Message from the Brownville Snowmobile Club President

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 27, 2020 - 8:29pm

Fishing Derby: Get your 2020 Gear!

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 27, 2020 - 8:28pm

Spaghetti Dinner Benefit - Feb 29

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 27, 2020 - 8:26pm

Give Kids a Smile Event - Feb. 18

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 27, 2020 - 8:23pm

Milo Book Group Feb 18, 2020

Milo Library News
Submitted by Annette Banker on January 27, 2020 - 2:17pm

Friends of Cevonte Johnson remember him as ‘loving, friendly’

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 22, 2020 - 8:35pm
Linked from: FOX 22 - ABC 7

MILO – After being missing for just over two weeks, the body of a Milo man was found in the Sebec River last Tuesday.

“It kind of shocked us a lot and I’m still shocked about everything that happened,” said Josephine Rancourt, who knew Cevonte Johnson for four years.

Johnson was a graduate of Penquis High School and loved community member.

He was just 24 years old when he went missing and was found deceased in the Sebec River.

“He was always happy, always smiling and listening to music,” Rancourt continued. “He was always just dancing and bee-bopping around.”

“He was a real loving, friendly kid. He loved his sports. He loved writing poetry. He would take the shirt off his back if he knew you were cold,” said Tina Saunders, a family friend who knew Johnson for 16 years.

Since his passing, the community has come together in several ways to remember him.

On Sunday night, more than eighty people turned out for a candlelight vigil.

“I was very surprised there was that many people. We were very grateful, very appreciative,” Saunders continued. “Like I said, the love for that family.”

For now, the community is left with more questions than answers.

“What actually happened? Obviously we’re all waiting for those autopsy results to come back because we’re not going to have closure until we know,” Saunders said.

Authorities say the circumstances surrounding Johnson’s death are still under investigation.

There has been a GoFundMe page set up for his family.

Saunders said they are holding a spaghetti supper at Penquis High School on February 9. Entry is by donation.

Local businesses have also donated items to be raffled off.

Multiple days of dog sled races in Brownville Junction

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 20, 2020 - 6:42pm

Contributed, Special to the Piscataquis Observer • January 20, 2020

BROWNVILLE JUNCTION — The Maine Highlands Sled Dog Club will host a two-day sled dog race on Saturday, Jan. 25 and Sunday, Jan. 26 as part of Brownville’s annual 11th Dog Days of Winter celebration. Teams will leave Railroad Avenue in Brownville Junction at 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, travel up to the KI Road along the converted rail bed and then return along the same trail.

Spectators are encouraged to come early to watch the mushers ready their teams for the 20-mile trip, and meet some of the best four-legged athletes from around New England doing what they love. Food will be available to purchase at the nearly American Legion Hall, and club members will be available to talk with interested folks about dog-powered sports.

Observer file photo/Stuart Hedstrom
MUSHING HIS TEAM TO VICTORY — Milo resident Rico Portalatin earned top honors in the longer distance competition of 34.2 miles during the 2018 Maine Highlands Sled Dog Club and the town of Brownville’s Brownville-KI and Beyond Sled Dog Race on the morning of Jan. 27. Portalatin’s team covered the route in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 27 seconds to win by over 29 minutes. This year’s races will be starting at 10 a.m. Jan. 25-26..

State gives green light to Mayo merger with Northern Light

Submitted by Seth Barden on January 20, 2020 - 6:41pm

Charles Eichacker, Bangor Daily News Staff • January 17, 2020

State regulators have cleared the way for Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft to join Northern Light Health, the Brewer-based health system that includes nine other hospitals stretching from Portland to Presque Isle.

On Thursday, Jan. 16 the Maine Department of Health and Human said on its website that it had granted the necessary certificate for the merger, which also received final approval last month from the boards of both Northern Light Health and Mayo Regional Hospital. 

But the two organizations must still do additional work before the merger can be completed, according to Northern Light spokesman Chris Facchini. It was not immediately clear when the merger would actually take effect. 

The state approval was granted despite a lawsuit seeking to block the merger filed Dec. 20 by the town of Cambridge and nearly three dozen residents from the other communities that collectively own the 25-bed hospital and its associated medical practices. 

The lawsuit also attempted to block the state from authorizing the merger, but last month, a spokesman at Maine DHHS, Robert Long, said that the legal action would not affect the department’s review. 

The review process, which is required by law, is meant to ensure that major changes among the state’s health care providers do not negatively affect the availability and quality of care in the state. The state approval included the conditions that Northern Light file annual reports about Mayo’s quality improvements and finances for the first three years after the merger.  

Leaders of Mayo Regional Hospital have said that merging with a larger organization is critical to keeping the rural hospital afloat after it suffered operating losses every year since 2010. They have said that it would allow the hospital to cut its operating costs and bring in new sources of revenue. 

But a merger agreement between the quasi-municipal group that runs Mayo and Northern Light Health would only require Northern Light to keep operating the hospital in its current form for five years after the merger is complete. Also, research from around the country suggests that the merger could help to drive up the prices of health care in the region by giving Mayo more...

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