Articles by Rosie Hughes

 
Maine Focus
Jon Hunt, known better as Twitch to his friends, walks through the Bangor Public Library on a sunny afternoon at the end of March. Twitch has never held an official job. He’s worked as a roofer, a blueberry raker and a construction worker, he said, but always under the table. Forty years ago, it was almost unheard of for a man of Twitch’s age to be out of the workforce, meaning neither working nor looking for work. But today, some 15 percent of Maine men ages 25 to 54 find themselves in that situation, according to the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information.

Thousands of Maine men are missing from the workforce, and no one really knows why

By Rosie Hughes on April 11, 2017, at 6:34 a.m.
Men like Twitch find themselves “set adrift in a world they are not equipped to deal with.”
Salena Sawtelle, a certified nursing assistant at the Stillwater Health Care nursing home in Bangor, talks to Connie Drake before getting her ready for breakfast on Feb. 28

A Maine woman who protects the dying can barely afford to live

on March 27, 2017, at 6:22 a.m.
She is one of 24,000 workers whose wages have declined even as demand has grown, and have no clear way of getting ahead.
Maine Focus
Safi Paulo (center) is surrounded by her children shortly after returning home from work, checking Facebook on her smartphone while chatting with her sister-in-law Yalla Kaluta (not shown) and relaxing in the kitchen in the family's home in Thomaston.

When these refugees shared their loneliness, Maine overwhelmed them with kindness

By Rosie Hughes on Feb. 18, 2017, at 7:39 a.m.
More than 75 people said they would help the first refugee family to be resettled in small-town Maine, offering everything from land to farm, to rowing lessons, to help with babysitting.
MAINE FOCUS
Refugees take an oath of allegiance on June 17, 2016, at City Hall in Portland as they become naturalized U.S. citizens.

LePage takes final steps to end the state’s role in helping refugees

By Rosie Hughes on Jan. 26, 2017, at 6:08 a.m.
The Maine office meant to help minorities and prevent discrimination will be stripped of its main duty March 4.
Josephine Jordan, 3, peers out from the doorway leading to her family's front hall after coming down from the upstairs to investigate the sound of visitors on Dec. 9, 2016.

Inside the isolation of the first refugee family to be resettled in small-town Maine

on Jan. 12, 2017, at 6:30 a.m.
We chronicled one child’s yearning to be understood.
Omar, 4, Anas, 7, and Eyad Raslan, 6, resettled with their parents to Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, this summer. They came through a program of the Canadian government that allows private citizens to sponsor refugees.

Immigrants built rural Maine. Canada shows how they could do so again

on Dec. 05, 2016, at 6:10 a.m.
“It’s a lot harder to hate people once you meet them.”
MAINE FOCUS
The end of the state’s 27 Healthy Maine Partnerships comes as the Maine Department of Health and Human Services changes the way it handles substance use, tobacco and chronic disease prevention, but with little public explanation of the changes it’s making.

Maine dissolves 27 local public health groups with little explanation

By Adanya Lustig, Matthew Stone and Rosie Hughes on Sept. 30, 2016, at 4 p.m.
The LePage administration is undoing a structure created after years of statewide discussion and planning.
High school students and school staff interact during the event One Life Project - Youth Voice at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Sept. 20.

Maine teens shared these raw, powerful ideas to prevent addiction

on Sept. 26, 2016, at 6:42 a.m.
“Our generation is dealing with these issues firsthand, so we should have a say in the decisions that will be made.”
The last time Jake had a full year of school was three years ago, in sixth grade.

The solitary journey of a Maine boy expelled from school

on Sept. 23, 2016, at 11:44 a.m.
It’s clear why many schools opt to kick out kids like Jake. But in the long run, doing so may cost more and make communities less safe.
MAINE FOCUS
The BDN conducted the survey after learning no one in Maine had a comprehensive understanding of what schools are doing to prevent substance use.

Why the BDN decided to survey all Maine schools

By Rosie Hughes on Sept. 22, 2016, at 6:20 a.m.
We did the survey after learning no one in Maine had a comprehensive understanding of what schools are doing to prevent substance use.
Lockers are pictured at a school in midcoast Maine. Schools want to curb addiction but struggle with how to reach young people.

‘Equivalent to doing zero’: Maine schools struggle to prevent youth drug addiction

on Sept. 22, 2016, at 6:19 a.m.
In a statewide survey by the BDN, Maine principals said they want to help students avoid drugs, but many admit to failure.