Maine news

AUBURN, Maine - City records show that a former Auburn, Maine, pulp mill sold for $7 million below its assessed value to a Texas company that is considering using the site for growing medical marijuana.
The Sun Journal reports that BlueWaterTX1031, a Texas company established by an Auburn businessman last month, purchased the former Cascades Auburn Fiber mill for just $2 million in February.

A major snowstorm is brewing just in time for April Fool's Day in parts of New England.
The National Weather Service says the coastal storm is going to bring heavy, wet snow to Maine and New Hampshire starting Friday and continuing through Saturday afternoon.
Meteorologist Tom Hawley says the "jackpot'' is going to be 12 to 18 inches of snow in higher terrain between Nashua and Keene in New Hampshire. He says interior sections of southernmost Maine can expect 6 to 10 inches while lesser amounts are forecast farther north.

DETROIT - Volkswagen is paying more than $157 million to 10 states to settle environmental lawsuits over the company's diesel emissions-cheating scandal.
The company says the money will go to Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. All 10 states follow California's clean air standards.
The settlement covers 3-Liter six-cylinder diesel engines and is separate from a $603 million agreement reached last year with 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico that covered 2-liter engines.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's highest court has ruled that South Portland's liability insurer doesn't have to cover the city's rising legal fees in an ongoing federal lawsuit.
The Portland Press Herald reports the Maine Supreme Judicial Court decided Tuesday that the Maine Municipal Association Property & Casualty Pool has no duty to defend the city's Clear Skies ordinance.

Maine’s Largest Hospital System Braces For Credit Rating Downgrade

8 hours ago
Bangor Daily News/file

A major credit rating agency is considering downgrading Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, concerned about the ability of the state’s largest hospital system to pay back its loans.

Appalachian Trail

15 hours ago

At more than 2,000 miles, hiking the Appalachian trail is a daunting undertaking.  The Appalachian Trail Conservancy reports that only one in four who set off on the journey actually complete it.  What's it take to hike the A.T? We'll hear from the two hikers selected by Maine Public to hike the A.T. this summer (and test out the Maine Public App).  We'll also hear from experts with the Maine Appalachian Trail club to learn about its history, its upkeep, and what casual hikers should know about the trail.

PORTLAND, Maine - Revised rules on the state's new opioid prescription law are due in the next few days - and Maine veterinarians are looking for some changes.

The law sets limits on opioid prescriptions, and it requires vets to check the state's database of prescription records for owners - or whoever brings an animal into the office - before prescribing opioids for a pet.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine wildlife managers are almost finished taking comments from the public about a plan to again trim the number of moose hunting permits.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife wants to cut the number of moose permits to 2,080, which is 60 less than last year. The state gave out more than 2,800 permits in 2015.

The state is taking comments on the proposed cutback until Thursday. The permits will eventually be awarded via a lottery in June that typically attracts tens of thousands of applicants.

LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine - Prosecutors in Maine will not seek charges against a police officer who was involved in a crash that killed a pedestrian last year.
The Sun Journal reports District Attorney Andrew Robinson says the office has determined there is no basis to bring charges against Livermore Falls Officer Troy Reed in the crash that killed 23-year-old Joseph Slaver Jr., of Livermore Falls.
Authorities say a police cruiser driven by Reed hit Slaver when he ran into the road on Oct. 28. Slaver later died.

World War I

Mar 29, 2017

The Centennial of World War I: April 6 marks the centennial of the United States' entry into The Great War.  The parallels between then and now, in terms of political issues, rhetoric and dialogue, are striking.  We’ll hear from historians about the War to End All Wars and why this poorly understood war has great relevance to today’s world.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

In classrooms, there has long been an assumption that students need to be still, calm and attentive to learn. But more and more, researchers are finding that attitude could actually be harming many students.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A lawyer for two Maine women who are suing utilities over billing practices wants to seek a class-action certification.
The Portland Press Herald reports that tens of thousands of customers could be added to the action if the federal lawsuit is certified as a class-action lawsuit. Attorney Tom Hallett says they'd probably seek at least $35 million.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. - Environmental authorities in Massachusetts are donating lobsters seized from an illegal harvest to homeless veterans.
Massachusetts Environmental Police say they found the lobsters during an inspection of an offshore trawler in New Bedford on Sunday. Police say they determined the vessel had exceeded the legal limit of 500 for lobsters caught outside state waters. Police say the crustaceans were caught on Georges Bank.

Maine Public/file

The head of the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland has resigned after being placed on administrative leave last week.

PORTLAND, Maine - Authorities in Maine say a lobster boat owner charged with manslaughter at sea has been arrested on a charge of violating the conditions of his bail.
Christopher Hutchinson was owner and captain of the boat No Limits, which flipped in heavy waves more than two years ago west of Matinicus after hauling in lobster traps.
Two crew members died. Prosecutors say Hutchinson operated the boat after drinking and using drugs