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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 …

Critic of DHS to testify State panel reviewing child protection issues

AUGUSTA – A national children’s advocate who issued a blistering attack on the Department of Human Services several months ago will be back if the Committee to Review the Child Protective Services has anything to say about it. The 11 panel members decided during Tuesday’s organizational session to invite Richard …

Aroostook County hospital readies for new wave of physicians, services

FORT KENT – The Northern Maine Medical Center and its affiliated clinics are on the move in the next couple months with new services, facilities and doctors. In August, NMMC is beginning a new era in the delivery of mental health care services with the opening of its long-anticipated child-adolescent …

Summer offers children good chance to read Creative selection of titles can make break fun

In a few days our kids will be happily starting the year’s longest vacation. Many youngsters see this time as a respite from books. But Anne Mundy, head of children’s services at the Bangor Public Library, and Laurie Rose, youth services librarian at the Orono Public Library, put a different …

Fewer children in Washington County Census figures reveal most of the 1,367 population drop under 18 years old

MACHIAS – Washington County lost 1,367 people between 1990 and 2000. But those who are missing did not move away. Most were never born. In the past 10 years, the number of Washington County residents under 18 has plummeted, from 9,039 to 7,781 – a loss of 1,258 children. The …

Senator seeks federal probe of child’s death

AUGUSTA – Deeply troubled by the recent death of a 5-year-old Chelsea girl in foster care, a legislator from Bangor is calling for a federal investigation into the case. State Sen. Tom Sawyer, a Republican, said Thursday that he was circulating a petition among fellow legislators requesting that the inspector …

Supper to benefit victims of house fire in Carmel

Although Tim and Veronica Robinson and their two young daughters escaped with cuts and burns when their Carmel home burned Sunday, Feb. 18, they lost absolutely everything in the fire that leveled the house and left only the chimney standing. More than 50 firefighters from Carmel, Hampden, Hermon, Levant, Stetson, …