Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Maine mother sues DHHS in federal court seeking contact with daughter

An Eddington woman is asking a federal judge to force the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to allow her contact with her 7-year-old daughter, who is living with her father’s girlfriend in Ellsworth under an agency safety plan.

Toni Barronton, 33, claims that DHHS violated her right to due process after it reneged on a decision to let the girl live with her temporarily after her father, Patrick Lynn, 32, allegedly violated his probation by using drugs.

More >> Maine mother sues DHHS in federal court seeking contact with daughter

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Active shooter training helps first responders prepare for worst case scenario


Tragically, school shootings are happening too often in the United States.

So far in 2019, there have already been 12 school shootings in which someone was hurt or killed. That's according to Education Week, a independent news organization covering K-12 education.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

New Task Force Aims To Improve Maine's Juvenile Justice System

Maine's Chief Justice Leigh Saufley joined civil rights and children's advocates, lawmakers and members of Gov. Janet Mills' cabinet for the first meeting of a newly-created task force to examine Maine's juvenile justice system.

The 30-member task force will be looking at a alternatives to juvenile incarceration. Justice Saufley says a similar task force achieved success ten years ago by slashing the number of kids in detention in Maine but she says it never met a second goal to establish a community-based system of treatment and placement programs.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Amid calls for faster child welfare system reforms, Mills plans a hiring surge

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, in her proposed two-year budget, is heeding advice from an auditor of the state’s child protective system by proposing the state hire more caseworkers.

The budget amendments, announced on Tuesday, add $2.8 million to the $8 billion budget proposal, in money to hire 62 new staff in the Office of Child and Family Services — 43 caseworkers, six background check unit staff and 13 positions in intake, which handles calls and reports of suspected abuse or neglect.

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Maine Senate OKs expanded testing for lead in school water

The Maine Senate is unanimously supporting a proposal to provide more comprehensive testing for lead in school drinking water.

The Senate approved the proposal by Democratic Sen. Rebecca Millett, of Cape Elizabeth, on Thursday. Millett's bill is designed to require all schools to test drinking and cooking water for lead contamination.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Maine Senate OKs end to non-medical opt-outs for vaccines

Maine has moved one step closer to ending the state's religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccines with the Democratic-led Senate's 18-17 vote on a bill Tuesday.

The bill to end the exemptions now faces a round of procedural votes in both chambers before heading to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills' desk. The bill narrowly moved forward with a vote from Democratic Sen. James Dill, who had previously backed an effort to protect Maine's religious exemptions.

More >> Maine Senate OKs end to non-medical opt-outs for vaccines

Mills adds child welfare caseworkers, opioid crisis to budget request

Gov. Janet Mills on Tuesday unveiled amendments to her two-year, $8 billion budget proposal that would significantly boost the state’s child protective services system, add treatment and prevention funding for the opioid crisis and further invest in mental health services.

“This change package prioritizes pressing investments needed to protect children’s safety, to repair crumbling schools, to pay back the previous administration’s debt, and to save money in the event of an economic downturn,” Mills, a Democrat, said in a statement. “These changes address critical needs, reflect decisions made in the first four months, and build on my pragmatic budget proposal to deliver a solid economic foundation and the initiatives Maine people want and our state needs. I look forward to working with lawmakers as the budget process begins in earnest.”

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