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Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

Fresh Maine Law Lets Municipalities Regulate Local Food Production

Earlier this month, Republican Gov. Paul LePage took up a Democrat-sponsored food sovereignty bill, and signed it. The move, which delighted or dismayed, depending on who you talk to, essentially tells state regulators to butt out if a municipality chooses to assert its local authority over food regulation.

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Unemployment rose slightly last month in Maine’s three major urban areas.

Bangor had the biggest rise, from 3.2 percent in April to 3.6 percent in May. Lewiston-Auburn unemployment went from 3 percent to 3.2 percent last month. Greater Portland’s jobless rate also rose two-tenths of a percent from 2.5 percent in April to 2.7 percent in May.

All three metro areas continue to track below the statewide unemployment rate, which was 3.9 percent in May. And joblessness was slightly lower in all three urban areas last month than it was a year ago in May.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says he has a “radical suggestion” for those who are seeking passage of a U.S. health care bill — follow normal protocols.

He says a bill should be submitted and put before the requisite committees.

“Have hearings, have debates, have information, get information from around the country, from experts, from people that know about the topic, and that’s how we make good laws,” King says.

For the first time, the number of children paralyzed by mutant strains of the polio vaccine are greater than the number of kids paralyzed by polio itself.

So far in 2017, there have been only six cases of "wild" polio reported anywhere in the world. By "wild" public health officials mean the disease caused by polio virus found naturally in the environment.

Maine's Republican Gov. Paul LePage is among those opposing the Senate health care bill.
 
LePage was asked if he backs the legislation and he said no, complaining that the bill doesn't go far enough to fix current law. Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins opposes the bill.
 
LePage, who was at the White House on Wednesday, said he met with Collins Wednesday morning.
 
Collins is one of nearly 10 Republicans who have expressed opposition to the bill. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell postponed a vote this week because he lacked the votes.
 

The last few months have not been easy ones for the small companies that supply Whole Foods with quinoa and kale. As big investors demanded a shake-up at the company, maybe even a takeover by a much bigger supermarket chain, Janey Hubschman felt that the fate of her own company, Epicurean Butter, was also at stake.

"The fact that their sales have not been great affects every single product that is in Whole Foods, and their reputation affects everything that is on the shelf," says the Colorado businesswoman, who has been selling to Whole Foods since 2005.

It all began rather simply.

"Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform," goes the opening line in the opening book of Michael Bond's Paddington Bear series. Readers, for their part, first met the orphan bear from Peru in 1958, in the pages of A Bear Named Paddington.

row4food / Flickr

In the event of a state government shutdown, ferry service to Maine's islands could be reduced or closed if the governor's office does not deem them essential.

Ted Talbot, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Transportation, said he didn't know whether ferry service would be affected in the event of a shutdown. But during the government shutdown of 1991, state ferries ran less frequently to Maine islands.

Vinalhaven Harbor Master James Harris said the island's ferry service is vital to his community and surrounding islands.

Less than a day after a monument of the Ten Commandments was installed outside the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock, it was destroyed when a man smashed a car into the stone.

Authorities say Michael T. Reed II drove a 2016 Dodge Dart into the 6,000-pound granite slab at about 4:47 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

Americans broadly disapprove of the Senate GOP's health care bill, and they're unhappy with how Republicans are handling the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Lee Coursey / via Wikimedia Commons

Maine wild blueberries once again decreased in value in 2016. New numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture have the price at a 10-year low - 27 cents a pound.

But the harvest is only about a month away, and Maine Blueberry Commission Executive Director Nancy McBrady says growers have taken steps this year to reduce yields, and, hopefully, increase prices.

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