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Paul Melrose, president of Compotech Inc., stands in front of a military shelter developed by the Brewer composites company. Compotech has grown from a part-time venture for Melrose into a company with 10 employees.
Maine Focus

Where the Bangor region’s future job growth will probably come from

“In all of those times, we spent a lot of money sending a lot of people to tradeshows, and it turns out, that wasn’t, maybe, the best thing that we could have done. There are very, very, very few successes that you could point to from that.”
Geneva Belden cuts up cucumber for her guinea pig, Pretty Girl, at her home in Bangor on Jan. 19. Belden fell on two occasions under the watch of service provider Branches. While those injuries were not necessarily caused by abuse or neglect, the state should have investigated those cases but never did.
Maine Focus

Federal audit: DHHS failed to investigate deaths, suspected abuse of disabled adults

It didn’t investigate the deaths of any of the 133 people with developmental disabilities who died between January 2013 and June 2015, and failed to report suspicious deaths to law enforcement agencies to determine if crimes had been committed.
Former Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew speaks during a press conference in Bangor in this 2014 file photo.
Maine Focus

How DHHS spent $6.2M in welfare funds after first flouting the law

It previously spent the money intended for low-income families with children on services for the elderly.
In May, Ricker Hamilton became acting commissioner of the largest agency in state government, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, as deputy commissioner of programs at DHHS since 2013, Hamilton managed and directed the Offices of Aging and Disability Services, Child and Family Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center and Riverview Psychiatric Center.
Maine Focus

Maine has eliminated most places where disabled people can go when they’re in crisis

By law, the state is supposed to help people with disabilities in distress, but they’re ending up in the emergency room.
The LePage administration has cut off funding for the last remaining state-funded groups that are responsible for tackling local health problems and ensuring local areas can respond to public health emergencies such as disease outbreaks.
Maine Focus

LePage ends last remaining state investment in local public health groups

It’s unclear whether or how state government expects to maintain local public health infrastructure across Maine.
Sheldon Snell walks through the Walsh Field Recreation Area in Belfast, where he's the groundskeeper, on June 7.
Maine Focus

The 18 lost years of a Maine man imprisoned with addiction

How Maine jails fall short in easing a crisis they help perpetuate.
Organizations representing child care providers, parents and others have filed a petition to force a legislative review of new child care rules proposed by the LePage administration that relax licensing requirements for in-home child care providers.
Maine Focus

Concerned groups force Maine Legislature to scrutinize DHHS child care rules

Maine DHHS says it’s trying to streamline the state’s family child care licensing requirements, and it plans to implement the changes without approval from the Maine Legislature, which would typically be required.
Barry Cook works to sort lumber at a St. Albans sawmill called Sebasticook Lumber on June 15, 2017.
Maine Focus

A Maine nonprofit paid disabled workers less than minimum wage but its executives got six figures

It also violated the subminimum wage law more than any other employer in the state.