Herbert ‘Russell’ Carey Jr., 70, was sentenced to 3 years, all but 9 months and a day with the Maine Department of Corrections

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A former teacher and tennis coach at Penquis Valley High School will serve nine months in prison after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of a former student.

Herbert “Russell” Carey Jr., 70, was sentenced to three years with all but nine months and a day suspended as part of an agreement with the Piscataquis County District Attorney’s office in which Carey pleaded guilty.

District Court Judge Patrick Larson sentenced Carey on Monday in Piscataquis County Superior Court.

Piscataquis County Assistant District Attorney Chris Almy said the additional day means Carey will have to spend the time in a state facility instead of the county jail.

Almy said at the sentencing that Carey sexually assaulted the female student, who was 16 and 17 at the time, on and off school property between April 2015 and 2016.

An investigation began after the young woman reported the assaults in May of this year. Carey was arrested on Aug. 10 by the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office and charged with sexual assault.

After the sentencing, Carey’s defense attorney Stephen Smith said, “He is a good and honorable man. He’s 70 years old. He spent decades in this community doing a lot of good and he acknowledges his wrongdoing and he doesn’t wish it to define himself and he doesn’t wish it to define his victim.”

Carey was taken into custody immediately following the sentencing

“This defendant really took advantage of his position and he not only, as a teacher, affected the victim but you know think about other teachers,” Almy said. “There are a lot of good teachers in our communities. They work hard and this defendant has not only damaged his immediate victim but he’s damaged the reputation of teachers as well, which is really unfortunate.”

Upon his release from prison, Carey will be on probation for two years with the additional conditions of having to attend sex offender counseling and no contact with children under the age of 18.

If you or someone you know needs a resource or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

After almost five years in the works, this clean energy project in Milo is nearing completion.

MILO, Maine — It covers close to 100 acres of land and is made up of 67,000 solar panels. After almost five years in the works, this clean energy project in Milo is nearing completion and will generate power in early 2021.

The solar farm will create enough clean energy to power more than 10,000 homes. It is the largest solar farm owned and operated by Dirigo Solar.

“We got started back in 2015, when solar, the economics of solar, finally made sense for it to start development in the state of Maine,” Nick Mazuroski said. “We have a portfolio of a little more than 250 megawatts.”

Mazuroski is the co-founder of the company, he said the Milo project is a major step in the future of Maine’s solar power production.

“Over the life of the portfolio, we are projected to save, Maine ratepayers including Versant and Piscataquis County…a little more than $25 million, over the 20-year term that we are selling the power,” Mazuroski said.

The electricity generated by these panels will be sold to Versant Power to help lower everyone’s energy costs.

Dirigo Solar’s 67,000-panel project is almost complete. The $25 million project is employing more than 100 people.

“Each panel collects the sunlight and generates electricity, which then gets combined and transmitted out to the grid,” Mazuroski said.

Peter Hamlin is the chairman of the select board in Milo. He said it’s a very exciting project for the town. “We are very excited because of the size of the project, it means some revenue obviously for the town of Milo, it also is a boom to electrical rates in the area,” he said.

Hamlin adds the town has a lease agreement through property tax revenue and the town of Milo has an agreement for a share of the profits from the project. “It’s a long term project, 20-year contract, a renewable resource, so it’s a win across the board.”

Hamlin said Manufacturing has not been strong in Piscataquis County, the reason, why the town was keen to approve its property for a renewable energy project like the one Dirigo Solar, is finishing up.

“Manufacturing in Piscataquis County, we are one of the poorest and oldest counties in the state, we have a renewable resource here! It’s something that fits this property use, realistically Milo would be forever filling 60 acres with industrial-type buildings here, so it’s a perfect match for us,” Hamlin said.

Mazuroski adds the great thing about solar is that you are generating the electricity where the project is.

“This is local power production, that’s being sold to Mainers and lowering Maine electricity costs,” Mazuroski said.

The power sold by Dirigo Solar to Versant Power will help lower everyone’s energy costs in the long run. “We are selling the power at 3.5 cents, right now Versant sells to its customers at above 7 cents.”

Here is a link to some of the other solar projects Dirigo Solar is working on in Maine.

“When it’s finally built, it could be the largest project in the state. There are larger projects under development, but I think when it’s operational it will be at the time the largest projects in the state,” Mazuroski said.

Mazuroski estimates about $25 million will be saved from Maine taxpayers in a period of 20 years.