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Sanford fire fighters on Payne Street in Springvale hone the skills required to fight chimney fires, a common emergency during the winter season

Sanford fire fighters on Payne Street in Springvale hone the skills required to fight chimney fires, a common emergency during the winter season. Photo: Sanford Fire Department

By Carolyn Cadigan

Firefighters prepare for the winter season: As the weather gets colder and wood stoves are increasingly in use, chimney fires become a common emergency that fire departments must respond to. All shifts at the Sanford Fire Department have spent the month of December honing the skills required to fight chimney fires.

Sanford’s Officer Raymond part of Wreaths Across America Convoy: Earlier this month, Sanford Police Department’s Officer Andrew Raymond returned from participating in the Wreaths Across America Convoy. Officer Raymond joined the convoy at its starting point in Maine and escorted the wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. This honorable detail was a week-long journey stopping in several locations along the way. Once at Arlington, the cemetery was closed while volunteers placed wreaths on every tombstone. The cemetery was then opened to the public.

Holiday Food Drive was a resounding success: Sanford Middle School (SMS) Holiday Food Drive Competition, which was organized by the JMG program, ran from Nov. 8 to Dec. 8 with the intent to gather enough food to distribute at least 40 meal baskets to Sanford families and to have enough to restock the SMS food closet. This year, the drive exceeded its goal, and with the help of the SMS Counseling Department, organizers were able to distribute more than 50 meal baskets before Thanksgiving break. The second collection in December yielded enough donations to create more than 40 “pantry restock” bags for families in need before the December break. The food drive, an annual event at SMS, has been going on for over a decade. FMI on this impressive initiative, go here.

Habitat for Humanity seeking both volunteers and homebuyer applicants: Habitat for Humanity, York County will be starting its next Sanford home build in January and is seeking volunteers to help with framing. The typical volunteer day is from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. No construction experience is necessary. Sign up for a volunteer shift here or email with any questions. In addition, Habitat for Humanity, York County is accepting applications until Jan. 19 for three homeownership opportunities. FMI and to download an application, go here.

Bundle up and read at the Springvale Library: From Jan. 2 through March 2, kids ages 2 to 13 can stop by the Children’s Desk at the Springvale Library to sign up for the Winter Reading Program. Those who sign up will receive a reading log and can choose their first Book Bundle to check out. For those who are already reading chapter books, ask for a folder to turn your chapter books into Book Bundles. Everyone who completes at least three Book Bundles will earn a prize. Participants can challenge themselves to complete five or more Book Bundles for extra fun. Prize week will be Feb. 26 through March 2. Visit the Children’s Room to pick up your free book.

It’s the season of giving: A library patron recently gifted the Louis B. Goodall Memorial Library with a drawing of the original library, along with the story of the artwork’s origin. While working part time at the library in the 1960s and 1970s, Elizabeth Johnson, the patron’s mother, met a young man named Paul Plante. They became fast friends given their shared love of birds and various arts. Paul created the painting of the library and gave it to Elizabeth as a gift in 1965. Paul became a priest and a well-known artist who painted birds’ eyes. Paul and Elizabeth remained in contact throughout their lives. The drawing, along with more detail on the story behind it, are on display at the start of the Maine Collection shelves at the library’s temporary space between Planet Fitness and Threads of Hope at the Center for Shopping, 1364 Main St., Sanford. FMI, go here.

York County Jail changes mail procedures: The York County Jail will no longer accept personal mail. However, mail not exceeding 8.5 x 11 inches can be sent to be scanned for inmates to view on tablets and/or kiosks. Anything that cannot be scanned will be returned to the sender. All packages and certified mail will also be returned to senders. FMI, including directions for submitting documents or pictures to be scanned, go here.

Getting there from here just became easier: Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit (BSOOB Transit), the public transportation provider that connects these communities to Sanford and other southern Maine locations, has announced that enhanced real-time bus information is now available on its company webpage. The new system map on the website identifies bus location in real time and provides arrival/departure predictions. The website also distributes vehicle location to common transit applications such as Google Transit and In addition, BSOOB Transit has worked with municipal partners to refresh the on-street bus stop signage to be highly reflective and provide route identifiers. FMI, go here or call 207-282-5408.

A month of giving: In a month-long campaign that started Nov. 13, employees of Partners Bank banded together to donate $20,241 to United Way of Southern Maine. Representatives of the United Way kicked off the campaign at the bank’s main office in Sanford by presenting information on the key components of their mission – bringing together people, ideas and resources to tackle the root causes of such issues as food and housing insecurity, mental health, and the importance of education and literacy.

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