Issue for February 16, 2023

Celebrating 34 years of local news

China scouts provide morning worship on Boy Scout Sunday

On February 5 – Boy Scout Sunday – the Boy Scouts from Troop #479, along with some of their leaders, provided the Morning Worship Service at the China Baptist Church. The scouts, under the leadership of Scoutmaster Christian Hunter, have taken part in Scout Sunday Worship service for 30 years (Missing 2019-2021 because of COVID restrictions). Very few Boy Scout troops in the Kennebec Valley District are provided this opportunity… by Ron Emery

Town News

Select board takes first look at 2023-24 budget

VASSALBORO – Vassalboro select board members held their annual preliminary budget review the afternoon of Feb. 7, proposing several new expenditures and letting new town manager Aaron Miller show how quickly he is mastering the finances of a town he’s served only since Jan. 2…

Select board holds two public hearings on two draft ordinances

CHINA – China select board members started their Feb. 13 meeting with more than an hour of consecutive public hearings on two draft ordinances…

Wings denied variance by board of appeals to build garage

CHINA – Four of the six members of China’s Board of Appeals met Feb. 8 to hear a variance request from Charles and Julie Wing for their property on Fire Road 12, off Neck Road…

China Four Seasons Club, Thurston Park to split TIF money 60/40

CHINA – Five members of China’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Committee met Feb. 8 and reviewed most of the requests for TIF funds for the 2023-24 fiscal year that begins July 1…

Sen. King visits local child care center

WINSLOW – U.S. Senator Angus King recently visited The Neighborhood Child Care Center, in Winslow, to observe firsthand how funds from the American Reinvestment Plan Act (ARPA) have benefited child care centers. Meeting with Executive Director Jennifer Lizotte, Senator King spoke about investing in the child care industry stating, “Quality early care and education is critical for folks to get back to work”…

Legislative Report as of Friday, February 10, 2023

CENTRAL ME – List of legislative bills sponsored by local senators and representatives…

Local happenings

2023 Vassalboro ice fishing derby prizes

VASSALBORO – List of prize winners and prizes from the recent 2023 Vassalboro ice fishing derby…

Smithfield Volunteer Fire & Rescue awarded lifesaving equipment grant

SMITHFIELD – The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has recently awarded a $10,900 grant to Smithfield Volunteer Fire & Rescue to purchase a Groves extractor and gear dryer…

Sheepscot Valley Health Center welcomes physician assistant, Brooke Perez

CENTRAL ME – This February, staff at Sheepscot Valley Health Center, are welcoming Brooke Perez, Physician Assistant, to the team. Brooke earned her master’s degree in Physician Assisting from Trevecca Nazarene University of Tennessee…

University of New Hampshire’s dean’s list for the Fall 2022 semester

CENTRAL ME – The following area students have been named to the dean’s list at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham, New Hampshire, for the fall 2022 semester…

FICTION: The House, part 4: Between the weeds

While Jake and Miri went into town to pick up groceries and other needed supplies for the house, Dave decided to be outside of the house so he mowed the lawns and roamed the property. Once mowed, the place looked more inviting. A tractor that had mower and bucket attachments, made the task quicker and easier, taking only about an hour and a half to complete… by Peg Pellerin

LETTERS: Thoughts on going carbon neutral

SOMERVILLE – A few thoughts on going carbon neutral. Must first mention that while everyone is concerned with oil prices on consumers, what was omitted was the cost to us carbon neutral electric consumers who are feeling the costs of our electric bills which on average right now are over $400 per month, for electric heat… from Frank Slason (Somerville)

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Early Augusta Families – Part 2 (new)

AUGUSTA HISTORY – Last week readers met James Howard, one of the first settlers at Cushnoc (which became Hallowell, which divided into Hallowell and Augusta) and some of his family members; and your writer promised information on other pre-Augusta settlers, Ephraim Ballard, Daniel Cony and Henry Sewall… by Mary Grow [1758 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Early Augusta Families – Part 1

AUGUSTA HISTORY – The three people whose diaries Charles Nash excerpted in his 1904 Augusta history, and who provided old weather records for last week’s article, were members of some of the first families to settle in the area. Martha Ballard came to Hallowell in October 1777, two years after her husband Ephraim brought his surveying business to the area. Henry Sewall came “after the Revolution,” Daniel Cony in 1778… by Mary Grow [1985 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Weather events

KENNEBEC VALLEY HISTORY – James North and Ruby Crosby Wiggin, quoted last week, were not the only local historians to mention the Year without a Summer. And 1816 was not the only unusually cold spell – though it was the longest spell of (fairly) consistently cold weather – recorded in the central Kennebec Valley since the settlers’ arrival… by Mary Grow [1846 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Floods of central Maine – Part 3

KENNEBEC VALLEY HISTORY – Before this series moves on to describe the year without a summer, one more flood needs mention and another a description. The Fairfield Historical Society’s bicentennial history says a March 2, 1896, freshet took out the last remaining of the three 1848 covered bridges between Fairfield and Benton, the easternmost one between Bunker Island and Benton… by Mary Grow [1877 words]

Name that film!

Identify the film in which this famous line originated and qualify to win FREE passes to Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville: “Go ahead, make my day.” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is March 9, 2023…

Webber’s Pond

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

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Dale Potter Clark, Vassalboro author, to read at library

VASSALBORO — On Saturday, February 18, 2 p.m., at the Vassalboro Public Library, Vassalboro author Dale Potter Clark will read from her historical novel Escape from Bunker Hill. Co-hosted by Vassalboro Historical Society… and many other local events!


WEEKS MILLS – Gary Alden McCarty II, 39, passed away on Friday, February 3, 2023, following years of dealing with pancreatitis and multiple stomach health issues… and remembering 14 others.

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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: Ann Budris, Winslow

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | Just the other day a friend told me she thought robins went south for the winter. That is the common thought. The American robin, Turdus migratorius, is a migratory songbird. While robins occasionally overwinter in the northern United States and southern Canada, most migrate to Florida and the Gulf Coast to central Mexico…


by Peter Cates | For me, 21st President Chester Alan Arthur (1830-1886) always gave the impression of being a stuffed shirt prig with his Billy goat sideburns and mustache. But, like his predecessors and, as of 2023, his 25 successors, he was certainly a fascinating individual with a story uni­quely his own…


by Roland D. Hallee | This week we’re going to venture a little from The Plains, and go to the north end of Water St., where it intersects with lower Main St., where there once was a rotary. Pretty much where the five-way intersection of Water, Spring, Main, Front and Bridge streets come together…


(NAPSI) | Nurse practitioner Michele Long has been Beth’s primary care provider for years. So, when Beth started experiencing symptoms of depression, she scheduled an appointment with Michele…