‘Nimble’ agencies ramp to meet increasing needs Downeast

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

In February, Washington County reported the highest level of unemployment of any county in Maine, registering 7.7 percent and up from 6.4 percent in 2019, according to the Maine Department of Labor. That number does not include fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic which began to close area businesses in mid-March.

As the economic impacts of COVID-19 closures hit home, Community Caring Collaborative (CCC) Director Charley Martin-Berry said Washington County agencies are ramping to help people struggling every day to make ends meet.

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Hanscom awarded bid for DCF demolition

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Representative Will Tuell (R-E. Machias) Sunday announced that Maine Department of Corrections has awarded a bid for demolition and abatement of the Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) to local contractor Hanscom Construction.

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Without ICU, DECH prepares response to COVID-19

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Though no cases of COVID-19 have yet been detected in Washington County, Down East Community Hospital in Machias has implemented plans to respond.

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Help for fishermen affected by the pandemic

by Nancy Beal

Ordinarily around 6 a.m. this time of year, those living near the coast would begin to hear boat engines come to life, as lobstermen came out of their winter cocoons and began setting and hauling their traps. Not this spring.

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JBHS, JES board vote on employee hires, budget

by Nancy Beal

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Machias scavenger hunt set to repeat April 4-5

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Ben Bunker said he came up with the idea for a driving scavenger hunt as a way to draw families out of their houses during this time of social distancing.
“I’ve got a little extra time, and I thought, ‘This won’t take much to put together, and it’s something good for the kids,’” said Bunker, sales manager at Whitney TriTown Marine in Machias.

He reached out to area businesses, and the response was overwhelming. More than 30 agreed to participate, so Bunker is repeating the event this coming weekend, April 4-5.

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Geocaching, story trails, and scavenger hunts: local conservancy offers outdoor fun for ‘uncertain times’

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, a local land conservancy is spreading the word that schools, libraries, and restaurants may be closed, but nature is not.

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DEI’s ‘gold’ mussel could open national markets to Downeast aquaculture

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

You walk into an upscale eatery and order mussels dressed in garlic almond butter. A bowl of steamy shellfish comes to your table, but first, they could have come from anywhere in the world: Spain, New Zealand, Chile or, most likely, eastern Canada.

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DECH recognized for third year as standout in Donate Life

by Ruth Leubecker

“When I came here to work, Sue Dorr was the liaison for the New England Organ Bank,” says Donna Renshaw, operating room nurse at Down East Community Hospital. “Every death at the hospital needed to be reported to the organ bank.”

Twenty-five-plus years later, the organ bank is now New England Donor Services. Sue Dorr has long retired, Renshaw has assumed her role as liaison, and the Machias hospital has been recognized nationally as a topflight winner in promoting organ donation.

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Wild salmon seeding efforts rely on innovation, collaboration

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

It’s a cold winter morning, and three scientists are in a pickup truck, bouncing their way over miles of frozen blueberry barrens. They stop next to a shuttered cabin and prepare for work, donning insulated waders and hoisting backpacks. Once they’ve loaded their sled with gear they set off, carrying 30,000 eggs toward the Pleasant River.

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