Maine Public

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District questioned Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Wednesday about proposed cuts in the agency’s budget that could affect organic farmers.

The House Appropriations Committee is holding hearings on the Agriculture Department budget, and Pingree serves on the subcommittee that oversees agriculture. She told Perdue the agency should not decrease funding for programs that have helped organic farmers.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Barbara Bush made an indelible mark on the state of Maine, through her generous philanthropy – and the force of her personality. Her death yesterday at 92 is a deeply-felt loss for Kennebunkport, the family's summer home.

Maine Arts Commission

A student from from Portland's Deering High School took his case against the National Endowment for the Arts to a federal judge in Portland Wednesday.

The Maine Supreme Court has appeared to clear the way for a first of its kind election. The court Tuesday removed the final roadblock to implementing ranked-choice voting for the June primaries. Ranked-choice advocates say the court's opinion will preempt the kind of legal challenges that have followed the law ever since voters enacted it nearly two years ago. But others warn that additional litigation looms.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

A regular Tuesday night city council meeting in Waterville turned into a heated show of political and personal tensions, centered around the city’s embattled Republican Mayor Nick Isgro.

Isgro has faced public scrutiny after tweeting “Eat it Hogg,” referring to David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting. The tweet came in response to a story that Fox News had decided to support conservative host Laura Ingraham, who had also disparaged Hogg.

Mark Vogelzang / Maine Public

The voice of longtime Morning Edition newscaster Carl Kasell, who died Tuesday at the age of 84, was a familiar one among NPR and Maine Public fans. In August of 2012, Kasell paid a visit to Maine for a taping at Portland's Merrill Auditorium of the popular radio show, "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me!" We couldn't resist the opportunity to have Kasell come by our Portland studios for an interview. MPBN Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz asked him if he missed doing daily newscasts, which he retired from in 2009.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Mainers are expressing grief over the loss of one of the state’s most famous summer residents. It wasn’t unusual for Maine residents to encounter former first lady Barbara Bush, who spent most summers at the family compound at Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport. And while she was here, she was active in the community, devoting time to local causes, especially those aimed at improving the lives of children.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court says the nation’s first statewide ranked-choice voting election can go forward in the June primaries.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine is urging top Navy officials to find more ships to help interdict drugs coming into the country.

King says there are only enough ships to prevent 25 percent of the known drug shipments coming into the country, and called it a matter of national defense. At a budget hearing Tuesday, he urged Navy officials to divert some warships from current missions to help stop the flow of drugs that are killing Americans every day.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nine-state carbon-pricing program known as RGGI, has continued to bolster Northeast economies even as its environmental goals grew more ambitious, according to the latest three-year report on RGGI by the Analysis Group.

The report was commissioned by a group of charities and environmental foundations that wants to show whether the nearly decade-old program is working. Co-author Sue Tierney says RGGI has now put $4 billion back into its nine participating states’ economies.

A measure that would have given voters the chance to amend the state constitution and change how citizen initiative questions get on the ballot is dead — at least for this session.

On Tuesday, the Maine Senate approved the measure by the two-thirds needed to send a constitutional amendment to voters, but the House didn’t.

Some low-income parents in Maine could soon get help paying for higher education costs. 

The $2.1 million bill became law Tuesday after receiving broad bipartisan support, although it went unsigned by Gov. Paul LePage.

As a result, parents in households earning 185 percent or less of the federal poverty level - or $46,000 a year for a family of four - could receive funds to pay for post-secondary education programs in specific fields, such as health care, technology and engineering.

Maine Public/file

The United States Supreme Court has upheld a Maine law that limits noise generated by protestors outside medical facilities.

The case arose when a pastor challenged the state law's noise limit that was used to restrict his anti-abortion protest outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Portland.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Congress is in the middle of reauthorizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps. The House Agriculture Committee has released its draft bill, but advocates in Maine say they’re worried that President Donald Trump may push for cuts or further conditions that could place a burden on low-income families.

After months of debate, the legislature's education committee approved a bill Friday evening that would remove a mandate requiring Maine schools to implement "proficiency-based" diplomas. 

The law mandating the diplomas was originally passed in 2012. It says that current Maine freshmen need to reach proficiency in a number of subject areas, such as math, science and English, in order to graduate.

Pages