Articles by: Johanna S. Billings

Johanna S. Billings

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Johanna S. Billings covers eastern Hancock County and western Washington County. An avid photographer, she lives in Steuben with her husband and several cats. She welcomes tips and story ideas. Email her at [email protected]
  • Grief in the age of COVID-19

    ELLSWORTH — When Alice Polley died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor March 30, only one of her three children was able to be with her. In fact, during the 10 days preceding her death, the 88-year-old Machias woman was able to see only that single visitor — her daughter, Sherri Fraser — and only

  • Trap recycling program slowed but undaunted

    Trap recycling program slowed but undaunted

    GOULDSBORO — Powered by the engine from a gas wood splitter, two large, flat pieces of metal gradually move toward each other, collapsing the lobster trap between them. The machine, known as “lobster’s revenge,” crushes traps to a height of about 3 inches, so they can be stacked easily and take up much less space.

  • Gouldsboro Police log week of April 9

    Gouldsboro Police log week of April 9

    GOULDSBORO — Gouldsboro police were called to Mill Pond Road March 28 to investigate a report that a shed had been burglarized. The investigation revealed a bear had forced its way into the shed. “No charges will be filed for the ‘bearglary,’” police said. Bail violation Eben Moss, 36, of Winter Harbor, was charged March

  • Guitar man

    Guitar man

    WINTER HARBOR — Gordon Thomas Ward was learning to play the clarinet when he his love of music veered in a different direction. One of his fifth-grade teachers brought in a guitar and sang for the class. “I just fell in love with the guitar,” said the guitarist-vocalist, who grew up in Bernardsville, N.J. “I

  • Churches finding creative ways to reach out

    Churches finding creative ways to reach out

    ELLSWORTH — Church bells are ringing every Sunday in Brooksville. Now is a good time to spread a message of hope, said Gail Vencill, outreach coordinator at the Brooksville United Methodist Church. With that in mind, the church is ringing its bell every Sunday for five minutes starting at 11 a.m. for the duration of

  • Towns grapple with new reality

    Towns grapple with new reality

    ELLSWORTH — For Gouldsboro Town Manager Eve Wilkinson, the coronavirus pandemic has certainly been a game-changer. Wilkinson, who retired as town manager in 2015 after 18 years on the job, returned as interim town manager last summer. “I feel like I came back to the town as a conductor of a train,” she said, adding

  • Income dries up as virus spreads

    Income dries up as virus spreads

    ELLSWORTH — For the 2020 selling season, artisan Claire Weinberg had big plans. Weinberg and her daughter, Carly, co-owners of skincare company Dulse & Rugosa, were set to run workshops, host open houses and participate in shows to market their handcrafted soaps, lotions, scrubs and oils from their new property on Route 1 in Gouldsboro.

  • Ellsworth, RSU 24 shutdowns extended

    ELLSWORTH — Schools in Ellsworth and Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) will remain shut down until after spring vacation. In a letter to parents dated March 20, RSU 24 Superintendent Michael Eastman said the current plan is for students to return to school Monday, April 27, following the originally scheduled vacation. The original plan

  • State, federal resources aimed to help Maine during pandemic

    State, federal resources aimed to help Maine during pandemic

    ELLSWORTH — Although classroom instruction has been halted, you may still see school buses. Instead of delivering children to schools or their homes, the buses are delivering food through April 3. “We do have the ability to provide food for each one of our students,” wrote Michael Eastman, superintendent of Regional School Unit 24, in