a chance to see them they get excited. Oftentimes that excitement leads to people leaving food out for the animals, feeling they are helping.

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  19. Gideon campaigns Downeast at ‘Supper with Sara’

    by Tanya Rucosky

    Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, Sara Gideon, held a “Supper with Sara” event at the Harrington VFW on February 4th as part of her national senate campaign.  

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  20. Phillips Academy Summer Session official visits nine area high schools

    Anneke Skidmore, Dean of Admissions and Assistant Director for the Phillips Academy Andover Summer Session, visited nine high schools in Washington County and Charlotte County to promote the new Unobskey Scholars Program.  The Unobskey Scholars Program offers all-expenses-paid scholarships to the prestigious five-week summer session at Phillips Academy for 12 high-achieving ninth graders.  

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  21. The Nature of Phenology: Red fox breeding season

    by Hazel Stark

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  22. Machias PD confirms OUI arrest 3 days prior to murders, Bonfanti’s first appearance set

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Thomas Bonfanti of Northfield was charged with murder on Monday, Feb. 3, after a 30-minute shooting rampage that left two men and one woman dead, and another woman critically injured. The shootings took place at three different locations in Machias and Jonesboro, and Bonfanti was arrested at the American Legion on Court Street in Machias. 

    Bonfanti will make his first appearance in court on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in Calais. He is represented by attorney Jeffrey Silverstein.

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  23. Jonesport fish farmers to hold sessions on water system

    by Nancy Beal

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  24. Rural Maine vets face suicide crisis

    by Tanya Rucosky

    Maine’s rural veterans are in the midst of a suicide crisis with counties like Washington and Aroostook at the epicenter. The Veterans Administration’s 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report notes economic disparity, lack of health care access and community services all contribute to increased suicide rates in veterans. Sadly, economically challenged, rural areas concentrate on these difficulties in places like Downeast Maine.

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  25. 50 years ago this week: The collapse of the old Toll Bridge

    by Valdine Atwood

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  26. Locally-filmed ‘Lobster War’ explores grey zone conflict, now available online

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A movie filmed off the coast of Washington County is now available for streaming on all major online websites such as Amazon, iTunes, Vimeo and YouTube. “Lobster War: The Fight Over the World’s Richest Fishing Grounds,” tells the story of increasing tensions in the waters between Washington County and Canada, locally referred to as “the grey zone.”

    “There's a longstanding, ongoing dispute out there,” said Cutler fisherman Brian Cates, who is featured in the film. “That’s why it’s called the grey zone.”

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  27. Narraguagus basketball and family: a winning combination

    by Wayne Smith

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  28. Free ice fishing and winter fun on Chalk Pond

    Take advantage of the free fishing weekend on Saturday, Feb. 15.  Discover the basics of ice fishing on Chalk Pond in Bedlington with the Downeast Salmon Federation(DSF). (Snow Date Sunday, Feb. 16). Join us from 12 to 4 p.m. and enjoy an afternoon out on the ice!  DSF Fish Biologist Brett Ciccotelli will provide equipment and advice to kids of all ages. Meanwhile, snowshoe enthusiasts can join Land Trust Director Tanya Rucosky exploring the nearby Little Narraguagus Preserve.

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  29. 3 WA wrestlers place at PVC championship

    by Lupe Soto

    Washington Academy Wrestling ended the regular Dual Meet season with a 17-8 record.

    With the regular season behind them, the Raider wrestlers knew their fate was in their own hands. The team competed in the Penobscot Valley Conference Championship, held Saturday, Feb. 1 at Mt. Desert Island (MDI).

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  30. Machias schools enact two lockdowns in two days

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A web-based threat sent Friday, Jan. 31 listed Machias and Jonesport-Beals schools as potential targets for violence along with eight other Maine schools. Both Machias and Jonesport-Beals responded by notifying parents that the threat occurred, that authorities deemed it not credible, and by going into “soft lockdown.” Local law enforcement was dispatched to protect them, and all after-school and weekend activities were canceled at both schools.

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  31. Moosehead brookies

    by V. Paul Reynolds

    Henry David Thoreau, beholding Moosehead Lake for the first time, wrote this: “a gleaming silver platter at the end of the table.”

    If only he could have seen the lake from the air! The first time that I saw the big lake from the air in a northbound ski-plane my jaw dropped. The expansiveness, not only of the lake itself but the entire north woods watershed, presents a panorama like no other.

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  32. The Nature of Phenology: Winter photosynthesis

    by Joseph Horn

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  33. 3 killed in Machias, Jonesboro shooting rampage

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Three people were killed and a fourth injured in a shooting rampage that took place at three locations in Machias and Jonesboro on the morning of Monday, Feb. 3. 

    Maine State Police Lt. Troy Gardner spoke at a press conference in front of the Washington County Courthouse Monday evening and said that suspect Thomas Bonfanti, 63, of Northfield,  has been arrested and charged with murder after the shooting deaths of Shawn Currey, 57, Samuel Powers, 33, and Jennifer Bryant Flynn, 49. A fourth victim, a female, was injured and is hospitalized.

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  34. Press-Conference on Machias shooting with 3 dead and one in hospital

    Click here to view the press conference https://www.facebook.com/machiasnews/videos/194917595237717/

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  35. Roque Bluffs wins $1M grant to build fiber optic network

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

     

    Countless hours spent in pursuit of a federal grant have paid off for Roque Bluffs, now the winner of a $1M award that will enable the town to build its own broadband network. Axiom Technologies will administer the network which, when built, will offer every home in Roque Bluffs state-of-the-art internet service.

     

    “From my perspective this a game changer for Washington County,” said Axiom President Mark Ouellette. “Roque Bluffs is now going to have better connectivity than New York City.”

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  36. ‘Four Girls with a Goal’ lead campaign for new Jonesboro playground

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    It started with a third-grade classroom assignment: write a persuasive letter to your teacher about something you want.

    “We want more playground equipment because it’s not much fun on our side of the playground,” said Aynslee Emery, one of the Jonesboro Elementary students who have organized themselves into a fundraising team called “Four Girls with a Goal.”

    Principal and teacher Marjorie Hicks said the assignment wasn’t only about making a wish.

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  37. ‘We are not Washington. We are Maine.’

    by Ruth Leubecker

    In a proud tone, describing trying times and predicting unity and growth for Maine, the state’s first female governor presented her first State of the State address on Tuesday.

    “Maine’s economy is on a solid footing and growing,” said Gov. Janet Mills. “Revenues are up, gross domestic product is up, housing starts, construction and car sales are up, and the state budget has a healthy surplus.”

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  38. Jonesport budget set, goes to voters March 9

    by Nancy Beal

    Jonesport’s budget committee met with their selectmen and treasurer January 22 and reviewed and approved a slate of expenses for 2020-21 to be sent to the voters for action at the upcoming town meeting, scheduled for March 9 at 3:30 p.m. The grand total is $688,598 but that figure includes $40,000 in the off chance that voters break with recent tradition and approve a discount for taxes paid early. If the $40,000 is rejected, the 2020-21 budget will be under last year’s amount by $2,005.

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  39. Machias public hearing to discuss marijuana, ordinances and airport

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The Machias Board of Selectmen will host a public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 29, to take feedback on seven items, including proposed updates to three existing ordinances, and a new proposed adult use marijuana ordinance.

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  40. New Food Pantry Director Mommens speaks to Machias Rotary Club

    by Wayne Peters

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  41. Girl Scout cookie sales have begun

    by Jayna Smith

    Area Girl Scouts have begun their annual cookie sales campaign.  The girls are ready to demonstrate goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics--the “5 Skills" each Girl Scout learns through the cookie program.

    Girls will soon be selling cookies at booths, door-to-door, and through Digital Cookie, the national digital platform that enables girls to learn 21st-century skills while selling cookies through their own personalized cookie websites or face-to-face using a mobile transaction app.

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  42. Hearing voices at Hammond Hall

    by Wayne Smith

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  43. Downeast historian speaks in NYC

    Stephen Sanfilippo, known to many in our Downeast communities for his performances of historic music and his volunteer work with the Pembroke Historical Society, was a participant at the annual meeting and conference of the American Historical Association held in New York City in early January 2020. Stephen, who taught grades 9-12 history courses for many years, served as chair for a teacher training session on the use of local historical archives by high school, middle school and elementary school students.

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  44. Open Mic series continues

    EAC’s Second Saturday Open Mic series continues on February 8, from 6-8 p.m. Spectators and performers of all ages are invited to the family-friendly event, which is held downstairs at EAC. The opening act for February’s event will be Lauren Koss, singing and accompanying herself on her baritone ukulele. The series began January 10 with diverse performances and an enthusiastic audience. “Our talented January musicians were Brandy and Ross Argir, Dan Cashore, Audrey Bradbury, Beth Goodliff and Rachel Bailey,” noted organizer, Alison Brennan.

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  45. The Nature of Phenology: Black bear cubs being born

    by Hazel Stark

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