Articles by Sharon Kiley Mack


Without state figures, Machias town meeting postponed

By Sharon Kiley Mack on May 02, 2013, at 8:41 p.m.
Trying to create a municipal budget without knowing what state revenue sharing funds will be has the Machias selectmen rolling their eyes in frustration. Six weeks into the budget process — with nearly all the municipal expenditures reviewed and set — the board hasn’t a clue what …

Washington County administrators, parents dispute state school grades

By Sharon Kiley Mack on May 02, 2013, at 4:36 p.m.
MACHIAS | Parents and school administrators in Washington County were reeling Thursday after a new statewide school ranking system gave 19 percent of their schools a failing grade — the highest number of schools receiving an “F” grade of all counties in the state. They called it unfair and …
Eastport City Manager Larry Post

New Eastport city manager looking forward with a financial eye

By Sharon Kiley Mack on May 01, 2013, at 10:47 a.m.
Larry Post began his first day as city manager of Eastport on Monday with his office right next to the front entry of city hall and his door wide open. ”I want the people of Eastport to know I am always accessible,” Post said. “I am really …
Calais Fire Chief Robert Posick

Calais Fire-EMS part of statewide pilot project bringing health care to homes

By Sharon Kiley Mack on April 30, 2013, at 4:26 p.m.
Calais Fire-EMS is one of six services recently approved statewide to participate in a pilot project that is intended to bolster local health care while decreasing trips to emergency rooms and doctors’ offices. Beginning June 1, it won’t be out of the ordinary for a Calais ambulance …
Donnie Smith, Washington County sheriff

Washington County sheriff threatens to sue court system over failure to arraign prisoners

By Sharon Kiley Mack on April 26, 2013, at 3:56 p.m.
MACHIAS | Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith said Friday that if the judges serving the county’s District Court don’t start arraigning prisoners in a timely fashion, he plans to sue the court system. Smith said the state has reduced District Court hours in Machias to just three afternoons a …

Machias area school system begins budget presentations to 11 participating towns

By Sharon Kiley Mack on April 25, 2013, at 3:16 p.m.
It’s budget season in the Machias Bay Area School System and AOS 96 Superintendent Scott Porter is on the road again. Porter spends most of April and May each year presenting proposed budgets to the 11 individual communities that he serves: Machias, Machiasport, East Machias, Cutler, Roque …

Roque Bluffs, Machias reach fire coverage agreement after accusations of insults

By Sharon Kiley Mack on April 25, 2013, at 1:44 p.m.
After more than a month of innuendo and what Roque Bluffs Selectman Lisa Hanscom called outright insults, the Machias Board of Selectmen apologized for any misunderstanding and Wednesday night signed a mutual aid fire agreement with the small coastal community. “We were very insulted,” Hanscom told the …

Washington County orchestrates Bold Coast Scenic Byway project

By Sharon Kiley Mack on April 25, 2013, at 1:43 p.m.
MACHIAS | Through a series of community meetings across Washington County, supporters of the new Bold Coast Scenic Byway hope to get business owners, agencies and municipal officials involved in promoting the route and the economic progress it is expected to bring to Washington County. “We looked at what …

Driver with 22 traffic convictions arrested in Northfield crash

By Sharon Kiley Mack on April 24, 2013, at 3:44 p.m.
One person was slightly injured in a single-vehicle crash on Route 192 at the Northfield-Wesley town line at around 8:20 a.m. The driver, who police said had 22 previous traffic convictions, was arrested and charged with operating under the influence. Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Ramsey said …
Some Lubec school children learn about a plan to use the empty Lubec High School as a community center.

Lubec volunteer group seeks to create community center at empty high school

By Sharon Kiley Mack on April 23, 2013, at 11:37 a.m.
Members of a community volunteer group, Lubec Community Outreach Committee, unveiled an ambitious plan this week to convert the town’s empty high school into a multi-use community center. The center could serve everyone from babies in a day care setting to seniors who gather for meals and …

Machias selectmen chafe under state control, consider new local ordinances

By Sharon Kiley Mack on Sept. 11, 2012, at 12:19 p.m.
Machias town officials, galled by their lack of local control in dealing with two recent issues concerning sidewalks and electronic signs, are forming an Ordinance Committee to take back a bit of power from the state. Machias currently has a handful of ordinances — some dating back …

Grieving parent causes disruption at Lubec Elementary School

By Sharon Kiley Mack, Special to the NEWS on April 05, 2012, at 12:27 p.m.
The adopted father of a 12-year-old boy who apparently died at home of natural causes Wednesday morning reportedly came to the Lubec Elementary School on Thursday morning and caused a disruption. Sheriff Donnie Smith said Eddie Smith, who is not related, was considered to be acting out …

Maine’s dairy farmers closely watch fate of tier payment program

By Sharon Kiley Mack on April 03, 2012, at 6:34 p.m.
MACHIAS | Maine’s dairy farmers will be paying close attention this week to a vote on the state’s unique dairy stabilization program, or tier program, as the price they are paid for their milk continues to plummet. Although it can cost a small farmer up to $28 to produce …
Cindy Huggins, President of the University of Maine at Machias

Women play key role in Washington County growth, development

By Sharon Kiley Mack on Jan. 13, 2012, at 4:08 p.m.
MACHIAS | There is no disputing the important role that women play in directing the future of Washington County — from holding top county positions to arranging public suppers when a neighbor is in need. During a tour of Washington County last summer, the director of GrowSmart Maine, Nancy …

Passamaquoddy Tribe to create $25M water bottling facility, 96 full-time jobs

By Sharon Kiley Mack on Nov. 24, 2011, at 12:44 p.m.
INDIAN TOWNSHIP | The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township has nearly completed lining up investors for a $25 million water bottling plant, a project that tribal Gov. Joseph Socabasin said will provide 96 full-time, good-paying jobs with benefits. Socabasin discussed the project this week in the wake of the …

Two Eastport residents sue city in attempt to block sale of The Boat School

By Sharon Kiley Mack on Nov. 19, 2011, at 1:13 p.m.
Two residents, David Gholson and Phyllis Bradbury, have sued their hometown over the pending sale of The Boat School. Although assessed at $2.2 million, The Boat School — which consists of three buildings, more than 20 acres of land, a boat ramp, pier, floating docks and a …

Washington County budget complete, small increase expected

By Sharon Kiley Mack on Nov. 19, 2011, at 12:50 p.m.
MACHIAS | The Washington County Budget Committee has completed the 2012 budget, three weeks before its deadline of Dec. 8. The proposed $5.7 million budget represents a 1.6 percent increase — far below last year’s 12 percent jump in taxation — and was trimmed by the committee from the …

Machias Downtown Revitalization Committee seeks to redevelop historic properties

By Sharon Kiley Mack on Nov. 19, 2011, at 12:19 p.m.
Building on the town’s assets and turning each of those assets into enticements for community development is one of the goals of the Machias Downtown Revitalization Committee. As part of that plan, the group will be seeking a $150,000 Community Enterprise Grant from the state’s Community Development …
Bethany Foss, one of the family proprietors of the Chandler River Lodge in Jonesboro talks with the BDN about the several paranormal reports at the lodge, including a paranormal event in the Judah Chandler Room, where she is pictured.

Transylvania by the sea: Washington County rich in ghost stories

By Sharon Kiley Mack on Oct. 28, 2011, at 5:44 a.m.
LUBEC | She walks the trails at West Quoddy Lighthouse State Park, stopping only to gaze out to sea. The wind billows her long Victorian dress and seaweed is draped over her shoulders. She has been seen by numerous local people and several times by a former park manager. …

Hydropower project gives Washington County hope, officials say

By Sharon Kiley Mack on Oct. 20, 2011, at 8:47 p.m.
EASTPORT | The water hadn’t yet dried on the ribbonlike blades of an experimental hydropower generator as the CEO of Ocean Renewable Power Co. excitedly talked Thursday about where the company is going next. Ocean Renewable Power now has officially retired the cutting-edge Beta TidGen generator it had deployed …