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December 26, 2019

Mattawamkeag woman loses her life in Saturday night fire

MATTAWAMKEAG - The local community is rallying behind the family of a woman who lost her life in a fire Saturday. “My feelings are all about their family right now,” Mattawamkeag Fire Chief Mike Coombs said Monday, following a structure fire that claimed the life of 59-year-old Robin Stratton. “This time of year, it is always more tragic,” he said. A GoFundMe account has been set up for funeral expenses and for Stratton’s granddaughter, who lived with the victim but was not at home at the time of the fire. On Monday, more than $7,000 of the requested $10,000 had been raised.    

Poland Spring donating to area heating funds

Four Lincoln Lakes region towns are splitting a $10,000 donation from Poland Spring to help keep homes warm this winter. The bottler donated $10,000 to heating assistance funds in Lincoln, Howland, Enfield and Passadumkeag, company officials noted in a Dec. 17 email. “Poland Spring is committed to giving back to the communities we are a part of, and to being a good neighbor," Poland Spring Community Relations Manager Heather Printup said in a statement. "This donation will help our fellow Mainers stay warm and get them through another winter.”

Work continues on proposed Enfield road bond package

ENFIELD – Work continues on a  bond application to potentially finance some much-needed road work next year. Town Manager Charles Frazier updated selectmen on the process during Monday's selectmen's meeting. Having completed the financial portion of the application, Frazier is now looking to get paving quotes. He said he has contacted D & D Paving in Lincoln and plans to reach out to other paving companies.

Ownership of Lee church property subject of dual lawsuits

The ownership of a Lee church could play out at a trial later next year, an attorney for the New Beginnings Church of Lee noted at a press conference last week. The church, formerly known as the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, is located on Route 168 in Lee on land donated by Lester Delano in the early 1980s, according to Roger Ek, a spokesperson for the church. The church, now down to 15 members after once having nearly 100, voted in December 2018 to formally leave the Christian and Missionary Alliance, a denomination based in Colorado Springs, Colo. The New Beginnings Church contends that it still owns the building and land donated by Delano, having long paid off a small loan needed to finish work on the parsonage.

Man barred for life after soap and soda stolen

LINCOLN - A man from Lee and North Anson has been banned for life from a grocery chain following an attempted theft Monday morning. Jeffrey Raymond, 37, was charged with Theft by Unauthorized Taking by local law enforcement after he allegedly attempted to steal two cases of Mountain Dew soda and a bottle of Tide Ultra from Hannaford’s grocery store in Lincoln.

Fire contained to chimney as department battles another blaze

ENFIELD - Firefighters from two area departments were able to stop a chimney fire from spreading Thursday, as they responded to a fourth fire in two weeks. Howland and Lincoln departments were at the home of Clyde Tibbets, Sr., on 52 Lincoln Road after a report of a chimney fire at 8 p.m. Howland Fire Chief Josh McNally said Tibbets was home at the time. “The fire was contained to just the chimney, with no extension,” he said during a Monday interview.

Two charged after breaking into Ballard Hill School

LINCOLN - Two area juveniles have been charged following a break in at the Ballard Hill School earlier this month. Public Safety Director Dan Summers said Monday the charges of trespassing for the two came following an investigation into a possible domestic incident. He also said there had been damage done to the aging, vacant building, but police could not prove it was the two individuals or if it had been someone else that had broken into the building. Police are not releasing the names of the individuals as they are both under the age of 18.

Lincoln Police name second-ever Corporal

LINCOLN - Local law enforcement received a big boost to its command ranks Wednesday as a vacant corporal position was finally filled. Officer David “Ted” Millett, once a Sergeant for the Maine State Police, was sworn in at the Lincoln Town Office, becoming the second ever corporal for the LPD. The position has been empty since Cpl. Jay Hallett resigned last year. “He will be a very good addition to the command staff of the Lincoln Police Department,” Public Safety Director Dan Summers said Monday. “(Millett) has a wealth of experience that will benefit the town of Lincoln.

Special town meeting set for Enfield noise ordinance

ENFIELD – A special town meeting will be held on Jan. 13 to decide on the fate of a proposed noise ordinance. Town Manager Charles Frazier noted that there had not been any public input on the proposed ordinance since its posting on the town's website earlier this month He added that the ordinance would receive a legal review to see if it needs tweaking. Frazier also noted that the ordinance can be amended, calling it a "working document" at Monday's selectmen's meeting.

Adult, two juveniles charged in West Broadway fight

LINCOLN - A pair of local teens have been charged following a fight on West Broadway Wednesday morning. Police are not releasing the names of two of the suspects due to their age, but did say a juvenile male was summonsed for Disorderly Conduct, a juvenile female was arrested for assault and a third man, 37-year-old Ahki “Cory” Watford, was charged with Disorderly Conduct.

Planning Board approves business move, tables alternative housing until 2020

LINCOLN - Turning Point Mental Health Professionals will be moving to a new location, following a decision by the town’s Planning Board last week. On Tuesday, board members approved Verna Boyington’s plan to move her business to 26 Enfield Road, the same location that also contains Dr. Mark Weatherbee’s business.

RSU 67 board extends superintendent's contract

LINCOLN – The Regional School Unit 67 board agreed to keep Jean Skorapa as their superintendent for the next few years. Following an executive session at the board's Dec. 18 meeting, the board agreed to formally nominate Skorapa as superintendent, extending her contract through June 30, 2023. Skorapa, who formally became RSU 67's superintendent on July 1, will earn $120,000 in salary effective July 1, 2020, according to the motion approved by the board at the meeting. The district's 2019-2020 budget also included $120,000 for the superintendent.

SAD 31 board approves bus purchase

HOWLAND – A change in the way districts are reimbursed for school bus purchases prompted the School Administrative District 31 board to approve a lease-purchase agreement for a new bus last week. The SAD 31 board agreed to a five year lease-purchase agreement, paying a total of about $100,000 in principal ($93,000) and interest (3.3 percent) through Gorham Leasing at its Dec. 18 meeting. Superintendent Michael Wright told the board that state education officials have changed the reimbursement rate for school buses. Previously, districts would receive 80 percent of bus-related purchases as part of the following year's state subsidy, Wright told the board at its Dec. 18 meeting. That rate has been increased to 100 percent for the 2020-2021 school year, he added.

Area school districts looking for collaborative efforts

MILLINOCKET—Area school districts are looking to find new and innovative methods for collaborative efforts where it makes sense, according to Francis “Frank” Boynton. There are collaborations that several school systems are already participating in and more that could possibly be explored. Boynton informed the School Board on a meeting with other school districts in the Katahdin and Lincoln Lakes areas at the warrant meeting on Tuesday, December 17.

Teen killed in accidental shooting at Medway residence

MEDWAY—A 15-year old boy from East Millinocket was killed last week in what has been deemed an accidental shooting inside a Medway residence. Gage Hale died of a single gunshot wound sustained as a result of the shooting that took place Dec. 18 at a residence on Main Road in Medway, according to Maine State Police Spokesperson Steve McCausland.

Board approves liquor extension, critical of late timing

EAST MILLINOCKET – East Millinocket Selectmen reluctantly approved a liquor license extension for Wakine Tanous dba The Hamlet for a fundraising comedy show at the municipal building on Jan. 4. Administrative Assistant Angela Cote said the application for the extension was just received and she hadn’t even had the opportunity to provide all the selectmen with a copy of the request before the meeting.

Residents urged to check out and register interest

MEDWAY – Medway Selectmen and the Katahdin Region Broadband Utility are encouraging residents to go to to sign up and show their interest in receiving faster and cheaper internet services in the region. Selectmen John Lee, who has been working on the broadband initiative since 2015 and represents Medway on the utility’s board said the sign up does not obligate anyone to anything – it just indicates a level of support and gives planners an idea of where the interest is so when a “build out” map is created it will have the addresses of those interested.

East Mill man accused of assaulting woman during argument about smoking

EAST MILLINOCKET—An East Millinocket man was arrested earlier this month for domestic violence assault accused of hitting his female companion and spitting at her during an altercation inside their residence. Jason Thomas, 39, was taken into custody following the alleged assault that occurred Dec. 12. Thomas was transported to the Penobscot County Jail following his arrest and is scheduled to appear Jan. 8 in Millinocket District Court on the domestic violence assault charge.

EMPD cautions motorists about deer crashes on Route 157

EAST MILLINOCKET/MEDWAY—The East Millinocket Police Department is asking motorists to exercise caution when traveling on Route 157 due to a high number of crashes involving automobiles and deer in recent weeks. Corporal Brad Fitzgerald said in the past month the department has responded to more than 25 car-deer crashes along Route 157 in both East Millinocket and Medway. The accidents have occurred in all areas of the roadway in both communities and at all hours of the day. Crashes have been reported on both sides of the Interstate 95 interchange.

Medway man arrested when license found revoked, expired in multiple states

EAST MILLINOCKET—A 39-year old Medway man was arrested last week for allegedly driving without a license after giving police multiple states where he may have a driver’s license but none of them were active. Todd Goff was taken into custody during the Dec. 17 incident investigated by Corporal Brad Fitzgerald of the East Millinocket Police Department. Goff was released upon posting bail and was issued a summons to appear Feb. 5 in Millinocket District Court to answer to a charge of operating without a license.

Millinocket man arrested once again for allegedly violating protection order

MILLINOCKET—For the third time in fewer than three months and the second time this month, a Millinocket man was arrested accused of violating a protection order. Rudolph Wissley, 41, was taken into custody Dec. 17 and transported to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor. Wissley was charged with one count each of violation of protective order and violation of condition of release.

Woman arrested after alleged assault of medical provider, police officer

MILLINOCKET—A woman from Patten was arrested recently on multiple felony charges accused of assaulting a medical provider and police officer during an incident at a Millinocket healthcare facility. Kaytlan Rampley, 21, was arrested on one count each of assault on an emergency medical care provider and assault on a police officer, each of which is a Class C felony offense. Rampley allegedly refused to sign the criminal summonses resulting in a third charge of refusing to sign a Uniform Summons and Complaint.

Medway vets participate with Wreaths Across America

MEDWAY—Wreaths Across America has been collecting wreaths made in Maine and transporting them to be placed on veteran’s graves in Arlington Cemetery in the nation’s capital. It takes a concerted effort to make this happen. “Honor, Remember, Teach” is the motto for Wreaths Across America. The wreaths laid on Veteran’s graves in Arlington began to be placed on the stones at precisely noon on Saturday, December 14. That is exactly the same day and time that a contingent of veterans from Medway and surrounding towns laid wreaths at the Veterans Memorial, according to organizer and local leader for the project Dusty Cramp.

MFD hosts annual appreciation dinner

MEDWAY – The town of Medway and the Medway Fire Department Auxiliary recently hosted an employee appreciation dinner and awards event at the Medway Fire Department/Public Works Building. The is the second year of the event that has evolved into an evening set aside to appreciate not only the town’s fire firefighters but all employees who keep the town running and surrounding departments that support the MFD. According to MFD Publicity Officer Celina Charette the town’s senior group was also honored and certificates of appreciation were given to the East Millinocket Police Department, East Millinocket Fire Department, East Millinocket Public Works, Mattawamkeag Fire Department, Lincoln Fire Department and Millinocket Fire Department.

Police reminder: Medway rec complex closed to vehicles during winter

MEDWAY—Police are issuing a reminder that the Medway recreation complex is closed to automobile traffic during winter months after a vehicle became stuck on the ice-covered road last weekend. Corporal Brad Fitzgerald of the East Millinocket Police Department offered the reminder following the Saturday incident when a vehicle became stuck on ice while attempting to go down the road that leads to the recreation area along the banks of the Penobscot River. Fitzgerald said the road is covered in ice and not accessible to vehicles during the winter months.