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Maine native Ruth Moore had to fight for 23 years to get Veterans Affairs compensation for disabilities caused by being raped while she was in the Navy. Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District sponsored legislation named for Moore that has been included in a broader measure dealing with the Veterans Administration.

“It’s an important step in making sure the VA follows through on its promises to fairly treat our veterans,” she says. “Almost every day I hear from another veteran who is the survivor of military sexual trauma.”

AUGUSTA, Maine - Members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee are criticizing the Pentagon for suppressing a study done by an independent group that found some $125 billion in bureaucratic waste in the military.

The study, by the Defense Business Board, an independent group of business executives set up to advise the military, found many examples of higher than necessary costs.  For example, the military hires more than a million civilian contractors to do support functions for the 1.3 million troops on active duty.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, a Democrat, is expected to face a challenge from a Republican lobbyist when the new Legislature elects constitutional officers on Wednesday.

Mills, who has held the spot for the past four years, will likely face off against Josh Tardy, a well-known lobbyist and former Republican state lawmaker.

PORTLAND, Maine - The company that's buying FairPoint Communications is likely to expand broadband to more customers and to compete with cable companies for TV customers.

Illinois-based Consolidated Communications already has video offerings in other markets, and an analyst says the network can support such service in northern New England.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage says he's looking for alternative sites for a new $3 million psychiatric unit after a committee of lawmakers stalled his proposal to build the facility on Capitol grounds in Augusta last week.

The governor told Bangor radio station WVOM that the move to halt the $3.5 million facility was also a "shot across the bow" by presumptive Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage says he'll pursue cutting the state's income tax in next budget plan, but he won't raise the sales tax to pay for it.

The governor told WVOM Radio in Bangor that a reduction in the income tax will have to be paid for with spending cuts.

"I am not going to propose anything for increasing taxes on the sales side," LePage said. "I am going to do everything that I can to lower the top marginal rate. I just don't know how much cutting has to be done."

ALFRED, Maine - State police are investigating after hundreds of holiday wreaths were stolen from a Maine farm.

Gile's Family Farm owner Frank Boucher said Monday that someone stole a trailer containing more than 200 wreaths from behind the Alfred business sometime between 6 p.m. on Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday.

The staff had wanted to unload the wreaths on Saturday but didn't see them when they arrived at work.

Boucher estimates the total value of the stolen items at about $5,000.

PORTLAND, Maine — The University of Southern Maine’s multicultural affairs office is hosting an anti-hate rally in Portland in response to anti-Muslim sentiment around the country, including an incident at the university.

The gathering is scheduled for Wednesday at noon at the university’s Woodbury Campus Center. The university says the purpose of the event is to declare Portland and Maine as a "hate-free zone."

Maine tourism officials say the state is poised to match and likely surpass last year’s record-breaking tourist season, which produced more than $5.5 billion in revenue. This, following a summer that was short on rain and long on savings at the gas pump.

As the LePage administration prepares a new two-year budget, tourism groups are releasing a series of new ads detailing the industry’s broad effect on Maine’s economy.

The staff of the Maine Ethics Commission is trying to shine more light on the organizations fueling an explosion in the amount of money spent to influence state political races and ballot questions.

Commission staff are proposing to require organizations that make major donations to political committees to provide more information about their own finances.

Anthony Brino / Bangor Daily News

By Darren Fishell, Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — Developers of one of the largest wind projects ever planned in Maine pulled their request for a state permit, after struggling to connect to the grid and find buyers for their power.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The recount of the ballot question that would allow the recreational use of marijuana in Maine is underway in Augusta.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says it could take months to complete if all of the nearly 760,000 ballots that were cast are recounted. He says the apparent winning margin of 4,073 will be hard to overturn.

“You would have to have not less than somewhere between four and eight votes change in every town, and they all would have to change in your direction,” Dunlap says.

PORTLAND, Maine - Fishing regulators are looking to hire Maine fishermen to help study New England's imperiled cold water shrimp population.

The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Maine Department of Marine Resources say they plan to hire five shrimp trapping vessels to collect samples of Northern shrimp.

The fishermen will also be allowed to bring 500 pounds of shrimp per week to shore and sell them. The project will begin on Jan. 30, 2017, and last for eight consecutive weeks.

BOWDOINHAM, Maine - Several Maine communities are considering joining forces to combat a moth species notorious for an itchy, painful rash caused by the hairs of its larvae.

The browntail moth is an invasive insect that came to New England just before the turn of the 19th century. The moths begin their lives as caterpillars with poisonous hairs that can cause skin irritation resembling a poison ivy rash.

PORTLAND, Maine - Snow is falling in Maine, and authorities are asking drivers to take it easy.

Maine State Police have reduced speed limits along the Maine Turnpike to 45 miles an hour from Kittery to new Gloucester due to snow Monday morning.

The snow had reached Portland by 9:30 a.m. The National Weather Service said visibility was dropping to near or below a half-mile.

Up to 3 inches of snow was expected in some areas as the snow headed northeast.

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