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Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt discusses speed limit changes on Maine's interstate highway system during a press conference Tuesday in Augusta.

Higher speed limits OK’d on select stretches of interstate highway system

By Christopher Cousins on May 27, 2014, at 12:20 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt announced Tuesday that he has approved raising speed limits on portions of the state’s interstate highways, including Interstate 295, Interstate 95, Interstate 395 and Route 1, by five miles per hour. Motorists traveling on those routes Tuesday might have already noticed Department of …
BDN reader Robin Lynn Bickford took this shot of a funnel cloud in Houlton on Monday.

Tornado confirmed in southern Aroostook County

By Jen Lynds on May 27, 2014, at 11:46 a.m.
CARIBOU, Maine — The National Weather Service in Caribou confirmed Tuesday morning that a short-lived tornado touched down near the town of Ludlow just before 2 p.m. on Memorial Day. The tornado was verified by the weather service damage survey team, which went to the site after a severe storm …

Severe weather conditions spawn funnel cloud in Aroostook County

By Julia Bayly on May 26, 2014, at 8:13 p.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — Severe weather spawned at least one funnel cloud and multiple National Weather Service alerts and warnings from Madawaska to Topsfield Monday. The Memorial Day weather was keeping the staff so occupied at the Caribou National Weather Service office Monday afternoon that a prerecorded message instructed callers …
Kara Beal (right) talks over local produce and food with Janice Bouchard at Bouchard's Country Store this weekend. "I like to know where my good is coming from and I want to support local farmers," Beal said.

Options for local food, products growing in Fort Kent

By Julia Bayly on May 25, 2014, at 10:51 a.m.
FORT KENT, Maine — Kara Beal is a working mom with a husband and two boys and is the lone vegetarian in the family. Grocery shopping can be a bit of a challenge, she says, but two new options for local food in the Fort Kent area are making the …
Fatuma Hussein, director of United Somali Women of Maine, tells reporters on Friday, January 10, 2014 in Augusta how a proposal by the Department of Health and Human Services to end general assistance to immigrants would devastate the immigrant community.

Maine attorney general rejects proposal by LePage administration to bar General Assistance for immigrants

By Christopher Cousins on May 23, 2014, at 11:56 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has ruled that a proposal by Gov. Paul LePage to bar immigrants and asylum seekers from receiving General Assistance is illegal and unconstitutional. Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew reacted with dismay and said she will continue to pursue implementation of …
Packages of chips called Terra Blues produced from blue potatoes grown at LaJoie Growers LLC in Van Buren.

‘I feel betrayed’: Film portrayal of Van Buren irks some locals

By Kathryn Olmstead on May 22, 2014, at 1:05 p.m.
Armande Pelletier of Van Buren was excited when she learned the movie that had been filmed in her hometown was opening at the theater in Caribou. She was eager to see the beauty of her community evoked by the title “Beneath the Harvest Sky” spread across the screen. So she …
Gary Alexander presents his Medicaid expansion study on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at the Department of Health and Human Services office building in Augusta.

Author of report from which Alexander Group lifted text: ‘It’s literally two pages of text’

By Christopher Cousins on May 21, 2014, at 1:02 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A portion of a report by the Alexander Group, which Gov. Paul LePage’s administration commissioned as part of its welfare reform efforts, was copied from work done by a liberal Washington, D.C., think tank. That revelation caused the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday to …
Attorney Jeffrey Toothaker holds a gun that was submitted as evidence in the murder of three people in August of 2012. Toothaker provided his closing argument for his client Nicholas Sexton, 33, of Warwick, Rhode Island, who was charged in the murder along with Randall “Ricky” Daluz, 36, of Brockton, Massachusetts.

Prosecution, defense attorneys deliver closing arguments in Bangor triple murder trial

By Judy Harrison on May 20, 2014, at 12:58 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Whether the drug dealer from Rhode Island, the one from Massachusetts or both men are responsible for the deaths of three people in August 2012 is in the hands of the jury. The six men and six women who have heard nearly three weeks of testimony in …
Ingrid Schaefer of Bangor turns 8 on Monday. She is asking for people to donate to the Bangor Public Library, so she can have her name etched on the wall and to support the library.

The craziest, coolest, most heart-warming ways to fund Maine libraries

on May 18, 2014, at 11:02 a.m.
Ingrid Schaefer, 7, of Bangor sent out a rather unusual request for her birthday this month: The book lover wants to help the Bangor Public Library raise money for an interior renovation and, in the process, have her name included on a donor wall. She sent out this note with …
Jersey dairy cows are shown at Clovercrest Farm in Charleston.  The farm produces certified organic milk and was selling to MOO Milk before the company went out of business.

Maine organic milk producer MOO Milk to close

By Darren Fishell on May 16, 2014, at 9:14 a.m.
FALMOUTH, Maine — The Falmouth-based organic milk processor Maine’s Own Organic Milk announced Friday morning that it will shutter its operations because of obsolete equipment and the steep cost of building a new packaging facility in central Maine. “While we have worked tirelessly to find an alternative solution, including the …
Opal Myrick Elementary School students toss 8-year-old Mason McDunnah in the air while playing in front of Schenck High School, where Opal Myrick has a wing for its elementary students. Opal Myrick received an A grade while Schenck received a C.

More than 150 schools drop a letter grade on Maine education report card

By Nell Gluckman on May 15, 2014, at 1:48 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Ninety-three of the 536 Maine schools that received a Department of Education-issued report card this week improved at least one letter grade over last year, according to a statement released by the department on Thursday. Data shared by the department showed that 155 schools dropped at least …
Former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin of Oakland attends the Maine Republican Convention at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor recently.

Kevin Raye says Bruce Poliquin’s pledge not to raise taxes ‘not responsible’ in Republican 2nd District debate

By Nell Gluckman on May 14, 2014, at 1:35 p.m.
BREWER, Maine — One of the Republican candidates for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat promised never to support raising taxes if elected, while the other said he couldn’t make such a commitment. During their debate on Wednesday morning, Bruce Poliquin criticized Kevin Raye for not signing a pledge stating he …
Connor Archer, a sophomore at Old Town High School, competes in the 1,600-meter run during a track and field meet in Hampden Friday. Archer is a high-functioning autistic student who competes on the school's cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams.

Old Town athlete, honor student shares story of overcoming ‘bleak diagnosis’ of autism

By Ernie Clark on May 13, 2014, at 11:46 a.m.
OLD TOWN, Maine — Connor Archer knew exactly what he wanted to address when it came time for his presentation to a health class at Old Town High School earlier this year. Archer introduced the class to autism through anecdotes and information, complete with a slide show. The sophomore ended …
Seether's Shaun Morgan, left, and Dale Stewart perform their alternative metal style in the Rise Above Fest Saturday in the Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor.

City reviewing noise complaints in wake of season’s first Bangor Waterfront concert

By Nick McCrea on May 12, 2014, at 12:27 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — A rock concert that drew thousands to the Bangor Waterfront raised the hackles of 124 Bangor-area residents who called police to say the noise was too loud. Saturday’s all-day concert, Rise Above Fest, launched the 2014 Waterfront Concerts Series. According to Tanya Emery, director of community and …
A bald eagle sits Sunday morning on the corner of Kenduskeag Avenue and Division Street in Bangor. The adult bird, which had no apparent injuries, was taken to Avian Haven in Freedom to be examined.

Eagle rescued from Bangor sidewalk suffering from lead, toxin poisoning

By Judy Harrison on May 11, 2014, at 12:25 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — A female bald eagle found Sunday morning sitting on the sidewalk at the corner of Kenduskeag Avenue and Division Street has elevated levels of lead in her bloodstream, according to Diane Winn of Avian Haven in Freedom. The bird was taken to the rescue center in Waldo …
 A wind turbine test site has been proposed off of the coast of Monhegan.

Monhegan’s power struggle: Turbines versus tourism on Maine’s iconic island

By Aislinn Sarnacki on May 09, 2014, at 1:08 p.m.
MONHEGAN ISLAND, Maine — When Winnie and John Murdock, longtime residents of Monhegan Island, heard the University of Maine did not receive a large grant for its offshore wind power project near their home, they “did a little happy dance.” “Monhegan to this day never ceases to amaze me, that …
Republican Gov. Paul LePage addresses hundreds at a Portland Community Chamber event Thursday morning.

LePage blasts political extremism to Portland business group

By Darren Fishell on May 08, 2014, at 2:08 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage, up for re-election this year, denounced political extremism while reiterating a disdain for newspapers, Medicaid expansion and what he views as loopholes in the state’s welfare system during a speech at a Portland business event Thursday morning. “In Augusta, there are some great …
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie walks through Becky's Diner on Commercial Street in Portland with Maine Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday. Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association and is in town for a pair of fundraisers.

Chris Christie pledges big money for LePage’s re-election

By Mario Moretto on May 07, 2014, at 7:20 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, told reporters here Wednesday that his group would spare little effort to ensure incumbent Gov. Paul LePage is returned to the Blaine House in 2014. “I will tell you I’m committed to spending what we need …
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Chris Christie would not be in Maine if it weren’t a 3-way race, says Vermont governor

By Mario Moretto on May 07, 2014, at 4:03 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage is “the most erratic, divisive governor in America right now,” according to Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. Shumlin criticized LePage just hours before Maine’s governor was due to host New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, chairman of the Republican …
Artist rendering of what Hollywood Casino's Celebrity Bar & Grill might look like when it opens in July at the Bangor gaming venue.

Bangor’s Hollywood Casino plans to launch new restaurant, massive ‘Paul Bunyan Challenge’ burger

By Nick McCrea on May 06, 2014, at 5:17 p.m.
BANGOR, Maine — Hollywood Casino announced on Tuesday plans to open a new restaurant in July, one that will challenge patrons to eat a 2-pound cheeseburger topped with half a pound of bacon, six slices of cheese, a whole sliced tomato and half a head of lettuce. The restaurant will …
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