This Week in History

Submitted by Seth Barden on November 19, 2019 - 5:15pm

A glimpse into the past from our local newspaper archives!

15 Years Ago
Three Rivers News - Nov. 15, 2004

50 Years Ago
The Town Crier - Nov. 13, 1969

Milo Library News

Milo Library News
Submitted by Annette Banker on November 18, 2019 - 3:15pm

Mayo Regional Hospital should merge with Northern Light, state regulators say

Submitted by Seth Barden on November 13, 2019 - 7:35pm

Charles Eichacker, Bangor Daily News Staff • November 13, 2019

State regulators have given preliminary support to a proposed merger of Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft with Northern Light Health, the statewide health care system that includes Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

In a 72-page report released this week, staff from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services said that because of financial difficulties, the Dover-Foxcroft hospital probably wouldn’t be able to survive in the long run without affiliating with a larger organization.

The hospital has had operating losses every year since 2010, but leaders of it and Northern Light Health have projected that they could reduce those losses to zero within three years of merging, according to the report.

In the preliminary report, which must now undergo a 10-day public comment period, staff recommended that Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew approve the merger.

After the public comment period ends, it could take at least three or four weeks for the department to review the report and make a final decision, according to Maine DHHS spokesperson Jackie Farwell.

By law, all Maine hospital mergers must receive a so-called “certificate of need” demonstrating that they will improve the availability of health care in the state.

The proposed merger has received several other approvals, including from the boards of Northern Light Health and Hospital Administrative District 4.

The merger also required a legislative change that was signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills in June. That’s because HAD 4 is a quasi-municipal entity that was formed under state law to own and run the hospital. Twelve of the 13 communities in HAD 4 have held local votes endorsing the merger. Just one, Cambridge, opposed it.

The other member communities of HAD 4 are Abbot, Atkinson, Bradford, Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft, Guilford, Milo, Monson, Parkman, Sangerville, Sebec and Willimantic.

A Lagrange man’s first deer is a monster 16-point buck

Submitted by Seth Barden on November 12, 2019 - 7:31pm
Linked from: Bangor Daily News

By John Holyoke, BDN Staff • November 12, 2019 6:00 pm

For the past 13 years, Andrew Lawson has been hunting when he could, learning as much as possible from his dad, Mike Lawson, and hoping to eventually put those lessons to good use.

“My plan this year was that I was going to put the time in,” Andrew Lawson said, explaining that one of his dad’s lessons has always involved spending as much time in the woods as possible. “My father is an avid hunter and he’s very successful. He has always said it’s about being in the right place at the right time.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the 23-year-old Lagrange man was finally in the right place. His timing was pretty good, too. And as a result, he wound up bagging his first career deer during a hunt he’ll never forget.

Since you’ve already stared at the photo, there’s no sense in delaying the statistical breakdown any longer: The deer weighed 210 pounds and sported a rack with 16 “official” points.

Lawson said he counted 19 points, and the staff at the Old Town Trading Post, where he tagged the deer, called it a 21-pointer. Toby Montgomery, an official antler scorer, said just 16 of those points fit the criteria for inclusion.

Not that Lawson was complaining, mind you. He was too busy reliving a truly memorable hunt.

He’d just arrived in the woods early that morning when he flushed a ruffed grouse, which nearly hit him in the head as it flew past.

“I thought maybe that was the sign that something good was going to happen,” he said.

It didn’t take long before his hunch proved true. Shortly after sending text messages to his dad and his uncle, letting them know he was in his stand, he used a bleat call.

“Instantly I heard a crash off to the left … and I know it wasn’t a squirrel,” he said. “I texted my father again. I said, ‘I just heard one.’ He said, ‘Well, make sure you don’t call [the deer] again. Just let him come to you.’”

Then Andrew heard more footsteps, as the buck approached through a thicket about 30 yards away.

“I still can’t see him, but I can hear him. But I can hear him grunting, and he’s got a pretty weak grunt. I’m thinking that he’s just going to be a spikehorn. But I didn’t care what it was.”

When the buck stepped out onto the path, Lawson learned that it was far bigger than a spikehorn. But even then, he didn’t have an accurate idea of how big the deer was. Instead, he upgraded his estimate to eight or 10 points.

The deer finally stepped out from behind a fir tree and turned broadside, and Lawson took the shot. A short time later, he found the dead buck nearby.

“I could see him underneath a tree. And before I went up to him, I called my father back and told him I found him,” Lawson said. “I said...

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TRC Veterans Monuments

Submitted by Seth Barden on November 9, 2019 - 1:18pm

Check out our page showing all the local Veterans Monuments!

PVMS: Frosty the Snowman

Submitted by Seth Barden on November 7, 2019 - 8:36pm

SAD 41 receives $200K grant for Penquis Valley heating system

Submitted by Seth Barden on November 7, 2019 - 7:11pm

Stuart Hedstrom, Piscataquis Observer • November 7, 2019

MILO — The school district’s near $745,000 share of a $2.4 million funding package to upgrade the heating system at the Penquis Valley School will be $200,000 less than anticipated thanks to a grant from the East Millinocket-based Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation, which through its mission and vision hopes to improve economic growth and enhance the quality of life for the people of Maine.

During a Nov. 6 school board meeting at Penquis Valley Superintendent Michael Wright said the district has applied for funding from the Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation for various projects over the years but until just recently the applications were never successful.

“We never had been approved and this year we received initial approval in August and last month we were notified of a grant for $200,000,” Wright said, with him being able to make the news public at the school board meeting. He said the grant “will help defray the cost of the new heating system at the school so that would be a big help to us.”

“So that’s good news, $200,000 would certainly be welcome,” Wright said. District officials will determine how the funds will be utilized for the project and how the funding will be worked in with Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation guidelines.

Earlier this year SAD 41 voters overwhelmingly approved — 152-25 — a $2.4 million funding package to upgrade the heating system.

The Penquis Valley project has three objectives. The first is to update the steam heating system infrastructure that is beyond its useful life, to improve reliability, comfort, indoor air quality and safety. The other objectives are to reduce annual energy and operating costs and reduce future building repair costs.

The gross projected project cost is $2,414,923, with a little more than $2.1 million for the steam to hot water system conversion, another $190,000 is for LED lighting upgrades and an additional is for $34,700 for building weatherization improvements.

The project is being financed under a 20-year bond through the Maine Municipal Bond Bank. The estimated annual bond cost, fixed for two decades starting with the 2020-21 fiscal year, is $177,694 but there would be various measures in place to reduce the costs.

SAD 41 would have a little more than $19,000 in existing budget savings for energy usage and another $40,000 in operating budget capital contributions. The Honeywell service contract would be reduced by $25,000, the maintenance budget could decrease by $2,500 and for the first year there would be a one-time Efficiency Maine rebate of $29,195.

The first year $61,953 cost is part of the 2019-20 academic year budget. SAD 41’s estimated total net cost, after the various savings measures such as reduced energy expenditures and a reduction in the Honeywell contract, over 20 years would be $744,143....

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County commissioners ponder leaving state association

Submitted by Seth Barden on November 7, 2019 - 7:10pm

Stuart Hedstrom, Piscataquis Observer • November 6, 2019

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Citing what they feel is a non-proportional expense and lack of benefits, the Piscataquis County Commissioners are considering ending membership in the Maine County Commissioners Association. The commissioners discussed the possibility during a Nov. 5 meeting and plan to attend a meeting with officials from other Maine counties also pondering an exit to learn more.

According to its website at, the Maine County Commissioners Association was founded in 1890. The vision statement says state county governments are a well-respected network of regional governments that have the authority to recognize and solve regional issues. The Maine County Commissioners Association provides relevant (vital) services to citizens in a responsive, efficient, credible manner. The organization mission statement says it works to make this vision a reality through communication and cooperation by and among ​all departments of all counties.

“One bit of angst I have is we’re charged the same membership fee as Cumberland (County),” Commissioner Jim Annis said. He said the per capita expenses are unfair.

“We’re paying 62 cents per person in the county and they’re paying 6 cents,” Commissioner Wayne Erkkinen said about annual dues based on respective populations of 16,000-plus and near 294,000 in Piscataquis and Cumberland counties.

Annis said the Maine County Commissioners Association executive committee makes a number of decisions for the organization, and Piscataquis County is not represented on this sub-group. He said the group’s lobbying of the Legislature may not necessarily always be in the interests of Piscataquis County.

White asked about the pros and cons of leaving and Erkkinen said while the county would save on membership dues, the county would no longer be part of the Maine County Commissioners Association insurance pool and would have to go alone for coverages.

“Right now I’m talking to a couple of insurance companies but I have not gotten any dollar amounts yet,” County Manager Michael Williams said. He said a 60-day notice is required to withdraw from the Maine County Commissioners Association.

“If we are going to go that route I want to make sure we have all our insurances laid out,” he said. The county manager said Franklin County exited the association and he would check with the western Maine county administrators about how they are handling insurance coverage and other services shared with the state, such as the registry of deeds.

“At this point a third of the association is looking to pull out,” Erkkinen said. He said officials from these counties will be meeting on the morning of Friday, Nov. 8 in Augusta and he planned to attend.

“What I’m hearing is that we need more...

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