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Maine adds 8,000 payroll jobs since March 2013, unemployment rate dips below 6 percent

By Darren Fishell on April 18, 2014, at 11:33 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s employment picture improved in March, with the state adding more payroll jobs in the past year than any one-year period since the early 2000s. The unemployment rate dipped below 6 percent in March, to 5.9 percent, for the first time since September 2008, according to preliminary …
Timothy Gilboe, a Jackman native who in 2011 saved the lives of his fellow soldiers during an enemy attack in Afghanistan, on Friday will receive the body armor that saved his life.

Jackman veteran to receive body armor that saved his life in Afghanistan

By Beth Brogan on April 18, 2014, at 10:32 a.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Three years ago this month, Jackman native Timothy Gilboe stared into the eyes of a Taliban soldier in Afghanistan, grabbed the barrel of the enemy’s AK-47 assault rifle to his chest, and thought, “This is really going to hurt.” Gilboe’s squad had been attacked by two Taliban …
Former New Hampshire House Speaker William O'Brien (right) and Maine Heritage Policy Center CEO J. Scott Moody in October.

J. Scott Moody to depart as Maine Heritage Policy Center CEO

By Darren Fishell on April 18, 2014, at 9:33 a.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Heritage Policy Center’s J. Scott Moody is departing his position as CEO of the conservative think tank where he has worked since 2006, starting as its chief economist. Moody confirmed Friday in an email to the Bangor Daily News that he is leaving his position …
VIDEO
An unidentified couple canoes Wednesday near the bleachers of Hosmer Field in Rumford, which normally serves as the Mountain Valley Falcons football field and track. The Androscoggin River, although it appears to be receding, swelled over its banks this week.

Mattawamkeag River above flood level

By Ryan McLaughlin on April 18, 2014, at 8:59 a.m.
CARIBOU, Maine — Less than 24 hours after Orono residents experienced flooding due to the cresting Stillwater River, parts of the Mattawamkeag River in northern Penobscot County are cresting. The National Weather Service’s Caribou office has issued a flood warning for the river. As of 7 a.m. Friday, the river’s …
Gov. Paul LePage

$50 million bond proposal package headed to LePage with strong bipartisan support

By Christopher Cousins on April 18, 2014, at 8:58 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A package of six bond bills totaling $50 million sailed through the Legislature on Thursday night en route to consideration by Gov. Paul LePage and voters on the November statewide ballot. The build-up to the end of the legislative session in recent days has focused on Republicans …
MAINE FOCUS (blog)

Football, violent crime, and our hero worship

on April 18, 2014, at 8:27 a.m.
Over the last few days, I’ve been sent the New York Times’ latest interactive article on campus sexual assault several times. The article details the error-filled investigation of a rape reportedly perpetrated by star freshman quarterback – and Heisman trophy winner – Jameis Winston. People are (rightfully) outraged and disgusted …
Maine House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick

Maine Legislature approves late, last-ditch push for Medicaid expansion

By Mario Moretto on April 17, 2014, at 9:21 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature on Thursday night approved a Medicaid expansion plan for the third time since March, though the bill is likely doomed to the same fate as its predecessors — death by gubernatorial veto. The House of Representatives gave the bill final approval with a vote …
VIDEO
The speed limit sign along Riverside Avenue in Fort Fairfield lies on its side as curious motorists drive the street on Thursday looking at giant ice floes that have been cleared from the road after they overflowed the banks of the Aroostook River.

Flood watch remains in effect through Friday

By Dawn Gagnon and Julia Bayly on April 17, 2014, at 7:41 p.m.
ALLAGASH, Maine — Residents of Allagash and St. Francis were stranded by floodwaters Thursday, and the National Weather Service in Caribou extended its flood warning for northern Maine through late Friday morning. Meanwhile, Main Street businesses in Dexter that were shut down Wednesday due to safety concerns reopened Thursday and …
Gov. Paul LePage discusses his welfare reform proposals in this March 2014 file photo.

LePage blasts Democrats for welfare-to-work fines

By Christopher Cousins on April 17, 2014, at 6:27 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The federal Administration for Children & Families has notified the state that it could be liable for more than $7.1 million in fines for failure to meet work participation rates in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in 2011. Gov. Paul LePage framed the situation as …

Live free or die: New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

By Reuters on April 17, 2014, at 4:49 p.m.
BOSTON — New Hampshire lawmakers on Thursday voted to scrap an ancient law that makes cheating on your spouse a criminal offense in the New England state whose motto is “Live Free or Die.” Governor Maggie Hassan is expected to sign the bill into law, making adultery legal in the …
A sign along the Maine Turnpike states that the Lewiston Sports Complex is accessible from Exit 80.  The sign is one of about 90 that will be coming down under a new law passed by the Legislature this month.

LePage signs bill to reduce number of signs on Maine highways

By Scott Thistle on April 17, 2014, at 3:43 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law a bill that relocates or removes dozens of signs advertising schools, beaches, ski slopes and other attractions from Maine’s two interstate highways. LePage signed LD 1831 on Wednesday. The measure aims to protect an estimated $170 million in federal highway …
Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick

House speaker makes final push for Medicaid expansion with plan based on New Hampshire

By Mario Moretto on April 17, 2014, at 1:21 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The debate over Medicaid expansion has dominated the 126th Legislature, and it will continue to do so as the session winds down and lawmakers prepare to head back to their districts. On Thursday evening, the last scheduled day of session, House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, will …
From the community

Civil Air Patrol seeks youths 12-18 to join efforts

Bangor Daily News on April 17, 2014, at 8:33 a.m.
Civil Air Patrol, the official U.S Air Force auxiliary, is looking for youth 12-18 who have an interest in serving their communities.  Cadets will enjoy flying, leadership training, team-building, search & rescue, exploring aviation careers and earning rank and awards.  For more information contact Lt Col Cathie Spaulding at 207-884-8302 or Capt Rick Gammon …
The wreckage of a train is pictured after an explosion in Lac-Megantic, in this file picture taken July 6, 2013.

After ‘end of the world’ explosion, Quebec town tries to find hope

By Marina Villeneuve, Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting on April 17, 2014, at 6:48 a.m.
Second of two parts LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec — Eight months ago, the people of Lac-Megantic thought the world was ending. A runaway 72-car train carrying a volatile variety of crude oil derailed and exploded in this community of 6,000, killing 47 people and destroying the town center. On a rare sunny …
Rep. Sara Gideon

Maine Legislature sends to ‘amenable’ LePage a bill to broaden access to overdose antidote

By Scott Thistle on April 16, 2014, at 3:14 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — After unanimous votes Wednesday in both chambers, the Maine Legislature sent Gov. Paul LePage a bill that broadens access to a medication meant to counter deadly overdoses of opiate-based drugs, including prescription painkillers and heroin. Slight changes to the bill that originated in the Senate on Wednesday …
MAINE FOCUS (blog)

What should Maine do to draw more people here?

on April 16, 2014, at 3:06 p.m.
Fluid Imaging Technologies, which manufactures a first-of-its-kind imaging particle analyzer, has been growing — and fast. In addition to attracting lots of capital, it has doubled its number of employees in the past year.  But one thing has CEO Kent Peterson, and others across Maine, worried. How will the state address its …
POLL QUESTION
Sen. Doug Thomas

Senate upholds LePage veto of solar energy bill

By Scott Thistle on April 16, 2014, at 2:41 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Senate on Wednesday pulled the blinds on a bill that would have allowed homeowners to receive a rebate for installing solar panels by sustaining Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the measure. LePage vetoed the bill, which also created a rebate program for low-income families that install, …
Wednesday's Sebasticook River rage by a mobile home on Water Street, where residents of a mobile home park were temporarily evacuated.

Rising waters, ice jams create dangerous conditions around Maine, claim one life

By Julia Bayly on April 16, 2014, at 12:59 p.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — Runoff from melting snow, rain and ice jams created dangerous conditions around the state Wednesday as most of Maine remained under flood watches and warnings. A Caswell man died late Tuesday after being swept away in floodwaters when he stepped into an open culvert after moving …
From the community

Secretary of State warns Mainers of drivers license scam

Bangor Daily News on April 16, 2014, at 9:46 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Numerous Maine residents have contacted the Secretary of State’s Office regarding the website, www.Drivers-Licenses.org/Maine. Residents have used this website to attempt to renew their driver’s license online. After providing the website with personal information and being charged a fee, users receive information on how to renew their licenses …
Rebecca Wyke

Amid budget shortfall, University of Maine System administrator received $40,000 raise this year

By Nell Gluckman on April 16, 2014, at 9:33 a.m.
BANGOR, Maine — While confronting a $36 million budget shortfall, the University of Maine System gave its top financial administrator a $40,000 raise between last fall and this spring, according to reports of employee salaries that the system publishes twice a year. The salary for Rebecca Wyke, UMS vice chancellor …
 
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