Millinocket school system could see $400k funding cut

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Millinocket has faced constant financial struggles since the loss of the paper mill, but now the town's schools are starting to suffer as enrollment decreases.

Millinocket School System is looking at a nearly $400,000 shortfall in its projected 2016 funding, largely due to fewer students. More than $300,000 was lost due to that lack of enrollment, and about $72,000 was lost due to students from outside territories moved into the district. The state Department of Education bases its funding on each individual school's enrollment, and Millinocket currently has only 500 students in the system, K-12, as opposed to four times that amount years back. And the number is expected to continue to decline after this school year with more than 50 seniors graduating, but little more than 20 kindergartners coming entering the system.

Maine DECD plans to close Dolby Landfill in 2016

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The state took ownership of the Dolby Landfill with the hope of keeping jobs in the Katahdin Region, but now it's looking more like an expensive waste of taxpayer dollars.

In 2011, the state agreed to assume ownership of the Dolby Landfill in East Millinocket. It was part of a deal set by Cate Street Capital in order for them to buy the struggling paper mill and preserve about 200 jobs. Cate Street saved those jobs for about a year before closing the mill, and the state was left with millions of dollars in costs.

The Landfill Oversight Manager for the State Department of Economic and Community Development, Michael Barden, said the department has budgeted for an allocation of $12 million from the state to close the Dolby Landfill. That process will start in 2016 and last three years.

National park economic impacts broken down

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A new report by the National Park Service could help the supporters who want a new national park in the Katahdin region.

The report, which shows the economic benefits from the national parks around the country, stated that 2.56 million people visited Acadia National Park in 2014, spending $221 million in the communities near the park. That spending generated around 3,486 jobs.

Supporters of the proposed national park said the park would not attract the same number of people that Acadia gets each year.

Telephone town hall meeting will discuss national park

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Those who still have questions about the long debated proposed Katahdin Woods And Waters National Park will have the chance to get answers at a teleconference town hall meeting on Wednesday night.

The national park and recreation area would be located on lands east of Baxter State Park, much of which is owned by Roxanne Quimby, who's been trying to bring another national park to Maine for some time. The plan includes 75,000 acres for the national park and another 75,000 acres for hunting, snowmobiling and other recreational activities. Quimby also wants to put $40 million in a trust for the park's future.

Chairlift failure at Sugarloaf; several injured

CARRBASSETT VALLEY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Four people were injured Saturday after a chairlift incident on the King Pine chairlift at Sugarloaf Mountain.

Multiple witnesses tell NEWS CENTER the lift came to a stop, and then started moving backwards, causing people to fall from it.

Sugarloaf officials say the incident happened around 11:30 a.m.

Mountain safety personnel are at the scene and working to get everyone off the lifts safely.

We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

EMCC introduces new outdoor tourism program

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Eastern Maine Community College in Millinocket is embracing the region's natural beauty with a new program that could bring more people to the area to live and work.

The new Outdoor Recreation and Tourism program is a two-year associate degree program. Students will be trained in guiding and outfitting of outdoor excursions along with management, customer service and hospitality.

The goal is to attract people to the area and promote year round outdoor tourism in the region, as well as attract new residents and business owners.

Pay It Forward: Become a Pine Tree Hospice Volunteer

Pine Tree Hospice will offer its CORE training for volunteers during the week of April 12-18th.  The 11 hour training prepares individuals to support hospice clients in their home or at a healthcare facility.  The training is free and open to both men and women in the community.


There are 450,000 hospice volunteers in the United States.  Hospice programs care for 60 percent of all dying patients each year, a total of 1.5 million.  Because of lack of information, patients and their families seldom take advantage of all the hospice services that are available.  This is unfortunate, since hospice can enrich the end of life experience, creating a way to live out our lives with dignity and purpose.