June 12, 2013

Augusta AP reporter retires after 32 years

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Glenn Adams, who traveled across the state on his motorcycle to cover politicians, crime and all manner of news in addition to providing in-depth coverage of state government, is retiring from The Associated Press after more than three decades in the Maine State House.

click image to enlarge

Glenn Adams

photo by Robert Bukaty/Associated Press

Adams, 62, of Augusta, covered a wide range of stories, everything from young peace activist Samantha Smith to the state government shutdown under Gov. John McKernan to the current budget battle between the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

During the infamous ice storm of 1998, Adams wrote a first-person account of the hardships of reporting on the story, including using a boat battery to power his cellphone and having a chain saw gash stitched up in a doctor’s office that had no electricity. He likened the latter to a scene from the TV western “Gunsmoke.”

The job also found Adams in the backseat of a Navy F/A-18 Hornet, atop a 400-foot wind turbine, and in Newfoundland for a caribou roundup, not to mention face-to-face with Maine’s political leaders.

“This has been the ride of a lifetime — opportunities and experiences I never dreamed I’d have when I got into this business,” Adams said.

Growing up in Woodbury, N.J., across the river from Philadelphia, Adams launched his journalism career at age 14 when an article he wrote about the Philadelphia Phillies was published in what is now the South Jersey Times.

He ended up at the University of Maine to run track and cross-country and to get a degree in physical education, but veered back into journalism as editor of the Maine Campus, the student newspaper. After leaving UMaine, he met his future wife, Betty, currently a reporter with the Kennebec Journal, while working for Today’s Post in suburban Philadelphia.

The couple traveled the country on Adams’ BMW motorcycle in 1978. The next year, they went to work aboard the cruise ship Queen Elizabeth 2, publishing a daily newspaper for the cruise ship’s passengers.

He returned to Maine in 1981 at the recommendation of then-Augusta AP correspondent Peter Jackson and served 32 years as newsman and correspondent before retiring Wednesday.

His efforts won praise from newsmakers and journalists alike.

“Glenn is one of the hardest-working and most even-handed reporters in the business,” said Cara Rubinsky, the AP’s New England news editor. “His knowledge of Maine politics has been a great asset for AP and we will miss him tremendously.”

Sen. Anne Haskell, D-Cumberland, praised Adams’ understanding of the complexities of the State House and his knowledge of Maine history.

“That history and that background gave depth, color and truth to his stories and that was an important part of what Glenn brought to his profession,” she said.

Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, described Adams as someone who’s “careful about his sources, careful about the accuracy of his reports, and is careful about presenting only the truth.”
 

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