June 21, 2019

CBS This Morning segment highlights Sen. Diamond’s efforts to protect Maine children

AUGUSTA – In a segment that aired Friday morning, the nationally syndicated program ‘CBS This Morning’ highlighted efforts by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, to improve child protective services in Maine.

“We’re not making progress,” said Sen. Diamond in the interview. “Kids are being abused, right now, while you and I are talking. They’re being abused terribly. The only reason we don’t know who they are is because they haven’t died yet.” 

The segment, which highlighted the challenges faced by child protective services workers across the country, included an interview with Sen. Diamond and highlighted his bill, LD 1554, “Resolve, Establishing a Commission To Reform Child Protective Services,” which seeks to establish a legislative commission to study and hold public hearings regarding the laws governing the protection of vulnerable children in state care, and propose necessary changes.

Data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year shows that since 2017, more than 20 children have died after the state received concerns about abuse or neglect involving their families. Four of those deaths were ruled to be homicides.

The deaths of two children in the state’s Child Protective Services system, Kendall Chick of Wiscasset in December 2017 and Marissa Kennedy of Stockton Springs in February 2018, spurred the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee to open an investigation into the Office of Child and Family Services within the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The resulting information brief, “Frontline Workers in the State Child Protective System: Perspectives on Factors That Impact Effectiveness and Efficiency of Child Protective Work,” was released in February 2019, and highlighted that the workers in that office were overburdened and did not feel that they could accomplish the job within a normal 40-hour workweek.

LD 1554 has been carried over until the next Legislative Session and will face votes in the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee during the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature.

Auto transport company offers scholarship entry to Windham/Raymond students

A-1 Auto Transport, Inc., one of the nation’s largest car shipping companies with offices in Maine has announced they are offering their scholarship to local Windham and Raymond, Maine students. The scholarship for $250, $500 and $1000 is open to students who are enrolled in an accredited college, high school, truck driving school or other logistics program either full or part time and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. There is no minimum age to enter for the scholarship.

The scholarship will be sent directly to the financial office of the student’s school.

To enter:

Students need to write an essay/article based on a topic shown on the company website at: www.a1autotransport.com. Essays must be at least 1000 words and are required to be 100% original and not found published anywhere else online. All essays/articles entered will be published on the company website and attributed to the student.

The company is looking for original thoughts and ideas for topics including:
Car shipping services
Freight shipping
Motorcycle shipping
Boat shipping
Moving overseas
Long distance moving
Door to door transport
More ideas for topics can be found on the scholarship page of the A-1 Auto Transport website. www.a1autotransport.com/a-1-auto-transport-scholarship

Deadline for entry:
March 10, 2020 and all following years. For example March 10th 2021 will be the deadline for 2021.

Essays will be voted on by the public once they are published to the website and the Scholarship Committee will determine a winner based on the number of votes. The winner will be announced on the website and notified by email by the end of March 2020.

A-1 Auto Transport, Inc.
9032 Soquel Drive Suite 200
Aptos, CA 95003
ATTN: Joe Webster
Director of Marketing

Applebee’s of Windham Partnered with local firefighters; Raised over $1,000 for MDA

On Saturday, June 8, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar of Windham opened its doors to local firefighters for a Tip-A-Firefighter fundraiser. Members of the Windham Fire Department served as ‘celebrity waiters’ at Applebee’s for the fundraiser, with 100% of their tips donated directly to Muscular Dystrophy Association. The event raised more than $1,000 for Muscular Dystrophy Association, which aims to make a difference in the lives of local children faced with the challenges of muscle-debilitating diseases.

The International Association of Fire Fighters has shown unwavering commitment to defeating muscular dystrophy and related life-threatening diseases since 1954, with the Windham Fire Department participating annually to help raise funds. Apple American Group, the largest Applebee’s franchisee in the country, who own and operate Applebee’s locations throughout New England including the Applebee’s of Windham, pledges to assist those less fortunate and support those institutions that enhance the quality of life in the communities it serves. Each restaurant stays engaged in its neighborhood through participation in community events, donations, sponsorships and fundraisers to help local organizations grow and flourish and takes care of their own team members through the Flynn Restaurant Group Family Fund.

Local families needed for cultural exchange students

ASSE International Student Exchange Program (ASSE) is seeking local families to host boys and girls between the ages of 15 to 18 from a variety of countries around the world.     

Students come with an enthusiasm to practice their English and experience American culture -- food, sports, shopping and more. They will also share their own culture with host families. Host families welcome these students into their family, not as a guest, but as a family member, giving both the students and families a rich cultural experience.   

In addition, students have pocket money for personal expenses; and full health, accident and liability insurance. Students are academically selected onto the program, and host families can choose their students from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries and personal interests.  

To become a host family or to find out how to become involved with ASSE in your community, please call our Eastern regional office 1-800-677-2773 or go to asse.com There are many students to choose from, so call or go online  – and begin the process of welcoming your new son or daughter into your family today! 

Annual Toby’s Memorial 5K run/walk to start the Windham Summerfest celebration

By Lorraine Glowczak

This fall will mark five years since Stuart “Toby” Pennels’ life was taken too quickly at the age of 55. He left behind a wife and three children – and a community that adored him immensely for his positive impact on the world around him.

Seven months after his death, the first annual Toby’s Dream Memorial 5K was held at
Windham High School (WHS) to initially help a community-wide fundraiser to raise funds to pave the roadway to the Windham Veteran’s Center, located behind the Windham Mall. As a retired U.S. Army Colonel, Pennels’ dream to have easy access to the veteran’s center came true when over $8,000 funds raised from the 5K, adding the funds needed for the total costs.

With the exception of one summer, the 5K has become a yearly event and the Fourth Annual Toby’s Memorial 5K run/walk will occur again this year and will begin the festivities at this Saturday’s Windham Summerfest on June 22nd with a race start time of 7:45 a.m. The cost of the run/walk is $20. One can register online at www.runinarace.com/TobysDream/index.html or on the day of the event. A one-mile run/walk option will also be available as part of the race. The one mile and 5K starting and finishing line will be located at the Windham High School canopy entrance.

WHS Cross Country Couch, Jeff Riddle has been and continues to be the race director. He stated that the funds raised will go toward the Toby Pennels Memorial Scholarship Fund, Windham High School Cross-Country team and the Joint Military Cadets of America. “All the funds generated, large or small, will go toward helping kids or graduates at WHS to Improve Their Position”

“Improve Your Position” (IYP) that Riddle refers to is from Pennels’ experience as a soldier.  He adopted the mantra “Improve Your Position;” a phrase which refers to improving one’s fighting position/foxhole in a combat situation.  In many respects, it became Toby’s defining philosophy in life.

For those who may feel intimidated by the word “race,” Riddle helps to improve their position. “I designed this race course to be a flat course so all can enjoy the challenge of it, and I also wanted it to run by many RSU#14 school buildings as Toby worked hard to support school programming within those buildings for many years,” Riddle said.

According to the Toby’s Memorial 5K website: “Toby personified the spirit of the selfless volunteer, taking on any task and spearheading numerous projects that enriched the lives of those in the community. Toby was a lifelong advocate for education, serving for many years on the Windham School Committee including two terms as Chairman.” Pennels was also President of the Windham Veterans Center.

Start your Saturday morning and the Summerfest by helping to “improve the position” for others – and yourself - and run/walk your way into the day.

Thank you to the following sponsors: Fleet Feet Maine Running Company – Portland, RSU#14 Windham Raymond School District, The Good Life Market, The Dugout. Signs donated by: Bob the Screenprinter

The Windham Historical Society presents Rooms in Bloom

The Windham Historical Society will be hosting a colorful fundraiser on Saturday, June 29 at the home of Historical Society members Haley and Andrew Pal at 28 Haskell Road in Windham from noon to 4 p.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Historical Society’s Village Green Living History Village. The Living History Village provides hands-on historical education to students and adults in the Lakes Region area.

The event will be a walk through a country farmhouse enhanced with beautiful floral arrangements inspired by summer and created by talented local designers.

Several businesses are donating floral arrangements to be offered in a silent auction and for sale on the property’s back patio. The Pals live in a 19th century farmhouse and the rooms inside will be blooming with the scents and colors of summer as guests walk through the home and bid on their favorite pieces.

Businesses participating are Broadturn Farm, Marigold Floral; Windham Flower Shop; Distinctive Gardening; Risbara’s Greenhouse; Blossoms of Windham; Skillins Greenhouse; Allen, Sterling and Lothrop Garden Center; Roosevelt Trail Garden Center; Cooper’s Greenhouse; Farmhouse Floral by Estabrook’s, Simple Elegance of Maine, Studio Flora, and the Windham Historical Society will offer an arrangement of their own. Society members are also donating perennials that will be up for sale.
Refreshments will be served to guests who attend. Admission is $5 at the door.

For more information, contact Haley Pal at 892-7139 or haleypal@aol.com.


Field-Allen Post 148 and Troop 805 Flag Day Ceremony

By Dave Tanguay

Promptly at 7 p.m. on Flag Day - June 14, the American Legion Field-Allen Post and Boy Scout Troop and Pack Members conducted a solemn Flag Retirement Ceremony at the Windham Veterans Center. Prior to the ceremony the Troop and Pack members were instructed in the origin of these flags that were about to be retired. 

The flags were collected over Memorial Day weekend from the graves of our local veterans and replaced with bright new flags for the coming year. After receiving instructions on the proper procedure for retiring the flags by burning the Scouts participated in the retirement ceremony and in turn placed their bundle of flags on the fire. Each bundle of flags had been previously inspected and deemed unserviceable and ready for disposal by the Post 1st Vice Commander, Eric Bickford and Post Americanism Officer, David Horne. 

During the Ceremony it was noted by Commander Mel Greenier that, “A flag may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze or a beautiful banner of the finest silk. Its intrinsic value may be trifling or great, but its real value is beyond price, for it is a precious symbol of all that we and our comrades have worked for, lived for and died for- a free nation of free men and women, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practices of justice, freedom and democracy.”

Greenier then commanded, “Let these faded flags of our country be retired and destroyed with respect and honorable rites and their place be taken by bright, new flags of the same size and kind and let no grave of our soldiers, sailors, Marines and Airmen dead, be unhonored and unmarked”. Following a brief prayer by Post Chaplain, Richard Drapeau, the Sargeant at Arms, Richard Graves, directed the scouts to in turn place their bundle of flags on the fire. He then retired the troop.