Week of April 30, 2020

Celebrating 32 years of local news

Our office is currently closed to the public. 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!

Despite fewer volunteers, longer hours, local food pantries soldier on

Pervasive in my discussions with local food pantries is a sense of profound gratefulness. “We have been receiving monetary and food donations from many residents,” says Vassalboro Food Station director Cindy Ferland. “The community support has been tremendous.”

Food pantries in China, Winslow, Albion and Palermo expressed similar sentiments… [1034 words] by Eric W. Austin

Your Local News

Town manager presents China COVID-19 recovery plan

CHINA — Town of China plan for returning the municipal government to full operations. Recommended to the Select Board on April 27th by the COVID-19 Response Group…

Superintendent: Local school budget to have minimal impact on taxes

CHINA — China selectmen got some good news and some encouraging news at their April 27 meeting. They also accepted Town Manager Dennis Heath’s offer to have town office staff develop background for reviewing China’s town meeting system…

Solar projects on planning agenda

VASSALBORO — The Vassalboro Planning Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, virtually, with two preliminary discussions of applications for solar projects on its agenda. Neither project is related to the discussions among selectmen and school board members about buying solar power from an out-of-town project…

School board joins town to buy out-of-town solar power

VASSALBORO — At a special meeting April 28, Vassalboro School Board members voted to join with town officials in a plan to buy solar power from an out-of-town development…

Main Street construction update

WATERVILLE — Waterville Works crews from Ranger Contracting began on Monday, April 20, at the south end of Main Street, at the intersection of Main, Front and Water streets, by removing necessary trees and completing the connection to the existing water main…

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Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications being accepted

CENTRAL ME — The U.S. Small Business Administration has resumed accepting applications, effective April 25, 2020…

Expanded and renewed agricultural funding programs

CENTRAL ME — On April 23, Congress passed a new $484 billion coronavirus package that positively impacts agricultural and forestry businesses. DACF strongly encourages Maine agricultural businesses to quickly apply for these programs…

Mid-Maine Chamber and area businesses donate books to Educare

WATERVILLE — Mid-Maine Chamber, SAPPI and Marden’s Discount Store donated nearly five hundred children’s books to Educare Central Maine to assist families in need of reading and educational materials during this time of isolation…

Lucille Caouette turns 99

WINSLOW — Lucille Caouette’s birthday is usually celebrated each year with a large family gathering lasting the day with meals and social time. It should be noted that her family consists of 10 children, 20 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren…

Commemorating Shakespeare’s 456th birthday

WATERVILLE — Emily and Josh Fournier, of Recycled Shakespeare Company, stroll the Riverwalk, in Waterville, on William Shakespeare’s 456th birthday on April 23, 2020 (photo)…

Soucy honored for 75 years service

MADISON — Raymond N. Soucy, a lifetime and dedicated member of the American Legion Tardiff-Belanger Post #39, in Madison, was presented with a certificate, on March 15, 2020…

Who is that masked man?

AUGUSTA — Father John Skehan, pastor of St. Michael parish, in Augusta, brings smiles to those attending drive-through confessions with his special face mask. Drive-through confessions are being offered at many Maine parishes…

Is your loved one in a nursing home? Six questions you need to ask

CENTRAL ME — If you have a spouse, sibling, parent, or other loved one in a nursing home, you may be worried about their safety and well-being because of the coronavirus pandemic. AARP has consulted with leading nursing home experts to provide you with some key questions to ask the nursing home…

Celebrating Maine history

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

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

CENTRAL ME — The Kennebec River that has been an important feature of the towns and cities so far discussed in this series runs from Moosehead Lake to the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of about 170 miles. It served as the first route to the interior for Europeans, and as a known landmark in a largely unknown area…  [1315 words] by Mary Grow

Benedict Arnold’s Québec Campaign came up the Kennebec River (New!)

CENTRAL ME — The Second Continental Congress authorized an invasion of Québec, in part on the urging of Arnold—but he was passed over for command of the expedition. He then went to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and suggested to George Washington a second expedition to attack Québec City…

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Crossing the Kennebec River

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]

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


SOUTH CHINA – Leslie D. Ames, 95, passed away on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Togus Springs, Togus VA Medical Center. Les has now joined his loving wife of 62 years, Faith Ames in Heaven. Les was born at home in Camden on February 5, 1925, son of Harold and Edna Higgins Ames… and remembering 9 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 | Although skeptical at first, I have become a follower of the now defunct TV sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. That group of nerds deals solely in science, and very rarely on practicality…So, in one recent rerun episode, Sheldon, the “top” nerd of the group, talked about the Snowy Tree Cricket…


by Peter Cates | Towards the end of Edwin Arlington Robinson’s two years at Harvard (ones during which he took several literature courses, enjoyed them thoroughly and was happy to get Bs with no ambition for higher grades at all), the poet wrote a slightly tongue-in-cheek June 21, 1893…


by Dan Beaulieu | When you’re in business, especially a small business, the most important thing you have is your reputation. Its all about what people think of you, that will determine whether, you will be successful…


by Tim Forsman | By the start of 1973, Gregg Allman had been through a wild couple of years. The third Allman Brothers Band album, 1971’s double-LP live recording, At Fillmore East, had succeeded in getting the band the recognition they greatly deserved…


by Debbie Walker | My son-in-law comes up with some remarkably interesting topics on the internet and fortunately for me, he shares with me. Recently he was listening to a commencement address given by Admiral William McRaven to the 2014 University of Texas-Austin’s graduates…

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & PercySOLON & BEYOND

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull | Had greatly appreciated all of the Solon School news that had been sent to me and I enjoyed sharing it all with you, but I haven’t received any other news so I’m hoping you will like this old news that I found in my stash of old memories in Solon…


(NAPSI) — The warning bells are ringing. From regulators, law enforcement agencies and consumer organizations around the globe, the message is clear: Fraudulent schemes related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have arrived…