Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

State House Bureau Chief

Signage for a T-Mobile store is pictured in Los Angeles in this August 2011 file photo.

13,000 T-Mobile cellphone customers in Maine eligible for part of $90 million national settlement

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 19, 2014, at 1:58 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Some 13,000 Mainers who are former and current customers of cellphone carrier T-Mobile USA Inc. might be eligible for part of a $90 million settlement against the company for engaging in a practice known as “mobile cramming.” Mobile cramming, according to a news release from Maine Attorney …

Maine licensing official calls privacy concerns over new medical marijuana card system ‘misinformation’

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 19, 2014, at 12:30 p.m.
AUGUSTA | An official with the Department of Health and Human Services has reacted to privacy concerns raised by the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine by accusing the group of “disseminating misinformation and unnecessarily creating fear.” Dr. Dustin Sulak, one of the leading proponents of medical marijuana in Maine, …
Rep. Ken Fredette, R-Newport

Maine launches electronic monitoring program for high-risk domestic violence offenders

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 18, 2014, at 11:47 a.m.
AUGUSTA | An electronic monitoring program for people deemed to be some of Maine’s most dangerous domestic violence perpetrators will begin in three counties following the allocation of funds this week by Gov. Paul LePage. The purpose of the pilot programs is for the state to research the use …

Maine advocates for ending Cuban trade embargo praise diplomatic breakthrough

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 17, 2014, at 6:03 p.m.
BRUNSWICK | It was 2006 and the Brunswick-Trinidad Sister City Association had days of unforgettable events arranged, advertised and ready to roll. But as the organization’s members have come to expect, international politics scuttled the plan. The association and other organizations had planned for famed Cuban painter Elio Vilva …
Mt. Waldo Plastics owners (from left) Michael and Stacy Thibodeau, Jenifer Lloyd from the Eastern Maine Medical Center Foundation, and Charlene Boggins of Veazie pose with a ceremonial check presented Wednesday to the foundation.

‘Pink Snofighter’ fundraiser shovels $10,000 toward cancer research at EMMC

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 17, 2014, at 4:38 p.m.
FRANKFORT | A limited-edition run of “Pink Snofighter” shovels by Mt. Waldo Plastics of Frankfort resulted in the donation of more than $10,000 to Eastern Maine Medical Center’s “Champion the Cure Challenge” on Wednesday. The money will directly benefit research at EMMC’s Cancer Care operation. Mt. Waldo Plastics, which …

Maine Supreme Court upholds $750K award to victim of bicycle accident

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 17, 2014, at 12:19 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday upheld a $750,000 award to the victim of a 2010 bicycle accident and in the process clarified motorists in Maine are liable for cyclists’ safety. Monica Semian, a Romanian exchange student, was living and working in Ogunquit during the summer …
Cory Darveau and his wife, Christina, of Bucksport lost their daughter Taylor Darveau in a car accident on Oct. 3, 2013.  The Darveaus came up with the idea of T.A.Y.L.O.R. tags that they hope would be placed on vehicles that are used by young drivers with intermediate driver's license. T.A.Y.L.O.R. stands for Thinking About Your Life On the Road.

Proposed ‘Taylor’s Law’ would mandate decals on newly licensed Maine drivers’ vehicles

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 16, 2014, at 3:55 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Two state senators have answered a grieving family’s call for additional restrictions on newly licensed Maine drivers to prevent them from transporting passengers who aren’t family members. Taylor Darveau, 15, died in an October 2013 crash when she was riding in a car driven by a 16-year-old …

National teen drug survey shows higher edible pot use in medical marijuana states, including Maine

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 16, 2014, at 2:16 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Opponents of legalizing marijuana pointed to Tuesday’s release of new data that indicate a markedly higher use of edible marijuana products among teenagers in states like Maine, where medical marijuana is legal, as proof that making pot more available to adults could lead to more abuse by …
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (left) and U.S. Sen. Angus King speak after a press conference at the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan.

Susan Collins, Angus King named to new Senate committees

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 12, 2014, at 5:57 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King on Friday announced that they have picked up new committee assignments for the 114th Congress, which begins in January. In addition to remaining on her previous committees, Collins, a Republican, will rejoin the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, …

BDN survey seeks the five best economic development ideas for prolonged focus

on Dec. 12, 2014, at 1:37 p.m.
Do you want to improve Maine? The Bangor Daily News does. For more than a year, the BDN has been working on a project called MaineFocus with the intention of achieving measurable improvements on what we see as three of the worst problems facing the state: Domestic and sexual abuse, …
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, is lauded by Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Florida (center), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, during a farewell gathering in his honor on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Michaud ends his 12 years in Congress on Jan. 3.

Michaud bows out after 3 decades in office confident he ‘made Maine a better place’

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 11, 2014, at 5:34 p.m.
AUGUSTA | U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud capped a 32-year political career Thursday confident that he has “made Maine a better place” and content with the prospect of returning to a quiet life in the Katahdin region. Michaud, who gave up his seat in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District for a …

Maine ranked choice voting proponents within 15,000 signatures of forcing statewide referendum

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 11, 2014, at 5:25 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The organizers of an effort to bring ranked choice voting to Maine say they have pulled within striking distance of their goal to force a statewide referendum on the issue with only a month left until the deadline to put the question on the 2015 ballot. Former …

OUI tests for marijuana, right to work and welfare reform among bills proposed by state agencies

on Dec. 10, 2014, at 7:40 p.m.
If the past is any indication, lawmakers in the incoming 127th Legislature will face a barrage of at least 1,700 bill proposals, and perhaps well more than 2,000. The deadline for lawmakers themselves to submit bills, known as cloture, is Jan. 2, and it will be days after that before …

Senate recount reversal won’t affect elections of secretary of state, treasurer and attorney general

on Dec. 09, 2014, at 5:49 p.m.
In one moment, Republican Cathy Manchester was the state senator for the Falmouth area and in the next, the seat belonged to Democrat Catherine Breen. Tuesday’s meeting of a Senate elections committee was stunning to behold. In case you missed it, a quick count of Election Day ballots in two …
The State House in Augusta stands lighted against the night sky.

Election workers, recount volunteers and state police officers headed to Augusta for recount investigation

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 08, 2014, at 3:42 p.m.
More than 30 witnesses will travel to the State House on Tuesday to testify in a special Senate committee’s investigation into the disputed Falmouth-area state Senate election that Democrats argue is still undecided. By day’s end Tuesday, the committee intends to rely on that testimony to compile …
Gov. Paul LePage's annual salary is $70,000, the lowest salary of any U.S. governor.

Pay for Maine attorney general, secretary of state outpaces earning power of governor

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 05, 2014, at 2:31 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine’s attorney general and secretary of state received raises from legislative leaders Wednesday — just hours after being re-elected to their positions — widening the gap between their paychecks and the governor’s. The raises illuminate a debate over the chief executive’s pay that dates back decades but …
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.

Attorney general, secretary of state re-elected, state treasurer ousted by Legislature

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 03, 2014, at 9:25 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Former four-term Democratic Rep. Terry Hayes of Buckfield, who left the party after Election Day, emerged victorious Wednesday in her bid to unseat State Treasurer Neria Douglass. A joint convention of the Legislature on Wednesday evening returned Maine’s other two constitutional officers, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap …
University of Maine System Chancellor James Page

Why Maine’s university system says it has to keep streamlining

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 02, 2014, at 5:40 a.m.
AUGUSTA | The ongoing program cuts at the University of Southern Maine, the latest round of which was announced Monday, is part of a much larger initiative by the University of Maine System to eliminate some $90 million in spending it can’t afford over the next five years. UMS …

Revenue forecast signals rosier future for Maine’s economy, $113 million budget surplus

on Dec. 01, 2014, at 7:50 p.m.
The state’s recovery from the economic recession and low energy prices that have put more spending money in Mainers’ pockets have led to one of the best state revenue forecasts in years. The state’s Revenue Forecasting Committee develops a range of estimates related to the economy twice a year, but the …
The State House in Augusta.

Majority GOP taking steps to provisionally place Republican candidate in contested Maine Senate seat

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 01, 2014, at 4:49 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Republicans in the Maine Senate will take action Wednesday to provisionally seat Cathy Manchester of Gray, the GOP candidate in a Falmouth-area Senate district election for which the results have been contested since Election Day. That move — which would likely be successful because it simply requires …
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