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January 18, 2018

Lincoln firefighter under investigation for alleged assault

LINCOLN - A Lincoln firefighter has been on leave since the first of December as he faces both an internal and criminal investigation. Public Safety Director Dan Summers confirmed Tuesday that Engineer David Slomienski, who has served on the department for more than 14 years, has been placed on paid administrative leave as a result of an incident that occurred over Thanksgiving of 2017. The incident also includes a complaint separate from the criminal investigation. “Due to the nature of the complaint, it is a two-tier investigation,” Summers said.

Howland Fire Department awarded state forestry grant

HOWLAND - As big things continue to happen for public safety and economic growth here, the fire department received more good news this week, when it was awarded the Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant through the Maine Forest Service. “We put in for it every year,” Fire Chief Josh McNally said. “We’re very fortunate the state has them.” This year, he said the department applied for the matching grant to help cover the cost of two portable radios, 25 gallons of Class A foam and a new chainsaw. “It’s a very competitive grant,” he said, stating the application requires an explanation of how the gear will aid firefighters in better serving the area while combating wildland fires.

Wardens rescue family stranded in recent blizzard outing

LINCOLN - What could have ended in tragedy during one of the worst snowstorms in recent years took a turn for the better when two wardens were able to track down a family stuck on a snowmobile trail earlier this month. Randy Smart, 38, his partner Yvonne Aubut, 32, and young child are alive and well thanks to the efforts of Sgt. Ron Dunham and Mike Boyer of the Maine Warden Service after becoming turned around on a snowmobile trail off the Tobin Brook Road on January 4. “We received a 911 call of a party of three, one sled operational and the other not operational between Tobin brook Road and Summer’s Way,” Boyer said. “It was three miles either way to safety.” Boyer said he and Dunham received GPS coordinates and a map to help guide them to the family in almost zero visibility.

Changing weather causes road woes in area communities

Quickly changing weather conditions in recent days have posed challenges for those responsible for maintaining area roads. After days of freezing temperatures, temperatures started warming late last week into the 40s, according to reports, culminating in a Jan. 12 rainstorm that hit the state. Temperatures then started to fall as Jan. 12 became Jan. 13, bringing freezing rain into the area. As the mercury continued to drop, the water left behind then froze as temperatures remained well below freezing.

Burlington selectmen extend deadline to May 31 for property cleanup

BURLINGTON – Selectmen have given a Main Road resident a few more months to finish cleaning up his property. The board voted 3-0 on Tuesday night to give Mark Hancock until May 31 to finish cleanup efforts after hearing from their attorney in a letter read by First Selectman Steve Sundberg at the meeting. The letter included information from Hancock's attorney that Hancock had hauled off all but a few non-registered cars, a shed and a couple of truckloads of other debris by a Dec. 31 deadline agreed to by Hancock and town officials. The onset of winter weather would make further cleanup efforts hard, selectmen noted. According to the letter, Martha Novy Broderick, who is representing Hancock in the matter, asked selectmen for the extension.

Burlington school committee preparing for 2018-2019 budget

BURLINGTON – The town's school committee is starting work on its second budget as a standalone district. The three member committee met Tuesday night at the town office, taking a moment to recap the committee's first full year of operation as well as start the 2018-2019 budget process. So far, Burlington's school budget looks to be in good shape, Superintendent Dawn Pray said as the meeting drew to a close. One major factor that could impact the budget is the special education line, Pray said. Plans are to approve the school budget at a meeting in June, Pray explained.

Candy confrontation leads to pair of arrests

LINCOLN - Police investigating a possible theft of a candy bar from a local convenience store had a less-than sweet surprise for the suspect, as she and another individual were arrested on outstanding warrants. Kristy Worster, 36, of Lincoln and Jeremiah Coffin, 37, were arrested Monday, Worster by Lincoln police and Coffin by Deputy Peter Stone of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office, after Worster was reported to have allegedly stolen a candy bar from Circle K on West Broadway.

Lincoln dragnet results in pair of unrelated arrests

 LINCOLN - An effort by local police to apprehend a suspect in a domestic assault last week failed to net its target, though the effort was not fruitless. “During the search, Samuel Michaud, 48, of Enfield was arrested on two active warrants,” Fucile said. “He was transported to Penobscot County Jail by Officer Pfahler while Sgt. Walsh and I continued to search locations where Dellechiaie was believed to be.” That was when the two officers found Robert Sibley, who was arrested for a warrant dating back to a 2011 incident.

Winn readies for annual town meeting, reduces price on community building

WINN - With the end of January in sight, selectmen here are in the final stages of preparation for the town's annual meeting, which will take place in March. Board of selectmen chair Gary Haynes said Tuesday that things are progressing on schedule. "The budget and the warrants are just about done," he said. "We have a little bit of tweaking to do, and it will be ready," he said. The town is expecting a meeting with their auditor sometime around February 6 and Haynes said shortly after that the book will go to the printer.

Suspect in Millinocket slaying returns to Maine, appears in court

MILLINOCKET—A North Carolina man accused of murder in connection with last month’s shooting of a Millinocket couple appeared Tuesday in a Bangor courtroom after returning to Maine over the weekend. Christopher Murray, 38, made an initial appearance before Superior Court Justice William Anderson at the Penobscot Judicial Center. Murray, who was arrested Dec. 27 in Maxton, N.C., is charged with one count each of murder and elevated aggravated assault in connection with the Dec. 19 shooting of 59-year old Wayne LaPierre and his 33-year old wife Diem LaPierre inside their Massachusetts Avenue residence.

Facebook message helps police bust man for allegedly slashing tires

MILLINOCKET—Evidence in the form of a Facebook message helped Millinocket police charge a 40-year old man with criminal mischief for allegedly slashing tires of another man’s vehicle on Christmas Eve. Daniel Powers was charged last week with one count of criminal mischief following an investigation conducted by Officer Marty Legassey of the Millinocket Police Department into a complaint received on Dec. 24. Powers was summonsed to appear March 7 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the charge.

Police urge caution after spotting counterfeit bills

MILLINOCKET—The Millinocket Police Department is urging local residents and businesses to be mindful when accepting currency after counterfeit bills have been spotted in the community during recent days. Two such instances involving fake $100 bills bearing pink Chinese-style symbols were reported to police. The alleged transactions, involving the same man, took place at a local business and in a private sale.

Medway budgets will add five-year plans, capital budgets

MEDWAY – When the Medway Board of Selectmen begin the 2018-2019 budget process in February, department heads will be asked to approach budgets a little differently – provide selectmen with a five-year capital expenditure plan. The numerous discussions, town meetings and citizen comments regarding the status and replacement of Engine 882 last year brought to the forefront the need for capital accounts and future planning. Citizens asked why the town didn’t have money put away in anticipation for needed fire equipment and selectmen replied repeatedly that attempts in the past to establish reserve accounts have always been voted down with the comments that “the town is not a bank.”

Town Council considering collaborative comprehensive plan with area towns

MILLINOCKET—In what could be a historic move for area towns, the Town Council is considering joining with East Millinocket and Medway in having a comprehensive plan to update each town’s plan and realize a cost savings. Manager John Davis introduced to the Council during the Manager’s Report on Thursday, January 11 the idea that the two neighboring towns to the east are considering joining in an effort to have a comprehensive plan and save money in the process.  “The Towns of East Millinocket and Medway would like to meet with Millinocket officials and talk about updating and writing a comprehensive plan as part of a package to lower the cost significantly,” Davis informed. Comprehensive plans according to state statute must be updated every five years should a municipality want to qualify for a Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and other grant applications. While it is not mandatory to complete one, points are deducted when applying for certain grants.

Snowmobile complaint leads to alcohol possession charge for juvenile

MILLINOCKET—A 16-year old male juvenile from Millinocket was charged last week with illegal possession of alcohol by a minor after police responded to a complaint of a snowmobile racing up and down the streets of Little Italy. The teen was issued a juvenile summons to appear Feb. 7 in Millinocket District Court on the possession by consumption charge after he allegedly had a measurable amount of alcohol in his system during the Jan. 9 incident investigated by Sgt. Gary Lakeman of the Millinocket Police Department.

Planning board holds meeting to discuss marijuana issue

MILLINOCKET—The Planning Board held a public hearing on the issues surrounding marijuana in educating itself and hearing concerns from the public regarding the issue of possible usage, zoning, and the ramifications that could potentially make or bust depending on the outcome. A citizen’s initiative vote passed in November 2016 regarding the issue of recreational marijuana. Since then, the state legislature and Governor Paul LePage put a year moratorium to consider rules and regulations regarding potential depositories, retail sale, and social clubs. That took effect in February 1, 2017 and is scheduled to become legal pending possible last minute efforts to extend the moratorium for another 90 days, according to Joseph Clark. LePage had vetoed an earlier bill. Although the State Senate overrode the veto by one vote, the House failed to come up with the necessary two-thirds to override the veto. Therefore, unless a new moratorium is passed, the law will go into effect on February 1, 2018.

East Millinocket schools unveil new website

EAST MILLINOCKET—The new website for East Millinocket schools is up and running, the school board was informed at its regular meeting on Monday, January 8. Principal Curt Ring stated that the credit and work for accomplishing the task of setting up the new website was due to the efforts of Business and Human Resource Manager Luci Milewski. “All of the credit for this accomplishment falls squarely upon Luci,” Ring declared.  “She took it upon herself to work with the vendor to create our new website, and the result is better than I ever hoped it would be.” The website will not only be used for informational purposes for teachers and administrators, but it will also allow the public to know what events are taking place and also to allow the public to provide feedback to school officials, according to Ring. Superintendent Eric Steeves was duly excited about the aspects that the new Website would bring to the educational process and noted likewise the enthusiasm of the School Board.