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Help the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society this weekend

Maine Center for Palliative Medicine achieves distinction

LEWISTON, ME – The Maine Center for Palliative Medicine proudly announces it has achieved distinction through the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) for the services of Palliative Medicine.

This distinction is awarded through a process in which healthcare organizations demonstrate compliance with national standards. Distinctions by ACHC (Accreditation Commission for Health Care) reflect an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care.

ACHC is a nonprofit organization that has stood as a symbol of quality and excellence since 1986. ACHC is ISO 9001:2015 certified and has CMS deeming authority for Home Health, Hospice, and DMEPOS.

The Maine Center for Palliative Medicine works to reframe the language of illness and determine goals for care based on what matters most to you and your family. We’re here to support and guide you and your loved ones in navigating the complex dynamics of serious illness.

Through partnerships with patients, families, caregivers, and healthcare providers, we honor your lived experience.

For more information, please visit Androscoggin.org or contact us at (207) 777-7740

Denis Ledoux, Maine author, presents French Boy

MAINE — The Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society (MFGS) is pleased to have well-known local author Denis Ledoux as its guest speaker at its spring general membership meeting on April 27th at 10:00 am in the Androscoggin Community Room of the Auburn Public Library, 49 Spring St., Auburn.

Ledoux’s presentation will begin at approximately 11:00 am after a brief business meeting and light refreshments.  

Admission is free and open to the public.  

Ledoux’s latest memoir, French Boy/ A 1950’s Franco-American Childhood, was published this past fall and is the most recent  in his publications of family stories.  According to Ledoux, this memoir “explores what it means to grow up outside the dominant culture and language” and “is sure to provoke discussion and not always agreement.” He writes about the loss of the Franco history and culture, and includes much historical information that will help to explain Franco America to all who read it. Ledoux will expand on this topic and might even provide hints on writing memoirs to help us all document our history.

Ledoux holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Education. His biography also notes that he has taught Franco studies at the university level and that he has been a guest lecturer at numerous colleges and universities on the subjects of cultural diversity and Franco North American culture and history.

He directs The Memoir Network, an international group of life-writing teachers and writers.

Ledoux has won numerous awards for his work including the Maine Fiction Award for Mountain Dance & Other Stories in 1990.  His short fiction has twice been honored with the Maine Writing Fellowship Award (1991, 1996), an NEA-based merit award;  and also in 1996, Denis was named Life-Writing Professional of the Year by the Association of Personal Historians.

He is currently at work on three book projects: A sequel to French Boy; a story of his early Canadian ancestors. Here to Stay / A Slice of Franco-America in the Seventeenth Century; and Coming Down, a novel about a Canadien family immigrating to Maine in 1890.

 Denis Ledoux lives and works in Maine, just a mile from his boyhood home.

Denis Ledoux

“It gripped my life” Substance use disorder forum Apr. 22

LEWISTON, ME – “It Gripped My Life,” an informal conversation and panel discussion about substance use disorder, will be held on Mon., Apr. 22, from 5 PM – 6:30 PM in Callahan Hall at the Lewiston Public Library, 200 Lisbon Street. Hosted by the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council (LYAC), the event, with a subtitle of “drug use, a shortcut to nowhere,” is free to attend. 

“There’s more to stopping drug use than people may realize,” said LYAC member Fadumo Ahmed. “Substances impact a person’s mind, brain, and decision-making, and we want to help create a community support system for those gripped by drugs.” 

“LYAC has been exploring the impulses and pressures of substance use disorder on a person’s life. We’ve also discovered that drug use, unfortunately, can be normalized in contrast to how serious it really is,” said LYAC Vice-Chair Saida Abdisamed. 

“Drug use is indeed happening more than people realize, both with some of our peers and their parents,” said Fadumo Hussein. 

Councilor Ryn Soule agrees, “It’s important for our community to understand that addiction is not just an adult issue; it’s affecting our youth.” 

“LYAC is also working to help alter the perceptions and stigma that sometimes surround those with substance use disorder,” said LYAC member Anny Zhao. 

Guest speaker for the event is Sean Leclair who has been in recovery for six years. He recently shared his addiction to recovery journey with LYAC members who want more people to hear his story. 

“He is a prominent example of how drug use impacts the user as well as the person’s relationships,” continued Ahmed. 

“However, Sean eventually got to a point where he sought a change for himself,” said LYAC member Kaydence Gibson. Leclair’s story includes the lowest, darkest point in his life to when he experienced a new, healthier beginning. 

Participants on the event panel are:

Abigail Reuscher, Lewiston High School Forensic Science teacher, speaking about the chemical impacts of drug use;

Lisa Escobar, Lewiston High School Substance Use Counselor, speaking about drug use by young people;

Stephanie Harmon, RN, speaking about overdoses and Narcan;

Ryn Soule, Lewiston City Councilor, sharing a family perspective of having a son with substance use disorder; 

Amran Osman, Executive Director of Generational Noor, speaking about the stigma that often surrounds those with substance use disorder.

During the event, there will also be interactive activities with attendees, and a Narcan presentation will occur.

Lewiston brush pick up rescheduled

Brush will be collected from Lewiston’s residential properties during the week of April 22, 2024,
by Public Works Department staff.

  • Brush butt ends (cut ends) MUST face the street.
  • Brush MUST be curbside by no later than Sunday, April 21 – no exceptions
  • Once Public Works staff clears a street of curbside brush, they will not return to that
    street to collect additional brush.
  • Curbside collection is restricted to ONLY wood/tree waste and brush.
  • Wood/tree waste that will not be collected includes:
    ? Tree stumps (regardless of size)
    ? Tree limbs greater than 12 inches diameter
    ? Demolition wood fencing; decking; and/or wood from
    construction/demolition projects
    IN ADDITION, during Brush Pick-Up Assistance Week—free of charge—Lewiston residents
    may bring one standard size pick-up truckload of brush only (three yards per residence) to
    the Lewiston Solid Waste Facility, 420 River Road.
  • If you need to dispose of household waste items, please visit www.lewistonmaine.gov/otherdisposal

Fill the Plate breakfast benefits Meals on Wheels

LEWISTON, ME – SeniorsPlus, the designated Agency on Aging for Western Maine, held its annual breakfast to benefit its Meals on Wheels nutrition program.  The 2024 Fill the Plate Breakfast had an audience of 170 attendees and was held on the morning of Friday, March 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn Riverwatch in Auburn.  The breakfast honored Lewiston resident Lucy Bisson with the 2024 Ikaria Award and featured a talk by Maine humorist Gary Crocker.

 Last year, SeniorsPlus delivered more than 170,000 meals to 1,800 homebound older adults and adults with disabilities in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties through its Meals on Wheels program.  Each meal provides one third of the recommended daily allowance of nutrition, a safety check, and a visit to these vulnerable adults. The majority of the clients of Meals on Wheels are lower income or on fixed income.  

Born in Lewiston and raised in North Monmouth, Crocker offered remarks and observations about his beloved Maine and her people in the classic Maine tradition.  After teaching public speaking at Cony HS in Augusta, he joined the Waterville Police Department. Crocker then served as Adult Ed Director at CMVTI (now CMCC) in Auburn and eventually became the spokesman for the Community College System at the Maine State Legislature.

The event included the presentation of the 2024 Ikaria Award, which recognizes an individual or organization for singular and outstanding contributions toward improving the lives of older adults, to Bisson, a former SeniorsPlus volunteer and current Executive Director of the Lewiston/Auburn Senior College.  Ikaria is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.  It is considered one of the world’s five “Blue Zones” – places where an estimated one in three members of the population regularly lives an active life into their 90s.

The Fill the Plate Breakfast is presented in conjunction with March for Meals, a national campaign of the Meals on Wheels Association of America.  

The overall program goal of SeniorsPlus is to assist older adults and adults with disabilities in our tri-county area to remain at home safely for as long as possible.  The overwhelming majority of older adults (greater than 95% in an AARP survey) wish to remain at home until they die. The Meals on Wheels program provides nourishment, socialization and regular safety checks. 

Since 1972, SeniorsPlus has been improving the lives of older adults and adults with disabilities. As the designated Area Agency on Aging for Western Maine, SeniorsPlus provides statewide services with an emphasis on Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties for core services (ie nutrition, information and assistance) that support independent living, healthy aging, and fight isolation. The mission of SeniorsPlus is to enrich the lives of older people and adults with disabilities, their families and communities, and to support them to make informed choices. SeniorsPlus envisions a future where all older adults and individuals with disabilities are engaged and respected while living quality, independent lives in the communities of their choice. Annually, SeniorsPlus serves 8,000 individuals and fields 170,000 phone inquiries. SeniorsPlus offers a network of support, including information and assistance, short-term care management, Medicare counseling, caregiver support and respite, health and wellness education, benefits counseling, and Meals on Wheels and congregate dining. Most services are free.  SeniorsPlus is grateful for the support of its many donors and volunteers.

Betsy Sawyer-Manter, President and CEO of SeniorsPlus (left) is shown with Gary Crocker (center) who was the keynote at the 2024 Fill the Plate Breakfast to benefit Meals on Wheels at SeniorsPlus, Western Maine’s designated Area Agency on Aging.  Lewiston resident Lucy Bisson (right) received the 2024 Ikaria Award for her outstanding contributions toward improving the lives of older adults. 

Studio Two, early Beatles tribute band to play Franco Center

LEWISTON, ME—Studio Two will return with their early Beatles tribute music to the Franco Center at 7 p.m. Friday, April 5. Band members include Stephen Murray who portrays John Lennon, Joshua Jones as Paul McCartney, Robert Murray as George Harrison, and Dylan Verge as Ringo Starr.  

Band members are experienced musicians of today’s generation dedicated to preserving the memory and fan culture of The Beatles generation. By recreating the Fab Four’s music, appearance, instruments, and onstage banter, Studio Two performs favorite Beatles hits that will bring people to the dance floor.   

Visit the Studio Two website to listen to their music http://www.studiotwotributeband.com/ 

According to their publicist, “Unlike other Beatle Tribute acts that try to deliver the entire Beatles catalog in single two-hour show, STUDIO TWO concentrates only on the most exciting and fun time in The Beatles career: The club and touring years. These are the years when people saw them play. The years when The Beatles crafted their sound, and their stage performance, and the years when they took the world by storm, and changed everything.” 

At age 11, Studio Two co-founder Steve Murray found an old guitar in the basement and has been playing ever since. A fan of many music genres, he became a Beatles fan after watching The Beatles Anthology documentary series in November 1995.   

His grandfather bought him and his identical twin brother (who plays George Harrison in Studio Two) their first guitars: a Rickenbacker and Hofner bass and got them private guitar lessons. By the age of 12, the brothers were winning talent shows and band competitions for playing Beatles tunes.    

Throughout high school, Steve played drums in an award-winning percussion ensemble and marching band, but never strayed far from his true passion of Beatles rock. An accomplished musician, Steve attended Berklee College of Music and played jazz and alternative rock music before co-creating Studio Two – The Beatles Tribute with his band mates.   

In addition to playing John Lennon, Steve is a live sound engineer and currently serves as the band’s booking agent.   

“As a trained musician, I never expected to be playing in a Beatles tribute band, but it has been an amazing experience. I am humbled to have an opportunity to portray John Lennon, who is one of the most talented musicians and composers of all time, and I am thrilled to bring Beatles music to a multitude of different generations. Best of all, I get to do this with my brother and best friends,” said Steve.   

Rob Murray picked up his first guitar at age 11 and has never been without one since.  Like his twin brother Steve, Rob was turned on to The Beatles by watching The Beatles Anthology documentary series in 1995. He is a Beatles trivia master and is particularly knowledgeable about the equipment The Beatles used – especially vintage microphones.   

As a young musician, Rob played drums in an award-winning percussion ensemble and marching band, and continued to play guitar, often winning talent shows and band competitions for playing Beatles tunes.   

A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Rob is a trained guitarist with strong audio engineering skills. For example, he has been involved in helping Beatles documentary filmmakers to sync Beatles audio to rare concert footage.   

When he co-founded Studio Two in 2012, all of Rob’s talents were put to use. In addition to playing George Harrison, Rob is the equipment guru, hunting flea markets, estate sales, and eBay to assemble the authentic gear the Beatles used in the early 1960s.   

“Playing George Harrison and re-enacting Beatles’ performances from the early years has been a thrill. I love the vintage equipment and raw sound of the Beatles’ Hamburg era, and we take special care to ensure the look and sound is as close to authentic as possible,” said Rob. “Studio Two has been an amazing journey, and every day I look forward to meeting both old fans of The Beatles and new fans of Studio Two!”   

Dylan Verge is a Boston native entering his senior year at Berklee College of Music. He was awarded the J. Curtis Warner City Music Full Scholarship to the institution where he is pursuing his studies in the CWP major (Contemporary Writing and Production). Verge has been Influenced by Beatles music since he witnessed footage of the four lads rocking the nation on the Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 when he was four years old.   

Joshua Jones is flying in from Seattle, Washington to perform with Studio Two. Jones will portray Paul McCartney. He is a self-taught left-handed bass player. Jones tours with Beatles tribute bands all over the world.   

Doors and cash bar open at 6 p.m. Concert starts at 7 p.m.  

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door day of the show and can be purchased online at www.francocenter.org, by phone at 207-689-2000 or in person at the box office between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  

Franco Center is at 46 Cedar St., in a former church building. Parking is available in the mill lot. The building is handicap accessible on the Lincoln St. Alley side.    

Season Underwriter is Maple Way Dental Care; media sponsors are Bennett Radio Group; Sun Journal; Turner Publishing; and Uncle Andy’s Digest. Show sponsors are Androscoggin Bank; Ann’s Flower Shop; and Dirigo Federal Credit Union. 

Studio Two: The Early Beatles Tribute band returns to the Franco Center April 5. Tickets available at 207-689-2000 and www.francocenter.org/shows. The Franco Center is at 46 Cedar Street, Lewiston. Franco Center photo. 

CMMC cardiovascular surgeons reach TCAR procedure milestone

 LEWISTON, ME — The Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute (CMHVI), which is part of Central Maine Healthcare (CMH), recently completed its 50th TCAR procedure. 

TCAR stands for Transcarotid Artery Revascularization, a minimally invasive procedure that can clear blockages and open a narrowed carotid artery. It’s especially effective in high-risk patients. The procedure was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015. 

“TCAR can deliver a stent to a diseased area of the carotid artery, while minimizing the risk of stroke to an at-risk patient,” said Felecia Jinwala, MD, a vascular surgeon at CMHVI. “TCAR can be a great alternative to carotid endarterectomy and allows us to offer a full spectrum of carotid interventions for our patients.”

CMHVI’s vascular lab recently earned a three-year accreditation in peripheral arterial, peripheral venous and extracranial cerebrovascular testing from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.

MaineCF distributes $4.7M to victims, families of shooting

 PORTLAND & ELLSWORTH — The Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF) has distributed $4,696,067 to 162 individual beneficiaries directly impacted by the Oct. 25, 2023, mass shootings in Lewiston from the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund.

Eligible beneficiaries included direct heirs of murder victims, victims injured at Schemengee’s Bar & Grille or Just-in-Time Bowling during the shootings and those present at the time of the shootings.

Eligibility was determined by a protocol drafted by the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund volunteer steering committee comprising local community members. The committee solicited feedback on the protocol during a public town hall in Lewiston to better understand the needs and wishes of those directly impacted by the tragedy.

“I think I speak for the entire steering committee when I say we are honored to have played a small part in helping our community recover,” said Tom Platz, chair of the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund Victims & Families Fund and principal at Platz Associates.

Applicants were supported by victim advocates throughout the application process. Each applicant’s presence the night of the shootings was validated by law enforcement and applicants who sustained injuries were validated by their medical providers.

“The foundation is humbled to have helped provide a way for people around the world to contribute to victims of this horrible tragedy and the community’s road to recovery,” said Deborah Ellwood, MaineCF president and CEO. “We are grateful for the volunteer committee members who quickly and compassionately offered their time to support this effort.”

The Maine Community Foundation brings people and resources together to build a better Maine through strategic giving, community leadership, personalized service, local expertise and strong investments. To learn more about the foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.

Windham Chamber Singers in concert at Franco Center 

LEWISTON, ME – The Windham Chamber Singers will perform at the Franco Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3. The WCS group gained international attention in 1996 by winning the Prize of Vienna at the 25th International Youth and Music Festival in Vienna, Austria. Since then, they have captured the hearts of audiences everywhere.  

Their accomplishments have been recognized on NBC Nightly News and National Public Radio. The Chamber Singers have appeared on CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and in their own prime time holiday special broadcast on WGME TV. The choir has performed at major venues including Carnegie Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Notre Dame Basilica (Montreal) and the White House.   

 The Chamber Singers have appeared in concert with artists including John Rutter, Josh Groban, Kenny Rogers, Andy Williams, The Celtic Tenors, Dougie MacLean, and Sean Slaughter and Master Stroke Queen Tribute. Their American Family Holiday concerts have become a holiday tradition in the Lakes Region and have featured renowned guests such as Jodi Benson, Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary), Sutton Foster, Norm Lewis, Lindsay Mendez, and Mandy Gonzalez.    

The group has made four guest appearances at the Magic of Christmas concerts with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. The choir has released five CDs on the Pine Point label and has appeared on numerous other recordings, either as background singers or as contributors on compilation recordings.    

 In 2018, they celebrated the 30th anniversary of the choir with a two-day reunion that welcomed back hundreds of alumni. The anniversary was recognized with the commission of a new piece, “Find Where the Beauty Is” by award-winning composer, Jim Papoulis.  

 The Windham Chamber Singers are conducted by Richard Nickerson, who is also the Artistic Director of the Maine Music Society. He has been director of Choral Activities at Windham High School in Windham, Maine for the past 35 years. 

 “I’m very excited for this concert as this will be our first public performance in Lewiston in the 35-year history of the choir,” said Nickerson.  

Visit the Windham Chamber Singers’ website to listen to their music videos: https://www.windhamchambersingers.com/video.html 

Tickets are pay what you can from $7 to $20. 

Doors and cash bar open at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesday, at www.francocenter.org, and 207-689-2000. 

The Franco Center is at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston. It is handicap accessible on the Lincoln St. Alley side of the building. Parking is in the mill lot across the street. 

Season Underwriter is Maple Way Dental Care; media sponsors are Bennett Radio Group; Sun Journal; Turner Publishing; and Uncle Andy’s Digest. Show sponsors are: Androscoggin Bank; Dirigo Federal Credit Union; and Norway Savings Bank. 

The Windham Chamber Singers are performing in a pay-what-you-can concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the Franco Center, 46 Cedar Street, Lewiston. Tickets can be purchased online at www.francocenter.org/shows or 207-689-2000. The WCS have won awards, performed all over the world, and have played in concerts with well-known musical artists. 


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