Articles by Kathryn Skelton

Dan and Melinda Small recently opened up Legends Sports Bar & Grill, a pool hall with a philanthropic twist, on Center Street in Auburn.

High school sweethearts find purpose running Auburn pool hall

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 08, 2013, at 6:54 a.m.
Melinda Small woke to the sound of bones breaking. Her husband, Dan Small, had a grand mal seizure in the middle of the night that swelled his muscles to the point that they crushed his shoulders and spine. It led to more than a year of recovery, …
Writer Crash Barry (left) and Frank Rizzo of Bethel light up a joint at the "Yes on 1" headquarters in Portland on Tuesday night after declaring victory in a referendum to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the city.

National group prepares for Maine “battleground” in fight over legalizing use of recreational marijuana

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 07, 2013, at 5:52 a.m.
LEWISTON | Anticipating a showdown in 2016, a national group called Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) launched a Maine chapter Wednesday with a local advocate at the helm. Scott Gagnon, state coordinator for SAM Maine, described the group as having a nuanced approach to marijuana use; it’s against …
Norm Burnell of Lewiston hosted two visitors from New Jersey on Saturday. Leena Clausell, left, and Sheila Iwano are the daughters of Nick Negron, the man that Burnell spent a lot of time with during the Vietnam War. He searched four decades for his old war buddy and instead found the daughters who never knew Negron.

A soldier’s search: Four decades of looking for an old Army buddy leads to another discovery

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 03, 2013, at 9:38 a.m.
Leena and Sheila Negron grew up with stories about their father, and not good ones. The family broke up when the girls were young and Nick Negron walked away, a man haunted by struggles after the Vietnam War. Norm Burnell spent four decades searching for Negron, the medic with the …
Worumbo Mill in Lisbon Falls.

For Lisbon, it’s a million-dollar question: Buy Worumbo Mill or not?

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 03, 2013, at 6:23 a.m.
The air is thick with allspice, cloves, garlic and onion, ingredients for fresh pork pie, and coolers are stocked with hundreds of loops of smoked sausage, neat and inviting. Ninety percent of customers at Maurice Bonneau’s Sausage Kitchen are from out of town, drawn by the tens …
Eugene sits on the lap of Kathy Campbell in the driveway of her Auburn home while her other two dogs, Murphy and Maus, right, look out the back window of her 2000 VW Golf, which has more than 226,400 miles on it. "The back seat has only been in the upright position twice since I bought the car. When I am driving, they only sit in the back, where they are comfortable and not distracting me when I drive."

Living the high life: It’s love for these car owners, whose rides have reached 200,000 miles and counting

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 03, 2013, at 6:13 a.m.
The interior dome light, the one that confirms after sunset, “Yeah, there’s no ax murderer laying in wait in the backseat,” hadn’t worked for years. The air conditioner last turned on in 2010. The driver’s window worked sporadically; the driver’s side passenger window regularly slunk down an inch, allowing for …

Fryeburg hit with string of burglaries, attempted car thefts

By Kathryn Skelton on Nov. 03, 2013, at 6 a.m.
Police are asking residents in East Fryeburg to be “hyper-vigilant” after four break-ins, one car theft and three attempted car thefts since Monday. In one case, thieves hit the same house twice. “We’re used to a quiet neighborhood,” said Detective Sgt. Joshua Potvin. On Saturday morning, a …

Lewiston man: ‘It’s great to be at Fenway Park’

By Kathryn Skelton on Oct. 30, 2013, at 9:47 p.m.
A few weeks ago, a friend emailed Dave Turcotte and told him: I’m taking you to Game 6 … if there is a Game 6. On Wednesday, Turcotte was ready. He wore a Red Sox shirt, Red Sox-patterned pants. His room at d’Youville Pavilion had three different …

Sabattus town manager forces out fire chief over payroll ‘irregularities’

By Kathryn Skelton on Oct. 24, 2013, at 6:30 a.m.
In response to what he described as growing requests about the former fire chief’s resignation this past spring, Town Manager Andrew Gilmore released a memo late Tuesday night saying for the first time that he gave Don Therrien a choice to resign or be terminated over payroll …
A newspaper clipping of Paul Dwyer in a South Paris jail cell.

Sex, murder, mystery: A decades-old whodunit in western Maine still stirs debate

By Kathryn Skelton on Oct. 14, 2013, at 6:35 a.m.
Seventy-six years ago, after the sun set once again on the reds, yellows and oranges of the western Maine foothills, Dr. James Littlefield drove to a home on tony Paris Hill for what should have been a typical house call. Instead, in a second-floor bathroom, Littlefield was struck on the …
Patrick Dempsey listens to seven-year brain cancer survivor Hailey Sontag of Auburn, who is the 2013 Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Award winner, during opening ceremonies Saturday in Lewiston.

Thousands turn out to walk, run fifth annual Dempsey Challenge

By Kathryn Skelton on Oct. 12, 2013, at 11:18 a.m.
LEWISTON | Jolene Schatz had a double mastectomy 18 months ago, just in case. Doctors had warned her: Breast cancer was so common in her family, it was probably just a matter of time. “They said she would get cancer if she didn’t do anything about it,” said her …

State to Lewiston company: Answer patients’ calls, show up or else

By Kathryn Skelton on Oct. 04, 2013, at 6:34 a.m.
After missing more than 4,000 rides and having as many as half of callers hang up over long wait times, the state has put a Lewiston company that arranges rides for MaineCare patients on notice. It has until Monday to spell out what’s wrong and why, and …

Maine ski areas had busy summer

By Kathryn Skelton on Sept. 29, 2013, at 6:16 a.m.
This summer, the ski mountains were rocking. Sunday River invested $5.7 million in projects like a new 30-acre terrain park trail (for the daring, there’s an 18-foot super pipe). The resort also installed 224 energy-efficient snow guns that can operate at slightly higher temps. It’ll soon close Legends to make …
The Oxford House Inn owners Natalie and Jonathan Spak have been pleasantly surprised by the above-average summer they have had at their business this year in Fryeburg, an area that relies heavily on tourism.

Destination Maine: Strong summer continues tourism growth, busy fall predicted

By Kathryn Skelton on Sept. 29, 2013, at 6:12 a.m.
They came, they saw and they ate seared marinated tofu and espresso-rubbed filet mignon. They were New York parents dropping kids off to summer camp and visitors just passing through — people generally from away stopping into the upscale Oxford House Inn on Main Street in Fryeburg. Its menu is …
Farmington District Warden Kris MacCabe, center, and his supervisor Sgt. Scott Thrasher shooting a scene for "North Woods Law." The second season of the Animal Planet reality show that follows wardens in the woods all over Maine starts Oct. 3.

Maine game wardens ready to star in season two of ‘North Woods Law’

By Kathryn Skelton on Sept. 27, 2013, at 5:58 a.m.
Fans of the cable TV show “North Woods Law” love to talk about the time Maine Game Warden Kris MacCabe caught a loon in a box. MacCabe found it in a frozen stream in Weld, swimming in a pocket of open water that had been iced and snowed over. While …

Oil use drops; Efficiency Maine offering rebates to find alternatives

By Kathryn Skelton on Sept. 19, 2013, at 6:07 a.m.
Maine is the most heating-oil dependent state in the country, but figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census show its use here continuing to wane: 67.5 percent of homes relied on oil for their primary heat source in 2012, down from 69 percent in 2011 and 80.2 percent in 2000. …
Tracy Bradley jumps over fire during a 13.1 mile obstacle race called the Spartan Beast in Killington, Vt. In 2005, Bradley was one of 15 local high school grads who agreed to let the Sun Journal write about their college experience.

Experts say more Maine 18-year-olds will attend college, stay in state, focus on future jobs

By Kathryn Skelton, Sun Journal on Sept. 01, 2013, at 9:43 a.m.
In 2005, when it came time to pick a college, there wasn’t quite the same level of shopping around. Not as much “will-this-land-me-a-job” scrutiny. And the odds of most students walking onto campus fully prepared? Not so hot. Maine experts say it’s a new day. This fall, more 18-year-olds in …
Helen Ness, left, speaks about her struggles to find answers to heath insurance questions during a public forum on Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's proposed narrow network for the upcoming Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange at Central Maine Community College in Auburn on Thursday evening. The panel included, from left, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Sturtevant, Bureau of Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa and Bureau of Insurance Deputy Superintendent Tim Schott.

Hundreds at hearing rip Anthem state insurance plan that excludes three hospitals

By Kathryn Skelton on Aug. 30, 2013, at 6:10 a.m.
Former CEO of CMMC calls Maine Medical Center “the evil empire.”

Sabattus candidate under investigation after saying to ‘shoot’ president on Facebook

By Kathryn Skelton on Aug. 27, 2013, at 12:40 p.m.
A man who once pushed the town to adopt a law requiring every household to own a gun and ammo, and who is now running for selectman, has posted the comment “Shoot the N*****” atop a picture of President Barack Obama on Facebook. Sabattus police are investigating …
A marijuana starter plant is for sale at a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, in this November 20, 2012 file photo.

Medical marijuana: Hundreds in Maine apply to grow, state program takes in more than $600,000 in fees

By Kathryn Skelton on Aug. 24, 2013, at 6:23 a.m.
AUGUSTA | An annual report by the Department of Health and Human Services released Thursday shows the medical marijuana program has been growing in Maine and is in the midst of a reorganization. Some 575 people applied to the state last year to grow medical marijuana — 521 of …
A palm-sized pamphlet in what's known as the "Hey Girl" series by the Maine Center for Disease Control, an ad campaign aimed at knocking back the rise of gonorrhea in Androscoggin and Cumberland counties.

Almost half of reported Maine gonorrhea cases last year in Androscoggin County

By Kathyrn Skelton, Sun Journal on Aug. 18, 2013, at 6:25 a.m.
One poster with a beaming, vintage housewife reads: “Judgey Janet might call you a tramp. We just want you to call.” In another poster, a gorgeous, twentysomething man gazes out with smouldering eyes. Below him, the message — “Get tested, beautiful.” They’re part of an education campaign kicked off early …