News

Maine’s two U.S. senators are expressing concerns about reports that officials in the Trump administration attempted to enlist senior intelligence officials and members of Congress to push back against news reports focusing on President Donald Trump associates’ links to Russia.

PORTLAND, Maine - Portland police are investigating the apparent homicide of a 35-year-old man who was found dead in a car in the city's West End Monday afternoon. 

Assistant Portland Police Chief Vern Malloch says officers responded to a 9-1-1 call.  He says the victim's identity is not being released pending notification of next of kin.

"We are working with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Maine Attorney General's Office in that investigation," Malloch says.

The record warmth in northern New England may not be over.
 
The National Weather Service says the temperature is projected to climb to a record-high 65 degrees on Wednesday in Concord, New Hampshire. In Portland, Maine, the temperature is projected to climb to 57 degrees, just 1 degree shy of the daily record.
 
The warmth continues from last week.
 
Concord set three records in a row from Thursday through Saturday. The period included the highest temperature ever recorded in Concord in February: 69 degrees.
 

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's towns and state legislators will tackle the subject of marijuana legalization in separate events.
 
The Legislature's Marijuana Implementation Committee is taking public comment on Tuesday in Augusta on subjects such as how to regulate and tax the substance. Also Tuesday, the Maine Municipal Association is holding an event called "Lifting the Haze: Marijuana and Legal Considerations.''
 

Growing Problem: Pot Lights Give Ham Radio Operators a Buzz

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AUGUSTA, Maine - Ham radio operators say their frequencies are increasingly getting a harsh buzz from a component of the indoor lamps used to grow pot.
 
The American Radio Relay League has been filing complaints with the Federal Communications Commission over the past several years and wants federal regulators to halt the marketing and sale of illegal grow light ballasts.
 

A bill that would set a firm cap on the number of elver fishing licenses issued each year in Maine received broad support at a public hearing before the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee. The bill would also allow a small number of new fishermen into the fishery.

The elver, or baby eel, fishery is one of the most lucrative in Maine. Considered a delicacy in several Asian countries, elvers were fetching close to $2,000 dollars a pound last year. But because of the pressure on the resource, the fishery has been closed to new fishermen since 2013.

AUGUSTA, Maine -  Maine firefighters and their families turned out in force Monday to support legislation banning the use of flame retardants in new furniture. 

Former state Sen. Linda Baker, of Topsham, believes her husband, a firefighter, died from cancer caused by flame retardants.  Baker urged passage of the bill.

“This bill will help ensure that the remaining manufacturers remove these toxic chemicals from their products being sold in Maine,” Baker said.

EUSTIS, Maine - Authorities say a Massachusetts man has become the seventh person to die in a snowmobile crash in Maine this year.
 
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says 60-year-old Dennis Picard of South Chatham was killed while snowmobiling on a trail in Eustis on Sunday. The department says he lost control while navigating around a sharp corner and crashed into a tree.
 
Picard was pronounced dead at the scene. A medical examiner will conduct an autopsy; the death remains under investigation by the Maine Warden Service.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage says "tough management'' has produced a $1 billion cash pool and that he favors repealing former President Barack Obama's health care law and letting states craft their own solutions.
 
The Republican governor spoke on the Fox News program "Fox & Friends'' Monday after President Donald Trump hosted the nation's governors the night before.
 
LePage said he wants to get rid of "Obamacare'' and replace it with block grants so states can design programs to meet their specific needs.
 

BELFAST, Maine - Dozens of people in Belfast say they had money stolen from their bank accounts after using the ATM at the Down East Credit Union branch on Saturday.

Police in Belfast say someone apparently installed a so-called skimming device in that ATM, and that they haven't found any others in the area.

The credit union says the breach didn't happen internally and it believes fewer than 100 members were affected. Most of the withdrawals were made in New York.

ROCKPORT, Maine - The Maine Lobstering Union has voted to spend $4 million to buy a lobster business in a move members hope will give fishermen a bigger share of profits.

The union voted Saturday to buy the wholesale side of the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound in Trenton. The Portland Press Herald reports that the pound includes a tank that can hold up to 180,000 pounds of lobster.

What's Going on With Your Maine ID? Legislators Scramble

Feb 27, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine - Mainers will be grounded next year if legislators don't update driver's licenses to comply with federal requirements.

A state-issued driver's license can no longer get you into military bases, nuclear power plants and other federal facilities. And starting next year, the IDs won't allow you to board commercial flights.

Airports would still accept passports, which cost $135 for first-time applicants.

ORONO, Maine - Researchers are testing a technique they say could determine the age of lobsters.
 
Lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. Their ages are typically estimated based on size, as they shed their shells and grow larger as they get older.
 
University of Maine research professor Rick Wahle and graduate student Carl Huntsberger say that method of estimating a lobster's age is inexact. That presents a problem for scientists and fishery managers looking to measure the health of the lobster population.
 

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

It’s a dirty job, but digging for blood and sand worms along the Maine coast can pay well, particularly in areas of the state where it can be hard to make a living. Maine’s annual harvest of these popular bait worms, however, continues to decline, posing a quandary for marine biologists who cite climate change and predation as possible factors.

Wormers, as they’re called, would like to work with marine biologists to ensure a healthy and robust industry.

The Legislature’s Appropriations Committee has voted unanimously to recommend a $64 million supplemental state budget to meet needs in state government through the end of June.

Some of the money will go to programs that are short on cash, but most of it is going into the state’s so-called rainy day fund.

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