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June 25, 2020

Lincoln firefighters busy with Chester wildfire as part of busy week

LINCOLN - Captain Ken Goslin said Tuesday that growing up, he had always wanted to be a firefighter. “I had heard the Lincoln firefighters could get water from a tree stump, and I wanted to be part of that,” he said.  During a wildlands fire in Chester, Goslin got his chance to be a part of that mystique. An estimated three-quarters of an acre caught fire near 101 Plywood Road, off the Pea Ridge Road Wednesday, June 17. The location was far enough off road to make bringing water to the scene difficult. To improvise, crews pulled water from a shallow, but seemingly bottomless ditch to supplement what was brought in with the trucks.   

Enfield selectmen approve sewer rate increase

ENFIELD – After rates remained the same for some time, Enfield sewer customers will note an increase in their next bill following action taken by selectmen on Monday evening. The board agreed to increase rates by $25 per quarter, beginning with the August  set of bills as part of a two-year plan to increase rates by $50 per quarter. Town Manager Charles Frazier recommended the increase, which will help the town in the long run, he explained.

Howland voters to have say on municipal budget at Thursday hearing

HOWLAND – Residents will have a chance to weigh in on a reduced municipal budget during Thursday's public hearing, set for 6 p.m. at the town office. The public hearing on the budget will follow a public hearing on a proposed property maintenance ordinance. Other increases, though, could lead to a slight increase in the town's total tax commitment, which also includes budgets for the transfer station, fire/EMS department, public works department and the town's share of the School Administrative District 31 budget.

Maine DOT seeking a permit for work in the Mattawamkeag River

CONCORD, Mass.  - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District has received a permit application from the Maine Department of Transportation to place temporary and permanent fill in the Mattawamkeag River while replacing the deteriorated Route 2 bridge. The project will result in permanent and temporary impacts to stream bed, wetlands, and a relocated intermittent tributary stream. A temporary work trestle and temporary detour bridge will be located upstream and will maintain single lane alternating traffic flow during construction.

RSU 67 planning committee gearing up for 2020-2021 school year

LINCOLN – Regional School Unit 67 continues to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, whatever form that may take. Among the ways the district is preparing for the new school year is the formation and meeting of a planning committee, whose progress was updated by Superintendent Jean Skorapa during the RSU 67's June 17 meeting, held via the Zoom teleconferencing app.

Webster Plantation approves $70,000 budget, talks SAD 30 future at town meeting

WEBSTER PLANTATION – It didn't take long for voters to approve a nearly $70,000 budget at the annual town meeting on June 20. A greater discussion was generated regarding the town's potential future in School Administrative District 30. In order to meet social distancing guidelines issued by Gov. Janet Mills to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, the meeting was held behind the Webster Schoolhouse instead of inside, with plastic chairs spread 6 feet apart on the back lawn. Residents were also allowed to take plastic pencils used to cast ballots home with them instead of returning them to town officials to be sanitized.

Shopping scammer stopped after police find drugs, stolen merchandise

LINCOLN - A Medford woman is facing multiple charges after a second shoplifting attempt at a local discount store. Police also discovered drugs during the investigation of 32-year-old Theresa Franks. Lincoln Police Detective Mark Fucile said Tuesday police responded to a theft complaint at Marden’s Surplus and Salvage Thursday, June 18. He said the suspect was also involved in a separate June 8 incident.

Enfield selectmen pondering weekly payment to Ireland's Rubbish Service

ENFIELD – Selectmen are pondering a change in the operation of its transfer station in light of recent developments. Meeting on Monday night at the town office, Town Manager Charles Frazier informed the board of a recent decision made by Ireland's Rubbish Service to remove a recycling bin at the station, as well as a refusal to haul a load of cardboard placed in another container.

SAD 30 meeting on roof project, budget vote set for June 30

LEE – Residents will have a chance to decide School Administrative District 30's 2020-2021 budget and learn about an upcoming vote to fund roof repairs in one of its schools at the same time next week. The district budget meeting will take place on June 30 at the Lee-Winn Elementary School, starting at 7 p.m. Before action is taken on a proposed $3.9 million budget for the coming school year, though, the night will start with a public hearing on plans to borrow money to repair the Lee-Winn school's roof, which will be presented to voters in Lee, Winn, Springfield and Webster Plantation on July 14.

Lincoln awarded funding to continue economic assessments

LINCOLN - The town will continue preparing the former mill site for future investors and development, thanks in part to a recent grant. Economic Development Director Jay Hardy said Monday the $185,000 will be used to support “technical assessments of assets related to the mill.”

Lack of quorum prevents SAD 31 board from approval vote

HOWLAND – Work is nearly complete by School Administrative District 31 officials on a proposed budget, with the final piece coming together at a recent virtual budget workshop. A planned Tuesday vote by the SAD 31 board to approve the proposed budget and send it on for voter discussion and approval was halted when only six board members were able to remain connected via Zoom, prompting the meeting to be stopped due to a lack of quorum.

SAD 31 board hears 2020-2021 update, honors outgoing principal

HOWLAND – The School Administrative District 31 board heard about preparations for the upcoming school year and saluted a retiring administrator at their June 17 virtual meeting. The district spend the final part of the 2019-2020 school year offering instruction remotely, which is a possibility when the 2020-2021 school year starts, Superintendent Michael Wright noted. 

Early morning intoxication leads to charges for Lincoln woman

LINCOLN - A local woman has been charged following a trip to the hospital last Wednesday, June 17. Police said Tuesday Cheryl Daniells, 46, was so intoxicated she needed to be taken by ambulance to Penobscot Valley Hospital. Detective Mark Fucile of the Lincoln Police Department said he and Cpl. David Millett originally responded to a Spring Street home after a passer-by reported a family fight at 8:57 a.m. The witness told a 911 dispatcher that a man and woman were fighting in

Millinocket police chief subject of 85-page harassment complaint

MILLINOCKET—Millinocket Police Chief Craig Worster is the subject of an 85-page harassment complaint filed by the department’s deputy chief citing a series of alleged incidents since Worster became Millinocket’s top cop in March 2019. Lorne Smith, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local Union No. 340, said the complaint was filed in late April by Deputy Chief Janet Theriault concerning the actions of Worster, who took the Millinocket job, his first as a police chief, following stops at multiple departments in Maine as well as time with a police department in Connecticut. Smith said the union is awaiting the town’s response to Theriault’s complaint. The town has hired, through its attorney, a private investigator to probe the matter, and Smith indicated he plans to release the 85-page harassment complaint upon receiving the town’s response.

Plaintiff in federal lawsuit against Penobscot County DA identified as former Millinocket cop

MILLINOCKET—The plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed against Penobscot County District Attorney Marianne Lynch is an ex-Millinocket police officer, according to an official with the labor union that represents the former officer. Lorne Smith, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local Union No. 340, confirmed earlier this week the former officer previously worked for the Millinocket Police Department until he was fired after what Smith described as a Giglio order was filed against him by Millinocket Police Chief Craig Worster.

East looking for more cuts, working on town meeting ideas

EAST MILLINOCKET – The East Millinocket Board of Selectmen agreed to give each department the chance to cut its own budgets before selectmen did. “We have a very high budget this year,” Board Chairman Peggy Daigle said, “so I think we should send them back to the department heads and give them the chance to cut their own budgets. I want to see them manage their own budgets; I don’t want to have to go in with an ax.”

East Mill opens play areas; continues pool work

EAST MILLINOCKET – Following the lead of other Maine communities, East Millinocket Selectmen agreed to open playgrounds and courts with the caveat that citizens play at their own risk. Recreation Director Jody Nelson said several surrounding communities; including Lincoln, Bangor and Houlton have opened their play areas. She added that people are using the areas now without the town opening them.

Millinocket board to change time of meeting

MILLINOCKET—A request had been made at an earlier school board meeting to change the time of the meeting time. The board has met for several years at 4:30 p.m.; beginning with the June 30th meeting the time will be changed to 5 p.m. At the warrant meeting of Tuesday, June 16 the school board considered the request to change the meeting time. The board voted 5-0 in favor of making the change in time.

Woman accused of violating bail with positive drug test

MILLINOCKET—A Millinocket woman is facing two charges stemming from an incident last week when she allegedly violated her bail by testing positive for an illegal drug and possessed drug paraphernalia. Kimberly Roberts was summonsed to appear Sept. 9 in Millinocket District Court on one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of conditional release.

Board gives second interview to chief candidate; discusses Lincoln service

EAST MILLINOCKET – East Millinocket Selectmen appear to be moving closer to hiring a new fire/ambulance supervisor after completing six interviews in the last two weeks. Current Fire/Ambulance Supervisor/Chief Les Brown is retiring with his last work day being Aug. 10. Board Chairman Peggy Daigle said the town had “very good applicants from around t

Man accused of assaulting officer when trying to drive away in police cruiser

MILLINOCKET—A local man is facing multiple charges stemming from an incident last week when he allegedly assaulted a member of the Millinocket Police Department during an altercation as he tried to drive away in a police cruiser. Nolan Poole was arrested and transported to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor. He is charged with one count each of violation of conditional release and assault on a police officer. Poole was also wanted on a warrant issued out of the Bangor area.

East receives engineering, insurance proposals for mill site

EAST MILLINOCKET – The town of East Millinocket continues to move forward on rehabilitation of the former Great Northern Paper mill site. Board of Selectman Chairman Peggy Daigle said 25 engineering firms expressed interest in the repair work that needs to be done on the site warehouses and train shed. Those repairs are needed to accommodate a potential business interested in leasing warehouse space, Daigle has said previously.

East Board to prepare for “anything”

EAST MILLINOCKET—What will the 2020-2021 school year look like? Will the regular start be on campus of done remotely? It is all very much up-in-the-air with COVID19 which had disrupted the regular flow of schooling earlier in mid March. When will school officially open and will students, staff, faculty, and administrators be in their official place settings? That is to be determined at this stage in the game as Superintendent Eric Steeves reported to the school board at the regular meeting via Zoom conferencing on Wednesday, June 17.

EAAA online wellness group offers social, exercise classes

KATAHDIN REGION – How has being quarantined treated you? Gained a few pounds? Feeling a little off? Missing friends and the feeling of being part of a group? Eastern Area Agency on Aging has started an online wellness group that might be right for you. Tom Kenny, EAAA director of nutrition, said the online group was started March 30 to provide another way to get people moving and stay connected through the COVID-19 Pandemic and it has grown to over 200 members. The sessions can be accessed on the EAAA Facebook page or by using a link on the COVID-19 informational page on the EAAA website. There will be some classes on ZOOM as well.

East board says no to athletic field use

EAST MILLINOCKET—During this Coronavirus pandemic the question was bound to come up sooner or later: can we use the athletic fields? The East Millinocket School Board grappled with a request from a summer softball team that was hoping to find a place to play at least some of its games.  Turns out anyone hoping to use the fields at Schenck’s athletic complex will have to wait a bit longer.