News

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation are divided over funding the federal government for another month, as talks continue in Washington. They acknowledge that a partial shutdown is possible if an agreement can't be reached.

But that would not have a big immediate impact on Maine. Programs such as Medicaid and Social Security will continue to send benefit checks, and many federal workers will stay on the job, including law enforcement and the military.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The legislative committee charged with developing regulations for the sale of recreational marijuana in Maine has voted to extend a moratorium on the adult-use market until mid-April. 

Pat Wellenbach / Associated Press/file

Twenty-one Mainers have died so far this season from the flu. That's according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

But Maine CDC epidemiologist Sara Robinson says that number is likely a little low. She says while 21 people had the flu listed as the cause of death on their death certificates, many more people die from other causes, as a result of having it.

Abukar Adan / Maine Public

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary since President Donald Trump was officially sworn into office. Here in Maine, Trump carried Maine's 2nd Congressional District, where he beat Hillary Clinton by a solid 10 percentage points.  We wondered how voters there are feeling about him now, and what they want to see going forward.

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The Jackman town manager is facing a backlash on social media and questions from the town's selectmen for what some characterize as his "white supremacist" views. Tom Kawczynski says those views are personal, separate from his job, and do not reflect anything other than "white pride."  

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press/file

Maine is one of 39 states that permit the dispensing of the anti-overdose drug naloxone to opioid addicts without a doctor's prescription. But while state regulators issued rules last August to provide guidance to pharmacists selling the drug, they have yet to be approved by Gov. Paul LePage.

The Board of Pharmacy says it will wait for a response from LePage before instructing pharmacists on the new policy  - even though it's not legally obligated to do so. 

Tribes Say Medicaid Work Requirements Jeopardize Health Care

Jan 19, 2018

Tribal nations in Maine and around the country say a push backed by President Trump's administration to require certain Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer conflicts with the federal government's responsibility to provide health care to Native Americans.
 
Meanwhile, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told tribal leaders Wednesday that requiring states to exempt Native Americans from work requirements could raise civil rights issues.
 
The Trump administration recently required states to consult with tribes before imposing work requirements.
 

PORTLAND, Maine - A lawsuit filed more than two years accusing Republican Gov. Paul LePage of abuse of power and blackmail has new life.

The full 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston announced Friday that it's going to hear arguments on the lawsuit brought by former Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves.

A hearing is set for April 3.

Maine kids are not getting essential computer education need to compete in today’s economy. That was the message delivered Thursday to the Legislature’s Education Committee by the task force set up to review computer-related programs in Maine schools.

The report found that only about 30 percent of Maine schools offer basic computer skills programs.

The Maine Board of Dental Practice voted Friday to table a request to renew the license of a Lewiston dentist who, last year, faced nearly 200 complaints from 18 patients. 

The board temporarily suspended Dr. Jan Kippax's license last February.  After several hearings last fall that focused on a portion of the complaints, the board ultimately found in Kippax's favor.  

But more than 100 complaints remain, and that was the basis for the board to vote to list Kippax's license as pending. 

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying to fast-track a bill that they say could help Mainers who use propane to heat their homes get through the next cold snap or a fuel shortage. The emergency proposal could potentially hit a roadblock over concerns that it could put homeowners on the hook if there’s an accident.

The recent cold snap left many Mainers shivering in their homes, as heating fuel companies struggled to keep up with their desperate calls for a propane refill.

PORTLAND, Maine - The owners of a medical marijuana shop and two medical marijuana users are suing to stop Maine from implementing new medical marijuana regulations next month.
 
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court targets a new rule that allows the state to provide same-day inspections of medical marijuana providers and to inspect a user's home with a day's notice.
 
The lawsuit contends such warrantless searches violated the Constitution.
 
The rules are due to go into effect on Feb. 1.
 

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Members of Maine’s congressional delegation say they do not want to see a federal government shutdown, but that a partial shutdown is possible if no agreement is reached by Friday night. Republicans control the House, the Senate and the presidency, but they still may not be able to garner the votes needed to pass even a short-term government spending bill.

Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin said in a written statement that he will vote for a continuing resolution crafted by House GOP leadership in order to avoid a shutdown.

PORTLAND, Maine - Widespread influenza across Maine has prompted the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland to alter some traditions to keep parishioners healthy.
 
The diocese announced Thursday that it's suspending the sharing of consecrated wine during communion and holding hands during the Lord's Prayer. The diocese is also discouraging parishioners from shaking hands while greeting each other during the passing of the peace.
 

Trump Rebuffs Lepage On Banning Soda, Candy Purchases With Food Stamps

Jan 19, 2018
Robert F. Bukaty/ AP/ BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has denied him on a second try in his long-standing battle to ban soft drink and candy purchases with federal food stamp benefits.

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