Logging trucks around the County are currently parked and won't get going again until the second week of June. Ben Voisine is the owner of Voisine Brothers Inc. He says they've been shut down for two months because of mud season, but that this is very typical. Right now they're doing maintenance work on their machines after what he says was a tough winter. Voisine says June 11th will be the day the machines get going again. He says he's excited for that day.
A local resident is giving back to her community and hopes others will join her. Lisa Wark of Mapleton has set a goal of Saturday to renovate the gazebo and bridge in downtown Mapleton. She'd also like to add flowers to the little park. She's hoping to have the work completed for Monday's festivities. "We are hoping to have the gazebo renovated for the upcoming parade on Memorial Day - maybe get the community involved," said Wark. "It's starting to get run down and if we can get some help, maybe we can make it look nice and take some pride in our hometown. You show pride and then you show our young people. You have to show our young people you have to take care of your stuff, you have to have pride in your community. That's the only way to do it. That's the only way they learn is through seeing us do it." Wark welcomes other volutneers to join her in sprucing up the park, hoping her actions will encourage folks in other communities to do something for their hometown as well. Volunteers are welcome to join Wark at the park on Saturday at 9 a.m. Paint is being provided by the town but volunteers are asked to bring their own paint brushes or rakes and to wear work clothes.
Beautiful weather provided the perfect day for this year's Aroostook River Fun Run, hosted by the Presque Isle and Washburn Rotary Clubs. Kathy McCarty spoke with organizer and Rotarian Floyd Rockholt and has the details.
Back in January, 350 teachers across the state were in the running for Teacher of the Year. Now that number has been narrowed down to 16, one for each county. Bill Guerrette is the Teacher of the Year for Aroostook County. He teaches at Presque Isle Middle School and was nominated by a colleague. Guerrette says he really tries to show the students that learning can be fun by doing many activities outside of the classroom. He even organizes a trip to D.C. for the kids every year. Something he says he really enjoys. "I think we have a lot of great educators here in Aroostook County," said Guerrette. "You know I think a lot of timeswith a lot of different things, we think a lot of things are better further away. You know, Portland, that type of thing... but we have a lot of special things going on here in the county. So, for me, it's a privilege representing all of the educators that we have here. I just happen to be the 2018 County Teacher of the Year, but we have a lot of well deserving people up here that could win that award too." Guerrette says that being honored with this award has given him a chance to self-reflect on his teaching practices. He says even though he's been a teacher for 31 years, he still continues to learn and improve.
The transition from active duty to home life for veterans can be very difficult. Senator Angus King says that supporting veterans through that transition is something the military doesn't do well. But he says there is a program in Maine called Boots2Roots that is helping make that transition easier. "They get the names of veterans, they reach out and they help them find jobs, integrate them into the community, they have mentors who are recent veterans themselves, it's a great program and that's something I'm really supportive of," said King. Boots2Roots was started in 2014 by a West Gardiner, Maine, native after he spent 25 years in the air force and returned, only find he was feeling uncomfortably disconnected. He decided to be part of the solution and Boots2Roots was created.
Governor Paul LePage is a little more than half a year away from finishing his term as Maine's governor. LePage has been in office since January of 2011. He was first elected in November of 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. We spoke with LePage via Skype earlier this spring and he listed a few tasks he hopes to accomplish in his remaining months, including getting a bill passed that would allow more seniors to stay in their homes. Though he wishes he could accomplish more before he leaves office, LePage says it's time to pass the torch.