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Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Tens Of Thousands Of Job Seekers In Limbo After LePage Declines $9 Million In Retraining Money

Last month, Gov. Paul LePage informed the U.S. Department of Labor that he would no longer accept about $9 million in federal job retraining funding for thousands of unemployed workers.

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It’s Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on politics. This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney who served in the Legislature as a Democrat; Dick Woodbury, an economist and former independent lawmaker; and Mike Cianchette, an attorney and former chief counsel to Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

As someone who lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder, novelist John Green sometimes feels like his mind is spiraling uncontrollably.

"It starts out with one little thought, and then slowly that becomes the only thought that you're able to have," Green says. "It's like there's an invasive weed that just spreads out of control."

Based on the latest stock assessments of spiny dogfish, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has approved a quota of about 38.2 million pounds of the small shark — about 900,000 pounds less than the quota for the current year. It’s also more than dogfish harvesters usually catch.

Fishery Management Plan Coordinator Max Appelman says that’s because of market demand, rather than how many fish are available.

At a meeting Thursday of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Maine independent Sen. Angus King grilled Defense Department officials over efforts to defend the country against cyber attacks. 

King said simply bolstering defenses against cyber-attacks is not an effective strategy.

“Just being on the defensive is not going to work in the end," he said. "If you are in a boxing match and you can bob and weave, and you are the best bob-and-weaver in the history of the world, if you can’t punch back, you are going to lose that boxing match.”

You might say George W. Bush wants to make America great again.

In remarks Thursday, he criticized the kind of politics, sentiment and populism that led to President Trump's rise and election — though he never named Trump explicitly.

Scientists: Big Changes Coming For Fish Crucial To Food Chain

13 hours ago
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - Conservationists and fishing groups say big changes potentially coming to the management of a tiny fish could have huge implications for the ocean ecosystem and marine industries on the East Coast.
 
Interstate regulators are considering altering the way they manage menhaden, including reducing the amount of the fish that can be caught by commercial fishermen.
 
The schooling fish are used in products such as fish oil supplements. U.S. fishermen catch more than a billion pounds of menhaden each year.
 

Anti-Gay Crusader Gives Up On Effort To Roll Back Protections In Maine

14 hours ago
Troy R. Bennett / Bangor Daily News/file

A push to remove protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation from the Maine Human Rights Act has been abandoned, according to the person who started it.

Michael Heath of Chelsea said Thursday that he will not submit the 61,123 signatures from registered Maine voters required to put a referendum question on the statewide ballot. Heath, who launched the effort in April of 2016, faces a deadline of Saturday to submit the signatures.

Maine has received formal notification that state driver’s licenses and identification cards will continue to be accepted for federal purposes through Oct. 10 of next year.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued an additional one-year waiver as Maine works to comply with the federal REAL ID law. Maine was one of a few states that had resisted compliance because of cost and privacy concerns.

Maine Lawmakers Rush To Fix New Food Sovereignty Law Before Feds Step In

15 hours ago
Julia Bayly / Bangor Daily News

Maine’s landmark food sovereignty law was on the books for less than a month before the federal government informed state officials in July the legislation was in need of tweaking.

Now advocates of food sovereignty in the state are preparing to defend the legislation during the upcoming October special legislative session.

It's not your ordinary sports doping scandal: Some dogs who mushed this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have tested positive for the opioid pain reliever tramadol, the event's governing board said Wednesday.

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