Year in review

A look back at 2012

By Staff | Jan 01, 2013

For Knox County, 2012 was another 365 days of snapshot-ready moments.

Here we have the look on Noah Keene's face as he prepares for this first day of kindergarten. Realizing all that he has been through this year leading up to that moment, it is filled with joy and inspiration. In another frame there is the christening of Rockland's new ferry. Pictures show the elections, the meetings, the thrown hats, the dedications, the community events and business changes.

Some moments this year were very familiar. The toboggans ran in February, the parade floats rolled July 4, the guitars wailed on the Blues Festival stage, a Sea Goddess was crowned.

But 2012 also brought changes. Rockland gained a new city manager and has a new mayor going into 2013. A new superintendent heads the area's largest school district. Meanwhile, Warren's town office has seen a near complete turnover in the past few years.

In keeping with this theme, those of us covering the news in Knox County are both familiar and changed. In March, the former VillageSoup and Herald Gazette were closed due to financial problems. In April a new company, both VillageSoup and Courier Publications, re-opened under new ownership. The new company has employed a mix of veteran team members and new employees, bringing back The Courier-Gazette, The Camden Herald and The Republican Journal. We are glad to still be taking these pictures.

We have compiled here a small collection of moments from 2012. In looking through the files, we saw many more that might have been worthy additions, but no year-in-review is complete. It is only a collection of postcards gathered on a journey of 365 days.

The 22nd annual U.S. Toboggan National Championships drew competitors from around the world in February to the Camden Snow Bowl. In 2012 nearly 1,350 people took at least two rides down the chute with their teammates during the weekend competition. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
The Rockland City Council voted unanimously March 5 to appoint James L. Smith of Greenbush as Rockland's next city manager. He started in April. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
The return of The Camden Herald was celebrated April 18 on Bay View Street. The Camden Herald was first published in 1869. In November 2008, VillageSoup, then under different management, merged The Camden Herald with The Courier-Gazette to create The Herald Gazette. The former owner, Richard Anderson, announced March 9, 2012, the closure of VillageSoup and its publications due to financial problems. Reade Brower, owner of The Free Press, purchased the company and brought back the historic Knox and Waldo county hometown papers, The Courier-Gazette, The Camden Herald and The Republican Journal, under their original names. He also restarted the news website VillageSoup. The new Courier Publications company opened for business March 26. The three newspapers, including The Camden Herald relaunched with their first new editions April 5. Pictured are, from left, Camden Herald Associate Editor Stephanie Grinnell, Former Courier Publications Publisher Diane Norton, longtime Courier and Camden Herald employee Donna Culbertson, News Editor Daniel Dunkle and advertising salesperson Jody McKee. (Source: File Photo)
Community leaders and members of the public gathered Friday, April 20, to christen the E. Frank Thompson, Rockland's new ferry. Than Hopkins, daughter of the late Edward Frank Thompson, christened the ferry with a bottle of champagne following remarks from legislators, town officials and members of the ferry service. (Photo by: Juliette Laaka)
The board of directors of Lincoln Street Center for Arts and Education announced in the spring the local arts center would close its doors June 30. The center was unable to fund its operating expenses. Thirteen years before, Lincoln Street Center started with the mission of providing space for community arts and education. At the time of its closing, Lincoln Street Center had housed several organizations including the Watershed School, Hope Arts Conservatory and the Rockland School of Ballet.
Some may remember 2012 as the year Rockland Mayor Brian Harden threw his hat at Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson, who fired the hat back and then overturned his soda can. Above is a screen shot from the video of the June 4 meeting showing part of the confrontation. It was one memorable moment in a tumultuous year in city politics. The fight came while talking about a request from the Brass Compass to use a city park. Also at issue was the debate between Dickerson and Harden about when and how closed-door sessions should be called. In November, Harden was voted off the council and replaced by challenger Frank Isganitis. Dickerson was elected Nov. 6 to the Legislature. Harden was part of a council that has faced controversy in 2012. In the spring, tensions ran high at several meetings after the council voted against allowing the Brass Compass restaurant to pay to use space for tables in the neighboring Winslow-Holbrook Memorial Park. Later, in June, after much heated debate, the council reversed that decision. In the fall, the council faced questions and criticism from community members over the sudden departure of Community Development Director Audrey Lovering, who received a severance package equivalent to several months salary. These issues may have played a role in the council election results.
On the evening of June 12, students of the former Georges Valley and Rockland District High Schools stood together in dark and light blue caps and gowns for the first Oceanside High School graduation. (Photo by: Holly Vanorse Spicer)
The weather held July 4 after sprinkles in the morning for a patriotic parade down Main Street in Thomaston. Residents dressed in red, white and blue, waved flags and watched the festivities. Children gathered candy thrown from floats. Behind the downtown business block, a number of booths and vendors offered snacks and activities. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
About 8,000 visitors a day gathered in Harbor Park in July for the 19th annual North Atlantic Blues Festival. Pictured is Devon Allman of the band Royal Southern Brotherhood July 14 on the Rockland stage. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
The Regional School Unit 13 Board voted unanimously July 16 to hire Lewis S. Collins of Readfield as the new superintendent of the district.
Noah Keene, 5, of Rockland, shows his excitement before his first day of kindergarten in August. The cast is the only evidence that his hand was severed in a June accident. Members of the community rallied to support Keene and his family in 2012 and helped pay for the medical bills. His hand was surgically re-attached. (Courtesy of: Cassidy Keene)
Alexandra Dienesch-Calamari of Owls Head was crowned Maine Sea Goddess Aug. 1 at the 65th Maine Lobster Festival during a coronation ceremony at Harbor Park. Emma Mason of Owls Head was named Crown Princess. Rachel Lynne Freeman of Owls Head was named Miss Congeniality. A total of 18 young women competed this year. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Jackie and Chuck Steinmetz of San Antonio, Texas enjoy three lobsters each as the lobster festival opens Aug. 1 at Rockland Harbor Park. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
More than 200 attended the dedication Friday, Aug. 3 of the Midcoast Area Veterans Memorial at the Winslow-Holbrook-Merritt American Legion Post on upper Limerock Street. The group responsible for the concrete Wall of Tiles, dedicated to all veterans, celebrated the occasion with speeches, flag-raisings and historic uniforms.The wall is the result of the efforts of a committee of eight, led by U.S. Navy veteran Michael McNeil of Rockland. It took 16 years to accomplish. Speakers included Maine First Lady Ann LePage, pictured.
A queen is crowned. From left, Blueberry Princess Shyann Dawn Gauthier, Blueberry Queen Abigail Royer and Miss Congeniality Lindsey Young sit upon their thrones on Aug. 19 in Union. (Photo by: Juliette Laaka)
The Owls Head Transportation Museum's longtime Executive Director Charlie Chiarchiaro announced this year his plans to retire. He is pictured here driving a carload of children around the museum parking lot in a 1918 Cadillac World War I staff car. Chiarchiaro was the museum's first volunteer in 1976. (Photo by: Owls Head Transportation Museum)
Waves crash into Harbor Park in Rockland ahead of Superstorm Sandy Oct. 29. (Photo by: Bane Okholm)
Susan Meadows of Union keeps one hand on 2-year-old Maggie Martin while voting in Union Nov. 6. 2012 was a major election year both on the local political scene and nationally. (Photo by: Bane Okholm)
Elected in November to serve the citizens of Knox County are, from left, Jethro Pease, R-Morrill; Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea; Walter Kumiega, D-Deer Isle; Elizabeth Dickerson, D-Rockland; Jeffrey Evangelos, unenrolled from Friendship; Joan Welsh, D-Rockport and Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston. (Courtesy of: Amy Fischer)
Warren Town Manager Grant Watmough retired in November after 20 years of combined service to the town as its manager and code officer. "I wish you nothing but success going forward," Watmough said in his letter to the Board of Selectmen. "My employment with the town of Warren has been an opportunity to both learn and contribute. I will take many positive memories with me." Watmough was replaced by Interim Town Manager Glenn Aho while the Warren Board of Selectmen search for a new permanent town manager. (Photo by: Leanne Robicheau)
Two University of Maine students and a recent graduate died in what one investigator described as a “horrific” plane crash Nov. 16 at the Knox County Regional Airport. Those killed were pilot William “B.J.” Hannigan III, 24, of South Portland; David Cheney, 22, of Beverly, Mass.; and Marcelo Rugini, 24, a foreign exchange student who lived at Spear's farm in Nobleboro. The three were taking off from the Owls Head airport just before 5 p.m. on a Friday evening in a small, single-engine Cessna 172 plane, headed north to Bangor International Airport. As they were traveling down the runway, the plane struck a pickup truck that was crossing its path. After colliding with the truck, the Cessna continued its take-off before crashing into a wooded area off Dublin Road. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
The annual Festival of Lights parade was held Saturday, Nov. 24. People's Choice Float was awarded to the Girl Scouts, who were celebrating that organization's 100th anniversary. (Photo by: Bane Okholm)
Comments (3)
Posted by: Victor Hotho | Jan 02, 2013 17:13

2012 was a Leap Year and had 366 days, not 365.

Posted by: Rick Winslow | Jan 01, 2013 13:00

Video from the ferry christening. Happy New Year everyone..

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jan 01, 2013 12:32

Just want to say how much I enjoyed the year-long pictures and commentaries of 2012. Bane's photos are so good. It is humbling to know how many talented people serve and volunteer in our Knox County area. Happy New Year wishes to all readers!

Mickey McKeever



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