Penquis Valley's Virtual Talent Show

Submitted by Seth Barden on May 5, 2020 - 9:37am

Parent Guide to Continuity of Learning for Brownville Elementary

Submitted by Seth Barden on May 1, 2020 - 2:03pm

Open for Takeout!

Milo Library News
Submitted by Annette Banker on May 1, 2020 - 1:59pm

Fire destroys camp on Ebeeme Lake

Submitted by Seth Barden on April 30, 2020 - 8:23am
Linked from: WABI TV5

BROWNVILLE, Maine (WABI) - Authorities say the call to west pond road came in around 6:30 Wednesday night. A Bangor family reportedly owns the camp.

They weren't there at the time. The fire came dangerously close to other camps, but fire fighters contained the flames to one property.

A cause of the fire has not been released

Brownville Junction dugouts vandalized, those responsible have been found

Submitted by Seth Barden on April 27, 2020 - 8:51pm
Linked from: WABI TV5

BROWNVILLE , MAINE (WABI) - Brownville Junction's Davis Field dugouts were seriously damaged this weekend. Piscataquis County Sheriff's Department has found the juveniles responsible. The case is being referred to juvenile services. The dugouts had been redone in memory of Justin Gerrish who passed away a number of years ago played Little League baseball there. The fields host middle school games for Penquis Valley and rec games for the area.

Milo company building barriers for coronavirus protection

Submitted by Seth Barden on April 22, 2020 - 8:46pm

Ernie Clark, Bangor Daily News Staff • April 22, 2020

The lack of a vaccine to combat COVID-19 has left the battle against the pandemic to more direct human approaches — the most common of which is social distancing.

But one Piscataquis County company is helping to fight that battle in situations where the six-foot separation between people isn’t possible.

JSI Store Fixtures in Milo has been among the nation’s leaders in producing transparent hygiene barriers that perhaps are best recognized as those plexiglass shields that have popped up at local grocery stores to separate the customers from the cashier.

And when company president Mark Awalt does the math, he can’t help but believe those barriers have helped flatten the coronavirus curve around the United States since they were installed during the last month.

“If you put up a hygiene shield in a Hannaford store you’re protecting an employee and a consumer, and if somebody walks up to be served every three minutes, you’re providing 20 protections per hour for two people so that’s 40,” he said. “If the store is open for 12½ hours,  that’s 500 protections a day with just that one shield.”

JSI received its most recent large-scale order from The Dollar Tree chain of discount variety stores, and when those 2,200 barriers are delivered, the company will have shipped out more than 11,000 shields.

“If one shield can protect 500 people in a day and [with 11,000 total], you’re talking about more than 5 million [protections] a day and maybe upward of 30-plus million in a week,” Awalt said. “You have to believe hygiene shields are saving lives. You have to believe that.”

Before COVID-19 spread throughout the United States, JSI’s production centered on high-end, wood merchandising displays and wrapping store refrigeration displays in wood cases.

But when the pandemic arrived, company officials were quick to shift resources to hygiene barriers.

“When we heard some noise that this was happening, we actually went out and bought over a quarter-million dollars of plexiglass sheets so we would be prepared,” Awalt said.

“We’ve always used plexiglass because it will bend and it will come down over the fixtures. We’ve always been a provider of plexiglass shields, of sneeze guards and things like that, but not of hygiene barriers. That’s a brand new term that’s come up in the last month.”

Hannaford was the first major retailer to contact JSI about producing significant quantities of the hygiene barriers for their stores.

Since then JSI, which has 150 employees at its 85,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Milo  as well as other operations in Bangor, Payson, Utah, and Collingwood, Ontario, has supplied shields for such entities as the Hy-Vee grocery chain in the Midwest, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Company, R.H. Foster and hometown retailers like Tradewinds Market and Reuben’s Country Store in Milo, Awalt said...

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Three Rivers Kiwanis Sebec River Race canceled

Submitted by Seth Barden on April 16, 2020 - 5:36pm

Observer file photo/Stuart Hedstrom
NO SEBEC RIVER RACE IN 2020 — As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Three Rivers Kiwanis has canceled this year’s Sebec River Canoe Race. The race, which is often held in May, has a canoe and kayak course from below the dam in Sebec Village down the Sebec River to near the boat landing in Milo. Race proceeds benefit Three Rivers Kiwanis community projects in the organization’s home in the Milo/Brownville-area.

Full Plates announces 2019 Summer Grant to Milo

Submitted by Seth Barden on April 16, 2020 - 5:35pm

Contributed, Special to the Piscataquis Observer • April 16, 2020

Full Plates Full Potential, Maine’s only statewide child hunger organization is proud to announce the Piscataquis County 2019 16 County Summer Grant Competition winner. The town of Milo will receive a $500 Summer Meals Program Grant to support the 2020 summer program. Full Plates’ 16 County Summer Grant Competition was launched to highlight the critical work summer food programs do reaching the over 80,000 children who rely on school meals for basic nutrition.

“We are so proud of the town of Milo summer meals program. This summer they served 3,306 meals which is an increase of 2,488 meals, or 304%, over 2018” said Anna Korsen, Full Plates Full Potential’s program director. “Summer is an extremely challenging time for children affected by hunger. Our 16 County Grant Program aims to showcase and reward the best of summer programs across our state.”

“We took the stigma out of ‘free lunch’ and made summer meals a fun and entertaining event for friends and family,” said the late Damien Pickel — who was town manager/police chief of Milo.

Maine has 122 Summer Food Service Programs with 467 meal sites across the state.  This summer, 727,612 meals were served statewide.

Full Plates Full Potential is on a mission to end child hunger in Maine by partnering with nonprofit advocates, local businesses and restaurants, advocating for policy changes at the state level, granting funds and providing technical assistance to schools and hosting year-around events and fundraisers. Learn more at