Reporter’s Notebook

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TV or AG?

Federal Trade Commission spokesman Derick Rill was about 23 minutes into his presentation on protecting elders from scams when Andrea Quaid, the Lewiston aide to U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, interrupted: Some important people had just arrived. Michaud, the host of the event, had to introduce them to the group of senior citizens gathered in Clover Manor on Thursday morning to learn some tips about detecting fraudsters and con artists.

Michaud quickly introduced Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.

But Mill’s arrival also coincided with the tardy TV camera operators from WCSH-TV, who had missed Michaud’s introduction 20 minutes earlier. The quick interruption gave the cameras what they needed, and Rill continued on with his talk.

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— Scott Taylor

Dispatching changes continue

Emergency calls for Greene will take a new route Feb. 1

Calls for help to police officers, firefighters and paramedics will go first to Androscoggin County’s dispatch center, as they have for more than a decade. Then, in some cases, they’ll be transferred to a dispatch center in Lisbon.

Law enforcement calls will continue to go to either the Maine State Police or remain with the county for contact with sheriff’s deputies. Fire and rescue calls will now go to Lisbon.

The move will follow the towns of Sabattus and Durham, which also moved to the Lisbon Communications Center on Jan. 1.

The cost of the transition was the same as staying with the county, Greene Town Manager Charles Noonan said. However, they signed a three-year agreement.

For selectmen, the move was about ending years of uncertainty, Noonan said.

“(It is) our surety in Lisbon, and what may or may not happen in the sheriff’s department in terms of dispatch for some of the smaller communities,” Noonan said.

— Daniel Hartill

Franklin students said inauguration trip was ‘awesome’

The 10 Franklin School students who were at President Barack Obama’s inauguration (story Jan. 18) were in awe of what they saw — the road trip, the monuments and architecture in Washington, D.C., as well as the ceremony and Obama’s speech, said teacher Pamela Le.

The alternative high school students saw historic spots, including their hotel, which was the same location where an assassination attempt was made on President Ronald Reagan. The trip “really brought history alive,” she said.

They met U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd, who got them the inauguration tickets. They had their picture taken with him, and Michaud gave them their formal inauguration invitations, which were suitable for framing. “The kids were like, ‘wow!,’ ” Le said.

Her students will do more than remember the event. They’ll study it and formally talk about it. At an upcoming meeting, they will give a presentation on the trip to the Auburn School Committee.

And Le is creating a new class on the trip, the Franklin Inauguration Class, which begins Jan. 29. They’ll use their receipts to analyze how much the trip cost, and will also study Maine poet Richard Blanco’s poem.

“We’re going to use technology, create a photo album, create a blog,” the teacher said. The poem and Obama’s speech struck a chord with the students, Le said. Franklin’s motto is respect, responsibility, accountability and tolerance for others, she added.

— Bonnie Washuk

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