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Governor’s Address: We Must Act to Save Girls from Horrific Child Abuse

There’s a horrific type of child abuse happening right here in Maine, and we must stop it. It is graphic and disturbing.

No child should ever be subjected to violence, especially when it leaves them permanently disfigured and interferes with normal bodily functions. But young girls in Maine are being forced to undergo a procedure called “female genital mutilation,” and hundreds more are at risk.

Referred to as “FGM,” this heinous procedure involves partial or total removal of female genitalia for cultural or religious reasons. It is a practice common in many refugee populations, particularly those from East Africa, although the practice is pervasive around the world.

In 2013, Maine had 1,603 women at risk. Of those, 399 were under 18. Exact figures are hard to get because parents don’t report this kind of mutilation, and girls are unlikely to report their parents. But doctors and nurses in our hospitals have seen the brutal results, either on the exam table or in the Emergency Room after it has gone horribly wrong.

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“From Bandstand to Billboard” to revisit popular music from the 1950s through ’70s

The cast includes favorite Community Little Theatre musicians and actors, including Duane Glover, Eileen Messina, Gerry Therrien, and Sophie Messina.

“From Bandstand to Billboard – On the Flip Side” is a fun and sometimes romantic collection of big hits from Billboard Magazine and American Bandstand from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. The widely-acclaimed show will appear for the third year at the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston on Saturday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. The theme of this year’s show is “From Doo-Wop to Disco.”

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E.L.H.S. senior represents Post 31 in Oratorical Contest

Bilal Hussein, a senior at Edward Little High School, represented American Legion Post 31 of Auburn recently in the American Legion Oratorical Contest. He won the District 3 contest and will deliver his speech on the U.S. Constitution at the Maine State Competition in February. He is shown here at Post 31 with Post Commander Calvin Hunter, Service Officer Bettyann Sheats, and Historian Pauline St. Pierre.

Maine Event Comedy at Baxter Brewing

Phoebe Angle is a rural Maine transplant now living in Beantown.

Maine Event Comedy will present Boston’s Phoebe Angle at Baxter Brewing on Friday, February 2 at 7 p.m. Also performing will be Mark Reilly, Sam Pelletier, Jed Bloom, and Mariel Cabral.

Angle is a comedian with more than just fantastic hair. A rural Maine transplant now living in Beantown, she entertains with a unique perspective, poking fun at everything from her rural upbringing to urban public transportation – but mostly herself. She’s performed in the Chicago Woman’s Funny Fest, the Limestone Comedy Festival, and the Seattle International Comedy Competition.

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Maine Highland Fiddlers at Village Coffeehouse

This group of seven strives to recapture the kitchen party atmosphere that is central to the Celtic tradition.

The Maine Highland Fiddlers will perform on Saturday, February 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Village Coffeehouse, located at 19 Gloucester Hill Road in New Gloucester. Tickets are $10 at the door. This group of seven is part of the Celtic music revival that thrives throughout the North Atlantic rim. The traditional music of Scotland, Cape Breton, Ireland, and the Shetland Islands resonates well with the rich heritage of Maine’s early Celtic settlements. Along with fiddles, the group features guitar, bodhran, and piano.

Governor’s Address: The LePage Administration Has Prioritized Treating Our State Employees Fairly

When I came into office in 2011, the state workforce had been subject to pay freezes and furlough days, reducing the pay of a state worker by 5 percent.

I promised state employees that I would restore their lost pay and that I would never balance a budget on their backs. I have kept those promises.

State employees received a 1 percent raise, the first pay raise in nearly five years, in 2013. They got another 1 percent raise the next year. I also restored merit and longevity raises. Since then, state employees have received cost-of-living raises.

The Baldacci Administration balanced the budget on the backs of employees and implemented so-called “fair share” service fees. State employees who did not want to join the union were forced to have the union’s service fees deducted from their pay.

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Robert Farnsworth to read at Bates College

Farnsworth, who retires this year after teaching poetry writing and literature at the college for 26 years, reads from his work January 25. (Photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Poet Robert Farnsworth will present a reading on Thursday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Bates Colleges’ Muskie Archives, located at 70 Campus Avenue in Lewiston. The author of three poetry collections and work featured in magazines across North America and the UK, Farnsworth is the founder of the college’s creative writing concentration and its Literary Arts Live series, of which this program is a part. He will retire this year after teaching poetry writing and literature at Bates College for 26 years. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 786-6256.

Lewiston High Class of ’68 plans 50th Reunion

Pictured here are committee members (l. to r.) Monita Belanger Cote, Claire Sarrasin Vallee, Diane Beaudette Bonneau, Lucille Leclair Clement, Mike Olehowski, Connie Jacques Chretien, and Nancy Gagne Breau. Absent from the photo are Janet Couture Barriault, Connie Veilleux, and Jane McInnis Bedard.

The Lewiston High School Class of 1968 Reunion Committee is formulating plans to celebrate the class’s 50th Reunion on September 22 at the Carriage House Banquet Facility in Lewiston, with pre-reunion activities on September 21. The committee needs to update class contact information, which they will use only to communicate with you concerning reunion activity. Please submit your contact information to LHS68reunion@yahoo.com. For more information about the event, find them on Facebook, classmates.com, or at www.alumniclass.com/lewiston.

Auburn Ski Association awards annual scholarships

Victoria Beliveau and Tyme Finnerty, who graduated from Edward Little High School in June, were this year’s scholarship recipients.

Class of 2017 Edward Little High School graduates Victoria Beliveau and Tyme Finnerty were awarded $500 scholarships by the Auburn Ski Association recently at Auburn’s Lost Valley Ski Area. The Auburn Ski Association announces the winners of its scholarships upon high school graduation in June each year and presents the awards after the recipients have successfully completed their first semester of college.

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Androscoggin Bank supports Red Cross

Red Cross Donor Development Officer Judy Vardamis (2nd from l.) receives a $1,500 donation check from (l. to r.) Androscoggin Bank Business Development Director Chip Morrison, Senior Accountant Debbie Poliquin, President and CEO Paul Andersen, and Business Marketing Specialist Daniel Bourgeois-Capozzi.

Androscoggin Bank is supporting disaster relief through the American Red Cross with a $1,500 gift from its employees and Charitable Giving Committee. The donation comes after an unprecedented year of disaster responses by the Red Cross. In 2017, the Red Cross mobilized 56,000 disaster workers – 92 percent of them volunteers – to provide help after 242 significant disasters, such as wildfires, floods, tornadoes, and other emergencies in 45 states and three territories. Within a span of just 45 days, these included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate, the deadliest week of wildfires in California history, and the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in Las Vegas.

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