Gotta love my sister and her hubby

Arrived at the awesome Nantahala Outdoor Center, the famous NOC in NC yesterday morning. Made great time descended the six miles. It wasn’t quite as bad as I had anticipated. No limping needed. It was so cool to step out of the woods onto the road and search for the …

This fourth grader explains everything that’s wrong with standardized testing

Sydney Smoot, 9, is a fourth grader in Brooksville, Florida, and she has a few things to say about the state’s standardized testing, which has come under fire from some parents in that state. Check out her delivery.

College roundup: Bowie home run lifts Southern Maine past Endicott

BEVERLY, Massachusetts — Nick Bowie belted a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning, providing the University of Southern Maine with the margin of victory in a 4-2 baseball win over Endicott College. Andrew Richards (4-1) picked up the win in relief, allowing only one hit and …

On balancing honoring legacies and creating safe space for victims

At the start of this week, I reflected upon the suicide of Jeremiah Gorman and the investigation into what was then broadly classified as child porn possession. In particular, I discussed a friend I had lost to somewhat similar circumstances, and expressed how badly I felt for those in Gorman’s …

Nash had a tremendous influence on the game despite never winning a title

At different times, either Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant dueled with Tim Duncan for honors as the best player in the immediate post-Michael Jordan era. That trio captured the titles, reveled in the champagne-soaked praise and built Hall of Fame caliber legacies. With that in consideration, it remains incredible that …

Sensory Meltdown 101

I came across this document I wrote a couple of years ago to hand out to teachers within a program I was consulting with. Simple, easy techniques to aid with sensory meltdowns.  So simple but so good, that I thought I should share. First, remember to provide regular and consistent …

Lincoln car accident leads to seizure of 66 bags of heroin, 6 people facing charges

LINCOLN, Maine — A suspect’s decision to flee a fender-bender on West Broadway led investigators Thursday to 66 bags of heroin, a handgun and six people who are now facing charges, including one for allegedly failing to register as a convicted sex offender, police said Friday. Two suspects were arrested, …

Buchholz likely to head Red Sox rotation

When the Boston Red Sox open the 2015 season in Philadelphia on April 5, they figure to face left-hander Cole Hamels. Had things worked out differently, Hamels could have been pitching FOR the Red Sox that day. Instead, the two sides couldn’t get together on a deal — reportedly because …

Replay review hot topic among NFL rule proposals

The NFL competition committee will consider 23 rule proposals, including 18 submitted by teams, at the league meetings next week, according to St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, a committee leader. Challenges and replay reviews are the focus of most of those proposals, according to the list released by the …

Hampden manager Lessard to leave post in June, citing family health issues

HAMPDEN, Maine — Hampden’s town manager for the past 14 years announced Monday night that she will not renew her contract when it expires at the end of June.

“The town of Hampden is an amazing community and I have been honored to be its manager for the past fourteen and a half years,” Susan Lessard wrote in a letter to Mayor David Ryder that she read into the record during a Town Council meeting.

“Family health issues that have recently come to light have caused a change of plans, and Dan [her fiance] and I will be working to simplify our lives,” she said.

Lessard said she plans to work through the end of her contract and will assist with the upcoming budget, the selection of a new public works director, and contract negotiations with the town’s police and fire unions.

The announcement was not news to town councilors, who were told informally at a recent committee meeting.

During their meeting Monday night, councilors scheduled a workshop for April 7 during which they will discuss the search for Lessard’s successor with a representative of Eaton Peabody Consulting Group.

Before coming to Hampden in late 2000, Lessard was Vinalhaven’s town manager from 1993 to 2000.

She began her public service career in 1982 as Searsport’s town clerk. In 1986, she became Livermore Falls’ town manager, and worked for the Maine Tomorrow consulting firm from 1988 to 1991. She returned to the public sector in 1991 as town manager of Fayette.

In August 2011, Lessard submitted her resignation, saying that she wanted to make some life changes.

In January 2012, Lessard was tapped to become Southwest Harbor’s finance director but decided to return to her former job in Hampden in March of that year, after efforts to hire two finalists for her post fell through.

The council’s vote to reinstate Lessard ended a seven-month search for a replacement.

After Monday’s meeting, Lessard said she initially planned to stay on for a few more years but that recent events had accelerated her departure.

In other business, the council recognized Hampden public safety personnel and Al Nygren, a resident who works as an EMT for the city of Waterville, for their actions during the massive pileup on Interstate 95 on Feb. 25.

Nygren and Hampden police Sgt. Dan Stewart, Hampden fire Lt. Jason Lundstrom, firefighter-paramedics Matthew Thomas and Matthew Roope, firefighter Aaron Jellison and live-in student and call firefighter Chelsea Young each are receiving letters of commendation from the Town Council on behalf of the community.