Penquis Valley's Robshaw commits to Stonehill

Submitted by Seth Barden on March 1, 2019 - 3:17pm
Linked from: WABI TV-5

By Tim Throckmorton | Posted: Tue 9:27 PM, Feb 26, 2019

MILO, MAINE (WABI) - Cymeria Robshaw from Penquis Valley high school has signed her letter of intent to Stonehill College.

Robshaw has been one of the top sprinters in the state for several years and is a state champion.

Mayo board will take a first vote on merging with Northern Light system

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 27, 2019 - 11:18am

Charles Eichacker, Bangor Daily News Staff • February 25, 2019

The public board that oversees Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft will vote Wednesday on whether to go forward with a proposed merger with Northern Light Health, the statewide health care system that’s based in Brewer and includes Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Administrators of the Piscataquis County hospital say that joining the larger system will help it stay afloat after years of financial struggles. The hospital — which is overseen by a quasi-municipal entity known as Hospital Administrative District No. 4 — has had operating losses every year since 2010, according to president and CEO Marie Vienneau.

While the hospital district has $13.7 million in a reserve fund, according to its most recent balance sheet, Vienneau said Mayo also has $9 million in debt, a $1 million line of credit and zero days of operating cash on hand. The district has tried to preserve those reserves, she said, but if the merger were to happen, they would probably be used to offset the hospital’s debts.

At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, the board will meet at the hospital to vote on a preliminary merger agreement. If it passes, several other key steps would then have to be taken before the two organizations could merge, including approval by the Northern Light board and state regulators. Administrators also say the district’s charter would need to be changed for the merger to continue, which would require an act of the Legislature.

But the terms of that proposed merger agreement still aren’t clear. In an interview, Vienneau declined to provide a copy of the document, saying that it will become public after the vote. As of Saturday morning, hospital representatives had not responded to a request for it under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act that the BDN sent Friday.

The members of the Hospital Administrative District 4 board are all elected from Piscataquis County communities and hold meetings that are open to the public. The district also has taxing authority.

Now, one board member remains concerned about the lack of transparency in the process after he sued the district last fall seeking more information about the proposed merger agreement. While the lawsuit by Gerald S. Nessmann of Sebec hasn’t been resolved, a judge has since lifted a temporary restraining order that he placed on the merger as a result of the legal action.

[Judge puts Dover-Foxcroft hospital’s merger with Northern Light system on hold]

Nessmann said he’s not inherently opposed to the merger, but he still doesn’t think the proposed merger agreement has received a proper public airing.

As a board member, he said that he only received a copy of the agreement midway through this past week. He said that timing left him with about a week to review the approximately 160-page document before it comes up for a vote at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I think...

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Sen. Davis announces local projects in Maine DOT work plan

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 27, 2019 - 11:17am

Staff, Piscataquis Observer • February 25, 2019

AUGUSTA – Sen. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville has announced the local transportation projects included in the Maine Department of Transportation work plan for calendar years 2019, 2020 and 2021. The estimated value of work in the plan totals more than $2.44 billion and encompasses 2,193 projects across the state.

The work plan includes more than $1.4 billion in highway, bridge and multimodal capital work, nearly $1.2 billion in highway and bridge projects and nearly $297 million in multimodal capital projects.

A few significant projects in Senate District 4 include bridge replacement on Route 150 in Athens, highway construction and rehabilitation on Route 6 in Abbot and bridge improvements on Pleasant Street in Milo.

“This is a very important publication, and I would like to thank MDOT for all of their hard work,” Davis said. “It is critical for the people of District 4 to know how their infrastructure is being maintained, because it affects their safety. There are also important economic implications to having sound roads and bridges, and this publication will help citizens understand what is being done in their communities.”

The full work plan, including an interactive plan that is searchable by municipality, can be accessed on the Maine Department of Transportation’s website at

Brownville Parking Ordinance

Brownville Town Office News
Submitted by Seth Barden on February 21, 2019 - 3:53pm

Atkinson on pace to join the Unorganized Territory

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 21, 2019 - 3:46pm

Stuart Hedstrom • February 21, 2019

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Plans for Atkinson to join the Unorganized Territory (UT) on July 1 — the community voted 187-19 (nearly 91 percent) at the November referendum to deorganize — are still on track.

“I attended the annual Atkinson town meeting on Feb. 11,” County Manager Tom Lizotte said during the Feb. 19 meeting of the Piscataquis County Commissioners. “They did what they had to do in order to comply with the state’s deorganization plan.”

Lizotte said items approved by Atkinson citizens the week prior were authorizing the selectmen to sell the town hall and 12-acre salt/sand pile lot as well as approving the closure of a bridge and remainder of the McCorrison Road over Alder Stream. The overpass is weight restricted and has been closed to all but recreational traffic during the winter.

“I think sometime in May we will go out to Atkinson to look at their roads,” Lizotte told the commissioners. He said the county officials will conduct a final inspection to make sure the roads are in good enough shape for the county to take over and Atkinson, and all along the community has been doing a job maintaining its travelways.

In other business, Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Debra Hamlin said the Friday before prior eight rail cars on an Eastern Maine Railways train left the tracks in a wooded area about 10 miles east of Brownville Junction — no one was injured in the derailment.

Hamlin said the rail cars were carrying liquid asphalt, but none of the frozen substance spilled. She said a steamcar is needed on scene and this was scheduled to arrive from either Quebec or Boston later in the week.

“So now it’s kind of at a standstill so they can unload that spill,” Hamlin said.

The commissioners also opened four bids for a large format copier/scanner for the registry of deeds. Each document was then given to Register of Deeds Linda Smith for her to review and make a recommendation on for the next commissioners’ meeting set for Tuesday, March 5.

“That way we’re not making a decision on apples and oranges because there’s a lot to review,” Commissioners Chair James White said, as each firm has varying prices for equipment, toner, service contracts, etc.

Local Snow Removal Info

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 21, 2019 - 3:45pm

Robshaw wins 55-dash and triple jump at state meet

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 20, 2019 - 11:33am

Staff, Piscataquis Observer • February 17, 2019

LEWISTON — Penquis Valley High School senior Cymeria Robshaw won the 55-meter dash and triple jump, and she came in second in long jump, at the 2019 Class B indoor championship on Feb. 16 at Bates College.

After Robshaw posted the fastest time — 7.43 seconds — among the 17 entrants in the 55-prelims, she and seven others advanced to the event finals. Robshaw entered the state meet undefeated in the 55-meters this indoor season, and she continued her run of success at the state meet

In the 55-finals Robshaw’s winning time was 7.33 seconds, .3 seconds faster than event runner Cape Elizabeth High School junior Darcy Cochran’s time of 7.63 seconds.

At a distance of 36 feet, 1.75 inches, Robshaw earned top state honors in the triple jump. She bested Cochran’s leap of 34-09.25 by more than 16 inches.

Robshaw’s day included a runner-up finish in the long jump. Her distance of 18-03.75 in the long jump trailed only the 18-04.75 for Orono High School senior Camille Kohtala.

On her own Robshaw scored 28 points for Penquis and this total tied the Patriots with Cape Elizabeth for fourth place out of 24 schools scoring points at the state meet. Brewer won the girls’ team title with a score of 71 points, York High School was next at 63, and Greely High School of Cumberland Center came in third at 60 points.

Robshaw earned the opportunity to compete at this year’s New England championship in the 55 meters and triple jump on Saturday, March 2 at the Reggie Lewis Center at Roxbury Community College in Boston.

The pair of indoor titles follows two outdoor state championships for Robshaw. As a junior last spring she won both the triple and long jumps at the Class C state meet. She jumped respective distances of 34-10.50 and 17-02. At the 2018 Class C championship, Robshaw also came in third at 100 meters at the 2018 Class C outdoor championship.

Eight train cars derail east of Brownville Junction

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 20, 2019 - 11:31am

Eesha Pendharkar, Bangor Daily News Staff • February 19, 2019

Eight rail cars on an Eastern Maine Railways train left the tracks in a remote area of Piscataquis County on Friday, Feb. 8, according to a spokesperson from J.D. Irving, the Canadian conglomerate that owns the rail company.

No one was injured in the derailment, and no materials spilled from the eight cars, said Mary Keith, the Irving spokesperson. The train derailed in a remote, wooded area 10 miles east of Brownville Junction, she said. It was moving at 10 miles per hour at the time of the derailment.

Keith said the railway company notified the appropriate authorities of the derailment, but neither the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office nor the Maine State Police sent officers to the scene. A member of the Milo Fire Department said the train company had not contacted the town’s firefighters or any other local fire departments.

The train line was repaired and was back in service by Sunday evening, Keith said.

She said the cause of the derailment is under investigation.

Keith didn’t say which authorities the company contacted, and she didn’t say what the train was carrying.