SOLON & BEYOND: Solon Elementary School news; upcoming budget meeting

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!

It is with great pleasure that I send you Solon School News this morning and I thank them very much! Will start off with the First Quarter Honor Roll: All A’s, Lane Frost, Charlotte Hamilton, and Jillian Robinson. All A’s & B’s, Isabella Atwood, Izaiah Busler, Maxx Caplin, Kaylynn Clark, Amelia Cooper, Katelyn DeLeonardis, Kaitlin Dellarma, David Dixon, Lydia Dixon, Allyssa Hutchins, Alex Jerkins, Jayden McKenny, Joseph McLaughlin, Nevaeh Palmer, Riley Pelkey, Hunter Pouliot, Benjamin Powell and Spencer Rogers.

The Solon PTO sponsored a special Children’s Shopping Day on December 17. Students were able to shop for gifts for their families at a “store” set up by the PTO. Thanks to the parents and family members who donated items for this activity and those who helped students who wrapped presents on that day.

The Solon Christmas Program took place on December 12. Students from preschool through fifth grade performed songs and skits for their families and friends, The Solon PTO also held a book fair on this night. They had a large crowd for this annual festive event. They were also pleased that residents from Tissues Country Estates in Athens and Somerset Residential Center in Bingham attended the dress rehearsal.

On December 19, they recognized the top sellers in the Nature’s Vision fundraiser. Each one received a Walmart gift card. Top sellers Taylor Dube (kindergarten), Mason Boothby (first grade), Eva Mullinax (second grade), Charlotte Hamilton (third grade), Nevaeh Palmer (fourth grade), David Dixon (fifth grade), and Mrs. Pat Hines (staff).

They thank all the parents and family members who bought from students during this fundraiser. The profits will be used for special activities for our students.

Solon Fire Department holds Christmas parties for students: On December 13, the Solon Fire Department came to the school to hold Christmas parties for the grades K-2 students and the grades 3-5 students in the gym. There were games and food, and Santa Claus made an appearance. They thank the Fire Department for supporting the students in so many ways all year long.

Congratulations to a girl from the Carrabec girls basketball varsity basketball team, Courtney Rollins, for winning the Central Maine Central Region State foul shooting contest. She made 45 out of 50 baskets. Way to go, Courtney!

Don’t forget the Solon budget meeting will be held on Saturday, January 18, at 8 a.m., at the Community Building .

Those who will be running for the following offices are Sarah Davis for a three- year term as a selectman; Wayne Johnson is running for a one-year term as a selectman, Gary Bishop is running unopposed for road commissioner and Laura Layman for school board.

A 2020 preliminary budget meeting was held in Solon on December 11, 2019. The agenda was call to order: election of moderator, financial state of town and staff changes at town office and budget ramifications. Road budget issues and gravel road maintenance. Marijuana opt-in or out. The regular Solon budget meeting will be held on Saturday, January 18, at 8 a.m.

When I went to the town office to get information to share with you, Elaine was the only selectman present and she gave me some papers. On one that said, Proposed 2019 State valuation for Somerset County, it lists Solon’s as 96,500,000. Elaine said that the town will be doing a revaluation this year.

The annual Solon town meeting will be coming up in March.

And now for Percy’s memoir: This comes from a small book by Susan Polis Schutz: entitled, One World, One Heart. We all hear the same sounds. We look up and see the same sky. We cry the same tears. Our feelings and emotions are the same. All mothers are sisters. All fathers are brothers. All children are one. Yet there is hate. There is violence. There is intolerance. There is confusion among people. We don’t try hard enough to understand each other. We don’t seem to realize that we all have the same basic needs, no matter who we are or what part of the world we come from.

We must understand the differences among us and celebrate the sameness. We must make the world a place where love and friendship dominate our hearts. Equality, respect, compassion and kindness must guide our actions. Only then will we all be able to peacefully and lovingly live the life we each choose.

Obituaries for Thursday, January 16, 2020


CHELSEA – On Dec. 2, 2019 at the age of 78, Lorraine Anderson passed away on Monday, December 2, 2019. Lorraine was born July 11, 1941, in New Castle, New Brunswick, Canada, the seventh of nine children born to Evelyn F. Legere and Marcel Legere.

The date of her death was very special to Lorraine and her husband Ken for it also marked their 58th wedding anniversary.

She is survived by her husband, Kendrick Anderson; and two children, son Kendrick L. Anderson and his wife Lisa; daughter Karen Howard and her husband Joseph; as well as her two grandchildren, Myles Roche and Elizabeth Hart and her husband Nolan.; brothers, Alfred Legere and his wife Nancy, of Maine, Marcel (Charlie) Legere and his wife Debbie, and Eugene Legere, all of Massachusetts; sisters, Lila Castonguay, of Massachusetts, Rose Gemme, of Iowa, and Janet Binns and husband Dennis, of Maine; brother-in-law, Levi Anderson, of Florida, and sister-in-law, Edith Felio, of Massachusetts; as well as many nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by brothers, Paul Legere and Henry Legere.

A memorial service was held to celebrate Lorraine’s life at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on December 14, 2019, in Augusta.


WINSLOW – Sara A. Bard, 71, passed away on Wednesday, December 25, 2019, at the Alfond Center for Health, in Augusta, following a brief illness. She was born in Winslow, April 26, 1948, the daughter of Maurice Berard and Nellie E. (Anketell) Berard.

She attended Winslow public schools. After graduating from high school, Sara married the love of her life, Lucien “Bob” Bard. They spent 52 years together, enjoying their camp on Pattees Pond, in Winslow, and then camping at Green Valley Campground, in Vassalboro, where they made many new friends.

Sara was employed for many years in the kitchen at Mount St. Joseph Nursing Home, in Waterville. Sara and Bob made several trips to Georgia to visit her brother Peter and his family. Sara liked to go to yard sales and could always spot a bargain. Sara also enjoyed spending the holidays at her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Emile and Caroline’s house with their family. She especially enjoyed watching the children open gifts on Christmas Eve.

Sara was a loving wife and aunt to several nieces and nephews. She will be sadly missed by her family, friends and dog, Happy.

She is survived by her husband Lucien “Bob;” her sister-in-law Julie Berard; and several nieces and nephews.

Sara was predeceased by her parents; and her brother Peter Berard.

In accordance with her wishes she will be cremated and a private burial will be held at a later date.


VASSALBORO – David M. Wentworth Jr., 58, passed away Monday, December 30, 2019, at his home, in Vassalboro. He was born March 5, 1961, in Skowhegan, the son of David M. Sr. and Stella (Millett) Wentworth.

He graduated from Skowhegan Area High School in 1980. David grew up in Kittery and York as a young boy and moved to Skowhegan in the ‘70s. Currently he worked for C&J Bus Service, in Rollingsford, New Hampshire. He worked on Indian and Harley motorcycles. He joined the National Guard in 1978, and served until 1984. He worked from 1985 to 1991 as a mechanic and was exceptional in his craft. He also worked construction for Sesco, in Massachusetts and New York. David ended up going to work for Terry Bennett, restoring antique cars; he could do anything. He was a “jack of all trades and a master of all.” David enjoyed motorcycles, cars building projects, all activities with his one and only grandson that meant the world to him, traveling, movies, boating and catching up at breakfast with friends at Black Bean Café, in Rollingsford, New Hampshire.

David is survived by daughter, Natasha Clements, of Smithfield; grandson, Ayden Poirier, of Smithfield; father David Wentworth Sr., of Skowhegan; two sisters, Kathi Wentworth, of Gardiner, Kellie Aguilar, of Iowa; two nephews, Dalton Eldridge, of El Paso, Texas, Khristopher White, of Arizona; two great-nephews, Kamryn B. Forte, of Georgia, Kristopher David White, Jr., of Georgia; cousins, Lori and Mark Gagnon and Ben and Joey, all of Augusta.

A Celebration of Life was held on January 10, 2020, at the Elks Club, in Skowhegan with Rev. Mark Tanner officiating.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing may make donations in David’s memory to the Elks Club, 21 Silver Street, Skowhegan ME 04976 or Maine Veterans’ Homes, 310 Cony Street, Augusta, ME 04330.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976.


WATERVILLE – Dr. Patrick Brancaccio, 85, died on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, at home.

For 40 years, Brancaccio was a beloved professor of English at Colby College, in Waterville. After his official retirement in 2003, Brancaccio continued to teach students of all ages. Trained in American literature with an expertise in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, he was a longtime chairman of the Colby English Department. He helped to found Colby’s Black Studies program, one of the first in the Northeast, which he directed from 1971-1983. Brancaccio also directed the college’s program in London for several years.

Brancaccio had near-photographic recall of the knowledge in his imposing library. His scholarly writing ranged from the history of colonialism, to Strindberg in performance, to Edgar Allan Poe’s role in the origins of detective fiction.

Pat had a lifelong openness to new ideas and an appreciation for the power of diversity. In 1974, his passion for African literature led to a Fulbright fellowship to teach at the University of Madagascar. Accompanied by his wife, the late Ruth Brancaccio, and his three children Lisa, Peter, and David, Pat and family experienced a fascinating year punctuated by a coup d’etat and martial law.

Patrick Brancaccio was born in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, in 1934, the first of four children. His father, who emigrated from Italy, delivered laundry in Brooklyn. From the age of 11, Pat helped on the route and kept the accounts. He attended Brooklyn College while living at home and studying in his basement. Pat was the first in his family to earn a college degree. He later received an MA from Ohio State and a PhD from Rutgers. For a time, he taught in New York City public schools and was a sales rep at a New York publishing house. With Ruth, a teacher and theater director, he traveled the world ranging from Tanzania to Scotland and points in between. For nearly two decades they owned a small house in Saint-Thibery, France, where they welcomed many visitors from Maine and beyond.

After losing Ruth, his wife of 46 years, to cancer in 2004, Pat married writer Kate Cone in 2010 and the travels continued. They explored Venice, Bologna, Florence and Rome and loved their forays into the Valpolicella hills to sample wine.

Food played a big role in Pat and Kate’s life, with Kate learning to master Italian dishes for Pat’s discriminating palate. Each Christmas Eve, they planned and sourced a traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes crowned with Pat’s amazing tiramisu for dessert.

Pat drew great energy from teaching Colby students during the January program in Verona, Italy, which he directed for 13 years. He joked that he felt like Julius Caesar with a “praetorian guard” as he walked Italian streets flanked by students who were sometimes Colby football players. In recent years, his Friends of the Goldfarb Center seminars at Colby attracted a loyal following of older learners through lectures on eclectic topics such as detective fiction, or food in film. He was also an avid photographer who occasionally exhibited around Waterville.

He is survived by his wife Kate; brother Anthony and wife Ann Brancaccio; daughter Lisa Brancaccio and husband Torben Brooks; son Peter Brancaccio and wife Laura Singer; son David and wife Mary Brancaccio; grandchildren Linus, Stella, Sam, Anna, Madeleine, and Nicholas. Kate’s three children consider Pat their step-father, mentor and friend. Samantha Ellyn and husband Nick, Megan Cornwall and husband Hamilton, Burke Hazard and wife Jamie, all will miss Pat tremendously. And Finn, Katie and baby Maxine will miss their “Buppah” sorely.

For those who wish, memorial donations may be sent to the Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine or the Southern Poverty Law Center.

An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at


WINDSOR – David W. Smith, Jr., 52, of Windsor, died Saturday January 4, 2020, in Augusta, in an automobile accident. He was born in Augusta October 6, 1967, the son of David Sr. and Mabel (Taylor) Smith. David’s partner, Lisa Pelletier, also died in the accident.

He is survived by his children, Timothy Smith, of Windsor, Michael Smith, of Windsor, and Crystal Smith and her partner, Alex Currie, of South Portland; his parents, Mabel Smith and her partner, Richard Weeks, of Augusta, David Sr. and his wife, Karen, of Florida; the mother of his children, Marnie Smith; his siblings, Charlie Erving, Sr. and his wife, Rose, of Augusta, William Erving, Sr., of Augusta, Jack Erving, of South China, Maryann Foye, of Augusta, William Smith and his wife, Deidre, of Florida, Russell Smith and his wife, Tonya, of Arkansas, and Matthew Smith and his wife, Alicia, of Florida; as well as many extended family members and friends; and the lights of his life, his grandchildren, Owen and Maci Smith.

A celebration of life was held on January 11, 2020, at the Windsor Grange.

Arrangements are in the care of Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home, One Church Street, Augusta.

Memories, condolences and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary funeral home obituary page at


SIDNEY – Dana Loren Fields, 82, formerly of Palmyra, died Saturday, January 4, 2020, at a Waterville health care facility. He was born February 22, 1937, in Fort Fairfield, a son of Elbert and Kathleen (Doughty) Fields.

He moved with his family to Palmyra in the spring of 1940 where his father operated a garage. Dana helped keep the garage clean and enjoyed the company of the clients. Dana graduated from Maine Central Institute, in Pittsfield, class of 1955. He was encouraged to seek higher education by his 4-H leader Helen Johonnett. He matriculated at the University of Maine in Orono and graduated in 1959 with a degree in sociology.

He taught a variety of subjects in his first year of teaching at Harmony High School and coached the girls basketball team. The next year he taught English, his favorite subject, as well as being the lay pastor of the Clinton Methodist Church.

In the fall of 1962, the headmaster of Maine Central Institute, in Pittsfield, Edward Stanley, hired him to teach English and be a dormitory master. He remained at MCI for four years, resigning his position to study at Boston University, graduating in 1966 with a master’s degree in secondary school administration. Dana was hired as the last principal of Besse High School, in Albion, in August 1966, where he also taught English. He lived with his family in Albion for 27 years. Albion joined SAD #49 in the fall of 1967 and Dana and his students transferred to Lawrence High School, in Fairfield. He continued to teach two more years before he was asked to fill a positon in the guidance department. He gladly accepted and remained a counselor there until his retirement in 2004. He enjoyed working with teenagers and was thoroughly committed to them, working always for their best interests. He was a loyal member of the faculty and was respected by the administration.

Dana enjoyed life and appreciated people of all ages. Music was an integral part of his life and he believed that it made the world a better, happier place. A committed Christian, Dana was a member of the local church throughout his life. He honored God both in word and deed. He also took delight in his role as father and grandfather.

He is survived by his wife Glennis (Brown) Fields, of Sidney; his son Loren, wife Anjelika and their children Dakota and Darius Fields, all of Augusta; son Mark and wife Samantha, of Avon, Massachusetts.

He was predeceased by his sister and brother-in-law Lois “Min” and Don Savard, sister Reta Fields, sister Shirley Libby and brother-in-law Lloyd, and sister Rachel Spaulding Brenckman.

Services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 25, 2020, at the Canaan Calvary Church with the Rev. Kevin Brooks officiating. Spring burial will be in the Palmyra Village Cemetery. Those who wish may leave written condolences at

Donations may be made to the Lawrence High School Scholarship Fund for a deserving student.


WINSLOW – Sandra Lee Reynolds of Winslow, 72, died peacefully in her sleep on Monday, January 6, 2020. She was born in Waterville on July 2, 1947, to Dolores and Prosper Grenier.

The seventh in birth order of 18 children, Sandra lived a life surrounded by her large family. A Mom to many, Sandra raised four children of her own and played a strong role in the lives of countless siblings, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and friends. Sandy married her best friend, Paul, on September 14, 1974, and after many years as a seamstress for Hathaway Shirt Co., in Waterville, she left work to raise her children, milk cows on the family farm, and operate a vegetable stand. A master homemaker, Sandra was a skilled seamstress, gardener, and antique collector. Anyone who entered her home was welcomed, entertained, and likely fed. She loved music, sunsets, cowboy movies, and being surrounded by family and friends.

Sandra was predeceased by her parents; her sisters Carmen and Debbie, and brothers Bernard (Skip) and Robert.

Sandra is survived by her husband Paul; her children Brian, Eric, Kris and his wife Stephanie, Casey and her husband Michael; her grandchildren Damon, Noah, Kurtis, Jackson, Lexi, Bailey, Jason, Matthew, Boden and Cyrus; her siblings Shirley, Roland, Reginald, Gerald, Joanne, Ronald, Daniel, Donald, Kenneth, Dale, Ricky, Brenda, Michael; and brothers-in-law Gary and Timothy; as well as her nieces and nephews.

You are invited to offer your condolences and share fond memories with the family by visiting Sandra’s guestbook at

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to the: Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, 93 Silver Street, Waterville, ME 04901.


OAKLAND – Robert John Bolduc, 86, of Oakland, passed away peacefully on Sunday January 5, 2020, at Lakewood Continuing Care, in Waterville, following a period of declining health. Robert (Bob) was born May 28, 1933, in Waterville, the youngest of nine children, to Alphonse and Josephine Bolduc.

He graduated from Waterville High School, class of 1951. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard from January 1953 to January 1957. Bob married the love of his life, Marlene V. Begin, on August 18, 1956, at Notre Dame Church, in Waterville. This past August they celebrated 63 years of marriage.

Bob attended Bryant College in Providence, Rhode Island, graduating in 1959. He became a CPA and worked for a CPA firm in Portland for three years. In July 1962, he went to work for Sanders Associates, in Nashua, New Hampshire, which was later bought by Lockheed. Bob and Marlene raised their two children, Karen and John, in Nashua. Bob retired in 1990 as corporate director of finance.

Bob wanted deeply to be a grandfather and his wish came true when they welcomed their granddaughter, Megan, and again later welcomed their grandson, Ryan. He cherished his family. Bob was a very kind, loving and caring person.

Bob enjoyed 29 years of retirement with Marlene, traveling between Maine and Florida. Beautiful family memories were made on Messalonskee Lake, in Oakland, in the summer months. Karen, Dan and their children also loved traveling to Florida in the winter months to see Nana, Grampy and Uncle John. They especially enjoyed family gatherings on Marco Island, Fla.

Bob was predeceased by his parents, Alphonse and Josephine Bolduc; his two sisters and six brothers.

He is survived by his wife, Marlene; a daughter, Karen (Bolduc) Labrie and her husband Daniel of Epping, New Hampshire; a son, John Bolduc of Naples, Florida; a granddaughter, Megan Labrie, of Manchester, New Hampshire; a grandson, Ryan Labrie and his wife Andrea, of Concord, New Hampshire; sister- in-law, Connie Bolduc; and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Lakewood Continuing Care for the excellent care and compassion Bob was given.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held later this Spring at Notre Dame Church, followed by burial at St. Francis Cemetery, in Watereville.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Veilleux and Redington Funeral Home, 8 Elm St., Waterville.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in Robert’s memory can be made to: The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, 93 Silver St., Waterville, ME 04901.


WINDSOR – Peter Henry Warman, 55, of Windsor, passed away unexpectedly at his shop, in Whitefield, on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.

He left this world with a lot more rubber on the roads than when he came in. He will be deeply missed by all those he touched.

A celebration of Pete’s life will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at 2 p.m., at the Thompson Community Center, in Union. A full obituary can be found at, where condolences, photos, and stories may be shared.

New location for Candy Hollow in Oakland

Candy Hollow owners Jason and Lydia Stevens pose with their children on the occasion of their relocation to 54 Main St., in Oakland. (photo courtesy of Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce)

The Candy Hollow, in Oakland, has moved to a new location at 54 Main St.

Owners Jason and Lydia Stevens opened at their new location on December 6, 2019.

The recent ribbon cutting at Candy Hollow’s new location.

Vassalboro selectmen discuss delinquent personal property taxes

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro selectmen started the new calendar year with a short Jan. 9 meeting that left them satisfied with most items discussed.

The main dissatisfaction is with residents who ignore the state law requiring payment of personal property taxes on business equipment, from bulldozers to computers. Town Manager Mary Sabins is investigating the merits of taking scofflaws to small claims court.

Town Manager Mary Sabins is investigating the merits of taking scofflaws to small claims court.

She learned that claims must be filed within six years. On her recommendation, selectmen wrote off almost $6,000 in older unpaid taxes.

They made no decision on whether taking people to court would be worth the time and cost. A dozen people are on the overdue list, including two whose older taxes were written off as uncollectible.

Sabins said she reminds people who owe personal property tax at intervals. Some, she said, appreciate the reminder and pay the tax; others she suspects throw away her notices.

Selectmen met in a meeting room lined with file cabinets and supplies moved from the utility room, which was flooded by a boiler malfunction just before the Christmas holiday. Repairs are expected to take another month.

Sabins explained that plumbing and electrical work are needed, as well as replacement of an unknown area of sheetrock. The town office will be closed Friday, Jan. 17, for computer system maintenance and Monday, Jan. 20, for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; Sabins expects some of the work to be done those days.

In other business, the two selectmen present unanimously accepted Sabins’ suggestion that she apply for a bank credit card in the town’s name.

They unanimously approved two junkyard permits recommended by Codes Enforcement Officer Paul Mitnik, for Olin C. and Olin J. Charette, of Weeks Mills Garage, and Roger Pomerleau, of RAP, both on Riverside Drive.

Board Chairman Lauchlin Titus commented that with the new LED streetlights installed last fall, “We’ve got some nice savings.”

Board member John Melrose reported the Solar Array Committee plans to have a request for proposals for installing solar power in Vassalboro ready for selectmen’s review at their next meeting, scheduled for Thursday evening, Jan. 23.

CHINA: Budget draft renews conflict with fire departments

by Mary Grow

The special China selectmen’s meeting Jan. 7, called to discuss the town conflict of interest policy and to give board members their copies of Town Manager Dennis Heath’s draft 2020-21 budget, turned out to be yet another round in the months-long argument between town officials and the volunteer fire departments.

Heath, recovering from surgery for a broken ankle, was absent, leaving board Chairman Ronald Breton the spokesman for the town side. Town Attorney Amanda Meader and Budget Committee Chairman Robert Batteese were major participants in the discussion.

At issue, still, was payment of stipends to volunteer firefighters as a contribution toward their expenses.

At issue, still, was payment of stipends to volunteer firefighters as a contribution toward their expenses. In the current year’s budget, stipends were included in the fire department and China Rescue account. Town meeting voters approved a total fire and rescue budget larger than either the selectmen or the budget committee requested, specifically to cover the amount the departments sought for stipends.

Heath questions the legality of using tax money for stipends for volunteers. Over the last year and a half, he has sought opinions from the state and federal labor departments. State officials approved a plan presented by the firefighters, Heath said in a post-meeting email; federal labor officials have not replied.

The main argument Jan. 7 was over whether members of the budget committee who are firefighters, or whose family members are firefighters, will be in conflict of interest if they vote on whether to recommend voters approve stipends.

China’s Administrative Code of Ethics bars any appointed or elected official from participating in any way in deciding on an item “in which he or she or a member of his or her immediate family has a financial or special interest, other than an interest shared by the public generally.”

Attorney Meader said the wording clearly bars a budget committee member from voting on a recommendation to fund stipends if he (or she) or an immediate family member might get one, even though the amounts involved are small and even though town meeting voters approve. The point, she said, is “to maintain public trust and public confidence.”

Breton defines the situation as volunteers in a nonprofit organization getting public money, disbursed through the fire chiefs without voters knowing who gets how much.

“Benefiting the general public,” Batteese interjected.

Breton said he believes in the proposed 2020-2021 budget firefighters’ stipends are not in the fire and rescue account, but under the community support organizations account, which in the current year includes libraries, historical buildings, some lake protection work and The Town Line newspaper. However, since the budget was not handed out until the end of the meeting, his opinion was not confirmed.

Batteese said he joined the volunteer fire department soon after moving to China in 1984. He was elected to the budget committee in 1987 and has been its chairman since 1995. The committee has made annual recommendations on the town budget, including fire department funding, and he thinks there has never been a conflict.

Breton said if Batteese disagreed with Meader and found no conflict, Breton had the power to overrule Batteese. Batteese disagreed.

Budget committee member Tom Rumpf said most committee members are also fire department members or have relatives who are.

The Jan. 7 conclusions were that there should be some way to help firefighters without using the word “stipends,” even though, Breton said, everyone would know what the money was intended for; and, at Meader’s suggestion, that discussion should be suspended until the budget accounts were available. Breton promised another meeting if needed once selectmen start budget consideration.

A related, shorter argument was over whether a member of the Four Seasons Club – Rumpf is its president – could vote on a town grant to the club. He has applied for funding from China’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) fund for trail work and an equipment storage building.

Meader said conflict of interest applies to individuals, not to organizations. Asked if Four Seasons Club members are paid, Rumpf laughed. But, he asked, would a landowner whose land value was increased by Four Seasons Club trail improvements be considered as benefiting?

On yet another related topic, Batteese objected to Heath’s proposed budget review schedule, which called for the budget committee to make recommendations on Jan. 23 and the selectmen on Jan. 30. The budget committee, Batteese said, is supposed to review and endorse or change the selectmen’s recommended budget.

In past years, selectmen have held one or more meetings to make their recommendations, often including at least one joint meeting with the budget committee; the budget committee has made it recommendations; and selectmen have had a final meeting to approve the town business meeting warrant. If the two boards disagree, selectmen either accept the budget committee figure or put both recommendations in the warrant for voters to consider.

After an exchange of emails, on Jan. 13 Hapgood announced the following schedule: Tuesday, Jan. 21, regular selectmen’s meeting (moved from the usual Monday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday); Monday, Jan. 27, special selectmen’s meeting to discuss the 2020-2021 budget; Thursday, Jan. 30, budget committee meeting; and Monday, Feb. 3, regular selectmen’s meeting. The budget committee meets at 7 p.m., the selectmen at 6:30 p.m.

Military widow’s tax repeal signed into law

James Troiola, chairman of the American Legion’s Legislative Commission, and Maine Senator Susan Collins. (contributed photo)

U.S. Senator Susan Collins recently met with James Troiola, a resident of Windham and the Chairman of The American Legion’s Legislative Commis­sion, in her Washington, D.C., office.

“For more than a century, the American Legion has been committed to ensuring veterans and their families have access to the care and resources they have earned and deserve,” said Senator Collins. “As the Chairman of the American Legion’s Legislative Commission, James is devoted to improving services for veterans across Maine and the nation. I look forward to working with him to ensure our government continues to support our veterans.”

As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins secured important funding to improve rural veterans’ access to health care, support veteran caregivers, and decrease veteran homelessness in the final funding package.

Last month, Senators Collins and Doug Jones (D-AL) announced their legislation to repeal the military widow’s tax had been signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with 2.4 million members in more than 12,000 posts in nearly every community in America. The Legion, established by an act of Congress in 1919, was instrumental in getting the original GI Bill through Congress and in the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Melissa Brugnani promoted to mortgage loan officer at Kennebec Federal Savings Bank, in Waterville

Melissa Brugnani, recently promoted mortgage loan officer at Kennebec Federal Savings Bank. (contributed photo)

Melissa Brugnani, who offers more than 20 years’ experience in banking and a “we treat every customer like family” work sensibility—has been promoted to Mortgage Loan Officer for Kennebec Federal Savings, in Waterville.

In her new role, Ms. Brugnani will professionally assess the credit-worthiness of those seeking various types of individual mortgages in the Waterville/Central Maine area, and match eligible mortgage-seekers with a financial solution thoughtfully designed to meet their individual and/or business needs.

“I am so excited to be promoted to mortgage loan officer, particularly at Kennebec Federal Savings,” said Ms. Brugnani. “KFS has been named a ‘Best Place to Work in Maine’ for six years in a row, and we work hard each day to pass that neighborly, positive, affirming experience along to each and every customer. When you walk in the door here, you become family.”

Allan Rancourt, President of Kennebec Federal Savings, said Ms. Brugnani was promoted to her new position because of her “neighborly professionalism” and passion for customer service. “With Melissa, ‘We treat you like family’ isn’t just a slogan. It’s the way she treats every customer, every day.”

Raised in Livermore Falls, and Massachusetts, Ms. Brugnani served from 2007 to 2017 at The Bank of Canton, in Canton, Massachusetts, and from 1999 to 2007 at Eastern Bank, in Randolph, Massachusetts. She has been employed at Kennebec Federal Savings since moving home to Maine in 2017.

For more information, please contact Rene Turner at Kennebec Federal Savings, 207-873-5151.

“Fighting Mental Health Stigma” and “Living with Depression” presentations set for Augusta and Waterville in coming weeks

Free presentations on the topic of improved mental health will be offered by parishes in Augusta and Waterville in the coming weeks. All are welcome to attend either presentation.

As part of its ongoing “Coffee and Conversation” series, the St. Michael Parish Social Justice Commission will sponsor a presentation and discussion on “Fighting Mental Health Stigma.” The session will be held on Thursday, January 23, at 7 p.m., in St. Monica Hall, on 5 Kendall Street, in Augusta.

St. Michael parishioners Emily Dowdell and Andrew Phinney, both professionals in the mental health field, will lead the discussion. For more information, contact the parish at (207) 623-8823 or You can also visit the parish’s Facebook page at

Corpus Christi Parish, in Waterville, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon, in Winslow, will co-host “Living with Depression” on Sunday, January 26, from 2 p.m., to 3:30 p.m. in the hall of Notre Dame Church, on 116 Silver Street, in Waterville.

Marc Sirois, a parishioner of Corpus Christi and the manager of outpatient behavioral services for MaineGeneral Medical Center, will discuss the causes and treatments of depression as well as strategies for living with depression and supporting those who do. For more information, call (207) 873-4512 or email

For more information about these and other special events occurring in the Diocese of Portland, visit the special events section of the diocesan website at

Lasell University students named to fall 2019 dean’s list

Students at Lasell University, in Newton, Massachusetts, were named to the dean’s list for their strong academic performance in fall 2019, including Grace Redwine, of Freedom, and Mya Maxim, of South China.

“Manufacturing Augusta: The Cotton Mill Fire and the Breaching of the Edwards Dam” local history presentation at Lithgow Public Library

On Wednesday, January 22, at 6:30 p.m., the Lithgow Public Library, in Augusta, will host “Manufacturing Augusta: The Cotton Mill Fire and the Breaching of the Edwards Dam,” presented by the Heritage Center at Mill Park. The event is free and open to the public.

This is the fifth in the series of presentations on local manufacturing history by the Heritage Center at Mill Park. Come learn about the rich local history of industrial Augusta in this event spotlighting the massive fire at the Bates Manufacturing, Edwards Division cotton mill in 1989 and the breaching of the Edwards Dam in 1999. Jan Michaud, founder of the Heritage Center at Mill Park, will share the video interviews and footage, concluding with a brief discussion.

Lithgow Library is located at 45 Winthrop Street, in Augusta. For more information, please call the library at (207) 626-2415 or visit our website at