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.

Wanted Presque Isle man arrested after allegedly bringing gun into bar

By Tom Walsh on April 07, 2013, at 6:55 p.m.
Presque Isle police officers and Maine State Police troopers responded just after midnight Sunday to a report of a man with a gun at Bou’s Brew Pub on Main Street in Presque Isle. Officers responding found that the pub’s staff had removed, disarmed and detained a …
Richard Malaby

Mandatory sea kayak life preserver bill drifts in legislative limbo

By Tom Walsh on April 07, 2013, at 12:33 p.m.
LAMOINE | As a by-the-book Republican, State Rep. Richard Malaby isn’t a proponent of regulating what he feels should be common sense. Don’t want to wear a motorcycle helmet? Fine. Don’t want to use your seal belt? Fine. Don’t want to wear a life jacket while sea kayaking? Fine. …
A whimsical "Closed for the Season" cookbook compiled over the winter by a group of regulars at the Chester Pike's Galley in Sullivan was presented on "opening day" Saturday to the two women who are beginning the tenth year of serving up Down East fare deemed in 2009 by Yankee Magazine among "New England's Best" restaurants. From left are Roger Dean of Corea, Pike's pastry chef Amy McGarr, Mike Shapiro of West Gouldsboro and Jane Fogg, the restaurant's cook.

Spring on the Schoodic Peninsula means Chester Pike’s is open

By Tom Walsh on April 07, 2013, at 10:31 a.m.
SULLIVAN | A silver sliver of a crescent moon rose over Frenchman Bay early Saturday morning as Bill and Stephanie Freeman’s alarm clock did its thing at their home in Trenton. “We set our alarm for 5 a.m., so we would be the first ones here,” Stephanie said after …
A rare form of infant cancer has claimed the left eye of Londyn Elise Porter, who at age seven months is fighting for survival after her cancer spread from her left to right eye and into her brain. Born in Maine and now living with her mother and grandmother in California, the child's medical ordeal has dominated the thoughts and prayers of family and friends on both coasts.

Maine-born infant’s fight for life against rare eye cancer strains family on both coasts

By Tom Walsh on April 06, 2013, at 2:32 p.m.
LUBEC | Linda Maker is waiting on a miracle. So is her daughter. And so is her daughter’s daughter. And so is that daughter’s daughter, 7-month-old Londyn Elise Porter, whose young life is on the line. Londyn was 4 months old when she was diagnosed with a rare and …
An elver fisherman tends his fyke net in Waldoboro on Friday, the first day of elver season. The funnel-shaped net will catch the tiny, translucent fish when the tide flows back in.

The mysterious elver, from Sargasso Sea to sushi

By Tom Walsh on April 05, 2013, at 2:49 p.m.
MACHIAS | Lost in the rhetorical fog of the ongoing economic, political and cultural controversies surrounding the netting of glass eels along Maine’s rugged shoreline is the grim fate that awaits the elvers being harvested. Two prominent naturalists recently interviewed by the Bangor Daily News said they share a …
It's not the facade of the historic 1855 Washington County Courthouse that would be affected under a proposed remodeling and expansion plan, but interior courtroom facilities and security measures. The potential $12 million project remains under discussion by state court officials and the three-member Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Talks on expanding, renovating Washington County’s courthouse continue, over sheriff’s objections

By Tom Walsh on April 02, 2013, at 4:43 p.m.
MACHIAS | Washington County’s Board of Commissioners has authorized County Manager Betsy Fitzgerald to continue discussions with state officials on a proposed renovation and expansion of the Washington County Courthouse. It is a conversation that has been ongoing for more than 20 years, according to Fitzgerald. At one point …
Among the boats that Millennium Marine plans to manufacture in Eastport is the Donelle 35 Sport, which has been a big seller in the United States, the Caribbean and Europe.

Canadian boat builder plans to expand to Eastport, creating 50 jobs

By Tom Walsh on March 29, 2013, at 12:57 p.m.
A long-established Canadian boat-building firm is expanding its operations to the Washington County community of Eastport later this year, a project expected to create as many as 50 jobs. New Brunswick-based Millennium Marine has been building boats in Escuminac since the 1940s and now produces a line …

Falls common cause of serious injury, death among elderly

By Tom Walsh on March 28, 2013, at 4:58 p.m.
Helen Evancheck, 89, of Bangor is among the survivors of a hip fracture, which is a leading cause of death among the elderly. “I was in the bedroom, changing my slacks when I fell,” she said recently. “That was September of 2012. I’ve been in rehab ever since, and I’m …
Jon Southern

Three finalists to interview for Eastport city manager

By Tom Walsh on March 28, 2013, at 11:53 a.m.
Closed-door interviews of applicants eager to become this Washington County seaside community’s next city manager will continue into next week. Citing “burnout,” current City Manager Jon Southern informed the city council last November that he would be stepping down after his employment contract expires on April 26, …
Boston Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava is a promising slugger who is on the mend from wrist surgery during the offseason. Nava is making his way back to a spot on the Red Sox roster with the help of an extensive array of the team's sports medicine specialists.

Red Sox get support from experienced sports medicine team

By Tom Walsh on March 26, 2013, at 11:44 a.m.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — When the 2013 version of the Boston Red Sox open their season on Monday at Yankee Stadium, the starters who take the field will be backed by a small army of sports medicine professionals, ranging from Boston General Hospital orthopedic surgeons to a Japanese-speaking massage therapist. …
Kile Howard

Machiasport man to serve one year for sexual contact with child he was baby-sitting

By Tom Walsh on March 26, 2013, at 11:41 a.m.
Kile Howard, 23, of Machiasport will spend one year in jail on an unlawful sexual contact conviction. Howard was arrested in August 2012 after being accused of having sexual contact with a child under 5 years old he was baby-sitting. Howard was sentenced Monday to five years …
Twenty-two Surry Elementary School students from grades four and five are participating in a new distance learning initiative in science, technology, engineering and math that, once a week, links these and other students in Maine with students and research scientists at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, using interactive video conferencing.

Distance learning program links rural students to Vanderbilt students and research faculty

By Tom Walsh on March 10, 2013, at 3 p.m.
SURRY | Imagine a fourth-grader getting off a school bus and offering this response to a parent asking what went on at school today: “We designed and we built and then we tested a new artificial leg.” It’s a response that could have come last Friday from any of …
One facade at a time, the 1851 Cherryfield Academy building is being restored during its conversion into a community center. The two-story schoolhouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The last high school students to graduate from the academy were in the Class of 1966.

Landmark Cherryfield Academy being transformed into a community center

By Tom Walsh on March 10, 2013, at 9:48 a.m.
Ever since it was built in 1851, the locals have called it “Cherryfield Academy.” Now a push is on to have the cavernous, two-story Main Street school house overlooking the Narraguagus River be known instead as the “Cherryfield Academy Community Center.” A space that for six generations …
Alan Brooks of Lubec has spent more than 30 years on the front lines of land conservation in Washington County, helping the Machias-based Downeast Coastal Conservancy to protect miles of shoreline access and thousands of inland acres from development.

Washington County land conservation pioneer Alan Brooks passes the torch

By Tom Walsh on March 09, 2013, at 12:24 p.m.
MACHIAS | “I stand for what I stand on.” That’s how Alan Brooks summarizes his 30-plus years of actively conserving miles of shoreline and thousands of acres of Down East headlands, farms, woodlands and marshes throughout Washington County. It’s a simple philosophy that Brooks says he shares with its …
Jeffery Beal steers a desk Thursday, March 7, from the old Milbridge Town Office building to the new facility built during the winter. The new $575,000, 9,200-square-foot building on School Street will be home to the town offices, the public library, the fire department and the ambulance service.

Milbridge town offices, library make their move — next door

By Tom Walsh on March 07, 2013, at 6:09 p.m.
Whether it’s 300 feet or 3,000 miles, moving is always a pain. Milbridge town officials were feeling that pain on Thursday and will again in days to come as they undertake the laborious process of relocating the town office, the library, the police department and the ambulance …
Robert Gross (right), the Washington County jail administrator, and Karina Richardson, the jail'’s clerk, listen to testimony Thursday afternoon during a hearing before the Washington County commissioners.

Washington County Jail clerk appealing her firing over alleged misuse of inmate funds

By Tom Walsh on March 07, 2013, at 10:24 a.m.
MACHIAS | Karina Richardson wants her job back. The longtime clerk of the Washington County Jail was suspended last December by Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith, who accused Richardson of misappropriating funds from the jail’s inmate benefit fund for purchases that benefited her personally. During a five-hour hearing in …
Alvin 'Pidge' Beal, at age 17, in 1972.

U.S. Coast Guard to honor Jonesport teen who drowned saving father in 1972

By Tom Walsh on March 06, 2013, at 5:33 p.m.
It’s been more than 40 years since Alvin Beal drowned on Oct. 17, 1972, at the age of 17 while rescuing his father from a rogue wave off Great Wass Island that capsized the fishing vessel his dad had hand-built for hand-pulling heavy wooden lobster traps. The …
Beals Lobster Inc. of Jonesport is offering a $1,000 reward for information that results in the arrest of anyone involved in the theft of as many as 100 empty lobster crates from its wharf over the weekend.

Owner blames theft of nearly 100 lobster crates on stagnant Down East economy

By Tom Walsh on March 05, 2013, at 7:14 p.m.
JONESPORT | Becky Beal looks at the weekend theft of nearly 100 lobster crates from the wharf of her family’s waterfront business in Jonesport as “a sign of the times,” given a stagnant Down East economy. By Tuesday, she had a sign of her own, spending much of the …
Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith listens to a question during his testimony in January at a hearing before the Washington County commissioners. Smith accused two jail employees of mismanaging funds from an inmate benefits account and recommended that they be fired.

Amid ongoing finance probe, Donnie Smith says he will seek another term as Washington County sheriff

By Tom Walsh on March 04, 2013, at 6:14 p.m.
MACHIAS | Despite two tumultuous terms, including overseeing two recent firings and one resignation within the upper echelons of his department, and an ongoing state investigation, Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith said Monday he’ll seek a third four-year term in 2014. Since he was first elected in 2006, Smith …

Guidelines for lead screening in children

By Tom Walsh on March 04, 2013, at 1:58 p.m.
Lead screening and blood testing for lead is based on a child’s risk for lead poisoning. Since children rarely display symptoms of lead poisoning, a blood test is the only way to know for sure whether a child has been exposed. Children ages 1 and 2 are especially at risk …