Oakland resident receives degree from Simmons University

Katiann Carey, of Oakland, earned a bachelor of arts degree, in economics, cum laude, from Simmons University, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Area student named to Caldwell University dean’s list

Brooke Martin, of Oakland, was among 663 students named to Caldwell University’s fall 2021 dean’s list, in Caldwell, New Jersey, according to Peter Ubertaccio, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at the University. In order to achieve this honor, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher and complete at least 12 credits during the semester.

Area residents named to University of New England dean’s list

The following students have been named to the dean’s list for the 2021 fall semester at the University of New England, in Biddeford. Dean’s list students have attained a grade point average of 3.3 or better out of a possible 4.0 at the end of the semester.

Olivia McPherson, of Albion; Valerie Capeless, Zinaida Gregor, Jessica Guerrette, Brooklynn Merrill and Julia White, all of Augusta; Sidney Knox, of Benton; Alden Balboni, Kierra Bumford and Tyler Pellerin, all of Oakland: Sarah Kohl and Olivia Roy, both of Sidney; Julia Steeves and Dawson Turcotte, both of Skowhegan; Lauren Boatright, Noelle Cote and Richard Winn, all of South China; Libby Breznyak and Lauren Pinnette, both of Waterville; and Juliann Lapierre and Justice Picard, both of Winslow.

Waterville Rotary Club donates money to improve high school challenges

MSAD #49 (Lawrence) – from left to right, Dan Bowers, Lawrence HS Principal; Patricia Watts, Assistant Superintendent; Jeff Melanson, President, Waterville Rotary Club.

The Waterville Rotary Club recently donated $500 to four local high schools to provide support to youth who are experiencing homelessness or other challenges that impact their learning and/or engagement in school.  Members of the Club’s Community Services Committee delivered checks in person to each of the schools. These donations dovetail with the club’s focus the past two years on providing resources in the community to address food insecurity and/or lack of access to basic necessities, issues which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

MSAD #49, in Fairfield, plans to use the funds specifically for food, clothing, or transportation. They may also use some of the funds to purchase sports equipment or materials for students that do not have means to purchase these items to participate in a sport or other activity.

Winslow High School – from left to right, Roger Krause, Waterville Rotary Club; Ms. Jones (JMG teacher) and some of the JMG students who help organize and stock the Raider Closet.  (JMG = Jobs for Maine’s graduates)

Winslow High School will use the funds to support their Raiders Closet.  Non-perishable food and clothes will be purchased, as needed.  In some cases, food-specific gift cards will be provided to families to purchase perishable items.

Messalonskee High School, in Oakland, has an initiative that provides food for families for the weekend and snacks during the school day.  They actively seek additional funds to provide for necessities that many of us take for granted in our daily lives, such as personal hygiene items, clothing, school supplies and food that can be prepared with minimal resources for those in temporary housing.

Messalonskee High School, from left to right, Keith Morin, Assistant Superintendent/Chief Academic Officer; Katelyn Pushard, Waterville Rotary Club; Carl Gartley, Superintendent.

Waterville High School will use the funds to support their school’s Food Pantry.  They may also use some funds to purchase other necessary items for students, such as seasonal clothing.

All the representatives from the various schools expressed a deep appreciation for this donation and the show of support for their most vulnerable students.  The committee members truly enjoyed the opportunity to visit the schools, meet with staff and students, and hear about the ways that our local schools are looking out for their students.

For more information about the Rotary, visit the website at watervillerotary.com.

Waterville High School, from left to right, Michele Prince, Waterville Rotary Club and the four class presidents,  Kate Rice, freshman, Emily Campbell, senior, Brianna Bates, junior, and Gabby St. Peter, sophomore. (contributed photo)

Dirigo Labs announces selection as AWS activate provider

photo credit: Dirigo Labs

Dirigo Labs, Maine’s newest accelerator program, has been designated as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Activate Provider, allowing Dirigo Labs-based startups and entrepreneurs to access exclusive benefits to help accelerate growth as they build their respective businesses. The accelerator, launching its first cohort in March, will host appro­ximately 10 Maine-based startups representing a range of industries including biotechnology and information technology.

Startups affiliated with Dirigo Labs who are building or about to start building web-based programs on AWS may apply for the AWS Activate Portfolio and receive free AWS credits, technical support, training, resources, and more. Inclusion in the Activate program differentiates the Dirigo Labs accelerator as an important solution to the maturation of startups building and scaling their companies on AWS.

“Being designated as an AWS Activate Provider will allow Dirigo Labs participating founders access to an exclusive toolset to help them succeed at every stage of their development,” states Dirigo Labs Managing Director Susan Ruhlin. “We welcome all cohort members to take full advantage of these incredible benefits.”

Dirigo Labs will offer a 12-week curriculum for seed-stage entrepreneurs scaling their startups. Topics will include product development, fundraising strategies, revenue modeling, and pitch refinement. Utilizing regional assets to encourage job creation and retention while improving access to capital for startups, Dirigo Labs is building an innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurship and showcases central Maine as a destination for business development and success.

“Joining an impressive portfolio of AWS Activate Program companies, including Coinbase and Toast, Dirigo Labs will provide opportunities and services to startups in our accelerator that they wouldn’t have had access to before, such as AWS Cloud credits, AWS business support, and access to the Activate console to help their business prosper,” elaborates Central Maine Growth Council Development Coordinator Sabrina Jandreau. “We look forward to working with our startups to utilize these opportunities while supporting rural business development for years to come.”

Startups and potential mentors interested in learning more about Dirigo Labs and submitting an application can visit www.dirigolabs.org.

Dirigo Labs is a regional startup accelerator based in Waterville, Maine. With a mission to grow mid-Maine’s digital economy by supporting entrepreneurs who are building innovation-based companies, the Dirigo Labs ecosystem brings together people, resources, and organizations to ensure the successful launch of new startups. Dirigo Labs operates under Central Maine Growth Council and is supported by several organizations, academic institutions, and investment firms.

Rep. Perkins announces local projects in Maine DOT work plan

State Representative Mike Perkins R-(Oakland) is pleased to announce that the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Work Plan for Calendar Years 2022, 2023 and 2024 is available. The estimated value of work in the plan totals more than 2,316 individual work items with a total value of $3.17 billion. This represents a substantial increase from last year due to anticipated federal funding.

The MDOT Work Plan for House District #77 includes projects in Oakland and Sidney. They include:

• Drainage Maintenance on Route 11 in Oakland,
• Highway Paving on Middle Road in Oakland,
• Bridge and Structural Maintenance on the Town Farm Brook Bridge (Route 104) in Sidney, and
• Highway Paving on Middle Road in Sidney.

“I am pleased to see several projects scheduled for out area over the next three years and throughout Maine,” said Rep. Perkins. “I wish that additional federal dollars would allow DOT to do more. Unfortunately, the federal money will mostly offset the runaway inflation we are experiencing, not go toward the chronic underfunding of our roads and bridges. I understand that, like the rest of us, DOT is trying to do more with less.”

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/.

Pediatric orthopedic surgeon joins Northern Light Inland Hospital

William Bassett, MD

Northern Light Orthopedics and Northern Light Inland Hospital welcomes William Bassett, MD, the only fellowship-trained surgeon in the state performing complex pediatric orthopedic surgery. Thanks to a partnership with Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, in Bangor, where Dr. Bassett also sees patients, he will now be available to the central Maine community.

Dr. Bassett treats benign bone tumors, club feet, foot reconstruction, fractures, hip dysplasia, leg length discrepancy, lower extremity deformity, and scoliosis.

Dr. Bassett joins their Orthopedics practice, located at 25 First Park, in Oakland. Contact your Primary Care provider for a referral or call 207.861.7862 for more information.

Dr. Bassett earned his medical education from Drexel College of Medicine, completed a residency in Orthope­dic Surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Orthopedic Residency, and a fellowship in Pediatric Orthopedics and Scoliosis at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

He is proud to provide subspecialized surgical care to patients throughout Maine. Dr. Bassett says, “My goal as a pediatric orthopedist is to help children retain and regain their childhood by enabling families to take part in activities that they enjoy, while improving patients’ overall quality of life. I help families understand complex problems while providing realistic and attainable goals.”

A member associate of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and American Orthopedic Association, Dr. Bassett is eligible for certification by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.

For more information, visit northernlighthealth.org/Inland-Hospital. Annual Backyard Composting and Rain Barrel Sale!

Local students on health professions dean’s list

The following local students have attained dean’s list status at the Maine College of Health Professions:

Olivia Young, of Chelsea, Amanda Poulin, and Kaitlyn Vigue, both of Oakland.

Carey receives degree from Simmons University

Katiann Carey, of Oakland, earned a bachelor of arts degree, in Economics, cum laude, from Simmons University, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Trenton Clark has hiked all 14 of Maine’s 4,000-plus foot peaks

Trenton Clark with his mother, Leanne, atop the 5,267-foot Mt. Katahdin.

Nine-year-old Oakland youth accomplishes feat with mom

Trent Clark on Saddleback Mountain

by Mark Huard

Trenton Clark, 9 years old, of Oakland, has successfully hiked all of Maine’s 4,000-plus foot peaks. Trenton and his mom Leanne, started hiking as a way to get out into nature more when the pandemic started last year and quickly fell in love with the rush of climbing big mountains. Trenton says, “it wasn’t always easy but it was always worth it.” Maine has fourteen 4,000-foot peaks, the tallest two being on Mt. Katahdin—Trenton hiked Baxter Peak (5,267 feet) at Katahdin last August and then Hamlin Peak (4,756 feet) this month. His favorite mountain hike was up Abol Trail, on Katahdin, and states, “rock climbing is my favorite part of hiking.” Trenton is looking forward to hiking more mountains and trails in Maine this summer and fall.

Mountains he has climbed to date! Katahdin: Baxter Peak, Katahdin: Hamlin Peak, Sugarloaf, South Crocker Mountain, Old Speck, North Brother, Bigelow: West Peak, Saddleback Mountain, Bigelow: Avery Peak, Mt. Abraham, South Crocker Mountain, Saddleback Horn, Mt. Redington, and Spaulding Mountain.

Trenton Clark on the peak of the 4,151-foot North Brother Mountain.