PHILLIPS – Earlier this month, Phillips Selectmen Guy Haines, Eric Kinney and Stephen Charles reappointed Stephen Haines as road commissioner, a position he has held for more than 10 years.

Laura Toothaker, who has served as a town official for more than 30 years, was also renamed as town manager, treasurer and tax collector. Toothaker says she will continue to keep the town office open Monday though Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m.

A new fire chief has not yet been named by selectmen for 2003-04, but that appointment is expected by the end of the month. Currently, Glendon Bachelder holds the position.


Beer goggles donated

PHILLIPS – Students in Franklin County will get a chance to see and feel what it is like to be intoxicated without ever taking a sip.

Last week, The Zone in Phillips, on behalf of Ken Smith, who lost his life in a drunken driving accident three years ago when he was 16 years old, donated a pair of fatal vision goggles to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.

At a recent middle school dance in Phillips, Deputy Norman Spencer of the Sheriff’s Department brought a pair of goggles for students to use and volunteers at The Zone quickly realized that other students in the county needed to see the world through the goggle’s fuzzy eyes.

The goggles simulate the effects of being under the influence at different blood alcohol levels ranging from .06 to .20, which is more than double the legal limit for adults over 21. The goggles also have different lenses to recreate day or night drunkenness.

Several students had the chance to try the goggles out already, including Lynnette McCarrier, a junior at Mount Abram High School. “I cannot believe it,” she is quoted as saying in a news release. “This pair is not even at the legal limit. It is amazing what type of reality check these goggles can give even well below this limit. It is a lesson for all ages.”

Sheriff Dennis Pike said the new tool will be taken into schools around the county where kids will wear the beer goggles and perform various tasks like walking in a straight line. “I was really pleased with the donation,” Pike said Wednesday, adding that a set of goggles would normally cost upward of $500. In the past, the Sheriff’s Department has borrowed the vision simulator from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, but Pike said it’s nice to finally have a pair within county lines.

“These goggles are very revealing for young people and old people alike,” he said. “It is extremely impressive how well these simulate what it’s really like. “Everyone thinks at first, ‘no problem,’ until you ask him or her to walk a straight line. When the duct tape goes down on the floor to create the line, confidence quickly changes after the first step. They quickly find out that even one drink can significantly impair your sense of balance.”


Special town meeting slated

WELD – Residents will gather at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, for a special town meeting at the town hall.

Voters will be asked to grant authorization to selectmen to borrow money to pay off a loan given by United Kingfield Bank in 2001 to build the town office.

The refinancing would be through the Maine Municipal Bond Bank and would not exceed $400,000. The total estimated annual payment would be $36,206 for no more than 15 years and would go to Kingfield Bank.

According to Selectwoman Laurie Pratt, in total, the refinancing would shorten up the payment term and would create a savings of around $90,000.

For more information about the special town meeting, contact Laurie Pratt at 585-2336.

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