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Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
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January 26, 2018     Quoddy Tides
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January 26, 2018
 

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26 January, 2018 THE QUODDY TIDES Page 15 Hearing set on bill to fund area prison by Edward French proposal, and then in May had announced The Maine Legislature's Criminal Jus- that the prison would be closing in June. tice and Public Safety Committee will The bill would only permit DCF to be hold a hearing on a bill to fund the closed if legislation approving the closure Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) in is enacted into law. Also, the Department Bucks Harbor on Monday, January 29. of Corrections would be required to report The hearing, which begins at 9 a.m will to the legislature's Appropriations and Fi- be in room 436 of the State House in Au- nancial Affairs Committee and Criminal gusta. Justice and Public Safety Committee by The bill, sponsored by Rep. Will Tuell April 1, 2019, on any proposed changes at of East Machias, would provide nearly DCF, including detailed plans about the $5.5 million in funding to restore all posi- prisoner population, related impact on oth- tions and cover all other costs to continue er state correctional facilities, impact of operation of the state correctional facility any change to employee compensation for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Currently, and benefits, an economic and communi- funding is only provided until June 30 of ty impact analysis on any community af- this year, and Tuell has stated that if the fected by a shift in prisoner population bill had not been accepted for consider- and proposed use of any surplus property ation during this session the prison most if the facility closes. Under the bill, the likely would be closing on June 30. The correctional facility would have to remain bill follows on the Washington County open until the report is submitted. delegation's successful effort to fund the For those unable to attend the hearing, prison through June 30 in the current two- written testimony can be emailed to year state budget, a battle that went on between legislators and the LePage ad- Petitions opposing the closure are avail- ministration for much of last year after the able at stores from Milhridge to Pembroke administration had removed all funding and will be picked up and brought to the for the facility in its January 2017 budget hearing. Rabid cat scratches pair in East Machias by Susan Esposito An East Machias animal lover and a friend are undergoing a series of vaccina- tions to avoid rabies after they were both scratched by the same infected cat in early January. "Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts," said Dale Miller, who had re- ported the news on the East Machias Fa- cebook page after a pet regulations notice had been posted on the homes of residents within a one-mile radius of Miller's home near the intersection of Means' Cottage and Hadley Lake roads. "My only reason for posting was to pre- vent this from happening to anyone else," stressed Miller. "Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is very grateful for this." "Being me, it won't stop me trying to help people and animals in need," the post continued. "Just want everyone to be aware of potential hazards and how fast life can change. Raymond and I are doing great so far and have gone through the worst of it. I regret his involvement, but I'd do it again in an instant." "If you have animals outside the Had- ley Lake/Means Cottage Road area, take note," she warned. "They tell me rabies is a death sentence to anyone not treated af- ter being exposed." Thanks to vaccines, rabies is extremely rare among pets and farm animals. Sus- pected animals who come in contact with either a human or domestic animal in Maine are tested by the Health and Envi- ronmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta. Rabid animals usually behave abnormal- Home in Machias is damaged in fire by Edward French A fire on January 11 damaged a home in Machias where a mother and son were living. According to Machias Fire Chief Joey Dennison, the call came in at 7:39 p.m. for the fire at 666 Kennebec Road. Approximately 25 volunteers responded from the Machias, Marshfield, East Ma- chias, Jonesboro/Roque Bluffs and Mach- iasport departments, and firefighters had finished putting out the blaze by 10:32 p.m. Damage was limited to two upstairs bedrooms. Dennison says the two people who were living there are staying with friends and that the home, which was not insured, can be repaired. The cause of the fire was elec- trical in nature. ly. Some are shy or fearful, others aggres- sive and some simply stumble or appear lame. Any person infected with rabies must receive six injections, two on the first day and the remaining four given one at a time over the course of a month. Owners should make sure pets are neutered and vaccinat- ed against rabies. Dogs and cats must not roam at large but should be confined to the owner's property. In 2017, testing by the Health and En- vironmental Testing Lab confirmed rabies in two skunks in Washington County - one found in Marion Township on July 25 and the other in Cutler on November 9. Testing done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health In- spection Service Wildlife Service con- firmed a rabid skunk in Topsfield on May 14. Residents with questions concerning ra- bies in their area in the State of Maine can call the CDC at (207) 561-4100 for infor- mation. Problems in New Brunswick After a sharp rise in rabies in south- western New Brunswick, the provincial government distributed vaccine bait, con- tained in small capsules, to Fredericton and St. Mary's First Nation, Saint John, Woodstock, Woodstock First Nation, McAdam, Harvey, St. Stephen, Saint An- drews, St. George, Blacks Harbour, Deer Island, Campobello Island and Grand Bay-Westfield last July. All of this was done by hand, and aerial distribution took place in August. There had been 30 cases of rabies in raccoons and skunks across southwestern New Brunswick since 2014, andthree ra- bid raccoons were confu'med in the Wa- weig area in 2017, so, although the oral rabies vaccine program helps control the spread of rabies in wildlife, Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet warns, "We still encourage New Brunswickers to take precautions. We all have an important part to play in identify- ing and preventing the spread of rabies." These precautions included keeping a safe distance from wildlife, teaching chil- dren to avoid animal bites by avoiding contact with wildlife and unfamiliar do- mestic animals, ensuring the vaccinations of pets and domestic animals are up to date, discouraging wildlife from visiting by keeping garbage and compost bins se- cure and reporting animals with rabies- like symptoms to 811. More information on rabies, including a surveillance map of confirmed cases, is available online at . SUPPORTING RECOMMENDATIONS made by the Washington County Sheriffs Of- rice to right drug-related crime in the county is Baileyville Police Chief Bob Fitzsim- mons. (Lora Whelan photo) MORE DEPUTIES SOUGHT (from page 1) Armed robberies have gone from none in 2015 to eight in 2017, and there has been one already in 2018. "Robbery is a symptom of the desperation on the part of addicts," he said. He added for clarifica- tion that robbery, which involves a per- son, is different from a burglary, which involves property only. Both crimes are increasing, but robbery adds the element of personal injury or death and escalates the potential for tragedy. To an audience of about 35 community members, selectmen and law enforcement officials, Crabtree presented a proposal for an increase to the county budget of about $531,000 and a subsequent annual in- crease of $343,000. The increase would expand the sheriff's department by four deputies, with one being in the drug unit. The first year's amount would include equipment purchases not needed for the following years, he explained. While Chris Gardner, chair of the coun- ty commissioners, noted, as he had at the first meeting, that the county government only acts on the will of the "owners," or the county's residents, he cautioned, "We cannot sit with our heads in the sand" and wait for the letter-writing campaign to kick in after something tragic occurs. To that effect, the county will be sending let- ters to all 46 municipal offices explaining the proposal's increase to the county bud- get. Acting on county budget committee member Lisa Hanscom's recommenda- tion, the letter will,include a breakdown of the actual dollar amount to each tax- payer such an increase would mean. As an example she used the current county bud- get's increase of over 7%. "It's a lot, but when it's broken down to an individual's tax increase, most can understand that amount and feel that it's doable," Hanscom said. The sheriff s department had asked for three more deputies for the current fiscal year because of the increase in drug-relat- ed crimes. However, because of budget- ary pressures, that figure was whittled down to one additional deputy for an in- crease to the budget for wage amounts from almost $600,000 to $730,000 for the additional officer and union-negotiated in- creases for other staff. Two Jonesport selectmen were present at the meeting and suggested the difficulty they faced in persuading their constituents to agree to such an increase. One suggest- ed that if the sheriff's department could agree to add more hours spent in the com- munity it might go a long way in building support. However, Crabtree noted that the sheriff's department could not act in that manner but needed to remain flexible in the way it handles incidents around the county's large area. Sheriff Barry Curtis commented that it can feel at times as if some Jonesport resi- dents treat a deputy's presence as a game, tracking their every move with social me- dia postings and other means of commu- nication. It would help, he suggested, if residents worked with the department rather than against it. One of the select- men then offered that if the department would be using new methods to solve the problem their case might be stronger. Crabtree offered to meet with any town selectmen or city councillors to discuss some of the new strategies that would be used, but for the sake of their effective- ness he did not want to speak about them in public forums. Once the county letters have been sent, the commissioners hope to hear back from a majority, if not all, of the municipalities about the proposal. While waiting, they will be researching the legalities of chang- ing the county's budget mid-year. If there is no legal mechanism in place to do so, the proposal will go to the budget com- mittee for consideration with the next fis- cal year's budget, which starts in late summer. 92.7 FM/95.3 FM i02.9 ~s - I~all:h htl - ~nn~edtle - St.$~0hlm N,B. ~at.~lvJm ~J~an'q.tra Thank You The Community Christmas Giving Tree "elves" wish to thank all the vol- unteers and contributors to our pro- gram. Thanks to your generosity we were able to provide a merrier Christ- mas to 576 children and adults in need in our community. We are grateful to you allI Happy New Year! ounty Road Guts fl uil Service Hair Salon Jl4en, Women C iMren .olors, (3u,IOerms, oils 733-2255 1169 County Rd Trescott Open Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Saturday by appointment Shannon Knight, ~ Licensed Cosmetologist Now accepting Visa & MasterCard