Despite losing state contract, MaineCare ride provider gave employees bonuses for staying on job

By Kathryn Skelton on July 25, 2014, at 2:24 p.m.
LEWISTON, Maine — The company that lost the state contract to broker rides for MaineCare patients after thousands of complaints and missed pick-ups has offered bonuses to employees who stay on and continue to answer the phones through next week. Coordinated Transportation Solutions’ $28 million, yearlong contract for non-emergency rides …

Are we allowed to laugh out loud these days in pursuit of politics?

on July 25, 2014, at 7:23 a.m.
Mike: Well Cynthia, we have two columns under our belt now. One thing I’ve learned is that some people seem to take this way too seriously. Have we lost the ability to good-humoredly laugh at ourselves and each other in the political arena? Cynthia: Lots of people are still laughing …
Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas June 18, 2014.

Border children’s plight, explained: Long court process could end with deportation or legal status

By Mario Moretto on July 24, 2014, at 8 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The immigration and humanitarian crisis created by tens of thousands of unaccompanied children illegally entering the United States became a minor controversy in Maine this week when Gov. Paul LePage learned that eight such boys and girls had been placed here sometime between January and July. The …

Bear referendum supporters to gather in Portland this weekend, the start of baiting season

on July 24, 2014, at 4:22 p.m.
This weekend marks the start of bear baiting season in Maine, when hunters and guides enter the woods to fill bait sites with food meant to attract bears for the fall hunt, which begins next month. In response, Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, the group leading a campaign to ban bear baiting, hounding and …

Supreme Court already said DC Court was wrong on Obamacare subsidies

on July 24, 2014, at 12:19 p.m.
The Supreme Court has already spoken on the DC Circuit’s three judge panel’s 2-1 decision that subsidies are only available for insurance purchased through state exchanges. This decision contradicted the decision of a unanimous three judge panel for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (Virginia). How could that be? That …

Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence endorses Eliot Cutler

on July 24, 2014, at 10:31 a.m.
Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler on Thursday received the endorsement of the Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence, largely due to Cutler's support for background checks for all gun sales.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, talks with Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation" in Washington, in this photo taken May 8, 2014, courtesy of CBS News.

Elizabeth Warren for president?

By Dana Milbank, The Washington Post on July 24, 2014, at 9:25 a.m.
It was one of those important but dull hearings that doesn’t even get broadcast on C-SPAN 3. An obscure subcommittee was taking expert testimony on patient safety Thursday, and only four of its 14 members bothered to show up. Several of the public seats were empty, too. But Elizabeth Warren …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage avoids partisan politics when it comes to judicial appointments

By Judy Harrison on July 24, 2014, at 8:54 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Bangor lawyer Aaron Frey and other Democrats in the legal community were worried when Gov. Paul LePage took office 3½ years ago about whether he would place politics above putting a deliberate, thoughtful person on the bench when nominating lawyers to be judges. “Those concerns were never …
A police officer looks on near the site of the train wreckage in Lac Megantic, July 9, 2013. The crude oil freight train that derailed and blew up in the small town of Lac-Megantic early on Saturday morning, July 6, 2013, was traveling far too fast when it went off the rails, investigators told reporters.

Maine delegates laud proposed steps to prevent Lac-Megantic-level railway disaster in US

By Nick McCrea on July 23, 2014, at 3:01 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — The U.S. Department of Transportation rolled out a series of proposed new rail safety rules on Wednesday, including phasing out tens of thousands of older railway tanker cars used to transport flammable liquids, including crude oil, over the next two years. Maine’s congressional delegation celebrated the proposals …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage administration wants adults without children to work to get food stamps

By Lindsay Tice on July 23, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — After a five-year break, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services plans once again to require childless adults to work in order to receive help through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The department announced Wednesday that it will require work, …
Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a televised statement at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, in the early hours of July 21, 2014. Putin said Monday the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in east Ukraine must not be used for political ends and urged separatists to allow international experts access to the crash site.

Containing Putin

By Stephen J. Hadley, Special to The Washington Post on July 23, 2014, at 12:01 p.m.
The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has focused the world’s attention on Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. But the most basic questions are still unanswered: What is Russian President Vladimir Putin up to? How far will he go? And what should the United States do about it? Putin …
Pictured is Sen. Andre Cushing, R-Hampden.

Culture change needed to transition Mainers from welfare to workforce

By Andre Cushing on July 23, 2014, at 11:48 a.m.
President Ronald Reagan famously said, “I believe the best social program is a job.” Those words were spoken in a different era, but they still ring true here in Maine today, and they are central to the new approach Republicans in Augusta are taking to move more Mainers from welfare …
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud

Michaud, LePage stockpile cash as governor’s race ramps up

By Mario Moretto on July 23, 2014, at 10:54 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Mike Michaud continues to outpace his two gubernatorial opponents in the money race as the campaigns heat up leading into August. According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the state Tuesday night, the Democrat’s total fundraising has netted more than $1.9 million for the …
From the community
Diane Jackson

Diane Jackson joins Maine DECD as business account executive

Bangor Daily News on July 23, 2014, at 10:36 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul R. LePage on Wednesday welcomed Diane Jackson of Oxford to his team of business account executives within the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. “Diane is a terrific addition to our team,” said Gov. LePage, in a press release. “She has owned and operated a small …

LePage hit with $5,000 fine for late campaign finance filing

on July 23, 2014, at 10:02 a.m.
In a letter dated Monday, the Maine Ethics Commission alerted Gov. Paul LePage that his re-election campaign would be fined $5,000 for failing to file a campaign finance report on time.

The money race for the Blaine House, in six charts

on July 23, 2014, at 9:06 a.m.
Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler brought in the most cash between May and July — mostly from his own pocket — but he’s also spent the most so far. Cutler lags both incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democrat Mike Michaud for the cash their campaigns had on hand as of the latest …

Maine gubernatorial candidates react to split ACA verdicts

By Jackie Farwell on July 22, 2014, at 6:16 p.m.
Dueling court verdicts issued Tuesday over the legality of financial subsidies provided to Americans under the Affordable Care Act elicited quick response from Maine’s gubernatorial candidates. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the federal government can’t legally administer health insurance subsidies in Maine …
Gov. Paul LePage at a Republican rally at Husson University in June

LePage says 8 ‘unaccompanied alien children’ put in Maine without his knowledge

By Mario Moretto on July 22, 2014, at 5:54 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage learned Monday that eight unaccompanied children who entered the country illegally have been placed in Maine without his knowledge. In a statement from the governor’s office, LePage said he learned about the children’s placement during a conference call with White House staff and …

Bellows removes stock footage from ad touting support for Maine workers

on July 22, 2014, at 3:46 p.m.
A spokeswoman for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows says the campaign made “a mistake” when it included stock footage in an online advertisement about the candidate’s support for working class people. The ad has since been taken down, and replaced with a new one featuring workers from Maine. (The …
Scaffolding around the State House Dome, seen here Tuesday, will be a regular sight through October, as contractors work to replace the more than 100-year-old weather-damaged and oxidized copper patina with a shiny new one.

Old copper from State House dome may be available for Maine artists

By Mario Moretto on July 22, 2014, at 2:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine artists may have a chance to get their hands on a bona fide piece of state history if a proposal pending before a legislative leadership panel wins approval Thursday. As work continues to replace 7,000 square feet of more than 100-year-old copper on the Maine State …
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