Abigail Curtis

Homestead Reporter

Polar plungers race down to Belfast Harbor on New Year's Day to jump into the frigid water.

What does it take to be a diehard polar plunger? Some brave Mainers tell all

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 29, 2016, at 8:24 a.m.
“You go from the edge of death to feeling euphoric, and that’s the truth,” Dan Greeley of Belfast said.
Belfast police said they have started to organize mail, including Christmas cards, prescription drugs, packages and more, taken from hundreds of midcoast victims.

Midcoast pair accused of stealing hundreds of pieces of mail

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 26, 2016, at 6:27 p.m.
On Christmas morning, a Belfast police officer caught two suspects charged them in connection with thefts of mail and packages.
Two Maine Warden Service aircraft are shown at Millinocket Municipal Airport on Monday. The aircraft were used in efforts to find three lost snowmobilers.

Three lost snowmobilers found after overnight search

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 26, 2016, at 4:13 p.m.
More than a dozen game wardens and two warden service aircraft were involved in the search in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties.

Report: Pedestrian struck by car in Brewer dies

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 26, 2016, at 3:06 p.m.
The investigation into the matter continues and further details will be “released when appropriate,” according to the Brewer Police Department’s Facebook page.
A crew was working to repair a service line leak on State Street in Bangor on Monday.

Crews work overnight to fix water main leak in downtown Bangor

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 26, 2016, at 11:50 a.m.
Traffic has been restricted to one lane of travel in front of Orono Brewing Co., but the city is maintaining through traffic at all times.
John Slaughter (left) and Nancy Slaughter carry their tree back to their car after cutting it down at Fisher Christmas Tree Farm in Belfast Thursday. The Slaughters got one of the last trees of the season at the tree farm.

Bittersweet end of the season on the Christmas tree farm

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 23, 2016, at 6:38 a.m.
“I love Christmas. It’s such a nice time of the year. And everybody who comes in here is happy.”
Matthew Secich helps Lori Perez at his Charcuterie store in Unity recently. Perez is one of many regular customers at Secich's shop, which sells unique smoked meat and cheese products. The Amish man's business had more then its fair share of ups and down throughout the past year.

After a year marked by ups and downs, Amish chef finds his happy place in Unity

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 14, 2016, at 6:46 a.m.
“I could never have imagined,” Matthew Secich said. “It was mind-boggling to think you could have a business in Maine that brought people from all over the world.”
Over the last three decades, Cleaves has worked to turn his 60-acre parcel on a Lincolnville hillside into a Japanese-inspired garden he calls “Schleppinghurst.”

Maine man toils 32 years to build Japanese-inspired garden

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 12, 2016, at 8:50 a.m.
Over the last three decades, he’s worked to turn his 60-acre parcel on a Lincolnville hillside into a Japanese-inspired garden he calls “Schleppinghurst.”
Nancy Durand Lanson, originally of Paris and who describes herself as a healer who uses Tibetan singing bowls in her work, talks about recently moving with her family to an old wooden house in Monroe.

French family settles into Maine homestead

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 08, 2016, at 7:07 a.m.
“It felt like we didn’t have the time just to be,” Nancy Durand Lanson said. “I realized that was what I was missing.”

Cow dead after vandalism spree at local dairy farms

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 06, 2016, at 12:33 p.m.
500 of the thousand-plus pound Holsteins were wandering around the farm and Hill Road.

Much of Maine still considered in severe drought despite rain

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 02, 2016, at 11:26 a.m.
All this rainfall still doesn’t mean that the drought is over.
Stan Belch of the Belfast Co-op, who will be teaching a class on making kimchi, holds up two daikon radishes, which he uses to make the spicy fermented cabbage dish, on Wednesday in Belfast.

Kimchi catching on in Maine

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 01, 2016, at 11:54 a.m.
Fewer folks here are on a first-name basis with kimchi, a spicier fermented concoction made with cabbage and other vegetables that is the national dish of Korea, but that is changing.
Caitlin Shetterly, author of "Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future."

Maine journalist in search of answers takes deep look at GMOs, pesticides and American agriculture

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 30, 2016, at 6:17 a.m.
Caitlin Shetterly’s unusual diagnosis — that she possibly had developed an allergy to genetically modified corn — led her to start asking questions. She wanted to find out what exactly genetically modified organisms are and whether they can make people sick.
A sign for The Red Barn shows the restaurant is holding a fundraiser in this November 2015 file photo. Restaurant owner Laura Benedict works to help others, and she has raised millions for good causes.

Despite hardships, Maine restaurant owner strives to help others, raise money for charity

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 24, 2016, at 7:17 a.m.
Laura Benedict has turned the joint she affectionately calls “a chicken shack” into a charitable powerhouse, raising more than $2 million for good causes.
College of the Atlantic students Patricio Gallardo, of Yerba Buena, Argentina, and Mako Mihira of Tokyo, Japan, work to sort one week's worth of trash and recycling gathered on campus. The discarded waste audit, now in its third year, has tracked a sharp decrease in trash thrown away at the college.

Trash on the decline at College of the Atlantic, audit says

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 22, 2016, at 6:22 a.m.
“We’re super happy about the diversion [or recycling] rate climbing.”
omen of the World is a long-established group in Orono that meets monthly to share recipes from other lands and talk about other cultures.

For 40 years, women’s group has built bridges with food and fellowship over international differences

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 21, 2016, at 11:15 a.m.
“It’s great to learn about different cultures and different traditions. It’s also a great way to try different food that you wouldn’t eat otherwise.”
Graham Mallory, who works at North Branch Farm in Monroe, unloads boxes packed with the farm's biweekly vegetable share on Thursday afternoon at the pickup location at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast.

‘Tis (still) the season for local produce in Maine

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 19, 2016, at 7 a.m.
“Winter markets are important for farmers. It’s good for farmers to keep interacting with their shoppers, and it’s good for Mainers to keep local produce part of their grocery shopping.”
Some of the panelists who spoke on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Slow Money Maine gathering in Belfast were (from left) Bonnie Rukin, the coordinator of Slow Money Maine; Dan Fireside of Equal Exchange; Marada Cook of Crown O'Maine Organic Cooperative; Francis Boero; Scott Cooper, the director of finance at Crown O'Maine; and Lynne Hoey of San Francisco-based RSF Social Finance.

How companies can scale up without selling out

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 17, 2016, at 2:02 p.m.
“We’re looking to grow our sales dramatically.”
Some of the products Houlton Farms Dairy produces include butter and wide a variety of milks.

Locally made butter a bright spot in state’s dairy production

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 14, 2016, at 6:51 a.m.
“If people have a local butter they love to buy, they are fiercely loyal to that butter, just like everybody’s got their favorite ice cream.”
Kennebec Valley Community College timberframing instructor Sandor Nagy (second from left) gives pointers to students on the fitting of a floor joist in a timberframe structure. The college's sustainable construction program started two years ago. Also pictured are students Amber Oberle (right), Vinnie Birtwell (left) and Hannes Moll.

Sustainable construction on the syllabus at Kennebec Valley Community College

By Abigail Curtis on Nov. 11, 2016, at 7:49 a.m.
Officials at Kennebec Valley Community College are happy that nearly one-third of the students in the sustainable construction program, which began last fall, are women.