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MAY 17, 2018

Former councilor’s wife charged in meth lab bust

LINCOLN - A local woman was jailed Tuesday evening after an attempted burglary complaint led police to discover items consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Nancy Stevens, 45, wife of former Lincoln councilor Chris Stevens, has been charged with Class D Unlawful Possession of a Schedule W Drug. Public Safety Director Dan Summers said Detective Mark Fucile and Officer Sean Pfahler first responded to 258 Lee Road when someone reported a burglary in progress at the Stevens’ residence at 4:08 p.m. Tuesday. Nancy, who was arrested last month in Bangor, had bail conditions that allowed police to search and test her.

Local nonprofit receives $50,000 during banquet

LINCOLN - As Poland Spring moves ahead with the construction of its load station in Lincoln, it is becoming more and more apparent that the company believes in becoming part of and supporting the communities where it has a presence.  Tuesday night, company representatives hosted an informational meeting and complimentary community supper at Region III.  A variety of "stations" provided attendees with a plethora of information about the company, its operations, and water itself.  Jeff Day, superintendent of the Lincoln Water District expressed his feelings about the relationship with Poland Spring, saying that he met with company representatives last year in Hallowell in what turned out to be the beginning of the relationship with Poland Spring.

Community vision could revitalize mill site

LINCOLN - While the town is focused on acquiring a  low-containment carve out of the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue site, community vision, as well as Brownfield grants, could lead to revitalizing more of the property. On Wednesday, May 9, more than 20 residents, including the full town council, gathered at Mattanawcook Academy’s Cafetorium to both discuss what the future should hold for the former industrial property as well as what money was available to help offset the costs of any redevelopment. Attendees also determined they were not interested in requesting the property be listed as a Superfund site, which would essentially turn the property over to the Environmental Protection Agency. By pursuing Brownfield grants, the town would both maintain control, and flexibility, in determining what happened to the property.

Proposed Howland TIF district, program detailed at Monday hearing

HOWLAND – The town's proposed tax increment financing program, which faces voters next month, includes opportunities for public input and approval, officials revealed at a Monday public hearing. About 20 people gathered at the American Legion hall to hear about the proposed TIF district, its boundaries and administration during Monday's meeting, which also included dinner and refreshments.

Enfield selectmen reviewing town manager applicants

ENFIELD – Selectmen are in the midst of reviewing potential town manager candidates. Current Town Manager Theresa Thurlow explained that board members have started reviewing applications for her replacement. The deadline for applications for the position was May 9. Thurlow will retire as Enfield's town manager on June 30; she has served as town manager and code enforcement officer for several years. Thurlow has served as town manager and code enforcement officer for the past few years. Selectmen are still accepting applications for a part-time code enforcement officer through May 17.

Area math teams celebrate successful seasons

Math teams from Lee Academy and Penobscot Valley High School battled throughout the 2017-2018 season, with LA and PVHS finishing first and second, respectfully, among the Eastern Maine Math League's Class C teams. The squads from both schools continued their success at last month's state meet at the Augusta Civic Center.

Town ensures economic branding in media contract

LINCOLN - In a relatively uneventful meeting, the council took steps to ensure the economic branding of the town will remain consistent, at least for another year. Following the advice of both the Events and Tourism Committee and newly-hired Economic Development Director Jay Hardy, the council voted unanimously to renew Designlab of Millinocket’s $28,555 annual contract with the town, with the stipulation it go out to bid next year, as well as include a potential multi-year signing.

Multiple scams target residents during tax season

LINCOLN - Though the tax-filing deadline has passed and many residents have already cashed in their refunds, a common scam is attempting to take advantage of those still waiting word from the federal government. “We have received multiple complaints recently of people posing as the IRS,” Detective Mark Fucile of the Lincoln Police Department said. Fucile said the scams can be easy to spot if a potential victim knows what to look for. “The IRS will never call first and demand payment,” he said. “They will always mail a bill first.”

New generation of “smurfing” real danger for retailers

LINCOLN - What one generation fondly remembers as a children’s cartoon reference has taken on a more menacing meaning today as a national initiative has begun to educate and ultimately prevent “smurfing.” Not to be confused with anything related to The Smurfs, smurfing is an activity where criminals visit multiple stores, even crossing state lines, to purchase over the counter medication needed to manufacture methamphetamine. Most retailers currently limit the amount of Advil Cold and Sinus, Allegra-D, Claritin-D, Mucinex D and Sudafed an individual can purchase. Those medications all contain pseudoephedrine, or PSE, the active ingredient needed to make meth.

Lincoln Sanitary District to use local funds to repair main building roof

LINCOLN – A harsh winter has taken its toll on the roof of the Lincoln Sanitary District's main plant. The Lincoln Sanitary District's board recommended using unassigned funds to help pay for the repair work at their May 10 meeting. The roof developed a series of leaks during the winter months, Lincoln Sanitary District Superintendent Scott Hesseltine explained on Tuesday. Also, the roof is also 20 or more years old, Hesseltine added.

Springfield special town meeting on Lombard School set for Friday

SPRINGFIELD – A special town meeting will take place Friday night in the gymnasium of a building that will likely be back in town control before long. Residents will meet in the Edith Lombard School gymnasium, starting at 6:30 p.m., to consider three Lombard-related articles as Springfield is poised to manage the building moving forward. The School Administrative District 30 school board voted on March 27 to officially close the school, which has not housed students since the end of the 2015-2016 school year, when the 4-year old program was shifted to space at the Lee Winn Elementary School.

Teen arrested for alleged threats with BB pistol at local playground

MILLINOCKET—A 13-year old boy was arrested on multiple charges after he allegedly pointed what turned out to be a BB pistol at other teens and threatened to shoot them during an incident last week at a Millinocket playground. The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was arrested on charges of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, which is a felony offense, terrorizing and assault stemming from the May 8 incident. He was released into the custody of his mother with what were described as strict bail conditions following consultation with the Juvenile Community Corrections Office.

House fire displaces Medway family

MEDWAY—A Medway family lost its home early Monday morning when a fire destroyed a single-family residence on the Stanley Road. One person sustained minor burns in the blaze that took place around 2:15 a.m. at 33 Stanley Road, according to Chief Aaron Lee of the Medway Fire Department. Fire was showing across the roof of the residence when the first crew arrived on scene. Firefighters attempted to gain access to the residence to launch an interior attack on the fire but were unsuccessful due to the extent of the flames. Lee stated the house was a total loss. It appears the fire began in the back bedroom of the two-story residence, which had an additional level below ground, but Lee indicated it is difficult to tell because of the extent of the damage. The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called in to investigate the incident and was on scene Monday.

Board looking for help with court paving, new sweeper needed

EAST MILLINOCKET – With department operating budgets reviewed, East Millinocket Selectmen turned to the capital improvement budget for final discussions. Before talking about other project or equipment wants, Board Chairman Mark Scally reminded selectmen the town has already spent $100,000 out of surplus for the purchase of a new ambulance. Recreation Director Jody Nelson said during her budget discussions that selectmen need to make a decision on tennis court paving at some point as the problem is just getting worse and the price tag to fix it goes up every year. The repaving work has a recent estimated cost of $30,000 and selectmen agreed to ask the school department to contribute half because the school is the primary user.

Heritage Park making progress?

MILLINOCKET—The Heritage Park project was first proposed to the Millinocket Town Council in a special presentation in December 2016. It was projected to raze the Mini-Golf Building and turn that section of Penobscot Avenue in the downtown as green space to attract tourists to the business district. Katahdin Tourism and Partnership reported that agreements were made with Mini-Golf Building owners and that it was applying for grants from the Sewall Foundation. Since that time, there have been updates and presentations to the Council and the public, but little seems to be happening.

Pool bids awarded, work to begin a.s.a.p.

EAST MILLINOCKET – After a brief discussion, the East Millinocket Board of Selectmen awarded the bids for pool bath house repairs/refurbishments so that work can begin as soon as possible. Recreation Director Jody Nelson told selectmen at previous meetings that she had approximately $45,000 in grant money that she can use now to start the renovations before the pool is open for the summer. As a result roof, gutters, blocks and grating work will be done by Mike Sulinski; Rollins Plumbing will do the plumbing work and Boynton Painting will perform both the interior and exterior painting on the building for a total cost of $44,536.20. Nelson said she would inform the winning bidders immediately and plan on them beginning work as soon as possible.

Fire policy passed, culvert repair needed, dock sold, roof work done

MEDWAY – Medway Selectmen accepted an amended version of the new fire department billing policy. Fire Chief Aaron Lee said he made the changes requested by board members – increased the fees for equipment and personnel – and provided them a letter from AllState confirming no money can be recovered by the town unless a policy is in place. Chief Lee also reported that he contacted Central Maine Cost Recovery, an outside billing company, to find out what its recovery rate is and if it would be advantageous to the town to employ them. He said the company couldn’t estimate what the recovery rate would be because each claim and insurance company is different but could say that with all claims recovered the town gets 80 percent and they take 20 percent. In addition they take care of all the administrative work.

Board cuts road repairs, adds money for raises

MEDWAY – After much discussion – including the benefits of merit raises versus across the board raises – Medway Selectmen agreed to budget $8,000 and decide how to disburse raises at a later date. Board members were torn between a three percent raise or $1,000 per employee (eight full-time employees would be eligible). The town has given both in the past but board members also discussed the value of merit based raises as well as doing annual job performance reviews. Knowing that Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee needed some guidance to put final budget figures together – final material is needed by next week in order to prepare the town meeting warrant for June 13 – selectmen agreed to budget money to use for raises and take some time to determine how they want to award them.

School board, selectmen meet to clarify school budget

MEDWAY – It turns out the Medway School Board wanted to meet with the Medway Selectmen too – and they did Monday. School Board Chairman Dawn York said board members wanted selectmen to learn about their budget from them and ask questions if there are any. The school plans on reviewing and adopting May 15. Selectman Emery “Jeff” Lee IV requested a joint meeting to discuss the budget and the future at last week’s meeting, York said her board was interested as well. Medway Superintendent/Principal Dawn Pray said there has been much confusion with the school budget, especially the fund balance, since the audit presentation a few weeks ago – she said she called auditors to get explanations and clarifications because she wanted to understand everything. She said she wanted to clarify things and respond to any concerns. Pray said the proposed 2018-2019 budget is $3,064,473 and the town’s assessment- amount needed to be raised through taxation – is $881,794 which is the same as previous years.

Boynton, board continue to seek housing for international students

MILLIONOCKET—There continues to be a growing need to find housing for students coming from foreign countries in the quest for educational opportunities at Stearns High School. Superintendent Francis “Frank” Boynton has made the appeal at school board meetings and at the town council meeting. School board chairman Mike Jewers had joined Boynton to advocate for housing for “home-stays”. It’s a great opportunity to support the international program at Stearns which has been very successful over the years Boynton has declared. It is a chance to get to know the students and to be part of their success as a student at Stearns. Those who house the students receive a $500 monthly stipend to cover costs and expenses, including an occasional trip to Bangor for shopping and enrichment of the educational process.

Millinocket police caution motorists about off-road light bars

MILLINOCKET—The Millinocket Police Department is cautioning motorists who utilize auxiliary vehicle lights known as off-road light bars that such devices are illegal on public roadways in Maine. The lights, which are designed for off-road driving but have become popular for on-road vehicles, are characterized as high-powered LED lights that are often mounted on the front of an automobile. The lights can create road hazards by blinding other drivers when looking at them particularly at night. Maine law sets requirements for allowable optional auxiliary lighting, which cannot emit a beam that is brighter than, has a greater candlepower than or distracts from the visibility of standard lighting equipment. Violators are subject to a $137 fine.

Medway board hears update on project proposal

MEDWAY—The Medway School Board heard the latest updates on the status of the Project proposal at its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 8. A surveyor was on the grounds measuring and designating boundary lines so that the board can best be apprised of the limits of the property in respect to the project proposals. “We’ll know where to expand and know what our limits are,” Project Board member George McLaughlin stated. “We’re waiting on permits from the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection). While boundaries and project ideas are being firmed up, so is the conceptual drawing of what engineering architects, according to Superintendent Dawn Pray. Coupled with the five-year-plan and the conceptual drawing it is hoped that it will draw the interest and support of citizens at later meetings, including the Town meeting.