News

A series of hearings on plans to open New England and most of the nation's coastline to offshore drilling will be postponed because of the U.S. government shutdown.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is rescheduling this week’s meetings in Maine, New Hampshire, Boston and Providence while some of its funding is suspended and employees are furloughed. The hearing in Hartford, Connecticut, is still set for February.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is among a group of senators that met through the weekend to put together a continuing resolution that would fund the federal government through Feb. 8.

“Republicans as well as Democrats, all of whom are committed to getting to a solution - that is a powerful voting bloc in the Senate,” Collins says.

U.S. Navy

Because the partial shutdown of the federal government has started on a weekend, the effect on the Maine is minimal — but that starts to grow on Monday.

“This just should not have happened,” Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said in an interview with Maine Public Radio. “This is a failure to do what we are supposed to do.”

Collins said she has reconvened the Common Sense Coalition, made up of moderate senators from both parties to try to craft a compromise. Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine is also a member of that group.

Federal ocean managers are making more than $2 million available to try to help fishermen catch less of the wrong fish. "Bycatch" is a longstanding issue in commercial fisheries, and fishermen have long sought solutions to the problem of catching rare species when seeking exploitable ones.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it is providing about $2.4 million for "projects that increase collaborative research and partnerships for innovation" in reducing bycatch.

Abukar Adan / Maine Public

Thousands of people rallied across Maine Saturday as part of the nationwide Women’s March in protest of the Trump administration’s policies.

PORTLAND, Maine - The Maine Turnpike Authority wants public input on the future of the increasingly busy stretch from Scarborough to Falmouth.

The authority is holding a public advisory committee meeting Wednesday in Portland.  The goal is to complete a report of the growing safety and capacity challenges by June.

MTA spokeswoman Erin Courtney said traffic volumes are at record highs after growing about 3 to 5 percent a year over the last three years.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation are divided over funding the federal government for another month, as talks continue in Washington. They acknowledge that a partial shutdown is possible if an agreement can't be reached.

But that would not have a big immediate impact on Maine. Programs such as Medicaid and Social Security will continue to send benefit checks, and many federal workers will stay on the job, including law enforcement and the military.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The legislative committee charged with developing regulations for the sale of recreational marijuana in Maine has voted to extend a moratorium on the adult-use market until mid-April. 

Pat Wellenbach / Associated Press/file

Twenty-one Mainers have died so far this season from the flu. That's according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

But Maine CDC epidemiologist Sara Robinson says that number is likely a little low. She says while 21 people had the flu listed as the cause of death on their death certificates, many more people die from other causes, as a result of having it.

Abukar Adan / Maine Public

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary since President Donald Trump was officially sworn into office. Here in Maine, Trump carried Maine's 2nd Congressional District, where he beat Hillary Clinton by a solid 10 percentage points.  We wondered how voters there are feeling about him now, and what they want to see going forward.

via Facebook

The Jackman town manager is facing a backlash on social media and questions from the town's selectmen for what some characterize as his "white supremacist" views. Tom Kawczynski says those views are personal, separate from his job, and do not reflect anything other than "white pride."  

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press/file

Maine is one of 39 states that permit the dispensing of the anti-overdose drug naloxone to opioid addicts without a doctor's prescription. But while state regulators issued rules last August to provide guidance to pharmacists selling the drug, they have yet to be approved by Gov. Paul LePage.

The Board of Pharmacy says it will wait for a response from LePage before instructing pharmacists on the new policy  - even though it's not legally obligated to do so. 

Tribes Say Medicaid Work Requirements Jeopardize Health Care

Jan 19, 2018

Tribal nations in Maine and around the country say a push backed by President Trump's administration to require certain Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer conflicts with the federal government's responsibility to provide health care to Native Americans.
 
Meanwhile, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told tribal leaders Wednesday that requiring states to exempt Native Americans from work requirements could raise civil rights issues.
 
The Trump administration recently required states to consult with tribes before imposing work requirements.
 

PORTLAND, Maine - A lawsuit filed more than two years accusing Republican Gov. Paul LePage of abuse of power and blackmail has new life.

The full 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston announced Friday that it's going to hear arguments on the lawsuit brought by former Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves.

A hearing is set for April 3.

Maine kids are not getting essential computer education need to compete in today’s economy. That was the message delivered Thursday to the Legislature’s Education Committee by the task force set up to review computer-related programs in Maine schools.

The report found that only about 30 percent of Maine schools offer basic computer skills programs.

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