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April 28, 2016

Springfield home destroyed by fast moving fire

SPRINGFIELD – A Main Road home was too heavily damaged by fire early Tuesday morning for fire investigators to determine its cause. The home, owned by Steve and Debra Burleigh, was destroyed by a fire that was first reported to local firefighters at about 1 a.m., Springfield Fire Chief James White said. The couple were heading to bed when the flames were first noticed, White said later Tuesday. The fire then appeared to spread quickly into a pool and to the couple's home, he added.

French, others sentenced for roles in Washington County marijuana operation

BANGOR – Three men convicted on federal charges for their role in a marijuana growing operation in Washington County, including an Enfield man, were sentenced in U.S. District Court last week. Malcolm French, 54, of Enfield was sentenced to 175 months in prison (or 14 years and seven months), five years of supervised release and a $100,000 fine for conspiracy to manufacture more than 1,000 marijuana plants, managing and controlling property used to manufacture marijuana and harboring illegal aliens.

Lincoln mill auction ends, leader of group seeking mill purchase outlines efforts

LINCOLN – As equipment started to be removed from the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue  mill this week following an extended auction of its contents, the man who led a final effort to purchase and restart the mill provided an outline of his group's efforts. Also, $2,880 raised through a GoFundMe campaign was expected to be donated to a local food pantry in the coming days. The sale of equipment within the former mills in Lincoln and Old Town concluded this week with an online auction held by Rabin Group, Capital Recovery Group, PPL Group and Gordon Brothers Inc., the group that purchased both of the former mills in recent months. According to terms of the mill posted on Rabin Worldwide's website, small items must be removed by Friday, while all items must be removed by May 13.

Enfield selectmen recommend staying with PERC

ENFIELD – Selectmen will recommend to voters at next month's annual town meeting to continue having their trash hauled to an Orrington trash-to-energy plant. The unanimous vote came at Monday's meeting of the board of selectmen, who also decided to purchase a new plow truck. Like many area towns, Enfield residents will be asked to vote on whether to continue hauling trash to PERC or participating in a new plant to be built in Hampden and managed by Fiberight a Virginia-based company.

Howland voters approve sending proposed 2016-17 budget to voters unchanged

HOWLAND – Though at least one person recommended adding money for extra police patrols, a small crowd of voters Tuesday opted to send a proposed $2.473 million budget to a June 14 referendum. The proposed budget includes money to fund the town's operations, the ambulance service and water and sewer departments. According to Town Manager Bill Lawrence, the proposed budget is reduced by $16,310 from the previous year. Whether that results in a decrease in the towns mill rate, though, won't be known for a while yet, Lawrence said, since the tax rate will also depend on the town's School Administrative District 31 assessment and other factors. SAD 31 officials expect to vote on a proposed budget next month.

East Mill receives good news on Earth Day

EAST MILLINOCKET—Earth Day 2016 was a special day for the town of East Millinocket; that is the day the town officially received news of a USDA Rural Development investment into the infrastructure of the wastewater treatment facility and the existing watershed of the Penobscot River. “They’re here because they care,” Mark Scally, chairman of the East Millinocket Board of Selectmen said. “None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the people collecting information and grants: People who care for the Katahdin area.” USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel made the announcement Friday about a major financial investment initiative that will be pouring into the infrastructure of the wastewater treatment plant, support for business development and economic growth for the “town that paper made” at the tune of $7.1 million. “This major Earth Day funding in the amount of $7.1 million is an investment in the promising future of the East Millinocket community,” Manuel stated. “This represents a commitment by USDA Rural Development and the town of East Millinocket to ensure infrastructure is in place to support business development and economic growth through a unique project that recycles on a larger scale by utilizing parts of the former mill.”

Millinocket Town Council annual budget Workshops began April 19

MILLINOCKET—The annual budgetary workshops by the Millinocket Town Council began Tuesday, April 19 and continued through Monday, the 25th in Council Chambers. Department heads, council members, manager, and treasurer gathered to discuss the budget for the year 2016-2017 slated to begin on July 1 when approved by the Council and Millinocket voters. Budget workshops ran Tuesday through Thursday and then continued on until Monday.  The public, while welcome to attend any of the budget workshops did not have an opportunity to weigh in on the process, said, Council Chairman Pro-Tem Michael Madore. “These are hearings to go over the proposed budgets,” Madore stated. “There is no public comment.” The calendar year for 2015-16 had the rare structure of a 53-week pay schedule; 2016-17 will have the more usual 52 week schedule. This was reflected in most department heads and employee’s salaries showing slight decreases.

Medway Selectmen accept winter sand bid

MEDWAY – Medway Selectmen finished up some odds and ends before taking on the final budget review Monday. Selectmen accepted a low bid for winter sand bid from Dick Fiske at $7 per yard. This will allow Public Works Director Greg Hale to plan/budget for the purchase accordingly.e rare structure of a 53-week pay schedule; 2016-17 will have the more usual 52 week schedule.

Police probing nighttime burglary at area residence

MILLINOCKET—The Millinocket Police Department is investigating an overnight burglary that occurred last week at a Central Street residence while the occupants of the house were inside sleeping. The incident was reported around 7:15 a.m. Thursday after the homeowners awakened to find the backdoor of their residence was open, according to information provided by Deputy Chief Janet Theriault of the Millinocket Police Department. Sgt. Gary Lakeman responded to the location to meet with the homeowners, who reported a cell phone as well as a purse, which contained credit cards, debit cards and prescription medication, were missing. The homeowners told Lakeman the backdoor was unlocked upon going to bed the prior evening. A subsequent search of the area along Millinocket Stream near the residence turned up the stolen cell phone along with documents from the purse and loose change.

East Millinocket EMS budgets are given okays with minor changes

EAST MILLINOCKET – Ambulance Supervisor/Fire Chief Les Brown met with the board last week to go over his fire department and revenue funded budgets for the East Millinocket and Lincoln Ambulance Services. The ambulance service has grown tremendously over the years through Brown’s pursuit of contracts for coverage and transfer services for surrounding towns. In fact the chief confirmed to board members that he is currently working on additional contracts. The profitable ambulance service has enabled selectmen to pay for much of the operational costs for the fire department as well as public safety building maintenance without using tax payer money. This year the proposed fire budget is $63,961 with only $4,124 of it being requested through taxation. The estimated East Millinocket Ambulance budget is $930,846 up $142,679 over last year. Those are projected revenues that “excite” Board Chairman Mark Scally. The projected Lincoln Ambulance budget is also up, although not as much, $690,485 - an increase of $31,393.