Franklin Countys First News

Cancellations Relating To COVID-19: March 27 update

The Daily Bulldog has been receiving a number of cancellations over the past week, many citing recent announcements from the Maine Center for Disease Control regarding the novel coronavirus or COVID-19. We will consolidate those cancellations here, organized by the events' originally-scheduled dates and try to keep this list updated. Cancellations, postponements or alterations in service availability may be emailed to the Bulldog at editor@dailybulldog.

Local cancellations/changes (new entries will be at the top)

Touch of Class not accepting donations at this time. We are so sorry that we can not accept donations temporarily due to the mandated closure by our Governor of our shops. We do not have the manpower to offer these clothes and items to the public. Please find another place temporarily to donate your thoughtful items.

###

Due to health concerns, and venue availability, the Farmington Rotary Price is Right fundraiser has been postponed until this fall. The event was scheduled to take place on March 28 at Mt. Blue campus.

The bean supper at New Sharon United Methodist Church on March 28 has been cancelled.

The CEI Women’s Business Center's informational meeting for community leaders and stakeholders about CEI’s new Childcare Business Lab initiative for rural Maine, scheduled March 31, has been postponed until May.

Based on recommendations concerning the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, such as avoiding groups, storytelling with the Western Order of Dedicated Storytellers (WOODS) in Farmington is cancelled until further notice. This applies to the April 3 meeting at Twice Sold Tales, and possibly the May 1 meeting, as well. Please stay tuned, and stay well. In the meantime, you may enjoy watching storytellers on the Mt. Blue TV website by clicking the following links: Telling Tales: Western Maine's Storyplace, http://www.mtbluetv.org/program-telling-tales.html Talkin' Maine, http://westernmainestorytelling.org/mbtv-talkin-maine/.

The Dance Concert of the Lakeside Dance Academy, previously scheduled for early April, has been postponed until June 18-19.

The Free Easter Extravaganza at Bean's Corner Baptist Church at 17 Chesterville Rd. Jay, scheduled for April 4, has been cancelled.

Due to the coronavirus, Western Maine Audubon is cancelling its April 8 talk on regional bird loss with wildlife expert Sally Stockwell at UMF. The talk has been rescheduled for September 9. More information to follow later.

The Franklin County Extension Showcase, originally scheduled for April 9, has been cancelled. University of Maine Cooperative Extension plans on rescheduling this event at a later date. Given the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation in Maine, UMaine Extension is making the decision to cancel indoor events of more than 20 attendees happening through April 10.

Due to the coronavirus, ArtsFarmington has cancelled its April 11 performance by The State Street Traditional Jazz Band at UMF. ArtsFarmington hopes to reschedule the band sometime next year.

The Pilgrim Commandery Easter Service on April 12 at the Harden Masonic Hall on the Bryant Rd. in East Wilton has been cancelled.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, UMF has cancelled the Fiddlehead Festival for this year. Thank you to everyone for your willingness to help and we'll just have to have an extra special one next year! Be healthy and safe.

Local services cancelled/altered

The Farmington Public Library will be closed until the end of April. The safety of our patrons, staff, and the wider community is important to us, and we will re-evaluate when we will open as the end of April approaches. In the meantime please hold onto any items you may have checked out. We will renew anything that comes due and waive the late fees. Join us on our website for a weekly airing of our Children's Storytime and Baby Rhymes. The Download library is available for e-books and audiobooks. Contact us through our website or on Facebook if you have any questions. Stay safe, and stay healthy!

Changes in service for Western Maine Transportation Service as of March 23. (Note, only listing local impact, click here for more information).
- GreenLine Connector is suspended through April 3, 2020. Call WMTS for alternative transit options.
- GreenLine the first AM run and the last PM run is suspended through April 3, 2020
- Farmington/Wilton/Livermore Falls: Call for reduced Demand Response options.
- WMTS offices will have essential office staff only report to work, please leave voice or email messages and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Winter Farmers Market at the Farmington Grange has closed for the remainder of the season. Customers may contact individual vendors for items that they are willing to pick up, they can order through the Online Western Maine Market, or check the Farm Product Directory provided by the Cooperative Extension Service. It is hoped that the outdoor Farmers Market will resume in May.

The Farmington Water Department is now closed to the public. The employees will be in the office during regular business hours and available via telephone, email and as a mail drop slot service. Email: farmingtonwaterwd@gwi.net phone: 207-778-4777 Website: farmingtonwater.org (payments can be made online)

The Town of Temple is announcing the Town Office is now closed to the public. All meetings are cancelled. Town officials anticipate opening on Monday, March 30; however, opening dates will be evaluated to ensure employee and resident safety. At this time, all staff will continue to work and will respond to resident’s questions and concerns through phone and email. Click here for more information.

The Strong town office and Forster Memorial Building is now closed to the public. The annual town meeting has been rescheduled: elections will begin on May 1 at 1 p.m. and the town meeting will begin on May 2 at 9:30 a.m. For questions call 684-4002 or email townofstrongclerk@yahoo.com, strongtownoffice@yahoo.com.

The Dallas Plantation town office will be closed to the public until further notice. All business will be conducted via phone, at 207-864-5991, or email: dallasplt@myfairpoint.net or regular mail: PO Box 460, Rangeley ME 04970. All messages and correspondence will be responded to as quickly as possible.

The Wilton Area Food Pantry is making changes during the Coronavirus crisis in the operation of the Wilton Food Pantry. We will continue to be open on Tuesday, Weds & Thursday from 10 – 12. Until further notice we will have the door locked for the safety of our workers. We will provide the pick-up location outside of the pantry. It would be helpful if you called ahead at 645-3840. You can pick up your supply of food in our parking lot. If you are unable to call (preferred method so we can provide the right amount of food) – please use the horn and we will come up to get information. We appreciate individuals remaining in your vehicles rather than forming a line to maintain social distancing to keep all safe.

Due to the recommendations of Maine and National CDC and to help slow the spread of the virus, the Town Office in New Sharon will be closed to the public until further notice. More information is available here.

All Town of Farmington offices are closed. Effective immediately, only necessary personnel to the Town of Farmington will be allowed to enter the Town Office or Fire Station. Citizens who have the capability are encouraged to utilize online services to make payments. Please visit the Town’s website www.farmington-maine.org to find links to available online services. If a service isn’t available online or you don’t have access to internet, the staff at the town office will assist you in processing your town business via email, USPS or telephone. You should anticipate short delays in processing if we are waiting for checks to arrive via USPS. You can reach the Town Office staff at 778-6539 Monday the Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The New Sharon Jim Ditzler Memorial Library will be closing until further notice. The librarian will be able to provide materials to patrons on a request basis, 779-1128, Tues & Wed 1-5 and Thurs & Sat 10-2. The wi-fi is on and can be used from your car. Read a good book and stay safe!

In addition to postponing the Town Meeting, the Avon Selectmen have decided that effective Wednesday, March 18 the office will be closed to the general public. Mary, our town clerk, will be in the office during her regular hours and will be available via telephone, email and as a drive up/mail drop slot service. You will not be allowed into the lobby. We ask for your patience an apologize for any inconvenience, but we want to assure we ALL remain safe and healthy. Additionally, ALL public events and/or gatherings of any kind scheduled in the Avon Town Hall are being suspended until further notice. Town Clerk's email: avontownoffice@yahoo.com Phone: 639-5326

The University of Maine at Farmington announced that starting Wednesday, March 18, all campus buildings will be closed to the public until further notice in an effort to help curb the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19. UMF faculty, staff and students who have key or key-card access to campus buildings will continue to be able to enter those facilities, with the exception of Mantor Library, which will be closed to all visitors beginning Wednesday, March 18.

The Carrabassett Valley Public Library & Community Center will be closed to the public until further notice. Weather permitting there will be a box or cart outside with books from our used book swap so help yourself. WiFi will still be available 24/7.

The University of Maine at Farmington's Fitness and Recreation Center will close Tuesday, March 17, through Sunday, March 29, in an effort to minimize social contact in the community and help safeguard patrons and staff from the spread of COVID-19. More information available here.

UMF Testing Services Center closes to the public until April 5. The University of Maine at Farmington announced today that its Testing Services Center will close through at least Sunday, April 5, in an effort to minimize social contact and to help safeguard the community and staff from the spread of COVID-19. All tests scheduled until April 5 will be canceled. To reschedule a PRAXIS exam, please call 1-800-772-9476. For all other exams or if you have additional questions, please contact Janice Crandall, Testing Operations Manager, at janice.crandall@maine.edu. We look forward to continuing to serve your professional licensure and graduate-entrance exam needs when recommendations for social distancing are lifted and the University reopens to the public.

To preserve the health and safety of the community, staff, and volunteers, effective immediately, United Way of the Tri-Valley Area office in Farmington is closed to the public until April 1. Staff are working remotely and will be available via email and checking phone messages daily. For more information about the coronavirus COVID-19, or for help, please call the United Way-supported helpline 211 or text your zip code to 898-211. United Way is gratefully accepting donations to its Very Basics Fund in order to be able to support organizations that are directly helping individuals affected by the impact of the virus.

In addition to postponing the Town Meeting, the Avon Selectmen have decided that effective Wednesday, March 18 the office will be closed to the general public. Mary, our town clerk, will be in the office during her regular hours and will be available via telephone, email and as a drive up/mail drop slot service. You will not be allowed into the lobby. We ask for your patience an apologize for any inconvenience, but we want to assure we ALL remain safe and healthy. Additionally, ALL public events and/or gatherings of any kind scheduled in the Avon Town Hall are being suspended until further notice. Town Clerk's email: avontownoffice@yahoo.com Phone: 639-5326

Carrabassett Valley Academy has suspended all in-person academic and athletic instruction. Our students have left the campus and we have transitioned to full-time distance learning. Our hope is that we will be able to bring everyone back together on campus after our spring break on April 26

Franklin County Offices Closed to the Public. To protect the health and safety of both our staff and citizens, the Franklin County Courthouse and District Attorney's Office will be closed to the public until further notice, beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Please be assured that all essential services provided by the Sheriff’s Office and the Franklin County Regional Communications Center/E 911, will continue without interruption. All County offices can be reached by telephone and email, and staff will continue to be available to assist you during regular business hours. There is a secure drop box located in the Courthouse off the Main Street entrance if you need to leave any documents. Please contact the County Commissioners Office at 778-6614 if you would like any additional information concerning County operations during this time.

The Warming Centers at St. Joseph (Tuesdays) and St. Rose (Fridays) are being replaced by a takeout meal initiative. Because social gatherings statewide are restricted due to coronavirus, Parish Social Ministry is shifting focus to providing meals for people to take home. Please watch the Parish Facebook page for updates, and install the myparish app (myparishapp.com) if you don’t have it.

For this week, takeout meals will be available from the St. Joseph Hall on March 17 from 11 a.m. to noon. Takeout meals will be available from the St. Rose Hall on March 20 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. If we have enough volunteers, we may be able to expand that the following week to include more days. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Max Becher at max.becher@portlanddiocese.org or 897-2173 ext. 1205. Volunteer needs include making and bringing soups and other dishes to be packaged up, helping with packaging, and possibly delivering meals. We are adapting to a rapidly changing situation, so please check back for updates!

Out of caution and as concerns deepen regarding the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), SeniorsPlus, Western Maine’s designated Area Agency on Aging, will temporarily keep its offices open by appointment only.

Some non-essential activities, specifically the following programs, have been halted temporarily: Social Dining; Education classes, including Healthy Living for ME workshops; and the Fill the Plate Breakfast to benefit Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels will continue with modifications. Clients of Meals on Wheels will be informed of these modifications. More information is available here.

With advice from the Maine CDC and our fellow libraries across the state, and in line with the closure of RSU9 schools, Wilton Free Public Library will be closed until further notice. Our hope is that we will be able to reopen on Tuesday, March 31. We will reevaluate as necessary. Please keep the library materials you have until we are open again. We have extended all due dates until after this closure. (Materials returned via the dropbox at the side entrance of the building will, of course, be properly cleaned and processed before going back on our shelves.)

Though our physical building will be closed, online resources will still be available. Check back for online storytimes, connection to shared resources, and, perhaps, the occasional funny meme. Library voicemail and email inboxes will be checked regularly. If you have specific questions or concerns, we encourage you to reach out. Email should be sent to director@wilton-free.lib.me.us. Voicemail can be left at 207-645-4831.

Again, we plan to reopen on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, and we will post any change to those plans on our website, our social media accounts, and at the entrances to the Library. Thank you for supporting Wilton Free Public Library!

The Jay-Niles Memorial Library will be closed to the public for the next couple of weeks (possibly longer). We will be monitoring the progression of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) in the days ahead and make decisions on library service based on sound scientific and medical information. We will be in consultation with the Jay Town Office, Maine State Library, Maine CDC, the Governor’s office and will heed national precautions set forth as well. As you all know, this situation is unprecedented ... so, please bear with us!

All fines will be waived and the book drop will be available for you to drop off your materials if you wish. We will make every effort to update the public through news sources and the Jay-Niles Memorial web page (www.jaynileslibrary.com) and Facebook page. If you have not already ‘liked’ the Jay-Niles Memorial Library on Facebook, I encourage you to do so.

Also, please note that the library’s free wifi will be on during our closure and may be used from the warmth of your car! You do not need a password.

In light of recent health concerns regarding COVID-19, United Way will be postponing its Celebration and Annual Meeting which was to be held on March 26. Stay tuned for a rescheduled date later this spring. You may be wondering about other coronavirus-related activity at United Way:

  • We will remain open until further notice, practicing safe social distancing.
  • Those wishing to schedule a scan and go tax appointment can call 778-5048 to schedule a time to drop off documents and meet with Nichole Ernest.
  • We will be disinfecting the office daily.
  • All small gatherings will be limited and rooms will be cleaned after.
  • We are canceling all large gatherings.
  • We have posted links to information related to the virus on our website and facebook page.
  • We will continue to support 211Maine which is on the front-line of providing current and reliable information regarding COVID-19. Text your zip code to 898-211 or call 211.
  • We will gratefully accept contributions designated to our Very Basics Fund which supports food, fuel, and shelter provided by non-profits in the area. There will be a high demand for these services as a result of the impact the virus will have on families.

Farmington Community Center will be closed to the public beginning at noon today, March 16, and running until March 30. All programs, rentals and activities are cancelled until April 10. Staff will decide at that point whether or not to re-open. Staff will be contacting program participants to update them on the decision and full refunds/prorated refunds will be issued to participants and rental customers. See this letter from Director Matt Foster for more details.

While the environment around us is uncertain, we feel it is in the best interest of our community to close the Franklin County Animal Shelter the public through Monday, March 30, effective immediately. We will communicate any changes to our reopening date with you here on our Facebook page as well as https://fcanimalshelter.org.

If you are interested in adopting an animal, we are able to do adoptions by appointment. You can view our available animals at https://fcanimalshelter.org under the OUR ANIMALS tab, or by visiting our Facebook Available Cats album or Available Dogs album. To meet an animal you are interested in adopting, please email info@fcanimalshelter.org.

Franklin County Animal Shelter is committed to our animal-loving community. Our dedicated staff is still here caring for our animals daily. We are practicing social distancing, limiting community contact in our facility, while still providing the highest level of care to the animals dependent on us.

Statewide notices

For the well-being of employees and the public, the Office of the State Treasurer will be closed while employees work remotely on essential services such as cash management and revenue sharing to Maine’s towns and cities. Unclaimed property and property tax relief programs will continue but at a limited capacity. The property tax relief hotline is temporarily paused. Our team is eager to return to work as soon as it is prudent.

Also, Maine people should know that the investments of state funds have not been materially impacted by recent market volatility. Our policy limits investments of taxpayer dollars to collateralized bank accounts, CDs, US Treasuries. At my direction, we ended further investments in commercial paper some months ago. We do expect that earnings will lower but we have avoided losses of taxpayer funds.

Secretary Dunlap closes all Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today that all Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices are closed, effective immediately. The closure is in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among staff and the public, and will remain in place until further notice.

Secretary Dunlap is working with the Maine Legislature to extend all registrations, temporary plates, registrations, disability placards, State ID cards and driver’s licenses that are expiring during this state of emergency. More information will be available soon.

  • Many BMV transactions can be processed via the online services, such as:
  • Driver’s License (Non-Commercial) and State ID Card Replacement and Renewal
  • Driving Records
  • Duplicate Vehicle Registrations
  • Over-Size / Over-Weight Permits
  • Rapid Renewal: for reregistration of vehicles
  • Title Replacement
  • Trailer Registration Renewal
  • Vanity Plate Search & Order

During this time, residents will not be able to obtain Real ID credentials, first-time credentials, or new registrations.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today that the Department of the Secretary of State will be taking additional measures to limit social interaction as the State seeks to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

  • Beginning Wednesday, March 18, the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions will close its customer service window and will accept documents from FedEx, UPS and U.S. mail, and via an onsite drop box only. Staff will provide information by phone 624-7736 or email: cec.elections@maine.gov, cec.boards@maine.gov, or cec.corporations@maine.gov. These measures will be in place until further notice.
  • Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, the Maine State Archives will be closed to the public. This closure will extend through April 15, 2020. Staff will accept requests and answer queries via phone and email, (207) 287-5790 and maine.archives@maine.gov. Many documents are also available online, via the Maine State Archives Digital Maine repository and DigitalMaine Transcription Project, and genealogy information is available via the Archives’ collection on FamilySearch.

This closure includes the State Records Center located at the BABLO building. Requests for state records housed at the State Records Center will be by appointment only. Requests can be submitted via email to recordscenter.archives@maine.gov or by phone at 207-287-3657 and State Records Center staff will assist you.

The Archives staff also encourage use of other online resources for keeping children engaged while they are at home due to school closures:

Effective immediately, and continuing through May 1, 2020, with the exception of the events listed below, all in-person court events for family, civil, and criminal dockets are postponed. The courts will schedule and hear only the following:

  • Arraignments and first appearances of defendants held in custody
  • Motions for review of bail
  • Juvenile detention hearings
  • Protection from Abuse requests and hearings
  • Protection from Harassment requests and hearings
  • Child Protection petitions and hearings
  • Mental health requests and hearings
  • Hearings granted on motion

This means that no criminal or civil jury trials will be heard in the Maine State Courts until after May 1, 2020, unless otherwise ordered by the court. No grand jury proceedings will be held. All previously-scheduled cases are postponed. Any trials in progress may be completed.

If a party or the party's attorney contends that there are urgent and compelling reasons that the court should hold the party's criminal, civil, or family trial or hearing, the party or counsel shall immediately file a written motion, which must be served on the other party or parties, explaining why this particular case must be heard before May 1. If any party objects to the motion, it must file its written opposition within three days after the motion is filed. The court will rule on the motion expeditiously.

More information here.

In light of the most recent recommendations and guidance from local authorities and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in regard to the COVID-19 situation, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, and Loon Mountain have made the difficult decision to close all ski operations at the end of the day today, March 15 until further notice.

“This was not a decision we made lightly, and we know that there will be a lot of people out there who are disappointed,” Boyne Resorts Chief Operating Officer Rick Kelley said. “But our first responsibility is for the health and well being of our staff, guests, and community, and it is clear that this is the only appropriate and responsible course of action for us to take.”

This decision also means that all events scheduled for the remainder of the winter season have been cancelled, and all resort-managed lodging properties will also be closed during this time.

All full-time staff will continue to be paid for the remainder of the week, and resorts will be working to assist team members with transitional plans going forward. Any guests who have purchased event tickets, lift tickets, or lodging reservations for March 16-April 30 will automatically be issued a full refund.

Sugarloaf: www.sugarloaf.com/covid-19
Sunday River: https://www.sundayriver.com/news
Loon: https://www.loonmtn.com/covid-19

Bureau of Motor Vehicle Mobile Units. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is suspending visits from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Mobile Units until further notice, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Maine. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles sends its mobile units to 19 locations across the State, in areas that are a significant distance away from one of the 13 BMV branches. These mobile units set up in municipal and community buildings 1-3 times per month to provide BMV services. Effective Monday, March 16, these visits will be suspended until further notice.

“As the COVID-19 virus threatens to spread across our State, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is doing its part for prevention by suspending mobile unit operations, which will reduce the possibility of transporting the virus from a mobile unit site to one of branches,” said Secretary Dunlap. “While we recognize that this presents a significant inconvenience for many Mainers, our priority is to keep our employees and customers safe, and this is a simple step we can take toward that goal.”

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap encourages all Mainers to use the BMV’s online services or visit a branch office to conduct transactions during this time. All Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices continue to be open to the public during regular business hours.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 Responses »

  1. This is very helpful. Thank you for posting these events/business changes. I hope more will use this site to make these announcements.

  2. Sugarloaf & Sunday River just posted that they are closed as of Monday 3/15/2020 for the rest of the season.

  3. I'm trying to see the benefit of suspending the visits from the Mobile DMV Units. Usually the person cannot do whatever needs to be done online, which requires the need to visit the Mobile DMV Unit or DMV Branch in the first place. With suspension of the visits, all persons requiring the service are going to be travelling and congregating at the branch offices to perform the necessary transaction. Nowhere do I see that Sec. Dunlap indicates there will be a grace period if your license expires, etc... during this period of "further notice".

  4. Mr. White,

    The answer to your question was in the article. Yes, Mr Dunlap is asking state to suspend expirations.

    Secretary Dunlap closes all Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices

    Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today that all Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices are closed, effective immediately. The closure is in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among staff and the public, and will remain in place until further notice.

    Secretary Dunlap is working with the Maine Legislature to extend all registrations, temporary plates, registrations, disability placards, State ID cards and driver’s licenses that are expiring during this state of emergency. More information will be available soon.
    •Many BMV transactions can be processed via the online services, such as:
    •Driver’s License (Non-Commercial) and State ID Card Replacement and Renewal
    •Driving Records
    •Duplicate Vehicle Registrations
    •Over-Size / Over-Weight Permits
    •Rapid Renewal: for reregistration of vehicles
    •Title Replacement
    •Trailer Registration Renewal
    •Vanity Plate Search & Order

    During this time, residents will not be able to obtain Real ID credentials, first-time credentials, or new registrations.

  5. @ Bruce On March 16, 2020 at 1033 hours when I wrote my post, that was not the case. Look at the last item just above the Responses section and you will see the article I responded to. Not the most recent article that came out that you're referring to.

Leave a Response


Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Categories

Archives