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Patty Wight / Maine Public

Maine Broadens Exemptions For Toughest-In-Nation Opioid Prescription Limits

It’s been a year since Maine enacted the toughest opioid prescription limits in the country, which came in response to an addiction epidemic where, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription painkiller.

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With an eye toward increasing affordable housing in Portland, Mayor Ethan Strimling has proposed changes to a city zoning ordinance.

One change would double the amount of so-called workforce housing required in housing developments of 10 or more units. Strimling also wants to lower how much people would have to pay to own or rent such units.

Strimling says he wants to make sure middle-income people are able to afford to stay in the city.

Governments have struggled to come up with effective ways to stop people from cutting down trees.

That's because unchecked deforestation can cause soil to erode, worsen flooding and destroy natural habitats for wildlife. It's become a serious problem throughout the globe. Deforestation accounts for roughly 10 percent of worldwide emissions from burning, and loss of trees reduces the amount of carbon being reabsorbed into the ground.

It’s Thursday, and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on Maine politics. This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney and former Democratic legislator who writes a column for the Portland Press Herald, and Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, who served in the Legislature as a Republican.

PORTLAND, Maine — A new minor league hockey team coming to Maine will now provide a lot more money for its county-owned stadium home in Portland.

The Portland Press Herald reports the new deal will benefit both the taxpayer-backed Cross Insurance Arena and its managing company Comcast Spectacor. Spectacor announced in June that it had purchased an Alaskan hockey team to play in Portland for the 2018-19 season.

Portland lost its minor league team when the Portland Pirates were sold and moved to Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Republican scramble to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has yielded yet another version of a health care overhaul bill, along with yet another score from the Congressional Budget Office — the second analysis from the nonpartisan agency in two days.

A Nevada parole board has granted O.J. Simpson parole from prison after he served nearly nine years following a conviction on armed robbery and other charges.

On Thursday, the four-person panel unanimously voted to grant parole. The parole board said that Oct. 1 is the earliest the former NFL star is eligible for release.

NPR's Ina Jaffe walked us through the incident that led to his conviction:

Empty streets, makeshift barricades, burning tires, signs scrawled with "No to dictatorship": Protests continue on the streets of Venezuela as a 24-hour general strike takes hold, the latest development in an ongoing political and economic crisis.

Some citizens are trying to go to work despite the shutdown of public transportation; others are taking to blockaded streets in protest. There is widespread fear of more bloodshed after months of conflict and dozens of deaths.

DOVER, N.H. - New Hampshire authorities are investigating a possible opioid overdose by a 6-year-old boy in Manchester.
 
Police say they were called to an apartment early Tuesday for an unresponsive child. Police say it's unclear how the boy became incapacitated. They say he was revived after Narcan was administered by first responders and remains hospitalized.
 
The incident happened the same day Gov. Chris Sununu and the state's new "drug czar'' visited a Dover bakery to discuss the state's opioid crisis.
 

Peter Duley / NEFSC/NOAA

PORTLAND, Maine - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says rare right whales will be considered for disentanglement from fishing gear on a "case by case basis'' in the future.
 
The agency suspended efforts to free whales tangled in fishing line last week after a Canadian rescuer was killed by a right whale after freeing it. It has since announced that whale disentanglement will go forward, with rescue teams resuming most operations.
 

The Justice Department announced Thursday that together with the FBI and international law enforcement agencies, officials had shut down "the largest darknet marketplace in history." AlphaBay, a Web bazaar where users' identities were cloaked and illicit goods and drugs were sold, has officially been seized and shut down.

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