Articles by Michael Shepherd

Sen. Joyce Maker, R-Machias

Maine Senate votes to fund Machiasport prison, setting up showdown with LePage

By Michael Shepherd on May 24, 2017, at 3:35 p.m.
Sen. Joyce Maker, R-Calais, said the prison’s closure would “destroy our county” and spike unemployment in the Machias areas.
A car sits parked outside a security gate at the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport last week. The state prison is again being proposed for closure as cost-saving measure in the proposed state budget.

As LePage eyes early release for inmates, lawmakers prep fight to save Down East prison

By Michael Shepherd on May 23, 2017, at 4:19 p.m.
Maine lawmakers said Tuesday that they’re considering a bid to fund a Machiasport prison slated for closure by Gov. Paul LePage as the governor partially confirmed rumors that he’d be commuting prisoners’ sentences.
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage rips newspapers in veto of bill that would harm newspapers

By Michael Shepherd on May 23, 2017, at 1 p.m.
The veto — if sustained — actually helps Maine’s newspaper industry, even though he hammered us for “unabashed liberal bias” and “third-rate reporting” in his veto letter.
An Oxbow resident casts his ballot in Aroostook County at the community center.

Maine Supreme Judicial Court rules ranked-choice voting unconstitutional

By Michael Shepherd on May 23, 2017, at 11:02 a.m.
The Legislature will be under pressure to either throw out the law or amend the Constitution to allow it.

LePage doesn’t like newspapers. But he vetoed a bill hurting newspapers

on May 23, 2017, at 8:47 a.m.
Members of the Maine House of Representatives await the final votes on the last day of session, April 17, 2014.

History tells us that Maine voters will pass a $50 million bond in June

By Michael Shepherd on May 22, 2017, at 11:10 a.m.
Maine election officials are readying for election in just over three weeks that you already may have forgotten about — if you knew about it at all.

So, Maine votes in three weeks. We pretty much know what will happen

on May 22, 2017, at 9:06 a.m.
One of the waste rock piles at the former Callahan Mine Corp. site in Brooksville. The company operated at the site from 1968-1972 and studies have determined that contaminants leaching from the piles have been moving into nearby waters.

Mining rule compromise sailing for passage after Maine House vote

By Michael Shepherd on May 18, 2017, at 2:45 p.m.
A bill that would allow mining in Maine with strict environmental protections sailed easily through the state House of Representatives on Thursday.

LePage can still pretty much count on House GOP as his greatest allies

By Michael Shepherd on May 17, 2017, at 10:26 a.m.
Gov. LePage can rely on a firewall from House Republicans — at least to a point — as he starts issuing vetoes and trying to defeat Democratic attempts to blunt his agenda.

LePage can count on House Republicans to stand by their man — to a point

on May 17, 2017, at 8:59 a.m.
Three 50 milliliter bottles of Fireball Whisky lie on a table with a standard pack of cards.

LePage to Legislature: Place deposit on ‘nips’ and I’ll ban them

By Michael Shepherd on May 16, 2017, at 7:41 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage said he’d work to ban the sale of 50-milliliter alcohol containers if the Legislature passes a bill to extend the state’s bottle deposit law to include so-called “nips.”
U.S. Sen. Angus King

King: Trump could face beginning of impeachment process

By Michael Shepherd and Nick Sambides Jr. on May 16, 2017, at 7:10 p.m.
“If indeed the president tried to tell the director of the FBI who worked for him that he should drop an investigation … that’s a very serious matter,” King said.
Workmen stay busy at a 24-unit Avesta Housing project site in Gorham in 2016.

Maine House GOP has votes to sink bid to issue $15 million senior housing bond

By Michael Shepherd on May 16, 2017, at 2:15 p.m.
The Maine House of Representatives initially voted 85-57 on Tuesday to issue that bond money.
Alcide (left) and Benoit Giroux stand outside their sugar house in Big Six Township on Monday. They tap 80,000 trees each year but say they may have to close down if the landowner doesn't agree to a more fair contract.

Maine’s richest source of maple sugar faces uncertain future

By Michael Shepherd on May 14, 2017, at 6 a.m.
“What other industry would put up with being threatened to have 25 percent of its output eliminated? Nobody would. There would be outcry everywhere.”

Why Paul LePage didn’t run against Angus King

on May 11, 2017, at 8:58 a.m.
Maine State Treasurer Terry Hayes

LePage, Maine treasurer strike deal ending $600M bond impasse

By Michael Shepherd on May 10, 2017, at 4:02 p.m.
Gov. LePage and Maine State Treasurer Terry Hayes struck a deal on Wednesday ending a long impasse that threatened $600 million in transportation bonds.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, left, and Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, visited the State House on Wednesday for a round-table listening session on the state and nation's opioid addiction crisis.

Trump lieutenant takes war on opiates to Maine, faces skepticism, protests

By Michael Shepherd on May 10, 2017, at 11:33 a.m.
“The president has made one of his top priorities to make certain that we turn the tide on this,” Tom Price said. “At this point, we have been losing the battle.”
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price testifies on Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Blueprint before the Committee on Appropriations at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, U.S., March 29, 2017.

Trump health chief Tom Price coming to Maine on Wednesday

By Michael Shepherd on May 09, 2017, at 3:20 p.m.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will be in Augusta on Wednesday to discuss opiate addiction with Gov. Paul LePage.
Interstate 395 between Bangor and Brewer

New LePage bond spat threatens $600 million in transportation projects

By Michael Shepherd on May 05, 2017, at 2 p.m.
$600 million earmarked for Maine infrastructure projects is held up in an arcane dispute between Gov. LePage and State Treasurer Terry Hayes.
Rep. Bruce Poliquin (left) speaks while Sen. Susan Collins looks on during a 2016 press conference in Bangor.

Collins’ questions hint at Senate obstacles for GOP health bill

By Michael Shepherd on May 05, 2017, at 9:29 a.m.
Sen. Susan Collins issued a list of questions indicating that she’s still highly skeptical of the plan.