Collectibles business opens in new location in Winthrop

Cindy Gervais, owner of Vintage Collectibles & Indoor Market, recently celebrated the opening of her new shop at 129 Main St. in Winthrop with a ribbon cutting, according to a news release from the Winthrop Lakes Region Chamber.

Chamber Director Barbara Walsh and Kennebec Valley Chamber President Ross Cunningham attended the ceremony, along with several other Winthrop residents.

Gervais moved from her old shop on Main Street so she could expand. She has several antique vendors at her new location and is offering Annie Sloan Chalk paint workshops.

Bangor Savings Bank Foundation announces community grants

A rabbit rescue, a surfing program for children with special needs, a living history farm and museum, and a county firewood bank are among the 2016 grant recipients for the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s Community Matters More program in Bangor.

The ninth annual grant program awards a total of $100,000 to 68 Maine nonprofit organizations chosen by a public ballot voting process. Thousands of Mainers voted during February for 2,897 nonprofits located in every Maine county.

The top vote-getters, including write-ins, in eight regions of the state each receive a $5,000 grant. Forty other organizations listed on the ballot receive a $1,000 grant, and the 20 write-in candidates earning the most votes also win $1,000.

Locally, the 2016 Community Matters More $5,000 grant recipients are the Augusta Food Bank and the Franklin County Children’s Task Force, in Farmington.

The local $1,000 grant recipients are the Aliza Jean Family Cancer Foundation, in Harmony; the Augusta Boys and Girls Club; Friends of L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley; Somerset Woods Trustees, Skowhegan; Waterville Creates! and Wilton Free Public Library. Write-in winners are the Somerset Humane Society, Skowhegan; the Children’s Discovery Museum, Augusta; the Kennebec Valley Humane Society, Augusta; and the Franklin County Animal Shelter, Farmington.

The statewide Community Matters More program is a partnership of the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation, WLBZ-2, WCSH-6, WGAN 560 Newsradio, and Blueberry Broadcasting.

US Cellular donates $15,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Waterville

U.S. Cellular is giving the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Waterville $15,000 for 2016 science, technology, engineering and mathematics programming, according to a news release from the company.

The contribution will help expand the programming of the organization in Kennebec and Somerset counties, which will “help students succeed in school and prepare for future careers,” according to the release. “Together with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, U.S. Cellular is committed to building better communities by championing K-12 science, technology, engineering and math educational programs.”

This is the second year U.S. Cellular will support academic programming at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Waterville and more than 57 additional Club locations this year, with an emphasis on promoting literacy, STEM learning, and career exploration and preparation, the release said.

“It is our mission to enable all youth to realize their full potential and achieve academic success,” said Crista Lavenson, development assistant and volunteer engagement specialist for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Waterville. “With support from U.S. Cellular, we will inspire interest in important STEM subjects that will translate to great futures.”

To enhance academic achievement among youth, U.S. Cellular also engages its employees in ongoing volunteer opportunities, such as mentoring and hands-on learning experiences at local clubs.

School libraries group honors Piscataquis Community Elementary staffer

Charlotte Violette has been chosen for the School Library Support Staff of the Year award, according to the Maine Association of School Libraries.

Violette is the library educational technician at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. The school, located in Guilford, includes classes for pre-kindergarten through grade 6 to residents of School Administrative District 4.

The award is intended to honor educational technicians who have made a significant contribution to their local school library media program and/or have demonstrated commitment to those efforts at the state level. The nomination documents praise Violette’s enthusiasm and ingenuity in the library. When faced with a budgetary challenge, Violette wrote a grant and received $3,000 from author James Patterson to buy books and a scanner for the school library. She is also the school’s assistant technology lead person, and she works closely with teachers in planning library lessons that mirror what is being taught in the classroom as well as providing library materials that support those lessons, according to the association.

Violette was presented her award April 30 at the MASL Symposium.

Loadwick joins Palmer Realty as sales agent

Rick Loadwick, of Mercer, has joined Palmer Realty as its newest sales agent, according to the agency.

Loadwick recently retired from 13 years as office manager for Region 2 for the Maine Department of Transportation. Before that, he owned and managed several retail businesses, gaining years of experience in customer service and helping the public. In Mercer, where he lives with his wife, he has been involved in local government as a selectman, chairman of the Budget Committee and the Planning Board, and founder of the Mercer 911 system.

A-COPI Imaging Systems gives Viles Arboretum copier

A-COPI Imaging Systems, of Gardiner, has donated a Toshiba 453 copy machine to Viles Arboretum in Augusta in support of its educational and conservation work, according to the arboretum.

“As a nonprofit, we watch every penny and we often receive support of the business community,” said Executive Director Mark Des Meules. “They recognize the value we bring to our mid-Maine area and to Maine and this generous support is the very reason we can offer so much to so many.”

The Viles Arboretum offers a changing selection of programs and exhibits for the public and for schools, all focusing on its 224-acre preserve.

Dog treat feast heralds Skowhegan pet supplies store’s debut

Nearly a dozen dogs devoured pieces of a giant, all-natural dog treat April 30 on the sidewalk in front of The Maine Barkery in Skowhegan, officially signifying the grand opening of Skowhegan’s newest pet supplies store, located at 134 Water St.

The peanut-butter-and-jelly flavored dog treat, baked for the occasion by Maine Barkery owner Amanda Clark, was 14 inches wide by 20 inches long. Clark and Main Street Skowhegan Executive Director Kristina Cannon broke the giant treat and handed out pieces to all dogs in attendance.

“It was a fun twist on a ribbon-cutting. I think people really liked it,” Clark said. “I’m opening a fun store. I think it’s perfect.”

The Maine Barkery produces all-natural dog treats from locally sourced ingredients, including oats from Maine Grains, and sells them wholesale to more than a dozen businesses across Maine. The storefront in Skowhegan is the first retail location. In addition to selling dog treats at 134 Water Street, Clark stocks pet toys, dishes, beds, leashes, collars, and shampoo — most of which are eco-friendly or recycled. She also carries high-visibility, tick-repellent dog vests made by Dog Not Gone, another Skowhegan business.

In February, Clark won the 2015-16 Main Street Skowhegan Savings Entrepreneur Challenge, a program intended to strengthen Skowhegan’s economy and spur business development in the region. She was awarded a $20,000 benefits package to help expand her home-based business to a downtown storefront. The package included a $10,000 forgivable loan from Skowhegan Savings Bank and services from nearly a dozen other Skowhegan businesses.

Food truck coming to Skowhegan this summer

Rolling Fatties, a Kingfield restaurant that specializes in burritos made from locally sourced ingredients, plans to make regular appearances in Skowhegan this summer. Owners Polly and Rob MacMichael will sell burritos from their food truck from noon to 2 p.m. Fridays starting May 13 in the lot next to Pocket Park. Pocket Park is on the corner of Madison Avenue and Commercial Street.

Somerset Grist Mill adds equipment to keep up with orders

The Somerset Grist Mill is installing new oat equipment from Germany to help keep up with the increasing pace of orders for Maine Grains.

In addition to expanding its milling capacity, Maine Grains has taken over the former Pickup Cafe with plans to open a new grain-focused restaurant that will showcase Maine Grains products and feature farm-to-table fare, including pizza from a new on-site wood-fired oven.

Plans for later expansion include partnerships with locally owned Crooked Faced Creamery to build a cheese cave, and with Skowhegan-based Bigelow Brewing Co. for a satellite brewery and tasting room.

Franklin Health Farmington Family Practice gets national citation for patient-centered care

The National Committee for Quality Assurance has announced that Franklin Health Farmington Family Practice has received NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term, participative relationships, according to the practice.

The practice received a Level 3 rating, the highest status.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs and can improve patient- and provider-reported experiences of care.

To earn recognition, which is valid for three years, FFP demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home. NCQA standards align with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

Tractor Supply to host gardening event in Waterville

Tractor Supply Co. in Waterville, at 10 JFK Plaza, plans to host Get Growing, a five-day gardening event, May 11-15.

During the main event on Saturday, May 14, the store will feature a “first seed” station where children can plant a seed, take it home and watch it grow.

The Get Growing event also will feature community groups and activities, including Pet Care 101 and Animal Swap, Humane Society Waterville Area, Waterville community members and Primp My Paws.

Agencies hold business summit in Augusta

Several business-related agencies recently organized a business summit titled “Better Together for Small Business Growth: A Conference for Economic Development Officials” in Augusta.

The cooperating agencies were the Small Business Administration, the Maine Development Foundation, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, the Economic Development Council of Maine, and SCORE Maine.

The summit brought together small-business resource providers and economic development officials to increase awareness of resources available to small businesses throughout Maine through case studies and facilitated networking. The event was made possible with support of KeyBank and University Credit Union.

“There are numerous resources available to Maine’s small businesses and to those who may be interested in starting a business in our state. This conference represents an important step in ensuring those resources are well coordinated and as easy to access as possible,” said Marilyn Geroux, of the Small Business Administration, in a news release.

The summit was in part the result of work by a project team of the Psi Class of Leadership Maine, a program of the Maine Development Foundation.

Skowhegan power equipment store attains KIOTI certification

Whittemore & Sons Outdoor Power Equipment, of Skowhegan, has received 5-Paw premier certification from KIOTI Tractor, the tractor company announced Friday.

Whittemore & Sons is one of 51 dealerships in North America to receive the annual honor. The certification is part of the KIOTI 5-Paw Dealer Excellence Program, created to honor dealerships that deliver outstanding overall performance.

Each year KIOTI dealers are evaluated against qualifications in service, sales, operations and parts. Dealers who meet or exceed these qualifications are named KIOTI 5-Paw Dealers. The program was developed to help maintain high tractor sales and service standards.

Compiled from contributed releases