Happy Birthday America

 

Jon Reisman

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Plans Underway for Maine Natural History Museum in Calais

Natalie Boomer
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A new natural history museum is in the works.  Various residents of Washington County have been volunteering their time to create a fun, new educational experience for local students and lifelong learners in the area.

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Kids Learn, Have Fun at Immaculate Conception Church’s Bible School

 

Jayna Smith
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Immaculate Conception Church in Calais was bustling with activity and much energy last week with its fun-filled vacation bible school, themed Monumental: Celebrating God’s Greatness.  

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Grand Lake Stream 4th of July Parade

 

From Dave McCullough's Grand Lake Stream town news:

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Concerns Arise from Planned Reduction of Hours to Border Crossing

Jayna Smith
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The small town of Vanceboro, Maine, population around 150, and many from across the border in the neighboring McAdam, New Brunswick area, are fighting back against U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s plan to reduce the operating hours of the border crossing there.

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Man Ends 3,000-Mile East Coast Greenway Run in Calais

 

Jayna Smith
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Long-distance runner Shan Riggs has just done something no other is believed to have done.  On Saturday, he arrived in Calais after completing the run of the entire 3,000 East Coast Greenway.

The East Coast Greenway connects 15 states and 450 cities and towns for 3,000 miles from Key West, Florida to Calais, Maine.  

Riggs left Key West on April 16.  He ran more than 40 miles each day to reach Calais on Saturday, July 2.  

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CDRC’s Chair Affair is Back!

Jayna Smith
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Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition (CDRC) is bringing back its “chair-ity” auction, the popular Chair Affair.

After many years of hosting the Chair Affair, the event had seen dwindling numbers with schedule changes to the event, difficulty acquiring the wooden Adirondack chairs, and, of course, for the last two years, the global pandemic, but the committee is excited to be able to offer it up again this year during the International Homecoming Festival.

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Calais Fire Department Brings Fourth of July Fun

 

Jayna Smith
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For years, the Calais Fire Department Association has been hosting children’s games the morning of every Fourth of July.  This year was no different, with many families gathering at Dicenzo Athletic Complex for the annual community tradition.

This year, approximately 50 kids came out to take part in the fun, which always consists of bike races, potato sack races, egg tossing, three-legged races, and more. 

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International Homecoming Festival Planning on Track

 

Jayna Smith
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International Homecoming Festival is back this year, set for Wednesday, August 3 through Saturday, August 6.

Laurel Perkins, who sits on the planning committee, said despite there not being an international parade due to crossing requirements, the Town of St. Stephen and the City of Calais will each still celebrate with a plethora of events.

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Climate Crappola

 

Jon Reisman

I try not to be triggered by climate agitprop, but the combination of an Machias Valley News Observer reprint of a Maine Beacon (the Maine Peoples Alliance Progressive Rag) piece blasting the SCOTUS West Virginia vs. EPA decision reigning in unlawful climate apocalypse eco-fascism coupled with a smiling photo of climate alarmist Gov. Janet Mills and useful climate dupe Machias Town Manager Bill Kitchen sent me to the keyboard.

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WCCC Golf Tournament for Financial Support

 

Ricky Cleghorn

On Saturday, July 9th, St. Croix Country Club hosted a golfing tournament as a fundraiser for Washington County Community College scholarships, which are used to help students in need.

The event can claim the sponsorship of about 20 organizations, including the Pratt car dealership and the St. Croix Country Club, which all pledge a substantial sum of money to the fund. Many families and  local businesses also pledge money to the fund every year.

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Third Annual Summer ATV Joker Run Set for Baileyville’s Octoberfest Fundraiser

 

Jayna Smith
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Baileyville’s Octoberfest committee has announced the return of an ATV joker run to benefit the festival.  It is slated for Saturday, July 23, with Octoberfest slated for Saturday, October 8.  

Of course with any big community event, funds are needed, and this annual summer ATV Joker Run will help, as all proceeds from the purchase of hands go directly to the festival.  

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Overdoses Continue to Rise in Maine, Naloxone Being Used More Frequently

 

Jayna Smith
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Overdoses are again on the rise in Maine, according to a report recently released by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine.  (View the full report by visiting tinyurl.com/mainedrugdata.)

The report analyzed data from January to May, showing nearly 800 nonfatal overdoses each of those months.  In 2021, during the same period, there were approximately 660 nonfatal overdoses.

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Public Hearing Held Regarding Planned Reduction of Hours at Vanceboro Crossing

 

Ricky Cleghorn

On Tuesday, July 5, 2022, inside the Vanceboro Community Center, citizens of Vanceboro, Maine and McAdam, New Brunswick met with a panel of spokespersons from U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The public hearing was called to discuss the planned reduction of hours to the Vanceboro border crossing. Vanceboro’s board of selectmen appointed Representative Jeffrey Evangelos (I-Friendship) as the moderator for the hearing.  Senator Marianne Moore (R-Calais) and Representative Kathy Javner (R-Chester) were also present.

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American Pickers to Film in Maine

Jayna Smith
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The American Pickers will soon be returning to Maine.  They plan to film episodes of The History Channel hit television series throughout the state this fall.
According to the show’s associate producer Meredith Ball, the pickers were in Maine back in 2020.  “They are very excited to return,” she said.  

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WCCC Closes its Outdoor Adventure Center

Ricky Cleghorn

The Washington County Community College’s Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) has recently been closed by the college’s administration and the center’s full-time management was immediately terminated, according to an anonymous source close to the college.

The OAC provided resources to promote community health and wellness through adventure activities and provided a wide range of programs to residents and schools across Washington County and to WCCC students and employees.

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Dustin Laney Named Woodland Rec.’s Volunteer of the Year

Jayna Smith
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Ryan Lincoln, Parks and Recreation Director for the Town of Baileyville, recently recognized Dustin Laney as the department’s Volunteer of the Year.  
According to Lincoln, Laney has contributed greatly to the recreation department.  Above helping the kids to have fun while learning skills of the games, Laney has been a role model for the participating youth.

In addition to coaching soccer and basketball, Laney has also coached both softball and baseball.  

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Brandon!

 

Jon Reisman

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Chamber Welcomes New Business

 

On Friday, July 8, Kimberly Collins held an open house with treats and prizes at her new business Boujee Bouj Skincare & Waxing on Main Street. The St Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce attended to perform an official ribbon cutting. Pictured are chamber board member Jessica Delmonaco, Senator Marianne Moore,  Kimberly Collins, coworker Colleen Fox, coworker Desiree Basset, and chamber board member Laurel Perkins. (St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce photo)

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2022 Season Ends for Calais Little League

 

Calais Little League recently wrapped up another fun season.  Earning the title of Champion was the Senators.  Team members include (front) Parker Walton, Jordan Booker, Brock Collins, Rowan Kohler, (middle) Keegan Williams, Lane Brown, Brayden Ellsmore, Parker Cole, Joel Booker, Brayan Shirley, Moses Barnes, Blake Bohanon, (back) Coach Ben Collins, and Coach Toby Cole.

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GLS Folk Art Festival Returns this Month, Celebrating Art, Culture, Music, and More

 

Jayna Smith
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After the global pandemic forced organizers to cancel the popular Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival for the last two years, it's back, and the impressive lineup of artisans, artists, craftsmen, and musicians will not disappoint.

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Husband-Wife Team Expand Machias Dental Practice

 

Sarah Craighead Dedmon

Dr. Jim Sparaga’s Machias Dental practice has just expanded with the addition of two key people. Dr. Wyatt Jones, a dentist, and Hannah Jones, a dental hygienist, are now practicing in Machias.

“They’ve come to us from Oklahoma and have started working here for at least the coming year,” said Sparaga. “He’s just graduated from school and we’re developing a patient roster for him so that he can expand on his in-depth knowledge from the University of Oklahoma dental school.”

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Texas Dog Rescue Team Makes Monthly Stop in Baileyville in Route to Canada

Natalie Boomer
[email protected]

Furever Homes Dog Rescue SETX is a rescue team in Southeast Texas that works with volunteers in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, saving as many dogs and puppies as they can by finding their forever homes.

Whether a dog is a stray, it has been abandoned, or it is in a kill shelter, the Furever Homes team will try their best to take them in.

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City Council Receives Antique Plate with Early 1900s Slogan

Rex Nicholson

On Thursday evening, July 14, Calais's faithful six council members, along with Mayor Billy Howard, met at the Calais City Building to carry forward the business of our fair city. The monitors many ongoing processes, allocates finances that must be dispersed, makes crucial decisions, and takes on the responsibilities and headaches to guide our community. Not many go to these bi-weekly meetings, except when there is a gripe to vent or a need to address.

You know things are good when no one shows.

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St. Kateri Tekakwitha Picnic in Calais Draws Around 200 People on July 17

Around 200 people gathered for a day of togetherness, celebration, and faith on Sunday, July 17, at the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Picnic, held inside and outside Immaculate Conception Church in Calais.

In addition to a cookout, games, and family-friendly activities, participants enjoyed a concert by parishioners Denise and John McCurdy, who entertained with a guitar and a fiddle. Denise is a renowned fiddler who has played at concerts and festivals across the country and in Canada, Ireland, and Scotland.

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Letter to the Editor - Outdoor Adventure Center

Unfortunately, some misinformation is circulating in media sources regarding the Washington County Community College’s Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC).  

The College has not closed the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) and the Center resources remain available to WCCC students and community members.  The OAC has a wide range of outdoor equipment for enjoying outdoor educational opportunities in the area.

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Free Soccer Clinic for Area Youth

 

Jayna Smith
[email protected]

Coaches from area schools will join together to lead a free soccer clinic next week, all to help local youth learn new skills and improve their play.
Participants will take part in skills and drills over the weeklong clinic.  “The camp is meant for grades 6 through 12 boys and girls, and all skill levels are welcome,” said coach Josh Smith, who is the Calais Junior High School coach, as well as assistant to the high school girls’ varsity team.  

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Retiring From the Academic Fray

 

Jon Reisman

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Mama Lola’s Doing Well at New Location

 

Ricky Cleghorn

The Mexican-style family restaurant, Mama Lola’s, has been doing remarkably well. A few months ago, owner Manuela Medrano, traded out her hot truck for an air-conditioned brick-and-mortar location in downtown Calais, and has since hired much more staff.

“Now we have a full-time staff,” says Medrano. “We have wonderful, wonderful girls. And it‘s still very much a family business.” Her children were running around, taking orders and delivering food at the new 28 North Street location.

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Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum Receives Grant From Bangor Savings Bank Foundation

 

The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to help construct a new building to house Raye’s Mustard Mill Museum in Eastport, Maine.  

A check was recently presented to Museum incorporators Karen and Kevin Raye by Diane Hunnewell, Bangor Savings Bank Consumer Banking Relationship Manager and Sierra Johnson, Assistant Branch Manager of Bangor Savings Bank’s Eastport Branch.

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New Cookbook Released to Raise Funds for Local Volunteer Fire Department

Natalie Boomer
[email protected]s

You could be one of the first people to own an official Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue cookbook.  Cook and Ladder, A Collection of Recipes from the Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Auxiliary went on sale last Saturday, July 23rd.

The team held a fundraiser at the station over the weekend and sold these cookbooks, along with baked goods, raffles, crafts, hot food, and more.

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Calais Lifeguards Keeping Young Swimmers Safe

 

The Howard Fox Memorial Pool offers a great escape from the summer heat, but it could not be done safely without the competent lifeguards.  This year’s staff is (front) Ava Brennan, Bailey O’Rourke, (back) Gavin Parks, Luke Furtek, Cameron Kelley, Tyler Furtek, and Adam Barnard.  Absent from photo is Tristan Seavey.  (Photo by Jayna Smith)

 

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Longstanding Friendship Between Calais and St. Stephen

 

Jayna Smith
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It’s that time of year, when folks flock to the border communities of Calais, Maine and St. Stephen, New Brunswick to attend numerous events and visit with family and friends, all in celebration of the International Homecoming Festival.

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Going Once, Going Twice … It’s the Return of the Chair Affair

 

Jayna Smith
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The return of the Chair Affair to the International Homecoming Festival will certainly be a draw to the downtown triangle park this year.  The once-annual “chair-ity” auction has been added to the lineup of events, after not being held for a few years.

The Chair Affair is an event spearheaded by Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition (CDRC) as a fundraiser for the non-profit group.

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Street Fair Promises Something for Everyone

 

Jayna Smith
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Saturday of International Homecoming Festival each year brings hundreds to downtown Calais.  Typically, in addition to enjoying the many vendors of the street fair, all enjoy the grand parade.  This year, however, due to restrictions at the border crossing resulting from the global pandemic, there will be no international parade.  Instead, the highlight of the day will be the huge street fair, set to be bigger than ever in recent years.

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Former GOP Gov. LePage Makes Second Visit in 9 Months to Calais

 

Jayna Smith
[email protected]

Former Maine Governor Paul LePage visited the Sunrise County on Thursday, July 21.  LePage hopes to oust Janet Mills in November to win back his old job steering the state.  

His visit marked his second one to the area in just nine months, having visited last October.  

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