Despite a persistently gloomy economy, the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast reported record enrollment in October. And since its opening in 2000, the center has seen a slow migration toward online courses, but an expansion at the facility off Route 3 has done well to pull students into classrooms, allow for an increase in course offerings and attract conference organizers to hold association meetings and workshops at the center. In addition, on Oct. 5, the center’s new wing was named for Edward J. Walsh, grandfather of former MBNA CEO Charles Cawley.

The Islesboro Fire Department was on the receiving end of some much-needed mutual aid from the town of Jackson, which loaned the island community use of one of its tanker trucks. The loaner was delivered via ferry, just as the state was about to begin work on the ferry terminal that would preclude emergency help from the mainland if disaster struck.

Some might think that crosswalks aren’t big news, but for pedestrians traversing busy Route 1 intersections at Route 52 and Route 141, news that work had begun was cause for cheer. In addition to redrawing the crosswalks themselves to make them shorter in one location and safer in the other, slated upgrades included countdown crossing signals and “no right turn” lighted signs that are activated when a person pushes the crosswalk button.

October is typically the start of flu season, but nationwide concern about a dangerous strain, called H1N1, or swine flu, prompted the first of many delays in the arrival of vaccine in the state.

Nine-year-old Hannah Clifford of Brooks was feted at a party in her honor Oct. 3, 33 days after she was rescued, badly injured, from under her family’s van in an Aug. 30 car crash. The hometown Hannahstock fundraiser was a day filled with, among other things, live music, a chicken barbecue, Anah Shrine clowns, a car show and a 100-mile benefit motorcycle ride.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and so began the first of a three-part series by reporter Tanya Mitchell exploring the issue from a variety of perspectives, from the financial drain on productivity and high medical costs to the long-term emotional toll it takes on victims and those who work with them. The series continued with stories about how domestic violence affects men, as well as the silent, often-forgotten victims — children.

The wind blew strongly in Freedom this month, when a meeting turned ugly and frustrations nearly caused some to come to blows over unanswered questions and speculation over wind turbines. A re-do of the meeting a week later was more civil and, at last report, talks have remained civil, despite the roller-coaster the community has been forced to ride.

From the cops and courts pages, a Frankfort home owner lost his house but saved his dog; an elusive Monroe man who was the subject of a high-speed chase Oct. 23 turned himself in to police; Camden National Bank and law enforcement announced an investigation into missing funds; and a note in a bottle prompted a widespread — and ultimately unfounded — search for a possible kidnap victim in local harbors.

On happy notes, a retired sled dog was reunited with his owner after spending two nights and a day on the lam in the city; Searsport’s annual Fling into Fall Festival was a success; rain failed to dampen the spirits of those who turned out for Climate Action Day activities; and the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce named Janet Dutson its new executive director.