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This week’s edition!

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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Governor LePage and First Lady have weight-loss surgery at CMMC

“I really feel like I’m getting my life back.” —First Lady Ann LePage

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Governor Paul R. LePage, Dr. Jamie Loggins and First Lady Ann LePage share a laugh in the kitchen of the historic Blaine House, the Governor’s residence. Keeping the weight off was a challenge, as the Blaine House staff makes mouth-watering pastries, scrumptious baked goods and freshly prepared meals almost on a daily basis for the many events held there. (TCT photo by Laurie A. Steele)

By Peter A. Steele

Governor Paul R. LePage made news last week when he announced he had undergone bariatric surgery to lose weight and improve his health, but he was not alone. His wife, First Lady Ann LePage, also had the weight-loss surgery.

The Maine media and people at public events had been speculating for months about the Governor’s noticeable weight loss. Was he on some kind of crash diet? Had he turned into a triathlete? Did he put a treadmill in his office to use while poring over legislation, budgets and vetoes? More importantly, was he sick?

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First Lady Ann LePage and Governor Paul R. LePage decided as a couple to get weight-loss surgery at CMMC. (TCT photo by Laurie A. Steele)

Dr. Loggins brings expertise, awareness to America’s obesity epidemic

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Dr. Jamie Loggins hoists Governor LePage’s dog, Veto, in the kitchen of the Blaine House. (TCT photo by Laurie A. Steele)

By Peter A. Steele

When administrators at Central Maine Medical Center decided to create the Maine’s premier weight-loss program, they searched the for the best baritatric suregeon in the country. They chose Jamie Loggins, M.D.

A former U.S. Army surgeon who is an expert at robotic and laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Loggins is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University who earned his medical degree at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. He had been working on a fellowship in minimally invasive and robotic surgery at University of California at Davis in Sacramento, Calif. when he got the call from CMMC.

Although he had never considered coming to Maine, Dr. Loggins jumped at the tremendous opportunity to create a bariatric program from the ground up. He hired the staff, designed the facilities and purchased state-of-the-art equipment. “I would do a surgery, then put on a hard hat and go supervise the construction,” he said.

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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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