PHOTO: Winter wonderland?

Tyler Folsom, 13, of Winslow, doing something he loves, clearing snow from the driveway. That is something he has loved doing since he was a toddler. (photo by Mark Huard)

Scouts receive patches

The Boy Scouts Pine Tree Council operates four properties: Camp William Hinds, in Raymond, Camp Bomazeen, in Belgrade, Camp Nutter, in Acton, and Camp Gustin, in Sabattus. Recently, Augusta Scout Troop #603 received commemorative “Four Camps Challenge” patches from Pine Tree Council for having adventures at all four camps. (contributed photo)

PHOTO: Six-time winner

Chase Lawler, 9, of Oakland, took first place in the Oakland Recreation Department Ice Fishing Frenzy on February 14. It marked the sixth consecutive year he won that honor. (contributed photo)

Thurston Park in the winter

Thurston Park in the winter (photo from Thurston Park Facebook page)

This article is a reprint of one that appeared in China’s Connected newsletter.

Thurston Park is open in the winter! All trails are open and accessible by foot or snowmobile. The park is open dawn to dusk, seven days a week. The Yorktown Road is plowed to the top of the hill by the town of Albion. Parking is on the left just before you go down the hill. The rest of the way in may be plowed by one of the abutters. In that case, you can park just before the road heads into the woods on the left side of the road. Please do not park in the road or anywhere to the right as you will be blocking the abutter access.

All trails are open, and the composting toilets are available for use. There is no grooming or clearing of trails during the winter. Trails 1 and 2 have been cleansed of blow downs recently. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, fat biking, and hiking are all options. Thurston Park is beautiful in the winter and all the waterfalls are currently running. Look out for deer, porcupines, fox, moose, many species of birds, and possibly beavers. Please remember to maintain social-distancing and have your mask available to put on if you meet people on the trail.

Maps are available at the town office or at the kiosk at the entrance to the park. They are also on the town website,

Waterville Creates celebrates Black History Month by highlighting Maine author

Four-year-old Naomi creating a Beautiful Blackbird collage.(Contributed photo)

In honor of Black History Month, Waterville Creates, together with the Colby College Museum of Art, Kennebec Montessori School, Waterville Public Schools and the Family Violence Project, has created a special Art Kit for All to celebrate the artwork and legacy of Maine artist, Ashley Bryan. The February art kit is inspired by Ashley Bryan’s award-winning book, Beautiful Blackbird, a copy of which will be included in each art kit.

Ashley Bryan is an American artist, writer, and illustrator of children’s books, and the majority of his subjects are derived from the African-American experience. “Beautiful Blackbird is a wonderful representation of Bryan’s spirit,” says Shannon Haines, President and CEO of Waterville Creates. “His captivating storytelling and vivid collage work make this book a treat for all ages, and it is our hope that these art kits will inspire families to not only read and create together but also to learn more about Bryan’s work.” The Beautiful Blackbird art kit will be distributed on February 25 at the Alfond Youth and Community Center, located at 124 North Street, in Waterville, at 4 p.m. as long as supplies last. A number of kits will also be available for the Alfond Weekend Backpack Program and the Waterville Public Library’s “Library To Go” program.

“Ashley Bryan is such a beloved artist, and we are thrilled that young people in Waterville will be able to draw inspiration from his beautiful book to make their own art. It’s exciting for children and families know that an artist and writer of Bryan’s stature lives right here in our state, and we are honored to have his work represented in the Colby Museum collection to share with our community,” said Jacqueline Terrassa, Carolyn Muzzy Director of the Colby College Museum of Art.

To complement these special art kits, Waterville Creates and the Maine Film Center will highlight and promote streaming information for the 2016 award-winning documentary by filmmaker, Richard Kane, entitled I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan, throughout the month of February at The film was featured as an official selection at the Maine International Film Festival in 2016. A long-time resident of Cranberry Island in Isleford, Maine, Ashley Bryan is deeply committed to using his artwork and writing as a vehicle to create unity and understanding around his African heritage.

For this month’s art kit, Waterville Creates is especially grateful for additional sponsorship provided by the Colby College Museum of Art and the Children’s Book Cellar. Ongoing funding for the Art Kits for All program has been generously provided by Waterville Creates’ annual sponsors MaineGeneral Health, Kennebec Savings Bank, Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities, Bangor Savings Bank, New Dimensions Federal Credit Union, and Back Office Solutions.

In direct response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Art Kits for All is an innovative, collaborative program designed to keep our community’s families engaged and connected to the arts. By providing free art supplies and instructions, this program offers high-quality, accessible art experiences in a completely re-imagined way. The first art kits were distributed on April 8, 2020, and to date, over 3,000 kits have been distributed as part of this innovative response to the pandemic.

VBA scholarship applications available

The Vassalboro Business Association’s Scholarship applications are now available. They should be in local high school’s guidance offices or they can be emailed or mailed to you directly by calling or texting 207-631-3303 with your address. They are due April 15.

They are $500 scholarships for post-secondary programs of study. Recipient(s) must have been a resident of Vassalboro for the past two years. This scholarship rewards community service experiences.

Polar Bear Dip challenge takes new twist

A photo from last year’s 2020 Polar Bear challenge: AYCC Childcare leadership team, Chrissy Johnson, Bobbi Pelletier and DJ Adams, take the dip. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

As top earner for the Annual Polar Bear Dip for the past six years in a row, Tony Tuell and his team of Silver Streen Tavern heroes have raised over $35,000
to help the AYCC provide meals to kids and families experiencing food insecurity.

This year’s virtual event, Shiver yer Shamrocks, requires Dippers to create a challenge, film and post it, then raise funds.

Anthony Tuell is Colby College’s Supervisor of Mechanical & Electrical Services and Polar Bear Dipper Extraordinaire!

The Shiver yer Shamrocks event will be held Saturday, March 20, at noon.

MaineGeneral Health opens new practice

MaineGeneral Health has announced the opening of a new medical practice, MaineGeneral Addiction Medicine on Feb. 1, 2021. Addiction Medicine will provide comprehensive services to patients seeking treatment for substance use disorder, opiate use disorder and the treatment of other addictive substances. Services are offered at two locations, 9 Green Street in Augusta and Thayer Center for Health in Waterville.

MaineGeneral’s Addiction Medicine team uses an evidence-based approach to manage opioid, alcohol and stimulant and sedative (benzodiazepine) use disorders, with a focus on diagnosis, treatment and prevention. “From one-on-one appointments with addiction medicine physicians, to group meetings, individual counseling and needle exchange services, we are here to support patients and families through this process,” said Nicholas Gallagher, DO, medical director.

“MaineGeneral looks forward to providing more robust substance use disorder treatment services to our community,” said Chuck Hays, president/CEO. “For the last 15 years, we have provided medication-assisted treatment for opiate use disorder. Having an Addiction Medicine practice allows us to continue to effectively respond to the current opioid crisis in our community, as well as the ongoing prevalence of alcohol use disorder and its long-ranging effects on individuals and families.”

To learn more about MaineGeneral Addiction Medicine, please call 872-4151 or 207-621-3759 or visit

2021 China Four Seasons Club fishing derby winners

Lunker of the day: Jeremy Ross, largemouth bass, 6 lbs. 6 oz.

Brown trout: 1. Kylie Caruso, 2 lbs., 13 oz.; 2. Jacob Martin, 2 lbs. 11 oz.

Brook trout: 1. Betsy Discharden, 1 lb. 6 oz.; 2. Owen Robeshauge, 1 lb. 4.5 oz.; 3. Shawn Tibbetts, 1 lb. 3 oz.

Chain pickerel: 1. Nathan Wright, 4 lbs. 7 oz.; 2. Greg Candelmo (no weight available); 3. Aaron Sousa, 4 lbs.

Largemouth bass: 1. Jeremy Ross, 6 lbs. 6 oz.; 2. Brian Garret, 5 lbs. 2 oz.; 3. Olivia Hutchinson, 4 lbs. 15 oz.

Perch: Children 15 and under division: by count: 1. Maryanna Dregier, with 34; 2. Blake Owens, 27; Charles Shapel, 10; Logan Jahosworth, 4; Baily Clonier, 3.

China Four Seasons Club ice fishing derby enjoyed by many

Jeremy Ross shows his prize winning 6 lbs., 6 oz. largemouth bass, as the Lunker of the Day.

by Sandra Isaac

The China Four Seasons Club and The China Village Fire Department held their 2nd annual China Lake Ice Fishing Derby on Sunday, February 14. The event was well attended with the entire group spread out over China Lake, where the fishing for the derby was limited. “It was great to see so many families and children involved with this year’s derby,” said Tom Rumpf, President of the China Four Seasons Club. The largest fish was caught by Jeremy Ross. The largemouth bass weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces, winning both the largemouth fishing division and the “Lunker of the Day” award. The derby concluded with a fireworks display set off by Central Maine Pyrotechnics at the north end of the lake.

Olivia Hutchinson displays her third place winning largemouth bass.

Maryanna Dregier took first prize in the children 15 and under category, catching 34 perch.