Nicholas Sambides Jr.

Katahdin Bureau

A May 2013 file photo of Stearns High School.

Millinocket formally rejects high school tuition offer from East Millinocket

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 10, 2014, at 1:10 p.m.
MILLINOCKET, Maine — School leaders have rejected an offer that would have the town paying tuition to send its high school students to neighboring Schenck High School in East Millinocket. In a letter to the AOS 66 school board, Millinocket School Committee Chairman Michael Jewers held open the idea of …

Corinna elects new leaders in town meeting

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 09, 2014, at 6:15 p.m.
CORINNA, Maine — A new slate of town leaders was elected last week, including a new fire chief whose informal appointment apparently bothered the incumbent, officials said Sunday. Kerbon Littlefield led the vote-getters during a town meeting on Saturday, drawing 99 votes and securing one of two open seats on …
Dover-Foxcroft Academy senior Leah Ward puts on her makeup as Racquel Bozzelli (center) helps another actress prepare for a regional one-act drama competition at Stearns High School of Millinocket on Saturday, March 8, 2014.

The (one-act) play is the thing: MPA starts high school drama competitions statewide

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 09, 2014, at 4:09 p.m.
MILLINOCKET, Maine — “Rabbits in the Garden” is the story of Finley Jane, a teenage girl in late-1800s Victorian England sent to an insane asylum for wanting to become a doctor. Unless Racquel Bozzelli changes her mind, that is. As the play’s author, the 16-year-old Foxcroft Academy student saw her …
The interior of the pellet manufacturing facility in Crockett, Texas, whose owner, Zilkha Biomass Energy, will provide the technology for a proposed pellet facility in Millinocket.

Texas city officials call potential Millinocket pellet mill producer ‘an asset’

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 08, 2014, at 2:13 p.m.
Like many East Texas lumber towns, the city of Crockett has for years been losing its battle against the impact of government-subsidized Canadian wood products flooding the U.S. housing market, former City Administrator Ron Duncan says. Then, Duncan says, Zilkha Biomass Energy came to the city. The company opened its …
The Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology listens to testimony during a public hearing at the State Capitol on Wednesday.

Legislative committee tables bill deemed critical to East Millinocket paper mill’s future

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 07, 2014, at 1 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Two companies that would be forced into a revenue-sharing arrangement by a pending bill aimed at keeping the East Millinocket paper mill in business are trying to work out a deal, officials said Friday. The Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology tabled LD 1792, …
Workers from several construction firms worked on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, to prepare the Great Northern Paper Co. LLC site in Millinocket for a torrefied wood facility.

Cate Street changes ‘whole nature’ of Millinocket pellet plant proposal

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 06, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.
MILLINOCKET, Maine — A New Hampshire investment company has changed the “whole nature” of its proposal to build New England’s first torrefied wood facility at the former Great Northern Paper Co. mill, leaving unclear the status of the $25 million state bond backing the project, officials said Thursday. Cate Street …
Attorney Harold Pachios speaks during a legislative hearing in Augusta on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

Attorney for energy company says no deal on electricity sales until East Millinocket mill restarts

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 05, 2014, at 5:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The owner of three hydropower dams on the Penobscot River is willing to negotiate a profit-sharing agreement with the owner of the idled East Millinocket paper mill, but not until the mill restarts, its attorney said Wednesday. Opposing a bill that would allow Great Northern Paper Co. …
Great Northern Paper Co. LLC in East Millinocket in January.

East Millinocket paper mill’s future at center of hearing on electricity bill Wednesday

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 05, 2014, at 11:41 a.m.
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — As a state legislative committee prepared to meet Wednesday to discuss a bill allowing Great Northern Paper Co. LLC to sell electricity at its Main Street paper mill, the company’s owners and workers reiterated that the bill’s passage is critical to the mill’s restarting by May …
This property at 100 Katahdin Ave., as seen on Monday, March 3, 2014, is among 25 tax-acquired buildings that Millinocket officials hope to sell in April.

More ‘heart-wrenching’ tax foreclosure sales in Millinocket: 25 properties now out to bid

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 04, 2014, at 9:01 a.m.
MILLINOCKET, Maine — Lisa Morningstar has until Friday to empty her mother’s arts and crafts gift store, The Loon Shop, or she risks losing its contents. Public Safety Director Steve Kenyon and Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Malcolm were among the town officials who delivered the sad news to Morningstar at …
James Bernadini and Jamis Trothier chat as they work on recycling and razing The Hamlet building at 117 Main St. in East Millinocket on Friday. Building owner and Selectman Clint Linscott said the recent layoff at the town paper mill finally forced him after years of pondering to start razing buildings he owns in town.

‘We have to stop the bleeding’: E. Millinocket leader reluctantly razing buildings in response to paper mill shutdown

By Nick Sambides Jr. on March 01, 2014, at 6:08 a.m.
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — During its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, The Hamlet motel and restaurant was a gathering place for hunters, snowmobilers town residents, a thriving business among many thriving businesses. Today, the football-field-length building is a collection of steel beams, metal siding, sheetrock and debris. Workers who …
Millinocket Town Manager Peggy Daigle listens to a councilor during a Town Council meeting on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014.

‘Superficial bookkeeping’ or $300K in the red? Town and school fight over spending

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 27, 2014, at 8:02 p.m.
MILLINOCKET, Maine — Calling upon residents to press school leaders for better financial practices, the Town Council voted Thursday night to correct what Town Manager Peggy Daigle said was a trend toward a $312,000 deficit in the school department’s budget. Daigle’s statements brought a strong denial from Superintendent Kenneth Smith …
These 6-inch-wide natural gas pipes were delivered Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 to Lincoln as Bangor Gas Co. starts preparing to extend a natural gas system to Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC.

First parts of Lincoln’s $7.5M natural gas pipeline start to arrive

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 27, 2014, at 4:44 p.m.
LINCOLN, Maine — Truckloads of steel pipe destined to become part of a 4-mile, $7.5 million natural gas pipeline connecting Bangor Gas Co. to Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC began arriving this week, officials said Thursday. Workers at S & S Transportation Co. of Lincoln are helping stack sections of …
A police officer walks among axle gear in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in this July 2013 file photo.

Rail safety improved since Lac-Megantic, but problems remain, experts tell Congress

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 26, 2014, at 6:52 p.m.
Tests of 58 samples of Bakken crude oil taken as part of a federal crackdown on U.S. oil transportation carriers revealed 11 potential violations of federal oil-transportation safety standards, a federal transportation official testified Wednesday. On Wednesday, federal administrator Cynthia L. Quarterman spoke before a U.S. House of Representatives Transportation …
Mark Sullivan, a post-grad student at Northern Penobscot Tech, helps 18-year-old Brianna Davis of Millinocket and 18-year-old Sylvia Crocker of Lincoln with video editing in Leigh Thurlow's multimedia class on Tuesday. The class might soon be producing a video for the town of Lincoln.

Wanted: Young people in Lincoln — Town manager’s plan aims to attract, retain 20-somethings

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 25, 2014, at 7:48 p.m.
LINCOLN, Maine — Kayla Lingley moved to Lincoln about a month and a half ago and the 20-year-old nanny says she plans on moving out again as soon as she can. Her reason: For people her age, there’s nothing to do in Lincoln. “I am moving away because of the …
More than 200 workers at Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC listen as state Department of Labor and union officials brief them on unemployment benefits during a meeting at Mattamawcook Academy of Lincoln on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013.

Northern Penobscot Tech developing natural-gas course to help laid-off paper workers

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 24, 2014, at 5:35 p.m.
LINCOLN, Maine — Displaced paper mill workers are among those who can learn to install and service natural gas and propane lines and burners under an adult-education class being developed at Northern Penobscot Tech, officials said Monday. Workers at the Region III vocational school and Maine Department of Labor officials …

Mattawamkeag man gets 4 years in prison for Lincoln-area burglaries

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 21, 2014, at 3:04 p.m.
LINCOLN, Maine — A Mattawamkeag man has been sentenced to four years in prison for six burglaries that were part of more than 25 break-ins in the Lincoln Lakes region last year, officials said Friday. Stephen Springer, 28, pleaded guilty during an appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor …
This is a family provided picture of Alice Ann Hawkes. She was murdered in Westbrook on Oct. 4, 1987.

‘The victims deserve more’: Murdered woman’s brother, others testify in support of Maine cold-case bill

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 20, 2014, at 7:26 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee wanted stories Thursday that illustrate why Maine needs a cold-case squad to solve the state’s 120 unsolved homicides. So Michael Hawkes gave them one. With a trembling voice, Hawkes related how his sister, 23-year-old Alice Ann Hawkes, was found murdered in the bathroom …
Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy

Ex-fire chief won’t be arrested for buying gas on his town credit card in Mattawamkeag

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 19, 2014, at 5:42 p.m.
MATTAWAMKEAG, Maine — Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy has declined to sign an arrest warrant in connection with allegations that former town Fire Chief Robert Powers bought at least $9,000 in gasoline for personal vehicles with a town credit card intended for Fire Department use, officials said Wednesday. …
The Sawmill Bar and Grill officially opened Monday near Millinocket. The restaurant on the Millinocket Lake Road offers American fare and beverages.

Millinocket man sees future for his new restaurant on road to Baxter State Park

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 17, 2014, at 6:22 p.m.
TOWNSHIP 3, INDIAN PURCHASE — The ITS 86 snowmobile trail is located about 200 yards from the Sawmill Bar and Grill on the road to Baxter State Park, and an ATV trail is about 200 yards beyond that, Dean Rodrigue says. Those are among the reasons the 45-year-old Waterville-area native …
Sam Collins

S.W. Collins’ new Lincoln store awaits DEP permit, snow to melt

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Feb. 17, 2014, at 4:42 p.m.
LINCOLN, Maine — It still awaits a state environmental permit, but the new S.W. Collins Co. hardware store will open late this fall, the company’s president said Monday. “As soon as the land is clear of snow and drained, we hope to begin construction,” Sam Collins said Monday. “I am …
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