Articles by Kathryn Skelton

Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

Downeaster plans train to Lewiston-Auburn, eventually

By Kathryn Skelton on April 14, 2013, at 9:54 p.m.
The rail authority that manages the Downeaster is working on a blueprint for its future, to be unveiled later this year, that includes bringing passenger rail service to Lewiston-Auburn. Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, is encouraging about the plan, even …
Kathie Leonard, president and CEO of Auburn Manufacturing in Mechanic Falls, stands with one of the looms that manufactures some of the company's high-temperature materials.

Auburn Manufacturing expands, builds business on heat

By Kathryn Skelton on April 09, 2013, at 6:26 a.m.
MECHANIC FALLS | From its early beginnings on the second floor of the town library, Auburn Manufacturing has grown from one product line and two employees to two facilities and 50 workers. President and CEO Kathie Leonard said the key is making things and never giving up. “Innovation follows …
Retired liquor executive Gerry Reid, the current head of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations in Maine, thinks new legislation can get back nearly half of all sales being lost to New Hampshire.

Maine mulls a new strategy to tap into New Hampshire liquor sales bonanza

By Kathryn Skelton on April 06, 2013, at 8:14 p.m.
HALLOWELL | Animated, with thick round glasses, salt-and-pepper hair and a tall, lean frame, Gerry Reid could pass for a professor in the Harry Potter universe. His last job was in tequila, as managing director at Jose Cuervo International, where he oversaw new product development, sales and marketing, and …
A Lewiston firefighter can only look at the flames pouring out of one entrances to an apartment building at the corner of Pine and Pierce Streets in Lewiston Saturday afternoon as he waits for water to be delivered.

Fast-moving fire destroys first floor of Lewiston building, leaving family homeless

By Kathryn Skelton on March 30, 2013, at 3:17 p.m.
A fast-moving grease fire destroyed the first floor at 101 Pine St. early Saturday afternoon, leaving at least one family of four homeless. Fire Inspector Paul Ouellette said police received a call for help at about 1:15 p.m. A woman in the apartment had been heating oil …
Co-owner Alan Chesney and the workers at Wells Wood Turning & Finishing in Buckfield make 75,000-100,000 wood eggs as a collectible for the White House Easter celebration.

Buckfield company makes official White House Easter eggs

By Kathryn Skelton on March 27, 2013, at 11:48 a.m.
At the end of a dirt road, in a nondescript cinder block mill, Wells Wood Turning & Finishing makes tool handles, drawer knobs, toy parts and dabbles in bunny business. For six years, the company has quietly made the official collectible White House Easter eggs. For 2012, …
Joyce Kenney, 51, looks at her fingers while describing March 25, 1963, when the fingertip of her right ring finger was severed by a door at a Topsham service station.

50 years later: The Maine girl who had finger reattached

By Kathryn Skelton on March 25, 2013, at 6:21 a.m.
LEWISTON — Fifty years ago the Kenneys were off on a Sunday drive to the ocean when Marie and 1-year-old Joyce had to stop to use the bathroom. The Topsham service station had just gotten new, heavy automatic doors. When those doors closed, they severed an inch of little Joyce’s …

College students pitch in with free tax help for Lewiston-Auburn residents

By Kathryn Skelton on March 23, 2013, at 2:48 p.m.
One man was so excited he told Abdisalan Mohamed Ali that he’d go on vacation. Another couple didn’t realize they could still claim their college-age daughter — more money in their pockets. “Some don’t even know they can get the earned income (tax) credit, so you teach …
Stephen Bowen, the commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, displays an iPad science app during a conference in Augusta in 2011.

Maine may give iPads to all middle-schoolers

By Kathryn Skelton on March 14, 2013, at 9:25 a.m.
The state’s first-in-the-nation laptop program may be going iPad. Maine is negotiating five options for its next Maine Learning Technology Initiative contract. For the past seven years, that program has placed Apple MacBook laptops in the hands of every seventh- and eighth-grader in the state. Two new options include computer …
"The bonus of working from home is you can do it whenever, as long as you get it done," said Tanya Lippke, who works on market research analysis from her Lewiston home. She also runs a portable oxygen bar company from her house.

Mainers make working from home work

By Kathryn Skelton on March 10, 2013, at 2:03 p.m.
Tanya Lippke lived in Florida, but missed home too much to stay. When she gave her notice, though, her boss wouldn’t accept it. So she moved back to Maine and worked remotely the next 9 years for the Tampa-based market research company. Now, she runs that business from her Lewiston …
A piece of Dots candy in the form of the Virgin Mary is up for auction on eBay. The morsel was found by Desmond and Amy Duguay of Turner.

Turner man denies his Virgin Mary candy is a hoax

By Kathryn Skelton on March 05, 2013, at 6:25 a.m.
A website has called “hoax” on a Turner couple who have listed a piece of candy on eBay that resembles the Virgin Mary. But Desmond Duguay says his is no doctored Dot. Duguay and his wife, Amy, discovered the orange candy a little over a week ago, …
Paul Lessard, vice president of sales at Neokraft Signs on outer Main Street in Lewiston, holds up a letter for a sign the company is working on in its shop.

Maine sign manufacturer keeps up with changing tech, regulations

By Kathryn Skelton on March 04, 2013, at 7:19 p.m.
LEWISTON — The aluminum letters lying on their side, even tipped, stood almost as tall as a man. They would be repainted, strung with LED lights and hung 10 stories up in the air in Portland. Massive would-be half bubbles bound for the side of a Brunswick building, a foot …
In a Sun Journal survey, FOAA requests are increasing around Maine as more people are exercising the right to government information under Maine law. In some cases, exercising it over and over.

State, towns reporting sharp rise in information requests

By Kathryn Skelton on March 03, 2013, at 7:19 a.m.
One Boston website wanted details about any unmanned aerial drones, including how high they fly and whether they can be weaponized. A New Hampshire author planning a book asked for details about a 2008 shooting. An Auburn man questioned the dark tint on troopers’ Ford Mustang windows. He’s after those …
Peru selectman Tim Holland.

More verbal jousting in Peru: Resident considers second petition against board chairman

By Kathryn Skelton on Feb. 13, 2013, at 5:44 a.m.
Board of Selectmen Chairman Tim Holland owes $17,000 in back property taxes to the town. He’s already facing one recall petition, from resident Warren Oldham. If that doesn’t work in next month’s referendum, Oldham plans to circulate another: one that would keep anyone who owes back taxes …
A natural gas pipeline runs across the prairie near Sidney, Montana. Maine's natural gas demand is expanding beyond what its pipelines can support.

As natural gas brings down electricity and heating costs, Maine can’t get enough

By Kathryn Skelton on Feb. 03, 2013, at 7:55 a.m.
Maine is hungrily eyeing Pennsylvania. That’s where the natural gas is. With Maine increasingly reliant on natural gas for lower electricity rates, and with a growing number of homes hooking up to the heating alternative, how and whether to get more natural gas from there to here is a sizable …
Larry Wold, Maine market president for TD Bank, will announce Thursday night at the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting that the bank has extended its lease in the Bates Mill complex to 2025. TD Bank has offices in Bates Mill No. 3 and No. 7, and employs 800 people there.

Despite ‘fierce’ competition, TD Bank to keep 800 jobs in Lewiston until 2025

By Kathryn Skelton on Jan. 24, 2013, at 10:08 a.m.
Four years ago, amid uncertainty that TD Bank might pull up stakes after buying Commerce Bank, Larry Wold told an audience at the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce annual meeting that TD would maintain operations centers in Lewiston and New Jersey. The bank wanted to stay. On …
"It has been a horrendous thing for me," Craig Rivas said of falling behind on his house payments. "Hopefully, I can get some help somewhere."

Maine home foreclosures starting to slow, but defaults holding steady

By Kathryn Skelton on Jan. 20, 2013, at 1:06 p.m.
AUBURN | Craig Rivas bought his first house the day before Thanksgiving in 2007. Within an hour of signing loan papers, he yanked the “For Sale” out of the lawn and did a little dance. “I did the, ‘Oh, my god, this is mine!’ thing,” said Rivas, 45. He …

Many Maine towns, cities report more residents paying off tax liens

By Kathryn Skelton on Jan. 20, 2013, at 9:08 a.m.
In Lewiston, property tax liens are down and property foreclosures for nonpayment of taxes are expected to decline in 2013. In Sabattus, property foreclosures are down markedly: Sixteen in 2011. Four in 2012. In Farmington, liens are steady but foreclosures up, some of that property swamp land. The town will …

Maine making good with less as state sees dramatic decrease in Homeland Security funds

By Kathryn Skelton on Jan. 06, 2013, at 7:13 a.m.
Allyson Hill had been warning her towns for a while: The money is going away. She wasn’t wrong. In 2004, the heyday of U.S. Homeland Security grant funding, Maine towns and cities split $22 million. In 2011, they shared $6.2 million. In 2012, money being spent now, it’s down to …
The 6-month-old son of Chynna Blaney, 19, of Raymond survived after being ejected about 25 feet from this car after a collision in Raymond.

Baby ejected from car during Raymond crash treated for fractured skull

By Kathryn Skelton on Jan. 05, 2013, at 8:37 a.m.
A baby thrown 25 feet from a car during a violent collision Thursday night was being treated Friday for a fractured skull and was called “lucky” by police. Six-month-old Gabriel James Blaney was tossed from his mother’s Toyota Corolla at 5 p.m. at the intersection of North …

Determination pays off for single Lewiston mother of three

By Kathryn Skelton on Jan. 02, 2013, at 6:56 a.m.
Teri Clavet just moved into a three-bedroom apartment. She’s found a job. Her three children are happy, and she’s in a happy place. On Mother’s Day, Clavet was featured in a Sun Journal article: She was part of a trend in single women in Maine having more babies. At the …