Articles by: James Straub

James Straub

Reporter at Ellsworth American
Former Ellsworth American reporter James Straub covered the towns on Deer Isle and the Blue Hill Peninsula. He lives in Brooklin.
  • Chris Ross Back from Nashville with Second Album

    {youtube}mqYJegYCp4s&list{/youtube} HANCOCK — With the May 8 release of his second album, “Halfway to Wonderland,” Chris Ross will be well on his way to meeting a major goal. “In the end, I want to be known as a songwriter,” he said in a recent interview at his home in Hancock. The 10 original songs on

  • Playwright Tells Harriet Jacobs True Story

    PENOBSCOT — Easily the darkest chapter in U.S. history, slavery was abolished nearly 150 years ago, but issues related to slavery are as timely as ever. In her play “Hatty,” Penobscot writer Bundy Boit demonstrates that those issues are not only timeless, but they also transcend race and gender. A play with music in two

  • Retired Cop Cultivates Pluots, Apriums

    Retired Cop Cultivates Pluots, Apriums

    SURRY — Selectman Dale Sprinkle may have left California for retirement in Surry, but he wasn’t about to leave the West Coast flora behind. Instead, he has cultivated some surprising fruit trees on his four-acre property on Newbury Neck. On a recent afternoon, he pointed out a freshly budding pluot tree. The pluot originated in

  • Deer Isle-Stonington Students Combine Exercise and Education

    Deer Isle-Stonington Students Combine Exercise and Education

    DEER ISLE — Modern technology is often blamed for a decline in health due to inactive lifestyles, but students at Deer Isle-Stonington High School are using aerobic exercise to recharge their cell phones, iPods and other electronic gadgets. Along the way, they are discovering how much effort it takes to generate electricity by using their

  • Deer Isle-Stonington Graduating Class Forging Diverse Paths

    Deer Isle-Stonington Graduating Class Forging Diverse Paths

    DEER ISLE — The diverse student population at Deer Isle-Stonington High School is clearly illustrated by a glimpse of future plans among its graduating class. In a class of 36, three members already hold professional lobster fishing licenses and three others have been accepted to Harvard University. “Deer Isle-Stonington High School really is a school

  • State’s Hospitals Ranked Best in Nation for Quality Care

    ELLSWORTH — They often struggle to operate in the black, but Maine hospitals lead the nation when it comes to delivering quality care. The Maine Hospital Association (MHA) recently announced that on average, “Maine offers higher quality hospital care than any other state in the country, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and

  • Superintendent Search Under Way in Union 76

    SEDGWICK — It’s been nearly two decades since school board members in Union 76 have searched for a superintendent, but they are busy sharpening those skills in anticipation of Bob Webster’s retirement on Aug. 1. For the past 19 years, Webster has served as superintendent of Union 76, which includes Deer Isle, Stonington, Brooklin and

  • Town Office Renovation Funds Approved in Brooklin

    Town Office Renovation Funds Approved in Brooklin

    BROOKLIN — Voters at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting approved spending up to $300,000 to renovate the town office, increased spending for veterans’ graves and decreased spending for police protection. A proposal to renovate the former school that houses the town office met with some opposition from speakers who questioned the prudence of spending money on

  • Union 93 Special Education Director Retires

    Union 93 Special Education Director Retires

    BLUE HILL — Steve Peer, director of special education for Union 93, will retire in August after a 26-year career in the field. Peer, 57, began work as a special education director in Machias and has directed special services for Union 93 — Brooksville, Blue Hill, Penobscot and Castine — for the past 23 years.

  • DEP Regs Scuttle Freshwater Stone Expansion Plans

    DEP Regs Scuttle Freshwater Stone Expansion Plans

    ORLAND — In a terse letter to Governor Paul LePage, Orland business owner Jeff Gammelin let the state’s leading business advocate know the score: DEP-1 — Freshwater Stone-0. Gammelin, president and owner of Freshwater Stone, wants the Governor and others to know that “inflexible” regulations at the Department of Environmental Protection have scuttled his plans