Maine CASA to hold training March 11-15

Interested in advocating for the best interests of a child? The Maine Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program is holding its spring training for volunteer advocates on March 11-15.

This free, five-day training is designed to prepare attendees for certification as volunteer guardians ad litem (GALs) in Maine child protection cases. Trainees may participate virtually or in person. For those who wish to participate in person, the training will be held in Augusta. Accommodations may be available.

The foundation of a CASA’s work is learning about the case and then advising the court what the CASA believes is in the child’s best interest. CASAs come from a wide variety of professional and personal backgrounds and are guided throughout the process by CASA program staff. CASAs bring their own unique perspectives to their work as volunteers.

If you are willing to advocate for a child’s best interests, apply to become a CASA volunteer. Those interested in the training must complete an application and, if invited to participate, must also complete criminal and child protection services background checks.

For more information about becoming a volunteer, contact Maine CASA at 213-2865 or by e-mail at


Ferry Beach Retreat and Conference Center in Saco introduces Brunch by the Beach

Join Ferry Beach for its Brunch By the Beach program which takes place every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through May 12.

Brunch is a self-serve, all-you-can-eat buffet with a wide variety of breakfast and lunch items from sausages, pancakes, pastries, bacon, an omelette station to mac and cheese, lasagna, sandwich & salad bars and so much more! Menu items will vary from week to week but are posted on Ferry Beach’s website. Registration is required to attend. Tickets are $22 for adults, $11 for youth and free for children under 4 with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information and to buy your tickets visit:

Brunch is a self-serve, all-you-can-eat buffet with a wide variety of breakfast and lunch items from sausages, pancakes, pastries, bacon, an omelette station to mac and cheese, lasagna, sandwich & salad bars and so much more. Registration is required to attend. Tickets are $22 for adults, $11 for youth and free for children under 4 with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information and to buy your tickets, visit:

Sen. Bailey welcomes Saco Middle School Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest winners to Maine Senate

State Sen. Donna Bailey welcomes Saco Middle School contest winners to the State House in Augusta. Courtesy photo

AUGUSTA ­­— State Sen. Donna Bailey, D-Saco, recently welcomed Saco Middle School Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest winners to the Senate Chamber. Seventh-graders Aislyn Cassidy, Aaron Garland, Juniper L’Italien, Tucker Vincent, Spencer Pahigian, Natalie Chaplin, Abigail Cashin, Amara Doe, Charlotte Ramsay and Eleanor Studtman are the team members and teacher Lindsay Girard is the coach.


“These bright students, under the guidance of their teacher, created a truly amazing product,” Bailey said. “Biodegradable, sustainable and refillable markers offer a solution to a big problem: the hundreds of millions of markers that end up in a landfill every single year. I am deeply impressed with them, and I wish them the very best as they advance to the national competition in the coming weeks.”

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow is a national competition that challenges students in grades six through 12 to use their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills to address real-world issues in their communities and affect positive social change.

The Saco Middle School team prevailed over their high school competitors and secured a $12,000 Samsung prize package, a video kit to assist in the national competition, and a designated Samsung Employee Mentor. The team will now advance to the national competition as the sole middle school among the six state finalists.

To monitor the team’s progress and vote in April, follow the Facebook pages @SacoMiddleSchool and @SacoSchools and the Instagram page @SacoSchools.

Bailey also presented the team with a legislative sentiment, which acknowledges and recognizes academic, athletic, civic, professional or service-related accomplishments.

Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center to hold music hall of fame


The Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center will holdGreater Biddeford-Saco Music Hall of Fame Ceremony and Inductees for 2024, the first of what they hope will be an annual event. The Greater Biddeford-Saco Music Hall of Fame (GBSMHOF) is dedicated to celebrating, honoring, and preserving the legacy of bands and musicians who entertained and left their mark in the greater Biddeford-Saco area.

2024 Inaugural Greater Biddeford Hall of Fame Inductees include Black Hart Band, The Blend, Dickie and the Ebb Tides, John Lehoux, Ronnie Perreault, and Sweet Grease.

The induction ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on May 5 at the Biddeford Middle School Performing Arts Center. In addition to the six inductees, the event will feature The Hall of Fame All Star Band with Bob Charest as Musical Director. The band will be performing and backing up each inductee on their signature song, which will be played during the ceremony. Local businesses, including Midtown Music, author Ford S. Reiche with his new book “A Long, Long Time Ago Major Rock and Roll Concerts in Southern Maine 1955-1977,” Bill O’Neil from the House of Rock and Roll The Legends AM 1220 and FM 104.3, and others, will also be present. Concessions will be available during the event, and a meet and greet will be held in the cafeteria after the ceremony, allowing time to talk with the new inductees and photo opportunities.

“Music is such an important part of our lives. Most celebrations include family, friends, food, and music. It is part of all cultures and a big part of the culture and history of this area,” said BCHC President, Diane Cyr, “Biddeford-Saco was a center for the arts and music in its early years. It’s important to recognize the influence of music in all our lives. I’m so happy we get to sponsor and be part of this special event.”

For more information or for any questions about the presentations, contact Cyr at or 283-3993.

Tickets are available online until May 4 at 10 pm for $10 at Tickets will be sold at the door the day of the event for $15. Paper tickets are also available and may be purchased at Midtown Music on Elm Street in Biddeford, or by contacting BCHC at 207-283-3993 or via email at


Local author pens 11th book: ‘Ghosts of Ireland: On a Medium’s Vacation’ in time for St. Patrick’s Day

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Rob Gutro of North Berwick, a best-selling author and medium is publishing his 11th book on Feb. 24, the “Ghosts of Ireland on a Medium’s Vacation.” He will also be teaching adult education courses this winter and spring in Sanford and North Berwick.

This is the third book in his popular “Ghosts on a Medium’s Vacation” series. The others include “Ghosts of England on a Medium’s Vacation” and “Ghosts of the Bird Cage Theatre on a Medium’s Vacation.”

TA has new hire

Amy DesRoberts

Amy DesRoberts has joined Thornton Academy as the school’s new development associate and events coordinator. In addition to fundraising, DesRoberts, a 19907 graduate, will focus on community and alumni engagement, which includes growing Thornton’s annual auction, Hall of Fame celebration, and annual Senior Alumni Reunion.

Prior to joining Thornton, DesRoberts was a small business owner in Saco and has been active at the school as a volunteer and parent for many years.


“Amy is perfectly suited for this role, “ said Jennifer Day, Thornton’s director of advancement. “As an alumni, parent, and volunteer, she knows TA exceptionally well and is very well connected in our community.”

Saco Fire Department achieves Premier Blood Partner status for its work with the Red Cross

Saco Fire Department recognized as Premier Blood Partner

Saco Fire Department has been recognized by the American Red Cross as one of its Premier Blood Partners for 2024 for its support of the community and national blood supply.

Last year, Saco Fire Department helped the Red Cross collect 116 blood donations as part of its deep-rooted commitment to help save the lives of patients facing illnesses and injuries in this community and across the country.

“We are proud to be a part of the Red Cross mission that helps ensure lifesaving blood is available for hospital patients in need,” said Saco Fire Department Chief John Duross. “We are grateful to our community members for dedicating their time and energy to such a noble cause.”


Saco Fire Department will host its next Red Cross blood drive on Monday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Fire Station, 271 North St.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood at the Saco Fire Department, visit or call 207-282-3244.

Saco mayor honors TA football team

The Thornton Academy football team was honored by Saco Mayor Jodi MacPhail during the CIty Council meeting on Monday night. The Golden Trojans captured the state football title with a come-from-behind win over Portland last fall.

Saco & Biddeford Savings community support reaches nearly $600,000 in 2023

aco & Biddeford Savings Institution (SBSI), together with Paquin & Carroll Insurance, donated just shy of $600,000 to numerous community organizations in 2023.


Recipients were those that focused on major community needs like providing shelter, food, fuel, mental health services, education and more.

“As a mutual savings bank, we consider it a privilege to support the vital efforts carried out by charitable organizations daily,” said Mark Jones, President & CEO of Saco & Biddeford Savings. “We feel honored to contribute in our own way, and we deeply appreciate the community of individuals engaged with these organizations.”

Seven organizations received gifts: Center for Grieving Children, Good Shepherd Food Bank, My Place Teen Center, NAMI Maine, Preble Street, Habitat for Humanity and Hospice of Southern Maine.

In total, SBSI donated $599,410 to local organizations in 2023. SBSI has supported more than 300 local nonprofits across southern Maine over the last 10 years totaling more than $5.2 million.

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