Tom Walsh

Tom Walsh

Washington County bureau

Tom Walsh, who won numerous state, regional and national awards as a reporter for the Ellsworth American weekly newspaper from 2004-08, is based in the BDN's bureau located at 25 Main St. in Machias. Walsh worked as a science reporter for the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette from 2001-04 and also taught journalism at the University of Iowa, where he earned his degree in journalism in 1972. He earned a master’s degree in communication studies from Dublin City University in Ireland in 2002.
Carole Grant of Harrington is one of 50 year-round employees at Kelco Industries in Milbridge, where she was busy last week welding metal wire rings used in manufacturing balsam Christmas wreaths. Although Christmas is months away, three companies in Washington County that cater to holiday shoppers are already ramping up for the season.

Christmas is already in sight for three Down East holiday manufacturers

By Tom Walsh on May 27, 2013, at 1:39 p.m.
MILBRIDGE | Heads up! There are only 200 shopping days left until Christmas. While that insight may not having you rushing to the mall, it’s a big-deal reality for three Washington County businesses that rely on the buying frenzy that surrounds Christmas each year to either make or break …

Five-year-old killed in at-home vehicle accident in Charlotte

By Tom Walsh on May 27, 2013, at 11:27 a.m.
Five-year-old Trent James was killed Sunday when he was struck at his Ayers Junction Road home by a vehicle being backed up by his father, Calvin James. According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Ryan Allen responded to a call from the Calais Regional Hospital, where …

Power restored quickly to areas south of Houlton

By Tom Walsh on May 26, 2013, at 5:37 p.m.
An abandoned osprey nest was blown onto a Bangor Hydro Electric Co. transmission line Sunday, leaving an estimated 2,200 customers without power briefly in communities south of Houlton. Electrical service was interrupted just before noon to 2,897 homes and businesses in the towns of Island Falls, Oakfield, …

More than 2,000 in Aroostook, northern Penobscot County lose power due to problems with transmission line

By Tom Walsh on May 26, 2013, at 12:06 p.m.
HOULTON | An estimated 2,200 Bangor Hydro Electric customers were without power at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in communities south of Houlton, but power was restored within hours. Problems with a transmission line knocked out service just before noon to 2,897 homes and businesses in the towns of Island Falls, …
This robot built with Lego components by a team of Connors Emerson Elementary School students from Bar Harbor recently won a national competition held at Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif. Months of design and testing went into the "bots" creation.

Lego robot wins Bar Harbor student designers best-in-show award at national competition

By Tom Walsh on May 26, 2013, at 10:54 a.m.
Eight Connors Emerson Elementary School students recently returned to Bar Harbor from a three-day competition in California at which they were crowned the best of 74 teams from throughout North America after competing in a robotics competition sponsored by Lego. The Denmark-based construction toy manufacturer stages …
University of Maine professor of insect ecology Frank Drummond says the Colony Collapse Disorder is still affecting a very large number of bees in Maine. Thousands of hives are trucked to the state each year since 2006 to help the proper pollination of fruit crop in Maine.

Hired bees play major role in Maine blueberry industry

By Tom Walsh on May 26, 2013, at 10:19 a.m.
DEBLOIS | The continuing stretch of cold and wet weather has left billions of honeybees trucked into Down East Maine to pollinate the wild blueberry crop hunkered down in their hives for warmth instead of jump-starting the growing season. Some 14,000 bee hives were recently placed across the thousands …
Twin sisters Erica (left) and Tashina Ackley of Eastport both gave birth Friday to their first child, delivering the newborn cousins just hours apart at Down East Community Hospital in Machias.

Eastport twin sisters become moms on the same day

By Tom Walsh on May 25, 2013, at 2:48 p.m.
Erica and Tashina Ackley are twins who not only share a birthday, but, as of Friday, share the birth days of their first babies. The two sisters, who will be 22 this week, delivered only hours apart Friday morning at Down East Community Hospital in Machias. Tashina …
Dave Seward plans to pull the plug in August on Anderson Marine and Hardware in Gouldsboro, a tiny hardware store that he has overseen six days a week for 42 years.

Days are numbered for Gouldsboro’s iconic hardware store

By Tom Walsh on May 25, 2013, at 11:09 a.m.
Enough. It’s been 42 years since Dave Seward bought a hardware store sight-unseen on a handshake, using money begged and borrowed from family and friends. On the last day of August, Seward will lock the door and walk away from Anderson Marine and Hardware on Route 1 …
This file photo from July 2012 shows Ocean Renewable Power Co’s underwater turbine before it was submerged at a test site in Cobscook Bay last fall. The unit is 98 feet long, 17 feet wide and 17 feet high.

Washington County tidal generation project featured on Popular Science cover

By Tom Walsh on May 16, 2013, at 11:38 a.m.
EASTPORT | A first-generation, Maine-built tidal energy turbine is a cover girl, adorning the front of Popular Science magazine’s June 2013 issue, which hit newsstands this week. For years, Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Co. has been engineering, fabricating and testing underwater tidal generation technology in waters off the Washington …
A Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito is shown on a human finger in this undated handout photograph from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito has been proven to be a vector associated with transmission of the West Nile virus, according to the CDC.

The season of the itch: Bugs that bite are both a nuisance and a public health concern in Maine

By Tom Walsh on May 12, 2013, at 6:16 a.m.
Between black flies, mosquitoes and ticks, spring and summer in Maine can be the season of the itch. While black flies are a May-July seasonal nuisance in Maine, black flies don’t spread disease. Mosquitoes and ticks can, and do, including West Nile virus spread by ’skeeters and Lyme disease spread …

Regulating a proposed resurgence in mining under debate in Augusta

By Tom Walsh on May 08, 2013, at 11:37 a.m.
There hasn’t been an active mining operation in Maine for 40 years, but the prospect of new mining activity in Aroostook County is fueling a State House debate over the environmental effects of open-pit mining. During an afternoon work session Wednesday, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Environmental …
Alewives and blue-backed herring bunch up at the Dennysville fish weir in June 2008. They gather in a group of several hundred to several thousand and "make a charge" up the river, said Colby Bruchs, fisheries biologist with the Department of Marine Resources.

Restoration efforts put spotlight on once plentiful alewives

By Tom Walsh on May 04, 2013, at 11:38 a.m.
Despite alewives being the focus of sometimes contentious efforts to improve their access to Down East Maine freshwater spawning habitats, these migratory fish remain something of a mystery to many, while at the same time remaining a favorite food for wide variety of Maine wildlife. Alewives as a meal for …

Age, lifestyle contribute to high cancer rate in Maine

By Tom Walsh on May 02, 2013, at 2:46 p.m.
The next time the Red Sox are on TV from Boston, think about this: Half of the men and a third of the women packed into Fenway Park to watch the game will receive a diagnosis of cancer during their lifetimes. The bleak reality is that half of those who …

Debate raging in Augusta over genetically modified food labeling

By Tom Walsh on April 25, 2013, at 1:38 p.m.
The State House debate over requiring labeling of food products that have been genetically modified is one of many similar debates now raging throughout the country. It is also a debate that has been underway in Maine for 20 years. Legislative proposals to require labeling of consumables …
Doug Rich of Hampden heads up a team of amateur astronomers who earlier this month discovered an exploding star within a galaxy that is 420 million light years from Earth. The team's discovery was confirmed by a team of professional astronomers in Italy.

Hampden amateur astronomer’s search team discovers distant exploding star

By Tom Walsh on April 22, 2013, at 6:08 p.m.
STEUBEN | Professional astronomers in Italy have confirmed that an amateur astronomy team headed by Doug Rich of Hampden recently discovered a newly visible exploding star in a galaxy that is 420 million light years from Earth. The discovery was made April 7 by the Eagle Hill Supernova Search …
Bill Burke, his wife, Marti, and their son Nate will soon open a new Pat's Pizza franchise in Machias, which will be the 14th location in Maine for the popular family restaurant.

Pat’s Pizza expanding into Washington County

By Tom Walsh on April 17, 2013, at 5:51 a.m.
MACHIAS | Pat’s Pizza, one of Maine’s oldest and most popular family restaurant franchises, is weeks away from expanding to a new location in Machias. Work has been underway for months within the building at 168 Main St., which also houses a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise. On Tuesday, a four-person …
Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith pins an award marking his retirement on Lester Seeley, who died over the weekend.

Washington County mourns weekend death of longtime sheriff’s deputy Lester Seeley

By Tom Walsh on April 15, 2013, at 2:04 p.m.
DENNYSVILLE | Lester Seeley’s April 7 retirement party attracted nearly 200 people paying tribute to a man who Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith described Monday as a “true American hero.” With his son and four daughters at his bedside, Seeley, 74, died Saturday evening at his home in Dennysville …

Former Somerset County administrator named new Eastport city manager

By Tom Walsh on April 11, 2013, at 12:17 p.m.
EASTPORT, Maine — Larry Post, 60, a former administrator of Somerset County, will begin his new position as city manager in Eastport next week. The Eastport City Council met in executive session Wednesday night to make the hiring decision, according to Mary Repole, who chairs the five-member council. Post was among …
Image of a yet to be installed Ocean Renewable Power Company underwater TideGen turbine in Eastport, Maine Monday, July 23, 2012.

Year one of Eastport tidal turbine research presents challenges

By Tom Walsh on April 10, 2013, at 12:29 p.m.
Months of underwater testing in Cobscook Bay of experimental, tidal-based electrical generation technologies were not without its challenges, according to a research report recently filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Co. said in its 653-page, 2012 environmental monitoring report on its …
A fire Tuesday morning heavily damaged an 1850s farmhouse on Indian River Road in Addison.

Tuesday morning fire drives Addison family from their home

By Tom Walsh on April 09, 2013, at 1:47 p.m.
Fire heavily damaged the Indian River Road home of an Addison family Tuesday morning, but those who were inside escaped without injury. “It basically destroyed it,” Addison Fire Chief Sheldon Trundy said of Tuesday’s fire. “It was a really old house. It was close to 200 years …