From our Files – Week of September 13, 2021

50 Years Ago — Sept. 16, 1971

   All pools aren’t good for swimming — Ernest Daigle is smiling because he’s never going to fall into a cesspool again. When working at the end of Riverside Avenue for Bridge Construction, who were preparing to lay pipe for sewers, he and his tractor broke through some soft ground and sank into a cesspool 10 feet deep.

Paul Pelletier of St. Francis, who works for Bridge Construction, said Daigle went down twice and then he and Vernon Beaulieu of Madawaska pulled him out as he was on his way down a third time. It took two backhoes to pull the tractor out later. When it was sunk, only the blade was showing. Daigle, who is from Madawaska, said he burned his hand trying to hold on to the muffler of the tractor. Daigle laughed a bit when asked about it, even though he almost drowned. “It didn’t smell good,” he said.

25 Years Ago — Sept. 18, 1996

Gerber to close by year’s end — After close to a half-century of operations, a Fort Kent childrenswear manufacturing plant is closing its doors permanently beginning mid-November 1996. It will impact close to 150 workers and remove millions of dollars in payroll from the area. According to Ray McManus, Capelnor and company vice president of human resources, the reasons for the closure are “two-fold” — location and manufacturing costs. “We have another facility which is more centrally located in Ballinger, Texas, to serve our customers, which are primarily not in the New England area,” McManus said.

10 Years Ago — Sept. 21, 2011

New Van Buren port of entry going up — The new $45 million, 44,000-square-foot eco-friendly port of entry at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection branch in Van Buren is slowly rising. The new port on Bridge Street, which connects to St. Leonard, N.B., is funded through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and should be completed by 2013. The existing structure was damaged during the heavy flooding of the St. John River in 2008.

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