J-BHS girls' varsity basketball coaching position contested

by Nancy Beal 

The agenda of the Nov. 9 meeting of the school board that governs Jonesport-Beals High School listed recommendations for winter coaches, including names. The one for varsity girls’ basketball brought out several members of the team and their supporters, who were not happy with the choice.

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As new DA, Granger talks priorities, including record county case backlog

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Bob Granger is ready to catch his breath. He’s spent the past five months on the campaign trail while continuing his work with Acadia Law Group in Ellsworth. Those efforts paid off and Granger, an Independent, won the Nov. 8 election for District Attorney of Prosecutorial District  7, defeating two-term Republican incumbent Matt Foster with a 3-point lead. 

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Sheriff asks for four more deputies; county weighs whether it can afford them

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon 

Responding to an increase in violent crime and a reduction in local state police coverage, Washington County Sheriff Barry Curtis has asked the county to fund the hiring of four additional patrol deputies, a budget increase of almost $700,000, including equipment and cars. 

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Housing shortage leaves some residents scrambling

by Joyce Kryszak , Maine Monitor

Although the pandemic boosted the population of rural Down East Maine, the sudden rush of new residents sent Washington County’s already dire housing shortage spiraling, with much of the available housing stock scooped up.

Worse still, the scarcity of homes in Maine’s second-poorest county — where the poverty rate hovers around 20 percent, and the median household income is less than $45,000 — puts the neediest residents at a huge disadvantage in the scramble to find homes.

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Downeast towns experienced ‘wicked’ voter turnout

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon 

It’s election day afternoon in Machiasport, and voters are lined up in the short town office hallway waiting for their turn at the three-person voting booth. Machiasport’s old wooden ballot box has already been called into service once because the new ballot scanner wasn’t working. But it’s up and running now, and town clerk Marcia Hayward is glad. With it, she’ll be able to head home around 9:30 tonight.

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Eclipse election: red ripples and a western moonset

by Jonathan Reisman

I got up early Election Day to watch the lunar eclipse. We were promised a blood-red moon amidst clear skies. It was clear, but all I saw was a dark blotch across the moon as it disappeared over the western horizon. The sun came up over a frosty morning. I should have recognized it as a foreshadowing of eclipsed hopes, a red mirage and a botched Arizona election, discouragingly long lines, and disturbingly convenient snafus, at least for the Democratic Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate who was in charge.

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Floats wanted for Machias Christmas Parade of Lights set for Dec. 3

Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce will kick off Way Downeast Christmas with a visit from Santa Clause and a Machias Christmas Parade of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 3. 

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The Nature of Phenology: Hawthorn fruits

by Joseph Horn

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Airport, ambulance, and sidewalks top Machias selectboard agenda

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Guy Rouelle of consulting firm Dubois and King led off the most recent meeting of the  Machias Board of Selectmen, bringing an update on future plans for the Machias Valley Municipal Airport. Recently the airport installed a new fuel farm, a feature Rouelle said will be a game changer for pilots.

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H&S Spirits bottles local liquor in the region’s first (legal) distillery

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Local cranberries often appear on local holiday tables, but usually in a bowl of jelly. For the first time this year, holiday chefs could also serve them mixed into a glass of something bubbly, or straight up, using H&S Spirits Coastal Cranberry Liqueur, made right in Harrington.

H&S is Washington County’s first official distillery, and co-owner Myron Spaulding says he’s proud that all of their products feature Maine ingredients.

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