News

The Ranked Choice Voting Act that Maine voters approved in November conflicts with the state's Constitution. 

That's the opinion the Maine Supreme Court issued Tuesday morning. All seven high court justices agreed that the law as it now stands is unconstitutional.

The justices were responding to a request from the Maine Senate to review the law and issue an advisory opinion.

Sen. Cathy Breen, a Falmouth Democrat, told reporters that she will propose a constitutional amendment to permit ranked choice voting.

PORTLAND, Maine - There's a fowl smell wafting through Maine's largest city.
 
Police say a truck carrying chicken parts malfunctioned, spilling gallons of poultry bits onto a Portland street early Tuesday.
 
Residents dealt with a foul smell from the area, and motorists drove through the spill site before it was cleared.
 
Police closed off the roadway and covered the messy spill with sawdust.
 
Police say the parts weren't hazardous.

PORTLAND, Maine - The mayor of Maine's biggest city wants a citizen group to consider changes to the city charter in a bid to expand the limited authority of his office.
 
The Portland Press Herald reports that Mayor Ethan Strimling said Monday he believes voters wanted a stronger leader when they voted for a 2010 change to the charter that established the popularly elected office. Previously, councilors chose a mayor among themselves to serve for one year.
 

William "Bro" Adams, former NEH Chairman.
Fred Field, courtesy of Colby College/neh.gov

A former Colby College President has announced that he’s resigning as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities effective tomorrow. William “Bro” Adams was nominated by President Barack Obama and became the tenth NEH chairman in July of 2014. In a tweet, First District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree calls Adam’s resignation a loss for NEH.

FILE: Senate Armed Services Senate Committee member Sen. Angus King, I-Maine questions Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Maine Independent Sen. Angus King said today that there is absolutely no doubt that the Russian government attempted to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told an AARP audience at the Bangor Public Library that Congress must take a bipartisan approach to determine what role — if any — the Trump campaign had in the Russian effort to influence the election’s outcome.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine officials are reminding the state's many all-terrain vehicle users that ATVs wider than five feet are not allowed on many pieces of the state's vast trail network.
 
ATVs are a major tourism draw in Maine, and are made possible by agreements with private landowners who allow them on their land. State agencies say they brokered a deal with landowners based on a maximum width of five feet for ATVs.
 

AUGUSTA, Maine - Bills to create a uniform teacher contract across the state are set for key committee votes.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says such an idea would help rural districts compete for teachers.

Bills sponsored by GOP Reps. Matt Pouliot and Jeffrey Timberlake are set for work sessions Tuesday.

Pouliot says his bill would maintain local control while creating a uniform compensation system based upon performance results.

Timberlake says Maine shouldn't just throw more money at education.

Mingle Analytics Founder & CEO Dan Mingle at his office in South Paris.
mingleanalytics.com

A high tech company in rural western Maine employs more than 50 people from all over the state and beyond. About a quarter show up to work at the company’s headquarters in South Paris everyday. But most don’t. And as Lori Valigra reports, the company’s founder says its all part of a strategy that allows Mingle Analytics to maintain a skilled and loyal workforce, without having to leave Oxford county.

Maine’s insurance co-op, Community Health Options, is back in the black after sustaining operating losses of nearly $90 million in the past two years.

A report from Maine’s Bureau of Insurance says in the first quarter of 2017, Community Health Options had a surplus of $3.7 million. The co-op’s Mike Gendreau says the company was able to pull itself out of a deficit by reducing administrative costs, increasing rates and educating members on when to go a doctor’s office or clinic instead of the emergency room.

FILE: Sen. Angus King I-Maine, attends the christening ceremony for the USS Raphael Peralta, the 35th Arleigh Burke Class Missile Destroyer to be built by Bath Iron Works, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in Bath, Maine.
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Bangor-area residents took their concerns over the impact of the Republican-led American Health Care Act directly to Independent Maine Sen. Angus King today during a listening session at the Bangor Public Library. The event was organized by the AARP, an advocacy group for 50-plus Americans, and King said that while the measure cleared the U.S. House earlier this month, how the bill will fare in the GOP-controlled Senate remains to be seen.

FILE: In this Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, smile as they prepare for a speech in San Francisco.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File

MILLINOCKET, Maine _ The chairman of the Millinocket Town Council says it’s pretty powerful” that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg chose to pay a visit to his town.

Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary on Friday in Bangor. On Saturday, they hiked some trails near Mount Katahdin and had a low-key visit with a group of residents and business leaders in Millinocket.

University of Maine System trustees continue their efforts to close large budget gaps with more organizational changes.

The Press Herald reports that trustees agreed on a reorganization plan for the Presque Isle campus on Sunday. Maine’s state university system has tried to balance budgets at campuses for years.

UMPI is axing two positions in order to save nearly half a million over five years. The campus is also combining two of its three colleges to create the College of Professional Programs and Education.

Both of Maine’s U.S. senators are among a bipartisan group that is urging Senate leaders to support a key land and water conservation program in the coming fiscal year.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Sen. Angus King, an independent, are among 48 senators urging the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies to support the Land and Water Conservation Trust and Forest Legacy Program.

LePage Refuses To Put Up Road Signs For North Woods National Monument

May 22, 2017
Gabor Degre / Bangor Daily News

Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to put signs along state roads showing the way to Maine’s national monument, pending the outcome of a federal review, state officials said Friday.

The governor won’t allow official signs for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument to be placed along Interstate 95 and Routes 11, 157 and 159 — all Katahdin region main roads — until federal officials determine whether the executive order creating the monument was valid, Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot said.

Circle B Farms of Caribou has been hired to help get more locally sourced food into dining halls at six of the seven University of Maine System campuses.

Circle B works with several Aroostook County farms to make available regionally sourced fruits, vegetables and products. The farm’s owner participated Sunday in an update to trustees during a meeting at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Pages