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Writing and Photography by Lee and Connie Rand
MANY FAST-BREAKING LOCAL NEWS STORIES CAN BE FOLLOWED IN REAL TIME ON OUR "WELCOME TO LINCOLN, MAINE" FACEBOOK PAGE OR ON TWITTER @LINCOLNMAINEUS. *
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Lincoln Republicans to caucus
February 17- Jeffery Gifford, Chair of the Lincoln Republican Town Committee, has announced that Lincoln Republicans will caucus on:
Friday February 28, 2014, 5:30 pm at 305 W Broadway, Lincoln, ME. (the former Lincoln Rental building).
The purpose of the caucus is to elect Delegates and Alternates to the State Convention, elect members of the Penobscot County Republican Committee, and organize for the upcoming elections. All Lincoln Republicans are urged to attend this event.
The State Convention will be held in Bangor on April 25th & 26th at the Cross Center. This will be an excellent opportunity to meet and speak with those who are running for office.
Please call Jeffery Gifford for more information at 290-5088.
Shannon to Leave P.V.H. Hospital CEO Post
February 5 - Every now and then, we are lucky enough to find individuals that truly make a difference in the workplace and beyond. These people can make other staff excited to come to work each day and encourage them to strive for excellence. They truly care about people and get involved for the greater good. David A. Shannon is one of those people and it is with grave sorrow that the Board of Directors of Penobscot Valley Hospital (PVH) accepted his resignation on February 3, after serving over 20 years at the hospital, first as CFO/Executive Director and then as our hospital CEO.
Dave has accepted another position as CEO of Jersey Shore Hospital in Pennsylvania to be closer to family. He and his wife, Nancy, both grew up within a couple hours of Jersey Shore and with their children moving away and aging parents, they felt the timing was right to move closer to family. Although the final details are not yet finalized, we expect Dave will remain at PVH through the end of March 2014.
In a statement to the staff of PVH, Shannon remarked, “I have truly enjoyed working with you and watching as you played a critical role in the growth of Penobscot Valley Hospital. Your passion for medicine and commitment to the health of our community are very evident to me. I know these qualities will be apparent and impressive to the future leaders at PVH.”
The Board has no qualms about the future of PVH as the medical staff, leadership team and employees are all top-notch. Our affiliation with a management company, Quorum Health Resources (QHR) will also be beneficial, as the hospital will have access to a pool of experienced, qualified executives to lead PVH on the continued path of excellence. Over the next month, the Board will work with QHR to ensure a smooth and seamless leadership transition. QHR will provide interim management support while conducting a national search for a permanent CEO. This also allows the hospital board time to be closely involved in choosing a CEO that can meet our needs, and fill the significant role Dave has played in our hospital and community. There is no current time frame for the search to be completed.
Shannon also stated, “Thank you so much for your part in making my twenty-one years at PVH some of the best years of my life. I have worked alongside some excellent colleagues during this time, and I attribute all of our successes to them. While Nancy and I had come to Lincoln to raise a family, we’ll ultimately leave the community feeling blessed to have found a much larger extended family–the PVH family.”
“Dave and Nancy have served our business community well and provided countless hours of volunteerism to organizations like the school board, food cupboard, library and PVH Auxiliary. They have made a positive impact at PVH and in our community, and will both be sorely missed,” states PVH Marketing Manager Kristie Libby.
David A. Shannon, Chief Executive Officer at Penobscot Valley Hospital to step down from post at the end of March.-Fred Woodman, Chairman of the Board
LP&T workers to receive job retraining assistance
January 16 - The 200 millworkers laid off in December from Lincoln Paper & Tissue have seen their December petition approved to receive job retraining assistance from the federal government.
The company on December 16 filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor. Maine’s congressional delegation on Thursday announced that federal labor officials have certified the petition.
The flu is now widespread in Maine
January 14 - The Maine CDC has reported there is widespread influenza activity across the state. The flu vaccine is still available and is strongly encouraged to protect those people at risk of severe disease.
Influenza can be a serious disease that may lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death; anyone can get sick from the flu. Signs of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, feeling weak or more tired than usual, headache, chills, body aches and less commonly vomiting and diarrhea.
Although most people can stay home to recover without seeing a healthcare provider, it is possible for healthy people to develop severe illness from the flu. Anyone with the flu should seek medical attention if you’re experiencing:
- difficulty breathing or shortness or breath
- pain or pressure in the chest or stomach,
- sudden dizziness,
- serious or constant vomiting,
- flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.
For a child with the flu, seek medical attention with signs that include:
- rapid breathing or troubled breathing,
- bluish or gray color skin,
- not drinking enough fluids,
- serious or constant vomiting,
- not waking up or not interacting,
- being so irritable that the child does not want to be held,
- flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever or worse cough.
Antiviral drugs can be used to make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. It is very important that antiviral drugs be used early on to treat people who are sick with the flu or have a greater chance of complications either because of age, or high risk medical conditions.
The Maine Center Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
· Washing your hands
• Make sure you wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds, especially after touching a sick person or handling their tissues or laundry. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand rub.
· Covering your cough
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your arm when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
· Staying home when you are sick
• The flu virus can “live” on some surfaces for up to 24 hours. Cleaning products that contain chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents (soap), iodophors (iodine-based antiseptics), and alcohols can help to kill the flu virus.
• People can spread influenza before they realize they are sick. They may be able to infect others from 1 day before symptoms appear and up to 5-7 days after symptoms begin. Children may be able to spread the flu even longer.
· Getting Vaccinated
• Call your physician or local pharmacy. Recommended by the CDC, everyone 6 months of age or older should receive the vaccination. Those people at risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease, and people 65 years and older.
Penobscot Valley Hospital prepares for the flu season by vaccinating their employees. The influenza immunization rate of PVH employees this year is 96%, well above the national average of 66.9% as reported by the CDC for 2011-2012. During flu season, unvaccinated employees wear a mask when within six feet of a patient. Other preventative steps are taken to minimize the spread of influenza such as educational posters on hand hygiene and cough etiquette. Staff also implement additional cleaning rounds in the public areas and restrooms and ensure proper stock of supplies and medications. PVH does request patients coming into the hospital with a fever and cough wear a mask to help contain the virus; masks are available at each entrance and registration desk. Here’s hoping you stay safe from the flu this season!
Lee Rand to appear on Discovery ID TV show on January 13
Lee Rand being interviewed for Discovery Channel TV episode at Lincoln House of Pizza last summer.
January 9 - The Discovery Channel was in the Lincoln area last June filming for the premier episode of a new show, which will air on Monday, January 13th at 9 pm on Discovery ID (Channel 104 on Time Warner Cable, Channel 285 on DirecTV and Channel 192 on Dish Network. The show is called Murder Comes to Town and this episode is called Rumor Has It.
David Lane of the Discovery Channel contacted Lee for an interview after having visited WelcomeToLincolnMaine.com. Lane said he thoroughly enjoyed the site, and chose Lee for the interview based on his knowledge of the area and experience in broadcasting. "It was a lotta fun!", Lee said at the end of the interview that lasted over an hour.
The filming took place at the Lincoln House of Pizza on Main Street, and the crew thanked the Osmanis for their hospitality in letting them conduct the interview at the restaurant. Commenting on the interview session and location after it was all done, Lane said "...it worked out great."
Chris DeBeck, reporter for the Lincoln News, was also interviewed for the show.
Rand has not seen a final version of the show, and like many of you he will be watching it for the first time Monday evening. No other episodes of the show are planned to be filmed in Maine.
LP&T to downsize
The following is a press release from Lincoln Paper and Tissue, issued by mill President and CEO Keith Van Scotter today. We have no official word on the number of workers affected, but it could be up to 200.
"December 11, 2013 - Given the situation created with the November recovery boiler explosion and the costs associated with this, we have decided to indefinitely idle the Pulp and Paper mill portions of our facility. Our Tissue mill business will continue to operate at full capacity. Consequently, we will be downsizing to accomplish this change in operations. These are difficult decisions because they affect our hard working employees and the surrounding communities. However, they are necessary for the long term survival and success of our business."
Lincoln Town Council Chairman Steve Clay said, "As a town we would do what we can to help the mill and the people affected. Not only are the people laid off affected but it will also affect truck drivers who deliver chips to the mill and the people working in the woods. It effects the whole area. Hopefully this will not be an extended lay off."
LP&T President and CEO Keith Van Scotter
"No money missing" - Councilor Trask explains
"On 12/3 Chris Stevens and myself met with Mindy Cyr of Municipal Audit Service. Ms. Cyr is the town auditor.
We learned from Ms. Cyr that while conducting the audit for fiscal year ending 6/30/2012 she discovered errors in the commitment. Although the commitment was checked by others, the errors were not discovered before the documents were committed for tax collection. There is NO missing money. The errors amounted to $1,009,636. per Ms. Cyr.
The errors occurred when revenue amounts were entered twice and funds from the Tax Increment Finance accounts were used in the regular budget. The TIF rules specifically forbid this procedure but past practice was followed and the funds were used. Monies from the unassigned fund balance were used as well as$800,000. from reserve accounts to cover these errors thus keeping the tax rate down for FY2013. In fiscal year 2012 there were not enough taxes collected due to the mistakes made. In 2013 valuation errors caused a large amount to be placed in the overlay portion of the commitment. The overlay is an amount in the commitment used to cover valuation errors. Now the commitment for 2014 reflects the errors of 2012, valuation errors, monies taken from reserves, TIF funds used, and State revenues being down $195,000, with some expenses being up. Thus the 15.6% TAX INCREASE for 2014. It should be noted however, that the undesignated fund balance in the FY 2013 Town report indicates there could have been as much as $400,000. used to offset the tax rate for 2014 if Town officials had so desired. However, at the meeting of 12/3 Ms. Cyr did not recommend this procedure be done on a regular basis. If a tax increase had been in place in small increments for the last several years, the Town would not have been faced with the large increase all at once.
This is a complicated issue but I feel the community needs to be told the facts so to understand the 15.6% tax increase ."