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This week’s edition!

Troop 121 collects Christmas trees this weekend

Members of Boy Scout Troop 121, including Liam Rose, Kyle Mansur, Jacob Clark, Bryce Holt-Giard, Noah Phillips, Jordan Burns, and Matthew Kozak, prepare the mailing for their sixth annual Christmas Tree Recycling program.

Boy Scout Troop 121 of Auburn will again collect Christmas trees in the Cities of Auburn and Lewiston this year. While the two cities offer various locations for free tree disposal, they no longer collect the trees at curbside.

For a minimum donation of $5, the scouts will pick up Christmas trees on the weekend of January 6 and 7. To make a pick-up request, send your donation to Troop 121, United Methodist Church, 439 Park Ave., Auburn, ME 04210. The troop will in turn send you a tag to place on your tree when you place it curbside; trees should not be placed curbside until the morning of January 6. For more information, call 783-0790.

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Franco Center presents African Music Dance Party

DJ Nigel Katende will provide the music, including Afro-Beat, Lingala, Zouk, Soukous, and more.

The Gendron Franco Center will host its first African Music Dance Party & Social on Saturday, January 6, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. This five-hour event will bring all who love to listen and dance to African music together at the most inviting social spot in Central Maine. DJ Nigel Katende will provide the music, including Afro-Beat, Lingala, Zouk, Soukous, and more. There will be a $5 cover charge at the door. A cash bar and light snacks will be available.

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Swingin’ Bears defy bad weather to collect stuffed toys for Oxford Hills kids

Eleanor Herrick, President of Swingin’ Bears Square Dance Club, and Karen Ellis of Community Concepts of Oxford, pose with the 418 stuffed toys club members collected for “Right Start for Kids.”

When the Swingin’ Bears Square Dance Club had to cancel its annual Teddy Bear Dance on December 9 due to poor weather conditions, prospects for its annual Teddy Bear Collection Drive were not looking merry and bright. The project counts on the contributions of other area square dance clubs, whose members bring their donated bears to the dance.

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Stanton Bird Club plans January event, announces results of Christmas Bird Count

This Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker was photographed during the club’s annual Christmas Bird Count on December 16. Although Sapsuckers breed in Maine, they have usually migrated much further south by this time of year. This was the first one spotted on the club’s Christmas Count since Stanton started participating in 1980. (Photo by Dan Marquis)

The Stanton Bird Club of Lewiston and Auburn will not hold a monthly meeting in January since USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, where the meetings are usually held, will be closed for the holidays. Instead, the club will lead a birding field trip on Saturday, January 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to look for winter ducks, especially Harlequins and King Eiders, at Marginal Way and Ogunquit.

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Auburn Public Services Dept. becomes first in Maine to receive APWA accreditation

Pictured here at the award ceremony are (l. to r.) APS Office Manager Geri Crane, Auburn City Manager Peter Creighton, APS Operations Manager Gary Wadsworth, APS Director Dan Goyette, APS Deputy Director Scott Holland, APWA Region 1 Director Gary Losier, Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque, and Auburn Communications & Compliance Manager Liz Allen. 

The City of Auburn’s Public Services Department was recently awarded the prestigious American Public Works Association accreditation designation. The APWA accreditation program recognizes public works agencies that go beyond the requirements of the nationally-established management practices in the public works industry, as contained in the APWA Public Works Management Practices Manual.

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Reading Connects! brings family literacy to County Jail 

Pictured here (l. to r.) are Jail Administrator and Captain Jeff Chute, APL Children’s Department Manager Deb Cleveland, APL Director Mamie Anthoine Ney, program supporter and attorney Jenifer Ferguson of Fales and Fales, and Jail Programs Director and Sergeant Victoria Langelier.

Staff members from Auburn Public Library delivered two bags of children’s books to the Androscoggin County Jail recently as a part of the library’s ReadingConnects! family literacy program for jail inmates and their children. The book bags are brought to the jail on a monthly, rotating basis, providing quality children’s literature for inmates to read to their children on visit days. Each bag contains books on such themes as holidays, seasons, and animals, along with activities complementing the theme. For more information about the program, visit www.auburnpubliclibrary.org.

Red Cross Blood Ambassadors

The volunteers in this photograph have contributed a combined 175 years of service to the American Red Cross. Here (l. to r., from front) are Marjorie Hansen (12 years), Eleanor Wheeler (18 years), Pauline Bonney (30 years), Gilda Dennis (24 years), Lorraine Higgins (31 years), Marie Barter (19 years), Mariette Bernier (14 years), Kathryn Grefer-Kirkland (1 year), Pati Keene (6 years), Sue Goddard (5 years), and Maryann Jalbert (15 years).

The Lewiston-Auburn American Red Cross Blood Ambassadors convened recently for their annual Christmas luncheon in Auburn. Lead volunteer Pauline Bonney has organized the event over the past twelve years to get the group together and thank them for the important work they do. The Red Cross is a volunteer-based organization that could not fulfill its mission without the help of individuals like the Lewiston Auburn Blood Ambassadors.

Modern Woodmen support Pettingill School Park

Pettingill School Park in Lewiston was the beneficiary of a check for $1250 from the Modern Woodmen of America Chapter 8228. The money will go towards various park improvements.  The Modern Woodmen issued the matching donation following the Friends of Pettingill Yard Sale, which raised an equal amount of money in sales and contributions. Here (l. to r.) are Art Chamberlain of the local Modern Woodmen chapter, with Friends of Pettingill committee members Margaret Craven, Heather Hunter, and Ted Walworth.

A Christmas Message from Governor LePage

At this time of year, we gather with loved ones to celebrate Christmas, count our blessings, remember the past year and look forward to next year.

Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

This holiday season, I ask that we reflect on where we are. Our state has reached an all-time high in private-sector job growth, and our unemployment rate is hitting record lows.

Wages are rising at the fastest rate in decades, and I am told we have one of the highest percentages of our population working than ever.

For the past seven years, my goal has been to make our state prosperous, and I hope you are seeing the benefits of this economic growth in your community and in your wallet. Growth means opportunity, and that opportunity will encourage our children to stay here—living, working and prospering in Maine.

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Enough Is Enough: Winning an election take more than getting your name on the ballot

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

You win some, you lose some.  For now, mayoral candidate Ben Chin, is a 0-for-2 in his quest to bring a Berne Sanders/Bill DiBlasio style of socialism to Lewiston.

Two years ago in 2015 I had decided not to seek a third term as mayor. I was content to fade into Lewiston political history. Then Ben Chin, Bates College graduate and political director of Maine People’s Alliance, stepped to the podium and announced he was running for mayor. The crowd, consisting of Bates College students and professors, local activists and many of the great unwashed, cheered wildly.

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