JEFFERSON – The eighth-grade class at Jefferson Village School hosted a spaghetti dinner April 30, raising about $2,000 for the family of a 10-year-old burn victim and fellow student.

Dakota Boutte remains in stable condition at Boston’s Shriner’s Hospital, where he is “eating on his own and speaking now,” according to the boy’s aunt, Bethany Arbour,

Boutte sustained first- and second-degree burns and was airlifted to Boston on April 13 after adding gasoline to a campfire at his Jefferson home.

In addition to the hearty turnout for dinner, a pitcher for donations near the entrance filled to overflowing and attendees took home more than 30 raffle items donated by local businesses, including gift cards, clothing items and handmade furniture.

Eighth-grade teacher Michelle Duncan-Shaw said support and donations “just kept pouring in” in the days before the dinner.

Teachers expressed pride in the eighth-grade class, who spearheaded the project from beginning to end. At the dinner they served as volunteers, selling tickets, serving food, providing disc jockey services and announcing raffle winners.

“It means a lot more when the students initiate it,” Principal Peter Gallace said. “It’s really drawn them together to think about others a lot more… it makes me happy to see everyone work together for a good cause.”

Gallace said he hopes the family will be buoyed by the community’s show of solidarity. “The community really cares,” he said. “We’ll do whatever we can to help him out.”

— The Lincoln County News

BLUE HILL

Coral reef biologist to address impact of climate change 

Renowned coral reef biologist Nancy Knowlton of the Smithsonian Institution will speak at the Marine Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 20. A reception is scheduled at 6 p.m.

Already, 80 percent of the Caribbean coral reefs have been lost since the 1980s. Corals are home to 25 percent of all marine species.

Knowlton will address the impact of climate change and ocean acidification on coral reefs worldwide.

She will also present stories of effective management practices and policies that may bring hope for the future of coral reefs.

The lecture is part of MERI’s 20th anniversary celebration events that are bringing the world’s leading marine scientists and explorers to Blue Hill to address critical ocean issues.

— The Ellsworth American

MOUNT DESERT

Town approves bond for redevelopment of harbor marina 

Voters approved the sale of up to $2.2 million in bonds for improvements to the Northeast Harbor marina during town meeting balloting Monday.

The marina bond question passed, 220-184.

The redevelopment plan calls for replacing the harbormaster’s office and yachtsmen’s building, constructing a small visitor information center and new restrooms, creating a new bus stop for the Island Explorer and redesigning some of the roads and parking areas to improve traffic flow and safety.

The town’s marine management committee worked with Noel Musson of the engineering firm CES to develop the marina plan.

Musson said he planned to meet with the committee next Tuesday to start drawing up a timeline for the project. Committee chairman Rick Savage said Tuesday that he hopes work can begin this fall.

Voters also returned Rick Mooers and Tom Richardson to the Board of Selectmen. Richardson, who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board in November, was elected to his first three-year term with 280 votes. Mooers was elected to his second term with 251 votes. Sumner Rulon-Miller received 180 votes.

— Mount Desert Islander