Features

Whitefield family recovering after Tuesday’s destructive fire

Tuesday afternoon, Pam Fenderson lay down to rest after washing the dishes. Her kids had left a half hour earlier and she wanted to relax. Within five minutes, smoke detectors in her family’s Hilton Road farmhouse sounded their alarms, a sound that saved Fenderson’s life, she said. “I would have died without them. I really think I would have.”

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Egg by egg, Department of Marine Resources restoring Atlantic salmon to Maine rivers

State biologists working in shallow river tributaries reachable by dirt roads and snowmobile trails are on the front line of the battle against extinction of the Atlantic salmon. They visit the waterways in January and February, sometimes dragging their equipment on a plastic sled more than a mile to the sites, to mimic wild salmon spawning. They’re planting thousands of eggs in the gravel of riverbeds, an effort mostly funded through a federal grant.

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Chelsea Grange struggles to keep place in community

Esther Shaw, 88, ambled up the steep stairs to the second floor of the century-old Chelsea Grange with its expansive and empty theater hall. A large stage curtain painted with advertisements for local companies, some still in business, hides the backstage clutter of plastic flower centerpieces, boxes of dust-covered copies of the Grange’s songbook and a wooden sign spray painted with the number of a Boy Scout troop that used to meet in the building years ago.

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A1 Diner celebrates its 50th year in downtown Gardiner

A1 Diner was quiet on Friday morning, aside from the jazz music playing in the background. Two men sat alone on blue vinyl-topped stools at the counter, a woman played with a baby sitting in a highchair at one end of the restaurant and a couple ate breakfast in one of the six wood-framed booths as jazz music played in the background. For more than 60 years, customers have sat in the same booths and stools in a setting that’s changed little since the Worcester Lunch Car Company built the diner at its factory in Massachusetts in 1946.

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Taxidermists’ craft on display at Maine Sportsman’s Show

Paul Reynolds worked a heavy-duty needle through the thick gnarled hide of a wild boar from Texas, sewing shut gashes and cuts in the leather. Wearing an apron, he periodically turned the hide to inspect his work hidden under the animal’s brown-and-white-specked hair. “The hardest thing about taxidermy is making it look alive again,” Reynolds said. “When a customer tells you, ‘Gee, it looks alive,’ that’s the best compliment you can get.”

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No dance license, no dancing for bars in Maine

A funk band played last weekend in front of a docile crowd last weekend at Higher Grounds, where the dance floor has been replaced with couches. The downtown Hallowell bar hasn’t allowed dancing since state fire marshal officials visited the bar two weeks ago for an unannounced inspection during a sweep of nine area bars. The bar — like nearly every other bar in Hallowell — doesn’t have a dance license, which the state requires for any buildings where public dancing happens.

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