Articles by Erin Rhoda

Maine Focus
A worker at Robbins Lumber in Searsmont monitors equipment on a recent rainy winter day.

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

By Erin Rhoda on March 20, 2017, at 6:11 a.m.
If nothing changes, experts expect to see limited business expansion and economic growth.
Maine Focus
Telstar High School's front office is pictured Feb. 27, 2017.

A way rural Maine students can better understand their communities

By Erin Rhoda on March 03, 2017, at 10:10 a.m.
Here’s a way for high school students to think deeply about where they come from and their role in their community.
Maine Focus
Children's shoes are strewn on the floor of a home in Thomaston in this November 2016 file photo.

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

By Erin Rhoda on March 02, 2017, at 7:06 a.m.
About 22 percent of calls — 12,198 out of 54,904 calls — weren’t answered on the first try in 2016.
Maine Focus
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.

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

By Erin Rhoda on Feb. 27, 2017, at 4:55 p.m.
“I feel like the future of rural communities is the kids who are in the classroom right now.”
Maine Focus
A young girl runs happy, laughing through lines of people participating in Hands Around Back Cove in Portland on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016.

We want your ideas for how to draw young people to Maine

By Erin Rhoda on Feb. 22, 2017, at 6:16 a.m.
People at the Magnetize Maine Summit will brainstorm ways to attract and keep more young people in Maine.
Steve Sherman, the first assessor in Oxbow Plantation, led his community through the process of deorganizing, culminating in a final town vote Nov. 8. He’s pictured on his Christmas tree farm in Oxbow on Nov. 7, 2016.

6 takeaways from an examination of rural Maine’s future

By Erin Rhoda on Jan. 29, 2017, at 7:57 a.m.
We looked at the choices communities are making — or not making — about their future as part of a series called Rural Edges.
Donna Pickard of Far Point Farm in Steuben may have to stretch her own meals, but she will give away her food to someone who needs it.

A simple change could give Maine’s hungry, rural people more food

on Dec. 23, 2016, at 6:38 a.m.
The first in-depth look of its kind shows that 59 percent of people are using food pantries more this year than last.
Steve Sherman, the first assessor in Oxbow Plantation, led his community through the process of deorganizing, culminating in a final town vote Nov. 8. He’s pictured on his Christmas tree farm in Oxbow on Nov. 7.

How the decline of Maine’s rural places changes the people left behind

on Nov. 29, 2016, at 6:01 a.m.
Three people grapple with the decline of the communities that made them.
Left: Lines of potato barrels, families and old cars in the fields were commons sights back in the middle of the 20th Century. Fort Kent photographer Velma Daigle captured it all with her camera on 35mm color slides. The photo is courtesy of the Fort Kent Historical Society. Right, Terry Theriault exits his delimber while working off the Golden Road in this July 2015 file photo by Ashley L. Conti.

How did your small Maine town shape you?

By Erin Rhoda on Nov. 01, 2016, at 2:48 p.m.
We’d like to hear from you about your experience growing up in small-town Franklin, Somerset, Piscataquis, upper Penobscot, Aroostook, Washington or Hancock counties. How did your hometown shape who you are today, and what has changed in your hometown throughout the years?
Matthew Braun leads the Biddeford chapter of Young People in Recovery.

As a teen this man felt so alone. How his school could have helped.

on Sept. 29, 2016, at 6:12 a.m.
Principals want to better support students’ mental health, but they need the tools — and guidance themselves.

Before addiction there’s a child

on Sept. 23, 2016, at 12:31 p.m.
A look at preventing one of the largest public health problems of this time.

I survived swimming with Wessie, the giant missing snake

on Sept. 11, 2016, at 11:01 a.m.
It turned out my dog, Ernest, had concerns of his own.

When Maine wasn’t looking, more babies began to die

By Adanya Lustig and Erin Rhoda on Aug. 17, 2016, at 6:18 a.m.
This state is the only one to see a higher infant mortality rate in this decade than the last. A panel charged with tracking the deaths is unable to do its work.
Maine Families served 2,393 families with 2,644 children in all counties in state fiscal year 2014.

How Maine quietly handed off financial oversight of a $23M program for infants

By Erin Rhoda on Aug. 11, 2016, at 6:16 a.m.
The circumstances raise questions about transparency and accountability.

Website lists the ‘most famous historic houses’ in each state. Here’s Maine’s

on June 26, 2016, at 7:55 a.m.
It’s probably not just one of this state’s, but the nation’s, most well-known historic homes.

Duck of Justice joins call to end the opiate epidemic — with his usual flair

on June 25, 2016, at 8:36 p.m.
Learn how you, too, can participate in the campaign to end prejudice against people with substance use disorders and contribute to local solutions

Men find treasure in ‘cellar hole somebody told us about’

on June 21, 2016, at 6:26 a.m.
One item appears to be a relic made of silver.
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (C) waves to the crowd as she takes part in the Memorial Day parade with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo (R) in Chappaqua, New York, U.S. May 30, 2016.

See how politicians’ language has changed over time

By Erin Rhoda on June 01, 2016, at 7:39 a.m.
It appears politicians are speaking in less complex sentences.

Why you should never take a selfie with a seal

on May 29, 2016, at 9:40 a.m.
“There is no selfie stick long enough!” That’s the message coming from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in time for Memorial Day weekend when, if the weather holds, people will flock to beaches and coastlines where they might encounter a baby seal.

Bangor police snap photo of man with a ‘cops suck’ tattoo to spread a message

on May 24, 2016, at 1:18 p.m.
“Could we change the way Russell feels about law enforcement if we treat him with kindness and respect?” writes the Bangor police.