Articles by Kathryn Skelton

 
Excessive speed on an icy road is being blamed for a head-on collision on Route 11 in Moro Plantation in southern Aroostook in this November 2012 file photo.

Head-on collisions increase in Maine

By Kathryn Skelton on July 27, 2014, at 9:26 a.m.
You’re driving, in your own lane — and another car is coming right at you. It’s about as bad as it gets on the road. And it’s happening in Maine more often. Maine is on pace to experience 25 percent more head-on collisions — the deadliest type of car crashes …

Despite losing state contract, MaineCare ride provider gave employees bonuses for staying on job

By Kathryn Skelton on July 25, 2014, at 2:24 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — The company that lost the state contract to broker rides for MaineCare patients after thousands of complaints and missed pick-ups has offered bonuses to employees who stay on and keep answering the phones through next week. At least one lawmaker wants to know who’s paying for it. …
Registered Maine Guide Ron Fournier measures a 21-inch, 4.5-pound large-mouth bass that he caught while fishing with his son, Gunner, on North Pond in Woodstock on Friday.

Early signs show frigid, snowy winter heated up Maine’s businesses, economy

By Kathryn Skelton on April 06, 2014, at 6:03 a.m.
Not too long ago, Ron Fournier walked out onto North Pond, drilled holes for a day of ice fishing and returned to find three of the tourists in his ice shack wearing life jackets. A fourth had one cradled on his lap. The ice was 32 inches thick. “They’d never …
Grace Eaton holds a portrait of her son Glen Gilchrist, who was 17 in 1997 when he took his own life. "The 10th anniversary was very hard," said Eaton. "I still sometimes get mad at him, although it took me many years to get mad." Eaton worked with state lawmakers last year on a new law that mandates suicide prevention and awareness training for all Maine school employees.

New law says all Maine school workers, from teachers to bus drivers, must train to spot suicide warning signs

By Kathryn Skelton on March 16, 2014, at 10:09 p.m.
“Bruce” knew his teenage son was stressed, overscheduled with sports, extracurriculars and a girlfriend, busy sometimes five nights a week. He seemed to genuinely enjoy it all, and the worst of the sports season was almost over. Bruce thought about telling his son to cut back but didn’t. Going on …

Scarborough Downs agrees to build hotel, complex first if state approves new racino

By Kathryn Skelton on March 13, 2014, at 6:51 a.m.
Fewer people are playing the ponies: Off-track and racetrack wagers in Maine were down again in 2013. The figures were released Wednesday, the same day the Maine House gave initial approval to a new twist on Scarborough Downs’ effort to win a racino in the Legislature: It would have to …
In this March 2004 photo, a selection of Dansko shoes line the walls at a Lamey Wellehan in Bangor. The Maine-grown personalized footwear retailer turns 100 this year.

Maine shoe store Lamey-Wellehan celebrates 100 years

By Kathryn Skelton on March 12, 2014, at 7:20 a.m.
AUBURN, Maine — For its first 100 years, Lamey-Wellehan was run by a Wellehan, first Dan, then Jim, a rare, long father-son streak. As the high-end shoe store celebrates its century anniversary next week, President Jim Wellehan, 75, a frequently-lauded businessman, witty and fiercely environmental — he walks through the …

Survey shows troubling trends among western Maine teens

By Kathryn Skelton on Feb. 16, 2014, at 9:18 a.m.
One in five western Maine middle school students has seriously thought about committing suicide. The same students were more likely than peers across the state to admit to having huffed paint, smoked marijuana, had sex, gambled or driven with someone drunk or high. In Oxford County, middle-schoolers were least likely …
Doug Walker, professor of economics at the College of Charleston in South Carolina and author of the book "Casinonomics."

How many gambling venues are too many for Maine and New England?

By Kathryn Skelton on Jan. 26, 2014, at 6:16 a.m.
People walked into Maine’s two beckoning casinos last year and gambled more than $1.1 billion. Newcomer Oxford Casino, without a hotel or amenities except a restaurant with a $5 burger night, saw more than half of that action. With numbers like that, other companies want in. The rhetoric is high …

Talking like a ‘Maineah’: Surveys, research show state’s celebrated accent holds distinct place in English

By Kathryn Skelton on Jan. 12, 2014, at 9:39 a.m.
About anywhere in New England, they’re sneakers, not tennis shoes, and it’s a rotary, not a traffic circle. Travel west of the Connecticut River, and Italian sandwiches turn into foot-long grinders. Head north, and you’ll smack headlong into a word that appears to be singularly Maine: “Ayuh.” For Bert Vaux, …

Well paid in Maine: 20 top-paying jobs in the state

By Kathryn Skelton on Jan. 12, 2014, at 6:22 a.m.
Money isn’t everything. But if it were, you’d want to be a doctor. Surgeons and physicians hold the highest-paying jobs in 11 of Maine’s 16 counties, according to the Maine Department of Labor. In four other counties, it pays to be a chief executive — $66 an hour or better, …
In this October 2013 file photo, police in safety suits examine a car in an Ellsworth hotel parking lot as part of a mobile meth lab investigation. Three people from Aroostook County have been arrested in connection with the bust, which police say included the production of methamphetamine in a pickup truck in the same parking lot.

Maine battles record year for meth labs

By Kathryn Skelton on Dec. 08, 2013, at 9:14 a.m.
A 29-year-old woman with a toddler is busted inside a run-down camper. Two twentysomething brothers are caught in a family cabin deep in the Maine woods. A 32-year-old woman in a mobile home tries to run when agents show up. She doesn’t get far. Still more people are discovered allegedly …
Gary Asselin feeds a log into a high-efficiency wood-burning Jotul stove at his Auburn store, Fireside Stove Shop. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is tightening standards for wood-stove emissions. Changes are expected next year.

‘More dangerous on a dose-by-dose basis than cigarette smoke’: Concerns about wood-stove smoke prompt state review

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 24, 2013, at 4:21 p.m.
For two years, the state has kept filters from a Greenville air-quality project — a project that tried to analyze wood-smoke pollutants in the air — nestled in a freezer. Soon, it will finally send those samples off to a lab. Next winter, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection plans …
Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, talks about how the latest report in the "Making Maine Work" series will help lure 65,000 more workers into Maine jobs by 2020. Connors and other business leaders unveiled the report at Tambrands in Auburn on Tuesday.

Maine business leaders roll out plan to reverse statewide job losses

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 19, 2013, at 1:31 p.m.
AUBURN, Maine — Repeatedly calling it ambitious but essential, business leaders unveiled a report Tuesday morning with ways they hope to lure 65,000 more workers into Maine jobs by 2020. If nothing is done, the state is on track to lose 20,000 workers by the end of the decade, according …
Retired liquor executive Gerry Reid, the current head of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations in Maine.

Four Maine companies bid for state liquor contract

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 14, 2013, at 4:11 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Four companies will bid for parts of the state’s new wholesale liquor contract. Bids were due Thursday by 2 p.m., with the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations releasing the names minutes later. Financial details won’t be made public until a review team makes an award, …
Charles Colgan

Economist: Maine adding jobs, but won’t recover from Great Recession until 2018

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 13, 2013, at 10:39 a.m.
Charlie Colgan believes Maine is about to hit three consecutive quarters of job growth, something the state hasn’t done since 2007, before the Great Recession. Colgan will deliver the mixed bag economic forecast as part of the New England Economic Partnership fall conference in Boston on Thursday. In an interview, …
Customers line up at Roopers on Sabattus Street in Lewiston on Friday night. The agency liquor store made nearly $1.6 million in sales last year, the fourth-highest in the state.

Roopers among highest-selling, fastest-growing liquor stores in Maine

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 09, 2013, at 9:26 a.m.
Portland, Lewiston, Freeport and Orono had the five largest agency liquor stores in the state last year. The top two, Bow Street Market in Freeport and RSVP in Portland, were also distributors, selling in bulk to restaurants and bars. For the rest, many sales came from selling one bottle of …
Dan and Melinda Small recently opened up Legends Sports Bar & Grill, a pool hall with a philanthropic twist, on Center Street in Auburn.

High school sweethearts find purpose running Auburn pool hall

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 08, 2013, at 6:54 a.m.
AUBURN, Maine — Melinda Small woke to the sound of bones breaking. Her husband, Dan Small, had a grand mal seizure in the middle of the night that swelled his muscles to the point that they crushed his shoulders and spine. It led to more than a year of recovery, …
Writer Crash Barry (left) and Frank Rizzo of Bethel light up a joint at the "Yes on 1" headquarters in Portland on Tuesday night after declaring victory in a referendum to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the city.

National group prepares for Maine “battleground” in fight over legalizing use of recreational marijuana

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 07, 2013, at 5:52 a.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — Anticipating a showdown in 2016, a national group called Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) launched a Maine chapter Wednesday with a local advocate at the helm. Scott Gagnon, state coordinator for SAM Maine, described the group as having a nuanced approach to marijuana use; it’s against …
Norm Burnell of Lewiston hosted two visitors from New Jersey on Saturday. Leena Clausell, left, and Sheila Iwano are the daughters of Nick Negron, the man that Burnell spent a lot of time with during the Vietnam War. He searched four decades for his old war buddy and instead found the daughters who never knew Negron.

A soldier’s search: Four decades of looking for an old Army buddy leads to another discovery

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 03, 2013, at 9:38 a.m.
Leena and Sheila Negron grew up with stories about their father, and not good ones. The family broke up when the girls were young and Nick Negron walked away, a man haunted by struggles after the Vietnam War. Norm Burnell spent four decades searching for Negron, the medic with the …
Worumbo Mill in Lisbon Falls.

For Lisbon, it’s a million-dollar question: Buy Worumbo Mill or not?

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 03, 2013, at 6:23 a.m.
LISBON, Maine — The air is thick with allspice, cloves, garlic and onion, ingredients for fresh pork pie, and coolers are stocked with hundreds of loops of smoked sausage, neat and inviting. Ninety percent of customers at Maurice Bonneau’s Sausage Kitchen are from out of town, drawn by the tens …
 
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