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.

Baileyville fire damages duplex, kills dog

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 01, 2013, at 6:33 a.m.
Fire heavily damaged a duplex at 109 Main St. in Baileyville overnight. Baileyville Fire Chief John McPhee said that the fire originated in a second-story bathroom and heavily damaged the residence of Donna Dereszeuski, who was at home when the fire was reported at 10:15 p.m. Thursday. …

Kerosene heater ignites rural Harrington house fire

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 31, 2013, at 9:46 a.m.
A kerosene heater sparked a fire Wednesday night at a home in rural Harrington, heavily damaging the residence on Willey District Road owned by Seth and Tracey Hatt. Harrington Fire Chief David Baldwin said Thursday morning the fire was reported at 8:27 p.m. His department responded, as …
Machias artist Becky Lee painted six panels, each 4 feet wide and 7 feet tall, to create a mural for the children’s room of the Porter Memorial Library in Machias.

Machias public library going “Bananas” in unveiling new children’s mural

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 30, 2013, at 11:48 a.m.
A whimsical mural showcasing a monkey named Bananas will be unveiled officially on Saturday, Feb. 2, in the children’s room of the Porter Memorial Library at 92 Court St. The work by Machias artist Becky Lee was inspired by Bananas, a monkey puppet owned by the public …

Pembroke man charged in logging site fuel theft

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 29, 2013, at 1:03 p.m.
A local man accused of stealing diesel fuel from logging vehicles has been charged with theft by unlawful taking following a weeklong investigation by state forest rangers. Daniel F. Trott, 30, of Pembroke will be arraigned in Calais District Court on March 5 after being charged on …
An early morning two-vehicle collision on Main Street in Jonesport on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, killed driver Randy Thistlewood, 56, of Jonesport and hospitalized the other driver, Peta Johnson, 52, of Beals.

Early morning collision kills Jonesport man

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 27, 2013, at 12:42 p.m.
An early morning two-vehicle collision on Main Street in Jonesport on Sunday killed one driver and hospitalized the other. Randy Thistlewood, 56, of Jonesport was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, and his body was later extricated from the vehicle using the Jaws of Life. …
State and county officials have renewed longstanding interest in investing millions of state dollars in renovating and expanding the 1853 Washington County Courthouse.

Renovation, expansion of Washington County’s courthouse again under discussion

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 27, 2013, at 10:55 a.m.
MACHIAS | An on-again, off-again proposal to renovate and expand the Washington County Courthouse is on again. “The state of Maine first had this on their radar screen about 25 years ago,” County Manager Betsy Fitzgerald said last week. “There have been meetings over the years and several committees …
Maine Department of Marine Resources Fish Biologist Colby Bruchs (right) assists Washington Academy student Kyle Gallagher in November 2012 in stocking Creamer Brook in Washington County's Township 19 with young North Atlantic salmon raised from eggs in an East Machias hatchery established by the Downeast Salmon Federation.

Down East salmon hatchery expansion under way in East Machias

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 26, 2013, at 12:10 p.m.
The Downeast Salmon Federation took delivery this week on 53,000 North Atlantic salmon eggs that will be among 125,000 to be incubated and reared to “parr” stage over the next nine months for release into the East Machias River watershed in Washington County. The eggs are …
Tim Shaw, a drug abuse educator based in Bangor, spoke Friday evening, Jan. 25, 2013 at a public forum in Machias, encouraging more community concern about illicit drug use and overdose deaths. "It's not going to get better," he said. "It will get worse."

Machias drug forum focuses on Down East drug abuse trends, concerns

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 26, 2013, at 11:29 a.m.
Those who weren’t there spoke volumes Friday night at a community forum in Machias on illicit drug use and overdose deaths. Four rows of largely empty wooden chairs greeted Tim Shaw, a substance abuse prevention specialist with the Bangor Region Overdose Prevention Project. A former addict, Shaw …

80-year-old driver escapes serious injury in Jonesboro accident

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 25, 2013, at 6:35 p.m.
Barbara Drisko, 80, of Columbia Falls escaped serious injury Friday when she was forced off the roadway just before noon on Route 1 near Bluebird Drive in Jonesboro, according to police. Drisko was northbound on Route 1 when a vehicle passed her on a hill in a …

Calais police seize heroin, marijuana, pills, guns, cash in 2 separate incidents

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 25, 2013, at 10:55 a.m.
Calais police this week confiscated guns, cash and drugs, and arrested two men in separate cases. Glenn Carter, 25, of Charlotte was arrested Thursday and charged with possession of scheduled drugs after police responded to a 12:50 p.m. call about a driver passed out at the wheel …
Richard Ramsdell

Cutler man admits to stealing veterans’ benefits

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 24, 2013, at 5:37 p.m.
BANGOR | Richard C. Ramsdell, Jr., 38, of Cutler pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to theft of more than $1,000 of disability benefits paid to him by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. While the charge only distinguishes the theft as being over $1,000, Ramsdell is accused …
Baileyville Police Chief Shawn Donahue

Washington County sheriff hires new chief deputy to replace ‘burned out’ one he fired

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 24, 2013, at 12:01 p.m.
MACHIAS | Baileyville Police Chief Shawn Donahue has been hired by Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith to to be the new chief deputy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. Donahue succeeds Michael St. Louis, who Smith terminated on Jan. 4, saying that St. Louis was “burned out” after serving …
Graduating students at the University of Maine at Machias 100th graduation ceremony in 2011 stand and applaud their instructors as they head into the commencement ceremonies.

University of Maine at Machias receives what is likely biggest donation in school history

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 23, 2013, at 1:20 p.m.
The campus of the University of Maine at Machias will grow from 44 acres to 244 acres with the gift of property from the estate of Elizabeth DeShon Tibbetts, who graduated in 1937 from what then was known as the Washington State Normal School. Tibbetts died on …
Cpt. Robert Gross (foreground), the Washington County Jail administrator, and Sgt. Karina Richardson, the jail’s clerk, listen to testimony Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, during a hearing before the Washington County commissioners. Richardson was fired and Gross has since resigned.

Washington jail administrator accused of stealing from inmate fund resigns

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 22, 2013, at 10:14 a.m.
MACHIAS | Washington County Jail Administrator Robert Gross has resigned after being suspended last month for alleged personal use of an in-house fund designed to benefit inmates of the 48-bed Washington County Jail. Because of his resignation, a termination hearing that had been scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 24, won’t …
Cpt. Robert Gross, (foreground) the Washington County jail administrator, and Sgt. Karina Richardson, the jail’s clerk, listen to testimony Thursday afternoon during a hearing before the Washington County commissioners. Sheriff Donnie Smith accused his two jail employees of mismanaging funds from an inmate benefits fund and asked that they be fired.

Jail clerk fired for alleged misappropriation of Washington County inmate funds

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 18, 2013, at 6:37 a.m.
MACHIAS | Washington County commissioners fired Karina Richardson after determining Thursday that the county jail clerk had inappropriately spent funds from an inmate benefits account to buy items such as a high-end cellphone, computer and lingerie for personal use. Richardson, 50, said after being fired that she expected to …

Washington County sheriff denies authorizing jail staff’s expenditures

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 17, 2013, at 8:08 p.m.
MACHIAS | Somebody’s lying. That’s according to allegations made by both sides during the first of two public hearings held Thursday by Washington County commissioners concerning a request by Sheriff Donnie Smith that two of his employees be fired for what Smith claims has been their mismanagement of an …

Report: Lingerie, cookbooks, cellphone bills paid for with Washington County inmates’ benefit fund

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 16, 2013, at 12:54 p.m.
MACHIAS | A “Santa Baby” novelty plunge bra, four sateen push-up bras, a velour bustier top and a ruffle-trim leather motorcycle jacket were apparently purchased in 2012 with funds from an inmates’ benefit account at the Washington County Jail. An attorney hired to investigate potential irregularities in the disbursement …

Petition seeks to revisit decision to fund a new Addison firehouse

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 16, 2013, at 9:06 a.m.
Signatures are being collected this week on a petition asking that decisions made at a special town meeting held last November about spending more than $500,000 to build a new firehouse be revisited at the annual town meeting in March. Addison resident Erwin Zimmerman commissioned an attorney …

Milbridge may add nudity ordinance after local bar hosts strippers

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 14, 2013, at 4:13 p.m.
Strippers in Milbridge? Barbara Seymour thinks not. “They’re asking for trouble,” the Milbridge resident said of The Pines restaurant bar recently booking a total nudity strip show at the venue on Kennedy Highway — Route 1A — some two miles from the town center. “This is a …

Down East computer training program to showcase efforts at national conference

By Tom Walsh on Jan. 11, 2013, at 5:29 p.m.
MACHIAS | An ongoing effort to expand computer literacy in Washington County will be a highlight at a national conference on broadband access next week at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. The Jan. 16 event will include a keynote address by Lawrence E. Strickling, who heads the U.S. …