May 23, 2019
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Maine news you need to know for Thursday

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
Members of the Orono High School canoe racing team paddle on the Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor Wednesday afternoon. They made a practice run from Six Mile Falls to the Flour Mill rapid in preparation for Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race that will be held this weekend.

Good morning. Temperatures will be in the low 50s throughout the state.

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

Maine still had more deaths than births last year, but immigration boosted our population

Michelle R. Smith | AP
Michelle R. Smith | AP
This March 23, 2018 file photo shows an envelope containing a 2018 census letter mailed to a resident in Providence, R.I., as part of the nation's only test run of the 2020 Census.

–Only Maine and West Virginia registered more deaths than births in 2018, according to U.S. Census data. But 10 of the state’s 16 counties — and Maine as a whole — experienced population growth, thanks to people moving here from other places.

Another independent Maine cinema is fighting for its life

–As the Eveningstar Cinema in Brunswick marks its 40th anniversary, doubts about its future loom. Owner Barry Norman is leaving Maine and manager Gracia Babbidge is scrambling to come up with enough money to buy the funky downtown theater and keep it open.

A County astronaut is going to space

NASA | BDN
NASA | BDN
NASA astronaut Jessica Meir trains inside the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She has been assigned to her first spaceflight, and will launch to the International Space Station in September 2019.

–Jessica Meir will soar some 220 miles above the Earth to the International Space Station on Sept. 25 with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and Emirati astronaut Hazz Al Mansouri. It will mark the Caribou native’s first spaceflight.

Jackson Lab says it’s hiring 300 new workers this year

–It’s also planning to increase its base wages over the next year, it announced on Wednesday. Of the 300, 35 to 40 people will be hired at the company’s Ellsworth mouse-breeding facility in 2019.

And a new development in Ellsworth is aimed at easing what the lab says is a housing shortage

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Beau Parker, 22, of Hermon works with Sean Sweeney, 40, of Ellsworth (on stilts) buffing sheetrock at Washington Luxe apartments in Ellsworth on Wednesday. The owner of Washington Luxe proposes to build 61 more properties in Ellsworth.

–It’s part of a two-development proposal by Jonathan Bates of Stone Park Properties LLC that would add 61 housing units to Ellsworth, and cost an estimated $9.3 million to build over the next 1 ½ years.

Climate impact study sought by foes of $1B CMP hydro project clears committee hurdle

–A bill that could delay state permitting of the controversial $1 billion Central Maine Power corridor through western Maine won approval from a legislative committee on Wednesday. The bill, backed by project opponents, derives from their skepticism that the transmission line would reduce global carbon emissions.

Do this: Prepare for the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
Kell Fremouw braces with his paddle during a preparation run on the Kenduskeag Stream Wednesday afternoon. Fremouw, an Orono High School senior, and other members of the school’s canoe racing team made a practice run from Six Mile Falls to the Flour Mill rapid in preparation for Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race that will be held this weekend.

–The 53rd Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race is Saturday and the water levels are looking just right. The water level peaked at 2,850 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, which is high, but by Wednesday it had dropped down to 2,500.

“If I’m right about the level, it makes for nearly ideal conditions for the general public to participate — enough water to cover up many of the rocks and make more routes available through the rapids, but not high enough to get those really big, pushy and wet wave trains,” Jeff Owen, who’s canoed in the race about 35 times, said.

Plus, we’ve included a map of all the points paddlers and spectators need to know, including the locations of mandatory portages and the craziest rapids — which make for great photo opportunities.

In other news…

Maine

Lombardi Trophy coming to Maine on Friday

State warns of Machias woman allegedly treating animals without veterinary license

Charges dropped in case of alleged antique auto theft

Bangor

Medical examiner testifies baby’s skull fracture not from accidental blow

Need a furry friend? Check out these adoptable pets from the Bangor Humane Society

New Bangor surgical center part of a trend offering hospitals stiff competition

Business

Elder housing on Indian Island gets $2.1 million boost

How 3 Maine women are building their own farm distribution network

Oyster farmers, lobster haulers take their turf battle to Maine State House

Politics

Softened paid leave deal brokered by Mills wins bipartisan support

Former Maine legislator who resigned last month dies of cancer

How Maine Democrats aim to clamp down on charter schools

Opinion

Faced with the grief of ending a pregnancy, insurance coverage shouldn’t be an added worry

How do we lower Maine’s tax burden?

I agree with Angus King on health care — sort of

Sports

Lewiston subdues Bangor in baseball season opener

Trenton golf course listed for sale, but another nearby course could reopen this year

Presque Isle native, backup goalie named captain of UMaine women’s ice hockey team

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