Sunday, April 29, 2012

FedCo seed rep at Mid-Maine Community Forum

   PITTSFIELD – The Mid-Maine Community Forum presents Nikos Kavanya of Fedco Seeds Thursday, May 3 with a discussion entitled “Corporate Consolidation in Your Backyard” or why you can’t find seed for your favorite variety.
  The forum takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the First Universalist Church of Pittsfield.
  “Corporate Consolidation in Your Backyard” will help you negotiate your way through the maze of corporate changes that affect what you grow, eat, and can call your own. Kavanya will define and discuss GMOs, terminator technology, utility patents, plant patents, and licensing agreements. You will hear the latest in the patent lawsuit against Monsanto. And she’ll end with a few “sprouts of hope” on this changing landscape of the commons.


Hospice volunteer training in Madison May 1

  SKOWHEGAN – Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County, Inc. will be offering a training session for volunteers beginning Tuesday, May 1 at the United Baptist Church in Madison. The classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. for four weeks. The last class will be May 24.
   This free training is open to any adult willing to offer in-home support to neighbors in their community, visit people at a nursing home, become a grief group co-facilitator, and/or assist in our office.
   Volunteers enable Hospice Volunteers of Somerset County to fulfill its mission to care for people with life limiting illness, provide support and solace to the grieving, and educate the community.
   To learn more about hospice services or to find out more about becoming a volunteer, please call 474-7775.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Maine DOT begins summer projects

   AUGUSTA – This summer and fall, construction crews throughout the state will be digging, paving and building which has an “immediate positive impact on Maine's economy,” according to a press release from the Maine Department of Transportation.
   In his State of the State Address in January, Gov. Paul LePage highlighted the Maine DOT's $104 million in additional revenue dedicated to improving the transportation infrastructure in Maine. The amount was achieved through current funding sources, expenditure projections and efficiencies throughout the department, thus producing a more robust 2012-2013 Capital Work Plan, helping to generate good-paying, private sector jobs.

MASP to host Central Maine Egg Festival Pageant

   PITTSFIELD – The 40th annual Central Maine Egg Festival Scholarship Pageant is returning this year in conjunction with the Maine Academic Scholarship Program (MASP) to increase scholarship opportunities for Central Maine youth and teens.  This year’s program will be held at Millennium on Route 100 in Palmyra Friday, July 13 at 2 p.m., under the direction of Deb Landry, President of Crossroad’s MASP.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weight limit posted on Indian Bridge in St. Albans

   ST. ALBANS – A weight limit has been imposed on Indian Bridge in St. Albans effective immediately, as town officials make plans to have it repaired later this summer.
    Town Manager Rhonda Stark said that after voters approved a $60,000 general obligation bond toward the repairs at the annual town meeting, construction was scheduled to get underway in June. “We would have liked to have it finished by July 4,” Stark said. “But the selectmen were concerned about the water levels due to the lack of rain. We have to open the dam and lower the water level when we do the job. If we do it in June and don’t get much rain, the levels may not come up for the rest of the summer.”
   So the latest plan calls for a 10-ton per vehicle gross weight limit on the bridge until repairs are made after Labor Day. Because the Maine Department of Transportation considers the 14-foot bridge a “minor span” – less then 20 feet in length – the town has to pay for the entire cost of the repair.
   In addition to the $60,000 bond, voters also approved transferring just under $32,000 from reserve funds for the upgrade. Stark said that some rough estimates of the cost were as high as $83,500 “but we hope it will be a lot less.”
   The bridge consists of a corrugated metal plate arch, resembling a large culvert, on concrete footings that crosses a small inlet on Ripley Road between Big Indian Pond and Little Indian Pond.
    Stark said that DOT engineers and town officials have been concerned about the bridge for a quite a few years. “You can see where the metal is starting to deteriorate, so it’s definitely a high-priority item,” the town manager said.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pittsfield Re-Use/Recycling Center reopens for spring

PITTSFIELD – Although the weather has been less than ideal lately, a sure sign of spring in Pittsfield arrives this weekend.
  Starting April 14 the town’s Re-Use/Recycling Center on Peltoma Avenue will be open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During late fall and winter, the building was only open one Saturday per month because it doesn’t have a working central heating system.
  The building that houses the Re-Use/Recycling Center became available when the Lee-Doncet Veterans of Foreign Wars Post gave up their charter a few years ago due to lack of members. The organization built the post on town-owned land, with the stipulation that it would revert back to the municipality if they ever decided to disband.
  The Re-Use/Recycling Center – staffed primarily by members of the Recycling Committee, the Maine Central Institute Go Green Club and various community volunteers – will mark its first anniversary on April 16.
  The re-use service is based on the simple premise that if you don’t need an item, someone else probably does. There is no charge to bring anything to the site and everything you want to take home is free, although donations are gratefully accepted. The center accepts clean and useable small appliances, cups and dishes, glassware, non-upholstered furniture, tools and other household domestic items.
  Electronics should still be taken to the town’s transfer station; and because of space considerations, clothing should be donated to the Pennywise Thrift Shop on Somerset Avenue, next to the First Congregational Church.
  When a customer picks up items, they’re weighed rather than inventoried. “By doing this, we calculate how much would have gone into the landfill if someone hadn’t picked it up,” Town Manager Kathryn Ruth said.
  From April through November last year, 14,731 pounds of re-use items were taken by customers in the first six months, saving $391.05 in disposal costs. Another $355.05 has been donated to the center for items picked up for a gross of $746.10.
  During the same time frame, only $236.54 was spent in overhead, mostly for electricity. Ruth said that the added value of 409.25 hours of volunteer service, worth at least $10 an hour, “means that the value of the facility to the community has exceeded $4,600.”
  The town will also have its annual Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 28 with a “green raffle” of a 55-gallon rain barrel, a compost unit large enough for an average family and a Wing Digger compost turner.  Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 and can be purchased at the re-use center or the town office.
  Anyone who is interesting in working at the center should contact Recycling Committee member Jane Woodruff at 487-3343, Donnie Chute at the Recycling Center at 487-3361 or the town office at 487-3136.

Cambridge, Norridgewock among Mayo Regional AED recipients

  DOVER-FOXCROFT – For the third straight year, Mayo Regional Hospital has been able to distribute Automated External Defibrillators to public access points throughout the central Maine region in an initiative to enhance cardiac care.
   Mayo staged the 3rd annual Dennis Allen Memorial Golf Classic on Aug. 31, 2011 at the Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro, attracting 106 golfers and earning net proceeds of over $20,000.
  The tournament honors the memory of Allen, who died in 2008 of a heart attack after serving for 30 years as Chief Financial Officer at Mayo.
  Proceeds from the tournament are used by Mayo Regional to combat heart disease in Piscataquis, Penobscot and Somerset counties, as part of Mayo’s commitment to the Maine HeartSafe Communities initiative. Funds from the three tournaments in 2009, 2010 and 2011 have been used to buy 52 Automated External Defibrillators, with 15 devices recently purchased with funds raised at last year’s event.
   Four of the most recent AEDs will be distributed to strategic locations in the North Woods: Northeast Carry on Moosehead Lake, and at the North Maine Woods, Katahdin Iron Works and Jo Mary checkpoints.
   Other AEDs were distributed by Mayo this month to the town of Cambridge, Norridgewock Fire Department, Pleasant River Lumber Co. in Dover-Foxcroft, Pride Manufacturing in Burnham, Fields4Kids in Bangor, the Maine Senior Golf Association, and the Junction Campground in Brownville Junction.

Benefit dinner for White family at Madison VFW

   MADISON – A benefit spaghetti dinner for Amanda and Luke White will be held today (April 29) at the Harvell-Bishop VFW Post on Preble Avenue in Madison from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. The couple is expecting their first child and Amanda is battling breast cancer.
   Donation is $7 per person and there will be raffles and a 50-50 drawing. Bring a baby gift to the dinner and get a free entry into the raffle. Donation is $7 per person and advance tickets are on sale at Taylor’s Drug Store, Campbell's Lumber Yard and Kennebec Ice Kreamery.

Skowhegan Rotary Vidalia onion sale underway

 SKOWHEGAN – The Skowhegan Rotary Club is taking orders now through Friday, April 27 for delicious Vidalia onions to support numerous charitable activities and organizations in Somerset County. Prices are $25 for a 25 pound bag or $15 for a half-bag.
   Programs supported by Rotary include Halcyon House, Hospice of Somerset County, The Skowhegan Food Cupboard, Kennebec Valley Mental Health Center, Senior Spectrum, Somerset Youth Hockey, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Lake George Regional Park and the Skowhegan Opera House.
   To order your Vidalia onions, call 431-0957. MasterCard and Visa accepted.

MCI International Food Festival

   PITTSFIELD – Maine Central Institute will hold an International Food Festival today (Saturday, April 28) from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Parks Gymnasium.  Admission is free but donations are requested to offset the costs of the food.
   There will be food from several countries including Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Kenya, Korea, the Marshall Islands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United States and Vietnam. There will also be cultural activities for children and adults. For more information please call 487-5915.

Pittsfield Re-Use Center celebration April 28

   PITTSFIELD – Although Earth Day was observed last Sunday (April 28), the theme for the Pittsfield Re-Use Center is “Earth Day is every day.”
   To mark the first anniversary of the center, there will be a celebration on Saturday, April 28 to mark the opening of the spring and fall schedule. The center, located at the old Veterans of Foreign Wars hall on Peltoma Avenue, will be open every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
   Residents of all towns can use the Re-Use Center in an effort to promote recycling, reuse and reduction of unwanted items. The following items are accepted when in useable and clean condition:  Small appliances; kitchen/glassware, non-upholstered furniture, home decor/domestics, building/tools, office/craft/supply, yard and garden and general merchandise. 

National Drug Take Back Day April 28

   On Saturday, April 28 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. law enforcement agencies across the state and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give Maine residents another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Benefit supper for Spencer Havey April 28

   PITTSFIELD - The Sebasticook Valley Elks Lodge is hosting a benefit supper for Past Exalted Ruler and Honorary Life Member Spencer Havey today (Saturday, April 28) from 4 – 7 p.m.
   Havey, a former Pittsfield chief of police and Somerset County sheriff, was the lodge’s first Exalted Ruler or lodge president in 1986 and served three additional terms. He also served on numerous committees and the Board of Trustees. Recently, he has experienced health issues that have been a serious financial drain on him and his wife, Elaine.
   A suggested donation for the dinner is $5 per person. Anyone who would like to donate food or cash for the benefit may contact Mike Havey at 416-3203, Ernest Bryant at 341-1059 or the lodge at 487-6300.
   The Sebasticook Valley Lodge is located on Central Street in Pittsfield, right across from the post office and Kwong Lee Chinese Restaurant.

Hartland-St. Albans scholarship dinner tonight

  HARTLAND – The Hartland-St. Albans Lion's Club Scholarship Dinner is set for tonight (Friday, April 27) at Hartland Consolidated School from 5 - 6:30 p.m.  Menu is lasagna, rolls, cole slaw, beverage and homemade dessert.
  Donation is $6 per person with family rates and take-out available.

Somerset County GOP meets April 26

   SKOWHEGAN – The Somerset County Republican Committee will meet on Thursday, April 26 at the First Church of the Nazarene at 31 East Madison Road.
   Meet and mingle starting at 6:30 p.m.; business meeting begins at 7 p.m.
   The agenda includes selection of a summer events coordinator, fund-raising activities including the annual gun raffle and plans for the June chicken barbecue and auction.
   There will be a presentation on the state convention schedule by former state party chair Kathy Watson and a presentation on the convention platform by Cynthia Izon.
   Candidates for the state committee and officer positions are invited to declare their intentions and speak.
   All Somerset County registered Republicans are welcome to attend

Skowhegan Red Cross blood drive April 26

  SKOWHEGAN – The Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge will host a community blood drive on Thursday, April 26 from 1 – 6 p.m. at the Skowhegan Community Center.
   All presenting donors will receive a coupon for a free regular six-inch sandwich at any participating Subway restaurant in Maine.
   For more information or to make an appointment, call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit

SACC Business After Hours at Children’s Center

  SKOWHEGAN – The Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly Business After Hours on Wednesday, April 25 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Miss Kelly’s Learning Loft and The Children’s Center at 48 South Factory St.
   These two businesses work together to serve families with children from newborns to age 12. Enjoy networking, door prizes, a 50-50 raffle and refreshments.
   For more information call Chamber Executive Director Cory King at 474-3621 or email

Relay for Life team captain’s meeting April 24

The "Family Strength" team at the 2011 Relay
  SKOWHEGAN – There will be a Relay for Life team captain’s meeting on Tuesday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Federated Church in Skowhegan.
   Teams that want to be guaranteed a t-shirt for this year’s Relay must register by May 1. After that date, the t-shirts will be distributed on a “first come-first served” basis.  
  Organizers will begin a list of what teams are doing for “on-site” fundraisers at this meeting. Please let Heidi and Pete know what you plan to do, or you may e-mail them. The sooner they have this information, the sooner they can start the Relay maps and get them out to people.
  Anyone who has sold raffle tickets for the event is also asked to being them to this meeting.
   Relay for Life of Somerset County will take place on June 16-17 at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds.  For more information about this major fundraiser to fight cancer, click here.

Skowhegan Board of Selectmen meets April 24

   SKOWHEGAN – The Skowhegan Board of Selectmen have a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m. The town office released the following agenda.
1. Selectmen’s Items
2. Town Manager’s Report
Superintendent Brent Colbry will give a presentation on the SAD 54 budget.
Consent Agenda:
1. Approve a Cemetery Deed for Rachel York (Lot 154, Full Lot) in the East Skowhegan Cemetery.
2. Approve a Cemetery Deed for Gregory Domareki (Lot 83, 3 Graves) in the Malbons Mills Cemetery.
Regular Agenda:

Indian Bridge highlights April 23 St. Albans meeting

  ST. ALBANS – The St. Albans Board of Selectmen have a regular meeting on Monday, April 23 at 5:30 p.m. The town office has released the following agenda.
1. Approve and sign the minutes of Monday, April 9.
2. Eric Calderwood from Calderwood Engineering will be present to discuss the Indian Bridge project.
a. Bids to be awarded for the “Indian Bridge Culvert.”
Received from:
Atlantic Industries Limited, Kennebunk – $11,375
EJ Prescott, Gardiner – $8,976
Shurtleff, So. Portland – $9,768
b. Discussion on the bridge project.
3.   Public Forum
4.   Old Business
• Discussion and decision on Letter of Agreement with Maine Farmland Trust.
5.   New Business
• Discussion and decision for appointment to be made to the Appeals Board. (Letter of interest received from William Keating).
• Discussion and decision for appointments to be made to the Comprehensive Plan Committee. (Dennis Smith and Robert Davids)
• Discussion and decision on Sale of Tax Acquired property.
6.   Committee Reports
7.   Staff Items
8.  Selectmen’s Items
9.   Town Manager’s Items
10. Warrants to be approved and signed.

Main Street Skowhegan public forum on ‘pocket park’

  SKOWHEGAN – Main Street Skowhegan will host an informational meeting on the concept plan for the corner of Madison Avenue and Commercial Street in downtown Skowhegan tonight (Monday, April 23) at 6 p.m. at the Renaissance Building Conference Room on Water Street.
   Since the building demolition last fall of three blighted properties, volunteers from Main Street’s Design Committee have worked on creating a concept plan for the space. They will share this information and welcome the community to respond with feedback that evening.

Pittsfield gardening forum Saturday, April 21

   PITTSFIELD – There will be a free gardening forum at the Warsaw Middle School cafeteria on Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
   Are you ready for spring?
   Then you’ll enjoy “Waking up with Your Garden: Getting (re-) acquainted with your soil and planning your plantings” presented by Tom Roberts of Snake Root Organic Farm
   The discussion will focus on when (and when not) to begin working in your garden, why doing your “indoor” homework helps keep your garden organized and how planning ahead pays off. 

Road issues top Pittsfield Council agenda

  PITTSFIELD – If the town of Pittsfield wanted to build up and pave every gravel road in the community, the cost would be a staggering $1.1 million in today’s dollars. Even just building them up without paving would set taxpayers back $439,000.   Realistically, however, the town only has a balance of $36,467 to upgrade Sibley Pond, Hussey, Wilson and Taylor roads this. At the April 17 Town Council meeting, Town Manager Kathryn Ruth will recommend that the town allocate $31,000 from the account to do as much work as possible to keep the roads passable. Sibley Pond Road would get the most attention as Ruth has proposed building up the first 1,000 feet and hiring an excavator to do some ditching work.
   The town has also been asked to submit their annual requests to the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) for maintenance on state roads that pass through the community. In her report to the council, Ruth noted that the new process requires that towns “submit their requests through their planning agencies (or) economic development districts. Therefore, these requests will be forwarded to the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) for consideration.”
   Ruth indicated, however, that she wasn’t too happy about the new system. “The new process utilized last year did not result in any of the town’s projects being selected due to the scoring system ... by KVCOG.” So she added some background information regarding the condition of Somerset Avenue, the main thoroughfare from Interstate 95 to the downtown area.
   Somerset Avenue has “large sink holes, potholes and wide horizontal gaps in numerous locations along the road,” Ruth wrote. “Car damage and minor accidents of occurred over the last three years.”
   The town manager also added that the condition of Somerset Avenue “is commented on negatively by visitors, prospective businesses, current businesses, property owners…truck drivers and other commuters.”
   Any projects approved by MDOT this year would not be funded or get underway until 2014 or 2015.
   The Town Council will also attempt to fill openings on various boards and committees, including the Board of Appeals, Board of Assessment Review, Board of Ethics, Cemetery Board of Trustees and the Economic Development Committee.
   Tuesday’s meeting gets underway at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers.

Pittsfield Public Library vacation week schedule

   PITTSFIELD – Visit the Pittsfield Public Library for some fun for all ages during April vacation week. Children are invited to meet on the library lawn at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18 for sidewalk games.
   From hopscotch to jump rope to sidewalk art, kids of all ages will get up and moving.
   Stop by the children's area in the library on Saturday, April 21 at 10:30 a.m. for an Earth Day-themed story time.   Children will listen to Shel Silverstein's “The Giving Tree” and may bring a sapling home to plant.
   Don't forget to call to reserve the library's passes for the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor or the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. Use the Discovery Museum pass for free admission for up to four people or the Botanical Gardens pass for free admission for two people.  For more information, contact the Pittsfield Public Library at 487-5880.

7th Annual 'Skow-Pendous' night April 20

  SKOWHEGAN – The 7th Annual Skow-Pendous celebration gets underway on Friday, April 20 from 5 – 8 p.m. This is a fun-filled night taking place in downtown Skowhegan, and it’s free for the whole family.
   The purpose is to raise awareness for the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and this is a rain or shine event.  The center of activities will be in the downtown parking lot near the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce office on Commercial Street
    Activities for the evening include: Geo-Caching Word Scramble, climbing wall, “kid friendly” live music by DOM, fire pit with s'mores, the IF&W “Wall of Shame” tour, face and nail painting, basketball shoot, fire truck and ambulance tours, surrey & gem car rides, many children's crafts and family activity tables, free raffles, “wood fire” pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, Gifford’s ice cream, many healthy snacks and more. 
  For participants in the Geo-Caching Word Scramble: You must register between 5 and 5:30 pm in front of Somerset Heart Health building. The Geo Scramble begins at 5:45 and closes at 6:45 – no exceptions. Prizes for geo-caching will be drawn at 7 p.m.  There will be a whitewater rafting giveaway to all eligible participants and three grand prizes will be awarded as well.
    Other prizes awarded during the evening include Funtown combo pass, a Lake George Regional Park pass, bicycle, drive-in theater and movie passes and a Hannaford gift card.
   For more information, call KVCAP Child and Family Services at 859-1514.

Route 100 detour April 17-18

  BURNHAM – Motorists traveling in the town of Burnham need to be aware of a closure and detour of Route 100 from 6 a.m. Tuesday, April 17 through late in the day on Wednesday, April 18.
   The truck detour will begin in Clinton with traffic being directed to follow Hinckley Road to I-95. Once in Pittsfield, trucks will be guided by detour signs onto Exit 150, proceeding along Somerset Avenue to Industrial Park Road, then on to Stinson Street, finally ending at Route 100.
   The detour for passenger vehicles will also begin in Clinton, but travelers will be directed onto Railroad Street to Mutton Lane, and then guided to Johnson Flats Road, ending back on Route 100.
  These detours will allow workers to repair and replace two railroads crossings.

Preparing for a job fair workshop April 19

   PITTSFIELD - Job fairs attract many who are trying to find a new job.
   Want to improve the odds for getting the job you want?
   The secret to success at a job fair is preparing in advance.
    A free workshop on preparing for a job fair is scheduled for Thursday, April 19 at the Pittsfield Public Library from 1:30 – 3 p.m.
   Learn how to make the most of any job fair.  Topics will include:
• What to do before the job fair
• What to bring
• What to wear
• What to ask
• What to do after to make a lasting impression
   The Pittsfield Regional Job Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9 at Warsaw Middle School from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. A registration form and more information is posted at

RSU 19 April 17 meeting agenda

  NEWPORT – The Regional School Unit 19 Board of Directors will meet tonight (April 17) at 7 p.m. at Nokomis Regional High School.
    The central office has released the following agenda.
I. Opening of Meeting
A. Flag Salute
B. Chair Comments/Adjustments
C. Approval of Special Minutes of March 26

II. Citizens Forum

III. Reading of Communications
A. Administrative Communications
B. Superintendent’s/Board Communications

IV. Report of Special Committees
A. Budget/Finance Committee – April 3, April 9 and April 17
B. Policy Committee – March 27
The following policies/regulations/exhibits will be presented for a first reading:
1. ACA Gender Neutral Language
2. CBI Evaluation of Superintendent
3. GBB Staff Involvement in Decision Making
4. IL Evaluation of Instructional Programs
5. IMDB Flag Displays
6. JI Student Rights and Responsibilities
7. JKE Expulsion of Students
8. JKE-R Expulsion of Students – Regulations
9. JO Employment of Students
10. KCB Community Involvement in Decision Making
11. KHB Advertising in Schools
    Special Education
12. IHBAI Independent Educational Evaluations
13. IHBAJ Special Education Student Oversight Agreement
14. IHBAJ-E Progress Report Form
15. IHBAK Life-Sustaining Emergency Care
16. IHBGB Supplemental Statement of Rights for Private School/Home
Schooling Students with Disabilities
C. Negotiations Committee – March 28
D. Education Committee – April 10
E. Building Committee – April 11

V. Old Business - None

VI. New Business
A. Staff Appointment – Albert Jewell Custodian
B. Staff Retirement – Anne Meagher Pre-K   EDS
 C. Administrative Appointments (see attached)
 D. Music Department Co-Curricular Appointments (see attached)
 E. School Lunch Approval for 2012-13 School Year
Elementary: Full Price, $2.35; Reduced, 40 cents
High School: Full Price, $2.55; Reduced, 40 cents
Adult: $3.55
Breakfast K - 4    Free
Grades 5 – 12: Full Price, $1.75; reduced, free.

VII. Reports
A. Superintendent
1. Workshop:  School Law
2. Governor’s Town Hall Meeting April 26, 2012 – Capital for a Day
B. Board Chair

VIII. Other

IX. Adjournment

State, county and most local government offices closed Monday

  Today, April 16, is Patriot’s Day, a legal holiday in Maine and Massachusetts which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, fought near Boston in 1775. Patriot's Day is annually held on the third Monday of April.
   Maine schools begin their April recess, but most retail stores are open.
   Since Patriots' Day is not a federal public holiday, post offices and federal agencies are open.
   Since the federal tax filing deadline – April 15 – was on a Sunday and today is a holiday in both states, procrastinators get an extra day to file their returns.
   April 16 is also Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., which marks the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act.
   On April 16, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the act which freed more than 3,000 slaves in the District of Columbia. However, slavery did not officially end in the rest of the United States until after the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 until 1865.
  All federal offices in D.C. are closed for Emancipation Day, giving residents of the nation’s capital a three-day weekend as well.
   (Corrected to reflect that most banks are open today, not closed.)

Somerset Democrats meet April 15

   SKOWHEGAN – The Somerset County Democratic Committee will meet Sunday, April 15 at the Pace Union Hall on Route 201 starting at 6 p.m.
  The agenda will include matters concerning the upcoming state convention and selection of delegates, candidates in various county races, old and new business concerning the welfare of the party and a county headquarters.
   All registered Democrats in Somerset County are cordially invited to attend.

Luck of the Draw at Madison Legion April 14

   MADISON – The SOS (Securing Our Survival) Relay for Life Team is hosting a Luck of the Draw auction Saturday, April 14 at the Madison American Legion Hall. Doors open at 9 a.m., drawing starts at noon. Admission is $2.50 per person and includes one sheet of 25 tickets. Each addition sheet costs 50 cents per person. There will be hot dogs, sandwiches, dynamites and other food on sale during the event.

Ripley Trail Riders annual auction April 14

  RIPLEY – The Ripley Trail Riders' annual auction at pot luck supper gets underway on Saturday, April 14 at the Grange Hall. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. and the auction begins at 7 p.m. All proceeds will go toward trail maintenance for the club and contributions to the Pine Tree Camp.
   For more information, call Larry Greaves at 277-3502.