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Dexter attains age friendly community status

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DEXTER — The community will now be able to utilize AARP resources as an application to the AARP/World Health Organization Network of Age Friendly Communities has been approved.

“We are officially an Age Friendly Community, I got that word this week,” Town Manager Shelley Watson said during an April 13 town council meeting. She said a kick-off event will be scheduled for Friday, May 19, time and location to be announced.

Last month the council authorized Watson to apply for the distinction after the town manager met with both AARP Maine Age-Friendly Consultant Patricia Oh and Piscataquis Thriving in Place Director Meg Callaway to discuss the free initiative.

Working with AARP/World Health Organization Network of Age-Friendly Communities, a committee will be formed to look at Dexter’s strengths and weaknesses to become age friendly. An eight-step process over several years would help the town improve with the benefits — potentially concerning sidewalks and green spaces — serving not just older residents but everyone.

By having the Age Friendly Community status, the town would also be eligible to apply for related grants.

In her report, Watson said she has met with department heads to prepare a draft of the 2017-18 municipal budget to be sent to the councilors.

The town manager also said the Shirley B. Carter VFW Post 4298 will be hosting the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall at Bud Ellms Field from May 11-15. She said opening ceremonies are scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 11.

The wall is a half-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.

Watson said a flagpole dedication ceremony, for the town of Dexter, will be held at the site on Friday, May 12. “That’s also at 5 o’clock,” she said.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
K-9 DEMONSTRATION — Officer James Roy of the Dexter Police Department and his dog Zelda gave a narcotics detection demonstration during an April 13 meeting of the Dexter Town Council. Roy had hidden a small bag of heroin underneath a chair as Zelda was unleashed to follow her handler’s command to sniff around the room. The dog quickly found the contraband, and got to play with a squeaky toy as a reward. Two-year-old Zelda was given to the department by the Wyman family of Dexter and a $3,000 donation from the Plummer Foundation is helping to fund the K-9 unit.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
TOWN REPORT DEDICATION — Rick Whitney holds a copy of the new Dexter Town Report after being presented with a copy from Town Council Chair Marcia Delaware on April 13. Whitney has served as the town historian for many years, including curator of the Dexter Historical Society’s Abbott Museum. “Thank you very much, it’s a great honor and I will continue to do what I do,” Whitney said.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
KEY CLUB HONORS — The Dexter Regional High School Key Club was presented with a number of awards at last month’s District Convention in Springfield, Mass. Club members shared their honors with the Dexter Town Council on April 13, including one award that was won by Adviser Rick Whitney. Pictured are, from left, Chris Roderka, Elise Beaudry, Aino Rudloff-Eastman, Matty Deering, Whitney, Hannah Farrar and Kilee Lewis.

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