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JANUARY 22, 2015

LePage touts tax change budget during LLRCC dinner speech

LINCOLN –  Changing the state’s tax structure will help put more money in the pockets of Mainers, leading the way for a more prosperous state, Gov. Paul LePage told the approximately 200 people attending the Lincoln Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner last week. The governor talked about his proposed two-year budget, which would reduce income tax rates and increase and broaden the sales tax, among other measures, as the dinner’s guest speaker. LePage, reelected to a second four-year term in November 2014, made one point repeatedly during his remarks – Maine taxpayers should be able to keep more of their paychecks. “I want to put money in your pocket and not in the politician’s pocket,” he said at the beginning of his speech.


Hervey Clay honored by chamber for lifetime of service

LINCOLN – The Clay family has been a part of the Lincoln community for generations, and Hervey Clay is no exception. Clay, who has been involved in the business and civic affairs for years, was honored by the Lincoln Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce for his efforts with a lifetime achievement award at its annual dinner. Clay has been a volunteer for many organizations, serving on the Penobscot Valley Hospital’s board of directors and various town committees, including the cemetery and budget committees and the planning board, among others. He has also been a member of the town’s fire department for more than 40 years, currently serving as deputy chief.


Area projects included in DOT three year work plan

Some high profile area projects have been included in the Maine Department of Transportation’s recently-released three year work plan, which covers planned projects spanning from 2015-2017. Funding for the projects will come from federal and state funds, according to state officials.


Consultant work on Howland study underway

HOWLAND – A consultant hired by the town to develop a marketing strategy for the town recently spent time exploring all nooks and crannies of the town, according to Town Manager Tracey Hutton. Elizabeth DellaValle, hired by the town through a grant to help develop a marketing study for the former Pine Tree Tanning site, spent time with Hutton exploring the town, Hutton told selectmen Tuesday night.


Millinocket isn’t a ‘dead community,’ Buki sees hope, optimism for town

MILLINOCKET—Charles Buki only spent a few days in Millinocket, but the founder and principal of czb, a neighborhood planning firm based in Alexandria, Va., carries with him an impression of the Magic City that will last for the rest of his life. Driven to help the community after reading about it in a New York Times article published last year, Buki offered the assistance of his firm to Millinocket at no cost. He and a team of associates visited Millinocket last fall meeting with residents, business owners and town leaders, and the results of his pro bono effort were delivered earlier this month to community in the form of a nine-page report.


Service station demolition paves way for Eastmill FCU drive thru addition

EAST MILLINOCKET—Eastmill Federal Credit Union is moving ahead with tentative plans to add a drive thru to its Main Street location after purchasing and demolishing the former Dead River service station. Dan Byron, president/chief executive officer of Eastmill FCU, said the recent acquisition of the parcel on the west side of the credit union’s current building will provide sufficient space to construct the new drive thru. Byron said the credit union didn’t have enough space to build the drive thru on its existing lot, which includes a parking lot on the east side of the building. “We’ve had several members ask about a drive thru in the past, but before there was no place to put one,” he said.


Red Cross employee charged for allegedly using inhalants

MILLINOCKET—A 34-year Orono man has been charged with unlawful use of inhalants after he allegedly inhaled bottled compressed air while sitting in an American Red Cross box truck when he was in Millinocket earlier this month working for the organization. James W. Hawks is scheduled to appear March 4 in Millinocket District Court on the charge of unlawful use of inhalants, which is a civil violation under Maine law punishable by a fine, in connection with the Jan. 11 incident in Millinocket.


Area school boards hear benefits of Bridges project at January 13 meeting

EAST MILLINOCKET—A presentation about the upcoming Bridges project informed the East Millinocket, Medway and Woodville School Boards during their Jan. 13 meeting about an educational idea that is revolutionizing the approach to achieving a higher education. While the concept of earning college credits prior to matriculating to college is not necessarily new, the Bridges program is taking a whole new approach for academic achievement. A slide presentation, followed by a question and answer period, informed members of the three school boards, educators and the public about the benefits of the program. Schenck High School Guidance Counselor Eric Steeves has been touting the possibilities of the Bridges program that would affect the current sophomore class. The executive director for the Bridges program, Fred Woodman, attended the meeting to facilitate the evening and address any concerns regarding instituting the program at Schenck beginning with the 2015-16 school year.


Millinocket agrees to GNP TIF termination tax abatement

MILLINOCKET—After receiving payment of all but approximately five months’ worth of accrued interest on the 2013-14 personal property taxes owed by GNP West, the Millinocket Town Council has agreed to abate more than $1 million in taxes billed to the company. The abatement order, which passed by a 6-1 vote during the council’s Jan. 11 meeting, was described by Millinocket Town Manager Peggy Daigle as an accounting housekeeping matter for the town’s books and does not reduce GNP’s tax liability for the fiscal year that concluded on June 30, 2014.


Sno Rovers to cancel Winter Nationals sled races

MEDWAY—For the first time in recent history, snowmobile drag racing will not be held this winter at the East Branch Sno Rovers after the club recently decided to cancel the 2015 Northeast Winter Nationals slated for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Sno Rovers President Harry Maynard said earlier this week a combination of things forced the club to make the disappointing decision to cancel the event, which in previous years has attracted dozens of machines from the northeast United States and beyond to compete on the 2200-foot land-based track constructed by the organization’s volunteers.