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The moon is seen through trees as the sun sets over Bangor on a very warm Christmas day Thursday.

‘Some great days ahead’ of mild temperatures and sunlight, weather forecasters say

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Dec. 25, 2014, at 4:56 p.m.
CARIBOU | Record-setting warmth added to the joy of Christmas Day through much of Maine, with meteorologists predicting similarly comfortable temperatures — and clear skies — through most of the weekend. Caribou’s 48-degree high temperature matched a record set on Christmas 2003, while Bangor’s 54-degree temperature bested a record …
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Penobscot Indian Nation President Kirk Francis, seen here in June 2013, said his nation endorses a national park proposal originally made by entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby.

Penobscot Indian Nation announces support of Roxanne Quimby national park plan

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Dec. 25, 2014, at 3:36 p.m.
INDIAN ISLAND | The Penobscot Indian Nation has endorsed a proposed 150,000-acre national park and recreation area, saying the parks would protect the Penobscot River and associated waterways much the way the tribe has “since time immemorial.” Nation President Kirk E. Francis called upon U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, …

Former UMaine basketball standout Nate Fox killed in Chicago suburb

By Judy Harrison on Dec. 24, 2014, at 7:31 p.m.
A former University of Maine men’s basketball standout reportedly was shot and killed Monday night in his driveway in a Chicago suburb. Nate Fox, 37, of Bloomingdale, Illinois, had just gotten out of his car, a maroon 2013 Jaguar XJ, ABC affiliate Channel 7 in Chicago reported on its website. …

Maine travelers get a Christmas gift as freezing rain advisory canceled

By Julia Bayly on Dec. 24, 2014, at 5:50 p.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — The National Weather Service canceled a freezing rain advisory for the state, giving a bit of an early Christmas gift to holiday travelers. “There are still some pockets of freezing rain out there in the higher elevations,” Rich Norton, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office …
The MacMaster family (from left) Tripp, Scott, Parker and Jake, poses with a drawing of the boys' mother, Cyndi MacMaster, on Wednesday. Cyndi MacMaster died on Dec. 19.

Father, three young sons searching for new Christmas normal less than a week after mother’s death

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 24, 2014, at 5:28 p.m.
DRESDEN | Cyndi MacMaster was the kind of woman who knew what had to be done today to ensure a better tomorrow. With young children at home and a husband working three jobs, she trained to sell real estate, then earned her bachelor’s degree in social work. For a …
Destiny Sargent

Donations sought online for funeral expenses in Garland slayings

By Judy Harrison on Dec. 24, 2014, at 4:08 p.m.
BANGOR | An online site seeking donations for funeral expenses for the victims of a domestic violence slaying over the weekend in Garland had raised nearly $5,000 by Thursday afternoon. “Christina Ann Sargent, Duwayne Coke, and Destiny Sargent were all murdered on December 20, 2014,” said a posting on …
Broken river ice, seen here from the bridge where Castle Hill Road merges with South Wade Road in Washburn, moves down the Aroostook River on Dec. 14.

Christmas Eve travelers looking at icy, wet conditions

By Julia Bayly on Dec. 24, 2014, at 10:45 a.m.
FORT KENT | Santa may well be slipping and sliding into the state as much of Maine from Portland to the St. John Valley is under a freezing rain advisory while a large area in Down East and central Maine is under a flood watch for Christmas Eve. According …

State uses federal funds to acquire and protect 2 miles of Moosehead Lake shoreline

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 24, 2014, at 10:16 a.m.
BANGOR | The state has acquired 81 acres of undeveloped land with 2 miles of shoreline on northern Moosehead Lake that will connect another state-owned parcel called the Seboomook Unit to the water. Known locally as Little W. Shoreline, the new parcel is accessible by the Northern Forest Canoe …
Former President George H. W. Bush is brought into the auditorium where his son former President George W. Bush speaks about his new book in College Station, Texas, last month.

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized for shortness of breath

By Jon Herskovitz, Reuters on Dec. 24, 2014, at 9:48 a.m.
AUSTIN, Texas — Former President George H.W. Bush remained in a Houston hospital on Wednesday as a precaution after experiencing a shortness of breath, a spokesman for the 41st president said. “No new news to report so far,” spokesman Jim McGrath wrote in an email. Bush, 90, was hospitalized late …
Rep. Peggy Rotundo

Maine lawmakers release committee assignments

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 23, 2014, at 5:57 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Legislative leaders concluded days of negotiations around who will sit on which committees for the coming two years by installing a mix of veteran and rookie lawmakers in powerful positions. Committee assignments are the kind of under-the-dome, pre-session business that few Mainers follow closely, but they’re crucial …
Verso Paper millworkers leave the mill for the last time last week in Bucksport.

State strikes severance deal with Verso on behalf of laid-off Bucksport workers

By Darren Fishell on Dec. 23, 2014, at 5:32 p.m.
State officials announced Tuesday they’ve reached a deal requiring Verso Paper to issue half the severance pay due to more than 500 workers laid off in Bucksport by Jan. 8, 2015. The deal, which would deliver the rest of the about $18 million in severance payments owed …
Gov. Paul LePage celebrates at the Franco Center in Lewiston early Nov. 5.

What did we learn about Maine politics in 2014?

By Christopher Cousins on Dec. 23, 2014, at 4:52 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Politically speaking, 2014 in Maine started as if it would be the year when everything would go the Democrats’ way. But then, it didn’t. Despite expectations that Republicans would gain nationally during off-year elections because of dissatisfaction with Democratic President Barack Obama and vulnerable Democrats in Congress …
The hottest holiday gift this year was invented in Maine 102 years ago. About 100,000 of these kicks, made in Brunswick and Lewiston, are on back order.

Want a new pair of Bean Boots? You may have to wait until March.

By Kathleen Pierce on Dec. 23, 2014, at 2:59 p.m.
FREEPORT | Matt Lauer held up a pair on the “Today” show Tuesday. Carson Daly fondled one, cooing, “Wow, they are cool.” The hottest gift this holiday season is not an iPhone 6 or a personal robot, but iconic Bean Boots made in Maine by L.L. Bean. These coveted …
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Katie (left) and Mikayla McLaughlin package up live lobsters at McLaughlin Seafood in Bangor to be overnight shipped to customers around the country. They are sending over 100 boxes containing more than 300 live lobsters and 100 cooked lobsters.

‘Their seafood consumption is huge’: European demand helps drive holiday sales of lobster

By Bill Trotter on Dec. 23, 2014, at 11:23 a.m.
ELLSWORTH | This is a time of year when live lobster dealers throughout the state hope to see a lot of red and green, and not just because they are popular Christmas colors. An increase in lobster exports, and high demand in Europe in particular during the holiday season, …

European demand helps drive holiday sales of lobster

By Bill Trotter on Dec. 23, 2014, at 11:18 a.m.
Workers at Garbo Lobster’s shipping center in Groton, Connecticut, load boxes of live lobster this weekend into an air freight container for shipment to Europe. The company expects to ship two million pounds of Maine and Canadian lobster this month to Europe, where consumption of North American lobster has been …
Edward Robinson

Man serving two life sentences dies at Maine State Prison

By Ryan McLaughlin on Dec. 23, 2014, at 10:33 a.m.
WARREN | A man serving a pair of life sentences for two 1988 murders in Bangor died Monday night of natural causes at the Maine State Prison. Scott Fish of the Maine Department of Corrections confirmed in a Tuesday statement the death of Edward Robinson Jr., 77. There was …
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (left) and U.S. Sen. Angus King at a press conference at the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan on May 16.

Collins, King seek funding increase for heating fuel assistance

By Mario Moretto on Dec. 23, 2014, at 10:28 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Winter may have only just started, but Maine’s U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are already looking ahead to next year’s cold season, and are once again pushing for a boost in federal funding for home heating assistance for low-income Maine families. Collins, a Republican, is …

Soaking rain expected to start as freezing rain in northern, western Maine

By Ryan McLaughlin on Dec. 23, 2014, at 8:32 a.m.
CARIBOU | A soaking rain that is forecast to make for a wet Christmas, not a white one, is expected to start as freezing rain in northern and western counties, according to the National Weather Service. With freezing rain expected to fall late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, …
Donna Martin helps answer letters to Santa at the Forest Avenue Post Office in Portland on Monday. This year, volunteers will answer about 800 letters.

Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas…: Postal Service employees bring the cheer and answer kids letters to Santa

By Troy R. Bennett on Dec. 23, 2014, at 5:47 a.m.
PORTLAND | An ear pressed to the frosted glass window of the postmaster’s office door on Forest Avenue today you can hear the sounds of Christmas. It doesn’t resemble jingling bells or belly laughs from the man in red. It sounds like tearing envelopes and shuffling paper. Four volunteers …

Post Office volunteers answer letters to Santa in Portland

By Troy R. Bennett on Dec. 23, 2014, at 5:45 a.m.
Volunteers at the U.S. Postal Service answer more than 800 letters to Santa that end up at the post office on Forest Avenue in Portland.
 
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