Barbara Cariddi

Digital News Content Producer

Barbara grew up in Biddeford, Maine. She earned a master’s in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s in English from the University of Southern Maine.

After stints as a lobsterwoman, woodworker and newspaper editor, Barbara joined Maine Public in 1989. She left in 1994 to explore television, specifically at WCSH6-TV, the NBC affiliate in Portland. In 1999, Barbara began producing, reporting and anchoring Maine Public Television’s public affairs program Maine Watch. She returned to Maine Public Radio in 2003, and now helps oversee digital news content for Maine Public’s website. She also produces and hosts the daily news podcast “This Day in Maine.”

Barbara’s interests include music, theater, literature and the arts in general. For several years, she sang in a local jazz group called !zing. Barbara’s daughter Vanessa is an opera singer.

Ways to Connect

A Portland teenager who died in February after having some wisdom teeth extracted was killed by a flesh-eating bacteria.

That's according the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which released its report on the death of Benjamin LaMontagne to the Portland Press Herald.

The Maine Military Authority in Limestone has won a $19 million contract to overhaul dual bus/trolleys for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. Gov. Paul LePage says the contract could increase to $24 million.

The MMA was founded in 1997 to repair and rebuild military vehicles for the National Guard. In 2012, when military contracts dried up, the company turned to overhauling school buses, after upgrading its facilities to accommodate large and over-sized vehicles.

A group trying to convince Maine cities and towns to legalize marijuana possession for adults has submitted signatures in the town of York to get the measure considered for the ballot.

Citizens for a Safer Maine handed in more than 200 signatures today to the York town clerk, twice the number needed. If the town's board of selectmen doesn't act on the petition, supporters can still get the measure on the ballot if they collect enough signatures to equal 10 percent of the local votes cast in the last gubernatorial election within 30 days.

Josie Huang

The former Hostess Brands bakery in Biddeford is for sale, putting an end to former workers' hopes that their jobs might be revived.

Hostess Brands shut down the plant when it filed for bankruptcy in 2012.  Five hundred Maine workers - and 18,000 workers nationwide - lost their jobs.

Hostess was subsequently acquired by Flowers Foods, based in Georgia. Flowers is asking $8.45 million for the Biddeford plant.

Courtesy Maine Warden Service

Maine game wardens yesterday resumed searching for a Tennessee woman who when missing nearly a year ago while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine.

State wildlife officials say they found no sign of Geraldine Largay, who was 66 years old when she was last seen July 22 at Poplar Lean-To, where she had spent the night with other hikers. Largay was planning to hike to Spaulding Lean-To, about eight miles away, but never showed up.

Portland Fire Department

Portland Fire Department officials have identified the veteran firefighter who died Monday in a scuba-diving accident.

Authorities say Cpt. Michael Kucsma, 43, a decorated firefighter who had been on the job for 21 years, died during the off-duty recreational dive in Casco Bay, near the Maine Yacht Center.

Kucsma was a experienced diver, officials say. He was reported missing yesterday afternoon by a diving partner. The Portland Fire Department responded to the scene, and rescuers found Kucsma but were unable to resuscitate him.

Great Northern Paper Co. has reached an agreement with the town of Millinocket to settle a $2.24 million property tax dispute.  The agreement also paves the way for the development of a $140 million pellet plant at the Millinocket mill.

The town council voted 5-0 yesterday to accept the agreement, which puts the town third in line for proceeds from Great Northern's auction of its No. 11 paper machine and other equipment.  Ahead of the town are the auction company and the Internal Revenue Service. The auction is scheduled for Thursday.

Maine has canceled its controversial contract with the Alexander Group. The move comes after reports that some parts of the report on Maine's welfare system were plagiarized from a national think tank.

"We determined there was value contained in the content that was produced under this agreement. But serious problems with citations in the text of two reports warranted both financial penalties and an end to future work to be performed under the contract," DHHS officials say in a statement.

A closer look at job growth and unemployment numbers paint a mixed picture of Maine's economic recovery from the great recession. 

That's according to a new report from the progressive Maine Center for Economic Policy, which indicates that, despite improvement in the statewide unemployment rate and growth in the number of Mainers with jobs, Maine's recovery is far from complete and is uneven based on age and geography. 

MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin is one of the report's authors.

Maine law enforcement and local child abuse prevention councils will participate in a variety of events throughout April for Child Abuse Prevention month.

Events planned for the month are designed to bring attention to the need to prevent child abuse and neglect and to recognize the community partnerships that work on the issue.  

Speaking at a State House event, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said that prevention begins in the community.