Week of April 23, 2020

Celebrating 32 years of local news

Although we are keeping regular hours, we ask that you not stop by the office unless absolutely necessary. Instead, please contact us by email at townline@townline.org or phone at 445-2234. Don’t worry, we will be publishing this week’s issue on Thursday like always!

Local restaurateur helps community during crisis

It was once said that “you don’t know what you are made of until you are broken.” When you are faced with trying times that take away your ability to live life as you have, what do you do? Well, the Kennebec community certainly knows what Areti “Rita” Lacroix-Menoudarakos, of Rita’s Catering, does in tough times…. she cooks!… [630 words] by Mark Huard

Your Local News

Selectmen, school board, budget committee agree on proposed 2020-21 budget

VASSALBORO — In successive meetings April 14 and 16, Vassalboro Budget Committee members reviewed and endorsed proposed 2020-21 school and municipal budgets. They reviewed an almost-final draft of the town meeting warrant and agreed with selectmen’s and school board members’ recommendations on proposed expenditures…

Solar energy, transfer station fixes top agenda

VASSALBORO — In addition to the 2020-21 budget, Vassalboro selectmen made progress on two other ongoing issues, solar energy and transfer station improvements, at their April 16 meeting. Plans to add a large amount of solar energy to the town’s energy mix started as a voter-approved proposal…

School budget will not increase town’s tax rate

VASSALBORO — Vassalboro School Board members have given preliminary approval to a 2020-21 school budget that, for the second year in a row, will not increase the town’s tax rate…

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Waterville farmers market to reopen April 30

WATERVILLE — The Downtown Waterville Farmers’ Market will re-open at the Head of Falls on Thursday, April 30, at 2 p.m. ,and remain open until 6 p.m. each Thursday as a food distribution location…

Great birthday!

CENTRAL ME — When you are daddy’s little girl, as Lydia White, 7 of Benton is, daddys know no limits to making things special. Lydia’s dad, Ken White, of Benton, needed to find a way to make his little girls “quarantine birthday” special. So he called on the local superheroes from Fairfield, Benton, Clinton and Winslow, to help him accomplish his goal…

Community comes together for Easter egg and paper scavenger hunt

VASSALBORO — Victor Esposito, along with a student’s parent, built two-foot tall Easter eggs, and brought them to JMG (Jobs for Maine Graduates) student’s home where they were painted. The eggs were then brought back to Esposito. From there they were distributed throughout Vassalboro…

Mid-Maine Chamber Golf Classic rescheduled to Aug. 18

CENTRAL ME — The annual Mid-Maine Chamber Golf Classic tournament, originally scheduled for June 15 at the Waterville Country Club, has been postponed to Tuesday, August 18, for this year, with an 11 a.m., shotgun start…

JMG gives $300,000 to students for groceries

CENTRAL ME — As families continue to struggle with the economic impact of COVID-19, Jobs for Maine Graduates is partnering with its school partners to distribute $100 Hannaford Supermarkets gift cards to 3,000 students and their families throughout the state, according to a news release from the organization…

Camp Bomazeen holds Klondike Derby

BELGRADE — Camp Bomazeen, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, hosted the 2020 Scout Klondike Derby on February 1. Approximately 100 Scouts and leaders attended the frosty fun time on the shores of North Pond where Scouts competed in challenges that were both fun and designed to test their Scouting knowledge…

Social distancing shouldn’t lead to social isolation

from AARP — Even in the best of times, social isolation is a significant problem. In Maine, 587,300 people over the age of 50 live alone and are at higher risk of social isolation, which is now magnified by the “social distancing” requirements across the country…

Healthcare workers applauded

WATERVILLE — Waterville Fire and Police were joined by other local first responders in thanking local healthcare professionals at MaineGeneral Medical Center, Thayer campus, in Waterville, on April 15….

New food pantry opens in Winslow

WINSLOW — A new food pantry, Winslow Community Cupboard, is launching operations at Winslow Congregational Church, 12 Lithgow Street, Winslow, to assist those struggling with food-insecurity during these extremely difficult times, and beyond…

Alfond Youth and Community Center to provide weekend meals

WATERVILLE — The Alfond Youth and Community Center, in Waterville, is still serving free meals and snacks at six locations throughout the community every Monday through Friday, with weekend backpacks available every Thursday and Friday at the AYCC location…

Celebrating Maine history

All of our recent stories about the local history of Maine!

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Crossing the Kennebec River (New!)

CENTRAL ME — The Kennebec River was a highway into the interior of Maine, but it was also a barrier to travel. The Native Americans found safe places to cross; European settlers did the same, learning either from the Natives or by trial and error…  [1465 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Fairfield

CENTRAL ME — Fairfield, the southernmost town in Somerset County, differs from Augusta, Vassalboro/Sidney, and Winslow/Waterville in being surveyed and settled only on the west bank of the Kennebec…  [1442 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Waterville – Sidney

CENTRAL ME — As previously described, what is now the Town of Sidney, on the west bank of the Kennebec River north of Augusta, began as the western half of Vassalborough, now a separate town on the east bank of the river…  [1553 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Winslow, Benton, Clinton

CENTRAL ME — Winslow is the next town north of Vassalboro along the east shore of the Kennebec River. According to Henry Kingsbury’s History of Kennebec County, its location was determined by the junction of the Kennebec with the smaller Sebasticook River…  [1385 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Augusta & Vassalboro

CENTRAL ME — What is now, and has been for 200 years, the State of Maine, was first explored and settled by Europeans by way of the Atlantic Ocean, and ocean transportation has been important in its history and economy ever since… [1288 words] by Mary Grow

The Kennebec Indian tribe

CENTRAL ME — The Kennebec tribe, also known as Norridgewock and Kennebis, was an early Abenaki band who lived in the Kennebec Valley of Maine. Their name comes from the Kennebec River, which was named after the bay it emptied into — kinipek meaning “bay” in the Abenaki language…  [385 words]

A look at what Maine was like before it became a state

In March 15, 1820, Maine became the 23rd state of the United States. Last Sunday, was Maine’s 200th anniversary of admission to the union. There is no definitive explanation for the origin of the name “Maine,” but the most likely origin is that the name was given by early explorers after the former province of Maine, in France… [2557 words] by Roland D. Hallee

How, and why, Maine became a state

Before Maine became a state in 1820 it was the District of Maine, a territory of Massachusetts. The movement to separate from Massachusetts predates the American Revolution but, during the revolution, separatists put aside their grievances to support the war effort. With independence won, the question of separation reemerged… [871 words] by Tom Waddell

Webber’s Pond

Webber’s Pond is a comic drawn by an anonymous central Maine resident…

Please help support your local restaurants!

During these unusual times, local restaurants are closed for dine-in services. However, many of them are open, offering take-out, drive-up or delivery services. PURCHASING ONE MEAL A WEEK FROM YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT WILL HELP IN THEIR BEING ABLE TO SURVIVE DURING THIS CRISIS!

Local Town Meetings Schedule 2020

Local town meetings schedule for 2020 for Albion, China, Fairfield, Vassalboro and Solon. To add your town to this list, email us at townline@townline.org


ALBION – David Carl Paradis, 89, of Albion, passed away on Saturday, April 18, 2020, following a long illness, just a week before his 90th birthday. David was born April 27, 1930, in Waterville, the son of Leo and Mary (Jaquith) Paradis… and remembering 13 others.

Common Ground – Round 16: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Friday, May 8, 2020

Identify the “people” in these three photos, and tell us what they have in common. You could win a $10 gift certificate to Retail Therapy Boutique in Waterville! Email your answer to townline@townline.org or through our Contact page. Include your name and address with your answer. Use “Common Ground” in the subject!

Previous winner: Dave Carew, Waterville; and Judith Dennett, Augusta

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | You have to be living in a cave not to know that deer ticks are at an all time high. They are everywhere. Friends and family have told me stories about their encounters with the insect, and they all have one thing in common. They have all had multiple numbers on them at one time…


by Dan Beaulieu | My mother used to say there is always a way. No matter what the challenge, no matter how hard the times, there is always a way to make it through. And my mother at 92 years old has seen depressions, wars, recession and all sorts of challenges and always she has survived…


by Peter Cates | Camille Claudel did a bust of her younger brother, the poet, essayist and diplomat Paul Claudel, when he was only 16 in 1884. One is captivated by the exceptionally vivid expressive lines in her brother’s face, the emotional vulnerability she brought out in bronze…


by Debbie Walker | Can you remember hearing your parents or grandparents say these things? I can, some were spoken with strong indignation. “Well, I never …….!” It makes me realize that every generation has had their crosses to bear…

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & PercySOLON & BEYOND

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull | This is the rest of the Solon School News letter that I received last week. Solon Students Win District MEA Awards: Six Solon students are the recipients of awards in the RSU #74 MEA Awards Program. Awards are given to the student or students who receive the highest score in reading, math, and science in the district on Maine Educational Assessment each year…


(NAPSI) — These days, people are navigating unprecedented times that have them rethinking how they live and work. While big shifts to normal, daily habits can be unsettling, this also provides an opportunity to start new routines and make positive changes…