Craig Dickstein, a trail maintainer for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, tears down the old outhouse along the AT at the base of Pleasant Pond Mountain as part of a privy replacement project. The plan to replace all 42 privies that the MATC maintains along the AT in Maine, began in 2013. The old pit-style privies are being replaced with new, more sustainable and environmentally friendly privies.

A privy problem: Maine group races to replace outhouses on Appalachian Trail

By Aislinn Sarnacki on Sept. 22, 2016, at 1:53 p.m.
Outhouses on Appalachian Trail are filling up and falling apart.
Two ATVs disappear down Half Township Road in Lincoln. Millinocket volunteers hope to forge the first connection between the networked ATV trails of southern and northern Maine.

Volunteers eyeing 3,000-acre site for state’s first ATV-snowmobile park

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Sept. 20, 2016, at 1:23 p.m.
One problem — it’s a dump.
Maine Focus
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services used federal funds in 2015 to pay for services for seniors and residents with disabilities even though federal law restricted the use of those funds to services for children and their families.

After denying it misused millions in welfare funds, Maine changed its spending to follow the law

By Matthew Stone on Sept. 19, 2016, at 6:13 a.m.
“The BDN has their facts wrong,” DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said in June. Then, her department retroactively changed its spending to line up with the law.
Nurses like Michelle Markie, who have received Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner certification, are trained to record sexual assault victims' histories and collect evidence to help in the prosecution of their abusers. Markie, who works at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor, estimated she personally encounters two to three cases of sex trafficking in her unit per year. She is pictured at a recent art auction to raise money for Hope Rising, a residential treatment program for survivors of the crime of human trafficking.

How 1 nurse knows when she’s looking at a victim of sex trafficking

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 13, 2016, at 6:14 a.m.
Over the past four years, Michelle Markie has personally encountered about two to three cases of trafficking in her unit per year.
Carey Nason is the director of Hope Rising, a residential treatment program that provides 24-7 care to sex trafficking victims. The program is located at an undisclosed location in Penobscot County.

It’s one thing for a sex trafficking victim to escape. It’s another to heal.

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 13, 2016, at 6:14 a.m.
Recovery is possible, but all-encompassing care can be hard to find and fund.
Charles Later of Shirley

Maine Warden Service pilot accused of spitting at police officer resigns

By Dawn Gagnon on Sept. 12, 2016, at 7:52 p.m.
The sun sets on the Portland skyline. Sex trafficking is a problem in Maine towns and cities like Portland, where traffickers translate their deep understanding of how to manipulate and use people into personal gain.

What drives Maine sex traffickers’ inhumanity

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 12, 2016, at 6 a.m.
A look at the motives and calculations behind forcing people into the sex trade.

43rd International Seaplane Fly-In

By Linda Coan O'Kresik on Sept. 09, 2016, at 6:43 p.m.
Spectators watch as seaplanes take off during the 43rd International Seaplane Fly-In on Friday at Moosehead Lake in Greenville.

Greenville gears up for 43rd International Seaplane Fly-In

By John Holyoke on Sept. 09, 2016, at 3:32 p.m.
Saturday is the main day of activities, with spot landing, taxiing, and takeoff competitions on tap. Meals and banquets are scheduled throughout the weekend.
Snowmaking returned to Big Squaw Mountain near Greenville in 2014 as two used snow guns purchased from a resort in upstate New York were fired up on Dec. 8.

State sues owner of Big Squaw Mountain ski resort over deteriorating conditions

By Judy Harrison on Sept. 09, 2016, at 2:51 p.m.
The state claims the owner used the property to secure more than $4 million in loans but failed to use that money to reopen the ski lift, trails and lodge.
Sara was one of the 200 to 300 people in Maine estimated to be victims of sex trafficking each year.

Inside the minds of Maine’s sex trafficking victims

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 09, 2016, at 8:42 a.m.
Broke, with nobody to turn to, here’s how one 15-year-old Maine girl came to ‘the Life.’

The house. The white picket-fence. The business. The American Dream. It can be yours for a story and $150.

on Sept. 08, 2016, at 2:13 p.m.
We get caught up in what’s coming… tomorrow, next week, next year, or when we retire. We plan our futures. We forget to be present — to see what is right in front of us, right here, right now. And we miss opportunities – sometimes really big ones, that would tremendously impact what the future will look like. So today, take a minute…. and read this – because it might be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
For more than a year, a half-dozen organizations have relied on federal money to provide coaching and care coordination, psychiatric treatment and peer-to-peer mentoring to young adults.  On Aug. 23, those organizations received a letter from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services announcing all funding will cease Sept. 30.

With no explanation, Maine rejects scarce funds for young people with mental illness

By Matthew Stone on Sept. 08, 2016, at 11:02 a.m.
“To refuse these dollars makes no sense, especially because other states are using these dollars and using them well,” said Arabella Perez who previously led one of the organizations involved in the federally funded initiative. “We just don’t understand the decision behind this.”
Portland Police Officer Mark Keller said his department stages sting operations targeting johns a few times a year. He'd like to see more, but resources, manpower and expertise are in short supply.

Maine police know sex trafficking is here, yet many still fail to fight it

By Danielle McLean on Sept. 08, 2016, at 6:17 a.m.
“Our range of what we can do is very limited,” said one police officer. “We’re losing.”
 The larger of these two sister cows jumped out of a trailer en route to its new home in Cambridge on Friday and was on the lam for nearly seven hours before a Piscataquis County Sheriff's Office deputy used a Taser to subdue it in order to capture it.

Maine deputy uses Taser to subdue runaway cow

By Nok-Noi Ricker on Aug. 30, 2016, at 3:35 p.m.
“When I got there, I spoke to the farmer and said, ‘How about we try something crazy. How about we try and Taser it.’”
The Maine Warden Service called in a Maine Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter to help rescue a 14-year-old Appalachian Trail hiker from Virginia who injured his leg on Barren Mountain, southeast of Greenville.

Appalachian Trail hiker, 14, rescued from Barren Mountain

By Dawn Gagnon on Aug. 24, 2016, at 8:36 p.m.
The 14-year-old was flown to C.A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville for treatment of his injury, Cpl. John MacDonald said.

Man gets 2 years for heroin trafficking in Milo area

By Judy Harrison on Aug. 22, 2016, at 2:19 p.m.
A Milo man was sentenced to two years in prison on charges stemming from heroin trafficking in the Milo area.
Roger Belanger leaves the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building after the first day of his trial on Monday in Bangor.

Jury finds father, daughter guilty of operating drug ring

By Judy Harrison on Aug. 19, 2016, at 2:10 p.m.
Roger Belanger, 58, of Corinna and his daughter, Kelli Mujo, 40, of Wellington and Central Falls, Rhode Island, were found guilty Friday in U.S. District Court of running a drug distribution ring for a dozen years in the Dexter area.
Roger Belanger leaves the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building after the first day of his trial on Monday in Bangor.

Jury begins deliberating in drug trial of father/daughter duo

By Judy Harrison on Aug. 19, 2016, at 12:19 p.m.
A jury of eight women and four men began deliberating about 10:40 a.m. Friday in the trial of a father and daughter accused of running a drug distribution ring for a dozen years in the Dexter area.
Kim Wagaman, a behavioral therapist, takes Dustin Strasser, 19, left, to visit Evan Roth, 12, whom he helps mentor.

We want to know: Have you ever been a mentor or mentee?

By Adanya Lustig on Aug. 18, 2016, at 11:12 a.m.
We want to know about how some people uplift the lives of others, even when they don’t have to.