January 21, 2019
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Maine news you need to know for Monday

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
A girl skates across a frozen pond in Freeport, Dec. 26, 2018.

Good morning. Temperatures will peak in the low 20s with sunny skies throughout most of the state.

Here’s what we’re talking about in Maine today.

A Chinese restaurant in downtown Bangor is changing hands after 30 years

Emily Burnham | BDN
Emily Burnham | BDN
Lisa Chan, Josephine Yao, Mike Yao and Michael Cui, pictured at Panda Garden in downtown Bangor on Jan. 10. The Yaos sold the restaurant to Cui of Asian Palace II, who will rename it Asian Garden.

–Mike and Josephine Yao arrived in Bangor for the first time in 1988, and they finally felt like they were home. Thirty years later, their downtown Bangor restaurant, Panda Garden, has become a staple. But the Yaos are ready for retirement.

The company proposing a Bucksport salmon farm says the woman challenging it has no standing

–Whole Oceans LLC has responded to an appeal of its wastewater discharge permit by Belfast resident Holly Faubel by arguing she has no standing to challenge the permit for the $250 million salmon farm. According to attorneys for the company, Faubel failed to show how the aquafarm “directly, specifically, and adversely affects her interests in a way that is different from the general public.”

Bangor’s housing problems have become ‘unacceptable.’ New report tells city to tackle them.

Charlie Neibergall | AP
Charlie Neibergall | AP
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro stands on the front porch after speaking at a house party at the Ed and Jane Cranston home, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in North Liberty, Iowa.

–Bangor officials should launch a comprehensive rental inspection program, take neglectful landlords to court and try to promote the development of more affordable housing.

Those are just a few of the recommendations to improve the city’s housing market contained in a new report that will be presented to the Bangor City Council at 5:15 p.m. on Monday.

Maine’s congressional delegation has resurrected legislation to allow clam and worm digging in Acadia National Park

–The bills would allow marine harvesting to occur along Acadia National Park’s tidal mudflats and require congressional approval for any expansion of the national park. Sen. Angus King and then-Rep. Bruce Poliquin introduced a similar proposal two years ago. It passed the House, but didn’t make it to the full Senate.

Bucksport isn’t giving up on a building that’s been repeatedly slated for demolition

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
The 177-year-old Wilson Hall of Bucksport has faced demolition many times since 2000. Since this picture was taken, part of its tilted cupola has been removed.

–Town councilors want Bucksport’s town manager to negotiate a purchase-and-sale agreement that would allow a local developer to buy the town-owned property for $1 so he can convert it into apartments.

Portland’s mayor wants city tax dollars to fund political campaigns

–In his annual State of the City address Monday evening, Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling said he’ll call for a local Clean Election fund as part of a slate of voting and transparency reforms.

The fund could cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, depending on the program’s details, but the mayor said “it’s worth the investment” to get “big money out of politics.”

Meet Brandi, Penobscot County court’s unofficial therapy dog

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Brandi greets Amy Faircloth just after she was sworn in as Judge of Probate on January 3, 2019. Brandi, a five-year-old whippet mix, is a familiar face at the historic Penobscot County Courthouse where she goes to work daily with her owner, Register of Probate Renee Stupak. Even though Brandi is not a trained therapy dog, she calms many people who are going through difficult situations.

–Penobscot County Register of Probate Renee Stupak started taking her adopted whippet mix to work more than two years ago. Since then, her 5-year-old pooch has become Penobscot County Probate Court’s unofficial therapy dog, offering comfort to county employees, attorneys and the people with often stressful proceedings before the court.

In other news …

Maine

Maine woman whose condition has ‘perplexed’ doctors needs 5 organs replaced

Mainer rides 8 miles with broken leg after moose causes snowmobile crash

Marijuana store owner forced to close over 25-year-old misdemeanor

Bangor

Orono could make it easier for residents to overturn their councilors’ decisions

Reports of stolen mail in Bangor, Hampden prompt police warning about suspected fraud

3 Republicans, 2 Dems seek party nods next week to run for open Bangor House seat

Business

Average hourly earnings in US rose at end of 2018

Developer withdraws plan for waterfront hotel in Portland, citing concerns by fishermen

Coca-Cola announces closure of Farmington sales center

Politics

Maine GOP chair fends off leadership challenge after rough 2018

LePage laid off state workers during the 2013 federal shutdown. Mills has no plans to do so.

How Maine’s congressional representatives voted last week

Opinion

Give Mills and lawmakers a fair chance to do right for Maine

Maine lawmakers have blueprint for reworking youth behavioral health services

She shot a robber with her legal gun — just as ‘concealed carry’ was intended

Sports

Austin Theriault makes grassroots racing announcement

Hampden Academy, Bangor basketball players coping well as teammate, friend recovers from serious crash

11th-ranked Northeastern shuts out UMaine men’s hockey team

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