Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell

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ORONO – Laurie Smukler and Robert McDonald will be performing at the Minsky Recital Hall in Orono on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m.

“Our all-Bartók program includes the First Rhapsody, and both the Violin and Piano Sonatas; No. 1 and No. 2. The Rhapsody was dedicated to the great violinist Josef Szigeti, who was good friends with Bartók. It is full of folk melody and is a real virtuosic show piece. The sonatas were written within a year of each other, both for the fiery and beautiful woman violinist Jelly D'Aranyi, with whom Bartók was smitten,” said Laurie Smukler in a release. “The relationship with the older Bartók did not develop into a romance, but the two did perform the sonatas together. The pieces themselves are full of romantic lyricism, intensity, exoticism, and rhythmic excitement, in addition to Bartók's trademark use of folk music.

ELLSWORTH- The Grand is excited to announce auditions for its new production of the exciting new play from Aaron Sorkin (the Emmy-winning creator of “The West Wing” and the Oscar-winning writer of “The Social Network,” “A Few Good Men” and “Steve Jobs”), “The Farnsworth Invention,” to be held Friday, April 1 from 6-8 p.m. and Sunday, April 3 from 1-3 p.m. The production runs June 3 through June 5, 2016.

ORONO — Margaret Chase Smith Distinguished Maine Policy Fellow Rep. Ellie Espling will visit the University of Maine on Monday, Jan. 25.

Margaret Chase Smith Distinguished Maine Policy Fellows are prominent individuals with a past or current career as a policymaker in the state. The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center brings its fellows to campus for a day to teach an undergraduate class, engage faculty about research and public policy, and meet with UMaine administration and graduate students.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 12:29

Heating and carbon monoxide safety warnings

MAINE– With the winter months upon us, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding homeowners about the fire dangers associated with heating equipment. Improper use of such equipment like portable or stationary space heaters, wood burning stoves and fireplaces can be incredibly dangerous, and their misuse is a leading cause of U.S. home fire deaths.

According to NFPA, half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. More than half of the home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that started when something that could burn, like upholstered furniture, clothing, blankets and bedding, was too close to heating equipment.

During the colder months there is also an increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Fuel-burning equipment, including vehicles and generators running in an attached garage, can produce dangerous levels of CO and should be vented to the outside to avoid it from building up in your home. In a 2012 NFPA report, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of nine such calls per hour in 2010. The number of incidents jumped 96 percent from 40,900 incidents reported in 2003. This surge, according to NFPA, is most likely due to the increased use of CO detectors, which alert people to the presence of CO.

Some heating equipment requires proper installation to reduce the risk of fire injuries. When installing wood burning stoves or gas heaters, NFPA recommends following the manufacturer’s instructions or having a professional perform the installation.

Installing and maintaining CO alarms can also help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater or other appliance, do not light it. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.

To ensure a safe and cozy winter this year, NFPA offers some easy tips to follow:

Use your oven to cook food only. Never use it to heat your home.

Hire a qualified professional to clean and inspect heating equipment and chimneys every year.

Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

Place a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from flying into the room, and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing them in a metal container, and ensure that they are kept a safe distance from the home.

If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.

During and after a snowstorm make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.

Test smoke alarms and CO alarms monthly. Properly maintained alarms can save lives in the event of a fire.

Find additional resources including tips sheets, videos, reports and more about heating safety and carbon monoxide by visiting NFPA’s website.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 09:46

Adjunct nominated for Pushcart Prize

MACHIAS - University of Maine at Machias adjunct faculty member Penny Guisinger has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her piece "The Sound of Galton's Whistle," which appeared in The Rumpus in June 2015. Considered "the most honorary literary project in America," Pushcart Prizes have been awarded to the best of the worldwide small presses every year since 1976. Guisinger was nominated by Maine writer, and former Pushcart winner, Jennifer Lunden.

"It's really an honor," says Guisinger. "That piece took years to write and revise, and I'm so pleased that it's being recognized like this. It's especially wonderful to have the nomination come from Jennifer Lunden, whose work I respect so much."

Guisinger’s essay is her reflection of loss - deeply personal loss on multiple levels - that is told in a straightforward, don’t-pity-me fashion, with a distinctive Downeast flavor and piercing honesty. An excerpt illustrates part of her search for her two missing dogs: “My voice, my sharp whistling, didn’t seem to penetrate the forest at all. It seemed to hang up on thick barricade of Maine pine, all branches and needles. The trees were scraggly. White moss hung like untrimmed facial hair from dead branches. Those acres of wild were not about to cough up what I was missing no matter how much I clapped and whistled. It was as if I was using a silent dog whistle — a Galton’s whistle — and nobody was there who could hear it.”

Guisinger lives and writes on the easternmost tip of Maine, and teaches Public Speaking at UMM. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Guernica, the Brevity blog, Solstice, Under the Gum Tree and others. Her first book, Postcards from Here, will be released by Vine Leaves Press in 2016. Her second book, "Shift," is in progress. Penny is the founding director of Iota: Short Prose Conference, and a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA Program.

Winners of the prize will be announced in 2016 and included in the annual Pushcart Prize Anthology.


BANGOR – The City of Bangor and Spectra Venue Management, managers of the Cross Insurance Center, are proud to announce that The Professional Bull Riders will bring their BlueDEF Tour to Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center for the first time ever on Friday, March 11, 2016 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 7 p.m.

For two nights, the best up and coming bull riders in the world will be battling the fiercest bovine athletes the sport has to offer, who weigh nearly 2,000 pounds each, more than 10 times their cowboy counterparts. The thrilling eight-second rides and heart-stopping wrecks are sure to leave fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation and excitement.

Tickets start at $17 and can be purchased online at, by calling (800) 745-3000 or at the Cross Insurance Center Box Office located at 515 Main St. in Bangor, open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Cross Insurance Center cyber club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public on sale. To sign up for the Cross Insurance Center Cyber Club, visit

The $100 PBR Elite Seat tickets include premium seating and a 60-minute pre-event tour on the dirt and behind the scenes that will give fans a chance to see the toughest sport on dirt up-close and personal.

Each rider will face one bull in Round 1 and then the Top 10 scoring riders of the night will come back for one more ride in the championship round. At the end of the competition, the rider with the highest combined score will be crowned the champion.

Bangor will be the 14th stop on the 2016 BlueDEF Tour, and will mark the Professional Bull Riders’ debut in the city. The tour will make stops in cities such as Oakland, California; Wichita, Kansas; Portland, Oregon; and Omaha, Nebraska this year. The BlueDEF Tour Finals will take place one week prior to the PBR World Finals and offer a total purse of $100,000.

The overall winner of the BDT season will be the rider who earns the most world points at the BDT level. He will receive $50,000 and qualify to compete at the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals. Visit PBR LIVE for details about watching online streams of the 2016 BlueDEF Tour season.          

For more show information, visit or

HAMPDEN - A vet tech in Hampden has come up with a festive way to spread some holiday cheer at work this season while also helping out area pet owners in need. For several years, Heather Burgess and her husband have participated in the Hands of Hope Christmas program, where the needs of less fortunate families in Maine are written on gift tags that hang from decorated Christmas trees at various businesses. Generous shoppers then select a tag, purchase the listed item and return it to the business so it can be distributed by Hands of Hope to needy families in time for Christmas. That same idea gave Burgess the motivation to create a tree of her own, a Paws of Hope Christmas tree.

"There's probably 50 tags on it. There's tags for cat or dog food, nail trims, rabies vaccines or sick exams," said Burgess, who works at the Hampden Veterinary Clinic. "But this is different than a Hands of Hope tree because our tags aren't linked to a certain family. If you pay for, say, a nail trim, it goes into a charity box we have and we hand it out throughout the year to who we see fit."

ELLSWORTH - It will be a full tent on the waterfront Saturday, Sept. 27 for the 17th Annual Autumn Gold ChowderFest as nine area chefs compete for bragging rights for the best chowders!

“I think this is the first time in several years we have had a full complement of chefs and their supporting restaurants entered to compete,” stated Gretchen Wilson, community manger for the Chamber. “We are so excited to have so many new and returning restaurants under the tent; it’s going to be a great day!”

Wednesday, 06 August 2014 11:00

Stitched with love

BANGOR - Nancy Driscoll may no longer have her eyesight but that isn't preventing her from seeing the needs of many in the Bangor community. Each week Driscoll and several other talented residents at Winterberry Heights Assisted Living on Ohio Street gather in the front lobby to knit and crochet newborn hats for the babies at Eastern Maine Medical Center or make mats for the animal cages at the Bangor Humane Society.

"It's nice to get together and for me it's something to do that relaxes me," explained Driscoll. "[Plus] it's good for a lot of us with arthritis."

SEARSPORT – The opening reception for Penobscot Marine Museum’s Do It Your Way: Gee’s Bend Quilts & Quilters in Maine is Saturday, Aug. 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. This exhibit, sponsored by Fiber College of Maine and the Emily and William Muir Community Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, will be at the museum’s Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, Maine, from Aug. 2 through Sept. 7, 2014.

Gee’s Bend quilters China Pettway, Stella Mae Pettway, Revil Mosely and Lucy Mingo will be at Fiber College of Maine teaching quilting classes Sept. 3-8. On the evening of Sept. 3 the First Congregational Church of Searsport will host a New England boiled dinner and a discussion forum and gospel singing with the quilters. The forum, during which two quilts will be raffled, will be moderated by Maine Center for Contemporary Art Director Suzette McAvoy.  This event was organized by Fiber College of Maine and tickets are available through their website or by calling (207) 548-6059.

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