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June 15, 2017

Bomb threat targets two locations Tuesday

LINCOLN – A local election suffered no negative impact despite a bomb threat that targeted two local schools including the polling location. “We were able to search one building, deemed it was safe, and the voting resumed,” Public Safety Director Dan Summers said. Traffic was re-directed to the bus garage at the high school while bomb-sniffing dogs searched for possible threats first at MA and then Region III. Summers said the threat was called in to the town office at 4 p.m., stating there were bombs at both Region III and the high school. Police and firefighters evacuated both locations and set up a 300-foot perimeter while awaiting three bomb squad units. An ambulance was also staged at each location. Priority was given to the high school for the squad’s response due to the voting taking place.

Area towns turn down $50 million state bond in light Tuesday vote

Local towns were not in a generous mood on Tuesday regarding a multi-million dollar bond issue on the ballot. Turnout in area towns reporting results to the Lincoln News was light, matching the 10-15 percent voter turnout expected by Secretary of State Matt Dunlap. Voters statewide were asked to approve a $50 million bond question on Tuesday, with $45 million distributed to the Maine Technology Institute, which is designed to provide grants, loans or other investment  to help businesses in the biotechnology, composites and advanced materials, environmental technology, forest products and agriculture, information technology, marine technology, aquaculture and precision manufacturing sectors with infrastructure and equipment upgrades.

Foreclosure process begins in Passadumkeag

PASSADUMKEAG - With the hiring of a new tax assessor's agent, the town will now begin the process of ridding the books of both foreclosed property as well as collecting on past due taxes. That was the decision made during Wednesday night's regular meeting as the board begins to fulfill its promise of recovering the almost $100,000 in past-due property taxes. "Now that we have a tax assessor, I think we should look into starting the process with the oldest tax-problem house," Board Chair Todd Rogers said. "We will be actively pursuing (overdue taxes) between now and the first week of August and then taking action," Tax Assessor's Agent Jaime Rogers said.

Penobscot Valley edges Southern Aroostook for “D” regional title

BREWER – Batting with the bases loaded in a 0-0 tie in Tuesday’s Northern Maine Class D title game at Coffin Field, Penobscot Valley senior Elizabeth McKinnon leaped out of the way of a Holly Vining pitch as a matter of instinct. The next time that happened, the ball struck McKinnon on a bounce, allowing the second-seeded Howlers (19-0) to finally break the scoreless deadlock en route to a 3-0 win over top-ranked Southern Aroostook (14-3), winning the team’s first regional title since 2013.

Mixture of veterans, newcomers elected to Howland positions, budget passed

HOWLAND – Local voters opted a mixture of veterans and newcomers to office in Tuesday's voting, while also approving a $1.558 million town budget. One referendum question was defeated at the polls, while a second ended in a tie, according to results provided to the Lincoln News. Selectmen results Incumbent Glenn Brawn (99 votes), resident Michael Sereyko (91) and Tami Colbath (88 votes), a former selectman, topped a crowded field of seven candidates seeking three three-year seats on the board on Tuesday.

Keag man sentenced to 54 months in hammer attack

Bangor - A Mattawamkeag man who attacked a man with a hammer last year pled guilty Friday to multiple charges, including Class B Aggravated Assault. Cecil Richards, 35, was sentenced to eight years, with all but four years, six months suspended, and three years probation after he pled guilty to first striking Georgie Currier, 68, of Mattawamkeag multiple times with a hammer before throwing the man down a set of stairs on June 8, 2016. He also received a six month sentence for Class D Criminal Threatening for his interaction with a witness to the assault. That sentence is to be served concurrently.

Enfield board approves Morgan's Beach concession operator

ENFIELD – The newest operator of the Morgan's Beach concession told selectmen on Monday he hopes to have the stand open by July 1. Doug Theriault formally signed an agreement to manage the concession stand at the beach for the summer, which was approved by selectmen at Monday's meeting. Town Manager Theresa Thurlow noted that a new floor has been installed in the concession stand and a fryolator, among other equipment, had to be replaced. Theriault said he hopes to have the stand open on July 1 and mentioned other possibilities to bring in money to the popular beach spot.

Councilors approve $5 million for sewers

MILLINOCKET—The Town Council approved the authorization for the Town Manager to apply for a $5 million bond from the Maine Municipal Bond Bank to repair the sewage infrastructure in certain parts of the town. The measure passed muster with a 5-0 vote. Councilor Gilda Stratton was absent and the recent resignation of Jesse Dumais to become the tax collector leaves a vacant seat on the Council until the fall election. The Council had put order #123-2017 on the agenda for the June 8 regular council meeting. This followed from the recommendation by Mandy Oliver of Oliver Associates in a special presentation to the Council on May 25. There are over 27 miles of sewer pipe within the town and it is aging. Older sections of the pipes may have tree roots intruding and breaking pipes apart, as well as, damage to years of frost heaves creating cracking and breaking of pipes. Some of the early materials used in the manufacture of the pipes was asbestos cement and vitrified clay.

Woodville man nabbed for alleged OUI after driving away from officer

MILLINOCKET—A 75-year old Woodville man was arrested for allegedly operating under the influence when he was found with a breath-alcohol concentration of almost twice Maine’s legal limit after driving away from a Millinocket police officer during a Saturday evening traffic stop. Walter Goodine was summonsed to appear Aug. 9 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the operating under the influence charge. According to information provided by Deputy Chief Janet Theriault of the Millinocket Police Department, the incident took place shortly before 6:45 p.m. when Officer Shawn LeVasseur was on patrol traveling west on Central Street when he spotted an eastbound vehicle going 49 mph in a 25-mph zone as it crested the roadway near Peddler’s Hill.

Rec area upgrades halted as Interior Dept. reviews LCWF grant

MEDWAY – The renovations at the Medway Rec Area are on hold as the $100,000 grant the town received from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LCWF) is now under further review. Recreation Director Jody Nelson told selectmen that ground prep work has already begun on the area but she’s stopped everything until she met with the board. “We were awarded this money in March and were told we could start the project in May but then I got this letter that says they are reviewing all grants (awarded) over $100,000.” Nelson said the new review has come from the US Department of Interior and not the state, she said they were surprised about this new requirement and told Nelson in the email sent that this is “unchartered territory.” Nelson said the town may still get the money, she was told her grant application scored high enough for it, but this additional level of review at the very least delays the process and at the most could deny the grant.

Superintendent Boynton informs Council on budget

MILLINOCKET—At the regular School Board meeting on Tuesday, June 6, board members passed the Millinocket School Budget. The Board passed the 2017-2018 budget with a 4-0 vote. Board member Jeffrey Gordon was absent. The bottom line to tax payers is an increase of $103,787. The Board also passed the associated Warrant articles by the same margin. Superintendent Francis “Frank” Boynton requested to be part of a special presentation where he could present the school budget to councilors and the public at the regular Council meeting on Thursday, June 8. Boynton, a self-professed conservative when it comes to budgets had worked diligently to have a fair and reasonable budget to present. It represents Boynton’s best guess with the unknown amount of potential revenue from the state subsidies.

Jones re-elected chair, board awards property, changes pool fill up criteria

MEDWAY – Medway Selectman Chairman Bruce Jones welcomed new members Jeff Lee and Christine Whitmer to the board Monday evening before asking for nominations for chair and vice-chair positions. With two quick votes Jones was re-elected as chairman and Selectman Barbara Hartford was elected as vice-chairman. After board discussion last week, Jones announced that the “public comment” portion of the meeting will now take place at the beginning and will be limited to those topics listed on the agenda only. Jones used to ask for public comment later in the meeting during “other business” and topics had no limits.

Storm rips through Katahdin area

MILLINOCKET—A quick moving and violent storm ripped through the Katahdin region late afternoon on Monday, June 12. At approximately 5:30 in the afternoon, heavy rains, thunder and lightning, and heavy winds wreaked havoc on the area. A thunderstorm moved into the region accompanied by high winds and a downpour. Shortly afterward, power was knocked out in Millinocket and did not return until approximately 1:10 a.m. on the 13th. Outer lying areas such as on Deep Cove Road on Ambejejus Lake were still without power as of 11:30 a.m., according to John “Jack” McDevitt.