MILO — Residents in the SAD 41 communities of Brownville, LaGrange and Milo will be voting on the proposed 2021-22 SAD 41 budget at the annual district budget meeting later this month, and then via referendum. The school board approved the schedule during its meeting held at the Penquis Valley School on June 1.

The annual district budget meeting starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15, in the Walter “Eddie” Oakes Gymnasium, with a 5:30 p.m. information session before.

“The final step is the budget validation referendum which is in all the towns on June 24,” Superintendent Michael Wright said. On Thursday, June 24, SAD 41 voters will be asked if they approve the total budget approved nine days earlier.

“Make a point to get out and vote please,” Board Chairperson Roberta Trefts said.

In the summer of 2020, the district budget meeting was held over Zoom. At the polls in early August residents approved a $9.9 million-plus budget for the current academic year.

In other business, three appointments were made for Penquis Valley soccer head coach positions. Returning will be Jason Mills for the high school boys, Dawn McLauglin for high school girls and Erin Weston for middle school girls.

Trefts said the name for the middle school boys position will be presented for approval at the July meeting.

Penquis Valley High School Principal Michael Rollins said a traditional graduation ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 13, in the gym. Social distancing and mask protocols that have been in place all year will be in effect for the graduation.

Wright said he wanted to thank all SAD 41 staff for their hard work over the last year-plus. “It’s been a year like no other for all schools across the country, including in Maine and our region,” he said. “We had to deal with things we never thought we would.”

The superintendent said he believes everyone handled school in the best manner possible.

AUGUSTA — The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Disabled Veterans’ Controlled Moose Hunt lottery.

Seven Mainers were selected for the opportunity to participate in the hunt, and five alternates were selected in the event a primary hunter cannot attend. Ken Blagburn of Lake View Plantation is among the seven primary winners.

The others are John Krott, Brunswick; Berthol Daigle, Eagle Lake; John Roy, Rome; Ryan Jennings, Bowdoinham; Adrian Vielhauer, Bethel; and Richard Parent, Sommerville.

Since the program’s inception in 2010, MBVS has partnered with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and Smoldering Lake Outfitters to issue hunting permits and essential equipment to participating veterans. The hunt, which is entirely free for selected veterans, includes guiding services, essential adaptive equipment, meat processing, travel and lodging.

MBVS Director David Richmond offered the following regarding the hunt, “This program provides a wonderful opportunity for veterans to engage with the outdoors and each other. It’s not only about the moose, but about the bonds that form between the veterans in the group that unite in a common goal. Congratulations to this year’s winners, best of luck on the hunt and thank you to all of the sponsors who make the hunts possible.”

Unlike the regular IF&W moose lottery, the Disabled Veterans’ Controlled Moose Lottery is limited to only those veterans with a disability rating of at least 50 percent.  Each hunter is required to team up with a registered Maine Guide who has specific training for the hunt, and if a veteran has ever tagged a moose through the program, that veteran is ineligible to hunt again. The selected hunters will join the folks at Smoldering Lake Outfitters in Bridgewater for a late summer hunt in Aroostook County.

For more information on the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services and the Disabled Veterans’ Controlled Moose Hunt, please visit or call 207-430-6035. Applications for the 2022 Maine Disabled Veterans’ Controlled Moose Hunt will be available on the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Website on March 1, 2022.

The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services was established in 1947 by the State of Maine and is part of the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management. Our mission is to help Mainers who served, and their loved ones, understand and navigate the benefits, services, and programs available to them. The Bureau does this by being a responsive, experienced, and dedicated advocate. The Bureau is headquartered at Camp Keyes and has six field service offices located throughout the state and a claims office located at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Togus, Maine. The Bureau also operates the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery System which includes four veterans’ cemeteries. For more information about the Bureau or to request assistance, please visit our website at

MILO — Have you ever wanted to hold an ancient Incan tool made from a meteorite, or see a Columbian Mammoth tooth? Most museums are sober, quiet places that discourage interaction with the exhibits, but the Harrigan Learning Center and Museum, located in Milo, is a breath of  fresh air. The Director Tom Harrigan and Assistant Director Lydia Richard are welcoming and affable. They encourage guests to take photos, engage with the exhibits, and some pieces are  even allowed to be handled. Tom and Lydia are happy to guide guests through the museum and  regale them with the tales behind the artifacts. As Tom says, “this museum is built on stories”  and he has one for just about every item on display.

The Harrigan Learning Center and Museum of Fossils, Minerals and First American Artifacts (and much more) is one of five buildings Nancy and Tom Harrigan designed, and hired Ron Desmarais to build for them. The town of Milo gave them 2.1 acres of land in the Business Park to put them on. The Harrigans completely furnished the buildings and obtained a 501(c)3 tax  status and a Foundation designation for the Three Rivers Milo and Brownville Kiwanis Club and then donated the buildings one by one to the Kiwanis Club when the work on them was  completed. The Kiwanis Foundation Headquarters building was completed in 2013, the Museum building was completed in 2016, the Points North Visitors Center and the Pavilion were completed in 2017, and the vehicle and storage building was completed in 2018. All the  buildings are powered from two banks of 36 solar panels each, one mounted on the roof of the Museum and the other mounted on the roof of the Visitor Center.

The Museum has something to peak everyone’s interest — from alligator skulls to arrow  heads, to rhinoceros fossils, moose antlers, dinosaur tracks, petrified wood from Arizona, fluorescent minerals from Franklin, New Jersey, a Native American exhibit that was blessed by a local chief, lots of fossils and minerals and much more. The Museum also has 17 large murals painted by Suzette East who chose subjects to enhance the collection. She also  painted 21 large canvases called destination paintings that are on exhibit in the Visitor Center. The center recently added a webcam display that shows 14 local locations, most  of which are in Milo and Brownville, including a view of an eagle’s nest over the Piscataquis  River.

If you head into the Visitor Center you will also be able to find books written by local  authors, a Boy Scout exhibit, a display of historical photographs of Milo and Brownville, a mineral display by the Penobscot Mineral and Lapidary Club, other minerals and fossils, exhibits from the past by both the Milo and Brownville historical societies, wildlife photography by Marcie Palmer and aerial photography by Blaine Chadwick and a museum exhibit with accompanying stories, of course.

The Harrigan Learning Center and Museum has caught the attention of many, as it has hosted U.S. Rep. Jared Golden and U.S. Sen. Angus King. Television stations WABI and WVII and newspapers Bangor Daily News, the Eastern Gazette and the Piscataquis Observer which have reported stories on the museum. King described the Harrigan Learning Center and Museum as “the Smithsonian of the North” because of the uniqueness  and quality of its collections. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins visited Kiwanis Headquarters building a little after it first opened and gave a program there.

The Harrigan Learning Center and Museum has been operating by reservation only during the pandemic but has opened its doors as of May 15. The hours are Wednesday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m. or by appointment. School field trips and group visits are  welcome, just call ahead for arrangements at 207-943-3675 or 207-943-3677. Minimum admission donations are adults $9, seniors over 65 $7, children (4-16) and students $5. Children under 4 are free. The Museum’s address is 15 Harris Pond Road Milo, ME 04463 (it is in the Business Park next to a 67,000 solar panel solar park).

Photo courtesy of Jean Greenough
INTRICATE CARVING — A walnut shell with 12 very detailed people carved into it. This is one of many items on display at the Harrigan Learning Center and Museum in Milo.