Hugh Kirkpatrick (right), Fred Page III (from left), Russell Plourde, Tim Ouellette and Sue Sands, employees of the Caribou Utilities District, celebrate with Kirsten Hebert (second from right), Maine Rural Water Association director, after winning the association's Best Tasting Water Contest on Thursday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Caribou Utilities District takes top honors in 30th annual tap water taste-off

By Dawn Gagnon on Dec. 08, 2016, at 7:39 p.m.
This year’s judges were Virginia Manuel, state director of USDA Rural Development, WABI TV weatherman Todd Simcox and retired Bangor police Lt. Paul Edwards.
Matthew Davis of Houlton waits for his double murder trial to resume at the Washington County Judicial Center. The trial was moved after a jury could not be seated in Houlton.

Witnesses testify about alleged crimes before, after Oakfield slayings

By Judy Harrison on Dec. 08, 2016, at 5:43 p.m.
Prosecution witnesses on the third day of the Matthew Davis double murder trial testified about events police have said took place before and after Michael Kitchen, 51, and Heidi Pratt, 49, were killed in the early morning hours of Sept. 23, 2013, in the Oakfield home they shared.
A table containing a Nativity scene, which caught fire early Monday morning, can be seen Tuesday at the Salvation Army headquarters on 12 Court St. in Houlton.

Small fire ruins Christmas gifts at Salvation Army in Houlton

By Joseph Cyr, Houlton Pioneer Times on Dec. 08, 2016, at 4:34 p.m.
“For it not to have caught the curtains and the whole room on fire is simply amazing.”
The lifts are pictured running at Bigrock Mountain in Mars Hill on Friday, Dec. 2. Travis Kearney, general manager of Big Rock, said late Friday afternoon that the facility is preparing to open on Dec. 10, which is one week earlier than planned. “All of the trails are covered in natural snow this year, which is the first time that this has happened in years.”

Bigrock Mountain to feature natural snow on all ski trails for first time in years

By Jen Lynds on Dec. 08, 2016, at 11:35 a.m.
Mother nature dropped 22 inches of snow on northern Maine during the first week of December.

88-year-old pedestrian dies after being struck by car in Madawaska

on Dec. 08, 2016, at 10:32 a.m.
A 2002 Honda driven by 38-year-old Sesie Young of Madawaska struck Reginald Boucher on Wednesday.
Matthew Davis

Medical examiner: Oakfield couple dead when house set on fire

By Judy Harrison on Dec. 07, 2016, at 6:08 p.m.
Dr. Mark Flomenbaum said that Heidi Pratt died of a single gunshot wound to the neck. She bled to death after a large caliber bullet struck her carotid artery, he said.
The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has arrested three people following the discovery of a meth lab inside a home in Sherman. As part of an ongoing investigation into the illicit manufacturing of methamphetamine, MDEA’s Aroostook County Task Force, assisted by the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office and US Border Patrol Agents, searched the mobile home at 130 Silver Ridge Road in Sherman Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Found inside were materials consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine and the MDEA lab response team was called to assist with evidence collection and clean-up.

Three people charged in Sherman meth lab case; 123rd such case this year

By Jen Lynds on Dec. 07, 2016, at 2:17 p.m.
Three people were arrested Tuesday and charged with crimes related to the alleged unlawful operation of a methamphetamine lab in Sherman, according to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Matthew Davis

Neighbor says he recognized defendant in double slaying from mug shot

By Judy Harrison on Dec. 07, 2016, at 1:09 p.m.
The man who lived next door to an Oakfield couple killed more than three years ago in their home told jurors Wednesday that he recognized a photo of Matthew Davis in a news article posted on Facebook as the man who had fled the burning house.
A man walks out of Lily Bay State Park in Greenville on Nov. 22, 2016. The park closes to cars but is still open to visitors in the off season.

This remote Maine region has a chance to grow

on Dec. 07, 2016, at 6:10 a.m.
“If you don’t change, you die.”
Matthew Davis

Opening statements in Oakfield double murder trial shed no light on motive

By Judy Harrison on Dec. 06, 2016, at 6:59 p.m.
Matthew Davis, 35, is accused of killing Michael Kitchen, 51, and Heidi Pratt, 49, on Sept. 23, 2013, then setting their Oakfield home ablaze.
Matthew Davis

Jury selection in Oakfield slayings to be completed Tuesday afternoon

By Judy Harrison on Dec. 06, 2016, at 12:59 p.m.
Davis, 35, faces charges of murder, arson, theft and criminal mischief in connection with the deaths of Kitchen and Pratt three years ago.

Presque Isle welding company merges with Auburn firm

By Anthony Brino on Dec. 06, 2016, at 10:37 a.m.
The Auburn-based gas and welding supply company Maine Oxy has merged with the Lynox Welding Supply of Presque Isle.

Police seek help in locating truck stolen from Aroostook County

By Jen Lynds on Dec. 05, 2016, at 4:46 p.m.
Maine State Police are seeking the public’s help to recover a vehicle reported stolen here last week.
According to State Police Sgt. Chad Fuller, Houlton Police Officer Jasmine Cyr, 27, of Oakfield was on routine patrol traveling south and had turned into a business parking lot to turn around and head back north. As Officer Cyr entered US Route 1 from the parking lot, she didn’t see an oncoming 2006 Chevrolet Equinox SUV and was struck head-on by the vehicle as she pulled back onto Route 1.

Houlton police truck totaled in third accident in six months, officer injured

By Jen Lynds on Dec. 05, 2016, at 1:04 p.m.
For the third time in six months, a Houlton Police Department vehicle has been involved in an accident.
Looking west from the summit of Big Rock Mountain, towards the town of Mars Hill and central Aroostook County's unorganized territories. To the southwest, on left, are the highlands around Number Nine Mountain, the proposed site of a 119-turbine wind farm.

Developers hit brakes on massive wind project in Aroostook County

By Darren Fishell on Dec. 05, 2016, at 11:02 a.m.
Ingalls wrote that the company decided to withdraw the application due to “an unexpectedly lengthy interconnection process.”
Omar, 4, Anas, 7, and Eyad Raslan, 6, resettled with their parents to Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, this summer. They came through a program of the Canadian government that allows private citizens to sponsor refugees.

Immigrants built rural Maine. Canada shows how they could do so again

on Dec. 05, 2016, at 6:10 a.m.
“It’s a lot harder to hate people once you meet them.”
Allison Basye and Greg Doak are planning a trio of businesses in downtown Presque Isle, starting with the Allegro coffee shop opening in December.

Cafe duo has big plans brewing for downtown Presque Isle

By Anthony Brino on Dec. 03, 2016, at 2:56 p.m.
In a long-empty building in downtown Presque Isle, Allison Basye and Greg Doak are opening a new cafe, Allegro, which they hope will be the first of a trio of food ventures.
 Madawaska's finance committee Chair Steve Collard (left) discusses the latest school budget proposal with fellow committee member Derrick Hebert on Monday in Madawaska.

Divided committee sends fourth school budget proposal to Madawaska residents

By Don Eno, St. John Valley Times on Dec. 03, 2016, at 10:38 a.m.
The $6,163,049 proposed budget, however, is the same one that residents rejected at a budget validation vote on Oct. 18.
A farmhouse in Harmony.

My thoughts upon leaving rural Maine forever

By Dawn Potter on Dec. 03, 2016, at 8:18 a.m.
Some of us see hard and lonely as true life.
A Canada lynx sits in an enclosure in October 2013 at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray.

More than $5,000 reward offered in Canada lynx killings in Maine

By Nok-Noi Ricker on Dec. 02, 2016, at 6:54 p.m.
It is illegal to shoot Canada lynx, which are listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act.