PHOTO: LaCroix captures first places in New England

Huard’s Martial Arts Student Lucia LaCroix, 13, left, of Skowhegan, captured first place in both traditional and creative weapons at the 42nd Ocean State Grand Nationals, in Warwick, Rhode Island, on April 5-7. LaCroix also won the Grand Championship Title, at the New England Karate Classic, in Gardner, Massachusetts, on April 6. Pictured with LaCroix is one of her instructors Sensei Mark Huard. (photo courtesy of Mark Huard)

Ella Conway earns dean’s list

Emerson College student Ella Conway, from Skowhegan, is named to the College’s dean’s list for the Fall 2023 semester, in Boston, Massachusetts. Conway is majoring in media arts production and is a member of the Class of 2026.

Sophie Wheeler named to the dean’s list at Bates College

Sophie Wheeler, of Skowhegan, was named to the dean’s list at Bates College, in Lewiston, for the fall/winter semester ending in December 2023. This is a distinction earned by students whose grade point average is 3.92 or higher.

Wheeler is majoring in Theater and Rhetoric, Film, Screen Studies, at Bates.




Dawson Turcotte accepted to med school

Dawson Turcotte (Contributed photo)

Dawson Turcotte, son of Eric and Kris Turcotte, of Skowhegan, was accepted into the University of New England’s Doctor of Osteo­pathic Medicine Program beginning July 2024. Dawson will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in medical biology from the University of New England this May. Dawson is a 2021 graduate of Skowhegan Area High School.

Lacroix captures two gold medals

Huard’s Martial Arts student Lucia Lacroix, 13, of Skowhegan, captured two gold medals and one silver medal at the AKA Warrior Cup World Martial Arts Tournament, in Chicago, Illinois, on Friday and Saturday January 12 – 13. (photo by Mark Huard)

York County CC announces fall honors (2023)

York County Community College students are recognized each semester for their outstanding academic achievements, in York.

Stacy Bettencourt, of Jefferson,, part-time dean’s list;
Michaela Bisson, of Winslow, dean’s list;
Lucas Wallace, of Skowhegan, part-time dean’s list;

PHOTOS: First snowmen of the year

Left photo, Asher, Gideon and Joseph Alix with their Thanksgiving snowman from the first snowfall of the year. Right, Emma, 2, and Parker, 9, Robbins, of Skowhegan, show off their snowman. (photos by Central Maine Photography)

Samantha Bonneau named to Elms College’s spring 2023 dean’s list

Samantha Bonneau, of Skowhegan, was named to the College of Our Lady of the Elms spring 2023 dean’s list, in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Sydney Veilleux recieves Collaboration Award from Lasell University

Sydney Veilleux, a Lasell University student, from Skowhegan, was recognized by their peers for outstanding collaboration in the spring 2023 semester in their Retail Innovation Lab course, in Newton, Massachusetts.

Veilleux was selected as one of the two best people to work with in the course. Recipients of the Collaboration Recognition Award are selected by their peers for exemplifying superior skills in collaboration by sharing ideas and useful information, communicating in a professional manner, and cooperating in a way to ensure success.

The Collaboration Recognition Program at Lasell University was launched in 2021 as an opportunity to acknowledge students not just for their academic performance in a particular course, but for collaborative behaviors that are the key to success in professional environments.

Research sessions effort to collect data on PFAS

by Jonathan Strieff

Doctors from Redington-Fairview General Hospital, in Skowhegan, and the MaineHealth Institute for Research, in Portland, hosted six research session over three weeks in Waterville and Thorndike in an effort to collect data regarding PFAS exposure in central Maine.

PFAS refers to a family more than 4,000 chemicals present in a wide variety of consumer products, from non-stick cook wear and food packaging to water resistant clothing and stain resistant home goods. Since the 1970s, evidence of negative health outcomes associated with increased PFAS exposure has steadily grown, including decreased antibody response in adults and children, thyroid disease and dysfunction in adults, and increased risks of kidney, breast, and testicular cancers, but the evidence has primarily targeted water pollution associated with close proximity to chemical manufacturing plants and sites with heavy use of fire retardant foam, like military training bases. The high level exposure identified in central Maine in recent years is unique as the contamination has come from the application of sewage and industrial waste as fertilizer on farm fields, entering the food chain and watershed less directly.

When Dr. Rachel Criswell and Dr. Abby Fleish began seeing the impacts of PFAS exposure in their clinical patients, they sought to understand what ways this form of exposure differed from those that have been better researched. Criswell and Fleish applied for grant funding from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences to conduct a Time-Sensitive Environmental Health Study. Time-Sensitive Studies are typically carried out following natural disasters and other anomalous events, but the doctors convincingly argued that the degree of PFAS exposure in central Maine constituted a “slow-moving environmental disaster.”

The study they designed holds three distinct goals: to describe the extent and impacts of PFAS contamination among the diverse cohort; to clearly identify all possible exposure pathways (food, water, soil dust, other); and to quantify the mental health affects resulting from the stress of mitigating the contamination. To do this, Criswell and Fleish contacted by mail every individual in the three surrounding counties who had well water tested for PFAS by the Department of Environmental Protection, asking for participants to take part in their study.

At the September 19 event, held at the Waterville Elks lodge, more than two dozen respondents attended to participate. Following a brief overview of the study by Dr. Criswell, each participant was individually walked through an informed consent form and then asked to complete a short questionnaire that asked about personal diet and lifestyle habits before and after learning of PFAS exposure. Participants were then asked to provide a blood sample and those willing also had the option to provide hair samples, human milk samples, and stool samples.

Prior to the two events scheduled in Thorndike the following week, Dr. Criswell anticipated falling far short of the 300 participants they hoped to enlist, but was already making arrangements to extend enrollment in the study. Anyone interested in participating can contact Skowhegan Family Medicine at 207-474-6201.

Jonathan Strieff is a freelance contributor to The Town Line.