Maine Public

After losing state funding last July, school-based health centers could see it restored under a bill being considered by the Health and Human Services Committee. Proponents say the health centers are critical to keeping kids healthy and in school. But some are concerned that reinstating the funding would lead to cuts to other state health programs.

Schools are usually associated with academics, as opposed to health care. But according to Calais schools superintendent Ron Jenkins, the two share an important link.

ABUKAR ADAN / MAINE PUBLIC

Central Maine Power Company estimates that the response and recovery from an October windstorm will cost more than $68 million. Short-term, company officials say they will seek to charge a portion of this cost - $27 million - to customers.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

A Mount Desert Island man and two girls "narrowly escaped with their lives" after the snowmobile they were on sank in a Southwest Harbor Pond.

Maine Warden Service officials say Eli Strauss, 43, his 12-year-old daughter Julia and her friend Jolie Beal, also 12, went snowmobiling Wednesday evening. When the three failed to return home as expected, Strauss’s wife, Robin Strauss, contacted authorities at about 5:30 p.m.

Willis Arnold / Maine Public

Maine’s largest electric utility has a new leader, Doug Herling. A Maine native, Herling started with Central Maine Power as an equipment operator in 1985. He rose through the ranks, most recently overseeing electric operations for parent-company Avangrid, a company that serves 2.2 million customers in New England.  Herling sat down with Maine Public's Ed Morin to discuss consumer costs, the influence of renewable energy,  and his vision for the company.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to establish a pilot program to help 50 of Maine’s homeless residents get stable housing and treatment for opioid addiction. A bill presented to the Health and Human Services Committee today drew dozens of supporters during a public hearing. No one opposed the bill, but at least one lawmaker questioned whether it’s the best use of resources to tackle the problem.

Alban Bowens works on the ceiling at a job site on Forest Avenue in Portland.
Caroline Losneck / Maine Public

 

The Portland-based construction and renovation company Bondeko actively trains and hires immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Grocers and others in the food and beverage industry are supporting a proposal to reduce the deposit rate on liquor bottles in Maine from 15 cents to five. This change would match the nickel deposit implemented last year on small containers of liquor commonly called “nips."

Supporters of the change, including the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association, argue that it is better to have just one deposit for all liquor containers, regardless of the size. Among these supporters is Christine Cummings of the Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association.

File image of the Sunday River ski resort, Friday, March, 13, 2015 in Newry, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo, File

An 18-year-old New Hampshire man died and a 17-year-old boy was seriously injured in a sledding accident at Sunday River Ski resort early this morning.

Three visitors are believed to have made an after-hours trek up a steep Sunday River ski trail, and two of them tried to slide down on a snow-tube-style sled, according to police and resort officials. But the sled crashed into a tree, killing one and seriously injuring another.

The Maine Legislature is considering a bill that would make forced labor a crime. 

The measure drew broad support and no opposition Wednesday at a public hearing before the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

Sen. Amy Volk, a Republican from Scarborough who sponsored the proposal, said forced labor should be a crime - "to compel someone to work for little or no compensation," she said. "Victims are usually those with little power or means,including migrant workers, immigrants or refugees, those living in extreme poverty and drug addicts.”

More than two-dozen candidates vying to replace Gov. Paul LePage provided a glimpse at their financial support Tuesday as they hit a key deadline to file a six-month review of their campaign donations and expenses with the Maine Ethics Commission.

The 13 Democratic contenders were led by Sanford attorney and veteran Adam Cote, Attorney General Janet Mills and former House Speaker Mark Eves. Republicans were led by businessman Shawn Moody, former Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew and Senate President Mike Thibodeau.

Willis Arnold / Maine Public

Maine's largest electric utility has a new CEO.  Doug Herling took over operations of Central Maine Power Company Jan. 1, a day after the utility's long-time leader Sara Burns stepped down. 

Fifty of Maine's most vulnerable residents who are addicted to opioids would get access to treatment under a bill that the Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee is considering Wednesday.

Dr. Renee Fay-Leblanc, chief medical officer of Greater Portland Health, says the bill establishes a pilot project that would also provide stable housing.

"This bill will allow patients to get to a place where they can be successful in traditional substance use programs, and it will save lives," Fay-Leblanc says.

A proposal to reauthorize the federal law known as FISA, designed to allow intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance of certain communications without a warrant, is making its way through Congress — it passed the House last week and next heads to the Senate.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and independent U.S. Sen. Angus King both serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and both say they will vote in favor of reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

King says the law has helped prevent terrorist attacks and other aggression against the U.S.

Maine’s top marine official is opposed to proposed federal regulations that would require all commercial lobster harvesters in Maine to file landing reports.

Maine currently selects at random 10 percent of the state’s lobstermen for reporting. Maine Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols says DMR Commissioner Patrick Kelliher believes 10 percent is sufficient, but that it’s possible to improve the data by eliminating a couple of classes of license holders who currently can be chosen to submit data.

Maine Department of Corrections

The Maine Department of Corrections is reporting the escape of a prisoner who left his home confinement without permission around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Robert John Berry, 46, was serving a 16-month sentence for theft that began in May of last year.

Berry was assigned to the Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston and could have been up for release as early as April.

The department did not release additional information.

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