Writing contest winners announced
Wells-Ogunquit Community School District announced the winners of its 36th annual Literary Achievement Awards.
Senior student Andrew Mott placed first overall and received a $500 prize in the Grade 12 category for his fiction work titled “The Woman from the 85th Story.” Mott described the short story as “full of imagery and little metaphors.”
This year, 192 students entered the contest, with 66 of them placing. The two-tiered judging process was overseen by district staff and community members. Students entered various forms of creative writing including fiction and non-fiction.
Other first place winners are: Arianna Martinelli, kindergarten; Vivienne LaPlante, grade 1; Bradley Martin, grade 2; Mary Abbott, grade 3; Elsa Lawson, grade 4; Robert Roche, grade 5; Taylor VonSteenburg, grade 6; London Chadwick, grade 7; Ainslie Donovan, grade 8; Elizabeth Nichols, grade 9; Samuel Coleman, grade 10; and Summer Sullivan, grade 11.
With the exception of Mott, the top winners at each level received $100. Second-place recipients received $50 and third-place recipients received $25. This year honorable mentions received $15 gift certificates to Las Olas Taqueria. The names of the winners can be found at k12wocsd.net/community/literary-awards.

YCCC inducts students into honors society
The following local students have been inducted into York County Community College’s PTK Honors Society: Rachel Fletcher and Alyssa Sansoucy, of Alfred; Casey Clark of Auburn; Ella Moya, Destiny Tasker, and Rory Thibeau, of Berwick; Amanda Foster and Matthew Ryan, of Biddeford; Andrew Usher of Buxton; Sarah Bohan, Kylie Campbell, Pamela Meads, and Adam Miller, of Kennebunk; Abigail Lord of Kennebunkport; Matthew McIntyre and Cheyanna Torres, of Kittery; Kiersten Hauschild and Amy Raymond, of North Waterboro; James Black of Ogunquit; Melissa Pelletier of Old Orchard Beach; Hannah Gagnon, Demitri Stern, and Isaac Young of Saco; Tamara Ackerman, Chanelle Areola, Heather Lawrence, Katryna Smith, and Trisha Welch, of Sanford; Faith Barrett, Jennifer Beattie, Jennifer Cole, of Shapleigh; Johanna Ruggs of Springvale; Katherine Wilder of South Berwick; Hannah Tufts of Wells; and Megan Milburn and Arie Thompson, of York.

Seven named for Students of the Year
The Maine Community College System has recognized seven students as 2022 Students of the Year for their academic success and campus and community involvement on their respective campuses around the state.
Ryan Ashby of Mapleton, Suzanne Hanvey of Saco, Graca Muzela of Auburn, Julia Noel of Sabattus, Rebecca Peters of Lincoln, Tyler Sar of Sanford, and Kristin Wallaker of New Portland were honored for their achievements in a hybrid Zoom/in-person event that included college staff, family and friends.
• Ryan Ashby is enrolled in Northern Maine Community College’s business administration program. When a serious motor vehicle accident nearly sidelined his education, the faculty and staff at NMCC worked with him to make sure he could finish his course work as he recovered, earning his degree online. Ashby is a volunteer at his local church and uses his journey to motivate others. After graduation, he plans to transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree, pursue his MBA, and work in the area of employee development or operations and management.
• Suzanne Hanvey is enrolled in Southern Maine Community College’s liberal studies program with a concentration in science. She is president of both the Community Service Club and the Hiking and Foraging Club; serves on the Student Senate and SMCC’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society while maintaining a near-perfect GPA. A certified behavioral health professional, Hanvey spends 20-40 hours a week working with children who have behavioral health challenges. She plans to graduate from SMCC in spring 2023 and continue her education with the goal of a career preserving natural habitats for animals in threatened areas.
• Graca Muzela is enrolled in Washington County Community College’s residential and commercial electricity program. Originally from Angola, he volunteer to provide public agencies with guidance on culturally and linguistically appropriate messaging around COVID-19 for immigrants, refugees and BIPOC communities, and delivering food and providing transportation to school-aged children. Muzela is a resident assistant at WCCC. He plans to get his journeyman electrician license and pursue a degree in electrical engineering.
• Julia Noel is enrolled in Central Maine Community College’s early childhood education program. She is a member of the women’s soccer team and volunteers with Andro United, an indoor youth soccer program in Lewiston. Noel is a resident assistant and committed to improving the residential experience for students at CMCC. She is an academic mentor to younger players on the soccer team and helps organize team involvement in the community. Noel plans to pursue a career in education with pre-K children after graduation.
• Rebecca Peters is enrolled in Eastern Maine Community College’s criminal justice program. In addition to her studies, she and her husband have four sons ranging in age from 12-20. Peters completed the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA) Phase I and II programs, while taking courses at EMCC. She became certified to be a police officer in Maine two months before graduating and was sworn in as a full-time officer with the Lincoln Police Department in February. Peters is now completing her field officer training and plans to complete her Basic Law Enforcement Training at MCJA.
• Tyler Sar is enrolled in York County Community College’s criminal justice program. A first-generation college student, he was named top of his class in the Maine Criminal Justice Corrections Academy. With his degree in criminal justice in YCCC, and successful completion of academy training, Sar has been hired as a corrections officer at the York County Sheriff’s Department. He hopes to work with offenders to reduce recidivism and the negative impact of incarceration.
• Kristin Wallaker is enrolled in Kennebec Valley Community College’s electrical technology program. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, was on the 2021 All–Maine Academic Team, and was honored as Maine’s New Century Scholar. A single mother, Wallaker said she’s learning the skills to pursue many possibilities in a high-demand, well-paying field, from opening her own business or joining a company. She is employed at RLC Engineering as a protection and control designer and plans to return to KVCC part-time to pursue her business degree.
These students were selected by faculty and staff at their respective colleges for their academic success and campus and community involvement. Each student additionally received a John and Jana Lapoint Leadership Award in the amount of $1,000. The Lapoints both served as trustees of the Maine Community College System. After John Lapoint’s death in 1995, Jana Lapoint helped establish the fund for the annual awards.

Leaf bag collection on Friday
The town’s spring leaf bag collection will be held Friday. All filled leaf bags must be left at the curb by 7 a.m. to ensure collection.
Leaf bags are available at the Public Works Office at 101 Woods Road in quantities of 12 per resident while supplies last.
Brush will not be collected curbside, but can be brought to the Falmouth Transfer Station. Please do not put brush or trash in leaf bags.
For more details, call the Public Works Office at 781-3919.

Jameson School registration open for pre-K, kindergarten
Pre-K and kindergarten registration is now open for students who plan to attend Jameson School during the 2022-23 school year.
Parents can complete the registration at jameson.rsu23.org. A parent information session will be held May 19 – pre-K will start at 5:30 p.m., followed by the kindergarten session at 6 p.m.

Audubon makes special backpacks for birders
York County Audubon has established a Birding Backpack program that donates complete birding kits to local libraries. After a successful trial at the Kennebunk Free Library, they are now making the kits available to libraries throughout York County.
This project is being done in memory of the late Pat Moynahan, who was treasured by the Maine birding community and served on the York County Audubon’s Board of Directors for 25 years. Donations received by York County Audubon in Moynahan’s memory are being dedicated to supporting the Birding Backpack program.
Each backpack kit includes binocular, birding guides for bird identification, birding checklists for children and adults,  where to look for birds, and maps of local land trusts and trails.
The following libraries now have Birding Backpacks: McArthur Public Library of Biddeford, Kennebunk Free Library, D.A. Hurd Library of North Berwick, Dyer Library of Saco, Louis B. Goodall Memorial Library of Sanford, and the Waterboro Public Library. Patron of these libraries or those in their borrowing network, are invited to request a kit.
For more information, go to yorkcountyaudubon.org.

Churches collect over 6,000 pounds of food during drive
Parishioners at St. John Paul II Parish (St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, Scarborough; Holy Cross Church, South Portland; St. Bartholomew Church, Cape Elizabeth) collected and donated 6,208 pounds of canned goods and packaged food were donated during a “40 Cans for Lent” campaign that was conducted by Knights of Columbus Councils No.2344, No.8144, and No.11747.
All the proceeds were donated to the South Portland Food Cupboard.
For more details on how to help the food cupboard or for distribution schedules, visit southportlandfoodcupboard.org or call 874-0379.

Bank donates over $550,000 to nonprofits
While the pandemic continues to affect communities across the state, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution has ramped up its efforts to give back to local organizations across Southern Maine. The bank donated $595,013 to more than 350 charities and nonprofits in 2021, providing support for food insecurity, animal welfare programs, heating assistance, mental health services and more.
Rather than focus on one specific area of need, the bank chose to support as many organizations as possible, including Animal Welfare Society, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Day One, and Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.
“We recognized that many nonprofits were struggling with fundraising efforts, and we made it a priority to assist them,” said Bob Quentin, president  and CEO of Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution. “We are proud to support so many causes throughout our community. The work of these organizations inspires us, and we thank them for their commitment to the people of Maine.”

Solar developer gives $100,000 for nature conservation
ReWild Renewables, LLC has made a $100,000 gift to The Nature Conservancy to invest in rewilding lands around the world, including Maine. The gift will help to conserve four unique and ecologically important pieces of land, each of which have been identified by the conservancy as among the highest value lands for “habitat connectivity, climate resilience and ecosystem biodiversity.”
“ReWild is a Solar 2.0 company. As the industry matures, we are leading the way on ensuring that our company holistically approaches the fight against climate change by reducing carbon emissions and protecting biodiversity,” said Patrick Jackson, senior vice president of business.
ReWild’s gift will support the protection of the following tracks: In Maine, the High Peaks Region and the Boundary Mountains Preserve are creating major pathways of ecological connection and resilience as the climate warms.
In the High Peaks Region, more than 13,500 acres – between two parcels known as Quill Hill and Perham Stream – will be added to nearly 100,000 acres of connected, conserved lands.
The Boundary Mountains Preserve, nearly 10,000 acres adjacent to more than 22,000 acres of public lands in Quebec, extends a corridor of permanently conserved lands northward to a total of over 260,000 acres and is a key link in a major pathway of ecological connection from the White Mountains in New Hampshire through the western Maine mountains and Quebec borderlands and beyond.

filed under: