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.

Haven Daley / Associated Press

Leaders of a special legislative committee implementing Maine's legal marijuana law say commercial licensing and sale of the drug is unlikely to begin until next summer.

The committee today completed drafting the regulatory framework for the voter-approved law, but those guidelines must first be finalized and adopted by the Legislature before the final rulemaking process can begin.

Republican state Sen. Roger Katz, co-chairman of the committee, is hopeful the process will move quickly.

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says the Senate's Russia election probe could take most of the rest of this year.

King, appearing on NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday, said the Senate Intelligence Committee is far from being able to accuse, or clear, Trump campaign officials or the president of any wrongdoing.

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.


Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram launch a series this Sunday that attempts to put a human face on the opioid crisis.  Maybe too many faces, says Dieter Bradbury, the publication's deputy managing editor for news.  Bradbury spoke about the series with Maine Public Radio's Morning Edition host, Irwin Gratz.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

CAMDEN, Maine - Immigration will be a hot topic again this week as President Donald Trump prepares to issue his new executive order this week.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King told NPR this morning he welcomes the decision of the Justice Department Inspector General to investigate how F.B.I. Director James Comey handled the investigation of Hillary Clinton's e-mails - and, the independent senator says, what Comey said about it during the presidential campaign.

Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press

Environmental groups in Maine and around the country are condemning the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Over the past decade Pruitt has sued the EPA multiple times, challenging major environmental protections for clean water to standards that protect Americans from smog, haze and methane. He has also questioned the scientific basis of climate change, sending letters to the EPA written by oil and gas companies and calling the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution “unlawful and overreaching.”

The Nov. 8 election did a lot more than make Donald Trump president elect. It, of course, will change the government’s approach on a variety of issues, from business regulation to climate science, immigration, health insurance and taxation.

But the election, in which a majority of voters backed the candidate with fewer electoral votes, also touched off a wave of political protests unlike any in living memory.

University of Maine political science professor James Melcher analyzed the Maine election results for the Maine Public Radio program Morning Edition.

Early on, polls showed strong support for expanding background checks on gun sales in Maine. But closer to the election the numbers tightened, and by Tuesday evening it seemed momentum had swung to the opposition.

David Trahan, director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, says voters resented interference by a gun-control group founded by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg. And he says they particularly disliked a provision in the measure that could bar loaning or giving a gun to a friend without getting a federal background check.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

It was a big night for the marijuana legalization movement around the country, with 3 of 5 states, including Massachusetts, approving ballot measures and Maine poised to follow suit.

The vote remained extremely close all night, but at about 3 a.m., supporters of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol declared victory.

The Yes on One campaign held an edge of between one and two percentage points all night long. And in the wee hours of the morning, with a few more precincts still to be counted, political director Alysia Melnick offered this assessment.

After the most expensive legislative races in state history, Republicans have maintained control of the State Senate, holding 20 seats to the Democrats’ 15 according to unofficial AP results Wednesday morning.

Senate President Mike Thibodeau was jubilant with other Senate Republicans, friends and family, saying he expects the next session of the Legislature will see both parties working together to improve the state.

Brian Bechard / Maine Public

Riding a Republican wave, incumbent 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin has won another two-year term.

Poliquin defeated Democratic challenger Emily Cain in a campaign that broke all state spending records for a U.S. House race. More than $15 million was spent by the candidates and allied outside interests in a nonstop TV ad campaign.

Shortly after midnight, Poliquin stepped to the microphone at Dysart’s Restaurant in Bangor and delivered the message his supporters had been waiting to hear.

Minimum wage workers in Maine are going to get a raise.

By a solid margin, voters supported the ballot measure that will boost the current $7.50 an hour minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. It will also increase tipped workers’ base wages, which some in the restaurant industry say will increase costs and change the culture of hospitality.

With the passage of Question 4, workers in Maine will finally get an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, says Amy Halsted, the campaign manager for Mainers for Fair Wages.

RANGELEY, Maine — A coalition of local businesses and ski enthusiasts is planning to purchase the Saddleback Mountain ski area is holding a town meeting in Rangeley.

The Saddleback Mountain Foundation plans to make a presentation and then answer questions Wednesday evening at Rangeley High School.

The group wants to buy the ski area from Saddleback’s owners for $6 million, plus future land sale royalties. But first it must raise $4 million. That includes $2.2 million for a down payment and $1.8 million for operating costs.