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APRIL 16, 2015

Fast moving fire destroys Lee home

LEE –  A Maxwell Road home was destroyed by a Monday afternoon fire that had quite a head start before firefighters were notified. Jeff Sproul’s home was already engulfed in flames when a fellow Lee firefighter spotted smoke from the Skunk Hill Road, Lee Fire Chief Jay Crocker said Monday afternoon. According to reports, a definitive cause for the fire could not be determined by fire investigators. When the first firefighters arrived at Sproul’s home, the fire had already spread through the roof of the house, according to Crocker.

Rice sentenced to jail time after having probation revoked

BANGOR – A Lincoln man has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison for failing to register with the state’s sex offender registry as requested. According to reports, Rice entered a guilty plea for not registering and had a three-year probation revoked as a result. Rice was required to register on the state’s sex offender registry following a March 2013 plea bargain. He pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful sexual touching, violating bail conditions, unlawful sexual contact and sexual abuse of a minor then, stemming from a 2012 case where he admitted to having sex with girls who were 13 and 14 years old at the time.

State supreme court hears Champlain Wind appeal

LINCOLN – The state’s highest court will now decide the fate of a proposed wind project in Carroll Plantation and Kossuth Township. Arguments were heard on April 8 in Cumberland County courthouse before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for attorneys for Champlain Wind LLC, the company looking to build 16 turbines on Bowers Mountain and Dill Hill in Carroll Plantation and Kossuth Township. The justices are expected to issue a written decision at a later date. According to court documents, attorneys for Champlain Wind, now owned by SunEdison, argue that state law regarding scenic impacts on its project was “arbitrary and capricious,” according to a summary posted on the maine.gov website, as there are no standards to measure such impacts and no evidence in the record to support the finding of the department and board.

Peggy Daigle hired as interim Howland town manager

HOWLAND – Selectmen have reached out to a familiar face in local town government to serve as interim town manager. At Monday night’s meeting, the board voted unanimously to hire Peggy Daigle as interim town manager. It is believed that Daigle will work a few days per week from the Howland town office while the board searches for a permanent replacement for Tracey Hutton, who resigned last month after about two and a quarter years on the job.

Board narrowly approves public works budget

EAST MILLINOCKET – Lost revenues and increased operational costs contributed to a proposed 2015-2016 public works budget that is up 6.3 percent or $15,196 to $257,851. Leadman Steve Campbell explained that in the last two years the department has been able to sell off lots of old equipment and components creating revenue that was used to offset some operational expenses. That revenue is no longer available but the costs remain so that along with less excise tax and the increases expected in sewer and water have contributed to the increase.

Councilors honor award-winning show choirs with series of resolves

MILLINOCKET—In what has become an annual tradition, student performers from the Stearns Junior High School and Unified Harmony show choirs were in Charles Sanders Council Chambers Thursday to be honored by town leaders as councilors passed a series of resolves, seven in total, recognizing the award-winning youngsters and their adult leaders for their recent accomplishments at the Maine Vocal Jazz Festival.

Millinocket School Committee okays moving sixth grade to Stearns

MILLINOCKET—A proposal to move the town’s sixth-grade students from Granite Street Elementary School to Stearns Junior-Senior High School has won the approval of the Millinocket School Committee. Committee members voted 4-0 in favor of the measure at their April 7 meeting, during which board member Margaret Manzo was absent. The move will take effect for the 2015-16 school year and will turn Stearns into a 6-12 building with pre-kindergarten through grade five housed across town at the elementary school. The creation of the pre-kindergarten program within the Millinocket School Department was one of the reasons behind the idea to move sixth grade to Stearns, according to Superintendent of Schools Frank Boynton.

East Millinocket man nabbed on warrant for the third time

EAST MILLINOCKET—A 58-year old East Millinocket man was arrested last weekend on an outstanding warrant when he was also allegedly found intoxicated thereby violating his bail conditions for the third time in two weeks. Gerald Smith was taken into custody at his residence around 7 p.m. Saturday by Officer Brad Fitzgerald of the East Millinocket Police Department. East Millinocket Police Sgt. Kevin Giberson said Fitzgerald went to Smith’s house on Spring Street attempting to locate the man because he was wanted on a warrant for failing to appear Wednesday in Lincoln District Court on a criminal charge of misuse of E-911 system stemming from a Feb. 4 incident in East Millinocket. Fitzgerald located Smith at his residence and arrested him on the failure to appear warrant, according to Giberson. Fitzgerald also determined that Smith had been consuming alcohol, which he is barred from doing by conditions of release when he posted bail following his arrest on the misuse of E-911 system charge.

Board talks park vote, ladder trucks, public works

MEDWAY – Medway selectmen have agreed to take a non-binding vote on a question for residents regarding the proposed national park/national recreation area as part of the June 23 municipal elections. As a board, selectmen have unanimously expressed their support for the proposed Katahdin Woods and Waters National Park/National Recreation Area and said the vote will give the citizens the opportunity to express themselves. Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee said she was concerned at the vote because traditionally voter turnout is extremely low when there isn’t a state or national election. She said the town is likely to get fewer than 100 votes and those votes will speak for the 1500 residents. Voter apathy has long been a problem and selectmen said maybe this question will get more people out and maybe it won’t but at least the town will be on record as giving its citizens the opportunity.