Proposal Would Prevent Offshore Wind Project in Maine

Apr 7, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine - A proposal before the Maine Legislature would prevent the state from permitting an offshore wind energy project in the vicinity of Monhegan Island.
Monhegan Island is a tiny island about 12 nautical miles off of Maine's mainland that is well known as a home to artists, seasonal residents and lobster fishermen. Maine Aqua Ventus intends to install a two-turbine, 12-megawatt project off its coast.

PORTLAND, Maine - The University of Maine School of Law is looking to train more lawyers for the vast rural parts of the state.
The school is launching the Rural Lawyer Pilot Project, which is kicking off with a workshop for attorneys and law students on Saturday. It will be a three-year project to place law students with practitioners in communities that would otherwise suffer from a lack of legal services.

PORTLAND, Maine - Officials with Maine's largest city say the federal Department of Justice has approved the police department to repurpose grant money for the use for a body camera pilot program.
A spokeswoman for the city says the DOJ is allowing Portland to use about $26,000 in unspent Justice Assistance Grant money toward the body camera program.
The city says there are no further details available about the development or implementation of the pilot program.

Tom Porter / Maine Public/file

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents took the unusual step Thursday of arresting a Somali man in a Portland courthouse, where he was meeting with his attorney, raising concerns from his attorney and immigration advocates.

According to his court-appointed attorney, Tina Nadeau, 28-year-old Abdi Ali was in Cumberland District Court to plead not guilty to a misdemeanor OUI charge. After the hearing he met Nadeau in a side room. That’s where she says a man in civilian garb abruptly entered the room.

She assumed he was her next client of the day.

The body of missing WCSH-TV meteorologist was found in Auburn Thursday night. That's according to  Auburn Police, in a post on the department's Facebook page.

Johnston, 46, had been a meteorologist with the Portland NBC affiliate for three years, station officials say in a press release on WCSH's website. 

Auburn Police say Johnston's body was located with the help of the Maine Warden Service.  "Any suspicion of foul play has been ruled out and the investigation is focused on an apparent suicide," police said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press/file

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins on Thursday joined 51 other Republicans to change a rule designed encourage bipartisan agreement on high court nominations.

The first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in 25 years came to Lewiston Thursday morning, where he visited Somali-owned businesses that now dominate part of downtown.

Stephen Schwartz also held a community meeting where he told an audience of mostly refugees that he’s hopeful a newly elected Somali government can help turn the embattled nation they fled around.

BANGOR, Maine - Maine Sen. Angus King is among a group of U.S. senators that is launching a new Senate Working Forest Caucus that is designed to protect jobs in the forest products industry.

King, an independent, says he is joining the 11-member caucus to elevate policies that promote and preserve working forests. He says private working forests support more than 2.4 million jobs in the country, including equipment suppliers and transportation workers.

It's Thursday and time again for the Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on politics. This week, Dick Woodbury, an economist who served in the Legislature as an independent; Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising, a former Republican lawmaker; and Cynthia Dill, an attorney who served in Augusta as a Democrat.

PORTLAND, Maine — A popular television meteorologist in Maine’s largest city is missing.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Tom Johnston from WCSH-TV was reported missing Monday after he failed to return from a weekend event at the Sunday River ski resort.

Old Orchard Beach Police Detective Sgt. David Hemingway said Johnston is considered a missing person, but there’s been no indication that he’s in danger. Johnston’s last social media postings were made on Saturday, when a storm produced heavy snow in parts of Maine.

A Republican state lawmaker known for controversial statements about transgender people and immigrants says Mainers’ views on climate change should be protected against discrimination.

Rep. Larry Lockman of Amherst says people who don’t believe in climate science are treated like heretics. Testifying before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee Thursday, Lockman quickly addressed the national headlines generated by his bill.

“This bill is not about creating a new protected class for people who believe that the earth is flat,” he said.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Scores of Democrats filled the staircase in the State House Hall of Flags today as their leaders outlined a proposed budget package. They laid out the major goals of the plan — but not many of the details — in this gambit for crafting a two-year state budget.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Military commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that, due to budget constraints, the U.S. Coast Guard and other federal agencies are going after only a quarter of the drug smuggling incidents on which they have intelligence.

Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, said that’s unconscionable given the national death toll
from drugs being trafficked across the border.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Senate has voted 31-4 to endorse a bill that will make Maine comply with the federal Real ID law. 

The bill is designed to make Maine drivers' licenses align with the  federal identification law, which was passed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and established minimum security standards for state-issued identification cards.

David Sharp / Associated Press

MOUNT VERNON, Maine - A soldier who lost all four limbs during an explosion in Afghanistan and went on to start a foundation to help veterans has an announcement: He and his wife are expecting another child.
Travis Mills, of Manchester, Maine, made the announcement to TV talk show host Ellen Degeneres this week. He and his wife, Kelsey, already have a daughter. Now they're going to have a baby boy.