Bonny Eagle robotics team wins $1,000 engineering grant

The Bonny Eagle High School Robotics Team has won a $1,000 grant and placed second in an International Engineering Competition for its “First Foot” engineering concept about a shoe that collects and stores energy.

The concept was created to answer the question, “What could your team engineer that would have a positive impact on your community and our world?”

The design is featured in a video, created and produced by team members and entered in the Rockwell Automation’s “Engineering Our Future” contest.

The school’s robotics program, established in 1995, is affiliated with the National Organization, FIRST, which is an acronym for inspiration and recognition of science and technology.”

The goal of FIRST is to help high school students to become more involved with science, technology, engineering and math, which is achieved by creating a game each year in which teams of students, parents, engineers, and mentors have six weeks to design and build a competition robot.

The next season game announcement and kick-off is Saturday at the Colisee in Lewiston. Admission is free.

The team is attempting to raise $30,000, which will enable it to participate at the district competitions and championships. All tax-free donations should be sent to: Bonny Eagle Robotics Team, c/o Bonny Eagle High School, 700 Saco Road, Standish, ME 04084.

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Volunteers help weatherize 16 York County homes

A group of 18 volunteers recently participated in a United Way of York County project to weatherize 16 homes as part of the “Keep York County Warm” project.

Overseen by a partnership between United Way of York County and York County Habitat for Humanity, the project brings together teams of community volunteers to help sponsor and install weatherization kits for low-income and disabled homeowners.

Volunteering for the project starts well before installation day, with the building of custom-made reusable window panels that are assembled by volunteers a month in advance.

This year, more than 75 volunteers from a variety of organizations, including students from Biddeford Regional Technology School, Thornton Academy and Saco Universalist Unitarian Church, contributed their time with wood donated by Deering Lumber.

When the project is complete, the 66 custom-fit window inserts will be installed in 22 homes, totaling over $1,000 in savings to homeowners.

Volunteers and window kit sponsors are always needed.

To learn more, call Meaghan Arzberger at 985-3359 or email [email protected]


New Year’s Eve celebration will mark ship’s milestone

Maine’s First Ship will celebrate a significant milestone in the reconstruction of the Virginia on Tuesday.

The New Year’s Eve celebration will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. featuring a bonfire at the shipyard on the Kennebec and a champagne toast to coincide with the raising of the last frame of the ship.

Since the laying of the keel in 2010, community volunteers and students from Morse High School have made steady progress in the reconstruction of the 30-ton Pinnace Virginia, originally built at the Popham Colony in 1607-1608.

Earl Bigelow and The Cilantro Trio will supply music inside the Bath Freight Shed.

Henry & Marty’s Restaurant will supply light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Hot buttered rum will be featured.

The price is $20 per person and available by calling Maine’s First Ship at 443-4242 or at the door.

The Virginia’s shipyard is located on the riverfront side of the Bath Freight Shed, 27 Commercial St.


Lots to Gardens receives MAIN dedication award

The Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods recently awarded Lots to Gardens with its Outstanding Community Dedication Award.

MAIN is an all-volunteer coalition of individuals and organizations, created in 1980, as a statewide voice for low- to moderate-income concerns.

The award recognizes people in their communities for making changes at the State House and in their neighborhoods to effect positive change.

Lots to Gardens is a youth and community driven program of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center that uses sustainable urban gardening to provide opportunities for people to grow their own food, create access to affordable fresh food and to involve youth as leaders in building a healthy community.

The program helps families develop skills and build influence for lifelong and communitywide change.

Since 1999, Lots to Gardens has built more than a dozen gardens and green spaces in four diverse neighborhoods in Lewiston.


Energy group donates used laptops for ill children

Brookfield Renewable Energy Group recently donated 70 of their gently used laptops to Grahamtastic Connection, a nonprofit located in Springvale that provides free technology to seriously ill children.

The technology helps those students stay connected to their classrooms and teachers, allowing for uninterrupted education.

Student volunteers at Westbrook Regional Vocational Center and Sanford Regional Technical Center will work on the laptops to prepare them for the children to use.

For more details, go to


Charitable foundation gives $1,000 to historical society

Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation has donated $1,000 to the Smithfield Maine Historical Society to finance repairs to the front porch of the Groves House, where the historical society’s informational displays are housed.

The Smithfield Maine Historical Society seeks to preserve historical data and artifacts of Smithfield and the area and to educate citizens about the history of the community.

Informational displays are located throughout the Groves House, which was opened in 2012 as part of an initiative to restore historical homes in the region.


Laura Henny wins contest for ‘Voice of Democracy’

Laura Henny of Scarborough High School is the winner of the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ “Voice of Democracy” contest at both the post and District 10 levels of the competition.

Henny, who received a $300 cash award for her submission, will now compete for the state title at an annual banquet, to be held in Waterville, in January.

The winner will receive an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., and a chance to win a $30,000 education scholarship.

This marks the third time in four years that Scarborough High School has represented the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 832 in South Portland.


Real School student’s project gives gift effort a boost

The Salvation Army’s efforts to supply more than 800 needy Greater Portland families with Christmas gifts got a boost recently through the efforts of a sophomore student at The Real School, a public alternative and special education school serving the needs of students at risk in grades 7-12 from 18 districts in southern Maine.

The school, located on Mackworth Island, has been participating in a Joy-Maker Campaign, headed by Generation On, a global youth service organization that inspires kids to make their mark on the world. For each action a teen takes to help others as part of the Joy Maker initiative, Hasbro donates 100 new toys to a nonprofit of choice for distribution.

As part of his Joy Maker Campaign service project, Real School sophomore Curtis Arnold and AmeriCorps volunteer director Craig Haims designed a project for refugee students from King Middle School who are part of the School’s Intensive English Language Learner Development Program.

After training for six weeks to facilitate a ropes course on Mackworth Island, Arnold hosted and led the students through a day of team building using the course. AmeriCorps service members at the Real School assisted with his effort.


New Sebago Lake calendar features work of amateurs

The 2014 “Images of Sebago Lake” calendar is now available.

The calendar features images of Sebago Lake from amateur photographers who have captured the many moods of Maine’s second-largest lake.

The calendar recognizes local talent and their appreciation for Greater Portland’s drinking water source.

The calendars are available at the Sebago Lake Ecology Center at routes 237 and 35 in Standish or at the Portland Water District’s Portland offices at 225 Douglass St.

Supplies are limited; therefore, only one per person will be handed out. For more information, email [email protected]


Catholic Charities names 2014 board of directors

Catholic Charities Maine recently installed its board of directors for 2014.

The Honorable David Madore, who previously served as vice chairman, is the newly elected board chairman. A former legislator, Madore recently served as the assistant secretary of the Maine Senate. He is a lifelong member of St. Augustine’s Church in Augusta, where he chaired and served on numerous committees.

Madore replaces Roger Dyer of Houlton who will now serve as immediate past chairman.

Other members of the executive committee are: Mark LaPointe of Portland, vice chairman; Rachel Grivois of Bangor, treasurer; Barbara Smith of Scarborough, secretary; and new board member, the Rev. Michael Seavey, parochial vicar for the Portland peninsula and the island parishes.

Board members reinstalled for the upcoming year are: deacon Bob Cleveland of the midcoast, Craig Foster of Portland, Jean Little of Portland, Ellen Turner of Portland, John McCormack of Gorham, Kathleen Murphy of Lewiston, Romeo Parent of Caribou and John McAuliffe of Portland.


Candy cane event raises fun and funds for Dream Factory

For the fifth consecutive year, The Dream Factory of Maine and Haven’s Candies recently played host for a fun-filled day along with over 700 children and adults to raise money and awareness for the organization.

Tickets to the event quickly sold out as people were eager to participate in making their own hand-rolled candy canes for the holidays.

More than $18,650 was raised for the Dream Factory, an all-volunteer organization that grants dreams to chronically and critically ill children in Maine.

The Dream Factory also raffled off several items donated by local merchants during the event.

The money raised will be enough to fund four dreams for Maine children in the upcoming year.


CMP partners with WMTW for annual kids’ mitten drive

Central Maine Power Co., a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is joining forces with WMTW-TV (Channel 8) to keep Maine kids warm this winter.

The utility is launching its 10th annual Community Mitten Drive, and WMTW is supporting the event through a series of public-service announcements.

Donations of new, store-bought or handmade mittens, gloves, hats and scarves may be dropped off a collection boxes that are set up at all Marden’s and Reny’s retail stores and Tim Horton’s restaurants.

A complete list of locations is posted on CMP’s website,

CMP corresponds with schools throughout its service area to gauge the need for children’s mittens, hats and scarves.

Once received, the items will be distributed where they’re needed most.

The drive will continue through February 2014.

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