Moosabec July 4th fest canceled; boat races, fireworks may go on

by Nancy Beal

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Mills announces testing breakthrough amid crisis

by Ruth Leubecker

“I thank IDEXX for their generosity and partnership with us,” announced Gov. Janet Mills in her Thursday midday briefing to Mainers. “This will allow the state to administer more universal testing.”

“We now have more than triple the capacity we have had,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director who shares the spotlight, six feet apart, with Mills.

The Westbrook-based IDEXX has produced the diagnostic test that can provide results in under three hours, according to a recent news release.

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Machias intervenes in water company rate increase

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

The Machias Water Company has filed a request to increase water rates by 25 percent, a move Machias officials fear will create too much financial strain on an already-burdened local economy.

“I don’t know how many of these individual businesses know that the increase of 25 percent is being proposed, and I’m scared that we will come out of this COVID-19 shut down and then they’ll get slammed with this,” said Machias Town Manager Christina Therrien.

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Students will not return to classrooms this year

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Area schools have announced students will not be returning to the classroom this year, a sad eventuality they were already braced for. In an online video message to his students, Elm Street School Principal Tony Maker shared his feelings about the news.

“My heart is broken about that, and I really feel badly that we can’t get together,” said Maker. “I know the teachers so miss you. This is not the way we wanted this to be.”

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As state restrictions begin to lift, Downeast slowly reopens

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Many Downeast businesses have been able to operate — in a modified fashion — since coronavirus was first detected in Maine on March 12. Others, including barbershops and hair salons, were only able to reopen their doors on May 1. Now that Governor Janet Mills has announced her “Rural Reopening” plan, all retail stores in 12 rural counties can open their doors to foot traffic this week, and next week restaurants will be able to welcome customers, too. In all cases, safety protocols apply.

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J-BHS graduation goes forward—later and outdoors

by Nancy Beal

Despite restrictions on social gatherings necessitated by the coronavirus, graduation ceremonies at Jonesport-Beals High School will take place, just not in the usual manner or in the customary place. The event will be held a month later than usual and outdoors on the school’s soccer/baseball field. The new date is Sunday, July 12 at 1 p.m., and attendance will be restricted. Only graduates, faculty and members of the administration will be allowed on the field.

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MMHS teacher provides crucial PPE to DECH

Machias Memorial High School Physical Sciences teacher, Jim Lenke, reached out to the hospital to ask if Down East Community Hospital needed face shields. “Yes!” was the answer. Mr. Lenke used the school’s 3D printers to make visors that were designed with notches spaced across the front of the visor. These notches were designed to be matched with and fit into the holes made by a 3-hole punch. The reason that is important is it made it easy to produce the plastic shields that would be attached to the visors.

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UMM names Class of 2020 valedictorian and salutatorian

Dawn Johnson of Orleans, Massachusetts is the 2020 University of Maine at Machias (UMM) valedictorian and Kirsten Lisee of Milbridge is this year’s salutatorian. Both students majored in psychology and community studies.

A member of the Clippers soccer team and recipient of the 2018 USCAA Student-Athlete of the Year award, Johnson draws on her counseling training to help her foster youth development through athletics.

“I love coaching soccer and inspiring young people to play the sport that I fell in love with at a young age,” she says.

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UMM announces 2020 Ivy Orator and Senior Watch Awards

Three seniors at the University of Maine at Machias are being honored with special recognition for their contributions to the campus community.

English, creative writing and book arts major Alondra Candelario of Thousand Oaks, California was elected Ivy Orator by UMM Class of 2020 graduates. The Ivy Orator traditionally delivers a lighthearted, humorous speech at Honors Convocation to reflect on the college experience.  

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Jonesport assisted living facility in the works, seeks administrator

by Nancy Beal

The Sunrise Adult Family Care Home in Jonesport, in the building of the original Resthaven Nursing Home, is underway. The generator and the alarm system are working, the sprinkler system has been renovated and has passed state muster and, last week, new flooring started going in. Some fixtures and furniture still need to be purchased, but the biggest need is an administrator, according to Carol Davis, head of a committee to bring the building back to useful life, a group appointed by the local medical center, which owns it.

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