After a couple of months spent hugging the Atlantic Coast as far south as Massachusetts, an Androscoggin County eagle is back in Maine.

The bird was found hopping along the ground at the Prospect Hill Golf Course in Auburn last June. She was captured by wildlife officials, rehabilitated and released back to the wild in December. She carried a satellite tracker with her, attached to her back.

Chris DeSorbo of the Bio Diversity Research Group in Gorham said the satellite tracker gives researchers new insight into eagle habits and habitat.

“Some stay in the same territory all of their lives,” DeSorbo said. “Others seem to roam a bit, and it appears she’s a roamer.”

Starting at Gulf Island Pond on Dec. 1, the eagle began slowly working her way south. She spent February and part of March around Haverhill, Mass., before working her way back to Maine.

More recently, the tracking system shows the eagle north of Harpswell, on Long Bay.

Eagle enthusiasts can check the bird’s progress on the Internet, at

– Scott Taylor
Get me to the church on time

“No date has been set for the wedding,” the announcement said.

Gary Gauthier Jr. published his engagement to his bride-to-be in Sunday’s edition of the Sun Journal.

Gauthier, 25, of Auburn is being held at Androscoggin County Jail, charged with murder.

He was indicted in February in the killings of two Auburn men whose bodies were found in October near railroad tracks along Foss road.

A police affidavit said the two men were beaten with a baseball bat.

– Christopher Williams
Another feet feat down?

He’s done it.

Retired Auburn firefighter and marathon man Mike Brooks had been running since Sunday in the 2006 Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence race in Queens, N.Y., with just the occasional trackside nap and massage.

Back in February he said he wanted to log at least 300 miles, symbolically running one day for each of his six decades.

By the end of Day 4, he’d run 232 miles. Two days later, it was up to 320, well beyond his goal.

“He has had some blisters,” said his wife, Denise Brooks, earlier in the race. “Some days, it’s sounding like it’s really bothering him and they’re burning. Other times, he’ll say, I’m holding up great, my feet are doing all right.'”

She said he sounded really good and was getting help from a trackside masseuse and chiropractor. Volunteers with ties to Camp Sunshine, the charity Brooks was running and raising money for, have visited to cheer him on.

The Maine Track Club kept an online log of Brooks’ progress that includes this entry from Day 3:

“Every time Mike completes the 1-mile loop, he says, Ca-ching!’ – like the sound of a cash register. In his mind, it’s the sound of money going to Camp Sunshine.”

– Kathryn Skelton
Fit for a King

One of the things former Gov. Angus King likes best about being a private citizen again is the civility he’s shown in public.

“Now when people wave, they use all their fingers,” he quipped.

The line got a big laugh at the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council’s 25th anniversary meeting last week. But King knew it would.

The day before, he tried it out on a class of Bowdoin students who are taking his seminar on leadership. The topic of that day’s class was speechmaking, and King emphasized the importance of humor.

“Humor is always good, and self-deprecating humor is even better,” he instructed.

At the LAEGC fete, he continued the theme, reading a poem he penned in celebration of the growth council’s success in driving development in the two cities.

“An Ode to L-A” ended with praise for the real heroes:

“But we know the secret of your growth and why you’ll likely stay,

It’s not our TIFs or speeches, it’s the people of L-A.”

– Carol Coultas
Escorting Larry

Larry the Cable Guy had to get to the A-L airport right after his show to catch a private Lear jet home.

It was the end of the tour. Word was he wanted to get back to his pregnant wife.

So Jim Minkowsky led the way in a one-cop, one-car police escort in his Monmouth cruiser.

Minkowsky is Monmouth’s interim police chief and a sergeant at the Lewiston Police Department. He was the supervisor in charge of the security detail Tuesday night at the Colisee.

There was traffic on the way out of the Colisee, but no real mob. He said the comedian sat in the front of his tour bus, waving to fans, the whole way.

“At the airport, I think there was one car that pulled up behind him. For the most part, people were really respectful,” he said.

Larry was “a very nice guy,” Minkowsky added. He watched as Larry took two fishhook-looking hat hooks from his personal collection and gave them to two Monmouth kids backstage.

“I’m not a huge TV watcher. I probably ruined a great opportunity” for some police officer fan to meet him, Minkowsky said.

He has done security detail before – for Laura Bush, Al Gore and Andrew Card – more than likely all hat hook-free.

– Kathryn Skelton
Pregnant girls in gym class

Speaking to school administrators and health educators Thursday in Auburn, the director of Maine’s Bureau of Health remembered what high school was like in the 1970s.

Dora Anne Mills was then a student at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington. Health and sex education weren’t taken seriously. “Family life educators were really a source of employment for football coaches,” Mills said. “During my sophomore health class we had a great time. We learned about football.”

Today, Maine has the lowest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, but back then, its rate was among the highest. Five girls in Mills’ gym class delivered babies that year.

– Bonnie Washuk
Dirigo is national innovation’

Dirigo Health Reform was named one of the top 18 government innovations for 2006 by the Ash Institute, which is part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

According to the Ash Institute, more than 1,000 programs submitted applications for the Innovations in American Government Awards. Seven will ultimately be awarded $100,000 prizes.

In naming Dirigo Health a finalist, the Institute wrote: “The comprehensive Dirigo Health Reform initiative addresses the triple threat of rising costs, inconsistent quality and increasingly unaffordable health coverage to ensure all Mainers are healthy and have coverage by advancing a comprehensive strategy of cost-containment, quality improvement and the subsidized DirigoChoice health coverage program for small businesses and individuals.”

The announcement of the 18 finalists was made in a full-page ad that appeared in USA Today May 4. In March, Dirigo Health was named one of the top 50 government programs by the Ash Institute.

– David Farmer

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