Maine Focus
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services used federal funds in 2015 to pay for services for seniors and residents with disabilities even though federal law restricted the use of those funds to services for children and their families.

After denying it misused millions in welfare funds, Maine changed its spending to follow the law

By Matthew Stone on Sept. 19, 2016, at 6:13 a.m.
“The BDN has their facts wrong,” DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said in June. Then, her department retroactively changed its spending to line up with the law.

Tremont man arrested after hit-and-run that seriously injured man walking dog

By Dawn Gagnon on Sept. 18, 2016, at 8:26 p.m.
A Tremont man was arrested on several charges after he allegedly struck another man with his vehicle on Saturday, causing serious injuries, and then left the scene.
A humpback whale breaches on the way back from a day trip on Anacapa Island, off the coast near Ventura, California, in May 2008. The U.S. government on Sept. 6 removed most of the world's humpback populations from the federal list of endangered species

Maine’s humpback whales enjoying better times, no longer ‘endangered’

By Bill Trotter on Sept. 17, 2016, at 7:25 a.m.
The humpback whales that summer off the coast of Maine are no longer at grave risk of extinction.
Meteors fall through the night sky over Cadillac Mountain during the annual Perseid meteor shower, as seen from Schoodic Point in Winter Harbor in the early pre-dawn hours, Aug. 12, 2016.

Saving Maine’s dark skies: Acadia festival to celebrate the stars

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 15, 2016, at 12:57 p.m.
“[We found] one of the darkest locations on the eastern seaboard,” Chad Moore said of Acadia National Park. On a clear night in Acadia, visitors can see the band of the Milky Way with the naked eye, and on occasion they’ll catch a colorful show of the Northern Lights.
People dance in a circle around the Burnurwurbskek Singers on the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park on Wednesday. Ronnie Bear (center) and four other members of the Penobscot Indian Nation sang traditional Wabanaki songs to bystanders. The Cultural Connections program, organized by Acadia National Park Ranger Marie Yarborough in collaboration with the Abbe Museum, brought 12 different groups into the park this year to inform visitors about the culture of the Wabanaki people.

Tribal singers perform traditional songs on summit of Cadillac

By Gabor Degre on Sept. 15, 2016, at 7:14 a.m.
The group has been participating in the Cultural Connections program at Acadia National Park since it was started six years ago.
Carey Nason is the director of Hope Rising, a residential treatment program that provides 24-7 care to sex trafficking victims. The program is located at an undisclosed location in Penobscot County.

It’s one thing for a sex trafficking victim to escape. It’s another to heal.

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 13, 2016, at 6:14 a.m.
Recovery is possible, but all-encompassing care can be hard to find and fund.
Nurses like Michelle Markie, who have received Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner certification, are trained to record sexual assault victims' histories and collect evidence to help in the prosecution of their abusers. Markie, who works at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor, estimated she personally encounters two to three cases of sex trafficking in her unit per year. She is pictured at a recent art auction to raise money for Hope Rising, a residential treatment program for survivors of the crime of human trafficking.

How 1 nurse knows when she’s looking at a victim of sex trafficking

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 13, 2016, at 6:14 a.m.
Over the past four years, Michelle Markie has personally encountered about two to three cases of trafficking in her unit per year.

Buffet supper to benefit Bucksport Community Concerns

By lswackhamer on Sept. 12, 2016, at 4:35 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Location: Arey Community Bldg., 1160 River Road, Bucksport BUCKSPORT – Public Buffet Supper. 5-6:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 at Arey Community Bldg., 1160 River Road; Chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables and salads, biscuits and rolls, desserts; Cost: ages 12-adult $8; …
The sun sets on the Portland skyline. Sex trafficking is a problem in Maine towns and cities like Portland, where traffickers translate their deep understanding of how to manipulate and use people into personal gain.

What drives Maine sex traffickers’ inhumanity

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 12, 2016, at 6 a.m.
A look at the motives and calculations behind forcing people into the sex trade.

Georgia motorcyclist dies in Amherst crash

By Dawn Gagnon on Sept. 11, 2016, at 5:41 p.m.
A 64-year-old Georgian died here early Sunday afternoon after he crashed his motorcycle into a guardrail while trying to pass another vehicle. Steven Hodges of Covington, Georgia, was traveling east on Route 9 when he was thrown from his 2003 Honda Goldwing after striking the guardrail, according …

Broken down bus on road closes Cadillac Mountain for 7 hours

By Dawn Gagnon on Sept. 11, 2016, at 3:15 p.m.
BAR HARBOR | A bus that broke down while traveling up Cadillac Summit Road at Acadia National Park prompted the closure of that road for about seven hours on Saturday, a park spokesman said Sunday. The trouble began about 2 p.m., when park rangers and the Bar Harbor Fire …

Remembering 9/11 victims Robert and Jackie Norton

on Sept. 11, 2016, at 11:20 a.m.
I never met Robert and Jackie Norton, but I remember who they were. Fifteen years ago today, the Lubec couple were among the passengers on American Airlines Flight 11 when it was flown deliberately into the North Tower at the World Trade Center in New York City. Robert, 85, was …

More than 3,500 Emera customers lose power on MDI

By Bill Trotter on Sept. 10, 2016, at 11:59 a.m.
A power outage has resulted in more than 3,500 Emera customers on Mount Desert Island losing electricity Saturday.
Bubbles are seen through a glass of water

Ellsworth boil-water order lifted

By Stephen Betts on Sept. 09, 2016, at 12:07 p.m.
The order was precautionary after a temporary water line was broken.
Sara was one of the 200 to 300 people in Maine estimated to be victims of sex trafficking each year.

Inside the minds of Maine’s sex trafficking victims

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 09, 2016, at 8:42 a.m.
Broke, with nobody to turn to, here’s how one 15-year-old Maine girl came to ‘the Life.’
For more than a year, a half-dozen organizations have relied on federal money to provide coaching and care coordination, psychiatric treatment and peer-to-peer mentoring to young adults.  On Aug. 23, those organizations received a letter from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services announcing all funding will cease Sept. 30.

With no explanation, Maine rejects scarce funds for young people with mental illness

By Matthew Stone on Sept. 08, 2016, at 11:02 a.m.
“To refuse these dollars makes no sense, especially because other states are using these dollars and using them well,” said Arabella Perez who previously led one of the organizations involved in the federally funded initiative. “We just don’t understand the decision behind this.”
Portland Police Officer Mark Keller said his department stages sting operations targeting johns a few times a year. He'd like to see more, but resources, manpower and expertise are in short supply.

Maine police know sex trafficking is here, yet many still fail to fight it

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 08, 2016, at 6:17 a.m.
“Our range of what we can do is very limited,” said one police officer. “We’re losing.”

Third Friday supper slated at St. Andrew Lutheran Church

on Sept. 07, 2016, at 4:36 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Location: St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 175 Downeast Highway, Ellsworth, Maine For more information: 207-667-7641 ELLSWORTH, Maine — The third Friday supper will be held 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 175 Downeast Highway, the brown church across …
A Lane Construction truck blocks Route 3 on Tuesday afternoon after it was involved in a fatal crash near Ellsworth Chainsaw. The truck collided head-on with Pontiac sport-utility vehicle around 8:40 a.m., killing two women in the SUV, according to the Hancock County Sheriff's Department. Route 3 was closed for several hours with traffic re-routed on Routes 230 and 204.

Two dead in Route 3 crash in Trenton

By Bill Trotter on Sept. 06, 2016, at 11:54 a.m.
Two people have died in a crash on Route 3 that involved a commercial truck.

Crash closes Route 3 in Trenton

By Bill Trotter on Sept. 06, 2016, at 10:24 a.m.
A severe motor vehicle accident on Rt. 3 by Ellsworth Chainsaw has resulted in the road being shut down.