June 27, 2019
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Maine news you need to know for Monday

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
A canoe with a giant, inflatable Gumby shoots the rapids at Six Mile Falls in Bangor during the 52nd Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, April 21, 2018.

Good morning. Temperatures will be in the low 40s to the mid-50s from north to south, with rain throughout the state.

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

To survive, Maine hospitals are joining forces instead of competing

Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer
Stuart Hedstrom | Piscataquis Observer
Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft.

–Squeezed tightly by the high cost of doing business at a time when federal reimbursements don’t cover expenses and more patients need free care, Maine’s hospitals are merging, consolidating and finding other ways to survive in increasingly difficult financial times.

Maine’s universities, long shrinking, have traded places with community colleges

–Following about a decade of steady growth in the number of students at Maine’s community colleges and a corresponding drop at the state’s public universities, the enrollment patterns have flipped in recent years. Everything from the unemployment rate to aggressive out-of-state student recruitment is a factor.

Three months after co-owner’s quadruple bypass, Friar’s Tap Room in Bucksport has reopened

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
Brother Don at the Friars’ Brewhouse Tap Room in Buckport.

–Late in the evening of Jan. 14, Brother Donald Paul, co-owner of the Friar’s Brewhouse Tap Room in downtown Bucksport, wasn’t feeling so hot. Eventually, Brother Kenneth Leo, his fellow Francisan Friar, decided it was bad enough to merit a trip to the emergency room, where it was determined that Brother Don, as he’s affectionately known, had suffered a massive heart attack and required a quadruple bypass operation. But three months later, the tap room is back open and Brother Don is registered for a triathlon.

Two volunteer groups hope to build a mountain-bike trail network in Hancock County

–The Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust and Penobscot region chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association have finished a 530-yard, single-track trail on the trust’s 4,500 acres in Orland off Route 1 near its intersection with Route 176. They hope to build a three-mile trail in the same area starting in June, said Shawn Mercer, the trust’s land steward.

Maine islanders tell new transportation chief that ferry rate hike threatens their way of life

–In April 2018, residents of Islesboro saw the cost of a roundtrip ferry ticket to the mainland more the double. Since the price hike, islanders say the financial burden has threatened the long-term sustainability of their island community.

Janet Mills on her first 100 days: ‘I’m trying to be cautious’

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Democrat Janet Mills waves to the crowd after being sworn in as Maine’s 75th governor on Jan. 2, 2019.

–On her 100th day in office Friday, Gov. Janet Mills was sitting at her State House desk and in front of her were red, hardcover books containing Maine’s labor laws from a bid to help salvage a sick-leave bill that’s at risk of failure.

It illustrates the hands-on way the 71-year-old Democrat has approached her new job, highlighted by quick reversals of her predecessor, a $8 billion budget proposal faulted by some on her left and most on her right, and a dug-in defense of an unpopular utility project slated for her home region.

In other news …

Maine

Maine island with private compound, library and boat for sale for $1.4M

Lewiston leaders fear violence, call for peace after arrests in deadly street fight

How a weekly Maine newspaper reporter went on to hide illegal foreign donations to Trump

Bangor

Maine man arrested for drug trafficking after police say they found him passed out in car

Tudor-style home in Orrington destroyed in blaze

As boys lacrosse grows at Bangor and John Bapst, Brewer joins varsity ranks

Business

Bath Iron Works to christen destroyer named after late senator

Major cruise lines may be blocked from docking in Portland

Number of rural Mainers without health insurance dipped from 2013 to 2017

Politics

Lawmakers delay quest for solution to Maine’s long-term jail funding problem

Senators say Portsmouth Naval Shipyard funds appear safe from diversion to pay for border wall

How Maine’s members of Congress voted last week

Opinion

Patriots Day and the forgotten Dawes

Immediate and sustained effort needed to protect Maine children

Red flag laws can save lives

Sports

UMaine baseball team sweeps Saturday doubleheader

Brewer’s Boyington prepares to defend his MMA featherweight title at age 40

Maine runner celebrates 40th anniversary of first Boston Marathon by competing once again

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