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July 9, 2020

Malfunction, cost of repair, causes ‘Keag ambulance to fold

MATTAWAMKEAG - A mechanical failure of the town’s only ambulance has caused the department to cease operations indefinitely. Fire Chief Mike Coombs said Monday the town will officially end service to the community Aug. 2, per state requirements that a 30-day notice be given. In the interim, East Millinocket will be covering all towns Mattawamkeag used to cover, either from East to its base location of Lincoln.   


July 28 hearing, vote set on Howland fire station loan

HOWLAND – Residents will have a chance to weigh in on financing for the town's proposed fire station and municipal building at an upcoming public hearing and special town meeting later this month. Both events are scheduled for July 28 at the current fire station, located at 12 Willow Street, with the public hearing starting at 4 p.m  followed by a special town meeting at 5 p.m.


Family restaurant hosts unity rally in turbulent times

LINCOLN - Dan Reddick is a black man in an almost all-white community. He and his companion, Miranda Carver, co-own the Timberhouse Restaurant. Saturday, when a white customer was informed the restaurant was closed for a special unity rally, she told the man “I didn’t like the looks of you anyway.” “It is about 40-60,” Carver said about the reception he (Dan) has received in the Lincoln community. “60 percent have been very accepting, 40 percent have not.


Ruth Birtz answers state assessor points at Chester meeting

CHESTER  – Earlier this year, two auditors from Maine Revenue Services told Chester selectmen about their findings after auditing the town's books. Absent from that meeting was Ruth Birtz, who serves as the town's assessing agent, as she was on a previously-scheduled vacation during the Feb. 24 meeting of the board


Chester among local towns impacted by Coastal Resources closure

CHESTER – Concerned about the future of the facility where the town has contracted to take its trash, at least one Chester selectmen asked Monday if perhaps the town needed to seek legal advice. Chester is one of seven towns in the Lincoln News and Kathahdin Region News circulation area that are members of the Municipal Review Committee, which have agreed to have their trash hauled to the Coastal Resources plant in Hampden.


Short spending spree ends in arrest for stolen credit card

LINCOLN - A two-stop spending spree landed two Mattawamkeag residents in trouble when they allegedly used a stolen credit card. On Monday, June 29, Sgt. John Walsh arrested two people in connection to a credit card stolen from a Walmart customer. Timothy Norwood, 38, of Mattawamkeag has been charged with theft by unauthorized taking, violation of conditions of release and was arrested on a $1,000 warrant.  Traci Duprey-French, 30, also of Mattawamkeag, was charged with receiving stolen property and two counts of theft by unauthorized taking.


Fire and flood: firefighters respond to vehicle on fire and a second one submerged

LINCOLN - The local fire department dealt with fire and flood this week, as it responded to a vehicle fire and another one that was submerged in Mattanawcook Pond. Captain Jon Spearin of the Lincoln Fire Department said Tuesday firefighters were on the scene of a fire on the Access Road.


RSU 67 virtual budget hearing held, vote set for July 14

LINCOLN – After receiving no questions during a virtual public hearing last week, the Regional School Unit 67 budget will face voters at the polls on July 14. Polls in Lincoln (Mattanawcook Academy), Chester (Marianne Municipal Building) and Mattawamkeag (Mattawamkeag Municipal Building) will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 14, the same date as the state's primary election.


Self-scan scheme stopped: man charged with grocery theft

LINCOLN - A local man has been charged with theft after allegedly abusing the self-checkout system at  Hannaford grocery store. Edward Marotta, 53, has been charged with stealing an estimated $353.84 worth of items beginning in January 2020 and continuing until his apprehension on July 4.


Area safety officials urge “yes” vote on $6 million bond

Penobscot County voters will be asked to approve a $6 million bond next week and local safety officials are urging everyone to approve the measure. “Eventually something bad is going to happen because (radio communication) is so bad,” Howland Fire Chief Josh McNally said.


'Keag board approves tire purchase after spare stolen

MATTAWAMKEAG - An unknown culprit pilfered the town’s Public Works vehicle for its spare tire, prompting a quick decision by selectmen to purchase a new one. “The tire and rim were stolen out of the back of the truck,” Public Works Director Tim Cooper said during Tuesday’s regular meeting.


Area voters face many choices on July 14 primary ballot

Delayed by a month due to the Covid-19 pandemic, area voters will face a number of questions during Maine's delayed primary election, set for July 14. In addition to primaries to determine representation on the Nov. 3 general election ballot, there will be votes on two state and one Penobscot County bond question, some town elections and at least one school budget. Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at various polling locations in each of the area towns on July 14. Also, absentee ballots can be requested by contacting one's local town office or at the Maine Secretary of State's website (www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl). According to the secretary of state's website, absentee ballot applications can be made even on Election Day. All ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on July 14


Area towns scheduling annual town meetings

Many towns in the Lincoln News circulation area normally hold their annual town meetings in the spring. This year, however, the Covid-19 pandemic put those plans on hold. With eased restrictions on the size of gatherings, meetings that have been postponed for weeks are now scheduled to take place in the coming days, including three in the Lincoln Lakes region.


SAD 31, Burlington school budgets set for July 14 vote

HOWLAND – After its board put  the finishing touches on its proposed fiscal year 2021 budget before the recent holiday weekend, voters in the five School Administrative District 31 communities will have their say on it in the coming weeks. The annual district budget meeting will take place on July 23 in the Hichborn Middle School Multipurpose Room, starting with an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. and the district budget meeting at 6 p.m.


Dump truck hauling gravel strikes train at Route 11 crossing

TOWNSHIP 4 INDIAN PURCHASE—A dump truck hauling gravel collided with a Canadian Pacific train last week at the Route 11 railroad crossing near South Twin Lake west of Millinocket. According to Corporal Adam Coover of the Maine State Police, the accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. on July 1 when a 1970 Mack dump truck, operated by 79-year old Roland Theriault of Medway, struck the train.


Board meetings move back to town office; vehicle graveyard cited

MEDWAY – Citing the difficulties of running selectmen’s meetings in a different location other than the town office, Medway Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee asked selectmen if they would go back to regular meetings at the municipal building. Kathy Lee said it’s very difficult to answer questions away from all of her back up materials and her computer. The board began in-person meetings at the town’s fire station several weeks ago because it was easy to maintain social distancing and accommodate residents if they attended meetings.


Voters in Medway to fill municipal positions; primaries, bond questions

KATAHDIN REGION—Voters in Medway will head to the polls next week to elect members to the town’s Board of Selectmen and School Board while throughout the region voters will decide between Congressional primary candidates and have their say on multiple bond questions. The primary election was moved to Tuesday from June 9 by executive order from Gov. Janet Mills, who made the decision in April during the proclaimed COVID-19 state of emergency.


Millinocket town manager acknowledges inquiries concerning alleged police personnel issues

MILLINOCKET—In a 92-word press release distributed last week, Millinocket Town Manager John Davis acknowledged what he deemed as “receipt of media and citizen inquiries concerning alleged personal issues” in the Millinocket Police Department but offered little else in the way of information citing confidentiality reasons in accordance with state law.
The press release, which indicated it was from Davis, was sent July 2 via email from Millinocket Town Attorney Dean Beaupain. It was the first statement from Davis concerning ongoing issues within the town’s police department and came a week after Davis was sharply criticized by members of the Millinocket Town Council over the perceived lack of communication about the matter.


East hires McGraw as new chief

EAST MILLINOCKET – After months of advertising and interviewing the East Millinocket Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to hire Robert McGraw as the new fire chief/ambulance supervisor. McGraw, who has over 20 years experience in various emergency medicine positions/diciplines, has most recently worked for East Millinocket as a paramedic, will start Aug. 1 at a salary of $70,000 per year. He replaces outgoing chief Les Brown who is retiring with his last day Aug. 10.


Region’s public safety officials tout better coverage with proposed county communications upgrade

KATAHDIN REGION—A ballot question that will go before Penobscot County voters on Tuesday asking them to authorize a $6 million bond to fund upgrades to the Penobscot Regional Communications Center’s public safety communications system and local subsystems will, if approved, mean better coverage for public safety departments in the Katahdin Region, according to officials with multiple area agencies.


Medway fire growing, first responder service helping

MEDWAY – The Medway Fire Department is growing and in anticipation of operating its own ambulance service has hired another emergency medical technician (EMT) bringing the total EMT staff to six and a total MFD roster of 16. The town has been operating a first responder service now for a couple of months with a proposal to upgrade the license to a transporting service. While waiting for the townspeople to vote on the service, the first responder service has been responding to calls in Medway along with the East Millinocket Ambulance Service.


Stanley explains bond request to selectmen

MEDWAY – Medway School Board Chairman Greg Stanley met with the board of selectmen Monday to inform them of the school budget review set for July 7 at 5 p.m. at the Medway Middle School. Stanley specifically wanted to inform the board that the school is asking voters for permission to get a $150,000 bond to finish up the field work associated with MMS project. He said estimates from Emery Lee and Sons for $75,000 to finish up a myriad of paving, grading and earth work as well as an additional $75,000 for fencing, dugouts, softball and baseball backdrop and other smaller projects that will get the fields ready for use.


Injured hiker airlifted from Knife Edge

BAXTER STATE PARK—A Maine woman was airlifted from Knife Edge on Katahdin Friday afternoon after sustaining an injury while climbing Maine’s highest peak. The incident was one of five rescues over a four-day span after Baxter State Park opened most trails above the tree line on Katahdin as of July 1, according to Park Director Eben Sypitkowski.


Council holds first public hearing on budget

MILLINOCKET—The Millinocket Town Council held a special meeting for the Municipal and Wastewater budgets for fiscal year 2021. A second public hearing on the budget for 2021 will be held at the regular Council meeting on Thursday, July 9 at 4:30 in Council Chambers. On the revenue side of the municipal budget, Department 0204 for ambulance billing was reduced from $320,000 down to $300,000.


East board grapples with budget, looking for reductions

EAST MILLINOCKET – At the request of the board of selectmen East Millinocket Administrative Assistant Angela Cote presented some cuts that she’d made to the proposed 2020-2021 budget. The current budget is up $256,000 and board members are looking for reductions to keep the increase in the mil rate as small as possible. Cote said she’s removed the purchase of a new plow truck from public works for a savings of $40,000; because of the changes in the ambulance service the $36,456 budgeted as the town’s share has been cut; and salary for the new fire chief/ambulance supervisor has been budgeted 25 percent fire and 75 percent ambulance.


East board supports chamber; discusses blighted property

EAST MILLINOCKET – Katahdin Chamber Director Peter Jamieson met with East Millinocket Selectmen to check in, answer questions and update them on what’s been happening during the COVID-19 shutdown. The town hasn’t been a member of the KCC for several years and he met with the board prior to the pandemic to see if they’d reconsider and give the chamber another chance.


Town hires insurance broker, engineering firm for mill site

EAST MILLINOCKET – The town took another step forward on the restoration of the Great Northern paper mill site last week when it awarded bids to insurance and engineering firms for work. After meeting with members of the East Millinocket Industrial board (EMI), the group formed to help with mill site redevelopment, Selectman Chairman Peggy Daigle, who is also a member of the EMI board announced that Cross Insurance Agency as the insurance broker for the mill site.



Board clears town crew for sewer repairs

EAST MILLINOCKET – After months of limited duties, East Millinocket Selectmen gave Public Works Leadman Steve Campbell permission for him and his crew to respond to sewer problems and enter homes if necessary. “We haven’t been able to go into homes since COVID,” Campbell said, “so I’d like to know where we’re at?” Selectmen asked if there is a need for this service. Campbell said he believes there is although the calls can be sporadic. He said since COVID citizens have been told they have to contact a plumber for problems. In addition to being costly, there are only two people who do that work and due to demand and the technician’s location it’s not as timely as town service.



Rumor mill on starting school: don’t believe it

MILLINOCKET—There are rumors around town that claim there will be no school to be in session come fall; or that secret meetings are happening behind closed doors. These (and other such rumors) are just that: rumors; and you shouldn’t believe them. Superintendent Francis “Frank” Boynton said that there are rumors out there in the public that decisions have been made concerning the starting of school in the fall. In truth, Boynton emphasized: they are not true.



Woman facing two charges after leaving establishment intoxicated

MILLINOCKET—A local woman was charged Sunday with violation of conditional release and possession of drug paraphernalia after Millinocket police responded to a report of a disorderly person leaving a downtown drinking establishment. Kimberly Roberts, 34, of Millinocket was released on unsecured bail and is scheduled to appear Sept. 9 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the charges, according to information provided by Chief Craig Worster of the Millinocket Police Department.



Medway man accused of driving drunk when vehicle goes off road

MEDWAY—A 55-year old man was arrested for operating under the influence for allegedly driving with a breath-alcohol concentration of twice Maine’s legal limit when his pick-up truck crashed last month in Medway. Michael Majkowski of Medway was placed under arrest after a single-vehicle accident that occurred around 12:30 a.m. on June 18. He posted bail following his arrest and is scheduled to appear Sept. 9 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the operating under the influence charge.



East Mill man arrested for violating bail for alleged contact with prohibited party

EAST MILLINOCKET—An early morning welfare check at an East Millinocket residence led to the arrest of a local man accused of violating his bail conditions by being with a woman whom he is barred from having contact. Corey Day, 34, of East Millinocket was arrested June 21 on a charge of violation of bail. He was released on bail following his arrest and is scheduled to appear Sept. 9 in Millinocket



KCC stimulus program hopes to boost morale and economy

KATAHDIN REGION – The Katahdin region is going to get a new “stimulus” as Katahdin Chamber of Commerce Director Peter Jamieson is set to launch “Katahdin Community Stimulus.” Jamieson has been working during the COVID-19 pandemic to support local businesses any way he can. He’s part of network of chamber directors that communicate regularly who share ideas and issues looking for common solutions. The stimulus program is an idea borrowed from the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce.



Lincoln man alleged to be under influence of drugs during Medway crash

MEDWAY—A 32-year old man from Lincoln was allegedly driving under the influence of drugs when he crashed his vehicle recently on Route 157 in Medway. Ross Clapp is also accused of possessing heroin and was arrested on charges of operating under the influence of drugs and unlawful possession of schedule W drugs. He was released on bail following his arrest and is summonsed to appear Sept. 9 in Millinocket District Court.



Man facing 11 theft charges accused of Hannaford shoplifting spree

MILLINOCKET—A Millinocket man has been charged with 11 counts of theft by unauthorized taking stemming from an alleged shoplifting spree at Hannaford over the last few months. Gary Lecuyer, 60, was arrested following an investigation into multiple alleged thefts at the Millinocket supermarket dating back to March, according to information provided by Millinocket Police Chief Craig Worster, who investigated the case.



Man accused of violating bail by breaking curfew

EAST MILLINOCKET—An Indian Island man who was arrested last month in Medway when he was allegedly found with cocaine packaged to be sold was back in trouble in the law with the Katahdin Region when he was accused of violating his bail conditions by breaking his curfew. Zachary Colon, 22, was arrested on a charge of violation of bail and transported to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor. He is scheduled to appear Sept. 9 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the charge.case.



M & D Bear Den closes due to COVID-19

BENEDICTA—It was bound to happen sooner or later: businesses would close or chose not to reopen in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first known or reported business to choose not to reopen is the M & D Bear Den Family Restaurant & Pub. The longtime restaurant had been a mainstay on the Benedicta Road but now will keep the doors closed citing COVID-19 and new state regulations with respect to being allowed to reopen and operate, according to the business’ Facebook Page.



Virginia man caught in Millinocket accused of operating under influence of drugs

MILLINOCKET—A Virginia man was charged last week with operating under the influence of drugs when Millinocket police found him passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in a residential neighborhood of the community. Daniel Cosman Jr., 32, of Disputana, Va. and formerly of Millinocket, is scheduled to appear in Millinocket District Court on Sept. 9 to answer to the charge of OUI drugs stemming from a case investigated by Chief Craig Worster of the Millinocket Police Department.



Mass. man arrested for OUI after traffic stop

EAST MILLINOCKET—A Massachusetts man was arrested recently for operating under the influence after his vehicle was stopped for speeding in East Millinocket. Stephen Silvestri, 63, of Dracut, Mass. is scheduled to appear Sept. 9 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the charge of operating under the influence, according to information provided by Corporal Brad Fitzgerald of the East Millinocket Police Department.



Electrical fire damages Smith Pond camp

TOWNSHIP 3 INDIAN PURCHASE—An electrical fire caused extensive damage last week to a camp at Smith Pond. Nobody was home at the camp on East Smith Pond Road during the fire that was reported shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday, according to Chief Tom Malcolm of the Millinocket Fire Department.