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Three thousand pieces of the equipment at the former Madison Paper Co. mill will be sold in an online auction next month. The mill closed last May, putting 214 people out of work.

The mill, and everything in it, have since been purchased by an investment group that includes New Mill Capital Holdings.

In Lewiston, school administrators are reaching out to parents and families in the wake of the sudden death of a Lewiston Middle School student on Tuesday.

According to police, the student’s death was reported early on Tuesday morning. Officials have yet to release the cause of death, but school administrators are sending information home about how to help students through grief and crisis.

According to media reports, students protested outside Lewiston Middle School on Wednesday and said staff members needed to better address bullying within the school.

Another Small Maine Hospital to Stop Delivering Babies

3 hours ago

CALAIS, Maine — Calais Regional Hospital will close its obstetrics department, a move that will leave Washington County with just one hospital fully equipped to deliver newborns.

Since 2007, the hospital’s delivery rate has dropped from more than 100 births annually to just 60 last year, according to a statement from Calais Regional. That decline, coupled with a shortage of nursing staff, lead to “heavy financial losses” in the obstetrics department that the board determined the hospital can no longer sustain, the hospital said.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has agreed to review the University of Maine at Presque Isle's application for Upward Bound funding, according to a tweet from Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.

The application was rejected this spring due to a formatting error.  Since then, Maine's congressional delegation has urged DeVos to reconsider the application, based on its merits and not on line spacing.  

Upward Bound helps low-income first-generation students attend college. If approved, it would help about 1,000 Maine students over the next five years.

PORTLAND, Maine - A newspaper reports that two Maine CEOs received raises that were much higher than national averages.
The Portland Press Herald reports that Wex's Melissa Smith and Idexx Laboratories' Jonathan Ayers did better than their peers in 2016.
CEOs across the U.S. received an 8.5 percent raise on average. Smith received a 17 percent raise while Ayers saw a 23 percent increase. Smith's total compensation totaled $4.2 million in 2016. Ayers' brought in $5.8 million at Idexx in 2016.

PORTLAND, Maine - Venues in Maine are supplementing their security in the wake of the concert terror attack in England.
WGME-TV reports that Maine officials are ratcheting up security as police ask concert goers to remain vigilant. The security increases come days after a suicide bomber injured and killed dozens in the Manchester Arena during a concert.

At separate hearings, Maine’s two U.S. senators Wednesday pressed administration and industry officials about the Trump administration's proposed shipbuilding budget, noting that it appears to fall short of providing the funds to meet the president’s target of a 355-ship Navy. 

At stake are jobs at Maine's Bath Iron Works.

BENEDICTA, Maine - Supporters of a new national monument in Maine who are upset at the governor's refusal to allow road signs for the park are taking matters into their own hands.
Fans of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument hung a banner advertising the park from a highway overpass above Interstate 95. The sign, which appears to be written on a bed sheet or piece of canvas, says "KWW Exit 264'' and appeared Wednesday.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Democrats and Republicans want to hammer out a budget deal within the next few weeks, but say the biggest sticking point remains a voter-approved tax on high earners to fund schools.
The budget's due by July 1, but legislative leaders want a deal by mid-June.
Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon says anyone threatening a government shutdown at the peak of the Vacationland state's tourism industry won't get the two sides any closer.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A key legislative committee has voted against a bill to create a uniform teacher contract across Maine.
The Portland Press Herald reports that the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee opposed the bill, 6-5, even after concessions from the bill's sponsor on Tuesday.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage says the idea would help rural districts compete for teachers. The sponsor, Republican Rep. Matt Pouliot, called it a "wage equality'' bill.

BATH, Maine - The defense department is a big winner in President Donald Trump's $4.1 trillion budget, but the money isn't necessarily tricking down to Bath Iron Works in Maine.
The Trump budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 includes money for eight extra Navy ships, including two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers like those built at Bath. It also includes an additional aircraft carrier, two Virginia-class submarines, one Littoral Combat Ship, and two auxiliary ships.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's Republican governor plans to commute the sentences of some low-risk offenders and help them find jobs.

Gov. Paul LePage's office said Tuesday that the decision is not related to the recently announced closure of Downeast Correctional Facility.

LePage and the state corrections commissioner said the state would move 100 inmates from the minimum-security Downeast facility to other state prisons. But critics of the closure say there may not be enough beds. The Department of Corrections in March testified that it has about 40 secure male beds open.

A bill that would have allowed terminally ill patients to end their lives has failed to pass in the Maine Legislature. Though the Death with Dignity legislation narrowly succeeded the Senate last week, the House voted against it Tuesday with a margin wide enough to end its chances. But supporters say they’ll try again, and may bypass the Legislature.

In her work as a neurologist, Democratic state Rep. Patty Hymanson has seen patients face tough, terminal diagnoses. She told her House colleagues Tuesday that she hears a common question.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is among a group of senators that is trying to make some types of hearing aids more easily accessible and more affordable.
Collins, a Republican, is sponsoring the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 along with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley.
The senators say only about 14 percent of people with hearing loss use assistive hearing technology such as hearing aids, and one of the biggest obstacles is price.

LUBEC, Maine - Maine's U.S. senators are on board with a plan to make it easier for seafood dealers to export sea urchins and sea cucumbers outside of the United States.

The senators say unnecessary inspections result in the highly perishable seafood products to be held in warehouses for long periods of time, increasing the likelihood that they will go bad.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Independent Sen. Angus King say their proposal would prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from burdening the industry with inspections that they say are repetitive.