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LA Metro Chamber Announces New President/CEO

Shanna Cox

The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is excited to announce that they have hired a new President/CEO. Shanna Cox, Lewiston resident and business owner, officially began her role in leading the LA Metro Chamber on Monday, October 7. 

Prior to posting the position in June, the Board of Directors worked diligently for four months to self- reflect on the Chamber’s past, the current status and what the future would hold for the organization. This journey provided the Board with a clear picture of the attributes they would be seeking in a new CEO. LA Metro Chamber Board Chair and President/CEO of Community Credit Union, Jennifer Hogan, said “It was a great process and journey for the Board. We came to realize some of the key attributes we were seeking: someone who could clearly demonstrate and articulate the value in being a member of the Chamber, someone who has proven relationships and success in workforce development issues, and someone who has demonstrated leadership within economic development projects, just to name a few. Shanna rose to the top quickly as she has experience in all of these areas.” 

The Board hired consultants with Career Management Associates (CMA) to lead the search. After reviewing over 40 applications, applicants were led through a rigorous process which included phones interviews, a written exercise and face-to-face interviews. Final candidates were then brought before a 10 person hiring committee and ultimately the entire Board. Hogan shared “The Board voted unanimously to hire Shanna and we are confident in her experience, drive and commitment to the Chamber and community at large. We are excited for her to lead our Chamber in the next steps of its success.” 

Cox’s work history weaves experiences on both business and community issues together- making her the right fit to support the Chamber’s mission- to be an engine for economic vitality and enhanced quality of life. Cox shared “The LA Metro Chamber is a longstanding and proud institution in our communities- and supporting thriving businesses and quality of life are key to the futures of our members and our region. There is significant potential and opportunities for the Chamber to clarify our value to members, attract new members, and support growth for current members, all while ensuring our work is connected to the communities we serve. I am excited to be at the helm of this organization as we lead the way towards a secure future for the organization, and improved benefits to members and the community.” 

Shanna has been pursuing economic and community development goals for the LA region for nearly 10 years. As a small business owner, Shanna worked with businesses and groups across the state to find solutions for complex community and social problems. Her statewide work grew her experience and exposure to addressing the important issues the Chamber, our members, and businesses in our communities’ face: workforce development, technology and innovation, cluster and sector development, educational outcomes and economic development and growth. While working statewide, Shanna has always been a champion and advocate for the LA region- a place she is proud to call home and raise her family. 

CMCC Esports Team notches girst win

The Esports Arena in CMCC’s Kirk Hall

Two weeks into their first season, a Central Maine Community College (CMCC) Esports team won its first contest with a convincing 3-0 victory over Arcadia University of Pennsylvania.

The CMCC Rocket League team composed of Levi Little of Phippsburg; Jared Lambert of Oakland; Sean Rooney of Winslow; Paisley Drakiotes of Lewiston; and Jayson Goguen and Matt White of Fairfield, defeated Arcadia in regular season action earlier this month.

Esports (short for electronic sports) refers to the popular and rapidly growing field of competitive video gaming. The CMCC Esports teams compete in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). Students who participate have to meet the same requirements as other athletes at the college. 

Other CMCC Esports teams are competing in Hearthstone, Overwatch, Fortnite, and Rainbow 6 Siege. The college has a new, 1,600 square-foot arena located in Kirk Hall equipped with Alienware Area-51 Threadrippers; five console stations with Xbox One, PS4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch; and a Twitch broadcast booth for live streaming matches.

Students interested in Esports are encouraged to learn more at the CMCC Open House on Saturday, October 19, from 9 a.m. to noon. More information is also available online at https://cmmustangs.com/sports/esports.

Curtain Up this weekend for CLT’s ‘ANNIE’

The Community Little Theatre (CLT) production of the hit musical “Annie” opens this weekend. Based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan, the original Broadway production of “Annie” opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years. It spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The songs “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life” are among its most popular musical numbers. 

The show is set in New York City during the Depression, and Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago at an orphanage. With the help of other girls in the orphanage, Annie escapes and then encounters adventure after fun-filled adventure in the big city. She finds a new home and family through billionaire Oliver Warbucks, befriends President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and of course, finds a lovable mutt named Sandy.

The theatre will present “Annie” October 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26 at 7:30 p.m., and October 20 and 27 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are still available for purchase online athttps://www.laclt.com/

A Wacky Comedy at The Public Theatre

The Public Theatre begins its 2019-20 Season with the laugh out loud comedy Women in Jeopardy playing October 18 through 27.  Imagine Sex and the City meets I love Lucy when middle-aged moms start dating! Longtime friends Liz, Mary and Jo do everything together, until Liz starts dating a creepy guy who may or may not be a serial killer. It’s up to her gal pals to bring her to her senses as they trade in their wine glasses for spy glasses and leap to her rescue. Grab your gal pals for this laugh out loud comedy about how ridiculously far we’ll go to help our friends.

Director Christopher Schario says, “This play is great fun. It’s a satisfying comedy, especially for women as the story revolves around a group of female best friends who have known each other forever, and how the introduction of a creepy new boyfriend into the picture shakes up their world.”

Performing in this play is a hilarious ensemble of professional actors; Heather Dilly (Liz), Amanda Ryan Paige (Mary), Janet Mitchko (Jo), Torsten Hillhouse (Jackson), Tom Harney (Trenner) and Nicole Fava (Amanda). 

Audiences may recognize some of the cast from previous productions. Heather Dilly has appeared in numerous TPT productions including Ripcord, Indoor Outdoor, Gun Shy, Secrets of a Soccer Mom and as the conservative mother in last season’s hilariousHuman Error. Playing her potential serial killer boyfriend Jackson Scull is Torsten Hillhouse. Torsten was last seen at TPT opposite Heather in Ripcord, and Love-Sick as well as in multiple roles in The Midvale High School50th Reunion. Audiences may also recognize Nicole Fava who appeared as adorable Frenchy in the summer production of Grease. Rounding out returning actors is Janet Mitchko in the role of sarcastic divorcee Jo. Janet appeared last year at TPT as Nora in A Doll’s House Part 2, among many other productions. 

Once again, The Public Theatre will continue its free pre-show events on opening night with a beer sampling compliments of Baxter Brewing on October 18, and a wine-tasting in the lobby provided by The Vault before the Thursday, October 24 performance. A free post-show discussion featuring the cast and director will also directly follow the Sunday, Oct 20st matinee.

Women in Jeopardy will be performed at The Public Theatre, Lewiston/Auburn’s Professional Theatre, October 18 through 27. Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. with a Saturday matinee on Oct 27 at 3 p.m.  Tickets: $25 Adults, $22 groups.  For tickets visitthepublictheatre.org or call 782-3200. The Theatre is located at 31 Maple St. Lewiston.

Season Underwriters: Platz Associates, Sun Journal, Austin Associates, Maine Magazine and Gleason Media Services.

Corporate Sponsors: Butler Brothers, LA Metro Magazine and Maple Way Dental Care.

CMCC to Host Fall Open House

Student athletes compete in a soccer game on the new multi-sport, synthetic turf athletic complex at CMCC. The college is hosting an open house on Saturday, October 19 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Central Maine Community College (CMCC) will host its annual Fall Open House for prospective students and their families on Saturday, October 19, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at its lakeside campus at 1250 Turner Street in Auburn.

This fall’s open house will provide an exciting opportunity for students to see the several new additions to the campus, including the synthetic turf athletic complex; competitive esports arena, nursing simulation lab; and the plumbing and HVAC/R lab. In addition to having all academic programs, student organizations, and athletics represented, staff members and students will be ready to assist with the admissions and financial aid application processes.

Students who complete an admissions application at the open house will have their application fee waived. All who attend the open house can take a guided tour of the campus or simply visit certain programs, services, or housing facilities. Culinary Arts students will provide refreshments.

CMCC offers 45 degree programs and certificates that prepare graduates for immediate employment or to transfer to a four-year institution. In addition to on-campus housing and a large number of student clubs and activities, the College offers competitive athletic teams: varsity and JV basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, and cross-country for women; varsity and JV basketball, baseball, soccer, cross-country, and ice hockey for men.

For more information about CMCC, the open house, or for directions to the campus, please contact the College at (207) 755-5273, enroll@cmcc.edu, or visit www.cmcc.edu. Prospective students and their families are encouraged to visithttps://www.cmcc.edu/admissions-aid/admissions/openhouse/ for program updates and to RSVP for the open house.

Maine Event Comedy presents Ralphie Joyal at Craft Brew Underground

Ralphie Joyal

Maine Event Comedy presents Massachusetts-based comedy veteran Ralphie Joyal at Craft Brew Underground, Friday, October 11 at 8 p.m. The show will also feature Mike Gray, Joe Flynn, and Nic Dufault.

Joyal hails from Tewksbury, Massachusetts and recently released his first DVD “Tweaked to the Max”. His blue-collar brand of comedy includes stories of his childhood, marriage, holidays and weight struggles. He also performs celebrity impressions including Archie Bunker, Tom Petty, and Forest Gump. Joyal has worked with international headliners Dane Cook, Bill Burr, and Joe Rogan.

Flynn, a likable curmudgeon from Salem, Massachusetts, recently performed at Comix at Mohegan Sun. He’s a two-time finalist in New England’s Best Bar Comic Contest and a runner-up in the Witch City Comedy Competition.

Gray is “the Pride of Biddeford” and living proof that a horrible childhood can turn into an equally horrible adulthood. He performs throughout New England and was a finalist in the 2017 Best Bar Comic Competition.

Dufault recently opened for Boston comedy legend Christine Hurley and took third place in the Wednesday Night Live Comedy Contest. He also produces shows with Auburn-based River Comics.

The show is for ages 21-and-older and admission is pay-what-you-can. Craft Brew Underground is located at 34 Court Street in Auburn. It was voted the No. 1 Craft Beer Bar in Maine and offers more than 200 choices of craft beer and hard cider.

For more information call or text (207) 513-0742 or email maineeventcomedy@gmail.com.

College Night at Auburn Public

The Auburn Public Library is pleased to announce its 7th annual College Night on Thursday, October 17, in the Androscoggin Community Room. This program is for both teens and their parents and is designed to provide information early in the college process.

The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m., with a panel discussion facilitated by Jessica Whittier of the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). Panelists will include representatives from Bates College, Central Maine Community College, College of the Atlantic, Maine College of Art, Maine College of Health Professions, Maine Maritime Academy, University of Maine (Orono), and University of Southern Maine.

Whether a student is in middle school, high school, a senior applying for college—or the parents of that student—it is hoped that this evening will start the family thinking about the student’s future and/or provide answers to some of the many questions which arise as they begin talking about and looking at colleges. Topics for discussion will include taking appropriate courses in middle and high school, thinking ahead about career areas, costs of college (FAFSA, FAFSA Forecaster), types of colleges and degrees, and the application process, including the Common Application.

Bates Dance Festival presents Bartosik’s ‘I hunger for you’

Bates College presents choreographer Kimberly Bartosik and her company daela with an evening-length work that explores losing one’s self in ecstasy, ritual and desire, riding an edge of barely controlled abandon and vibrating stillness. Described as “one of the most intriguing descendants of Merce Cunningham” (Dance Magazine), Bartosik was inspired to make the piece by her experience with Charismatic spirituality. Event starts 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 12 at Schaeffer Theatre, 329 College St., Lewiston. Tickets are $15, available at Eventbrite.com. For more information 207-786-6161.

Governor Mills: affordable, quality health care coverage

Health care saves lives.

That is why one of my Administration’s top priorities is to ensure that Maine families, small businesses, and self-employed people have access to high-quality, affordable health care. 

While we have made significant progress by expanding MaineCare to more than 38,000 people this year, protecting health care for Maine people with pre-existing conditions and passing legislation to reduce prescription drug costs, and supporting treatment to combat the opioid epidemic, we still can do more.

This week I announced a statewide campaign called CoverME to help Maine people, individuals self-employed, and small businesses understand their health insurance choices and sign up for the coverage that they need.

Later this month, CoverME will run digital and tv ads across the State of Maine about the importance of health insurance. The campaign will distribute education materials about MaineCare expansion and the upcoming open enrollment period for private HealthCare.gov plans, that runs from November 1 to December 15 of this year. 

The CoverME campaign is supported by a $750,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and it requires no state funding.  

You know health care should not be a luxury, or a privilege reserved for well to do people, and yet more than 106,000 Maine people do not have health insurance. 

That is unacceptable. You know we all get sick, we all need to go to a doctor at some point, and as Governor, my top priority is to ensure that every Maine person is able to see a doctor, to get preventive care and to afford critical prescription medications so they can all stay healthy, and work and care for their families.

I hope that if your family or you are struggling with medical bills in our complicated health care system, you will please visit www.CoverME.gov or call 1-800-965-7476 for free help to find out if you qualify for affordable, quality health care coverage.

Marlin Darrah present film “Wonders of the World” at the Sawyer Memorial

Join this unique journey with Marlin Darrah to some of the most beautiful and renowned natural and manmade wonders of the world.  In 86 minutes, you’ll visit 43 countries, seeing dozens of world-famous sites, as well as some lesser-known marvels of our incredible planet.  A journey filled with the world’s incredible people, wildlife, exotic jungles, mountains, paradise beaches, miraculous architecture and temples, astounding art treasures, old cities, towns and villages, and even some samples of delicious international food along the way.

Marlin Darrah is probably the world’s most traveled filmmaker.   He is the award-winning executive director and cinematographer of the renowned Portland, Oregon-based Production Company, International Film & Video.  Darrah’s 34 years of production experience have taken him to more than 140 countries worldwide, yielding more than 70 documentary and travel-adventure programs to date. PBS, History Channel andDiscovery Channel have all aired Darrah’s international footage or programs.  Recently, a two-hour documentary he shot and directed in Egypt was screened at the Cairo Opera House to an audience of 3000 guests.

Over the years, Darrah has produced promotional programs for dozens of international travel-adventure clients (e.g. Society Expeditions, TraveLearn, Exploration Cruise Lines, etc.). Several respected stock footage companies (including National Geographic) represent thousands of Darrah’s best international HD shots.  

Darrah’s productions have screened and won awards at more than 15 national and international film festivals in Rome, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, British Columbia and many others. Darrah is also the recipient of the “Burton Holmes Award for Best of Show – Best Travel Film Showcase”, given by his peers at the Travel Adventure Cinema Magazine.

Shows will be on Friday, October 11 at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Araxine Wilkins Sawyer Memorial, 371 Sawyer Road, Greene. Admission is free. For more information, call 946-5311, visit sawyer-foundation.com or www.facebook.com/sawyer.foundation1937


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