Machias Valley News Observer co-publisher Eugene “Gene” Townsend passes away

Eugene M. “Gene” Townsend, the co-publisher of the Machias Valley News Observer, died at a Bangor hospital on Friday, Dec. 18. He was 89.
Gene Townsend was a lifelong resident of Calais and once worked as the sales manager for WQDY in his hometown.
Townsend and his friend, Jay Hinson, purchased the Machias Valley News Observer in 1967 and Townsend also worked as the advertising manager for the weekly for 42 years.
In 2006 their wives, Patricia Townsend and Karen Hinson became partners in the company.
In his early years, Townsend served in the U.S. Army Air Corps at the outbreak of World War II with tours of duty in England, North Africa and Italy.
While working as a B-17 engineer, his artistic talents were soon discovered and he was enlisted to put the names and art work, known as “nose art,” on many of his squadron aircraft. Several Web sites featuring much of his work have been created by military historians.
Townsend was a past president of the Calais Lions Club, a member of the Frontier Lodge Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Baileyville and a life member of Sherman Brothers American Legion Post No. 3 in Calais.
A celebration of his life was held on Dec. 22 at Calais United Methodist Church Condolences and memories may be shared at

Welcome to the new MPA site!

Welcome to the new Maine Press Association Web site.
We’re in the early stages of the transition right now, but please be patient. We’re experimenting with different page themes, links, pages, feeds, etc.
We’ll have links to our member newspapers, a classified section, industry news, obituaries, a Freedom of Access link and much more.
Eventually we hope to have some slide shows and videos of our major events and activities.
We’re also in the process of moving our archives to the new site from now until Jan. 1. But don’t worry. We won’t be taking the site down until we’re 100 percent sure that our new “home” is operating smoothly.
Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the new site, and don’t hesitate to drop us a note if you have any comments – good and bad.

Mike Lange, Executive Director