Covers towns roughly within 50 miles of Augusta.

EVENTS: MCCS, JMG launch new summer academy program

Young Mainers looking for help navigating their next step have a new opportunity to take free four- to six-week classes at Maine’s community colleges this summer under a new “Summer Academy” program offered by the colleges and nonprofit education partner JMG.

Summer Academy is open to JMG students ranging from high school seniors up to age 24 who do not have immediate plans to work or go to college. Students pay no tuition and select an area of study, including, but not limited to, cybersecurity, welding, criminal justice, phlebotomy, manufacturing technology, and emergency medical services.

Students who complete the program earn a JMG Career Exploration Badge and $500, and for certain programs, students earn an industry recognized credential of value.

“We saw incredible success with last year’s pilot project, said Dan Belyea, chief workforce development officer for the Maine Community College System (MCCS).

The Summer Academy is a collaboration between JMG and the MCCS’ Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce, which oversees short-time workforce training programs at Maine’s community colleges. It will serve 500 JMG students over the next two years.

According to Maine Department of Education data, 43 percent of Maine high school graduates in 2022 did not plan to go to college. The Summer Academy gives the students an immersive, guided experience to quickly upskill and become qualified for some of Maine’s most in-demand occupations.

To learn more about the Summer Academy, contact Octavie Nkama at

KVYSO is a place of growing for these five seniors

by Eric W. Austin

For these five high school seniors, the Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony Orchestras have been a place to grow, to build friendships, and to nurture their passion for music. This Spring, they are preparing for their final concert before heading off to college, on Mothers Day, May 12, 5 p.m., at the South Parish Church, in Augusta.

“I was such a rascal,” says Sophia Scheck with a rueful grin. “I didn’t just learn music, I learned to make friends, and sometimes how to lose them, and that’s okay.”
– Waterville High School senior Sophia Scheck

Sophia Scheck

“I was such a rascal,” says Sophia Scheck with a rueful grin. Scheck, a senior at Waterville High School, plays the viola (which is similar to a violin but a little bigger with slightly different strings). “Pineland Suzuki (school) has affected my life in so many ways,” she says. “I didn’t just learn music, I learned to make friends, and sometimes how to lose them, and that’s okay.” Scheck hopes to head for the Boston Conservatory next year to major in viola performance.

Carolyn Phelps Scholz

Carolyn Phelps Scholtz, a senior at the Ecology Learning Center, a public charter high school in Unity, plays the fiddle and has found her musical experience incredibly rewarding. “I’m still playing music with people that I started playing with when I was four,” she says. “We’ve grown up together, as people and musicians, and we’ll always have that.”

Diana Estes

Diana Estes is a homeschooler and has spent her life playing music and singing with her parents and six siblings. In her sixth year playing the cello, she sat as principal cellist in the Mid-Maine Youth Orchestra and now holds that place in the Kennebec Valley Youth Symphony. In 2023, she won the Anna Bereziuk and Lindley Wood Prize for Ensemble Endeavors in the Bay Chamber Prizewinner’s Competition. Outside of music, she is a devoted student, book enthusiast and soccer player. She has been accepted to Cedarville Univ­ersity, in Ohio, as a cello performance major, where she plans to double-major in biology before heading to medical school on her way to becoming a chiropractor. “I almost gave up playing cello in August 2021,” she admits. “I was prepared to sell my instrument, but my parents encouraged me to continue for just one more week, so I did. Three years later I’m on my way to college for cello, something I used to not like! The community and friendships built during my time at Pineland Suzuki School have been invaluable to me.”

Eben Buck

Silas Bartol

Eben Buck, who attends Cony High School, in Augusta, and Silas Bartol, from Maranacook High school, the remaining seniors in the orchestra, have been friends since childhood. “I still laugh about the “time Silas Bartol stuck his finger in Eben’s ear on stage during a rehearsal,” says Buck’s mother. “Eben calmly took Silas’ finger out of his ear and stuck Silas’ hand in his own pocket. They were four or five years old.”

The KV Youth Symphony Orchestras are a nonprofit initiative spearheaded by the Pineland Suzuki School of Music, in Manchester, with the aim of bringing the string musicians of the Suzuki school together with other local students of wind, brass and percussion instruments for a complete orchestral experience. Their May concert will feature music selections from Mozart’s Violin Concerto #3, Brahms’ Variations on a theme by Haydn, Bizet’s L’Arlesian Suite #2, among other pieces.

For more information about their upcoming concert or to find out how to enroll a student in the program, please visit their website at

National prescription drug take back day is April 27, 2024

On Saturday, April 27, Northern Light Health asks those in our community to join in the national effort to dispose of prescription drugs in a safe, convenient manner while also reducing the risk of medications getting into the wrong hands and causing harm or potential substance abuse.

Dennis Wood, PharmD, director of Pharmacy for Northern Light Pharmacy, shares, “Statistically, a large majority of people who use prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes obtain that medication from a friend or family member. We are joining others across the nation in encouraging people to clean out medicine cabinets, drawers, and other locations of unneeded or expired medication and dropping it off at a designated prescription drug take back location.”

Northern Light Pharmacy offers convenient and easy prescription medication drop off at any of its pharmacies every day. Many law enforcement locations also offer local prescription drug drop off sites. Additional locations can be found on the United States Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration website.

“The proper disposal of medication is very important,” adds Dr. Wood. “If they are thrown in the trash, they not only may be taken by a person they were not intended for, but they may also have harmful environmental effects as well. Improper disposal of medications in the trash, down the drain, or toilet can leach into water systems threatening both humans and marine ecosystems.”

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Adminis­tration, as of October 28, 2023, 17.9 million of unneeded medications have been safely removed from communities across the nation as part of National Prescription Take Back Day.

Theresa Gagne turns 105 years old

Theresa Wilson Gagne, with her family, at her 105th birthday party. Inset, 105-year-old Theresa Gagne. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography)

Theresa Gagne (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography)

Irma Richard and Andrew Wilson gave birth to their daughter Theresa on April 18, 1919, in Brunswick. Theresa was one of eleven children. Theresa continued to live in Brunswick until moving to Waterville when she married the love of her life, Emile Gagne, on October 3, 1942.

Emile and Theresa have three children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Joan (George) Meier, of Oakland, Lorraine Landry, of Waterville and Bob (Patti) Gagne, of Waterville. Michael Meier and Debbie Meier, both of Oakland, Carrie (Nick) Peterson, of South Carolina, Mindy Landry, of Augusta, Randi Burns and Renee Slaney, both of Waterville.

Emile and Theresa celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary just a few months before Emile passed away at the age of 90. Throughout the years, Theresa worked in several mills before retiring in 1977 from Bates Manufacturing, in Augusta. Theresa enjoyed several hobbies such as needlepoint, working with stained glass, quilting and jewelry making. Theresa still enjoys gardening, cooking, gambling, entertaining and spending time with family and friends.

Theresa continues to live on her own without any assistance.

Family and friends gathered for lunch at Front and Main, in Waterville, on Thursday, April 18, to celebrate Theresa’s 105th birthday, and cake and ice cream followed at Theresa’s home.

EVENTS: Kennebec Performing Arts Co. to present pops concert

Kennebec Performing Arts Company will present its annual Spring Pops Concerts, on Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m., at Winthrop Performing Arts Center, 211 Rambler Road, Winthrop, and Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m., at the William and Elsie Viles Auditorium, Cony High School, Pierce Dr. Augusta.

The performances will feature the KPAC chorus, Wind ensemble and jazz band under interim conductors Jason Giacomazzo, Dean Paquette and John Reeves. Enjoy an evening of selections performed by KPAC’s talented community members, including:

Chorus – Ordinary Miracle from Charlotte’s Web; The Gift to Be Simple – traditional Shaker Tune; Distant Land – A Prayer for Freedom, by John Rutter

Wind Ensemble – National Emblem March; Eric Clapton On Stage; Works by Eric Whitacre and Robert W. Smith

Jazz Band – Georgia on My Mind, by Hoagy Carmichael; The Jazz Police, by Gordon Goodwin; Bluebird Land, Maynard Ferguson’s theme

This free event is supported in part by a grant from the Onion Foundation.

Flynn announces legislative candidacy

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn, of Albion, has announced his candidacy to represent Winslow, Albion, Unity Plantation and Freedom in the Maine Legislature. He has been an Albion resident for 33 years. Upon graduating St. Joseph’s College, in Standish, he and his wife Kate have made Maine their home.

“I have been an entrepreneur, owned and operated Freedom General Store, in Waldo County, am a Licensed Maine Real Estate Agent, currently operate Freedom Coin Company, in Albion. I also serve as the Pastor of The Freedom Congregational Church in Freedom.”

Service to the community is a big part of his life. “I have coached baseball at every level of Fairfield PAL, was the Lawrence Jr. High seventh grade baseball coach, and assistant coach at Lawrence Sr. High School.

“I have served on the boards of The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, St. John Church Finance Commission, served as a Eucharistic Minister, and am currently a selectman in the Town of Albion.”

He continues, “I decided to run for this office because I feel like our communities have lost their voice in Augusta. Every business has a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in the window. Families and small businesses are struggling to pay the light bill. Bureaucrats are pushing to replace families with government. I’ve had enough, and I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines saying, ‘someone should do something.’ I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to be the “Someone,” so I’m asking for your support as I start this journey.”

In conclusion, “I’m not interested in partisan politics, but I am interested in being a voice for the people. I’ll look forward to meeting you on the campaign trail over the next six months.”

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust accepting scholarship applications

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is currently accepting applications for the Bank’s 2024 Career & Technical Education Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to income-eligible high school seniors who attend a technical career program as part of their high school curriculum and are planning to attend a college or technical school in the academic year immediately following graduation.

Students must reside in counties in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont where the bank has a branch location. Applicants selected to receive a 2024 scholarship will be eligible to apply for an additional $1,000 scholarship in 2025 to be used for their second year of college or technical school.

The deadline to apply for the 2024 Career & Technical Education Scholarship is May 1, 2024. Interested students can visit for more information about eligibility and to download the application.

The Bank established the Career & Technical Education Scholarship in 2018 and has awarded 84 scholarships to date.

Bill to protect veterans unanimously clears key legislative committee

Veterans in Maine may soon have more financial security after a bill providing protection from fraudulent and predatory claims practices cleared a key legislative committee last week. The bill, LD 2259, was sponsored by Sen. Brad Farrin, R-Somerset, and provides increased protection for veterans who are applying for U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) benefits.

The predatory practices, which according to the VA are conducted by people or organizations whom they call “Claim Sharks,” include aggressive and misleading tactics aimed at veterans, their families, survivors and caregivers. These practices often result in hefty fees to “assist” or “consult” veterans and survivors with the filing of their VA benefits claims.

During an awareness campaign launched last year, the VA said unaccredited claim sharks have no formal training in the VA system and operate outside the law. The Federal Trade Commission estimated that such scammers cost veterans and their families about $292 million in losses in 2022.

Since the passage of the PACT Act in 2022, which was the largest benefit and health care expansion in the VA’s history and now covers veterans who were exposed to burn pits and toxic substances, activity by claim sharks and other scammers has only risen. The sudden spike led to the introduction of competing U.S. House and Senate bills that will reinstate fines and jail time, which were suspended during the pandemic to aid the VA to catch up on benefits claims. Both bills have very strong support.

Typical tactics used by such predators often include offering a consultation from their own network of doctors while promising an expedited examination and guaranteeing an increased disability rating or percentage increase to their benefits. Claim sharks then apply hefty fees for their assistance or demand a high percentage of the veteran’s earned benefits.

The VA says veterans are never required to pay for benefits they earned. They launched a website to help veterans prevent fraud and how to report it and seek help if it occurs. They also have an online tool to aid veterans who are searching for accredited Veterans Services Organizations (VSOs) to help with various services.

“My bill will provide an extra wall of security for our veterans, further protecting them from predatory and deceptive practices that target their hard-earned monetary benefits. Veterans should never have to use their benefits to pay for these predatory practices; and I thank the Veterans of Foreign Wars for bringing this to my attention,” said Farrin. “Veterans did their duty for our country and deserve the greatest protections possible. It is our duty as a country and as a state to provide them with that security and provide as much information about VSOs as possible.”

The bill now moves to the Senate and House chambers for final passage.

Scouts receive Papa Bear award

From left to right, Karla Talpey and Alan Duplessis, of Jackman, Sherwood Hilt, of Union, and John Wood, of Hope, receiving the Ray “Papa Bear” Kimball Award of Service. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Congratulations to John Wood, Alan Duplessis, Sherwood Hilt, and Karla Talpey on receiving the Ray “Papa Bear” Kimball Award of Service at the Kennebec Valley District Annual Scouting Recognition Dinner, held on Sunday, March 24, at the Winslow Parks & Recreation Department Hall. Talpey and Duplessis are both active in Jackman Troop #497 and are members of the Kennebec Valley District committee.

Hilt, of Union, and Wood, of Hope, have been active as district members of both Kennebec Valley District and the former Downeast Districts of Scouting. Wood currently provides Commissioner Service to more scouting units than any other volunteer in the district.

The award is the highest award that an adult leader, committee member or adult volunteer can be nominated for within a unit. The award consideration should be given based on outstanding service to youth within a unit above and beyond that of what is required of an adult. Also his or her ability to exemplify the Scout Oath and Law. The award is given to those who work in support of Scouting without seeking anything for themselves.

Ray “Papa Bear” Kimball was a long time Scoutmaster of Troop #443, in Winslow. He was also highly involved in Kennebec Valley District of Scouting as a district volunteer and a Unit Commissioner. He also spent all of his summers performing the duty of Camp Commissioner for Camp Bomazeen, in Belgrade. Ray also had several sons who were Boy Scouts. Ray was an active member of his community and church. Ray always went above and beyond the call of duty wherever it was. Ray stayed active until he became ill and had to retire from scouting. Raymond Kimball died on November 25, 2007.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Some early Maine poets

by Mary Grow

As promised last week, no more ponds for a while. Instead, your writer turned to Thomas Addison’s chapter on Literature and Literary People, in Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history. She hopes you will enjoy meeting a few of the writers mentioned.

Addison’s definition of literature covers almost anyone who wrote: newspaper people, historians, educators and sundry others. Your writer has chosen arbitrarily to begin with selected poets.

Many of the names Addison mentioned have no on-line references. Others are listed only as contributors to a book titled The Poets of Maine: A Collection of Specimen Poems from over Four Hundred Verse-makers of the Pine-tree State, compiled by George Bancroft Griffith and published in 1888.

Your writer found excerpts from this book on line. The samples she read have brief biographies and selected poems.

* * * * * *

Amos Lunt Hinds’ book,
Uncle Stephens

A large number of writers came from Augusta, Gardiner and Hallowell. Addison listed surprisingly few from Waterville or towns farther north, and not many from smaller towns.

An exception was the Town of Benton, identified as the home of poets Amos Lunt Hinds and Hannah Augusta Moore.

Amos Lunt Hinds (born in Benton Nov. 12, 1833, or sometime in 1834; died in Benton, April 24, 1908) was the son of Asher Hinds (born in Benton May 2, 1792; died in Benton April 23, 1860) and Lucy Harding (Turner) Hinds (1801 – July 2, 1883), who was either the first or second of his two wives (sources disagree).

The on-line description of Forgotten Books’ 2018 reprint of Amos Hinds’ 1905 Uncle Stephen and Other Verses includes Hinds’ introduction. The poet said the poems were written over 40 years; some had been published in newspapers and magazines, locally and out of state. Hinds collected them into a book “at the suggestion and request of old friends, to whom they are submitted with affectionate greeting.”

An article in the Jan. 10, 1906, issue of the Colby Echo (found on line) republishes a Dec. 27, 1905, Waterville Evening Mail article on the publication of Uncle Stephen. Hinds is described as a Colby graduate, Class of 1858, and a resident of Benton Falls.

The unnamed writer of the article mentioned several poems with local connections.

The one titled The Soldiers ‘ Monument was “read at the unveiling of the monument in this city on May 30, 1876.” The newspaper quoted one verse:

Long let this musing soldier stand,
‘Neath free New England skies,
To all that love the fatherland,
Type of self-sacrifice.

General Isaac Sparrow Bangs, in his military history included in Edwin Carey Whittemore’s Waterville history, describes the founding of the Waterville Soldiers’ Monument Association in March 1864, before the Civil War ended. Its purpose was to provide a memorial to honor Waterville residents who died in the war.

The first fund-raising events were that month. After a Nov. 29, 1865, event, Bangs wrote, the association apparently went dormant until June 1875. By then, donations and interest totaled $1,000, and the town gave a matching sum.

Association committees were formed to design the monument and find a site. Two more fundraisers May 16 and 17, 1876, added $350, and the Waterville Soldiers’ Monument, in what is now Veterans Memorial Park, at the corner of Elm and Park streets, was dedicated on Tuesday, May 30, 1876, Memorial Day.

Another of Hinds’ poems, Old Block House, was about Fort Halifax, in Winslow, the 1906 newspaper writer said.

Uncle Stephen, “the first and longest poem in the volume,” honored Stephen Crosby, whom the writer called “one of the early settlers of that portion of Winslow which lies adjacent to Benton Falls.”

Crosby owned a grist mill, and during 1816, the Year without a Summer, he “endeared himself to his generation and his memory to other generations, by refusing to profit by the distress of his neighbors, continuing to sell corn, of which he had a store, at the ordinary price.”

On-line genealogies say Amos Lunt Hinds married Lettice Orr Reed (1834 – Jan. 26, 1910), and name only one child, Lucy Turner Hinds (1866-1966). The “Colby Echo” article says Amos was the father of Asher C. Hinds, Colby 1883 (but see box on the Hinds family).

* * * * * *

Poets of Maine says Hannah Augusta Moore was born in Wiscasset on March 15 of either 1827 or 1828. Her grandfather was Colonel Herbert Moore, of Waterville; her father, Herbert Thorndike Moore, is identified as “of New York City.”

Her mother, who is not named, and her father were both poets, the biography says. The family moved to Philadelphia when Hannah was “a small child” and she started writing there. Then she lived in New York (City?) “for many years.” In 1886, she “came back” to Benton, which she called “dear native land.”

The biography does not say when Hannah had previously lived in Benton, and the following text is not helpful. It says that after her mother died (no date given), she “attended school at Waterville, Me.”

As soon as Moore settled in Benton, Ephraim Maxwell, publisher of the Waterville Mail newspaper, began publishing her work.

Moore wrote under pseudonyms, including Helen Bruce and Wanona Wandering. The biography explains that she avoided “Hannah” “from a dread that she might be supposed to consider herself a second ‘Hannah More.'”

(Hannah More [Feb. 2, 1745 – Sept. 7, 1833] was a British writer whose works included plays and poetry, mostly religious.)

The biography says it was Moore’s own choice to live “like a hidden singer in a hedge.” Her poems were available in the United States and in Europe, and many were set to music. One collection, titled “Plymouth Notes,” sold 40,000 copies in Europe in its first year.

The biography ends by quoting “June in Maine,” one of Moore’s best-known poems. The first stanza reads:

Beautiful, beautiful summer!
Odorous, exquisite June!
All the sweet roses in blossom,
All the sweet birdies in tune.

The poem urges readers to go outside and enjoy

All the dim aisles of the forest
Ringing and thrilling with song;
Music—a flood-tide of music—
Poured the green valleys along.


Buttercups, daisies, and clover,
Roses, sweet-briar, and fern,
Mingle their breath on the breezes—
Who from such wooing could turn?

* * * * * *

Frances Parker Mace

Frances Parker (Laughton) Mace is another Maine poet, who was a friend of Moore’s. Wikipedia says she was born in Orono, Jan. 15, 1836 (or, one source says, 1834, citing her tombstone), daughter of Dr. Sumner Laughton and Mary Ann (Parker) Laughton.

The family moved to Foxcroft in 1837. Mace’s education included Latin “and other advanced subjects” at Foxcroft Academy when she was only 10 years old. Her first poems were published when she was 12, some in The New York Journal of Commerce, Wikipedia says.

The Laughtons moved to Bangor, and Mace graduated from Bangor High School in 1852. Wikipedia says her most famous poem was published in the “Waterville Mail” when she was 18, suggesting a Waterville connection by 1854 – did she and Moore meet then? Your writer found no evidence.

This poem is titled Only Waiting. It was inspired by a friend who asked an elderly man in a poor-house what he was doing and received the reply, “Only waiting.”

The poem begins:

  Only waiting till the
  Are a little longer grown,
  Only waiting till the
  Of the day’s last beam
is flown;
  Till the night of earth
is faded
  From the heart, once full
of day;
  Till the stars of heaven
are breaking
  Through the twilight
soft and gray.

It goes on to describe the man’s readiness to leave his weary life for the company of angels.

The poem was published in the Waterville Mail under the pseudonym “Inez.” Later, a hymn-writer named Mrs. F. A. F. Wood-White, from Iowa (according to one on-line source), claimed she had composed it, creating a dispute that was eventually resolved in Mace’s favor.

Mace married a lawyer named Benjamin Mace in 1855, and for the next 20 years was busy with eight children, four of whom died young. She began writing again when their eighth child was two years old, with a poem published in Harper’s Magazine.

Her collected poems were published in the 1880s, before and after the family moved to San Jose, California, in 1885. She died in Los Gatos, California, on July 20, 1899.

NOTE: For those interested in seeking out poems mentioned in this article, your writer found on line:

Two recent reprints of Amos Lunt Hinds’ Uncle Stephen and Other Verses: a 2016 hardcover edition by Palala Press, and a 2018 paperback by London-based Forgotten Books.

Three reprints of The Poets of Maine: in 2008 by Kessinger Publishing (Vol. 2 only); a 2017 paperback by Forgotten Books; and a 2023 paperback by Creative Media Partners, LLC.

Listed as available on, in January 2024: copies of Frances Laughton Mace’s two poetry collections, Legends, Lyr­ics and Son­nets, originally published in Boston, Mas­sa­chu­setts, by Cupples, Upham, in 1883; and Under Pine and Palm, originally published in Bos­ton by Tick­nor, in 1888. No publisher is given.

More about the Hinds family

On-line sources say poet Amos Lunt Hinds had three younger brothers and a younger sister. The brothers are listed as Albert D. Hinds (1835-1873); Asher Crosby Hinds (1840-1863); and Roswell S. Hinds (1844-1864). The sister was Susan A. Hinds (1837-1905).

Find a Grave website says the Asher Crosby Hinds who was born Jan. 7, 1840, in Clinton, served in Company G of the Third Maine Infantry during the Civil War. He started as a corporal and mustered out as a sergeant. The website quotes the beginning of his obituary from the April 2, 1863, Piscataquis Observer, which says he died in Benton at the age of 23.

Amos and Asher’s brother Albert and his wife Charlotte (Flagg) named their first son, born in 1863, Asher Crosby Hinds.

Wikipedia says Asher Crosby Hinds, born Feb. 6, 1863, and died May 1, 1919, represented Maine’s First District in the U. S. House of Representatives for three terms, from 1911 to 1917.

The article says he attended Coburn Classical Institute and graduated from Colby College in 1883; worked for a Portland newspaper beginning in 1884; and from 1889 to 1911 held clerical positions in the Maine House of Representatives, working for the Speaker.

Hinds edited two procedural manuals, Wikipedia says, an 1899 edition of the Rules, Manual, and Digest of the House of Representatives and in 1908 Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representatives.

The article cites a 2013 study showing the Precedents “successfully altered the behavior of House representatives, as they became less willing to appeal decisions of the chair.”

This information leads your writer to conclude that Rep. Asher C. Hinds was Amos and Lettice Hinds’ nephew, not their son.

Amos Lunt Hinds and a dozen other family members are buried in Barton-Hinds Cemetery on Eames Road in Winslow, according to Find a Grave.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.