Sensei McGibbon

Often growing up, people are faced with challenges that are unbeatable, bullies who are unfightable or obstacles that are impassable. Failure is unavoidable and from an early age, children can feel a wave of their confidence slipping. “Somebody’s always told you growing up that you’re stupid, lazy, ugly, and if you hear it enough, you’ll start to believe that crap,” Rick McGibbon said. Rick is a man who has gained confidence through his time in the karate training halls, which are also known as dojos. He has trained as a teacher of martial arts, properly known as a sensei, for much of his life. It was through this training that Rick learned to instill confidence.

The name of the organization Rick continues to train at is Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF) of Maine. “When I first started training, it was Taekwondo, a type of Karate originating from Korea, and my main style, which is Shotokan,” Rick said. His stance changed in his seat, his shoulders held high.

Sensei Rick McGibbon wearing the Black Belt.

Shotokan is a Hard-Style, originating from Japan. “Hard-Style means movements, strikes, blocks, kicks. It’s pretty linear and straight rather than Kungfu, which is circular,” Rick said. “Our organization has dojos in 108 countries around the world, including one in Antarctica,” Rick said. “I would say there are roughly around a million and a half students as of today.” He has been at it for 41 years, training in these types of martial arts defense forms. He has gained much from it.

UFO Driver Gets DUI

    An extraterrestrial space being was arrested on charges of driving under the influence last Tuesday. Officer Smith came across the strange vehicle driving erratically through the air 9 p.m. in Mars Hill. The driver was reported going 20 over the speed limit, flying erratically off the road and hitting several treetops before Officer Smith pursued the vehicle. 

Mars Hill’s Route 1 Main Street is getting new drainage systems, sidewalks and other work as part of a $5 million road work project along 1.6 miles of Route 1 in Blaine and Mars Hill.

     Resident Karl Knocks saw the entire event unfold. “He was off the road going every which way and I was scared for him and anyone else on the road,” Knocks said. “I put in a call to the station because if I hadn’t and someone got hurt, I would feel awful.”   

     Officer Smith took the call as he was near the area. The suspect led Smith on a chase lasting about 15 minutes before the vehicle came crashing to the ground. Smith was the first on the scene and confirmed nobody was hurt in the crash and the vehicle received little damage. But the extraterrestrial was placed under arrest after failing several sobriety tests including the breathalyzer, blowing a 1.6. 

     “It’s a dangerous world out there and when you’re behind the wheel drunk, you’re creating that danger,” Smith said. “I’m just glad nobody was hurt and that he can live another day.” 

     The suspect had multiple beer bottles in his UFO and several vehicle violations discovered after a quick search. He was also reported littering and more beer bottles were collected down the road.  

     “Never seen anything quite like it, to tell you the truth. But laws need to be followed,” Smith said. The suspect could provide neither a driver’s license nor his registration when asked by Officer Smith. The extraterrestrial being will be facing charges and spending time in Presque Isle’s jail.  “It’s a tough lesson to learn. But my hope is that the roads are safer,” Smith said. 

The Spring Cleaners’ Guide

 We all have that one closet that we refuse to open. It’s a stockpile of random memories from years back in the form of a jumbled mess behind a closed door. Spring is just around the corner, bringing its infamous chore of spring cleaning. That’s no easy task, but a few tips might make spring cleaning  more manageable. 

     Cleaning can be overwhelming when looking at the big picture. Taking on too many projects at once can often lead to a bigger mess than before. Remember to pace yourself. Starting small, in one area at a time and looking for little details within those areas, keeps a contained workspace. Rearranging, organizing and decorating can offer a fresh start to our everyday lives.

     Whether you are a visual organizer or a hidden one, Cassandra Aarssen, a professional organizer, has the perfect solutions for you. Aarssen categorizes a person’s way of organization into different types of groups.

Cassandra Aarssen at Her Work space.

There are the visual organizers or the hidden organizers and then there are the micro thinkers or the macro thinkers. Visual organizers like to see their things opposed to the hidden organizers who store their things away. Micro thinkers are more detail oriented, whereas macro thinkers are more likely to view the bigger picture and not the small details. When it comes to organizing, all people have a method that they may prefer over others. What type of organizer are you? “You’re not messy, you just organize differently,” Aarssen says. Aarssen’s own style of organization is “slightly chaotic macro categories,” or a ladybug organizer, by her own system.

Getting Over Writer’s Block

     Students everywhere are finding motivation to get us through until the end of the semester. Getting back into the swing of things is a must, with upcoming assignments due. These moments are crucial to starting the semester off correctly. But unfortunately writer’s block can prevent us from starting essays and creating stories. Those affected with writer’s block have been left in the slumps as assignments endlessly pile up with no hope of ending clear until May. 

     “The need for perfection always kept me from finishing assignments. So, I do think that’s a factor as well as getting inspiration or motivated to start assignments,” TJ Brown, an English and writing lab instructor at Stearns High School, said.

     Brown spends study halls and class time encouraging all his students to write. “When one does have a case of writer’s block, I think there are many different things that people can do for it,” Brown said. He wants students everywhere to know, “If you feel like you need to, you should walk away from the assignment or essay, but don’t give up on it.”

     Take some time away from assignments to find inspiration elsewhere. Time can refresh the mind. “Whether you spend four minutes to listen to a song or a few hours to go somewhere, sometimes time itself is all that is needed and sometimes it is not,” Brown said. When the few hours away from the books doesn’t do the trick, don’t give up. “My favorite time to write is right after waking up. Starting fresh in the morning with a cup of coffee, or after a nap, is a productive time I’ve set aside for writing,” Brown said. 

A Pumpkin’s Ending

Orange, spooky smiles light up doorsteps for the festivities of Halloween. The pumpkin becomes famous this time of year and rightfully so. Many take part in the tradition of carving jack o’ lanterns. Sales
skyrockets and millions of pumpkins make their way into homes. It is a perfect ending–almost. Millions of pounds of pumpkins end up in landfills each year. Pumpkins are an organic waste. There are many
ways to reuse or responsibly dispose of pumpkins.

Two Pumpkins in Different Cycles of their Lives.

You can add pumpkins to your compost bin. Any and all seeds should be removed beforehand. The birds are likely to feast upon these. In fact, some animals are known to eat the entire pumpkin. Wildlife such as deer and squirrels are known to snack on pumpkins. Many zoos collect pumpkin donations after Halloween. Animals love the taste, and we don’t blame them.

Lately, the perfect fall flavor of pumpkin spice has taken over. Recipes online say how to make this Halloween squash into tasty desserts and appetizers. But if these great options for using leftover pumpkins are not for you, there are other ways to naturally dispose of them.

An easy way to dispose of a pumpkin is to bury it. By burying pieces of the pumpkin in soil, you are allowing nature to do the rest of the work. Over time, the pumpkin pieces will break down and enrich the soil. This is great for plants especially. And if all else fails, smash it. It is eco-friendly and entertaining.

The pumpkin is great from beginning to end. It is a tradition with seemingly no downside. Fewer pumpkins now end up in landfills, but we still have a way to go. There are many fun, eco-friendly ways to dispose of pumpkins. This can be the year we choose to honor the pumpkin by disposing of it properly.

Murder in Millinocket

A Millinocket man died after a shooting that occurred on Sunday,  March 15, 2020. Cameron James Pelkey, 23, was tragically shot during an altercation before officials could get involved. He died days later at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he had been treated. The incident took place in a Millinocket home at 308B Penobscot Ave., where Pelkey was being held hostage along with another man and a woman.

Pelkey was life flighted to Bangor after being shot. The other two hostages were taken out of harm’s way as law enforcement apprehended the shooter. The small town of Millinocket is left wondering how something like this could happen.

“It’s messed up. I think I heard the gunshot from my house. I didn’t think anything cynical was going on when I first heard it,” Kyle Cocoran, who was a former friend of Pelkey, said.

The shooter was 45-year-old Jason Mulligan, who lived in Bangor before the incident. Mulligan is being held at the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor in connection with Pelkey’s death. He is being charged with murder now that the victim has died and currently is facing up to life in prison.

Pictured above is the shooter, Jason Mulligan.

Pelkey’s last good deed was carried out Thursday, March 19. It was always his decision to donate life so that others might have a chance to live, so his organs were donated to those in need.

Many are mourning the loss of young Cameron Pelkey’s life, from his family of blood or by bond to the people he worked with and surrounded himself with daily.

“I used to work with him a few years back. Cameron was a good guy. I can’t believe someone would set out to hurt him,”  Kyle Cocoran said.

The motive in Pelkey’s death is still officially undetermined. The town hopes to heal from this great loss. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, funeral arrangements are being withheld for the time being. The family would like to remember Pelkey’s contentment and peaceful lifestyle along with his sense of humor. Pelkey’s friends will remember  a caring soul who was always there when times were tough.

“If you wish to do something in memory of Cameron, please consider donating blood or becoming an organ donor at,” the Pelkey family said.

Victim, Cameron Pelkey.


Inside a Grocery Store During COVID-19

We live in a world that keeps changing. Because of this, many of us are getting used to a new type of normal. Sheltering in place has kept us from friends and family, all for the good of our own health. Essential workers put themselves and those they live with in the face of danger daily. As I type this article from my rural community, the coronavirus has yet to hit us. The curve starts to flatten slowly but not nearly enough before this deadly virus hits the town of Millinocket, Maine.

In the seemingly ghost town of Millinocket, things everywhere have changed to accommodate the virus. For many the biggest visual change right now is in the Hannaford grocery store. If you have not been shopping for a while, you might be surprised to see stores and the precautions they take.

Photo of what a lot of stores around the world look like during these extraordinary times.

When going to the Millinocket Hannaford and other essential stores during this time, customers and employees alike should be aware of these changes. When first arriving at the store you should be courteous of the set limits put into place. Millinocket’s Hannaford allows only 45 customers in the store at a time to help control confined spaces. As you walk to the sliding glass doors you may think that you want a cart. Due to lack of cleaning supplies and the importance of surfaces needing to be clean, baskets are no longer available for use.

The grocery cart will be sprayed down with germ-killing chemicals by an employee and handed directly to a customer as needed. As you enter the store, be sure to be mindful of the six-foot rule even with the employees. You might even notice red arrows on the floor. These arrows are placed to help everyone stick to a six-foot rule. It was once a better time when we could enter a store and walk wherever we wanted to whichever aisle. But it is a new world and we all must do our part to help protect one another.

“The arrows are easy to forget about right now. I was hauling a U-boat down the wrong side of the store,” Kyle Corcoran, an employee at Hannaford since 2019, said.

Once done making your way around the store, you might notice the red tape in the shape of a square by each cash register. This is there to protect customers waiting in line and endorse the six-foot rule. Sneeze shields are put up at every register. Surfaces are being wiped down repeatedly and anything that may get touched is sanitized directly after.

This is a brand-new way of shopping. It may seem inconvenient, but customers and employees are being kept safe. So, as you place your face mask on with the intention to venture out to a store, please know that safety is a main priority. Stores are providing us with a new normal.

UMPI Has What?

New opportunities open at the University of Maine in Presque Isle. A video production studio located on the bottom floor of the Center for Innovative Learning will be accessible for students, staff and faculty. The video production studio offers students with project-based classes better resources to use. So, if you take pride in your work and want to learn or practice previous knowledge, this is a great place to start. The studio will be open throughout the week on the same days the CIL is open, with posted hours.

“At UMPI, we have many great things. But a lot of times the things that hurt us are a lack of resources,” Dr. J. said.

Dr. J. went on to explain how she feels that a Video Production Studio will benefit everyone. She hopes that not just her own students take advantage of this room, but all UMPI’s students, faculty and staff, as well. The room is filled with very nice equipment that can be checked out and used. The equipment is durable and can be used for school projects or personal projects. “It is something I have wanted and advocated for, for 12 years,” Dr J. said

A couple of years ago there was a grant and with enough people on board, this grant was approved and went on to what is now called the Video Production Studio. It’s been a slow process since July, but after finding a room in the basement of the CIL, the Video Production Studio finally had a home on our campus. The room was used previously for storage and it is thought that back in the day it was once used for radio. The room’s soundproof walls make it perfect to work in comfort.

“What do these students really need?” Dr. J asked.

Dr. J. explains that hands-on equipment will help students get prepared for life after UMPI. She hopes that students will feel free to use the room whenever available, whether it is for a project, a class or just to gain some extra learning experience on their own.

“It’s good to know something like this is available,” UMPI freshman Chessintra MacArthur said.

Students are invited to take full advantage of the studio. Hours will be posted online through the Center for Innovative Learning web page. Any other questions about the Video Production Studio can be answered online at

Picture Perfect

Despair, anger and tragedy. These are just some of the emotions people over time have captured perfectly in the form of a photograph. The people capturing these photos and experiencing all these emotions firsthand help tell the story. Photography is a way to take images that help tell a story. Photos are the first thing most people tend to look at, so a good photo is bound to attract an audience. A lot of photos may not get the credit they deserve, but many photographers dream of earning the Pulitzer Prize. There are many ways a photo is worthy of the Pulitzer Prize. For instance, a photo that traps raw expressions of strong emotions.

     In the film, “A Glimpse of Life,” many photographers share their stories along with their heartbreaking photos that at one point in time sparked a nation. Their talent with a camera is plain to see. 

     For example, in 1945 there was an amazing image taken of a group of soldiers putting up an American flag. This was during the battle of Iwo Jima. The photo shows teamwork and hope, but that’s not all. Joseph John Rosenthal captured history for all to see on the day he took this photo. The Iwo Jima image is a perfect photo that has sparked a nation and because of that it was a perfect winning photo for the Pulitzer Prize.

     A stunning photo captured in the year 1963 has also been deemed worthy of the Pulitzer Prize. In this photo we see a man is pulling a gun on another man. This photo is titled “Ruby Shoots Oswald.” Robert H. Jackson, who took the photo of this crime, describe the event as very fast, but he acted right away. “He fired and then I fired.” 

     In the photo “Boston Fire” (1970), tragedy struck. In the picture you can see two people falling to their deaths. Stanley Forman was responsible for taking this prize-winning photo. Forman said there were flames everywhere. Forman heard a loud crunch and then people were falling. “And then I turned around because I didn’t want to see them hit,” Forman said. With such sad and graphic imagery, consumers were left with a need to find out these people’s stories. 

     The next photo depicts a young woman trapped in the water after a mudslide in Colombia. This is one of many photos taken during the event in 1986. This photo does a great job at raising questions and the sad story attached to it is enough to show its importance. Natural disasters are unfortunately life changing for some people. That was the case for the woman in the photo whose life was taken by the mudslide after 72 hours of being trapped. “No one could understand how they could be so close and talking,” Carol Guzy said. Water can add dramatic instability to a situation, but photos capture water well. 

     In a photograph titled “Water Rescue,” it shows a last resort effort to save a drowning girl. This picture is a lot about timing. Timing is very important when taking a photo. The photo should help tell the story, but also make people ask questions. “She’s going to drown or she’s going to be saved and that’s the picture you need,” photojournalist Annie Wells said.

     Photos are a way to tell a story and these stories should be told with pride. The Pulitzer Prize has a lot to do with how much the photo gives away. You only want the photo to tell part of the story so that readers will view the article until the end. The winning photos throughout the years do a great job at showing huge amounts of emotion through a single picture. 


Woman trapped in the Columbian Mudslide.

Christmas Crack

The Perfect. Gift– Yummy Christmas Crack.

With the holidays on their way, surprise your loved ones with a sweet dish. This year for the holidays, enjoy the easy-to-make recipe for Christmas Crack. All that is needed are saltines, 1 cup of brown sugar, two sticks of unsalted butter, 1 package of chocolate chips and bakers choice of any fun toppings.

First preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Evenly spread out the saltines on a lined pan making sure to cover as much of the pan as possible.

Next heat the brown sugar and butter in a medium-sized bowl over a pot of boiling water. Make sure to stir often until the substance turns into a sweet, caramel liquid.

Pour the caramel onto the saltines in a nice, even spread. Then bake for only 6 minutes. After the 6 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and place chocolate chips over the dish and let the chocolate melt.

Any other toppings can be added during this time to create a more fun and unique dish. After this step, place the pan in the fridge for about an hour. The dish can then be cracked apart and enjoyed by the whole family!