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Enough is Enough: Those who commit violent criminal behavior should stay in prison

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Imagine having to caution and remind your children, as they leave your house for the playground, to drop to the ground if they hear a gunshot. Further, you remind them to remain on the ground, in place, until told by an adult to get up.

Imagine being in your apartment hosting a family get-together when suddenly a bullet comes crashing through a window, killing one of your relatives. This happened in the Bronx on New Year’s Eve.

In a 12th-floor apartment, Luis Diego was hugging his niece and welcoming in the New Year. Suddenly a bullet came through the window, killing him. He now goes down as New York City’s first 2017 homicide victim.

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O’Malley named Lewiston Police Chief

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Brian O’Malley is a 27-year veteran of the department and has held a variety of positions within the agency.

City Administrator Ed Barrett has announced the appointment of Brian O’Malley as Chief of the Lewiston Police Department. For the last six months, O’Malley has served as Interim Police Chief following former Chief Michael Bussiere’s retirement.

The City undertook a nationwide search for a new Chief. “Brian O’Malley was the consensus choice of a diverse hiring panel that evaluated over twenty qualified applicants for the position,” said Barrett. “Through that process, it became clear that he is strongly committed, not only to continuing and building upon the success the department has achieved, but to the community it serves. I look forward to working closely with Brian as he takes up this new challenge.”

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Bean Supper features Park Ave. Pickers

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The group holds a jam session open to all musicians on the second Tuesday of each month.

The Park Avenue Pickers Gospel and Blue Grass Band will perform at the United Methodist Church of Auburn’s monthly Public Bean Supper on Saturday, January 28. The music will begin at 4:15 p.m. and the supper will begin at 5:00. The menu will include baked beans, casseroles, potato salad, hot dogs, coleslaw, breads, beverages and pies. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for kids ages 6 to 12, and free for kids ages 5 and under. Come early for the best selection of pies.

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Fire Chief tapped as new 9-1-1 Director

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Chief Paul M. LeClair has been a member of the Lewiston Fire Department for 36 years.

A search committee has selected Lewiston Fire Chief Paul M. LeClair as the new director of the LA 9-1-1 Communication Center, effective March 1. LeClair has been a member of the Lewiston Fire Department for 36 years, serving as a Lieutenant and Assistant Fire Chief before being appointed Fire Chief in 2006. He will continue his public safety career with an agency he has been engaged with since its formation in 1996, most recently serving as its Interim Director since November.

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Hammond Tractor supports GAHS

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The staff of Hammond Tractor Company in Auburn recently presented the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society with a donation of $1,200. Years ago, the company’s employees and owners decided that, in lieu of Christmas gifts for the employees, a donation would be made each year to a local non-profit. Each Hammond Tractor location is responsible for choosing the designated nonprofit in their community. Pictured here (l. to r.) are Hammond Tractor Product Support Manager Dave Ponsant, Steven Dostie and Donna Kincer of GAHS, and Hammond Tractor-Auburn Manager Marie Herrick.

Only Steps Forward: Get out and enjoy Auburn during Annual Winter Festival

By Jonathan P. LaBonte

Mayor of Auburn

It’s winter. We are in Maine. And despite the thaw that came through the last couple of weeks, we still have a couple more months of cold and snow.

Luckily, here in Auburn there are things to do all winter to get outside and stay active. And, one weekend each winter, the city partners with dozens of groups in the community for the Annual Winter Festival. You won’t want to miss it this year.

The last weekend of January is packed full of activities that can keep you outside and active or inside staying warm with music and hot chocolate. The beauty of this event is it truly does offer a little something for each resident, or visitor, to experience.

If you have kids and want them to burn some energy, you’ll want to come down to Main Street where city staff will be building a massive playground out of snow for the weekend. It will be open all day and is free for kids. With so many other activities in walking distance from there, park in the garage and make the playground your first stop.

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Enough is Enough: Legislature should direct resources toward citizens, not illegal guests

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Enough is really enough!

It’s time for those sitting on the sidelines–who are continually at war with themselves, trying to justify why a problem facing them is not their problem –to gain some intestinal fortitude.

It’s time for our local politicians, whether they label themselves progressive or conservative, to start representing those who elected them. Put aside your fear of being ostracized and labeled, grow a spine and start representing the people who elected you—those you swore to represent and protect.

Last Saturday, January 14, an Immigration Unity Rally was held at the Franco Center in Lewiston for the purpose of “creating an unbreakable line of love and resilience against potential deportations, criminalization and hate.”

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Mary Mayhew to address Rotary Club Jan. 26

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Mayhew has served as Commissioner of Maine Department of Health and Human Services since 2011.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew will be the guest speaker at the next meeting of the Lewiston Auburn Rotary Club on Thursday, January 26, from noon to 1 p.m. at Rolandeau’s Restaurant, 775 Washington Street in Auburn. The public is invited to attend. Reservations are recommended for the general public and visiting Rotarians. To make a reservation, call 753-9040.

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Varney retires from Bennett Breast Care Center

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Kathi Varney

Kathryn “Kathi” Varney, longtime Nurse Practitioner at the Sam & Jennie Bennett Breast Care Center at Central Maine Medical Center, officially retired in early December 2016. Varney, who stepped into her role at the center’s inception, left a legacy of delivering top-notch care by professional staff in a calm and welcoming environment.

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Museum L-A takes step toward AMA accreditation

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Taking the pledge on behalf of the museum were Board Chair John Cleveland and Executive Director Rachel Desgrosseilliers.

Museum L-A recently received a “Pledge of Excellence” certificate from the American Alliance of Museums in affirmation that the Museum pledges “to operate according to national standards and best practices to the best of [its] abilities and in accordance with [its] resources.”

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