Wednesday, November 14, 2012

We've moved!

Somerset News Online has a new home effective Nov. 14, 2012. Visit us at All other contact information remains the same. Give us a little time to catch up, but look for more community news from the Somerset-Sebasticook Valley Region every week.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November Red Cross blood drives

 “Warm your heart – heat your home” is the theme of the American Red Cross Blood Donor Centers this month as all presenting donors will be eligible to win a $200 gift certificate that can be used toward the cost of heating their homes. The sponsor of this community-minded program is Suburban Propane.

  Here are the blood drives in Central Maine this month. Reservations can be made either online at  or 1-800-REDCROSS
  • Wednesday, Nov. 21: Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge, Skowhegan; 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 30: Redington-Fairview Hospital, Skowhegan, 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Free park passes for Maine vets

  AUGUSTA – Maine residents who are veterans and were honorably discharged or received a general discharge under honorable conditions are reminded this Veterans Day that they are eligible for a free, life-time day-use pass to Maine state parks and historic sites.
  “We are honored to be able to offer this small token of our gratitude to Maine veterans in recognition of their outstanding service to this country,” said Commissioner Walter Whitcomb of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, which oversees Maine state parks and historic sites. “We are very proud and thankful for all that our veterans have contributed to the security and freedom of our country."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Taylor’s Drug Store collecting food for People Who Care Food Cupboard

  MADISON – Taylor’s Drug Store in Madison has “adopted” the People Who Care Food Cupboard for the month of November.  Shelves will be set up in the store for food collection and a cash donation counter will be on the counter.
  The Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative and United Way of Mid-Maine offer the “adoption” program, which connects local businesses and area food cupboards to improve food security for families. Main Street Skowhegan, Skowhegan Rotary, Madison Business Alliance and Norridgewock Chamber of Commerce have also endorsed the project.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Maine State Grange annual convention underway at Rockland Elks Lodge

  AUGUSTA – Patrick Brewer, Master (President) of the Maine State Grange will preside over the 139th Annual Session of the Maine State Grange Oct. 25-27 at the Rockland Elks Lodge.
  Approximately 140 Granges from across the state will send delegates to debate various resolutions from national to state legislative to issues to assorted internal issues.
  Resolutions passes at the session will become policy of the Maine State Grange and will be lobbied for at the Maine State Legislature.  Those pertaining to national policies will be sent to the National Grange Session held in November where delegates from across the country will consider them.
   On Oct. 26, Walter Whitcomb, State of Maine Commissioner of Agriculture will address the session.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shoe tariff discussion at Citizen Trade Policy Meeting in Skowhegan Oct. 24

  AUGUSTA – The future of shoe tariffs that protect hundreds of jobs in Maine will be discussed at an upcoming public hearing of the Citizen Trade Policy Commission.  The meeting will be held at the Skowhegan Community Center from 5:30 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24.
  “The meeting is another opportunity to hear from workers about how important these local jobs are,” said Rep. Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, who has been advocating for the tariff to remain intact in an international free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is now under negotiation between the US and 10 other countries.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Skowhegan Fright Fest 2012

  SKOWHEGAN – The Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce has announced several scary but fun events for Fright Fest 2012.
  Haunted Hayrides, Oct. 26 - 27 (Friday and Saturday), 6 - 10 p.m., Skowhegan Fairgrounds.  The Chamber is still looking for volunteers for both Friday and Saturday nights, so all help is appreciated.  Contact the Chamber for more information. Posters with details are in several businesses and community locations.
  Skowhegan Municipal Haunted House, Oct. 26 - 27, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Skowhegan Municipal Building.  This event will be running at the same time as the hayrides, so that Skowhegan has several events to help you celebrate Halloween.  Attendance was great last year so get there early.  Also on Saturday the 27th will be a special performance on the Opera House Stage called Casper’s House at 5 p.m.  Nearly 400 people attended Casper’s House last year.
  Halloween Trunk or Treat, Saturday, Oct. 27, Downtown Skowhegan, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Presented by the Skowhegan First Church of the Nazarene, this event gives a safe place for families to trick or treat on Saturday night by the downtown rotary.  If it rains, this event will be moved to the church on East Madison Road.
  Halloween Parade, Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m., downtown Skowhegan, presented by the Skowhegan Free Public Library.  Lineup begins at the Federated Church.
  Mama Mack’s Haunted House, Oct. 31. Check posters in downtown Skowhegan and other community locations for details.


Sharon Mack guest speaker at Nov. 1 Mid-Maine Community Forum

  PITTSFIELD – The Mid-Maine Community Forum caps off its fall forum series with long-time Central Maine journalist Sharon Mack on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the First Universalist Church in Pittsfield.
   Newspapers nationwide are struggling with the double whammy of the downturn in the national economy and the explosion of Internet news. How has this changed the way the public gets its information and how that information is presented? Mack will discuss the changing face of journalism based on her 30 years in the industry.
   Sharon Kiley Mack began her journalism career in Pittsfield 30 years ago. She worked for two weekly newspapers - the Valley Times and Eastern Gazette - before joining the Bangor Daily News. She was bureau chief for Somerset County for more than two decades before moving to Downeast Maine four years ago to continue her career.
  She has won numerous state, regional and national writing awards for her work, including in her specialty of agriculture. Mack is a University of Hartford graduate, mother of six and grandmother of six. She continues to write as a freelancer for several papers and maintains an artist studio in Machias.
 The forum is free and open to all. Donations are welcome. For more info, contact Trudy Ferland at 487-6523.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Skowhegan Community Band is looking for new members

  SKOWHEGAN – Les Tomlinson, Director of the Skowhegan Community Band, is inviting all instrumentalists in the area to join the band.  If you have played a few years ago or many moons ago and you wish to make music again, join them for a rehearsal to watch and listen or join. For the time being, rehearsals will be sight reading music, old and new.

Maine State Board of Education chair receives national honor

  AUGUSTA – Dr. Steven Pound, chairman of the Maine State Board of Education, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of State Boards of Education at the organization's national conference in Chicago, Ill. on Oct. 12. The national award is given annually to a state board of education member in recognition of outstanding service to public education.
   “At this pivotal time in public education, state boards are the lynchpin to successful education reform policies and their implementation,” said NASBE Executive Director Jim Kohlmoos.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Traffic sensors to be installed in Skowhegan this week

  SKOWHEGAN – Maine Department of Transportation crews will be installing traffic classifying sensors in the pavement on Route 201 (Waterville Road) in Skowhegan starting on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
  This two day event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Flaggers will assist with alternating one-way traffic for a quarter mile beginning approximately two miles north of the Varney Road and two tenths of a mile south of Carrier Lane.
  Because this work is weather dependent, the rain date is set for Thursday, Oct. 18.
  The project supports the DOT Traffic Monitoring Program, providing the number of vehicles utilizing the highway throughout the year as well as changes in travel patterns.

Rolls at Lake George dinner-auction to feature local flour

  SKOWHEGAN – This year, more of the food at the Lake George Regional Park annual spaghetti dinner will be local. Thanks to a donation and partnership between Somerset Grist Mill, Maine Grains and the Bankery, the park dinner on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Skowhegan Rec Center will feature 17 dozen rolls baked with local wheat.
  “We have always had strong support from the Skowhegan-Madison Elks, Gifford’s Ice Cream and Northeast Coffee but adding Cayford’s Cider, local lettuce and local wheat is helping broaden our local sourcing,” said Park Director Jeff McCabe.

Publisher’s Note: This is your community website – take advantage of it!

   Snowmobile clubs, veterans’ groups, Granges, fraternal organizations and community service groups are invited to submit their events to Somerset News Online.
  There is no charge or obligation. Publishing your events on our website gives your organization a little more exposure and free publicity.
   So take advantage of it! Just email your events to
   We usually update the site two or three times per week. So if you don’t see your event online right away, be patient.

Skowhegan Chamber BAH Oct. 17

   SKOWHEGAN – The UMaine Margaret Chase Smith Library is the host for the next Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours Wednesday, Oct. 17 from 5 - 7 p.m.  Come check out what is new at the library and hear about the transition into the UMaine system.  Guided tours will be available and the event will be catered by the Heritage House.  It’s a great opportunity to network with fellow members.
  For more information, contact the Chamber at 474-3621.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Dexter Candidates' Night Oct. 20

  DEXTER - Dexter Dover Area Towns in Transition (DDATT) and the Dexter Unitarian Universalist Church will jointly sponsor a “Local Food Supper and Candidates Night” on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the church.

Donors urged to ‘cruise in’ for October Red Cross blood drives

  Maine’s blood shortage is still critical as supplies recover from the normal summer slowdown, so there are plenty of opportunities for donors to give the “Gift of Life” this month at Red Cross blood drives in the Mid-Maine and Sebasticook Valley region
  Some incentives for donors this month are:
  • A chance to win a seven-day cruise for two departing from Boston to Bermuda on the Norwegian Dawn.
  • A $5 Lobster Bucks Card from Weathervane Seafood Restaurant.
  • A chance to win a lobster dinner for two from Weathervane Seafood Restaurant.
  • A coupon for $5 off your next purchase at Freihofer's Bakery Outlet.

Masonic open house Saturday, Oct. 20

  On Saturday, Oct. 20, Masonic Lodges across Maine will be opening their doors so that neighbors and friends can learn more about our organization, its members, and its buildings. It’s a great chance for you to come and see just what we're all about.
The Grand Master has suggested that Lodge open houses run from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Please check with your local lodge for the exact time they will be open.
  Here are the lodges in Central Maine and the Sebasticook Valley region that plan to be open that day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bingham Area Dental Center moves into new facility

  BINGHAM – The Bingham Area Dental Center offers valuable services to more than 1,200 Mainers each year and will continue to do so in a brand new, state-of-the-art facility that opened Oct. 8. Thanks to the dedication and initiative of the Bingham Health Council, the new dental office is equipped with a brand new work space that includes an additional patient chair with all the accessories, a private waiting area and a new digital, panoramic X-ray machine.

Abnaki Sno-Riders public meals

  MADISON – The Abnaki Sno-Riders have announced the following events at their clubhouse:
• Hunter's Breakfast: Oct. 27, 4:30 – 8:30 a.m. Menu consists of baked beans, eggs, home fries, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and orange juice. $8 per person; under age 8, free.
• Turkey Pie Dinner: Nov. 10, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Menu: Turkey pie and gravy, mashed potatoes, squash, peas, salad, coffee, tea, milk, hot chocolate and assorted dessert pies. $9 per person; under age 8, free.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Skowhegan Board of Selectmen's agenda for Tuesday, Oct. 9

  SKOWHEGAN – The Skowhegan Board of Selectmen will hold a regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9 in the council chambers starting at 5:30 p.m. Executive Secretary Cara Mason has released the following agenda.
1. Town Manager’s Report
2. Items by the Public
Public Hearing:
1. Discussion and decision to approve the Application for a Victualer’ License for:

  • The Dore Group d/b/a The Old Mill Pub
  • 39 Water Street
  • Skowhegan, ME  04976
1. KVCAP will give a presentation on the proposed public transportation plan.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gilmore, Theriault join Maine Land Use Planning Commission

  AUGUSTA – Two new commissioners have been sworn in as members of the Maine Land Use Planning Commission.
  William K. Gilmore of Freeman Township and Michael Theriault of Greenville recently took their oath of office as members of the commission, known previously as the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC). They began their official duties immediately.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

“The Kindness Guy” Michael J. Chase at Maine Central Institute Oct. 9

 PITTSFIELD – Michael J. Chase, founder of the Kindness Center in Biddeford, will speak at Maine Central Institute on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 9 a.m. in Parks Gymnasium as part of the School’s Patterson Lecture Series.  The talk will correspond with this year’s school theme of Kindness.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Variety Drug collecting donations for Skowhegan Food Cupboard in October

  SKOWHEGAN – Variety Drug in downtown Skowhegan will collect food and cash contributions for the Skowhegan Food Cupboard during the month of October.  The Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative and United Way of Mid-Maine are offering the program to link businesses with local food cupboards.  Main Street Skowhegan, Skowhegan Rotary, Madison Business Alliance and Norridgewock Chamber of Commerce have endorsed the project.

‘Patch the Pirate’ at Cornerstone

  MADISON - Cornerstone Baptist Church of Madison will be starting a new program for children titled “Patch the Pirate.” Patch is a Bible- based, character-building choir club for children ages 4 through 11. Young sailors have been gleaning Godly character through this powerful and productive ministry for 28 years.
  The character- building songs of “Patch the Pirate” are interwoven with a monthly Bible theme that is reinforced through devotional lessons, motivational games, music and activities and intriguing stories. Children and parents enjoy this unique program of positive, rewarding experience.
  “Patch the Pirate” will be offered at Cornerstone’s Sunday 10:45 a.m. service and at Wednesday evening’s 6 p.m. service. Children are invited to come and join in this fun time, and first meeting for area children will be Oct. 10.
  For more information, call the church at 696-7027.


KVCAP's ‘Guiding Good Choices’ to be offered at Benton Elementary

   BENTON – A free 5-week series of parenting classes called Guiding Good Choices is open to the community and will be held at Benton Elementary beginning Thursday, Oct. 11 through Nov. 8 from 5 – 7:30 p.m.  This is an amazing evidence-based class for the parents/guardians of children ages 9-14 year-olds.  Topics will include: building family relationship and bonds, establishing and reinforcing clear and consistent guidelines and expectations for behavior, and teaching children skills to resist peer influence.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ukulele artist Russ Copelin to perform at Maine Central Institute

  PITTSFIELD – Russ Copelin, Alaska's only professional touring ukulele artist, will perform at Maine Central Institute on October 3, 2012 at 7:45 am in Parks Gym.  In addition, Copelin will be doing classroom workshops for MCI music students following the performance.
  Copelin graduated from MCI in 2001 and attended the University of Maine at Farmington, graduating in 2005.  Copelin started his career in New England as a professional entertainer in 2005 and has been playing constantly since.

Abnaki Sno-Riders news

  MADISON - Please note the following events and work days coming up at the Abnaki Sno-Riders Club.

  • Next meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 6 p.m.
  • Turkey cooking and picking for pie making, Oct. 17; cooking turkey 7:30 p.m., pickers needed at 11 a.m.
  • Turkey pie making, Oct. 18, 9 a.m.

Dr. Erik Steele will speak on health care reform at Mid-Maine Community Forum

  PITTSFIELD – Dr. Erik Steele will be the guest speaker at the monthly Mid-Maine Community Forum on Thursday, Oct. 4 at the First Universalist Church of Pittsfield.
  The public event takes place from 6:30 – 8 p.m.
   Dr. Steele will speak on “Health care reform: Yours, Your Community’s, and the Nations. Why You Should Not Be Afraid.”

Sultans of String and Abbott Hill Ramblers at Ridge View Oct. 4

  DEXTER – An award-winning duo from Toronto – Chris Mckhool and Kevin Laliberte (the “Sultans of String”) – will be in concert in Dexter on Thursday, Oct. 4 at the Ridge View Community School.
  The Abbott Hill Ramblers will open the show at 7 p.m.
  The Sultans’ music is an organic mix of rhumba, gypsy, jazz, Middle Eastern and Spanish flamenco.
  The group will also conduct a workshop for students at Ridge View that afternoon.
  Suggested donations at the door are $8 for adults and $3 for students. For more information, call 924-6000 or 924-4121.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Motorsports Update: PASS finale at OPS postponed until Oct. 13-14

 OXFORD – All racing roads lead to Oxford Plains Speedway on Oct. 13-14 when three Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North racing series wrap up their 2012 seasons. Rainy weather postponed the action originally scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 30.
  The final round of the PASS super late model title fight headlines Sunday's action when two second generation racers duke it out for the crown.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Library Skills classes and Book Discussion Group dates announced

  PITTSFIELD – On Monday, Oct. 1, from 12 – 1 p.m., elementary aged students will receive a library orientation at the Pittsfield Public Library.  These classes meet Maine Department of Education requirements for library skills for homeschooled students.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Athens timberlands operator honored at Blaine House ceremony

  AUGUSTA – On Friday, Sept. 28, Gov. Paul LePage, along with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) and the Maine TREE Foundation, will honor a well-known Maine forest-products businessman who has made outstanding contributions to forest management and the forest industry with the ninth annual Austin Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award. The event will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Blaine House.
  LePage will make the presentation to Robert Linkletter, owner of the Maine Woods Pellet Co. of Athens, who was a significant contributor to the Appalachian Trail/Maine Department of Conservation 2011 “Saddleback Connector’ initiative. That initiative created an invaluable interface between the national hiking trail and the region's snowmobile and ATV trail loops.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Focus on Pittsfield’s future hearing Saturday, Sept. 29 at Warsaw MS

  PITTSFIELD – The Pittsfield Planning Board is looking for input and ideas from citizens, businesses and community organizations and groups to update the town’s comprehensive plan.
  The forum will be held Saturday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Warsaw Middle School cafeteria.
  To efficiently utilize everyone’s time, the following sessions have been planned:
Session 1 – Business and Economic Development
Session 2 – Town Properties, Downtown Revitalization and Parks
Session 3 – Growth, Land Use and Zoning Changes
Session 4 – Open Forum (if needed)
  Come for an hour or the entire morning – it is your choice. Coffee and refreshments will be available for all participants.
  For more information, contact Kathryn Ruth at or Steve Seekins at at the town office (487-3136).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bangor Savings Bank supports 'Betting the Farm' documentary

   Bangor Savings Bank has announced their support for an amazing documentary film, “Betting the Farm,” a story about a group of Maine dairy farmers who – dropped by their national milk company – are suddenly confronted with the real possibility of losing their farms.
  The film focuses on three farm families as they struggle to bring their product, Maine's Own Organic Milk (MOO Milk) to market. Faced with slow sales and mounting bills, can the farmers hang together long enough for the gamble to pay off? Or will they be left worse off than before?
   Don't miss the opportunity to see this moving film at one of its 20 screenings around the state.
  Visit to find an upcoming show at a location near you.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

EDA awards $1.5 million for high-tech business center in Dover-Foxcroft

  Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank has announced a $1.5 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Pine Crest Development Corporation of Dover-Foxcroft to help redevelop a former mill into a high-tech business center. The project is expected to create 82 new jobs and generate $7.9 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.
  “The grant announced today will help Dover-Foxcroft develop a high-tech business center to meet the needs of growing industries, such as information technology and green tech, which will help create jobs and support the local economy,” said Blank.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Small business forum video conference at Pittsfield Library Sept. 26

   AUGUSTA – Small Business/Self Employed Communications and Stakeholder Outreach Liaison of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Maine State Library present “A Forum for Small Business Organization” on Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  Eight public libraries with video conferencing capability will host the event including the Pittsfield Public Library.
  The purpose of the Small Business Forum is to build and strengthen relationships with small business, industry, non-profit and government organizations; learn about products and services available to small businesses; and help elevate issues and concerns in a feedback session.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Paul Bertrand, Beth Staples among new MCI Athletic Hall of Famers

  PITTSFIELD – Maine Central Institute will hold its third annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony during Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. in MCI’s Trustee Memorial Student Center.
  Paul Bertrand, one of this year’s inductees, was a contributing member to the MCI Football Boosters’ inception and was pivotal in the successful campaign that raised money for the installation of lighting on MCI’s football field.  He has contributed numerous hours to MCI in various volunteer and leadership roles.
  Beth Staples played field hockey, basketball and softball at MCI, earning MCI’s Female Athlete of the Year award.  Staples has coached at the University of Maine, Colby College and the Searsport District High School.  She also won multiple Maine Press Association awards for sports writing during her lengthy career as a reporter and weekly newspaper editor.

Common Ground Fair set for Sept. 21-23

  UNITY – The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) has announced the schedule of events for the 2012 Common Ground Country Fair to be held on Sept. 21, 22 and 23 in Unity.
   Maine’s signature celebration of organic farming and food, rural living, sustainability, and Maine’s artisans and enterprise — the Common Ground Country Fair, blends the traditions of an agricultural harvest celebration with modern innovations that embrace and support vibrant and sustainable rural living and communities.

Pittsfield Library book sale Sept 20-22

  PITTSFIELD – The Friends of the Pittsfield Public Library are holding used book sale on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 20-21 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day, and Saturday Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  There are many great adult and children’s books from personal collections, as well as discards from the library shelves.  Used audio books, videos, and music will also be available. Come early for the best selection. Donations for the sale may be brought to the library the week before the sale.
  Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Friends of the Pittsfield Public Library and their support for the library activities. For more information, call 487-5880.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Olsen hired as executive director of Waterville Main Street

  SKOWHEGAN – Waterville Main Street has announced that Jennifer Olsen of Skowhegan has accepted the position of executive director.
  Olsen has served as the executive director of Main Street Skowhegan since March of 2010, and in that time, has achieved a number of successes, including developing a downtown strategic plan, leading and implementing a community-wide branding initiative, and helping the town secure a $400,000 Community for Maine’s Future grant to redesign the pedestrian corridors in downtown.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tech Spot opens Sept. 17 at Grist Mill

  SKOWHEGAN – Tech Spot is the new school-community-business development happening inside the Somerset Grist Mill at Maine Grains in Skowhegan.  This is an exciting new program to help adults learn computer skills from local students.
  The new computer lab help center located in the Somerset Grist Mill will open to the public starting Monday, Sept. 17. The entrance is at 42 Court St. and the Tech Spot schedule plans to be open from 5 – 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Madison Sea Cadets celebrate organization’s 50th anniversary

Captain Chris Kopang USN (Ret) guest speaker with Major Robert Demchak USAF (Ret). Instructor/Chief Cook Margaret Demchak is in the foreground.
  MADISON – The U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sept. 10. In honor of this occasion, the Madison unit, NCB39 Battalion, put on a feast for guests from the Pen Bay Council, Navy League of the United State, the Military Officers Association of America and the American Legion Post 39. Honored guests included Rear Admiral Charles Rauch, USN (Ret), Captain Chris Kopang, USN (Ret.) and Mr. H. Ralph Withee, Commander, American Legion Post 39.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Solon Elementary recognized as DOE Blue Ribbon School

  AUGUSTA – Hope Elementary School and Solon Elementary School were among those recognized this month as U.S. Department of Education’s 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
  The two Maine schools were among 269 schools – 219 public and 50 private – from across the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education that received the national recognition. The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement.

Business Resource Forum at Warsaw Middle School tonight

   PITTSFIELD – The town of Pittsfield is hosting a Business Resources Forum tonight (Sept. 25) from 6 – 8:15 p.m. at the Warsaw Middle School Gym and Cafeteria, 167 School Street, Pittsfield.  This event is open to all towns.
  The purpose of the forum is three-fold: to provide businesses with resources to help them grow and prosper; to provide networking for businesses; and to let the public learn more about our local businesses.
  Tables will be available to businesses, non-profits and resource providers. Participants can sign up for table space to display their services or goods for free publicity, networking and to learn about available resources.
  The forum will focus on the following:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Bangor Savings Bank accepting Good Shepherd Food Bank donations

   In partnership with the Good Shepherd Food-Bank, Bangor Savings Bank is taking a leadership role in the fight against hunger in Maine with the “Give a Dollar, Feed a Family” campaign.
  During the week of Sept. 10 – 14, Bangor Savings Bank will accept donations for the Good Shepherd Food-Bank at all 56 branch locations. Each $1 donation provides four meals for a Maine family facing hunger.

Entries wanted for St. Albans Bicentennial cook book

  ST. ALBANS – The Town of St. Albans Bicentennial Committee is assembling a cookbook and would like your favorite family recipes.  These can be either some you cook currently or some that your grandmother has passed down over the years.  You can either email your recipes to or drop a copy off at the town office.  They don’t need to be typed – the committee can take care of that.  Don’t forget to include your name on the recipe so proper credit is given.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lake George Regional Park announces upcoming events

  SKOWHEGAN – Lake George Regional Park is celebrating its 20th anniversary during 2012 with several events this fall.
  The Skowhegan Area Chamber will hold “Business After Hours” at Lake George Westside on Thursday, Sept. 20 from 5 – 7 p.m.
  Great Maine Outdoor Weekend will be celebrated on Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1 – 4 p.m.  This is a partnership with the Skowhegan Recreation Department to create free family fun day at Westside.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

MCI soccer team raises money for Appalachian Trail Conservancy

  PITTSFIELD – On Aug. 19-20, the Maine Central Institute boys’ soccer team traveled to Baxter State Park to camp at Katahdin Stream Campground and climb Mt. Katahdin. In addition to enjoying one of the state’s most amazing destinations, building team chemistry and working on leadership qualities, the soccer team connected their trip to MCI's 2012-13 school theme of “Kindness” by raising money for a charity of their choice.  Members of the team were sponsored for how far they climbed and for reaching the summit.

Extension canning workshop in Dexter

   DEXTER —University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Penobscot County has announced that a canning workshop will be held on Sunday, Sept. 23 at The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Dexter  beginning at 2 p.m. Registration is $15 and must be paid in advance.
  In this course, you will learn the basics behind home food preservation and food safety. The course will consist of insight into how canning and freezing function as preservation methods. This is a hands-on workshop where attendees will be making and preserving blueberry jam.
  For more information, to register, or to request special accommodations, contact Theresa Tilton at (207) 942-7396 or (800) 287-1485 (in Maine) or e-mail  Registration fees must be paid in full prior to the class. Payment should be made to UMaine and mailed to UMCE Attn: Theresa, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor, ME 04401.
  UMaine Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with program goals. To provide adequate time to respond to your request please provide as much notice as possible.

Sports: Unity Raceway announces Long John weekend Oct. 13-14

  UNITY – The tradition of the annual Long John Weekend returns to Unity Raceway with eight divisions of racing this October 13-14, highlighted by the $1500-to-win New England Auto Parts Late Model 100. The event is expected to draw a full field of Late Model competitors from across the state of Maine, including 2012 track champion Ajay Picard of Palmyra and former champion Jeff Burgess of Oakland.
  Though the regular season came to an early end on Maine's oldest track this summer, Unity Raceway owner and Long John promoter Ralph Nason said he expects success in the final event of the state's stock car racing season. A recent partnership with Speedway 95, Nason hopes, will rejuvenate interest in the Long John Weekend.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grief support groups underway

  SKOWHEGAN – Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County, Inc. will be offering several grief support groups beginning Wednesday Sept. 5 at their office at 41 Main St. in Skowhegan.  There is no cost to attend and all meetings are confidential.  Each group will meet for 6 to 8 sessions.

  • Survivors of Suicide (for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide) begins Wednesday, Sept. 5.  The time for this group is 10 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Widows, widowers, partners or significant others will start on Tuesday, Sept. 11.  The time is from 1 —2:30 p.m.
  • What will I do when…?  For those who are facing the death of a loved one will be held on Wednesdays beginning Sept. 12.  It is scheduled from 3 —4:30 p.m.
  • Loss of a child (any age) will meet beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 1 —2:30 p.m.
  A general grief group is also slated to meet in Pittsfield but details are not yet final. Please call the office for more information.
  Pre-registration is encouraged.  For additional information or to register, call 474-775 and ask to speak with Christine or Linda.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Grist Mill collecting for Skowhegan Food Cupboard

  SKOWHEGAN – The Somerset Grist Mill in downtown Skowhegan will collect food and cash contributions for the Skowhegan Food Cupboard during the month of September.  The Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative and United Way of Mid-Maine are offering the program which connects local businesses and area food cupboards in an effort to provide nutritional support to those who live in the region.  Main Street Skowhegan, Skowhegan Rotary, Madison Business Alliance and Norridgewock Chamber of Commerce have endorsed the project.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

St. Albans bridge project underway

  ST. ALBANS - Construction has begun egin on the so-called Indian Bridge between Big and Little Indian Lake on the Ripley Road in St. Albans.  This is a plate arch bridge with concrete footings and it is in very poor to serious condition. In order to prevent the bridge from becoming a public danger the road must be closed and the bridge replaced.
  Construction will take approximately two weeks from start to finish. Traffic will be detoured on Routes 23 and 154 and there will be no through traffic.
  The dam on Big Indian Lake will be opened to lower the water level to better assist the construction crew with the work.  This, of course, will affect the water level around the camps and homes on the lake, please be patient with this construction.
  The project is due to be completely finished by Nov. 1 in the most safe and timely manner as possible.
  If you have any questions, please call Road Commissioner Ronnie Finson or Town Manager Rhonda Stark.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Road work set for North Anson and Milo

   Maine DOT crews will be replacing a large box culvert in North Anson starting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, forcing the closure of Route 201A approximately one-half mile south of the Embden town line.
  The work zone is approximately 200 feet in length.
  Detour signs and message boards will guide motorists from Route 201 to Route 43, then onto Route 201A in Madison.
  It is anticipated this daytime work will be completed by Sept. 14.
  Crews will also be replacing the existing deteriorated concrete bridge deck on the Pleasant River Bridge in Milo, which spans the Pleasant River.
  The project will necessitate the closure of the bridge for approximately 35 consecutive days beginning on Sept. 4 while workers install a new concrete wearing surface. In addition, there will be curb and guardrail improvements, all being performed by Lane Construction.
  The work zone is 100 feet on the approach to the bridge, extending 100 feet upon exiting the bridge, making the entire work area 500 feet in length.
  Traffic will be detoured to Route 11 north onto the Stickney Hill Road in Brownville. Motorists will proceed to the Stanchfield Ridge Road back to Milo, then to the Lakeview Road.
  It is anticipated the project will be completed in the second week of October.

Exeter road closure expected next week

  EXETER – Crews are paving, performing shoulder widening as well as guardrail improvements on the Exeter Bridge which spans the Allen Stream in Exeter. This work on the Exeter Road currently has an alternating one-way traffic pattern with flaggers assisting motorists through the area. The work zone is located approximately one-half mile northerly of the Garland/Exeter town line and is approximately 600 ft. in length.
  Next week, beginning Sept. 4, it is anticipated the contractors of R.F. Jordan & Sons and Lynch Contractors of Ellsworth, will be removing the existing box culvert. During this time the Garland/Exeter road will be closed to all traffic. A detour will run on Routes 94 and Routes 43/11 around the project. Detour signs will guide travelers around this project.
  This detour will be in place for seven days. Upon completion, alternating one-way traffic with flaggers assisting motorists will once again be in place until the project’s completion, anticipated for mid-September.

Pittsfield Library Story Time resumes Sept. 10

   PITTSFIELD – Story Time at the Pittsfield Public Library resumes on Monday, Sept. 10, at 10:15 a.m. in the Warren Community Room. Children explore the world through stories, crafts, music, dance, and other activities.
  Playgroup meets Wednesdays in the children's area from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is an opportunity for young children and their caregivers to socialize in an informal, fun setting. Playgroup is supervised by caregivers, not library staff.
  The Pittsfield Library, in collaboration with Cornerstones of Science and the Newport Cultural Center, is offering a Science Club on the second and fourth Friday of each month, from 1 - 2:30 p.m., at the Newport Cultural Center.  Children age 9 through 12 are invited to “Get a Clue,” explore a crime science and investigate forensic science through hands on activities.
  For more information, contact the library at 487-5880.

Sparkle is Sebasticook Valley’s “united” fundraiser

  PALMYRA – Sparkle is making a difference in Sebasticook Valley. For those who don’t recognize the now seven-year-old name and logo, it’s the annual fundraiser for the Sebasticook Valley Chamber of Commerce and its dozens of partners.
   This year’s event is scheduled for Nov. 3 at the Moosehead Trail Motor Lodge in Dexter.
   Annually, volunteers with the participating organizations solicit donations of goods and funds from area businesses and individuals in a “united” effort for one fundraiser, the “granddaddy” of all fundraisers in this region. With the effort, the Chamber hosts “the party you don’t want to miss” featuring hearty hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, a silent and live auction and dancing.

NMC, Mainebiz social media boot camp Sept. 26

 AUGUSTA – Nancy Marshall Communications (NMC) and Mainebiz have announced a partnership to host a social media boot camp on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at The Senator Inn and Spa in Augusta. The NMC Social Media Boot Camp will be sponsored by Mainebiz and will include several other marketing and branding opportunities for both businesses.
  “We are very excited to partner with Mainebiz to promote our upcoming social media boot camp,” said Nancy Marshall, owner and agency principal at NMC. “The relationship provides a tremendous opportunity for us to reach organization and business leaders that either need help getting started with social media or, with our advanced session, take their efforts to the next level.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Skowhegan History House 75th anniversary plans

  SKOWHEGAN – The 75th anniversary of the Skowhegan History House Museum and Research Center at 66 Elm Street will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 8 from 1 – 3 p.m. Members of the public are welcome to join the celebration and are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, sit on the Riverside Lawns and enjoy the music of Peter Foxwell and Company.
   Local artisans will be on hand demonstrating their craft- wool spinning, blacksmith techniques, chair caning, and knitting with an early machine. Tours of the Museum & Research Center will be available along with refreshments and door prizes. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.