Issue for February 8, 2024

Celebrating 35 years of local news

Hope Brokers supports struggling individuals

Marshall Mercer never intended to become the director of a nonprofit organization. He never considered himself an advocate or an activist before being identified as such by local media. From his perspective, his experience outside of the formal social services system is part of what makes him so effective at the work he does. For the last three years, Mercer has run Hope Brokers, in Augusta, first as an LLC now a registered 501(c)(3). The stated mission of Hope Brokers is to, “build a more diverse and prosperous community for all”… by Jonathan Strieff

New artists’ program at ACB is off to a flying start

The Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, in China Village, welcomed its first artist of 2024, Maria King, on Saturday, February 3. Maria had more than 50 shadow boxes on display at the library through February 29. Incredibly, Maria began her artistic journey less than a year ago and has made over 70 shadow boxes so far… by Karel MacKay

Town News

Select board hears first budget draft

CHINA – China select board and budget committee members met together Feb. 5 to hear Town Manager Rebecca Hapgood’s presentation of the first draft of the 2024-25 municipal budget…

TIF committee reviews nine requests: OK to all

CHINA – Five members of China’s Tax Increment Financing Committee reviewed nine requests for 2024-25 TIF funds at a Feb. 5 meeting. They unanimously recommended the select board approve all nine…

Webber’s Pond

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

Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce welcomes new team member Jamie Feyler

WATERVILLE – Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the addition of Jamie Feyler to its team. She serves as customer service/bookkeeper and is responsible for the day-to-day customer service and bookkeeping activities of the Mid-Maine Chamber. Jamie is a proactive bookkeeper who is dedicated to maintaining accurate and timely financial records…

Waterville Rotary Club announces 2024 food insecurity donations

WATERVILLE – The Waterville Rotary Club raised $5,000 this year to support local organizations that address food insecurity. In the prior three years the club donated a total of $40,622 to organizations addressing hunger and basic needs…

Towns seek Spirit of America nominations

CENTRAL ME – Several area towns, including China and Vassalboro, are seeking nominations for 2024 Spirit of America awards. According to its website, the nonprofit Spirit of American Foundation was established in Augusta in 1990 to honor volunteerism. Initially, municipalities presented awards “to local individuals, organizations and projects for commendable community service”…

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: “They’re here!” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is February 8, 2024…

Vassalboro Community School second quarter honor roll

VASSALBORO – List of honor roll students for Vassalboro Community School for the second quarter of 2023…

Zoe Nicholls on dean’s list

SKOWHEGAN – Zoe Nicholls, of Skowhegan, has achieved dean’s list honors during the fall 2023 semester at Nichols College, in Dudley, Massachusetts.

Dillon named to honor roll

OAKLAND – Nealey Dillon, of Oakland, was named to the University of Mississippi’s Fall 2023 honor roll lists, in University, Mississippi.

Zachary Ross named to dean’s list

SIDNEY – Zachary Ross, of Sidney, was named to the Fall 2023 dean’s list at The College of St. Scholastica, in Duluth, Minnesota.

Local students on U. of Alabama dean’s list

CENTRAL ME – Madison Levasseur, of Whitefield, and Alexis Alcott, of Windsor, were both named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

UNE announces dean’s list

CENTRAL ME – The University of New England, in Biddeford, has announced the following local students who achieved the dean’s list for the fall semester 2023…

Local students on Maine College of Health Professions dean’s list

CENTRAL ME – Maine College of Health Professions’ President, Dr. Monika Bissell, in Lewiston, is pleased to recognize the following local students for achieving dean’s list status for the fall 2023 semester: Socorro Barajas, of Windsor; Camden Kinsey, of Augusta, Hallee Parlin, of Fairfield; Katherine True, of Sidney, and Bailey Wilson, of Skowhegan.

Local students on Maine College of Health Professions dean’s list

CENTRAL ME – Maine College of Health Professions’ President, Dr. Monika Bissell, in Lewiston, is pleased to recognize the following local students for achieving dean’s list status for the fall 2023 semester: Socorro Barajas, of Windsor; Camden Kinsey, of Augusta, Hallee Parlin, of Fairfield; Katherine True, of Sidney, and Bailey Wilson, of Skowhegan.

Jessica Fisher named to Hartwick College’s dean’s list

CHINA – Jessica Fisher, of China, was named to Hartwick College’s Fall 2023 dean’s list, in Oneonta, New York. Fisher, who is pursuing a major in psychology and sociology, was among the over 400 students named to the Fall 2023 dean’s list.

Two area students named to dean’s list at URI

CENTRAL ME – The University of Rhode Island is pleased to announce the Fall 2023 dean’s list includes Gavin Murphy, of Winslow, and Tucker Pieh, of Rome.

Local happenings

EVENTS: Vassalboro senior lunch to be held Feb. 14

CENTRAL ME – The next Senior (50+) Soup and Salad luncheon will be next Wednesday, February 14, from 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m., at the Vassalboro United Methodist Church, 614 Main Street, Vassalboro. Lunch is FREE, donations are accepted. RSVP is not required, just plan on coming for lunch and a time of fellowship. For more information contact Karen Hatch, Vassalboro Community Program Director,….

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: Chelsea to hold special Valentine’s free informational luncheon on dementia

CHELSEA – Residents of Chelsea and neighboring towns are invited to attend a special Valentine’s session of Chelsea’s free monthly Informational Luncheons. This luncheon will be the same format that community members are familiar with from previous events, but with an added emphasis on creating a welcoming and accessible environment for people living with dementia. The place settings, decorations, and menu have all been designed to create a safe and comfortable sensory experience for all…

EVENTS: Maine Pond Hockey weekend at Snow Pond

SIDNEY – The 12th annual Maine Pond Hockey Classic will be held this Friday, February 9, through Monday, February 11, 2024, at the scenic Snow Pond Center for the Arts, in Sidney…

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: Shakespearean homeshoolers to perform

MONMOUTH — Southern Maine Association of Shakespearean Homeschoolers (SMASH) presents: As You Like It, at Cumston Hall Theater, in Monmouth. Showtimes are February 9, at 6:30 p.m., February 10, at 2 p.m., February 16, at 6:30 p.m., and February 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or online… and many other local events!

Give Us Your Best Shot!

The best recent photos from our readers!…


VASSALBORO – Alice Marion Hopkins, 89, of Vassalboro, passed away in her sleep, on Friday, January 26, 2024, at Woodlands, of Hallowell… and remembering 12 others.

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

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

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: People for whom ponds are named – Part 2

ALBION HISTORY — Moving east from Winslow to Albion, that town has Lovejoy Pond, named after an early family who settled beside it. Which family member came first is debated. Henry Kingsbury, in his Kennebec County history, named Rev. Daniel Lovejoy. Ruby Crosby Wiggin, in her history of Albion, said no, Daniel’s father, Francis Lovejoy, came first… by Mary Grow

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

WINSLOW HISTORY — Previous articles have mentioned ponds and lakes in central Kennebec Valley towns with people’s names, like Pattee or Pattee’s Pond, in Winslow. Some of these water bodies are named for early settlers. Your writer intends for the next few weeks to match ponds and people, to the extent permitted by available resources… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Diary-keeping, Ballard & Bryant

CENTRAL ME HISTORY — Kennebec Valley, your writer recently read Richard Beeman’s Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution (2009). Beeman described the 1787 convention in Philadelphia at which men from 12 of the 13 original states (Rhode Island refused to play) wrote what became the Constitution of the United States, succeeding the 1777 Articles of Confederation… by Mary Grow

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 15, 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: Diana Gardner, Windsor

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | Now, here’s something you don’t hear every day. This press release came across my desk this week, and I just have to share it with my readers. I have to preface this by saying that during my tour of duty in Vietnam in 1968-69, I had the occasion to taste squid jerky from a street vendor. Though it had the texture of beef jerky, I found it to be extremely salty, not unusual for Southeast Asian cuisine…


by Melinda Myers | Chocolates and roses are synonymous with Valentine’s Day. They are always a welcome gift but maybe this is the year you decide to give your Valentine something different…


by Peter Cates | An acquaintance from my years living in Houston, Texas, attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and he told of meeting then-Governor Bill Clinton twice during a two-year period and shared a couple of observations…


(HEALTH) | A healthy lifestyle can help you thrive throughout your life. Making healthy choices isn’t always easy, however. It can be hard to find the time and energy to exercise regularly or prepare healthy meals. However, your efforts will pay off in many ways, and for the rest of your life…