For second year, Madawaska voters fail to approve school budget in time for new fiscal year

By Julia Bayly on June 25, 2014, at 7:04 p.m.
MADAWASKA, Maine — For the second year in a row, the Madawaska School Department is heading into its new fiscal year without an approved budget. It failed to pass at the June 24 validation referendum by a 238-191 vote. Residents did approve the school budget at the annual town meeting …
Presque Isle City Hall building

Presque Isle officials consider finding another building to serve as City Hall

By Kathy McCarty, Presque Isle Star-Herald on June 25, 2014, at 12:33 p.m.
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — City officials are weighing their options as they consider whether to continue to maintain City Hall at its present location on Second Street or to move city government to a new site. Maintenance costs were cited as one reason for considering a change. “From time to …

US Department of Labor announces $157,430 additional funding for Maine Military Authority employees laid off

By Julia Bayly on June 24, 2014, at 6:43 p.m.
LIMESTONE, Maine — Workers affected by layoffs at the Maine Military Authority are getting some help from the U.S. Department of Labor thanks to $157,430 in supplemental funding, according to information released Tuesday afternoon by the labor department. The funds are in addition to $869,000 the department has already been …
Jesse Marquis

August bail hearing set for St. Francis man accused of killing girlfriend

By Julia Bayly on June 24, 2014, at 9:27 a.m.
CARIBOU, Maine — A bail hearing postponed earlier this month for a man accused of killing his longtime girlfriend in St. Francis is now set for Aug. 26 at Superior Court in Caribou. The hearing for Jesse Marquis, which was continued on June 12, is at 9 a.m. at the …
All 13 members of the Jerome and Joyce Jackson family take a moment to relax together on the porch of their new St. Francis home. The family was able to purchase the house thanks to a program through USDA Rural Development.

Family of 13 finds a home, community in northern Maine thanks to USDA program

By Julia Bayly on June 22, 2014, at 1:32 p.m.
ST. FRANCIS, Maine — Jerome and Joyce Jackson knew they had found the house of their dreams in St. Francis. What there were not expecting was being embraced by the small community where they just moved to raise their 11 children. “Finding a home for the Jacksons was no easy …
Laurie McIntyre stands on the banks of the St. John River in Fort Kent as her son Eric completes the final few yards of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail which began in Old Forge, New York.

Completing 740-mile canoe trip is one way to spend a 21st birthday

By Julia Bayly on June 22, 2014, at 11:26 a.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — Six days into his 38-day, 740-mile canoe trip up the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Eric McIntyre, alone on a New York river, came close to calling it quits. But on Saturday, McIntyre paddled into the trail’s terminus at the Fort Kent boat landing where he celebrated …

Fitzpatricks of Houlton named potato farm family of the year

on June 21, 2014, at 6:26 a.m.
HOULTON, Maine — The Fitzpatrick family of Houlton has been named the 2014 Farm Family of the Year by the Maine Potato Board. Albert Fitzpatrick and his family grow 300 acres of potatoes in southern Aroostook County while focusing on the health and sustainability of the soil on their farms, …

Museums, libraries outnumber gun stores in every Maine county except Aroostook

By Julia Bayly on June 21, 2014, at 6:13 a.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — It’s not often licensed gun dealers and museums are referenced in the same sentence, much less the same news story. Earlier this week a reporter at The Washington Post did just that when he ran a nationwide, county-by-county statistical comparison on the numbers of federally licensed …
Presque Isle High School students in LeRae Kinney'’s civics class recently completed a downtown beautification project. Shown painting a color-blocking mural are (clockwise, from left) Brandon Collins, Lucie Simpson, Jessie Brown, Kate Ford, Cassidy Keegan, Caylie Levasseur, Alexandria Peterson and Cassidy Soucier.

Presque Isle students brighten up downtown

By Scott Mitchell Johnson, Presque Isle Star-Herald on June 21, 2014, at 5:43 a.m.
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Sophomores at Presque Isle High School recently cut class and were seen hanging out in a downtown alleyway. However, they weren’t reprimanded or punished, but instead praised for their efforts as they were working on a downtown beautification project. Since August, students in LeRae Kinney’s civics …

700 Emera customers in Island Falls area without power Friday afternoon as crews search for cause

By Julia Bayly on June 20, 2014, at 3:45 p.m.
ISLAND FALLS, Maine — Crews with Emera Maine are looking for the cause of a southern Aroostook outage Friday afternoon which at one point left 2,753 customers in and around Island Falls without power. Customers in Dyer Brook, Oakfield, Crystal, Patten, Sherman and Stacyville were also affected by the outage, …
Service technician Ethan Pratt of ReVision Heat plumbs a boiler inside a "heat pod" Monday in Portland. The "heat pod" is a small structure with three wood pellet boilers that can be hooked into a building's existing heating system.  It will be installed at the Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin by Pelletco LLC.

Have heat, will travel: Orono heating company PelletCo takes a new approach to business

By Nok-Noi Ricker on June 20, 2014, at 6:04 a.m.
ORONO, Maine — The idea is simple: Install an automated outdoor wood pellet boiler, and hook it up to a building’s existing heating system. Don’t charge the building’s owner for either the boiler or the pellets. Charge for the heat that is used. That’s the business model of local heating …

Hodgdon man injured in car, motorcycle accident

By Jen Lynds on June 19, 2014, at 6:27 p.m.
HODGDON, Maine — A Hodgdon man suffered a leg injury on Thursday in a motorcycle and car accident on Calais Road. Joseph Hogan, 68, was operating his 1996 Harley Davidson behind two vehicles when he decided to pass them just before 2:30 p.m., according to Maine State Police trooper Dan …

Maine Military Authority gets $19 million bus repair deal with Boston-area transit authority

By Darren Fishell and Jen Lynds on June 19, 2014, at 1:18 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Equipment refurbisher Maine Military Authority is in line to receive a $19 million contract to repair buses used by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, giving the company traction in a new target market and sealing one of two deals state officials have pushed for the company to …
Kris Doody

Cary Medical Center CEO praises veterans pilot program in D.C.

By Jen Lynds on June 18, 2014, at 4:22 p.m.
CARIBOU, Maine — The chief executive officer of a Caribou hospital that is part of a pilot program offering health care to veterans in northern Maine told lawmakers in Washington, D.C., Wednesday that Project ARCH works exceptionally well for those it serves. Kris Doody, CEO of the Cary Medical Center …
Darrell Crandall Jr.

Chief deputy for Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department announces run for sheriff

By Jen Lynds on June 18, 2014, at 3:09 p.m.
HOULTON, Maine — For Darrell Crandall, chief deputy of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department, his earliest memories have always been steeped in law enforcement. His father, Darrell Crandall Sr., was sheriff of the department from January 1965 until he retired in 1983, at a time when The County pretty much …

Gateway Bridge in Houlton temporarily closed

By Joseph Cyr, Houlton Pioneer Times on June 18, 2014, at 1:56 p.m.
HOULTON, Maine — The Gateway Bridge, which spans the Meduxnekeag River and connects Riverfront Park to Houlton’s downtown district, has been temporarily closed. Problems with the bridge were reported to the town on Monday afternoon, when residents noticed several large spikes had fallen off, according to Butch Asselin, interim town …
Michael Wright

Milo-area school board approves $8 million budget

By Stuart Hedstrom, Piscataquis Observer on June 18, 2014, at 12:18 p.m.
MILO, Maine — The SAD 41 Board of Directors gave their approval to a budget for the 2014-15 school year totaling $8,034,429 during a June 11 meeting. This total figure represents an increase of over $193,100 from the current academic year. Superintendent Michael Wright explained the local contribution for the …
Ryan Ellis

Major bath salts dealer in northern, coastal Maine pleads guilty to federal drug, gun charges

By Judy Harrison on June 18, 2014, at 10:58 a.m.
BANGOR, Maine — A major dealer of bath salts in northern and coastal Maine pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to drug conspiracy and gun charges. Ryan Ellis, 33, formerly of Greenbush and Dover-Foxcroft, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute …

Fort Kent teen suffers broken hip in motorcyle accident

By Julia Bayly on June 18, 2014, at 10:27 a.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — A Fort Kent teenager was taken to the hospital with a reported fractured hip after his motorcycle crashed into a pickup truck driven by a friend Monday afternoon, according to information released by the Maine State Police Wednesday morning. Around 1:30 p.m. Monday, a 17-year-old male …

County woman set to testify at US Senate hearing exploring shutting down some SSA field offices

By Julia Bayly on June 17, 2014, at 7:07 a.m.
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — When an elderly Aroostook County couple found themselves sharing a medication they were both prescribed because they could not afford to fill their individual prescriptions, they were able to turn to staff at the Presque Isle Social Security Administration field office to get additional benefits. If …
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