Articles by Kathryn Skelton

Loren Coleman explains the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland to visitors from Buffalo, N.Y., under a colossal squid constructed by artist Sarah McCann. The squid's dimensions match a real animal found off New Zealand in 2007.

Discover secrets of Bigfoot, Loch Ness in the only cryptozoology museum in the world

By Kathryn Skelton on Aug. 03, 2013, at 11:49 a.m.
PORTLAND | Part-way down a rough, graffitied alley, through what was once almost certainly a side delivery door, you’ll find monsters and Loren Coleman. The space off Avon Street is home to the only cryptozoology museum in the world, two sizable rooms that Coleman has informally labeled fiction and …

Runners must dodge zombies at Auburn ski area obstacle race

By Kathryn Skelton on Aug. 02, 2013, at 6:49 a.m.
On your mark, get set: Braaaaaainnns. Organizers behind the new Zombie Mountain Challenge have designed a course that will have runners zigzagging up and down the mountain at Lost Valley, dodging zombies. It will be held at night, under the lights, on Oct. 26. Registration opened Thursday. …

State releases latest tally of deaths, items left behind during surgery

By Kathryn Skelton on July 29, 2013, at 6:16 a.m.
In 2012, two people had the wrong body parts operated on in Maine, 14 had something left behind inside them after surgery and 36 died in a hospital setting of something they weren’t expected to die from. A new state report shows those numbers are mostly down from the year …
Vaporizers sit on a table at Remedy Compassion Center in Auburn. The devices are a way to inhale medical cannabis without damaging your lungs. "We educate patients on how to consume cannabis that does not harm the body," Jenna Smale said. She and her husband, Tim, founded the center.

Auburn’s Remedy Center: Business is growing

By Kathryn Skelton on July 21, 2013, at 6:14 a.m.
Remedy Compassion Center has been in business just over two years, quietly selling medical marijuana out of a former furniture store next to Craft-Mania in the Auburn Plaza. Founders Tim and Jenna Smale won’t talk patient numbers beyond saying they’re on target for initial projections (655 patients …
David Boyer, the Maine political director of the Marijuana Policy Project, hands out fliers about marijuana at the Moxie Festival last weekend in Lisbon Falls. He plans to collect signatures for a citizen initiative in 2016 to legalize recreational marijuana use in Maine if the state Legislature doesn't pass something sooner.

Marijuana in Maine: The patients, the politics, the future

By Kathryn Skelton on July 21, 2013, at 6:03 a.m.
“Patrick” eats half a marijuana-laced brownie every night to keep away chronic diabetic nerve pain. The Sabattus man has a note from his doctor and buys from the local dispensary. Two years ago, “Barbie” in Peru secretly swapped legal prescription painkillers for marijuana for her chronic neck pain, growing one …

Turnpike authority looks for interest in providing bus service at Auburn exit

By Kathryn Skelton on July 09, 2013, at 6:04 a.m.
The Maine Turnpike Authority is looking for a few good buses. The agency has released an open letter to bus operators and other transportation companies to gauge interest in adding stops to Exit 75 here and the transportation center in Wells. Both exits have underused, MTA-owned property …
Dan Greeley of Belfast was the first to grab the wheel of cheese during an adult race in the annual National Cheese Roll Championship in 2012.

Ready to chase some rolling cheese? Belfast is your town

By Kathryn Skelton on July 06, 2013, at 8:39 a.m.
Participants line up at the top of the hill. The cheese master runs a few steps and bowls a 3-pound wheel of creamy cheddar. Then it’s game on.
Gerry Reid, the current head of the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations in Maine, thinks new legislation can recover the sales being lost to New Hampshire.

New state liquor contract nearly ready to bid; ‘prices will go down’ says state alcohol chief

By Kathryn Skelton on June 29, 2013, at 9:02 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The head of Maine’s alcohol bureau has wanted to take a swing at New Hampshire. He’s about to. Maine is weeks from putting its new, 10-year liquor contract out to bid, and unlike the current contract, it leaves the state with more money and more room to …
A .40-caliber handgun, $4,600 in cash and 2.5 ounces of heroin confiscated in a search of two hotel rooms rented by Wayman Sparrow, who was arrested on three charges earlier this month in South Portland.

A growing addiction: Heroin overdoses on the rise in Maine

By Kathryn Skelton on June 23, 2013, at 8:47 p.m.
One man was found in bed, dead at 39, in the early hours of the morning. Three sleeping children didn’t know about daddy’s drug habit. Another was 32 and found dead, at home, in the bathroom last month. A third was 62, also found dead in bed by family. Lewiston …

Maine town to consider bill backing residents’ right to bear arms

By Kathryn Skelton on June 08, 2013, at 6:14 a.m.
SABATTUS | Voters will decide Tuesday whether to pass a citizen-initiated gun rights ordinance and whether to overhaul the traditional town meeting to make it sleeker and shorter. David Marsters and Amedeo Lauria gathered 240 signatures to see Question 1 on the ballot. It would block the town from …
Jeannine Davin, left, stops to give Kitty Carey, 70, some one-on-one attention during Marshwood's painting class on Wednesday. The class, which draws as many as 10 people per weekly session, will have its first showing at the Oak Street Lofts in Portland tonight.

Never too late: Nursing home painters get first gallery show in Portland

By Kathryn Skelton on June 07, 2013, at 6:18 a.m.
LEWISTON — Florence Lamare leaned within inches of the canvas and gently dabbed yellow paint on her checkerboard tablecloth. With red paint, she added a tall strawberry next to a glass jar of milk. The 87-year-old remembers finger-painting as a child but never picked up a brush to really give …
Daphne Izer holds a fish about to be kissed during the Screeching In ceremony at last year's Newfoundland Day. The Screeching In, which involves kissing the fish, eating bologna and drinking a shot of rum, makes one an honorary Newfoundlander. This year's event is being held June 1 at the Poland Spring Resort.

Have a drink, kiss a fish: Just another Saturday night, Newfoundland-style

By Kathryn Skelton on May 25, 2013, at 5:39 a.m.
There’s a fish in Daphne Izer’s freezer waiting to be kissed. It will be the star of an event next weekend, along with rum, bologna, an authentic Canadian rock and knee-high rubber boots. They’re all elements of a ceremony that, judging by photos from years past, seems to attract uninhibited, …
Economist Charles Colgan of the University of Southern Maine’'s Muskie School of Public Service predicts Maine won't reach full post-recession job recovery until late 2016

Colgan: Jobs recovery expected in 2016

By Kathryn Skelton on May 23, 2013, at 7:20 a.m.
The year 2013 is off to a promising start — but don’t get used to it. Charlie Coglan said he’s hoping for nine months in a row with modest job growth, a streak Maine hasn’t seen since 2007. Ahead of his state forecast for the New England Economic Partnership conference …
Pete Waterman of Waterman Farms in Sabattus posted a help-wanted sign along Route 126 in front of his family's farm recently because he was looking for a skilled farmhand. He had 14 applicants. Many were unfamiliar with simple farm tasks such as driving a tractor or milking cows. He ended up hiring a student helper and a part-time worker from the 14.

Job openings on the rise as Maine slowly climbs back from recession

By Kathryn Skelton on May 19, 2013, at 7:39 a.m.
Two weeks ago, Pete Waterman spray painted a large plywood sign and propped it on his lawn near a bunch of tractors. “Good help wanted.” “To me, ‘help wanted’ didn’t quite explain what I was looking for,” said Waterman, a fourth-generation dairy farmer in Sabattus. “I wanted to let people …

Peter Vigue to speak at annual dinner honoring Lewiston-Auburn companies

By Kathryn Skelton on May 13, 2013, at 9:38 a.m.
LEWISTON — The Twin Cities will honor businesses big and small and hear from Cianbro chairman and CEO Peter Vigue at the 32nd annual Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council annual dinner Thursday, May 16. Vigue has been promoting the creation of an east-west highway in Maine. The dinner and program is …
Jason Levesque, left, speaks about plans to hire 150 additional employees "starting today." Levesque is the CEO and founder of Argo Marketing Group.

Project to create 150 new jobs on Lisbon Street in Lewiston

By Kathryn Skelton, Sun Journal on May 02, 2013, at 3:12 p.m.
Jason Levesque walked inside the old McCrory’s for the first time and stepped on a dead pigeon. An engineer’s report questioned how the building was still standing. Brunswick, a half-hour away, had turn-key space available for nearly $1 million less. None of that deterred him.Story continues below …

Litchfield-area school district plans public forum after four bomb threats in a week

By Kathryn Skelton on April 30, 2013, at 6:20 a.m.
WALES | After four bomb threats in one week — and three student confessions — school officials are planning a public forum for parents in Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales to answer any lingering questions. RSU 4 Superintendent Jim Hodgkin said he planned to tell parents the date of the …
Jamie Theriault of Lewiston, center, was volunteering at the Mile 14 water stop when she saw Paula Rousseau of Lewiston, left, and Barbie Clement of Monmouth run past during the Boston Marathon. She yelled encouragement to her friends as they sped away. Less than two hours later, Rousseau and Clement were walking away from the finish line after completing and qualifying for next year's race when they heard the bombs go off. "We thought it was a celebration," Rousseau said. "Only later did we learn what had happened."

Moving on after Boston: Maine runners say they’ll race again; local officials looking for lessons

By Kathryn Skelton on April 28, 2013, at 7:20 p.m.
Paula Rousseau couldn’t believe the number of people on the sidelines offering pizza, beer and licorice to runners in the Boston Marathon. She and running partner Barbie Clement laughed. They had trained in snow all winter for this. Beer could wait. When they passed college students holding up signs that …

Oak Hill schools face bomb threats on 2 consecutive days

By Kathryn Skelton on April 24, 2013, at 6:31 a.m.
WALES | A bomb threat cleared Oak Hill High School on Tuesday morning shortly after RSU 4 Superintendent Jim Hodgkin returned from Oak Hill Middle School, fresh from talking to those students about a threat that closed that school Monday. At 10:30 a.m., Hodgkin was awaiting the arrival of …

More rail for Auburn: Bond money extends tracks at intermodal facility

By Kathryn Skelton on April 17, 2013, at 6:33 p.m.
AUBURN — Officials will cut the ribbon Wednesday for the ceremonial construction start of a rail line at the intermodal facility that will help freight service now and allow freight and passenger rail to coexist in the future, according to Bob Thompson, executive director at the Androscoggin Valley Council of …