Likely you’re reading this on a small screen, remotely, an Internet signal connecting your IP address to a hundreds of miles away.

Ten years ago the very concept of this column, a teaser for you to pick up a paper, wouldn’t have existed, as the internet promoted the free exchange of all content and print sales of newspapers still trumped internet readership. Things have changed.

The advent of inexpensive consumer electronics has changed this playing field, helped along by a burgeoning infrastructure of cables and towers, as more and more people, especially the younger generation, has gravitated to a pixelated screen. Every high school student in Oxford Hills has a laptop, and we suspect many have smartphones.

In their own way, Town of Paris  is embracing this future, compiling pools of town information into a single, downloadable app for your smartphone. Worried you’ll information on the budget committee instead of alerts on potholes? Don’t: rest assured, as the Word of the Year ‘selfie’ has proven, this is your content, and completely customizable.

Just when we think spring might be knocking, the newest edition of winter is released faster than an Apple OSX update; with several weeks snow-covered roads remaining, we’ve already had above-average snowfall; look for your neighbors digging out as road crews diligently keep your morning commute clear.

Keeping roads safe could become easier in Sumner once they pick a location for a new, proposed sand shed. The board of selectmen has received a few offers and are contemplating a new site.

Deadlocked with winter as we are, the frozen ground hasn’t stopped Sumner officials from spring construction: selectmen have announced they’ll be setting money aside to replace a faulty bridge in 2015.

Stability is on the mind Buckfield selectmen, who strongly hinted they’ll be hiring long-time employee Cindy Dunn as the town’s next manager. The one-woman municipal encyclopedia (Dunn has been employed in Buckfield since 1983, was town manager for a decade, and as clerk has dozens of duties) would be the town’s third manager in as many years.

We’d happily conjure a Top-10 list of parties most interested in seeing the snow gone (check out People on the Street), and likely contenders for the number-one slot are the girls’tennis team, as who’ll have a spring in their step playing their first-ever varsity schedule.

Sumner stole the headlines this week, though not all of it was good: We’re sad to report the bodies of brother and sister Robert and Della Keach were found in their burned-out home.

There’s dinner (finally!) at Cafe Nomad, past presidents on the streets of Norway, and a traveler who doesn’t like sushi in Real People.

Go Vikings! (Oh, you didn’t really think we’d forget?)

All this and more in this weeks’ edition of the Advertiser Democrat.  

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