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SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

Friday fire causes heat, smoke damage to Howland home

HOWLAND - A local church is seeking donations after a Frirday fire damaged an Oak Lane home. The Howland Baptist Church Facebook page is asking for donations of mens, women and boys clothing after a suspected stove fire spread into the attack space at 20 Oak Lane at 1 p.m. Firefighters were able to save the structure of the building. “There was black smoke to the floor,” Howland Fire Chief Josh McNally, who was one of the first three people to enter the interior of the family home located off the North Howland Road. “It was just extremely hot.”

Repairs of pump station roofs latest challenge for Lincoln Sanitary District

LINCOLN – The Lincoln Sanitary District continues to face repairs on its buildings and equipment, its superintendent said last week. Superintendent Scott Hesseltine informed the board at its Sept. 13 meeting that the roofs on its Creamery Court and Military Road pump stations need to be replaced. He told the board that he and another employee intended to fix the roof on the Military Road pump station by applying tar to the current roof structure, but a closer look revealed something else.

Lincoln’s Diana Hill named Deputy Clerk of the Year

WATERVILLE - Last Tuesday, Lincoln’s own Diana Hill was honored, unbeknownst to her ahead of time, by receiving the Maine Town & City Clerk’s Association’s Deputy or Assistant Clerk of the Year award. “Please join us in congratulating Diana Hill, 2018 Maine Town and City Clerks Association Deputy Clerk of the Year!!!” The town’s Facebook page announced last week. “As you can see, she was definitely surprised.” Hill, who is on vacation this week and unavailable for comment, was nominated for the award by her coworkers and peers, including Bangor Clerk Lisa Goodwin.

Grant aides Lowell firefighters with pet rescue

LOWELL - The local department, who months ago added an ambulance to its fleet, has further spread it’s rescue capabilities, now to family pets caught in a fire. On Sunday, a representative of Invisible Fence of Eastern Maine, presented the small town department with special masks for pet resuscitation as part of their Project Breathe. “I enjoy donating these,” Bret McNutt of the pet containment company said. “We’ve had one save that I know of in Maine of the ones we donated.” The small masks, in three sizes that include cats and small dogs, are designed to fit over pet snouts and allow firefighters to administer oxygen.

Anthony Lord appeals life sentence for 2015 crime spree

BANGOR – A Crystal man who killed two men and wounded three others in a two-county crime spree in 2015 has appealed his two life sentences to the state's highest court. Anthony Lord, 37, was sentenced to life in jail by Superior Court Justice Ann Murray in August 2017 following a sentencing hearing at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Lord pleaded guilty to two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of elevated aggravated assault, two counts of theft of firearms, one count of arson, one count of aggravated assault and one count of eluding police officers, according to previous reports. One count of kidnapping and two counts of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon were dismissed. Attorney Andrea Manthorne of Portland argued Lord's appeal before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Sept. 12 in Portland.

Board discusses marijuana, tiny homes

LINCOLN - The latest trends in housing - tiny homes and houses constructed of shipping containers - has finally reached the greater area, causing town planners to begin researching governing ordinances for them. This, and the future of recreational and medical marijuana rules, were topics of conversation during Tuesday night’s monthly Planning Board meeting. No vote was taken on any issues as the discussion was informal. “We have no ordinance that says tiny homes are disallowed,” Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Arnold said. “We have no ordinance on tiny homes at all.” Currently, the state of Maine views tiny homes as recreational vehicles and not single family dwellings. Some towns in the state prohibit them as long-term dwellings. Arnold said there are three tiny homes in Lincoln now. The four members of the board present, including Chair Cathy Moison, had no objections to allowing the structures within town borders, though more research on what zoning ordinances and building codes needed to be considered has to be done.

Burning bark report discovered to be box car fire

MATTAWAMKEAG - A report of a mulch fire near the railroad tracks Monday afternoon ultimately led firefighters to a burning hopper car. Firefighters from both Mattawamkeag and Lincoln responded to the 2:40 p.m. blaze after it was initially reported to the town office by the park director. “There were flames coming out of the sides and the top of the car,” Fire Chief Mike Coombs said. “It’s pretty intense to try and get out” Coombs said the car was carrying ground up railroad ties, which contain a lot of creosote. In order to fully extinguish the fire, responders used a front an loader from the nearby rail yard to dig out the burning material.

Multi-town committee explores ways to serve residents

ENFIELD - Though it has been dormant for almost a year, the joint Public Safety Committee convened Tuesday to once again explore improved safety and service to the residents of the greater area. Officials from Howland, Enfield and Passadumkeag met at 9 a.m. at the Enfield Town Office to discuss topics ranging from ambulance coverage and police to possibly sharing a diesel mechanic and combining public works efforts. Representatives from Lincoln were invited, but did not attend. Most of the hour and a half discussion centered around Howland’s ambulance and fire service, a big topic in town since Howland took over the ambulance contract earlier this month.

Rash of illegal burns prompts warning from department

LINCOLN - A series of illegal burns at a West Broadway residence has prompted local fire officials to warn residents burning trash is a crime. “We want to remind residents you cannot burn trash,” Lincoln Fire Captain Jon Spearin said Tuesday. “You can only burn clean lumber and brush.” Spearin said residents also must obtain a burn permit from the department as well. Spearin did not release more details about the suspect who was visited by firefighters for the illegal activity three times last week. “The case has been turned over to the Maine Forestry Department,” he said. The illegal fires were the second major incident the department responded to in town, as well as two mutual aid responses last week.

Work continues on new MRC facility in Hampden

HAMPDEN – Work progresses on a state of the art recycling facility for Municipal Review Committee towns, which includes a handful of communities in the Lincoln News readership area. Officials have not yet set a date when the facility, with an expected $70 million price tag, will be fully open and operational, noted Fiberight Chief Executive Officer Craig Stuart-Paul explained during a Tuesday media tour of the building. Locally, Lowell, Burlington, Chester, Mattawamkeag, Springfield, Lee and Millinocket are among the 120 communities and entities who will eventually send their solid waste to the facility, which will be managed by the Municipal Review Committee. The facility was set to open in April, but construction was delayed by appeals and weather issues. As construction continues, the MRC has secured agreements to have the solid waste of member towns accepted at other facilities, including the Penobscot Recovery Energy Corporation's trash-to-energy plant.

East Millinocket woman found safe after reported missing while hiking

KATAHDIN REGION—A 52-year old East Millinocket woman was located safe Monday afternoon one day after she was reported missing while hiking in the North Maine Woods. Nancy Michaud was found around 2 p.m. near Hurd Pond about 40 miles northwest of Baxter State Park, according to a press release from Corporal John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service. Michaud had been the subject of a search involving the Maine Warden Service as well as volunteer search and rescue organizations after she was reported missing by family members on Sunday night when she did not return from a hiking trip. Michaud and her vehicle were found stuck along a remote dirt road in rural Piscataquis County.  She was reported to be somewhat dehydrated but otherwise in good health, according to MacDonald. She was escorted back to the Katahdin Region by Maine game wardens.

Council begins discussion on ladder truck

MILLINOCKET—The fire department has been without the use of a ladder truck for quite some time and councilor Michael Madore thinks it’s time that the town purchased one.  Manager John Davis gave notice to Madore’s desire to have a conversation and consider making the purchase of a ladder truck. It is a growing concern with the increase seen of metal roofs and the problems that are created when a fire or some other hazard should occur for the Fire Department and the safety of people’s homes and their lives.

Millinocket municipal ballot to feature one contested race

MILLINOCKET—There will be just one contested municipal race on Election Day in Millinocket this year after the deadline passed earlier this month to return nomination papers to run for the Town Council and School Committee. That contested race will be for the Millinocket School Committee as incumbent Kevin Gregory and challenger Ashley Wells will vie for a two-year term. That seat is currently held by Gregory, who was appointed to the School Committee following the resignation of Michael Crowley after last year’s election. The two-year term will fill the balance of Crowley’s seat through November 2020.

Medway board approves budget on project

MEDWAY—The comprehensive plan for the project has been underway for several months with the board approval and being the recipient of a NextGen and MacKenzie grant which will help to complete the makeover to Medway Middle School. As with many projects of this magnitude some of the costs are higher than anticipated or unexpected at the time of the conceptual planning and implementation.

Millinocket school board okays van concept

MILLINOCKET—Transporting students safely is a concern for any school system and the Millinocket school department is no exception. However, how best to provide those essential services can lead to possible new and creative ideas; especially, when the school is required to provide the service and no other viable options are available. Superintendent Francis “Frank” Boynton has already started exploring the options and has a used van in mind that would fit the bill: a 2017 Toyota Sierra handicap van priced at $54,000. “It’s logical to get this and to get it in operation,” Boynton stated at the regular meeting on Tuesday, September 11. “We’ll have to see what we can get for funding.”

East board approves MacKenzie grant for auditorium

EAST MILLINOCKET—The East Millinocket school board formally approved the grant from the Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation at their regular meeting on Monday, September 17. The board approved the terms of the agreement for the grant by a 4-0 vote. “That, under and pursuant to the provisions of Title 20-A, Section 4005 of the Maine Revised Statutes and other applicable authority, the Town of East Millinocket, a political subdivision of the State of Maine, acting by and through its school committee, hereby accepts the following grant from the Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation, Inc.” The award of $450,000 from Grant #180032 is for the School Auditorium Renovation.

Medway Fire hosting ‘trunk or treat,’ no road access to cemetery

MEDWAY – As a way to be more visible in the community outside of an emergency situation the Medway Fire Department will be hosting a “Trunk or Treat” on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the fire station. Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee said after talking with Fire Chief Aaron Lee and Assistant Recreation Director Traci Waite they decided to make it a town-wide sponsored event.

Council approves new shed for Rec Department

MILLINOCKET—The town council approved the purchase of a new shed and the demolition of an old one at the recreation complex at its regular meeting on Thursday, September 13. Funds to pay for the demolition and purchase of the new building will come from the Recreation Pickup Truck line of the Assigned Fund Balance, according to Order #238-2018. The building to be demolished is the hockey changing rooms. RDH contractor, Dick Harmon, quoted a price of $2,500 to take the old building down. Although, no specific date was given for the demolition, it is expected to happen sometime during the fall, according to Recreation Director Jody Nelson. “It’s a new shed from the Amish and will be built and delivered in about a month,” Nelson informed.

Pattagumpus Cemetery cleaned up; access on hold

MEDWAY—Pattagumpus Cemetery has been a labor of love for Charles “Charlie” Reitz, Alex Waite, and Dillon McCannell. When the trio began work earlier in April, the cemetery had been literally in ruins and neglected since its last makeover in 1993 with the Eagle Scout project of Nick Rossignol. Reitz and company went to work throughout this summer cutting trees, hauling brush, mending fences using what they could of the original fence put in by Rossignol and also cleaning the stones that were there. In all, more than 300 man hours of labor went into the restorative project. Reitz also made sure that the original plaque from Rossignol’s Eagle Project remains at the cemetery entrance. The stones have been cleaned and readable. Unmarked graves have been determined after consulting with an expert. It is believed that there are possibly 25-30 unmarked graves in the cemetery. Several have since been determined and marked with a white cross, but no names or dates are known at this point. “We started in April and were done the last week of August,” Reitz stated. “It’s a project to preserve the history and graves of people.”