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AUGUSTA, Maine -  Maine firefighters and their families turned out in force Monday to support legislation banning the use of flame retardants in new furniture. 

Former state Sen. Linda Baker, of Topsham, believes her husband, a firefighter, died from cancer caused by flame retardants.  Baker urged passage of the bill.

“This bill will help ensure that the remaining manufacturers remove these toxic chemicals from their products being sold in Maine,” Baker said.

EUSTIS, Maine - Authorities say a Massachusetts man has become the seventh person to die in a snowmobile crash in Maine this year.
 
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says 60-year-old Dennis Picard of South Chatham was killed while snowmobiling on a trail in Eustis on Sunday. The department says he lost control while navigating around a sharp corner and crashed into a tree.
 
Picard was pronounced dead at the scene. A medical examiner will conduct an autopsy; the death remains under investigation by the Maine Warden Service.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage says "tough management'' has produced a $1 billion cash pool and that he favors repealing former President Barack Obama's health care law and letting states craft their own solutions.
 
The Republican governor spoke on the Fox News program "Fox & Friends'' Monday after President Donald Trump hosted the nation's governors the night before.
 
LePage said he wants to get rid of "Obamacare'' and replace it with block grants so states can design programs to meet their specific needs.
 

BELFAST, Maine - Dozens of people in Belfast say they had money stolen from their bank accounts after using the ATM at the Down East Credit Union branch on Saturday.

Police in Belfast say someone apparently installed a so-called skimming device in that ATM, and that they haven't found any others in the area.

The credit union says the breach didn't happen internally and it believes fewer than 100 members were affected. Most of the withdrawals were made in New York.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A plan to create a lottery system for valuable eel fishing permits in Maine is facing a critical test with a public hearing.
 
Fishermen seek baby eels in Maine, which is the only state with a significant fishery for the animals. They can fetch more than $2,000 per pound at the dock. The eels are sold to Asian aquaculture companies for use in food.
 
A group of lawmakers wants to create a lottery system to allow new people to get into the fishery when other fishermen leave it. Right now, it's closed.
 

ROCKPORT, Maine - The Maine Lobstering Union has voted to spend $4 million to buy a lobster business in a move members hope will give fishermen a bigger share of profits.

The union voted Saturday to buy the wholesale side of the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound in Trenton. The Portland Press Herald reports that the pound includes a tank that can hold up to 180,000 pounds of lobster.

What's Going on With Your Maine ID? Legislators Scramble

8 hours ago

AUGUSTA, Maine - Mainers will be grounded next year if legislators don't update driver's licenses to comply with federal requirements.

A state-issued driver's license can no longer get you into military bases, nuclear power plants and other federal facilities. And starting next year, the IDs won't allow you to board commercial flights.

Airports would still accept passports, which cost $135 for first-time applicants.

ORONO, Maine - Researchers are testing a technique they say could determine the age of lobsters.
 
Lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. Their ages are typically estimated based on size, as they shed their shells and grow larger as they get older.
 
University of Maine research professor Rick Wahle and graduate student Carl Huntsberger say that method of estimating a lobster's age is inexact. That presents a problem for scientists and fishery managers looking to measure the health of the lobster population.
 

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

It’s a dirty job, but digging for blood and sand worms along the Maine coast can pay well, particularly in areas of the state where it can be hard to make a living. Maine’s annual harvest of these popular bait worms, however, continues to decline, posing a quandary for marine biologists who cite climate change and predation as possible factors.

Wormers, as they’re called, would like to work with marine biologists to ensure a healthy and robust industry.

The Legislature’s Appropriations Committee has voted unanimously to recommend a $64 million supplemental state budget to meet needs in state government through the end of June.

Some of the money will go to programs that are short on cash, but most of it is going into the state’s so-called rainy day fund.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Ice fishing for smelts is a winter tradition in Maine, where the small fish are fried and eaten whole.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The federal government says the thorny skate will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Foreclosure Rates in Decline

Feb 26, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Foreclosure filings launched by state-chartered banks are continuing to drop below recession-era levels.

Central Maine Power’s customers will see some significant savings on their bills starting this summer, thanks to the end of expensive, long-term power contracts.

The contracts originated under a federal law that aimed to hedge against price surges seen in the 1970s energy crisis. Maine Public Utilities Commission spokesman Harry Lanphear says decades-long contracts Maine utilities signed with Maine-based biomass generators ultimately locked them into rates that were far above market rates.

With new state standards in place designed to reduce blood-lead levels in children, the City of Portland is urging landlords and homeowners to apply for help with lead abatement in their homes.

“Maine has one of the oldest housing stocks in the nation,” says Mary Davis with the City of Portland Housing and Community Development Division.

Davis says there’s no way to make a pre-1978 home absolutely free of lead, but funds from a newly acquired, three-year federal Housing and Urban Development grant can help make older homes more “lead safe.”

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