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Panel grills education official Use of migrant program money focus of investigation

AUGUSTA – Maine Commissioner of Education Susan Gendron was grilled by members of the Legislature’s Education Committee Wednesday over potential problems with the federally funded Maine Migrant Education Program. Gendron alternately referred to the inquiry by representatives from the Office of the Inspector General assigned to the U.S. Department of …

A home of their own Camden Affordable Housing Organization helps lower-income families make dreams a reality

At 49, Mary Kendall is buying her first home. And though she describes herself as a self-supporting single-mother, Kendall’s new home is in exclusive Camden, where the median sale price is almost $300,000. Two years ago, the coastal town topped the Maine State Housing Authority’s list of least-affordable communities for …

Eastport man charged with sex abuse of teen

CALAIS – A 53-year-old Eastport man who this week was charged with two counts of gross sexual assault involving a male teenager was released on bail from the Washington County Jail on Friday. Maurice A. House appeared in 4th District Court on Thursday and Judge John Romei set bail at …

GNP health plan offers partial relief

MILLINOCKET – About 1,800 Great Northern Paper Inc. employees and retirees are joining thousands of other Mainers who have little or no health insurance. Great Northern’s self-insured health care plan essentially ended when the paper company ran out of money, leaving coverage in peril for 1,130 employees at its mills …

Governor hopefuls face off in Portland Four candidates avoid extensive confrontations on family, seniors issues

PORTLAND – The state’s four gubernatorial candidates explored issues affecting Mainers from cradle to grave Friday night during a live 90-minute debate sponsored by WGME 13 television. Broken into two 45-minute segments focusing first on youth and family issues and, later, concerns voiced by Maine’s senior citizens, the debate was …

‘Anvil of God’ finds home at site of Orono church

And so, I thought, “the anvil of God’s Word For ages skeptic blows have beat upon: Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard, The anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.” – John Clifford ORONO – The English clergyman who composed the verse probably never imagined his words would …

DHS offers adoptions without cost

Sherrie and Jeff Daigle of Lee have adopted three children in the past two years and, to their surprise and delight, discovered the process is free when it is done through the Department of Human Services. The Penobscot County couple accepted the children when they were infants in foster care. …

Planning board OKs Ellsworth office building

ELLSWORTH – The planning board Wednesday again approved a proposal from a car financing company to construct an office building on Route 1 near the Myrick Street intersection. The proposed 7,000-square-foot building will be the main office for the Atlantic Acceptance Corp., which is the financing wing of Linnehan’s Credit …

History of Hermon missing chapter on Girl Scouts

For three years now, three members of the Hermon Historical Society have been working on what Rosanne Gray describes as “a history of Hermon; as complete and as accurate as it can possibly be.” Gray, Mary Gaudreau and Bunny Heath have undertaken a monumental task as they search out the …

Conference to raise awareness of child abuse, neglect

For eight years, twice a month, members of a collaborative community group have been meeting to plan a conference to discuss issues of child abuse, prevention and neglect. Nancy Kelly, field coordinator for the University of Maine School of Social Work, reports the group will old its eighth conference, “The …

F.A.C.T. program offers solid support to foster children

BANGOR – When Christii and Robbie Macquillan were house parents several years ago at a group home for adolescent girls, the rules forbade pregnant teens from staying there. The Macquillans thought it made little sense to ban the girls from a place where they might learn some parenting skills. Four …

‘Sexual Abuse of a Minor is Contrary to Everything the Church Teaches’

Editor’s note: The following is a statement presented March 9 by The Most Rev. Joseph J. Gerry, bishop of Portland, about sexual abuse by Maine priests. . The Rule of St. Benedict exhorts the brothers in the monastery to “bear each other’s burdens” as a way of growing in Christian …

A ray of light Mission boat Sunbeam ministers to body and soul

If island communities are – figuratively and quite literally – extended families, then the Sunbeam V is that aunt from away whose whirlwind visits seem to create holidays. When the boat pulls into harbor on an icy February afternoon, word travels the length of the island within hours. By sunset, …

Fostering heritage connections Maliseets seek to assume control of their own child custody matters

Forty years later, Larry Robichaud can still recall the warning. “Don’t play with Indians. They drink, y’know,” his white foster mother told him after she learned that the 12-year-old had been playing ball with some American Indian children. Robichaud, who later discovered that he was a member of the Houlton …

Man retracts murder confession Vantol tells court Cookson offered him money to say he killed pair

BANGOR – A man who confessed to lawyers and police that he killed a young woman and a small child in Dexter two years ago took the stand Friday and said he didn’t do it and that Jeffrey Cookson, the convicted killer, offered him money to last a lifetime in …

Man retracts murder confession; says Cookson offered him money

BANGOR – A man who confessed to lawyers and police that he killed a young woman and a small child in Dexter two years ago took the stand Friday and said he didn’t do it and that Jeffrey Cookson, the convicted killer, offered him money to last a lifetime in …

Legislative committee urges greater oversight, accountability of DHS

Legislators want to keep a closer eye on the Department of Human Services, according to a draft report issued last week by the Health and Human Services Committee. Oversight and accountability are the bywords of the report that came after a nine-month investigation of the child welfare services system. The …

DHS probe focusing on rights of parents

AUGUSTA – The Department of Human Services must work harder to keep families together, according to members of two groups that have been investigating the agency for months. While neither the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee nor the legislatively appointed Committee to Review the Child Protective System has yet …

Mother of slain foster child sues DHS

BANGOR – The mother of a 5-year-old girl who was killed by suffocation while in foster care earlier this year has filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Human Services, its commissioner, several DHS caseworkers, department heads and the child’s foster mother, claiming all acted in bad faith in …

Adoption service group opens office in Bangor

BANGOR – Casey Family Services has opened a new office at 181 State St. in Bangor to provide post-adoption services for local families. The agency has teamed with the Department of Human Services and the University of Southern Maine to create the Adoption Guides Project through which it offers most …