Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel Features news from the Kennebec Journal of Augusta, Maine and Morning Sentinel of Waterville, Maine. Tue, 21 Aug 2018 04:30:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Man wanted for fleeing Maine State Police dies in shootout with New Hampshire officers Tue, 21 Aug 2018 02:51:05 +0000 A man who was wanted on several warrants, including one for fleeing from the Maine State Police, was shot and killed by police officers in Rochester, New Hampshire, on Monday.

News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ TV) reported that New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald confirmed that Douglas Heath, 38, was killed in a police shootout around 3:15 p.m. at the intersection of Oak Street and Route 125 in Rochester.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said Heath was wanted on several outstanding arrest warrants, including one for trafficking narcotics and one for fleeing from Maine State Police.

Contacted Monday night, Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said he was unaware of the case involving Heath and Maine State Police.

News Center Maine said Rochester police obtained “credible information” earlier this month that Heath had been living in Rochester and had three firearms. Information given to police indicated that Heath had no intention of going to jail.

On Monday, Heath was pursued by officers before crashing his vehicle. He got out of the passenger side of the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with officers before he was fatally shot. The Attorney General’s Office said a gun was found near Heath’s body.

]]> 0, 20 Aug 2018 23:04:35 +0000
Police find vehicle suspected of being involved in Westbrook hit-and-run Tue, 21 Aug 2018 01:46:34 +0000 Westbrook police say the motor vehicle that struck a minivan head-on before its driver fled Friday night has been located.

Though the vehicle is being processed for evidence, no one had been charged as of Monday night, according to police.

A brief statement posted Monday on the Westbrook Police Department’s Facebook page said the vehicle was found by Windham police.

“Also, we can report that the victim is Okay and she was treated at the scene. She did not need to go to the hospital,” the Facebook post said.

Westbrook police Capt. Sean Lally said in a separate email that Windham police located the vehicle, which was missing a grille, on Sunday evening after it became disabled along a road. Lally said a tire had fallen off the vehicle.

“The owner gave a statement and we’re still investigating,” Lally said. “There haven’t been any charges filed to date.”

Police did not say Monday what type of vehicle it is.

Westbrook police had called on the public for its help in locating the vehicle, described by witnesses as a blue SUV or pickup truck that suffered extensive damage to its front end. The license plate may have included the letters MEP or WEP.

The vehicle collided head-on with a minivan at the intersection of Main and Bridge streets around 11:25 p.m. Friday before heading in the direction of Portland.

No other details concerning the driver or owner of the vehicle were released Monday night.


]]> 0, 20 Aug 2018 21:56:00 +0000
Deep Oxford 250 field features plenty of favorites Tue, 21 Aug 2018 00:56:00 +0000 OXFORD — As of early last week, the entry list for the 45th annual Clark’s Scrap Metals Oxford 250 had already swollen to 60, and that number is expected to approach 70 by the middle of this week.

The list includes 37 drivers from Maine, 11 from New Hampshire, four from North Carolina, three each from Canada and Massachusetts, and one each from Connecticut and Georgia.

Among the favorites to take home a $25,000-plus payday is Georgia native Bubba Pollard. Considered by many to be one of the top Super Late Model drivers in the country, Pollard is a specialist when it comes to long-distance, high-purse races.

“We’re already getting pretty excited about this year’s race,” Oxford Plains Speedway owner Tom Mayberry said. “The fact that Bubba is coming shows how big this race is to successful guys like him. He’s coming up with the goal of winning, no doubt about it. But he’s just one of several capable of getting it done.”

Mayberry talked about this year’s entries, looking at who’s been hot in recent weeks and who else could be a factor when Sunday night rolls around.

“I know everybody feels that Curtis Gerry is the odds-on favorite, and I know he’ll be tough,” Mayberry said. “He’s a very smart racer. He knows when to push it, when to cool it and seems to save enough in his car for an impressive late charge. He’ll be fast, for sure, but so will a lot of other guys.”

Manchester’s Reid Lanpher could be considered another heavy favorite. The two-time Beech Ridge Motor Speedway champion (2015, 2017) has been on a hot streak in 2018, winning multiple races, including the U.S. Pro Stock Nationals in Seekonk, Massachusetts in July.

Other Pine Tree State drivers to watch include former 250 winner Glen Luce, Scarborough native Garrett Hall, Fort Kent native and 2017 ACRA Racing Series champion Austin Theriault, two-time 250 winner Ben Rowe and his Hall of Fame father Mike, now going for his fourth 250 victory.

“I think it will be tough to pick a winner this year, just because of how deep the talent pool is within that huge entry list,” Mayberry said. “You have DJ Shaw running strong right now, and of course Cassius Clark is hot after winning the Toromont Cat 250 in Canada recently. It’s wide open, really.”

Looking beyond Shaw (Center Conway) in the New Hampshire contingent, you have to consider former 250 winner Joey Polewarczyk Jr. as one of the favorites, as well. The Hudson native won the big show in a Late Model back in 2012 and has become very competitive in a Super Late Model.

Two-time 250 winner Eddie MacDonald is making a big effort to secure his third victory on Sunday.

“Eddie has been at the track testing and worked hard the whole time,” Mayberry said. “They ran laps, made changes, and checked the stopwatch all day long. I know Eddie is pretty serious about going after another 250 win this year, as well.”

Among those making the haul south from Canada is young Cole Butcher, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Butcher won the Parts for Trucks Maritime Pro Stock Tour championship in 2016 and has raced at Oxford a number of times in recent years. Last year, he finished 36th in the 250.

Along with the talent-laden entry list, Mayberry also talked about plans to accommodate the growing number of campers converging on Oxford Plains Speedway in the coming days.

“We’re looking into more spaces to park campers, since so many of our guests choose to arrive early and enjoy the great racing and overall atmosphere that defines the Oxford 250,” he said.

“We like to get them all in and settled early so local fans can get in and parked easily on race day. Putting on the 250 is a ton of work for the staff every year. But on Sunday night, after what I feel is going to be a very exciting race, I think it will have been worth the effort.”

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:56:00 +0000
In Maine, superhighway system was built in stages over decades Tue, 21 Aug 2018 00:51:22 +0000 Maine had one of the first few “superhighways” in the country, but an unbroken four-lane highway extending from New Hampshire to the eastern border of Canada wasn’t finished until fewer than 40 years ago.

The Maine Turnpike Authority was created in 1941 with the goal of creating an unbroken north-south toll road spanning the entire state. Within seven years, the authority built the first 45-mile segment of a four-lane divided highway between Kittery and Portland at a cost of $20 million. The state’s largest construction project at the time, the new road was intended as an alternate north-south travel corridor to traffic-clogged coastal Route 1.

In 1955, eight years after the first segment was completed, the turnpike authority finished a roughly 66-mile extension from Portland to Augusta.

But then politics intervened. Further toll road construction in the U.S. was suspended after President Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced the interstate highway system.

Building the core of the interstate highway system in Maine took the better part of a generation. A four-lane section of highway between Brunswick and Freeport opened in 1957, and another section opened in Bangor the next year.

But it wasn’t until the early 1980s that Maine completed the bulk of the 365-mile interstate system, including the mainline Interstate 95 corridor and shorter sections – I-195 in Saco, I-295 between Portland and Brunswick, and I-395 in Bangor. The widening of Tukey’s Bridge in Portland was the last component of the highway construction, completed in 1990.

Construction generally proceeded from south to north, but the project was complicated by property acquisition, funding and unique building conditions, according to the Maine Department of Transportation. Before the roughly 310-mile mainline between the New Hampshire border in Kittery and Houlton, on the Canadian border, was completed, drivers were forced to use secondary roads because of “significant gaps” in the four-lane divided highway, according to the department.

Today, the turnpike authority continues to maintain and charge for the highway from Kittery to Augusta. The Maine DOT maintains the rest of I-95.

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

]]> 0 jam the southbound lanes of the Maine Turnpike near Wells in 2008, the year when the Great Recession began to affect traffic volume.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:31:15 +0000
Europe in throes of deadly measles outbreak Tue, 21 Aug 2018 00:38:25 +0000 More than 41,000 cases have been reported in the region during the first half of this year.

BERLIN — The World Health Organization says the number of measles cases in Europe jumped sharply during the first six months of 2018 and at least 37 people have died.

The U.N. agency’s European office said Monday more than 41,000 measles cases were reported in the region during the first half of the year – more than in all 12-month periods so far this decade.

The previous highest annual total was 23,927 cases in 2017. A year earlier, only 5,273 cases were reported.

The agency said half – some 23,000 cases – this year occurred in Ukraine, where an insurgency backed by Russia has been fighting the government for four years in the east in a conflict that has killed over 10,000 people.

France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Russia and Serbia also had more than 1,000 measles infections so far this year.

Measles, among the world’s most contagious diseases, is a virus that’s spread in the air through coughing or sneezing. It can be prevented with a vaccine that’s been in use since the 1960s, but health officials say vaccination rates of at least 95 percent are needed to prevent epidemics.

Vaccine skepticism remains high in many parts of Europe after past immunization problems.

Measles typically begins with a high fever and also causes a rash on the face and neck. While most people who get it recover, measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children, according to the WHO.

Italy has introduced a new law requiring parents to vaccinate their children against measles and nine other childhood diseases.

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:38:25 +0000
After 60 years, project near Pennsylvania border fills final gap in 1,900 miles of I-95 Tue, 21 Aug 2018 00:38:23 +0000 Across the U.S., public infrastructure is crumbling because of legislative gridlock and chronic underfunding. Roads are overcrowded, bridges are well past their expiration date and transit systems regularly face unprecedented delays. But there will be one thing to celebrate as you seethe in beach traffic next weekend – a small, strange gap in Interstate 95 is being filled.

Come September, one of the most audacious public infrastructure projects in U.S. history will be completed after more than six decades of work. I-95 was the crown jewel of the American highway system championed by President Dwight Eisenhower, and yet the plan for an artery stretching the length of the East Coast almost didn’t happen – because of local lawmakers and landowners in Mercer County, New Jersey.

Near the Pennsylvania border, drivers have long been forced off the interstate and onto other roads, only to rejoin the interstate 8 miles later. Transportation officials and civil engineers spent more than two decades and $425 million to eliminate this detour off I-95, the most-traveled highway in America, spanning 1,900 miles from Miami to Maine.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which oversees the I-95 Interchange Project, said the new infrastructure – which includes the creation of flyover ramps, toll plaza facilities, environmental mitigation sites, intersections, six new overhead bridges, widened highways and new connections to the New Jersey and Pennsylvania turnpikes – will be open to the public by Sept. 24.

“The benefit of completing this ‘missing link’ is mobility,” said Carl DeFebo, director of public relations at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

The new infrastructure will reduce traffic time for northbound and southbound travelers and ease congestion on local roads that used to connect I-95 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.


I-95 is the last infrastructure project financed by Eisenhower’s 1956 National Interstate and Defense Highways Act. The legislation authorized $25 billion – roughly $230 billion in 2018 dollars – for the construction of 40,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System. At the time, the act marked the largest public works project in American history.

Today, I-95 is host to more than one-fifth of the nation’s road miles and serves 110 million people in the most densely populated region in the country. The road is the main thoroughfare for national economic activity, facilitating 40 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to the I-95 Corridor Coalition.

So why did it take six decades to complete the last – and most important – highway in the country? Local opposition to development that would follow the roadway through rural New Jersey.

“Ultimately it is a state decision to advance an interstate project,” said Brandye Hendrickson, deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

“There’s a natural disincentive for local governments to be a leader in long-distance infrastructure,” said Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. “They have their own fiscal challenges and need to be judicious with what they spend their money on. So local authorities can create tensions with entire states.”

Frustrated with such regional intransigence, Congress passed the Surface Transportation Assistance Act in 1982. Rather than construct part of I-95 in Mercer County, the act mandated the completion of the interstate using existing state turnpikes.

Thirty-six years later, the “missing link” is a month from opening. New connections will finally allow for a seamless highway through 15 states, and portions of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania turnpikes will be redesignated.

Public policy and infrastructure experts, however, see this small victory as a dangerous distraction from the calamitous condition of the nation’s infrastructure as a whole. Because of decades of political unwillingness to pay for necessary upkeep, it’s estimated that spending on infrastructure from 2016 to 2025 is $2 trillion short of what’s needed, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.


And even in central New Jersey, the completed highway won’t solve bigger problems. While the Interchange Project will temporarily clear up local roads, it won’t remedy long-term congestion. The I-95 Corridor Coalition estimates the number of vehicles on I-95 will increase 85 percent by 2035. Transportation officials don’t have a solution for that yet.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has tapped the private sector to pay for repairs to America’s roads and bridges. The White House’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 calls for $1 trillion of investment in infrastructure over the next decade, with $200 billion in direct federal spending and at least $800 billion in spending by states, municipalities and private entities. However, President Trump has yet to outline details for the plan, and the administration has said action on a bill isn’t likely this year.

New Jersey in particular faces a number of transportation challenges, because of a lack of state funding (elected officials have long been reluctant to raise the gas tax, typically used to fund road projects) and Trump’s refusal to help fund a critical link to the Northeast.


The Lincoln Tunnel, which brings 200,000 passengers by car and bus from New Jersey to New York each day, is in a decrepit state, as are the highways that lead to it. NJ Transit’s commuter-rail system is struggling to compensate for crowding, delays, faulty technology and a lack of engineers. Roughly 42 percent of New Jersey’s roads remain deficient, costing each state driver an estimated $1,951 annually in lost time, according to a 2016 report from the American Association of Civil Engineers.

Most dangerously, the proposed $11 billion Gateway rail tunnel under the Hudson River, meant to relieve century-old passages severely damaged in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy, is still in question because of Trump’s opposition to funding promised by the Obama administration (an earlier tunnel project was killed by then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican).

A shutdown or collapse would do severe damage to the regional and national economy. Unfortunately, Tomer said, completing I-95 won’t stop that.

“As much as this interstate can offer a glimmer of positive news, New Jersey needs to grapple with some very real questions in the coming decade,” he said.

]]> 0 travels along Interstate 95 in Scarborough in July 2015. In Maine, I-95 stretches about 310 miles from the New Hampshire border to the Canadian border near Houlton and includes the roughly 110-mile Maine Turnpike.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:26:13 +0000
Frustration sweepsVenezuela as Maduro unveils new currency Tue, 21 Aug 2018 00:19:59 +0000 CARACAS, Venezuela — Saul Jimenez just wanted to buy bread from his neighborhood bakery in Venezuela’s capital Monday. It did not go well.

Banks and most other businesses were closed for the day as Venezuela launched a series of dramatic economic reforms, beginning with the release of a currency with five fewer zeros in a bid to tame soaring inflation.

Rampant inflation means it would take a fistful of bills to pay for a loaf of bread, so many Venezuelans like Jimenez rely on bank cards.

But with banks closed to reset their systems for the change, Jimenez’s cards wouldn’t work – in a scene that played out across Caracas.

“It wasn’t just mine. Others’ didn’t work either,” said the attorney, who left the bakery empty-handed and frustrated. “Neither the debit card nor the credit card.”

The currency conversion is among the less controversial parts of President Nicolas Maduro’s economic plan. He’ll next raise the minimum wage by more than 3,000 percent and increase gasoline prices – now less than a penny to fill up – to international levels.

Critics say the package of measures will only make the economic crisis worse.

Opposition leaders are seizing on tension among residents, calling for a nationwide strike and protest Tuesday. They hope to draw masses into the streets against Maduro’s socialist ruling party – something they’ve failed to do in over a year.

The closed banks spent Monday preparing to release the new currency: the “sovereign bolivar.” Maduro’s government says it will raise gasoline prices in late September to curtail rampant smuggling across borders. The dramatically higher minimum wage will go into effect starting Sept. 1.

Economists say the package of measures is likely to accelerate hyperinflation rather than address its core economic troubles, like oil production plunging to levels last seen in 1947.

As Maduro declared Monday a national holiday, Caracas was quiet with most store fronts closed for business.

Other banking activities shut down for about 12 hours to allow for a transition to the new currency. Most banks Monday reactivated their online services and ATMs, but some customers complained of troubles.

The impact of the currency conversion won’t be known until Tuesday.

]]> 0 man falls asleep while sitting on a bench Monday in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuelans are bracing for dramatic economic measures the government has announced, including a more-than-3,000 percent hike in the minimum wage. The changes start to take effect Monday with introduction of a new currency that lops five zeros off the country's fast-depreciating bills.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:19:59 +0000
Bull market now longest in history Tue, 21 Aug 2018 00:00:01 +0000 NEW YORK — The bull market in U.S. stocks just became the longest in history.

As of the market’s close Wednesday, the bull market that began in March 2009 has lasted nine years, five months and 13 days, a record that few would have predicted when the market struggled to find its footing after a 50 percent plunge during the financial crisis.

The long rally has added trillions of dollars to household wealth, helping the economy, and stands as a testament to the ability of large U.S. companies to squeeze out profits in tough times and confidence among investors as they shrugged off repeated crises and kept buying.

“There was no manic trading, there was no panic buying or selling,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Cresset Wealth Advisors. “It’s been pretty steady.”

The question now is when the rally will end. The Federal Reserve is undoing many of the stimulative measures that supported the market, including keeping interest rates near zero. There are also mounting threats to global trade that have unsettled investors.

For such an enduring bull market, it shares little of the hallmarks of prior rallies.

Unlike earlier rallies, individual investors have largely sat out after getting burned by two crashes in less than a decade. Trading has been lackluster, with few shares exchanging hands each day. Private companies have shown little enthusiasm, too, with fewer selling stock in initial public offerings than in previous bull runs.

Yet this bull market has been remarkably resilient. After several blows that might have killed off a less robust rally – fears of a eurozone collapse, plunging oil prices, a U.S. credit downgrade, President Trump’s trade fights – investors soon returned to buying, avoiding a 20 percent drop in stocks that by common definition marks the end of bull markets.

“I don’t think anyone could have predicted the length and strength of this bull market,” said David Lebovitz, a global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

One of the market’s biggest winners in recent years, Facebook, wasn’t even publicly traded when the bull market began. Facebook’s huge run-up of more than 350 percent since going public in 2012, Apple’s steady march to $1 trillion in value, and huge gains by other tech companies like Netflix have helped push the broader market higher.

Since the rally officially began on March 9, 2009, the Standard and Poor’s 500 has risen 321 percent. In the 1990s bull market, the current record holder for the longest, stocks rose 417 percent.

From the start, the Federal Reserve was a big force pushing markets higher. It slashed short-term borrowing rates to zero, then began buying trillions of dollars of bonds to push longer-term rates down, too. Investors frustrated with tiny interest payments on bonds felt they had no alternative but to pile into stocks.

Companies moved fast to adapt to the post-financial-crisis world of sluggish U.S. growth.

They slashed costs and kept wage growth low, squeezing profits out of barely growing sales. They bought back huge amounts of their own stock and expanded their sales overseas, particularly to China’s booming economy. Profit margins reached record levels, as wages sank to record lows as measured against the size of the economy.

“What people missed was how quickly U.S. corporations were restructuring and right-sizing themselves to regain profitability,” said money manager James Abate, who publicly urged investors to start buying stocks in early 2009 when most were dumping them. “It was really a catalyst for turning things around.”

China’s surging growth helped the market, too. Its boom drove up the price of oil and other commodities, helping to lift stocks of U.S. natural resource companies – for a while at least.

Then came a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating in August 2011, which caused stocks to swoon, and 2013 brought another fall as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke talked of easing off stimulus policies. In the second half of 2014, oil plunged 50 percent, which rattled investors again.

Profits started falling the next year, but investors kept their nerve and didn’t sell and waited for profits to rise again. In 2016, stocks gained 10 percent, then jumped 19 percent the next year. Since the start of 2018, they have risen 6.6 percent, boosted by surging profits following the massive cut in corporate tax rates earlier this year.

Several dangers threaten the rally. The Fed has hiked its benchmark lending rate twice since January, and is expected raise it twice more by the end of the year.

Stocks could suffer as higher interest on bonds convinces investors to start shifting money into this safer alternative. Higher rates also increase costs for businesses and make expanding operations more difficult.

More worrisome, rising rates can trigger recessions, which often kill bull markets.

]]> 0 trader works at the New York Stock Exchange in January.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:00:01 +0000
Between scheme adjustments and playing style changes, new coaches look to make their mark Mon, 20 Aug 2018 23:54:48 +0000 SOUTH CHINA — Mike Falla knows he’s got some work ahead of him. The new Erskine Academy girls soccer coach also knows that it’s not nearly as much work as he could be saddled with elsewhere.

“It’s a great program,” said Falla, who will be taking over an Eagles team that went 9-3-3 last year and made the Class B North playoffs. “I’m inheriting a turn-key program. The program wasn’t in trouble when I inherited it, it’s always been successful.”

Falla’s challenge will be guiding the Eagles back to those heights — and, he hopes, beyond — as one of the coaches taking over teams this season. There are new coaches in multiple sports this fall, including Nickolas Shuckrow with Winslow cross country and John Baehr with Winthrop boys soccer, but nowhere was there more turnover than in girls soccer. While Falla takes over at Erskine, Kasey Larsen takes over at Lawrence, Chris DelGiudice is the new coach at Messalonskee, Lucas Jewett is in his first year at Nokomis and Mark Carey takes the reins at Winthrop.

There’s always an element of the unknown that comes with taking over a team, but many of the new bosses said the early going has been an easy go of it.

“There’s always a challenge of everybody’s used to the old way, and it might not be the same,” DelGiudice said. “Fortunately, they’ve been really responsive and positive with all of it, so that helps a lot.”

“It’s been a smooth transition,” said Baehr, who also coaches Winthrop’s JV boys basketball team. “Even (for) the kids that have never played basketball, they know who I am but have never been coached by me, it’s been smooth and they’ve adjusted very well.”

Still, the new coaches are eager to leave their imprint. For Falla, that centers around instilling a more balanced mentality. With star players Kayla Hubbard and Lauren Wood no longer around to lead the offense, the team will need the whole team to step up and handle the scoring load.

“This is a chance for a lot of the players (to emerge from) the shadow that a lot of (them) have been playing in for four years with the players they had,” he said. “It’s a chance for all of these players to come to the front, and I think that’s where the excitement is coming from.

“The play isn’t going to be going through two or three central players all the time. … The creativity’s going to have to come from themselves or the team. It’s going to work out really well, I think. Clean slate coach, clean slate playing style.”

Meanwhile, at Messalonskee, DelGiudice is looking to make an adjustment as well. The Eagles reached the A North quarterfinals last year, and their new coach said a way to have them go even further will be by making the whole team practice together, rather than having varsity and JV players work separately, to ensure the entire roster improves.

“I’m really trying to get the whole idea of JV-varsity out of their heads, and am looking to make it into ‘It’s all one team,’ ” he said. “If I only have my top players play against each other, they’re the only ones that are building. If I have some of my weaker players play against my top players, it forces them to bring their game up and everybody gets better together.”

DelGiudice also said he’ll be changing Messalonskee’s formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2, which he admitted could be a tricky transition.

“That’s kind of the biggest change,” he said. “For the most part, the style’s going to stay. They’re going to have to pass and move. … I like to push the offense, I like to get numbers up. But it’s a lot of patience. We’ll play quick, try to go up the field, but also be very calm and collected with the ball.”

The Winthrop girls will be looking to make the Class C playoff field after missing with a 6-8 record last year, and their new coach is confident he can get them there. Carey moved back to Winthrop from San Diego, where he guided Point Loma High School to the playoffs in 11 of 12 seasons, and he said he’s confident that his coaching style, which relies more on passing to move the ball than on dribbling, will translate from one coast to the other.

“It’s a passing game for the most part because as soon as you dribble, you’re drawing people to you,” he said. “These girls are very smart and very eager to learn.”

As the players’ grasp of Carey’s system has improved, their confidence has as well.

“Our pre-game huddle is 1-2-3, playoffs.’ We started that this summer and they didn’t like the idea, they were very quiet about it,” Carey said. “Now they’re on fire and they yell it, because that’s basically where we’re headed. We want to make the playoffs. I think I have them convinced, between my assistant coach and myself and their parents and their ability to want to learn, I think we’re headed in that direction.”

Change is also the story on the boys side at Winthrop, where Baehr, who played soccer in Germany for four years growing up and then for three years at Gardiner, is going into his first head coaching job.

“It’s not going to be like basketball, that’s for darn sure,” he said, laughing. “The biggest thing that I want them to get better at is possessions, possession soccer. … If you possess the ball and make a run through, the odds are with you and not against you.”

Baehr scheduled six summer practices just to help himself get familiar with his players, and with the job. He’s the new guy, and he’s embracing it.

“For me, it’s just learning to coach a game,” he said. “Practices are practices, they know what to expect from practices. For me, it’ll be a challenge to hopefully get better every game.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

]]> 0 Falla, center, new head coach of the Erskine Academy girls soccer team, talks to his players during practice last week in South China.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 19:54:48 +0000
Connecticut man on trial for murder in Maine Mon, 20 Aug 2018 23:50:20 +0000 BANGOR — A defense lawyer says a Connecticut man was acting in self-defense when a man was shot to death in Bangor in April 2017.

Antoinne “Prince” Bethea of New Haven, whose trial began Monday, is charged with murder in the death of a New Orleans man, Terrance Durel Sr., who was shot outside a home that Bethea shared with Durel’s estranged girlfriend.

The Bangor Daily News reported that Assistant Attorney Donald Macomber told jurors Monday that Bethea didn’t summon help but instead shaved his dreadlocks, ditched the gun and fled the state.

Defense attorney Hunter Tzovarras said Bethea was defending himself and his girlfriend. He said Bethea fled because he panicked.

Last week, Bethea rejected a deal calling for him to plead guilty to manslaughter. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:02:20 +0000
Report: Wilton woman tells state investigator she started fire at Farmington house Mon, 20 Aug 2018 23:03:19 +0000 FARMINGTON — A Wilton woman told a state fire investigator that she set trash on fire on a bed at her boyfriend’s house at 732 Industry Road on Aug. 6, according to an affidavit filed with a court.

Angie E. Clark, 38, and her boyfriend, Robert Nadeau, 47, of Farmington, had an argument before he left the house to spend the night with friends Aug. 6, according to state investigator Jeremy Damren’s affidavit.

Damren interviewed Clark on Aug. 7. She said she started the fire and gave him a lighter that was used to start it, according to the document.

Damren wrote that he took Clark to a Farmington hospital for an evaluation.

She was arrested after her release Friday on felony charges of arson and aggravated criminal mischief. A conviction on the arson charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison; a conviction for aggravated criminal mischief carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

Clark appeared before Judge Tammy Ham-Thompson on Monday via a tele-video conference from the Franklin County Detention Center to a Farmington court.

Defense attorney Heidi Pushard and state Assistant District Attorney Kayla Palestini agreed to personal recognizance with a supervised release agreement. She is forbidden to have contact with Nadeau and a witness.

Pushard said Clark has no criminal record.

Ham-Thompson appointed attorney Jeffrey Wilson in South Paris to represent Clark.

According to Damren’s affidavit, Nadeau received a text from a person who was staying in a camper on the property before the fire that notified him Clark had left the house, according to Damren’s affidavit. The person texted Nadeau again that she was back and left again. A few minutes later the person notified Nadeau his house was on fire.

The last text message Nadeau received from Clark on Aug. 6 was at 9:28 p.m. It read, ‘You are going to have nothing just like me,’ according to Damren.

The fire was reported 2 minutes later.

Nadeau told Damren that he owns the house with his mother, Pamela Love. Farmington tax records has Love owning the property, which is valued at $34,000 for both land and building.

There was no insurance on the property, Farmington Fire Rescue Chief Terry Bell said previously.

]]> 0 engulf a home at 732 Industry Road in Farmington on Aug. 6. Angie Clark, 38, of Wilton, was arrested Friday on charges of arson and aggravated criminal mischief.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 19:10:04 +0000
Mold cleanup in SMCC’s largest dorm to displace 320 students as semester starts Mon, 20 Aug 2018 22:17:48 +0000

An SMCC official said the mold at Spring Point Residence Hall was caused by a faulty HVAC system that couldn’t keep up with recent hot and humid weather. A sign on the door Monday said the housing office had temporarily moved out.

SOUTH PORTLAND — The largest and newest dormitory at Southern Maine Community College will remain closed well into September, displacing 320 students as school officials address a sudden mold infestation at the start of the fall semester.

Mold stains ceiling tiles Monday in the third-floor hallway at Spring Point Residence Hall. Mold also was found on walls and furniture throughout the four-story dorm at SMCC.

SMCC closed Spring Point Residence Hall on Sunday to allow mold remediation specialists to assess the building and test mold that appeared this summer on ceiling tiles, walls and furniture throughout the four-story dorm. The college made other housing arrangements for the roughly 60 students already staying at the dorm.

Spring Point hall will be closed for three to four weeks while workers from Servpro, a fire and water cleanup company, remove all mold from the 10-year-old building, SMCC President Joseph Cassidy said Monday. The work is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

The 260 students expected to arrive Friday for “move-in day” – three days before classes startnext Monday – will be housed in local hotels on bus routes leading to SMCC until the residence hall reopens.

Cassidy said students won’t be allowed to return to Spring Point hall until all mold is remediated, a malfunctioning ventilation system is repaired and independent testing ensures that the building is 100 percent safe.

“Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students,” Cassidy said. “While the closure of Spring Point hall will create some inconvenience, the residence hall will be completely environmentally safe upon their return. We are offering all our support to the affected students to ensure their success at SMCC.”

All affected students will be contacted directly to make housing arrangements, Cassidy said in a written statement. No cost estimate for the cleanup, alternative student housing and other expenses was available Monday.

A small group of students gathered outside the Campus Center building Monday evening to bring attention to what they say has been a lack of communication between school officials and students affected by the mold issue. The protest, which drew four people, was organized on Facebook by Olivia Treadwell, a sophomore at SMCC.

A small group protested at SMCC on Monday evening because of mold that shut down a dormitory at the college. Left to right are student Olivia Treadwell, community member Wendy Chapkis, and students Brianna Leach and Lauryn O’Connor.

Treadwell said she wants SMCC to pay for laundry services to remove mold from clothing, for doctor checkups and medical expenses, and for summer housing reimbursement. Treadwell had moved into Spring Point hall two weeks ago.

Another sophomore at the protest, Lauryn O’Connor, held a sign that read, “We deserve safety, transparency, communication, honesty now.”

Treadwell said the media found out about the mold issue before students were informed, an allegation that college officials deny.

“I want to know more. I want my questions answered,” Treadwell said. “They are not talking to us directly.”

Cassidy said the mold was first reported last week and was caused by a faulty heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system that couldn’t keep up with recent hot and humid weather. The resulting condensation allowed mold to form on the building’s ceiling tiles and elsewhere.

Testing revealed several types of mold inside the building, but only nominal, non-threatening levels of so-called “black mold” were found, he said. Other types of mold that were black in color were detected, but they were not the same type of mold that people associate with “black mold,” he said.

The roughly 60 student athletes and summer work-study students who were forced to move out of Spring Point hall on Sunday are staying in the 147-bed Surfsite Residence Hall, the college’s only other dorm, built in 1970.

Although Cassidy said the mold problem was reported last week, some students said college staff knew about it two weeks ago and waited too long to take action.

“The whole situation is beyond annoying,” said Mackenzie Gonzalez, a third-year early childhood education student who works part time in the financial aid office. “What gets me is they’ve known about this problem for a few weeks and they’re just starting to deal with it.”

Gonzalez said a friend who worked in the facilities department posted a photo of moldy ceiling tiles on Snapchat in late July or early August. Most Snapchat posts are automatically deleted after 24 hours.

Gonzalez has lived in Spring Point hall for two years. She moved into Surfsite for the summer because Spring Point hosts athletic and professional training camps in July and August, she said.

Gonzalez had just moved back to Spring Point for the fall semester when college officials informed her Saturday that she would have to return to Surfsite on Sunday between 10 a.m. and noon because of the mold problem.

Gonzalez said she received an email from the college Sunday night that said students likely wouldn’t be allowed to move back into Spring Point hall before classes start.

Three students living at the dorm complained of physical reactions after the administration told them of the mold problem, Cassidy said.

Indoor exposure to mold has been linked to upper respiratory tract symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing, and a stuffy nose, and red or itchy eyes or skin in healthy people, and can exacerbate symptoms in people with asthma, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions, such as fever and shortness of breath.

Mold can be removed from hard surfaces by cleaning with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution. Absorbent or porous materials like ceiling tiles, drywall and carpet usually have to be removed and thrown away, the CDC says.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

Twitter: KelleyBouchard

]]> 0 SMCC official said the mold at Spring Point Residence Hall was caused by a faulty HVAC system that couldn't keep up with recent hot and humid weather. A sign on the door Monday said the housing office had temporarily moved out.Tue, 21 Aug 2018 00:30:52 +0000
Lucky Dog brewery, distillery, tasting room coming to Kennebunkport area Mon, 20 Aug 2018 22:13:59 +0000 A trio of Kennebunkport-area businessmen are launching a beverage and farm venture under the Lucky Dog brand that will donate a percentage of its proceeds to animal shelters in Maine.

Lucky Dog includes a hybrid brewery/distillery in Biddeford, a farm and orchard in Kennebunkport, and a tasting room at the former Tia’s Topside at 12 Western Ave. in Kennebunk. The partners in the project are Tim Harrington, a co-founder and creative director of the Kennebunkport Resort Collection; Kevin Lord, owner of Thomas & Lord Custom Builders; and Matt Dyer, a former beverage director of Earth at Hidden Pond.

The name of the business is inspired by Dyer’s bulldog, Rigby.

Lucky Dog’s partners planted the seed for their new business in 2014 by growing hops and lavender on their farm and orchard. Those ingredients are now being used to make their first spirits and ales. Dyer is the lead distiller, and Wade Benker-Ritchey is the head brewer.

Lucky Dog will officially open after renovations are complete at the tasting room, most likely in late September. The owners plan to sell their products in the tasting room and at local restaurants and bars.

]]> 0 name of the new Lucky Dog venture in Kennebunk-Kennebunkport was inspired by Matt Dyer's bulldog, Rigby.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:32:53 +0000
Former co-owner of Zapoteca pleads guilty, pays restitution for bad checks Mon, 20 Aug 2018 22:07:52 +0000

Thomas Bard, who owned the Zapoteca restaurant in Portland with his wife, Shannon Bard, pleaded guilty Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court to a misdemeanor charge of negotiating a worthless instrument.

A former Portland restaurateur who was accused of writing bad checks pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge Monday.

Shannon Bard

The hearing marked the end of the criminal case against Thomas Bard, who once owned Zapoteca on Fore Street with his wife, well-known Maine chef Shannon Bard. She was also charged, but court documents show her case is likely to be dismissed this fall.

A Cumberland County grand jury indicted the pair in March. Thomas Bard was charged with writing 21 bad checks worth $10,376 between March and June 2017. Shannon Bard, who appeared on Food Network shows and wrote cookbooks, was charged with writing $8,882 in bad checks during the same time. All of the checks were written to Bow Street Distributing, a Freeport company that sells liquor to restaurants and operates retail stores.

The original charges were felonies, but Thomas Bard pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor count of negotiating a worthless instrument. He spoke only to answer the judge during the brief hearing at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland. When it ended, he shook his attorney’s hand and quickly left the courthouse alone.

Just before the hearing Monday, Thomas Bard paid more than $10,500 in restitution, which included bank fees Bow Street incurred when the checks bounced. He will also pay a $1,000 fine, and he served 48 hours in jail this month. He and his attorney, Randall Bates, agreed to a bail revocation that would have him serve his sentence before the plea hearing to avoid any effect on his employment in Massachusetts.

Both Thomas Bard and his lawyer declined to comment Monday. Messages left at Bow Street Distributing and Bow Street Market in Freeport were not returned Monday.

Shannon Bard was not at Monday’s hearing. Court documents show she will not have to pay restitution. Her charges will remain on file for three months, and if she does nothing wrong during that time, they will be dismissed. She also will pay court costs of $200 and perform 15 hours of community service.

Stephen Schwartz, her attorney, said she “did nothing wrong.”

“The record speaks for itself,” Schwartz said. “Shannon Bard did not plead guilty to anything, and her case is being dismissed.”

Shannon Bard had made a name for herself on chef competition shows, and she hosted a dinner at the James Beard House in New York City, a high honor.

But the Bards closed Zapoteca abruptly in June, saying they wanted to spend more time with their family. Soon thereafter, they also closed their restaurant in Kennebunk, called Toroso. But the couple and their business were facing at least a dozen lawsuits from former vendors and employees who claimed they were owed thousands of dollars in unpaid bills. It is not clear whether all of those cases have been resolved.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy contributed to this report.

Megan Doyle can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

Twitter: megan_e_doyle

]]> 0 Bard, who owned the Zapoteca restaurant in Portland with his wife, Shannon Bard, pleaded guilty Monday in Cumberland County Superior Court to a misdemeanor charge of negotiating a worthless instrument.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 23:35:08 +0000
Brief reunions bring tears for separated Korean War families Mon, 20 Aug 2018 22:07:47 +0000 SEOUL, South Korea — The 92-year-old South Korean woman wept and stroked the wrinkled cheeks of her 71-year-old North Korean son Monday, their first meeting since they were driven apart during the turmoil of the 1950-53 Korean War.

“How many children do you have? Do you have a son?” Lee Keum-seom asked her son Ri Sang Chol during their long-awaited encounter at the North’s Diamond Mountain resort.

The emotional reunion came after dozens of elderly South Koreans crossed the heavily fortified border into North Korea to meet temporarily with their relatives. The weeklong event, the first of its kind in nearly three years, was arranged as the rival Koreas boost reconciliation efforts amid a diplomatic push to resolve a standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Hugging the woman he’d last seen when he was 4, Ri showed his mother a photo of her late husband, who had stayed behind in North Korea with him after being separated from his wife while fleeing south. “Mother, this is how my father looked,” Ri said.

Before leaving for North Korea, Lee said she wanted to ask her son “how he grew up without his mom and how his father raised him.”

Most of the participants in the reunions are in their 70s or older and are eager to see their loved ones once more before they die. Most have had no word on whether their relatives are still alive because they are not allowed to visit each other across the border or even exchange letters, phone calls or email.

About 90 elderly South Koreans, accompanied by their family members, will have three days of meetings with their North Korean relatives before returning to the South on Wednesday. A separate round of reunions from Friday to Sunday will involve more than 300 other South Koreans, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry.

During Monday’s meeting, many elderly Koreans held each other’s hands and wiped away tears with handkerchiefs while asking how their relatives had lived. They showed photos of family members who couldn’t come to their meetings.

Han Shin-ja, a 99-year-old South Korean woman, was at a loss for words after she reunited with her two North Korean daughters, both in their early 70s. Not knowing their separation would be permanent, she left them behind in the North during the war while fleeing south with her third and youngest daughter.

She could only say “Ah” and “When I fled …” before choking up with tears.

Kim Sun Ok, an 81-year-old North Korean woman, said she found that she and her 88-year-old brother from South Korea resembled each other a great deal. “Brother, it would be really good if Korean unification comes. Let’s live together even at least one minute after unification before we die,” the woman said tearfully.

Before this week’s reunions, nearly 20,000 people had participated in 20 rounds of face-to-face reunions since 2000. Another 3,700 exchanged video messages with their North Korean relatives. None have had a second chance to see or talk with their relatives.

]]> 0 Korean Lee Keum-seom, 92, hugs her North Korean son Ri Sang Chol, 71, during the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at the Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:07:47 +0000
Panic turns to tragedy as swimmers get caught in riptides in New Hampshire Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:53:22 +0000 SEABROOK, N.H. – One moment, Matt Tomaszewski was enjoying a sunny day at the beach with his family. The next, he was running to the ocean with his paddleboard to try to save the lives of six swimmers caught in a rip current.

He was among numerous good Samaritans and others who sprang into action Sunday at New Hampshire’s Seabrook Beach. Police and fire rescuers were called. One officer shed his uniform, jumped in and helped swimmers to shore; he returned later with a surfboard to search for another. Lifeguards at a nearby beach swarmed in on Jet Skis and with a rescue boat.

Matt Tomaszewski and his 17-month-old daughter, Chloe. Tomaszewski’s family was visiting his parents in New Hampshire when he dashed into the water to save people caught in a riptide.

Four swimmers and a good Samaritan who also got caught in the current were pulled to safety, but a married couple died.

Tomaszewski, a 29-year-old former basketball player for Syracuse University, managed to help two people grab his board. He also tried to rescue a third person who appeared to be unconscious.

He “helped to get his head out of the water and tried to put as much of his torso on the paddleboard as I could while the other two were just holding on,” Tomaszewski said.

But then, a wave pushed the man away, and he lost sight of him. He gave his board to the other two swimmers who headed to shore as he went in search of the third swimmer.

“I learned afterwards that the people I helped have three daughters, and I’m a father myself, so when I was running out there, I was thinking about saving as many people as I can. And on my way back in, it was all thinking about my family,” Tomaszewski, of Boston, told WCVB-TV.

A husband and wife, 49-year-old Michael Cote and 47-year-old Laura Cote, of Methuen, Massachusetts, were pulled unconscious from the water and died, police said.

“They were so involved in every spiritual and other undertaking in this parish that many of us are in deep mourning,” the Rev. Sean Maher, of St. Francis Parish in Dracut, Massachusetts, posted on Facebook. A service for them was planned Monday night.

Fred Marion and his wife attended church with the Cotes. They vacationed with them in the mountains of New Hampshire and traveled together to Washington, D.C., and Rome.

“Certainly them being friends, it’s stunning that this happened,” Fred Marion said. “We are in shock, as anyone would be.”

The five people who were rescued were unscathed.

Rip currents, sometimes referred to as riptides, are narrow channels of water that move as fast as 8 feet a second and occur at any beach with breaking waves. They move away from the shore. Anyone caught in them is advised to swim parallel to shore to escape their pull.

There were signs on the beach warning swimmers that no lifeguards were on duty, but not about the potential for a rip current, Seabrook Town Manager William Manzi III said.

It was the first one he could remember since becoming town manager five years ago. Alerts on the rough currents and an advisory to avoid swimming were put on the local police department’s social media accounts afterward.

The police and fire departments are expected to issue recommendations in response to the tragedy in the coming days, to be considered by the town board, Manzi said.

“Whatever they recommend, we will take a look and see what happens,” Manzi said.

In 2006, New Hampshire beaches started a flag warning system after two swimmers drowned in rip currents near Hampton Beach the year before. The color-coded flags included green ones to signal low risk and red to alert beachgoers to high risk conditions.

]]> 0 dive into a wave at Seabrook Beach on Monday in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Authorities say two swimmers caught in riptides on Sunday have died. Rip currents, sometimes referred to as riptides, are narrow channels of water that move as fast as 8 feet a second and occur at any beach with breaking waves. Anyone caught in them is advised to swim parallel to shore to escape their pull.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 19:37:40 +0000
‘Maine Calling’ coming to Augusta for live broadcast Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:52:53 +0000 AUGUSTA — The Maine State Library will host three authors and an audience for a live broadcast of Maine Public Radio’s “Maine Calling” program — capping off another year of a statewide group reading program focused on the books of Maine authors recommended by other Maine authors.

This year, in the Read ME program presented by the Maine Humanities Council and Maine State Library, numerous Mainers all read the same two books, a pair of selections recommended by Maine mystery writer Paul Doiron. Doiron selected CB Anderson’s “River Talk,” and Susan Hand Shetterly’s “Settled in the Wild: Notes from the Edge of Town.”

The premise of the Read ME program, which is in its second year, is for Mainers to read books by Maine authors recommended by a well-known Maine author. And then for them to gather at libraries across the state to discuss the books together, according to Alison Maxell, director of public services and outreach, research and innovation for Maine State Library. She said more than 80 libraries across the state participated in the event this year.

On Wednesday, in a Maine Calling broadcast beginning at 1 p.m., host Jennifer Rooks will interview Doiron, Anderson and Shetterly about their books, and why Doiron chose them.

While the event will be broadcast live on the radio, the public may also attend the free event in person, at the Maine State Library. Maxell said people are asked to arrive by 12:30 p.m., so they can get settled in for the broadcast at 1 p.m.

The authors are expected to be available after the broadcast to sign copies of their books which will be for sale at the event. The event is the culminating event of the Read ME program this year.

“It’s bringing everybody together to talk about their experiences,” Maxell said. “It’s a different experience, kind of neat that everybody is reading the same book at the same time.”

]]> 0 Hand Shetterly will take part in Maine Public Radio's live Maine Calling event at the Maine State Library Wednesday.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:05:29 +0000
‘Everyday Maine’ photo exhibit at UMA celebrates state’s diversity Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:45:25 +0000 AUGUSTA — Maine is more diverse that it might appear on its surface.

Proving that is the aim of massive upcoming photography exhibit, “Everyday Maine,” coming to the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. The hope of the center is that the work will show that diversity is part of what makes the state such an interesting place.

Curator Bruce Brown is working this week to install the exhibit, featuring 190 photographs by 72 photographers. The group of photographs have one thing in common, they’re all photographs of Mainers. Beyond that, however, the photographs — like Mainers — are a diverse bunch.

“They’re all photographs with Mainers in them, at work, at play, in education, in social gatherings, in formal gatherings, all kinds of ways,” said David Greenham, associate director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center. “It reflects not only racial diversity and ethnic diversity, but also economic diversity and the geographical diversity of Maine.

“Maine is a real hodgepodge of different kinds of people. That’s really one of the things that makes Maine such an interesting place, because you see all kinds of different Maines when you drive around the state,” he added. “We wanted to see if there was a way to put together an exhibit to capture that.”

Greenham said often when school groups come to the center for educational programs on civil rights, teachers will say their schools are not very diverse. He said they generally mean Maine schools aren’t diverse in the skin color or ethnicities of their students. But he noted Mainers are very diverse in their economic backgrounds, educations, family structure, occupations, abilities, traditions and numerous other ways. And they live in cities, small towns, and rural areas in posh waterfront mansions, suburban middle class homes and rundown buildings.

Brown, who selected the photographs with Greenham, said they tried to select photographs that would cover as many geographic areas of the state as they could, and include a wide array of talented photographers.

Some photographs, such as a photo taken inside the iconic B&M Baked Beans factory on the Portland waterfront, were specifically requested by the center, while most others were existing photographs of various time periods, with the oldest including photographs by the late accomplished photographer and Maine resident Berenice Abbott from the 1940s.

The photographs are expected to be on display next week, but will be marked with an official opening reception from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, which is on the campus of the University of Maine at Augusta

Greenham said the theme fits in with the center’s human and civil rights mission, in showing that part of what makes Maine special is its diversity of people who live together there.

“One of the challenging issues we always face is this idea of ‘us’ and ‘them,'” Greenham said. “The goal of this exhibit is to show there’s not ‘us’ and ‘them,’ there’s ‘we.’ This is a portrait of us as Mainers. And the so many reasons to be proud of that.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

Twitter: @kedwardskj

]]> 0 photo by David Greenham that is part of a new exhibition going up at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine celebrating diversity across Maine.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:43:41 +0000
Tony McLaughlin, longtime admissions director at UMF, dies at 76 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:44:39 +0000 Tony McLaughlin, the longtime former director of admissions at the University of Maine at Farmington, died Saturday at age 76.

McLaughlin, who served as UMF director of admissions from 1972 to 1999, died at his home in Wilton following a recent diagnosis of bladder cancer, his wife, Carolyn McLaughlin, said Monday.

“He was so humble,” McLaughlin said. “When people asked him where he worked, he never admitted to being the director. He was just very humble. He considered it his job and didn’t think about any special title. He loved working with students and their parents. He loved every day he went to work.”

A graduate of Aroostook State College, Gorham State Teachers College and the University of Maine, J. Anthony McLaughlin taught at Houlton High School and was an admissions counselor at Ricker College and director of admissions at the University of Maine at Presque Isle before becoming admissions director at UMF on April 1, 1972.

Ronald Milliken, current UMF director of financial aid, was admitted to UMF as a student by McLaughlin and later hired by him to work in the admissions office.

“He held leadership positions, but he was never one to tell you that if you didn’t know,” Milliken said. “He didn’t advertise his credentials and he didn’t have to. He was always good with people.”

In addition to his work in college admissions and access, McLaughlin also worked with the Care and Share Food Closet in Farmington and was a supporter of local youth sports, his wife said. He was an avid fan of the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox and a collector of sports memorabilia.

“He was never one to run for school board or do those kind of community things, but he was always in the background doing whatever he could,” Carolyn McLaughlin said.

After retirement, McLaughlin continued his work at the MELMAC Education Foundation, where he helped identify programming that would impact college aspirations and helped schools implement programming.

“That was his passion,” said Wendy Ault, executive director of MELMAC, who also worked under McLaughlin for 17 years as associate director of admissions at UMF. “He worked hard to make sure students knew education after high school was important, but it didn’t have to be a two- or four-year college. There were other pieces too.”

In addition to his wife, McLaughlin is survived by a sister, Kay; six children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“For UMF, his influence is really legendary,” Milliken said. “He was always out there working with guidance counselors, high school principals and young people. He just genuinely had an interest in people, and in young people in particular. I think it’s important for young people to see the faith adults have in them and their capabilities, and Tony exemplified that faith in others.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

]]> 0 McLaughlinMon, 20 Aug 2018 18:08:52 +0000
Some businesses struggling to adapt to ongoing Hallowell road construction Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:44:11 +0000 HALLOWELL — Water Street business owners are feeling the strain on their shops due to reduced traffic during ongoing road construction.

Maine Department of Transportation officials said the department is doing their best to accommodate them during construction, but admitted work can have adverse impact on commerce.

Boynton’s Market owner Don LaChance said he hasn’t taken a salary this year to keep the business afloat.

“August is usually our busiest month and it’s going to end up being one of the worst months of the year,” he said. “I haven’t had to let go of any employees (and) we’re still able to pay our bills. The only difference is that I haven’t taken a salary this year.

“It’s a sacrifice but it’s what we have to do to stay open,” added LaChance.

He said bars and restaurants may not feel the same strain as a market, as markets operate with a smaller margin on their products.

Jamie Houghton, co-owner of the Liberal Cup, said the construction, which decreased foot and vehicle traffic through Hallowell, has noticeably affected her lunch services. She said dinner services have been steady, due to people usually having more time to navigate downtown traffic and parking.

Annie Huang, owner of the Lucky Garden said in April, when construction began, that a barrier briefly blocked the parking lot of her business. She said that she considered having more signs to show her business is open because barriers and fences could block customers’ view of the business.

Project Manager Ernie Martin said the businesses in town have done a good job adapting to the project. He said the initiative, dubbed “Down with the Crown,” from the Hallowell Board of Trade has done a good job providing help to businesses.

Nancy Bischoff, a member of the Down with the Crown committee, said the project has raised funds for radio advertisements and helped with art projects to lift Hallowell’s visibility during construction.

It’s not just foot traffic that has been impacted by the construction, according to Councilor Lynn Irish, owner of Whipper Snappers Quilt Studio, at last week’s City Council meeting. She said then that her business had both of its entrances “closed off” by crews from Sargent Corporation, contractors for the Maine DOT’s project.

That was right after Councilor Lisa Harvey-McPherson, chairperson of the council’s Highway Committee, said the project was “going well.”

“Well, last week Sargent got slapped with a fine,” Irish said. “They, (on) my building, closed off both of my entrances. And they tried to, evidently, at the Liberal Cup and (co-owner Jamie Houghton) went out and said ‘I don’t have another entrance.'”

Houghton confirmed Monday that she did speak with contractors when they tried to block her entrance during business hours. The Liberal Cup only has one entrance, which faces Water Street, but she said workers thought there was another behind the business.

The workers were “very easy to work with,” Houghton said, and altered their plan once she spoke to them, explained her hours and the importance of having that entrance accessible.

However, Maine DOT spokesperson Ted Talbot confirmed Monday that Sargent was not issued a “violation” for an incident two weeks ago. A violation is the highest rung of a reprimand system Maine DOT uses for its contractors.

“First, just to be clear, we do not fine the contractors,” he said. “If there’s a continued violation, we will withhold payments. The intention is to have the contractor stay within the plan (they) submitted.”

Contractors submit projections and goals during work, said Nancy Libby, project resident for the Maine DOT, and the state agency will issue a verbal and written warning before a violation is leveled. The financial loss associated with a violation comes at the end of the project. A percentage of the total contract is retained by Maine DOT until all work is reviewed, then released as a final payment. The violation “fines” are drawn from that money, she said.

Libby said there was no violation given to Sargent for blocking entrances to businesses that day — or at all during the project. She said the entrance to Whipper Snappers was inaccessible for about 15 minutes while a metal step was installed in a hole dug in front of the business. Crews were replacing a catch basin and a culvert at the corner of Winthrop Street and Water Street at the time.

Further, Maine DOT Project Manager Ernie Martin said guidelines for the project include providing continued access to businesses. He said crews working in front of businesses could appear to be blocking the entrance, but access is always available if a patron asks crews to enter a building.

Violations could be assessed if access is not provided to businesses or if business owners are not informed that work near their shop could affect access for an amount of time.

Irish declined the Kennebec Journal’s request for comment on the incident after the meeting and was not available for comment on Monday.

Talbot also said business owners who are experiencing difficulties with construction are welcome to visit an on-site project office and express their concerns.

According to a weekly MDOT update, crews are working on installing light bases, excavating sidewalks, installing granite curbs and installing drainage on the west side of Hallowell’s downtown. Work on the west side of Water Street in downtown is expected to be completed by Oct. 5, with all construction except for surface pavement to be complete by Nov. 16. Paving is scheduled to take place in early June 2019.

Sam Shepherd — 621-5666

Twitter: @SamShepME

]]> 0's Market proprietor Don LaChance said Monday that business has been slow all summer during the Maine Department of Transportation's reconstruction of Route 201.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 19:03:21 +0000
Thomas College aims to prepare first generation students, help ease skills gap Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:29:45 +0000 WATERVILLE — Before she arrived on the Thomas College campus last week, Skyler Lewis was nervous.

She worried about her classes being too much work and that she wouldn’t pass. She worried she wasn’t going to succeed.

But a few days into the start of her first class, Lewis, who is from Jay, said her experience has been the complete opposite.

“I’m an avid worrier, but as soon as I got here I was like, ‘All my worries are gone,” said Lewis, 18, a freshman. “The moment I got out of my car, I was like, ‘I’m so relaxed.'”

Classes at Thomas don’t officially start until Aug. 27, but Lewis and a group of other first-generation freshmen are already on campus as part of an intensive 10-day program called Engage, Develop, Guide, Empower, or EDGE.

Since 2010, more than 600 students have participated in the program, which has also been highlighted this year in a report from the group Ready Nation, a nonprofit exploring ways to strengthen the nation’s workforce.

According to the report, 66 percent of Maine jobs will require some type of postsecondary degree or credential by 2020. A survey of more than 1,000 Maine business leaders found that 66 percent feel the workforce does not have the skills their organization needs.

Forty percent feel Maine’s education system is not preparing workers to be productively engaged in the workforce. At the same time, Maine is experiencing a decline in working-age population, with the current median age being 43.5, according to the report.

“Maine is not a state where a lot of babies are being born, so we need to have everyone grow up to their full potential,” said Kim Gore, Maine state director for Ready Nation, during a gathering to present the findings of the report at Thomas College Monday. “That’s why we wanted to highlight the EDGE program. We need more innovative programs like EDGE to help every student who may not have thought about college before to know it’s a real possibility for them.”

Gore said she learned of the program through a student who went through it, Harley Douglas, a current junior at Thomas.

Douglas, an elementary education major and the first to attend college in her family, said she also felt nervous about pursuing higher education.

“The EDGE program was very inspiring and an incredible opportunity I had,” Douglas said. “It taught me I’m not alone. I have a support system that’s here for me whenever I need it.”

Over 60 percent of Thomas College students are the first in their family to pursue higher education, according to Thomas College President Laurie Lachance. The program brings a cohort of students to campus for a 10-day 3-credit course prior to the start of regular classes.

In the evening, students take workshops on how to de-stress, manage their finances and handle other situations they might encounter for the first time while away from home, like how to deal with a difficult roommate.

Rosa Redonnett, chief student affairs officer for the University of Maine system, said the program at Thomas is unique in that it offers an intensive experience for students prior to the regular school year. She said the University of Maine offers similar programming, but it typically takes place during the regular school year.

“What’s interesting about this is they bring the students in early and the idea of immersing them in a course to get their feet wet is a really nice approach,” Redonnett said. “It’s great work they’re doing here.”

The need to attract more people to Maine and more people with workforce skills is a challenge the state faces, according to Maine State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors, who said education is key to addressing those challenges.

Despite findings the state’s population is aging and a large portion of the workforce is not equipped with necessary skills, Connors said there is still some good work happening in Maine.

“For the first time I can remember, the business and education communities are coming together to talk,” he said. “We’re seeing for the first time people are beginning to understand education is a life-long pursuit.”

President and CEO of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce Kim Lindlof also said the area’s workforce is the number one issue facing businesses’ ability to grow.

“It’s about the skills you’re learning here in college but also soft skills,” she said. “Things like not being on your phone constantly, writing emails in full words and not abbreviations like you’re texting. Those sorts of things are important. For us, the focus is on growing the workforce and that’s why (EDGE) is so important.”

About 75 percent of Thomas students come from Maine, and about 80 percent of graduates will work in Maine upon leaving Thomas, a key to helping address the state’s workforce shortage, Lachance said.

She said a key to getting students to stay in Maine is to place them in paid internships.

“If they go to an internship, there’s a very good likelihood they’ll be offered a job,” Lachance said. “And they’ll understand they can walk right into employment where they know the culture. They know what it’s all about and they know the opportunity that presents. I think a paid internship is the single most powerful way to keep a student in Maine.”

Douglas, the Harpswell student, said she hopes to return to her home in coastal Maine after she graduates.

“I think with the EDGE program under my belt I’m going to have a much better chance of succeeding after Thomas,” she said. “It gave me insight into what professors expect of me, because you don’t know that when you’re a first generation college student. You don’t know anything about college.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

]]> 0 State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors speaks during a discussion on expanding postsecondary education opportunities to increase a skilled workforce at Thomas College in Waterville on Monday. Other speakers, from left, are students Glory Gomez and Harley Douglas, Thomas College President Laurie Lachance, Major General Bill Libby and Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce CEO Kim Lindlof.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:11:48 +0000
Alabama tops college football poll once again Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:28:23 +0000 Alabama will begin its quest for a second consecutive national championship with a rare three-peat.

The Crimson Tide is just the second team to be ranked No. 1 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll for three straight seasons. Alabama received 42 out of 61 first-place votes.

No. 2 Clemson received 18 first-place votes. Georgia is No. 3 and Wisconsin is fourth. The Badgers received one first-place vote. Ohio State was ranked No. 5.

The preseason AP poll started in 1950 and since then only Oklahoma from 1985-87 had started No. 1 in three straight years until now.

Ring up another milestone for coach Nick Saban’s Tide dynasty. Alabama has won five national championships since 2009 and now has been No. 1 to start the season five times under Saban. Last season was the first time Saban’s team started and finished the season No. 1.

The Tide enter this season with a question at quarterback, but there appears to be two good answers from which Saban has to choose: Tua Tagovailoa won the College Football Playoff championship game for Alabama with a second-half comeback and overtime touchdown pass. Jalen Hurts has led the Tide to the national title game in each of his two seasons as a starter.

Whoever is quarterback, Alabama’s offense should be potent with running back Damien Harris working behind a powerful line anchored by tackle Jonah Williams.

The Tide’s always tough defense will have all new starters in the secondary, but defensive end Raekwon Davis and linebackers Mack Wilson and Dylan Moses are primed to be Alabama’s next All-Americans.

The machine never stops in Tuscaloosa. One again, everybody is chasing Alabama.


The AP poll began in 1936 and Alabama is approaching the top of a very storied list:

Ohio State — 105 weeks at No. 1

Alabama — 104

Oklahoma — 101

Notre Dame — 98

Southern California — 91

Florida State — 72

Nebraska — 70


This is Alabama’s seventh time overall being a preseason No. 1, matching USC for fourth most.

Oklahoma — 10 preseason No. 1 rankings

Ohio State — 8

Alabama — 7

USC — 7

Florida State — 6

Nebraska — 6


Central Florida was the only team in the country to go undefeated last season and — you might have heard — the school decided to declare the Knights national champions because why not? This is college football and nobody is really in charge.

UCF is ranked in the Top 25 for the first time to the start the season, coming in 21st in the preseason poll. The Knights are the highest-ranked team not in a Power Five conference, one spot ahead of Boise State from the Mountain West. If that ranking after going unbeaten seems unusually low, it is but it is not unprecedented. In the CFP/BCS era (1998-present), 19 teams have had unbeaten seasons. Three of those teams – 1998 Tulane, 1999 Marshall, 2004 Utah – were unranked in the preseason poll the next season. Not surprisingly, all those teams played outside of what were then called BCS automatic qualifying conferences. Five other teams were ranked outside the top 10, including three from outside BCS-auto bid leagues. Boise State in 2007 was No. 24 in the preseason. Utah in 2009 started 19th. TCU began 2011 at No. 14.

The only so-called power conference team to go unbeaten in the BCS/CFP era and be ranked similarly low the next season was Auburn – twice. After going 13-0 in 2004, the Tigers started 2005 ranked 16th. After Cam Newton led Auburn to the 2010 national title, the Newton-less Tigers were ranked No. 23 to begin 2011.


• No. 2 Clemson matched its best preseason ranking. The Tigers were No. 2 in 2016 and went on to win the national championship.

• No. 4 Wisconsin has its best preseason ranking since 2000, when it was also No. 4. The Badgers also had one first-place vote that year.

• No. 5 Ohio State is making it 30th straight appearance in the preseason rankings (1989-2018). Only Penn State (34) and Nebraska (33) have had longer streaks.

• No. 6 Washington has its best preseason ranking since 1997, when the Huskies were No. 4.

• No. 8 Miami has its best preseason ranking since being No. 6 to start the 2004 season.

• No. 18 Mississippi State has its best preseason ranking since 1981, when the Bulldogs were No. 14.


Big Ten — 5 (all top 15)

SEC — 5 (3 top 10)

ACC — 4

Big 12 — 4

Pac-12 — 4

American — 1

Mountain West — 1

Independent — 1

]]> 0 head coach Nick Saban leads his team on the field before the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Georgia in January in Atlanta.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 17:28:23 +0000
Waterville council to consider overriding mayor’s veto on plastic bag referendum Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:10:45 +0000 WATERVILLE — At least three out of six city councilors say they will vote Tuesday to override Mayor Nick Isgro’s veto of a vote the council took earlier this month to place on the November ballot a request to enact a plastic bag ordinance that would prohibit retailers larger than 10,000-square-feet in size to dispense plastic bags.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor of The Center at 93 Main St. downtown.

At the meeting, councilors also will consider approving an agreement with Colby College to use the Chace Community Forum in the new Bill and Joan Alfond Commons mixed-use residential complex on Main Street for council, planning board and other city meetings.

Councilors on Aug. 6 voted 4-1 to place the proposed plastic bag ordinance on the Nov. 6 ballot, with Councilor Sydney Mayhew, R-Ward 4, the lone dissenter. Isgro later vetoed the council decision, saying in a statement that a bag ban referendum would invite special interest groups and “dark money funded influence peddlers” into Waterville, as well as further divide the community.

Council Chairman Steve Soule, D-Ward 1, said Monday in an email that he will vote to override the mayor’s veto.

“I plan to maintain my previous stance that this should be a decision made not by one mayor, six councilors or 75 people in attendance at the meeting, but by all residents in the city,” Soule said. “People will have time to hear both sides between now and November and then make a personal decision, based on their views.”

Councilor Winifred Tate, D-Ward 6, said in a phone interview that she will support the veto override.

“Protecting the environment is something I personally feel very strongly about and support, and I think the effort to reduce single-use plastic in all its forms is commendable,” she said, adding that the Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition has done a lot to educate the community about the issue.

“However, I also understand that for the city to take this significant step is a big deal, and I think it’s appropriate it goes to the voters, which is why I support putting it on the ballot in November,” Tate said.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Councilor Jackie Dupont, D-Ward 6, also said she will vote to override the mayor’s veto.

“I have had many constituents reach out to me, encouraging me to allow them their right to vote on the issue,” she said.

But Mayhew said he is leaning toward voting to sustain Isgro’s veto for several reasons, including that he has talked with constituents, business owners and business managers about the issue and thinks the ordinance as written is not fair.

“I really believe it’s government overreach into people’s private and personal business of choice,” Mayhew said in a phone interview.

He said he supports Sustain Mid-Maine and has a good relationship with its members, but has had time to look at the proposed ordinance and believes it targets larger businesses such as Hannaford, Shaw’s and Walmart and not smaller businesses, and such an ordinance should be fair and consistent. Mayhew said he also thinks the ordinance gives the city the appearance of being unfriendly to business and would require an understaffed city code enforcement office to regulate large retailers — and that would cost the city money.

Councilors Nathaniel White, D-Ward 2, and John O’Donnell, D-Ward 5, had not responded to requests for comment by 3:45 p.m. Monday. A woman who answered the phone at O’Donnell’s law office said he was in hearings all day. The Ward 3 council seat remains vacant since the resignation of Lauren Lessing earlier this summer.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors will consider approving a 3-year contract with Central Maine Growth Council for economic development services to help expand the tax base and promote job growth. The city has been a member of the Growth Council about 20 years.

The council will also consider taking a final vote to accept Federal Aviation Administration grants for $364,000 and $52,000 and contract with Stantee Consulting and CLT to complete projects including grubbing and grading and a wildlife hazard assessment and wildlife management plan at the city-owned Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport.

Councilors will consider taking a first vote to amend the parks and recreation ordinance to say all parks shall be open to the public from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and those found to be in the parks at other times will be considered to be trespassing and subject to prosecution unless a permit has been issued otherwise. Currently, city rules allow people to be in parks from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

]]> 0 Oullette bags his own groceries with a plastic bag after shopping at Save-A-Lot in Waterville on Wednesday.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 21:17:21 +0000
For orphaned moose at wildlife park, there’s no going home again Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:48:53 +0000 GRAY — The Maine Wildlife Park’s celebrity moose calf is officially “here to stay.”

Park Superintendent Curt Johnson said the 2-month-old female is “doing very, very well” since arriving in June at the 40-acre park off Route 26

The moose melted hearts across the country in a video of her with the dog of the family that found her in northern Maine.

“She’s here to stay. We felt that was probably going to be the case right from the start,” Johnson said. “Just based on our experience with raising moose, they just don’t rehab well – the level of care and all the bottle feeding, all the interaction that they’re exposed to.”

The calf was named Miss Maggie by the family in the Aroostook County town of Wallagrass that found her. She weighed about 25 pounds when she arrived at the park.

She since has quadrupled in size, now weighing in at over 100 pounds and “growing fast, strong and very energetic,” Johnson said.

Lee Kantar, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife’s state moose biologist, said in June that the animals can grow to over 400 pounds in their first year.

Maine Wildlife Park Superintendent Curt Johnson says the 2-month-old moose calf is “here to stay.”

Johnson said it’s “certainly possible” for the park’s calf to grow at that rate.

The park started “really early on” introducing the calf to solid food with raspberry vegetation and other forms of leafy feed before adding grain into the mix.

Johnson said caretakers are starting to pull back on the calf’s milk consumption and she will be fully weaned by the end of the month.

In a June interview, Johnson cautioned that moose calves are “very delicate,” and despite the calf’s progress, he said last week that “I still put forth that caution.”

The moose has had some bouts of digestive issues since being at the park, and Johnson called those hurdles a “testament to the delicate nature of raising a moose calf in captivity.”

The last calf to come to the park for rehabilitation, Johnson said, was not in good health from the start and died a few years later.

Given past experience, the park staff will continue to keep a close eye on Maggie.

“We just watch her very closely,” said Johnson, pointing out that moose have a complex four-chambered stomach. “You want to make sure that development takes place as it should.”

The baby moose has been a big draw for the park this summer, with visitors able to see her during public feeding times.

“You can’t deny that there has been a increase in attendance,” Johnson said.

As her milk consumption decreases, so do the number of public feedings. But visitors have more chances to see her now that she’s old enough to have free rein of her barn stall and outside enclosure, which Johnson estimated was 100 feet long by 50 feet wide.

“She can go in and out as she pleases,” he said.

Unlike two fawns that the park still hopes to release back into the wild, Johnson is confident that the baby moose is staying put at the park.

“She just totally responds to us as a source of food,” said Johnson, adding that she runs to people when she sees the bottle. That reaction and level of imprinting is typical with rescued moose calves, he said.

“We can’t really release them with the confidence that they’re going to have those wild instincts that are going to keep them away from the roadways and people’s backyards,” Johnson said. Moose are more docile animals, even in the wild, he said, because they “don’t have that flight instinct like deer tend to have.”

The plan is to move the moose calf in with the park’s three adult moose sometime in the fall. She will start off sharing space only with the 9-year-old cow, Annie, because the two males can be aggressive during the fall mating season and need to be separated.

The biggest variable on when she can be moved, Johnson said, is how fast she grows.

According to Johnson, the family who found the moose in Wallagrass has traveled down twice to see her in her new home.

“That’s been pretty cool,” he said.

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

Read this story in Lakes Region Weekly.

]]> 0, 20 Aug 2018 23:15:16 +0000
James Knott, 88, remembered as inventor of the trap that transformed lobstering Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:42:42 +0000

James Knott, seen in Gloucester, Mass., in 2010, invented lobster traps made with marine-grade coated wire mesh that lasted far longer than traps made mostly of wood, then founded Riverdale Mills Corp. to manufacture the product. Today, 85 percent of all lobster traps in North America are made with Aquamesh.

Inventor and entrepreneur James Knott is being remembered for “singlehandedly” bettering the way of life for New England’s lobstermen.

Knott, who revolutionized the lobstering industry by building a better lobster trap, died Thursday at his home in Massachusetts. He was 88.

Knott was founder, owner and retired CEO of Riverdale Mills Corp., the company he formed in 1980 to produce wire mesh lobster traps, which Knott invented.

Riverdale Mills is the maker of “Aquamesh,” the first marine-grade coated wire mesh used to replace traditional wood in the construction of lobster traps.

A trained economist and mechanical engineer, Knott had noticed how much time lobstermen spent fixing their wooden traps. He was convinced there had to be a better way.

Knott set out to build a more durable lobster trap to keep fishermen in their boats instead of on shore repairing traps or building new ones. He invented and began manufacturing Aquamesh traps, which lasted far longer and ultimately won over skeptical North Atlantic and Canadian lobstermen. Today, 85 percent of all lobster traps in North America are made with Aquamesh.

In 2006, Knott was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Maine for his “commitment to the future of the lobster industry, innovative spirit, perseverance and positive leadership, willingness to share his knowledge and ideas and his outstanding support of UMaine’s Lobster Institute.”

Charles Rawley works on a lobster trap at Friendship Trap Co. in Maine, which buys its coated mesh from James Knott’s company, Riverdale Mills Corp. in Northbridge, Mass.

“Jim Knott was a well-respected visionary and an ardent supporter of the lobster industry,” Bob Bayer, executive director of the UMaine Lobster Institute, said in a prepared statement. “His impact cannot be understated. The technical changes he introduced to lobster fishing in Maine and throughout North America were profoundly significant. He singlehandedly changed and bettered the way of life for so many people.”

Knott founded Riverdale Mills in an old abandoned mill on the banks of the Blackstone River in Northbridge, Massachusetts. There, he worked with his sons to restore the facility and property while beginning mass production of Aquamesh. Integral parts of the science leading to Knott’s innovative product were his proprietary galvanized after-welding and polyvinyl chloride coating processes.

This year, the company saw its raw price for steel double because of tariffs. In late July, the company had not passed on increased production costs to its customers in Maine. CEO James Knott Jr., son of James Sr., said Riverdale was absorbing the price hit by slowing the rate at which it was retiring construction debt and dipping into energy savings.

“We are who we are because of the lobster industry, so we’re doing everything we can to make sure this won’t hurt the industry,” Knott Jr. said in an interview with the Portland Press Herald.

After the overwhelming success of Aquamesh in the lobster industry, Knott Sr. set out to expand and diversify the Riverdale Mills product line for other industrial, commercial and business applications.

His “WireWall” high-security fencing, which is “virtually impossible to climb or cut,” according to Riverdale Mills, has been installed worldwide at embassies, transit centers, ports, borders, military bases, manufacturing and power plants, and other highly secure locations. Knott’s welded wire mesh is also used extensively by professionals in the horticulture, agriculture, aquaculture, construction and water treatment industries, the company said.

In all, Riverdale Mills now produces about 3,500 different wire mesh products, the company said.

Earlier in his life, Knott earned an economics degree from Harvard College, studied mechanical engineering at Northeastern University and served two years as a lieutenant in the Army. Before starting his own company, he was CEO of Coatings Engineering Corp., the world’s largest custom plastic coater. He was also a longtime director of the Gilbert & Bennett Manufacturing Co. of Georgetown, Connecticut.

According to colleagues, Knott was an early adopter of recycling. To build some of his manufacturing machinery, he repurposed parts from a printing press that the previous tenant of the mill had left behind. When a journalist once asked Knott how his company had thrived when so many other U.S. manufacturers had faltered, he responded, “We keep our costs low.”

He also modernized the mill with efficiency in mind, restored the natural habitat, tapped the river for hydropower and instituted recycling of all the steel from the manufacturing process.

Knott was an ardent supporter of the lobster industry, funding scholarships and research.

“With the passing of Jim Knott, the lobster and shellfishing industry has lost one of its most prolific supporters,” Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, said in a prepared statement. “Jim believed in sustainable fishing and supported our efforts to ensure the viability of the industry and conservation of fish species. On behalf of the entire industry, we acknowledge his contributions, are grateful for his involvement, and will miss him tremendously.”

Knott’s death was preceded by that of Betty Knott, his wife of 67 years, who died in February. He is survived by his four children, Janet Knott, Andrew Knott, James Knott Jr. and Nancy Knott, and four grandchildren. James Knott Jr. became CEO of Riverdale Mills in 2015.

A celebration of James Knott’s life will be held at the Whitin Lasell Manor at 120 Hill St., Whitinsville, Massachusetts, from 2-5 p.m. Nov. 18. Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

Twitter: jcraiganderson

]]> 0;'lkj;lkj;lj .... Jim Knott Sr. in Gloucester, Mass. in 2010. Knott, the founder of Riverdale Mills, invented and manufactured a wire mesh that is now used in 85 percent of all lobster traps in North America. He died at 88 years old. (Photo by Webb Chappell, 2010)Mon, 20 Aug 2018 23:44:32 +0000
Saco bicyclist injured in hit-and-run is released from hospital Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:36:36 +0000 A Saco bicyclist struck by a hit-and-run driver on Friday has been released from the hospital, but investigators are still trying to determine who was behind the wheel of the pickup truck that hit him.

The same Red Ford pickup truck that struck 40-year-old Michael Buck of Saco on Jenkins Road around 5 p.m. Friday also was involved in a traffic accident about 34 minutes later when it struck two cars on Buxton Road, police say.

The nature of Buck’s injuries were not known. Police said he was found along the road and taken to a hospital, but has since been released.

Police also said the investigation is continuing.

Joshua Ellis, 40, of South Portland, was driving during the second crash, but Deputy Chief Cory Huntress said police were conducting interviews Monday to determine whether it was Ellis or someone else driving during the collision with the cyclist.

The Buxton Road crash sent two other drivers to the hospital after Ellis crossed the center line in his 2008 Ford F-150, striking two oncoming vehicles, police said.

The York County District Attorney’s office has been consulted, and it is not clear whether charges could be filed, Huntress said.

]]> 0 scene tape police car genericMon, 20 Aug 2018 17:02:24 +0000
State police say death of man found in Presque Isle is suspicious Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:31:48 +0000 PRESQUE ISLE – Maine State Police are describing the death of a man in Presque Isle as suspicious.

Police were called to the home, where the man’s body was discovered, on Sunday afternoon. Police say detectives were collecting evidence from the home and planned to remove the body on Monday.

The state medical examiner’s office will perform an autopsy.

Investigators are encouraging anyone with information about the case to contact the state police barracks in Houlton or to visit the Presque Isle Police Department.

]]> scene tape police car genericMon, 20 Aug 2018 16:36:44 +0000
Small businesses in southern Maine getting grants to save energy, grow Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:22:35 +0000 Small businesses in southern Maine are in line for federal grants to help them save energy and grow their companies.

Nearly $530,000 from the Renewable Energy for America Program and Value Added Producer grants will be allocated to six Maine businesses, according to a news release from U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, who sits on the committee with oversight of the U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.

Turtle Rock Farm in Brunswick will receive $250,000 under the producer program. The money will be used to expand the marketing, preservation and canning of organic vegetables. The project is expected to increase revenue to the farm, grow the customer base and increase the wholesale volume of Turtle Rock Farm.

Five businesses won grants through the renewable energy program. They are:

n T&D Wood Energy of Sanford: $200,000. The company intends to build a midsized wood-pellet manufacturing facility, adjacent to an operating white pine sawmill. The project, which will use waste residue from the sawmill, is expected to generate enough electricity to power 15,142 homes.

n Mook Sea Farms, Walpole: $49,597. The grant will be used to buy and install a solar array for this oyster farm. The project is expected to save the company $14,238 per year in energy costs.

n Flying Frog of Freeport: $19,496. The commercial property company will use the grant to buy and install a solar array, which will benefit its tenant, Buck’s Naked BBQ, by generating about 11 percent of its electricity.

n Mallory Property Holdings of Newcastle: $6,465. A real estate holding company, Mallory Property intends to use the grant money to buy and install a solar array at Split Rock Distillery, which it owns. The array will help the distillery save about $1,330 a year in energy costs.

n Porchside Properties of Dresden: $4,228. The company will use the money to install a solar array at Porchside Veterinary Care, saving the facility about $1,000 a year in electricity costs.

]]> 0 cages float on the Damariscotta River in Maine on Jan. 7, 2015. The cages belong to Mook Sea Farm, whose owner Bill Mook has studied the impact of ocean acidification on his operation and helped develop a state plan for combating the problem. (Chris Adams/McClatchy DC/TNS)Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:44:59 +0000
Missing Scarborough woman found safe, police say Mon, 20 Aug 2018 19:41:41 +0000 A missing Scarborough woman has been found safe, police said Monday evening.

Paula Kane, 57, had last been seen on Sunday, and authorities sought the public’s help in locating her.

Family members reported Kane missing after they expected her to be home but did not find her there, said Joseph Thornton, a Scarborough dispatcher.

]]> 0, 20 Aug 2018 22:44:28 +0000
Brain cancer likely contributed to police chase of Camden man, 71, family says Mon, 20 Aug 2018 19:38:33 +0000 A 71-year-old Camden man who led police on a chase and nearly hit a police officer with his vehicle has been struggling with brain cancer that likely contributed to the events, his family has said.

James Thomas was issued a summons Saturday and taken to a hospital for evaluation after leading police on a chase that ended in Blue Hill.

Thomas is well-known in the community, having served on the Pathways Committee and working as a social worker at the Maine State Prison.

During the chase, the car nearly struck a Belfast police officer. A Searsport police officer fired several rounds from his duty weapon at the tires of Thomas’ vehicle, disabling it, and police were able to get Thomas out of the vehicle.

Thomas was issued summonses for felony eluding an officer and misdemeanor reckless conduct, according to a news release from the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident began at about 8 a.m. when the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office was notified that Knox County law enforcement personnel were searching for Thomas, who was believed to be experiencing a severe medical issue. A vehicle description was provided and deputies were told that a family member claimed Thomas was making irrational and threatening comments before driving away.

At 8:12 a.m., a Waldo County deputy located Thomas traveling north on Route 1 in Northport and tried to stop the vehicle. Thomas refused to stop and continued north on Route 1 into Belfast. Officers from the Belfast Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office were able to momentarily stop the vehicle on two occasions, but each time the driver made reckless maneuvers to evade the officers. In the second incident, the vehicle nearly struck a Belfast police officer.

The pursuit continued to Searsport, where a Searsport officer unsuccessfully attempted to deploy a tire deflation device. The pursuit continued into Hancock County, where a second tire deflation device was successfully deployed on the vehicle by Bucksport Police, but Thomas continued to drive the vehicle with a flat tire.

The pursuit continued into Blue Hill, where the Maine State Police assumed the primary pursuit vehicle role.

Law enforcement personnel were able to get the vehicle stopped momentarily in Blue Hill, but Thomas again attempted to elude officers. That is when the Searsport officer fired to disable the vehicle.

Thomas was diagnosed last summer with brain cancer and had surgery to remove a tumor, according to his daughter, Maria Thomas. She said that while the disease has affected his mental state, there was no way the family could have predicted this incident. She said she has learned since the incident from his doctor that the disease affects the part of his brain responsible for flight or fight. He was under doctor’s orders not to drive, which he had been following up until this incident, she said.

He worked at the Maine State Prison as a social worker for 15 years, and prior to that, worked as a private practice social worker.

]]> scene tape police car genericMon, 20 Aug 2018 16:00:07 +0000
UMaine names veteran administrator Ken Ralph as its new athletic director Mon, 20 Aug 2018 19:02:07 +0000 Growing up in Salem, New Hampshire, Ken Ralph gained an appreciation for the passionate following that the University of Maine sports teams have in their home state.

Ken Ralph

And even though he spent the last 11 years working as the director of athletics at Colorado College, he always kept an eye on the Black Bears. So when UMaine’s athletic director’s position came open earlier this year, he knew he had to apply.

“Seeing it open,” he said, “I realized that what Maine was looking for matched what I was looking for and matched my skill set.”

On Monday afternoon, Ralph was named UMaine’s new athletic director. He will begin Sept. 1, two days after the Black Bears play rival New Hampshire in their season-opening football game at Alfond Stadium. His contract is for four years with an annual salary of $214,000.

“I’d love to be there for the UNH game,” Ralph said Monday night. “If there’s any way I can do that, I’ll be there.”

Ralph, 49, replaces Jim Settele, who had been the interim athletic director since May 1. Settele had replaced Karlton Creech, who left Maine for the University of Denver. Creech was making $183,855 when he left.

Ralph becomes the seventh person – including two interim athletic directors – to run Maine’s athletic department since 2003.

One of the first things he mentioned is he plans on being in Orono for a while.

“I’m not looking for a steppingstone job. I’m not looking to build a resume,” he said. “The resume is what it is. This challenge is special. There are some opportunities here that professionally get my juices flowing. It’s exciting. But I don’t look at this as being easy. It’s going to be challenging.

“I understand there’s some trepidation about the fact that they’ve had so much turnover. People are looking for some consistency, some stability. I wouldn’t have taken this job if I weren’t looking for it.”

Robert Dana, who chaired the 12-member search committee, said Ralph was “impressive on many levels” but mostly in how he recognized the athletic department’s place, not only on campus but statewide.

“He had a great sense that this is the University of Maine and this is the athletic department of the people of the state of Maine,” said Dana, UMaine’s vice president for student life and dean of students. “I have a strong sense he will open the door to all comers and will be a welcoming aspect.”

At Colorado College, Ralph directed a program that included teams at both the NCAA Division I and Division III levels. The department had 51 people and a budget of $10 million. Maine’s athletic department has 93 employees and a budget in excess of $20 million. Over the last two years, according to the University of Maine System’s Audit Committee, UMaine’s athletic revenues were $20,962,674 in 2016 and $20,941,859 in 2017.

Ralph also understands that no matter how much the budget is, fundraising is going to be a huge part of his position at Maine. “Clearly it’s going to be important going forward,” he said. “Money is tight and the facilities have needs.”

Ralph, who graduated from the University of Alaska-Anchorage in 1991 as a five-time All-America swimmer, also served as the director of athletics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 2002-07. Before that he was an assistant athletic director and swim coach at Connecticut College.

Wherever he’s been, Ralph earned a reputation as someone who could raise money to get new facilities built. At Connecticut College, he helped secure a $500,000 gift to the school to renovate its indoor swimming facility. At RPI, he helped plan, design and raise money for the $92 million East Campus Athletic Village. At Colorado College, he oversaw the $27 million expansion and renovation of the El Pomar Sports Center, home to most of the school’s teams, and the construction of the $39 million Robson Arena, which will be the on-campus home to the school’s Division I men’s hockey team.

Creech was also an excellent fundraiser. According to the university, there was a 20 percent increase in annual giving to athletics under Creech. And he helped centralize fundraising for the athletic department with the creation of the Alfond Fund.

“We need to find some partners, engage and excite donors,” said Ralph. “We’ll shake some hands and sell people on our long-term vision. This is about steady progress, committing to a plan and doing it right.”

His ability to raise money wasn’t lost on the search committee.

“He’s got an excellent reputation as a fundraiser,” said Dana. “And that stems from his passion and his perspective of the athletic department being part of the whole community. He has a warm personality. And he certainly understands that this is an important piece of the budget at the university and all we can do to enhance it will only help the program.”

He also worked in compliance, marketing, event management and alumni relationships at Colorado College. “That makes it a lot easier for me to understand the full operation,” said Ralph.

“Ken has demonstrated leadership in helping ensure student-athletes’ success in the classroom and in competition, as well as experience in compliance, strategic planning, fundraising and community outreach,” said UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy in a press release.

Dana said the search committee reached out to the consulting firm Turnkey Search in its national search. The firm provided a list of 12 candidates that was whittled to four. Two were invited to campus. Dana declined to identify the other candidate.

Ralph said the biggest thing he can do at first is to listen.

“We want everybody involved,” he said. “There are a lot of folks who put in a lot of time and effort, and have a lot of sweat equity in that program.

“We’re not going to make changes simply for the sake of making changes.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

]]> 0, 20 Aug 2018 22:47:50 +0000
Fairfield man charged in Lewiston gas station robbery Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:57:55 +0000 LEWISTON — An 18-year-old Fairfield man was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with robbing a Main Street gas station and mini-mart.

Police charged Isaac Howard Sterling with Class B robbery and theft, Lt. David St. Pierre said. According to state law, Class B robbery is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The robbery occurred at the Irving Mainway at 674 Main St. at 1 a.m.

He was taken to Androscoggin County Jail, where he was held through the weekend and Monday in lieu of $15,000 cash bail.

He is likely to have his first court appearance Wednesday at 8th District Court.

Because the charges are felonies, he won’t enter a plea unless an Androscoggin County grand jury hands up an indictment on those charges.

This story will be updated.

]]> 0, 20 Aug 2018 15:00:29 +0000
Jackman bus routes Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:37:27 +0000

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 14:39:48 +0000
OFF RADAR Mon, 20 Aug 2018 18:09:45 +0000 If you were going to read Bowdoin College instructor Brock Clarke’s short stories as part of a college seminar in fiction — and I’m thinking these stories would support such reading — you would of course want to place them in an appropriate literary context. Helpful authors might include, off the top of my head, Samuel Beckett, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O’Connor and Nicholson Baker (who I believe may have moved recently from his longtime home in South Berwick).

“The Price of the Haircut” comprises 11 short stories that at a glance you might categorize in the messy literary genre called metafiction. You would not be wrong about this, exactly. Metafiction rears its head when the story you’re reading looks and sounds like a story but isn’t, because 1. its characters, settings and/or plot are fractured out of all recognizable convention, and 2. the main themes or subtexts of the story are the story or language itself. These things are true to one extent or another in all 11 of Clarke’s stories. But not entirely.

The original master of metafiction before it had a name was Samuel Beckett. So you’d want your students to read, maybe, the “Molloy”-“Malone Dies”-“The Unnameable” trilogy, in which events are chaotic to nonexistent and by the third book all semblance of conventional narrative is long gone and the story’s whole verbal reality is represented by a head suspended in the neck of a bottle with its withered body dangling inside, trying to figure out what it is doing when it talks. Its tone is bleakly hilarious.

Some decades later, the American writer Donald Barthelme developed Beckett’s departures from narrative convention. Clarke’s writing has been compared favorably with Barthelme’s, especially with regard to the weird kinds of irony that emerge from his stories (so to call them) about deliberately nonreal characters (so to call them).

Then you might want your students to read something by Nicholson Baker. His novels are metafictional in atmosphere and theme, but more closely represent what we might call actual people. One of Baker’s quirks is to go down the rabbit hole of a few minutes of a character’s thoughts over scores of pages. It sounds boring, but thought by ironic thought, he makes it funny; and the narratives filling the characters’ heads are remarkably continuous despite their discontinuity. (“Room Temperature” is a whole novel about a man’s half-hour feeding his baby daughter.)

Anyway, these three writers would give your students some context for their experience of “The Price of the Haircut,” where you go down rabbit holes of internal thoughts; where conventional plots and settings are only elusively present; and where the characters are not quite real. A couple of the stories, such as the title story, are told collectively, in first-person plural — “‘Wow,’ we said, turning off the television set. ‘Eight-dollar haircuts.’” These are not representations of real people, but caricatures constructed as vehicles for the tenor of certain kinds of ironic behaviors and dispositions recognizable in the world. As in Barthelme, Clarke’s caricatures are largely personalities made of words and most of the plot events are surreal at best (“Children Who Divorce,” narrated by a theater cast, reads like a dream of disconnected events centered around the actors’ collective desperation to deal with lifelong petty neuroses). But as in Baker, recognizable emotions emerge.

And so you also might want your students to read Flannery O’Connor, one of America’s great masters of realistic fiction. Not to overgeneralize, but a major emotional thread explored in O’Connor’s stories involves disaffection, resentment and antipathy up to outright violent hatred. Similarly, Brock Clarke’s stories, despite being metafictions, are yet prevalent with hypocrisies, ironies and pathetic human weaknesses readily recognizable in the world. The irony you encounter in Beckett and Barthelme turns sardonic in Clarke, and through these stories, at least, it is relentless and caustic.

In “The Price of the Haircut,” the narrators/protagonists cannot get out of their own ideological way; the story is a sort of surreal allegory (if there could be such a thing) on the hypocrisies of middle class Americans who believe themselves to be self-reliant, anti-racist, yet conservative progressives, who are bumbling experts at rationalizing the penny-pinching avarice that guides everything they do. In “What Is the Cure for Meanness?” a dead dog and a teenage son’s continual misreading of his emotional and ethical links to his father add up to the general sense that there is, after all, no cure for meanness. The most nearly realistic story in the collection is “Concerning Lizzie Borden, Her Axe, My Wife,” whose title captures the sensibility.

In “The Misunderstanding,” we boil through the thin-skinned, petty life of a family whose kids cause an uproar in a restaurant, spurring their being hired to cause uproars in other restaurants. Meanwhile the dad has had an affair with a black woman which the mom has forgiven — not. The emotional interaction becomes Flannery-O’Connor ugly (thinking of “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” for example) and then ups the ante when the mom cracks and starts launching appalling racial insults at the dad and his former lover. The emotional tenor of this story is all too real in its unreality.
The tone of these stories brings the reviewer’s cliché “savage” to mind. Funny, but bitterly dark. Caustic. “There is no resentment so pure as that for the people who you love and who you have let down,” observe the collective narrators of “Our Pointy Boots.” The difference between Clarke and O’Connor is that in O’Connor redemptive events end up highlighting human sympathies; in Clarke, there’s hardly a trace of anything like sympathy.

Your seminar discussion would no doubt allow as how the darkness in these stories felt true to life, in a grisly way. You would engage questions, I imagine, about how the postmodern world got from Beckett to Barthelme to Baker to “The Price of the Haircut.” And whether the antagonism, meanness and racism in Flannery O’Connor’s South wasn’t a key cultural current, after all. It would be, I’m thinking, a desperate-sounding discussion.

Brock Clarke lives in Portland and teaches creative writing at Bowdoin. His recent novel is “An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England.”

Off Radar takes note of poetry and books with Maine connections the first Thursday of each month. Contact Dana Wilde at

]]> 0, 20 Aug 2018 14:11:29 +0000
Road construction will pave the way for Biddeford mill redevelopment, and cause detours downtown Mon, 20 Aug 2018 17:50:19 +0000 Biddeford officials say a major road construction project will close streets and affect downtown traffic starting this week.

The work on Lincoln Street in the heart of the city’s downtown is being done in preparation for the upcoming $40 million redevelopment of the Lincoln Mill.

The Lincoln Street reconstruction project will include removing old pavement, raising the elevation of the road and repaving the street. New granite curbing and sidewalks will be installed on both sides of the street, along with underground utility conduits, new sewer piping and LED streetlights. The city has allocated $1.36 million for the project.

Lincoln Street runs between Main Street and Route 1.

The updates to Lincoln Street are required as part of a joint development agreement reached between the city and LHL Holdings LLC, the corporation that will redevelop Lincoln Mill. The city has already removed old sidewalks, fixed a granite wall and installed underground utility conduits as part of the agreement.

The Lincoln Hotel and Lofts project proposed by LHL Holdings and developer Tim Harrington will convert the former textile mill into 181 housing units, a restaurant and a fitness center. The project will include a rooftop pool. Since Harrington acquired the mill in 2014 and announced plans for its redevelopment, city officials have used his investment as an example of the city’s turnaround since the removal of the Maine Energy Recovery Co. trash incinerator from the adjoining property.

“With this kind of major project coming into the downtown, these improvements become a necessity,” City Manager Jim Bennett said in a statement. “We can’t have this $40 million revitalization project come into our community without the proper infrastructure in place to support it.”

City officials warned residents to expect delays and slower traffic throughout construction, which will continue through mid-November. Businesses will remain open even when sections of road are closed.

Tom Milligan, the city’s engineer, said Lincoln Street will be closed from Main Street to Pearl Street during the repaving.

“We’ll have plenty of signs up to make sure that these detours are clear,” he said.

City officials plan to post regular updates about the road construction project on the city website.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

Twitter: grahamgillian

]]> 0 Lincoln Mill in Biddeford, left, has about 224,000 square feet of space and is located at the corner of Main and Lincoln streets. The Lincoln Hotel planned for part of the property would be the first hotel built downtown in recent city history.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 23:26:04 +0000
First lady warns about cyberbullying as Trump tears into ex-CIA chief on Twitter Mon, 20 Aug 2018 17:47:51 +0000 ROCKVILLE, Md.  — Melania Trump talked up the importance of teaching children positive cyber habits Monday on the same morning that her husband sent tweets deriding current and former U.S. officials, including one message referring to a former CIA director as a “political hack.”

Asked about the contradictory messages, the first lady’s office said in a statement that she “is aware of the criticism but it will not deter her from doing what she feels is right. The President is proud of her commitment to children and encourages her in all that she does.”

Mrs. Trump delivered brief remarks to help open a government-sponsored summit called Federal Partners on Bullying Prevention, encouraging social media and technology companies to provide more opportunities for young people to share ideas for how to be good citizens online.

But the split screen of the first lady encouraging children to act a certain way when they see President Donald Trump behaving in the opposite way underscored the challenge Mrs. Trump faces with her “Be Best” campaign. A key focus is on youth cyberbullying.

Mrs. Trump spoke highly of a group of students she recently met who participate in Microsoft’s Council for Digital Good. The students provide the computer software maker with ideas and feedback for Microsoft’s policy work on youth-centered online safety.

She told the summit at the Health Resources and Services Administration building in Rockville how impressed she was by their “deep understanding of how important it is to be safe” and said she was “inspired by their sincere commitment to reducing peer-to-peer bullying through kindness and open communication.”

“I encourage technology and social media companies, schools and community groups, to establish more opportunities for children such as Microsoft’s Council for Digital Good,” the first lady said. “By listening to children’s ideas and concerns, I believe adults will be better able to help them navigate this often-difficult topic.”

“Let’s face it: Most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults, but we still need to do all we can to provide them with information and tools for successful and safe online habits.”

After speaking, Mrs. Trump took a seat in the front row and listened as a panel featuring representatives from Facebook, Google, Twitter and the nonprofit Family Online Safety Institute talk about how they’re responding to the issue.

As the panelists spoke, Trump sent fresh tweets about John Brennan, calling him “the worst CIA Director in our country’s history” and a “political hack.” Brennan, who led the CIA under President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has been an outspoken critic of Trump, a Republican, over his performance and behavior as president. Trump recently revoked Brennan’s security clearance.

Trump also tweeted against Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, who has come under Republican scrutiny for his contacts to Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS. The opposition research firm hired former British spy Christopher Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign to compile a dossier on Trump and his Russia ties. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS during the campaign — and Trump has been tweeting about the connection to highlight his assertions of political bias behind the Russia investigation.

Trump tweeted Monday: “Will Bruce Ohr, whose family received big money for helping to create the phony, dirty and discredited Dossier, ever be fired from the Jeff Sessions “Justice” Department? A total joke!”

Trump said last week that he was close to revoking Ohr’s security clearance, too.

The first lady’s appearance at the conference came as part of her campaign to help children “Be Best,” which also includes an emphasis on child well-being overall and opioid addiction.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the Health Resources and Services Administration, which sponsored the conference and which his department oversees, began an anti-bullying campaign in 2001 to help raise awareness. He said one in five children experience bullying, and that 16 percent of children currently are victims of cyberbullying.

“We need to recognize that bullying is bullying wherever it occurs,” Azar said. “And we need to stop it.”

The conference also heard from Joseph Grunwald, who described his experiences being bullied during middle and high school. Grunwald said the bullying started as taunts on the school bus and grew into physical harassment by high school, including violence. He did not go into detail.

As the same time, he said he was also being harassed on social media.

“Because the bullying was also online, I couldn’t escape it, no matter where I was,” Grunwald said.

]]> 0 Trump is back in the White House after staying at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since Monday, when she had an embolization procedure to treat a kidney condition.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 14:05:46 +0000
Monmouth Community Players to hold auditions for ‘The Foreigner’ Mon, 20 Aug 2018 17:13:21 +0000 Monmouth Community Players will hold auditions for its first show of the 2018-19 season Larry Shue’s comedy “The Foreigner.”

The show will be directed by Bill Mclean, of Monmouth, assistant directed by Cindy Dunham, of Windham, and produced by Josie French, of Lewiston.

Auditions are scheduled for Sunday and Monday, Sept. 2-3, at Cumston Hall, 796 Main St. in Monmouth, according to a news release from the theater group.

The scene is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by “Froggy” LeSeuer, a British demolition expert, who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. This time “Froggy” has brought along a friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. So “Froggy,” before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Once alone, the fun really begins, as Charlie overhears more than he should — the evil plans of a sinister, two-faced minister and his redneck associate; the fact that the minister’s pretty fiancee is pregnant; and many other damaging revelations made with the thought that Charlie doesn’t understand a word being said. That he does fuels the nonstop hilarity of the play and sets up the wildly funny climax in which things go uproariously awry for the “bad guys,” and the “good guys” emerge triumphant, according to the release.

Rehearsals are scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Those interested are asked to come to auditions with all known conflicts.

Cast of characters:

• Froggy LeSeuer (male, 30-early 50s): A demolitions expert from the British Army. Must be able to do a heavy cockney accent.

• Charlie Baker (male, 30-early 50s): A painfully shy, dull proofreader from England. Must do a British accent and the have the ability to come up with a “fake” foreign accent.

• Betty Meeks (female, 50s plus): A widow and owner of the fishing lodge. Betty has dreamed of traveling outside her Georgia home, but never has. Heavy southern accent.

• The Rev. David Marshall Lee (male, mid 20s-30s): Good looking, sincere, charming and confident. Engaged to Catherine. Smooth southern drawl.

• Catherine Simms (female, 18-early 20s): A former debutante, Catherine is living at the lodge with her younger brother, Ellard. Engaged to the Reverend Lee and the heiress to a fortune. Smooth southern drawl.

• Owen Musser (male, mid 20s-50s): A local redneck, and the other villain in the play. Heavy Southern Accent.

• Ellard Simms (male, 18-mid 20s): The younger brother of Catherine. Considered by most to be mentally defective, he is a sweet, overgrown, backward youth who we see blossom with Charlie’s help. Must be able to use a thick southern accent.

Show dates are Nov. 2-11. For more information, or with questions concerning the auditions or the show, email the director at or the producer at

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 13:13:21 +0000
Enchanted Evening in the Garden benefit set for Sept. 13 in Waterville Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:46:49 +0000 WATERVILLE — An Enchanted Evening in the Garden is planned for 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area’s Memorial Healing Garden at 304 Main St.

Activities and events will include catered hors d’oeuvres wine tasting by Two Hogs Winery, Winterport Winery and Valley Distributers, beer tasting by Bigelow Brewery, raffles, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, music by James Prior and auctioneer the divine Marie Cormier. Various foods from local establishments will also be available to taste.

This event is supported and funded by Choice Investments, Bangor Savings Bank, Boy Locksmith/Dave and Kim Hallee, Earle and Bette Jane Bessey III, E.D. Bessey & Son, Chris and Sue McMorrow and Leslie Lenfest.

Limited tickets are available. The cost is $35. To order tickets, visit or call 873-3615.

All proceeds will benefit Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area.

For more information, contact Jillian Roy, adult and youth services bereavement coordinator, at 873-3615 or

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:46:49 +0000
Foraging: Edible and Medicinal Plants topic on Sept. 6 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:39:11 +0000 AUGUSTA — Foraging: Edible and Medicinal Plants will be the topic at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at Lithgow Public Library, 45 Winthrop St.

Ryan Busby, instructor with the Maine Primitive Skills School, will talk about local edible and medicinal plants. Participants can learn to identify, sustainably harvest, and use wild foraged foods for meals and to improve their health.

Wild foods and medicines have nourished and protected humans for hundreds of thousands of years and there is still an abundance to rediscover and enjoy today, according to a news release from the library.

For more information, visit, or call the library at 626-2415.

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:39:11 +0000
Jefferson Historical Society to host Open House Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:34:49 +0000 The Jefferson Historical Society will host its last Open House from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Old Jefferson Town House, 7 Gardiner Road in Jefferson.

Many school photos, photos of buildings in the North Village area (around the Meserve Mill), new items in the collection, Jefferson memorabilia, Historical Photos Calendars and tours of the building will be on view. Homemade cookies will be for sale.

The historical society is always looking for more information and photos of Jefferson’s history which can be scanned and returned to the owners to add to the collection.

For more information, call 49-5258.

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:34:49 +0000
Kennebec Journal police log for Aug. 20 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:29:59 +0000 IN AUGUSTA, Sunday at 8:08 a.m., suspicious activity was reported on Mount Vernon Avenue.

9 a.m., suspicious activity was reported on Western Avenue.

9:41 a.m., suspicious activity was reported on Church Street.

12:27 p.m., shoplifting was reported on Civic Center Drive.

12:38 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Crossing Way.

8:19 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Village Circle.

9:16 p.m., a disturbance was reported on Page Street.

11:13 p.m., disorderly conduct was reported on Front Street.

11:23 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Gage Street.

Monday at 12:45 a.m., criminal trespass was reported on Edison Drive.

2:49 a.m., a disturbance was reported on Stone Street.

4:09 a.m., a disturbance was reported on Bog Road.

IN CHINA, Saturday at 10:37 a.m., harassment and threatening was reported on Dirigo Road.

IN GARDINER, Friday at 3:39 p.m., theft was reported on Pleasant Street.

Sunday at 2:35 p.m., a Water Street caller reported receiving harassing calls.

IN MONMOUTH, Friday at 4:05 p.m., harassment was reported on Main Street.

Saturday at 5:17 p.m., assault was reported on Academy Road.

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:06:23 +0000
Cohen Center to host a surf and turf luncheon Aug. 30 in Hallowell Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:22:00 +0000 HALLOWELL — Spectrum Generations William S. Cohen Community Center will host a surf and turf luncheon from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at 22 Town Farm Road.

The menu will include 1.5 pound lobster, sirloin steak, New England clam chowder, baked potato, corn on the cob, green salad and blueberry cake.

Tickets must be purchased in advance. The cost is $20 per person for one lobster or steak or $30 per person for two lobsters or one lobster and one steak.

Tickets can be purchased at the Cohen Center from 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or by calling 626-7777.

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:22:00 +0000
Maine Farm Days to begin Aug. 22 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:21:22 +0000 CLINTON — Maine Farm Days is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Misty Meadows Farm, 308 Hill Road.

The major events will include a range of agribusiness exhibits’, equipment dealers, wagon tours, children’s learning center, craft tent, farmers market and educational speakers and presentations. The event is an extravaganza of animals, farm information, equipment, food, entertaining displays and more.

For more information, call 622-7847, ext. 3, or visit

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:21:22 +0000
Morning Sentinel Aug. 20 police log Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:19:34 +0000 IN AVON, Sunday at 10:02 p.m., an unwanted person was reported on Avon Valley Road.

IN BINGHAM, Sunday at 12:45 p.m., trespassing was reported on Main Street.

IN BENTON, Sunday at 1:18 p.m., a vehicle fire was reported on River Road.

IN CANAAN, Sunday at 3:56 p.m., a disturbance was reported on Mud Run.

IN CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Sunday at 2:35 a.m., a disturbance was reported on Gauge Road.

IN CHESTERVILLE, Sunday at 6:16 a.m., vandalism or criminal mischief was reported on Dutch Gap Road.

10:01 a.m., vandalism or criminal mischief was reported on Dutch Gap Road.

12:43 p.m., vandalism or criminal mischief was reported on Dutch Gap Road.

IN CLINTON, Sunday at 1:38 p.m., a theft was reported at a Galusha’s storage building on Main Street.

IN EUSTIS, Sunday at 12:02 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Old Dead River Road.

IN FAIRFIELD, Sunday at 1:19 p.m., disturbance was reported on Main Street.

3:19 p.m., loud noise or music was reported on Ohio Hill Road.

7:58 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Maple Street.

8:05 p.m., a shots fired complaint was reported on Green Road.

10:31 p.m., a domestic disturbance was reported on Crane Drive.

10:37 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Wandrup Drive.

10:37 p.m., a domestic disturbance was reported on Crane Drive.

11:31 p.m., disturbance was reported on Crane Drive.

Monday at 6:23 a.m., a domestic disturbance was reported on Mountain Avenue.

IN FARMINGTON, Sunday at 9:15 a.m., harassment was reported on High Street.

9:57 a.m., suspicious activity was reported on Morrison Hill Road.

10:01 a.m., harassment was reported on Wilton Road.

1:05 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Main Street.

4:37 p.m., theft or fraud was reported on Wilton Road.

7:16 p.m., disturbance was reported on Thomas McClellan Road.

Monday at 2:41 a.m., suspicious activity was reported on Titcomb Hill Road.

7:21 a.m., vandalism or criminal mischief was reported on Lincoln Street.

IN JAY, Sunday at 4:17 a.m., suspicious activity was reported on Church Street.

11:05 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Intervale Road.

Monday at 12:47 a.m., suspicious activity was reported on Main Street.

IN HARTLAND, Sunday at 8:30 p.m., a domestic disturbance was reported on Athens Road.

IN LEXINGTON TOWNSHIP, Sunday at 11:47 a.m., disturbance was reported on Long Falls Dam Road.

IN MADISON, Sunday at 4:35 p.m., a domestic disturbance was reported on Bean Street.

6:30 p.m., threatening was reported on Main Street.

11:41 p.m., domestic disturbance was reported on Spruce Street.

Monday at 12:52 a.m., suspicious activity was reported on Merrill Road.

IN MOSCOW, Sunday at 4:22 p.m., mischief was reported on Town Line Road.

IN NEW PORTLAND, Sunday at 12:15 p.m., trespassing was reported on River Road.

IN OAKLAND, Sunday at 1:41 p.m., a caller from Northwest Road reported a person was missing.

6:02 p.m., a theft was reported on Church Street.

6:13 p.m., a theft was reported on Church Street.

8:12 p.m., a traffic hazard was reported on Ten Lots Road.

8:47 p.m., a burglary was reported on Gagnon Road.

11:14 p.m., noise was reported on Cedar Village Place.

IN SKOWHEGAN, Sunday at 7:35 a.m., a report of a motor vehicle accident led to an arrest on Canaan Road.

3:17 p.m., disturbance was reported on North Avenue.

4:29 p.m., disturbance was reported on Water Street.

8:08 p.m., a domestic disturbance was reported on Hilltop Drive.

Monday at 7:36 a.m., a motor vehicle burglary was reported on Palmer Road.

IN WATERVILLE, Sunday at 9:05 a.m., criminal trespass was reported at Veterans Memorial Park on Elm Street.

11:20 a.m., a caller from Edgewood Street reported a person was missing.

12:24 p.m., harassment was reported at Elm Towers apartments on Elm Street.

5:55 p.m., harassment was reported at Hannaford at JFK Plaza off Kennedy Memorial Drive.

8:59 p.m., harassment was reported at the Big Apple store on Elm Street.

9:03 p.m., a fight was reported on Gold Street.

10:33 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Elm Street.

11:58 p.m., suspicious activity was reported on Waterville Commons Drive.

Monday at 3:03 a.m., suspicious activity was reported on Leighton Street.


IN FRANKLIN COUNTY, Sunday at 10:35 a.m., Danielle Jade Luker, 30, of Farmington, was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court on a charge of operating while license suspended or revoked with prior.

4:12 p.m., Lucas Michael Jalbert, 40, of Westbrook, was arrested on a charge of Class E operating while license suspended or revoked.


IN WINSLOW, Sunday at 7:50 a.m., Mark A. Pontbriand, 38, of Waterville, was issued a summons and charged with operating after habitual offender revocation.

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:06:08 +0000
French and Indian War Encampment planned for Aug. 25-26 in Augusta Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:18:48 +0000 The James Howard’s Company, reenactors of Fort Western, will host a French and Indian War Encampment from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at Fort Western (1754) on the east bank of the Kennebec River in the heart of downtown Augusta, according to a news release from Fort Western.

Throughout the weekend, reenactors will portray the garrison of Fort Western during the year 1758, a year when the soldiers were fearful of attack, and bitter because of their long enlistments at the lonely and isolated fort. On Saturday, there will be musket firing demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. During the rest of the day, the soldiers and women of the fort will portray daily life, including cooking and guard duty. On Sunday morning, starting at 10:15 a.m., the public is invited to join in the soldiers’ worship service. Following the service, the reenactors will work to recreate an authentic camp kitchen under archaeological supervision. In addition, daily life will be portrayed until they break camp at 2 p.m.

During the encampment, visitors are invited to walk through the fort, store and house to view period rooms and exhibits and talk with historical costumed interpreters about daily life in the 18th century. Admission rates are $10 for adults, $6 for children 6 to 14 years old, $8 seniors and veterans, $25 family of five, and $1 AAA discounts. Augusta residents and active military are free of charge.

The fort is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July and August; and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday during September and October.

Fort Western (1754) is America’s oldest surviving wooden French & Indian War garrison illuminating 300 years of Maine and New England history. For more information, visit or call 626-2385 or e-mail

]]> 0 volley by reenactors at Fort Western.Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:18:48 +0000
Regional School Unit 9 bus routes Mon, 20 Aug 2018 16:11:01 +0000

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:35:16 +0000
Regional School Unit 18 bus routes Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:30:36 +0000

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 12:57:08 +0000
No one believed that unicorn root existed anymore in Maine – until it showed up in a field in Bowdoin Mon, 20 Aug 2018 15:25:23 +0000

Unicorn root was found in this field in Bowdoin. Also known as Colic-root or Colicroot, is was thought to be gone from Maine.

A unicorn has been spotted in Bowdoin.

One of some 300 unicorn root stems sways in a field in Bowdoin.

Unicorn root, a rare flowering plant that has not been found in Maine for more than 130 years, was found growing this year in Bowdoin, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The 300 flowering stems were discovered in a damp field on private property.

It had been believed that the plant was wiped out here.

The plant has been found in Maine only three previous times. Botanist Kate Furbish found it growing in Brunswick in 1874 and Wells in 1879. A third specimen was found in Lewiston in 1887.

Unicorn root, also known as white colic-root or colicroot, has a basal rosette of lance-shaped leaves and a single, tall stalk with white flowers that appear in July and August, according to the department. It ranges across most of the eastern United States and Ontario, but it is rare in northeastern states.

Unicorn root grows in open, moist, sandy ground and is most often found in tall-grass prairie habitats and damp meadows with little to no topsoil.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

Twitter: grahamgillian

]]> 0, 20 Aug 2018 22:57:55 +0000
Westbrook lawmaker accused of misconduct with students resigns his House seat Mon, 20 Aug 2018 14:43:28 +0000 Rep. Dillon Bates, D-Westbrook, resigned Monday in the face of a potential ethics investigation into allegations that he has engaged in inappropriate relationships with female students.

Dillon Bates said in his resignation message: “In my time away from the Legislature, I plan to focus on clearing my name.”

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon, who had previously sought Bates’ resignation, shared an email from the 30-year-old former teacher and coach Monday.

“Speaker Gideon, I will be resigning my seat in the 128th Maine Legislature, effective tomorrow, August 20,” Bates said in the email. “The anonymous allegations against me are baseless and false. That said, with likely only a matter of hours of legislative work remaining, I do not wish to create any distractions.”

“In my time away from the Legislature, I plan to focus on clearing my name. I am proud of my time in service to the City of Westbrook and the State of Maine. It has been an honor to be their voice in Augusta for the past four years, and I look forward to finding ways to serve my community, state, and country in the future. I wish all those who choose to serve our great state only the best.”

The resignation comes less than two weeks after state Rep. Paula Sutton, R-Warren, called for a House Ethics Committee session regarding the accusations against the two-term lawmaker.

Bates, through his attorney, had previously denied wrongdoing and had indicated that he would not step down. He has not been charged with any crimes.

Bates didn’t respond to requests for comment from the Press Herald on Monday. Henry Beck, one of Bates’ attorneys, said Bates would not be making additional comments or answering questions from the media.

Gideon, of Freeport, called on Bates to resign after The Bollard, a monthly publication in Portland, published a story Aug. 3 alleging that Bates, who represents House District 35 in Westbrook, had inappropriate relationships with “at least three” female students over several years.

Gideon declined to comment in detail Monday, other than to confirm Bates had resigned.

The story did not identify the students or the people who made the allegtations.

In November, Bates abruptly resigned from his job as drama coach at Maine Girls’ Academy, and this month the Schoolhouse Arts Center in Standish announced on its website that Bates had resigned as its education director and would no longer be affiliated with the organization.

Bates resigned his position coaching boys and girls cross-country teams at Massabesic High School this fall, officials at Regional School Unit 57 said several days after publication of the story about Bates.

Walter McKee, an attorney for Bates, has previously said that Bates would serve the rest of his term. Bates is not seeking re-election.

Three people who worked at the Maine Girls’ Academy, which closed in July because of financial problems, told the Press Herald this month that they each made separate reports to a state hotline set up for reporting possible child abuse.

The three said they made the calls in the days after Bates resigned in November, in part because they were not certain whether school leadership had reported the allegations.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette released a statement Monday saying that the House can now “focus on the important work we have left to finish.”

“With the announcement that Rep. Dillon Bates has decided to step down, the House of Representatives can put this matter behind us,” Fredette said.

The House is due to come back into session on Aug. 30 to take care of unfinished business from this spring’s session.

Joe Lawlor can be contacted at 791-6376 or at:

Twitter: joelawlorph

]]> 0 'baseless,' his lawyer saysMon, 20 Aug 2018 23:58:16 +0000
SAD 49 bus routes Mon, 20 Aug 2018 14:18:46 +0000

]]> 0 Mon, 20 Aug 2018 10:49:55 +0000