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Feds say Maine’s oversight of child care facilities not adequate

BANGOR, Maine — Many of Maine’s child care facilities did not obtain criminal history records of employees, held on to breast milk or medication long after it had expired, and let children play near potentially dangerous items such as knives, space heaters and cleaning supplies, according to a federal audit. …
A nanny, two small children and a dog are safe following a fire in Bath.

Investigators say two young boys set fire Monday in basement of Bath home

BATH, Maine — Investigators for the state fire marshal’s office believe a fire that damaged a Washington Street home Monday morning was set intentionally by two young boys who live in the house. Investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set in a below-grade addition to the home, Sgt. Ken …
Zedric Joseph

UMaine athlete charged with murder apparently received probation, community service in earlier domestic assault case

ORONO, Maine — Zedric Joseph, the former University of Maine football player now facing murder charges in Florida, apparently was given probation and 20 hours of community service by the university in 2012 after his arrest on a domestic violence assault charge in Orono, according to records obtained by the …
Esther Attean, co-director of Maine-Wabanaki REACH

Truth and Reconciliation Commission broadens effort to expose decades of Wabanaki children being put in state care

BANGOR, Maine — The scope of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s work to expose what happened to tribal children who were placed in the state child welfare system will broaden this month. In late June, organizers will begin interviewing non-tribal people who worked in the state’s …
 Ester Attean, the co-director of Maine-Wabanaki REACH, presents on the history of Maine's Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the United South and Eastern Tribes Inc. board meeting.

Panelists talk with Maine tribes about trauma of foster care, separation from families

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The organizers of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission hope the work they have done uncovering the stories of tribal members who were involved with the child welfare system will inspire other states to tackle such an undertaking. “One of our dreams would …
RENEE ORDWAY
Renee Ordway

Starved Bangor girl Tavielle Kigas was a victim of untreated mental illness

I was four months pregnant with my first child in 1993 when I stood outside Tonia Porter Kigas’ Bangor apartment as police put up crime scene tape and began to process a crime scene that we would soon learn to be one of the most horrific in the city’s history. …
Preschool teacher Cindy Ambrose teaches students at Little Angels Day Care and Preschool Wednesday afternoon in Bangor.

Maine hires 16 new investigators in effort to improve safety, oversight of child care centers

AUGUSTA, Maine — The state’s child care licensing office has used federal grant funding to hire 16 new investigators in an effort to comply with federal safety guidelines. Simultaneously, according to Kenneth Albert, director of the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, Maine is moving toward a more efficient system …
Tammy Wilson looks out a window in the office at the Travel Inn in Lewiston recently where she lives and works as the manager.

Three state projects are giving Maine’s biggest medical users more help, and it’s already paying off in a host of ways

Last year, Tammy Wilson visited the emergency room 38 times. She knew she went there a lot — too much — but she didn’t know what else to do for her debilitating migraines. In the past she’d seen her primary care doctor and a neurologist, tried over-the-counter drugs and prescriptions. …

Expensive ear-tube operations on kids moving out of the operating room

MINNEAPOLIS — Preceptis Medical is a small company that has big designs to clip costs and boost safety for the 1.3 million young children who undergo ear-tube surgeries each year. “This is a simple story,” said Preceptis CEO Steve Anderson. “We’ve come up with an effective tool that allows us …
Zedric Joseph

UMaine student held on murder charge in connection with stabbing in Florida

A University of Maine student is being held on a murder charge in connection with a double stabbing in Florida that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old man. Zedric Joseph, 23, of West Palm Beach was being held at the Richmond County Jail in Augusta, Ga., according to a …
EDITORIALS
 In this March 2013 file photo, a CARA participant rests inside a cell at the Kennebec County Correctional Facility. Many CARA participants come from broken homes and traumatic childhoods, said Kennebec County corrections officer Edward Anderson.

LePage’s dangerous portrayal of drug addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction is complicated. Sometimes addiction is passed down through genetics, though of course many people become addicted without a genetic predisposition. Environment often has something to do with it: It’s estimated 9 percent of children in the U.S. live with at least one parent who abuses alcohol …
Former University of Maine football player and master's degree candidate Roosevelt Boone of Washington, D.C., is greeted by children at the Presbyterian Secondary School in Acraa, Ghana, during his visit there in 2012.

From Maine to Ghana, former UMaine football player shares passion for teaching children

ORONO, Maine — College student-athletes too often are celebrated only for their accomplishments on the field. Roosevelt Boone enjoyed his share of success on the University of Maine football team. Yet the athletic scholarship only opened the doors to what the school has to offer for someone with passion and …
Tracey Haskell shares a sweet moment with her 20-month-old niece, Chelsea, who now lives with her. Tracey took guardianship of her niece and nephew following the tragic death of her sister, April Haskell, in October.

Ripple effects of domestic violence scar surviving children

ORONO, Maine — Tracey Haskell never saw a mark on her niece or nephew, but in the months since the children’s parents died in a domestic violence homicide and police shooting, the emotional scars from having lived in an abusive environment have become apparent. “I have a unique perspective,” she …

DHHS releases reasoning behind denial of medical marijuana use for Tourette’s syndrome

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Health and Human Services denied the use of medical marijuana to treat Tourette’s syndrome last month because of a dearth of large-scale studies into its effectiveness and side effects, according to a document provided to the Bangor Daily News on Thursday. A panel of …

Once a day of rest, Sunday has become Sad Day

MINNEAPOLIS — For Lara Mueller, it kicks in at the same time every week, like clockwork. “Sunday just has this sad feeling to it, after about 5 p.m.,” said the St. Louis Park, Minn., resident. “There is a sort of umbrella hanging over the evening.” She tries to buoy herself, …
From the community

Catholic Charities of Maine names Dr. Jessica Manaker 2013 Provider of the Year

BANGOR, Maine — Catholic Charities of Maine’s Case Management staff recently presented Dr. Jessica Manaker, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at Community Health and Counseling Services, with the 2013 Provider of the Year Award. She received the award at a reception held in her honor at the CHCS office in Bangor. …
Michael Brennan

State’s plan to move Labor, DHHS offices to shared South Portland site angers Portland landlord, mayor

PORTLAND, Maine — The owner of two Bayside buildings rejected for new state offices on Monday called the bidding process “a waste of time.” As a result of the state’s decision last month, Tom Toye stands to lose the Maine Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services …
George Zimmerman listens to the judge during his first-appearance hearing in Sanford, Fla., on Nov. 19, 2013. A central Florida judge freed Zimmerman on $9,000 bond on Tuesday and forbade him from possessing weapons or ammunition on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence during a dispute with his girlfriend.

George Zimmerman, accused of pointing gun at girlfriend, granted bail in domestic violence case

ORLANDO, Fla. — George Zimmerman was granted bail during a hearing before a judge Tuesday afternoon, the day after he was accused of pointing a gun at his girlfriend and arrested on domestic violence charges. Zimmerman was calm and said little during Tuesday’s court appearance. Seminole County Judge Fred Schott …

Economic development top priority of Dexter council candidates

DEXTER, Maine — There will be plenty of choices for Dexter Town Council on the Nov. 5 election ballot as six residents will be seeking three contested seats. Two incumbents, Chairman Peter Haskell and Councilor Alan Wintle, are seeking re-election. One councilor, Andre Robichaud, has decided not to seek another …

DC think tank ranks Maine 41st for value of welfare benefits

A poor, single mother of two contacts Maine’s welfare offices looking for help. She qualifies for several of the state’s most well-known aid programs, including those that help her buy food, receive medical care for her children and heat her home. Her potential take-away: just under $19,900 worth of help …