In July of 2008, Swan’s Island Library and former Old Atlantic Schoolhouse (circa 1903) was struck by lightning. The building and its contents were completely destroyed by fire, and along with it and important community gathering place and a treasured piece of history.
Three years to the month after the tragic incident, the community gathered for the Grand Opening of the new Swan’s Island Library. Read more »
Maine Fuels for Schools. The firebox for Poland Regional High School's new Recovery Act-funded biomass heat system is hoisted into the boiler house, as school Principal Cari Medd (hat) and guests look on.
In August 2009, a total of $11.4 million in U.S. Forest Service Recovery Act funds were made available to the State of Maine for grants to help rural, economically depressed counties support the conversion of heating systems to wood/dual-fuel heating systems for an estimated 15 public buildings. Read more »
On July 18, USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel joined Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos for a White House Business Roundtable hosted by local lender Bangor Savings Bank. Participants in the discussion included 15 leaders from the Bangor region representing a variety of sectors including business, healthcare, medical research, transportation, and energy.
During the Roundtable entitled Winning the Future with American Business, Maine leaders had the opportunity to voice their concerns about economic growth and the challenges they face as business owners/leaders. This Roundtable discussion also provided a chance for the Administration to ensure local business leaders are taking advantage of the resources and programs designed to help them create jobs and compete. Read more »
At an Earth Day celebration in Thomaston, Maine on April 23, members of the community gathered to hear an announcement that will have a major benefit to the surrounding environment and shellfish industry, helping to preserve 1,200 acres of clam flats in the area.
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel was joined by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree to announce that the Town of Thomaston will receive Federal funds to make numerous improvements to its wastewater infrastructure. The Town will also contribute funds to make the project possible. The announcement brings the total investment Rural Development has provided to the Town of Thomaston to a total of over $9 million. Read more »
Maine has one of the highest per capita rates of cancer in the United States, and for many cancer patients living in rural areas of the state, a long drive into a bigger city to receive necessary medical treatment can be daunting. Snowy Maine winters, the high cost of gasoline, relying on family or friends to drive when a patient is not feeling well, and the sheer exhaustion that comes with traveling 140 miles round trip or longer can take its toll on a cancer patient. Now, thanks in part to a USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant, many patients will be able to receive the highest quality care and treatment without having to leave their own rural communities. Read more »
The Maine Wind Energy Conference entitled Maine’s Wind Energy Future: New Opportunities, New Challenges, was held at the Augusta Civic Center on January 24 and 25. As State Director I was asked to address a crowd of nearly 200 stakeholders in Maine’s energy future, giving a keynote in which I addressed USDA Rural Development’s vital role as a leader in the future of renewable energy development in Maine and across the country. Read more »