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August 25, 2016

Fujitsu donates 26 heat pumps for the House in the Woods building

LEE – As the House in the Woods permanent home took shape, it first appeared that the space would be heated through a boiler. Thanks to a generous donation, the House in the Woods Military and Family Retreat building, still under construction, will now be heated and cooled through a series of Fujitsu heat pumps. Fujitsu officials, as well as regional and local dealers and installers, spent part of Monday at the Skunk Hill Road building to celebrate the donation of the equipment to the project. "It's going to be great," said Paul House, executive director of House in the Woods, during an interview on Monday. In all, 26 heat pumps will be installed inside the building, allowing soldiers and others participating in the nonprofit's programs the ability to adjust the temperature in their rooms accordingly, Paul House noted.

Retaliatory catnapping results in charges for Howland woman

HOWLAND - A local woman faces two sets of charges after she used a member of the Penobscot County Sheriff's Department to steal a kitten in an apparent retaliation for a domestic issue early Sunday morning. Dusty Vanalstyne of Howland, has been charged with theft by deception and criminal mischief after an incident involving an ex-boyfriend in Lowell. Cpl. Daren Mason of the Penobscot County Sheriff's Office said Vanalstyne was upset when he initially responded to a domestic disturbance call in Lowell at 12:30 am, asking him repeatedly to get her cat. Mason complied, putting the cat in her vehicle while state police continued to investigate the domestic complaint. However, it was later discovered the cat was not hers, but instead belonged to Andrew York, 46, of Lowell, whose home Vanalstyne was visiting.

Stephen Mallett steps aside as SAD 30 board chairman

LEE – When the School Administrative District 30 board next meets, one of its items will be to elect a new chairman. Stephen Mallett of Lee, who has served on the board for years, made the announcement at the end of Tuesday's meeting. "I plan on this being my last board meeting," said Mallett. "I've got too many things going on." He said that he planned to write a formal resignation letter to Lee officials shortly. Mallett has also served on Lee Academy's board of trustees and on its board of directors over the past few years. It was not immediately clear how long Mallett has represented Lee on the board.

Lincoln man arrested after alleged assault in church parking lot

LINCOLN - A Lincoln man was charged with Domestic Violence Assault after he allegedly struck his wife in the parking lot of a West Broadway church Wednesday evening. Shayne Joe, 55, of Lincoln was seen by at least one witness punching a woman in a church parking lot at 6:17 pm. and had to be issued a verbal warning for disorderly conduct by responding to the incident. "The victim told police they started arguing after she left the hospital," Detective Mark Fucile of the Lincoln Police Department said. "She stated that she took a sharp turn and it caused him to spill the beer he w

Economic development committee chooses new chairperson, hears about sign, loon project histories

LINCOLN – The town's economic development committee has chosen a new chairman, who will attend the next town council meeting as a way to improve communication with the body. The move comes following the Aug. 8 town council meeting, where some members said they were not informed about projects undertaken by the committee and asked if town policy was being followed. The committee also saw a one-minute promotional video produced by Millinocket-based designlab which will greet those visiting the town's website. During the Aug. 8 town council meeting, Councilor Dede Trask said she was not aware of a pair of projects – a fiberglass loon expected to be placed downtown as a way to draw people to the area and a digital billboard to be placed on land donated by the Gardner family – and was concerned about the committee spending money without council authorization. The projects are part of the town's economic development efforts, funded through tax increment financing funds received from agreements such as one the town has in place with the Rollins Wind project. The digital sign, highlighting events and happenings in town, was first broached about three years ago, noted Ruth Birtz, the town's economic development assistant, as a joint project with the Lincoln Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and the town.

Lowell man charged following text argument with ex

LOWELL - A Lowell man was charged with domestic violence assault early Sunday morning after a fight with an ex-girlfriend allegedly forcing her off the porch of his home. Andrew York, 46, was released on bail the same day after an incident that started over texts between he and the victim. "The argument started over text messaging," State Trooper Andrew Peirson said. " She was drinking at a bar in Medway and then drove to Mr. York's residence." Cpl. Daren Mason of the Penobscot County Sheriff's Department initially responded to a 911 call that a woman had locked herself in her car after being pinned to the floor and choked by a man at 169 West Old Main Road in Lowell. At the time, police said, the victim believed her keys to be in the residence so she was unable to leave.

Paving bid awarded, weeds, fire bill discussed

MEDWAY – After taking a week to compare bids and creating a spreadsheet to break down costs, Public Works Supervisor Greg Hale said B & B Paving provided the best paving bid for the Nicatou Lane project (also known as the Earthgro Road). In addition to it being the lowest bid at $172,100, it also keeps the project on budget, said Hale. Residents approved a $300,000 bond at this year’s annual town meeting for the work. He said he liked the Bard Paving bid as well (total $191,573) and did some “calling around” to check on the reputation of the Fairfield company. He said he heard good things so he plans on adding them to the list of paving companies the town will consider in the future. Selectmen unanimously accepted Hale’s recommendation and approved the B & B Paving bid. Emery Lee and Sons has been awarded the road repair and ditching work at $128,000. Last week Hale said Lee had to push back the start of their portion of the project to the first week in September (instead of Aug. 24 the original target date). Hale said he has been in contact with Earthgro officials to let them know the schedule of the work.

Divided council passes order to provide wastewater sampling support service for GNP

MILLINOCKET—Multiple members of the Millinocket Town Council offered sharp criticism of the town’s largest, and presently delinquent, taxpayer when considering an agreement for the municipality to provide sampling support services to GNP West, Inc. at the wastewater treatment facility on the former mill campus. A divided council approved the order by a 4-2 vote at its Aug. 11 meeting signing off on an agreement crafted between Millinocket Wastewater Superintendent Jim Charette and Dammon Frecker, an executive with Cate Street Capital, the parent company of GNP West. The agreement calls for the company to pay Millinocket $200 per month, with payment received in advance of services, in exchange for personnel from the town’s wastewater department visiting the facility on the former mill property at least once per month during or after a rainstorm to inspect the treatment lagoon and collect samples should discharge exist. The town’s wastewater department representative, who would be escorted by GNP West personnel while on property, would then complete necessary paperwork and prepare the collected sample for shipment to an analyzing facility with GNP West providing all sampling equipment and containers.

Medway man charged with assault for allegedly punching a man

MILLINOCKET—A 24-year old Medway man is facing an assault charge after he allegedly punched a family member of his female companion three times during a dispute over child custody. Austin Legg was summonsed to appear Oct. 5 in Millinocket District Court on a single count of assault stemming from the Aug. 16 incident where he is accused of punching the male victim three times in his head. According to information from Deputy Chief Janet Theriault of the Millinocket Police Department, the incident was reported to Officer Marty Legassey when the man came to the police station alleging he had been assaulted in the driveway of his Katahdin Avenue residence. The man reported Legg and his girlfriend, who is a family member of the victim, came to his residence trying to pick up the woman’s son, of whom the victim has full custody. The man was in his car trying to leave his residence when Legg blocked in his vehicle with his own. They demanded the man give them the child, whom the victim said would be staying with him. The man asked Legg multiple times to move his vehicle, and while the victim was seated in his vehicle with the window down Legg allegedly punched him three times in the head. Legg then got into his automobile and left the scene. When reporting the incident to Legassey, the victim was distraught and shaking so hard he could not write down his statement.

Councilors approve ordinance allowing livestock in community

MILLINOCKET—Chickens, ducks, cows and sheep could soon be coming to residences around the community after the Millinocket Town Council adopted an order earlier this month allowing multiple forms of livestock and other farm animals on parcels throughout town. With Councilor Michael Madore opposed and Councilor Paul Sannicandro absent, the Town Council voted 5-1 during its Aug. 11 meeting in favor of the municipal livestock ordinance that was crafted over a several month span by the Millinocket Planning Board. The ordinance, which officially takes effect 30 days after passage by the council, repeals the blanket restriction on livestock within the community that has been in place for more than four decades. Livestock, which is defined as a cow, horse, alpaca, llama, sheep or goat, is permitted in areas zoned as Residential Zones 1 and 2, Neighborhood Commercial, Highway Commercial, Downtown Commercial, Rural Development, Commercial Forestland and Shoreland Protection. Livestock are permitted based on a standard of one animal unit (AU) per acre; a horse or cow equals 1.5 AU while a sheep, goat, llama or alpaca equals 0.5 AU. The ordinance provides for several other conditions including a 10-foot setback requirement from the property line for where livestock may be kept, additional setback requirements for the keeping of manure, provisions requiring fences or barriers to keep livestock from escaping, and requiring permits for livestock. The ordinance also requires noise and odors from the livestock not be unreasonable. Other animals, which are defined as chickens, rabbits, turkeys and ducks, are permitted based on the ordinance; however roosters, tom turkeys and drakes are barred. A chicken or rabbit equals 0.066 AU, a turkey equals 0.2 AU and a duck equals 0.1 AU. One AU is allowed per acre with a stipulation that a minimum of six chickens is permitted on each lot. The ordinance does not apply to commercial, for-profit farming operations, and violations of the ordinance are punishable by a penalty of $100 per occurrence.

Elliotsville Plantation transfers 87,000 acres of land to federal government

KATAHDIN REGION—Tens of thousands of acres that have been the subject of an intense debate throughout the Katahdin Region and beyond during recent years about the merits of creating federally protected land in the area have been transferred to the federal government from the non-profit organization leading the charge to create a national park or national monument east of Baxter State Park. According to information from the Penobscot County Registry of Deeds, 13 quitclaim deeds with covenant were filed with the agency on Tuesday morning transferring a total of 87,564.27 acres of land from Elliotsville Plantation Inc. to the United States Government. The deeds were each signed by EPI President Roxanne Quimby conveying the land as a gift to the federal government with the land accepted by Rachel McManus, who serves as deputy realty officer of the northeast region for the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service. The deeds proclaim the land being transferred as comprising a “portion of nationally significant natural and cultural landscape associated with the woods and waters along the East Branch of the Penobscot River in Maine.” No official information concerning what will happen with the gifted land has been disclosed; however it has been widely speculated the land conveyed from EPI could be designated by President Barack Obama as a national monument. Unlike a national park, which can only be created through an act of U.S. Congress, a national monument may be unilaterally designated by the President of the United States using power granted to the chief executive in the Antiquities Act of 1906.