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October 19, 2017

Town manager resigns following executive session

LINCOLN - Town Manager John Sutherland, who has had a tumultuous and somewhat scandalous career here seemingly from the first month of his employment, resigned abruptly following a lengthy executive session with the town’s attorneys Monday night. “We can’t say anything about it, as it involves employee issues,” Council Chair George Edwards said during a Tuesday interview. “We do wish him the best in his future endeavors.” Sutherland declined to comment Monday following a unanimous vote by the council on Councilor John Trask’s motion to accept Sutherland’s resignation, effective immediately.

MA's Logan Thompson makes history with fourth straight golf title

VASSALBORO – Mattanaw-cook Academy's Logan Thompson was somewhat less nervous than many as he and Mitchell Tarrio of Kents Hill of Readfield were even heading into the final four holes at the Class C Maine Principals' Association individual golf championship on Oct. 14 at Natanis Golf Course. MA coach Ryan Libby was trying to just let Thompson "do what you're doing" as the tense battle reached its conclusion. Thompson, meanwhile, was somewhat less nervous, Libby recalled, noting that Thompson approached him heading to one of the final holes. "He (Thompson) said, 'Hey coach, what's going on?" Libby related in a Tuesday interview. That calmness helped Thompson finish the round with a flourish, as he eagled two of the final four holes to win the Class C title for a fourth straight year, finishing with a 6-under 66 compared to Tarrio's 1-under 71. Thompson became the first high school golfer to win four straight individual titles.

Howland homeowner gets stay of inspection warrant from high court

HOWLAND – A planned inspection of a Main Street property has been put on hold, according to Town Manager David Wilson. Howland officials were granted an administrative warrant to inspect Diamond Kelaher's 3 Main Street home on Sept. 19 in Lincoln District Court following a two-hour hearing in front of Judge Kevin Stitham. The inspection was scheduled to take place on Sept. 27 at 10 a.m., but Kelaher filed for a stay of the inspection, which was granted by the Maine Law Court, Wilson  said in an email message. The stay was granted pending a request from Howland's attorneys to explain why the town applied for the inspection and the fact that Stitham had granted the warrant, Wilson added in the email message.

Lincoln residents blast fireworks use, request restrictions

LINCOLN - Several residents made some noise Monday around perceived inappropriate use of fireworks and requested councilors put tighter controls in place to protect their quality of life. “What type of rights do I have that my property catches on fire?” Nicole Murchison asked the council during Monday night’s regular meeting. “What type of protection do I have for myself, my property and my animals?” Since fireworks were legalized, there has been a lot of debate over what restrictions, if any, the town should impose over the use of them beyond state regulation. Concerns over littering, proximity to neighboring houses and threat of fire, as well as the ability to enforce the state law after legal hours have all been raised. “Since fireworks have been legalized, it has been a nightmare in town,” another resident said during the meeting.

One jailed, more arrests likely in Lincoln meth bust

LINCOLN - One woman remains in jail as of press time, with more arrests likely following the discovery of a methamphetamine lab by police last week. April Doody, 40, of Lincoln, has been charged with Class B Felony Illegal Operation of a Meth Lab after police were led to a house on 8 Lancaster Street as a result of tipoff Monday, October 9. “Office Glenn Graef received a tip about a house where a witness saw odd items in the garage,” Sgt. John Walsh of the Lincoln Police Department said. He said the person who provided the tip did research on the items and learned they were commonly used in manufacturing meth.

‘Keag man in critical condition after being hit by car

MATTAWAMKEAG - A local resident remains in critical condition at Eastern Maine Medical Center after being struck by a car last Thursday, October 12. Ivan Gordon was first transported to Penobscot Valley Hospital before being flown by Lifeflight to Bangor after he walked out in front of a car headed south bound on Main Street at 2:30 p.m. in front of his home. “The older gentleman crossed the road right in front of (the driver),” Trooper Jeremy Caron said. Caron said speed was not a factor in the crash, nor was the driver distracted

Transient man napping nabbed after disorderly display

LINCOLN - A transient, formerly of Caribou is not to return to town following altercations with police that began early Friday morning and resulted in his arrest  later that same day. Kenneth Barnett, 57, was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and later released on bail with the condition he not return to Lincoln after his altercation with Sgt. John Walsh of the Lincoln Police. “It first came in as a medical call, an unconscious person on the bench outside of Wing Wah,” Walsh said. Emergency responders for East Millinocket’s run Lincoln Ambulance first arrived at 10:10 a.m. and discovered Barnett was only sleeping and left shortly after. “He became extremely agitated as soon as the ambulance pulled away,” Walsh said. Walsh said Barnett started yelling and using excessive profanity as he tried to talk with him, causing Walsh to issue the first Disorderly Conduct warning

Police probing alleged vehicle burglaries

MILLINOCKET—The Millinocket Police Department is investigating a pair of incidents early Monday morning when an unlocked vehicle was burglarized while an attempt was made to access another vehicle that was locked by its owner upon hearing about the first incident on his police scanner. According to information provided by Deputy Chief Janet Theriault of the Millinocket Police Department, both incidents occurred in the New Development neighborhood of town with the first taking place around 2:15 a.m. on New Hampshire Street. A male homeowner was sleeping with his bedroom window open when he was awakened upon hearing his vehicle door chime. The vehicle was unlocked with its keys inside.

Medway commits taxes, 882 steering concerns noted

MEDWAY – Selectmen signed the assessor’s return officially committing taxes and setting the mill rate for the year at $28.70 per thousand. It is an increase of $1.50 over last year. Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee said tax bills had been sent out. She added that the increase in the Homestead Exemption – now at $20,000 – is the major reason the mill rate increased. She added that there is supposed to be some relief to towns from the state in next year’s municipal revenues and that should help mitigate the increase next year. The Homestead Exemption means the first $20,000 your home is valued at isn’t counted when the town is figuring the value for the purpose of taxing it. For example, if your home is worth $60,000 then it would only be taxed on $40,000 thereby giving the homeowner a tax break. However, the discount does not apply to businesses. The state reimburses municipalities for some of that lost value but it doesn’t cover the total value lost. In other business, Board Chairman Bruce Jones said he had spoken with Reliance Equipment regarding setting up a schedule for Engine 882 repairs and asked Fire Chief Jon Buckingham if he had heard anything from the business yet.

Man fails in quest to go to jail, summonsed for criminal mischief

MILLINOCKET—A 30-year old Millinocket man who wanted to go to jail to find the new significant other of his female companion was instead summonsed for criminal mischief after he allegedly vandalized a Penobscot Avenue apartment. Christopher Berry was summonsed to appear Nov. 8 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the criminal mischief charge stemming from the Oct. 6 incident, according to information provided by Millinocket Deputy Police Chief Janet Theriault.

Lack of cable competition frustrates selectman

EAST MILLINOCKET –The increasing cost of cable television combined with fewer and fewer options prompted East Millinocket Selectman Mark Marston to ask other board members if they’d be willing to look at other service providers. The town currently has a contract with BeeLine and historically that has been the only option in the Millinocket/East Millinocket area unless viewers turn to satellite television. Marston said, for example, his family only subscribes to the “middle” package with BeeLine and his bill is $100 and only going up. He said he’d like to be able to look at other options. Administrative Assistant Angela Cote said because of the exclusive contract with BeeLine she would have to examine the contract to see if the town has any way to “opt out” and if so what other options would be available. Board members said they’d support looking into at other providers if the town can opt out of its current contract.

Manager’s Report: Council to revisit fireworks for 4th

MILLINOCKET—At the Town Council meeting on Thursday, September 28, a resident approached the Council during the Two-Minute Public Comment segment whether councilors would consider making an exception on the fireworks ban that went into effect December 23, 2015. Since the ordinance took place, it is illegal to shoot off fireworks within the town limits. The request is specifically for July 4th, America’s day of Independence. Manager John Davis addressed the request in his Manager’s Report at the October 12 Council meeting. “We have had a request from a citizen to modify the Town Ordinance to allow fireworks on the Fourth of July,” Davis informed. “If the Council wants to entertain this, I believe we should hold at least one Public Hearing on the issue.” Councilors across the board were in favor of having at least one Public Hearing on the fireworks issue. Several councilors also thought that having the Planning Board sound in on the topic would be a good route to explore the issue for zoning and hours that fireworks would be allowed should the ordinance be amended.

East Board “officially” offers water/sewer to Medway

EAST MILLINOCKET – The East Millinocket Board of Selectmen met with members of the Medway Board of Selectmen to “officially” discuss East Millinocket’s past offer to provide water and sewer services to the town. Medway board members Jeff Lee, John Lee and Barbara Hartford explained that they had met with Kirsten Hebert, executive director of Maine Rural Water Association, about the possibility of bringing that service to Medway and the “next steps” needed to move forward. John Lee explained that even though it has been talked about informally over the years and in a board meeting – East Millinocket Selectman Clint Linscott attended a meeting offering water and wastewater services, and Utilities Superintendent Blaine McLaughlin has also attend Medway meetings to provide information – there needed to be “official” meeting minutes indicating that East Millinocket is willing to provide the service.