Police & Fire

Piscataquis County may gain official shield via art contest

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Through his research, Piscataquis County Manager Michael Williams cannot determine if the county has ever had an official shield and if so what the image may have looked like. While Williams is continuing his efforts, county officials are considering holding a design contest — such as for high school students and/or artists living in the region — to create an official shield in recognition of Maine’s Bicentennial in 2020.


“I cannot find what is the true county shield,” Williams said during a Jan. 7 meeting of the Piscataquis County Commissioners. “The only one I have now is on the county website.”


In the top left corner of https://www.piscataquis.us/ is a shield with railroad ties behind “Piscataquis County” but the emblem is not used anywhere else. 


Williams said other Maine counties have representative shields and the question about that of Piscataquis County was posed to him by a quilter looking to include all 16 emblems for a bicentennial quilt. He said he will still check to see if Piscataquis County has ever had a shield, but asked the commissioners to consider a contest to create a new emblem.


The topic may be on the agenda for the Tuesday, Jan. 21 session when commissioners would bring forward ideas on who might be eligible for the contest.


Commissioners Chair James White mentioned having high-schoolers create designs for Piscataquis County. “That’s a lesson plan just waiting to be handed out,” he said, as students would learn about the history of the region and incorporate elements of the past into their creations. 


Another suggestion made was to ask members of the arts community to submit pieces for Piscataquis County.


“That’s why we will put it on the agenda for the next meeting,” White said.


In other business, Sheriff Bob Young said Patrol Deputy Tysen Ober has left the position to join the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department as the school resource officer for Foxcroft Academy and the SeDoMoCha School. Ober succeeds the first position holder, “Officer Pete” Dennis who resigned effective at the end of last month after starting during the previous school year.


“He’s gone there and we just started advertising for the position,” Young said.


The sheriff said interviews are taking place to fill a dispatch/corrections officer vacancy. He said a few months ago during a staff meeting he remarked how the county law enforcement agency was fully staffed for the first time in several years, but now that is no longer true.


“I took a ride on the county roads with (Piscataquis County Road Agent Carl Henderson) on this end,” Williams said in his report about the two looking at travelways in the southern Piscataquis County townships. Williams said he and Henderson looked at roads in the Unorganized Territories of the more northern half of the region during the summer.


“All in all, the roads aren’t in too bad of shape,” Williams said, with the county contracting with various entities for winter road maintenance.


He said one stretch of road in Williamsburg is shaded and as a result is often icy. “It was a total ice sheet the day I was up there,” Williams said, saying more sand would be placed at the location.


During the first meeting of the new year, the commissioners made annual appointments including White remaining as chair and Jim Annis to serve another year as vice chair.


White will continue to represent the region on the Northeastern Workforce Development board and Annis will serve another year as an ex officio representative to the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council Executive Committee. Commissioner Wayne Erkinnen will succeed now retired County Manager Tom Lizotte on the Eastern Maine Development Corporation Board of Directors.

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