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Valley's View to preview World Cup February 22

February 13, 2004

NR04032

The University of Maine at Fort Kent and Northern Maine Medical Center monthly public affairs television program "The Valley's View," will air a special Biathlon World Cup preview edition on WAGM-TV Channel 8 Sunday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m.

The half-hour show, which takes an in-depth look at contemporary issues using local experts as guests to address the selected topics, will be taped on-location at the Maine Winter Sports Center's 10th Mountain Division Lodge in Fort Kent.

Guests will include George Dumond and Nancy Thibodeau, both key organizers in the World Cup planning effort. They will discuss what the community of Fort Kent can expect when the World Cup, along with hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators, converge on the town in two weeks.

Also appearing on the program will be two leaders of the area's largest institutions, Richard Cost, president of the University of Maine at Fort Kent and Martin Bernstein, CEO of Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC). Cost and Bernstein will discuss the impact of the World Cup on their institutions and how they are preparing for it.

"This should be a very interesting program. The 2004 Biathlon in Fort Kent will not only affect the people of the St. John Valley but all of Aroostook County and the state of Maine," said Jason Parent, Valley's View host and director of university relations at UMFK.

Also part of the program will be the "College Question," a segment that will look at new and exciting developments on the UMFK campus and "Your Healthcare Connection" which will look at concerns in healthcare, using professionals from NMMC.

UMFK has been an instrumental supporter of the upcoming World Cup. The campus has secured funding for and begun construction on a new residence hall - a wing of which will be completed and serve as an "athletes village" during the competition.

UMFK has also changed its academic calendar to allow its own students and faculty to participate in events; has committed Nadeau Hall, Nowland Hall and the Fox Auditorium to serve as an off-site competition headquarters, an athletes and coaches dining facility, and a cultural events facility respectively; and committed technology support, facilities management and other staff to ensure on-campus events run smoothly.

"The World Cup is an event that will have a significant impact on the future development of the St. John Valley region, and this institution has a vested interest in ensuring activities run smoothly," said Cost. "We have extended our full cooperation to event organizers and are looking forward to working together with the hundreds of community volunteers to show the world the best skiing and warmest hospitality found anywhere!"

The most obvious World Cup presence on the UMFK campus will be the competing athletes and their coaches, who will both live and dine at the university.

The 150 competitors will occupy the freshly completed south wing of the new residence hall, which is under construction beside the University SportsCenter on the opposite side of Pleasant Street from the main campus.