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Houlton area Business Year in Review 2019 (Part 1)

Editor’s Note: The following is the first of two articles highlighting some of the top business stories from 2019.  This article highlights events from January to June. 

January

The children at Morgan’s Munchkins child care facility in Houlton participated in National Wear Read Day for Heart Health on Feb. 1. Showing off their red are, front from left, Harper Drake, Clark Coldwell, Beckett Hiscoe, Malcolm Drake and Rowan Wotton; and back, Allie Ervin, Jacob Matthews, Livi Ervin, Gloriah Matthews and Annabelle Flewelling. (Contributed photo)

Katahdin Trust held a year-end celebration in honor of its 100th anniversary at each of its 16 locations throughout northern Maine, greater Bangor and greater Portland regions. Customers and community members stopped by to enjoy refreshments, special anniversary giveaways and a heartfelt thank you from bank employees for joining in on the fun.

With the midterm elections over and Congress now primarily focused on last minute arguments over President Donald Trump’s border wall and security, the executive director of the Maine Potato Board said that he “generally felt positive” about the future potential for agricultural bills over the next two years.

Pam Townsend, president of the Maine Agri-Women — an Aroostook County-based organization dedicated to promoting agricultural issues and education statewide — and her fellow Agri-Women was supporting efforts to keep the annual harvest school break on the books in central Aroostook County in 2019.

The Houlton Rotary Club met for its first meeting of the year where the topic was Tiny Homes. Dionne introduced Watson who owns Tiny Homes of Maine with her husband Tom Small. 

Parents now have an officially licensed daycare facility to bring their children following the grand opening of Little’s Cove Daycare.

Katahdin Bankshares Corp., parent company of Katahdin Trust Company, recently announced the appointment of Marianna “Molly” Putnam Liddell, Esq. of Yarmouth and Keith P. Bourgoin, CPA, of Hampden to its board of directors

February

Jon Prescott, Katahdin Trust president and CEO, announced the promotions of the three employees in administration and operations. Katherine “Katie” Hill has been promoted to vice president, bank operations manager. Natasha McCarthy has been promoted to vice president, human resources director. Kate Goodwin has been promoted to vice president, project manager.

Jon Prescott, Katahdin Trust president and CEO, announced the promotion of Bradley Berthiaume to senior vice president, financial consultant.

The Houlton Rotary Club met for its weekly luncheon meeting where a new member, Christine Nickerson, senior relationship manager at Bangor Savings Bank in Houlton, was inducted by rotarian Leigh Cummings.

Rose Fuchs, MD, a board-certified family medicine physician, started a private practice in family medicine opening in Patten. Dr. Fuchs’s new practice, Cornerstone Family Practice, was also known as the Milliken Medical Center and Dr. Ronald Blum’s past practice.

March

For more than 100 years Katahdin Trust and its employees have supported hundreds of local organizations through donations, volunteerism and in-kind donations. This year was no exception, as the bank recently presented $38,000 to the United Way of Aroostook.

The Houlton Rotary Club met for its luncheon meeting at Watson Hall on Monday March 4. New Houlton Town Manager Marian Anderson was the guest speaker, and was hosted by rotarian Chris Anderson (no relation).

Seeing an opportunity to provide another needed service to the community, Laura and Geno Seiders of Houlton opened Seiders’ Redemption Center. Located at 53 Calais Road, just across the Houlton town line in Hodgdon, the redemption center gave patrons another outlet for their returnable bottles and cans.

Katahdin Trust partnered with schools throughout Maine to celebrate Teach Children to Save Day.

The Houlton Rotary Club presented its 11th annual Community Bingo Night at St. Anthony’s Hall. According to Nancy Ketch, Houlton rotarian, the Bingo Night event was started to serve as the major fundraiser for the club’s Youth Exchange Program which sends students to foreign countries on a cultural exchange for several weeks

April

Students in Northern Maine Community College’s new practical nursing program is Houlton include, from left, seated, Michelle Moore, Bobby Jo Ruffin, Katelyn Hammond, and Ashley St. Pierre. Middle Row: Tonia Shaw, Lynn Tuck, Cassie Carmichael and Bailee Kingsbury. Back row, co-instructor Angela Davis, RN, BSN, Helena Cochran, Ellen Lincoln, Katherine DuBois, Amy Doughty, Miranda Swallow, Tonya Osnoe, Tonya Fitzpatrick, and co-instructor Angela Bickford, RN, BSN. (Courtesy of Northern Maine Community College)

Katahdin Trust announced that it was donating a lead gift of $5,000 to the Caribou Performing Arts Center’s Revitalization Project. Caribou Performing Arts Center celebrated its 30th anniversary Katahdin Trust partnered with the Center for Advancement of Rural Living to reinvigorate the arts center as a destination location.

In an attempt to fill a gap in the health care field in Aroostook and beyond, Northern Maine Community College launched a new program in Houlton, training practical nurses. The brand-new cohort currently has 16 students enrolled in the 45- week program based out of the Houlton Regional Hospital.

Rotarian Richard Hammond was the guest speaker at The Houlton Rotary Club and his topic was the Putnam House senior center in Houlton. Hammond thanked the club for its past donations to the center and for helping obtain a new heat exchanger for the building.

Customers of Spectrum cable, telephone and internet services no longer had a local storefront to stop into with questions on their bills or to request service. Signs on the windows of the 34 Military St. building stated that the cable company’s location in the Shiretown was “Now Closed” and redirected people to the Presque Isle office.

May

Rotarians Leigh Cummings and Henry Gartley presented a slide show collection of old photographs recently acquired by the Aroostook Historical and Art Museum of Houlton to members of the Houlton Rotary Club on Monday, April 29. (Courtesy of Nate Bodenstab)

After 45 years in the nursing field, Wendy Lynds called it a career. Lynds had spent the better part of four decades working at Gardiner Health Care Facility.

Something fishy was going on in the lobby of TD Bank in Houlton. Thanks to a partnership with the Chiputneticook Lakes International Conservancy, a salmon tank filled with fish fry was in the bank’s lobby to help raise awareness for CLIC and the work it does with local schools.

Katahdin Trust held a retirement reception in honor of Robert “Bob” E. Anderson, who retired from Katahdin Trust’s Board of Directors after 30 years of service.

A longtime employee of Yorks of Houlton retired. Roger Graham worked his final day for the automobile company, ending a 44-year career with the company.

Katahdin Trust announced the promotion of Susan L. McCarthy to vice president, manager and commercial services officer for Maine Financial Group, an affiliate located in Scarborough and specializing in equipment financing.

Downtown Houlton was the place to be as the annual Community Market opened for business for the first time this spring. The market traditionally opens on Memorial Day weekend, and this year the weather proved to be ideal, drawing many people into Houlton’s Market Square to see what new vendors were on tap after a long, cold winter.

June

TNT Takeout celebrated an open house on Wednesday, June 12 at its 69 High St. location. Taking part are front from left, Jennah Blake, Aimee Bard, David Tucker Jr., owners David Sr. and Crystal Tucker, former owners Reggie and Emily Dow, Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jane Torres, and Nikki Tucker; and back, Kirk Cyr (PFG North Center Food Rep) Jason Tucker, Stephan Tucker and Morgan Fitzpatrick. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

The Houlton Hannaford supermarket presented Houlton Elementary with a $1,000 check through the Hannaford Helps Schools program. The money was to be used for special projects for students.

Houlton Middle-HighSchool students in the JMG program toured the Louisiana-Pacific wood plant as part of the school’s effort to expose students to the workplace

About 300 students filled the Houlton Elementary School cafeteria to honor more than a dozen volunteers from the greater Houlton area who come into the school to interact with the children. These volunteers, some of whom were rotarians, gave their time and talents to the students in Pre-K, kindergarten, first and second grades throughout the year

The Putnam House, a non-profit, senior center in Houlton, received $1,000 from Bangor Savings Bank as part of the “Community Matters More” program. The funds would be used to help purchase a larger refrigerator for the kitchen. 

Katahdin Trust has announced the promotion of Teresa Lincoln to executive assistant. Teresa replaces Vicki Smith, who has served Katahdin Trust for 22 years.

The Houlton Community Market was awarded grant funding for a new summer children’s program, “Kids Market.” The market program is for children ages 4-12 and will take place over eight Saturdays during the season.

One of Aroostook County’s most revered and historic buildings was getting a new lease on life with the opening of a mental health and targeted case management agency in Houlton. Presque Isle resident Tricia Bragan purchased the Blackhawk Putnam building, and after a few months of renovations will open the doors to her business, A New Start.

The Houlton Lodge of Elks made its annual donation to Sarah’s House of Maine and the Bridge to Hope Foundation. The funds donated were provided by the Elks National Foundation as part of the Elks continuing commitment to improving our communities at a local level.

Scott Austin of New Limerick was the winner of a John Deere lawn mower as part of an annual fundraiser sponsored by the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum in Littleton. A total of 500 tickets were sold with $2,900 raised for the Allie Cole Snowplow Building under construction at this time. 

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