1. Freedom Studies - Two Eastern Maine Patriots

     

    Jonathan Reisman

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  2. Gift Drive Provides Christmas Presents to Assisted Living Facilities

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    When people think of Christmas gifts, sometimes the older population is not the first to be thought of.  This was not the case this year for residents at area assisted living facilities, thanks to the generosity of local woman Tomi Ellsmore, along with some help from others, who made sure every resident received a gift.

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  3. CHS Senior Accepted to Harvard

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    A local student has been accepted to Harvard, a private Ivy League university in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the oldest institution of higher education in the country.  Calais High School’s Hannah Gadway is just one of 747 accepted to Harvard’s Class of 2025 from the 10,086 who applied through the early action program.  

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  4. List of Lights Includes Over 100 Homes Decorated for Christmas

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Last month, in an effort to spread some much-needed cheer, residents were encouraged to decorate their home for the holidays, perhaps a bit earlier than usual.  Businesses and individuals were quick to offer up prizes for a contest, and well over 100 people requested to be put on the “List of Lights,” which allowed for folks to travel around town to enjoy the lights without missing any of the fantastic displays.

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  5. Santa Takes a Ride Through Baileyville and Baring

     

    On Sunday, Santa Claus visited every street in Baileyville and Baring, thanks to the fire department and holiday committee in the town.  The lights and sirens of the fire truck let children and their families know when to step outside to give Santa a big wave.  

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  6. Blue Devil Fund Looks to Inspire Love of Reading

     

    Kaileigh Deacon 

    In a world of technology and instant access to information, it’s hard for some to imagine what the appeal of paper between two covers can be, but for many, it’s the pathway to the imagination as well as a life of learning and growing. For the local non-profit Blue Devil Fund, they understand the importance of reading and giving that gift to kids to build strong foundations. 

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  7. Alexander Grange Hosts Annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony

     

    Natalie Boomer

    natalie@calais.news

    Alexander Grange #304 held its annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony on Saturday, December 19th. 

    At noon grangers, veterans, and community members gathered outside of the Alexander town office to take part in a wreath-laying ceremony.

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  8. Angel Tree Donations by Mill Employees Increase this Year

     

    The Angel Trees at St. Croix Tissue and Woodland Pulp were both colorful and overflowing with wrapped gifts last week.  752 tags were picked off the Angel Trees around the mill and filled by employees for local children.  

    That number was up almost 200 tags from last year.  Mill employees responded with additional generosity this year to the many unexpected financial struggles that have come with 2020.

    The gifts will be delivered to students at schools in Baileyville, Princeton, and Topsfield in hopes of  helping those children have a merrier Christmas. 

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  9. Pratt Donation Campaign Brings in $6,000 for Local Food Pantries

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    For about the last ten years, Ian Pratt at Pratt Cars has held a donation-match campaign throughout the month of November that helps bring in needed funds to area food pantries.  His idea came to fruition after realizing how great the needs are for the pantries in Washington County.  

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  10. Sen. Marianne Moore Reappointed as Lead Republican on HHS Committee

     

    Senator Marianne Moore has been reappointed to serve as the lead Republican senator on the legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services. This will be her second term on the committee. At a time when a global pandemic dominates the news the work of this committee will be more important than ever, and Sen. Moore will be certain that the voices of Washington County and the Hancock County towns in her district will be heard in Augusta.

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  11. Police Warn of Fines for Windshields Not Clear of Ice and Snow

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    When the temperatures fall and one wants to reach his or her destination as quickly as possible, hurrying to the car and driving off without much thought seems like a common thing to do.  Those not taking the few minutes necessary to brush off the snow and ice before hitting the road, however, pose a threat with the increased likelihood of an accident due to an obstruction of view--and police will take notice.  

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  12. Woman Starts Gift Card Drive to Show Appreciation of Local Law Enforcement Officers

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    In an effort to spread some holiday cheer and show some appreciation for law enforcement officers, a local woman teamed up with others to purchase gift cards for each officer of Baileyville Police Department.

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  13. Have Your Christmas Tree Picked Up After the Holiday Season for Only $5

     

    Natalie Boomer 

    natalie@calais.news

    When the holiday season comes to an end and you’re ready to start the new year, call Calais High School Student Council and Jobs for Maine’s Graduates to come collect your Christmas tree!

    “For the cost of $5 students from these organizations are willing to gather discarded Christmas trees over the holiday break, Dec. 26 to Jan. 8,” said Lori Ellis, student council adviser.

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  14. Earthquake Rattles Robbinston and Beyond

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    On the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 9, social media reports from many in the area noted “rattles” and “rumbles.” According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a magnitude 3 earthquake occurred around 7:30 a.m.  It had a depth of roughly 4.784 miles.

    The epicenter of the quake was at Trimble Mountain, and its effects were felt as far away as Baileyville.  No damage was reported.

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  15. Joy in Grand Lake Stream

     

    Located on the dam, a photo of the season of “JOY.” (Photo by Steve Schaefer of GLS)

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  16. Children in Calais Parish Send Christmas Cards to Residents of Assisted Living Home

     

    “God can move mountains with the smallest gesture of kindness!”

    The words of Marc Podschlne, the director of faith formation of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, are an absolute truth embraced by the children of Immaculate Conception Church in Calais and St. James the Greater Church in Baileyville.

    “Last week, they colored, drew pictures on, and personalized Christmas cards for the residents of Washington Place, an assisted living home in Calais,” said Podschlne.

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  17. Princeton’s MSB Provides Winter Accessories to Community Members in Need

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Machias Savings Bank in Princeton has its own version of a giving tree, set up outside the branch to help anyone in need of winter accessories.  Among the items available are socks, hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens.

    According to branch manager Eryn Meeker, all are welcome to simply drive up and choose their needed accessory or accessories.  There is no charge for any of the items.

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  18. Senator Marianne Moore Takes Her Seat

     

    Senator Marianne Moore at her seat during “Swearing-In Day” for the Maine State Senate at the Augusta Civic Center on December 2. Now that the 130th Maine Senate has convened, committees will begin their legislative work in January. Senator Moore was reelected in November to represent Senate District 6 which includes the municipalities of Gouldsboro, Sullivan, Winter Harbor and part of East Hancock Unorganized Territory in Hancock County and all municipalities and unorganized territories in Washington County. (Submitted photo)

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  19. Small Businesses Make Shopping Locally Easier than Ever

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Shopping locally has never been easier, with most businesses in Calais offering curbside pick up and some even scheduling private shopping experiences.  Such is the case at two downtown businesses, Rachel Ashley Jewelers, at 293 Main Street, and Artemis’s Attic, at 297 Main Street.  

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  20. Princeton, Woodland Schools Move Back to Remote Learning

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Superintendent of Schools Pat Metta informed parents, students, and staff on Sunday, Dec. 13 that Woodland Elementary and Jr./Sr. High Schools would be closed the following day and students of both would be moving back to remote learning effective Tuesday, Dec. 15.  

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  21. Christmas Parade Lights Up Baileyville

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    After inclement weather resulted in Baileyville’s Holiday Committee needing to postpone the town’s annual Christmas Parade from Saturday, Dec. 5 to Friday, Dec. 11, it went off without a hitch and no one was disappointed.

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  22. Calais Gets Green Light for Winter Sports Season

     

    Kaileigh Deacon

    The question on everyone’s minds lately has been, “What will the future hold?” For students all around the state and many here in the Calais area, the question has been asked a lot. With winter sports, especially basketball, being such a big part of people’s lives, the question of whether or not athletes would be able to play has been a big one. 

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  23. Down East Hospice Volunteers of Washington County Congratulates New Hospice Volunteers

     

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  24. Pandemic Adds Challenges for Local Scouts

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Boy Scouting in the area has been a longstanding tradition, but this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, fundraising events have had to be cancelled and meetings and activities modified.  Still, it is not stopping kids from enjoying the scouting experience. 

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  25. A New Kind of Rock

     

    Kaileigh Deacon

    How much money would you pay someone to rock in a rocking chair? You read that right! Pay someone to rock in a rocking chair! Well, the students of the Calais High School Student Council and National Honor Society have made one of their biggest fundraisers and charity events the Annual Rock-a-thon. 

    Each year the students of the Student Council and National Honor Society work to gather funds for their Rock-a-thon event which goes towards giving students gifts who might not otherwise receive at Christmas time.

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  26. Take a Book, Share a Book at Lana’s Free Little Library

     

    Natalie Boomer

    natalie@calais.news

    Local Lana Faulkner has created a little library in a tiny building.  It sits in front of her Baring home with a purpose to share her passion of reading with community members. 

     “I started chartering mine about three years ago. It started out as a small structure that housed a good selection of books, to an actual building that you can go into and browse the fully-stocked book shelves,” said Faulkner. 

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  27. Calais Middle/High School Sees Increase in Remote Learners

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Calais schools recently reopened for those students opting for in-person learning.  The 2020-21 school year began back in mid-September, with parents having the choice to send their students for in-person learning every other day, using the hybrid model, or keep them home full-time to work remotely.  

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  28. DLLT to Host Annual Christmas Bird Count

     

    Natalie Boomer

    natalie@calais.news

    Every year Downeast Lakes Land Trust hosts a Christmas Bird Count. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, there will be some modifications to the event. 

    On the morning of December 14th, community members are welcome to venture out into the Grand Lake Stream area to record what birds they see. 

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  29. International Friendship Prevails

    On Friday, the Town of St. Stephen posted to its Facebook page a photo of a Canadian/U.S. flag that had been hung on the downtown wharf’s lighthouse.  Included in the post was the following sentiment directed to the town’s U.S. neighbors:  “We miss our neighbours in Calais, and wish you all a safe and merry Christmas parade this evening.  While we may not be able to be there in person, we have placed this flag on the Calais-facing side of our lighthouse so that we are with you in spirit today!”  (Photo by Jayna Smith)

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  30. Stuff the Bus Program Brings True Christmas Joy to All Involved

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    Santa’s elves are usually seen clad in green and red, but most of the “elves” who volunteered at Saturday’s Stuff the Bus event wore uniforms from various local law enforcement agencies.  That’s because the Stuff the Bus program is one created by Baileyville Police Chief Bob Fitzsimmons.

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  31. Lioness Christmas Parade Brought Much Needed Holiday Cheer

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

    With other events cancelled throughout the year due to coronavirus concerns, the 23rd annual Lioness Christmas Parade went on as planned, but not without having to make some adjustments from prior years.

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  32. Tom, the Office Cat

     

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

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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. Glide through Winter at the New Downtown Skating Rink

     

    Jayna Smith

    jayna@calais.news

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  40. 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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  41. Presentation of International Civic Award at the Knights of Columbus Hall

     

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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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