UMM unveils new, blue branding

by Hailey Wood

Last Wednesday,  Oct. 6, the University of Maine at Machias held its first rebranding event, where it was announced UMM’s traditional green color will be changed to blue and the school will adopt the UMaine black bear as the Machias mascot.  

Faculty, staff, and students were invited to join each other on the UMM mall for a barbecue with food, free t-shirts with UMaine colors they’ll share starting next fall, and an opportunity to see a special visitor, UMaine mascot Bananas the Black Bear.

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Local cross country moment warms hearts nationwide

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

A quiet gesture of respect between two high school runners has gone viral in the best possible way. After watching Orono high school athlete Ruth White present her 1st place medal to Washington Academy senior Noah Carver, Cindy Moore-Rossi says she wiped a tear from her eye. Then, she wrote a post that has been shared coast to coast more than 200 times, by individuals and by news agencies.

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Moosabec school boards consider workplace bullying policy

by Nancy Beal

At Jonesport and Beals Elementary School board meetings last week (Oct. 6), Superintendent Lewis Collins presented each three-person panel with a workplace bullying policy — separate and in addition to a previously approved student bullying protocol — made necessary, he explained, by a new state law. The nine-member board governing Jonesport-Beals High School will take up the matter at its meeting this week (5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 13 in the high school library).

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Shah: COVID shots ‘biggest bang for the public buck’

by Ruth Leubecker

Reporting 29 deaths and 836 new cases, Dr. Nirav Shah also announced that Maine had reached the milestone of one million people now at least with one COVID shot.

The occasion was his weekly Wednesday briefing. The message was “get the shot.” And a footnote: as of October 1, Maine had had 4,167 breakthrough cases.

“It’s very different from a year ago, explained Shah, Maine’s CDC director. “We could call it COVID-21. It’s much more contagious than COVID-19, more transmissible, and there are fewer outbreaks.”

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Washington County COVID-19 update: cases decline, schools adapting to outbreaks

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Following a nationwide trend, new case counts Downeast declined last week, down to 126 from 170 the week prior, making last week the second-highest case count since the beginning of the pandemic. There are no new hospitalizations or deaths reported, leaving those totals at 51 and 20 respectively. 

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention still considers all of Maine to be in a state of high transmission, and advises universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status. 

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Moosabec planners to meet

by Nancy Beal

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This week’s outrages

by Jonathan Reisman

 

There are usually a couple of stories every week that raise my blood pressure and result in dark thoughts and angry mumbles. Here is a recent sampling:

Angus King votes to confirm eco-terrorist and tree spiking apologist Tracy Stone-Manning as the director of the Bureau of Land Management, charged with the stewardship of millions of acres of public land. Ms. Manning was approved 50-45, with nary a Republican vote, including Senator Collins, who can usually be counted on to support the environmental left.

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Stage East performs 30 plays in 60 minutes

Stage East opens their 30th anniversary season on Oct. 15 with 30 plays—or rather, with 30 Neo-futurist Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes) by Greg Allen. This show originally ran in Chicago for 30 years and has been chosen by Mark Macey as the first play of his inaugural season as Artistic Director. “The interminable title aside, it’s a fun, funky, fast-paced show. If you’re looking for something entertaining and lively, this is it,” says Macey.

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The Nature of Phenology: Cotton-grass

by Hazel Stark

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County approves pay increases

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Washington County Commissioner Chairman Chris Gardner says union employees of the county will receive a 20 percent pay increase over the next three years, roughly broken out to 10 percent the first year, and five percent for each of the following two years.

Gardner says the pay increases were done in negotiation with the unions that represent different aspects of county government and in response to the county’s lagging pay rates, especially relative to wage inflation. For instance, an entry-level dispatcher can earn $17 per hour.

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