The Auburn-Lewiston Rotary Breakfast Club has donated $5,500 toward the development of the YMCA’s Outdoor Education & Learning Center. The gift is the club’s largest single-year contribution in the history of its community giving, which over its 25-year history totals over $459,000 to local and international charitable organizations. The donation will be used for construction of an open-air pavilion and trail kiosk at the 93-acre center, located along Stetson and River Roads in Auburn.
The City of Lewiston will conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of its new amphitheater in Simard Payne Memorial Park on Friday, June 24 at 4:30 p.m. Following the ribbon cutting, there will be a brief program featuring performances by Ninth Tone Voice Studios, L-A Community Little Theatre, and the Maine Music Society. The event is free and open to the public. The park is located at 46 Beech Street.
Partly funded by a $900,000 Economic Development Initiative grant, the amphitheater was a recommendation of Lewiston’s 2012 Riverfront Island Master Plan, reflecting the community’s desire to see the riverfront utilized to its fullest potential, including recreational uses.
Saint Dominic Academy has announced that Marianne Pelletier, the school’s current director of enrollment, has been named the new principal of the Lewiston (Pre-K through Grade 6) campus, effective July 1. She replaces Donald Bilodeau, who announced his retirement as a full-time administrator in February.
Maine Writes poetry students from Edward Little High School recently participated in a live poetry slam competition in the Bronx, New York City. The students are part of a class that has received a free, full-year, 30-week poetry residency from L/A Arts.
After a 26-year career with the Lewiston Police Department, Chief Mike Bussiere has announced his retirement, effective July 17. Bussiere has accepted a command-level position with a police department in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“While I soon will be moving away from Lewiston, the city that I was born and raised in, a part of me will always remain behind, and I will forever be a cheerleader for this great city,” said Bussiere. “I leave knowing that the men and women of the LPD are some of the best law enforcement professionals in the State of Maine and that they will continue to serve the city with honor, integrity, and pride.”
During Bussiere’s tenure as Chief of Police, crime in Lewiston has been reduced by over 40%, in part through a series of crime reduction strategies involving “hot spot policing,” which he introduced in 2012. After four years, Operation Hot Spots has not only reduced crime, but has increased public awareness, education, community outreach, and partnerships. The effort has been so successful that the Department was recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and received a grant for $150,000 to expand the program, which has become a model for other law enforcement agencies in the State.
Governor LePage, Maine lawmakers, and representatives from Oxford Casino and Churchill Downs Incorporated gathered at Oxford Casino in Oxford recently to break ground on the casino’s new hotel development. The $25 million capital project includes expansion of the existing Oxford Casino facility and will feature over 100 new guest rooms, including standard rooms and suites, additional dining options, an expansion of the gaming floor and new, flexible meeting and banquet space.
Lost Valley in Auburn will open its new Adventure Park on Thursday, June 16, with an official grand opening on Monday, June 20. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place that day at 4:30 p.m. The park represents the first phase in the plan of new owners Scott and April Shanaman to bring four-season family entertainment to their facility at 200 Lost Valley Road.
Summer activities at the park will include wet and dry inflatable slides, with the addition of a rock climbing wall, euro bungee and a spider climb slated for this season, and more activities to come with future expansion. Gifford’s ice cream will be the featured cool treat at the Lodge Snack Bar.
By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
“School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
Celebration Barn Theater will present a fusion of dance, circus, story and music in the form of Molly Gawler’s “Droplet Dance” on Saturday, June 11 at 8 p.m.
Molly Gawler grew up on Buttermilk Hill on a small farm in Maine. She has danced from a young age, studying ballet, modern and improvisational dance, and eventually began working with Pilobolus Dance Theater in 2006. Soon thereafter, she was a part of the Academy Awards “Oscars” of 2007 and began collaboratively creating many theatrical shadow projects. The culmination of that work was her lead role as “the dog girl” in Pilobolus’ “Shadowland,” a full-length show that toured the world.