Pandemic brings changes, upsides to local homeschooling community

by Praise Moore

Sadie Dunn is a mother of three who has been homeschooling for six years. She chose to homeschool her children because of their beliefs, she wanted to be close to her kids, able to tailor their education to each child’s strengths. When asked if COVID-19 has impacted the homeschool community, Dunn responded, “Yes and no.”

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Budget committee vacancy leads to tension between selectboard members, Machias Police Department

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

With only weeks to go before the Machias town budget season begins, a vacancy on the town’s three-person budget committee led to heated exchanges at a meeting of the selectboard held Wednesday, Feb. 10.

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Easter basket staple back after pandemic halted production

by Jayna Smith

Are you a lover of the marshmallow treat Peeps?  Those sugary treats that used to be found in stores leading up to Easter have made their way to shelves for every holiday in recent years, it seems, except throughout the pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, Peeps could be found at Halloween in the form of ghosts, at Christmas in the form of trees and other creations, and at Valentine’s in the form of hearts. Since the pandemic started, however, candy maker Just Born Quality Confection halted its Peep production.

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February fugue

by Jonathan Reisman


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New on the shelf at Porter Memorial Library

Fiction for adults: Marauder-A Novel of the Oregon File by Clive Cussler; The Lightkeeper's Daughters by Jean Pendziwol; Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters. Nonfiction for adults: Shredding Paper-The Rise and Fall of Maine's Mighty Paper Industry by Michael G. Hillard; on video DVD Masterpieces of Short Fiction, a Great Course taught by Michael Krasny; on video DVD Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendentalist Movement, a Great Course taught by Ashton Nichols.

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Looking back in local history

by Ronie Strout

The following excerpts about our region are taking from the Machias Union Paper, one of the grandfathers of the Machias Valley News Observer.

Aug. 1, 1876

Worsters of Columbia.

Daniel Worster and his sons, Ashiel and Zeno, own a small tract of land at Saco in Columbia. Gold-bearing quartz is supposed to exist there. Specimens of gold have already been picked up - one piece to the value of a dollar or more.

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Maine Community Foundation offers more than 650 scholarships to Maine students

The Maine Community Foundation offers more than 650 scholarships that support students pursuing studies in music, journalism, teaching, horticulture, technology, the arts, and many other fields. The scholarships are available for students who attend secondary, post-secondary, and graduate schools, as well as non-traditional programs.

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The Nature of Phenology: Stick bouquet

by Joseph Horn

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Jonesboro’s ‘Four Girls’ more than halfway to goal of new playground

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Exactly one year ago, four girls from Jonesboro Elementary School were giddy with success, having raised nearly $1,000 toward their goal of a new playground. Today, they fondly remember back to when they thought that was a lot of money.

“I thought it was a lot, a LOT of money,” says Vanna Smith, age 9. “Like, a million dollars!”

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Rural health care providers challenged by COVID-19 turmoil

by Ruth Leubecker

Rural hospitals and providers have long struggled with national rules and responses that largely do not take into account the uniqueness of their daily battle for survival.

As the 21st century gains its toehold, issues like broadband expansion and complicated  technology have joined the chaos of a global pandemic and the closure of necessary hospital departments and specialties.

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