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  • Published
    March 30, 2019

    Frankfort passes on $15K for internet planning, OKs $250 for snail mail

    Fast internet was put aside for another year. Voters on March 28 turned down a ballot proposal to raise $15,000 in taxes for broadband internet planning. The question, put forward by the town’s Internet Committee, was defeated at the polls by a tally of 76-101. Selectman Vaughn Littlefield, who attended some of the committee’s meetings and told The Republican Journal the next night that the only internet available…

  • Published
    March 30, 2019

    Peace group visits old enemy, finds ongoing 'story of war'

    For decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran — a country about twice the size of Texas, or 18 Maines — has held an outsized place in the American imagination, almost exclusively as an enemy. Starting in the 1980s and continuing today, you can buy a T-shirt with the face of Iran’s former leader, the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, and the words “Ayatollah Assahola.” Even in more sophisticated circles, Iran is still …

  • Published
    March 28, 2019

    Supporters turn out for Nordic Aquafarms at public meeting

    Nordic Aquafarms got an uncharacteristically warm welcome in Belfast as supporters of the company’s proposed $500 million land-based salmon farm turned out for the latest in a run of public meetings that has been defined, so far, by vocal opponents. The March 26 event at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center drew a standing-room-only crowd of more than 150 people. Representatives of Nordic Aquafarms and …

  • Published
    March 26, 2019

    Developer pulls plug on Peirce School apartments, new buyer in the mix

    A plan to convert the former Peirce Elementary School to apartments is off, but the developers behind it say they aren’t done just yet. In the meantime, a Belfast man has come forward claiming he is buying the building to start a shared living space. Reservoir Ventures has withdrawn its application with the city to convert the two-story brick schoolhouse into eight market-rate apartments. Matt Francis, a principal…

  • Published
    March 25, 2019

    Unity bans mass balloon releases, false-starts on false alarms

    Voters on Saturday passed a ban on releasing 10 or more gas-filled balloons into the air. The ordinance aims to protect wildlife and reduce the litter that ensues when the lighter-than-air decorations lose their lift. Town officials say it is the only ordinance of its kind in Maine. The proposal drew jokes and jeers at the annual town meeting, where a crowd of about 40 was in its fourth hour of debating road …

  • Published
    March 22, 2019

    Committee pans controversial water bill; local vaccination bill opponents testify at hearing

    The Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee on March 12 voted 11-0 that a controversial water oversight bill sponsored by Rep. Jan Dodge, D-Belfast, ought not to pass. LD 620, An Act Regarding Licensing of Land-based Aquaculture Facilities, would require the Department of Environmental Protection to consider the cumulative effects of pollution from land-based fish farms that discharge to …

  • Published
    March 18, 2019

    Police: Morrill man shot girlfriend's ex seven times

    The 22-year-old charged with murder on Friday emptied a fully loaded handgun at his romantic rival, hitting him seven times, according to an affidavit from Maine State Police filed at Belfast District Court Monday morning. Austin McDevitt of Morrill is accused of murdering 26-year-old Shane Sauer of Belfast on March 15 outside a Swanville residence. The shooting was reported by a neighbor at 4:46 a.m. According …

  • Published
    March 17, 2019

    Thorndike flips board of selectmen, takes control of fire department

    A standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 voting residents cleaned house on March 16, replacing all three selectmen and starting a municipal fire department in an effort to rein in the town’s embattled independent fire company. Former Selectman Robert Nelson, who served the town for 14 or 15 years ending in the mid-2000s, narrowly beat incumbent First Selectman Larry Ward, 53-49. Speaking before the meeting, …

  • Published
    March 15, 2019

    DEP tells Thorndike to move salt pile or face fines

    The state Department of Environmental Protection is threatening to fine the town of Thorndike for an uncovered salt pile that has been seeping into a nearby brook for more than two years. In a Feb. 14 notice of violation, DEP cited complaints dating to July 2016, starting with an anonymous tip that the salt and sand pile at 95 Unity Road (Route 220) was not covered and salt was running into Hall Brook. Inspections…

  • Published
    March 15, 2019

    Morrill man charged with murder in Swanville shooting

    A Morrill man has been charged with murder in connection with an early morning shooting March 15 in Swanville that left a Belfast man dead. State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said 22-year-old Austin McDevitt of Morrill was arrested on Friday. The shooting, which occurred at a cabin at 568 Oak Hill Road, was reported about 4:45 a.m. Friday. Shane Sauer, 26, of Belfast, was pronounced dead at the scene. McCausl…

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