1. Woodland Teacher Named County Teacher of the Year

     

    Sixteen Maine teachers were announced last week as 2022 County Teachers of the Year. Governor Janet Mills joined Education Commissioner Pender Makin, Educate Maine Executive Director Jason Judd, State Board of Education Chair Fern Desjardins, 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year Kelsey Stoyanova, and Maine County and State Teachers of the Year Association Co-President Shana Goodall to announce the new class of County Teachers of the Year.

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  2. Infant Formula Shortage Experienced Locally

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    Over 40 percent of infant formula brands were sold out during the first week of May, according to a report by Datasembly.  That is up from 31 percent just three weeks prior.

    Across the nation, and including in Maine, many major retailers have placed limits on the amount of formula shoppers can purchase.  
    The shortage of baby formula can be attributed to the COVID-era supply chain issues, coupled with a top manufacturer’s recall in February.  

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  3. Bargain Hunter’s Paradise at Upcoming Lioness Yard Sale

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    The Calais Lioness Club is ready for its annual spring yard sale, taking place this Saturday, May 21.

    The sale is always a popular one, with many finds for the bargain hunter.  

    Everything from housewares and books to clothing and sporting goods–and of course more–will be available, all by a donation to the club.  

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  4. Popular Plant Sale Returns to Again Benefit CDRC

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    Before the closing of the congregational church, the women’s club there held an annual plant and pie sale.  That sale was always successful, with many coming for a healthy, happy plant and a sweet treat, all for a great cause.

    Now, like last year, Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition (CDRC), with lots of help from everyone’s favorite local gardener Jane Eaton, will host a plant sale on Saturday, June 4.

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  5. EMS Week 2022 May 15 - 21

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  6. Pembroke Maine Library Book Launch

     

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  7. We Salute Calais High School - Class of 2022!

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  8. Two More Wins for Calais Softball

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

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  9. Senior Captains Bennett, Rojo, Saunders Lead Calais to Four-Game Win Streak

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

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  10. Raising Butterflies with the Calais Free Library

     

    Natalie Boomer
    [email protected]

    Calais Free Library has had some interesting visitors this month.  Painted Lady Butterflies have made their way to the children’s section!
    “I am super excited to be raising butterflies again this year,” mentioned youth services librarian Skye Green-Hall. “This is our second year raising Painted Lady Butterflies at the Calais Free Library.

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  11. University Truths

     

    Jon Reisman

    Several years ago I was at a Washington County Republican meeting, which has not been a particularly common occurrence. I introduced myself to another attendee, and when he heard that I was a University Professor, the look on his face was one of horror and suspicion. He might as well as reached for some garlic and a crucifix to protect himself. His assumption that I was likely a left wing socialist plant sent to study aliens was not accurate, but would have been for the overwhelming majority of University faculty.

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  12. Pembroke Voters Pass the First Town Mining Ordinance Under 2017 Law

    Editor’s note: The Friends of Cobscook Bay last week submitted the following press release. - SCD  Pembroke voters last week came out to pass a local metallic mining ordinance on May 4. Pembroke’s new ordinance is the first in Maine under the new state mining laws passed in 2017.

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  13. Open Mic Offered May 14 in Eastport

     

    EAC’s Open Mic series will conclude with an event from 6-8 p.m., Saturday, May 14. Spectators and performers of all ages are invited to the family-friendly event, which is held downstairs at EAC. All types of performances are welcome; the maximum time slot is 10 minutes, but shorter acts are also acceptable. EAC will provide a small sound system, and all interested in performing can sign up upon arrival at the event, or in advance by email.

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  14. Local Boys Raising Funds to Head to National Basketball Finals

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    Since early March, three Calais Elementary School students–Turner Redding, Parker Cole, and Sebastian Bassett–have added their talents to the Maine Sting basketball team.  

    Maine Sting is an AAU team based in Old Town.  Along with Redding, Cole, and Bassett, on their division’s team are five others, all from Mount Desert Island, Lincoln, Belfast, and Fairfield.

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  15. Final Band Performance for Graduating Seniors

     

    Kobe Saunders (percussion), Paige Wilson (percussion), Tristan Seavey (trumpets), and Zachary Wentworth (alto sax) participated in their final school band concert, the Calais Middle/High School Music Department’s Spring Concert, held last Tuesday evening under direction of Mr. Steven Gregory.  The four, along with fellow band member Cassidy Carr (flutes, absent from the event) will be graduating next month. The five seniors have been integral parts of the school band all four years of high school.  (Photo by Jayna Smith)

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  16. Machias, Jonesboro Triple Homicide Trial to Begin this Month in Belfast

    Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Jury selection for the trial of Thomas Bonfanti of Northfield is set to begin May 23 in Belfast.

    “We’re anticipating three to four days to pick a jury and up to two weeks for the trial,” said Bonfanti’s attorney Jeffry Toothaker, who was appointed to the case on April 8.

    Bonfanti has entered a plea of not guilty, and earlier this year requested his trial be held in another county to avoid possible tainting of the jury pool by pre-trial publicity.

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  17. Grampie Bill’s Place to Offer Belated Easter Dinner

    Natalie Boomer
    [email protected]

    Bill and Arlene Gibson of Grampie Bill’s Place hosted what they thought would be their last free Easter dinner in 2021. They want the entire community to know that they are back for one last time!

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  18. Fiddleheads, a Maine Delicacy

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    Fiddleheads are a springtime delicacy across Maine and New Brunswick, and in the downeast area, are nearly ready to be harvested.
    The ostrich fern fiddleheads can be identified by the brown, papery scale-like covering on the uncoiled fern.  Because they are perennial, they come back year after year, and according to University of Maine Cooperative Extension, nearly all ferns have fiddleheads, but not all fiddleheads are edible.

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  19. Early Season Struggles for Calais Baseball

     

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  20. Washington County Children’s Chorus to Resume Rehearsals

     

    After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the Washington County Children’s Chorus will resume rehearsals from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, at Centre Street Congregational Church in Machias.

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  21. Mistress of Truth

     

    Jon Reisman

    Almost immediately after rogue oligarch Elon Musk took Twitter away from the conservative censoring wokerati, thereby causing a panic attack amongst the free speech hating left that they might not be able to control the narrative and what people think, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas announced amidst a Congressional grilling that a new Government Disinformation Board, promptly dubbed the Ministry of Truth, would be established, headed by noted musical theatre songstress and lyricist Nina Jancowicz.

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  22. New Garden Decor and Gift Store Fills Vacant Downtown Space

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    A new store has filled a space downtown, and its owners say they are looking forward to serving the community.  

    The White Birch Exchange, at 345 Main Street in the former Urban Moose building, opened its doors last week.  

    Owners Craig Bruce and Michael Novack are no strangers to border-town business, having recently moved from Windsor, Ontario, directly across the river from Detroit, Michigan where their online business was based.  

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  23. WCCC’s Outdoor Leadership Degree Program

     

    On April 14 students from WCCC’s Outdoor Leadership degree program traveled to Portland to attend the Maine Governor’s Conference on Tourism where they learned about the importance of outdoor recreation and other types of tourism to Maine’s economy.  The trip was part of their Capstone course, a project in which students create an outdoor recreation-based business and apply the outdoor leadership skills they’ve learned in a business setting. The conference allowed students to meet and hear first-hand from industry leaders and included an address from Governor Janet Mills.

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  24. Fire Destroys Downtown Business, Displaces 20

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    Emergency crews from Calais and surrounding towns battled a structure fire Sunday night that destroyed a downtown business.  
    The call for the fire at The Roost Pub, 445 Main Street, Calais came in just before 9 p.m., Calais Fire Chief Ken Clark said.

    According to owner Carl Bailey, eight apartments in the three-story building were occupied by tenants.  Some were not home when the fire broke out, and those who were escaped without injury.  

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  25. At Weekend Rally, LePage Echoes Issues Shared at Last Fall’s Downeast Visit

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    At a Republican convention in Augusta this past weekend, former Gov. Paul LePage told the crowd he would “fix the broken budget” if he wins the election in November.

    LePage is rallying for his third term as governor.

    If he does win the bid for governor, it would be the first time since 1966 that an incumbent governor was ousted.  

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  26. Community Forums by DBU Spotlight Broadband

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    Access to broadband internet has been a hot topic nationwide, especially in rural areas, for a few years, however, the City of Calais and the Town of Baileyville–and now some surrounding towns–are ahead of the game with Downeast Broadband Utility (DBU).  

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  27. Sense of Celebration at DCF Ribbon Cutting

    Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    Spirits were high Friday, April 22, as local, county, and state officials joined members of the wider Washington County community to celebrate the reopening of the Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) in Bucks Harbor, Machiasport.

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  28. Maine’s Next Game Wardens Attend Training Downeast

    Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    The road to becoming a Maine Game Warden drives new recruits through 14 weeks of training and into five regions of Maine, too, including Machias where last month trainees practiced crime scene management during a storm that dropped five inches of rain in a single day.

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  29. Local Baseball Roundup

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

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  30. New Ramp at Skatepark Proves to be Great Addition

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

     
    Volunteers at the Calais Skatepark worked diligently this past weekend to construct a new mini ramp, all made possible through the Brendan Leddy Memorial Fund.

    The park already included several q-pipes, along with starter ramps and others.  The addition of this new ramp is the first mini ramp for the park.  

    “This provides entry-level riders a place to progress at a much faster rate,” said skatepark committee member Spencer McCormick.

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  31. Hayward Picture Show

     

    Jon Reisman

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  32. Annual Amphibian Walk

     

    Saturday night’s annual Amphibian Walk at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, despite cool temperatures in the mid 40s, saw 84 participants.  Each learned about and searched for salamanders, frogs, and other critters in the refuge’s vernal pools and impoundments.  (Photos by Tomi Ellsmore and FWS Volunteer Tabitha Ramos)

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  33. $10k Reward Offered for Information Surrounding Murder of Kimberly Neptune

    Sarah Craighead Dedmon

    A reward of $10,000 is offered by the Pleasant Point Police Department for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the death of Kimberly Neptune, 43, of Perry, who was found dead in her home Thursday, April 21.

    Police today named Neptune’s death a homicide. Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit North is investigating Neptune’s death with the assistance of the Pleasant Point Police Department.

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  34. Fishing Spot Bench Not to be Replaced after Vandalism

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    For the second time in a year, the wooden bench installed at the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge’s public fishing platform has been vandalized.  The platform is located just off the Charlotte Road.

    According to Keith Ramos, manager at the refuge, the bench, which was fastened to the platform, was thrown into the stream.  “It sure took some effort from the individual or individuals that committed the vandalism,” he shared to social media.

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  35. Dr. Shah Among Speakers Set for WCCC Graduation

     

    Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah will be the guest speaker for the Class of 2022 Washington County Community College graduation to be held in Calais on May 20. Maine Community College President David Daigler will also present, along with distinguished faculty speaker Greg Smith. A student address will be given by WCCC Student of the Year, Graca Muzela. (Photo courtesy Maine.gov)

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  36. Level of THM in City Water Exceeds Federal Standard

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    Calais residents received in the mail last week a drinking water notice indicating the level of trihalomethanes (TTHM) in the City of Calais’s drinking water exceeds federal drinking water standard.

    The city’s notice reported that water testing done recently found the high level of TTHM to be 81.2 parts per billion.  “This is above the maximum contaminant level allowed for total trihalomethanes in drinking water which is 80 parts per billion,” the notice read.

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  37. Planned Outage Cuts Power for Over 10,000

     

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    Customers of Eastern Maine Electric Co-op were encouraged weeks in advance to prepare for Sunday’s power outage.  

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  38. First National Bank Donates to Community Caring Collaborative

     

    First National Bank recently announced a $3,000 donation to the Community Caring Collaborative towards The Joy Fund.

    Established in March 2022, The Joy Fund assists first-time home buyers in Washington County make the transition to homeownership by providing funds for home inspections related to a home purchase.  Georgiana (Georgie) Kendall, a 5th generation Downeaster, started this fund to support folks who would like to live, work and play here in Washington County.

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  39. DCF Grand Reopening Draws Local and State Officials

     

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  40. UMaine Machias’ Kinap Mentorship Program Empowers Native Students to Be Community Leaders

     

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  41. The Left Hates Free Speech

     

    Jon Reisman

    ..the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth produced by its collision with error.- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

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  42. Calais Fire Hosts Easter Egg Hunt

     

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  43. CHS Students Place at JMG Career Symposium

     

    Trinity Jones Awarded Difference Maker Scholarship
     
    Throughout the month of March, students from across the state took part in the annual Jobs for Maine’s Graduates Career Symposium.  For the second straight year, events were held virtually through on-demand and live competitions.  

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  44. Volunteers Sought for Weekend Project at Skatepark

    Jayna Smith
    [email protected]

    Since 1999, the Calais Skatepark Committee has worked hard on its park with upgrades and upkeep, as well as hosting many events for the area’s skaters and BMX riders.  Now, the group, through the Brendan Leddy Memorial Fund, is ready to add a mini ramp.

    The park already includes several q-pipes, along with starter ramps and others.  The addition of the new ramp, according to committee member Nate Gardner, is the first mini ramp for the park.  

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  45. Local Hospitals Promote National Donate Life Month

     

    Please join Calais Community Hospital (CCH) and Down East Community Hospital (DECH) in the celebration of National Donate Life Month this April. The month-long celebration showcases various perspectives of those touched by donation and transplantation.  

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