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75,000 Children living in foster care in 2000, were legally orphaned when their parents' parental rights were terminated.
Maine CPS News Archive
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Maine News Coverage
Maine Law Lets Municipalities Regulate Food
A new law in Maine lets towns regulate local food production. Supporters say it makes it easier for people to buy raw and organic foods locally. Opponents fear it could lead to lax food safety.
The new law makes it possible for farmers to sell products, such as raw milk, without going through a state inspections process. Instead, towns and cities will have the authority to regulate those kinds of sales.
July 8, 2017
Maine Makes Welfare Recipients Work for it. Guess What Happens Next...
Welfare is the left's favorite entitlement. Because if they keep you dependent on the government, you'll have to vote for them over and over again. It's brilliant really.
In Maine, they tried something different. Sometimes families need help, but if you're single, able-bodied and want to live on the taxpayer's dime... they're going to make you work for it. Uh oh...
February 14, 2016
Maine governor calls on armed citizens to murder drug dealers as opioid/heroin deaths soar among youth
You have to hand it to Maine's unorthodox, independent-minded governor: He is unique, and his approach - while somewhat bizarre to some people - is a breath of fresh air to a majority of state residents who elected him.
Gov. Paul LePage, who is a Republican, said recently that he believes his state should revive the guillotine to decapitate drug dealers. But it was what he said after that which got the site's attention; he appeared to imply that Maine residents should attack drug dealers as well.
February 8, 2016
Westbrook Mom Charged with Child Endangerment For Letting Daughter Play at Park
A mother in Westbrook, Maine, is angry after police charged her with child endangerment for letting her 7-year-old play in a park across the street.
On Wednesday afternoon, police responded to a report that Nicole Jensen's daughter, Brooklynn, was playing alone for about an hour. Police picked up Brooklynn and took her into the station. Nicole, who lives a few hundred feet away from the park and can watch her children from her porch, was outraged that police terrified her daughter. "They brought her to the police station when her house is right there," Nicole told WMTW reporters, elaborating that she makes her kids check in with her every hour, and that Brooklynn "did nothing wrong."
June 29, 2015
LePage signs bill to label genetically modified food
Maine becomes the second state to pass a law requiring food producers to label GMO food, but other states must follow before it goes into effect.
Gov. Paul LePage has signed a bill that would require food producers to label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. The law makes Maine the second state in the country to pass such a measure. However, other states must adopt similar legislation before Maine's labeling provision goes into effect.
January 15, 2014
Maine doctor calls DHHS on mother for feeding fresh goat milk to her baby
The federal government is once again illicitly assuming the role of Big Brother dictator in matters relating to parenting and food freedom, this time in a small Maine town.
17-year-old Alorah Gellerson has become the latest target of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which is right now trying to take Alorah's baby away from her for feeding him fresh goat milk fortified with healthy oils like flax and coconut, and liquid infant multivitamins.
August 16, 2013
Child Services Threatens To Take Mother's Baby Over Goat Milk Formula
A mother in Brooklin, Maine was threatened by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) this week after the state learned that she was feeding her three-month-old son goat milk formula.
While DHHS insists that goat milk formula is dangerous to infants, many doctors disagree. Not only do many doctors disagree with the DHHS, almost all of the state’s demands and threats toward Gellerson’s son are proven to be truly dangerous to children. The state’s decision to force Gellerson’s baby to take only store-bought formula, which contains a measly 12 minerals (dog food contains 40), could likely cause harm to the child that it would have never experienced in its mother’s care.
August 10, 2013
Troubled teen finds a way to break cycle
"Dan Lemieux," said Craig Deveau, a former caseworker for what was then Maine Child Protective Services, over the telephone last week. "You wrote about him a long time ago -- it must have been back in the '90s.
He told me how, when he was just 8, he'd sometimes slept by a dumpster near his home in Bath because his parents had not a clue about the responsibility that comes with a child. He told me how, at 9 or 10, he was sexually abused by a group of teenagers who treated him more like a toy than a little boy. He told me how 11 through 13 was a drug-induced blur and how, at 14, he tried to commit suicide by sticking a radio antenna down his throat.
July 31, 2013
Access to College Classes Goes to Governor
For many years, Maine homeschool families had fair access to low-cost college classes through the Aspirations Program (also called Senior Year Plus and Post-Secondary Enrollment Option).
But in 2010 bureaucrats blocked access unless the student also signed up for a regular class at the local high school. Homeschoolers of Maine and HSLDA teamed up to correct this injustice. They worked on legislation during the 2011-2012 session. A bill they developed made progress, but was not enacted.
July 2, 2013
Children's deaths from abuse still national shame
* Angela Palmer, 4, burned to death in an oven in Auburn, Maine, in 1984; mother's boyfriend convicted of murder.
These horrific cases from different times and different parts of the country, like hundreds of other incidents each year in which children die as the result of abuse and neglect, attracted attention. Grisly details of the children's deaths generated headlines and sometimes action -- a person arrested, a case worker blamed, an agency director fired, a local law changed.
April 1, 2013
Maine attorney general backs defense of Indian Child Welfare Act
Attorney General Janet Mills announced Thursday that she has signed on to a case in the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the full enforcement of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act.
The Indian Child Welfare Act spells out federal standards meant to ensure that the rights of Native American children, their parents and their tribes are fully respected in child custody proceedings, according to a press release from Mills. It requires that a parent who is a tribal member be given strong preference for custody and requires that in an adoption, placement of an Indian child whose parents have given up their rights must be prioritized to the child's extended family or other Indian families.
March 28, 2013
Taken: Maine addresses native child welfare issues
PLEASANT POINT, Maine -- Imagine being taken from your family at an early age and growing up in a place where no one looks like you, speaks your language or shares your beliefs. It happened to generations of native Americans.
Now the State of Maine is not only acknowledging its role is the saga but is entering into an unprecedented process to address the scope and depth of the issue. Maine is the first state to agree to a Truth and Reconciliation process with its four Wabanaki tribes and the first government in the world to do so in a format where all parties work together from the get go.
November 17, 2012
Some Maine state workers get raises
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has given some child protective services caseworkers raises of as much as 9 percent despite a wage freeze for state employees that dates to 2009.
According to internal emails, the raises for 135 employees handed out last week were meant to boost morale and reduce turnover. An email sent Thursday from Therese Cahill-Low, director of the Office of Child and Family Services, to employees details the raises.
August 21, 2012
Closing of Casey cuts Maine foster care services
PORTLAND - More than 90 Maine children in foster care will have to get services elsewhere because Casey Family Services is shutting its offices in seven states to redirect those resources into grants.
Casey Family Services, an arm of the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, provides foster care, adoption and family reunification services in seven Northeast states, including Maine. It has offices in Portland and Bangor.
July 3, 2012
Maine Teacher Sentenced to 16 Years for Child Porn
BANGOR, Maine -- A former Maine kindergarten teacher who admits producing child pornography involving four children in his class is going to prison for 16 years.
Forty-one-year-old Rob Mocarsky was arrested in January after a parent complained he made one of his pupils dress up in a French maid's costume and then took photos of her. Police say a search of his school and computers revealed he took sexually explicit photographs of four of his pupils.
November 8, 2011
'Mighty pill' poisons county's quality of life
No place in Maine has been harder hit by painkiller abuse than Washington County.
Maine was hit earlier and harder by prescription painkiller abuse than much of the nation. And Washington County, at its eastern tip, has been considered ground zero for painkiller abuse in Maine for the past decade, since an explosion of addiction in Down East Maine and in West Virginia earned OxyContin the nickname "hillbilly heroin."
October 15, 2011
A cure that came with a curse
Maine's out-of-control pill habit is among the worst in the nation, and all of us bear the costs of its abuse.
Ten years ago, Maine's former U.S. attorney called prescription pain-pill abuse "the greatest criminal problem and possibly the greatest social problem facing Maine." The problem, as it turns out, was just getting started. Substance abuse in Maine is now estimated to cost $1.18 billion a year, or $900 for every man, woman and child, and much of that comes from misuse of prescription drugs.
October 15, 2011
Budget Cuts Hit Talented Social Services Team
Crucial staff and money-saving strategies that have helped kids in jeopardy have been -- or are in danger of being -- eliminated.
Beougher, who up until recently was director of Maine's Office of Children and Family Services, was recruited in 2004 to help the state as it embarked on an ambitious and smartly-focused effort to overhaul how it provided services to the state's children and families. The crux of reform: Push down the number of kids in congregate care and push up rates of permanency.
October 11, 2011
Couple fights to regain custody after adopted son taken by DHHS
Full-page advertisements in daily newspapers around Maine in recent months have urged other Mainers with child custody gripes with DHHS to share their stories with them.
These efforts come in advance of a looming federal lawsuit from the Handlers against DHHS, which Russell vowed will expose the department's systematic failings. "It's not going to be your average complaint," Russell, 62, said of the lawsuit. "It's going to blow the doors off the building in Augusta." DHHS annually handles hundreds of child custody cases; few, if any, have ever been so vigorously challenged in such a public arena.
September 30, 2011
Abuse Allegations Continue Despite Lack of Clear Welfare Fraud Statistics
Claims of widespread welfare fraud are once again demonizing the poor, unemployed and disabled, despite a severe lack of evidence in the form of welfare fraud statistics, as to how much money or how many people are actually bilking the system.
During his 1976 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan introduced what would prove to be a persisting urban legend: the Cadillac-driving welfare queen. More recently, the Los Angeles Times ran a report showing $69 million in California welfare money was being drawn out-of-state. However, it isn't illegal for a welfare recipient to use money out of state, as long as they get clearance from a case worker. Indeed, fraud was an issue with the case, as $11 million of that money was actually used at casinos in Las Vegas.
June 4, 2011
Food Freedom and Family Farm
Not only did a Maine town become the first local government outside California to ban GMO crops, but Maine towns have also passed ordinances banning corporate water extraction.
A hotbed of "radicals" - you know, people who protect their environment - would naturally be the first in the nation to assert food sovereignty. Apparently, the state loses inspection funding if it does not impose federal laws on food production and processing. The towns received a letter from the Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources informing them that state law pre-empts the ordinances...
June 2, 2011
Rising food prices hard to swallow
FREEPORT - Jody Bennett said about the only food she buys at a supermarket these days is coffee. The Freeport resident is raising her own beef and growing her own vegetables, instead of purchasing such items in the store.
After two years of the lowest food inflation rates since the 1960s, food prices are headed up again. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that nationally, overall food prices jumped 3.9 percent from April 2010 to last month. Coffee prices have soared nearly 14 percent in the past year. Beef and pork prices shot up 10.4 percent. Dairy prices are up 6.3 percent, eggs up 4.8 percent and fresh vegetables up 4.5 percent.
May 29, 2011
Julianne McCrery questioned about death of son
CONCORD, Mass. -- The mother of the boy found dead in Maine was questioned by Massachusetts and Maine State Police on Wednesday. WHDH-TV in Boston is reporting she has confessed to killing her son.
Julianne McCrery, who is from Irving, Texas, reportedly cooperated with Massachusetts State Police as she was interviewed at the Concord barracks. She has not been charged. The Maine Department of Public Safety and the Maine Attorney General's Office say they have positively identified the boy. The name of the little boy has been reported as Camden Pierce Hughes.
May 18, 2011
ME foster care system experiences big change
PORTLAND, Maine -- In the past 10 years, the Department of Health and Human Services has had a major change in thinking when it comes to the foster care system.
It used to be that family members were the last place DHHS would turn when a child had to be taken away from parents. And re-unification was not necessarily the goal. Not anymore. Now, DHHS first goes to family members to see if they can care for a child, and except in the most egregious cases, DHHS works with parents to take the steps they need to get their children back.
May 18, 2011
Mandatory DNA sampling proposed in some criminal cases in Maine
Persons charged with a serious crime or a sex crime against a child would have to submit to DNA sampling under a measure that would greatly expand the state DNA database, but it is drawing fire from civil libertarians and those worried about the cost.
"This is already the law in 24 states," said Rep. Maeghan Maloney, D-Augusta, sponsor of the measure. "This would do two things. One, it exonerates people who are innocent, and two it has been able to find people who are not innocent." The measure covers murder, any crime that has a penalty of at least five years in prison and sex crimes against a child ranging from sexual abuse of a minor to soliciting a child by computer to commit a prohibited act.
March 27, 2011
Alert Kidjacked to Maine CPS news!
Jacked Up: No Where To Turn
Most states have safe haven laws on the books, permitting a new parent to drop off an infant at a local fire department or hospital without repercussions. This is a laudable service that I am certain has had a positive impact on more than one infants life over the years.
May 15, 2010