Kennebec County retired educators support classroom

Two teachers in Kennebec County were recently awarded $150 grants by the Kennebec Retired Educators Association (KREA) to supplement expenses for classroom projects. The recipients were Nathaniel Paine who teaches science and technology at Cony Middle School in Augusta and Sarah Lucas, a Grade 2 teacher at the Helen Thompson School in West Gardiner.

Paine proposed an inter-disciplinary project known as “Raspberry Pi” allows students to assemble the hardware of a computer and code in Python—one of the most widely used programming languages. He will collaborate with other seventh grade teachers—Mrs. Moore, Mr. Joyce, and Mr. Colburn.

He explains, “Our seventh grade team has structured time into our schedule for extension activities that encompass four major study areas—science, math, English language arts, and social studies. Raspberry Pi enables students to design and code computer programming to solve problems that integrate across our four subject areas.”

Ms. Lucas also plans to integrate interdisciplinary studies in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). “These projects encourage creative problem solving and innovative thinking as well as teamwork and communication skills. These skills translate into real life work environments where problem solving and teamwork are integral parts of the relevancy of the project.”

George Davis, of Skowhegan, KREA president and chairperson of the KREAtive Grant Committee, says, “We are committed to helping teachers and students in many ways—by substituting, volunteering, serving on Boards of Education, and undertaking projects to enhance the classroom experience.”

Other members of the KREAtive Grant Committee are Phil Gonyar and Carl Daiker, both of Waterville; Linda Ellis, of Clinton; Joann Tyler, of China; and Kay Grindall, of Oakland.

The Kennebec Retired Educators Association (KREA) is an affiliate of MEA-Retired and is comprised of retired educators from 60 schools in 31 cities and towns. Grant description and applications disseminated to every principal of all Kennebec County elementary, middle, and high schools in September of every year. The principals make them available to classroom teachers.

2019 Real estate tax schedule

2019 Real estate tax schedule

CHINA

Second half taxes due
Friday, March 29, 2019

VASSALBORO

Third quarter payment due
Monday, February 25, 2019

WINDSOR

Second half payment due
Sunday, March 31, 2019

WINSLOW

Third quarter payment due
Friday, March 8, 2019

Cub Scout Pack #482 raising funds for Boston Children’s Museum trip

Cub Scout Pack 482 at the Skowhegan Fire Station. (photo: Pack 482 Facebook page)

Cub Scout Pack #482, in the Anson/Madison area, has been selected to do a sleepover at the Boston Children’s Museum at the beginning of April vacation. They are presently raising money by having bottle drives, as well as other fundraising efforts, including a GoFundMe page.

All money raised will go towards chartering a bus that will bring the 12 scouts and their 13 family members to Boston for a trip they will never forget.

Donations may be made by contacting Christina Nelson, at 207-431-1177.

Many of the families going on could use the financial assistance.

Davis, Nicholson named chairman, vice chairman of Northern Light Inland Hospital board of directors

Tom Davis, chairman of the board of directors at Northern Light Inland Hospital, in Waterville.

Northern Light Inland Hospital is proud to announce two new officers for its board of trustees. Tom Davis of Winslow, begins a three-year term as chairman; and Jim Nicholson, of China Village, becomes vice chairman. Davis is owner of Are You Ready to Party?, in Waterville, and has been a member of Inland’s board for 10 years. He succeeds Mike Phillips as chairman. Nicholson is a semi-retired CPA with Nicholson, Michaud & Company in Water­ville, and has previously held roles as chairman for both the In­land board and the Northern Light Health system board.

No need to ‘warm up’ modern vehicles in cold weather

Idling for 30 seconds uses more fuel than restarting engine

It is that time of the year when many motorists wonder if they need to let their vehicle “warm up” or idle before driving. In fact, today’s modern cars are ready to drive in cold temperatures without excessive idling. Unless you are trying to defrost the windshield or warm the interior of your car, idling longer than 30 seconds is unnecessary, even on the coldest days.

According to Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council, in Bethesda, Maryland, the idea of idling before driving dates back to when cars were built with carburetors. With new fuel-injection technology, complex computer systems and thinner synthetic oils, drivers don’t need to warm up their cars and excessive idling can have several negative effects, including wasting fuel, increasing air pollution, and causing extra wear to a vehicle’s engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs and the exhaust system.

The best way to warm up your car’s engine is to drive gently at the start. Remember, a vehicle gets zero miles per gallon when idling, resulting in lower fuel economy and wasted money.

Benton sixth graders visit state capitol in Augusta

Benton sixth-grade students visiting the State Capitol. (Contributed photo)

Sixth graders from Benton Elementary School visited the State Capitol on Tuesday, January 15. During their visit, they toured the Maine State Museum and the Maine State house. Pictured above is Ms. Kellie Paisley-Hopper’s class visiting with Sen. Scott Cyrway (R-Kennebec) in the Senate Chamber.

Local elderly cautioned about Social Security scam

by Elizabeth Newport
Social Security/Public Affairs Specialist

In the digital age, frauds and scams are an unfortunate part of doing business online. Social Security has seen a spike in phishing scams, and we want to protect you as best we can.

We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security Number (SSN) or bank account information to unknown individuals over the phone or internet. If you receive a call and aren’t expecting one, you must be extra careful. You can always get the caller’s information, hang up, and — if you do need more clarification — contact the official phone number of the business or agency that the caller claims to represent. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who called you.

Please take note; there’s a scam going around right now. You might receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security or another agency. Calls can even display the 1-800-772-1213, Social Security’s national customer service number, as the incoming number on your caller ID. In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of your personal information, such as your Social Security number (SSN), on file. Other callers claim Social Security needs additional information so the agency can increase your benefit payment, or that Social Security will terminate your benefits if they do not confirm your information. This appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from people across the country. These calls are not from Social Security.

Callers sometimes state that your Social Security number is at risk of being deactivated or deleted. The caller then asks you to provide a phone number to resolve the issue. People should be aware the scheme’s details may vary; however, you should avoid engaging with the caller or calling the number provided, as the caller might attempt to acquire personal information.

Social Security employees occasionally contact people by telephone for customer-service purposes. In only a few special situations, such as when you have business pending with us, a Social Security employee may request the person confirm personal information over the phone.

Social Security employees will never threaten you or promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up. If you receive these calls, please report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at oig.ssa.gov/report.

Remember, only call official phone numbers and use secured websites of the agencies and businesses you know are correct. Protecting your information is an important part of Social Security’s mission to secure today and tomorrow.

Whitefield Lions induct two members

David, right, and Julie Rand, center, both of Jefferson, and First Vice President Lion Donna Brooks, left. (Contributed photo)

Two new members were inducted into the Whitefield Lions club at their regular meeting January 10. David and Julie Rand, both of Jefferson, are sponsored by First Vice President Lion Donna Brooks. Past President Lion Pam Moody performed the induction ceremony at the Whitefield Lions clubhouse, in Coopers Mills.

To learn more about the Whitefield Lions club or receive information about becoming a member, please visit http://www.whitefieldlionsclub.com/ or contact the president of Whitefield Lions club, Lion Kim Haskell at 446-2545.
Contributed photo

Fairfield Cops Care For Kids Program experiences another great year

Fairfield Police Department personnel, front row, from left to right, Capt. Paul St.Amand, Officer Casey Dugas, Officer Shanna Blodgett, Dispatcher Jeanne Kempers, Officer Jordan Brooks and Officer Joseph Pelletier. Back, Officer Patrick Mank, Sgt. Matthew Bard, Officer Nemiah Nattress, Chief Thomas Gould, Officer Blake Wilder, Officer Timothy MacArthur and Sgt. Matthew Wilcox. Photo by Tawni Lively, Central Maine Photography staff

by Mark Huard

Once again Fairfield Police Officers carry out their annual Cops Care For Kids, where they bring wrapped presents in their cruisers wearing Santa hats. This is a tradition started by Kingston Paul in 2006. At its inception, Kingston purchased all of the gifts and wrapped them himself to ensure that more of the children in the community were able to have enjoyable Christmas memories with their families without worrying about financial stress. The program has grown over the years. This is a heartfelt occasion for all those involved and something that all of the law enforcement employees take pride. This year was another success, as the officers delivered presents to 226 kids in 108 Fairfield households on December 20. Officers had met earlier in the month and spent a long evening in the town office basement wrapping presents for the event.

The program has developed into an application process that is sent out through the school systems. It is no longer limited to struggling households and has been expanded to reach any Fairfield child. The officers focus on giving back to the community they love and spend so many hours protecting. It is now more about giving back to the community that they love and spend so much time protecting.

Community Outreach is something that the officers recognize as a critical part of their job. They want children and adults to be able to join together, and there is nothing like magic of the holiday season to inspire good will among everyone. It’s carrying on the heartfelt sentiment of their fellow officer, Kingston Paul, who has since passed away. Officer Paul donated $20,000 to the program, which has assisted in creating a stable program with longevity. Despite the large donation, officers still donate weekly to the cause out of their own pockets.

The Fairfield Police Department has a vision of eventually expanding the program in hopes of focusing on community togetherness. They hope to hold an event at the community center which will allow officers and families to have more direct interactions with each other for a longer period of time. These positive experiences are life changing for children in regards to having positive memories and positive interactions with law enforcement. The vision is one of holiday treats, officer elves, a holiday movie and whatever else will bring a smile to the face of children. The officers will not retire their sleighs though, as they will still do home deliveries to those not willing or able to attend the event.

BBBS recruiting new volunteers

Husson University student and Big Sister Mikhaila Necevski, left, and her Little Sister Savannah Dube enjoy coloring, making clay sculptures and playing jump rope as part of their new match through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine.

January is National Mentoring Month, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine is celebrating its mentors (Bigs) and recruiting new volunteers to become Big Brothers and Big Sisters to over 100 children waiting to be matched.

Every January, the news is full of the same stories of people trying to eat healthier or hit the gym more often. This year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine (BBBSMM) is changing that story by asking: What if this year, you could resolve to do something more important, more impactful? What if you could make a resolution worth keeping, one that inspires more resolutions? In 2019, the agency is asking people to resolve to become a Big Brother or Big Sister.

“Bettering yourself in the new year is a great goal,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine Executive Director Gwendolyn Hudson, “and we know people are also thinking about how to better their community and how to make sure that when they reflect on the past year, they know they made a difference.”

According to Hudson, more than 100 youth in the agency’s 7-county service area from eastern and central Maine to the midcoast and Androscoggin County, are waiting to be matched with a mentor. “The only way to ensure they have someone to inspire them to reach their potential is for more adults to step up and volunteer to become Bigs,” she said, adding that becoming a mentor means committing to spending a couple of hours a week with a young person doing things that you love to do, like playing basketball, visiting the library, taking a walk or learning how to cook. “A small investment of time can have a big impact on a child.”

Community residents can learn more about local Littles waiting and how to become a mentor by following BBBS of Mid-Maine’s weekly “Waiting Wednesday” Facebook posts, sponsored by Hannaford Supermarkets. Throughout the month, BBBS is encouraging followers to tag a friend who would be a great Big Brother or Big Sister, using the hashtag #TheBigResolution. To learn more about becoming a Big or other volunteer opportunities, visit bbbsmidmaine.org, email info@bbbsmidmaine.org or call 207-236-BBBS.