AP

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The hot ballot topic in Portland, Maine, on Tuesday is a proposal that would save a tiny downtown park from development.

The referendum item would add 35 open spaces to the city's list of protected lands and make it more difficult to sell them.

The group that collected signatures for the referendum wants to block the sale of a large part of Congress Square Plaza — a half-acre public square — to a hotel owner.

FARMINGTON, Maine (AP) — A member of the Maine House of Representatives from Farmington has withdrawn his re-election bid to spend more time with his family.

Republican Rep. Lance Harvell was set to square off against Democratic challenger Edward David for the seat in November.

The Sun Journal reports that Harvell said on Monday that he wants to spend more time at home. He said he's concerned that it would be unfair to his constituents if he's re-elected to the Legislature and is unable to commit fully to the job.

Authorities say an 81-year-old Augusta woman severely burned in a cooking fire at her home last month has died.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland says Lorraine White died May 30 at Maine Medical Center in Portland where she was being treated for burns.

White was injured May 7 when her clothes caught fire while she was cooking with an electric oven inside her home.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Shenna Bellows is ready for some shoe leather politicking.

The Democrat who wants to unseat Republican Sen. Susan Collins is holding a news conference Friday to talk about her plans to walk across Maine. She plans to visit 63 locales as she walks 350 miles.

Bellows says she intends to be a voice for the working class and her trek is being dubbed ``Walk with Maine for Jobs and the Economy.'' Bellows was executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine before choosing to run for the Senate.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud says Maine needs an oversight agency to combat waste and fraud in its welfare programs and mismanagement in the health department.

The Democrat trying to unseat Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that he will create an Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services if he's elected in November.

The Republican governor has made fighting welfare fraud a top priority of his administration. But Michaud says he has merely demonized the poor and has failed to take real action.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Some Mainers planning to vote in next week's primary election via absentee ballot have to request a ballot by the end of the day.

Thursday is the deadline to request an absentee ballot for most voters. Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn says Mainers can request a ballot until the close of business by going online, calling or visiting their town office.

Voters can return the ballots to their municipal clerk until 8 p.m. on Election Day, which is Tuesday.

BANGOR, Maine (AP) _ Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler is calling for increased education funding and the creation of three new magnet high schools located on the campuses of Maine's universities.

The education plan Cutler rolled out in Bangor on Tuesday includes providing $65 million annually in competitive grants to support things like preschool programs and high poverty school districts.

Cutler is in a three-person race with Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democrat Mike Michaud.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer is unveiling plans to spend $100 million this year to make climate change a make-or-break issue in seven Senate and gubernatorial races.

Steyer's NextGen Climate Action says it will back Democrats and attack Republicans running for governor in Pennsylvania, Florida and Maine. The super PAC will also spend on Senate races in New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado and Michigan.

The group says Steyer will personally spend at least $50 million. NextGen plans to raise another $50 million from likeminded donors.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Rep. Mike Michaud will be a grand marshal in this year's Pride Parade in Portland, Maine.

The Portland Press Herald reported Wednesday that Michaud will lead the parade through downtown Portland on June 21. Other grand marshals will be University of Southern Maine Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity coordinator Sarah Holmes and the family of Nicole Maines.

Maines is a transgender student who won a discrimination lawsuit in Maine Supreme Judicial Court after her school refused to let her use the girls' bathroom.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ As candidates gear up for next month's primary election, Maine's secretary of state is urging residents to take advantage of absentee ballots.

Registered Maine voters can submit an electronic absentee ballot request online up to three days before Election Day, which is June 10. Exceptions will be made under certain circumstances after that deadline.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap's office says voters don't need to be out of town or have another reason to use an absentee ballot. It allows citizens to vote when it's most convenient.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The Maine State Troopers Association, which made no endorsement for governor in 2010, is endorsing Democrat Mike Michaud in the three-way race.

Union President Aaron Turcotte said Monday that Michaud was selected over incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler because he possesses the core principles of troopers - ``integrity, fairness, compassion and excellence.''

The association says Michaud has a history of supporting Maine's law enforcement community.

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PORTLAND, Maine _ New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is heading to Maine to help raise cash for the state's Republican Party and Gov. Paul LePage.
 
Christie, who serves as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will attend two fundraisers in Portland on Wednesday. The events are closed to the press.
 
 LePage's campaign hopes Christie's presence in Maine will bolster its finances and rally its support base as the three-way race heats up between the Republican governor, Democratic candidate Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler.
 

Woman Dies in Maine Crash

May 7, 2014

MARIAVILLE, Maine — A woman completing the second day of her newspaper delivery route in Maine has died in a crash.

Police said 24-year-old Bethany Dias of Clifton was heading south on Route 181 in Mariaville early Wednesday when she failed to negotiate a corner and overcorrected. The vehicle went off the road and rolled over, ejecting Dias.

Police said the vehicle came to rest on top of Dias. She died at the scene.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is heading to Maine to help raise cash for the state's Republican Party and Gov. Paul LePage.

Christie, who serves as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, will attend two fundraisers in Portland on Wednesday. The events are closed to the press.

LePage's campaign hopes Christie's presence in Maine will bolster its finances and rally its support base as the three-way race heats up between the Republican governor, Democratic candidate Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler.

BANGOR, Maine (AP) _ Independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler is highlighting his energy and environmental ideas.

Cutler, who's seeking to unseat Republican Gov. Paul LePage in November, will discuss his energy platform on Tuesday in Bangor.

Last month, Democratic candidate Mike Michaud called for Maine to cut its dependence on heating oil in half by implementing mandatory energy efficiency ratings for new homes and boosting the state's use of renewable energy, like wind and solar.

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