It’s a long time until the November 2018 election, but two-term Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn has formed an exploratory committee to run for the U.S. Senate against incumbent independent Sen. Angus King.

Brakey says in order to raise money to travel around the state and to test the political waters, a prospective candidate must file an exploratory committee with federal election officials.

AUGUSTA, Maine -  The state’s Economic Forecasting Commission has concluded that 2016 was a strong year for Maine’s economy, but members aren't sure whether that will continue in 2017.

The work of the Economic Forecasting Commission provides the basis for the separate Revenue Forecasting Committee to project state tax receipts next month.  

PORTLAND, Maine - Revised rules on the state's new opioid prescription law are due in the next few days - and Maine veterinarians are looking for some changes.

The law sets limits on opioid prescriptions, and it requires vets to check the state's database of prescription records for owners - or whoever brings an animal into the office - before prescribing opioids for a pet.

PORTLAND, Maine - The leaders of eight regional councils that manage fisheries are reaching out to President Donald Trump to express concern over the creation of marine monuments, such as one in the ocean off of New England.
President Barack Obama created the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument last year. It's made up of nearly 5,000 square miles of habitat, and is very unpopular with many commercial fishermen.

After the death last week of the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan declared that the ACA was the law of the land for the foreseeable future. But that future is murky, with more reform attempts expected.

A biomass company at the center of a dispute over payments to loggers is now asking to change the terms of its state subsidy. The company says it wants to dispel the notion that taxpayers are getting a bad deal.

Gov. Paul LePage has imposed a number of restrictions on welfare recipients through the rulemaking process. Now he’s pushing a proposal that would cement those reforms into law, making it more difficult for future governors to change them.

Charles Krupa / Associated Press

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine -Hig Roberts won the men's giant slalom in the U.S. Alpine Championships on Tuesday at foggy Sugarloaf Mountain for his first national title.
He edged seven-time national champion Tim Jitloff by .14 seconds.
Roberts was third after the first run behind Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Jitloff. Cochran-Siegle had nearly a half-second lead after a rainy, challenging first run but he was unable to complete his next run.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine wildlife managers are almost finished taking comments from the public about a plan to again trim the number of moose hunting permits.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife wants to cut the number of moose permits to 2,080, which is 60 less than last year. The state gave out more than 2,800 permits in 2015.

The state is taking comments on the proposed cutback until Thursday. The permits will eventually be awarded via a lottery in June that typically attracts tens of thousands of applicants.

BAR HARBOR, Maine - Maine's senators say Congress should pass legislation that would make many veterans eligible for a free lifetime pass allowing entry to national parks.
Sen. Angus King, an independent, says the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act would change current laws so all veterans with a service-connected disability would be eligible for the pass. It would also provide access to other lands and waters owned by the U.S. government.

LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine - Prosecutors in Maine will not seek charges against a police officer who was involved in a crash that killed a pedestrian last year.
The Sun Journal reports District Attorney Andrew Robinson says the office has determined there is no basis to bring charges against Livermore Falls Officer Troy Reed in the crash that killed 23-year-old Joseph Slaver Jr., of Livermore Falls.
Authorities say a police cruiser driven by Reed hit Slaver when he ran into the road on Oct. 28. Slaver later died.

Maine’s New Opiate Limits Could Be Targeted in Lawsuit

11 hours ago
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/file

AUGUSTA, Maine — Two midcoast men who suffer from chronic pain informed state officials on Tuesday that they intend to sue over a new law that limits opiate prescriptions in an effort to stem Maine’s addiction crisis if it isn’t changed.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

In classrooms, there has long been an assumption that students need to be still, calm and attentive to learn. But more and more, researchers are finding that attitude could actually be harming many students.

Dozens of Republican and Democratic state lawmakers may have violated a law requiring them to update their public income disclosure when they or their spouse change jobs.

PORTLAND, Maine — Consolidated Communications and FairPoint Communications say their shareholders have approved of a proposed merger of the two companies.

Consolidated announced in December it was buying FairPoint for $1.5 billion, assuming its debt and offering dividends to stockholders.

Shareholder voting took place Tuesday at Consolidated in Illinois and FairPoint in North Carolina.