Articles by Tom Groening

A Mr. Alley is shown at the R.J. Peacock Canning Co. dock in Lubec.

Down East sardine history lands in Searsport museum

By Tom Groening on Jan. 09, 2013, at 6:07 p.m.
The sardine industry in Maine has passed into history. Someday, someone may figure out a way to make the business of catching herring and canning them as sardines profitable here again. But by all available evidence, it’s over. That sentiment is what prompted the Peacock family to …

Burglary reported at vacant Belfast trailer

By Tom Groening on Jan. 09, 2013, at 5:25 p.m.
Police are investigating a burglary and theft at a vacant trailer on Turkey Farm Road, which is just off Poors Mill Road. Belfast Police Det. Sgt. Bryan Cunningham reported in a press release that the burglary is believed to have taken place sometime between 8 a.m. and …
David Seekins

Second Troy copper theft defendant convicted, sentenced

By Tom Groening on Jan. 07, 2013, at 6:38 p.m.
BELFAST | David G. Seekins was found guilty in a jury trial on Thursday, Jan. 3, on burglary and theft charges, Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker said. Seekins was responsible for the burglary and theft of a Troy residence in September 2011. Prosecutors believe he broke into the house …
Bernys and David Doak stand in the barn of their Monroe dairy farm. The couple have been milking cows for 30 years.

Dairy farmers survive ‘milk cliff,’ but feed, fuel costs still troubling

By Tom Groening on Jan. 05, 2013, at 12:42 p.m.
MONROE | David Doak’s cow barn is a long way from the halls of the Capitol. But recent decisions — and decisions that loom just months ahead — by Congress could affect Doak’s ability to keep his dairy farm profitable. Doak’s farm, and the 300 other dairy farms in …
Firefighters were able to contain a blaze that destroyed a garage, saving the adjacent trailer home off Route 1 in Stockton Springs on Friday afternoon, Jan. 4, 2013.

Stockton Springs fire destroys garage

By Tom Groening on Jan. 04, 2013, at 4:28 p.m.
Firefighters were able to contain a blaze that destroyed a garage, saving the adjacent trailer home off Route 1 on Friday afternoon. No one was in the garage or trailer at the time of the fire. Departments from nearby Prospect and Searsport assisted. Devon Pierce, who …

Rockport selectmen investigate complaint against town employee

By Tom Groening on Jan. 03, 2013, at 6:23 p.m.
Selectmen have hired a private investigator to look into a complaint lodged against a town employee. The board met Wednesday afternoon in closed session to discuss the complaint, board chairman William Chapman confirmed Thursday, and voted in public session to hire the investigator. Given the laws protecting …
Jeremy and Marcie Howard and two of their three sons, Cael and Ewan, pose in front of the Lincolnville Center Store. The couple are renovating the store and plan to have it open in the spring.

Hope couple plans revival of Lincolnville convenience store

By Tom Groening on Jan. 03, 2013, at 6:03 p.m.
When the Lincolnville Center Store reopens this spring, it will be a traditional, nontraditional convenience store. Jeremy Howard, who with his wife Marcie is renovating the store, envisions something akin to the old general stores of 75-plus years ago — but with Wi-Fi, art on the walls …
Installers with Sundog Solar Store of Searsport affix photovoltaic panels on the Searsmont Town Office.

Sundog Solar sees bright future for Maine

By Tom Groening on Dec. 28, 2012, at 7:36 p.m.
SEARSPORT | Maine’s day in the sun has come, according to businessman Chuck Piper. The owner of the Sundog Solar Store, a 3-year-old business that has grown and moved to a new building east of town, argues that despite Maine’s northerly climate and heating challenges, the region gets enough …
In June 2003, Sherry Sullivan looks through some government documents about her father, Geoffrey Sullivan, who disappeared on Sept. 24,1963 during a flight to Honduras.

Federal court dismisses Stockton Springs woman’s claim against Cuba

By Tom Groening on Dec. 27, 2012, at 2:11 p.m.
BANGOR | A federal court has dismissed a Stockton Springs woman’s claim against the nation of Cuba because her lawyer has been unable to verify serving papers to the controversial Caribbean country. But the woman’s Lewiston lawyer said the U.S. court action is procedural only and that her case …
The Franklin Treat house sits at the corner of Route 1A and Loggin Road in Frankfort.

This Old House magazine features Treat property in Frankfort

By Tom Groening on Dec. 26, 2012, at 5:55 p.m.
Even at just $65,000, it’s a tough sell, real estate agent Tara Roy admits. The old Treat place on Route 1A in the heart of Frankfort village near the bridge that crosses the Marsh Stream is visually imposing and speaks to passers-by of the community’s past wealth. …

Rights panel to hear complaint against Sweetser on MaineCare billing

By Tom Groening on Dec. 24, 2012, at 3:43 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A Brunswick woman who alleged she was fired for reporting “what she reasonably believed to be illegal work practice” for billing MaineCare has reasonable grounds to proceed with her claim, a Maine Human Rights Commission investigator has found. The commission is expected to rule on the claim …

Belfast man’s new ‘happy birthday’ ditty wows BBC

By Tom Groening on Dec. 21, 2012, at 5:04 p.m.
Ned Lightner usually rises early and starts his day with the BBC World Service radio program, carried on Maine Public Radio stations between 5 and 6 a.m. Had he been listening on Friday, Dec. 21, Lightner would have heard himself singing his original song, a new birthday …
The Front Street Shipyard wants to purchase the city parking area adjacent to its building.

Belfast helps Front Street Shipyard move forward; no decision on land yet

By Tom Groening on Dec. 21, 2012, at 4:49 p.m.
The Front Street Shipyard’s bid to construct a new building and add to its boat-lifting equipment was helped by city council action this week, though no final decision has been made on conveying control of some city land to the company. Front Street has identified three spots …
Tourists explore the grounds around Monhegan Island Lighthouse in March. The island community has a year-round population of about 70.

Federal grant will help Monhegan Island lower sky-high electricity costs

By Tom Groening on Dec. 20, 2012, at 7:32 p.m.
Thanks to a $420,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, the island will be able to diversify its electricity generation to reduce costs that now place it among the 20 communities in the nation paying the most per kilowatt-hour. The grant will allow the island community, with a …

Mt. View student suspended after school threat; other threats against schools not credible

By Tom Groening on Dec. 20, 2012, at 2:22 p.m.
THORNDIKE | A threat made against Mount View High School on Tuesday resulted in a student being suspended, the RSU 3 superintendent said Thursday. Also on Thursday, the chief of the Maine State Police issued a statement noting that “no credible threat against any Maine school” had been identified …

Veterans ease stance on Belfast war memorial bridge

By Tom Groening on Dec. 19, 2012, at 1:12 p.m.
Veterans groups and the City Council began to find some common ground Tuesday night over plans to add benches and lighting to the city’s Armistice Bridge, better known locally as the footbridge. Conflict arose last month over preliminary efforts by the downtown booster group Our Town Belfast …

Belfast artist organizes raffle to help Jersey shore

By Tom Groening on Dec. 18, 2012, at 3:56 p.m.
The national media moves on too quickly from disaster stories, Jerri Finch Holmes believes. The long-time Belfast resident knows that in the wake of superstorm Sandy, lives and homes remain devastated, especially along the New Jersey shore. As a child in the 1950s and 1960s, Holmes spent …

Sunbury Medical Associates accepts ‘big boobs’ discrimination claim before rights panel

By Tom Groening on Dec. 17, 2012, at 5:57 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Sunbury Medical Associates of Bangor, whose CEO was accused of telling the human resources director to hire only “young women with big boobs,” did not challenge the woman’s discrimination claim before the Maine Human Rights Commission at its meeting Monday. The claim, by former Sunbury HR Director …
Aerial view of downtown Belfast.

Belfast: What went right? Investment in downtown, promotion and cooperation could pay off in other communities

By Tom Groening on Dec. 12, 2012, at 5:06 p.m.
Those who have lived through Belfast’s ups and downs through the last four decades say the bustle and buzz that now hold sway are no happy accidents. Sure, assets like the city’s location at the intersection of Routes 1 and 3, picking up tourist traffic bound for …
Russell Libby in Sept. 2009.

Maine organic farmer’s group director dies from cancer

By Tom Groening on Dec. 09, 2012, at 6:45 p.m.
UNITY | Russell Libby, the longtime director of MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, died Sunday after battling cancer for a year, a staff member confirmed. He was 56. According to the organization’s website, Libby became involved with MOFGA after attending the 1977 Common Ground Country Fair, …