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PORTLAND, Maine - Attorneys are awaiting a new court date in the case of a Maine man who has spent 27 years in prison for a 1989 murder and whose guilt has been called into question.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage says he will veto any of several pending bills designed to allow people with a terminal illness to decide when to end their life.

Lawmakers are considering two similar bills. In an appearance on WVOM Radio in Bangor, LePage vowed to veto such legislation.

“Here we are talking death with dignity and, you know we’re sitting there - human beings passing judgment of who should live and who should die," LePage said. "I just, I just don’t believe in it.”

BANGOR, Maine - Bangor police have identified a 40-year-old suspect in the shooting death of a New Orleans man over the weekend.
 
WMTW-TV reports that authorities are looking for Antoinne Bethea, 40, who is accused of shooting Terrance Durel Sr., 36, of New Orleans around 3 p.m. Sunday.
 
Police are offering a reward for information on Bethea, who also goes by the name ``Prince.''
 

BOSTON - The federal government is reporting that New England's unemployment rate was lower than the national average last year.

The New England office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Monday that the six state region's average rate of 4.1 percent was lower than the national jobless rate of 4.9 percent in 2016. It was also lower than the 4.9 percent the region registered in 2015.

New Hampshire had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at 2.8 percent last year.

Later this month the temporary spending bill known as the continuing resolution, which funds the federal government, expires. But there are still five remaining months in the current fiscal year.

Congress will need to act. But members of Maine’s congressional delegation are worried about discussions to simply extend the continuing resolution instead of passing an actual budget.

The scenario is all too familiar. Members of Congress can’t agree on a budget, so they pass a continuing resolution that funds the government at the previous year’s level.

A private prisoner transport company is denying that it mistreated a Maine inmate last year.

Tennessee-based Prisoner Transport Services told the Lewiston Sun Journal that its own internal affairs investigator found no evidence that 34-year-old Meghan Quinn of Lewiston was neglected during a five-day trip from Florida to Maine.

PORTLAND, Maine - Fishing regulators are starting the process of changing the way the East Coast scallop fishery is managed, with an eye toward avoid more conflicts between small- and big-boat fishermen.
 
The New England Fishery Management Council decided to initiate changes on Tuesday. Small boats have been in conflict with big boats in the northern Gulf of Maine in recent months.
 

Steven Senne / Associated Press

A nine-state unity tour featuring independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and new Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez kicked off in Portland Monday night.

Sanders’ progressive supporters and establishment Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton for president may be united in opposition to President Donald Trump, but they are still eyeing each other warily. Sanders’ supporters called Clinton’s nomination a coronation, and in Maine the hard feelings linger.

Maine’s congressional delegation has sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, urging her to consider a grant application from the University of Maine at Presque Isle that was rejected due to a formatting error.

The school applied to receive funding from the Upward Bound program, which helps low-income, first generation students go to college. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says despite the school’s track record of success, its application was deemed ineligible because of a spacing error on two infographics.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Right now, high school seniors around Maine are waiting nervously for their acceptance letters from colleges. And their chances depend in part on grades.

Every year tens of thousands of doses of prescription drugs are thrown away by patients who have been discharged from rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. One lawmaker wants to find another way to make use of the medication that is still good.

Rep. Patty Hymanson, a Democrat from York and a retired doctor, is proposing legislation to require the state pharmacy board to come up with rules to allow unused medications to be donated to low-income patients.

Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn has introduced legislation to establish the constitutionality of citizen initiatives before going to voters.

He says the proposed ballot measure to require background checks for gun sales on last November’s ballot is one example where his bill could have been helpful.

“You had Michael Bloomberg-affiliated groups, special interest money come in, to try to put a referendum on the ballot that would have restricted a right that is specifically safeguarded for the people of Maine in our constitution,” Brakey says.

CONCORD, N.H. — An appeals court has found in favor of the federal government in a challenge by a New England fishermen’s group over the cost of at-sea monitoring.

The monitors are workers who collect data that help the government craft fishing regulations. The government shifted the cost of paying for monitors to fishermen last year.

A group led by New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel sued the government over the rule change. The fishermen lost in federal district court and appealed. A 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Boston agreed with the lower court Friday.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

WATERVILLE, Maine — Former Vice President Joe Biden is planning to be in Maine next month to deliver Colby College’s commencement address.

The May 21 ceremony will be held on the lawn of Miller Library, weather permitting. It is open to the public. In case of rain, tickets will be required for admission to the gymnasium in the Harold Alfond Athletic Center. The event will be simulcast and available for viewing in the field house.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine - How do we get - and keep - people healthy? Some would say a visit to the doctor is a must. But Ron Deprez, president of the Public Health Research Institute in Deer Isle, tells Irwin Gratz that’s only part of the answer. The rest is detailed in a recent Maine Policy Review article Deprez wrote entitled “Population Health Improvement.” Here's an excerpt of their conversation.

 

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