Stuart Hedstrom • July 2, 2019
MILO — SAD 41 residents in Brownville, LaGrange and Milo approved a $9,639,532 budget for 2019-20 during the June 27 referendum by a combined total of 152-37. In Brownville the numbers were 35 in favor with 15 opposed, 16-5 in LaGrange and 101-17 in Milo.
Citizens also opted to continue with the annual district budget meeting/referendum process for three more years by a count of 139-50 (34-15 in Brownville, 18-3 in LaGrange and 87-32 in Milo). Per state statute this question is on the ballot every three years, otherwise there would only be the district budget meeting to approve the yearly district finances.
The total budget for 2019-20 represents a near $562,700 increase from the current year’s figure of $9,077,841. SAD 41 will be receiving a little more than $5,877,800 in Essentials Programs & Services (EPS) funds from the state, a near $147,000 increase.
In order to get the $5.8 million-plus the three SAD 41 towns are required by the state to raise a combined $1,347,156. This EPS local required amount is $238,469 less than the $1,585,625 for 2018-19.
“If you look at that initially, it looks great,” Superintendent Michael Wright said during last month’s district budget meeting at the Penquis Valley School. He said in order to make up the near $240,000 difference in EPS local required funds between 2019-20 and 2018-19, more monies would have to come from the towns.
Wright said the amount of local additional monies being asked for — beyond the approximate $1.3 million in EPS local required monies — would be increasing by $243,373 to $976,468.
The three district communities will each see an increase in the respective shares of the budget. The total local amount (local required, local additional and other expenses such as adult education and career and technical education) of $2,379,277 is up by $60,557 (2.61 percent).
Brownville’s $769,207 share is $110,582 more (16.79 percent) than in 2018-19. LaGrange is seeing a $58,500 (15.57 percent) increase to $434,324. For Milo a $1,175,746 amount represents a $142,853 (13.83 percent) increase from 2018-19.
The superintendent said the district will lose Atkinson because the town deorganized and as of July 1 is part of the Piscataquis County Unorganized Territory. He said under the town’s withdrawal agreement from SAD 41 Atkinson made a $275,000 payment to the district.
The $275,000 is a little more than the approximate $251,4000 the community paid for its share of the 2018-19 school budget. The payment is listed under undesignated fund balance in the 2019-20 spending plan, a line that had no money in it for the previous fiscal year.
Staff, Piscataquis Observer • July 2, 2019
MILO — Fire marshals arrested a Milo man Monday, July 1 and charged him with arson after he threw his wife’s belongings on the front lawn, poured gas on the items and set them on fire.
Jeffrey Stevens, 39, was arrested by an investigator from the Fire Marshal’s Office. The fire took place at the family’s 14 Spring Street home. There was minor damage to the residence but clothing and personal items thrown in the pile were destroyed by the fire.
Stevens was charged with arson and was taken to the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft. He is awaiting a court appearance.
Lauren Abbate, Bangor Daily News Staff • July 1, 2019
On Friday, June 28 Gov. Janet Mills signed into law legislation that will allow Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft to move forward in merging with the statewide health care organization, Northern Light Health.
Hospital officials have been pursuing the merger since earlier this year. Mayo Regional Hospital administrators have said that merging with Northern Light Health will help keep the hospital financially stable after nearly a decade of operating losses.
“Small hospitals are finding it increasingly difficult to provide access to quality healthcare in a way that is financially viable; our integrated healthcare system has the infrastructure and resources to help in that regard,” Michelle Hood, Northern Light Health president and CEO, said in a press release Friday.
The merger required legislative approval because it is owned and overseen by a quasi-municipal entity, Hospital Administrative District 4, which has a charter that’s set in Maine law. The district includes Abbot, Atkinson, Bradford, Cambridge, Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft, Guilford, Milo, Monson, Parkman, Sangerville, Sebec and Willimantic.
Of the 13 communities that make up Hospital Administrative District 4, 12 voted in favor of the merger, with Cambridge opposing the merger.
Amendments from Piscatiquas County lawmaker Rep. Paul Stearns, R-Guilford, were not included in the legislation that was passed. Stearns proposed several amendments that would have given the 13 communities more say over the happens to the hospital after the merger.
One of the amendments would have liquidated the assets of the Mayo Regional Hospital at the time of the merger and have the money go back to the communities instead of to Northern Light Health.
However, if the merger goes through, few assets are expected to be left over from the financially troubled hospital. Mayo Regional Hospital did have about $13.7 million in a reserve fund early this year, those funds would be needed to pay the hospital’s debts as part of the merger, according to CEO Marie Vienneau.
With approval from the Legislature and the governor, the next step in the merger will be for Mayo and Northern Light Health to submit a certificate of need application with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, according to Friday’s release.
If the merger receives approval from DHHS, Mayo’s board and Northern Light Health’s board will hold a final vote on the merger this fall.
Formerly known as Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, Northern Light Health is a Brewer-based organization that includes nine other hospitals stretching from Portland to Presque Isle, including Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
Linked from: Bangor Daily News
By John Holyoke, BDN Staff • June 28, 2019 1:00 am
Come July 14, a group of Maine Key Clubs, led by the club at Penquis Valley High School in Milo, will stage an event that you may want to consider supporting.
Not your run-of-the-mill fundraiser, the first Schoodic Lake Bass Fishing Tournament is trying to share something that Maine has plenty of — fresh water — with countries that simply don’t have enough of it.
Rachel McMannus, the school’s Thirst Project coordinator, said the idea to stage a bass tourney was her dad’s, and came on a day when she was engaging in a typical Maine activity and enjoying a day on a large, freshwater lake.
“We have a camp on [Schoodic] and we go fishing a lot,” McMannus explained. “We were out there fishing and we were talking about The Thirst Project, and some ways our club could try and raise some money. And he was like, ‘How about a fishing tournament?’”
The idea made sense to McMannus, and really drove the point home: We Mainers are lucky, and are surrounded by water. Others aren’t so fortunate.
“I think this is a perfect example of how in this country, and in the state of Maine, while we have so many lakes, we can take water for granted,” McMannus said. “So I brought it back to the club and they really liked the idea.”
The tournament is scheduled for Sunday, July 14, with registration running from 5 a.m. until 6:30 a.m. at the boat launch in Lakeview Plantation. The weigh-in and a barbecue will be held at 3 p.m.
McMannus, who will be a senior in the fall, said she learned about The Thirst Project during a Key Club convention in Massachusetts, where she watched a powerful video that showed children in other countries struggling to obtain clean drinking water.
“They were so happy, but yet they live in a community where most of them are sick because they drink water that is contaminated,” McMannus said. “And not only are they sick, they have to walk up to eight miles a day just to get that [contaminated] water.”
Women and children are typically the ones who go to fetch the water, McMannus said, which means that neither group is able to work nor get an education in some countries, as they’re spending most of their time trying to provide water for the family each day. She said that one child dies every 21 seconds as a result of drinking contaminated water.
The cost of one well in a developing country is estimated at $12,000, and that’s the total the Penquis Key Club is trying to raise. Through other efforts during the school year the club has already reached the $5,000 plateau.
“They’re so expensive because they drill wells a lot deeper than you normally would so they’re more sustainable,” McMannus said.
McMannus said her high school won’t be staging the event alone; Key Clubs from the area will also be pitching in.
“In Key Club we have...Read More