Best of AP — Honorable Mention


AP captivates readers with a tale of wealthy hubris and poisoned trees 

A Poisoned View Image ID : 24164705705962 A cruise ship crosses Penobscot Bay, Tuesday, June 4, 2024, in off the coast of Camden, Maine. A homeowner poisoned a neighbor's trees to get a view of the scenic waterfront, sparking outrage in the community. (AP PHOTP / ROBERT F. BUKATY

A Poisoned View

This story about beauty and the lengths the wealthy can go to ensure their view of it captured the world, ranking among the AP’s top 25 stories globally and becoming the most engaged story of the week for U.S. News.  

It all started after a wealthy Missouri couple purchased an oceanfront home overlooking Camden Harbor in Maine. The home was missing just one thing: Its million-dollar view was blocked by a neighbor’s trees. Documents reviewed by David Sharp show the former CEO of the St. Louis Foundation went to great lengths to remove that obstacle, hauling an herbicide from Missouri to kill the trees.  

That view has cost about $1.7 million in settlements and fines, and that could grow with further testing. The herbicide leached into a neighboring park and the town’s only public ocean beach. And the state attorney general is considering further action.  

Sharp’s excellent storytelling and Robert Bukaty’s intimate, bucolic photos kept readers engaged and drew throngs of people to interact with the news. 

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