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PPD officer, K-9 compete in N.Y., earn honors

On Friday, Portland Police Officer Christian Stickney and his partner K-9 Blaze took first place in a police patrol dog course competition, the city reported. The event was sponsored by the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Police Department, and K9Robbyfarm. Officer Stickney and K-9 Blaze competed against 22 teams from all over the Northeast.
After taking first place in the patrol dog competition, the team of Officer Stickney and K-9 Blaze completed an exam for narcotics detection certified through the Eastern Police Canine Association, a city press release noted. The team completed the course with a perfect score. The team was rated as excellent and was also awarded the title of Police Narcotic Dog.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 00:22

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EMHS receives CDC $4.05 million cooperative agreement

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a $4.05 million cooperative agreement to Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems under the "Partnerships to Improve Community Health" Program, EMHS reported.
EMHS will lead a collaborative of 11 Healthy Maine Partnerships and other strategic community partners, serving seven northern Maine counties, in an "ambitious three-year initiative to improve population health in the region." Their work will reach more than 400,000 people, a press release noted.
The Partnerships to Improve Community Health awards are part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program to support public health efforts to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities, and control health care spending. The CDC will administer the grants, subject to availability of funds, the press release stated.
The EMHS collaborative, called the Northern Maine Rural Collaborative for Healthy Communities, will take a community-oriented approach to four conditions that affect health. They will work to improve access to healthy foods; increase opportunities for physical activity; prevent and manage chronic diseases; and educate and empower people to lead healthier lives.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 September 2014 22:27

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine seeks boat donations

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine urged the public to consider supporting a boat donation program which is an easy way to help fund mentoring programs.
"Instead of all the work of getting a boat ready for the winter, it can be donated and will be picked up at its current site," the organization reported. "Donors may be eligible for a tax deduction. Since Big Brothers Big Sisters relies totally on private donations, and over 500 youth were provided services last year, boat donations can make a difference in the community."
For more information about the boat donation program, call George Brockman, the volunteer coordinator for this program, at 776-4642 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters or how to become a Big Volunteer, contact the agency at 773-5437 or visit the website at www.SoMeBigs.org.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 September 2014 22:25

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Next Level Church named fifth fastest growing church in America

Next Level Church announced that in the newly released 2014 issue of the "Outreach 100," Next Level Church has been named as the fifth fastest growing church in America overall, as well as No. 1 by percentage growth in the last year.
The rankings appeared in an annual issue published every year since 2002 by Outreach Magazine, "the most prestigious Christian leadership magazine in the country, and this is the highest ranking ever received by a New England church," Next Level Church reported.
The list is compiled based on data from over 27,000 churches across America and is based on the average church attendance for February and March of each year (not including Easter). Using this criteria, it was determined that Next Level Church saw 155 percent growth from 2013 to 2014, which is 50 percent higher than the next highest percentage anywhere in the country, a Next Level press release reported.
"In New England, only three out of 100 attend a Christian church on any given weekend, by far the lowest of any region in America, making this kind of growth both historic and unprecedented," Next Level Church reported.
The church has experienced this growth after starting just six years ago "with a focus on loving people far from God and moving them to life in Christ," the press release stated. "The result is a church that is passionate about those who normally don't attend church and reaching them in culturally relevant ways with the timeless truths of the Bible. This means using high quality media, creative songs, and engaging teaching each and every weekend across all of its locations."
Next Level Church meets every weekend across four locations — Somersworth, N.H.; Epping, N.H.; Portsmouth, N.H.; and Portland. Next Level Church has recently announced plans to open its fifth and sixth locations in 2015 and has a vision to have 20 locations by 2020, the press release noted.
To view the list online, visit http://www.outreachmagazine.com/2014-outreach-100/outreach-100-fastest-growing-churches-america.html. For more about the church, visit http://www.nlc.tv/.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 September 2014 22:30

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Sun columnist honored for blog by press association

Portland Daily Sun columnist Chris Shorr won second place for news blogging in this year's Maine Press Association awards in the 2014 Better Newspaper Contest. Shorr blogs at tides.bangordailynews.com.
According to the notification from The Bangor Daily News, Shorr is invited to attend the MPA banquet on Saturday, Oct. 18, in Auburn to accept the award.
Shorr said Monday, "I'm not sure how I feel about this because I've still got so much more work to do to get to where I want to be, and because I still feel strange thinking of myself as a member of 'the press,' and because so much of it comes from me telling the stories of people who suffer and struggle every day regardless of what some lobsterman writes in a blog — but I'm honored and humbled to have just been informed that I've won second place for news blog in the Maine Press Association's 2014 awards. Thank you to everyone that has supported and encouraged me, it has meant the world. I'm just getting warmed up."
Two Maine journalists will be inducted into the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame at the group's annual conference, the association reported. This year's honorees are the late Robert Crocker, a longtime Associated Press state house reporter and Richard Dudman of Ellsworth and Islesford, retired St. Louis Post Dispatch correspondent and editorial writer for the Bangor Daily News.
"We are proud to be inducting such superbly-qualified candidates into this year's Hall of Fame," said MPA President Kelly Morgan of The York Weekly.
Dudman and Crocker will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at the luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 September 2014 22:16

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