$2T coronavirus relief package includes stimulus checks

by Jayna Smith

Within just a couple of weeks, many Americans will be receiving economic impact payments to help deal with the economic fallout as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This money is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

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WWII vet Mac McKean prepares to celebrate 100th birthday in Florida

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Francis “Mac” McKean had planned to celebrate his April 16 birthday in Machias with friends and his traditional birthday treat — a coconut cream pie from Helen’s Restaurant. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, those plans are indefinitely postponed. Instead, McKean will turn 100 in Florida where he spent the winter with his son. But even as he waits, McKean is hatching plans to travel back to Maine this summer so he can celebrate his birthday in grand style, with old friends.

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Fires claim two Jonesboro homes

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Jonesboro-Roque Bluffs Fire Chief Mike Schoppee said no people were injured in separate fires that destroyed two homes last week.

Seven departments responded to a fire that destroyed the home of Joe and Janet Mawhinney in Jonesboro on Sunday, March 29. Chief Schoppee said a wood fire in an outbuilding spread to the main structure. “The [outbuilding] was fully engulfed when we arrived,” said Schoppee, “and the garage was already on fire, and it was attached to the house.”

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WHRL becomes Women for Healthy Rural Living

After 15 years of advancing opportunities for health and wellness in Downeast Maine, the Women’s Health Resource Library (WHRL) is changing its name. In 2005, the organization was born out of a desire to help women and families become active and informed partners in their own health care via a lending library. Over the years, WHRL realized that wellness is best advanced by going out into the community and helping people meet their most fundamental needs. This hands-on approach has proven far more effective than the lending library, which is now the least of their services.

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DECH sets record straight on supply shortages

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Down East Community Hospital spokesperson Julie Hixson last week took to social media to address inaccurate rumors that the hospital’s lack of PPEs (personal protective equipment) was due to financial constraints.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth,” wrote Hixson. “We feel it is important to communicate to our staff and community members that our access to PPE has nothing, whatsoever, to do with our financial condition or decisions.”

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Center strives to nourish arts community

by Lauren Koss

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New fishing regulations

by V. Paul Reynolds

Fishing regulations, like any rules or regulations, are not easy to love. Some time ago, as fishing law books got thicker and the water-by-water rules got increasingly complex with multiple S-codes and exceptions to the General Law, a cynic made the observation that a serious law-abiding angler needed two companions with him on the water: a Sherpa to carry the law book and a lawyer to interpret the regulations and S code for each body of water.

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Schools working overtime to provide learning, food, and normalcy — from a distance

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Teacher Caitlyn Roy reported to work on Friday, March 13 expecting a day of professional development workshops. Instead, she and her fellow teachers were told to prepare 15 days worth of lesson plans, and quickly.

“We still didn’t know if [a shutdown] was happening, or when,” said Roy, who together with Kelly Woodward teaches fifth grade at Rose M. Gaffney Elementary (RMG) in Machias. “We had to create lesson plans for math, but we didn’t know what the lessons would be about, so we had to make plans that were fill-in-the-blank.”

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400 acres around Vining Lake acquired by Downeast Coastal Conservancy

by Nancy Beal

Several hundred acres surrounding a prime brook trout habitat that is also a popular ice fishing lake in the town of Cooper will be preserved for the people of Washington County and beyond through the sale last month to the Downeast Coastal Conservancy (DCC), the Sunrise County’s foremost land trust headquartered in Machias. DCC took title to the acreage around Vining Lake on March 12 from a couple who wanted the area to remain undeveloped and available to the public in perpetuity for low-impact recreational use.

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Area residents weigh in on mounting coronavirus crisis

by Ruth Leubecker

While Washington County remains free of confirmed cases of coronavirus, the average person appears to be realistically appraising the inevitable.

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