In light of the post-holiday surge of COVID-19 infections in Maine, the presidents of Maine’s seven community colleges are deciding locally whether to delay the start of in-person classes for the spring semester.

College presidents have the flexibility to adjust the spring semester based on local circumstances, according to David Daigler, president of the Maine Community College System. Delaying in-person instruction is an effective way to minimize face-to-face contact while infection rates are higher and helps protect the health of students, faculty and staff.

“Each president needs to decide, based on their local and regional conditions, whether it’s appropriate to take this step to protect the health of their college community and ensure sufficient staffing to operate smoothly,” Daigler said in a Jan. 13 news release.

As of Jan. 13, Southern Maine Community College is the only community college in the system to delay in-person instruction, by one week. Instead, Southern Maine Community College in-person classes will be held remotely for the first week of the spring semester, which began Tuesday, Jan. 18. The affected classes are currently scheduled to return to in-person instruction on Monday, Jan. 24.

All Maine community college students attending class in-person or going on campus must be vaccinated and boosted under the system’s COVID safety protocols. Students who are fully remote and are never inside a campus facility do not need proof of vaccination.

Travis Mills Foundation to honor Vietnam era veterans

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In recognition of National Vietnam War Veteran Day, the Travis Mills Foundation is holding a Vietnam Era Veterans Breakfast at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 30 at the Augusta Armory, 179 Western Ave., Augusta.

“While the foundation’s main mission is to serve post-9/11 veterans, I’m an ardent supporter of Vietnam era veterans and this event is a way for me to say ‘Thank you’ and ‘Welcome home’ to these heroes,” said Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, founder of the Travis Mills Foundation, in a Jan. 13 news release.

The event is free, but folks are required to RSVP by visiting https://give.classy.org/travismillsbreakfast and is limited to one veteran and guest. Veterans from throughout the state are invited. Mills will address his fellow veterans at the event, which will also include a ceremony and other speakers.

Wason Associates negotiates sale of Hampton Inn

Wason Associates Hospitality Real Estate Brokerage Group announced the successful sale of the Hampton Inn located in South Portland, to the Tolley Group. The Tolley Group purchased the 117-unit inn on Nov. 17, 2021. Joe Cardillo and Earle Wason represented the seller and presented the property.

At the junction of interstates 95 and 295, the Hampton Inn serves as lodging for visitors in the South Portland area.

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According to  a Jan. 13 news release, ” … the Hampton Inn has been noted as one of the largest hotel franchises in the world with over 2,500 properties and more than 20,000 rooms across the United States. The hotel sits in a profitable location in South Portland, offering The Maine Mall nearby restaurants to visitors within walking distance. To add to its convenient location, just six miles away visitors will find attractions such as the Old Port, the Portland Museum of Art, and Willard Beach. However, the Hampton Inn is most popular for its proximity to the Portland International Jetport, at a mere seven-minute drive away.”

The Hampton Inn also offers amenities such as: free hot breakfast, parking, WiFi, indoor pool, fitness center, business center, and pet-friendly rooms.

“Due to its location feel, the Hampton Inn of South Portland, Maine, has performed well in the market” said Earle Wason, president of Wason Associates, in an email. “It is an ideal stay for guests or families in or out of the area who may need a place to stay before taking a trip at the Portland International Jetport or are just in town to explore the amenities that South Portland has to offer. We are very pleased to oversee transactions such as these that clearly benefit all parties involved.”

Department of education, community colleges offer free college courses

Maine adults seeking to pursue college have a new option to jumpstart their education with support from a local Maine adult education program. A new partnership between the Maine Community College System and the Maine Department of Education will offer tuition-free college courses to Maine’s adult education students.

For more information, visit the Maine Department of Education Newsroom.

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