1. Christmas Parade Lights Up Baileyville

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  2. 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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  3. Down East Hospice Volunteers of Washington County Congratulates New Hospice Volunteers

     

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  4. Pandemic Adds Challenges for Local Scouts

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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

     

    Natalie Boomer

    [email protected]

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

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  8. DLLT to Host Annual Christmas Bird Count

     

    Natalie Boomer

    [email protected]

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

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  11. Lioness Christmas Parade Brought Much Needed Holiday Cheer

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  12. Tom, the Office Cat

     

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

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

     

    Natalie Boomer 

    [email protected]

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

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  15. 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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  16. Walgreens Offers Rapid COVID-19 Testing

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  17. Stuff the Bus Returns this Saturday

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  18. 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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  19. Glide through Winter at the New Downtown Skating Rink

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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

     

    Natalie Boomer 

    [email protected]

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

     

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

     

    Natalie Boomer

    [email protected] 

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

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  25. Border Remains Closed for at Least Another Month

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  28. Sign Offers Reminder that Cornerstone American Principles Still Persist

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  29. 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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  30. Local Woman Creates Facebook Group for Virtual Holiday Craft Fair

     

    By Natalie Boomer

    natal[email protected]

    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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  31. Education Program Meeting Needs of Washington County Adults

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  33. 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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  34. Thrift Store Offers Free Coats to Those in Need

     

    Natalie Boomer

    [email protected]

    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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  35. 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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  36. Baileyille’s Christmas Parade Slated for Dec. 5

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  38. Socially Distanced Craft Fair to be Held in Baileyville

     

    By Natalie Boomer

    [email protected]

    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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  39. Guidelines Released for High School Winter Sports Teams

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  40. 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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  41. Veteran Spotlight - Jerald “Butch” Garriott

     

    Standing Guard While the Nation Mourned 

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

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

     

    Jayna Smith

    [email protected]

    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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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