Plans being finalized for Atkinson to join the Unorganized Territory

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 10, 2019 - 1:48pm

Stuart Hedstrom • January 10, 2019

DOVER-FOXCROFT — County officials are making preparations 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. Many of the plans for how municipal services will be provided by the county have been set, but a few are still to be finalized prior to the start of the 2019-20 fiscal year when Atkinson joins the UT.

“Looking forward to when Atkinson is joining the UT, we thought it would be wise to come up with a 1-year transitional contract for next year,” County Manager Tom Lizotte said about snow plowing about 22 miles of future county roads in Atkinson during a Jan. 8 county commissioners meeting.

Lizotte said Atkinson contracts with Dexter resident Chuck O’Brien for maintaining the travelways in the winter, and the community’s current municipal budget includes $112,000 for winter roads. “There are two things, No. 1 he wants to maintain the roads and two, the people of Atkinson are pleased with his performance,” the county manager said. He has met with O’Brien and the day before a proposed contract for the 2019-20 season was mailed to him. This document could be formally approved by the commissioners at an upcoming meeting.

“If this works out you can award the contract to the current contractor for one year and then go out to bid in the spring,” Lizotte told the commissioners about a multiple-year agreement to be sought through a competitive bidding process for plowing beyond a potential one-year deal with O’Brien for the 2019-20 season.

“Summer maintenance we can do as projects arise,” he said. There are no paving projects on the horizon for Atkinson, and as a UT the county would continue a fire protection contract with Dover-Foxcroft and Atkinson residents would still be able to use the transfer station in Dover-Foxcroft.

Most of the community cemeteries are overseen by associations, but one graveyard on the Range Road is owned by the town so the county would assume responsibility as of July 1. Lizotte said a sexton would need to be hired and this position will go out to bid prior to deorganization.

“Most of the cemeteries in our UT are filled up but Atkinson really needs a sexton,” Lizotte said. He said there are still available plots in the Range Road cemetery.

“$5,000 is budgeted for the maintenance of that town cemetery, which basically will be mowing,” Lizotte said.

The county manager said he would be continuing to work with Atkinson selectmen on the transition to the UT leading up to and following the the community’s final annual town meeting in mid-March. A likely warrant item will be to vote on putting the salt/sand pile up for sale as the last major piece of business for the town to take care of before falling under the county government.

Last month the commissioners approved a...

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Nominations sought for 2020 Teacher of the Year

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 10, 2019 - 1:46pm

Staff, Piscataquis Observer • January 5, 2019

AUGUSTA – As part of the Maine Department of Education’s ongoing efforts to highlight Maine’s outstanding teachers, nominations are now open for the 2019 County Teachers of the Year and 2020 Teacher of the Year. Members of the public are encouraged to nominate educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students.

Nominations can be made through the Maine Teacher of the Year website through Feb. 4.

To be considered, a teacher must hold the appropriate professional certification for the position, be employed by a Maine public school – including a public charter school or publicly-supported secondary school, be actively teaching students at least 50 percent of full-time at the time of nomination and during the year of recognition, and have a minimum of five years teaching, three of which are in Maine.

The eventual winner serves as an advocate for teachers, students, and the efforts underway in Maine’s public schools to prepare students for success in college, career, and civic life.

Maine’s recently named 2019 Teacher of the Year, Joseph Hennessey, an English instructor at Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford, was selected from over 300 entries and included recognition as the 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year.

The 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year will be selected from the 16 county honorees. The field will be narrowed to eight semi-finalists, and then three state finalists before the ultimate winner is announced by Maine’s Education Commissioner at a surprise school assembly in the fall.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization whose mission is to champion college, career readiness, and increased education attainment. Funding is provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River Co., Geiger, Hannaford, the Maine Lottery, and Pratt & Whitney with support from the State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association.

The Teacher of the Year program is no cost to taxpayers. Bangor Savings Bank reimburses the winning educator’s school district for the cost of substitutes while the Teacher of the Year is out of the classroom on their official duties, which includes travel throughout the state, a week at NASA Space Camp and a visit to the White House.

For more information about the Maine Teacher of the Year program, visit the Maine Department of Education website.

Robshaw ties facility record in 55 dash

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 10, 2019 - 1:44pm

Staff, Piscataquis Observer • January 9, 2019

ORONO — Penquis Valley High School senior Cymeria Robshaw tied a high school facility record in the 55-meter dash at the University of Maine’s New Balance Field House.

During the Penobscot Valley Conference/Eastern Maine Indoor Track League Relays on Jan. 5, Robshaw won the 55 dash in a time of 7.39 seconds (.4 seconds faster than the 7.79 seconds for Bangor High School sophomore Naomi Noack). Robshaw’s time of 7.39 seconds matched the facility record set during last year’s conference championship by then senior Ashley Anderson of Mount Desert Island High Schoo

Jan. 5 also featured a separate meet and the Foxcroft girls finished eighth of eight teams with a score of three points. All three points came in the long jump with freshman Grace Carlson placing fifth at a distance of 11 feet, 2.5 inches and freshman Ruby Rideout coming in sixth at 10-09.75.

The Pony boys were ninth of nine schools at one point. Foxcroft junior Hunter Clarke finished sixth in the 200 with a time of 26.27 seconds.

Town of Milo - Nomination Papers

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 4, 2019 - 2:16pm

Robshaw sweeps three events at indoor track meet

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 3, 2019 - 9:10am

Staff, Piscataquis Observer • January 2, 2019

ORONO — Penquis Valley High School senior Cymeria Robshaw won the 55 and long and triple jumps during a Dec. 29 Penobscot Valley Conference/Eastern Maine Indoor Track League meet at the University of Maine. Robshaw accounted for 30 points on her own, which was good for sixth place among eight schools taking part.

In the 55-meter finals, Robshaw had a winning time of 7.58 seconds to best second place by just over a half second. Robshaw earned top honors in the long jump at a distance of 16 feet, 5 inches to win by nine inches. Her leap of 33-09.25 in the triple jump was the top performance of the meet, by nearly nine inches.

Athletes from three other area high schools also competed on Dec. 29.

In the long jump Foxcroft Academy freshman Grace Carlson came in 10th at 11-02.75 and classmate Ruby Rideout was 11th at 10-10.

In the boys’ meet, Foxcroft junior Hunter Clarke had his team’s top finish by coming in ninth in the 200 with a time of 26.58 seconds.

Dexter Regional High School freshman Clyde Day placed ninth in the 400 at 73.83 seconds.

Piscataquis Community High School sophomore Ty Massie was 15th in the long jump at a distance of 15-10.25.

Ice Jams in Milo

Submitted by Seth Barden on December 22, 2018 - 1:23pm

Big fourth quarter helps Penquis get past Stearns

Submitted by Seth Barden on December 20, 2018 - 6:34pm

Stuart Hedstrom • December 20, 2018

MILO — The Penquis Valley High School girls overcame an eight-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, taking advantage of being in the bonus well before the opposition and then getting into the double bonus, with a 19-7 scoring advantage in the final eight minutes of play to defeat Stearns High School of Millinocket 40-36 in a Class C North contest on Dec. 19.

Nearly a minute and a half into the fourth quarter foul No. 7 committed by the visiting Minutemen put Penquis in the bonus, and soon after senior Katelyn Bolstridge and sophomore Sydney Fowles both sank free throws on the 1-and-1. Senior Megan Valvo put a missed foul shot back up for two on the offensive rebound, and she made it a 3-point play after being fouled. Valvo’s make from the charity stripe put the score at 31-28 in favor of Stearns, and set the Patriots up in the double bonus with about 5:00 to go (vs. only five fouls for Penquis).

After the teams traded field goals, senior Camryn Folfe sank two free throws to cut the Penquis deficit to one at 33-32.

Shortly thereafter Valvo connected from beyond the arc to give Penquis the lead at 35-33, the first advantage for the Patriots since the second quarter as Stearns had a 13-2 run in the third quarter. Valvo ended up with eight points in the fourth quarter as part of a contest-best 17 points.

A layup by Minutemen junior Katherine Alley and ensuing free throw after being fouled in the act of shooting put Stearns ahead again at 36-35. Alley had a team-high 13 points.

About a minute later a jumper by senior Lexis Goddard gave Penquis the lead another time at 37-36 with 1:25 to go. On the other end of the court Valvo grabbed the rebound and she was awarded a trip to the line after being fouled on what was the 14th such miscue of the second half for Stearns.

Valvo sank her first shot and, after a 30-second Stearns timeout, made her second to extend the lead to three at 39-36.

The Patriots were able to force an inbounds pass to go out of play, but the team was called for a travel with 28 seconds on the clock. With the team pressing, Goddard intercepted a Minutemen pass and the ball would roll out of bounds but after last touching a Stearns player.

Valvo’s in-bounds pass went right to Rolfe, who was quickly fouled. Rolfe then made her first free throw to make the game 40-36. Penquis converted seven free throws in the fourth on 7-of-13 shooting while Stearns made just a single foul shot during this stretch.

Rolfe’s second free throw bounced off the rim, but with 4.8 seconds remaining this forced Stearns to go the length of the court with the team down by multiple possessions. The last-second shot missed as Penquis won. The team improved to 3-3 with the win, while Stearns fell to 2-3.

The two teams are scheduled to play in Millinocket at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan....

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Three Rivers Kiwanis to serve annual Christmas dinner

Submitted by Seth Barden on December 18, 2018 - 8:29pm

Staff, Piscataquis Observer • December 17, 2018

MILO — Three Rivers Kiwanis will be serving Christmas dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Kiwanis Headquarters building, 15 Harris Pond Road, off Park Street. The Penquis Valley High School Key Club will be helping serve along with many volunteers from the community.

The menu is pork roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, apple sauce, salad, dinner rolls, dessert, coffee, and tea. Shelley of Elaine’s Café will be helping prepare the meal and the desserts will be homemade by Kiwanis members.

For home delivery in the Milo-Brownville area, please call Nancy Harrigan at 943-3677. If you have any questions, also please feel free to call Harrigan.

This event is open to the public and is free. Donations will be accepted.