1. Prepare for dangerously low temps, high winds this weekend

     

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A forecasted temperature of -17 degrees followed by a high of 2 degrees will bring dangerously cold weather and shocking wind chills to Washington County this weekend, which means residents should prepare now to ensure their safety and the safety of their loved ones.

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  2. Ice storm search and rescue has happy ending in Cutler

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Five Maine Game Wardens, two Maine Forest Rangers, one K-9, the Whiting Fire Department, and a Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy successfully located a missing Cutler man after a four-hour search and rescue operation conducted during a sleet storm on the night of Sunday, Jan. 15.

    Peter Taylor set out by ATV on Sunday morning, looking for moose antlers, a frequent pursuit of his. His family knew Taylor would normally return from the woods by midday, so when he didn’t come home, they went out to search for him.

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  3. State lawmakers visit Downeast

    by Will Tuell

    Two busloads of lawmakers from across the state visited Washington County on Jan. 19 and 20 as part of a tour organized by the Maine Development Foundation to familiarize legislators with different parts of the state. 

    Representative Anne Perry (D-Calais) said that she and her Washington County colleagues were proud to show off this part of the state to other lawmakers who may not have been Downeast before. 

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  4. $3M in research funds could foster ‘wild blueberry industry of the future’

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The name for Jonesboro’s Blueberry Hill Farm research station was chosen by a contest for schoolchildren in the 1940s, beating out contenders like Blue Heaven, Weary Acres, Maggot’s End, and Odd Way Farm. But the impetus for the farm’s creation has its roots in a less happy event.

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  5. Senator Collins makes swing through Washington County

    by Will Tuell

    United States Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) made several stops on a swing through central Washington County on Jan. 19, including visits at the Whiting Town Hall, where she celebrated funding for the Mill Pond Dam, the Whiting Village School, where she met with pupils of all ages, and a working lunch at Helen’s Restaurant in Machias featuring nearly a dozen prominent business and community luminaries. 

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  6. Moosabec ambulance service chief: ‘funding critical’; threefold increase sought from Beals, Jonesport

    by Nancy Beal

    Jonesport selectmen have begun formulating the figures that they will lay before the budget committee this week, and foremost among those accounts is money for the ambulance service. The issue came front and center recently when it became known that an ambulance service in western Washington County was in danger of going out of business for lack of funds and the unwillingness of the towns it serves to fund it adequately.

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  7. Governors, education, and wokeness

    by Jonathan Reisman

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  8. 2023 Margaretta Days Festival expands with more family-friendly, historic fun

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The first naval battle of the American Revolution, known as the Battle of the Margaretta or the Battle of Machias, was fought two months after the Battles of Concord and Lexington in June 1775, right off the coast of present-day Machiasport. 

    Organizers of this year’s Margaretta Days Festival, commemorating that and other local 18th-century battles, plan to expand the popular annual event by one day, delivering a full weekend packed with old favorites and new ways to celebrate the Machias region’s role in the Revolutionary War.

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  9. Machias Rotary seeks to help with winter weatherization

    Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.  The Machias Rotary Club would like to do something about the effects of cold weather on our neighbors before the 2023-24 season.  Drafty windows can rob the home of precious heat in the winter in Maine. It is expensive and dangerous. 

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  10. The Nature of Phenology: Frost wedging

    by Hazel Stark

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  11. Missing East Machias teen located safe

    Jan. 22 update: The family of Sarah Neal reports that she has been contacted and is safe in another New England state.

    The Washington County Regional Communications reported yesterday that the sheriff's office sought contact with 17-year-old Sarah Neal of East Machias, reported missing that day by her family. Neal was listed in the National Crime Information Center database as a missing juvenile runaway.  

     

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  12. EMS stakeholders and town officials meet to address ambulance crisis

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    More than 60 emergency medical service workers, local officials, and health care stakeholders met last Thursday in Columbia Falls to discuss Washington County’s ambulance crisis, most recently evidenced by the possible closure of Petit Manan Ambulance Corps, and extended patient wait times at Washington County’s two hospitals. 

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  13. In Whiting, scallopers weigh in on possible management changes

    by Will Tuell

    The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) held a public meeting Jan. 9 to discuss possible changes to the rotational management system local scallopers have been operating under for over a decade. Under the plan, Zone 2, which runs from Cutler to Eastern Penobscot Bay, would go from a three-year rotation to a two-year rotation. 

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  14. Mills proposes $10.3 Billion budget, up $900 Million

    by Will Tuell

    Governor Janet Mills (D-Farmington) has put forward a two-year budget of approximately $10.4 billion dollars, up roughly $900 million from 2022. The budget, which runs from July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2025, faces a long and winding road as Mills and her surrogates present it line-by-line to each of the legislature’s policy committees and the powerful Appropriations and Financial Affairs committee, which further refines Mills document and any amendments legislators have. 

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  15. J-B Superintendent Lewis Collins to retire, search panel formed; JES grade 3, BES class trip, union emergency plan discussed

    by Nancy Beal

    The three school boards that govern Jonesport-Beals High School and Beals and Jonesport Elementary Schools all met last week to discuss issues they have in common and others unique to each school. The piece of news that most profoundly affects all three schools is the pending retirement of Superintendent Lewis Collins.

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  16. Local man performs on bagpipes at Governor Mills’ inauguration

    by Will Tuell

    While Governor Janet Mills (D-Farmington) gets most of her attention for stands she takes on the issues of the day, the state’s chief executive is also known for a deep love of poetry, performance, and showcasing the talents of performers from Kittery to Fort Kent – as evinced by the number of artists and performers who ushered in Mills second term Jan. 4 at the Augusta Civic Center. 

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  17. Go Vet Go will return to Milbridge, Machias

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Go Vet Go, a new mobile veterinarian service based in Bar Harbor will return to Machias next Wednesday, Jan. 18, after seeing a full day’s worth of patients on their inaugural visit to Machias last week.

    The mobile clinic will be parked at the Machias Telebusiness Center on Stackpole Road, and pet owners can make appointments for services by emailing [email protected] or calling 207-337-6100. 

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  18. Critical column theory

    by Jonathan Reisman

    One presumably leftist Facebook commenter recently opined that I needed a real job. Apparently, she/they (pronoun preferences were unstated, and I do not want to be unintentionally offensive/disrespectful) were unimpressed with my post-retirement gig as a Statler and Waldorf intern.  Sitting in the gallery watching the show and making acerbic comments is a guilty pleasure, and intentionally aggravating certain Democrats, and diversity divas is an added bonus.

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  19. Vietnam veteran and author to be featured in EAC Sunday Series

    EAC’s Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series will continue with a presentation and reading by Chuck Kniffen, author of Fifty Years in a Foxhole (2018) and Rude Awakenings: Making Peace with the Beast Machine (2022), at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22. Kniffen will discuss his experiences in the Vietnam/American war, and his subsequent journey towards natural healing, and share excerpts from his two books.

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  20. The Nature of Phenology: Hoar frost

    by Joseph Horn

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  21. Ice storm search and rescue has happy ending in Cutler

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Five Maine Game Wardens, two Maine Forest Rangers, the Whiting Fire Department, one K-9, and a Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy successfully located a missing Cutler man after a four-hour search and rescue operation conducted during a sleet storm on the night of Sunday, Jan. 15.

    Peter Taylor set out by ATV on Sunday morning, looking for moose antlers, a frequent pursuit of his. His family knew Taylor would normally return from the woods by midday, so when he didn’t come home, they went out to search for him.

    Read More
  22. Demand for vet services so great, Go Vet Go will return to Machias next week

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Go Vet Go, a new mobile veterinarian service based in Bar Harbor, will return to Machias next Wednesday, Jan. 18, after seeing a full day’s worth of patients on their inaugural visit ot Machias yesterday, Jan. 11.. 

    The mobile clinic will be parked at the Machias Telebusiness Center on Stackpole Road, and pet owners can make appointments for services by sending an email to [email protected], or by calling 207-337-6100. 

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  23. Pineo family buys Tom’s Mini Mart

    by Will Tuell

    Ending weeks of speculation, Steve Pineo, owner of Pineo’s True Value, announced that his family has officially purchased Tom’s Mini-Mart on Outer Dublin Street in Machias in a social media post Jan. 8. 

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  24. Machias Planning Board tables vote on Canal Street cottage campground project

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A vote to approve or deny a 12-cottage campground project on Canal Street in Machias was delayed following the board’s Jan. 4 vote to table the matter until a letter could be secured from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). 

    Before they consider the matter again, the board asked town manager Bill Kitchen to secure something in writing assuring that they were within their rights to approve the building permit, submitted by local businesspeople Heather and Wesley Graham, co-owners of Graham Holdings. 

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  25. Jonesport selectmen extend solar moratorium, order replacement of town signs, talk infrastructure

    by Nancy Beal

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  26. East Machias Church moves to next phase of renovation

    by Hailey Wood

    The friends and trustees continue to meet through the winter to organize the renovation efforts of the First Congregational Church of East Machias.

    This past summer, the first phase of stabilization was completed, and the church is now closed in, safe and stable. 

    The East Machias Church has undergone huge repairs and renovations in the past year, and this fall completed, another important phase of restoration: repairing the steeple. 

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  27. Rotten to the core

    by Jonathan Reisman

    Last week’s column riffed off the continuing Twitter files revelations and the Hamlet quote, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” The rot and the stink run deep. More evidence came to light on the US House floor and in revelations about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts mandated by the Biden administration that are guaranteed and designed to destroy freedom and prosperity. 

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  28. Eastport’s ‘Coasties’ to present at arts center

    Eastport’s Coast Guard Station will be the subject of a Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center program on Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. Mindy Rivello, Officer in Charge of the Base, and other members of the station will give a talk about the nature of their mission on a day-to-day basis and will be able to answer attendees’ questions about their duties and the Coast Guard in general.

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  29. EAC Open Mic Series kicks off in January

    Eastport Arts Center will offer a series of Cabin Fever Open Mics on Friday evenings, Jan. 20, Feb. 17, and March 10, from 6-8 p.m. 

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  30. The Nature of Phenology: Frozen puddles

    by Joseph Horn

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  31. Katelyn C. Denbow

    Katelyn C. Denbow passed away unexpectedly at home, on Saturday, January 7th, 2023, with her family by her side. Katelyn Cecille Denbow of Wilsons’s Beach, New Brunswick, was born on November 11, 1997, in Machias, Maine, U.S.A.. She is the daughter of Gina (Savage) Denbow of Wilson’s Beach, New Brunswick, and Jeff Denbow (Melissa) of Jonesport, Maine, U.S.A. 

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  32. Washington County Hospital CEO: Ambulance shortage ‘backs up the entire system’

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A shortage of available ambulances has caused longer ER wait times, caused patients to lose beds in other facilities, and created frustration in the community, said Down East Community Hospital and Calais Regional Hospital CEO Steve Lail, speaking from Machias Friday.

    Following news that the Petit Manan Ambulance Corps could soon close its service primarily due to a lack of funding, Lail said the loss of even one local EMS service would have a serious impact on the two Washington County hospitals.

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  33. Milbridge, Steuben ambulance considers closure; Jan. 12 meeting could aid EMS survival Downeast

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The nonprofit Petit Manan Ambulance Corps is weighing whether or not to close its doors following another year of lost revenue and news that the municipalities it serves, Milbridge and Steuben, have declined to offer additional financial support. 

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  34. Local teacher wins national educator award; other locals honored by Jonesboro Grange

    by Will Tuell 

    Morgan Swan of East Machias was unveiled as the 2022 National Grange Educator of the Year during a ceremony at the Jonesboro Grange on December 30. Swan, a native of the Caribou area, has been teaching kindergarten at Elm Street School in East Machias since 2019 where she started the previous year as an educational technician under longtime kindergarten teacher Diane Abrams.

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  35. Go Vet Go mobile veterinarian will begin visiting Machias next week

    by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Maine’s critical shortage of veterinarians has made statewide headlines, including coverage of a bill passed last year to address the issue. Governor Mills signed An Act to Increase Maine’s Veterinary Workforce in May 2022, enabling veterinarians to receive loan forgiveness of up to $140,000 over four years, for practicing in an underserved geographical area.

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  36. National Heritage Area approved for Washington/Hancock Counties

    by Nancy Beal

    After more than three years of meeting, planning and crafting a plan, late last month advocates of creating a monument to the historic industries and traditions of Maine’s two easternmost counties learned that their efforts had paid off. On December 23, the U.S. Congress approved a plan for a Downeast Maine National Heritage Area. If and when the NHA becomes a reality, it could qualify for $1M a year in federal funds.

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  37. Washington County lawmakers appointed to policy committees

    by Will Tuell

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  38. District Attorney Granger, Sheriff Curtis sworn in

    by Will Tuell

    Newly-elected District Attorney Bob Granger and three-term Sheriff Barry Curtis were formally sworn in before an audience of county employees, legislators, and members of the public on New Year’s Day. The pair were sworn in by longtime county jail administrator Paula Johnson-Rolfe, who also serves as a notary public.

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  39. All a Twitter

    by Jonathan Reisman

    “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark”- Marcellus in Hamlet, Act I, Scene IV, William Shakespeare

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  40. Youth theater group to resume

    Stage East will begin a new session of Children’s Theater Workshop on Saturday, Jan. 14. The program will run Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., through Feb. 11. In this session, fierce debate will ensue! Topics like cats vs. dogs, best ice cream flavors, and weirdest siblings will provide fodder for these short scenes written by participants with help from the instructor, Mark Macey. 

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  41. In Lubec, Beekeeping 101 Workshop begins Jan. 19

    The Lubec Community Outreach Center is offering a Beekeeping 101 Workshop as the first of its educational offerings for 2023.  The 6-week series will be held on Thursday evenings from 6 to 7:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 19 (with two extra weeks added if weather requires).

    Lead instructor Andrew Dewey hails from Jonesboro and is a highly respected Master Beekeeper and naturalist. He is a member of the Maine Entomological Society and, along with his deep knowledge of honeybees and beekeeping, is a recognized expert on Bumblebees.

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  42. The Nature of Phenology: Holiday wreaths

    by  Zabet NeuCollins

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  43. Columbia Falls lays groundwork for possible March vote on large project moratorium

    by Joyce Kryszak, Maine Monitor

    Town officials in Columbia Falls on Tuesday began laying the groundwork for a moratorium on large-scale developments like the proposed Flagpole of Freedom Park, as their attorneys sketched out a timeline that would have voters consider the measure in March.

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  44. Area schools break for Christmas as COVID, flu, RSV surge

    by Will Tuell

    Area schools went on break last week as rates of COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) continue to challenge families, students, and administrators alike. The three illnesses – known popularly as a “tri-demic” have seen at least four small children from Down East Maine admitted to the pediatric ICU in Bangor while countless students and staff have been sidelined by one or more of the illnesses simultaneously. 

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  45. Broadband committee sought in Jonesport

    by Nancy Beal

    Jonesport selectmen continued their efforts to establish a town broadband committee last week, extending the invitation for committee volunteers into next month. Having initially advertised for three volunteers to come forward by today, December 28, and having received but one offer, last week, they agreed that the holiday period was a poor recruiting time, and looked forward to putting a group together in the new year. 

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