Issue for December 14, 2023

Celebrating 35 years of local news

Area food pantries: people helping people

It is that time of year when people need help shoveling their walkways and heating their homes, but something that everyone needs at all times is nutritious food. Illnesses and accidents do not care about age, occupation, or gender. Misfortune can hit individuals or families at any time. Businesses and companies can go out of business. At unexpected times, individuals or families can be in a situation where resources have been stretched beyond the point of trying to eat balanced meals… by Roberta Barnes

Town News

Transfer station, town hall rentals top agenda

WINDSOR – At their November 21 meeting the Windsor Select Board was informed on a number of activities at the transfer station. Town Manager Theresa Haskell reviewed in length the solid waste ordinance draft. Updates and changes were made. Haskell also noted the transfer station committee is discussing using stickers, again. More information will be available later…

Sanitary district topic of meeting

VASSALBORO – The Dec. 14 Vassalboro select board meeting will be in the Vassalboro Community School cafeteria, instead of the town office, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Town Manager Aaron Miller said the change is to accommodate the large crowd expected because of the first agenda item, “Discuss Vassalboro Sanitary District”…

Broadband group told why grant request denied

CHINA – Three members of China’s Broadband Committee met Dec. 7 to hear first-hand about failure to get a state grant this fall and future possibilities…

China awarded waste diversion grant for transfer station

CHINA – China has been awarded a $$14,440.57 state Waste Diversion Grant for improvements at the transfer station…

Submit a name to The Remembrance Tree

CENTRAL ME – Help The Town Line decorate the tree and at the same time remember loved ones. For only $10 a ball, you can commemorate loved ones who have passed. Deadline is Friday, December 16, 2023. The completed tree will be published in the December 21 issue…

Name that film!

Identify the film in which this famous line originated and qualify to win FREE passes to The Maine Film Center, in Waterville: “It’s not a tumor!” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is January 4, 2023…

Webber’s Pond

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

Make an impact, shop locally for the holidays

CENTRAL ME – The holiday season is right around the corner and it comes with great news. According to a Gallup survey, 74 percent of holiday shoppers said they expect to pay about the same amount or more on holiday gifts this year compared to last. Moreover, 23 percent of shoppers said they choose one retailer over another because they want to support small and local businesses in their community…

Maine among highest COPD rates in the country

CENTRAL ME – The American Lung Association in Maine released the COPD State Briefs, which include data about prevention, diagnosis, health outcomes and treatment of the disease for all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The briefs also highlight the burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) across the U.S., highlighting the states with the highest COPD rates and opportunities to improve the burden of the disease. Maine is one of 11 states with the highest COPD prevalence rate…

Winslow resident Katherine Alexander publishes new book

WINSLOW – A newly published book by local Katherine Alexander, of Winslow, They Shall Run and Not Be Weary ; The Story of an Eighteenth Century German Family’s Voyage to the New Land, tells the story of her family who traveled from their 18th century home, in Massenbach, Germany, to America…

Concert raises funds for Operation Hope

FAIRFIELD – Steve Fotter, right, and his crew hosted the Warming Up For Christmas Concert, on Saturday, November 18, at the Williamson Performing Arts Center, in Fairfield. The event raised $17,500 for Operation Hope…

Scouts cited for commitment with religious emblems

AUGUSTA – Three religious emblems were presented by the Portland Diocese’s Catholic Committee on Scouting during the Sunday Mass, November 26, at St. Augustine Church, in Augusta, including the St. George Award which was presented to Father Nathan March who is an Eagle Scout as well as being Pastor of St. Michael Parish… by Chuck Mahaleris

Vassalboro scouts present stockings to veterans at Togus hospital

AUGUSTA – On Monday November 27, 2023, Pack #410, represented by Arrow of Light Scouts William Vincent and Christopher Santiago, as well as Webelos scout Henry Gray and Wolf Scout John Gray, delivered 240 pens and 240 notebooks to the Charter Organization… by Chuck Mahaleris

Tell us about your family Christmas tradition. Send your memories to

Local happenings

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Community Blue Christmas Ceremony shines a light on winter solstice

OAKLAND – The ShineOnCass Foundation will host its 3rd Annual Blue Christmas Ceremony for grieving families and friends, and those who support them, Thursday, December 21, at 6 p.m., at the Oakland Gazebo, Oakland Waterfront Park, Willey Point Road, on the Winter Solstice – the longest and darkest night of the year… and many other local events!


CHINA – Fred Murphy passed away on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, at the Maine Veterans Home, in Au­gusta… and remembering 11 others.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Sebasticook dams & Josiah Hayden (new)

CENTRAL ME HISTORY — An on-line map of Winslow, Maine (which readers might find helpful), shows the Kennebec River, running roughly north-south, as the town’s western boundary. The Sebasticook River joins the Kennebec from the east about halfway between the town’s north and south lines… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Dams and Mills

VASSALBORO HISTORY — The list of old dams on China Lake’s Outlet Stream started last week with dams in Vassalboro, as far downstream as the North Vassalboro dams described below… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Vassalboro dams

VASSALBORO HISTORY — As last week’s article on the Masse family suggested, from the late 1700s through the 1800s central Kennebec Valley entrepreneurs dammed streams and rivers to provide water power for industry… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Louis Masse

VASSALBORO HISTORY — When Louis Masse’s name appeared in last week’s article on the Starrett family of China, knowledgeable Vassalboro residents might have been surprised. They thought he was theirs, founder of the family that owned and ran the Masse mill on the Masse dam, in East Vassalboro… by Mary Grow

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, January 11, 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: Don Eldridge, China

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | One of my wife’s favorite birds is the northern cardinal. We’ve had a nesting pair hanging around our house for a couple of years now, and we both enjoy watching the brilliant red male go about its business. The northern cardinal is also synonymous with winter, and adorns many a Christmas card. That has not always been the case…


by Norma Best Boucher | After supper yesterday when my friends and I were walking, we saw first, an osprey, then a hawk, and bringing up the rear a black bird chasing the other two….


by Melinda Myers | Many people are opting for more natural elements in their holiday displays and those that easily blend with their home décor. Popular succulent plants fit this trend whether decorating your home, setting a festive table, or giving as a gift. You and your guests will enjoy the easy care of succulents and the beauty they provide beyond the holidays…


by Peter Cates | Bridgton native Fred Bonnie (1945-2000) attended a two-room schoolhouse, in North Bridgton, until his father’s death in 1954 and the family’s move to Portland. He graduated in 1964 from Cheverus High School and in 1971 with honors from the University of Vermont…


(NAPSI) — Eat your veggies! This well-established advice is an essential part of our daily nutrition habits, and for good reason. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and important phytochemicals, abundant vegetable intake promotes health and reduces chronic disease risk. Among the various vegetables available, beetroots have gained scientific attention in recent years…