ELLSWORTH — Ellsworth American reporter Jacqueline Weaver has retired after nearly a decade covering eastern Hancock County.
Weaver joined the newspaper in 2008. Her beat covered a geographic area stretching from Lamoine to Steuben.
“Jackie brought many skills to The Ellsworth American,” said Arts Editor Letitia Baldwin. “She has an ability to synthesize complex information and convey it clearly and concisely. Above all, though, I prized Jackie for her ability to listen to people from all walks of life, respect their words and tell their stories in a subtle, but powerful way.”
Weaver, who spent years writing for wire services, enjoyed the personal aspect of community reporting.
“I feel much more connected to what I am doing here because I often write about people I likely will bump into at the supermarket,” she said.
Her first job out of college was with the Concord, N.H., bureau of United Press International during the lead-up to the 1976 presidential primary.
“As the youngest reporter, I was assigned to birddog the candidate everyone was certain was going nowhere — Jimmy Carter,” Weaver said.
Years later, in Hartford, Conn., she joined the Capitol press corps and went on to become Capitol bureau chief.
While raising her daughter, Liz, Weaver did freelance reporting for the New York Times, Reuters and several magazines. In 1999, she was hired by Yale University to publicize research at the medical school and in the science departments.
After years of visiting Corea, she decided to make Maine home in 2008.
“I like the simplicity of life here, the lack of crowds and bumper-to-bumper traffic, the absence of light and noise pollution, the rich cultural opportunities, the interesting people tucked away, living under the radar,” Weaver said.
She profiled many such interesting people during her tenure at the paper. She also covered big issues, such as the disbanding of consolidated school districts and the “trash wars” surrounding a contentious waste-to-biogas plant in Hampden.
“We are the readers’ eyes and ears out in the communities,” Weaver said. “It’s a responsibility.”
American reporter Mike Mandell will be covering eastern Hancock County in the coming weeks until a permanent replacement for Weaver is recruited.