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State prison officials are preparing to release an unspecified number of prisoners at several facilities in Maine after an announcement Tuesday by Gov. Paul LePage that he is commuting some sentences.

Without specifying a number, LePage says he will commute some sentences as part of an effort to “modernize” the state Corrections Department and promote fiscal responsibility. The action arrives just weeks before the governor’s closure of the Downeast Correctional Facility in Bucks Harbor.

Maine officials are reminding the state’s many all-terrain vehicle users that ATVs wider than 5 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 5 feet for ATVs.

But now many new vehicles, are up to a foot wider, according to Cpl. John MacDonald, a spokesman for the Maine Warden Service.

Maine has only about 800 slots for babies and toddlers to receive Early Head Start services, but about 8,000 kids are eligible. 

That's the finding of a new report from the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.  Researcher Jessica Carson says Maine's situation is better than the national average, but still leaves many kids behind.

"There are still, in Maine, 90 percent of the children living below the poverty line aren't able to access that program," Carson says.

FARMINGTON, Maine - A judge has ruled a Maine a man who was banned from driving for life after a triple-fatal drunken driving crash can reapply for a license.
 
The Kennebec Journal reports that 39-year-old Bryan Carrier, of Fairfield, was denied for the third time when he tried to get his license back. Judge William Stokes ruled that a Bureau of Motor Vehicles hearing officer didn't have the authority to decide Carrier couldn't file another petition for a driver's license reinstatement.
 

PORTLAND, Maine - A Maine father who caused the death of one of his premature twins by violently shaking him is going to prison for 15 years.
 
A judge imposed the sentence Tuesday on Eugene "Charlie'' Martineau of Standish, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter under an agreement in which a murder charge was dropped.
 
Martineau told state police that he violently shook 3-month-old Leo Josephs in October 2015. The other infant, a girl, was still in the hospital at the time.
 

BANGOR, Maine - Horror author Stephen King says Islamic State is a "rogue cult'' and that the group's bombings will eventually lead to its undoing.
 
King made the comments via his Twitter account on Tuesday morning in the aftermath of a suicide bombing attack at an Ariana Grande show on Monday night that left 22 people dead in Manchester, England.
 
King's tweet says Islamic State "has substituted superstition and murder for spirituality'' and "every bombing hastens the day when they will be no more.'' The tweet had been shared about 2,000 times by late morning.

FILE: Maine Gov. Paul LePage pauses during a meeting to discuss the state's efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Last week the Maine Department of Corrections sent pink slips to all of the workers at the Downeast Correctional facility in Machiasport, because under the budget plan proposed by Gov. Paul LePage, the facility would be closed. That budget has not been approved by the Legislature, however, and so the dispute has found its way to the Appropriations Committee.

UMS Board Approves First System-Wide Tuition Hike in Six Years

9 hours ago
Ashley L. Conti / via Bangor Daily News

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved a $540 million budget for the coming fiscal year that will increase tuition for the first time in six years.

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.

Maine officials are reminding the state's many all-terrain vehicle users that ATVs wider than 5 feet are not allowed on many sections 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 5 feet for ATVs.

But now, says Maine Warden Service spokesman Cpl. John MacDonald, many new vehicles are up to a foot wider.

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.

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