Articles by Kathryn Olmstead

Veterans line up to salute the approach of a KC-135 tanker, known for mid-air refueling of B-52 bombers, at the former Loring Air Force Base on Aug. 20, when more than 1,200 visitors gathered to honor the base's history at an open house Aug. 19-21.

‘It was possibly the last time we will see those planes over Loring’

By Kathryn Olmstead on Aug. 25, 2016, at 1:56 p.m.
Like hundreds of other former Air Force men and women, they came to the 2016 Loring Air Force Base Open House to remember, to share their stories and to stand at attention saluting the aircraft that made Loring famous within the Strategic Air Command.
Kathryn Olmstead

Rare heart condition causes scare

By Kathryn Olmstead on July 28, 2016, at 2:53 p.m.
My friend was eager to convey the message: “If it does not feel normal for your body, that’s the time to call your doctor.”
Mars Hill native Bernard Patterson (center) is shown in this BDN photo first published, Dec. 6, 1972, being escorted to federal court in Bangor by two U.S. Marshals shortly after his capture and return to Maine. Original photo by Jack Loftus.

‘Oh, Bernard’: Writer rounds up adventures of Maine’s ‘zaniest criminal’

By Kathryn Olmstead on June 30, 2016, at 11:58 a.m.
“I remember thinking his story would rival the most exciting, compelling adventure novel,” Ron Chase wrote in the prologue to the book. “He seemed to be a real-life version of Don Quixote, Butch Cassidy and Robin Hood all rolled into one implausible package.”
Kathryn Olmstead

Reflecting on reflections of the past

By Kathryn Olmstead on June 02, 2016, at 11:02 a.m.
Kathryn Olmstead: I discovered I actually could kindle fires with some of my journals if I simply tore out the pages that might be worth keeping.
Kathryn Olmstead

Looking back while still trying to downsize many years after retiring

By Kathryn Olmstead on May 19, 2016, at 7:37 a.m.
When I retired from teaching and “deaning,” I gave myself a year to downsize. That was almost seven years ago and evidence of my effort is barely visible.
Beverly Holmes with Winter and Whiskey (foreground) and Natalie Ireland with Cheyenne and Whisper skijor on March 20 on the trails they clear and groom on their mother's family farm in Westmanland.

For minimal cost, skijoring great sport for owner and dog

By Kathryn Olmstead on March 24, 2016, at 11:22 a.m.
The sport requires a harness for the skier, a sled dog harness for the dog and a towline connecting the person and the dog, a fairly inexpensive outfit at about $100.
Anna Titova and Andriy Smuk brought their daughters Daria, 11, and Alexandra, 6, from Rhode Island to Presque Isle from Feb. 11-13 to see biathlon races they had only watched on television before. Andriy wears the flag of his native Ukraine and Alexandra's hat and flag bear Russian emblems of her mother's home.

Foreigners come from far, wide to watch biathlon

By Kathryn Olmstead on Feb. 25, 2016, at 1:28 p.m.
They came from Ohio, New York, Rhode Island and Boston. They live in the United States, but their roots are in Russia and Ukraine. They are avid fans of biathlon but had never seen competitions live.
Volunteers in red jackets on the shooting range for the 2014 Youth/Junior International Biathlon Union World Championships at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle had designated roles, which included raising the national flags of biathletes in the first three places of each race.

Volunteers give Maine big place on world stage of 2016 World Cup Biathlon

By Kathryn Olmstead on Dec. 31, 2015, at 12:37 p.m.
As the volunteer event director for the 2016 World Cup Biathlon to be held at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle in February, Jane Towle fielded a lot of questions when she traveled to Oslo, Norway, in October to meet with her counterparts from other host countries for the …
Teresa Herold

Metropolitan Opera singer returns to roots in The County

By Kathryn Olmstead on Dec. 17, 2015, at 12:56 p.m.
Maine was always refreshing, and I hated to leave,” she said.
Rich Hoppe (left) of Portage, Kim Wright (center) of Mapleton and Don Audibert of Fort Kent were the Aroostook County participants in the Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 22.

Mapleton woman shares her passion for running

By Kathryn Olmstead on Dec. 04, 2015, at 7:48 a.m.
“I feel blessed to have the health to do it, the people to do it with, and the support of family and friends,” Kim Wright said.
During the Cold War, nuclear weapons were brought from these igloos on a site adjacent to Loring Air Force Base in Limestone to bombers on the flight line where they were loaded in readiness for delivery to potential targets.

Loring story draws more tales of nuclear weapons, UFOs

By Kathryn Olmstead on Nov. 19, 2015, at 11:57 a.m.
KATHRYN OLMSTEAD: Phone calls, emails and online comments about the article unearthed a variety of topics, from Nike missiles to sightings of unidentified aircraft and recollections of men who loaded weapons onto bombers.
During the Cold War, the two-story "A Building" at a top-secret installation next door to Loring Air Force Base in Limestone contained vaults for storage of nuclear capsules. The "Pill Box" next to it was a fortification for guards charged with defending the facility against hostile intruders.

Have you seen the nuclear weapons storage igloos in Limestone?

By Kathryn Olmstead on Nov. 05, 2015, at 12:53 p.m.
Kathryn Olmstead: Known originally as “North River Depot,” it is said the site was designed to look like a village from the air.
Jim Stepp recently shared his passion for astronomy with a group at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where he is dean of students.

Why the dean of UMPI started seeing stars, how it changed his life

By Kathryn Olmstead on Oct. 22, 2015, at 10:01 a.m.
The astronomy lesson Jim Stepp received in sixth grade transformed his attitude toward learning, and he became a straight-A student.
Meg and Ian Chittenden at the Belfast contradance in 2008.

Coincidences often lead to unanticipated pleasures

By Kathryn Olmstead on Oct. 08, 2015, at 12:03 p.m.
So, I am sitting on the back deck of the ferryboat Thomas Laighton on Sept. 18 en route from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Star Island, one of the nine Isles of Shoals between Maine and New Hampshire, for a weekend of contradancing. The ferry also carries a group of 40 …
Fourth-grade students at Katahdin Elementary School examine an old trunk containing journals kept by Irene Olsen Bradford of Patten, which author Lynn Olsen Brown (left) used in writing a book about her aunt Irene's life on the farm. Brown contributed to the students' study of potato harvest with a presentation on Sept. 23.

Katahdin fourth-graders learn about potato harvest tradition

By Kathryn Olmstead on Sept. 24, 2015, at 3:23 p.m.
More than 25 years have passed since children at Katahdin Elementary School in Stacyville were released from classes to pick potatoes, but every year, fourth-graders at the school still get a taste of a traditional harvest. “Some of the children have never walked in a potato field or picked potatoes,” …
A curious bear cub examines the features of Paul Cyr's old film camera at his farm in Presque Isle.

Photographer focuses on images of Aroostook

By Kathryn Olmstead on Sept. 10, 2015, at 10:32 a.m.
It has been said if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. While Paul Cyr of Presque Isle has a number of jobs that could be called work, it is his love of photography that frames his daily routine and defines his identity in …
Houlton native and author Barbara McGillicuddy.

County native’s book recalls college life in 1960s

By Kathryn Olmstead on Aug. 27, 2015, at 3:24 p.m.
When members of the Colby College Class of 1965 gathered in Waterville for their 50th reunion celebration in June, they received a special gift from one of their classmates. Houlton native Barbara McGillicuddy Bolton of Brooklyn, New York, presented her class a novel dedicated “To the Class of 1965″ based …
Brenda Felch and Sharon Ouellette of the Caribou branch of the American Association of University Women release the 7 p.m. weather balloon at the National Weather Service office in Caribou Aug. 6, with guidance from Pete Rahe, observational program leader for the office.

NWS Caribou office offers more than forecasts

By Kathryn Olmstead on Aug. 13, 2015, at 2:28 p.m.
It is 7 p.m. at the National Weather Service office on North Main Street in Caribou — time to launch the weather balloon. Two volunteers step out of a group of a dozen women gathered outside the building’s back entrance to assist National Weather Service staff with the twice-daily ritual. …
Ralph Ostlund at 80, after completing a race in 2004 at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.

Aroostook skiing legend recalled fondly

By Kathryn Olmstead on July 16, 2015, at 2:13 p.m.
“First he was a skier.” So began remembrances of an Aroostook County sport legend at a memorial service in New Sweden on July 9. Children and grandchildren of Ralph L. Ostlund, who died July 2 at age 92, expressed the thoughts and feelings of many athletes and other friends who …
Working on a laptop outdoors for the best Internet access, two students at Stefano Moshi Memorial University College in Tanzania discover how to use electronic scholarly journals from the University of Maine at Presque Isle library for their research during a class taught in the fall 2013 in Tanzania by Shirley Rush, UMPI associate professor of social work.

UMPI develops connection with Tanzania

By Kathryn Olmstead on June 18, 2015, at 2:39 p.m.
Who would guess that college students in a small village at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania would be able to benefit from the library resources of the University of Maine at Presque Isle? It happened, and an innovative online course connecting two universities — one in Africa and …