SCORES & OUTDOORS: What, exactly, is a killdeer? How did it get its name?


Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

There is a road off Lakeview Drive, in China, called Killdeer Point Road, that takes you to Killdeer Point, on the lake. We know the area received its name when someone exploring the area saw what he thought was a killdeer, and so named the point. So, what is a killdeer?

It’s probably one of the most misnamed creature. They are birds, they fly, and they don’t kill deer.

The killdeer feeds primarily on insects, although other invertebrates and seeds are eaten. It forages almost exclusively in fields, especially those with short vegetation and where cattle and standing water are found. It primarily forages during the day, but during the non-breeding season, when the moon is full or close to full, it will forage at night. This is probably because there is a larger abundance of insects and reduced activity by predators after dark. Predators include various birds and mammals, most notably herring gulls, common crows, raccoons, and striped skunks. They prey in some areas during the breeding season. Predation is not limited to eggs and chicks. Mustelids, fur-bearing mammals like weasels, martens, skunks and mink, for example, can kill incubating adults.

The bird is classified as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), because of the range and population, however, its population is in decline, but the trend is not severe enough for the killdeer to be considered a vulnerable species. It is protected by the American Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, and the Canadian Migratory Birds Convention Act.

The killdeer is a large plover, with adults ranging in length from 8 – 11 inches, having a wingspan of 23 – 25 inches, and weighing 2.5 – 4.5 ounces. It has a short, thick and dark bill, flesh-colored legs, and a red eye ring. Its upper parts are mostly brown with rufous fringes. It has a white forehead and a white stripe behind the eye. It is the only plover in North America with two breast bands. The rump is red, and the tail is mostly brown. The latter also has a black subterminal band, a white terminal band, and barred white feathers on the outer portion of the tail. In flight, a white wing stripe at the base of the flight feathers is visible.

So, what about the name killdeer? During display flights, it repeats a call of “kil-deer” or “kee-deeyu.” When a plover is disturbed, it emits notes in a rapid sequence, such as “kee-di-di-di.” Thus, the name.

The killdeer nests in open fields or other flat areas with short vegetation, such as agricultural fields and meadows. Nests are also sometimes located on roof tops. They generally breed close to where they bred the year before.

The killdeer uses beach habitats and coastal wetlands and fields during the non-breeding season. It forages almost exclusively in these fields. When breeding, the killdeer has a home range of about 15 acres. Although generally a low-land species, it is found up to the snowline in meadows and open lake shores during its autumn migration.

Following breeding, about 53 percent of the eggs are lost, mainly to predators. They start walking within the first day of life, and both parents will lead them out of the nest, generally to a feeding territory with dense vegetation the chicks can hide under when a predator nears. Both parents usually are present to successfully raise the chicks. The young fledge about 31 days after hatching.

The killdeer has a life span of about 11 years.

The killdeer feed on insects, especially beetles and flies, in addition to millipedes, worms, snails, spiders and some seeds. It will also take tree frogs and dead minnows when the opportunity presents itself.

Killdeer can be found in all the continental United States, except Alaska. They are also present in Canada, Mexico, northern South America and along the west coast. They are also found in the Caribbean islands, including Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

According to Eli Bush, who named Killdeer Point on China Lake, the birds were spotted in that area in the late 1920s. Possibly, it was the large farm pastures of the Seward, Edson and Sinclair farms that attracted the birds to the area.

The name has stuck through the decades since.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Who holds the record for the longest field goal in New England Patriots history?

Answer can be found here.

Roland’s Trivia Question for Thursday, January 7, 2020

Trivia QuestionsWho holds the record for the longest field goal in New England Patriots history?


On November 19, 2018, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 62-yard field goal against the Oakland Raiders.

SOLON & BEYOND: News from Solon Elementary School

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

Here I sit on the new year of 2021, and I wish all of you a Happy New Year!

The following is the December Solon School News. The Principal’s Message: I hope that all of our students and their families are enjoying the holiday season. It has been a challenging year, and we all need a little holiday cheer.

Our students and staff continue to work hard in their academic endeavors. Every student now has his/her own laptop computer to use both at school and at home. Students attending in person have learned how to access their lessons remotely for Mondays and in the event that we had to go fully remote for a few days or a period of time. We appreciate all that our families are doing to support their children and our school. We know that the demands on parents have increased, and we applaud you for all you are doing to support your children’s education.

Remember to send your children with warm winter clothes now that we are into the cold time of year. Extra mittens or gloves and a hat always come in handy.

Handmade Ornaments Decorate Christmas Tree: We did our Secret Santa ornament activity again this year. Each student and staff member drew a name and made an ornament for that person. Those ornaments are special decorations on our school Christmas season to brighten our spirits during the holiday season.

Thanksgiving Fun: Students in grades K-1 celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday on November 16. They learned about the history of Thanksgiving and made headgear that represented the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Mr. Tracy came in and read a Thanksgiving story to the kindergarten class and then joined the K-2 students for their traditional Thanksgiving dinner in our cafeteria.

Veteran’s Window: As we do every year, the students and staff of Solon Elementary School filled out stars with information about veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in their families. In November we hung all of those stars in our front window with a thank you to all of our veterans. Thanks to Mrs. Campbell for organizing the project.

Solon School Holds Thanksgiving Food Drive: During the month of November, we held a Thanksgiving Food Drive to help those in need. Students and staff collected 292 items for the Solon Food Cupboard. Mrs. Steven’s fourth grade class collected the largest number of items. Thanks to all of our families and staff for your donation.

Solon Fire Department Offers Fire Safety Program: On November 6, Assistant Fire Chief Todd Dixon and firefighter Jenny Rollins from the Solon Fire Department presented a fire safety program to our students. This was in conjunction with Fire Safety Month, which is October. This year their presentation had to take social distancing into account, but creative planning made this program possible. Along with teaching their fire safety lesson, they brought fire safety items for the students and staff.

We appreciate the support of the Solon Fire Department during Fire Safety Month and all year long!

Thank-You to Donors: We would like to recognize individuals and community groups for helping us to meet the needs of our families during the Christmas season. The coronavirus pandemic has made times more difficult for families who need some help with food, clothes, and gifts for their children. These great people helped Santa to make the holidays merry and bright for families.

For help with food, we want to thank these: Good Shepherd Food bank, KVCAP, Solon 4H, Annie Griffith. For help with clothes and toys for children for Christmas, we want to thank these; Solon Congregational Church, Lions Club, Debi & Harry Hartford, Ann Jackson, donation in memory of Lewis Cahill and Ellen McQuiston.

New Library Books Arrive: The Solon school library received some new books for grades 3-5 readers last week thanks to an anonymous donor. The donor gave some money to our school for giving tree Christmas gifts for children and for new library books. This donation was made in memory of Mr. Lewis Cahill, who passed away in August. We appreciate this support of our school.

I think I have told you about going through old papers recently trying to get organized…..(that’s a laugh!) Anyway, I came across this old article from The Town Line dated January 3, 2008, with only Percy’s picture on it: and he wrote; “This is Percy wishing you the happiest of New Years! I am missing my human, she has been down in sunny Florida since before Christmas. I am thrilled beyond belief that she is letting me write this column again, since so many of you have told her that you prefer my writing instead of hers. Since I don’t have any real news to share, I have been reflecting on what subject to write about, think perhaps Happiness might be a good topic to delve into. Our bi-line each week being, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” and she’s been using it for years, before I started helping her. Does that make you stop and think just how happy you really are? “Cheerfulness greases the axles of the world, Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. True happiness consists in making others happy.” But the one I like the best is, “There are two essentials to happiness: something to do, and someone to love.”

It gives me great pleasure to behold the sappy look on my human’s face when I lavish her with love, (I curl up in her lap and put my paw as far around her neck as I can and sing at the top of my lungs!) That is pure ecstasy, and makes me happy, also.

As I have told you before, the first thing she does in the morning, even before she gets her breakfast, is to give me my dish of tuna fish, such love is beyond measure. Do I appreciate it? You betcha!

Enough of that… I still miss Percy, but it is fun to remember him and his wonderful personality. And now again… Happy New Year!

OBITUARIES for Thursday, January 7, 2020


PALERMO – Diana J. (Briggs) Lee, 79, of Palermo, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 20, 2020, due to Babesiosis, a rare infection caused by a tick bite. Diana was born in Freedom on December 23, 1940, the daughter of Carolyn and Clyde Briggs.

She graduated from Unifree High School. She worked briefly at Field and Quimby Insurance agency, in Belfast, before beginning her business career managing and supporting Ronald H. Lee Trucking.

Diana loved family adventures. Some of these experiences included cross country and downhill skiing at Sugarloaf where they owned a ski home for many years and numerous ski trips out west to Colorado and Lake Tahoe. She loved the planning and fun of her more than 25 years of annual “sister trips” that included Kennebec River whitewater rafting, lobster boating to view the Machias Seal Island puffins, hiking Mt. Katahdin (twice), exploring Maine Islands (Peaks, Islesboro, Monhegan, Isle-Au-Haut, Swans, etc.) and discovering remote parts of Maine.

Diana enjoyed reading and taking care of her dogs, cats, and the birds. She was known for her devotion to family, community, and the church. She was involved in Cub Scouts, Lions Club, Lawrence High School Football Boosters, and the Lovejoy Health Center. She hosted Erthan for several summers through the Fresh Air Fund and Vincent from France in an exchange program.

Diana spent a great deal of time cooking and helping with church events and especially loved being part of the “Journey to Bethlehem” production at the Palermo Christian Church. She made the best pies, cookies, and homemade strawberry jam. She was a loving, caring, giving person and a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend who will be deeply missed. Although our hearts are heavy, we celebrate a life well lived.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ronald H. Lee, her sisters Virginia, of Saco, Barbara, of Unity, Sharon and husband Bill, of Harpswell, Cheryl and husband Tom, of South Berwick, her sister-in-law Audrey, of Vassalboro; her three sons, Christopher and wife Alice, of Bethel, Matthew and partner Dawn, of Palermo, Derek, of Albion; and grandchildren Gavin, Morgan, Alex, Claudia, and Owen; nieces, and nephews.

She was predeceased by her brother Robert.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral & Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

In lieu of flowers, plant or buy flowers this spring and enjoy their beauty in Diana’s memory.


FAIRFIELD – Randy J. Mathieu, 43, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 20, 2020, at the home of Gary Warren (uncle), in Fairfield. He was the son of Gary Mathieu and the late Barbara A. Mathieu. Randy was born January 21, 1977, in Waterville.

He grew up in Winslow and attended Winslow schools. He graduated from Winslow High School class of 1995. He attended the University of Maine in Orono. He loved baseball and the Red Sox. He was a member of the 1993 Winslow state championship football team.

Randy lived in San Marcos, Texas, for a few years then moved back to Maine. He then worked various jobs with the disabled until now.

He is survived by his dad Gary L. Mathieu; step-mom Jeanne; brothers Michael, of Portland, Tennessee, Todd (wife Ashley); stepbrothers, Stefan and Darin Kervin; nieces Emery, Cassidy and Isaiah, all of Waterville; several aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was predeceased by his mother, Barbara A. Mathieu; grandparents Jeanette and Eugene Warren, Roland and Blanche Mathieu; and uncle Robert (Hobby) Mathieu.

A private graveside service will be held in the spring at St. Francis Cemetery, on Grove Street, in Waterville.


WINDSOR – Margaret Urquhart MacMunn 91, passed away at her home, in Windsor, on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. She was born on December 20, 1929, in Lynn, Massachusett, to Andrew and Margaret Parker Urquhart.

Rita, as she liked to be called, belonged to the Rebekah’s and Eastern Star when she resided in Saugus, Massachusetts, for many years before moving to Washington, Maine, in 1976. She then enjoyed belonging to the Ladies’ Guild and the Grange. Lately she has belonged to the Senior’s Club, in Coopers Mills. She loved making crafts and helping out in all the events they had.

She was most happy with her family and friends gathered around her kitchen table, eating, having coffee, or playing games.

Survivors are her sisters, Marjorie (twin) O’Blenes, of Salisbury, Massachusetts, and Ann Higgins, of Palermo; son, Alan and Jeanette, of Washington; grandsons, Christopher and wife Jennifer, of Jensen Beach, Florida, and Jim and Heather, of Waltham, Massachusetts; granddaughter, Angelika and husband Jordan Freeman, of Windsor; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by a brother, Andrew Urquhart; husband Benjamin MacMunn; son Steven; and grandson Craig.

A private memorial will be scheduled at a later date.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta.

Condolences, stories and photos may be shared at


WATERVILLE – Afton “Bud” Berry Gove, 92, formerly of Winthrop and one of the old boys from Monmouth Academy, passed away on Friday, December 25, 2020, following a period of declining health. He was born on September 8, 1928, in Monmouth, to George Leon and Grace Berry Gove.

The attending physician at his birth was Dr. Russell, of Leeds. Bud survived the six man football team at the Academy, working on the town road crew, running the territory with his chum Arna Blaisdell and traveling to work at Limestone Air Base on his Harley ’74.

He was a family man who married Pauline Richardson, of North Monmouth, on July 2, 1949. They raised three children at the place on Hoyt Brook on the Old Lewiston Road, in Winthrop.

Bud served a 39-year hitch with Central Maine Power Company, Stations Department, retiring in 1990. When he was a younger man, he had worked at the textile mill in North Monmouth.

Weekends in the fall were spent picking apples with his father-in-law Jesse Richardson on the farm in North Monmouth. He and Pauline took many trips in their retirement, going to Michigan, Nashville, Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Jack Daniels Distillery, twice.

He was predeceased by his wife Pauline; and two daughters, Audrey Gove and Jerilyn Heath.

He is survived by a son Alan Gove and his wife Nancy; grandchildren Lindsay Heath Beesley and her family, Jesse Gove and family, Meghan Gove and family, Nicholas Gove and family, Brett LaPlante and wife Tracy, and Ryal Leon Gove.

His memory will live on with Grace Gove at the family camp on Parker Pond.

A graveside service will be held in the spring at Glenside Cemetery, in Winthrop.

Arrangements are in the care of Roberts Funeral Home, 62 Bowdoin St., Winthrop where condolences to the family may be shared on the obituary page of the website at

Those wishing may make memorial contributions to Kennebec Land Trust, P.O. Box 261,Winthrop, ME 04364, in memory of Afton and Pauline Gove.


WATERVILLE- Nicholas “Nick” Rohrman, 83, passed away on Saturday, December 26, 2020, from COVID-19, in Saco. He was born to Leroy Nicholas and Mary Ethel (O’Callaghan) Rohrman on April 25, 1937, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Following a brief period of study at St. Meinrad’s Seminary, Nick graduated from Broad Ripple High School and then matriculated at Butler University where he was an active member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and ROTC. Upon graduation he and his wife, the former Carol Ann Cunningham, moved to Burns, Oregon, for his career in the U.S. Air Force. While there they welcomed their first daughter, Lisa. After completing his military service, Nick earned his master’s degree from Miami University, and his Ph.D. in psycholinguistics from Indiana University. He began a nearly 40-year career in academia at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. From there he and his family moved to Tallahassee, Florida, for a position at Florida State University, welcoming their second daughter, Melinda. His last, and longest position was as chairman (1977-1987) and professor of psychology (1977-2005) at Colby College, in Waterville.

Nick enjoyed the outdoors, hiking, biking and gardening, and a wide variety of hobbies, most notably as an avid reader and bagpiper. He was a member of the Masons (Siloam Lodge #92) and the Shriners and was a member of the Kora Shrine Highlanders Pipe Band for a number of years.

He was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Carol, May 1, 2009, and his brother, Martin Joseph, of Indianapolis, Indiana, May 15, 2020.

He is survived by his sister Rita Owens, of Puyallup, Washington; his daughter, Lisa Bearce and her husband, Jim and their son, William; his daughter, Melinda Burgess and her husband Stephen and their daughters, Gwendolyn and Emily.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date; in the meantime, family and friends are asked to raise a glass in his memory.

Online condolence messages can be submitted at the Chad E. Poitras Cremation and Funeral Service website,

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, PO Box 4777, New York, New York 10163-4777.


SIDNEY – Phillip J. Hamlin, 67, died on Saturday, December 26, 2020. He was the husband to Katherine L. (McLellan) with whom he shared 48-and-a-half years of marriage.Phil was born in Thorndike on August 14, 1953, the son of the late Edmund and Barbara (Chapin) Hamlin.

Phil was a cabinet-maker, sawyer and self taught man of all trades.

Phil’s dreams and goals included trying to make a better life for his boys and grand babies, assisting anyone who needed a hand and to see the magnificent Redwood Trees. The latter was accomplished in 2017 on a 71-day trip across country. His joy and excitement was evident in the pictures taken.

In addition to his wife, Katherine, Phil is survived by his sons, Daniel and Domanick, of Sidney, his siblings, Robert and his wife Tina, of Bangor, Virginia, of New York, Judie, of Windham, Joan, of Sanford, David, of New York, Richard and his wife Jeanette, of Gray, Edmund, of Connecticut, Priscilla, of Glenburn and Harry and his wife Monique, of Windham; his grandchildren Jordan, Emily and Lucas, his in-laws whom he considered his siblings, Cookie and Floyd, Clifton and Constance, Frank and Tina of Sidney, Germaine, of Florida, Chandra, of Augusta, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins.

At this time no gathering will be held, but hopefully an outdoor celebration of life can be held later in the summer of 2021.

Arrangements are in the care of the Wheeler Funeral Home, 26 Church St., Oakland, where memories, condolences and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of our website at

In lieu of flowers donations in Phil’s memory may be made to the American Diabetes Assoc., 80 Elm St., Portland, Maine 04101.


WINSLOW – Helen Laflamme Belanger, 98, of Winslow, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020. Helen was born in Waterville, in July 1922. She was the daughter of Leda (Poulliot) and Eugene Laflamme. She attended Immaculate Heart of Mary School, in Fairfield, and graduated from Lawrence High School, class of 1940. In 1951, she was married to her husband, Victor H. Belanger, of Winslow.

Before raising her family, she worked at Keyes Fibre Company (now Huhtamaki), in Waterville, where she was the secretary to the president of the company. While raising her family, and once they were all in school, she returned to secretarial work at the Winslow High School Guidance Department where she worked for 19 years, retiring in 1985.

Helen was a longtime active member of St. John the Baptist / Corpus Christi Parish. She served as a St. John school board member for six years, a Eucharistic Minister, and worked on the church fair for many years. Her strong faith was a guiding influence throughout her life.

She was an avid reader and enjoyed knitting, crocheting, rug braiding, and playing cards. She knitted many pairs of mittens, sweaters, and countless hats for her children and grandchildren. She volunteered at the Boy’s Club, with Literacy Volunteers, and at the St. John school library. She had enjoyed many winters in Florida with great friends, Florence Fortin, Pauline, Susan, and her sisters, Rachel and Theresa.

Family was very important; some of her fondest memories are the many family gatherings at the camp at Pattee Pond, in Winslow. Beginning with gatherings with her family, her sisters and brothers and their families, and later, watching from her Adirondack chair at the top of the hill as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren learned to fish from the dock, and swim to the float.

Helen was predeceased by her parents, her husband, Victor, in 1986, her oldest son, Stephen, in 1978, and her sisters, Monica (Smedberg), Rachel (Michaud), Theresa (Clark), Blanche (Iadarola), Bernadette and Simone (Religious Sisters of Mercy).

She is survived by her son Peter and his wife Mary, of Bowdoinham; daughter Ann (Thomas) and her husband Jeff, of Fayetteville, New York; son John and his wife Julie, of Albion; and son Thomas and his wife Julie, of Waterville; eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren; sisters, Gemma (Theberge), Blandine (Alvey), and brothers, Claude and Dan.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Monday, January 4, 2020, at St. John the Baptist Church, 26 Monument Street, Winslow. Burial will be in St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, Waterville.

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic the service will be limited with social distancing mask are required to be worn.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm Street, Waterville. An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at Her family would like to thank Northern Light Home Care and Hospice and her brother, Dan, who brought her Holy Communion regularly, which meant so much to her.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Helen’s name to Corpus Christi Parish, 70 Pleasant Street, Waterville, Maine 04901.


FARIFIELD – Florence Mary Cole Hunt, 86, of Fairfield, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at MaineGeneral Long-Term Care Glenridge, Augusta, following a long courageous battle with cancer and dementia.

Florence was born in Waterville on January 26, 1934, the daughter of James Sr. and Aldena Lebrun of Waterville. Florence grew up in Waterville and she was one of 12 children.

Flo had an open heart, a feisty personality and even bigger colorful language that always kept her caregivers on their toes.

After leaving school, she had many jobs most notably Hathaway Shirt Company, in Waterville, and Mt. Saint Joseph, in Waterville, where she retired in 1994 as a CNA.

She married Raymond Joseph Cole Sr. on November 21, 1953, going on to have four children, Sharon, Sandra, Susan and Raymond Jr. After the passing of her first spouse she found love again with Stanley Hunt Jr. and they wed September 19,1994.

After retiring in 1994, Florence spent her time taking her grandchildren shopping and to fairs, playing bingo, watching her soap operas, game shows, knitting and loved watching Whoopie Goldberg movies. Flo also liked music and her favorite was Shirley Temple! She was a night owl, you could always find her awake until 3 a.m. still watching TV and eating her sweets. She loved to dance and it’s how she met her second husband Stanley.

Florence was predeceased by her first husband Raymond Cole who passed away January 10, 1980, her second husband Stanley Hunt who passed away May 11, 2015; parents James Sr. and Aldena Lebrun; sisters Lorraine Owens and Betty Szarek, brothers Charles Lebrun, John Lebrun Sr., David Lebrun and James Lebrun Jr.

She is survived by her daughters Sharon Gervais, of Gardiner, Sandra Bickford and son-in-law Peter O’Clair, of Fairfield, Susan Irving, of Oakland, and son Raymond Cole Jr., of Fairfield; grandchildren, Daniel Simard, of Fairfield, Jamie Shuemaker, of Gardiner, Melissa Noonan Richards, of Benton, Benjamin Irving, of Clinton, Mallory Irving, of North Carolina, Jeremy Turner; 11 great-grandchildren.

There will be no funeral services per Flo’s request. Burial services will take place later in 2021.


WINSLOW – Mary Jane (Morneau) Cliche, 78, passed away Wednesday, December 30, 2020, at Oconee Memorial Hospital, in Seneca, South Carolina. Mary Jane was born November 23, 1942, in Winslow, the daughter of Phillip and Sadie (Bolduc) Morneau.

Mary Jane was a retired registered nurse with more than 30 years of service. She attended local schools, Mount Merici Academy, in Waterville, and graduated from Winslow High School in 1961.

After high school, she worked for Cottle’s stores, in Waterville. She was married for over 58 years to the love of her life, Carl E. Cliche, of Winslow. They subsequently moved to various locations in the US following Carl’s career with General Electric and Westinghouse while she pursued and grew her nursing career.

She obtained her registered nursing degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. During her nursing career, Mary Jane worked the ER, the ICU for decades. In the later years, she performed occupational nursing in a nuclear environment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, in Aiken, South Carlina, until her retirement in 1966.

Mary Jane enjoyed so very much watching the growth of her three children Carl Jr., Kimberly and Timothy, and subsequently the maturing of her four granddaughters, Abbie, Halley, Heather and Hayden. She also particularly enjoyed sewing doll clothes to dress their dolls. That became a hobby in retirement which she used as a means of supporting many charitable activities.

Another of her passions was hosting holiday events for the family over the years.

Throughout the years Mary Jane showed her heart by doing volunteer work at many children centers in the areas that she lived. During retirement, it was always seeking out a family or an organization that had a special need.

Mary Jane was predeceased by her father, Phillip Morneau, mother, Sadie Morneau; sister, Jackie Hallee, brother, Lawrence; and son, Timothy Phillip Cliche (Wilmington, North Carolina).

She is survived by her husband Carl E. Cliche, of Clemson, South Carolina; her son, Carl E. Cliche Jr. and family, of Gainesville, Georgia; and Kimberly Lee and family, of Guyton, Georgia; by several siblings, Bobby Morneau and family, of North Vassalboro, Roger Morneau and family, of Belgrade, Reggie Morneau and family, of South China, Carmen Giroux and family, of North Vassalboro, Paul Morneau and family, of Winslow, and Theresa Thibodeau and family, of Marydell, Delaware; along with many cousins.

Services will be determined at a later time.

Arrangements are by Sandifer Funeral Home, Westminster, South Carolina.

Condolences may be expressed online by visiting Any contributions should be made to your local Muscular Dystropy Association.


WINDSOR – Larry B. Choate, 76, a lifelong resident of Windsor, passed peacefully at the Androscoggin Hospice House, in Auburn, after battling a long-term illness for several years.

Larry was born in Gardiner on November 5, 1944, the son of the late Mavis T. and Donald T. Choate.

Larry graduated from Erskine Academy, in South China, in 1962 and then went to Gates Business College, in Augusta. He continued his educational pursuit at the West Palm Beach School of Business, in Florida, where he lived for a bit after college, but his heart was always in Maine.

He returned to Maine and for many years proudly served as legislative assistant for the Maine State Legislature.

Larry had several passions in life: family history, painting, refinishing antique furniture and his greatest love, Moody Pond.

In 1997, Larry built his forever home on the shores of Moody Pond, in Windsor. He worked tirelessly on keeping the grounds of his property and the general area in park-like condition. Visitors would marvel at his hand made stonewalls, gardens and sculptures.

Larry will be deeply missed for his creativity, unique sense of humor and ability to entertain a group of friends and family at special events.

Larry leaves behind his sister, Carol A. Chapman and her husband Steve Chapman, of Sidney; brother David Choate, of Windsor, cousin Kathy Paradis, of Yarmouth; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A graveside service and banquet in honor of Larry will be held in the spring of 2021.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta, ME. Condolences, stories and photos may be shared at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Larry’s name to the Windsor Historical Society, c/o Windsor Fair, 82 Ridge Rd., Windsor, ME 04363.

China selectmen say no to hiring Portland attorney

by Mary Grow

China selectmen spent the most time during their Jan. 4 virtual meeting on two issues, one of which was on the agenda.

That issue was the request from the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee to hire a Portland attorney to assist with preparation of China’s proposed revised TIF document (see related story, linked here).

Board Chairman Ronald Breton made a motion not to hire the Portland attorney. He said town attorney Amanda Meader also has experience with TIF documents, her hourly rate is lower and she is familiar with China.

Board members Blane Casey and Janet Preston thought the attorney could be paid from TIF funds. Breton said no; the money would come from the town’s already-overspent legal account.

Town Manager Becky Hapgood confirmed the $20,000 voters approved in March 2020 for legal expenses is gone, and $1,522 more. The legal reserve fund, saved from inexpensive years to cover expensive ones, has about $9,000 in it, she said.

Selectmen voted unanimously not to contract with the Portland attorney. Breton then made a motion to ask Meader if she would work on the TIF document. At Casey’s suggestion, he added the provision that she would be paid no more than is in the legal reserve fund. But, he said, the selectmen’s contingency fund, approved in March 2020 at $55,000, could provide back-up money if needed.

Meanwhile, TIF Committee member Jamie Pitney was waving his hand and shaking his head vigorously. Breton, who was participating by telephone due to computer problems, could not see him. After the third time Hapgood said, “Jamie wants to speak,” Breton polled the board and, when no one objected, allowed Pitney to speak outside the public comment period.

Pitney said if voters approve the planned amendments to the TIF document at the annual town meeting, there will be a TIF legal fund.

Before the unanimous vote to contact Meader, TIF Committee Chairman Tom Michaud was also allowed to speak. He told selectmen committee members will write the revised document; the attorney will need only to review it.

The second well-discussed issue was conflict of interest, raised by Breton in response to an email from Scott Pierz. Pierz, president of the China Lake Association, explained during the public comment period that he believes Michaud, Pitney and Daniel Boivin, members of the association board of directors and of the TIF Committee, should abstain on TIF Committee votes on funding the lake association.

The three men represent the China public on the TIF Committee to which selectmen have appointed them, but they also have responsibilities to the private organization, in Pierz’s view. He does not object to their contributing to discussion, only to their voting.

Breton went further. He said people with a conflict of interest should not participate in discussion related to their other responsibility, and that members of a committee’s subcommittee should not vote on the subcommittee’s recommendations in the full committee. Doing so gives them a double vote, he said.

Pitney offered a more restrictive view, saying conflict of interest arises when an individual has a direct financial interest in a board decision. When people have overlapping positions, for example as a TIF Committee member and a lake association director, they should say so, he added.

No action was taken. The desirability of written policies was suggested.

In other business Jan. 4:

  • Overriding their Dec. 21 informal decision to accept Selectman Irene Belanger’s offer to represent the selectboard on the Broadband Committee (the committee unanimously requested a selectboard member as liaison), board members voted 4-0 to appoint Selectman Janet Preston as a non-voting committee member. Hapgood pointed out that Belanger has other committee responsibilities, and said Preston, who abstained on the vote, had expressed interest.
  • By a 4-1 vote with Wayne Chadwick opposed, board members re-approved the town’s tobacco-free policy. Hapgood said the policy replicates the November 2015 Tobacco Free/Tobacco Litter Free Ordinance, which essentially says nobody can smoke anything anywhere on town property. Chadwick, remembering his former life as a smoker, said it is unfair to make employees work for eight hours or more without a cigarette break.
  • In preparation for 2021-22 budget discussions, selectmen briefly considered new projects they might propose, like Preston’s suggestions of a farmers’ market or a community garden.

Hapgood relayed reports from town departments. Highlights included:

  • Beginning in February, the town office will return to its pre-pandemic Saturday schedule, open every Saturday from 8 to 11 a,m. It will also be open the last Saturday in January, Jan. 30. Residents are still encouraged to do as much business on line as possible.
  • Town Clerk Angela Nelson reported China has 3,185 registered voters as of the beginning of 2021. The quorum requirement for an open town meeting is therefore 128.
  • Assistant assessing agent Kelly Grotton plans to send letters to new homeowners in town reminding them of the state homestead exemption that reduces some people’s property taxes. Other year-round homeowners who do not receive the exemption can inquire about their eligibility.
  • Regional School Unit (RSU) #18 directors have scheduled the 2021 meeting to vote on the 2021-22 school budget for Thursday evening, March 20, in Oakland. The written-ballot budget validation referendum will be Tuesday, June 8.

Breton urged board members to attend the March 20 meeting. He pointed out that selectmen do not get information from China’s RSU board members, Dawn Castner and Neil Farrington. Preston suggested inviting them to a selectmen’s meeting, and Belanger said she attends RSU board meetings regularly.

Budget consideration is slated to begin at a special meeting with the budget committee at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11. The budget discussion will be followed by Hapgood’s annual performance review, in executive session.

The next regular selectmen’s meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 19, because the town office will be closed Monday, Jan. 18, for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

China TIF committee revisits allowable expenditures

by Mary Grow

China Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee members spent the first hour of their Dec. 29 meeting re-discussing lists of allowable TIF expenditures they had voted on at their Dec. 17 meeting (see The Town Line, Dec. 31). Committee member Brent Chesley then reminded them of the two items left undecided Dec. 17, and they acted on those.

By state law, TIF money can be spent only for economic development. The term is broad enough to encompass, in China, measures that encourage businesses to relocate to town and to assist with business expansion; job creation programs; town activities that promote China as a business, recreational and tourist center; and protection of the environmental qualities that attract visitors.

China’s TIF is funded from taxes Central Maine Power Company pays on its north-south line through town and its South China substation.

The document committee members worked with is found on the town website,, in a pdf file named 2017 TIF First Amendment. The pdf is under the Tax Increment Financing Committee, which is under Boards and Committees. Committee members reviewed the items in boxes on pages 4 and 5, plus two new items discussed at the previous meeting.

They unanimously reaffirmed their Dec. 17 decisions to include both new items. The first, relating to fisheries, wildlife and water quality, was re-discussed at length and reworded to clarify what water bodies and activities it is intended to cover.

The second, allowing TIF funds to help with broadband service improvements, was re-included by a unanimous vote, after a short discussion about its relationship to other development programs.

After a discussion of correct terms for and possible rearrangements among economic development projects, committee members voted again, this time with three abstentions, to delete references to supporting a research laboratory on Fire Road 44 and to the non-existent economic development department, and to support other development projects and programs as listed, with minor rewording.

Chesley then reminded the others that the items deferred Dec. 17 were using TIF funds for matching funds for grants and to support projects outside China’s TIF district, specifically removal of dams in Vassalboro that prevent alewife migration into China Lake.

The first was approved 7-1 with Jamie Pitney opposed, because he considers it double-dipping. The second was approved unanimously.

The next two steps are to prepare and print an updated TIF document, referred to as the Second Amendment (because China’s 2015 TIF was amended for the first time in 2017), and to reallocate TIF funds among the revised categories.

Pitney volunteered to rewrite the recommendations to include the changes, with help from Chairman Tom Michaud and his wife Marie, who took notes in the absence of committee secretary Trishea Story.

Pitney moved that the committee ask selectmen’s approval to hire a Portland attorney who is an expert on TIFs to assist with the final document. Committee members approved, with Daniel Boivin and Michael “Mickey” Wing abstaining because they would like an hourly rate and an estimate of the hours needed before supporting the proposal.

At the beginning of the meeting, Michaud welcomed newly appointed committee member James “J.J.” Wentworth.

The next TIF Committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14. Michaud plans to begin the process of allocating TIF money among the programs and projects.

The committee’s final document will be a recommendation to China selectmen. If they find it satisfactory, they will submit it to voters for approval or rejection.

Many kids waiting for big brothers, big sisters in 2021

Big Brother Chris Paradis, left, and his Little Brother Evan Jones, enjoy playing cribbage, watching movies and, shown here two years ago, shooting pool. Chris and Evan were matched three years ago as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, which is actively recruiting adults in the community, as well as college and high school students, to become Bigs to one of 100 kids waiting to be matched. (contributed photo)

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine (BBBSMM) kicks off the New Year with a recruitment effort to match 30 waiting Littles with adult mentors and train another 70 college and high school students to serve as “Virtual Bigs” to mentor area youth, with hopes of returning to in-person programming this year. The BBBSMM campaign, “One to One in 2021” is part of National Mentoring Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the agency’s current Bigs, and share their stories to help recruit new mentors from throughout midcoast, eastern and central Maine.

Community-based matches meet a few hours each week either virtually or in person following Covid safety guidelines. School-based matches are communicating via the agency’s online virtual messaging program “MentorNet” and keeping in touch through pen pal writing, with hopes of returning to one-hour, weekly meetings at after-school programs when it is safe to return. Both community and school/site-based Bigs are screened, trained, matched and supported by professional program staff. All volunteers commit to mentoring a child for a minimum of one year, which supports the development of stronger and longer lasting relationships.

Big Brother Chris Paradis, who has a busy personal and professional life, says mentoring is about finding time for things that matter most.

“This experience has been an eye opener and has made me realize the importance of giving back,” Paradis says about his three-year friendship with Little Brother Evan Jones, who is now 16 years old. “It’s pretty powerful to be able to watch someone grow, mature, and know you are making a difference in their lives.”

BBBSMM Executive Director Gwendolyn Hudson said there has never been a more critical time for volunteers to become Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

“As we all do our part to isolate for the health of our community, the connection between Bigs and Littles is more important than ever,” Hudson said. Community Bigs, she shared, are finding creative ways to stay connected through virtual cooking classes, online games and arts and crafts, and doing outside activities together. MentorNet, the agency’s new online communication program, is making it safe and easy for college and high school Bigs to stay connected with local youth.

“The New Year is a great time to make a personal commitment to give back in your community. All you need is a desire to make a difference by igniting a child’s greatest potential,” Hudson said. “Many people think they don’t have the time or are not sure if they would be a good mentor,” Hudson said. “Bigs tell us all the time that spending a few hours just being a friend not only significantly impacts their Little’s life, but changes their own for the better. It is very rewarding.”

Interested volunteers can learn more about local Littles waiting and how to become a mentor by calling 207-236-BBBS or emailing Additional information can be found at

Thelma Bulger presented with Vassalboro’s Boston Post Cane

Thelma Bulger with the Boston Post Cane presented to her by the Vassalboro Historical Society proclaiming her the oldest resident in town. Below, right, the knob of the cane. (photo by Elizabeth Bulger Bourgoin)

Symbolic of the town’s oldest resident

Submitted by Janice Clowes

The Vassalboro Historical Society has announced the honorary ownership of the Boston Post cane to Mrs T. Lois Bulger. The tradition of the cane began in 1909, when the Boston Post distributed 431 of the canes to towns throughout New England with instructions that each should be presented to the oldest living citizen of the town.

The cane is made from Gabon ebony from the Congo. Each cane took approximately one year to make. The cane’s head is finished with a 14-carat gold top and is elaborately sculpted. Vassalboro’s cane was missing for many years, until purchased in 1988 from an antique dealer in California and given to the Historical Society by Betty Taylor, one of the Society’s founders. The honorary ownership of the cane was given to Louise Charlotte Seehagen Eastman in September, 2016. Mrs. Eastman passed away at 101 years of age in January 2020.

The new recipient, Thelma Lois Wood was born on April 24,1922, to parents Eva and Norman Wood in Oakland, Maine. Always known as Lois, she attended Oakland schools, where she met her future husband, Harold Bulger. She continued her education and completed a Special Secretarial Course at Thomas Business College. Harold and Lois were married on December 24, 1940, in Oakland.

Mr. and Mrs. Bulger moved to Vassalboro where they raised their four children, Mayella, Gregory, Linda, and Elizabeth. They also opened their own business, and ran Pine Tree Stables, Home of Fine Horses for 30 years. In 1982 the Bulgers opened Pine Tree Stables Antiques and Collectibles. Mrs. Bulger continues to run the antique business which now includes Ebay sales. Mrs. Bulger also worked for the Adjudication Division of the Veteran’s Administration at Togus as a Claims Examiner for 34 years.

Mrs. Bulger was a member of Adams Memorial Church until it closed. She taught Sunday School and was a member of the Womens’ Fellowship. She loves reading mysteries, gardening, and quilting. Her family has grown and she is the proud grammie to 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and great-great grammie to four.

Mrs. Bulger received a walking stick carved by Raymond Breton, of Vassalboro, and a certificate in recognition of her status as Vassalboro’s Oldest Resident.

Shane Savage named CMGC developer of the year

Shane Savage (contributed photo)

Central Maine Growth Council has presented its 2020 Developer of the Year award to Shane Savage, R.Ph., co-owner of Savage’s Drug. The award was presented at Central Maine Growth Council’s Annual Meeting, sponsored by Central Maine Motors, Kennebec Savings Bank, MaineGeneral Health, and New Dimensions Federal Credit Union.

Shane has always had a passion for serving his community. Beginning his career as a pharmacy technician at the age of 16 at LaVerdiere’s drug, he worked for LaVerdiere’s through both college and high school. Savage is a graduate of Lawrence High School in Fairfield and Northeastern University’s College of Pharmacy, where he graduated with a B.S in Pharmacy. In 2012 he completed the Comprehensive Compounding Course at the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA) in Texas.

Savage has opened pharmacies in Fairfield, Oakland, Winslow and Unity. Beginning in 2004, Shane and his father purchased Unity Pharmacy and opened Fairfield Pharmacy later that same year. In 2005, Savage’s Drug opened their Oakland location, formerly True’s pharmacy, which followed with the Winslow location being built in 2009. Within the span of 5 years, Savage’s drug was able to expand into four locations throughout mid-Maine.

A second-generation pharmacist, Shane works alongside his father, John “Bud” Savage in their Fairfield store. Today, Savage’s Drug employs over 40 employees and provides a variety of local services, including vaccinations and on-site flu clinics, online prescription refill services, and local prescription delivery. In their Fairfield pharmacy, Savage’s Drug is home to a state-of-the-art compounding lab, where it has the ability to produce custom medications and doses for both pets and people.

More recently, Savage’s Drug has acquired Buddie’s Grocery, on Main Street, in Oakland. By opening their new location in Oakland, Savage’s Drug is expanding its operation and offerings on Main Street during an exciting time for the town. The downtown district welcomes heightened interest and investment, including undergoing a revitalization process that necklaces Main Street. In turn, Savage’s newest business operation is already making contributions to the downtown and will serve an additional draw for residences, visitors, and businesses.

Shane hopes to expand upon the custom medication aspect of his business, giving Savage’s Drug the ability to advocate for more customers from different medical backgrounds or needs. Savage’s Drug services Colby College through their Winslow location, including over-the-counter medications and prescription medications. His commitment to his community and customer service earned him the title of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year in 2014. Shane’s dedication to helping those in need is exemplified through his passion for expanding his service locations and consistently working to improve the lives of those around him.

“We are delighted to acknowledge Shane’s business expansion, impact on local and regional public health, and recent investments in Oakland’s downtown”, said Garvan Donegan, director of planning, innovation, and economic development at the Central Maine Growth Council. “Shane’s tireless work has proven to be a powerful engine for community health and revitalization by continuing to spark the importance of healthy and vibrant communities while preserving the character of an iconic downtown Oakland location. During these challenging times, Shane’s operation is a model for the dual commitments of community and economic health, which will be key to sustaining economic vitality in our commercial districts and improving quality of life during the pandemic recovery process”.

Central Maine Growth Council thanks Shane Savage for his contributions and looks forward to further expansion of Savage’s Drug from the region’s 2020 developer of the year.