China Baptist Church gets new sunburst pediments

Dwayne Bickford displaying his handy work. (photo courtesy of Linda Morrell)

submitted by Linda Morrell

Several years ago the Trustees at China Baptist became aware that the smaller sunburst pediments above the front windows and the larger one above the door were in need of repair or replacement. Dwayne Bickford volunteered to take one of the smaller ones down and make a new one. I don’t think he realized the amount of work he was volunteering for, but he got it done. Then last fall he undertook removing and replicating the larger one above the door.

The old, sunburst pediment that needed to be replaced. (photo courtesy of Linda Morrell)

It surely was a labor of love!

We are so blessed to have craftsman like Dwayne Bickford in our church and community. This is what Dwayne said about the project.

The work in progress. (photo courtesy of Linda Morrell)

“I can finally share my latest project. I am in awe of how the craftsman of probably 200 years ago designed and constructed the decorative sunburst pediments at China Baptist Church (and the one over the entrance of the China Village Library). The upper one on the front of the church had reached its end of life and was taken down last summer so I could use the pieces for a template. It no doubt had been refurbished at some point in the past as evidenced by the plywood backing. The green paint behind the plywood shows the plywood was added some time later. The replacement was made just like the original from Maine cedar. I used modern tools, however. I sure can’t wait to meet the original craftsman some day.”

A plaque was placed behind the pediment for future generation it reads, “made in Belgrade Maine by Dwayne Bickford. This Sunburst pediment was remade for China Baptist Church. May 2024.”

The project is complete and was installed last Saturday. Thank you Dwayne and the crew who helped put it back in place. Nelson Farris, Carl McKeil and Brad Bickford. It looks beautiful!

The finished product: The new sunburst pediment in place. (photo courtesy of Linda Morrell)

Manchester kindergartners tour China’s transfer station/recycling

Photo by Roberta Barnes

by Roberta Barnes

Today’s children are our future, and the future of our planet. What helps today’s children to form our future is learning through experience. To help students learn the importance of recycling Ms. Gross and Mrs. Wood, Manchester kindergarten teachers, arranged for the kindergartners to have a guided tour through the China transfer station’s recycling program.

By 9 a.m., Thursday morning, May 16, Tom, and Cheyenne, two of the staff at the China transfer station, had everything ready for the children to enjoy an interactive tour of all the areas in the transfer station.

Photo by Roberta Barnes

The moment the children stepped off the school bus they were smiling and ready to see that not everything we throw away belongs in the trash can. They gathered in front of the table that Tom and Cheyenne had set up by the area of electronics ranging from laptops, televisions, monitors, and more waiting to be recycled.

The principal Abbie Hartford, Ms. Gross, Mrs. Wood, nine parent chaperones, and the bus driver joined in behind the children.

Tom placed a large garbage bag filled with different waste items on the table. He took one of the items out and held it up while asking the children if it could be recycled or not. After the children had answered, he explained a little about the recycling of that item. Taking out a different item from the bag, he again asked if it could be recycled. This continued with the children anxiously responding until the bag was totally empty.

Rather than this being a verbal test, the children’s giggles and body language said it was a fun learning experience. The children’s answers also proved that along with computers being a part of today’s daily life, so is recycling.

The next stop on the tour was outside the recycling building that has separate bins for things such as clean glass, plastic, tin and aluminum, mixed papers, cardboard, and newspaper. Here the children were introduced to a hands-on activity. Not far from where the children stood were plastic crates filled with assorted items for them to put in the correct bin. The children hurried over to crates, each picked up one item, and then carefully checked the signs on the bins before putting in the item. One little girl stopped by the two bins for glass and Tom explained to her, and another child who stopped to listen, what diverse types of glass should go in each bin.

It did not take long for the crates to be emptied so they could move on. However, before moving on to other recycling areas, several children stopped to check out the transfer station’s mascot. Oscar the Grouch sitting in a metal trash shows that while recycling is important for all of our health, it can also bring smiles.

The tour then passed by areas of clothing and a truck trailer where tires were stacked for recycling, before stopping at the composting section. There the children saw that besides the large pile of compost, there were other sections of compost. Just as some foods we eat can hurt our dogs, it is best to separate things when composting. It was explained that composting foods, wood, manure, leaves, and other things not only help improve the soil by returning nutrients and carbon to it but cut down on the amount of trash in a landfill.

By the time everyone arrived at the hopper where waste that cannot be recycled is dumped, there were only a few things left in the buckets children had been carrying. A piece of carboard and a piece of metal were not put in the hopper because they could be recycled, the bins for those had just been missed.

After all that, there were still two other recycling areas. The first is where used plastic toys in excellent condition are free to take. The second is a grassy area with signs saying “no mow”. Mixed into the grass are dandelions, which as Tom explained are an important food sources for wildlife. The bright yellow blooms are perfect for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, plus the flowers and leaves are nutritious. Rabbits, deer, groundhogs, squirrels, and others animal enjoy the nutritious tasty leaves.

Tom answered the children’s remaining questions and then pointed to the scales used to weigh trucks.

Before getting onto the bus the children happily gathered together on the transfer station’s scale. Together with all their smiles they weighed over 1,450 lbs., combined.

Stolen Angel

Nivette Jackaway’s stolen angel. (contributed photo)

Nivette Jackaway, from Winslow, had her angel stolen from McClintock Cemetery, in Winslow.

Nivette said, “Sad that my Angel was stolen from the McClintock Cemetery in Winslow. It’s been there for about 10 years. It’s an old cemetery and not many people go there so I’m shocked that it was stolen.”

Anyone with information about the stolen angel, please contact The Town Line at

Tristan Morton’s essay entry selected for second place in the nation

Tristan Morton

Tristan Morton, 11, a student at St. Michael School, in Augusta, and Star Scout at Augusta Troop #603, was notified that his entry for the essay contest hosted by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) was selected for second place among sixth grade entries nationally. Tristan’s journey began with an essay on John Phillip Sousa’s Star Spangled Banner from the perspective of a reporter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for its first public presentation.

Tristan has been amazed by the reception his essay received, as he was first selected to represent St. Michael School’s sixth grade. Reading the essay for the local post of the DAR, he was selected to represent the post at the State of Maine level. Next, he was chosen as Maine’s sixth grade DAR Essay Representative. Tristan’s work competed for the New England & New York region and after selection moved into the competition at the National level for the sixth grade.

Tristan’s parents, Marleen Lajoie COL. (ret.) USARNG & Jeffrey Morton COL. (ret.) USAR are proud of his efforts and the message of respect and honor his essay presents. His description of a 19th century patriotic setting, and the excited reception of this music by the crowd captured both the excitement and patriotic zeal at that 19th century event.

Tristan’s family is coordinating a visit to the National DAR Conference, in Washington, DC, for Tristan to receive his recognition and thank the organization. Tristan’s messages of respect for the artist and those who sacrificed to sustain our great country echo key elements of his school, Scouting America, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Palermo veteran proudly marches in Washington DC parade

On Memorial Day, hundreds of veterans who served during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 were in our nation’s Capital to honor those who have died during their military service. Mark A. Audet, of Palermo, marched in one of the largest groups of veterans in the National Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 27, 2024, on Constitution Avenue, in Washington, DC.

Less than one mile from the parade route is the land where the Desert Shield and Desert Storm Memorial will be constructed. Projected completion and dedication of the memorial is fall 2025.

Mark A. Audet, a U.S. Navy veteran, served as a Corpsman with Fleet Hospital 15, the northernmost deployed hospital, near Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia, during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Within 24 hours, Iraq’s military occupied its southern neighbor with the intent of further advancing into Saudi Arabia. President George H.W. Bush would successfully lead a coalition of dozens of nations in the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, a campaign known as Operation Desert Storm.

More information on the Desert Shield and Desert Storm Memorial can be located at

Albert Church Brown Library receives two grants

Brooke and Nash Plaisted during a session of LEGOs at the Albert Church Brown Memorial Library.

The Albert Church Brown Memorial Library has announced that it has received grants from The Simmons Foundation and the Oak Grove School Foundation to support a new program for children ages 6-18. LEGOs Clubs for Kids also received very generous LEGO donations from Tom and Teresa Parent and Katrina Kilduff.

Zareen and Syar Wajid show off their creation.

Funding from the foundations enable the library to develop a LEGO Library that will provide reference and check-out materials for all LEGO users, including adults. Funding also augments the current LEGO collection with items missing from the LEGO donations and providing robotic LEGO mechanisms for the older, more advanced LEGO users. In addition, the library will upgrade the teens’ area of the library.

LEGO clubs are popular in many libraries across the country because they are recognized for improving problem-solving skills, lowering stress levels, improving mood, building confidence, improving IQ and hand-eye coordination and building team skills.

Kerri McGlew and her daughter Kate were instrumental in getting the program off the ground. In addition to Kerri and Kate, other volunteers include Meg Ouellette, Danica Ferris and Linnea Bassett.

First meeting in April with theme of “Things That Go” resulted in imaginative builds like a camper, water slide, ships, among other things. May’s theme was “Food” and resulted in a full breakfast on frying pan, food trucks and boats, milk and cookie drive thru and restaurants. The Club meets monthly on Saturday mornings. The next meeting is Saturdday, June 15, from 10:30 – noon. If you are interested in joining, please contact the library through their website,, or by calling 207-968-2926 during business hours, 2-6 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 am-2 pm on Saturdays.

To become a member of the LEGOs Clubs for Kids, one must first obtain a library card and sign a release that the library may publish pictures and/or articles in local papers and social media. A registration QR code is available on the library’s Facebook page. If you are interested in joining, please contact the library through their website,, or by calling 207-968-2926 during business hours, 2-6 p.m., on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., on Saturdays.

EVENTS: Memorial Day ceremonies in Oakland

Memorial Day activities in Oakland will include the following:

A ceremony will be held at Lakeview Cemetery at 11 a.m., before the parade, and at Memorial Hall during the parade

The parade will begin at noon, traveling down Pleasant Street, right onto Main St., continuing to Memorial Hall for the ceremony on Water St. and ending at the Post Office.

The Sons of the American Legion, along with the American Legion Auxiliary will be having a BBQ at 11 a.m., until sold out at the Decker-Simmons American Legion Post #51, in Oakland. Hamburgers and hot dogs and more will be served.

If you have a group that is still interested in being in the Memorial Day Parade, contact Bonnie at the Legion, 207-465-2446.

This year’s parade will be the largest in the area.

Grand marshal will be Charlie Gorman.

EVENTS: South China library fundraiser

The GoFundMe states: “The South China Public Library, the oldest continuously operating library in Maine, began in a private home in 1830 and moved to Village Street in 1900. In 2018, having outgrown its space, the library launched a project to build a new facility, at 27 Jones Road. Despite pandemic and supply chain delays, the new library opened in January 2024. Funding is still needed to finish and furnish the children’s room and community activity room. The library seeks community support to finish these spaces, with contributions of any size making a significant impact on this vital community resource. The library’s hope is to have a successful summer campaign to raise $45,000 and fully finish and furnish the spaces in the fall of 2024. This goal is ambitious and they need all the support they can get. If you can’t contribute yourself, please consider sharing this fundraiser with your friends and family to help us finish and furnish the New South China Public Library.”

East Kennebec Trail renamed in honor of Peter Garrett

Peter Garrett cuts the ribbon to the trail renamed in his honor. (photo by Michele Dorr)

Great moment for Kennebec Messalonskee Trails and the community

Peter Garrett cuts the ribbon to the trail renamed in his honor. (photo by Michele Dorr)

The East Kennebec Trail, on Benton Avenue, in Benton, has been renamed the Peter Garrett Trail, on May 16, 2024. They had a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m., to honor Peter Garrett and to officially rename the trail. This was a great honor for the Kennebec Messalonskee Trails and the community.


CORRECTION: In the article above, which appeared on the cover of the May 23, 2024, issue of The Town Line, it was originally incorrectly stated that the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors authorized the renaming of a trail in the Kennebec Messalonskee  trails after long-time advocate Peter Garrett. It was not in the board’s jurisdiction to do so. It was a reporting error.



Carrabec High School announces honor parts for class of 2024

Peter Campbell, Principal, has announced honor parts for the Class of 2024 at Carrabec High School, in North Anson.


Kolby Carpenter

Kolby Carpenter, Carrabec’s Valedictorian, is a student who is a role model in our school. With a grade point average of 99.35, he has completed six honors classes, two early college courses and three dual enrollment classes. Kolby is not only a great student, he also applies his strengths to the sports world as well, excelling in football and basketball. Carpenter has also represented his class as the Class President for all four years. Kolby will be attending Kennebec Valley Community College, (KVCC), in Fairfield, for their electrical program. Kolby is the son of Tia Bessey and Brandon Harrington, of Anson.


Cooper Dellarma

Cooper Dellarma, Carrabec’s Salutatorian, is a bright and successful student. Cooper has a grade point average of 98.89, completing four honors classes and one early college course. Cooper has earned his varsity letter in both basketball and baseball and is also a volunteer firefighter for the town of Solon. Cooper is an outstanding and well-rounded young man. Dellarma will be attending the University of Maine at Fort Kent for their forest management program. Cooper is the son of Derek and Hailey Dellarma, of Solon.