Articles by Kathryn Olmstead

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 …
Dorothy Peterson in 1935

Stately pine on elderly woman’s mind before she died

By Kathryn Olmstead on May 21, 2015, at 11:47 a.m.
I had just packed the last load of stuff into the car before a 10-day trip near the end of April when the phone rang. “Are you the lady who writes for the newspaper?” the caller asked. Our chat was animated, but brief, full of facts and family history. She …
Lisa Lavoie of Fort Kent researched the effects of U.S. government responses to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the border crossing in her hometown.

French, family connections endure in Valley despite changes at border crossing

By Kathryn Olmstead on May 07, 2015, at 2:14 p.m.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau once said that living next to the United States is like sleeping with an elephant. Fort Kent native Lisa Lavoie, after completing a master’s thesis on her borderland community, concluded that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, woke up the elephant. “Since …
Author Patricia T. O’Conner offers great tips on word usage in her book “Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English.”

Language nerds aren’t necessarily grammar snobs

By Kathryn Olmstead on April 09, 2015, at 12:35 p.m.
Oh, no! After reading my last column on grammar and usage, a dear friend said she worried about speaking correctly in my presence. I love language, but not at the expense of friendship. I might be a language nerd, but I hope I’m not a language snob. And spoken errors …
Francine Boody of New Sweden recently enjoys an afternoon ski at the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Limestone.

Volunteer groomers’ reward is seeing people use ski trails

By Kathryn Olmstead on March 12, 2015, at 12:35 p.m.
Every time I ski on the beautifully groomed trails in Limestone, I tell myself to write a thank you to Norman Page, who maintains the trails at Trafton Lake and at the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, on the former Loring Air Force Base. I call him my personal trail groomer …
Wind-driven sub-zero temperatures did not deter participants in the 2015 Aroostook Women's Ski Day, who warmed up with a Zumba session led by Mandy Putnam before hitting the ski and snowshoe trails Feb. 1 at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle.

Community support keeps Hope & Justice Project going

By Kathryn Olmstead on Feb. 26, 2015, at 9:54 a.m.
Super Bowl Sunday might mean stocking up on snacks and beverages for an evening in front of the screen for some, but for a contingent of women from northern Maine and New Brunswick, it is a day to get out on the ski and snowshoe trails at the Nordic Heritage …