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Governor’s Address: Let’s Prohibit Towns from Making Our Elderly Homeless

As we wrap up this legislative session, I am making our elderly a top priority. Unfortunately, they are not a priority for Democrats.

Senior citizens on fixed incomes struggle to pay rising property taxes. Municipalities are allowed under current law to foreclose and sell the property for the amount of taxes owed.

Consumers have many protections if a foreclosure involves a mortgage. When the bank forecloses, it sells the house and pays the homeowner any remaining equity after all debts are paid.

However, in a municipal foreclosure, when a senior citizen owns the home outright, those protections disappear. There’s no requirement that the municipality sell the property at market value and no requirement that the balance of the equity be returned to the homeowner.

We’re talking about people living on fixed incomes. Their home’s value is their only savings.

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Edward Little basketball teams honored by legislature

The Edward Little High School girls and boys basketball teams are pictured here during a recent visit to the Maine State Legislature, where both teams were honored with legislative sentiments for their 2018 Class AA State Championship victories. This was the boys team’s first basketball state title in 72 years and the girls team’s first-ever state championship.

Local warden promoted to Landowner Relations position

Game Warden Corporal Dave Chabot

The Maine Warden Service has selected Game Warden Corporal Dave Chabot of Greene to fill its second Landowner Relations position. Chabot will compliment Corporal Rick LaFlamme in the program by focusing on small landowners.

Chabot has had a comprehensive 21-year career with the Warden Service, including service on many boards and commissions on the state, local, and department levels. He has held supervisory-level positions as a field training officer, Maine Warden Service Cadre team leader, board examiner, and Maine Criminal Justice Academy instructor. He is an active member of the Warden Service’s K9 team.

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St. Dom’s students perform Living Stations of the Cross

Students at Saint Dominic Academy commemorated Good Friday on March 30 by performing the Living Stations of the Cross at the school’s Auburn campus.

While many Catholic schools are closed on Good Friday, St. Dominic president Donald Fournier said students attended for a half day so they would have the opportunity to witness the Stations of the Cross. Students from both the Lewiston elementary school campus and the Auburn middle and high school campus attended.

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Steven Curtis Chapman to perform at East Auburn Baptist Church

Multi-Grammy Award-winning Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman brings his solo tour to the Twin Cities on Wednesday, April 11 for a 7 p.m. concert at East Auburn Baptist Church, located at 560 Park Avenue. Tickets start at $33 and are available at StevenCurtisChapman.com.

Governor’s Address: Do the right thing with Downeast Correctional Facility

As Governor, it’s my responsibility to make the tough decisions. The upcoming closure of the Downeast Correctional Facility in Washington County is the right thing to do.

The Department of Corrections has the duty and responsibility to run secure and humane facilities for convicted felons in a fiscally sound manner.

Keeping Downeast Correctional Facility open violates these principles – unless we spend millions of dollars to improve an outdated, decaying facility.

This facility was built in 1955 as Bucks Harbor Air Force Base, providing radar support to Brunswick Naval Air Station. In the early 1980s, the Legislature bought it from the federal government and opened it as a prison, although it was never designed as one.

In 2002, the voters rejected a bond initiative to replace the facility. It continued to degrade. Governors King and Baldacci each tried to close it.

After decades of neglect, the annual legislative attempts to keep it on life-support must end.

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Sol y Canto members perform at Bates this weekend

Rosi and Brian Amador will be joined on stage by their daughter Alisa, a member of the Class of 2018.

Puerto Rican-Argentine singer and percussionist Rosi Amador and New Mexican guitarist-composer Brian Amador – members of the Boston Music Award-winning pan-Latin musical ensemble Sol y Canto – will perform at Bates College on Saturday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. For the event, the Amadors will be joined on stage by their daughter, Alisa, a member of the Bates College Class of 2018.

The concert will take place in the college’s Olin Arts Center Concert Hall at 75 Russell Street in Lewiston. Admission is $15. For more information, call 786-6135 or email olinarts@bates.edu. To buy tickets, see batesconcerts.eventbrite.com. 

City of Lewiston acquires canal system

This postcard provides a birds-eye view of what the canal system looked like around 1915.

The City of Lewiston and Brookfield Renewable have completed the steps required to finalize Brookfield Renewable’s donation of the Lewiston Canal System to the city. This culminates Lewiston’s decade-long effort to obtain ownership of the canals, with the goal of eventually returning them to the gracious, tree-lined waterways that were once an attractive amenity.

“This will support economic development efforts throughout our downtown, mill district, and riverfront by creating stronger and more inviting connections between key destinations,” said Mayor Shane Bouchard. “It will create an environment that will invite residents and visitors to experience our unique, natural, and historic offerings.”

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Franco Center plans Adult Prom Night

Among the evening’s highlights will be a dance contest and the coronation of the Prom King and Queen.

The Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston will present its third annual Adult Prom Night (“Just like high school… only better”) on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m.  The host for this evening of fun will be the principal of the fictitious L/A High School, who encourages those attending to “Get dressed up for a prom night celebration loaded with lots of laughter, great food, music from across the decades, the ‘prom punch’ you always dreamed of, chaperons, and many other surprises!”

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Book chronicles Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

Completed in 1938, the church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 and was raised to the status of a “basilica” by the Vatican in 2004.

A forthcoming book called “The Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul” features dozens of stories about the basilica’s history, mysteries, and central place in the Franco-American community of Lewiston.

Comprised of feature articles written by freelance writer Julie-Ann Baumer that appeared as a series in the Sun Journal newspaper between November of 2016 and October of 2017, the 112-page book also includes unpublished stories and nearly 200 glossy photographs of the church. The foreword was written by Bishop Robert P. Deeley of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

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