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Maine Department of Corrections

Down East Communities Say They’d Be Harmed By Prison’s Closure

For more than 30 years, the population in the Down East town of Machiasport has remained virtually unchanged, at about 1,100 residents. But that number could drop by more than 10 percent if state lawmakers agree to Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to close the Downeast Correctional Facility.

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It's Thursday and time for the Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on politics. This week, Dick Woodbury, an economist who served in the Legislature as an independent; Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising, a former Republican lawmaker; and Cynthia Dill, an attorney who served in Augusta as a Democrat.

President Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos, struck a defiant tone in brief remarks before conservative activists at a political conference outside Washington, D.C., on Thursday. But she held back on the administration's rescinding of Obama administration guidance to schools on transgender rights.

Democratic lawmakers clashed with DHHS commissioner Mary Mayhew Thursday over the agency’s proposal to dramatically cut state funds for chronic disease and tobacco cessation programs. The proposal is part of Gov. Paul LePage’s budget, and reduces funding to the Fund for Healthy Maine by 70 percent.

During the public hearing, Democratic Rep. Patricia Hymanson of York told Mayhew that proposal gutted the public health program.

“What you’re doing is taking away a public fund in public health and driving it into a different place. Just to be clear,” she says.

PORTLAND, Maine — A ceremony honoring Portland’s police chief has been interrupted by protesters angered by the fatal shooting of a man by police last weekend.

The Portland Press Herald reports that about a dozen protesters stood up, raised their hands and began shouting Wednesday night as the City Council honored Chief Michael Sauschuck for being named Police Chief of the Year for 2017 by the Maine Association of Police.

Mayor Ethan Strimling adjourned the meeting until the protesters left. They chanted "black lives matter" outside City Hall.

The headlines are everywhere today: Americans trust the news media more than they do President Trump.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 52 percent of registered voters said they trust the news media more than Trump to tell them "the truth about important issues." Only 37 percent say they choose Trump.

Top White House advisers Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to make the case that despite seeming like a political odd couple, the two represent the successful marriage of disparate wings of the Republican Party, united under President Trump.

To Test Zika Vaccines, Scientists Need A New Outbreak

11 hours ago

Researchers are eager to test promising vaccines against Zika, the virus that sparked a global health emergency last year.

But uncertainty over whether the Zika epidemic will continue affects researchers' ability to finish testing vaccines. They need locations with an active viral outbreak to conduct large-scale human trials and make sure the vaccine actually protects against disease.

Fishermen at Odds over Impact of Trump Executive Order

12 hours ago

PORTLAND, Maine -Fishing groups are divided over whether President Donald Trump's "one in, two out'' approach to federal regulations will benefit their industry, harm it or affect it at all.
 
Trump issued an executive order in January that says when a public agency proposes a new regulation, it must also identify two regulations to be repealed. The order caused a flurry of debate, and a lawsuit from political opponents, over whether it's a wise idea or even possible.
 

Many small towns in New England are eager to welcome refugees from the war in Syria, but that doesn’t seem likely under President Donald Trump’s shifting immigration policy.

St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont has found a way around that -- they’re offering scholarships to refugees already living in the U.S.

Local law enforcement officers have arrested some people who chose not to evacuate federal land near part of the Dakota Access Pipeline north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Most protesters had left earlier. At dusk, police moved back, and said they would not enter the camp at that time.

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Where to hear Maine Public Classical programming.

MAINE CALLING

The Academy Award

Friday - A preview of Sunday's Academy Awards. Which movies are getting the most buzz? Which have been overlooked?