News

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine state officials say skimming is taking place at gas stations throughout the state.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Division of Quality Assurance says it is alerting the public in the wake of illegal gas station skimmers found by investigators in Brewer this week.

The agency says similar reports have also implicated drive-thru tellers at banks, ATMs and restaurants.

The agency's inspectors who check...

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Ethics Commission has approved a proposal that would require shadowy groups that contribute more than $100,000 to Maine-based political action committees, party committees or ballot campaigns to disclose their top five funders. The commission's unanimous approval means the proposal will go to the full Legislature for consideration. It's not yet clear if lawmakers will be receptive. Members of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, which typically reviews campaign...

Editor’s note: Off Mic is a blog about things you might have missed in Maine politics . It’s a place for those news tidbits that aren’t quite a story, or that were part of story but were hacked out by a thoughtless editor. Leftovers from the notebook while wondering if Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew will land a job in the Trump administration ... Last week Maine Public published a story about how the LePage administration's efforts to restrict welfare...

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine drought conditions have eased a little, but most of the state is still experiencing severe drought conditions, according to Maine's Drought Task Force. Recent rain and snow events have helped restore stream and river water levels, but groundwater levels remain low. Bruce Fitzgerald directs the Maine Emergency Management Agency and chairs the Drought Task Force. “We don’t have any areas that are in extreme drought anymore, and that is due to the rain we have had over the...

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — The Maine Ethics Commission has approved a fine against a nonprofit group founded by a Republican state legislator for failing to disclose spending on a campaign flier targeting Democratic Rep. Jeff McCabe. The Portland Press Herald reports the commission on Wednesday approved the $672 penalty against the conservative New England Opportunity Project. It had contacted Republican Rep. Lawrence Lockman of Amherst after the Morning Sentinel reported on the fliers, which claimed...

On Friday, a bit of University of Maine-designed technology is scheduled for liftoff. The wireless leak detection system — a safety system that alerts astronauts to potentially dangerous loss of heat and air — was designed by University of Maine scientists. Now, it’s destined for the International Space Station. The leak detector will be part of a payload of supplies expected to launch from Japan on Friday night, just shortly before 8:30 a.m. eastern time. The university plans to celebrate...

Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Some fishermen are pinning their hopes on a new kind of trawl net at use in the Gulf of Maine, designed to scoop up abundant flatfish such as flounder and sole while avoiding species such as cod, which regulators say are in severe decline.

Mainers worried that President-elect Donald Trump will follow through on his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act are urging members of Congress to improve the law rather than dismantle it. At a press conference in Portland Thursday, those who have benefited from the ACA said dropping the law would create a health care crisis. The birth of Alyce Orenella’s son two years ago taught her to expect the unexpected. She had marketplace insurance coverage at the time, and her pregnancy had been...

House Republicans Thursday ramped up the pressure on Democrats to approve construction of a new 21-bed psychiatric facility next door to the state’s Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta. Each side is accusing the other of playing politics with the issue, and the project is still on hold. House GOP leader Ken Fredette called a morning news conference to urge approval of the facility. He told reporters the state is facing a crisis in its efforts to provide services to those with serious...

The U.S. Senate has passed and sent to President Barack Obama the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, and several provisions will benefit Maine. The measure phases in a requirement that U.S. Sen. Angus King says will benefit New Balance factories in Maine. “It requires that the Defense Department acquire athletic shoes made in America, which is what I believe the law has required for 70 years,” he says. It also includes authorization for two additional destroyers, one of which will be...

LEWISTON, Maine - Poland Spring is proposing to expand its water withdrawal operations to Rumford. The company pitched its plan to the Rumford Water District at a meeting Wednesday night. The plan calls for a long-term contract to withdraw up to 150 million gallons from two well sites in the Ellis River watershed. Mark Dubois is the natural resource manager for the company. "We believe we can sustainably withdraw spring water up there while the district maintains its commitment to serve...

BANGOR, Maine - An expansive plan meant to serve as a way forward for managing the Northeast's ocean resources has been finalized. The National Ocean Council finalized the Northeast Ocean Plan, which has been under development for several years, with input from various stakeholders. "We're still still trying to figure out what the long term ramifications of this plan will be to the fishing community," says Ben Martens, of the Maine Coast Fisherman's Alliance. Martens says increased interest...

SAN DIEGO - The U.S. Navy's most technologically advanced destroyer has arrived at its homeport of San Diego after a nearly four-month transit that included some glitches along the way.

The USS Zumwalt departed Maine shipbuilder Bath Iron Works in September before being commissioned into service in Baltimore in October. It lost propulsion in the Panama Canal in November, necessitating a tow and repairs.

Capt. James Kirk says the crew of 147 officers and sailors had...

LEWISTON, Maine - At a press conference in Portland today, consumers expressed alarm about losing health coverage if President-Elect Donald Trump follows through on his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Katie McDonald is a graduate student at the University of Southern Maine who currently has a marketplace plan. As she prepares to graduate in three semesters, she says she faces many uncertainties. "Will I be able to find a job in Maine? will I be able to buy a new car? Will I be able...

AUGUSTA, Maine - House Republican Leader Ken Fredette told reporters he will push for approval of a new 21-bed psychiatric facility next door to the state’s Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta. The matter is not on today's Legislative Council meeting agenda, but Fredette says he will bring up a motion for the council to approve its construction. “There are real consequences to not moving forward here," he says. "Patients aren’t getting into the proper facility that they need to be put...

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