How quiet was it in the State House?

So quiet one could hear a ghost, according to State House custodian Muriel Gervais. “My boss told me there was a ghost” in the outer office of the Governor’s Office complex, she said. She was a skeptic, until Wednesday.

That morning she was dusting. It was early. She was alone.

“I heard, Hel-lo!’ Nobody was here, nobody! I thought it was him playing a joke on me,” Gervais said, pointing to Baldacci’s spokesman Lee Umphrey. “But it was a woman’s voice. The voice was just as clear as could be.”

It wasn’t Umphrey. He wasn’t in yet. It was around 6 a.m. Startled, Gervais looked around to see who was saying hello. She found no one.

“Five minutes later the light went out!” She walked out of the office and saw that all the other lights were on. “If a light went out there, the lights would go out here,” she explained. “Then just as quickly, the light came back on. I’m not kidding! And there was no one around.”

Gervais said her boss has heard the same woman’s voice. “She said Hello,'” Gervais said. “One time my boss went into the lady’s bathroom. The faucet had been turned on. There was nobody there and the water was running. We couldn’t stop the faucet. Then, it shut off by itself.”

“It’s haunted,” said Umphrey, who was standing by as Gervais told her story.

Umphrey said he hasn’t heard the ghost, but he said Gervais is “a wonderful lady” and a friend of the governor and his staff, and that she is not joking. “It’s the real deal,” Umphrey said.

That got some thinking. Who could the ghost be? The general consensus was it’s unlikely she’s a former politician: She has too little to say.

Lawmakers back tomorrow

Legislators will be back at the State House on Tuesday. Lawmakers weren’t ready to vote on a tax relief package or the budget when they adjourned in the early hours of April 17.

Recognizing Maine’s Civil Air Patrol

Surrounded by teenagers in crisp uniforms, Gov. Baldacci last week signed a proclamation naming April 24-30 this year as Maine Civil Air Patrol week.

The CAP is an Air Force auxiliary founded during World War II as a volunteer force to help defend the coast. Its mission is to provide homeland security assistance and disaster relief. Cadets ages 12 to 21 are taught about search and rescue, finding downed planes, military history and drilling, air and space science and good citizenship.

While there are 10 squadrons throughout Maine, there is none in Lewiston. A Lewiston squadron is under consideration, said Major Chris Hayden, public affairs officer for Maine CAP. For more information call Hayden at 767-1874 or go to: mewingcap.net.

Quote of the week

“I have a lot of thoughts about it, but we’re there now. … There’ll be another time and day (to) reflect on the overall policy. Today’s a day for the families.” – Gov. John Baldacci on Wednesday, the day after Maine soldier Christopher Gelineau died in Iraq, as he reflected on his 2002 congressional vote against the Iraq war.

Bonnie Washuk is the Sun Journal State House reporter.


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