Community Development Grants awarded to 22 groups

Machias Savings Bank Foundation last month awarded more than $150,000 in Community Development Grants to 22 organizations, whose services have statewide reach and impact.
The full list of recipients includes:

• Aroostook County: Aroostook County Action Program, $7,500

Cumberland County: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine, $10,000; Locker Project, $10,000; United Way of Greater Portland, $5,000

Hancock County: OceansWide, $5,000; RSU No.24/Sumner High School programming, $5,000


Knox County: MCH Inc., $5,000; Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, $5,000

Penobscot County: Community Health and Counseling Services, $7,500; Habitat for Humanity of Greater Bangor, $5,000; Housing Authority of the City of Brewer, $3,750; Shaw House of Bangor, $20,000

Washington County: Hand in Hand / Mano en Mano, $7,500

• Washington & Hancock Counties: Downeast Community Partners, $10,000; Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (Eastern Maine Skippers Program), $5,000; Maine Seacoast Mission, $5,000

Penobscot & Aroostook Counties: Upper Valley Economic Corporation, $5,000

Washington, Hancock & Aroostook Counties: Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, $5,000


Washington, Hancock & Penobscot Counties: New Ventures Maine, $5,000

Washington, Hancock, Penobscot, Knox & Aroostook Counties: Information Technology Exchange, $5,000

Washington, Penobscot & Cumberland Counties: Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, $10,000

Statewide: Maine Jump$tart, $5,000


Kindergartners sow bulbs to bloom in spring


Wells Elementary School kindergarten students took advantage of milder weather on Nov. 15 to sow spring flower bulbs in advance of Maine’s first snows of the season.

The 115 students planted tulip and daffodil bulbs in a rock garden bordering the school’s playground. It’s a scene that has played out annually at WES since the fall of 2003.

Assisting students with the planting was Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley and a team of parent volunteers. The bulbs were purchased by the school’s PTSA.

“It’s sometimes difficult for kindergarten students to understand that they have to wait until spring to see any results,” said Foley. “One little boy wanted to stand by his hole and ‘wait’ for the bulb to grow. (There is) no immediate gratification with bulb planting!”


Photo submissions sought for Acadia annual pass


The National Park Service is seeking photographers and other artists of all ages to submit digital images for use on Acadia National Park’s 2020 annual pass. The selected image will appear on thousands of annual passes purchased by visitors from all over the country. The winner will receive credit as the photographer and a 2020 Acadia Annual Pass displaying their image.

The NPS retains 80 percent of the fees collected from annual pass sales to invest in critical improvements that directly benefit visitors at Acadia National Park, including maintaining and enhancing visitor facilities. The annual pass revenues are also essential for funding the operation of the Island Explorer bus system, which serves Acadia and its surrounding communities. The Acadia Annual Pass costs $55 and is valid at Acadia National Park for one year from the month of purchase.

Images for consideration must be submitted by email to by 4 p.m. on Friday. The email must include your full name, mailing address, telephone number and the location of the image.

There is a limit of one image per person, it must represent Acadia National Park, be a photograph or original artwork, be suitable for formatting on a 4 x 2-inch plastic card (landscape orientation only), be in high-quality digital format with a minimum 300 DPI; and should not have borders/frames, watermarks, labels, signatures or copyright notices.

The winner will be required to sign a copyright permission form that allows the NPS to have nonexclusive rights to use the image on the annual pass and in other print or digital media at its discretion. The owner will retain copyright of the image for any other purposes. The NPS will delete the images that are not selected from its files, and all rights for their use will remain with their owners.

NPS employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter.


For more details, go to or call 2288-3338.


College holding two instant-acceptance days

Southern Maine Community College is holding two On-the-Spot Acceptance Days allowing prospective students to complete the entire admissions process for the spring semester in a single visit.

SMCC’s South Portland campus and Midcoast campus in Brunswick will be open for extended hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19 and again Jan. 7.

These events are designed for students wanting to make a change or looking to get started on their education. Students can complete their application for free, take their placement tests if needed, start the financial aid process and sign up for new-student orientation, where they will register for classes. Prospective students should bring proof of high school graduation (high school diploma, final high school transcript, or GED/HiSET); transfer students should bring official college transcripts in a sealed envelope. No appointment is necessary.


The admissions office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for students to apply for free. Spring semester classes begin Jan. 13.

For more details, go to, email or call 741-5800.


St. James students deliver donations, gifts

Students at St. James Catholic School made their seasonal journey to the city’s downtown area on Dec. 6 on an errand of goodwill and to spread a few heart-, head- and hand-warming messages to the fellow community members.

The children first visited Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center at 35 South St. to drop off a large donation of blankets. Then the students headed to the city park at South and Green streets to hang dozens of gift bags on the park’s fencing and benches. The plastic gifts bags were filled with hats, mittens and scarves donated by members of the St. James community. A tag is inside each bag so recipients will know the items are from the children at St. James. Anyone in need of these items can come and take them at any time. Items that still remain in the park next week will be collected and donated to the Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center.



MSSM grad selected for master’s program in China

Maine School of Science and Mathematics graduate Gordon McCulloh, class of 2016, was selected as a Schwarzman Scholar and will undertake a one-year master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in 2020.

A highly selective international program, McCulloh is the first student from Maine, and only the third from the USAFA, to become a Schwarzman Scholar whose programmatic focus is designed to prepare the next generation of global leaders for the challenges of the future.

McCulloh studies astronautical engineering, applied mathematics and Arabic at USAFA. He earned the 2019 USAFA cadet of the year award and held various leadership positions, including managing the academic performance of more than 1,400 cadets. A proponent of commercial and international collaboration in the space environment, McCulloh was an intern at Ad Astra Rocket and SpaceX. He plans to study in China, to inspire peaceful space policies and technological solutions as an engineer and acquisitions officer in the United States Air Force.

For more details, go to

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