Maine news

PORTLAND, Maine - The federal government says more than 1 million Mainers are currently dealing with drought conditions.

The latest report by the U.S. Drought Monitor says 80 percent of the state's population is affected by moderate to extreme drought.

The report Thursday says almost 10 percent of the state, including Cumberland, York and Sagadahoc counties, is in an "extreme drought.'' The entire area experiencing moderate to extreme drought now runs from York County eastward to part of Washington County.

FARMINGTON, Maine - The associate director for the Maine Office of Substance Abuse is facing a charge of operating under the influence.

Police say 62-year-old Joan Smyrski of Jefferson was charged with drunken driving after being stopped Sunday evening in the Franklin County town of Avon. She was freed on $150 cash bail.

The Sun Journal reports that Smyrski is scheduled to speak about opioid-prescribing limits at the Maine Nurse Practitioner Association's annual fall conference in November.

LEWISTON, Maine - The United States Department of Agriculture is committing nearly $400,000 to increase food access for the Somali community in Lewiston.

Members of the Somali Bantu community in the city are partnering with the Cumberland County Food Security Council on the project. The funding is expected to support Somalis' agriculture and help them reconnect with their cultural heritage.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

22 hours ago

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)  is one of the more common and disabling mental disorders, and it often first appears in childhood. The disorder has a significant effect on family and others involved with the person with OCD. An estimated 3,000 Mainers have some form of OCD. We'll learn what it is and how it's treated. 


Dr. Jim Claiborne, a psychologist with over 30 years experience and who specializes in treating OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder and related problems.

PORTLAND, Maine - As Portland's City Council considers new policies aimed at relieving the city's housing crunch, one set of ideas proposed by Mayor Ethan Strimling may be falling off the table, including rent control.

A month ago, Strimling proposed restrictions on rent increases and no-cause evictions, one-year lease requirements, and a bar on discriminating against tenants who rely on housing vouchers.

STANDISH, Maine - Many Maine families who rely on shallow private wells have been forced to change the way they live due to the area's drought.

The Portland Press Herald reports well drillers are being inundated with calls from people who want dry wells drilled deeper or those who fear their water source is close to drying up. Homeowners have also turned to companies to deliver tanks full of drinking water to temporarily refill their wells.

PORTLAND, Maine - The Maine forest products industry is getting a boost from the federal government in the form of funding that will assist the state's two largest universities.

The University Center Economic Development Program at the University of Maine and University of Southern Maine will get more than $115,000 from the federal Economic Development Administration.

The money will support technical assistance for Maine's forest products sector. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King requested the funding in June and announced it on Tuesday.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The University of Maine at Augusta is set to offer the state’s first university-level course in operating unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

The Kennebec Journal reports the seven-week program begins Oct. 27 and will provide students a path to earn a Federal Aviation Administration remote pilot’s license.

Freedom of Speech

Sep 28, 2016

The definition of free speech and freedom of expression continues to be at the center of discussion -- whether it relates to the Presidential campaign, college campuses or Gov. LePage. What is considered hate speech and what is considered politically correct? What about microaggressions and trigger warnings? Is our ability to accept freedom of expression changing? Or are racist attitudes getting a free pass under the name of free speech?

Guests: Zach Heiden, legal director, ACLU of Maine  Dmitry Bam, associate professor at University of Maine School of Law

Presidential Debate Analysis

Sep 27, 2016

Reaction and analysis after the first Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, held at Hofstra University in New York.

Guests:  Jeanne Cummings, Wall Street Journal

Ronald J. Schmidt, Jr., Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Southern Maine

Karen Frink Wolf, partner and trial lawyer at Verrill Dana law firm; former Policy Debater and former high school debate coach; she helped guide the Falmouth High School debate team to 4 state championships and was named Maine Debate Coach of the Year in 2014.

BANGOR, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he can’t be wrong 100 percent of the time but that’s how he’s portrayed in the media.

LePage used a Constitution Week Forum at his alma mater, Husson University, to take a shot at the news coverage of his administration last week.

He says news reporters are more interested in a catching him in "seven-second sound bite" than issues like fighting poverty and taking care of the elderly.