Down East

Paul Bussiere prepares to put the dome on his R2D2 replica on Sunday at his home. The duo will be at the Bangor Mall Cinema 10 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

‘Star Wars’ mania hits Maine

By Shelby Hartin on Dec. 16, 2015, at 10:49 a.m.
Theaters aren’t the only places participating in the fun this week.
Shovelers end a short break on Tuesday at Hannaford supermarket on West Broadway in Lincoln.

Storm dumps nearly a foot of snow in northern Maine

By Dawn Gagnon on Dec. 15, 2015, at 8:20 p.m.
The combination of snow, sleet, freezing rain and gusty winds interrupted electrical power to Emera Maine customers throughout much of the day.
Jonathan Chevrier

Eastport man may escape attempted murder charges in plea deal

By Johanna S. Billings on Dec. 15, 2015, at 3:40 p.m.
Assuming the court accepts the plea deal and sentencing agreement, Jonathan Chevrier will spend 13 years in jail.

Hancock/Washington County Healthy Trails Challenge begins Jan. 1

on Dec. 15, 2015, at 2:50 p.m.
Healthy Acadia and Downeast Coastal Conservancy invite you to discover the health benefits of outdoor recreation this winter.  The Hancock/Washington County Healthy Trails Challenge, which begins January 1, is a fun and free opportunity to get fit, get outdoors, and connect with nature while exploring the trails and parks in …
The Down East Community Hospital main entrance is seen in January 2008.

Court reduces discipline against nurse who discharged patient in snowstorm

By Johanna S. Billings on Dec. 09, 2015, at 7:37 p.m.
The actions of a nurse who discharged a 61-year-old patient later found dead were “unprofessional and highly disturbing,” the judge said.
Anthony Carro places cut balsam tips onto a bar so they can be carried. Carro is an inmate at Downeast Correctional Facility earning money on work release for Worcester Wreath Co.

Prisoners, wreath companies benefit from work release program

By Johanna S. Billings on Dec. 08, 2015, at 1:22 p.m.
HARRINGTON | When Worcester Wreath was having a labor shortage going into wreath season this fall, the company found relief from an unexpected source. The company made its needs known to the Maine Department of Labor and ended up getting a call the first week in November from the …
Rose M. Gaffney One Voice advisor Shannon Micklus (second from left) and students Leif McKenna (left), Ryan Conley (right) and McKenna Harriman check out a package of anti-smoking signs from the Partnership for Tobacco-Free Maine on Friday in Machias.

Machias students work to curb tobacco use on school campus

By Johanna S. Billings on Dec. 08, 2015, at 6:41 a.m.
A group of five Rose M. Gaffney students was tired of finding cigarette butts on the playground of its elementary school.

Gaffney students talk about tobacco project

By Johanna S. Billings on Dec. 08, 2015, at 6:41 a.m.
Rose M. Gaffney One Voice students Rita Micklus and Ryan Conley talk about the anti-tobacco signs they have to hang up around campus.
Joyce Hedlund, interim president of University of Maine at Machias.

Joyce Hedlund resigns as UMM interim president

By Johanna S. Billings on Dec. 07, 2015, at 2:01 p.m.
MACHIAS | Joyce Hedlund has resigned as interim president of University of Maine at Machias, effective Friday, Dec. 11. Hedlund, 67, was admitted to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor in mid-October to undergo heart bypass surgery. She was expected to be away from campus during her recovery, which …
Piper Mountain Christmas Trees'  Maria Kingsbury begins to decorate a wreath Dec. 11, 2014, in Newburgh.

‘Bridge the gap’: Mainers head into the woods for fir tips

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 07, 2015, at 6:50 a.m.
“I don’t think that anybody that is tipping is using it for play money. Tipping is serious business. They put in very, very long hours,” David Whitney said.
Shortly before lunch on Thursday, Dec. 3, the streets of Madawaska turned snow white, as the first substantial snowstorm of the season arrived.

Rain turns to snow in northern Maine

By Jen Lynds on Dec. 03, 2015, at 3:04 p.m.
Meteorologists forecast up to 10 inches might fall on northern Aroostook County by early Friday.
Workers for Cherryfield Foods harvest cranberries in October.

Cherryfield Foods to stop cranberry farming

By Johanna S. Billings on Dec. 02, 2015, at 2:35 p.m.
Cherryfield Foods is getting out of the cranberry farming business.
Three students involved in a hoax threat Sunday against Washington Academy have been banned from the East Machias school for an undetermined amount of time.

Three students involved in hoax threat banned from Washington Academy

By Johanna S. Billings on Dec. 01, 2015, at 5:09 p.m.
Three students apparently involved in a hoax threat against Washington Academy on Sunday are being disciplined by the school but will not be charged.
Patrick McRae, 3, of Bowie, Maryland  places a remembrance wreath on a grave at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington December 13, 2014. Volunteers and families of the fallen placed thousands of wreaths throughout the entire cemetery during the annual Wreaths Across America day.

Group short of donations for 30,000 wreaths at Arlington

By Johanna S. Billings on Nov. 30, 2015, at 5 p.m.
COLUMBIA FALLS | Wreaths Across America is nearly a half million dollars short of its $3.5 million fundraising goal to place a wreath on all 230,000 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. Organization spokesman Tobin Slavin said he could not say exactly where fundraising efforts stood as of Monday afternoon …

Machias finally getting own website

By Johanna S. Billings on Nov. 30, 2015, at 2:35 p.m.
The Town of Machias is finally reaching into cyberspace. A town website should be up and running by early February, according to town Manager Christina Therrien. At the selectmen’s Nov. 25 meeting, Therrien said Axiom would have the site ready for her and staff to add content …
Much of Bold Coast Coffee's offerings come from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica and the Antigua region of Guatemala.

Coffee company connects Maine cup to Costa Rican farm

By Johanna S. Billings on Nov. 30, 2015, at 6:37 a.m.
“It started as a hobby,” said Troy Quimby, who is a Down East native. “I wasn’t finding coffee I liked in the area.”
Flying Santa arrived by helicopter Sunday morning at Buoy Park in Rockland. He later gave out gifts to children of U.S. Coast Guard crew members. Flying Santa flew to Coast Guard locations from Jonesport to Portland.

Flying Santa lands in Maine

By Stephen Betts on Nov. 29, 2015, at 12:52 p.m.
Santa, who arrived by helicopter, delivered presents for children of U.S. Coast Guard crew members from Jonesport to Portland.
The Bangor Wal-Mart as seen in this July 2009 file photo.

Bogus bomb threats target Wal-Marts across Maine, other states

By Julia Bayly on Nov. 29, 2015, at 12:06 p.m.
As many as 11 Wal-Marts across Maine received the automated bomb threats since Saturday evening, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Much work needs to be done on the small building that serves as the terminal at the Machias Valley Airport. Voters approved the Town of Machias spending $7,500 on some building improvements as well as repairing runway lights.

Voters OK funding for Machias Valley Airport improvements

By Johanna S. Billings on Nov. 27, 2015, at 5:06 p.m.
Voters approved spending $7,500 for airport improvements at a special town meeting on Nov. 25 and will be asked in the near future to OK borrowing $150,000 toward a planned expansion. An estimated $4,000 to $5,000 of the $7,500 will be used to replace 23 runway lights, …

Plymouth man struck, killed by vehicle on Route 9

By Ryan McLaughlin on Nov. 27, 2015, at 2:32 p.m.
AURORA | A Plymouth man was killed Thursday night when he was struck by a vehicle on Route 9, state police said. Anthony Barnes, 34, who had been traveling east, had stopped in the driving lane and shut off his vehicle and its lights, Maine State Police Lt. Roderick …