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AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's full Legislature will consider making it a misdemeanor crime for lobbyists to lie or conceal a "material fact'' while testifying to lawmakers.
 
The Portland Press Herald reports that the State and Local Government Committee voted in favor of a revised version of the bill on Monday. The bill no longer includes members of the public, state workers and lawmakers.
 
Republican state Rep. Heather Sirocki, of Scarborough, sponsored the bill.
 

Edlib Media Center / via AP

BEIRUT - France's foreign minister is calling for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting over a suspected chemical attack in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province.
 
Jean-Marc Ayrault condemned the "atrocious act" in a statement Tuesday, saying he is seeking the emergency meeting because of events of extreme gravity "that threaten international security."
 
Ayrault said Tuesday's attack caused "a large number of victims, including children." Opposition activists say the attack killed dozens of people and was among the worst in Syria's six-year civil war.
 

sunjournal.com

Several Maine District Attorney’s offices say they’ll stop using a private prisoner-transport company after an investigation by the Lewiston Sun-Journal into allegations by a Lewiston woman, who was being brought from Florida to Auburn to face probation violation, that the company seriously mistreated her during the ride.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

There was some chaotic court-room drama Monday in the saga of how and whether to punish Black Lives Matter activists arrested in a Portland protest last year. It was the second time an attempt to establish a “restorative justice” alternative ended in disarray.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

A team of state and federal investigators is trying to pinpoint who’s behind two separate fires that destroyed six tractor trailer cabs owned by the same company in Scarborough and Poland Sunday night causing close to a million dollars in damage.

Steve McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety says what appear to be coordinated arsons are unusual for Maine.  The first one was reported at 8:16 in Scarborough by a truck driver who was sleeping in his rig on-site.

There's more snow in store for parts of northern New England.
 
A storm that arrived overnight was expected to drop up to a foot of snow Tuesday in northwestern Maine. Northern New Hampshire could get clobbered as well.

Meteorologist Andy Pohl from the National Weather Service says it'll rain along the coast. But he says it'll be cold enough for snow at inland locations.
 
And that may not be the end of it. Weather officials are keeping an eye on another system that's forming later in the week.

LEWISTON, Maine - A Maine woman is trying to get back 64 animals seized from her apartment in Lewiston.

Officials say one pet was dead and others needed medical attention when they arrived a month ago. The animals included cats, dogs, chinchillas, snakes, gerbils, hamsters and lizards.

On Tuesday, Samantha Bell is due in Lewiston District Court to argue to have them returned.

She said previously that she took in animals that no one else wanted and that they were well cared for.

AUGUSTA, Maine — GOP Gov. Paul LePage’s administration says welfare recipients aren’t showing up for drug tests and that reform is needed.

The state requires drug tests for welfare recipients with prior drug convictions who score high on a substance-use disorder screening tool.

The state Department of Health and Human Services told The Associated Press that since 2015 eleven Mainers have lost benefits after not completing required drug tests. Maine successfully drug-tested 12 welfare recipients, while four other individuals lost benefits after refusing screening.

BOSTON — Massachusetts scientists say they have reached the same conclusions as their federal counterparts in a study about the poor status of cod fish in the Gulf of Maine.

The Boston Globe reports the scientists found the region’s cod are at a historic low of about 80 percent less than the population from a decade ago.

Micah Dean oversaw the survey for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. He says he hopes fishermen who doubted federal government’s science on the issue will find the results credible.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine lawmakers are starting to consider bills that would roll back the minimum wage law approved by voters in November.

Voters approved an increase in Maine’s minimum wage from $7.50 per hour to $12 an hour by 2020. Then, the wage would increase according to inflation. Tipped employees’ wages would reach the minimum wage by 2024.

On Wednesday, 10 bills are scheduled for a public hearing.

Several bills would bring back the ability for employers to pay tipped employees below the minimum wage.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

This story was originally published Friday, March 31.

This month about 70 women inmates formerly held in York County moved into the Southern Maine Women’s Re-entry Center in Windham, a brand-new facility designed to house close to 100 minimum-security prisoners who have less than four years remaining on their sentences.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A pair of bills would allow Maine doctors to prescribe medication that would hasten a patient’s death.

Similar bits by Republican Sen. Roger Katz’s bill and Democratic Rep. Jennifer Parker are both set for a hearing Wednesday.

Both bills would protect health care providers and create a process for patient-directed care for terminally ill adults with limited life expectancy.

Physicians would be able to prescribe a medication that the patient may self-administer to hasten death.

There are a few differences between the bills.

BURNHAM, Maine — Authorities say an elderly Maine woman has died after an intruder entered her home.

State Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says 72-year-old Joyce Wood dialed 911 after a woman got into her house early Sunday in Burnham.

McCausland says family members arrived at the scene before the authorities, found Wood and placed her in a vehicle in the driveway. Wood died in the car.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A foundation has donated another 100 3-D printers to schools and nonprofits across Maine, bringing the total donated to 150.

David Perloff of The Perloff Family Foundation said most of the printers are going directly into classrooms where students can take advantage of them using their state-issued laptops.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — The surface appears to be sandy, but it’s nothing like Ogunquit Beach.

A scientist in Maine and her team have given familiar place names to some land features being visited by the red planet’s Curiosity rover.

The effort got attention on social media in March when Curiosity began scooping at the location, Ogunquit Beach. Images showed a fine, red sand.

Geologist R. Aileen Yingst is part of the team that assigned the Maine names.

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