At the Auburn City Council Meeting on January 5, Cub Scout Pack 111 presented the City of Auburn with a bronze memorial plaque dedicated to the 17 victims of the tragic Auburn nursery fire of 1945. The plaque will be permanently displayed at Auburn City Hall.
Pack 111 is planning a public memorial ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the fire on Saturday, January 31 at 8 a.m. inside the Mausoleum at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Lewiston. Following the ceremony., those attending are invited to gather at The Fortin Group at 9:30 a.m. for coffee and donuts. The Fortin Group is located at the corner of Turner and Center Streets in Auburn. The public is invited to attend both the ceremony and the gathering.
The St. Dom’s community was deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Saint Dominic Academy student Casey Cloutier (age 14) and his father, Ghislain (Gus) Cloutier (age 49), who died in a tragic car accident on Route 202 on the morning of Tuesday, December 30 while on their way to a Junior Varsity hockey tournament.
Although the ninth grader had just enrolled at the school in August, he was already well liked. In the aftermath of the tragedy, friends, teammates and the broader community came together to offer support in a variety of ways. A memory wall was established where friends, teachers, teammates, coaches and family members could post messages and memories, and over 120 students and staff attended Casey and Gus’s funeral in Winthrop on January 6. A memorial Mass was held at St. Dom’s on the following day.
“From the moment you walked through the doors last fall, you became part of the St. Dom’s Family,” said Principal Joline Girouard to the Cloutier Family after the school Mass. “And you always will be.”
On New Year’s Eve, the façade of the former St. Louis Church in New Auburn was bathed in light, signaling a new beginning for the now vacant building that served as the heart of the neighborhood’s Catholic community for nearly 100 years.
The symbolic event was arranged by the building’s new ownership group, Pilotage, consisting of Mary Callahan, Daniel Dube, Christine Holden, Donna LeBrun and Noel Smith. The group, which bought the building for $75 from the Diocese of Portland, plans to engage local residents in an effort to repurpose the structure to play an active, ongoing role in the life of the community.
Lewiston Police Chief Michael Bussiere has appointed Brian O’Malley to the rank of Deputy Police Chief effective January 1. O’Malley is a 25-year veteran of the Lewiston Police Department who has held a variety of positions within the agency, including Patrol Officer, Detective, Patrol Sergeant and, most recently, Sergeant of Detectives in the Criminal Investigations Division.
O’Malley has a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College and attended the Command Training Program at Roger Williams University. He has advanced training certifications in Crisis Negotiation and Practical Homicide Investigations and is a certified Civil Rights Officer. He has received numerous departmental commendations and citations, as well as the Colonel Award from the Maine State Police, the New Hampshire Congressional Law Enforcement Award, and the Community Advocate Award from Androscoggin County Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. He has actively supported Special Olympics of Maine for over 20 years and was inducted as a volunteer into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame.
The Maine Blues Society will host a Winter Blues Bash on Sunday, January 11 from noon to 6 p.m. in the main ballroom of Lewiston’s Ramada Inn. Proceeds from the event will support the MBS and help pay expenses for Maine blues musicians Eric French (solo) and The Blood Orange Martinis (group) to travel to Memphis, Tennessee, from January 20 through 24 to compete in the 31st annual International Blues Challenge. Hosted by the Blues Foundation, the IBC will feature about 250 acts in what is considered to be the largest and most prestigious blues competition in the world.
SeniorsPlus, Western Maine’s designated agency on aging, has partnered with libraries in Oxford County to launch Books on Wheels, a free program that piggybacks on the organization’s food deliveries to lend books, movies and music to homebound recipients of Meals on Wheels.
“Books on Wheels allows those who find it difficult to get around to enjoy the library experience without leaving home,” said Betsy Sawyer-Manter, Executive Director of SeniorsPlus. “Since we were already going into homes to deliver meals, Books on Wheels seemed like a natural fit.”
An all-ages group of students from the Lisbon School District, under the direction of school music teacher Jonathan Pollack, recently presented a performance of Christmas carols for the residents of The Lamp Alzheimer’s Care Residential Facility in Lisbon. Pictured here (l. to r., from front) are Pollock and student performers Elise Smith, Emily Chapman, Sophia McFadden, Abigail Cunningham, Sarah Charest, Hayley Wheeler, Madyson Ramsey, Benjamin Shambarger, Lily Pollock, Gabriel Pollock, Natalie Thomsen, Geoffrey Shambarger, Silas Crosby, Haylee Casey, Jordan Frederick, Joey Frederick, Siara Martin, Charlee Cox and Erin Pollock (photo courtesy of Monica Millhime).
The Franco Center in Lewiston will host Skosh’s CD Release Party on Friday, January 9 from 8 to 11:30 p.m. A five-piece funk, classic rock and blues band from Buckfield, Skosh is comprised of Jedidiah Allen on drums and vocals, Elijah Allen on bass and percussion, Tyler Russell on guitar and vocals, Sam Berce on guitar and Peter Richard on tenor and alto saxophones. The Portland Press Herald has described Skosh as playing “Phish-inspired tunes laced with the eclecticism that made rockers famous in the 1990s.” Also on the bill will be A Mighty Lion and Zealous Bellus.
The Lewiston CareerCenter will host a Job Fair on Monday, January 5 from 9 to 11 a.m. at its building on 5 Mollison Way in Lewiston. The more than 15 employers participating in the job fair will include All Temp Services, Inc., Arcadia New England, Bonney Staffing, Carbonite, Circle K, Great Falls Marketing, Homecare for ME, Industrial Roofing Companies, Kelly Services, Labor Ready, the Lewiston Police Department, Lowe’s, Opportunity Enterprises, Primerica Financial Services, Stericycle Communication Solutions, Support Solutions and Xerox Services.
All employers in attendance will be hiring. Positions will be available for customer care assistants, customer service representatives, financial advisors, retail assistants, construction laborers, manufacturing, medical billing, medical office reception, data entry, light industrial, roofers, laborers, foremen, personal support specialists (PSS), inbound telephone sales, technical support representatives and warehouse workers.
Those attending should bring a resume and be prepared to have an “interview-like” conversation with employers to discuss skills, knowledge areas and abilities. Job seekers should also be dressed for an interview.
French and Spanish interpreters will be available. Requests for other languages should be made in advance by calling the CareerCenter at 753-9094 by December 31.
Ballads and fiddle tunes originating from Appalachia to Transylvania will rock Trinity Church when the Room at Trinity presents the Newell Family Band on Saturday, January 10. This three-generation group of musicians, led by Carter and Kaity Newell, have played their unique repertoire of New England, Maritime and British Isles music around Maine and beyond for three decades.