Good morning. Temperatures will be in the high teens to low 20s, with sunny skies throughout the state.
Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.
–Piscataquis County sees the revival of the Big Squaw Mountain ski area as a part of the Moosehead Lake region’s economic revitalization. So the county’s commissioners have joined the state in a lawsuit against the partially defunct ski area’s owner that seeks millions of dollars to restore the ski mountain.
Hospital visits for some eastern and central Maine residents could become more complicated, and costly
–Starting in a few weeks, the emergency room doctors who work at four small Maine hospitals will no longer actually work for those hospitals. Their employer, instead, will be a company based 1,000 miles away in Tennessee. Hospitals across the country outsource their emergency room staffing to outside firms, but the practice potentially exposes patients to higher, surprise, out-of-network bills.
–Economists, bankers and other financial advisers suggest that the answer is “no.” Maine’s economy is the best it’s been since the great recession of 2008 as the Pine Tree State enters 2019 with a higher minimum wage, a budget surplus of more than $175 million and unemployment at 3.4 percent, below the national average. But residents are advised to be on the lookout for a “correction” within the next 12 to 18 months that could affect stock market assets and other investments.
–In just one month, the Midcoast Recovery Coalition has raised the funds needed to purchase a residence in Camden, with the hope of turning the home into a place for women who are recovering from addiction. The sale is expected to close on Jan. 18 after expedited fundraising efforts when another potential buyer emerged. “It’s truly a miracle,” said Midcoast Recovery Coalition director Ira Mandel. “And really, what the miracle is is community support. This is 100 percent donations.”
–New guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that take effect in February will ease up on some school nutrition guidelines first established during the Obama administration. But Bangor plans to stick to the more stringent nutrition rules, which emphasize whole grains, less sodium and fat-free milk. “We plan to continue exactly what we’ve been doing all along,” said Noelle Scott, food services director for the city’s schools. “So these changes won’t affect us.”
–Float 207 offers float therapy — sensory deprivation tanks, essentially, filled with salty, ultra-buoyant water that is heated to skin temperature. You get in, you lie down, and you try to let reality melt away for 90 minutes.
“When you’re in the tank, everything else just disappears,” co-owner Gabe Kingsbury said. “You might go in thinking you’re going to think about something in particular, but then your mind just empties. It’s pretty awesome.”
In other news …
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