1. Tom, the Office Cat

     

    Tom was excited to see the decorations and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas!

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  2. Calais Free Library Finds Way to Keep Children Reading Throughout Pandemic

     

    Natalie Boomer 

    natalie@calais.news

    Although Calais Free Library is not open to children at this time, librarians there have been brainstorming ways to keep them involved in reading throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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  3. Business Owners Challenge Others to Donate to Santa’s Helpers

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Santa’s Helpers, the longest-running Christmas assistance program in the county, is put forth annually by the Calais Lions Club.  The program depends on donations from businesses, organizations, and individuals to help local families in need have a merrier Christmas.

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  4. Wreaths for Hope

     

    Kaileigh Deacon

    If there’s one thing we’ve learned since 2020 started is that we could all use some more hope. The idea of giving hope to people who need it, isn’t new to Wreaths for Hope. In fact, it’s in their name. Christmas may look a little different this year but the message it brings of hope, joy, and peace remains the same and so does the mission of Wreaths for Hope. 

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  5. Walgreens Offers Rapid COVID-19 Testing

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has recently partnered with some Walgreens locations across the state to offer free drive-through rapid COVID-19 antigen testing.  This includes the Calais and Machias Walgreens locations.  

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  6. Stuff the Bus Returns this Saturday

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Stuff the Bus, a Christmas gift collection program spearheaded by Baileyville Police Chief Bob Fitzsimmons, will kick off its fifth year this Saturday.  He and other volunteers will be at Walmart and at Marden’s collecting items for kids of all ages. 

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  7. Dunkin Donuts Donates to Food Pantries

     

    Kaileigh Deacon

    As Thanksgiving ends and December begins our thoughts turn to the holidays and Christmas. Not everyone has the same opportunities at Christmas and some families don’t have the means to give their loved ones all they feel they deserve.

    It’s times like these that living in a small community is a wonderful thing. Because coming together is what they do best. For three years Dunkin Donuts has been only one of the groups around our area working hard to make sure that kids get something to open on Christmas morning. 

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  8. Glide through Winter at the New Downtown Skating Rink

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

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  9. Community Plans to Come Together to Celebrate Young Girls Birthday

     

    Natalie Boomer 

    natalie@calais.news

    Like many others, a young girl’s birthday party was suddenly canceled after Governor Janet Mills urged Mainers to avoid gatherings and unnecessary travel to decrease the spread of COVID-19. 

    Although Sutton Farmer won’t be able to have all of her friends at her 6th birthday, her close family friend, Terri Beam, thought of a different way to celebrate. 

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  10. Presentation of International Civic Award at the Knights of Columbus Hall

     

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  11. Bangor Symphony Goes Digital For its 125th Season

     

    The Bangor Symphony Orchestra is announcing new plans for its 125th anniversary season. The Symphony's five classical concerts are moving online, with new programming to meet gathering limits and social distancing requirements for the orchestra. Performances will be filmed without an audience and released through a new online platform from February to June 2021. 

    Digital subscriptions are now on sale, with options ranging from $50 to $199 per household and added educational and archival content for subscribers. 

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  12. Butcher Shops Struggle to Keep up with Demand After Increase of Deer Permits

     

    Natalie Boomer

    natalie@calais.news 

    Last year, 68,145 deer permits were given out to hunters in the state of Maine. This year, 109,990 were given out. With an increase of 41,745 permits, many hunters are finding it hard to find a butcher to provide wild game processing after a successful hunt. 

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  13. Book Sale Benefits Local Charities through The Blue Devil Fund

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    The Blue Devil Fund has become a well-known organization within the Calais community.  Founded by Chris Taylor in 2010, his goal with the non-profit was to support local charities by using the game of basketball by what he says “as the catalyst with the mantra ‘From Assists on the Court. To Assists in the Community.’”  

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  14. Border Remains Closed for at Least Another Month

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    As many likely expected, travel restrictions between Canada and the United States have been extended until Dec. 21 in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. 

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, “We’ve extended the current border measures by another 30 days.  Non-essential travel between our two countries remains restricted until at least Dec. 21.”  

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  15. Town of Baileyville Names Ryan Lincoln as New Parks & Recreation Director

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    The Town of Baileyville has selected Ryan Lincoln as the new Parks and Recreation Director, and he will assume the position on Nov. 30.  He fills the vacancy left by Mike Boies, who retired after serving as director for 35 years.  

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  16. Business Decks Out for the Holidays, Including its 35’ Tree

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    While some might be muttering “bah, humbug” when thinking of the pandemic and other hardships of the year, the staff at Dead River in Calais has certainly gotten into the Christmas spirit and hopes the positivity spreads to others.  

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  17. Sign Offers Reminder that Cornerstone American Principles Still Persist

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    In a time of great political divide and amidst a pandemic, when we are told to keep six feet apart, the distance between Americans, metaphorically speaking, has become miles longer.  Tensions are high and fear has intensified.  But for one Calais couple, a simple yard sign gives a much-needed reminder that compassion and cornerstones of American life are still in existence.   

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  18. Community Chorus Presents First ‘Virtual’ Performance

     

    Quoddy Voices, which resumed its work together in September for a ‘virtual’ season, recently presented its first choral video. The community choir’s director John Newell guided the singers through each step of the new musical process, which centered around Monday evening rehearsals via Zoom. To aid singers in recording their voices, Newell made guide track videos in which they heard their part played against the other voice parts’ lines, and watched Newell conducting the time and cutoffs. 

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  19. Local Woman Creates Facebook Group for Virtual Holiday Craft Fair

     

    By Natalie Boomer

    natalie@calais.news

    A local young lady has created the Facebook group “Washington County Virtual Holiday Craft Fair 2020” for those who wish to participate in craft fairs this holiday season, but are unable due to the coronavirus concerns.

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  20. Education Program Meeting Needs of Washington County Adults

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    For some adults, returning to school can be a challenge.  Between juggling priorities at home and responsibilities at work, education often can take a back burner.  Locally, however, there is Washington County Adult Education and Training, a small non-profit organization that offers an array of courses to meet the needs of adults in the area.

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  21. Lions Club’s Santa’s Helpers Program Kicks Off 49th Year

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    The longest running Christmas assistance program in the county is the Calais Lions Club’s Santa’s Helpers Program.  This year is the club’s 49th year of helping local families in need have a happier Christmas.  

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  22. Local Knights of Columbus Council Receives International Recognition

     

    The Knights of Columbus international headquarters located in New Haven, Connecticut, has recognized the local Knights of Columbus.  Jon Jozefowicz, District Deputy, from Bangor, presented the engraved plaque award to the council at a special ceremony held on Nov. 1. The Columbian Award is presented for excellence in the sponsorship of programs that serve families, church, youth and community, as well as council members. The Founders Award is given for outstanding promotion of the organization's fraternal insurance programs.

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  23. Thrift Store Offers Free Coats to Those in Need

     

    Natalie Boomer

    natalie@calais.news

    The Calais Community Thrift Store on Main Street has a rack with free coats for those in need during the upcoming cold winter months. 

    In the past, the Irene Chadbourne Ecumenical Food Pantry would distribute vouchers for free coats at the thrift store; however, now, anyone in need can go in and ask if their size is available.

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  24. CHS Girls’ Soccer Team Earns DAC Championship Title

    For a third time in the last four years, the Calais High School girls’ soccer team earned the DAC Championship title, this year finishing with a perfect 10-0 record.  Team members are (front, left to right) Sophia McViar, Maddy Parks, Nedra Bassett, Serina Fredette, Taylor Carter, (back, left to right) Coach Tom Parks, Katie Bitar, Alexis Donahue, Megan Mitchell, Brenna Critchley, Mercedes Owen, Skylar Smith, and Coach Josh Smith.  Absent from photo are Gracie Colpitts, Chloe Farrar, Trinity Jones, and Sage Phillips.  Maddy Parks and Sophia McVicar also were named DAC All-Stars, while Sophi

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  25. Baileyille’s Christmas Parade Slated for Dec. 5

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    The village of Woodland will be bustling on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 5th with kids -- and kids at heart -- awaiting Santa’s early arrival as he makes his way in the town’s annual Christmas parade. 

    According to Jamie Bohanon, of the town’s holiday committee, the parade is being held a week earlier than in years prior.  

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  26. Lioness Club Names Calais Regional Hospital as Parade Grand Marshal

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    The Calais Lioness Club is always busy working on some type of great event, all to raise funds to help those in need in the greater Calais area.  For the past month, the club's major project has been preparing for the 23rd Annual Lioness Christmas Parade.  This one event draws hundreds to downtown Calais on the first Friday of each December, and this year promises to be no different.

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  27. Socially Distanced Craft Fair to be Held in Baileyville

     

    By Natalie Boomer

    natalie@calais.news

    Local, Sherri Neddeau, usually hosts a craft fair during Octoberfest in Baileyville. The fair was put on hold when the Covid-19 virus made its way into Washington County.

    It will now be held on Saturday, December 5th. Although still a craft fair, it will differ from years before to keep the community safe. 

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  28. Guidelines Released for High School Winter Sports Teams

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    The Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) recently released what is hoped to be the beginning phase of getting athletes on the court this winter. 

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  29. Gavin Parks a 2020 Strater Scholarships Recipient

     

    The Maine Community Foundation has announced the 2020 recipients of the Strater Downeast Scholarship Fund. The fund provides renewable scholarship support to high school graduates in Washington County and graduates of Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan pursuing post-secondary education in a degree program at the University of Maine, the University of Maine at Machias, Maine Maritime Academy, or Washington County Community College. 

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  30. Veteran Spotlight - Jerald “Butch” Garriott

     

    Standing Guard While the Nation Mourned 

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    It was 57 years ago this month when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade through Dallas, Texas.  The date was Friday, Nov. 22, 1963.  

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  31. November Food Pantry Donations to be Matched up to $5,000 at Pratt

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Ian Pratt at Pratt Chevrolet is again matching donations made to the local food pantries, a fundraising campaign he has done at the car dealership for many years, all to decrease food insecurity in the area.  Throughout November, all donations brought or mailed in to Pratt Chevrolet will be matched up to $5,000.  

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  32. Food Pantry Donations

    Until Nov. 22, the Calais Visitor Information Center at 39 Union Street is collecting non-perishables for the Irene Chadbourn Ecumenical Food Pantry.  Anyone making a donation will receive a free Maine map.  Items can be dropped off at the center inside the Wabanaki Culture Center seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and contactless dropoff can be coordinated by calling (207) 454-2211.  (Photo by Jayna Smith)

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  33. Washington County Goes for Republicans, Mostly

     

    Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Only one other county (Somerset) supported President Trump more than Washington County, which tied with Aroostook, giving Trump 59.1 percent of its vote. Statewide, Vice President Joe Biden won 55.3 percent, or 428,232 votes to Trump’s 44.2 percent, or 356,673 votes.

    Congressional District 2 (CD2), Maine’s more rural district and where Washington County is located, supported Trump to the tune of 52.4 percent, delivering him one of the state’s four electoral college votes. 

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  34. Happy Birthday, Tom!

    Tom, our handsome office cat has turned 4-years-old. He was born around November in 2016 but because he is a rescue cat, PAWS of Calais didn’t have the exact birth date. He joined our office staff in July of 2018. Please join us in wishing him a very Happy Birthday! Tom requests that any birthday gifts should be directed to the other animals at PAWS in Calais by making gift donations in his name to PAWS, 368 South St., Calais or online at: https://paws-calais.com/donate

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  35. Living with Diabetes: Gabe’s Story

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    November marks National Diabetes Month, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just over ten percent of the nation’s population has diabetes.  Five-year-old Gabe Youngblood makes up part of that number.

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  36. Calais Knights of Columbus Announces New Officers

     

    This is a special year for the local Knights of Columbus as it celebrates its 125th anniversary in the St. Croix Valley.  Last month at a special ceremony, St. Croix Knights of Columbus Council #149 announced its new officers for the 2020-2021 fraternal year.  The officers were formally installed into their positions by Knights of Columbus State Secretary Jon Harvey from Hermon.

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  37. Local Group Provides Free Concerts

     

    Kaileigh Deacon

    October in Maine isn’t exactly known for its host of outdoor concerts, as the weather is unpredictable and snow could happen at any minute. But local rock group Old Skool didn’t let the cool October weather sway them from holding the second of two free concerts on the waterfront in Calais. 

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  38. The Show Must Go On for Local Pageants in the Virtual Age

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    A stage, an emcee and an applauding audience are just some of the things common with a pageant, but of course, like nearly everything in 2020, things were very different for this year’s Miss St. Croix Valley and Miss Acadia pageants.  Both pageants were ultimately held virtually.  

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  39. Local AOS 90 Schools Move to Remote Learning

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    AOS 90 Superintendent Patricia Metta, who oversees schools in Baileyville, Princeton, and Topsfield, announced on Thursday, Oct. 29 that students in that district will move from in-person learning to remote learning throughout the month of November.

    “At this time, the schools have had no positive cases of COVID-19,” Metta said on Friday.  “Our school closure is precautionary in nature, given what is going on in the local communities.” 

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  40. Second Baptist Church Pastor Responds to Outbreak

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Last week, the Second Baptist Church of Calais made headlines across the state as 27 area people connected to the church tested positive for coronavirus.  According to Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shaw, 18 of those cases were considered primary, or directly related to individuals involved at the church.  

    The remaining nine were considered secondary, or resulting from close contact of a primary case.   

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  41. Pratt Donates to CRH for Breast Cancer Screenings

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    For the tenth year in a row, Chevrolet has partnered with the American Cancer Society to support its Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program.  With every #IDriveFor Twitter or Instagram post made throughout the month of October, Chevrolet contributed $5 to the American Cancer Society.  

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  42. Jim O’Neill Recognized at Retirement for 30 Years of Service to the City

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Recognition took place last week to honor city employee Jim O’Neill at his retirement.  O’Neill has been a city employee for 30 years, having begun his employment with public works in 1990.

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  43. MaineAEYC Celebrates our 2020 Children’s Champions

     

    This week, in an online recognition ceremony, the Maine Association of the Education of Young Children (MaineAEYC) honored Representative Jay McCreight and Senator Marianne Moore with Children’s Champions Awards. The original celebration was going to take place at the State House in April during the “Week of the Young Child.” It was rescheduled to coincide with an early childhood education policy and advocacy webinar series that MaineAEYC has been hosting this month.

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  44. Local Hosts Croptoberfest for Scrapbooking Fun

     

    Natalie Boomer

    natalie@calais.news

    A. Bitar Scrapbooking in Perry will be hosting Croptoberfest Weekend beginning Saturday, October 31 and going into Sunday, November 1. Participants will be able to create four traditional 12x12 scrapbook pages throughout the weekend. 

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  45. Local Woman to Give Tedx Talk

     

    Kaileigh Deacon 

    For many, it is hard to imagine the possibility of bringing what they do to the National level, but for Lanette Pottle, the seemingly improbable has become a reality. Lanette will be presenting at a TEDx talk on November 28 in Houston, Texas. 

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