Even behind bars, some comforts are expected.

So when officials at the Androscoggin County Jail tried making a purchase with supplier Sysco – for toilet paper – it was important.

But Sysco denied the jail, citing an unpaid bill for more than $4,900.

Yet, a crisis was averted.

“We never got to the point where we were square by square,” said Jail Administrator John Lebel. “There was no rationing.”

Sheriff Guy Desjardins called the company, promised prompt payment of the balance and the toilet paper was delivered.

“I guess we’re on a roll,” Lebel joked.

– Daniel Hartill

Boom, bang!

In the “what were they thinking?” realm, this little nugget from the January edition of The Litchfield Sodalite, a monthly newsletter from the town office, speaks for itself:

“On December 10, 2006, live ammunition in a plastic container was put in the Swap Shop. This cannot be allowed as the Town would be responsible if a shell went off and anyone got hurt. NO MORE LIVE SHELLS, PLEASE!”

Let’s not start the year off with a bang.

– Kathryn Skelton

High bidder on eBay

At a recent School Committee meeting, Lewiston Superintendent Leon Levesque got everyone’s attention when he said he gave his secretary his credit card and told her to go shopping on eBay.

Levesque had heard there was an original 1890 architectural drawing plan of Lewiston’s Dingley Building. Sure enough, Diane Duplissis found it. Using Levesque’s credit card she set up the bidding process.

Levesque, who did not disclose the cost, was the winning bidder and bought the historical drawing. The inscription reads: “Schoolhouse at Lewiston, Maine” from the American Architect and Building News, January 25, 1890.

The building was originally a school for training teachers. It later became an elementary school, and now houses school administration offices. Levesque had the picture framed and donated it to the school department.

– Bonnie Washuk

A good sport

Auburn’s new mayor rolled out the welcome mat to retailers chagrined at Portland’s new restrictions on formula stores in the downtown. John Jenkins said he personally spoke with executives at Cadillac Mountain Sports, which Monday announced it would be closing three stores on Congress Street because of the new restrictions.

“I told them we have no such ban here,” said Jenkins. “I extended the invitation to look in Auburn.”

Portland adopted the restrictions on chain retailers to stop a proposed Hooters restaurant from opening downtown. Did the mayor’s invitation extend to the PG-rated eatery?

“Ummm, no,” he said, with a laugh. “The invitation was just to the sporting goods store.”

– Carol Coultas