Poland Spring officials visit Lincoln Water District regarding plans

LINCOLN – A recent visit from Poland Spring representatives has rekindled hopes that the brand’s new owners will again purchase water from the Lincoln Water District. LWD Superintendent Jeff Day said Tuesday that the company officials who came to Lincoln did not specify a date when tankers would resume filling from the U.S. Route 2 load station, but expressed a hope that water purchases could resume early in July.

Supply shortage prompts change in Lincoln sewer project schedule

LINCOLN – The ability to obtain needed materials has plagued many projects in recent months, including the Lincoln Sanitary District’s sewer upgrade work.

The inability to secure new sewer pipes for anticipated work on West Broadway prompted Ranger Construction Corporation to switch its attention to Enfield Road instead, Lincoln Sanitary District Superintendent Scott Hesseltine reported to the district’s board last week. The original plan was for crews to start replacing sewer pipes on a portion of West Broadway after wrapping up work on Highland Avenue, Hesseltine explained last month.

Council approves $11 million budget, police department remains point of contention

LINCOLN - The Town Council will add one of the two police officer positions requested through the budget process. That was the only significant change made to the Fiscal Year 2022 proposed budget following the second public hearing Monday. No one from the public attended, or provided any input to the $11,547,767 municipal budget during the 6 p.m. hearing and ensuing vote. Councilor Jeff Gifford was absent.

Enfield selectmen set rezoning vote fill positions at Monday meeting

ENFIELD – Residents will once again be asked to consider rezoning property owned by the Gardner family on Cold Stream Pond later this month. Selectmen approved the vote during Monday’s selectmen’s meeting, which took place before the annual town meeting (see separate story), A special town meeting to consider the rezoning request is set for June 28 at 6 p.m. at the town garage, according to a posting on Enfield’s Facebook page.

Police persistence pays off with criminal charges for Medway woman

LINCOLN - The diligence of a local law enforcement officer led to an arrest in a month-old theft case. Lincoln Police Officer Elizabeth Jasper was following up on a May 14 complaint about a shoplifting incident at Marden’s Surplus and Salvage on Sunday, June 13, when the name of the suspect stood out to her. “I was familiar with her from when I worked in Millinocket,” said the former Millinocket police officer. “I had dealt with her a few times.”

Police investigate several potential scams, including law enforcement fundraiser

LINCOLN - The Lincoln Police Department is warning residents of scammers after several complaints were made last week. “We are not going to call, we are not going to send emails,” J.D. Sparks said Tuesday. He said no law enforcement agency will request a citizen purchase gift cards, either, to avoid fines. “That is not how law enforcement operates,” he said.

Enfield residents adopt FY 2022 budget at town meeting

ENFIELD – The town has already benefitted from a switch to LED lighting for streetlights and reduced spending for fuel and for repairing town-owned vehicles, Town Manager Charles Frazier noted during Monday’s annual town meeting. Overall, about 20 people needed about 30 minutes to approve a $992,546 municipal budget during the town meeting, held in the town’s public works garage and moderated by Betty Bickford.

Town announces new Communications Director, makes changes to existing events role

LINCOLN - The town has found a new events coordinator, though the job responsibilities have changed. Town Manager Rick Bronson informed the town council Monday that Katie Gloede has been hired to fill the position recently vacated by Kelly Ryder. Councilor Jeff Gifford was absent. “We have changed that job a bit,” Bronson said, describing the events coordinator and communication position.

SAD 31 budget approved by small crowd at Monday meeting

HOWLAND – While School Addministrative District 31’s overall 2021-2022 proposed budget represents a 3.5 percent increase compared to the current spending plan, additional state funding and special education reimbursements are nearly offsetting those increases, according to information provided to taxpayers at Monday’s annual budget meeting. Only about a dozen people gathered inside the George Sereyko Memorial Gymnasium on Monday night to approve the district’s proposed $7.349 million budget, needing about 20 minutes to work through 21 budget-related articles under the direction of veteran moderator Walter Oakes.

LPD races to fill vacancies as council approves additional officer position

LINCOLN - The town’s police department continues to seek out new members as another officer is departing its ranks. Officer Arron Rideout, who has been on the force just short of three years, worked his last shift Tuesday evening. Next month, he will be donning the green uniform of the Maine Wardens Service, a goal he has had from day one. “I told the town manager when he interviewed me that was my plan,” Rideout said. 

Selectmen election runoff needed in Medway

MEDWAY – When citizens gathered for the annual Medway Town Meeting June 9 they were told of a unique situation – a voting tie for the second seat on the board of selectmen. Town meeting moderator John Farrington announced the election results for both selectmen and school committee as follows: for selectmen – James Stanley 103 votes, Peggy Stanley 76 votes, Emery “Jeff” Lee IV 76 votes and incumbent Jane McLaughlin 29 votes.

Council accepts grant monies for turnout gear

MILLINOCKET—Having the proper equipment in fighting fires is essential. When worn out gear needs replacing it can cost departments money that may not be in the immediate budget. Fortunately, there are times when grants become available. To that end the town council accepted a grant to benefit the fire department and outfit new turnout gear. Order #133-2021 was to “accept the Ed MacDonald Safety Enhancement Grant in an amount not to exceed $999.83” at the regular meeting on Thursday, June 10.

Traffic stop leads police to suspected heroin in vehicle, two men arrested

MEDWAY—Two local men were arrested earlier this month following a traffic stop in Medway when police allegedly found suspected heroin inside a vehicle. James Jones, 38, of Medway was arrested on charges of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs and violation of bail while Dillon Smith, 25, of Medway was arrested on a charge of violation of bail.

Pipelines checked, Congressional help requested

EAST MILLINOCKET - The East Millinocket board of selectmen approved a contract with Vortex Services to inspect and clean 8,300 linear feet of sanitary sewer pipe in town at a cost of $23,500. The job will be paid for out of grant money for the town’s wastewater treatment rebuild. Administrative Assistant Angela Cote said that during the rebuild process certain pipelines have been identified as needing the work. Some of the streets listed to be checked include Church, Park, Beech, Spring, Park and Middle.

Lady Minutemen top Hawks, Dragons to advance to regional final

MILLINOCKET—For the fourth time in six seasons the Stearns softball team has earned a place in the regional championship as the Lady Minutemen punched their ticket to the 2021 Northern Maine Class D title game with playoff victories against Hodgdon and Woodland. No. 2 Stearns eliminated No. 7 Hodgdon 15-3 in the regional quarterfinal on Thursday afternoon before topping No. 6 Woodland 8-2 in the semifinal round on Monday. The Lady Minutemen, who opened the postseason earlier last week by knocking off No. 15 Jonesport-Beals in a Round of 16 tilt, improved their record 12-3 and earned a spot in the Class D North final set for Wednesday night (presstime) at Coffin Field in Brewer.

Transfer site landfill costs to increase FY2021 budget

MILLINOCKET—The costs associated with doing business at the transfer site have increased. With the increases, several of which are connected to the COVID pandemic, the council approved an order to increase the budget. Order #137-2021 addressed the transfer of funds in the amount of $24,000 from the Fund Balance Revenue Budget account R0101-0926 in order “to cover the anticipated overrun in the Transfer Site Landfill Cost Budget account E0409-3150. The revised Landfill Cost FY21 Budget will be revised from $210,000 to $234,000 after this transfer”.

May busiest month of year for EMPD with 890 calls for service

KATAHDIN REGION—The East Millinocket Police Department had its busiest month thus far this year during May with officers responding to 890 calls for service over the span of 31 days while also tallying 59 arrests and summonses to go along with 234 motor vehicle stops. Of those 890 calls for service, 383 were in Millinocket, 267 were in Medway, 233 were in East Millinocket and seven were in other coverage areas, according to monthly statistics released by the department.

East board signs police extension, looking for equipment donation

EAST MILLINOCKET - The East Millinocket Board of Selectmen approved a police service contract extension with the town of Millinocket last week. It essentially replaces the 18 month contract that was signed by both towns back in December 2020. The extension runs through June 30, 2024, and calls for a yearly meeting between the towns to agree on a “quarterly payment” schedule for the fiscal year. The contract calls for quarterly fiscal payments of $152,718.50 from Millinocket to East Millinocket.

Medway voters discuss municipal articles for two hours, school for 20 minutes, pass everything

MEDWAY – Medway voters took about two hours to get through 35 municipal articles and then about 20 more minutes to pass all school articles as presented. The most contentious discussion surrounded selectmen’s decision to give employees the option of a 20 percent raise or family health insurance (employees are offered single coverage only), and the retention of the town’s ambulance service.

Boynton presents school budget to council

MILLINOCKET—The Millinocket school budget will be up this year. The total budget proposed after the adoption of the budget by the school board has been set at $7,175,397.00 pending on approval by the town council and by the voters at the polls. Superintendent Francis “Frank” Boynton stated in the Special Presentation at the regular council meeting on Thursday, June 10 that there was a drop in enrollment due to COVID issues as a contributing factor. However, the enrollment numbers are not significant enough to alter the number of educational staffing positions as classroom numbers would drop by one or two students.

Motorcyclist injured in Route 11 crash

MILLINOCKET—A motorcyclist sustained what were described as serious injuries Friday in a single-vehicle accident on Route 11 in Millinocket. The man was first transported by ambulance to Millinocket Regional Hospital before being flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor following the accident, which occurred near the intersection of the Golden Road, according to Millinocket Fire Chief Tom Malcolm.

Selectman asks about veterans memorial

MEDWAY - Medway Selectman Jim Michaud asked who was in charge of maintaining the Medway Veterans Memorial as the grass is in “terrible” condition and it’s “embarrassing” to have the area around the memorial look like that. Medway Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee said there is a veterans memorial committee that takes care of the memorial and groundskeeper Dusty Cramp works with them. She said the town has raised money for the memorial before but hasn’t had any request from them recently.Malcolm.

Board settles with GLHA

EAST MILLINOCKET – After years of back-and-forth negotiations, East Millinocket Selectmen and Great Lakes Hydro American have reached an agreement to settle the GLHA’s abatement requests for the tax years of 2019 and 2020. The settlement was announced last week at the East Millinocket Board Meeting and officially adopted. According to the agreement the 2019 value of the GLHA land, building and dam located in East Millinocket was adjusted down from $42,901,900 to $39,900,000 resulting in a tax abatement to GLHA/Brookfield of $90,807.48.

Medway approves new tuition contract

MEDWAY – Medway voters approved a new, six year tuition contract with the town of East Millinocket last week at the annual town meeting. The contracts are pretty standard and include elementary students attending Opal Myrick, middle school students attending Medway Middle School and high school students attending Schenck High School.

Planning board approves subdivision

MILLINOCKET—The Planning board met on Tuesday, June 8 to review a subdivision of property to be leased to Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. from Our Katahdin. The purpose of the lease to Borrego Solar Systems is for the operation of a solar power generating facility on the former Great Northern Paper, Company mill site now owned by the nonprofit organization Our Katahdin. A site plan had previously been approved for the solar power generating facility, according to Code Enforcement Officer Richard “Dick” Angotti. However, a slightly smaller parcel of land is needed and hence the need to review with the planning board on the smaller parcel of 37.1 acres.

DiBona honored with memorial plaque at Little League field

MILLINOCKET—It is never an easy situation when a loved one passes on. That was especially true for the DiBona family when 19 year-old Mark DiBona passed away in a tragic accident en route to the family camp at Cedar Lake on September 28, 2019. The young DiBona will not soon be forgotten by family and friends. One of DiBona’s favorite activities found him on the Keddaris Little League field playing and coaching baseball. It was one of his many passions, playing ball in his formative years and later coming back in 2019 to coach the Red Sox as a volunteer, according to mom Michelle DiBona, who was on hand to help dedicate a memorial plaque for her son on Friday, June 11.

7th and 8th grade students make presentation to council

MILLINOCKET—Stearns social studies classes have concerns regarding street lighting and a youth center. Since January, 7th & 8th grade social studies teacher Kyle Leathers has been engaging students in civic responsibilities and the process necessary to make change in their communities. Leathers and members of his classes gave a special presentation to the Town Council on Thursday, June 10. Students are concerned about street lighting and a youth center.