A.J. Higgins

Statewide News Reporter

A.J. came to Maine Public Radio in August 2007 after a stint as a staff writer for Blethen Maine Newspapers. His news coverage for the Kennebec Journal in Augusta also appeared in the Waterville Morning Sentinel, the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram. Prior to joining the Kennebec Journal, A.J. served for 13 years as political editor and State House bureau chief for the Bangor Daily News.

He began working for the BDN in 1972 while still a senior at Bangor High School, when his first job was casting the lead plates for the printing presses in the paper’s stereotype department. In the ensuing 34 years, A.J. moved up to the editorial department, where he quickly immersed himself in nearly every facet of news reporting, editing and photography.

In addition to his extensive coverage in the greater Bangor area, he also worked in the paper’s Presque Isle bureau and was named bureau chief of the paper’s Hancock County operations in Ellsworth in 1988. He was assigned to the State House in 1993.

While A.J.’s reporting on Maine Public Radio has largely centered around coverage of events in Augusta, he has turned his reporting chops to issues and topics taking place across the entire state.

A.J. resides in Manchester with his wife, Diane.

Ways to Connect

Maine's hospitals are making progress in collecting more than $42 million in outstanding payments from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but 2nd District Congressperson Bruce Poliquin said the government can do better.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Independent Sen. Angus King received the support Friday of two former prominent Maine U.S. senators from opposing parties.

A new contract between Local 1400 of the Communications Workers of America and Consolidated Communications could potentially eliminate 70 of 128 call center positions in northern New England.

All 70 of the potentially-eliminated jobs are in Maine. Local union chapter President Don Trementozzi said Thursday that agreeing to a series of early retirement incentives and placing the Maine jobs at risk was a better option than what the company had originally offered the union.

CMP

Central Maine Power Company's (CMP) handling of thousands of customer complaints regarding higher charges last winter has generated a new class action lawsuit.

Flickr

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says his review of documents released from the now-disbanded Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity show the Republican-dominated panel was determined to endorse claims of widespread voter fraud without any supporting evidence.

Families have less than one month to find new long-term care facilities for 22 residents of a Penobscot County nursing home, which is closing its doors Sept. 1.

In a prepared statement, the management of Mountain Heights Care Facility in Patten said that declining occupancy and MaineCare rates, in addition to a recent increase in the minimum wage, are the primary reasons for the closure.

Patten Town Manager Raymond Foss said the region will be hard hit.

Themba Hadebe / AP Photo

Democratic candidates for the Maine State Senate say that their campaigns have received a boost from former President Barack Obama.

Included in Obama’s first wave of endorsements Wednesday, issued via Twitter, were Louis Luchini of Ellsworth; Linda Sanborn of Gorham and Laura Fortman, of Nobleboro. Two of the candidates say they were completely surprised by the endorsement.

Flickr

Brunswick-area residents are being warned to steer clear of wild animals acting oddly after six separate fox attacks within the past six weeks.

Several foxes have been confirmed rabid. In the meantime, several state agencies are collaborating on a plan to target raccoons by distributing more than 350,000 baits laced with oral rabies vaccine throughout northern and eastern Maine.

Three people have died in a plane crash at the Greenville Municipal Airport, which was reported to the Maine State Police shortly before 11 a.m. Monday.

The accident was reported at 10:55 a.m. when an Aerostar AEST crashed during its approach to the Greenville Municipal Airport. According to a prepared statement from the FAA, the flight departed from Pembroke, Ontario and was heading for Charlottetown Airport on Prince Edward Island when the pilot decided to land at Greenville.

Downeast Salmon Federation

A biologist for the Downeast Salmon Federation is monitoring what he says is another sizeable fish kill on the Union River below a Brookfield Asset Management dam in Ellsworth.

Fisheries biologist Brett Ciccotelli says that he was alerted to the fish kill Friday afternoon and arrived to find hundreds of dead and dying baby alewives, also known as river herring, near the bottom of the Leonard Lake Dam.

Workforce expansion, workforce development and workforce retention continue to pose major hurdles for Maine employers, according to a new report from the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Development Foundation and Educate Maine.

The three development groups said Thursday that Maine's quality of life, the work ethic of its residents and the state’s abundant natural resources continue to attract new businesses.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

They're big, they're wide — and they’re definitely not your grandfather’s all terrain vehicles. 

Jennifer Mitchell/ Maine Public

MOUNT DESERT, Maine -- The vessel Sunbeam V, after more than two decades of constant, year-round service needs some major repairs if it's to continue its mission to serve Maine's remote island communities, says Maine Seacoast Mission, which oversees the Sunbeam's operations. 

Recreational Kayaking in Maine

An E. coli outbreak in Otisfield has closed the town beach on Pleasant Lake until further notice.

Anne Pastore, the town's administrative assistant, said that reports of sickened swimmers were received Tuesday and that by Wednesday, test samples proved positive for the presence of E. coli bacteria in the water.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

A plan to relocate the high speed ferry service known as “the CAT” from Portland to its former port in Bar Harbor is being eyed cautiously.

Some Bar Harbor residents worry that the ferry operator may be taking on a greater expense than it can handle. During Tuesday night meeting of the Town Council, some critics expressed fears that local taxpayers could be stuck with a hefty bill, should Bay Ferries Ltd decide to terminate service to the community as it did nine years ago.

Pages