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April 27, 2017

Reward offered for info on Howland cemetery vandals

HOWLAND – Town officials are offering a $300 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for vandalizing at least 30 headstones at the town's cemetery. Selectmen approved a $200 reward at the end of Monday's selectmen's meeting, while another $100 was donated by a citizen after the meeting ended. The vandalism was discovered Monday morning, noted Howland Town Manager David Wilson, meaning it likely occurred over the previous weekend. In addition to the 30 headstones that were knocked over, a fence that never closes was also damaged,  Wilson said. Most of the headstones damaged were older ones that were affixed on pins, noted Wilson and Joey Dunn, a former selectmen and current public works employee.

Passadumkeag residents unanimous in support of contracting emergency service

PASSADUMKEAG – Town officials will be turning to a neighboring community for fire and accident coverage while selectmen continue to pursue the option of regionalizing once its department is rebuilt. That was the unanimous decision made by approximately 30 residents during Saturday’s special town meeting. Selectmen will now decide with which community to hire, though currently only Howland has submitted a proposed contract.

Proposed $12.25 million budget for RSU 67 to be sent to voters next month

LINCOLN – The Regional School Unit 67 board was scheduled to meet Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. to set the wheels in motion for public votes on a proposed $12.25 million school budget for the 2017-2018 school year. The overall budget, if passed by voters as presented, represents a 2.88 percent overall increase compared to last year, while assessments to local towns would increase between 3.81 and 10.35 percent, according to a spreadsheet produced for Monday's budget workshop. According to the spreadsheet, Lincoln's proposed assessment would be $4,036,107.15, an increase of 3.81percent compared to last year; Mattawamkeag's assessment of $498,563.24, an increase of 6.67 percent; and Chester's assessment would be $777,395.36, an increase of 10.35 percent. The board opted to lessen the budget's impact by using more money from unreserved fund balance than originally suggested by Superintendent Dr. Keith Laser.

Enfield selectmen opt to indefinitely table action on ambulance contract

ENFIELD – After debate that was at times contentious, selectmen opted Monday night to indefinitely table action on an ambulance contract, opting to continue regionalization talks with area communities first.  For now, the result of the 2-0-1 vote means that most Enfield residents will be served by the East Millinocket-Lincoln ambulance service. The ambulance contract was most recently discussed during an executive session  when selectmen last met on April 9. No action was taken following the meeting.

Lincoln Economic Development Committee urges town to fund its director position

LINCOLN - The desire for an Economic Development Director for the town of Lincoln was made abundantly clear at the Lincoln Economic Development Committee's April 20 meeting. Funding that position, however, is the primary issue in going forward with the proposal. Committee members discussed at length the problems that currently exist and are holding back the town moving forward in aggressively marketing the area to potential businesses.

Homeowner, firefighters stop spread of chimney fire

BURLINGTON – Firefighters from four communities aided a resident in stopping a fire as it spread from his chimney to his roof Tuesday night. Lincoln, Burlington, Passadumkeag and Lowell were on scene at 8:15 p.m., arriving at 97 Fogg Lane to see a man on a ladder using a garden hose to extinguish a fire that allegedly started in the chimney. Little information was available at press time about the exact cause or how much actual damage was done to the home. Firefighters had the incident under control within moments of arrival and proceeded to dig out hot spots.

Howland selectmen extend marijuana moratorium, accept transfer station survey results

HOWLAND – With state officials still deciding how to regulate recreational marijuana, selectmen unanimously opted to extend a moratorium on retail establishments and social clubs for another 180 days. The extension will help the town's planning board continue to monitor and adjust an ordinance designed to regulate such establishments as state leaders continue to develop regulations, Town Manager David Wilson said during Monday's selectmen's meeting. The board may have to extend the moratorium again, Wilson explained, noting that it could be February 2018 before final rules and regulations are developed. Voters agreed to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in a November 2016 referendum vote. Ever since, lawmakers and other officials have been working to develop a regulatory framework for the citizen-initiated law, which also includes provisions for social clubs as well as places where those 21 years old or older can purchase marijuana.

Medway woman charged with creating false public alarm over 911 calls

MEDWAY—A 36-year old Medway woman was charged with creating a false public alarm or report following an incident earlier this month when she allegedly called 911 multiple times when there was not an emergency situation. Melinda Dube was summonsed to appear June 7 in Millinocket District Court to answer to the charge following an investigation conducted by Sgt. Kevin Ingersoll of the East Millinocket Police Department into the April 5 incident.

Millinocket police cruiser strikes deer while responding to Medway incident

MEDWAY—A Millinocket police cruiser sustained about $10,000 worth of damage when it struck a deer while responding to assist the East Millinocket Police Department with an incident in Medway. Officers Marty Legassey and Shawn Levasseur suffered only scrapes and bruises in the crash that occurred around 10:30 p.m. April 11 on Route 157 in Medway. The 2015 sport utility vehicle cruiser, which is the department’s newest vehicle, sustained front-end damage as well as multiple deployed airbags.

Citizens tell selectmen to put fire increases to voters

MEDWAY – Approximately 20 citizens showed up at the Medway Public Safety building for an informational meeting on the fire department Monday evening. After listening to four proposals and comments from selectmen and Fire Chief Jon Buckingham, a majority of those residents requested that selectmen present a budget that funds increased coverage. Selectman Jeff Jandreau ran the meeting and explained that after listening to Buckingham’s concerns and the department’s needs the board is now coming to the citizens to find out what the community wants to do.

Medway School Board reviews and accepts bids

MEDWAY—The Medway School Board reviewed bids for contracts with oil, propane, bread, and diesel. The April 18 meeting gave approval of accepting contracts for the 2017-2018 school calendar year. The current four-member board convened at the Medway Middle School Library. An unexpired vacant position will be filled when town elections are held in June. At that time, the School Board will return five members.

Residents can help with road clean up

MEDWAY – Residents along Route 116 from Lennie’s Superette to Woodville are being asked to clean up their yards in preparation for road work and paving this spring. Philip Kronholm, from the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT), briefed the Medway Board of Selectmen on the project and sent out the public request. Kronholm said the work will begin on May 22 and any help residents can provide in cleaning up their yards of debris and sand will help the crews and make the work go faster. He said the plan is to rent a heavy scoop and potentially a street sweeper to come in and contribute to the clean up. The prep work for the paving will take a couple of weeks and anything the public can do to help will hasten the job. There will also be work and safety signs out so the public is asked to use caution when travelling that part of Rout 116.