News

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram launch a series this Sunday that attempts to put a human face on the opiod crisis.  Maybe too many faces, says Dieter Bradbury, the publication's deputy managing editor for news.  Bradbury spoke about the series with Maine Public Radio's Morning Edition host, Irwin Gratz.

Matt Dunham / Associated Press

LONDON - London's top anti-terror officer says two more "significant arrests" have been made in connection with the Westminster attack, in central and northern England. Nine people are currently in custody, while one has been released on bail.
 
Counter-terror chief Mark Rowley on Friday also identified the latest victim, who died in the hospital on Thursday, as 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes from Streatham, south London.
 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is urging local sheriffs and chiefs of police to resist pressure from the Trump administration to participate in immigration enforcement. And the ACLU is warning law enforcement that if they do participate, they’ll face legal liability.

Under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump, local towns and cities are expected to provide direct support to U.S. immigration policy. If they don’t, the order threatens to strip them of federal grant funding.

Officials with the Maine Department of Labor says they are working with an out-of-state vendor and law enforcement to determine how to protect Mainers whose personal information may have been stolen during a recent breach.

It's Thursday and we are talking politics on Across the Aisle. This week, Dick Woodbury, an economist and former independent legislator; Mike Cianchette, an attorney and former chief counsel to Gov. Paul LePage; and public affairs consultant David Farmer, who served as deputy chief of staff for Gov. John Baldacci.

A new report from the Maine Permanent Commission on the Status of Women says the state should do more to make sure children get affordable early childhood education and more opportunities to pursue jobs in higher-paying science, technology, engineering or math fields.

But acting commission Chairwoman Regina Rooney says educators shouldn’t just seek to funnel girls into traditionally male-dominated fields.

Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would give them, and the public, more time to review a state budget before they are asked to vote on it.

For years, lawmakers have complained about receiving the hundreds of pages of a state budget often just hours before they vote on it. Rep. Steve Woods, a Republican from Greene, says that needs to change.

“This is my fourth term, and every year we get the budget the morning before we have to vote on it. It does not give you time enough to review the budget thoroughly,” he says.

State lawmakers are evaluating a new proposal to ease traffic congestion in Portland’s western suburbs. The Legislature’s Transportation Committee on Thursday heard testimony on a bill that would allow the Maine Turnpike Authority to build a five-mile connector to mitigate traffic jams in the Gorham-Scarborough area.

Rep. Andrew McLean, a Democrat from Gorham, is the lead sponsor of the bill. He says population and new housing units have exploded in Portland’s suburbs as the cost of living in the city has increased.

LEWISTON, Maine - The Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen, an organization dedicated to combating breast cancer, is closing after 20 years. 

Former director Victoria Abbott says declining participation in Komen's largest fundraisers - its races - forced the branch in Bangor to close.

"This year we had 1,700 participants, which was down 1,100 from last year - it was 2,800," Abbott says. "And then we were down about a thousand from the year before."

Abbott says the Bangor branch will close at the end of the month.  

AUGUSTA, Maine  Maine is dealing with so many drug overdose deaths that the state medical examiner is asking for more money to handle the workload.
 
The epidemic of heroin, fentanyl and other opioids is behind a record number of overdose deaths - 378 last year in Maine.
 
The Attorney General's Office, which oversees the state medical examiner, says delays in processing autopsies are straining Maine's two full-time pathologists and hampering closure for families and completion of insurance paperwork.
 

Bangor Needs $63 Million to Keep Raw Sewage From Spilling Into Penobscot

20 hours ago
Gabor Degre / Bangor Daily News

Bangor’s sewer rates may soon rise to help fund nearly $63 million in projects during the next 15 years to stop raw sewage and contaminated stormwater from spilling into the Penobscot River and Kenduskeag Stream.

The first major project outlined in a city plan to meet a federal mandate under the Clean Water Act is an estimated $22 million installation of a 3.8 million gallon wastewater storage tank along the waterfront behind Tim Hortons. The work is expected to start in August and end by June 2021.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's Republican governor says he'll testify before Congress against a national monument in his state.
 
 Then-President Barack Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument last summer on nearly 90,000 acres of donated forestlands. Maine Gov. Paul LePage opposes the designation.
 
 LePage said during a Thursday appearance on WGAN-AM that he's continuing the fight. The governor says he believes Obama misused the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the monument.
 

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Today is the 4th and — what is scheduled to be — final day of the confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch. Testifying about the Supreme Court nominee will be experts and outside groups. Gorsuch himself will not be taking questions, or in the hearing room.

Those expected to speak on his behalf are judges and former law clerks he has worked with, along with some law school professors and other attorneys. Witnesses called by Democrats, who have concerns about Gorsuch, include other law professors, and representatives from women's and environmental groups.

PORTLAND, Maine - Hackers may have stolen personal information from people who used a job search database in 10 states, including Maine.

The Maine Department of Labor on Wednesday announced the breach of the America's JobLink, a multi-state web-based system that links jobseekers with employers.

The company confirmed that a breach occurred on Tuesday that allowed a hacker to view the names, Social Security number and birthdates of jobseekers in the AJL systems of 10 states, including Maine and Vermont.

State regulators are asking a biomass electricity company to explain why it’s not paying loggers for fuel, even though it received a state subsidy for that purpose.

Last year Maine lawmakers and Gov. Paul LePage authorized state utility regulators to award biomass electricity companies more than $13 million to boost payments for power generated in Maine. The goal was to assist Maine’s beleaguered forest products industry in the wake of multiple mill closures.

But loggers say one company that won a bid for the subsidy isn’t paying its debts.

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