Issue for February 29, 2024

Celebrating 35 years of local news

5th annual China Lake ice fishing derby huge success

The China Four Seasons Club and the China Village Fire Department co-hosted the 5th Annual China Lake Ice Fishing Derby, on Sunday, February 18, during Maine’s Free Fishing Weekend. “It was an amazing day of fun, families, and fishing,” said China Four Seasons Club President Tom Rumpf. “We were a little concerned about ice conditions, but everyone used caution and the Fishing Derby went off without the fire department doing a cold-water rescue”… by Sandra Isaac

Town News

Organizations answer questions about budget requests

CHINA – China select board members discussed the 2024-25 budget for much of their Feb. 26 meeting, and scheduled another meeting for 6 p.m. Monday, March 4, to continue the topic…

New hire proposal withdrawn; select board nixes KVCOG membership

VASSALBORO – After reviewing pieces of the proposed 2024-25 town budget at their regular meeting Feb. 22, Vassalboro select board members scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 29, to continue discussion. Two decisions were made Feb. 22…

Ecology Learning Center moves to new location

UNITY – The Ecology Learning Center is now the proud owner of the Clifford Arts & Student Center (formerly known as the Unity Center for Performing Arts), thanks to the generosity of Unity Environmental University in collaboration with Unity Foundation. In order to maintain and fully realize the capacity of this beautiful 8,000 square foot facility, they must raise $150,000 by June 30, 2024…

Northern Light Acadia Hospital observes National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

CENTRAL ME – February 26 through March 3 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and Northern Light Acadia Hospital is taking the opportunity to raise awareness and share important information about eating disorders with our communities. Did you know…

Kennebec Valley Council of Governments names Joel Greenwood executive director

CENTRAL ME – The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) has announced that its board of directors has appointed Joel Greenwood as executive director…

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: “Toga! Toga!” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is March 7, 2024…

Dawson Turcotte accepted to med school

SKOWHEGAN – Dawson Turcotte, son of Eric and Kris Turcotte, of Skowhegan, was accepted into the University of New England’s Doctor of Osteo­pathic Medicine Program beginning July 2024. Dawson will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in medical biology from the University of New England this May. Dawson is a 2021 graduate of Skowhegan Area High School…

Local happenings

EVENTS: Poor People’s Campaign set for March 2

CENTRAL ME – On Saturday, March 2, the Maine Poor People’s Campaign will lead a march and rally at the State House to kick off a 40-week effort to mobilize poor and low-wage voters ahead of the November elections. Simul­taneous direct actions are planned at 31 state capitals around the country and Washington, DC… by Jonathan Strieff

EVENTS: Apple tree pruning workshop

VASSALBORO – Late winter is the time for pruning apple trees, and Kennebec County Soil & Water Conservation District [Kennebec SWCD] announces an outdoors, skill-building workshop at a volunteer property in Vassalboro. An apple tree pruning workshop will be held on Saturday, March 9, from 9:30 a.m. – noon, at 167 Tabot Hill Road, in Vassalboro…

EVENTS: Maple Sunday weekend slated for March 23-24

CENTRAL ME – The Maine Maple Producers Association (MMPA) is pleased to announce the 41st Maine Maple Sunday Weekend on March 23-24, 2024. A favorite annual event, visitors are welcomed at local sugarhouses to celebrate Maine’s maple syrup in as many ways as possible…

EVENTS: AARP Tax-Aide program available in central Maine

CENTRAL ME – The AARP Tax-Aide program provides free federal and state income tax preparation and electronic filing to low-and moderate-income individuals. Returns are prepared by IRS-certified volunteers. The program is funded by the AARP Foundation, a tax-exempt charitable organization, and the IRS…

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Legos Club needs volunteers at ACB

CHINA VILLAGE — LEGOs Clubs for Kids is a new program starting this spring at the Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, and they need roughly four additional volunteers to help lead the Saturday sessions. LEGO donations are also welcome! Please contact the library at if you are interested and available for volunteering… and many other local events!

Give Us Your Best Shot!

The best recent photos from our readers!…


CLINTON – David B. Newell Sr., 67, passed away at home, on Saturday, February 17, 2024. Dave was born in Fairfield on March 15, 1956. He was the son of Thomas I. Newell Sr. and Marjorie A (Ellis) Newell (deceased)…. and remembering 11 others.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Windsor brooks named after people (new)

WINDSOR HISTORY — Barton Brook, in northwestern Windsor, was almost certainly named after Dr. Stephen Barton, Sr. (June 10, 1740- Oct. 21, 1804), or his family. The brook connects the north end of Mud Pond with the south end of Threemile Pond (which is mostly in China and Vassalboro). In his history of Windsor, Linwood Lowden wrote that in 1799, the stream was named Wonnamdogus, a Native name that is now Warromantogus… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Windsor brooks named for early settlers

WINDSOR HISTORY — Last week’s article was about ponds in Windsor that were named after people who settled or lived near them. According to Henry Kingsbury’s 1892 Kennebec County history and Linwood Lowden’s 1993 Windsor history, several streams or brooks were also named in recognition of early residents… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: People for whom ponds are named – Part 4

WINDSOR HISTORY — Windsor is the southeasternmost of the dozen municipalities this series has included in the central Kennebec Valley. Henry Kingsbury called its shape unique in Kennebec County, with “four equal sides and four right angles”… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: People for whom ponds are named – Part 3

CHINA/ALBION HISTORY — A small pond shared between Albion and its southern neighbor, China, has been known as Dutton Pond for as long as your writer has lived in China. But the map of China in the 1856 and 1879 atlases of Kennebec County names it Pickerel Pond… by Mary Grow

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, March 14, 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: Aiden Cook, Augusta

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | Last week, I received a phone call from a reader in Palermo who told me that for only the third time in the last 17 years, he spotted an American ermine crossing his back yard…


by Jayne Winters | “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” is a phrase we associate with U.S. postal carriers, but I think it could easily describe Don Cote and his volunteers at the Wildlife Care Center in Vassalboro…


by Peter Cates | At a 2013 concert in St. Paul, Minnesota, Bob Dylan paid tribute to Bobby Vee (1943-2016), who was in the audience. Dylan played piano as part of Vee’s backup band for two gigs in 1959 and the two singers had remained friends and performed together on occasion over subsequent decades…


(HEALTH) | Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts three months or longer. It can come and go, often bringing temporary relief followed by frustration. Dealing with chronic back pain can be especially trying if you don’t know the cause…