Articles by Erin Rhoda

Erin Rhoda

The case of a Presque Isle man’s mysterious health insurance plan

on Jan. 10, 2014, at 11:12 a.m.
A Presque Isle man now has health insurance — but not after months of questions, revisions and a mysteriously missing subsidy.
Jim Rier is acting commissioner of the Maine Department of Education.

LePage’s school grades, funding, charter schools: What’s ahead for Maine’s new education chief

By Erin Rhoda and Matthew Stone on Jan. 10, 2014, at 9:47 a.m.
Gov. Paul LePage said Monday he’s chosen Jim Rier to serve as his commissioner of education. Rier, whose nomination is subject to confirmation by the state Legislature, is currently the Department of Education’s acting commissioner and has worked at the state agency for a decade, most of it overseeing Maine …

Maine power outages, troop greeters prompt reflections in verse

on Jan. 03, 2014, at 12:33 p.m.
It seems ice and holidays get people thinking in verse. Over the last couple weeks, several people have sent in poems they wished to share. Two are included here.

A new way of preparing Maine’s future workforce?

on Dec. 13, 2013, at 2:09 p.m.
There are all sorts of ways to get kids prepared for life after high school. But what would you do if your school didn’t have a computer science class, and you knew information technology employees would be in high demand in the future? Machias Memorial High School Principal Brian Leavitt …

Flipping school: How a business in Machias is getting kids ready for college, a career

on Dec. 13, 2013, at 11:37 a.m.
A statewide program run by the Maine Development Foundation connects school administrators with business owners to complete projects that address some of Maine’s long-standing problems, such as post-secondary degree completion. In Machias, it’s meant a business is helping to teach students some important computer skills.

‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ The answer could only be a click away

on Nov. 29, 2013, at 6 a.m.
One Maine woman has a winning idea: An app for the socially conscious shopper. How she’s getting started with a little help from the Big Gig and Big Wigs — and how others can follow suit.

Why one young woman stayed in Maine to help launch a business, an industry. Imagine 2,000 more like her

on Nov. 14, 2013, at 3:45 p.m.
In many cases, Maine’s young people are leading businesses, developing new technology and helping pave the way for industries that don’t even fully exist yet. In Rachael Joyce’s case, she’s doing all three.

Video of one year of domestic violence in one minute

on Nov. 05, 2013, at 4:05 p.m. This video was created by Sigurna kuća (“Safe House,” in Croatian) and shows a year of abuse in one minute. The pictures are staged.

10 ideas to make Maine a better place to live, work

on Nov. 01, 2013, at 10 a.m.
Maine is really good at talking about what’s wrong with it. It goes something like this: Maine has an aging population and workforce. In order to reverse the “silver tsunami” it must find a way to not only retain but draw young people from away. At the same time that …

How do we reduce rates of sexual assault?

on Oct. 28, 2013, at 4:55 p.m.
The hard fact is that, while it’s clear that sexual assault is never the fault of the victim, and the involvement of alcohol in no way excuses the perpetrators’ heinous crime, it’s a little less clear how to most helpfully discuss the correlation between rates of sexual assault and alcohol. …

After torture in Congo, young man wages peace in Maine

on Oct. 25, 2013, at 9:56 a.m.
Nono Mukwayanzo knew it was dangerous but continued protesting human rights violations in his home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. He eventually fled to Maine to save his life. “People are dying. People are afraid to talk,” he said. Now, he is taking part in leadership training in Maine to continue his fight for peace.
Garrett Brown (left) listens to Paul Fazzi rap a song that he wrote while performing for him in Bangor. Fazzi says he uses his life experiences and struggle with addiction for musical inspiration.

Augusta man, former addict, finds new drug in rap

By Erin Rhoda on Oct. 24, 2013, at 2:59 p.m.
Paul Fazzi, 21, of Augusta started rapping when he was 9. “I’m still never givin’ up on my dreams. I’m a feen for this music like I need it to breathe,” he raps in his original “Don’t worry.” Fazzi doesn’t like talking about his past, which has involved jail and …

Escaping poverty: Why a job isn’t enough

on Oct. 18, 2013, at 10:28 a.m.
It is possible to reduce the number of people living in poverty. One expert explains how.

What do you say to a child who has witnessed domestic violence?

on Oct. 18, 2013, at 8:57 a.m.
This year in Maine, about 27,000 youth are estimated to have direct exposure to domestic violence as they watch events — or are victims of actions — that occur in their homes. Nearly one in 10 children saw one family member assault another within the last year. They may see …

How specific policies can help stop Maine’s prescription drug abuse epidemic

on Oct. 18, 2013, at 8:51 a.m.
The rapid rise of the sale of prescription drugs between 1999 and 2010 has resulted in a corresponding problem: death. Sales of prescription painkillers have quadrupled nationally in that time, and so have overdoses. Now more people die from prescription drug overdoses than those from heroin and cocaine combined. In …

Are Maine men standing up to domestic violence?

on Oct. 15, 2013, at 8:47 a.m.
Carlin Whitehouse of Portland, a prevention program educator for Family Crisis Services in Bridgton, recently wrote an OpEd for the BDN called “A Maine man against violence against women.” That headline is also the slogan for bumper stickers making their way around the state on cars, vans and trucks. The …
Erin Rhoda

Rooting for answers: How one clinic is tackling Maine’s barriers to dental care

on Oct. 11, 2013, at 2:15 p.m.
High emergency room use, lack of buy-in for preventive cleanings, not enough dentists: How one Bangor dental clinic is addressing these complicated challenges.
Erin Rhoda

In 40 hours: Learning to stop domestic violence

on Oct. 04, 2013, at 10:35 a.m.
What do you say to someone experiencing abuse?

Why don’t you just leave?

on Oct. 03, 2013, at 4:08 p.m.
Billie-Jean Niedorowski, an advocate at Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance in Bangor, put her domestic violence experience to paper in an OpEd for the BDN today. She details horrific examples of her former abuser’s control. Importantly, she discusses why it’s not easy to leave. She writes: For all the screaming and crying, …

A Maine murder victim’s story that ‘will never die’

on Sept. 27, 2013, at 11:45 a.m.
It’s not easy to explain loss. Yet every year those whose loved ones died at the hands of another gather in Augusta to try to put words to it. On Wednesday, about 70 people met at the University of Maine at Augusta for the 7th annual Maine Day of Remembrance …
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