Thursday, March 31, 2016

Maine school employees’ tax info sent to email scammer

An employee in the Brunswick School Department’s administrative office Monday responded to what turned out to be a phishing scam, emailing to the scammer tax forms, minus dates of birth and Social Security numbers, from about 400 school department employees.

More >> Maine school employees’ tax info sent to email scammer

Second man sues former Biddeford police officer accused of abusing boys

A second man has sued a former Biddeford police officer accused of sexually assaulting multiple teenage boys while working for the city.

More >> Second man sues former Biddeford police officer accused of abusing boys

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Maine House Allows Veto Of Swift Evaluations For Foster Kids

The Maine House has voted to sustain a veto of a bill designed to provide faster medical evaluations for children who are entering state custody.

More >> Maine House Allows Veto Of Swift Evaluations For Foster Kids

Survey: Auburn teachers don't feel appreciated

When it comes to education changes, a recent survey of Auburn teachers shows a majority of those responding think the School Department is heading in the wrong direction.

More >> Survey: Auburn teachers don't feel appreciated

Opening of the Archives: Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission

On Monday, April 11, Bowdoin will celebrate the opening of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s archives.

More >> Opening of the Archives: Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Portland trims child care grant money for low-income families

The Portland City Council voted 6-2 Monday not to set aside $90,000 in federal grant money to help low-income families get child care so parents can find work or access counseling to become self-sufficient. Instead, $40,000 of that money will go to programs that serve the homeless in Portland.

More >> Portland trims child care grant money for low-income families

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Portland trims child care grant money for low-income families

The Portland City Council voted 6-2 Monday not to set aside $90,000 in federal grant money to help low-income families get child care so parents can find work or access counseling to become self-sufficient. Instead, $40,000 of that money will go to programs that serve the homeless in Portland.

More >> Portland trims child care grant money for low-income families

Democrats rip DHHS for welfare program spending changes

Lawmakers split along party lines repeatedly Thursday as they debated and voted on a series of bills aimed at reforming Maine’s welfare system.

More >> Democrats rip DHHS for welfare program spending changes

Among other things, DHHS is proposing to use about $19 million of those federal funds to pay for the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit program, which provides tax rebates to low-income families. The EITC program already is funded in the state’s current two-year budget, but Republicans and DHHS officials said use of the federal funds, as allowed under federal law, would free up an equal amount in the state’s General Fund budget for something else. 
Another $34 million in federal TANF funds would be spent on child welfare programs and programs aimed at strengthening Maine’s foster care system. 
But it’s all money, Democrats said, that should have been spent to help Maine’s poorest families, and the savings being “bragged about” by DHHS officials have resulted in 6,000 more Maine children living in extreme poverty than in 2010, a 50 percent increase in the rate of children living in extreme poverty.
LePage is great at stacking the deck against the real parents while increasing the foster care numbers in Maine, isn't he?

Maine’s welfare policies have taken a turn, with dire consequences for kids

Changes in public policy motivated by politics, not facts, have been disastrous for Maine children.

More >> Maine’s welfare policies have taken a turn, with dire consequences for kids

Friday, March 25, 2016

Windham lawmaker's bill calls for more training spotting child abuse

After a year of review and discussion, the Maine Legislature has passed a Windham senator’s bill to require training for mandated reporters – people who, by law, are required to report abuse or suspected abuse of a child. 
More >> Windham lawmaker's bill calls for more training spotting child abuse
The only problem I have with this is that they'll teach them to report every little scrape on the knee.

Students evacuated from Gray-New Gloucester High School

A bomb threat at Gray-New Gloucester High School forced hundreds of students to evacuate Friday, according to school officials.

More >> Students evacuated from Gray-New Gloucester High School

Surry man gets 90 days for giving marijuana to kids

A Surry man has been sentenced to serve 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to unlawful furnishing of drugs and then committing other crimes.

More >> Surry man gets 90 days for giving marijuana to kids

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Maine Supreme Court Upholds Conviction of Fairfield Mother Who Kidnapped Children

The state’s highest court is upholding the conviction of a Fairfield mother who kidnapped her children and left the state.

More >> Maine Supreme Court Upholds Conviction of Fairfield Mother Who Kidnapped Children

Automated bomb threat shuts down Cape Elizabeth schools

The threat was phoned in to the Pond Cove Elementary main office at 10:17 a.m., prompting an immediate evacuation before police and administrators dismissed classes early.

More >> Automated bomb threat shuts down Cape Elizabeth schools

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Superintendent apologizes for not canceling school during snowstorm

The superintendent of MSAD 6 apologized to parents for not canceling school during Monday's snowstorm, where parts of York County received more than 6 inches of snow.

 More >> Superintendent apologizes for not canceling school during snowstorm

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Maine heading wrong way on poverty

I have just read an op-ed piece that should give us all cause for concern. Adapted from a research brief, it addresses how Maine’s children are faring in Gov. Paul LePage’s war on the poor.

More >> Maine heading wrong way on poverty

State will not expedite new lead standards

In a letter to lawmakers this week, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control said his agency would not move quickly to implement lower blood-lead standards.

More >> State will not expedite new lead standards

Friday, March 18, 2016

South Portland super unveils $47.8M school budget

A proposed new $47.8 million school budget in South Portland could raise the tax rate by 31 cents per $1,000 of valuation, Superintendent Ken Kunin told the Board of Education Monday.

More >> South Portland super unveils $47.8M school budget

Report Shows High Lead Levels in Maine Schools, Day Cares

USA Today has released an investigation about high lead levels found in schools and day cares across the country. According to the report, Maine had the most instances of high lead levels compared to any other state.

More >> Report Shows High Lead Levels in Maine Schools, Day Cares

Maine mom formally charged in newborn son's death

A Maine woman charged in the death of her newborn son has been formally charged.

More >> Maine mom formally charged in newborn son's death

Maine Voices: Bill to treat ‘drug-addicted babies’ based on harmful misconceptions

Maine Sen. Angus King’s “Cradle Act” is an example of the many harmful misconceptions about maternal opiate addiction.

More >> Maine Voices: Bill to treat ‘drug-addicted babies’ based on harmful misconceptions

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Visitor prompts lockdown on Cape Elizabeth campus

Officials locked down Cape Elizabeth's school campus on Wednesday morning because of a visitor, Superintendent of Schools Meredith Nadeau said in an email to parents.

More >> Visitor prompts lockdown on Cape Elizabeth campus


There was a bomb threat in Portland yesterday too.  I didn't see that in the news though, but I did get this.


Home schooling conference set to start in Rockport

Organizers expect about 800 people to be on hand for an annual three-day home schooling conference in Maine.

More >> Home schooling conference set to start in Rockport

Students, parents complain after Maine teacher shows video of woman being beaten

Students, parents, and teachers crowded into the Great Salt Bay Community School library during the school committee meeting earlier this month to discuss the content and age-appropriateness of media shown in classrooms.

Moe >> Students, parents complain after Maine teacher shows video of woman being beaten

Augusta parents say suspension from school, athletics for smoking too severe, ineffective

Parents and others expressed concern about the consequences of school polices that hand out the same punishment — of suspension from school and participation in sports and other extracurricular activities — for a student caught smoking a cigarette as for one caught using heroin.

More >> Augusta parents say suspension from school, athletics for smoking too severe, ineffective

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Portland social services debate: Child care vs. help for the homeless

Borrowing $3.4 million to move the Department of Public Works from Bayside to Canco Road was approved for a second time during a brief City Council meeting Monday.

More >> Portland social services debate: Child care vs. help for the homeless

Maine to require training of child abuse reporters

A Maine bill requiring training for people mandated to report suspected child abuse is headed to Gov. Paul LePage for his potential signature.

More >> Maine to require training of child abuse reporters


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The only problem that I have with this bill is that it is one of those  feel good bills that won't make a bit of difference except to make our teachers, daycare and health care providers more paranoid so that they end up reporting every little scrape on the knee out of fear of prosecution and loosing their licenses, regardless of the fact that Maine has yet to prosecute anybody.   

Also, any teacher who rats me out to DHHS for any reason will be blogged about by name and complained about to the whole world.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Young fighter for sick children’s access to medical marijuana dies

Cyndimae Meehan, who had a rare form of epilepsy, and her mother were the faces of efforts in Connecticut and Maine to change the laws on pediatric cannabis therapy.

More >> Young fighter for sick children’s access to medical marijuana dies

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Student charged with terrorizing over threats at Mt. Ararat High School

A 15-year-old girl from Bowdoinham was charged with terrorizing Friday, a day after she allegedly wrote a threat on a bathroom wall at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.

More >> Student charged with terrorizing over threats at Mt. Ararat High School

DHHS Intensifying Efforts To Prevent Opioid Abuse And Reduce Tobacco Use

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that it is seeking to hire experts through the competitive procurement process to make significant progress in preventing heroin and opioid use and to reduce Maine’s smoking rates to the lowest in the nation.

More >> DHHS Intensifying Efforts To Prevent Opioid Abuse And Reduce Tobacco Use

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Lawmakers say Maine DHHS dragging its feet on new lead standards

A bipartisan group of Lewiston-Auburn lawmakers is again asking the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to pick up the pace on implementing new lead-poisoning standards that were passed into law more than eight months ago.

More >> Lawmakers say Maine DHHS dragging its feet on new lead standards



Families of murdered, missing hope for change to Maine law

Ten families of murder victims and unsolved missing person cases appeared before a legislative committee Wednesday hoping for a change in the law.

More >> Families of murdered, missing hope for change to Maine law

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Portland schools propose $103.7 million budget, up $1 million from last year

Facing a cut of $2.7 million in state aid, the Portland schools superintendent presented a $103.7 million school budget that would increase the school portion of Portland’s property tax rate by 4.5 percent.

More >> Portland schools propose $103.7 million budget, up $1 million from last year

Maine’s welfare policies have taken a turn, with dire consequences for kids

Changes in public policy motivated by politics, not facts, have been disastrous for Maine children.

More >> Maine’s welfare policies have taken a turn, with dire consequences for kids

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Maine bill to protect rape victims' rights to go to senate

The Maine Senate will consider a victims' rights bill that supporters say would make it easier for victims to strip their attackers of parental rights to children conceived as a result of rape.

More >> Maine bill to protect rape victims' rights to go to senate

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Telemedicine Abortion Care Is Coming to Maine

Maine Family Planning, a health clinic chain, unveiled a plan Monday to expand abortion access via telemedicine at 16 of its centers. This makes Maine one of three states, according to the organization, to utilize such technology for medication abortion services.


More >> Telemedicine Abortion Care Is Coming to Maine

Bill to create substance abuse prevention program for middle and high schoolers

Lawmakers met on Monday to discuss a bill to create a substance abuse prevention program for middle schoolers and high schoolers. 

More >> Bill to create substance abuse prevention program for middle and high schoolers