1. Gas Odor Prompts Hannaford’s Evacuation; Store Reopens 

    By Paul Sylvain

    The Machias Hannaford store on Dublin Street was evacuated and closed its doors to customers and store associates for nearly five hours Tuesday, Aug. 1, as the Dead River Company investigated the reported odor of gas. 

    The evacuation occurred around 10 a.m. and the store remained closed until 2:30 p.m, while shoppers and employees in the store at the time were quickly evacuated. 

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  2. Washington County Game Warden Wins International Honor

    By Will Tuell

    Maine Game Warden Joe McBrine got quite the shock recently when he was named Officer of the Year at the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association (NAWEOA) annual conference in Provo, Utah. McBrine, who has served as a game warden for nearly thirty years – most of it here in Washington County -- said that he “choked up” when the 9,000-member organization of fish and game officers from the United States and Canada called his name July 10.

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  3. Machias Voters to Consider 49-Article Town Meeting Warrant

    By Paul Sylvain

    Machias residents will gather this week to consider a 49-article annual town meeting warrant to fund the town’s operation through Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24). The current fiscal year began July 1 and ends June 30, 2024. 

    The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, at the Rose M. Gaffney School gymnasium.

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  4. Washington County Dispatcher Takes Call Reporting Fire at His Home

    By Paul Sylvain

    The last thing long-time Washington County emergency dispatcher Phil Roberts ever expected was to take a call reporting his Marshfield home on fire, but that’s exactly what happened around 5:30 p.m. on July 20.

    “I took the call,” Roberts said, when asked if he was on duty at the time.

    The cause of the fire at Roberts’ Marshfield residence “technically remains under investigation,” said Roberts, during a phone interview July 21. 

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  5. Area Churches Gear Up for Vacation Bible School Week of July 31

    By Will Tuell

    Several area churches are pitching in to hold what has become a mid-summer tradition: Vacation Bible School or VBS at Larrabee Baptist Church in Machiasport during the week of July 31 – Aug. 4 from 9-11:30 a.m. Organizer Paula Maker says the themed weeklong program designed to immerse children aged 4-12 in the Bible has grown so much over the years that this year organizers have worked with Fort O’Brien Elementary School to relieve traffic congestion at Larrabee by utilizing the school’s parking lot as a staging area.

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  6. Collins Lands $35 Million for Lobster Industry

    By Will Tuell

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  7. Count on Me

    by Jonathan Reisman

    I first met Ernie in September of 1975 in the hallway of the Dana dormitory on the Colby College campus in Waterville, Maine. It was not love at first sight or a cute moment. I was a junior visiting a friend and was introduced to a freshman woman. I don’t remember who introduced us or what Ernie said. Four years later, we were married and starting a life adventure together. Now I am the memory for both of us.

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  8. Jane Crosen at Porter Memorial Library for Book Signing July 27

    Meet artist/editor and mapmaker Jane Crosen at Porter Memorial Library on Thursday, July 27 at 6 p.m. for an informal talk about her new Coastwise Geographic Edition of Colby’s 1881 Atlas of Washington County. The book signing event is free and open to the public. Copies of the atlas will be available for purchase.

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  9. Blueberry Festival Musical Returns After Four-Year Break

    By Paul Sylvain

    Kazoos, juice harps and ukes, oh my, my, my. If it’s late July in Machias, it can mean only one thing. Music whiz Gene Nichols is leading group rehearsals for this year’s Machias Blueberry Festival musical at Centre Street Congregational Church.

    This year’s show, titled The Record of Washington County, was written and is being produced by Nichols. 

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  10. The Nature of Phenology: Water Lillies

    By Hazel Stark

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  11. Community Raises $25,000 as Search for Missing Fisherman Continues

    By Will Tuell

    The family of a missing Steuben fisherman who did not return home from hauling lobster traps in Jonesport July 21 has not given up hope that 18-year-old Tylar Michaud will be found, according to family friend Joline Brown. Brown, who spearheaded a community effort to raise almost $25,000 in two days, said that volunteers will scour air, land, and sea as the likelihood of Michaud’s survival diminishes with each passing day.

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  12. Mondville Looks Back on Four Decades at UMM

    By Will Tuell

    Rose Mondville has been a fixture at the University of Maine at Machias for over 42 years, serving generations of students, staff, and faculty from her days working in the school’s now-defunct bookstore to her most recent role providing administrative support to Head of Campus Meghan Walsh. That era came to an end recently as Mondville retired from her longtime employer with an eye toward spending more time with her son and his family in the Rockland area, but not before sharing some candid insight into the once-vibrant Machias campus.

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  13. Jackie O’Clair named DECH Board Chair at annual meeting

    Down East Community Hospital and Calais Community Hospital held its annual meeting of the Corporators on Thursday, June 30. During the meeting,  board officers were announced, and Jackie O’Clair, who most recently served as the Vice Chair and Secretary, held her first meeting as Board Chair. 

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  14. Machias Routs Acadian for Third Little League Divisional Championship This Summer

    By Will Tuell

    On Wednesday night, the Machias Area Little League 9-10 softball All Star team bested Acadian Little League of Bar Harbor 15-4 to become the third Machias Area Little League team to win a District 1 championship this year. Machias, led by pitcher Sarah Hennessey, traded runs with Acadian early on but broke out to a six-run lead in the third inning and never looked back, jumping out to an 11-run lead before the game was called after five innings due to the run rule.

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  15. Machias Selectmen Discuss Drafting New Marijuana Ordinance Allowing Recreational Purchase

    By Will Tuell

    The Machias Board of Selectmen continued discussions on whether to update the town’s adult-use marijuana ordinances during their July 12 meeting.

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  16. Towns Lobby for Moore Bill to Step up General Assistance Funding

    By Will Tuell

    Maine’s association of town and city governments is urging lawmakers to fund a bill sponsored by Sen. Marianne Moore (R-Calais) that increases the rate the state reimburses them for providing temporary relief to the state’s poorest residents from 70% to 90%. The bill, estimated to cost $8.5 million, is currently being paid for through local property taxes, the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) said in an email to municipal officials urging them to contact lawmakers on the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs committee last week.

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  17. Clueless

    by Jonathan Reisman

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  18. Liberty Hall in Machiasport to hold an open house July 29

    Step back in time to 1874 when Liberty Hall, the historic town hall of Machiasport, Maine, was opened. It was used not just for town meetings but also served as a venue for community events, dances,  meetings of community organizations such as the Grange, and as a performance venue for traveling shows. Located on Maine State Route 92,  in the town's village center, it is one of Maine’s most distinguished civic buildings, built in grand Italianate style and overlooks the site of the first naval battle of the American Revolution.

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  19. Filmmaker coming to Jonesport

    By Nancy Beal

    For the second time in a decade, Jonesport will become a movie set. The first film endeavor was entitled “To Keep the Light” and used Moosepeake Lighthouse as the backdrop for a nineteenth-century story about perseverance on that harsh landscape. Later this month, Maddie Jones, a 26-year-old Pennsylvania film student, will borrow from the Moosabec seascape to create a nostalgic story entitled “Beyond Us,” reaching back into the childhood of two friends coping with modern-day problems.

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  20. The Nature of Phenology: Common Periwinkle

    by Hazel Stark

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  21. Little League baseball fever sweeps Machias as boys teams repeat, make improbable playoff runs

    by Will Tuell

    The Machias Area Little League 9-10-year-old baseball all-star team punched their ticket to the state championship playoffs with a win Wednesday night against Ellsworth, behind lights-out pitching from hurlers Jace Albert and Lincoln Fergerson who combined for a 5-0 no-hit victory to earn their second District 1 title in as many years, while the 11-12 boys baseball and 9-10 girls softball teams battle for pennants of their own this week. 

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  22. Addison’s own historical Christian fiction author reads at Peabody

    by Nancy Beal

    Pamela Grant, aka Maggie Whittemore, brought her first published work to Peabody Memorial Library July 7 and read the introductory pages of Family Ties that Bind to a small but appreciative audience. The story is set in the early days of the frontier and features a young girl, Judy, who is orphaned at the age of seventeen, losing her mother and little brother to influenza and her father to a heart attack in the courtroom where he had just lost his farm in a bankruptcy proceeding.

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  23. ‘New’ atlas offers readers a glimpse of life in 19th-century Washington County

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon 

    In the late 1800s, Washington County was a land “in the last glow of the age of sail” with a thriving economy based on its “forests, rivers, granite, and other natural resources within reach of the ocean,” writes mapmaker Jane Crosen. “Packet schooners and steam ferries, stagecoaches and railroads, horse-drawn wagons and canoes transport passengers and freight around the county and beyond.” 

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  24. Police capture escaped prisoner from Downeast Correctional Facility worksite

    by Will Tuell

    Late Thursday night, the Maine State Police Tactical Team brought escaped convict James Berube into custody after a seven-hour standoff at a Pleasant Point residence. Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) officials said in a press release earlier that day that the Downeast Correctional Facility inmate serving twelve years for burglary, had walked off his work-release site in Machias the night before. 

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  25. Beth Wright Cancer Resource Center adds nurse navigator, companion peer program, end-of-life planning

    by Nancy Beal

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  26. Equal Protection Redemption: SCOTUS Revives the 1st and 14th Amendments

    by Jonathan Reisman

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  27. First one-woman art show for Roque Bluffs Gallery set for July 15

    The Roque Bluffs Arts and Crafts Gallery and Learning Center will have its first One Woman Art Show featuring Robin S. Rier at the Roque Bluffs Community Center in Roque Bluffs, 4 Shoppee Point Road. 

    Ms. Rier is a local Plein-air artist, which means she does most of her painting on location, outside. It enables the artist to better capture the changing details of weather and light. 

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  28. The Nature of Phenology: Pogies

    by Hazel Stark

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  29. MVNO Editor Fired For Cause

    By Pierre Little, Publisher

    Sarah Craighead Dedmon's employment was terminated as of Monday, July 10, 2023.  This fact counters her depiction of the event as a mutual "parting of ways".  This decision was provoked by recent behavior along with a deeper investigation into these actions during her tenure. Such behavior flagrantly breached our established employment conditions, along with the fundamental tenets of justice, fairness, and professional ethics.

     

     

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  30. Hundreds converge on Jonesboro for 3rd Annual Crush Cancer Race

    by Will Tuell

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  31. Machias Little League softball rallies Late for first-ever district championship

    by Will Tuell

    The Machias Area Little League 11-12 girls’ softball team erupted for six runs in the fifth inning after trailing 2-0 for most of Thursday night’s fog-plagued game against Sunrise (western Washington County) to lay claim to what most observers believe is their first ever District 1 championship. Unlike their previous contests, which Machias won comfortably, the Shiretowners fell behind early and left it till their next at-bat to come surging back for the victory. 

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  32. Meet Renée Gray, the new county manager succeeding Fitzgerald

    by Nancy Beal

    At their June 22 meeting, Washington County commissioners announced that they had offered Renée (Davis) Gray the post of county manager following the impending retirement of Betsy Fitzgerald, the present holder of that office. Gray will vacate the town administrator position in Lubec, where she has worked in one capacity or another since 2002.  She will assume her new duties in Machias tomorrow, July 6.

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  33. Maine’s opioid response director speaks to Sunrise Senior College in Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Washington County doesn’t have the highest drug overdose rate in the state of Maine, but it does have the poorest overdose survival rate, according to information shared by Maine’s Director of Opioid Response, Gordon Smith, speaking last week in Machias.

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  34. Work to begin soon on Route 1 through Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The contract to repair a stretch of Route 1 through Machias and East Machias has been awarded to Eurovia, a transportation infrastructure company, and work will begin soon, according to Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Paul Merrill.

    The paving will begin .03 miles east of the Whitneyville town line and continue toward East Machias for 6.59 miles, using a cold-in-place recycling process in which the surface of the roadway is ground up and mixed with an asphalt recycling agent, then placed back down with a paver. 

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  35. Former UMM professor recognized by the National Association of School Superintendents

    Dr. Reza Namin, Superintendent of Maine Indian Education and the former University of Maine at Machias Chemistry Professor has been recognized by the National Association of School Superintendents from all over the country who are representing the best in the profession as a member of its Hall of Fame and a Finalist for the National Superintendent of the Year.

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  36. Birthday veracity

    by Jonathan Reisman

    Some random and not-so-random notes and rants for America’s Birthday:

    -July 4th, 2023, marks our 247th birthday, not our 404th. Hannah Nicole-Jones, the New York Times, and the Pulitzer Prize committee are lying leftist scum, and their hate America project should be recognized as Marxist revisionist propaganda. 

    -Republican Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is a fearless populist capitalist without Trump’s braggadocio and baggage. Viva Vivek’s 10 Truths:

    God is real.

    There are two genders.

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  37. Upcoming live music events around the county

    Bad Little Falls “Sounds Like This” Summer Concert Series will happen every Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Thursday beginning this Thursday, July 6, with an opening performance by The Filthy Casuals. The following performances are July 13, Cook ‘n’ Lamb, featuring Alan Cook and Gary Lamb (www.cooknlamb.com); July 20, The Steele Hill Band; July 27, The Milk & Honey Rebellion; Aug. 3, Heavenly Hash; Aug. 10, The Stillwater Band; Aug. 17, The Lamplighters; and Aug. 24, The Drisko Street Barn Band & The Crows. 

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  38. Famous blueberry-shaped building opening doors for 2023 season

    The famous blueberry-blue dome in Downeast Maine, home to the beloved Wild Blueberry Land bakery and gift shop for over 20 years, opened for the summer as the Wild Blueberry Heritage Center on June 29. Guests can shop wild blueberry-themed items, purchase wild blueberry baked goods, and learn about the tiny but mighty wild fruit from exciting exhibits.

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  39. The Nature of Phenology: Fishing spiders

    by Joseph Horn

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  40. County commissioners select Davis Gray as new county manager

    by Will Tuell

    At their June 23 meeting, Washington County Commissioners Vinton Cassidy (R-Calais), John Crowley Sr. (R-Addison), and Chris Gardner (R-Edmunds) have selected Lubec Town Manager Renée Davis Gray as their new county manager beginning in January 2024. In the meantime, Davis Gray will serve as Deputy County Manager, working under longtime manager Betsy Fitzgerald who announced earlier this year that she would be scaling back her duties over the summer with the goal of retiring by year’s end. 

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  41. New Machiasport harbor master to take helm July 1

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    For decades David Cale has made his living on and under the water as a clammer, fisherman, and commercial diver. Now, beginning next month, he’ll take on a new role as the harbor master of Bucks Harbor, responsible for enforcing the rules of the waterways, and not only inside the harbor.

    “It’s also managing 85 miles of shoreline,” says Cale.

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  42. Jonesporters approve solar, revised land ordinances

    by Nancy Beal

    Following their approval of the elementary school budget on June 21 (see related article), Jonesporters turned their attention to two ordinances and some funding that was needed after last March’s town meeting. The ordinances in question were a new, proposed commercial solar ordinance and a revised land use ordinance.

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  43. Machias All-Stars off to fast start in Little League playoffs

    by Will Tuell

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  44. Moosabec voters approve school budgets totaling $4.3M

    by Nancy Beal

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  45. Pine Tree Power and ‘The President’s Analyst’: climate alarmist plot

    by Jonathan Reisman

    When I was a kid, Bell Telephone (or Ma Bell), had a near-total monopoly on telephone service and equipment. You could have any kind of phone you wanted, as long as it was a rotary dial black number, and you had to rent, not buy, it from Ma Bell. The phone company was a convenient and reviled villain.

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