101st Air Refueling flyover to honor Machias frontline personnel May 14

 Officials with the 101st Air Refueling Wing announced today the rescheduling of the second half of Maine's Operation American Resolve flyover for Thursday, May 14. The event, which began with a flyover route on May 12, is being conducted as a salute to all of Maine's front line healthcare workers and essential personnel across the state.

The flyovers are intended to lift morale in cities across America due to the severe health and economic impacts that have resulted from the coronavirus.

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Father and son team up at Wayne’s Barber Shop

by Sarah Craighead Dedmon

When the state said barbershops could reopen May 1, Wayne Wood expected some pent-up demand for haircuts. He left for work at 5:30 a.m. that day, and found one customer sleeping in the parking lot so they could be first in line.

“Had I thought sooner I would have opened at midnight,” said Wood, who shut the doors on Wayne’s Barber Shop in early March, ahead of state-imposed closures.

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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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