1. Town of Princeton Annual Tree Lighting

     

    Sandra Smith

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  2. Rebecca Moores Changes Plea to Guilty in Murder of Ex-Lover, Drug Supplier

     

    Paul Sylvain

    A Robbinston woman accused of murdering her former lover and principal drug supplier last year in Pembroke faces a prison sentence of 32 years after changing her plea to guilty in Washington County Superior Court on Dec. 7.

    In changing her plea from not guilty to guilty, Rebecca Moores, 43, admitted to shooting 53-year-old Paula Johnson in Johnson’s home at 515 Leighton Point Rd, in Pembroke, on Feb. 9, 2022. Moores was arrested in Pembroke on July 6, 2022, and charged with Johnson’s murder.

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  3. Brother Describes Finding His Sister’s Body as Brackett, Dana Murder Trial Begins

     

    Paul Sylvain

    After three grueling days of jury selection and pre-trial discussions between attorneys and Judge Robert E. Murray Jr., the trial of accused murderers Kailie Brackett and Donnell Dana Jr. finally got underway Friday morning in Washington County Superior Court in Machias.

    Brackett, 39, and Dana, 40, both of Pleasant Point, Perry, are charged with “intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder” in the stabbing death of 43-year-old Kimberly Neptune on April 21, 2022. 

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  4. Tree Lighting in Grand Lake Stream

     

    Dave McCullough

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  5. Feztival of Trees Brings Holiday Cheer, Raises Funds for Children’s Hospitals

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    This year’s Feztival of Trees drew hundreds from across Charlotte and Washington counties over the weekend to view the near-50 decorated Christmas trees, each surrounded by gifts, at Washington County Community College.  

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  6. International Feztival of Trees, Shriners Benefit from Pratt Donation

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected] 

    JJust before the opening of this year’s International Feztival of Trees last week, Ian Pratt of the Pratt dealership presented the hosting organizations with a donation of $2,000.

    The International Feztival of Trees is a fundraiser hosted by the Schoodic and Washington County Shrine Clubs.  All the money raised at the event all helps the Anah Shriners to help children.  

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  7. NB’s Safety Minister Rejects St. Stephen’s Emergency Declaration, Blames Trudeau Policies for Homelessness Crisis

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    New Brunswick’s Safety Minister Kris Austin has ended the local state of emergency in St. Stephen, addressing concerns raised by Mayor Allan MacEachern over homelessness less than 48 hours after its declaration.

    The declaration was made after the death of a man the weekend prior whose body was found in a park.

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  8. Freedom Studies - The Electric Vehicle Climate Agitprop Test

     

    Jon Reisman

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  9. Wreaths Across America held its annual HART Ceremony at Ferry Point Bridge in Calais

    Wreaths Across America held its annual HART (Honoring Allies and Remembering Together) Ceremony at Ferry Point Bridge in Calais. This moving event honored the service and sacrifice of military veterans from the United States and Canada with a wreath exchange.

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  10. Happy Faces and Festive Cheer with Santa’s Post-Parade Visit

     

    A hint of skepticism and a big smile show the mixed feelings that can come when meeting Santa. (Photo by Jayna Smith) See more photos in this week's The Calais Advertiser.

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  11. Calais Fire Chief Makes ‘Nice’ List

     

    Calais Fire Chief Bill Lee is all smiles after Santa declares him “nice” at the annual Calais Fire Association’s Christmas Party on Saturday.  Santa made his annual visit to the station for the party, where children had the chance to visit with Santa, decorate cookies, and more.  (Calais Fire-EMS photo)

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  12. Lioness Bring Magic to Calais with Annual Christmas Parade

     

    Santa takes a ride on a fire truck, thanks to Calais Fire-EMS, creating a magical conclusion to the annual Lioness Christmas Parade last Friday, Dec. 1.  See more parade photos on page 8 and watch The Calais Advertiser’s parade coverage on its Facebook page.  (Photo by Jayna Smith)

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  13. Calais Ranks in Top 24 in Best Maine Elementary Schools, U.S. News Says

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    Last month, U.S. News & World Report released the updated 2024 rankings for the Best Elementary and Middle Schools, covering 45,236 elementary schools and 22,053 middle schools across the nation.  The evaluation process involved a comprehensive analysis of 103,099 pre-K, elementary, and middle schools.  In the top rankings of elementary schools across the state that were scored, Calais Elementary School ranked number 24 out of 291.

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  14. Generosity of Area Folks Make for Another Successful Stuff the Bus Event

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    Stuff the Bus celebrated another successful year on Saturday, December 2, with donation acceptance at both Walmart and Marden’s.  Originating in 2015 under the leadership of Baileyville Police Chief Bob Fitzsimmons, the campaign aims to alleviate the holiday burden on families, ensuring a brighter Christmas for many throughout the county.

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  15. Spednic Club Strikes Success with Annual Tourney for Stuff the Bus

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    In its typical display of community engagement, the Spednic Club in Woodland rolled into action on November 4, hosting its annual Stuff the Bus bowling tournament. 

    The tournament drew a great amount of participation, with $1,315 raised.  The proceeds were donated to Baileyville Police Chief Bob Fitzsimmons, organizer of the Stuff the Bus program, last week.

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  16. First National Bank’s Donation Fuels Santa’s Helper Program

     

    Jennifer Thornaton, Senior Banking Consultant at First National Bank, presents a $250 check to Calais Lions Club members Brian Nichols and Mike McLean for its annual Santa’s Helper Program.  The program, now in its 51st year, assists local families in need during the holidays. Donations in any amount can be mailed to Calais Lions Club, PO Box 1280, Calais, ME  04619. (Lions Club photo)

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  17. Calais Lady Blue Devils Ready to Conquer the Court with New Coach and Dynamic Roster

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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  18. Calais City Council

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    On Nov. 30, 2023, the Calais City Council met for its regular meeting, with Mayor Artie Mingo presiding over Councilors Mike Sherrard, Marcia Rogers, Elery Beale, Bill Quinn, and James Macdonald.  Councilor Kevin Niles was absent from the meeting.

    What follows is a brief summary of the meeting, with the full meeting available for viewing on the City of Calais’s Facebook page.

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  19. Calais Lions Club Enhances Law Enforcement Safety with Tourniquet Project

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    In an initiative to bolster the safety measures for local law enforcement officers, members of the Calais Lions Club gathered at the Calais Police station last week for the presentation of tourniquets and pouches to representatives from the Calais, Eastport, and Baileyville Police Departments as well as the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

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  20. Down East Hospice Volunteers

     

    On November 17, Down East Hospice Volunteers benefited from the Lubec Brewing Company hosting an evening of music provided by LAMPS (Lubec Area Musician Philanthropic Society).  

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  21. Gimme Shelter

     

    Jon Reisman

    “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

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  22. Annual Kids’ Party at Calais Fire Set for this Saturday

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    Join in the festive celebration at the Calais Fire Station on Saturday, December 2, where children from the area are warmly invited to partake in the annual Kids’ Christmas Party tradition.  

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  23. Calais Community Christmas Events

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  24. Machias Midwife Delivering More Than Babies for Women Downeast

     

    Paul Sylvain

    Look up the definition of “midwife” and most sources online state it is a person trained to deliver babies. Washington County’s only certified nurse midwife does that, of course, but she delivers much more than babies -- she delivers comprehensive women’s care to an area where healthcare professionals are badly needed.  

    Licensed master of surgery and certified midwife-nurse Bjarni Thomas has been helping Machias area women meet their obstetrical and gynecological needs locally for more than four years.

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  25. St. Croix Valley Chamber Announces Return of Loyal to Local Passport

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected] 

    In a bid to bolster local businesses and encourage community support, the St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce has rolled out its much-anticipated Loyal to Local Passport initiative for the second consecutive year.  The program offers shoppers an enticing opportunity to win $100 simply by patronizing local stores and restaurants.

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  26. Stuff the Bus Continues its Mission of Generosity Despite Challenging Times

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    As temperatures drop and the cost of living rises, many families face the challenge of providing basic necessities while also preparing for the holiday season.  In response to this, Baileyville Police Chief Bob Fitzsimmons initiated the Stuff the Bus campaign in 2015, aiming to alleviate the stress and ensure a brighter Christmas for those in need.  Since then, he has continued the project each December.

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  27. Wreath Laying at Alexander Cemetery

     

    Grangers who participated in laying wreaths on Nov. 24 at the Alexander Cemetery on veterans’ graves were Dale Holst, Jim and Dolly Sullivan, and Jane and Joe Manza. (Submitted photo)

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  28. Woodland Pulp Strike Ends

     

    Staff

    The prolonged strike that began on October 14 at Woodland Pulp concluded early last week as union members ratified a new contract offer, marking an end to weeks of negotiation. The agreement involves members from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 1490, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 330-3, and Millwrights Local 1121.

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  29. Maine Educator’s Autograph Collection Missing Pieces, Sparks Search for Lost Treasures

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    In a career spanning administrative roles in high schools across the state of Maine, including in Machias, Lincoln, Jackman, and beyond, David Leigh cultivated a unique and engaging project for his students, one that now stands as a testament to years of dedication and enthusiasm – a collection of over 1,100 autographs from cover persons featured on renowned periodicals like Time and Newsweek.

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  30. What's Up, Calais?

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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  31. DECH Admins Receive Rural Health Community Star Awards in Augusta

     

    Down East Community Hospital CEO Steve Lail and COO/CFO Lynnette Parr were presented Rural Health Community Star Awards at the National Rural Health Day celebration held at the State House on Nov. 16. Lail and Parr were honored for the hospital’s decision to purchase the Calais hospital at a time when it faced certain closure, and, in doing so, preserve access to care in eastern Washington County. 

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  32. USPS’s Operation Santa Underway

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    The elves at the U.S. Postal Service are putting in extra hours to ensure that children’s letters to Santa Claus reach their destination in time for Christmas.  Simultaneously, the USPS’s heartwarming Operation Santa wish fulfillment initiative is officially underway, having kicked off last week.

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  33. NPV Plot Thickens

     

    Jon Reisman

    The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact effort by the Democrats and the League of Women Voters to abolish the Electoral College and disenfranchise every right of center voter in the 2nd Congressional District took some ominous steps in recent weeks.

    After previously asking Senator Collins (no answer) and Representative Golden (non-responsive response), I sent the following message to Senator King on Nov. 9:

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  34. Woodland Pulp Strike Ends

    By staff

    BAILEYVILLE, Maine (Nov. 24, 2023) – The prolonged strike at Woodland Pulp concluded as union members ratified a new contract offer, marking an end to weeks of negotiation. The agreement involves members from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local 1490, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 330-3, and Millwrights Local 1121.

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  35. Christmas Forest of Maine Returns, Illuminated with 150,000 Lights, Spectacular Displays

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    At Route 1 and Perry Corner in Perry, The Christmas Forest of Maine returns for its second year, adorned with over 150,000 lights, festive melodies, and an array of fun and beautiful decorations.  The brainchild of David Wright and his family, this dazzling spectacle almost didn’t grace Perry for a second season.

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  36. Santa to Make Early Stop in Calais on Dec. 1

     

    The Lioness elves are gearing up for the annual Calais Lioness Christmas Parade, set to take place on Friday, December 1.  (Lioness photo)  

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  37. St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Excellence at Annual Awards Gala

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    In a great event that brought together local businesses, community leaders, and devoted volunteers, the St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce held its 75th annual meeting and awards banquet on Friday, November 17, 2023, at the Calais Armory.  The event, a testament to the vibrant spirit of the St. Croix Valley, saw an impressive turnout, with over 120 attendees eager to celebrate the achievements of the community.

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  38. Lioness Announce Christmas Parade Grand Marshal

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    The Calais Lioness Club remains tirelessly committed to organizing impactful events, all aimed at raising funds for the less fortunate in the greater-Calais area. In recent weeks, the club's primary focus has centered on the 26th Annual Lioness Christmas Parade, a highly-anticipated event each year.  Scheduled for this year on December 1, the parade attracts hundreds of spectators to downtown Calais on the first Friday of December.

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  39. Food Pantry Donation Match at Pratt Returns through December

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    ‘Tis the season once more, as Pratt Auto Dealership embarks on its annual tradition of matching donations for the local food pantry.  However, this time around, the challenge has grown in scale.  Owner Ian Pratt has increased his commitment by offering to match donations up to $10,000, an increase from last year’s cap of $7,500.  Even more the campaign’s duration has been extended through Christmas, extending from only November in years past. 

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  40. CES Receives Donation from Walmart

     

    Calais Elementary School recently received a much-needed boost for their playground facilities. Kids at the school were all smiles as Principal Sue Carter joined forces with representatives from Calais Walmart to celebrate a generous $2,000 donation from the store. The contribution from Walmart aims to facilitate the repair and replacement of playground equipment, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable environment for the children. (CES photo)

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  41. Raiders Win Football Championship

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    The Washington Academy Raiders clinched the independent league, eight-man football championship with a decisive 44-18 triumph over Berlin, New Hampshire two weeks ago.  This victory marked a significant achievement for the team under the leadership of Coach Ian Pratt, formerly associated with the local Silverados football team.

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  42. Sen. Moore Receives Recognition from National Women’s Organization

    Maine legislator joins lawmakers from across the nation at organization's annual conference in Florida

    The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) announced that Maine State Senator Marianne Moore, R-Washington, was selected as a 2023 Elected Women of Excellence Award winner.

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  43. Calais Resident Proposes Neighborhood Watch Program, Seeks Public Input

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    In a bid to tackle rising concerns about safety and the encroachment of negative elements, Leonard Rafferty, a Calais resident and pastor of Keys to Life Church on North Street, is spearheading an initiative to establish a neighborhood watch program.  Rafferty, who moved to Calais with his family in June 2019, expressed a deep commitment to fostering a safe and attractive environment for residents.

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  44. Trial of Two Accused of Brutal Stabbing Death Delayed after Hour-Long Closed Door Conference with Judge

     

    Paul Sylvain

    A Nov. 17 hearing on a motion to exclude certain evidence and statements considered potentially damaging to two people from Perry charged with murder was postponed indefinitely an hour after the hearing was scheduled to begin.

    The larger of two, third-floor courtrooms at Washington County Superior Court in Machias was packed with family and friends of the victim, 43-year-old Kimberly Neptune, and the two people accused of murdering her, Donnell J. Dana Jr. and Kailie A. Brackett, both of Perry.

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