Down East

 
A worker walks toward the main office at Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport in February. The state prison will be closed in June, the state announced last week.

Lawmakers want hearings on the closure of Down East prison

By Christopher Cousins on May 22, 2017, at 3:21 p.m.
“It would just give us some additional facts so we don’t just have to read about it in the newspaper,” Gattine said.
VIDEO
Sheep graze on Little Nash Island Wednesday. Alfie Wakeman and his family take care of approximately 150 sheep spread between Little and Big Nash Islands.

These offshore Maine islands are populated only by sheep

By Nick McCrea on May 21, 2017, at 7:30 a.m.
The only visitors the sheep see regularly are those that come to check for lambs in the spring, and those that come every year for an Addison-area cultural rite of passage — shearing.
POLL QUESTION
A red pickup truck pulls away from the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport in February. The Department of Corrections says it plans to lay off all guards, relocate prisoners, and close the facility by June 10.

State to close Machiasport prison next month

By Alex Acquisto on May 19, 2017, at 10:31 a.m.
Layoffs at the state’s juvenile detention facility in South Portland also were announced Friday.
Hard hats line the wall at Point Lepreau. Lepreau executives say the facility has a laser focus on safety.

How ‘worst-case scenario’ at Canadian nuclear plant could affect Maine

By Jennifer Mitchell, Maine Public on May 14, 2017, at 12:22 p.m.
Rural Maine’s emergency teams are well versed in snowstorms, spring floods and the occasional wildfire. But nuclear events are more of a mystery.

Comfort food supper at Cherryfield church

on May 09, 2017, at 4:43 p.m.
Flood waters in the harbor of Blue Hill lap over the top of the town pier off Water Street in a 2016 photo.

Deluge targets eastern coastal Maine, 2 to 5 inches of rain expected

By Nick McCrea on May 05, 2017, at 1:19 p.m.
“This could lead to to small stream and urban flooding with significant rises on area rivers.”

Public Bean Supper

By brenda norris on April 26, 2017, at 12:31 p.m.
Rebecca Grant walks to the office where she currently works at St. Joseph Healthcare on March 20, 2017. She said it was a struggle to get by after she was laid off from FairPoint Communications in July 2015.

Politicans say they want people to work, but they ignore this fast route to a job

on April 17, 2017, at 6:28 a.m.
There’s a way to get more people out of poverty, but it’s a “bewildering maze.”
LIFE DOWNEAST

Closer All the Time …Book Review

on April 11, 2017, at 11:16 a.m.
An adult mosquito harvesting a blood meal. Improper application of insect repellent could increase your chances for bites.

You’re putting your insect repellent on wrong

By Aislinn Sarnacki on April 07, 2017, at 1 a.m.
“There’s actually a right and a wrong way to put on insect repellent,” said Michael Bentley, staff entomologist for the National Pest Management Association.
Former Old Town High School basketball star Don Sturgeon (left) blocks a shot during a game against John Bapst. Sturgeon was a member of the BDN's first All-Maine Schoolboy Basketball Team in 1956.

Basketball memories still resonate with first BDN All-Maine boys team

By Ryan McLaughlin on April 07, 2017, at 1 a.m.
More than 60 years after being named to the BDN’s first All-Maine boys team, Terry Spurling is watching his grandchildren, Kyle Bouchard and Kolleen Bouchard, build storied careers of their own.
An adult female deer tick. The National Pest Management Association predicts 2017 will be a bad season for mosquitoes and ticks.

Pest experts predict bad tick, mosquito season for Northeast

By Aislinn Sarnacki on April 06, 2017, at 2:02 p.m.
For the Northeast, the bi-annual Bug Barometer states that “higher tick populations may result from the unseasonably warm winter.
The University of Maine at Machias has entered into a partnership with the University of Maine in an effort to turn around the declining enrollment at the state's smallest university.  The partnership will bring more opportunities to the students at both campuses.

University of Maine at Machias VP tapped to take top post on campus

By Nick McCrea on April 06, 2017, at 8:13 a.m.
Kay Kimball will serve as executive dean and chief of academic operations at UMM when the campus’ new leadership structure becomes official on July 1.
Payless ShoeSource is closing 400 stores across the country, including four in Maine.

Payless shoe store files for bankruptcy, will close 4 stores in Maine

By Danielle McLean on April 05, 2017, at 6:24 p.m.
The Broadway Shopping Center store in Bangor as well as those in Presque Isle, Biddeford and Ellsworth are among 400 stores closing across the country.
POLL QUESTION
A glass of water is seen during the taste testing at the Maine Rural Water Association's 34th Annual Water and Wastewater Technical Conference at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Dec. 11, 2014.

Maine’s wells could be polluted with arsenic, lead

By Abigail Curtis on April 05, 2017, at 6:01 a.m.
“The major problem is that Maine has a high reliance on wells, but very few people test their wells.”
HEATHER DENKMIRE
Heather Denkmire is a writer and artist who lives in Portland with her two young daughters.

Autistic people don’t need a ‘cure’

By Heather Denkmire on April 05, 2017, at 5:55 a.m.
The largest autism organizations treat autism as if it were a disease that needs to be eradicated, rather than a set of developmental conditions.
MAINE FOCUS
The Maine State House is pictured in January 2016.

LePage administration paid $315K for a consultant to rethink child care, then did nothing

By Matthew Stone on April 04, 2017, at 6:26 a.m.
The state told federal regulators it planned to carry out the consultant’s recommendations and re-upped with the consultant after its first proposal. But it appears there are no plans to follow through.

Man arrested, accused of walking across railroad trestle to avoid Canadian customs

By Judy Harrison on April 04, 2017, at 1 a.m.
The Ohio man allegedly told the agent that he entered Canada illegally on July 16 and had been travelling around the country since then.
Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, intends to run against Sen. Angus King in the 2018 senate race.

GOP state senator Eric Brakey kicks off underdog 2018 bid to unseat Angus King

By Michael Shepherd on April 03, 2017, at 8 p.m.
Brakey called King a champion of “big government and big corporations” and hit Republicans for challenging him weakly.
MAINE FOCUS
Sen. Angus King listens as Bucksport officials discuss the potential redevelopment of the former Verso Paper mill in Bucksport. King is proposing an initiative to get rural Maine communities to think about their futures.

King wants rural towns to compete for money to turn around their future

By Matthew Stone on April 03, 2017, at 7:06 p.m.
If current trends hold, Maine’s rural regions are destined for a future in which communities will continue to shrink, and some might cease to exist as municipalities.