Enterprise

Reporting that goes beyond news events, but looks at the forces shaping those events.

 
Ben Dionne stacks seeds on the shelves at Paris Farmers Union in Lewiston, where he works part-time. He was hired due to the help of vocational rehabilitation.

Workers with disabilities could be the secret to saving Maine’s future

on April 03, 2017, at 6:26 a.m.
When comparing the rates of employment among people with and without disabilities, Maine sees the greatest disparity in employment in the nation.
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
Steve Sherman, first assessor of Oxbow Plantation, hangs the American flag outside the community center, where residents came Nov. 8, 2016, to vote in favor of dissolving their local government.

Maine’s efforts to help rural towns didn’t work. Here’s what it can learn from Vermont

By Corlyn Voorhees on Feb. 02, 2017, at 11:56 a.m.
“We don’t come in with our own agenda. It’s about helping communities become collective teams for action.”
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.
MAINE FOCUS
Daylight hits the Aroostook River in Oxbow Plantation, on Election Day, Nov. 8.

The Maine towns with the greatest percentage of empty homes

By Adanya Lustig on Jan. 05, 2017, at 6:25 a.m.
Maine lost population unevenly over the last 15 years. Some counties hollowed out, while others grew in population.
MAINE FOCUS
Writing over the door in a hallway of Piscataquis Community Secondary School, which serves the seventh through 12th-grade students of School Administrative District 4. The district's 2016-17 budget was narrowly approved by voters during the Nov. 8 election.

The poorest Maine school districts that pay the most

By Adanya Lustig on Jan. 04, 2017, at 7:16 a.m.
The cost that each local community pays each year varies in Maine from $2,000 per student to $25,000 per student.
Donna Pickard of Far Point Farm in Steuben may have to stretch her own meals, but she will give away her food to someone who needs it.

A simple change could give Maine’s hungry, rural people more food

on Dec. 23, 2016, at 6:38 a.m.
The first in-depth look of its kind shows that 59 percent of people are using food pantries more this year than last.
Robert Smith picks out food items from the Save-A-Lot grocery store in Dover-Foxcroft one day in late November.

What a close look at 1 school district shows about decisions in struggling Maine towns

on Dec. 19, 2016, at 6:15 a.m.
“If the children are in poverty, so are their parents.”
A man walks out of Lily Bay State Park in Greenville on Nov. 22, 2016. The park closes to cars but is still open to visitors in the off season.

This remote Maine region has a chance to grow

on Dec. 07, 2016, at 6:10 a.m.
“If you don’t change, you die.”
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.”
Steve Sherman demonstrates how his skidder, nicknamed Matilda, works in Oxbow, Maine.

The forces pulling apart the lives of Maine’s loggers

on Dec. 01, 2016, at 6:28 a.m.
Three loggers fight to survive as the world shifts around them.
Steve Sherman, the first assessor in Oxbow Plantation, led his community through the process of deorganizing, culminating in a final town vote Nov. 8. He’s pictured on his Christmas tree farm in Oxbow on Nov. 7.

How the decline of Maine’s rural places changes the people left behind

on Nov. 29, 2016, at 6:01 a.m.
Three people grapple with the decline of the communities that made them.
Left: Lines of potato barrels, families and old cars in the fields were commons sights back in the middle of the 20th Century. Fort Kent photographer Velma Daigle captured it all with her camera on 35mm color slides. The photo is courtesy of the Fort Kent Historical Society. Right, Terry Theriault exits his delimber while working off the Golden Road in this July 2015 file photo by Ashley L. Conti.

How did your small Maine town shape you?

By Erin Rhoda on Nov. 01, 2016, at 2:48 p.m.
We’d like to hear from you about your experience growing up in small-town Franklin, Somerset, Piscataquis, upper Penobscot, Aroostook, Washington or Hancock counties. How did your hometown shape who you are today, and what has changed in your hometown throughout the years?
MAINE FOCUS
The State House shines through the the fog on June 16, 2015.

LePage promised transparency, but multimillion-dollar contract awards remain in the shadows

By Danielle McLean on Oct. 18, 2016, at 6:04 a.m.
It is nearly impossible for Maine residents to know how much state money is being spent on contracted services, which private businesses and nonprofit organizations receive large state contracts, and why those vendors won the work — even though a new state law requires information about competitive contracts to be made public online.
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.
One Life Project - Youth Voice.

These are some of the best ways to prevent drug use

on Sept. 30, 2016, at 6:19 a.m.
Does your local school know about them?
Matthew Braun leads the Biddeford chapter of Young People in Recovery.

As a teen this man felt so alone. How his school could have helped.

on Sept. 29, 2016, at 6:12 a.m.
Principals want to better support students’ mental health, but they need the tools — and guidance themselves.
Ally Beeman, 13, reacts to her "big" through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, Tabitha Fillion, while waiting for sunset at the harbor in Rockland on a brisk evening in mid-September.

‘An urge to help’: How a caring adult changes the course of a child’s life

on Sept. 28, 2016, at 6:21 a.m.
Maine, however, is neither funding its mentoring programs nor advising them.
Daren the lion asks for a high-five at a D.A.R.E. graduation ceremony.

The research isn’t with D.A.R.E — but police love it, and Maine schools still use it

on Sept. 27, 2016, at 6:12 a.m.
Around 60 schools in Maine still use D.A.R.E., more than any other packaged program.
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.”