Issue for March 14, 2024

Celebrating 36 years of local news

New South China library offers unlimited possibilities

What if there was a place that was full of books to use for research and enjoyable reading in all genres, without price tags? There is, it is a library. The South China library that has been in the process of changing locations since 2016 is now nearing its finish line. Set in a quiet location at 27 Jones Rd., with ample parking space, this new library is the perfect place to research topics, learn new skills, or enjoy the captivating stories in fiction books. When you walk through the doors, you are met with the freshly painted walls encasing a well-lit bright space filled with books… by Roberta Barnes

Albert Church Brown library receives handicapped access grant

The China Library Association (CLA) has received a $10,000 grant to improve handicapped access at the Albert Church Brown Memorial Library in China Village. Librarian, Miranda Perkins, and CLA president, Louisa Barnhart, shared the news early in March… by Mary Grow

Town News

Select board discusses a wide variety of topics

CHINA – China select board members discussed a wide variety of topics at their March 11 meeting and made three decisions (in addition to the routine ones, like approving expenditures). Without dissenting votes, board members…

Budget committee agrees with select board on budget items except one

CHINA – Five of the seven China Budget Committee members met March 5 and reviewed the select board’s 2024-25 municipal budget recommendations, agreeing with all but one…

Select board gets 2024-25 budget ready for budget committee review

VASSALBORO – Vassalboro select board members spent most of their March 7 meeting continuing to discuss the 2024-25 town budget, getting it in shape for budget committee review…


from Susan Cottle (South China) Many, many thanks to the South China Volunteer Fire Department volunteers. Recent storms have certainly caused huge problems – sometimes very dangerous problems. Twice in the last few months on the road I live on, multiple trees have downed wires across our narrow, windy road with its blind spots, making travel on the road hazardous to say the least. On both occasions a call to 911 resulted in someone from the department being on the scene within only a matter of minutes…

LETTERS: CMP, PUC should treat all customers equally

from Frank Slason (Somerville) An open letter to Central Maine Power Co. and the Public Utilities Commission respectively, as a retired electrical/contractor/engineer. We had trouble with both entities just after moving to Maine in 1988. [We] built two homes with baseboard electric heat and was told by a CMP field engineer that we were stupid to go with electric heat…

Ice Out winners announced!

Because ice went out on China Lake on a record date of March 11, 2024, the contest officially ended on that day. Two entries nailed the date correctly: Jamie Nichols and Jennifer Noll both entered the exact date of ice out and are the winners of a gift card to Hannaford’s Supermarket…

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: “A martini. Shaken not stirred.” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is April 4, 2024…

PHOTO: China Baptist Church Bible group honors Mrs. Smiley on 95th birthday

CHINA – The China Baptist Church Women’s Bible Study group had a surprise 95 ‘Chocolate Birthday Party’ for Mrs. Smiley at their meeting this week. Everyone knows about Alene’s love of chocolate and she now has enough to last ‘til Christmas! She also received some other special gifts including a lovely lap quilt from Carlaine Bovio, a hand knitted shawl from Ann Austin, and a broach of seaglass with a hand painted picture of the church from Audrey Morneau…

MaineGeneral’s podiatrists: getting you back on your feet

CENTRAL ME – As a high school soccer player, Michael Kipp had foot and ankle injuries that required appointments with a podiatrist to treat his issues. At the time, he could not appreciate that the appointments would plant the seed for a decade-plus career as a podiatric surgeon… by John D. Begin

Oak Grove grants available

VASSALBORO – The Oak Grove School Foundation is accepting applications for grants to support the education and cultural needs of students and non-profit organizations in the greater Central Maine area…

Northern Light Inland Hospital welcomes new members to board of trustees

CENTRAL ME – Northern Light Inland Hospital is pleased to welcome the following community members to the Waterville hospital’s board of trustees…

Nolan Burgess receives MPA award

WHITEFIELD – Headmaster Jamie Soule has announced that Nolan Burgess, of Whitefield, a senior at Erskine Academy, in South China, has been selected to receive the 2024 Principal’s Award…

Maeve Blanchette named to Goodwin University’s president’s list

AUGUSTA – Maeve Blanchette, of Augusta, earned a place on Goodwin University’s president’s list for the Fall 2023 session, in East Hartford, Connecticut. The Fall 2023 President’s List includes 367 students, all of whom scored a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Rebekah McKay named to dean’s list

CHELSEA – Rebekah McKay, of Chelsea, was named to the dean’s list at Olivet Nazarene University, in Bourbonnais, Illinois, during the recently completed fall 2023 semester.

Payton Bell named to dean’s list at UW-Superior

SIDNEY – The University of Wisconsin-Superior, in Superior, Wisconsin, has named Payton Bell, of Sidney, to the dean’s list for academic achievement during the Fall 2023 semester.

Samantha Bonneau named to Elms College’s fall dean’s list

SKOWHEGAN – Samantha Bonneau, of Skowhegan, was named to the College of Our Lady of the Elms fall 2023 dean’s list, in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Griffin Brown named to the College of Charleston fall president’s list

OAKLAND – Griffin Brown, of Oakland, was named to the College of Charleston Fall 2023 president’s list (Highly Distinguished), in Charleston, South Carolina. Brown is undecided in his major.

Anna Lakey Named to Elmhurst University’s dean’s list

WINSLOW – Anna Lakey, of Winslow, was among more than 950 students named to Elmhurst University’s Fall 2023 dean’s list, in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Local happenings

EVENTS: China GOP to caucus

CHINA – There will be a Town of China Republican Caucus on Thursday March 14, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. The purpose of a Maine Republican town caucus is to elect delegates and a delegation chairman to the Maine Republican State Convention to be held April 26 and 27, 2024; to elect representatives to the Kennebec County Republican Committee…

EVENTS: AYCC to host polar plunge

WATERVILLE – The Alfond Youth & Community Center (AYCC), serving the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA of Greater Waterville, has announced it will be hosting its 31st annual Polar Plunge, on Saturday, March 16, at the Oakland Boat Launch. They hope to have 100 participants to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Boys & Girls Club…

EVENTS: Waterville Seed Library to launch March 16

WATERVILLE – The Waterville Public Library has announced the 2024 launch of the Waterville Seed Library. This entirely free public resource features 30 varieties, including tomato, pumpkin, summer lettuce mix, green beans, and more. Beginning on Saturday, March 16, 2024, while supplies last, garden seed packets can be picked up at the Waterville Public Library, at 73 Elm Street, Waterville. A free Paint a Plant Pot and Plant Basil craft program for youth will be offered on Saturday, March 16, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m…

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: Pruning Apple Hands-on Workshop in Union

UNION – Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District is offering a hands-on workshop to teach pruning apple trees on Saturday, March 30, from 12:30  to 3:30 p.m., at Vose Library, in Union. We still have a few spots available… and many other local events!

Webber’s Pond

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

Give Us Your Best Shot!

The best recent photos from our readers!..

Local town meetings schedule for 2024

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


VASSALBORO – Galen “Lucky” Lanphier, 76, peacefully passed away on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at his home. “Lucky” was born on February 1, 1948, son to Lewis and Louise (Tyler) Lanphier. He was born and raised in Camden, where he created many memories…. and remembering 7 others.

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

VASSALBORO HISTORY — Returning to early settlers who had ponds named after them and related topics (discussed in many recent articles in this series), your writer starts with a reader’s question: is Webber Pond in Vassalboro named for Charles Webber, mentioned at the end of the Jan. 11 article?… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Malta War, 1809

WINDSOR HISTORY — There are still some left-over ponds and related information to continue the previous subseries, but your writer is ready to take – and to give her readers – a break from maps, water bodies and genealogies. Instead, she will present the story of an often-mentioned, but in detail long avoided, historical event, the Malta War. (From 1809 to 1820, the present Town of Windsor was named Malta.)… by Mary Grow

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

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

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 | Just the other day, my wife showed me a Facebook post warning us about the Spotted Lanternfly, and a clear message to kill it upon sight. So, my curiosity being what it is, I had to find out, first, what it is, and second, how to eliminate it if that is what we’re supposed to do…


by Melinda Myers | As gardeners, it seems we are all looking for an ideal potting mix for our houseplants and containers. As with any gardening endeavor, a lot depends on what is available, the plants you are growing, and the type of maintenance you provide…


by Peter Cates | In an 1995 textbook anthology, Maine, the Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present, the late Kennebunk historian Joyce Butler provided an essay on family and community life from 1783 to 1861…


HEALTH | What better time to get to know your kidneys than National Kidney Month? Your kidneys play a vital role in keeping your body functioning, which is why healthy kidneys are important to your overall health…