By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
This week my wife and I attended our favorite yearly mayoral function, Lewiston High School’s graduation ceremony. It is heartening to watch these graduates approach the stage as children and exit, diplomas in hand, as adults.
During the ceremony some members of the graduating class were honored for their academic achievement. Several of these awards were very prestigious. Those in attendance were informed that many of these award winners would be attending top rate colleges in the fall.
The journey for Kyle Doustou began at home in Lewiston, where as a nine-year-old he used to “play Mass” using a plug-in Christmas candle, crackers, and Kool-Aid.
On May 30, the child’s dream became a reality when Doustou was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert P. Deeley at the Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul in Lewiston. The first priest ordained by the bishop since his installation in February, Doustou, at age 26, also become the youngest priest in the Diocese of Portland, which covers the entire state of Maine.
“It’s really the one thing I’ve always wanted in life,” said Doustou of his ordination.
The 2013 State Champion Lewiston Lady Her-ricanes softball team, coached by Mitch Poulin and Greg Smith, took second place honors in the ASA 2014 Bulldog I Invitational Tournament for ages 14 and under, contested recently in Waterville. After playing seven games, the Lady Her-ricanes lost 5-4 in the title game against the North Country Explosion.
The Lady Her-ricanes outscored their opponents 81 to 28 in the tournament. Team “Player of the Tournament” honors went to Giana Russo for her batting performance, making a total of 24 plate appearances without a strikeout.
Among the sixteen retiring University of Southern Maine faculty and staff members who were awarded emeritus or emerita status at USM’s 134th Commencement this year was a founding faculty member of Lewiston-Auburn College.
Betty Robinson of Auburn, associate professor emerita of leadership and organizational studies, was an original faculty member when the college was founded in 1988. She later served as dean of the college from 1996-2003, a longer tenure than any other LAC dean. Her strong vision for LAC included developing a faculty committed to interdisciplinary learning, community connection and career preparation.
USM’s Franco-American Collection will host a Franco-American History Fair on Saturday, June 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College. The event will feature exhibits from Maine historical societies, libraries, museums and genealogical groups with a Franco-American connection.
Larry Gowell of Auburn has been selected by the Boston Red Sox to sing the National Anthem at their game at Fenway Park on Sunday, July 6, designated by the team as this year’s “Maine Day.” A former major league pitcher in the New York Yankees system, Gowell on October 4, 1972 became the last American League pitcher to get a hit before the designated hitter rule was implemented the following season. A lifelong music lover, Gowell has been concentrating recently on developing a career as a professional singer. His Fenway appearance on July 6 will make him the first major league player ever to sing the National Anthem at a major league park.
Maine Community Health Options (MCHO) has been selected by the City of Lewiston as the recipient of an Economic Achievement Award in recognition of its accomplishments in its inaugural year on Maine’s health insurance marketplace. The award was presented to MCHO CEO Kevin Lewis at the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council’s Annual Dinner on May 21 at the Ramada Inn of Lewiston.
“Each year the Lewiston City Council, administration, and Development Department staff identify companies or individuals who have had a significant positive economic impact in Lewiston,” said Lewiston Economic and Community Development Director Lincoln Jeffers. “The award is being given to MCHO in recognition of the 80% market share their well-developed plans earned in the health insurance marketplace and of the company’s phenomenal growth, both in the number of employees and space occupied, since its founding.”
Among those taking part in the Memorial Day Parade on Saturday, May 24 were Auburn City Councilor Tizz Crowley and U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran Timothy P. Dotts. Crowley wore a mourning dress typical of the post-Civil War era and Dotts was dressed in the guise of medical doctor Oren Horr, who served as a surgeon during the Civil War. Upon the war’s end, Horr returned to Lewiston and opened a practice on Pine Street.
The Federal Communications Commission recently authorized Gleason Media to begin broadcasting at 105.5 FM. This has paved the way for Gleason’s to become the first FM radio station licensed for the Lewiston-Auburn area that locates their studio in the Twin Cities; other stations licensed for the area broadcast from Portland.
Broadcasting as “the new Z105.5 – The Pulse of L-A,” the station features a “storefront studio” at 555 Center Street in Auburn, reminiscent of the one seen on the TV show “Northern Exposure.” The studio is not sound-proof and, at times, listeners can hear actual background noise, such as sirens, coming from the street outside.
The station’s “community” format emphasizes local news and events. Their morning “Breakfast Club” program features guests from local businesses and organizations, their local newscasts include excerpts from city council meetings, and they are the only station in the area to broadcast high school sports. When not hearing community news, listeners can expect to hear a blend of hits from today back to the 80s. The station can also be accessed live online at Z1055.com.