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Center reporters awarded top New England journalism award — twice

New England’s leading media association has awarded two of its top journalism awards
to The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. The New England Newspaper and Press Association on Thursday recognized the Center with two Publick Occurrences Awards for its expose called, “Rx for Theft,” and its profile of governor Paul LePage. The press association presented 12 Publick Occurrences Awards this year for “the very best work that New England newspapers produce … whether it’s individual or team stories, series, spot news coverage, columns or photojournalism …”

Newspapers of all sizes, from large dailies to weeklies to small online media such as the Center, competed for the awards. The Center was the only news organization to win two of the awards this year. In awarding the prize to Center senior reporters Naomi Schalit and John Christie for their series on pharmacists who steal drugs, the judges said, “The report showed that the Maine pharmacy board was too lax in reissuing licenses. Continue Reading →

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Pah-tay with the pols

Today, we introduce our readers to “Political Party Time” — or, as our colleague Kathy Kiely from the Sunlight Foundation calls it, political “money porn.” It’s a window into how politics really work in Maine, where readers can get the inside view of the soliciting that goes on behind the virtuous image promoted by many Maine politicians. Continue Reading →

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Bad behavior in state workplace costs taxpayers nearly $2m in settlements

Maine State Prison, Warren

One corrections officer spread a false rumor that the new female officer at the state prison in South Windham was a stripper. Another one called her “Genitalia,” instead of her real name, which also began with a “G.”

She was asked by a colleague if he could measure her buttocks. When she said no, he did it anyway. She was asked abouther favorite sexual positions and to describe her breasts. When her complaints were not taken seriously, she quit her job and filed sexual harassment and retaliation complaints against the Department of Corrections with the state Human Rights Commission, detailing what she said happened to her in a sworn statement. Continue Reading →

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Rep. Martin had problems paying off taxes and loans from two government agencies

John Martin. Photo Don Eno, St. John Valley Times

Just as state Rep. John Martin, one of the most powerful Maine politicians of the last three decades, is emerging from the bankruptcy of the convenience store he co-owns, along comes another financial problem.
And this one has a new wrinkle – this time the back debt is to a government agency. Continue Reading →

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