1. Calais Community Christmas Events

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. What's Up, Calais?

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. Rep. Golden, the National Popular Vote and the Constitution

     

    Jon Reisman

    In early November, I sent the following request to Rep. Golden:

    I am writing about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which the Maine Legislature will be voting on in 2024 (LD 1587). I am specifically requesting that you submit legislation granting Congressional consent to this interstate compact, as required by Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution.

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  24. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Assembly

    Now seems as good a time as any to talk about the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. A look back at the founding of our nation and the world into which it was born is the first order of business. 

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  25. Election Post-Mortem Notes

     

    Jon Reisman

    It was gloomy and raining when I went to the Cooper Community Center (the former Grange) to vote. I brought some cake for my neighbors who were working the polls and defending democracy, hoping to give them a little cheer on what would be a long, dark, and stormy day. If Election Day was somber, at least most of the results in Maine were not. The results across the nation were more of a mixed bag.

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  26. Bipartisan Coalition of Maine Legislators Stands with Union Workers in Woodland Pulp Strike

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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  27. Maine School Management Association Recognizes Herbert Clark with Service Award

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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  28. Calais Lions Club and Red Knights Join Forces for Santa’s Helper Program

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    In a great display of community spirit and cooperation, the Calais Lions Club and Calais Red Knights Motorcycle Club joined forces late last month during the Lions’ bi-weekly meeting.

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  29. Veterans Memorial Dedication Ceremony at WCCC

     

    CW3 (Ret.) Sherry Sivret, Washington County Community College President Susan Mingo, and Pastor Bobby Oliver at last week’s Veterans Memorial Dedication Ceremony at WCCC.  (Submitted photo)

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  30. Calais High School Students Pay Tribute with Veterans Assembly

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    In a great display of gratitude and respect last week, Mrs. Lori Ellis’ AP English class at Calais High School orchestrated a moving assembly in honor of local veterans, setting a poignant tone for the upcoming Veterans Day on November 11.

    The event, held on Thursday, November 9, 2023, drew a substantial crowd, filling the school’s cafetorium.  The ceremony commenced with the United Veterans Honor Guard presenting the flags.

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  31. Information Sought on Illegally Killed Moose

     

    The Maine Warden Service is seeking information regarding two illegally killed moose, one in Washington County and the other in Aroostook County. Maine Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of $3,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the killing of either of these moose. These wildlife crimes are not related.

    In Washington County in the town of Baileyville, Game Wardens received a report of a dead moose approximately 70 yards off the Grand Falls Road in Baileyville at mid-day on Friday, November 10. 

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  32. Alexander Flag Waving

     

    As in past years, many took part in the flag-waving event on Veterans Day,  hosted by the Alexander Grange. The patriots met at the former Randy's Variety to wave American flags at passersby. 

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  33. Sewall Memorial Congregational Church

     

    Bonnie Lyons

    The new hour for church services is 3 p.m. with Pastors Ron and Colin Windhorst.

    The front window is shining this month for all Veterans. If you like to shine the window of the church in memory of a loved one or celebrate or honor someone special, call or email me at 454-3252 or [email protected]

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  34. Annual International Feztival of Trees Set to Shine Bright on Community

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    The International Feztival of Trees, always a highlight of the Christmas season dating back to its inception in 2016, is set to return with a grand flourish this year.  As the holiday season approaches, residents and visitors of Washington and Charlotte counties eagerly anticipate this dazzling spectacle, which promises to captivate all who attend.

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  35. New Faces and Familiar Ones Emerge in Calais Election

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    After last week’s municipal election, the City of Calais is set to welcome the return of Kevin Niles to his post as City Councilor.  Niles, with 441 votes, along with the newly-elected William Quinn, with 373 votes, won their seats over C. Edward Moreside, who had 302 votes. 

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  36. Strikers Urged to Uphold Community Values

    In a country that cherishes the freedom of expression and the protective embrace of labor unions within the workplace, it is indeed disconcerting to bear witness to the recent developments within our local community involving the Woodland mill strikers.

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  37. Results of the Referendum Vote

    84% of the vote reporting

    Question 1: Citizen Initiative

    Do you want to bar some quasi-governmental entities and all consumer-owned electric utilities from taking on more than $1 billion in debt unless they get statewide voter approval?

    Question 1: Yes - (65%-35%)

    Question 2: Citizen Initiative

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  38. Plans Underway for 26th Annual Lioness Christmas Parade

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    The Calais Lioness Club is a powerhouse of community involvement, tirelessly working on various events to raise funds and support those in need within the greater Calais area.  Their most recent focus has been the grand preparation for the 26th Annual Lioness Christmas Parade, a beloved tradition in the town that brings the community together.

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  39. Calais to Celebrate Shop Small, Community Tree Lighting on Nov. 25

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    The City of Calais is gearing up for its second annual Community Tree Lighting event, set to take place on the evening of November 25. Organized by the St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce, this holiday celebration is open to all, inviting residents and visitors to come together and embrace the festive spirit.

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  40. Community Invited to Celebrate at Chamber’s Annual Meeting, Awards Gala

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    Plans are swiftly underway for the most anticipated event of the year in the St. Croix Valley, the St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Awards event.  Mark your calendars for an unforgettable evening set to take place on Friday, November 17, at the Calais Armory.

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  41. U.S. Postal Worker Chris Bernardini Honored for 33 Years of Service

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    Last week, Chris Bernardini, a dedicated U.S. Postal Service worker with a remarkable 33 years of federal service, received well-deserved recognition.  Jim Myers, fellow postal worker, had the honor of presenting Bernardini with a Service Award Certificate on behalf of Assistant District Manager Scott Manier.  

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  42. Sewall Memorial Congregational Church

     

    Bonnie Lyons

    Our new time for church services is 3 p.m. with Pastors Ron and Colin Windhorst and Ann Carter, our organist. 

    The two remaining windows to be repaired are done. We hope to have the four that are done put back in by the winter. All the windows are now repaired with only the three small windows in the entryway left to do.

    We want to thank Jane Eaton for the flowers she brought for the Pastor Day celebration.

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  43. Calais City Council

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    On October 26, 2023, the Calais City Council met for its regular meeting, with Mayor Artie Mingo presiding over Councilors Mike Sherrard, Marcia Rogers, Ellery Beal, and Mark Carr.   Councilors Kevin Niles and James Macdonald were 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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  44. Strong Finish for CHS Athlete at State Cross Country Race

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    Calais High School was charged with excitement last week when students, teachers, and staff gathered to bid best wishes to Bailey O’Rourke, a senior who was headed to the state cross country race in Belfast on November 4.  The pep rally held in her honor was a great display of support and school spirit.

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  45. DECH, CCH to Bring National Speaker to Address Important Topics Affecting Youth

     

    DECH and CCH will bring in a national speaker for the high school students in Washington County. The events will take place November 28 – 30.  

    The event for DECH-area students will be held at the Performing Arts Center at UMM on November 28, the event for the CCH-area students will be held at Calais High School on November 29, and Woodland High School on November 30. All area high schools have been invited, and the hospitals hope they seize this invaluable opportunity.

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