Issue for April 25, 2024

Celebrating 36 years of local news

Theresa Gagne turns 105 years old

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…

Sarina LaCroix has top state of Maine Americanism essay

Vassalboro Community School (VCS) student Sarina LaCroix is the sixth-grade State of Maine winner of the annual Americanism Essay Contest sponsored by the Elks Club. Becky Fisher, sixth-grade English and social studies teacher at VCS, said the theme of this year’s contest is “What the Bill of Rights Means to Me”…

John Melrose is Vassalboro’s 2024 Spirit of America choice

John Melrose will be honored with Vassalboro’s annual Spirit of America award at the June 3 town meeting, in recognition of his many volunteer activities in the town. Select board member Michael Poulin announced the board’s choice, “appreciative of the depth and length of selfless service rendered to our community”…

Town News

Select board discusses road work, sanitary district

VASSALBORO – The April 18 Vassalboro select board meeting was in sections. After an hour and a half discussing road work, Vassalboro Sanitary District customers’ communication and other matters, board members recessed for an executive session with the town attorney…

After long meeting, committee agrees to recommend school budget

VASSALBORO – By the end of an almost-three-hour April 16 meeting, Vassalboro Budget Committee members had agreed to recommend the 2024-25 school budget as presented by the school board, and to recommend rearrangements and reductions in the almost-final municipal budget…

Transfer station committee looks into relationship with Palermo

CHINA – China Transfer Station Committee members’ April 16 discussion of use and abuse of the waste disposal facility ranged from minutely detailed to widely philosophical…

China select board authorizes assessor to update property valuations

CHINA – China select board members voted unanimously at their April 22 meeting to authorize assessor William Van Tuinen to update property valuations to bring them close to the state-required level. Van Tuinen told board members that the State of Maine says China properties are assessed at an average 76 percent of market value. They should be close to 100 percent…

Winslow Girl Scout troop helps develop St. Joseph Center Sanctuary

WINSLOW – Every Girl Scout troop has a specific meeting place: a town hall, a school, a church, a fire department, etc. These community spaces provide ample room for Girl Scouts to come together, build connections, share ideas, and participate in skill-building activities across a wide variety of concentrations and topics such as STEM, financial literacy, outdoor skills and more. But what if that meeting space became a troop project itself?…

New procedure at Northern Light Podiatry helps bunion sufferers

CENTRAL ME – Bunions, those bony bumps at the base of the big toe, can be painful and disrupt a person’s daily living – even making walking painful. Approximately 25 percent of people in the U.S. have bunions, including Cherie Merrill, from Monroe, who suffered in pain for nine months…

Parade organizers seek participants

CENTRAL ME – The American Legion Post #51 Parade Committee is busy preparing for this year’s Memorial Day events. The parade committee is requesting your assistance in making this year’s parade the best ever. They are inviting you to enter and be part of the event. As always they will hold their yearly S.A.L. BBQ, starting at 11 a.m., until sold out. The parade this year will take place on Monday May 27, 2024, at noon…

HealthReach welcomes new clinician, Dr. Stacey Anderson

MADISON – This April, staff of Madison Area Health Center are happy to welcome Dr. Stacey Anderson to their professional healthcare team. Anderson earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Previously, she attended graduate studies in Bio­chem­istry at the University of California and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University…

Maine Pond Hockey Classic raises record $52,000

SIDNEY – Despite unseasonably warm winter weather, the 12th annual Maine Pond Hockey Classic, held at Snow Pond, in Sidney, raised a record $52,000 for the Alfond Youth & Community Center in Waterville, which serves more than 5,000 youth in Maine. Hammond Lumber Company was the presenting sponsor…

Dean’s list honors announced at Tufts University

CENTRAL ME – Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts, recently announced the dean’s list for the Fall 2023 semester. Included are Cole Bazakas, of Waterville, Class of 2027, and Bella Wallingford, of Oakland, Class of 2026.

King named to dean’s list for fall semester

SIDNEY – Saint Anselm College, in Manchester, New Hampshire, has released the dean’s list of high academic achievers for the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year. Christopher King, a natural sciences major in the class of 2024, from Sidney, was named to the dean’s list for the fall 2023 semester at the college.

Endicott College announces local dean’s list students

CENTRAL ME – Endicott College, in Beverly, Massachusetts, the first college in the U.S. to require internships of its students, has announced its Fall 2023 dean’s list students.  The following local students have met the requirements:  Oliver Parker, of Augusta, majoring in English, is the daughter of Katherine Parker and Walter Parker. Emily Clark, of China, the daughter of Stacy Clark and Christopher Clark, is majoring in nursing.

Local residents named to Simmons University dean’s list

CENTRAL ME – The following local residents were named to the 2023 fall semester dean’s list at Simmons University, in Boston, Massa­chusetts: Emma Soule, of Farmingdale, and Emma Parrish, of Waterville.

The honor society of Phi Kappa Phi inducts new members

CENTRAL ME – The following local students were recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. They included Chantelle Flores, of Oakland, at University of Maine, and Emily Levesque, of Sidney, also at University of Maine.

Catherine Gibbs part of CreateAthon benefitting West Alabama charities

CENTRAL ME – Capstone Agency, a student-led communications firm at The University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, provided creative communications solutions for nine local nonprofits during its annual CreateAthon Feb. 16-17. During the 24-hour event, more than 60 UA students and faculty produced strategic communications work for Theresa Burroughs Residential Living Inc., Schoolyard Roots, Five Horizons Health Services, Success by 6, Boys & Girls Clubs of West Alabama, Freshwater Land Trust, Tuscaloosa SAFE Center and Riverchase Day School. The work of this year’s CreateAthon is valued to be at $44,245.

Local happenings

EVENTS: National prescription drug take back day is April 27

CENTRAL ME – 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…

EVENTS: Benton alewife festival set for May 18

BENTON – The 2024 edition of the Benton Alewife Festival will take place on Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., at t he park near the Benton Town Office, on Rte. 100. The event will take place rain or shine…

EVENTS: Kennebec Performing Arts Co. to present pops concert

WINTHROP – 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…

EVENTS: Safe, practical storage and display spaces for historic objects

FAIRFIELD – Explore the best ways to care for your personal or museum collections. Come join this free workshop Monday, May 6, 2024, Safe Practical Storage and Display Spaces for Historic Objects Workshop, at the L. C. Bates Museum at Good Will-Hinckley…

EVENTS: Bird migration in central Maine lecture

UNITY – A bird migration in central Maine lecture will be held on Thursday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m., Unity Community Center, 32 School St., Unity…

EVENTS: Maine International Film Festival: passes and packages now on sale

WATERVILLE – The Maine International Film Festival (MIFF) returns to Waterville, Maine, for its 27th edition July 12–21, 2024. Festival passes and packages are now available for preorder online at…

Webber’s Pond comic

Webber’s Pond is a comic drawn by an anonymous central Maine resident exclusively for The Town Line (click thumbnail to enlarge)…

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Public supper planned in Freedom

FREEDOM – A public supper will be held on Saturday, May 4, from, 4:30 – 6 p.m., at the Freedom Congregational Church. The supper will feature a complete turkey dinner with all the fixin’s. Adults $10, children 12 and under $8, children under 3 are free. Take out will be available. Handicapped accessible at the back door. All proceeds to benefit church projects… and many other local events!

Local town meetings schedule for 2024

Schedule for town meetings in 2024 for Albion, China, Palermo & Vassalboro..


OAKLAND – Leon E. Fowler, 87, passed away peacefully Thursday April 11, 2024, at Woodlands Assisted Living, in Waterville. Leon was born in Albion on September 4, 1936, the son of Edgar M. Fowler and Meta (Rowe) Fowler… and remembering 10 others.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Rufus Matthew Jones, of China (new)

CHINA HISTORY — China native Rufus Matthew Jones was another writer with a religious background, like Sylvester Judd, though both his religion and his writing style were quite different. Various sources describe him as a philosopher, religious leader, theologian and mystic; he was also a writer, magazine editor, historian and educator… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Sylvester Judd of Augusta

AUGUSTA HISTORY — Another local writer mentioned in Thomas Addison’s chapter on literary people in Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history was Rev. Sylvester Judd, who was born in Westhampton, Massachusetts, and grew up in adjoining Northampton… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Augusta-area authors

AUGUSTA HISTORY — This week’s article is about two more Augusta-area writers whose careers began in the 19th century. In order of birth, they are Edward Stanwood (born in Augusta, spent most of his career in the Boston area) and Laura E. Richards (born in the Boston area, spent most of her career in Gardiner, two towns south of Augusta)… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Two Augusta women poets

AUGUSTA HISTORY — As mentioned last week, the list of writers in Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history includes many from Augusta, Hallowell and Gardiner. Among them were two Augusta women listed as poets, Emma Nason (born Emma Caroline Huntington) and Olive Eliza Dana… by Mary Grow

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, May 16, 2024

Identify the people in these three photos, and tell us what they have in common. You could win a $10 gift certificate to Hannaford Supermarket! Email your answer to or through our Contact page. Include your name and address with your answer. Use “Common Ground” in the subject!

Previous winner: William F. Vining, Norridgewock

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | Did you know there are no native earthworms in Maine. Here in the Northeast where glaciers scrubbed our bedrock bare a few years back we have no native earthworms. Non-native earthworms from Europe (such as nightcrawlers) have become well established here through early colonial trading. Though they are beneficial to our gardens, earthworms can have destructive effects on our forests…


by Jayne Winters | As we’ve done for several years, this month’s column is a reminder from Don Cote at the Duck Pond Wildlife Rehab Center that not all young animals that appear lost or orphaned actually need to be rescued…


by Peter Cates | Novelist Gerard Robichaud (1908-2008) was born in Québec, moved with his parents to Lewiston as a child, returned to Québec at 18 to study for the priesthood and practice writing stories during his spare time, but then left the priesthood to return to Lewiston in 1928 and over the next twenty years began developing further as a writer…


HEALTH | Building a great smile starts with a strong foundation. While gums are often overlooked unless they are bleeding or causing mouth pain, they are the key to good oral health, overall physical health and the best grin you can imagine…