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POLL QUESTION
David Boyer, head of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, Like Alcohol, speaks at a forum hosted by the Maine Law Federalist Society in Portland in this April 2015 file photo.

Legislative leaders’ plan to slow pot legalization draws advocates’ ire

By Michael Shepherd on Jan. 11, 2017, at 2:24 p.m.
The Maine Legislature’s roadmap for implementing marijuana legalization took shape on Wednesday, with legislative leaders striking deals to delay most of the law until 2018 and form a committee to consider bills on the subject.
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Linda Bean

Group says it’ll take L.L. Bean off boycott list if company takes Linda Bean off board

By Steve Mistler, Maine Public on Jan. 10, 2017, at 12:06 p.m.
Bean became the target of the group Grab Your Wallet following reports that she bankrolled a PAC supporting Donald Trump.
Ashley Sorrentino (right) and her husband, Adam, work to gut their house after a devastating mid-December fire. They were not able to get homeowner's insurance because their sole source of heat was a woodstove.

Destructive house fire points out struggles in getting insurance with a wood stove

By Abigail Curtis on Jan. 09, 2017, at 6:18 a.m.
Mainers love their woodstoves, but that doesn’t mean that insurance companies love them, too.
MAINERS WE MET
Tom Picard sits in his home in Millinocket Saturday. Picard says he lives "the new normal." As a millworker, Tom has been laid off 10 times since 1980. For the last few years he has been making the weekly commute to his new job 130 miles away, at the Huhtamaki plant in Waterville. This past summer, he divorced his wife, Tammy Shorey Picard, as the commuting was putting a strain on their relationship.

Long commute taking toll, but this millworker’s ‘new normal’ continues

By John Holyoke on Jan. 08, 2017, at 7:24 a.m.
A year ago, Tom Picard said that a series of layoffs — 10 in all since he began work in 1980 — had made life as a millworker tough.
MAINE FOCUS
A hunter stands out among brown fall trees in Oxbow on Nov. 8, 2016.

Where Maine is losing its workers the fastest

By Adanya Lustig on Jan. 06, 2017, at 6:29 a.m.
Over the last 45 years, Maine had the greatest portion of people in their prime working years in 1999.
POLL QUESTION
Ward Brook Road resident Holly Giles speaks in favor of a disorderly housing ordinance as Wiscasset Police Chief Jeff Lange looks on during a meeting of the Wiscasset Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Pit bull attack spurs police chief to ask for more power to crack down on problem homes

By Abigail Adams on Jan. 05, 2017, at 9:23 a.m.
The ordinance would not only be an extra tool for law enforcement, but would also enable landlords to work with their tenants to “keep them contained.”
MAINE FOCUS
Daylight hits the Aroostook River in Oxbow Plantation, on Election Day, Nov. 8.

The Maine towns with the greatest percentage of empty homes

By Adanya Lustig on Jan. 05, 2017, at 6:25 a.m.
Maine lost population unevenly over the last 15 years. Some counties hollowed out, while others grew in population.
POLL QUESTION
Columbia's Luke Petrasek (center) leaps for a rebound against the University of Maine's Marko Pirovic (left) and Austin Howard during their basketball game at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Monday.

Little sympathy for ailing UMaine men as AE schedule begins

By Ernie Clark on Jan. 04, 2017, at 1:07 p.m.
“Our guys are facing some tough challenges right now, but as I keep telling them, nobody cares.”
POLL QUESTION
Vice President-elect Mike Pence speaks during a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 30, 2016.

Republicans make repealing Obamacare ‘first order of business’

By Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan, Reuters on Jan. 04, 2017, at 11:03 a.m.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Wednesday met with Republican congressional leaders to plot strategy on repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, a move that could leave tens of millions of Americans without medical insurance.
The eye-catching former Dos Amigos restaurant, which has been sold to Anna Wagner, who hopes to give the space a drastically new look and open a coffee shop and lounge, can be seen Tuesday off Route 1 in Northport.

Former midcoast Mexican restaurant getting major makeover

By Nick McCrea on Jan. 04, 2017, at 7:17 a.m.
The gaudy, lime green former home of Dos Amigos Mexican restaurant, at 144 Bayside Road, is getting a makeover and a new life, likely as a cafe and lounge.
POLL QUESTION
Chef and entrepreneur Louis Del Conte, known to many as Luigi, has used his nickname as the name for his line of all-natural, gourmet pasta sauces, Luigi Del Conte Sauces. Louis and his wife Colleene started making the sauces in 2013 and after just three years, their products are being sold in over 100 stores.

The secret is in the sauce: Luigi Del Conte business is simmering with potential

By Emily Burnham on Jan. 03, 2017, at 12:51 p.m.
“We have big plans,” Luigi Del Conte said. “We’re just getting started.”
POLL QUESTION
Ryan McPherson, the new owner of Glidden Point Oyster Sea Farm, stands on the dock of 637 River Road, the new headquarters for the business, on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

It takes a village to grow these heralded oysters

By Abigail Adams on Dec. 30, 2016, at 12:07 p.m.
It is not only the unique ecology of the Damariscotta River and the slow-growth philosophy of Glidden Point that makes a great oyster but also the community that surrounds the river.
POLL QUESTION
An aerial photo from 1977 shows initial work being done on site preparation for the Bangor Mall on Stillwater Avenue. The Kmart building, the first retail store built in the current mall area, is in the foreground.

‘Unprofitable’ Bangor Kmart to close in April

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Dec. 29, 2016, at 4:08 p.m.
The Kmart department store on Hogan Road is closing in mid-April as part of a company plan that “accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores,” a company official said Thursday.
POLL QUESTION
South Portland Food Cupboard volunteer Sharon Shearer sets out acorn squash donated by Jordan's Farm in Cape Elizabeth in 2015.

This ancient New Year tradition could transform your community

By Meg Haskell on Dec. 28, 2016, at 11:57 a.m.
As one year ends and another begins, many Mainers will contemplate making a New Year’s resolution.
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Students walk across the University of Maine through a snowstorm in March.

Less snow, more rain for Bangor in this winter’s first nor’easter

By Nick Sambides Jr. on Dec. 28, 2016, at 8:31 a.m.
The heaviest accumulations, as much as 3 inches per hour, would likely come around midnight into early Friday.
POLL QUESTION
Maine is one of few states to have tried allowing the sale of health insurance across state lines.

Maine tried allowing the sale of health insurance from other states. It didn’t work.

By Jackie Farwell on Dec. 28, 2016, at 6:27 a.m.
Maine’s experience reveals some of the problems with this general approach.
POLL QUESTION
Madison Paper Industries ceased operation in May 2016, reflecting the trend of paper mill closings and difficult economic times in rural Maine.

Maine’s economy hits a benchmark in 2016, but rural areas still suffer

By Darren Fishell on Dec. 27, 2016, at 1:01 a.m.
In the first six months of 2016, Maine’s sluggish economic recovery hit a special benchmark: It rose up and out of the deep pit of the Great Recession.
POLL QUESTION

Why children believe (or don’t) that Santa Claus exists

By Jacqueline Woolley, The Conversation on Dec. 24, 2016, at 1 a.m.
The holiday season is upon us, and so are its attendant myths, most prominent of which is the Santa Claus story.
POLL QUESTION
Brothers Peter, left, and Benjamin Robishaw help their dad pick out a cut Christmas tree -- a family tradition. "An artificial tree is a cop-out," Benjamin Robishaw said.

Fresh-cut Christmas tree only way to go for many Mainers

By Nok-Noi Ricker on Dec. 24, 2016, at 1 a.m.
When it comes to a traditional Christmas celebration, having a freshly cut tree is the only way to go.
POLL QUESTION
John Slaughter (left) and Nancy Slaughter carry their tree back to their car after cutting it down at Fisher Christmas Tree Farm in Belfast Thursday. The Slaughters got one of the last trees of the season at the tree farm.

Bittersweet end of the season on the Christmas tree farm

By Abigail Curtis on Dec. 23, 2016, at 6:38 a.m.
“I love Christmas. It’s such a nice time of the year. And everybody who comes in here is happy.”