Kennebec Savings Bank expanding to Freeport

Kennebec Savings Bank plans to open an electronic banking and loan center this summer in Freeport, the bank announced in a news release President and CEO Andrew Silsby announced recently.

It’s the bank’s first location outside Kennebec County.

The location, at 181 Lower Main St., will feature the ability to deposit checks electronically, view account history, transfer money and pay bills. It also will be a loan office for both residential and commercial real estate for properties in Freeport and the surrounding area.

Founded in 1870, Kennebec Savings Bank has held all of its loans locally within its portfolio, never having sold a mortgage on the secondary market. All of the bank’s decisions are made locally by Kennebec Savings employees.

The new office is on U.S. Route 1 between the Pet Pantry and Gritty McDuff’s Brew Pub. The building’s interior will be renovated and will provide current and new customers with access to all the services available at Kennebec Savings Bank’s current electronic banking centers, plus full lending capabilities.


In 2006, Kennebec Savings Bank opened its first electronic banking center and became the first bank in the U.S. to put into production image-based “No Envelope” deposit technology with its automated teller machines. Advancement in this technology space has increased steadily, adding more capabilities with each revision.

The bank’s other locations are in Augusta, Farmingdale, Manchester, Waterville and Winthrop.

Augusta attorney McKee reaps three honors

Attorney Walt McKee has received an AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell for 2017 for the sixth year in a row, has been selected for 2017 for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, and has been named as a New England “SuperLawyer,” according to a news release from his Augusta law firm, McKee Law.

McKee’s AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell is earned through a peer review process. Attorneys receive the AV-Preeminent rating when they have demonstrated “the highest level of professional excellence for legal knowledge, communication skills, and ethical standards,” according to the legal directory’s website.

The Best Lawyers in America designation received by McKee also is based on a peer-review evaluation.


McKee also has been named a New England SuperLawyer for 2017. SuperLawyers is a national lawyer rating service that rates the country’s top lawyers for their degree of peer review recognition and professional achievement based on independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.

McKee is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, is a past chairman of the Maine Ethics Commission, and previously served as president of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has been a practicing attorney for over 24 years and is a veteran of over 180 jury trials, according to the release from his firm.

Lake George Regional Park gets Skowhegan Savings grant

Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation recently donated $25,000 to Lake George Regional Park in celebration of the park’s 25th anniversary. The recent donation is a continuation of the bank’s ongoing historical financial support of the park’s mission to maintain year-round access to its lake and trail systems, according to the park foundation.

“We appreciate (the bank’s) generosity and commitment to assist us in providing recreational, educational and social opportunities for the park’s visitors,” said Steve Dionne, president of the Lake George Corp., which maintains the park, according to a news release from the foundation. “This contribution will help us plan for future policy and program development to fulfill our organizations mission.”

The 320-acre park, located partly in Skowhegan and partly in Canaan, hosts an average of 26,000 visitors a year. It has been the site of the annual Somerset Sports & Fitness Sprint Triathlon for the past five years. The annual fall triathlon consists of a quarter-mile swim, a 14.5-mile bicycle ride and a 3.8-mile run. Visitors also enjoy day camps during the summer and local classrooms use for hands-on learning exercises during the school year. Families and local companies use the park for outings year-round. The park relies on fundraising and community support to fund its operations.


Latty appointed Unity College’s chief academic officer

Erika Latty, a forest ecologist who specializes in the effects of introduced tree disease on forest structure, has been appointed Unity College’s new chief academic officer.

Latty has been serving as CAO since mid-April, working double-duty to complete her year-end dean responsibilities and to hire her replacement as dean of the School of Environmental Citizenship, Pieter deHart.

Latty is a professor of botany with years of experience in environmental education — including nearly a decade at the school itself, according to a news release from the college. She holds a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Harvard University.

Some of her most recently published research describes an approach to modeling the spatial distribution of the eastern hemlock throughout Maine. Infestation and outbreak of the hemlock woolly adelgid along the East Coast has led to widespread loss of hemlock and a shift in tree species composition toward hardwood stands, and developing an understanding of the geographic distribution of individual species can inform conservation practices to maintain functional ecosystems.

Before her recent promotion, Latty was the dean of the School of Environmental Citizenship at Unity College from July 2016, and, prior to serving as dean, she was a Unity College center director and faculty leader, teaching classes on introductory biology, systematic botany, environmental plant physiology, agroecology and more. She also managed the Unity College greenhouse and herbarium.


“Dr. Latty has earned the trust and respect of colleagues and students alike. She is a strong voice for the faculty, both within Unity College and out,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, according to the news release from the college.

Before coming to Unity College in 2007, Latty was chairwoman of the Environmental Studies Program and assistant professor in the Biology Department at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, and a research associate at University Wisconsin-Madison.

Gardiner credit union awards scholarships

Gardiner Federal Credit Union’s Scholarship Committee recently announced the winners of $3,000 in scholarships, according to a news release from the credit union.

Six scholarships, in the amount of $500 each, were made available to students who are pursuing post-secondary education or graduate degrees.

To be considered for the scholarships, applicants had to complete an application process and submit two qualifying essays. Applicants do not need to be credit union members, but they must have qualified for membership by living, working, worshiping or attending school in Kennebec County, Lincoln County, or the towns of Palermo or Richmond.

The committee received 81 applications for the six available scholarships. Scholarship winners are Erin Qiu and Rosie Lynn Gaither, Gardiner Area High School; Benjamin Wolf, Maine Academy of Natural Sciences; Paige E. Costa, Maranacook Community High School; Hannah Burns, Erskine Academy; and Kaitlyn Sutter, an Erskine graduate attending the University of Vermont.

Compiled from contributed releases

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