BROWNVILLE JUNCTION — When the Canadian Pacific Railroad line through Maine was completed in 1888, workers on the railroad included local men and many from Canada. Some had come years earlier to help build the railroad and the accompanying structures; some came to work on the trains, the first of which rolled into Henderson, as the town was known then, at 7:50 a.m. on June 3, 1889.

The village as laid out by Eder Henderson developed and plots for houses and businesses were purchased; the railroad men from “away” brought their families to join them in Brownville Junction. This, of course, meant schools and churches, as well as many other businesses, were needed.

As many of the families who came from Canada belonged to the Anglican Church, the early services held in the Junction were Episcopal. Church historian Susan Worcester reports that the first service was held “on Sunday, Nov. 23, 1890 in the schoolhouse which was then north of Rolfe’s Brook and was conducted by Rev. Henry Hudson, a curate of St. John’s Church, Bangor, who came to Henderson for Sundays and sometimes remained a few days for pastoral visiting.” Worcester also notes that there were times when the services were held in a boxcar, if one was available, or inside the CPR station.

It wasn’t long before the citizens wanted to erect a church building so land was purchased for $100 from Eder Henderson in 1891 on the corner of Henderson Street and Center Street for said church to be erected. The Episcopal Diocese of Maine pledged $400 toward the building of the church if the congregation could raise $100. Funds were raised quickly and the church building went up in record time, it would seem, as church records show that Bishop Rt. Rev. Henry A. Neeley, D.D. came to Henderson for the dedication of said church on Dec. 6, 1891.

The congregation continues to hold services at the church and Dec. 6, 2021 marks the 130th anniversary of that dedication.  Other than a required break from services due to COVID-19 in 2020, there has been an ongoing Episcopal presence in the community since those early days. While the congregation in the late 1800s and early 1900s was quite active, today the congregation is small. A problem found in many of our churches today.

Those who attend are dedicated to keeping the church open for all who wish to attend and will continue to serve God in these rural communities. Services are held every Sunday at 10 a.m. Standard Time (and 9 a.m. Daylight Saving Time) and all are welcome. For more information about the church, contact Worcester at 207-965-8070 or visit the church’s Facebook page.

By Sawyer Loftus, Bangor Daily News Staff

The longtime leader of schools in the Old Town area is retiring at the end of this school year, and the local school board is kicking off its search for his replacement this month.

David Walker will step down as superintendent of Regional School Unit 34, which serves Old Town, Alton and Bradley, on June 30, 2022. He will have served 17 years in the position.

Schools have been some of the entities hardest hit by pandemic-driven staffing shortages, but Jim Dill, chairperson of the RSU 34 board, doesn’t expect the district will encounter any particular difficulty in filling Walker’s position.

The RSU 34 board will formally decide on how to conduct its search for the next superintendent at its upcoming meeting, said Dill, who also serves as state senator for the area. The board expects to form a search committee and potentially enlist the help of the Maine School Management Association.

“He’s been great for the RSU,” Dill said of Walker.

Walker told school board members five years ago that he didn’t plan to seek an extension of his contract after its end in 2022.

“It is bittersweet for me to see the process begin,” he said of the search for his replacement. “The board is dedicated. They will be diligent in their efforts to find the next superintendent.”

Before assuming his current position in 2005, Walker led SAD 41 — which serves Milo, LaGrange and Brownville — for more than six years. He previously worked as a teacher in both that district and in neighboring SAD 31, which serves Howland, Enfield, Lowell, Burlington, Edinburg, Maxfield, and Passadumkeag.

MILO — Efforts to continue adding to the Penquis Valley Community Playground have received a boost with the awarding of a $6,906 grant from the Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation grant, which will go toward the purchase of a swingset. The SAD 41 school board formally accepted the grant during a meeting at the Penquis Valley School on Nov. 3.

Through its mission and vision, the East Millinocket-based Gloria C. MacKenzie Foundation hopes to improve economic growth and enhance the quality of life for the people of Maine. Two years ago the foundation gave SAD 41 a $200,000 grant to cover a portion of a $2.4 million funding package to upgrade the heating system at Penquis Valley.

The playground, all in red, white and blue school colors. opened in late May in a space behind the school that had little to offer younger middle school students during recess. Previously, the younger students at Penquis Valley Middle School had just a decades-old basketball court and a small area with a pile of dirt and two roads going by it to use for recess. Penquis Valley Middle School grades 5-6 social studies teacher Debbie Page and others saw the need and work began to change this with a new age-suitable playground.

SAD 41 fifth-graders moved to Penquis Valley several years ago, a few years after grade 6 students came over from the Milo and Brownville elementary schools.

Page told the school board that additions are planned as part of the next phases for the area beyond the equipment installed earlier in the year. She said these include finishing a basketball court and installing a soccer/kickball field.

The field can be used during recess as well as for Railroaders practices. The current practice area, located next to the Sebec River and down a steep incline, has drainage issues.

Page said a zipline and swingset were ordered in early June, but due to labor problems and supply issues the order arrival was delayed until early November.

“We have had local contractors donate time and materials,” Page said. “The community has generously supported all of our efforts.”

“It’s very nice to have a place up there to have fun,” board member Chris Hamlin. She thanked Page and Hamlin said she recently brought her grandchild to the Penquis Valley Community Playground.

In other business, the board learned more about what health and safety procedures may be in place for the upcoming basketball seasons.

Superintendent Michael Wright said this will be a topic at an upcoming meeting of the region’s administrators.

“We are trying to see if we can come to some sort of agreement on general guidelines for winter sports,” he said. “This year we have the challenge of people coming into the building, who’s masking and who isn’t.”

In 2020-21 the Walter “Eddie” Oakes Gymnasium was closed to spectators as the Patriot and Railroader teams took to the court and cheered from the sideline.

Wright said options include having only home fans in the gym and having 50 or 75 percent capacity.

“We are going to try to nail some of that down to have some consistency,” he said.

Penquis Valley School Athletic Director Jason Mills said he and his colleagues across the region have been having similar discussions.

“I would be ideal if everyone was on the same page, but that’s not going to happen,” Mills said about differences in school by school policies. He said this will include concessions, will food and drink be permitted in the gym or not or not and how would spectators be reminded to put their masks back on when finished.

“Games will be streamed again this year,” the athletic director said. Penquis games will be available through the National Federation of State High School Associations and away contests may be through other services through the home school.

Mills said middle school tryouts began earlier in the week, and players have been wearing masks.

MILO — Penquis Valley High School made the most of the program’s first Maine Principals’ Association soccer tourney berth since 2013. The fifth-seeded Patriots scored five times in the first half and added three more goals on the way to a 8-0 victory over No. 12 Piscataquis Community High School in a Class C North preliminary round matchup on Oct. 22 at Harris Field.

Following nearly 17 minutes of scoreless play, Penquis’ Cayden Cyr got loose on a breakaway down the right side of the field. He got off a crossing shot, which bounced off the defender and in to put the Patriots on the scoreboard at the 23:07 mark. Brenan Grant picked up an assist on the play.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
ON TO THE QUARTERFINALS — Penquis’ Alvin Robshaw and Matt Burdin of PCHS fight for a loose ball during a Class C North prelim on Oct. 22 in Milo. Robshaw scored in both halves to help Penquis advance with an 8-0 victory.

Six and a half minutes later the ball was loose in front of the PCHS goal. Justice Brown directed it in for the 2-0 advantage with 16:28 remaining in the opening 40-minute session.

Cyr would quickly pick up his second goal of the opening half. After taking a pass from Billy Sanborn, Cyr ran down for a one-on-one with Pirate keeper Trevor Hall. With Hall coming out to play the ball, Cyr nudged it past him and ran around the diving keeper to kick the ball in for the 3-0 lead.

A few minutes later after a free kick Corbin Cyr passed to Alvin Robshaw. His shot went through a crowd and in for the 4-0 advantage.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
DOZENTH VICTORIES — Chris Gilbert gets ready to unleash a shot on goal while being trailed by Ben Higgins of PCHS on Oct. 22. Penquis won 8-0 to improve to 12-2-1 on the season.

In the final 5-plus minutes before the half Nate Lovejoy kicked the ball on net from the right corner. Brown directed it in for his second goal of the day.

Brown would finish with a hat trick as he scored his team’s eighth and final goal. Lovejoy also had a second half goal and Robshaw found the goal a second time after intermission. Cyr assisted on Robshaw’s second goal to give him a direct hand in three goals.

Penquis starting keeper Grady Atkinson made two saves on three shots. Cayden Cyr took over in goal for the final 19 minutes of the game. He stopped a shot to preserve the shutout, the fifth of the season for the Patriots.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
BALL CONTROL — Brenan Grant settles the ball ahead of Riley Snowden of PCHS.

Hall made 15 saves on 32 shots.

Penquis improved to 12-2-1 with the win, going 4-0-1 in recent games with only one goal allowed in this five game stretch. The team earned its third win of the season against PCHS, having won 4-1 in Guilford on Sept. 23 and earning a 6-0 victory in Milo on Sept. 30.

The team is set to face No. 4 Bucksport High School (13-1-1) in a Class C North quarterfinal on Tuesday, Oct. 26.

PCHS ends 2021 with a record of 4-9-2.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
TRIO OF WINS — Karson Tibbetts, left, and Cayden Cyr get acquainted during a Class C North prelim on Oct. 22. Penquis won 8-0 for the team’s third win against PCHS of 2021.

BOYS SOCCER

CLASS C NORTH

PRELIM

No. 5 Penquis 8,

No. 12 PCHS 0

PCHS  0  0  |  0

PEN   5  3  |  8

First: Pen — Ca. Cyr (Grant)

Pen — Brown

Pen — Ca. Cyr (Sanborn)

Pen — Robshaw (Co. Cyr)

Pen — Brown (Lovejoy)

Second: Pen — Lovejoy

Pen — Robshaw (Ca. Cyr)

Pen — Brown

Corner kicks: PCHS 0,

Pen 6

Saves: PCHS — Hall 15,

Pen — Atkinson 2 and

Ca. Cyr 1

Records: PCHS 4-9-2,

Pen 12-2-1

A former school board member from Milo who was a teacher and tennis coach at Penquis Valley High School was indicted Thursday, Oct. 21 by the Piscataquis County grand jury for sex crimes involving a former student, according to the district attorney’s office.

Herbert Russell Carey Jr., 70, was indicted on six counts of gross sexual assault, a Class C felony crime.

The offenses allegedly occurred in 2015 and 2016 and involved a female student when she was a junior and senior, Assistant District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said in August, when Carey was arrested and first charged with the sex crimes.

The victim notified police in May, Almy said.

Carey served on the board of SAD 41 as the representative from Milo from 2018 until March when he chose not to run for reelection. He also served on the board of AOS 43 from 2019 until March.

SAD 41 is the regional school district that serves Brownville, LaGrange and Milo. AOS 43 serves those three towns as well as Edinburg, Enfield, Howland, Maxfield and Passadumkeag.

Carey’s attorney, Stephen Smith of Augusta, declined to comment Friday.

An arraignment date has not been set.

BDN reporter Judy Harrison contributed to this report.

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

SEBEC — Jimmy Mike and Barbara Mauzy wish to thank the community for their support of the second annual Jimmy Mike Whoopie Pie Sale Fundraiser. The amount raised in 2020 was just over $1,400, but this year the whoopie pies and accompanying Sebec Village Associates yard sale raised $2,143! Buyers were so extremely generous, and some simply donated money without taking any whoopie pies.

Half of the money was given to the Sebec Village Associates to assist with repairs and improvements to the Sebec Reading Room, and the other half was donated to Dyer’s Hope House — the food pantry in Milo.

There was a tie for the most generous donation so Tricia and Rene Lacau and Mary Bilunas and Paul Travers will receive a gift of three dozen whoopie pies of their choice. Keep this in mind and mark your calendar as the third annual Jim Mike Whoopie Pie Sale Fundraiser will be held on Sept. 24, 2022. You, too, could be gifted whoopies for three months!


Contributed photo
WHOOPIE PIE FUNDS — Jimmy Mike, right, presents John Cram a $1,071.50 check to Dyer’s Hope House. This money was raised by the generous purchases of whoopie pies on Sept. 25 in Sebec.

SEBEC — Last year, the first ever Whoopie Pie Sale in Celebration of Jimmy Mike’s Birthday was held and raised over $1,400 for the Sebec Reading Room and the Ecumenical Food Cupboard in Milo (now Dyer’s Hope House). Because this event was so well received, it continues in 2021 with the addition of an inside yard sale.

The whoopie pie sale and indoor yard sale will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25 at the Sebec Reading Room, 665 Sebec Village Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or until the whoopies are sold out. The entire event is strictly by donation, the whoopie pies as well as the yard sale items, and 100 percent of the proceeds will be divided between the food cupboard and the Sebec Village Associates.

How much will you pay for a whoopie pie? Be generous as this is a fundraiser for two important organizations, but whoever donates the most money will receive a dozen whoopie pies in October, a dozen whoopie pies in November, and a dozen whoopie pies in December as a thank you. Share them, hoard them, enjoy them while doing good within your community.

Tax deductible donations can be made directly by mailing a check written to “SVA” to Joan Baird, 87 Sunset Drive, Sebec, ME 04481; checks written out to the SVA will be shared with the Ecumenical Food Cupboard in Milo.

Questions? Requests? Contact Barbara Mauzy at 207-564-3232.


Contributed photo
BIRTHDAY WHOOPIE PIES — The Whoopie Pie Sale in Celebration of Jimmy Mike’s Birthday will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Sebec Reading Room to benefit the Sebec Village Associates and the Milo food cupboard.

PORTLAND — Twenty-five students from across Maine have been welcomed to the University of Southern Maine this fall as they embark on a college journey that for many seemed out of reach. The new Promise Scholars cohort is USM’s largest to date and will benefit from a unique program designed to create a path forward for financially challenged students who are highly motivated to succeed. In addition to bridging each student’s financial gap, the USM Promise Program provides an array of enrichment opportunities and a network of support from peer and professional staff to help first-generation college students overcome common barriers and persist to graduation.

Among the 25 Promise Scholars is 2021 Penquis Valley High School graduate Salena Goodine.

Now in its fourth year, the program has provided a total of 83 scholarships to economically disadvantaged and first-generation college students referred from partner youth-serving organizations across the state of Maine. Over $235,000 in scholarship funds, including $90,000 in commitments for the incoming cohort, has been awarded to scholars for the 2021-22 academic year.

Allan Monga, a Deering High School graduate and newly awarded scholar, shared, “earning the Promise Scholarship is a win for me and my family, and it’s a generational win as my younger sisters will be encouraged by my success.” These personalized scholarships are multi-year, top-off awards that bridge the gap between a student’s individualized aid package and cost of full tuition and fees. “This scholarship will help me to move mountains,” Monga added.

Yet, challenges for students go beyond financial costs. “College is a brand-new experience for first-generation students and their families,” says Daniel Barton, the program’s coordinator. “Simply offering students a scholarship and a few words of encouragement is not enough. While affordability provides access, it must be coupled with an experience rich in community, the opportunity to engage, and strategic guidance navigating campus resources.”

Scholarship funding paired with extensive support offers the program’s diverse scholar group the opportunity to thrive at the university. Scholars transition to USM through a unique immersion week experience prior to other students arriving on campus centered on volunteerism, building community, and acclimating to campus through a series of engaging activities and workshops. Scholars are also matched with a peer mentor for the duration of their first year to help them navigate college life and foster a sense of belonging on campus.

The incoming cohort of 25 scholars represents a guided effort to offer scholarships to students from every corner of the state. Scholars hail from 18 different high schools and represent more than 10 youth-serving organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine, Camp Susan Curtis, JMG, the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, The Telling Room, and TRIO Upward Bound.

“Expanding the program’s geographic diversity is important,” Barton said, “and our youth organization partners are essential in that effort.” Recipients of the Promise Scholarship have demonstrated academic excellence and a personal passion for giving back to their community.

To learn more about the Promise Scholarship Program at the University of Southern Maine and the scholars it serves please visit https://usm.maine.edu/the-promise-scholarship.