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Houlton area From our Files – Week of January 4, 2023

75 Years Ago – Jan. 1, 1948

Students win essay honors – Several essays were submitted from Houlton High School in the contest sponsored by O. M. Doyle on the subject, “Of What Value is Fresh Fruit to the Health of Our Youth”. The contest was open to all students in this area. Wanda Way, from Houlton, won the first prize of $25.

The second prize, of 15, went to Ardith Henderson, and the third to Elizabeth Scott. Both these students are also from Houlton. One of the five prizes of one dollar was won by Billy Hyde.

50 Years Ago – Jan. 3, 1973

Island Falls to receive health manpower aid – Gertrude T. Hunter, M. D., Regional Health Director for Health Services and Mental Health Administration, has announced that four communities in New England with critical health manpower shortages have been approved for future placement of National Health Service Corps personnel. The new approved communities are Enfield, Conn., Waterbury, Vt., Van Buren and Island Falls. The National Health Service Corps is currently serving eight communities in Region I, identified as shortage areas, with a potential service area of approximately 60,000. In two previous rounds, the National Health Service Corps approved 144 communities in 42 States and the District of Columbia. The NHSC approved its first communities in January, 1972. The NHSC is a program that was created by P.L. 91-623 (Emergency Health Personnel Act) to help alleviate acute health problems in underserved areas through deployment of health manpower, and assigns health personnel to areas of critical shortage.

Remember when? – At the Houlton IGA Foodliner, large brown eggs were 65 cents a dozen, and you could get a 3-pound bag of apples for 59 cents or a 25-pound bag of flour for only $2.11.

25 Years Ago – Jan. 14, 1998

Bergan promoted to Sergeant of MSP – “I was just happy to be here and have a career with the Maine State Police,” declared Julie Bergan, of her appointment to Troop F in Houlton almost 10 years ago. On December 16, 1997, Bergan celebrated her promotion to Sergeant at a ceremony held in her honor in Augusta. Having graduated from Southern Aroostook High School, Bergan spent two years at Bangor Community College, graduating from the Law Enforcement Program. 

Former Houlton coach achieves 300th basketball career victory – He’s earned the prestige of being one of the elite coaches in the state of Maine. He also promoted the image of girl’s basketball in Houlton, while raising the expectations of his players. Coach John Donato was more than 300 miles away from his familiar home setting in Shiretown when he reached a coaching milestone in his basketball career. After his team, the Messalonskee Eagles, defeated Medomak Valley, 47-33, in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game on December 16, Donato recorded his 300th career victory….yet, no one from Houlton was there to share the moment. Donato resigned his Houlton coaching position in 1994-95, to pursue a business venture in Augusta. He coached the Hall-Dale Lady Bulldogs for a season, before taking the helm of the Messalonskee girl’s basketball team. The Houlton girl’s program had not produced a victory in three seasons, until Donato’s arrival in 1977-78, when the program turned around. He directed the Lady Shires to the tournament for the first time in school history during his second season of coaching. 

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