A year in review: 2021
From all of us at the Bulldog, happy New Year!
We hope you enjoy looking back at the top stories of 2021!
This was a big year for us as we made some major changes, such as a website update and adding several new writers to our team. As life goes, it wasn’t all smooth sailing, but we feel confident about the direction we’re moving in. We are looking forward to keeping you in the loop with all that is newsworthy, whether it be a third grader picking up trash, or an election of local officials…we want to be your go to place for local stories.
Happy reading, and happy New Year!
Hovey Road incident deemed homicide-suicide
NEW SHARON – The deaths of two individuals at a home on the Hovey Road have been determined a domestic violence homicide-suicide, according to a press release from the Maine State Police. The Office of Chief Medical Examiner conducted examinations of the deceased on Tuesday morning. The homicide victim was identified as 42-year-old Jessica Dapolito while the suspect, who reportedly committed suicide, was identified as 55-year-old Robert Dapolito. Both persons died from gunshot wounds, the examination determined.
Animal shelter sees increase in adoptions amidst pandemic
FARMINGTON – As the pandemic carries on, the need for connection at home continues to grow. For some, the issue has been solved with the help of the Franklin County Animal Shelter. Over the summer pet adoptions and sales across the country boomed, according to the Washington Post. With people working from home and unable to get out the desire for animal companionship grew. As a result, shelters and breeders saw a huge spike in demand.
Is it a cobbler or is it a cake?
If you didn’t know already, my writing for the Daily Bulldog has expanded the site’s readership to include a strong contingent of my East Tennessee family. My family is as nostalgic about the food of our childhood as I am, so they have recommended topics for future articles. One of these recommendations resonated with me today as I collect the ingredients to bake a friend’s birthday cake.
Momma made notes in the margins of her recipes with the names of friends and family who liked a particular recipe, so she could be sure to make it for them again. I learned this penchant from her. In writing this I’ve been thinking about why we take the time to do this. When something happens (good or bad), my first instinct is to make and deliver food. Cooking for another person can be seen as altruistic. It feels uncomfortably self-aggrandizing to leave it there. Because the act of cooking can be nurturing for both the body and the soul, it offers more than filling our bellies. The process of cooking is about transformation, not just of the ingredients into a dish, but of the people who do the cooking and those that do the eating. It provides sustenance which encourages a sense of trust, community, belonging and closeness.
Farmington says farewell to Butterfield house
FARMINGTON – The Butterfield main house was built in 1789 and was the oldest standing wood frame structure in Farmington, until it was demolished by E.L. Vining Co. last week. The structure was part of a pair of homes built by Samuel Butterfield during Farmington’s early beginnings. The second structure, a brick mansion, was converted into what is now Skowhegan Savings Bank, but the main house, fondly referred to as Butterfield’s “Red House” remained a home. It’s been passed between several different owners over the years, and according to Marion Scharoun, current President of the Farmington Historical Society, the last private owner had high hopes that someone might finally step in and save the property.
Update: Farmington teen located
A teenager that had been missing for nearly a week was found safely last night according to Farmington Police Chief Kenneth Charles. 13-year-old Mckenzee Wheeler was located near downtown Farmington on the evening of May 18. Charles said there have been a number of similar incidences within the past month, that may or may not be related to a rise in “mischief”.
10 tips for terrific tomatoes
Tomatoes are one of the crops that is most often grown by home gardeners. Either in a sauce, sliced on a sandwich or as a caprese salad, it’s hard to beat a good, home-grown tomato. And while they sure are tasty, tomatoes are prone to foliar leaf diseases that can render plants nearly leafless by the end of the summer. Here are ten tips towards better tomatoes:
Updated: Woman transported by Lifeflight after serious collision
WILTON – According to a press release from Wilton Chief of Police Heidi Wilcox, a 40-year-old woman was transported by Lifeflight after sustaining serious injuries from a collision Monday morning. A call was received around 11 a.m. on Monday, July 26 with reports of a two-vehicle crash on Route 2 near the intersection of Old Jay Street. A 2004 Volvo dump truck being driven by Neil Buck, 51 of Augusta, was hauling a load of rocks when it reportedly tipped over onto a 2010 Ford Focus being driven Olin Hiscock, 34 of Wilton. Hiscock had several passengers, including Mary Jordan, 40 of Livermore Falls and three children.
Bicyclist dies after collision with pickup truck in Farmington
FARMINGTON – Police say a Chesterville man died on Sunday morning after the bicycle he was riding was struck by a pickup truck on Farmington Falls Saturday afternoon. At 3:47 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, Franklin County Regional Communications Center received 911 calls reporting a motor vehicle versus bicycle crash on Farmington Falls Road (Route 2) in Farmington. The Farmington Police Department, Farmington Fire Department, and NorthStar ambulance responded to the scene.
Vehicle fire develops into barricaded subject situation
JAY – A call for a vehicle fire developed into a hostile situation involving an armed and barricaded subject, according to a report from Jay Fire Chief Mike Booker. Approximately 5:41 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, Jay Fire was called out for a vehicle fire. An officer from the Jay Police Department arrived on the scene first and reported that the vehicle fire was fully involved. When the officer exited his vehicle, the homeowner came to the door of the residence with a firearm, returned inside the residence, and reportedly barricaded himself inside.
Farmington explosion civil suits settled
FARMINGTON – Civil suits filed in relation to the 2019 explosion at an office building on the Farmington Falls Road have been settled, according to documents filed with the Franklin County court system. The suits related to the Sept. 16, 2019 explosion at the Life Enrichment Advancing People Inc. office building previously located at 313 Farmington Falls Road. Larry Lord, the maintenance supervisor for LEAP, was inside the building with a Farmington Fire Rescue crew investigating a report of a gas leak when the explosion occurred. Six firefighters were injured and Capt. Michael Bell was killed in the blast.
A dozen people face federal charges following investigation into marijuana grow operation
FARMINGTON – Unsealed court documents have shed additional details on the federal investigation into a purported industrial marijuana growing operation that has led to a dozen individuals being charged with felony drug, money laundering, bank fraud, tampering and tax evasion charges, among others. Information about the investigation, which was linked to a series of law enforcement searches conducted throughout Franklin County on July 21, 2020, became available after one of the individuals identified as a co-conspirator, Randal Cousineau, 69, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in federal court to participating in a conspiracy to illegally cultivate and sell marijuana. Cousineau was identified as the “primary financier” of a cultivation facility in Farmington, specifically the old shoe shop located at 347 High Street. The majority of the processed marijuana seized by federal investigators on July 21, 2020, 469 of the 551 total kilograms listed in a court document, was taken from that location.
Origin announces 10-year plan for factory ‘campus’
FARMINGTON – Origin USA is once again looking to expand operations with the purchase of 100 acres on Routes 2 and 4, known locally as the former McCleary farm. Owners Pete and Amanda Roberts plan to develop a “campus” with a factory, store, museum, indoor sports complex, restaurant and distillery. “As kids growing up in Farmington, Pete and I have always wondered what would become of that parcel of land…we knew that land needed to be where Origin’s future campus took roots,” Amanda Roberts said.
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A rare Maine visitor
An out-of-range barnacle goose in Rockland, and a rare bird for Maine. Barnacle geese breed in Greenland, and spend their winters in and around the UK. This bird was found by Don Reimer, and I got to see it on Sunday, Nov. 7 in Rockland, Maine. (Photo by Steve Muise, Farmington, Maine)
Franklin County COVID spread rate reaches fourth highest in nation
FARMINGTON – Franklin County was identified as having one of the most severe COVID-19 spread rates in the nation this week with an average of 44 new cases per day according to data compiled from state and local health agencies across the country. A total of 3,406 cases have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic, roughly one in nine residents.
Horizon Organic cuts ties with Maine farmers
JAY – Like many generational farmers, Mark Turner has never known another business. When he graduated from high school, there was no question in his mind about whether or not he would continue working on his father’s dairy farm. M.T. Farm on Soules Hill Road has been around since the 1900s. In the early days, the 400-acre farm focused on oxen and beef cattle, but made the switch to dairy in the 1950s. The transition was a fairly straight forward one. Mark’s great grandfather didn’t like working out in the woods, especially on cold winter days, so he opted for the warmth of the milking barn. The milk was brought to a creamery in Livermore Falls in 10-gallon, steel canisters.
Unprepared hikers rescued as winter-like conditions persist
WELD – With the weather is still very much like winter on Maine’s mountains, emergency personnel were called Saturday night to rescue multiple people who were unprepared to hike in below freezing temperatures.
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Words on Words: UMF professor’s departure spells an undervaluation of children’s literature
Shana Youngdahl, author of the young adult novel As Many Nows As I Can Get, is an exceptional writer. Having an author of her widely recognized ability and rising stature on the faculty of the University of Maine at Farmington has been a remarkable asset to both the university community and the community at large. Shana was hired as an English professor. Her ability as a novelist surfaced during her time here and was akin to having a rare jewel fall from the sky and land in the community’s lap.
Allied Physical Therapy in good hands with new owner
FARMINGTON – A new chapter has begun for Allied Physical Therapy. New owners, Justin and Kathryn Longhurst, purchased the clinic from Dennis and Stephanie Flanagan on Jan, 4, 2021. Both Dennis and Stephanie will continue to be a part of the company as they will be working on a per diem basis.
Maine Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame announces class of 2021
CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Eight individuals will be inducted into the Maine Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame at the 19th Annual Maine Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame banquet scheduled for Oct. 16 at Sugarloaf.
2021 Wilson Lake Ice-Out winner declared
WILTON – Ice is officially out on Wilson Lake, and a winner in the annual ice-out contest sponsored by the Wilton Fish & Game Association has been declared.
Tell the truth about the CMP and Hydro-Quebec Corridor
The other day I came home to a flyer hanging on my front door that supported the CMP and Hydro-Quebec Corridor. The flyer called the transmission line the “CLEAN Energy Corridor”. This is an out and out fraud. The energy from Hydro-Quebec’s massive dams is far from CLEAN. The science is very clear. The power generated is some of the dirtiest generated power on the planet.
Franklin Community Health Network hires new communications professional
FARMINGTON – Franklin Community Health Network announced today that it has appointed an experienced communications professional from the Farmington community to the newly created role of director of communications and public affairs.
This year's most read story
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A dump cake, if you’ve never baked one, is more like a cobbler than a cake and it is made by dumping the ingredients directly into the baking pan rather than mixing them in a bowl first. Momma’s tattered recipe originates from an old Duncan Hines holiday baking flyer. Over the years Momma adapted and changed this recipe multiple times. By the end of her baking career, every cake she made was a riff on the original dump cake. She made pumpkin spice, caramel apple, black forest and lemon blueberry all into dump cakes.