Elementary students exceed reading goal, eat lunch with special guests
Wells Elementary School students participated in the reading incentive program “Get Fired Up For Reading” this spring, logging a combined total of 170,000 minutes of reading in one month’s time and far exceeding their original goal by over 97,000 minutes.
Principal Kyle Burnell said students did a phenomenal job with this reading challenge. “Getting kids excited about reading and working toward a common goal brought a positive atmosphere to the school,” he said. “I am proud of our kids for the work they did to achieve their goal.”
To track student progress, a large, colorful, paper dragon’s head was created and displayed on one of the school’s first-floor hallways, with parents and community volunteers adding one colorful scale to the dragon’s body and tail for every 20 minutes of reading time logged by students. By the end of the four-week program, the dragon’s body and tail were complete and stretched prominently down the hallway. Students were rewarded for their hard work and dedication by having lunch with various Wells and Ogunquit police, fire and rescue personnel.

Bridge replacement proposals to be presented to public
Two proposed designs for the replacement of the Drakes Island Road Bridge will be presented at a public meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Wells Town Office.
Access to the meeting, including the ability to ask questions and make comments in real time, also will be available via Zoom.
Wells Public Works Director Carol Murray said the date of the meeting was changed from April to include a full hydrologic and hydraulic analysis.
“This work took longer than anticipated, but it is now complete and provides a very thorough analysis of both the existing and proposed conditions at this site,” Murray said.
Murray added that the hydraulic conditions at the bridge and in the surrounding wetlands are a very important part of the project, since those conditions will impact the height of the bridge.
“Having this information available for the second public meeting is critical,” Murray added.
CMA Engineers will present two different designs, along with an analysis of the effects of doing nothing. This “no-build” analysis is always created for an engineering project to provide a benchmark situation against which to compare the build alternatives.
The Zoom link will be posted on the town home page one week before the meeting; pre-registration is not required. People who would like the meeting link emailed directly to them can provide their email address to [email protected].

Liberty Mutual volunteers at the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust
About 50 volunteers from Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s “Serve with Liberty” program spruced up the grounds of the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust on May 12. Island cleanup, trail clearing, landscaping, brush removal, weatherproofing outdoor furniture and getting the KCT boats ready for the season were just a few of the tasks completed throughout the day.
This was the 11th year regional Liberty Mutual employees have volunteered time to work at the trust. “Serve with Liberty” is Liberty Mutual’s global employee community service program where employees from all over the world work with partner charities on projects in a variety of ways. Known as “Liberty Torchbearers,” all employees are encouraged to do a day of volunteering in April or May each year.

Kennebunkport launches anti-speeding campaign
The Kennebunkport Police Department is launching a new traffic safety campaign this spring and summer, focused on promoting safer driving. Yellow, solar-powered digital signs displaying “your speed” have been placed in areas where high speeds are often an issue.
“The signs are an expansion of our ongoing traffic enforcement efforts,” said police Chief Craig Sanford. “We are always looking for ways to add to our enforcement tool belt.”
In addition to displaying drivers’ speed, the new signs will also collect speed and traffic data, allowing the department to measure their effectiveness and enhance the overall speed control efforts.
“Although Kennebunkport’s rates of speeding are on par with the communities around us, we take the safety of our community seriously,” Sanford said.
The signs are part of a larger campaign effort to promote safe driving in Kennebunkport, “No Need to Speed!” Sanford’s goal for the campaign is to seek improved voluntary compliance with speed and road laws, especially during busier summer months.
To help spread the word, free lawn signs are available with three designs. The signs are now available to pick up (one per household) at the town hall or the police station.

10 community college students awarded Leon A. Gorman Endowed Scholarships
Ten Maine community college students were awarded scholarships in honor of Leon A. Gorman for the 2023-2024 academic year during a May 15 online ceremony with Gorman family members and L.L. Bean leadership.
Now in its eighth year, the Leon A. Gorman Scholarship supports three students at Southern Maine Community College, two at Central Maine Community College and one at five other colleges. Each of the 10 Leon A. Gorman Scholars received an award in the amount of $3,500, which equals more than a full year of tuition at a Maine community college. Scholars who receive the Free College Scholarship will receive a $2,000 scholarship.
The scholarship was established in 2014 by the children of Leon and Lisa Gorman in honor of Mr. Gorman’s 80th birthday. The scholarship supports Maine community college students who demonstrate strong academic achievement, financial need and a commitment to community service – a hallmark of the scholarship’s namesake.
“This year’s 10 Leon Gorman Scholars are simply amazing. They have families, jobs and personal challenges, all while excelling in their academics,” Lisa Gorman said. “My family and I are honored to recognize their hard work, commitment and dedication to their community with the Leon A. Gorman Scholarship. I know Leon would have been proud of them and proud to have these students represent his legacy.”
The 2023 Leon A. Gorman Scholars are: Mya Crowell of Greene and Reese McAtee of Lisbon, both at Central Maine Community College; Katahdin Javnar of Chester at Eastern Maine Community College; Kayla Brown of Fairfield at Kennebec Valley Community College; Tori Drost of Presque Isle at Northern Maine Community College; Gilon Backlund of Harrison, Rokaya Hobbi of Waterville and Tashia Taylor of Brunswick, all at Southern Maine Community College; Kristin Crowley of Bath at Washington County Community College; and Mary Weaver of Seabrook, N.H., at York County Community College.
“We are so honored that Leon Gorman’s family created an endowed scholarship program in his name. The 10 students we honor today were selected for their academic achievement and service to their college and community,” said Maine Community College System President David Daigler.

Piano, strings students compete in Pine Tree Music Competition
The Maine Music Teachers Association, an affiliate of the Music Teachers National Association, hosted its Biennial Pine Tree Music Competition on May 13 in the Class of 1944 Hall at the University of Maine at Orono.
The nonprofit organization comprises 24,000 independent and collegiate music teachers committed to advancing the value of music study and music-making to society, and to supporting the professionalism of music teachers.
Piano and string students from across Maine competed in the Elementary, Junior and Senior categories. The winners of each category include:
Early Elementary Piano Division: 1st place, Joy Hiebeler of Orono, student of Jessica Mehr; 2nd place, Castine Carter-Kunz of Orono, student of Amy Irish; and 3rd place, Loic Putzeys of Orono, student of Jessica Mehr.
Early Elementary Strings Division: Honorable mention, Anna Baumann of Yarmouth, student of Yasmin Vitalius.
Late Elementary Piano Division: 1st place, Clara Hasbrouck of Cumberland, student of Christine Kissack; 2nd place, Zoe Chan of Falmouth, student of Elizabeth Manduca; 3rd place, Sylvia Ruge of Winterport, student of Patricia Stowell; and honorable mention, Lena Asali of Scarborough, student of Elizabeth Manduca.
Late Elementary Strings Division: 1st place, Mary Philbrick of Alna, student of Yasmin Vitalius; 2nd place, Thomas Bailey of Stetson, student of Sascha Lorimer/Jim Bailey; and 3rd place, Abigail Riley of Bangor, student of Anatole Wieck.
Junior Piano Division: 1st place, Milei Kido of Bangor, student of Patricia Stowell; and 2nd place, Ethan Yu of Bangor, student of Ling McLoughlin; 3rd place, Connor Gooch of Falmouth, student of Christine Kissack; and honorable mention, Benjamin Szewc of Hermon, student of Ginger Yang Hwalek.
Junior Strings Division: 1st place, Ami Wolovitz of Camden, student of Josie Davis; 2nd place, Ronan Sands of Eddington, student of Noreen Silver; and 3rd place, Elizabeth Ruggiero of Eddington, student of Anatole Wieck.
Senior Piano Division: 1st place winners Logan Peters and Michael Bostock, both of Falmouth, students of Naydene Bowder; and honorable mentions Jack Derosier of Dedham and Jack Murray of Dover-Foxcroft, students of Ginger Yang Hwalek.
Senior Strings Division: 1st place, Scarlet Labbe-Watson of Rockland, student of Josie Davis, and 2nd place, William Xu of Bangor, student of Noreen Silver.
Founded in 1876, MTNA is the oldest professional music teachers’ association in the United States. For more details, visit www.mainemta.org.

UMaine Extension announces updated interactive plant sales map for 2023
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program’s interactive plant sales map has been updated just in time for planting season.
The 2023 Spring Plant Sale Fundraisers in Maine map allows users to search for plant sales throughout the state by location, date or name in alphabetical order. The listings also include garden tours.
Find more information about the map and how to add a plant sale on the UMaine Extension website.
Another timely resource is the UMaine Extension free downloadable publication “Best Practices for Plant Sale Donors and Buyers in Maine.” Being an informed plant sale donor or buyer reduces the chance of spreading invasive pests and helps raise funds for organizations running sales, like garden clubs, land trusts and conservation groups.
More information is available on the Extension Garden and Yard website, or by contacting 353-5550 or email [email protected]

Chamber of Commerce hires customer service specialist
Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce welcomed Deborah Hellman as its new customer service specialist. She replaces Katelyn Hood, who worked for the chamber for just under one year.
Hellman earned an associate degree in applied science in aviation administration followed by a 25-year career in the aviation industry, focusing on passenger service and ground handling operations. More recently, she was an innkeeper at two prestigious bed-and-breakfast establishments in Portland, relocating to central Maine in 2022.
Hellman’s new duties as customer service specialist will include human resources, collections, supplies and equipment maintenance, and general administrative duties. She also will participate in many of the chamber’s signature events.
Mid-Maine Chamber President and CEO Kimberly Lindlof said Hellman is a shining example of one who chooses the quality of life that our region has to offer.
“We are delighted to have her join our growing team of doers,” Lindlof said. “She greets everyone that she meets with a smile on her face and a willingness to assist.”
Hellman resides in Winslow.

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