Category Archives: Franklin Focus

Franklin County students named to UMaine dean’s list

A number of Franklin County students made the University of Maine dean’s list for the spring semester. The university recognized 2,214 students for achieving dean’s list honors, of whom 1,634 are from Maine, 533 are from 31 other states and 47 are from 21 countries other than the U.S.
Students who achieved the dean’s list completed 12 or more credit hours in the semester and earned a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Franklin County students on the list are:

Rotary legend Smith poised to lead Farmington club

By Lisa Laflin

FARMINGTON — Fred O Smith sat on a rickety stool in Old Ford Antiques as the stories began.
He first talked about his father, who was a president of the Farmington Rotary. It was he who taught Fred O about service and about the power of Rotary to change lives. So much so, in fact, that after Fred O joined Rotary in 1966 and balanced life in the military with attending Rotary, he learned that his father had not missed a meeting in 10 years. “I can do that, that is an admirable goal,” he said.
After he met the 10-year goal, Fred O never stopped, and in 43 year he’s never missed a meeting, a milestone to celebrate as the energetic 84-year-old assumes the presidency of the Farmington Rotary club a half a century after his father did.
“My father taught me to embrace differences, saying, I may not agree with you, but I defend your right to your opinion,” Fred O said. The viewpoint has served him well in his professional and civic life, he said.
As he sat in the store, greeting customers, Fred O painted a picture of a life punctuated by military service, service to his community, devotion to his wife, who passed away in 2013, and a passion for education. An abbreviated list of his accomplishments includes:
* Joined the New Vineyard Fire Department in 1961, and still is an active firefighter; * Historian of the American Legion post; * Member of Old South Congregational Church and is a deacon, property trustee, representative to Farmington Ecumenical Ministry; * Zoning Board and Budget Committee mrmnrt; * 21 years on Maine Republican State Committee;
He served active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1960 and the Reserves until 1979, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander and recognized with medals, including the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1956 with a degree in history and government and earned a masters in political science from the University of Vermont when he was 65.
He worked in the wood-turning business, and while that career is long behind him, he creates custom-made jelly cupboards and hutches that he sells at craft fairs and galleries.
Fred O and his wife, Mable, had three children and eight grandchildren.
When asked why he joined Rotary, said that Rotary is a great group of professional people who believe in service. There is camaraderie and it inspires youth. He noted that the Farmington Rotary Club has active youth clubs in every level: Early Act (Elementary); Next Act (Later Elementary); Impact (Middle School); Interact (High School); and Rotaract (College).
He also noted that Rotary is an organization that gets things done. For example, Rotary has invested heavily in eradicating polio and ensuring clean water throughout the world.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Fred O looks forward to leading the Farmington Rotary Club. His theme is “Continue to be an inspiration and inspire youth, our future.”
Most who are approaching 90 would be slowing down and enjoying more restful times, but as he gets up to greet a customer, it’s obvious it’s simply not in his nature.

PHOTO: Glenn Kapiloff, outgoing Farmington Rotary president, welcomes Fred O Smith as President of the Farmington Rotary Club. (Submitted photo)

Glassface Ledges hike will be July 19

RUMFORD — The Mahoosuc Land Trust and the Androscoggin River Watershed Council invite hikers to climb Glassface Ledges on Thursday, July 19.

Wilton’s Black among four tree farmers honored nationally

WASHINGTON, D.C . — Russell Black of Wilton, Maine, was one of four tree farmers named Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year by the American Tree Farm System.
Black, along with Jon and Carol Gould of Vernon, Fla.; Randy and Koral Clum of Dover, Ohio; and Dan Kingsbury of Olalla, Wash., were selected from 73,000 tree farmers across America.

Farmington Farmers’ Market launches Maine Harvest Bucks

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Farmers’ Market has launched Maine Harvest Bucks this year, which helps Mainers who use SNAP benefits afford to eat more fruits and vegetables.
People who buy food using SNAP (the program formerly known as food stamps) have an average of four dollars a day to spend on food. Harvest Bucks doubles that amount of food dollars and encourages shoppers to buy fruits and vegetables.

Kingfield POPS’ hot music draws cool crowd

By Bill Van Tassel

KINGFIELD — It wasn’t quite as hot as it would get a couple of days later, but it was a clear, warm day for the 16th annual Kingfield POPS concert on June 30. The concert stage is set on the property of Jeff and Wendy Kennedy just off Depot Street, who have allowed the event to use their property ever year.

Gambol Creek Band will return to Farmington Gazebo July 31

FARMINGTON — Husband and wife duo Jeff and Donna Wells will return to the Farmington Gazebo on Main Street for a special, one-day concert Tuesday, July 31.
The show will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a rain date of Aug. 1, at the same time and location.

Free music in the park concert to be held in Jay July 21

JAY — There will be a free Music in the Park concert from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at French Falls Park, 28 French Falls Lane.
The park is across from Spruce Mountain Middle School.

Community turns out for Franklin Hospital Business After Hours

FARMINGTON — Franklin Memorial Hospital welcomed more than 60 Franklin County Chamber of Commerce members to its business-after-hours health fair on June 21.

Nurse practitioner Hilton joins Franklin Health Primary Care

FARMINGTON — Nurse practitioner Kristy Hilton, APRN, FNP-C, has joined the Franklin Memorial Hospital medical staff as a provider at Franklin Health Primary Care.