Covers towns roughly within 50 miles of Augusta.

Rep. Cathy Nadeau announces local projects in Maine DOT work plan

Rep. Cathy Nadeau (photo from legislature.maine.gov)

State Representative Cathy Nadeau (R-Winslow) has announced that the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Work Plan for Calendar Years 2021, 2022 and 2023 is available. The estimated value of work in the plan totals more than 2,180 individual work items with a total value of $2.71 billion.

The MDOT Work Plan for House District 78 includes projects totaling $3,250,000 for the towns of Winslow and Benton.

The work includes two large, local projects, a Municipal Partnership Initiative on Benton Avenue ($1.1 million) and replacement of the bridge just before the Benton town line on Garland Road ($1.9 million). The Work Plan also includes improvements to Route 137 and Route 100A in Winslow, Northbound and Southbound bridges on Interstate 95 in Benton and other state roads in the area.

“Everyone recognizes the importance of properly maintained roads and how important they are to everyday life,” said Rep. Nadeau. “I am pleased to see several scheduled MDOT projects in our area, including replacement of a bridge that is over 100 years old. These and other projects to be undertaken during the next three years, will make our roads safer and benefit our local economy.”

The full work plan, searchable by municipality, is available at the Maine Department of Transportation’s website: https://www.maine.gov/mdot/projects/workplan/search/.

VA to contact vets for vaccine shots

Veterans Administration facility at Togus. (Internet photo)

The VA Maine care teams will begin to schedule Covid-19 vaccinations for eligible veterans. Through VEText, text messages will inform eligible veterans their facility is offering the vaccine and will come from the short number, 53079.

The VEText program allows veterans to confirm or cancel scheduled appointments and sends reminders for visits via text message.

With VEText, simply text “start” to 53079 to opt-in to receiving VEText messaging. Every enrolled veteran with a cell phone number listed in their health record is automatically enrolled to receive text messages.

The care teams will notify eligible veterans to make a vaccine appointment directly by text message. They will also continue to contact veterans by phone.

Veterans can update phone numbers online at va.gov/profile.

To learn more about VEText, go to va.gov/HEALTH/VEText­–FAQs.asp.

Rep. Bradstreet announces local projects in Maine DOT work plan

Rep. Dick Bradstreet

State Representative Bradstreet (R-Vassalboro) has announced that the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Work Plan for Calendar Years 2021, 2022 and 2023 is available. The estimated value of work in the plan totals more than 2,180 individual work items with a total value of $2.71 billion.

The MDOT Work Plan for House District 80 includes five projects for Vassalboro, Somerville and Windsor totaling $1.63 million.
The Work Plan involves paving, reconstructing existing roads as well as rehabilitation.

“MDOT Work Plan projects will benefit our local communities in many ways,” said Rep. Bradstreet. “I am pleased to see several MDOT projects scheduled for the next three years in our area. They will make our roads safer and benefit local economy.”

The full work plan, searchable by municipality, is available at the Maine Department of Transportation’s website: https://www.maine.gov/mdot/projects/workplan/search/.

Support Keep ME Warm fundraiser

image from: keepmewarm.org

Each year, thousands of Mainers are faced with choosing between heating their homes and purchasing basic needs like food and medicine. As a result, the Keep ME Warm fund was established in 2005 and is a statewide partnership of Maine’s United Ways and Community Action Agencies. Keep ME Warm provides emergency heating assistance and is the only statewide fuel assistance fundraising effort in Maine.

To help support the fund, seven Maine State Farm agents recently partnered and donated money to Keep ME Warm. “I can’t imagine not having a warm home in the winter,” says Augusta State Farm Agent Dennis Keller. “I’m very proud we are able to bring warmth and a sense of security to our neighbors in need.”

The State Farm agents’ donation totaled $4,400. Half of that funding came from the individual agents themselves and the other half was matched by State Farm.

“State Farm encourages all associates to be good neighbors by giving back to the communities where we live and work,” says Dennis. “I encourage anyone who can to also support the Keep ME Warm fund. Let’s create a state where no Mainers ever have to choose between heating their homes or feeding their families again.”

For more information on the Keep ME Warm fund, please visit keepmewarm.org.

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)

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 www.mainefilmcenter.org. 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.

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.

LETTERS: Community refrigerator: What a fantastic idea

To the editor:

I have just read an article on CentralMaine about the book club ladies in Skowhegan. They are modeling an idea of having a Community Refrigerator, that started in New York. It seemed to come to fruition pretty easily. What a great resource for that town.

I’d really like to see more towns do this. Most of the towns that The Town Line serves have both a need for this type of resource and wonderful people that could make it be successful.

If there were to be a free Community Refrigerator near the town office in my town, I will gladly donate as often and as frequently as I’m able to. There may also come a day that I may need (and be thankful to be able) to grab a carton of eggs or a tub of butter.

I’d like people to bring this idea to their town officials or town meetings and I hope to see some of these refrigerators soon. I’m positive that they would be appreciated.

Thank you for the time you took to read this through.

Danielle Foster

Mid-Maine Chamber to offer Takeout Challenge again

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce will once again be holding their Takeout Challenge Contest to help out restaurants, cafés and eateries at a time when they need us the most.

We all enjoyed eating outside on decks and patios, or frequenting our favorite places while the weather was nice. Now that the temperatures have cooled off, our restaurants and eateries are hurting – many have had to curtail hours, or staff to align with the amount of business coming through the doors. So, it is not as easy to find places to eat outside our homes.

If you can still get food at your favorite hangout and feel a comfort level to do so – by all means, help them keep on keeping on. But for those who may not be comfortable eating inside for the next few weeks and would rather be in the comfort of your own home, please consider ordering takeout to continue helping those who kept you fed in the past.

We all must eat, even during the pandemic – the chamber would simply like to reward you for doing so.

For the next eight weeks, you can enter to win a $25 Damon’s Beverage gift card simply by sending in your takeout receipts for food ordered at any of the Chamber member eateries. It’s easy to enter, and win – just scan, email, snap a photo, mail or drop off a copy of your receipt.

Emails and scans may be sent to cindy@midmainechamber.com. Entries may also be mailed or dropped at the Chamber office – 50 Elm St., Waterville. Be sure to include a contact number, in the event you are a winner. Weekly winners will be drawn at random each Wednesday and notified by phone or email.

Check for Chamber member restaurant/eateries take-out hours and website information here: www.midmainechamber.com/takeoutchallenge.

(This list will expand as the chamber receives additional information as to eateries offering takeout.)

Join the Takeout Challenge 2021 – and eat your heart out – while you show some love to our local businesses!

PHOTOS: Central Maine Youth Hockey in action

Central Maine Youth Hockey Hornets Tier 3 Squirts, from top to bottom, Zaiden Thoopsamoot, Jace Poulin and Chase Lawler, saw action recently against the Tier 3 Maine Moose, in Rockport. The Hornets fell, 5-0.

(Photos by Sarah Fredette, Central Maine Photography staff)

 

Zaiden Thoopsamoot of Central Maine Youth Hockey Hornets Tier 3 Squirts. (photos by Sarah Fredette, Central Maine Photography staff)

Jace Poulin of Central Maine Youth Hockey Hornets Tier 3 Squirts. (photos by Sarah Fredette, Central Maine Photography staff)

Chase Lawler of Central Maine Youth Hockey Hornets Tier 3 Squirts. (photo by Sarah Fredette, Central Maine Photography staff)