McKee inducted as fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers

Walter McKee of the Augusta law firm McKee Billings was inducted on Feb. 28 as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in the United States.

The college is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada, according to a news release from the law firm. Fellowship in the college is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, and comprises experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality, the release said.

Lawyers must have a minimum of 15 years trial experience before they can be considered for fellowship. Membership in the college is limited to one percent of the lawyers in an individual state. In Maine there are only 15 fellows in the college.

“It is a tremendous honor to be invited to be a fellow of this prestigious national organization” said McKee in the release.

McKee has been practicing law for 22 years and is a veteran of more than175 criminal and civil jury trials. He is a past president of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is chairman of the Maine Ethics Commission and represents clients in criminal defense, personal injury, litigation and professional licensing matters throughout Maine.

Waterville’s Silverstein wins Eco-Excellence award

Waterville resident Stu Silverstein was named a winner of the 2015 Eco-Excellence Award for his advocacy on behalf of single-sort recycling, sponsored by recycling company Ecomaine.

Ecomaine Board of Directors Chairman Jim Gailey said in a news release that Silverstein was instrumental in helping Waterville move to a new recycling program.

Silverstein, an artist, is a founder of Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville.

“As you may know, Waterville embraced single-sort recycling earlier this year, and the change was not without controversy,” Gailey said in the release. Silverstein was “a big part of why Waterville embraced this change.”

“He was on the front lines when Waterville began to consider a move to single sort recycling and pay as you throw,” Gailey said. “He put in countless volunteer hours to help move the city in the direction of these sustainable waste practices and never backed down. Absent his dedication, Waterville might not be diverting more than 50 percent of its waste from the solid waste stream, as the city does today.”

Portland-based Ecomaine is a nonprofit recycling and waste-to-energy operation owned by 20 communities, including Waterville.

Sawyer hired as Augusta Country Club executive chef

The Augusta Country Club in Manchester has hired Brian Sawyer as executive chef, according to a press release from the country club.

Sawyer will oversee all food operations at the club, according to the release.

He is a native of Poland Spring and has been in the culinary business for more than 35 years. A 1977 graduate of South Maine Technical Institute, Sawyer spent more than 33 years at the Senator Inn as executive chef.

“Chef Brian’s experience working with local, seasonal ingredients along with his knowledge of the industry makes him a perfect fit to our team,” ACC General Manager Jason Hurd said in the release.

“We want the Augusta Country Club to be a place members can come to any day of the week,” Hurd said. “It should be a place where you can enjoy good home cooking, hang out with friends and find value in what you’re getting on your plate.”

The Augusta Country Club is a private country club with an 18 Hole Donald Ross golf course.

Down East AIDS Network and Health Equity Alliance to provide central Maine HIV/HCV testing services

The Down East AIDS Network and the Health Equity Alliance has officially announced expansion into Kennebec, Androscoggin, Knox, Waldo, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and Franklin counties.

DEAN+HEAL is a non-profit organization that began in Ellsworth and “has grown dramatically over the course of the last year, starting in July of 2014 with the adoption of the Eastern Maine AIDS Network,” according to a press release from the organization. In that time, it’s grown from a staff of four in two offices to a staff of 10 infour offices, according to the release.

The new Augusta office opened as part of a grant awarded by the Maine Centers for Disease Control: HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis Program, as well as hire Vanessa Macoy as central Maine community outreach coordinator.

“Our agency works to advance health equity and eliminate health disparities affecting some of Maine’s most marginalized communities,” said Kenney Miller, executive director, in the release. “This includes the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community; persons who use drugs; racial and ethnic minorities and others that have a history of disenfranchisement.”

“DEAN’s expansion into central Maine fills a hole left by the collapse of All About Prevention in 2013,” Macoy said in the release. “As part of the award made by the Maine HIV, STD and Viral Hepatitis Program, and in collaboration with Frannie Peabody Center and MaineGeneral’s Harm Reduction program, we are proud to bring community-based HIV and hepatitis C testing back to central Maine.”

One of Macoy’s first acts as central Maine community outreach coordinator was to organize the community around Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10, which included participating Maine Family Planning practices in Lewiston, Farmington, Waterville and Rockland offering free STD and HIV testing.


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