Maine Public

A bill that would set a firm cap on the number of elver fishing licenses issued each year in Maine received broad support at a public hearing before the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee. The bill would also allow a small number of new fishermen into the fishery.

The elver, or baby eel, fishery is one of the most lucrative in Maine. Considered a delicacy in several Asian countries, elvers were fetching close to $2,000 dollars a pound last year. But because of the pressure on the resource, the fishery has been closed to new fishermen since 2013.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

In the aftermath of the presidential election, Muslims have received an increase in two kinds of attention: support and derision. In an effort to reach out to groups from both viewpoints, the Maine Muslim Community Center in Portland hosted an open house on Sunday so people could learn about their faith.

As a second-grade teacher new to Portland, Emily Troll wants to connect with the families of the Somali students she works with. She says that has been increasingly important recently, because of the changes she’s noticed in her classroom.

Maine’s two U.S. senators are expressing concerns about reports that officials in the Trump administration attempted to enlist senior intelligence officials and members of Congress to push back against news reports focusing on President Donald Trump associates’ links to Russia.

At issue is whether the contact between the Trump administration and key lawmakers could compromise what is supposed to be an impartial investigation into Russian interference in the election, and allegations that Trump campaign associates interacted with Russian operatives.

University of Maine at Presque Isle

While more high school students in Maine are going on to college these days, they’re taking their time to graduate.

AUGUSTA, Maine -  Maine firefighters and their families turned out in force Monday to support legislation banning the use of flame retardants in new furniture. 

Former state Sen. Linda Baker, of Topsham, believes her husband, a firefighter, died from cancer caused by flame retardants.  Baker urged passage of the bill.

“This bill will help ensure that the remaining manufacturers remove these toxic chemicals from their products being sold in Maine,” Baker said.

BELFAST, Maine - Dozens of people in Belfast say they had money stolen from their bank accounts after using the ATM at the Down East Credit Union branch on Saturday.

Police in Belfast say someone apparently installed a so-called skimming device in that ATM, and that they haven't found any others in the area.

The credit union says the breach didn't happen internally and it believes fewer than 100 members were affected. Most of the withdrawals were made in New York.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

It’s a dirty job, but digging for blood and sand worms along the Maine coast can pay well, particularly in areas of the state where it can be hard to make a living. Maine’s annual harvest of these popular bait worms, however, continues to decline, posing a quandary for marine biologists who cite climate change and predation as possible factors.

Wormers, as they’re called, would like to work with marine biologists to ensure a healthy and robust industry.

The Legislature’s Appropriations Committee has voted unanimously to recommend a $64 million supplemental state budget to meet needs in state government through the end of June.

Some of the money will go to programs that are short on cash, but most of it is going into the state’s so-called rainy day fund.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's two U.S. senators, independent Angus King and Republican Susan Collins, are expressing concerns about reports that officials in the Trump administration attempted to enlist senior intelligence officials and lawmakers to push back against  several stories that attempt to shed light on Trump associates' links to Russia.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

According to AARP, the advocacy organization for older Americans, most seniors want to stay in their homes as they age. But they often need help to maintain their home and stay connected to their community.

Central Maine Power’s customers will see some significant savings on their bills starting this summer, thanks to the end of expensive, long-term power contracts.

The contracts originated under a federal law that aimed to hedge against price surges seen in the 1970s energy crisis. Maine Public Utilities Commission spokesman Harry Lanphear says decades-long contracts Maine utilities signed with Maine-based biomass generators ultimately locked them into rates that were far above market rates.

With new state standards in place designed to reduce blood-lead levels in children, the City of Portland is urging landlords and homeowners to apply for help with lead abatement in their homes.

“Maine has one of the oldest housing stocks in the nation,” says Mary Davis with the City of Portland Housing and Community Development Division.

Davis says there’s no way to make a pre-1978 home absolutely free of lead, but funds from a newly acquired, three-year federal Housing and Urban Development grant can help make older homes more “lead safe.”

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

LEWISTON, Maine - Ben Chin, the political engagement director for the Maine People's Alliance, has become the first candidate to announce he's running for mayor of Lewiston this November.

Speaking to a crowd at Museum LA in Lewiston Thursday night, Chin said he won't be alone in the race.

Members of two legislative committees heard more details Thursday about a plan to expand treatment for opioid addiction to several hundred more Mainers. The surge in overdoses last year to an average of one death a day helped drive the proposal.

It's Thursday and time for the Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on politics. This week, Dick Woodbury, an economist who served in the Legislature as an independent; Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising, a former Republican lawmaker; and Cynthia Dill, an attorney who served in Augusta as a Democrat.

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