Week of May 7, 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!

China group organizing gardeners to support local food pantry

Marie Michaud doesn’t have any experience addressing local food shortages, but that hasn’t stopped her. “I just feel something in my heart and I do it,” she says to explain the current project encouraging local gardeners to plant a few extra rows to support China Community Food Pantry… by Eric W. Austin

Saluting RSU #18 Nutrition Angels

Whether during the school year, during the summer, or during unprecedented times like these, our RSU #18 nutrition staff members come to work every day to do their job – no questions asked. During the early April power outage, this dedicated group of workers came in and made sandwiches by phone lights so no child would go hungry!… by Mandi Favreau and Barbara Bonnell

Your Local News

Planners hear preliminary information on second solar development

CHINA — At their first virtual meeting April 28, China Planning Board members heard preliminary information on a second proposed solar development, this one on Route 3 (Belfast Road), and scheduled a site visit and a public hearing…

Selectmen, budget committee to hold virtual meeting

CHINA — China selectmen and Budget Committee members will hold a joint virtual meeting beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 7, to discuss changing budget recommendations in the warrant for the annual town business meeting…

Selectmen approve power purchase agreement

VASSALBORO — Vassalboro selectmen put one long-discussed issue to rest at their April 30 meeting, when they unanimously approved a power purchase agreement with ReVision Energy to buy power from an out-of-town solar project, they hope beginning early in 2021…

Take our weekly survey!

[democracy id=”189″]

LETTERS: Americans easily laying down to government

from Mr. A. Aurich (Palermo) — Question: Are you willing to surrender individual liberty for a little security? And those who vote “yes” should maybe lose both…

Expanded and renewed agricultural funding programs

CENTRAL ME — The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) loan application portal reopened as of May 4…

Les Ames, remembered as family man, decorated veteran, community leader

So. CHINA — Leslie D. Ames, 95, of South China, 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…

Art kits available for kids

WATERVILLE — In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis and the need to keep social distance, Waterville Creates! has launched a new collaborative program, Art Kits for All, an effort to help keep our community’s families engaged and entertained…

L.C. Bates Museum to develop virtual programs

HINCKLEY — The L.C. Bates Museum, in Hinckley, for safety reasons, is closed at this time and working on developing virtual programs and activities, especially ones for youth. The summer art exhibit Maine Waters and other museum information will be online by mid-May…

Carrabec High School announces top 10 seniors

ANSON — Here are the top ten Carrabec High School seniors for the 2019-’20 school year…

Class breakfast canceled

SKOWHEGAN — The Skowhegan High School class of 1963 breakfast scheduled for May 16, 2020, at Wentworth’s Restaurant, in Norridgewock, has been canceled until further notice due to the coronavirus. Call 858-0946 with questions…

Celebrating Maine history

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

Up and down the Kennebec River: Water power and industry on the river (New!)

CENTRAL ME — Another use for the Kennebec, and for its tributary streams, was to provide water and water power for a variety of mills and other industries, beginning in the 1790s and continuing well into the 20th century. Kingsbury, in his History of Kennebec County, says sawmills came first, with lumber used locally and exported down the river…  [1843 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Shipping on the Kennebec River

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

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

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


WINDSOR – Andrew O. Cooper, Jr., 48, of Reed Road, died unexpectedly on Saturdday, April 25, 2020, at the Alfond Center for Health, in Augusta. He was born in Gardiner on March 28, 1972, the son of Andrew O. Cooper, Sr. and Karen W. (Woodcock) Cooper… 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 | When I arrived at work on Monday, on my way into the office, I noticed a woolly bear caterpillar walking along the ground. Strange. Woolly bears are most visible during September and October. Where did this one come from in May?…


by Jac M. Arbour | What a world, huh? One day we are cranking along, humming and whistling, and the next, the brakes are screeching and seemingly everything comes to a halt. Life can change quickly…


by Peter Cates | Back during the 78 rpm days, lasting the first half of the 20th century, the record sides were three to five minutes in duration; when longer classical works were recorded, the scores were marked at certain notes to indicate when a red light in the studio would go off overhead, signalling everybody to stop…


by Debbie Walker | When I have questions there seems to always be someone there with the answers. We have a wonderful reader who knows I am interested in older ways. To me, mineral oil is one of those things…

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & PercySOLON & BEYOND

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull | Here I sit on this Monday morning with no paper to read, it doesn’t start the week off right. But here I sit at this computer, hoping I can write something to cheer you all up after what is going on in this crazy mixed up world!…


(NAPSI) — Even more than cancer, there’s one disease most people fear. The thought of falling prey to Alzheimer’s disease and to the inevitable desecration of the mind is something that can make even the bravest shudder…