Volunteers help build a better Appalachian Trail

ELLIOTSVILLE TOWNSHIP, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Visitors from across the country and throughout the world make the journey to Maine to hike the Appalachian Trail, and they have volunteers from just as far a field to thank for the trail's upkeep.

"If you are hiking, you'd rather not have mud up to your ankle every step you are taking," stated Ron Dobra, a sort of volunteer district manager for a sixty mile section of the AT. "You'd rather not be falling down in this slop."

Dobra, who also volunteers to maintain his own three mile section of trail for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, is helping to oversee work being done by a trail crew on the trail towards the summit of Barren Mountain.

Millinocket divided on future following mill auction

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Discussion is still filling the town of Millinocket after residents had to endure some difficult change this week. Parts of the mill that made the town famous were auctioned off on Thursday, including it's iconic paper machine.

It's a transition that's certainly dividing feelings with people in the Katahdin region. More than 300 pieces of the shuttered mill got sold to the highest bidder. Officials with Cate Street Capital, the company managing the site, says reasons behind the auction include settling a massive tax debt the mill has to the town and also clearing way for a new pellet mill to be built on the site.

Equipment at shuttered Millinocket mill sold at auction

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- It's been a day of mixed feelings for people who live in Mlillinocket as in order to secure its financial future, the town is now parting with pieces of its past.

Piece by piece parts of the old paper mill in Millinocket were sold at auction on Thursday. Among the items up for bid was the mill's iconic paper machine.

The company that manages the site says the sale is taking place for two reasons: to create space for a new pellet mill and to pay off more than $2 million in back taxes owed to the town. Town officials say they need the money to fend off even more financial hardship.

The auction ended around 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Town officials say they calculated close to $1 million was made from the sale of extraneous equipment. They plan to discuss securing payment of the taxes on Friday.

Public safety workers in Lincoln frustrated by staff cuts

LINCOLN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The recent decision by leaders here to cut some municipal jobs has some town workers upset.

In passing the budget for the next fiscal year, town officials decided this week to lay off one firefighter and not fill a vacant job with the Lincoln police department. Several first responders who did not want to go on camera with NEWS CENTER on Wednesday said they were deeply concerned by the move.

Members of the firefighters union now say that, at times, they may to be down to having one only person at the station because of the layoffs. In response,town officials say the cuts are painful but necessary as they respond to the loss of hundreds of mill jobs in the region last winter.

Medway still trying to rectify school budget following shocking vote

MEDWAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Medway is still trying to sort through some controversy concerning its school budget.

Last week voters passed the budget at a town meeting and choose to allot just $1,000 to cover administrative costs.That includes the salaries of several school officials, including the superintendent.

On Monday night members of the Medway school board submitted a notice to town leaders asking them to reconsider the vote. This year the school district had asked for more than $197,000 to cover administrative fees. Its directors say the large cut now means the superintendent's office can't be funded and they say that violates state law.

The select board plans to take up the matter again Tuesday night.

Medway leaders aim to address shocking school budget vote

MEDWAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Schools in Medway are now facing a big challenge: how to pay their superintendent and other directors next year with a budget of only one-thousand dollars.

That amount is exactly how much town voters passed at a town meeting on Wednesday night. Medway schools will be going into the fall with a budget of more than $3 million. Officials say most of the expenses got approved but the administrative budget took a huge hit.

School directors asked for roughly $197,000. By a final vote of 21 to 17 from those in attendance, $1,000 dollars was all that was approved. Former town selectman John Farrington suggested the amount. He says the school district could find ways to lower its budget by using funds from last year. Farrington added that he only recommended $1,000 for the line item to prove a point.

Governor LePage takes Millinocket's concerns in tax dispute

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- A war of words over unpaid taxes in Millinocket now has Governor LePage voicing concerns.

The governor met with leaders of the town on Wednesday to discuss problems they are having with Cate Street Capital. That company manages the site of the old Millinocket paper mill.

Town officials say Millinocket is owed millions in back taxes on equipment inside the complex and just last week community leaders decided they were through waiting. They placed a tax lien on the equipment, which means it can't be sold anywhere until the town gets paid.

Officials with Cate Street have said they need to auction off the equipment to make way for a new pellet mill to put on the site.The governor offered his thoughts on the situation at an event on Tuesday.