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Governor’s Address: Where have the state employee unions been when it mattered?

Last week I spoke to you about the reforms we are proposing for the child welfare system, including better staff training and better support for our front-line caseworkers. Suddenly, a lot of organizations want to take credit for these reforms, including the state employees’ union.

This is not about sharing the credit or the blame. Reforming our child welfare system is the right thing to do. However, I take exception to the union’s sudden interest in this issue.

Based on internal reviews at DHHS, a number of changes have already been made in how child welfare cases are handled. We have also been gathering suggestions from DHHS’s employees.

However, the state employees’ union director, Alec Maybarduk, told the media last week that the union does not think DHHS workers’ concerns are being addressed. As Governor, I am troubled by the response of the state’s unions.

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Lewiston native has flag flown over City Hall in advance of Navy retirement ceremony

U.S. Navy Logistics Chief Petty Officer Jessica Doucette retires on August 31 after 24 years of distinguished service.

“I could have flown this flag anywhere in the world, but nothing is more important to me than my family in my beautiful State of Maine and Lewiston,where it all began,” saidU.S.Navy Logistics Chief Petty Officer Jessica Doucette. A native of Lewiston, Doucette will retire on August 31 after 24 yearsof distinguished service with the United States Navy. In preparation for her retirement ceremony, sherequested that a United States flag be flown over Lewiston City Hall.

As a result, the flagshe provided wasraised in her honor by Lewiston Mayor Shane Bouchard on Thursday, July 26 at 8:30 a.m. Family members and friends in attendanceincluded her parents, Michael andConstance Doucette; her brother, Randall;her grandmother, Lily Gagnon; and several aunts and uncles.

Representatives from the offices of U.S.Congressman Bruce Poliquin and U.S.Senator Susan Collins’were on hand and area veterans werealso invited to attend.

The flag flown at the event will be honored during theflag passing portionofher official retirement ceremony in Mayport, Florida, whereDoucette is currently serving as the Senior Enlisted Leader at the Aviation Support Detachment at Mayport Naval Station.

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Bates Dance Festival concludes with Young Artists Concert

Youth Arts Program faculty member Rob Flax leads a student performance at the 2015 Bates Dance Festival finale. (Photo by Arthur Fink/Bates Dance Festival)

The 2018 Bates Dance Festival will conclude on Saturday, August 4 at 7:30 p.m. with the annual Young Artists Concert. The event will present repertory pieces in jazz, modern, Afro-modern and hip-hop performed by students in the BDF Professional Training Program, along with the culminating performance of the Youth Arts Program, featuring local artists ages 7 through 16 under the direction of Colombian folkloric dancer Priscilla Rivas. The event will take place in Alumni Gymnasium at 130 Central Avenue on the Bates College campus in Lewiston. Tickets are $10/5. For more information or to buy tickets, see batesdancefestival.org.

Auburn resident recognized as Top Next Generation Advisor by Forbes

Adam Dunbar

Adam Dunbar, First Vice President of Investments at Wells Fargo Advisors in Portland has been recognized as a 2018 Top Next Generation Advisor by Forbes.

“It’s an honor to be named to this ranking,” said Dunbar, who lives in Auburn and has fourteen years of experience in the financial services industry. “Each day, I show up with one goal in mind – helping my clients succeed financially. It is quite an honor to be recognized for doing what I love to do.”

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Short Folks for Hope Foundation supports Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine

From left: Isaiah, Allie, Ian, and Kristen Short, founder of the Short Folks for Hope Foundation, present a donation check to Mary Dempsey, Sue Craib and Karen Fillebrown of the Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine.

The Short Folks for Hope Foundation recently donated $300 to the Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine. The funds were raised at a Folk Fair held at Longley Square in Norway recently in support of various cancer charity organizations.

The event included arts and crafts vendors, demonstrations by the Phoenix Academy of Martial Arts, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artist Steve Lavigne, music performances by Sea Siren Trio, Small Town Something, and Rusty Wiltjer, Mr. Drew and His Animals, Too, and Fur Cons including Lagoona the Dutch Angel Dragon.

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Governor’s Address: We’re reforming our child welfare system to protect our children

The tragic deaths of two little girls under the watch of DHHS is spurring needed reforms to Maine’s child welfare system. This summer, I will call a special session of the Legislature to put the safety of our children first.

First, let me stress, if you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call 1-800-452-1999 — that’s 1-800-452-1999 — immediately to make a report. We cannot act on what we do not know.

The priority of Maine’s child welfare system should be doing what is in the best interests of the child.

I have personally experienced the trauma of an abusive home, and I want to ensure that we all do what we can to prevent future tragedies.

I’ve personally reviewed the case files of the two girls who were killed, but I’ve also reviewed many other cases that haven’t made the news.

We cannot eradicate evil; but we can do better to protect children.

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Disc Golf Junior World Champion!

Landon Brooks, age 7, brings home the trophy in the Boys Ages 8 and Under Division.

At age 7, Landon Brooks of Turner has won the 2018 Professional Disc Golf Association’s Junior World Championship in the Boys Ages 8 and Under Division, recently contested in Emporia, Kansas. To bring home the title, Brooks beat a field of 11 of the best competitors in his age bracket in the world.

The contestants played through hot, humid, and occasionally windy weather conditions, with temperatures rising above 95 degrees each day of the four-day event. In the end, Brooks came away with a decisive five-stroke victory after the tournament’s 72 holes.

Brooks also won the world doubles title with his partner from Michigan. He is sponsored by MVP Disc Sports, California Krush, and Sabattus Disc Golf.

This was Brooks’ second individual Professional Disc Golf Association Junior World Championship. In 2016, he won the title in the Boys Ages 6 and Under Division, contested in Wisconsin.

 

Concerts on the Quad wrap up with Pete Kilpatrick Band

Singer-songwriter Pete Kilpatrick brings his band to Bates College for the season’s final Concert on the Quad on Thursday, August 2 at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to all. Named “Best Act” four times by the Portland Best Music Awards, Kilpatrickhas performed more than 1,400 shows and released seven albums, including 2016’’s “Echo.” Bring a picnic and chairs or blankets to the Historic Quad at Gomes Chapel, located at 275 College Avenue. If it rains, the event will take place inside. For more information, call 753-6953 or see bates.edu.

 

Something for everyone at Moore Park Makers Fair

At the Car Show, Steven McCann will display his custom-made mini-monster truck.

From a car show with a mini monster truck to arts and crafts booths, pony rides, super heroes, a bouncy house, and great local foods, there will be something for everyone at this year’s Moore Park Makers Fair, taking place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 (rain date July 29). Moore Park is located on Route 26 in South Paris.

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July Art Walk features ’cajun music, live art making

Painter Alexandra Hood will be among the numerous artists and artisans creating works on site.

Sylvain’s Acadian Aces will be the featured performers at this month’s Art Walk L/A on Friday, July 27. They’ll play live music at DuFresne Plaza, located at 72 Lisbon Street in Lewiston, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Art Walk LA takes place on the final Friday of each month, from May through October, from 5 to 8 p.m. at numerous venues along Lisbon Street. All events are free and open to the public.

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