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.

Cherryfield’s complicated stand-alone school process quickly nearing July 1 deadline

By Tom Walsh on March 01, 2013, at 3:19 p.m.
The Washington County community of Cherryfield is now immersed in the complicated process of seeking state and local approval to withdraw its elementary school from Maine School Administrative District 37 and going it alone, perhaps as soon as July. The multifaceted process involves preliminary and final approval …
Wallace A. Gray I carries his grandson Wallace A. Gray III back to his seat after the toddler walked off during the memorial service for his father, Wallace A. Gray II, also known as "Chubby," at the Stonington Island Community Center on Sunday. Wayne Kendall Young and Wallace A. Gray II are considered lost at sea after the fishing vessel Foxy Lady II went down on Dec. 15, 2012.

Fishing community gathers to mourn crew of Foxy Lady II

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 24, 2013, at 7:45 p.m.
STONINGTON | As snow fell outside, tears were falling inside the Island Community Center on Sunday as the tight-knit fishing community of Stonington-Deer Isle gathered to remember two local fishermen lost at sea in December. Arriving in the snow long before the 2 p.m. memorial service began, Joyce Gray, …
Among the variety of products that Coast of Maine Organic Products produces at its Washington County production facility is Lobster Compost -- made with lobster shells -- soon to be sourced in Hancock County

Washington County business plans expansion to turn lobster plant’s waste in lobster compost

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 24, 2013, at 9:44 a.m.
MARION TOWNSHIP | Sometimes the oft-dreaded “unintended consequences” of a business deal can wind up being good ones. That seems to be the 1+1=3 calculation behind the retrofit of the former Stinson Seafood cannery in the Hancock County community of Prospect Harbor. The ongoing project has sparked plans by …
Fish swim through a rockweed refuge in Denny's Bay, near the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Washington County. The lingering debate over the ecological impacts of harvesting seaweed along Maine's 3,000 miles of intertidal zone focuses on how various species of fish and fowl rely on rockweed forests.

Bill pulls sustainability, legality of seaweed harvesting into spotlight

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 23, 2013, at 3:07 p.m.
LUBEC | Proposed legislation that would explore statewide regulation of the commercial harvesting of seaweed along Maine’s 3,000 miles of craggy coastline has re-energized years of debate over whether cutting rockweed and other species of seaweed should be allowed at all. Rep. Ellen Winchenbach, R-Waldoboro, a member of the …

$80 million wood pellet production facility planned for Eastport, could create 100 jobs

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 21, 2013, at 5:24 p.m.
The venture capital firm that breathed new life into paper production in East Millinocket is poised to jump-start the economy of Washington County through plans to construct an $80 million wood pellet production facility on a 40-acre site near the Port of Eastport cargo facility. A source …
Clayton May

Heroin, marijuana and cash seized, charges filed in Addison probation check

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 21, 2013, at 10:14 a.m.
Two men were arrested on drug charges Wednesday by Washington County sheriff’s deputies, who also seized $11,000 worth of heroin, a small quantity of marijuana and $400 in cash from a home in Addison. Byron Carver, 33, of Jonesport was charged with possession of heroin. After deputies …
Crews from the Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative work to restore power and reopen a section of Route 1 after two utility poles fell across the roadway at about 5 a.m. Tuesday about eight miles southeast of Calais.

Failed guy wire anchor likely caused Washington County Route 1 blockage

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 20, 2013, at 6:17 p.m.
CALAIS | Indications are that the daylong closure of busy Route 1 and a power outage that affected 790 homes and businesses in Washington County on Tuesday were caused by the failure of two guy wire anchors that were embedded in granite. Two utility poles owned by Eastern Maine …
Camden author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen's presentations next week throughout Washington County will include insights into the process by which he wrote and illustrated his newest book, "If I Built a House."

Award-winning Camden children’s author to tour Washington County

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 20, 2013, at 12:40 p.m.
MACHIAS | Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen will discuss his work Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Porter Memorial Library in Machias and in elementary schools throughout the Down East region. Sponsored by the Bar Harbor-based nonprofit Island Readers & Writers program, Van Dusen’s Porter Memorial …
Crews from the Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative work to restore power and reopen a section of Route 1 after two utility poles fell across the roadway at about 5 a.m. Tuesday about eight miles southeast of Calais.

Route 1 reopens near Calais after pole failure causes 12½-hour closure

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 19, 2013, at 7:30 a.m.
Electricity was restored to four Down East towns and Route 1 reopened to traffic about eight miles southeast of Calais after a 12½-hour effort to replace four utility poles finished up early Tuesday night. A quarter-mile stretch of the busy highway in eastern Washington County had been …
The Grande Caribe tied up at the pier in downtown Eastport in August 2012, the first cruise ship visit to the Washington County seaside community in five years. The Eastport Port Authority has been working for years to lure cruise ship commerce to its historic downtown commercial district.

Cruise ship visits to Eastport in 2012 considered blind dates with promise

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 18, 2013, at 2:50 p.m.
Those who have been quietly but persistently matchmaking the cruise ship industry with the lesser-known charms of the Washington County seaside community of Eastport see downtown port activity in 2012 as something of a preview of coming attractions. Herbert Hoover was president the last time Eastport was …

Milbridge Planning Board to consider regulating strip shows

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 13, 2013, at 12:16 p.m.
Next week’s meeting of the Milbridge Planning Board is expected to include a discussion of the need to regulate public performances by strippers. Concerns were raised after The Pines restaurant and bar on Route 1A hosted a Dec. 7, 2012, strip show that included total nudity. The …
The port of Eastport is seen in an aerial photograph in 2010.

Dairy cow, pulp exports help Port of Eastport generate $250,000 surplus in 2012

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 13, 2013, at 11:37 a.m.
Despite fewer metric tons of cargo being shipped in 2012 than during the previous year, the Port of Eastport had another profitable year of sending dairy cows and wood pulp to ports of call as far over the horizon as China. In 2011, the deepwater port at …

More than 13,000 affected by power outage in Washington County

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 11, 2013, at 4:09 p.m.
MACHIAS | More than 8,000 Bangor Hydro- Electric Co. customers in Washington County were without power at 4 p.m. Monday due to an outage first reported at 2:15 p.m. that originally affected 13,000 households and businesses. Communities affected at 4 p.m. included Eastport, Jonesport, Cutler, Harrington and East Machias. …

Machias scraps plans to fine Main Street businesses for tardy sidewalk snow removal

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 11, 2013, at 11:50 a.m.
The on-again, off-again, on-again debate among Machias officials about fining owners and tenants of Main Street commercial buildings for not promptly clearing sidewalks of snow is off-again, apparently for good. A debate on the issue began last fall and has seemed to some as long-winded as last …

Cherryfield-based after-school program expanding into Machias

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 07, 2013, at 11:27 a.m.
The Maine Seacoast Mission’s Cherryfield-based EdGE program, which offers after-school activities for students, is expanding to the Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School in Machias, beginning Feb. 25. Since 2002, EdGE has been providing students in Washington and Hancock counties with after-school and summer programs that include visual …
This architect's rendering depicts how an adaptive reuse of the long-abandoned 1908 sardine can manufacturing building in downtown Eastport might dress up its appearance when seen from the Water Street commons.

Owners eager to develop long-abandoned Eastport sardine can factory

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 06, 2013, at 12:37 p.m.
One of the last remaining empty buildings located along downtown Eastport’s waterfront is a 28,800-square-foot, three-story brick structure that once housed a factory that 100 years ago made “ring key” cans for packing sardines. Those behind the ongoing revitalization of Eastport’s downtown commercial center through historic preservation …
The roof peak design of this new one-story building that will house the Milbridge town office and public library mimics the architectural roof peak detail of the circa-1900 building it has replaced.

Milbridge town office, library building nearing completion

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 05, 2013, at 11:41 a.m.
Construction of the building that will soon house the town office and public library is nearing completion on School Street. The roof peak design of the new one-story building mimics the architectural roof peak detail of the circa-1900 building it has replaced. The new building is expected …
Rick and Beverly Henion's ceramic pig, "Valenswine," recently sported this red, heart-shaped bling ensemble for Valentine's Day in Gouldsboro.

‘Valenswine’ marks February holiday in Gouldsboro

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 05, 2013, at 11:36 a.m.
It’s just not a holiday in the Hancock County community of Gouldsboro until the ceramic pig that overlooks Rick and Beverly Henion’s doorway on West Bay Road is dressed for the event. The couple dresses their porcine ornament throughout the year to match the seasons. Before recently …
Cpt. Robert Gross, (foreground) the Washington County jail administrator, and Sgt. Karina Richardson, the jail’s clerk, listen to testimony Jan. 17, 2013, during a hearing before the Washington County commissioners. Both Gross and Richardson were fired as a result of the hearing.

AG’s office takes on Washington County jail fund investigation

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 04, 2013, at 5:46 p.m.
MACHIAS | Termination. Resignation. Now, investigation. The investigative division of the office of the Maine attorney general has agreed to undertake an independent probe of the use and alleged abuse of an inmate benefit fund at the Washington County Jail. The jail’s longtime clerk, Karina Richardson, and administrator Robert …
Cranberries in a Down East bog in November 2012.

Maine cranberry industry enjoyed record harvest in 2012

By Tom Walsh on Feb. 03, 2013, at 3:11 p.m.
MACHIAS | Down East Maine cranberry farmers had their best year ever in 2012 in terms of fall harvest yields. Harvest numbers recently crunched by University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s cranberry specialist Charles Armstrong show that the 37,729 barrels of berries harvested last fall — with one barrel being …