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Joel Page / Associated Press

October Windstorm Took Down CMP’s $200 Million Smart Meter Network

When power went out to some half a million Mainers after the October windstorm, another system went down too — Central Maine Power’s $200 million smart-grid communications network that, among other things, was supposed to improve outage communications and storm recovery.

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Court documents in an old tax dispute indicate that the owners of a pipeline that crosses Maine - and could be used to transport tar sands oil - is several years past its retirement date.

The National Wildlife Federation has uncovered court documents from an old tax dispute that it says show yet another reason why any plan by the Exxon-owned Portland Pipe Line Corp. to transport tar sands oil through the pipeline that runs across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont is risky. Jim Murphy is senior counsel for the National Wildlife Federation's northeast regional center.

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says supporters of a referendum to prohibit the use of dogs, bait or traps to hunt bear have submitted enough valid signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.

Dunlap says supporters turned in 63,626 valid signatures, 6,349 more than required.

The signature petitions were submitted by the group Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, which is seeking to end the practice of using bait, traps and dogs to hunt bear.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Democrat Mike Michaud is set to make his first major policy address since announcing his campaign for Maine governor.

Michaud plans to announce an economic platform Wednesday in Portland. Afterward he will hold a series of events through the end of the week with business leaders and community leaders across the state.

Spokeswoman Lizzy Reinholt says the economic plan was borne out of conversations with business leaders and experts.

She said it's ''long on ideas and short on rhetoric.''

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Blaine Richardson says he will run as an independent in Maine's 2nd Congressional District race.

The Belfast conservative is expected to announce Monday on Bangor radio station WVOM that he's leaving the Republican Party.

The Kennebec Journal reports that Richardson received more than a third of the votes in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District seat in 2012, losing to former Maine Senate President Kevin Raye.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Campaign finance reports show Democratic challenger Mike Michaud outpacing the other two candidates in fundraising so far in the race for Maine governor.

According to reports filed Wednesday, Michaud raised nearly $700,000 in the latest reporting period that ended Dec. 31, and has now raised more than $1 million overall.

Incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage has raised almost $719,000 overall, including more than $373,000 in the past six months.

Equality Maine Endorses Michaud for Governor

Jan 2, 2014

A political endorsement in the Maine Governor's race has sparked a war of words between campaign staffs of two gubernatorial hopefuls. The announcement came Thursday morning at the downtown Portland headquarter's of the state's largest gay rights advocacy group.

"On behalf of our 70,000 members in Maine, Equality Maine is very proud to announce our endorsement of Mike Michaud to be Maine's next governor," said Equality Maine's political director Ali Vander Zanden at a press conference in Portland.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Crystal Canney, a spokeswoman for Eliot Cutler's campaign, said people in Maine will benefit because Cutler won't be bought by or beholden to special interest groups. Canney said PAC money drives the agenda in campaigns and that Maine people deserve better.

The year-end fundraising filing deadline for the governor's race is midnight Tuesday.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ A report released Monday said money from outside groups seeking to influence Maine legislative races grew by more than 500 percent from 2008 to 2012.

The report said some nonprofits were able to shield corporate or individual donors behind those expenditures, transferring money multiple times before a donation is made.

The explosion of outside money in state elections shows no signs of abating, according to a campaign spending watchdog group that claims it is also becoming harder to tell where the money is coming from. In its 11th Money and Politics Project report, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections says rather than hearing from the candidates themselves, voters now are more likely to hear about a candidate from third parties with an interest in the outcome of the race.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Republican Sen. Susan Collins won't be unopposed on the primary ballot.

The head of a group that opposed same-sex marriage in Maine says he will offer a conservative voice in the GOP primary. Erick Bennett, director of the Maine Equal Rights Center, said he was filing his paperwork Monday.

Bennett accused Collins of supporting legislation that undercut the Second Amendment and criticized her for supporting Common Core Standards, which his group says erodes local control of curriculum.

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Where to hear Maine Public Classical programming.

MAINE CALLING

The Best Books of 2017

Friday-What novels, children's books, non-fiction and other great reads topped the list this year? We'll also learn about some overlooked gems.