Matthew Stone

Matthew Stone

Opinion Page Editor

 
Maine Focus
The LePage administration says it’s overhauling the way the state treats in-home child care businesses because it wants to reverse a long-term decline in their numbers.

DHHS is paying more for child care — after saying it wasn’t allowed to

By Matthew Stone on June 22, 2017, at 6:08 a.m.
In addition, it wants to eliminate a number of rights parents are currently guaranteed, such as the right to visit their children at any time during the day and the right to be informed of any licensing deficiencies.
Maine Focus
Gov. Paul LePage addresses the chamber during the 2017 State of the State address at the State House in Augusta on Feb. 7, 2017.

What LePage really plans to do with $100M meant for Maine families in poverty

By Matthew Stone on June 16, 2017, at 3:56 p.m.
The administration has orchestrated this major budget shift on its own, largely beyond public view and mostly without adding to the support available to help low-income Mainers escape poverty.
MAINE FOCUS
Outgoing Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew (left) and Dr. Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in a file photo.

How Mary Mayhew consolidated control over DHHS

By Matthew Stone on May 24, 2017, at 3:18 p.m.
The inner workings of Maine’s largest state agency have fundamentally changed during the past six years.
MAINE FOCUS
Gears on a children's toy in the waiting room at Bangor Public Health and Community Services, where WIC recipients have their appointments.

Bill to let infant death review group do its job gets initial approval

By Matthew Stone on May 23, 2017, at 6:56 p.m.
The legislation follows reporting last summer by the BDN’s Maine Focus team that found Maine was the only state to see a long-term increase in its infant mortality rate over the past two decades.
MAINE FOCUS
State Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell.

Bill that restores public health nursing program earns initial approval

By Matthew Stone on May 18, 2017, at 6:56 p.m.
The legislation, LD 1108, follows a BDN Maine Focus story last summer that detailed the major, unannounced contraction of Maine’s public health nursing program in recent years.
Maine Focus
State Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell.

DHHS has blocked lawmakers from public data on nursing program

By Matthew Stone on May 18, 2017, at 6:11 a.m.
The experience of requesting public information and not receiving it has become the norm in recent months for state Sen. Brownie Carson and others who have sought details and basic documents about public health nursing from the Maine CDC.
Maine Focus
Over the last several years, the number of public health nurses has fallen by more than half.

LePage cut ranks of nurses who prevent outbreaks. Now lawmakers are trying to rebuild

By Matthew Stone on April 07, 2017, at 6:17 a.m.
In recent years, the number of public health nurses has fallen by more than half.
MAINE FOCUS
The Maine State House is pictured in January 2016.

LePage administration paid $315K for a consultant to rethink child care, then did nothing

By Matthew Stone on April 04, 2017, at 6:26 a.m.
The state told federal regulators it planned to carry out the consultant’s recommendations and re-upped with the consultant after its first proposal. But it appears there are no plans to follow through.
MAINE FOCUS
Sen. Angus King listens as Bucksport officials discuss the potential redevelopment of the former Verso Paper mill in Bucksport. King is proposing an initiative to get rural Maine communities to think about their futures.

King wants rural towns to compete for money to turn around their future

By Matthew Stone on April 03, 2017, at 7:06 p.m.
If current trends hold, Maine’s rural regions are destined for a future in which communities will continue to shrink, and some might cease to exist as municipalities.
Megan Stover sits at the kitchen table after dinner with her three daughters (from left) Andie, 5, Madison, 10, and Nellie, 7, at their home in Scarborough.

How Maine is failing working parents by leaving millions unspent on child care

on March 20, 2017, at 6:08 a.m.
The typical cost of care for infants at a child care center, almost $9,700 annually, is more than in-state tuition at the University of Maine. Yet in each of the past four years, the state has simply not spent at least $4 million in federal funds meant to help working moms and dads.
MAINE FOCUS
Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew is pictured in October 2014.

How $13M in unlawful spending took shape in Mary Mayhew’s DHHS

By Matthew Stone on Feb. 07, 2017, at 6:12 a.m.
Internal emails and other communications show that state finance staff questioned the Department of Health and Human Services’ plans to spend more than $13 million in ways that ran afoul of a federal law.
Maine Focus
A children's toy in the waiting room at Bangor Public Health and Community Services.

Group charged with understanding Maine infant deaths to meet after 3-year hiatus

By Matthew Stone on Feb. 01, 2017, at 6:07 a.m.
Lawmakers aim to give the panel more authority, especially after a rise in the state’s infant mortality rate that no one can fully explain.
MAINE FOCUS
A WIC recipient and her son sit for an appointment at Bangor Public Health & Community Services on Jan. 12.

Mary Mayhew insists on photo IDs for infant nutrition program and loses $1.4M

By Matthew Stone on Jan. 11, 2017, at 8:10 a.m.
The demand by Maine’s top health official has stalled an upgrade required by federal law to a program that helps new moms buy healthy food.
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.
A man walks out of Lily Bay State Park in Greenville on Nov. 22, 2016. The park closes to cars but is still open to visitors in the off season.

This remote Maine region has a chance to grow

on Dec. 07, 2016, at 6:10 a.m.
“If you don’t change, you die.”

In Arizona, John McCain has won re-election

By Matthew Stone on Nov. 08, 2016, at 10:31 p.m.

Passadumkeag gives Trump, Poliquin another win

By Matthew Stone on Nov. 08, 2016, at 10:13 p.m.

Charleston goes decisively for Trump, Poliquin

By Matthew Stone on Nov. 08, 2016, at 10:11 p.m.

Clinton and Cain claim wins in Surry

By Matthew Stone on Nov. 08, 2016, at 10:10 p.m.

Garfield Plantation backs Trump, Poliquin

By Matthew Stone on Nov. 08, 2016, at 10:09 p.m.