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A black sign reading "Probate Office" is attached to the wall outside the doorway to the office.

Maine’s Part-Time Court

Maine’s probate courts stand alone. Their judges are part-time and elected, and they operate independently from each other and the state supreme court. A lack of oversight by the probate courts may leave Maine’s most vulnerable residents at risk.
The interior of a room at an assisted living facility.

Long-Term Challenge

With the disappearance of nursing home beds across Maine, thousands of aging Mainers are being sent to “nonmedical” residences that aren’t equipped to handle more intensive health needs.

Hooked on Heating Oil

Maine relies on home heating oil more than any other state. Ending that costly dependence could improve lives and fight climate change. This series examines Maine’s reliance on oil, the efforts to transition to new kinds of heat, and the potential for our homes to someday be fossil-free.

Our Picks

A photo of the Woodlands facility. Overlayed the photo are cut out phrases from various DHHS reports about violations. Observed resident with shallow breathing, redness all over body and purple finger nails. Resident number one was struck on the face by employee number one. Based on record review and interview, the facility neglected to protect a resident's health and welfare. Resident was found at 8:40 p.m. outside in the snow.

Maine rarely sanctions residential care facilities even after severe abuse or neglect incidents

An illustrated version of Laurie Wall and Janice Sirois.

Eight deaths raise questions about oversight of Maine’s public guardianships

Mary and Gary Freeman pose for a photo in their test pit.

A remarkable discovery in Maine’s wilderness sparks a debate over the risks and rewards of mining

Judge David Paris speaks with an individual (not shown) in front of a sign that lists him as the county's probate judge.

Calls to overhaul Maine probate courts have stalled for half a century. The most vulnerable people may be at risk.

As residential care homes expand in Maine, seniors don’t always get the care they need

Hooked on heating oil: Maine’s reliance on a dirty, expensive fuel


We are deeply grateful to each and every one of you whose generosity enable us to undertake important investigations and grow our staff.


Sunrise on Casco Bay as seen from a boat.

Marvel at Casco Bay’s breathtaking sunrise cruise

Logo for the Maine's Black Future podcast.

The history of John Brown Russwurm and an interview with Adilah Muhammad

Dave Gutter plays a red guitar while sitting in a chair.

The Songwriter: Dave Gutter talks being a Grammy winner

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