How to get a credit on your Spectrum bill after last week's outages

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 12, 2020 - 6:52pm
Linked from: WABI TV5

PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - Spectrum customers in Maine who lost service late last week can get a credit on their bill, but they need to contact the company to get it.

A company spokeswoman said they will work with affected customers who contact them to determine the bill credit.

Customers in Maine and New Hampshire lost cable and internet for several hours Friday after the company's fiber-optic network was damaged in two locations.

The first location was damaged by severe weather in the area, she said. The second damaged fiber affected Spectrum's network redundancy, which led to the loss of services.

Another outage was reported Saturday that affected cable TV service in the Northeast region for about five hours.

The company said both outages were weather-related.

Spectrum said ice and heavy snowstorms across most of the Northeast Friday and Saturday caused significant fiber damage in multiple locations.

Because service was out for just a few hours, customers should not expect a significant bill credit. Customers have posted on Facebook saying that they've received bill credits ranging from $1.50 to $10.

Go fishing for free this weekend on Maine lakes and ponds

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 12, 2020 - 6:51pm

John Holyoke, Bangor Daily News Outdoors Editor • February 12, 2020

Each winter the state holds a free fishing weekend, during which people are invited to enjoy a day on the water without a fishing license. That weekend is upon us, and on Feb. 15 to 16 anyone who hasn’t otherwise had a license suspended or revoked can fish for free.

We’ve got faith that our readers don’t fall into that category. Fishing the right way and following the rules is what it’s all about, after all.

Of course, if you’re not a veteran ice fisher, you might need a few tips to get you started. You’re in luck: The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has asked some of its experts to pass along ideas on how to make someone’s first time ice fishing enjoyable.

Here are some tactics you might try.

Don’t freeze

“Make it a comfortable experience,” said fisheries resource biologist Nik Kalejs of the Sebago Lake Region. “Bring plenty of hot food and drinks, and extra warm layers. Although not necessary, shelter from the wind and heat for the cold are always bonuses.”

Find cooperative fish

Jason Seiders, a fisheries resource supervisor who works the Belgrade Lakes Region, said that fishing for fish that are more likely to bite can help cut down on the boredom for a first-timer. 

“Target warm water species like bass, pickerel and perch. You are far more likely to find good numbers of these fish, which will keep everyone busy,” Seiders said. “With most beginners, it is about quantity not quality. After they catch some bass or pickerel, maybe they will want to use more patience and try for trout the next time around.”

Seiders’s point: Lake trout, landlocked salmon and brook trout are found in coldwater lakes and can be harder to catch. Find a shallow pond and you’re more likely to find fish that will be eager to participate in your outing. Ask a veteran angler or bait shop employee for suggestions, and you’ll be able to pinpoint those kinds of waters.

Stay dry

And Dave Howatt, fisheries resource supervisor for the Rangeley Lakes Region, said preparing for less-than-perfect conditions on the ice can be key.

“Be prepared for slush. Wear, or at least bring along, high rubber boots,” he said. “Snowshoes can also help to keep anglers above sloppy snow conditions. Cold wet feet can ruin a beginner’s trip very quickly. “

And after you return, the DIF&W invites you to share photos from your free fishing weekend adventures on its Facebook and Instagram (@mefishwildlife) pages. The agency will hand out a $100 Cabela’s card and some DIF&W merchandise to lucky winners.

Anglers gearing up for 58th annual Schoodic Lake derby

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 12, 2020 - 6:50pm

John Holyoke, Bangor Dailyi News Staff • February 11, 2020

Anglers looking for a day of fun on a beautiful Maine lake may want to head to the Milo/Brownville area this weekend, as the venerable Schoodic Lake Ice Fishing Derby returns for its 58th edition.

The derby rules allow participants to fish Schoodic, Ebeemee, Seboeis and Boyd lakes. Fishing will take place on Feb. 15 to 16, and proceeds benefit Milo Fire Department charities and events.

The derby is traditionally among the state’s most popular, with between 2,000 and 4,000 people purchasing tickets each year.

The grand shore prize for this year’s derby is a 2019 Sportsman ATV. Shore prizes worth a total of $3,200 are also up for grabs. Among the top prizes: A Husqvarna chainsaw, a getaway to Plymouth, Massachusetts, a TCA Compass rifle and a two-night stay at Cole’s Moosehorn Cabins.

Shore prizes will be awarded to people who purchase a $10 derby ticket, whether they end up fishing or not.

Among the more unusual shore prizes: A cord of cut, split and delivered firewood and a septic tank cleaning.

Anglers will be vying for cash prizes in a number of categories. The largest salmon, lake trout or brook trout will earn a lucky angler $400, while second place for each species takes home $200 and third place earns $100. Those catching cusk, perch, pickerel or bass will be competing for a $200 first prize and a $100 second prize.

The derby will also up some cool prizes in a drawing among fish that are registered. An ice auger, a Yeti cooler, five Heritage ice fishing traps and an ice fishing shelter top that list. In all, those drawings include prizes worth $2,000.

Observer file photo/Jeannette Hughes
CELEBRATING A BIRTHDAY WITH SOME ICE FISHING — Then 13-year-old Nathaniel, left, and Brody — who celebrated his ninth birthday on Feb. 18, 2018 — Lovejoy from Williamsburg each had two successful days of fishing during the 2018 Schoodic Lake Ice Fishing Derby. The two caught five pickerel each on both days for a total of 10 fish apiece and 20 together for the brothers. Nathaniel and Brody Lovejoy were fishing at Ebeemee Lake and registered their fish at the Milo Fire Station. The derby takes place on several lakes and proceeds benefit Milo Fire Department charities and events. This 58th annual derby will be Saturday, Feb. 15 and Sunday, Feb. 16 and more information is at In 2018 770 total fish were registered between the two days.

Dexter and Penquis cheer at state championships

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 12, 2020 - 6:49pm

Staff, Piscataquis Observer • February 9, 2020

AUGUSTA — Cheering teams from Dexter Regional High School and Penquis Valley High School each took part in state championships competitions on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Augusta Civic Center, two weeks after earning berths at the respective qualifiers.

The Tigers earned a berth in the Class C championship. Dexter’s routine gave the team a score of 49.7 points, good for 10th among a field of 12 schools.

Sumner of Sullivan registered 80.1 points to earn the Class C crown 2.4 points better than defending champ Lisbon (which had won three of the previous five C state titles).

Monmouth Academy (75.1) was third followed by Central of Corinth (75), Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (66.8), Houlton (59.7), Bucksport (58.9), Wells (57.5), Sacopee Valley of South Hiram (55.6), Dexter (49.7), Mountain Valley of Rumford (49.7) and Madison/Carrabec of Anson (44.7).

In the Class D championship on Saturday evening, Penquis earned a score of 51.6 points to place fifth among eight teams.

Central Aroostook of Mars Hill claimed its seventh straight Class D championship and 12th in 13 years by edging Penobscot Valley of Howland. Central Aroostook earned a score of 74.6 points, 2.5 ahead of the 72.1 for Penobscot.

Bangor Christian was third at 62.9, followed by Woodland of Baileyville (52), Penquis (51.6), Lee (47.5), Machais (47.5) and Wiscasset (41.6).

BANGOR, Maine -- 01/28/2017 -- Dexter cheers during the regional Class C North cheerleading competition at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor Saturday. Central placed first. Ashley L. Conti | BDN

Playground group given go ahead for grant applications

Submitted by Seth Barden on February 12, 2020 - 6:48pm

Stuart Hedstrom, Piscataquis Observer • February 6, 2020

MILO — In 2018 a committee formed to create a play area for the younger students at Penquis Valley Middle School. The group was later given approval by the SAD 41 school board to pursue fundraising opportunities and work with volunteers on prepping a parcel of land behind the school that was first cleared two and a half decades ago by the Army Corps of Engineers.

During a Feb. 5 school board meeting at the Penquis Valley School, the directors authorized the committee to apply for a grant from the Libra Foundation as well as the Maine Community Foundation.

Superintendent Michael Wright said retired Brownville Elementary Principal Lynn Weston requested the school board give its approval for the Libra Foundation grant application. “There’s no guarantee we would get it but Lynn would be able to file it and I would write a letter in support,” he said. “I think we would take any money for it that we could get.”

Wright said for more than three decades the Libra Foundation has provided funding to non-profit programs around the state. In Piscataquis County the Foundation has provided for the Piscataquis County Ice Arena in Dover-Foxcroft and the arts program in Monson.

Grade 5-6 social studies teacher Debora Page said, “We have about six grants that we are working on now and we have divided the different parts of the playground.” She said the Libra Foundation grant application is for equipment such as a zip line and climbing wall.

“Playgrounds are very expensive and we have a contract with the company, it’s $200,000, we haven’t signed it yet,” Page said. “We are very hopeful and our momentum is building.”

“We are hoping we can have certain pieces in place this summer,” she said, mentioning a soccer/kick ball field as an example. “It’s going to be great for the community.”

She said the Brownville-based Bishop Concrete and Earl W. Jr. Gerrish and Sons have both donated time and materials for the project and a New Hampshire business will donate wood chips. When asked, Page said nearly $8,000 has been raised in three months.

Four years ago SAD 41 fifth-graders moved from the district elementary schools to Penquis Valley, which lacked any outdoor equipment for them to use at recess. A committee was formed to look into setting up an age-appropriate play area with the assistance of parents, grandparents and other community members to work with Director of Building and Grounds Donnie Richards.

During the November school board meeting Page said currently the students have “a pretty beat up basketball court and a mound of dirt and two old tires, it’s pretty sad. They still have fun but I think we can do better.”

Page said what is installed depends on how much funds are raised but ideas include a kickball/softball field, basketball court, walking route and benches —...

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Fishing Derby Ticket Sales Locations

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All Milo Firefighters & Milo Fire Station

C&J Variety, Milo
Three Rivers Hardware, Milo
Reuben's Market, Milo
Milo Town Office
Tradewinds Market, Milo
Old Town Trading Post, Old Town
Alton Grocery, Milo
A.E. Robinson, Brownville
M&M Auto Repair, Brownville
General Store & More, Brownville Jct.
Graves Service Station, Brownville Jct.
Joe's Repair Shop, Brownville Jct.
Old Town Elks Lodge, Old Town
Misty Morning Bait & Tackle, Dover-Foxcroft
Wildwoods, Brownville
Elaine's Basket Cafe, Milo
NAPA Auto Parts, Milo
LJ's Express, Milo
Dewitt Powersports, Milo
Northern Reflections, Sebec
Whitney's Outfitters, Lincoln
Select Design Embroidery , Lincoln