Morning Edition

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Every weekday for more than three decades, NPR's Morning Edition has taken listeners around the country and the world with multi-faceted stories and commentaries that inform challenge and occasionally amuse. Morning Edition is the most listened-to news radio program in the country. Irwin Gratz and the Maine Public Radio News team bring you regional updates throughout the morning.

Leigh Stearns via AP

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine is holding a memorial this week for a professor who plunged into a 100-foot crevasse in Antarctica while conducting climate research for the National Science Foundation.

The private service is being held on Thursday at the Buchanan Alumni House.

A fund in Gordon Hamilton’s name has been established in the University of Maine Foundation, and a video tribute will be released later.

PORTLAND, Maine — Officials in Portland say they plan to pursue looser regulations for short-term rentals in the city.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the City Council’s Housing Committee agreed in principle Wednesday with a framework that would allow people to rent out their private homes and operate short-term rentals in apartment buildings.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine college is partnering with two Icelandic universities to build its reach in the North Atlantic and Arctic.

University of New England announced the partnership with University of Akureyri and Holar University College. It was signed during last week’s 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly.

Officials with the University of New England say the partnership will help grow new undergraduate exchange programs, develop international masters’ degree programs and foster cooperation on marine research.

PORTLAND, Maine - This year’s Maine ballot features five citizen-initiated referenda and a bond issue. Maine Public’s Irwin Gratz talked with longtime political columnist Al Diamon to get his thoughts on the issues and the campaigns being waged around the measures. Al writes the column, “Politics and Other Mistakes,” for several Maine publications.

 

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A nonprofit group led by a Republican state legislator is being penalized $672 for failing to disclose spending on a campaign flier targeting Democratic Rep. Jeff McCabe.

The Maine Ethics Commission contacted Republican Rep. Larry Lockman of Amherst after the Morning Sentinel reported on the fliers, which claimed that McCabe supported harboring illegal immigrants and terrorists in Maine.

Portland-based Preble Street, which provides services to people experiencing homelessness, hunger and poverty, is getting two federal grants totaling more than a million dollars.

One is to help homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youths in southern Maine find supportive housing, and the second is for efforts to combat human trafficking.

Preble Street’s Elena Schmidt says almost 40 percent of homeless youth report being LGBTQ. She says $625,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services seeks to address their particular needs.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

HERMON, Maine - Brenda Garrand, Sam Surprise and Irwin Gratz usually gather to talk about political advertising - how it looks and sounds, the strategies that may lie behind it.

PORTLAND, Maine - It rained Sunday - all day if you were along the coast.   And that's news, of course, because of the drought that has been intensifying across the state.

As much as an inch of rain fell along the coast from Portland to Bar Harbor. But Tom Hawley, the hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Gray, says not everyone got wet. 

"The most rain fell right along the coastal plain.  Once you got up into the mountains there was very little.  A tenth of an inch of less.  Some places up in the mountains didn't get anything."

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Public Utilities Commission is extending its deadline for proposals for a liquefied natural gas storage tank.

Utility regulators issued a request for proposals last month following a state law that gave them power to execute a contract to address wintertime shortages of natural gas.

The new law allows the Maine Public Utilities Commission to have ratepayers fund up to $25 million a year to fund liquefied natural gas storage facilities. It’s an expansion on a 2013 energy bill that encouraged an expansion of pipeline capacity.

There will be an electoral rematch in Maine next month.

Democrat Emily Cain will try to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who won Maine’s 2nd District seat in a contest against Cain two years ago.

University of Maine at Farmington political science professor Jim Melcher talked with Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz about the race.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

You won’t typically find cracked tomatoes, curved cucumbers or two-legged carrots at the grocery store. Imperfect produce is a tough sell for consumers, so it’s often abandoned in farm fields.

University of New England

Donald Trump has announced another rally in Bangor a week from tomorrow. He’s trying to pry at least one electoral vote out of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

A poll released last month by the Portland Press Herald-Maine Sunday Telegram indicated he might just pull that off.

University of New England political science professor Brian Duff talked with Irwin Gratz about the presidential campaigns in Maine this year.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine will receive $9 million in federal aid to help students with disabilities prepare for college and employment.

The money is going from the federal Department of Education to the Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. says the grant will help the state transition more students with disabilities into college and careers when they are done with high school.

Gov. Paul LePage says he will use his next budget to push for fewer school superintendents.

“We’re spending the money on the administration of our schools and not in the classroom,” he says, speaking on WVOM Radio Tuesday.

LePage says far more populous states get by with far fewer administrators.

“The state of Florida, who ranks No. 7 in the best education system in America, has 3 million kids with 64 superintendents,” he says.

HAMPDEN, Maine — An organization representing more than 100 central Maine communities has voted to release more than a million dollars in funding to start constructing a road to the site of a trash-to-energy plant.

The Morning Sentinel reports that the nonprofit Municipal Review Committee recently voted to release up to $1.62 million for construction on the Hampden facility to start this fall.

Fiberight plans to build a plant that will separate recyclables from organic waste and then convert the organics into biofuels.

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