PROUDLY SERVING BERWICK, NORTH BERWICK, SOMERSWORTH, SOUTH BERWICK, ROLLINSFORD & BEYOND

News

  • 11/15/2021 1:08 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    DOVER, N.H. –Dr. Maureen Cashman will be joining Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Lee Family Practice and will begin seeing patients on November 15. She has worked in family medicine for 17 years.

                Dr. Cashman attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1994. She went on to study at the University of Connecticut in Farmington, CT. Post-graduation, she received training at Middlesex Hospital in Middlesex, Connecticut where she performed her internship and residency from 2001 to 2004. Dr. Cashman has worked at Frisbie Memorial Hospital’s Rochester Hill Family Practice in Rochester, New Hampshire since 2004. She was awarded New Hampshire Top Doctor in 2020 and 2021.

    Dr. Cashman will be working at Lee Family Practice in Lee, New Hampshire. This Wentworth-Douglass affiliate offers personal and compassionate care to help individuals and families achieve their best health. Lee Family Practice also offers on-site lab and imaging services in their state-of-the-art facility. Visit https://www.wdhospital.org/whp/primary-care/lee-family-practice or call  (603) 868-3300 for more information.

     

    About Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (wdhospital.org) is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit charitable health care organization located in Dover, New Hampshire with a 115-year history of compassionate care and innovation. A member of the Mass General Brigham system, Wentworth-Douglass is strategically located in the heart of the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Southern Maine, which it has served since 1906. The organization is a family of more than 3,500 employees, including more than 400 physicians and advanced practice providers, dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of the region’s residents and visitors. The organization includes a 178-bed hospital, more than 30 primary and specialty provider practices and clinic sites, multiple express and prompt care facilities, an ambulatory surgery center, several medical office buildings, The Works Family Health and Fitness Center, and the Wentworth-Douglass Foundation.

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  • 11/12/2021 1:27 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Milford, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills announced today that her Administration is launching the Forestry Recovery Initiative to support Maine’s forest products industry and the people it employs, create and sustain jobs in rural Maine, and strengthen the state’s economy.

    The initiative will be administered by the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) and utilizes $20 million in federal funds through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan for grants to Maine loggers, foresters, lumber yards, and other members of Maine’s forest products sector. These grants will be used to help these businesses recover financial loss caused by the pandemic, develop new wood products, and upgrade infrastructure to strengthen supply chain and sell products to new markets.

    The initiative comes as Maine’s $8.5 billion forest economy grapples with the impacts of the pandemic, including an estimated 30-40 percent decline in available markets for harvested wood and a shift in the use of paper resulting in a 19 percent decrease in revenue for paper mills.

    “For generations, hardworking men and women across Maine have carved their livelihoods from our forests. While the products we make out of Maine wood have changed over time, the importance of the industry has not,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Our forest products industry employs tens of thousands of people in good-paying jobs and generates billions of dollars for our economy every year. It’s the lifeblood of our rural communities, and it’s why I want to make sure that we preserve these jobs for generations to come. Sustaining these businesses and supporting new and innovative products will open new markets, diversify this important industry, create jobs, and strengthen rural economy.”

    “The forest industry is not only key to Maine’s economy but also supports our rural communities while our working forestlands play an important role in meeting our climate goals,” said Commissioners Amanda Beal and Heather Johnson. “As part of the Maine Jobs and Recovery program, this investment will directly support existing businesses that have been impacted by COVID and help stimulate innovative product and new market development for Maine’s timber assets.”

    “These grants will enable the state to provide support to as many timber-related forestry businesses as possible and provide much needed capital to stabilize and aid in the recovery of Maine’s $8.5 billion forest economy,” said Brian Whitney, President of the Maine Technology Institute. “The funding will help us move forward and adapt to address new market demands for the long-term sustainability of this legacy industry.”

    Today’s announcement was made at Randall Madden Trucking, a family-based timber harvesting and hauling company in Milford.

    “The pandemic has brought a new level of challenges to Maine’s timber harvesters and timber haulers at a time when they are already dealing with many other hardships,” said Dana Doran, Executive Director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine. “Maine’s forest economy is built on the foundation of wood fiber harvested by hardworking small family logging businesses across our state, and this announcement of support is a welcome one both for the financial impact it will have and the signal it sends about the continuing importance of timber harvesting and hauling within the forest products industry in Maine. Contractors desperately need to invest in their equipment to remain competitive and we are hopeful that this will provide needed low cost capital to help contractors make these investments. We thank Governor Mills for recognizing the value of timber harvesting, timber hauling and the greater forest products industry as a priority for funding.”

    “The Council applauds Governor Mills’ Jobs and Recovery Plan Initiative focused on Maine’s forest resource economy,” said Patrick Strauch, Executive Director of the Maine Forest Products Council. “It’s critical to make all sectors of our industry whole after COVID so we can continue our efforts to build a more diversified and resilient economy as global demand for more climate friendly wood-based products grows. Governor Mills knows how important our forest industry is to rural Maine communities and our workers, and we thank her for her efforts with this initiative.”

    “FOR/Maine has worked closely with the Mills Administration to build upon our knowledge of sustainable wood supply, market development and attraction pursuits best suited for Maine’s forest resource, as well as forest economy workforce needs and opportunities for rural Maine citizens and communities,” said Steve Schley, Chair of FOR/Maine Executive Committee. “This funding available through the Maine Jobs and & Recovery Plan Initiative, along with our work with DECD and MTI, creates terrific symbiosis to advance the detailed recovery plans we have been developing over the last three years.”

    The Forestry Recovery Initiative will make grant awards available in multiple phases. Phases 1 and 2 will deploy $10 million of the total $20 million, with Phase 1 grants providing immediate financial relief to forest products industry businesses that have experienced negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic to help them sustain the viability of their business. Eligible uses of grant funds may include but are not limited to:

    • payroll costs and expenses;
    • rent or mortgage payments for business facilities (unless otherwise waived by the lessor or lender);
    • utility payments;
    • purchase of personal protective equipment required by the business;
    • business-related equipment;
    • investments that strengthen the business’s ability to mitigate pandemic-related market disruptions;
    • expenses incurred to replenish inventory or other necessary reopening expenses;
    • necessary operating expenses.

    MTI will begin accepting applications for Phase 1 on November 22, 2021. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2022.

    Phase 2 will be a competitive grant program to improve market opportunities for Maine timber, which has suffered serious declines due to market disruptions from the pandemic. Funding will support forward-looking projects that address new market demands, provide new sustainable products, or otherwise advance the long-term stability of the industry, helping to create and sustain jobs in rural Maine and strengthen Maine’s economy. Phase 2 funds may also be used for infrastructure upgrades that strengthen the supply chain and help businesses pivot to new products and markets.

    Phase 2 is expected to launch in early 2022 and the remaining $10 million of the total $20 million will be deployed in subsequent phases in late 2022 or early 2023.

    The design of the Forestry Recovery Initiative is the result of community and stakeholder engagement, including meetings with industry members to explore the impact of the pandemic and to discuss the types of support needed.

    This new Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan program builds on the Mills Administration’s commitment to Maine’s forest products industry. The Administration awarded $9.4 million in Maine Economic Recovery Grants to support businesses in the forest economy.

    This event is the third and final in Governor Mills’ Maine Heritage Industry Week, which featured a series of announcements through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan focused on supporting Maine’s iconic farming, fishery and forestry industries, including $20 million for Maine farmers and food processors and $10 million for Maine seafood dealers and processors.

    The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to achieve three goals: immediate economic recovery from the pandemic; long-term economic growth for Maine; and infrastructure revitalization.

    It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and strengthen the economy.

    In addition to the investments above, since the legislation implementing the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan took effect on October 18, 2021, Governor Mills has announced:

    With more than $300 million in planned workforce investments through education and skills training programs, workforce housing, childcare, worker attraction, and business supports, the Jobs Plan aims to make a measurable impact on Maine’s workforce trends and build an economy poised for future growth.

    Funding for the Jobs Plan is through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $4.5 billion in stimulus funds to Maine earlier this year.

    Coordination of the Jobs Plan is led by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, through a new Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Office.

    This Office will oversee the transparent and accountable implementation of the Jobs Plan, including ensuring that proposed expenditures are permissible under U.S. Treasury eligibility guidance, the final version of which remains pending.


  • 11/10/2021 1:28 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Investment will help stabilize and grow Maine’s iconic seafood industry and keep Maine people working on our waters and waterfronts

    Portland, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills today announced that her Administration is investing $10 million in federal funds through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to allow Maine seafood dealers and processors to upgrade their infrastructure.

    The new Seafood Infrastructure Investment Program will launch early next year and will be administered through the Maine Department of Marine Resources. It will provide grants to Maine seafood dealers and processors to upgrade buildings, equipment, and utilities. These grants will help seafood dealers and processors increase the supply of Maine-harvested seafood; strengthen their ability to deliver to markets in Maine, across the United States, and around the world; and create and sustain jobs throughout Maine’s iconic seafood industry

    “Maine’s seafood industry – from our fishermen and lobstermen to our processors and our dealers – is a cornerstone of our economy, employing thousands of people up and down the coast and generating about two billion dollars every year,” said Governor Janet Mills. “They work hard every day, and they have adapted with characteristic Maine grit and ingenuity to meet the challenges of the pandemic, but it hasn’t been easy by any means. Helping our dealers and processors upgrade their infrastructure will ensure the strength and vitality of this industry for years to come, will keep Maine people working in our waters and waterfronts, and will keep delivering Maine’s world-class seafood across the globe.”

    Today’s announcement was made at the Portland waterfront facility of Luke’s Lobster, a family-owned Maine seafood business, founded by third-generation lobsterman Luke Holden.

    “The pandemic forced our business to pivot from production and sales tailored for the food service industry to production and sales for grocery and ecommerce channels,” said Luke Holden, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Luke’s Lobster. “While we created new demand and opportunity for the Maine lobster and seafood industry, there were many costs associated with opening up these new channels and shifting production in such a dramatic way. Getting support from the State is necessary and appreciated so that we can continue to focus on ensuring a strong market for Maine's fishermen and lobstermen both here in Maine and nationwide.”

    “The pandemic tested the limits of the infrastructure, personnel, and resources in the Maine lobster supply chain,” said Annie Tselikis, Executive Director of the Maine Lobster Dealers Association. “Our businesses incurred costs associated with but not limited to employee quarantine and testing, Personal Protective Equipment, facility reengineering for worker safety and social distancing, and new product lines and packaging to support shifts in distribution from food service to retail or e-commerce. In our industry, like so many others, necessity is the mother of invention, but invention always comes at a cost. To date, there has not been a fund that directly or effectively mitigates the massive costs that Maine lobster wholesalers and processors experienced during the pandemic. We welcome the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan funds to support the needs of the lobster supply chain.”

    “At Atlantic Sea Farms, we work to diversify incomes for fishermen by farming kelp - and one component of that commitment is to guarantee purchase of every blade of kelp that our partner farmers grow,” said Briana Warner, CEO of Atlantic Sea Farms. “The pandemic hit right as harvest season was beginning in 2020 and, at the same time, our customers - almost all of whom were food service customers - shuttered overnight. We still bought all of that kelp that we had promised to buy even though we didn't know where or how we would sell it - because it was the right thing to do. We had to completely change our process and our offerings and hired new staff and purchased new machinery to pivot into retail. This was no small task, and its failure would have had a potentially irreversible effect on Maine's growing kelp industry, as our partner farmers produce more than 85 percent of domestic line-grown seaweed. Through this grant, the State of Maine is recognizing the significant cost and effort that processors had to make to address an entirely new market resulting from COVID and is helping us continue to grow opportunities for fishing families in Maine."

    “Many Maine seafood dealers and processors have had to adjust their facilities at great financial cost during the pandemic to safely continue operations,” said Patrick Keliher, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. “Supply chains have also been volatile, requiring dealers and processors to invest in new ways to get their product to market. Unfortunately, many of Maine’s dealers and processors have had limited access to other federal COVID-19 relief programs, and the expenditures they have made to remain in business during the pandemic have depleted their financial resources and left many of them unable to continue to make the investments necessary to grow. This funding is designed to provide a flexible opportunity for businesses that wish to make investments that will enable greater resilience to changing market conditions in the future. Such investments are critical to the stability of Maine’s seafood industry.”

    The Department of Marine Resources will begin accepting applications in the coming months. A range of funding will be offered, including smaller grants for facilities improvements and larger grants for capital projects. Eligible investments may include:

    • Capital improvements, including modifications to existing buildings and construction of new buildings at existing facilities
    • Upgrades to utilities (including water, electric, heat, refrigeration, freezing, and waste facilities)
    • Processing and manufacturing equipment
    • Packaging and handling equipment
    • Technology that allows increased capacity or business resilience

    This new Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan program builds on the Mills Administration’s commitment to Maine’s seafood industry. In 2020, the Administration awarded approximately $17 million from the CARES Act in direct payments to Maine fishermen, aquaculturists, charter fishing operations, dealers and processors.

    This event is the second in Governor Mills’ Maine Heritage Industry Week, which features a series of announcements through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan focused on supporting Maine’s iconic farming, fishery and forestry industries. Earlier this week, Governor Mills announced that she was investing $20 million in Maine’s farmers and food processors to help them strengthen their businesses.

    The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to achieve three goals: immediate economic recovery from the pandemic; long-term economic growth for Maine; and infrastructure revitalization.

    It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and strengthen the economy.

    Since the legislation implementing the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan took effect on October 18, 2021, Governor Mills has announced:

    • $139 million to support small businesses, including $20 million for a new small business grant program, $39 million to help lower monthly health insurance premiums, and $80 million to replenish the Maine Unemployment Trust fund and mitigate tax hikes for small businesses.

    Funding for the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $4.5 billion in stimulus funds to Maine earlier this year.

    Coordination of the Jobs Plan is led by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, through a new Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Office.

    This Office will oversee the transparent and accountable implementation of the Jobs Plan, including ensuring that proposed expenditures are permissible under U.S. Treasury eligibility guidance, the final version of which remains pending.

     


  • 11/10/2021 1:06 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    DOVER, N.H. –  When Dr. Dmytro Havaleshko, medical director of the Center for Weight Management and chair of Robotic Surgery, joined Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in 2017, there was no bariatric program. Nearly four years later, Wentworth-Douglass is now home to the most advanced bariatric surgery program on the Seacoast and Dr. Havaleshko has passed a major milestone.

     

    “I’m incredibly happy with how we’ve created this program here. It’s pretty cool to have 1,000 successful cases under your belt, it gives you the assurance you probably know what you’re doing,” Dr. Havaleshko said. “Our goal is to continue helping as many people as we possibly can.”

     

    Dr. Havaleshko reached the milestone in early November, performing a sleeve gastrectomy on a patient who suffers from multiple comorbidities due to their weight.  Through the bariatric program at Wentworth-Douglass, patients like that can expect to lose about 80-85 percent of their excess body weight in a year – transforming their lives.

    “It’s not about just the weight and how they look, it’s about all of those comorbid conditions they collect in their lifetime and helping them get on a path to overall health,” Dr. Havaleshko said.

    As Wentworth-Douglass’ bariatric program has grown over the years, it has now become a model for other institutions on a national stage. Dr. Havaleshko credits the Intuitive da Vinci Xi robots for helping the program get to where it is today. He regularly teaches courses on the da Vinci Xi to surgeons across the country.

    “We are extremely lucky to have a medical director that is so driven to make this the very best program on the Seacoast and beyond. Over the last three-and-a-half years, our patients have lost over 40,000 pounds,” said Brenda J. Fritz, program administrator of the Center for Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery.

    “This is life-changing. The patients who take this seriously do really well, and we are here to guide them and give them the tools they need. Our robot is not just tool to begin that journey, it’s the perfect tool,” Dr. Havaleshko said.

    To learn more about Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Center for Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery, visit https://www.wdhospital.org/wdh/services-and-specialties/weight-management-weight-loss-surgery.

     

    About Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (wdhospital.org) is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit charitable health care organization located in Dover, New Hampshire with a 115-year history of compassionate care and innovation. A member of the Mass General Brigham system, Wentworth-Douglass is strategically located in the heart of the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Southern Maine, which it has served since 1906. The organization is a family of more than 3,500 employees, including more than 400 physicians and advanced practice providers, dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of the region’s residents and visitors. The organization includes a 178-bed hospital, more than 30 primary and specialty provider practices and clinic sites, multiple express and prompt care facilities, an ambulatory surgery center, several medical office buildings, The Works Family Health and Fitness Center, and the Wentworth-Douglass Foundation.

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  • 11/09/2021 1:03 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    DOVER/ROLLINSFORD/SOUTH BERWICK, NH - The Lions Club of Dover, Rollinsford, and South Berwick is hosting a fundraiser that everyone can participate in, and by everyone, we mean all of the US, Canada, and Mexico. The funds raised will be used to support your local Lions Club initiatives that assist the homeless with essential food and clothing this winter. 

    This fundraiser is a simple online shopping event that can be share with friends and family throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico, but all the funds raised stay in our local community. 100% of the profits from this event will be donated to the Lions Club of D/R/SB. 

    Use this link to get started. 

    https://www.seacretdirect.com:443/kazbah/en/us/party/?p=35954312fe59 

    There are 3 product lines available to choose from in this fundraiser.

    First, experience the magic of the Dead Sea with luxury skincare products made in Israel by "Skincare by Seacret”. For over 15 years, Seacret has been the world leader in Dead Sea Minerals with retail stores in 40 countries. Now, you can have it shipped right to your door for much less than retail pricing.

    Second, “Life by Seacret” brings you the cleanest nutrition products you can find anywhere. Made right here in the US, these shake, greens, and other supplements are 100% organic and vegan, as well as 'Informed Sport' certified, so you can trust the quality.

    Last, “Club Seacret” is your key to experiencing the world. As the world’s largest vacation travel club, you get the best pricing, best trips, best sports and entertainment packages, all at the best price guaranteed 110%. Nobody should travel without Club Seacret.

    This fundraising event closes on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 6pm. Get something nice for yourself. Do something nice for someone for the holidays. Do something nice for your local community. 

    Any questions about this fundraiser, the products, or the company, please reach out to Matt Randall at 603-767-6500.



  • 11/08/2021 1:29 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Hope, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills announced today that her Administration is investing $20 million in federal funds through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to help Maine farmers and food processers upgrade aging infrastructure. These funds will help our farmers increase the supply of Maine-grown food, meet growing demand, create and sustain jobs in one of Maine’s iconic heritage industries. At the same time, these improvements will strengthen our economy and enhance Maine’s national reputation for food excellence.

    The new Agricultural Infrastructure Investment Program will be administered through the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) and will provide grants to Maine farm and food processing businesses. These grants can be used to upgrade harvesting, processing, and manufacturing equipment or packaging and handling equipment. Improving agricultural infrastructure will allow this sector to increase production and storage capacity, enhance supply chain resilience, and drive growth within the state’s agricultural and food economy while enhancing production of Maine-grown foods.

    The investment comes after farmers and food producers who were surveyed by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) during the pandemic indicated that storage, processing, and packaging capacity investments were critically important to the strength of the agricultural community and the statewide economy. In fact, according to preliminary results from a 2021 assessment from DACF and University of Maine School of Economics, investments in additional processing infrastructure could result in an estimated 1,367 Maine jobs, $321 million in annual statewide sales revenue, and $62 million in labor income per year.

    “When we grow and raise our own healthy food, in our own fields and waters, and sell it through our own shops to our own neighbors and friends – that’s a recipe for a healthy people and a healthy economy,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Our farmers and food processors have told us they can deliver Maine-grown food to more people if they can upgrade their equipment. With this new program through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, we can deliver that help and they can deliver to all of us and to the world over healthy food, all while creating jobs and strengthening our economy.”

    “Maine’s farmers and food processors are some of the best and most resilient in the world,” said Amanda Beal, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. “Through this new program, we are going to work closely with them to tackle processing bottlenecks head on and enhance Maine’s ability to expand food production in ways that will improve agricultural products and make a positive and lasting impact for our farmers, our communities, and our economy as a whole.”

    Maine is home to 7,600 farms of all sizes, scales, and agricultural practices. Before the pandemic, the aging infrastructure hindered the ability of some of Maine’s farmers and food processors to meet a growing demand for local food.

    During the pandemic, with many restaurants, schools, and other food consuming institutions closing and with people avoiding restaurants and stores, our farmers and food processors suddenly lost some of their biggest wholesale buyers.

    “Governor Mills’ decision to support Maine's farmers and food processors has a dramatic, direct, and far-reaching positive impact on Maine agriculture,” said Eric Venturini, Executive Director of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine. “This investment empowers Maine farms and businesses to innovate, grow, and build economic sustainability. Maine's iconic wild blueberry industry is well-positioned to help put these funds to work to support Maine's vibrant agricultural future.”

    “By strengthening the local food economy, Maine’s rural communities and their citizens will have increased economic opportunities, more reliable access to affordable healthy food, and can help combat climate change by reducing food transportation emissions and protecting working lands,” said Hannah Carter, Dean of University of Maine Cooperative Extension. “UMaine Extension is proud to partner with the Mills Administration and farmers and producers in every Maine county to leverage our research, relationships, infrastructure and innovation to put these exciting investments to work to add value and opportunity that accelerates the growth and sustainability of the state’s vibrant agricultural sector.”

    “The Maine Potato Board, along with all of agriculture, is pleased that these much needed funds will be available to Maine’s growers and processors,” said Donald Flannery, Executive Director of the Maine Potato Board. “Maine’s potato industry has a long history of providing quality fresh and processed potato products to our customers in Maine and outside the state. These investments are key to allowing our growers to continue and expand markets with quality Maine agricultural products.”

    “CEI works with Maine’s farmers, processors and food producers every day and knows that access to the right kind of capital at the right time is critical for business growth and success,” said Gray Harris, Senior Vice President of Food Systems at CEI. “The ARPA Agriculture Infrastructure Investment Program is a timely and critical piece of funding to support the growth and resilience of our farming and processing in Maine, and the farmers and food producers who are creating good jobs in their communities, stewarding their lands, and are deeply committed to ensuring that all Mainers have access to the tremendous food they grow and produce.”

    “Maine Farmland Trust is thrilled to see this critical investment in Maine farms and food businesses. Our farmers need improved processing and infrastructure to increase the supply of Maine-grown products and create new market opportunities,” said Amy Fisher, President of Maine Farmland Trust. “Maine’s Economic Development Strategy identifies the food and agriculture sector in Maine as one of the most ripe for economic development, and this investment in innovation is a necessary first step to growing this crucial piece of Maine’s economy.”

    “I am so grateful that the Legislature, the Governor, and the Department of Ag see the investment in processing and agricultural infrastructure as a worthwhile use of these ARPA funds. As an organic dairy farmer, I am especially aware of the current lack of accessible instate processing for our products. These funds will provide much needed assistance for infrastructure updates and business support and could not come at a better time for our state,” said Annie Watson of Maine Organic Milk Company. “Our Maine producers are creative and resilient and are always looking for new opportunities to get our products to market. This investment is an investment in our farms, the economic engines that are the backbone of our rural communities, and an investment into the future of our agriculture economy. It gives us all hope for a more resilient food system for Maine.”

    “Maine is known for quality, innovative, sustainable, and artisan goods and is well-positioned for growth,” said Christine Cummings, Executive Director of Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association. “We're encouraged that our industry has received dedicated funds to assist in infrastructure and processing investments to enable our sector to grow, meet increasing consumer demand, and ensure more Mainers have access to locally sourced products.”

    “We are highly anticipating the announcement of the ARPA grant program for agricultural infrastructure. It is time for Maine to invest in value-added agricultural projects and small businesses like ours. As a USDA slaughter and processing facility, this funding would expand our capability to serve Maine producers and provide us the opportunity to improve sustainable practices, build and train a skilled labor force, and create more cultural food availability to the growing ethnic populations in the state,” said Nichole Sargent, Owner of Southpaw Packing Company, Inc. “This grant program is important to our future stainability and the success of so many in the agricultural community.”

    This new Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan program builds on the Mills Administration’s commitment to Maine’s agricultural community. Earlier this year, the Administration awarded $18 Million in CARES Act relief grants to more than 600 farms, food processors, food producers, and food banks and pantries across Maine.


    Brodis Blueberries, a more than 150-year-old family-owned Maine wild blueberry growing business where the Governor made the announcement today, used these funds to help build a new processing center to package their wild blueberries for direct sale to consumers.

    DACF will begin accepting applications in December 2021. A range of funding will be offered, including smaller grants for on-farm improvements and larger grants for capital projects. There will be no match required and no minimum request amount. Preliminary eligible investments may include:

    • Capital improvements, including modifications to existing buildings and construction of new buildings at existing facilities;
    • Upgrades to utilities (including water, electric, heat, refrigeration, freezing, and waste facilities);
    • Growing, processing, and manufacturing equipment and construction;
    • Packaging and handling equipment; and
    • Technology that allows increased capacity or business resilience (including software and hardware related to business functions, logistics, inventory management, plant production and monitoring controls, to enable extended or year-round production).

    DACF also anticipates funding a smaller subset of grants to support Technical Assistance for producers and processors, including market research and feasibility studies, engineering and construction planning, land use planning, facility design, and configuration planning, and other services that directly support future implementation of infrastructure-related capacity-building projects.

    The event today kicks off Governor Mills’ Maine Heritage Industry Week, which will feature a series of announcements through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan focused on supporting Maine’s iconic farming, fishery and forestry industries.

    In the coming weeks, the Mills Administration will continue to announce more Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan investments to address known, systemic challenges that have constrained Maine’s ability to thrive, with priority focus on expanding Maine’s workforce.

    The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to achieve three goals: immediate economic recovery from the pandemic; long-term economic growth for Maine; and infrastructure revitalization.

    It draws heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, transforming them into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and strengthen the economy.

    Since the legislation implementing the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan took effect on October 18, 2021, Governor Mills has announced:

    With more than $300 million in planned workforce investments through education and skills training programs, workforce housing, childcare, worker attraction, and business supports, the Jobs Plan aims to make a measurable impact on Maine’s workforce trends and build an economy poised for future growth.

    Funding for the Jobs Plan is through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $4.5 billion in stimulus funds to Maine earlier this year.

    Coordination of the Jobs Plan is led by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, through a new Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Office.

    This Office will oversee the transparent and accountable implementation of the Jobs Plan, including ensuring that proposed expenditures are permissible under U.S. Treasury eligibility guidance, the final version of which remains pending.


  • 11/08/2021 1:01 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Monday, November 8, 2021 Contact: Rad Nichols, Executive Director, COAST 603-743-5777 In honor of all who have served our country, on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11, 2021, all United States military personnel who are currently active, or previously served, will be able to board any COAST bus or service for free. Upon boarding on Veterans Day, US military personnel can present a NH license with Veteran status displayed, retiree or active-duty military ID, a DD-214 (discharge papers), or a VA card as evidence of their service. Spouses and dependents boarding with military personnel will also be allowed to ride for free.

    Let us never forget the sacrifices our service members made, and continue to make for us today, enabling us to live in a free country.

    COAST would also like to recognize the members of our staff who are currently serving, or who previously served in the US military, and their commitment to public service by being an important part of COAST’s mission.

    The Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) has provided public transit service to the Seacoast New Hampshire region since 1982. COAST is a non-profit agency, operating a regional public transit system that relies primarily on federal and local government support to operate. COAST is governed by a board of directors representing the communities served, two regional planning commissions, and many local and state agencies. COAST’s vision is to be an innovative leader in providing a broad range of public transportation services, connecting, and coordinating a robust network of transportation options for everyone. 

  • 11/08/2021 11:52 AM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    ROCHESTER, N.H. – Wentworth-Douglass Hospital is enhancing its primary care resources in the Rochester area, in response to an increased demand for family medicine from the community.

    Wentworth-Douglass says it has four primary care providers, across three nearby locations, who are currently accepting patients.

    Dr. Bhavik Bhulabhai and Stacy Stafford, PA-C are both accepting new patients at Barrington Health Center, located at 8 Century Pines Drive, across the street from the former Barrington Urgent Care. Dr. Kevin Donovan, who previously spent nearly 20 years at Rochester Hill Family Practice, is accepting patients at Adult and Children’s Medicine of Dover, located at 10 Members Way. And Ricardo Plata, PA-C is accepting new patients at South Berwick Family Practice Center at 31 Colcord Street.

    “We know that many residents in the Northern Seacoast area are looking for primary care providers, and we want them to know we’ve heard them loud and clear,” said Lisa Wheeler, Director of Practice Operations at Wentworth-Douglass. “There’s a shortage of primary care providers nationwide, and all three of these locations are only a short drive for Rochester-area residents, so we want the community to know these resources are available.”

    Wheeler says that while no announcements are imminent, Wentworth-Douglass is committed to providing and expanding primary care services in Rochester and across the Seacoast.

    “This is all a part of our non-profit mission to elevate the health and wellness of the people in our community,” she said. “You cannot underestimate how important it is to regularly see a primary care provider.”

    To learn more about primary care services at Wentworth-Douglass, visit: https://www.wdhospital.org/whp/primary-care.



    ==30==

    About Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (wdhospital.org) is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit charitable health care organization located in Dover, New Hampshire with a 115-year history of compassionate care and innovation. A member of the Mass General Brigham system, Wentworth-Douglass is strategically located in the heart of the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Southern Maine, which it has served since 1906. The organization is a family of more than 3,500 employees, including more than 400 physicians and advanced practice providers dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of the region’s residents and visitors. The organization includes a 178-bed hospital, more than 30 primary and specialty provider practices and clinic sites, multiple express and prompt care facilities, an ambulatory surgery center, several medical office buildings, The Works Family Health and Fitness Center, and the Wentworth-Douglass Foundation.


  • 11/06/2021 1:16 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    Bangor Savings Bank is thrilled to announce our next virtual Matter More Chat for businesses, Recognizing and Protecting Against Online Cyber Threats on November 18, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. This event is designed for organizations and businesses of all sizes. Our panelists include our very own Andy Grover and Russ Patton, who bring a wealth of experience and expertise on this topic and look forward to sharing helpful information, examples, and advice, while giving attendees an opportunity to ask questions.

     For more information: 

    Matter More Chats_Cyber_111821 (1).pdf


  • 11/05/2021 3:54 PM | Emerson Doiron (Administrator)

    November 5, 2021

    With energy prices forecast to rise, Maine people are encouraged to make homes more energy efficient and know heating assistance is available if needed

    With energy prices forecast to rise this winter, The Governor’s Energy Office has released an updated winter heating resource guide to help Maine people and families take action to save money, improve their home’s energy efficiency, and find heating assistance if needed.

    The guide is now available on the Governor’s Energy Office website and as a downloadable, printable document (PDF).

    “Maine winters can be difficult, and an expected rise in energy prices stemming from the effects of the pandemic may bring an added burden to Maine people and families,” said Governor Janet Mills. “Help is available today for people who need assistance with heating their home or making it more efficient. I encourage Maine people to use this guide to help stay warm this winter and, as always, to keep an eye out for your neighbors to make sure they’re okay.”

    A recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (PDF) estimated that costs for nearly all home heating methods will go up this winter for reasons related to the pandemic and the worldwide economy. Maine is the most heating oil dependent state in the country, with Maine people and businesses spending more than $4 billion every year to import fossil fuels.

    To help Maine people stay warm this winter, Governor Janet Mills has announced that $25 million from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan will be allocated to Efficiency Maine for home weatherization of low to moderate income Maine people. The program serves both homeowners and renters.

    This funding is on top of $70 million now available for Maine people through Heating Assistance Program, which provides fuel assistance, weatherization, and other supports through MaineHousing and local community action agencies statewide.

    Applications for heating assistance opened November 1. For information on eligibility and how to apply, please visit MaineHousing’s website, call (207) 626-4600, or contact your local community action agency.


ABOUT THE FALLS CHAMBER

The Falls Chamber of Commerce is a professional association of businesses in  the falls area.  We are the catalyst that facilitates business growth , prosperity, partnership and success for our members. 

       

CONTACTS

Emerson Doiron, Executive Director

info@thefallschamber.com
603.749.7175
office hours by appointment: 472 High Street, Somersworth NH 03878

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