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Peter Henckel, program coordinator with Cape Memory Care in Cape Elizabeth, walks and jokes with resident Dorothy Green on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.

Respite care offers an antidote to caregiver burnout

Whether meeting the around-the-clock needs of an elderly spouse with dementia or those of a child with cerebral palsy, constant caregivers of the young and old share one thing in common: physical and emotional exhaustion. “What happens a lot is that, with someone else becoming the focal point of their …

Evelyn Offutt

LITTLE DEER ISLE – Evelyn Offutt, 94, died Sept. 20, 2012, at her home after a brief illness. Evelyn Charlotte Somers was born to Avis Cloudman of Gorham and Fredrick Grant Somers, in Fred’s hometown of Atlantic City, N.J. Her birth followed the death of her brother, Fredrick, in infancy. …

University of New England program receives $3.5M grant for nutrition education

PORTLAND | The University of New England’s public health program has received a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education, or SNAP-Ed, to provide nutrition education in Maine. The SNAP-Ed funds, awarded by the Office of Family Independence in the Maine Department of …

Highlights of 45 years of legal advocacy by Pine Tree Legal Assistance

1967-1972 • Earliest caseload dominated by family law, rental housing, consumer matters — PTLA also handles some criminal cases that are not eligible for court-appointment at the time. • Staffing grew rapidly, but there was high staff turnover (typical attorney stayed less than two years). • “Test case unit” formed …

NH toddler suffered serious burns over 12-14 percent of her body after fall into Lebanon fire pit

A Milton, N.H., toddler who fell into a fire pit Sunday morning while camping with her family and who was later airlifted to a Boston hospital suffered second- and third-degree burns to approximately 12 to 14 percent of her body in the accident, according to the Maine …

Closing of specialized foster program to displace more than 90 children

PORTLAND | Sarah Emerson went through eight different foster homes before she turned 10 years old and met the foster parents who eventually would adopt her. And it was Casey Family Services, a specialized foster care program, that helped her reach a sense of permanence and belonging. “Casey just …

Casey Family Services to shutter offices in Portland and Bangor, lay off 40 workers

The closure of Casey Family Services offices in Portland and Bangor will result in the layoffs of more than 40 people and leave “hundreds of families and children” without the specialized foster care programs they’ve become accustomed to, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan said Tuesday evening. Brennan, who …

The ABCs of chalkboard projects

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chalkboards may be old-school, but they’re the newest accent in home decor. “Look what I made,” said Kelly Sims of Liberty, Mo., holding up her smartphone during an unofficial show and tell during a chalkboard paint class at Be Here Now, a store in Independence, Mo. …

Suicide adds to history of Kennedy misfortunes

BEDFORD, N.Y. — Every family has its share of pain and triumph. And then there are the Kennedys. America’s great political dynasty is grieving again after Mary Richardson Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert Kennedy Jr., hanged herself Wednesday at the family’s 10-acre estate in a New York City suburb. …
Catherine Audet of Lewiston laughs as her daughter, Haven, 1, hams it up for the camera on a recent Thursday night. Audet decided to have her child and raise her alone after an unintended pregnancy.

40 percent of Maine births are to single mothers: Experts look at what it means

The past 10 years have seen Maine join the rest of the country in a trio of trends: Fewer marriages. Fewer births to married couples. More births to single mothers.

Despite protest of ‘a terrible bill,’ Senate gives initial approval to DHHS restructuring plan

AUGUSTA | On the same day lawmakers authorized an investigation of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Maine House and Senate gave initial approval to a bill that would restructure the department. Many Senate Democrats protested — one even called it “a terrible bill” — but it …
VIDEO
Gov. Paul LePage speaks at the Family Business Forum at Husson University's Gracie Theater Thursday morning.

LePage tells Husson crowd family-owned businesses the future of Maine

BANGOR | It was almost wistfully that Gov. Paul LePage fondly recalled his favorite memories in the private business sector before a crowd of 100 people attending the Family Business Forum on Thursday morning. “I really enjoyed having the freedom of running my own business. Believe me, I don’t …
Ethan Kelly, 21, who has cerebral palsy, sits in his home in Appleton, Maine, on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. Ethan's parents, Alden and Lisa Kelly provide full-time care for their son.The Kellys are among the nearly 1,000 families on an ever-growing waiting list for state support services.

Many in Maine feeling effects of cutbacks in social services to disabled

AUGUSTA | Ethan Kelly, who has cerebral palsy, graduated from high school in June to the cheers of his classmates and friends. Since then, the 21-year-old has been living at home, needing the constant care of his parents. “My wife and I and Ethan, it’s 24-7,” said Alden Kelly, …
PINE TREE POLITICS (blog)

Snowe Storm Implications: The Art Of The Possible

I’ve been on the phone for the last six hours.  My phone is dead, and so I write. The news is still shocking, and that shock hasn’t worn off.  I’m not alone, though – I received a call this evening from a staffer who was in the room when Governor …
VIDEO
Trista Reynolds holds son Raymond Fortier while talking about her missing daughter Ayla Reynolds in Portland on Feb. 15, 2012. Ayla went missing from her father's home in Waterville in December.

Ayla’s mother going on offensive in search for missing girl

PORTLAND | Trista Reynolds wants to know what happened to her little girl, Ayla Reynolds, but there’s a limit to the details she wants to hear. Reynolds said thinking of what might have happened to Ayla on Dec. 16, 2011 — the day before the then 20-month-old toddler was …
THE MAINE CAMPUS (blog)

Trustees schedule demolition of 10 duplexes in University Park; renters told their leases will not be renewable

Eleven families at the University of Maine’s University Park learned last week they’ll need new apartments come July. “It was such a shock,” said Devin Reilly, current three-bedroom tenant at University Park. On Jan. 23, the University of Maine System’s board of trustees approved the demolition of 10 outdated three-bedroom …
NC WEB BL LN

Bed-sharing deaths of infants persist despite safety warnings

CHICAGO — James Robinson will tell you the hardest part of his son’s death was having to face his fiancee. The Chicago man blames himself for bringing 7-week-old D’Angelo into bed with him that fateful night. But after spending the day at the hospital with their older son, who had …
<h4 class="blackHed"><a href="http://bangordailynews.com/2011/03/25/news/maine-warden-service-pilot-crashes-plane-in-piscataquis-county/">25. Maine Warden pilot crashes in Piscataquis County</a></h4>
Daryl Gordon, a 25-year veteran of the Maine Warden Service, died in March when <a href="http://bangordailynews.com/2011/03/25/news/maine-warden-service-pilot-crashes-plane-in-piscataquis-county/">his plane crashed in a remote section of Piscataquis County</a>. The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigated the incident, said <a href="http://bangordailynews.com/2011/04/14/news/ntsb-report-notes-lengthy-debris-field-in-crash-that-killed-longtime-warden-pilot/">debris was scattered across 350 feet</a> and that there was extensive damage to the main cabin.

The 25 most-read stories of 2011

For many communities in Maine, 2011 was a year of tragedy, with death shocking small towns such as Dexter, Frankfort, Winterport and Dover-Foxcroft. Stories involving children, such as the ongoing search for 20-month-old Ayla Reynolds, who disappeared from her father’s residence in Waterville, hit especially close to home for many people. …
Hussein Ahmed (left) talks on the phone while ringing up a customer at his shop on Lisbon Street. Lewiston has come a long way since he moved here in 2002, he says, and he believes an even brighter future is in store as the city and its Somali and other immigrant populations increasingly work together.

Struggle and progess: 10 years of Somalis in Lewiston

“I can’t believe I’ve been here 10 years,” Hussein Ahmed said, sitting in a meeting at the African Immigrants Association office on Lisbon Street, a week after the November election. Others in the room, a collection of local Somali leaders — social services caseworkers, a nurse and a mosque administrator …

US report: Foster kids get high rate of psych meds

Federal health officials are failing to monitor how state agencies are doling out powerful psychotropic drugs to foster children, according to a comprehensive investigation released Thursday showing foster kids are prescribed the drugs 2.7 to 4.5 times more than non-foster children and often at much higher doses. Hundreds of foster …