Hancock County May Get New Courthouse
(Ellsworth) Hancock County will one day have a new courthouse, but details have yet to be worked out. The Ellsworth American reports the announcement comes from State Court Administrator Amy Quinlan, who updated the Commissioners this week about the status of the project. After launching a study in 2019 to assess the nearly 100 yo building, Quinlan said neither renovation nor expansion was feasible at the current location, but that they preferred to stay within the population center downtown. As for a timeline, the Maine Judicial Branch said they have authority for the purchase of land, but not any building and are currently in the process of seeking funds to purchase property.
(Ellsworth) The Hancock County Courthouse will soon be 100 years old, and sources say lack of parking, handicap access, and other issues parlay a need for a new courthouse. The Ellsworth American reports a study launched in 2019, showed neither renovation nor expansion was feasible at the current location, but the Maine Judicial Branch said they prefer to stay within the population center downtown. As for a timeline, State Court Administrator Amy Quinlan said they are currently in the process of seeking funds to purchase property going through this legislative session.
MDEA Agents Seize Drugs Headed for Hancock/Penobscot Counties
(Greenbush) Two people were arrested this week as part of an ongoing investigation into the distribution of fentanyl in Hancock and Penobscot Counties that involved an out of state drug trafficking organization. Public Safety Information Officer Shannon Moss reports the arrests were made Tuesday in Greenbush as part of a more than year-long MDEA operation. Charged with drug trafficking offenses are 26 yo Kelcie Curtis of Greenbush and 34 yo Cleudy Mejia of the Dominican Republic. Both are charged with Aggravated Drug Trafficking. Agents searched the pair’s Spring Bridge Road residence and found drugs and cash, some of which was recovered from the home’s septic tank.
(Greenbush) A search warrant executed at a Spring Bridge Road residence in Greenbush this week yielded 50 grams of fentanyl and $30,000 in suspected drug proceeds. The search was part of a more than year-long investigation into the distribution of fentanyl in Hancock and Penobscot Counties that involved an out of state drug trafficking organization. MDEA Agents have arrested and charged more than a dozen people believed to be connected to the group. Tuesday’s arrests include 26 yo Kelcie Curtis of Greenbush and 34 yo Cleudy Mejia of the Dominican Republic, both of whom are charged with Aggravated Drug Trafficking.
School Numbers, Municipal Budget, Community Solar on Agenda for Cranberry Isles Town Mtg.
(Cranberry Isles) There’s a lot on the agenda for this Saturday’s Town Meeting on Cranberry Isles. The Ellsworth American reports residents will have a chance to review a drop in school population and number of teachers needed, a proposed school budget, the municipal budget and possibly authorizing completion of a cistern project on Great Cranberry Isle. The meeting is set for this Saturday, beginning at 8:45 a.m.
(Cranberry Isles) Residents of the Cranberry Isles will have a lot to consider at this Saturday’s town meeting. The Ellsworth American reports residents will vote on a municipal budget and possibly authorizing completion of a cistern project on Great Cranberry Isle. Voters will also consider purchase of a new plow truck and snow plow for Little Cranberry Island, vote on election of a Select Board member and a School Committee member and will consider adopting a resolution to investigate installing community solar arrays as an alternative to relying on mainland power. The meeting will be held at the Longfellow School beginning at 8:45 a.m.
Winter Harbor Provisions
(Winter Harbor) When it comes to being a team player in the local community, Winter Harbor Provisions is all about the quaint seaside village. They’re offering a free advertising venue in their store for all local businesses and vendors to the peninsula. Local folks with businesses or services can submit their signs for hanging on the walls of the store, guiding summer visitors and residents to all things local. Drop by and drop OFF your promotion.
Portland Start-Up Ranks #1 on Prestigious Inc. Magazine List
(Portland) A Portland startup has gone to the dogs – but it ranks No. 1 on a prestigious list of fast-growing companies compiled by Inc. Magazine. The Portland Press Herald reports Rarebreed Veterinary Partners invests in veterinary clinics and hospitals, providing technology, staff, operational support and other help. The company topped Inc.’s ranking of private companies that have grown the most from 2019 to 2021, with company revenue soaring about 4700 percent during that period.
(Portland) Talk about barking up the right tree – a Portland startup ranks at the top of a prestigious list of fast growing companies compiled by Inc. Magazine. The Portland Press Herald reports Rarebreed Veterinary Partners, which started in 2018, invests in veterinary clinics and hospitals, providing technology, staff, operational support and other help. Company revenue soared nearly 4700 percent between 2019 and 2021, securing the No. 1 ranking among private companies that grew the most during that period.
Family Caregivers Provide Millions in Unpaid Care
(Maine) Family caregivers in Maine provided nearly 3 billion dollars worth of unpaid care in 2021, according to new state data detailed in an AARP report. The latest AARP research attaches an $18.81 cents per hour value to the estimated 155 million hours provided by family caregivers in recent years. AARP Maine says the report highlights the growing scope and complexity of family caregiving and says it is currently urging state lawmakers to support Paid Family Medical Leave because, they say, caring for a loved one shouldn’t mean losing pay or even one’s job.
(Maine) Taking time away from work to care for a loved one shouldn’t mean losing pay or even one’s job. That’s the reason AARP says it has thrown its support behind Paid Family Medical Leave. The organization said caregivers in Maine provided nearly 3 billion dollars worth of unpaid care in 2021. AARP is urging state lawmakers to support the Paid Leave Act and has issued a full report entitled Valuing the Invaluable at aarp dot org, forward slash valuing.
MDIFW Looking for Meso-Carnivores Through New Lens
(Augusta) The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is looking at meso-carnovores – martens and fishers – through a new lens. Recent research shows motion-triggered cameras are effective non-invasive tools for long-term monitoring of those populations. So this winter, MDIFW crews installed nearly 200 cameras across the state, with the devices set low to the ground to target the critters, and suet cages filled with attractants to draw them in. So far, the cameras have captured over 3,000 images, helping to inform and improve marten and fisher management in Maine.
(Augusta) There’s a new tool for monitoring the state’s martens and fishers. This winter, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife crews set nearly 200 motion-triggered cameras across the state to capture images as the critters were drawn to suet cages filled with attractants. MDIFW reports recent research showed such cameras were effective non-invasive tools to help and inform wildlife management. And effective they’ve been – officials so far report capturing more than 3,000 images of the elusive creatures, contributing new information about their habits and habitats.
The Dark Side of Solar
(Maine) Some experts say there’s a dark side to the state’s efforts to boost solar development. The Bangor Daily News reports those struggling with fixed or low incomes will bear the burden of electricity costs that are expected to increase with such development. One type of solar development being touted to help the state meet its ambitious climate goals is community solar, which allows people who subscribe to a small-scale solar farm to reduce their electricity costs. But the cost savings for subscribers are reportedly offset by those who don’t participate, meaning those who already struggle to pay their electricity bills will be hit hardest.
(Maine) When it comes to moving away from fossil fuels to meet its ambitious climate goals, Maine is on the cutting edge. But some experts are shining a light on the dark side of community solar, a program being touted to move toward energy independence. The Bangor Daily News reports the program allows people who subscribe to a small scale solar farm to reduce their electricity costs. But the cost savings for subscribers are reportedly offset by those who don’t participate, meaning those who already struggle to pay their electricity bills will be hit hardest.
(Undated) If you can stand the heat, it pays to be a head coach. In fact, it REALLY pays. Recent research reveals of state officials earning the most in each U.S. State – only seven of the 50 states DON’T have their highest earner in the sporting industry. In those 43 states, Alabama takes the top spot, with Nick Saban earning 11.7M as head football coach at the University of Alabama. In Maine, the top earners are Clinical Directors, earning on average about $320K per year.
Maine Sees #2 Net Growth in Nation
(Maine) The latest migration data reveals Maine had the second largest net growth in the nation over the past year. Statistics are based on the number of people moving into and out of the state, and it’s no surprise with the Pine Tree State’s continuing housing shortage. For the first time in a decade, there was an increase in the total number of moves nationally – up 4%. And Americans are moving further than in years prior, with the share of cross-country moves at a record high 24%.
(Maine) In the latest migration study, Maine had the second largest net population growth in the nation over the past year. Vermont had the greatest inflow of moves, with 138% more people moving in than out. New Jersey lost the most residents, with 41% more moving out than in. The biggest winner, The Villages, Florida, which topped city rankings for the second year in a row, with 348% more people moving there than leaving. The biggest losers? Two Bay Area Cities – San Jose and Oakland, California.
Maine Ranks Second for Some of Best Hiking in U.S.
(Maine) If you’re looking to hit the trails, you needn’t go far to find some of the best hiking in the U.S. TheTravel has ranked 13 states with the best hiking, placing Maine second, behind only Wyoming. The publication notes the state’s rugged rock formations, dense forests, and pristine beaches, and writes many of the trails guarantee amazing views of mountains, beautiful forests and coastlines. They say all 50 states offer hiking trails, but only a few qualify to be listed as the best.
(Maine) As if anyone needed another reason to take a hike in our beautiful state, TheTravel has ranked Maine second of the top 13 U.S. states with the best hiking. Only Wyoming ranked above the Pine Tree State. The publication noted that as for views, summit hikes – of which there are many – are the best, while forest hikes in Maine are great for adventurers who want to be surrounded by nature. Rounding out the top five best states for hiking, Alaska, Montana, and Arizona.
Gilbert and Sullivan at The Grand
(Ellsworth) Ahoy, matey! Opening this weekend at The Grand in Ellsworth, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Maine presents The Pirates of Penzance! The musical comedy features Frederic, who has spent his formative years as a junior pirate and who plans to mark his 21st birthday by breaking his indentured servanthood from the Pirate King. Having been born on February 29th, which occurs only every four years, Frederic doesn’t technically turn 21 for another 63 years! Select dates March 10-19 – get tickets at grand online dot org.
Local Artist Featured at EPL
(Ellsworth) All this month, the Riverview Room at the Ellsworth Public Library is featuring the works of local artist Kristie Billings, who was born on Deer Isle and comes from a long line of lovers of the sea. An artist’s reception is scheduled at the library from 4 – 6 this evening.
The Celtics back on the winning side with a 115-93 victory over the Trailblazers. Celtics head to Atlanta Saturday to take on the Hawks. The Red Sox at bat today against the Yankees in Spring Training (1:05 game). And the Bruins put the sticks to the ice against the Edmonton Oilers.