Milo police chief/town manager dies unexpectedly

Submitted by Seth Barden on March 31, 2020 - 7:24pm

Stuart Hedstrom, Piscataquis Observer • March 31, 2020

Milo Police Chief and Town Manager Damien Pickel died unexpectedly at his home Monday, according to police. He was 51.

No cause of death was listed on the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page or the Dover-Foxcroft Police page, both of which posted tributes to Pickel. A post on the town of Milo Facebook page said Pickel died due to natural causes. Messages left with law enforcement agencies Tuesday seeking more information about his death were not immediately returned.

Pickel took over as town manager in 2014 and had served as chief of the Milo Police Department since 2011. He first joined the department in 2009 as a reserve officer, then became a full-time officer and sergeant before leading the department.

Before coming to Milo, Pickel served 19 years with the New York City Police Department, including nine years as a detective and five years before as part of the mounted unit. He was working on Sept. 11, 2001, recalling in a 2016 Facebook post on the Milo Police Department page how that day he and many other detectives were assigned to schools around the city to protect the students. Pickel would be at Ground Zero later in the day after the collapse of the towers. Six months later, he was assigned to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner at Bellevue Hospital — the morgue. He wrote detectives were there to protect the chain of evidence, which included identification of victims.

“Long night here in the Piscataquis Law Enforcement family. We will watch over your family and your town. Rest In Peace, Chief Pickel. We have the watch from here,” said a post on the Dover-Foxcroft Police Facebook page.

In a post on his office’s page Piscataquis County Sheriff Bob Young wrote, “Milo Police Chief Pickel passed away last evening. Chief Pickel was an interesting guy. He served NYPD for 20 years, including through 911, the World Trade Center, and then came to the small town of Milo, Maine.”

Young also wrote that Pickel “quickly established himself as a good officer with a big heart, especially for those who were struggling. He never lost a desire to truly help people. Beyond the badge, he worked to get treatment for folks with opioid abuse disorders, setting up meals for kids, reaching out to the elderly, and reaching out to other law enforcement agencies to help any way he could. The folks of Milo have lost more than a police chief and town manager, they lost a friend who worked long hours to keep things safe and running smoothly. Our condolences to Damien’s wife and daughters, the officers of MPD and the folks of Milo.”

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Milo mourns death of police chief

Submitted by Seth Barden on March 31, 2020 - 8:32am
Linked from: WABI TV5

MILO, Maine (WABI) - Milo is mourning the loss of its police chief and town manager, Damien Pickel.

Chief Pickel passed away Monday night at his home..

There's no word yet on the cause of death.

Before he came to Milo, Pickel worked for the New York Police Department and was among the first responders during the 9-11 terror attacks.

Pickel was 51 years old.

Milo Police Chief, Town Manager Damien Pickel dies

Submitted by Seth Barden on March 31, 2020 - 7:58am
Linked from: News Center Maine

Dover-Foxcroft Facebook page: "Rest In Peace, Chief Pickel. We have the watch from here."

MILO, Maine — In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department posted on their Facebook page that Milo Police Chief and Town Manager Damien Pickel has passed away.

The post reads, "Long night here in the Piscataquis Law Enforcement family. We will watch over your family and your town. Rest In Peace, Chief Pickel. We have the watch from here."

NEWS CENTER Maine is following this story. Check back for more details. 

Town of Milo "Grab N Go" Meals

Submitted by Seth Barden on March 21, 2020 - 8:23pm

Beginning Monday, March 23, we will be assisting the school in making sure our kids have lunches. As I posted earlier, the school will have a pick up on Wednesday's at the High School and that will take care of families through Friday. For Monday and Tuesday, we will be serving at our sites as shown on the photo. Due to the need for social distancing, we can't interact like we usually do. It's going to be "Grab and Go". Please follow the instructions from each site coordinator as things may vary from site to site. Keep in mind that we can't go door to door at this time. Get outside and get some sunshine and fresh air. Sunshine and fresh air can make you feel refreshed.
If you know of someone, no matter the age, who is in need of a meal or 2, message me here and I will make sure to get stuff to them. Please remember, if you see someone already picking up a bag, wait for them to move away before you approach.

Info from Middle School Counselor

Submitted by Seth Barden on March 21, 2020 - 8:22pm

Brownville Sewer Notice

Brownville Town Office News
Submitted by Seth Barden on March 21, 2020 - 8:22pm

Schools in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties extend closures for a month

Submitted by Seth Barden on March 21, 2020 - 8:21pm

Eesha Pendharkar, Special to the Piscataquis Observer • March 20, 2020

Schools in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties will remain closed for at least another month, through the normally scheduled week of April vacation.

Instruction will continue remotely until April 17, and in-person classes are tentatively scheduled to resume after April vacation, which is scheduled for April 18-26.

“We will continue to monitor the pandemic and if we are able, we will reopen schools on April 27,” Bangor schools Superintendent Betsy Webb said in an email to parents. “This is our hope, but we must continue to prioritize the health and safety of all.”

Bangor schools had initially closed for two weeks, and were scheduled to return to session on March 30.

Along with schools in Bangor, superintendents in all of Penobscot and Pisquataquis counties have extended closures for the same amount of time.

“The Penquis superintendents reviewed the Governor and Commissioner’s recommendations to cease classroom-based instruction in school buildings for at least the next 30 days,” Webb said. “We believe it is best for all to have a consistency of dates as we continue to monitor this situation.”

In Bangor, the school department will continue to provide bagged lunches and breakfasts that students or parents can pick up at 10 locations across the city during the closure. Meals will also be available through the one-week vacation in April.

Schools will also continue distributing remote learning packets to students during the extended closure. They are figuring out a system to collect the take-home packets at the end of the closure’s first two weeks so teachers can evaluate their students’ work and distribute the next round, Webb said.

Message from the AOS 43 Superintendent

Submitted by Seth Barden on March 21, 2020 - 8:20pm