August 26, 2016

Gorham Savings Bank demonstrates new technology - By Elizabeth Richards

Gorham Savings Bank is introducing exciting new technology in several locations, and helping customers learn how to utilize these new digital options through technology centers in some of their branches. 

Rebecca Winslow, director for retail delivery for Gorham Savings Bank said the Standish branch has the second technology center, which was put into place to give bank staff the ability to showcase and demonstrate new digital options for clients. One of the most interesting new options is the interactive teller machine (ITM).
At first glance, it looks like an automated teller machine (ATM), though larger. And it can be used as an ATM if customers simply slide their card as usual. But unlike a typical ATM, a live person is waiting in a remote location to help the customer through their transactions if desired. 

“We’re really looking to utilize these for extending our banking hours in a more affordable way,” said Winslow. Because there is a live person at the other end, customers can do almost anything at an ITM that they could do by visiting a teller during regular banking hours. Simply touching the screen brings up the teller, who can then walk the customer through their transactions, including simple deposits, withdrawals, check cashing, choosing a new PIN number, or resetting home banking. ITM allows for one person in a remote location to service three or four machines, rather than needing to staff four locations. At present, customers aren’t used to the extended banking hours from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m, so limited staff is sufficient, Winslow said. “As adoption ramps up and people start using it more often, we’ll look at the numbers and wait time,” she said. 

The machines have a few limitations, like not being able to accept coins, not being able to open new accounts, and not being set up to handle huge commercial deposits easily. The goal, Winslow said, is to monitor the usage and find out what the market is looking for. 

As they do so, education of customers is important. One of the biggest things customers want is reassurance that tellers won’t be eliminated, Winslow said. And they won’t. Instead, Gorham Savings Bank is looking for ways to serve more locations in better ways. It’s about finding a good balance, Winslow said. 

It’s also about teaching people how to use the machines so they are comfortable with them. The technology centers help with this, as does having staff on hand to walk customers through the process. The tech center was put into the Gorham branch because it’s the busiest, and they could get good customer feedback there, Winslow said. “We did get a ton of feedback, good, bad and indifferent,” she said. The feedback was mostly good, she added, with customers loving the idea of extended hours.

ITM’s are in use in four locations currently – in Kennebunk, at a self-service location located at 118 Congress Street in Portland, in the Gorham branch, and now in Standish. In Standish, the unit is currently inside where use can be easily demonstrated. It will be moved to a drive through lane in September.  

Gorham Savings Bank has committed to putting five ITMs into service. Although Windham was slated to be the fifth, a renovation of the Grand Trunk space in Portland has shifted the focus and the fifth ITM will be put in there instead. That means that the technology won’t be available in Windham for at least another year, Winslow predicted.

Tyler Cole celebrates the highest rank in Scouting - By Michelle Libby

Boy Scout Tyler Cole of Windham has been awarded the highest honor in Boy Scouts, the Eagle Scout rank. After joining Scouting in first grade, Cole celebrated his achievement with a ceremony and reception at Windham Hill United Church. 

To reach the rank of Eagle Scout, Cole and all Eagle Scouts must complete 21 merit badges, some which involve camping outside for at least 10 days or keeping track of physical fitness for 90 days. All Eagles are required to do a community service project that benefits the community. They also go before a board of adults to answer questions about their Scouting experience and the completed project. 

Cole earned 24 merit badges on a variety of topics and completed a community service project in which he built and installed a dock at Donnabeth Lippman Park. He assembled it along with his fellow troop members from Troop 51 at his house in April and then in May they installed it in Chaffin Pond. He received an award along with three other Eagle Scouts from Linda Brooks at Windham Parks and Recreation Department for their projects at the park this year.

Cole will attend Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts this fall. He is the son of Jennifer and Larry Cole. His father is the Scoutmaster of Troop 51 and an Eagle Scout himself.

Sen. Diamond introduces bill to allow police to raise funds - Michelle Libby

AUGUSTA — A new bill submitted by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, would remove a prohibition on fundraising by law enforcement agencies in some circumstances.

Diamond, who submitted the legislation last Thursday, said he was spurred to act after learning that several law enforcement officers in the state were struggling to pay for medical expenses related to family members’ illnesses. Current law does not allow police departments to solicit funds, so too often the officers in question have to turn to third-party fundraisers that retain much of the donations as a fee for service.

“Our police are hard-wired to protect and serve, and they deserve better than to struggle to take care of their loved ones in a time of need,” Diamond said. “There’s no reason our law shouldn’t be a little more flexible.”

Diamond said his intention is to allow law enforcement agencies to collect donations only under certain extenuating circumstances affecting an officer or their family, such as severe illness or other catastrophic event, or to help the families of officers killed in the line of duty. To ensure no member of the public is inadvertently intimidated into donating, the bill will also be designed to prohibit uniformed officers from directly soliciting donations themselves.

“Police officers, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and other law enforcement officials work hard every day to keep us safe,” Diamond said. “The least we can do is give them the ability to take care of their own when tragedy strikes.”

Hole-in-one at Hope-JG Foundation Golf Scramble - By Michelle Libby

Michael L. Coyne of Portland did what all golfers aspire to and many duffers dream about, he got a hole-in-one at The Hope-JG Foundation annual golf scramble last Tuesday at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland. This was his fifth hole-in-one. 

The shot, on the 11th hole, was 150-yards and by getting the hole-in-one, he won $20,000.
The 11th hole in one-in-one
Coyne described the whole day as a lucky break. “I got invited at the last minute, was late getting to the course and his team had already started playing the 11th hole.” One of the balls was already two feet from the pin, but they convinced him to take the shot anyway. “I never knew the hole was for $20,000,” he said. It was his first shot of the day. 

“I don’t want the money. I’m giving it back by dividing it into four different charities,” said Coyne, who owns MC Construction Company, Inc. 

The money will be donated to the foundation sponsoring the tournament, which raises money to support the fight against ALS also known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”, ASPCA, a college fund for youth archery at Lakeside Archery and the rest would go into a college fund for his grandson.
Coyne has played professionally, but wasn’t at the time of this shot. Keeping the money would make him a pro again, he said, which he didn’t want. 

“The money’s not going to alter my life or change my life in any way,” he added. As soon as the word of his lucky shot hit Facebook, he started getting texts, calls and emails from people wanting to borrow money, he said. 

He will give the money away and move onto his next match. 

During the week, he continued his winning streak by winning a member guest at Sable Oaks and tying for first in his golf league at Sable Oaks.

 John Gregoire, co-founder of The Hope-JG Foundation, and Michael L. Coyne pose with the $20,000 hole-in-one check.

August 19, 2016

  Flip to a Different Eagle Section

The MSSPA - A new kind of matchmaker - By Stacie Hutchinson

We have all heard of the type of matchmaking that attempts to bring together two, hopefully compatible, individuals in the anticipation of falling madly, and deeply in love and thereby living happily ever after. The Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals (MSSPA) in Windham, is hoping to make a different kind of love connection - not one of two lovelorn human beings, but one of human and horse. 

Since 1872, the MSSPA has sought to protect and care for our equine friends, beginning with those that worked so hard pulling Portland’s streetcars and fire trucks. Today, the MSSPA rescues horses that have, sadly, been neglected or abused, with the ultimate goal of rehabilitation and rehoming them., the MSSPA has had an adoption program in place for years, it focuses solely on those horses housed at the facility. Each year, across the State of Maine, the number of horses who need caring and loving homes rises at a troubling rate, and as a consequence, equine rescue centers struggle to keep up with the need. As the number of horses being relinquished increases, so does the number of calls from desperate horse owners to the MSSPA requesting help. However, due to the MSSPA’s board of director’s criteria, criteria that maintains that the society may only accept animals which are rendered by law enforcement, they cannot help these owners. 
The MSSPA recognized the growing demand and wanted to find a solution. “These are owners who are trying to do the right thing, and we want to help them,” stated MSSPA assistant CEO, Kathy Woodbrey.
So, as a stop gap measure (and hopefully a long term solution), the MSSPA chose to modernize a method that Marilyn Goodreau, has been using for years - an index-card matchmaking system. And, in today’s social-media driven society, what better way to bring this system into the 21st century than by creating a Facebook page? 

MSSPA’s “Maine Horse Matchmaker” Facebook page, dedicated to the rehoming (not the sale) of horses that are no longer able to live with their owners, went live at the end of 2015. The social media page and the MSSPA act solely as an introduction; a matchmaker between horse owner and interested parties. In fact, prospective adopters are asked to contact the owner directly, not the MSSPA. Although, the horse will be posted (after MSSPA approval) on the Facebook page, owners do not need to have a Facebook account, nor do they need to be social media or tech savvy. The MSSPA will accept listings over the telephone, making it as user friendly as possible.

At last count the Facebook page, according to Alana Thornton, MSSPA’s development coordinator, “... is reaching about 3,000 and has 815 followers.”
Since its inception, many horses have been posted (and matches have been made) by using “Maine Horse Matchmaker”, however, the success of this program rests partly on increasing its reach throughout the state as well as increasing the awareness of those horse owners who need to rehome their animals. 

For more information about the farm or the “Maine Horse Matchmaker” program, call 207-892-3040 or visit

The MSSPA farm is located at 279 River Road in Windham and is open to the public daily and welcomes tours and individual visits.

Raymond Schools Car Show - By Elizabeth Richards

Though the weather was uncertain early in the day, and there were two competing events nearby, the 7th annual Raymond Schools Car Show drew approximately 80 cars to the Jordan Small School on Sunday, August 14th

The event, a fundraiser for the Raymond PTO Scholarship, began almost on a whim seven years ago. Founder and organizer Serena Knight owns a 1980 AMC Eagle with her mother, and was attending car shows. She remarked once that she found it interesting that Raymond didn’t have a car show, and another car enthusiast insisted the town was too small. 

“Challenge accepted,” said Knight, and for seven years has shown that the town can indeed support a show.

In order to get sponsors, she needed an organization to back her, Knight said. She approached the PTO, and together they decided that the proceeds would benefit a college scholarship to be awarded to a Raymond eighth grader each year.

This year brought some new struggles, including competing shows in Naples and Lisbon. Typically, Knight said, car show founders in the area try to meet early in the season to discuss dates and avoid scheduling for the same date. But the Naples organizers weren’t aware of this, she said, and the Lisbon show was one that had been postponed due to inclement weather on its original date.

Other challenges included a new work schedule for Knight, which made soliciting sponsors and organizing details trickier, and the possibility of rain, which delayed the arrival of many cars, Knight said.

Still, the outcome was okay, Knight said, with about 80 cars in total. Though it’s a little small for a car show, Knight said with the competing shows nearby, it was a good turnout. Robert Sanborn, who earned a second place with his 2014 Chevy Silverado, said he’s been attending the show since the first year. “I think it was a great little show,” he said. Taking second was fine with him, he added. “It’s not about you, it’s about the charity. If you win something, great,” he said.

Knight is the sole organizer of the event, but this year she had some help from the school with advertising and asking for volunteers and donations. On the day of the show, the Yankee Cruisers Car Club helps each year with car parking and organizational details, Knight said. And she has some ongoing sponsors she can count on, including Lee’s Family Trailer, Moody’s Collision Center, The Fisherman’s Catch, Mad Mike’s Detailing, Pepsi and the Good Life Market. “I wouldn’t be able to function if I didn’t know they would be here for me every year,” Knight said.
Knight said she is uncertain as to whether the show will continue another year, due to her schedule challenges and the amount of effort it takes to solicit sponsors and donations and organize the show.
Sanborn said the show will be missed if it doesn’t happen again.

In addition to the cars, the show featured concessions, music, raffle prizes and a 50/50 and some family fun. The event drew a couple dozen spectators, which is fairly typical for a show, Knight said, adding that it’s difficult to draw spectators to a car show. 

First place winners at the show were: Cheryl Page, Camaro; Steve Flynn,  Corvette; Stan Page, 4×4 and Nick Philpot, Tuners. The best of show went to Howie, Slater, and Marge with a 1964 Pontiac GTO in the muscle class.

August 12, 2016

Fit 4 Duty 5K is for everyone - By Walter Lunt

The challenge has been issued: Raise funds for public safety by assembling teams that compete in a 5K race. Or just run for fun and support.

Fit-4-Duty is about promoting training for police, fire and EMT personnel throughout Maine. Spokeswoman Lisa Duncanson said the fourth annual Fit-4-Duty 5K run will take place Saturday, August 20 in Windham.  Teams assemble at the high school canopy where they begin and end the race under a fire department ladder truck suspending an American flag. 

“Anyone can enter,” said Duncanson. “Some race simply to raise funds for the cause, others from the public safety sector do it in the spirit of the profession. We’ve had ladies pushing strollers and even children participating.  One team from Raymond Fire ran in full dress gear.” 
Winning teams in the 5K race are determined by the average course time of all the runners in each group. The winning team takes possession of the Fit-4-Duty trophy for one year.

A number of teams have already registered for this year’s run, including  representatives of Windham’s public safety departments and Windham Correctional Center.

“We are encouraging wider participation, and anticipating teams from surrounding towns,”Duncanson said.

Funds raised from Fit-4-Duty support two or more scholarships awarded each year to high school seniors planning a career in public safety and for those working in the field who want to pursue higher certification. For example, according to Duncanson, one of the 2015 recipients was Windham EMT Michael Dube who pursued a license to become a paramedic.

Since 2013, Duncanson said more than $7,000 in scholarships has been awarded to nine recipients. And she added, “The goal is to expand participation in the run and in turn the number of scholarships.”

Money is raised from donations, the sale of T-shirts, corporate and local business sponsors and from entry fees paid by Fit-4-Duty participants.

The race is held each year in honor of Lisa’s husband, Rick Duncanson, a Windham fire/rescue lieutenant who died in 2012 after 26 years with the department. He was known for encouraging and supporting public safety personnel, especially younger members of the department, to grow professionally.

Find more information for the Fit-4-Duty 5K on Facebook or register at