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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

She is one of 24,000 workers whose wages have declined even as demand has grown, and have no clear way of getting ahead.
Megan Stover sits at the kitchen table after dinner with her three daughters (from left) Andie, 5, Madison, 10, and Nellie, 7, at their home in Scarborough.

How Maine is failing working parents by leaving millions unspent on child care

The typical cost of care for infants at a child care center, almost $9,700 annually, is more than in-state tuition at the University of Maine. Yet in each of the past four years, the state has simply not spent at least $4 million in federal funds meant to help working moms and dads.
Children's shoes are strewn on the floor of a home in Thomaston in this November 2016 file photo.
Maine Focus

12,198 calls to Maine’s child abuse hotline went unanswered last year

About 22 percent of calls — 12,198 out of 54,904 calls — weren’t answered on the first try in 2016.
A worker at Robbins Lumber in Searsmont monitors equipment on a recent rainy winter day.
Maine Focus

Why we decided to look into the future of Maine’s workforce

If nothing changes, experts expect to see limited business expansion and economic growth.
Telstar High School's front office is pictured Feb. 27, 2017.
Maine Focus

A way rural Maine students can better understand their communities

Here’s a way for high school students to think deeply about where they come from and their role in their community.
Sophomores at Telstar High School in Bethel on Monday brainstorm questions they'll ask community members about how they define community. From left, Selina Creelman, 15, of Bethel; Stephanie Geyer, 17, of Bethel; Georgia Piawlock, 15, of Bryant Pond; and Alexis Sing, 16, of Bryant Pond.
Maine Focus

These students from Bethel are trying to define their place in rural Maine

“I feel like the future of rural communities is the kids who are in the classroom right now.”
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.
Maine Focus

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

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.
Garrett Brown is pictured at Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston on June 28, 2013. He died after overdosing on heroin in Augusta in November 2015.
CONTRIBUTORS

What’s killing my classmates

Out of the 23.5 million Americans suffering from drug addiction, 2 million are adolescents, ranging from ages 12 to 17.