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Searchlight Investigations

Searchlight Investigations Searchlight is Courier Publications LLC's series of in-depth investigations into issues affecting Kn

Operating as usual

Check the Republican Journal and our new publication, the Midcoast Weekender, now for the latest 3-part Searchlight inve...
06/19/2017
Seaweed industry threatened by ruling against harvesters - By Jordan Bailey

Check the Republican Journal and our new publication, the Midcoast Weekender, now for the latest 3-part Searchlight investigation into the seaweed lawsuit under appeal in Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Read part 1 here: https://waldo.villagesoup.com/p/seaweed-industry-threatened-by-ruling-against-harvesters/1656347

At Atlantic Laboratories on a recent morning, workers were funneling a truckload of seaweed harvested at Tenants Harbor into a chute that led to a dehydrator. Billowing clouds of white sea-scented steam poured out of a chimney above them. After three passes through the dehydrator — powered by Maine…

Due to an editorial decision, this story will not be running in our papers.  We look forward to investigating more issue...
12/18/2016

Due to an editorial decision, this story will not be running in our papers. We look forward to investigating more issues affecting Knox and Waldo counties in the new year!

We didn't get to view the full case files on Dennis Dechaine until after our series on his case ran in our papers in July. We're back at the AG's office in Augusta today to follow up on something interesting we found there. Story coming soon.

We didn't get to view the full case files on Dennis Dechaine until after our series on his case ran in our papers in Jul...
11/16/2016

We didn't get to view the full case files on Dennis Dechaine until after our series on his case ran in our papers in July. We're back at the AG's office in Augusta today to follow up on something interesting we found there. Story coming soon.

#8: A look at New England's only cement plant and its environmental legacy, published in April. http://knox.villagesoup....
10/26/2016
With quarry expansion, town's oldest, most valuable industry endures - By Jordan Bailey

#8: A look at New England's only cement plant and its environmental legacy, published in April. http://knox.villagesoup.com/p/with-quarry-expansion-towns-oldest-most-valuable-industry-endures/1508023

Part 2: Dragon's cement waste piles will take 'centuries' to recycle http://knox.villagesoup.com/p/dragons-cement-waste-piles-will-take-centuries-to-recycle/1518811?cid=8553465

Thomaston — The town of Thomaston is built on a wedge of Precambrian rock beginning at the head of the St. George river estuary and tapering to the northeast into parts of Rockport, Rockland and Camden. The limestone this formation contains has supported the lime and cement industries the town has d...

Missed one! Here's our fourth investigation which looked into the different visa programs for foreign workers with seaso...
10/25/2016
Why employers pick foreign workers over locals - By Jordan Bailey

Missed one! Here's our fourth investigation which looked into the different visa programs for foreign workers with seasonal jobs in the Midcoast. It ran in papers in August, 2015.

http://waldo.villagesoup.com/p/why-employers-pick-foreign-workers-over-locals/1386356

And part 2: Student visas intended for cultural exchange predominate among foreign workers http://waldo.villagesoup.com/p/student-visas-intended-for-cultural-exchange-predominate-among-foreign-workers/1386357

This is the first of a two-part series on seasonal foreign workers in the Midcoast. In Part 1, we will explore why employers chose foreign workers, and next week in Part 2, we will explore why student visas are used far more often than work visas.

Our third investigation, published July 3, 2015, was on school drug policies. http://waldo.villagesoup.com/p/local-schoo...
10/21/2016
Local schools tough on drugs and alcohol, against federal recommendations - By Jordan Bailey

Our third investigation, published July 3, 2015, was on school drug policies. http://waldo.villagesoup.com/p/local-schools-tough-on-drugs-and-alcohol-against-federal-recommendations/1365047?cid=7127014

Local schools are carrying on the zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policies started in 1971 with President Nixon's War on Drugs, despite evolving understanding about those policies' effectiveness and current federal guidelines against suspensions and expulsions.

We are posting all past Searchlight investigations here over the next few days. Here is our second, which we completed i...
10/21/2016
What a proposed natural gas power plant would mean for Rockland - By Jordan Bailey

We are posting all past Searchlight investigations here over the next few days. Here is our second, which we completed in May 2015, close to the beginning of the discussion about Rockland's proposed power plant. Links to articles on the latest developments can be found at the end of this story.
http://knox.villagesoup.com/p/what-a-proposed-natural-gas-power-plant-would-mean-for-rockland/1349417?cid=4557323

Rockland — We tried to find out as much as possible about the proposal to bring a new natural gas fired power plant to the property presently occupied by City Hall and the Public Works garage — What are the economic benefits of the project? Could anyone lose their property as a new natural gas pipel...

Here is a link to our first investigation from February 2015, on concussions and school concussion policies:http://waldo...
10/20/2016
Invisible injury: young athlete talks about recovery from a severe concussion - By Jordan Bailey

Here is a link to our first investigation from February 2015, on concussions and school concussion policies:
http://waldo.villagesoup.com/p/invisible-injury-yo…/1307865…

This is the first installment of a three-part series on concussions. Part 1 will look at the experience of concussion and new treatments; Part 2 will look at the ways area schools minimize risk for students who have suffered concussions; and in Part 3 we will hear about two athletes' experiences und...

10/20/2016

We've had some requests for past Searchlight stories, and since there isn't a section on our papers' websites for them, we will be posting them here. You can find links to the other parts in the series at the end of the articles.

Not really an investigation, but I found out this update on the Special Operations Group last week while researching ano...
09/10/2016
Special Operations Group officers no longer carry guns in prison - By Jordan Bailey

Not really an investigation, but I found out this update on the Special Operations Group last week while researching another story. http://waldo.villagesoup.com/p/special-operations-group-officers-no-longer-carry-guns-in-prison/1568633?cid=346470

Special Operations Group officers at Maine State Prison stopped carrying firearms while patrolling the prison after a department review of the policy found it to be against American Correctional Association standards.

07/28/2016
Dechaine's favorite book (ATM)

The full 3-part series, "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt? The case of Dennis Dechaine," is online now at knox.villagesoup.com and waldo.villagesoup.com. And our sites now offer 3 free stories per week! Part 3, a transcript of our inteview with Dennis Dechaine, is in papers this week. Here is a clip of the interview:

Sometimes the information you need is not on the Internet, but tucked away in between pieces of paper in a box in the ba...
02/26/2016

Sometimes the information you need is not on the Internet, but tucked away in between pieces of paper in a box in the basement of an old government building. At the DEP file room in Augusta this afternoon.

Clammers and wormers face off over declining resource - By Jordan Bailey
02/19/2016
Clammers and wormers face off over declining resource - By Jordan Bailey

Clammers and wormers face off over declining resource - By Jordan Bailey

In response to what clammers are calling a “near-collapse” of their fishery on the St. George River estuary, five towns on the river, along with five towns near Brunswick, are pushing for state regulators to ban harvesting other species in clam conservation areas. The move targets wormers, who comb…

Why is there so much tension between clammers and wormers harvesting on the mudflats of the St. George River? This past ...
02/18/2016

Why is there so much tension between clammers and wormers harvesting on the mudflats of the St. George River? This past year the usual exchanges of words on the flats has increased to verbal fights, harassment complaints, police being called -- even tire-slashing. Read about the efforts of clammers to protect their resource and wormers to defend their rights in this week's Courier Gazette, Camden Herald and Republican Journal.

What is the Special Operations Group and what is it doing at Maine State Prison? Members of the Department of Correction...
01/20/2016

What is the Special Operations Group and what is it doing at Maine State Prison? Members of the Department of Corrections' armed tactical team have been guarding prisoners on a daily basis since Nov. 1. It may be the first time ever weapons - loaded with rubber bullets and beanbag rounds - have been allowed inside the fenced perimeter of the facility. Check out our papers tonight to find out what officials and prisoners have to say about the new initiative.

(Find the full story in the Jan. 21 Courier Gazette, Camden Herald, and Republican Journal)

Back at Maine State Prison to interview Correctional Officers for an upcoming story.
01/04/2016

Back at Maine State Prison to interview Correctional Officers for an upcoming story.

Medomak Middle School eighth graders are doing their own investigative articles this month, so Jordan Bailey met with th...
11/05/2015

Medomak Middle School eighth graders are doing their own investigative articles this month, so Jordan Bailey met with them today to help them with their stories and talk about what it's like to be an investigative reporter.

We're at the New England First Amendment Institute keynote address by Boston Globe  reporters Sacha Pfeiffer, Michael Re...
10/18/2015

We're at the New England First Amendment Institute keynote address by Boston Globe reporters Sacha Pfeiffer, Michael Rezendes and Walter Robinson. They won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for their investigation into abuses by Catholic priests in Boston, the subject of the upcoming feature film "Spotlight."... They say don't view this film as a eulogy to the lost art of investigative reporting, but an inspiration to continue it. And they're showing clips of the film.

Check out papers this week to read about our tour of the woodshop at Maine State Prison.
10/06/2015

Check out papers this week to read about our tour of the woodshop at Maine State Prison.

We're at Thomaston Historical Society today finishing up the first part in our series on prison labor. Look for it in th...
09/29/2015

We're at Thomaston Historical Society today finishing up the first part in our series on prison labor. Look for it in the Courier Gazette, Camden Herald and Republican Journal this week!

At Maine State Library today doing research for our next investigation.
09/21/2015

At Maine State Library today doing research for our next investigation.

08/20/2015

Part 2 of our investigation "Student visas, intended for cultural exchange, predominate among foreign workers," is in this week's Courier Gazette, Camden Herald, and The Republican Journal.

Here are some of the workers on student and work visas we met during our research. Read their stories in the Aug 13 and ...
08/14/2015

Here are some of the workers on student and work visas we met during our research. Read their stories in the Aug 13 and 20th issues of our papers.

Have you noticed someone working at a local business who doesn't seem to be from around here? We have a lot of diversity...
08/14/2015
Knox, Waldo work/student visas

Have you noticed someone working at a local business who doesn't seem to be from around here? We have a lot of diversity in our communities this summer: more than 200 foreign workers are in Knox and Waldo counties representing 23 countries, and most of them are students here for cultural exchange. Let's make them feel welcome! Check out this interactive map to find out what countries foreign workers in your area are from:

Businesses certified to employ J1, H2A and H2B visa holders, according to U.S. departments of Labor and State. Click markers for more info.

Jordan Bailey was on VStv's Above the Fold yesterday to talk about her latest Searchlight investigation. Watch it here:
08/14/2015
VStv: Above the Fold with Alan Hinsey

Jordan Bailey was on VStv's Above the Fold yesterday to talk about her latest Searchlight investigation. Watch it here:

VStv is a hyperlocal television station providing news, weather, sports, and entertainment to Midcoast Maine. Real TV, Real Local.

Check out this week's papers for Part 1 of our new investigation on foreign workers at Midcoast businesses this summer.
08/14/2015

Check out this week's papers for Part 1 of our new investigation on foreign workers at Midcoast businesses this summer.

Searchlight Investigations's cover photo
07/30/2015

Searchlight Investigations's cover photo

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