Lesley Unger joins Springvale Public Library as its new director. Photo courtesty Gail Burnett

New director for Springvale Public Library


Lesley Unger, of Rochester, New Hampshire, has taken over as director of Springvale Public Library, the independent library serving Sanford-Springvale and surrounding communities.

Unger, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, most recently served as technical and administrative librarian for the Laconia Public Library in New Hampshire. Prior to that, she worked as a school librarian in Somersworth, New Hampshire, and at the Rochester Public Library. She’s a graduate of the University of Manitoba and is a candidate for a master’s in library science from University of Rhode Island.

Library directors chose Unger for her strong organizational, technical and interpersonal skills.


Board President Gail Burnett said “We were looking for a good fit with our friendly, community-oriented library. We were thrilled to find Lesley.”

Unger replaces Charles “Chip” Schrader, who recently became director at Louis B. Goodall Memorial Library in Sanford.

Dawn Brown, longtime assistant director, served as interim director.

For more details, go to the library’s website at springvalelibrary.org.

Siri Pierce was awarded a $5,000 grant from Pop-Tarts and United Way for her idea to increase use of solar energy locally. Photo courtesy  Jennifer Davis


Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts and United Way have awarded Siri Pierce, 17, of Portland with a $5,000 grant as part of the recent Rep My City Challenge that awards young people with the most inventive ideas that can help better their community.


The challenge asked young people, ages 13-22, to develop a creative way to address the issue that has the greatest effect on friends and families in their community. Submissions included ideas to address local food insecurity, the need for after-school activities, crime in their neighborhood, mental health issues, or others.

Pierce won for her idea to increase awareness about solar energy by advocating for a pole-mounted, 12-panel tracking array on the grounds of Deering High School, one of the most visible school campuses in Portland.

Pop-Tarts Marketing Director Joe Beauprez said “the Rep My City Challenge empowers young people to think differently and use their imagination to make a positive impact locally. Siri’s project can empower the next generation of students to be a part of creating a more sustainable future for all of us.”

United Way of Greater Portland President and CEO Liz Cotter Schlax said the organization is incredibly inspired by Pierce and her work to advance climate change awareness and renewable energy education efforts.

“We’re thrilled that Pop-Tarts is recognizing her innovative idea and proud of how Siri “reps our city”! She exemplifies the mission of United Way by raising her hand and leading the charge within her school and our community at large.”



The University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) has been recognized by two national organizations for exceptional service to veterans, military service members, and their families. UMA has earned the 2020-2021 Military Friendly® School designation and was also named a 2020 Best for Vets by Military Times.

“UMA is honored to receive these designations,” said UMA President Rebecca Wyke. “This reflects the dedication of the faculty and staff of UMA to be a welcoming community for our military service members and veterans. UMA’s Veterans Academic Center continues to grow and is one of the major student hubs on the Augusta campus.”

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation are evaluated using public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. Methodology, criteria and weightings are determined by VIQTORY with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community.

Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

More than 1,000 schools participated in the 2020-21 survey with 695 earning the designation. The 2020-2021 Military Friendly® School list will be published in the May 2020 edition of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.



The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club has donated $600 to Vet2Vet Maine, a trained group of 100-plus volunteers who offer assistance and friendships to Maine veterans.

Vet2Vet is a program that matches veteran volunteers with veterans in need of psychological support, mainly addressing post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and its problems.

The Rotary Club of South Portland/Cape Elizabeth’s President David Lourie says, “We had a presentation from this organization and felt, because of our research and our continuing effort to help Maine veterans, that this group was among those worthy of our support.”

To assist Vet2Vet directly, or to volunteer, contact them at 207-571-5512 or [email protected]


The St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish has reached its “Alive in Hope” Capital Campaign fundraising goal of $700,000, enabling the parish to fund several construction projects at its three churches: St. Catherine of Sienna Church of Norway, Our Lady of Ransom Church of Mechanic Falls and St. Mary Church of Oxford.


Work at St. Catherine of Sienna Church will include installing a lift, accessible from the parking lot, to help bring people up to the main church and down to the parish hall; adding a handicap accessible restroom in the parish hall; removal of an archway blocking stained glass from view; painting of interior walls in the church and parish hall; to install acoustical tile ceiling with insulation, a new floor, heat pumps and air conditioning; to construct a new office space; for restroom renovations; upgrades the speaker system and the parish kitchen; to restripe the parking lot; to install new LED lighting; and to replace malfunctioning doors.

Projects at Our Lady of Ransom Church include major renovations in the worship area, like elevating the altar area, installing hardwood flooring and a new acoustical ceiling, adding a decorative wall for the tabernacle, pews, stained glass windows and a glass wall between the worship area and the narthex; creation of an entrance foyer; installation of new siding; construction of a new sacristy with sink and cabinetry; improvements to the parking lot and property; and new cabinets, counter tops and upgrades in the parish hall.

At St. Mary Church, the tin ceiling will be repainted along with other needed maintenance and improvements.


The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District is accepting kindergarten registrations through the month of March for Wells and Ogunquit children who plan to attend school during the 2020-2021 school year.

Children, who are age 5 on or before Oct. 15, are eligible to enroll. A Parent Information Night will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. April 2 at the Wells Elementary School cafeteria. Childcare will not be available.


Parents can find all needed details and the necessary registrations forms at bit.ly/weskinder and can fill out and drop off that paperwork at the Wells Elementary office between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. throughout March. If necessary, forms also can be picked up as requested by calling the school at 646-5953.


The Maine Community Foundation’s Fund for Maine Land Conservation (MCFFMLC) has awarded more than $178,105 in grants to 23 organizations to support conservation projects across Maine.

Grantees include: Frenchman Bay Conservancy, to use a new tool to engage Ellsworth residents in discussions and intentional planning around growth, business, land use, housing and conservation; Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, to support a planning year for Relearning Place Intensive Program, a semester-length program for emerging environmental leaders grounded in conservation and place; and Town of Grand Isle, to conduct planning for a community nature conservation and outdoor recreation initiative for greater accessibility and to secure funding for implementation and sustainability.

The MCFFMLC seeks to support projects that encourage preservation of Maine land using four objectives: to help preserve traditional uses of land and working landscapes; provide for continued public access and recreational use; protect sensitive ecological areas; and promote greater appreciation of the environment.

Changes are being made to the conservation grant program at MaineCF. The new criteria and guidelines will be released, along with the new application, by July 1, and the next deadline to apply will be Sept. 15.


For a complete list of 2019 grants or more details, go to mainecf.org.


St. Rose of Lima Parish is hosting a Lenten season warming center from 2 to 6 p.m. each Friday through April 10 at the parish hall at 1 Church St.

The Lenten season warming center will provide a warm place for people to gather, socialize and enjoy a hot drink. Different parish groups will host free community suppers at 4:30 p.m. each week. And, the Tri-Town Ministerial Food Cupboard and free store, also located onsite, will be open from 2 to 4 p.m.

Additionally, the parish has partnered with the Healthy Community Coalition of Farmington to teach a four-week SNAP-Ed nutrition class, meeting from 3 to 4 p.m. each Friday, March 6, 13 and 20 at the center. The course will end with the attendees cooking a community supper on March 27.

The warming center and suppers are free and open to the public, but freewill donations are appreciated.


For more details, call Max Becher at 897-2173, ext. 1205, or email [email protected]


The Town of Falmouth has posted its seasonal road ban, limiting vehicles that exceed weight loads of more than 23,000 pounds, in order to prevent road damage.

The following roads are closed to heavy vehicle loads through April 3: Foreside Road (from Depot Road to Johnson Road), Ledgewood Drive, Merrill Road, Middle Road (from Woods Road to the Cumberland Town Line), Pleasant Hill Road and Woodville Road (from Woods Road to Falmouth Road).

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