PRESQUE ISLE, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today attended the Aroostook County Special Olympics at Presque Isle Middle School in Presque Isle to celebrate the achievements of the more than three hundred athletes participating in the Special Olympics from around The County and to present the Good Sportsmanship Award. While at Presque Isle Middle School, Senator King also met with Aroostook County Teacher of the Year William Guerrette and his 8th grade students and spent time with members of Maine’s law enforcement community who were on hand as volunteers for the Special Olympics.
“Every time I’m in The County I’m reminded of the wonderful community here that supports and cares for one another,” Senator King said. “From the athletes at today’s events, to friends, family members, organizers, and volunteers, it took a team effort to make today truly special. It was an honor to be here to congratulate the athletes and to thank all those involved for their hard work and dedication to their community.”
During his time in The County, Senator King also visited The County Co-op and met with local business owners on Main Street in Houlton where he discussed the importance of volunteer efforts to further economic development in Aroostook County and throughout Maine. Started in 2014, The County Co-op is a volunteer-driven farm store that promotes local goods and produce from local farms. This spring, Senator King has discussed economic development strategies at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor, Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS) in Portland, the Cianbro Institute in Pittsfield, and in downtown Skowhegan and Damariscotta. He also devoted the April edition of his podcast, Inside Maine, to workforce development, speaking with Peter Vigue, chairman of the Cianbro Companies about the Cianbro Institute, and Ed Cervone, Executive Director of Educate Maine, about his work to provide technical education opportunities and encourage more people from nontraditional backgrounds to pursue careers in IT.
Senator King also visited the Putnam Senior House in Houlton to see the renovated facilities, meet with Arootook County Seniors, and discuss how volunteer efforts at the Putnam House can support seniors and strengthen the community. As the state with the oldest median age, Senator King has made it a priority to work to ensure Maine’s seniors are well-represented in Washington.
In April, he joined Senator Collins to honor the one millionth ride provided by the Independent Transportation Network of America, a Maine-based nonprofit that provides rides to older and visually impaired individuals, and presented the organization with a Senate-passed resolution authored by the two Maine senators. In February, he met with seniors, healthcare providers and professionals in Machias to discuss strategies to help seniors age comfortably, safely and independently. In March 2017, Senator King introduced the Senior Home Modification Assistance Initiative Act, bipartisan legislation that would establish a process to better coordinate the many existing federal home modification programs and provide more consumer-friendly information on how those programs can benefit older Americans.
Senator King is also a strong proponent of strengthening telehealth, and is a cosponsor of the ECHO Act, which was enacted in 2016 and expands access to healthcare through telemedicine in rural and underserved areas. The Senator has also continually underscored the importance of home weatherization for Maine seniors, particularly during the winter months, and has been a champion for LIHEAP funding, which can serve as a lifeline for many seniors living on fixed incomes.