Sunday, November 25, 2018

Winslow and Waterville schools to introduce anonymous threat-reporting system

The around-the-clock app, website and hotline service, called Say Something, could be implemented at area schools by June. The system was developed by families of victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Advocacy group sues state for records of suicide attempts at Long Creek

Disability Rights Maine says it received reports of 5 attempted suicides between March and July at the juvenile detention facility in South Portland and has been seeking records from the state with little success.

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Homeless with 4 kids, a Bangor man called nearly 100 landlords to find a place to live

When Lawrence Bergeron and his four teenage grandchildren were evicted from their Bangor apartment in March, they had nowhere to go but their Toyota minivan. For about the next six months, the family slept sitting up in their car seats, as the 52-year-old grandfather searched in desperation for a place that would accept his federally subsidized housing voucher.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

No More Snow Days? Maine District Tests Controversial Policy

In Camden, Maine, the first snow day of the school year might be the last.

Starting in December, the MSAD 28 school district, which includes Camden and four surrounding towns, will try "remote school days" instead of giving the students a day off.

Teachers will assign work for students to do at home. Grades K-6 will complete non-technology-based projects, and grades 7-12 will be required to complete assignments online. If they turn in their work on time, it will count as a day of instruction. It will be a work day for teachers, too — they will have to be online and responding to students over email.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Kids group wants to hear from the front lines of Maine’s child welfare system



An organization that advocates for Maine kids is seeking feedback on ways the state can improve its child welfare system after the highly publicized deaths of two young girls, allegedly at the hands of their caregivers, within the past year.

While Maine lawmakers passed a set of changes last summer that were meant to close gaps in the system and included $21.2 million in new funding, the Maine Children’s Alliance believes more needs to be done and that any improvements must be guided by people working within the system.

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Maine Voices: Declining vaccination rates play role in rise of pertussis cases

In each of the past five years, Maine has experienced hundreds of cases of pertussis (“whooping cough”), whose terrifying nature comes from its namesake symptom: a deep, gasping cough that sounds – and feels – as though the cougher is on their last breath. Adults experience a grueling illness that tortures them with coughing so intense it often leads to vomiting for weeks to months. For children, the disease can be fatal.

A recent Press Herald story detailed the rising number of pertussis cases in York County, and quoted health experts who attributed the high numbers to an increase in unvaccinated children. While declining vaccination rates have absolutely played a role in the state’s rising rate of pertussis, they do not explain it entirely. Maine is one of several states that has seen cases of pertussis in children who are fully vaccinated, on time and on schedule. How is it possible that a disease that was once well-controlled by a vaccine has started appearing in fully immunized children? We recently completed a study that may help answer this question.

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