Maine Public

Maine’s public advocate has sent a letter to the Public Utilities Commission urging it to order Central Maine Power not to disconnect consumers who have filed complaints over high electricity bills.

PUC spokesman Harry Lanphear says the commission will formally deliberate the request, but in the meantime, customers are protected.

“Our rules prohibit disconnection of any customer that has a pending complaint,” he says. "Therefore, none of the customers that have unresoved complaints will be disconnected."

Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

The third nor’easter to hit Maine in the last couple weeks is dumping 12 to 18 inches across much of the state - and more in some areas - with far northern Maine getting most of its snowfall Tuesday night and Wednesday.

An internal memo from the Maine Department of Labor indicates that a new $90 million unemployment claims system is not working properly and should not have ever been put online without considerable testing.

The document, which is marked “confidential,” also says that hundreds if not thousands of Mainers who were eligible for unemployment benefits either did not receive them in a timely manner, or never got them at all.

Maine is bracing for its third nor’easter in less than two weeks.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Marine in Gray says snow moves across the state from south to north beginning late Monday, arriving over all areas by Tuesday morning.

“And will become heavy at times during the day Tuesday and into Tuesday night,” he says.

Marine says there could be light snow and snow showers into Wednesday, with accumulations 12-18 inches by Wednesday morning.

Jennifer Mitchell / Maine Public

Of all Maine's export products, one of the most logistically challenging is Homarus americanus. Fresh Maine lobster is now in demand all over the world, but it takes a lot of work to deliver the product to the other side of the planet while it's still fresh. In this installment of It CAN Get There From Here we visit a lobster dealer who's found a way to do it.

Lobster packing is a squeaky affair, but the workers who do it will tell you “you get used to the Styrofoam squeak after a while.”

Center for Biological Diversity

The population of the endangered North Atlantic right whale took a big hit last year with a record number found dead in Canadian waters from ship strikes and entanglements. With this year's calving season ending and no new births observed, an ongoing debate over whether Maine's lobster industry poses a mortal threat to the species is gaining new urgency.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Friday the Maine Board of Dental Practice voted unanimously to send the case of a Lewiston dentist who is accused of putting patient health and safety in jeopardy to district court. The Board already cleared Jan Kippax of 64 allegations, but more than 100 remain. The hope is that moving the matter to court will bring closure to the high profile case, which involves more than a dozen patients.

Susan Walsh / AP Photo

After months of trading insults and threats, President Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by the end of May. U.S. Senator Angus King says that’s a cautiously positive development.

“There is a lot of preparatory work which needs to be done but if we start saying there are conditions, we may not get there and I think that would be a mistake.”

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The investigative arm of the Legislature will review a child protection system that failed to prevent the deaths of two young girls despite previous reports of abuse. 

Maine Public

The majority of the legislature’s State and Local Government Committee has voted against passage of a resolution that seeks to insert a balanced budget amendment in the federal constitution.

AP Photo

Another week, another nor'easter, making the commute on slick snow-covered roads slower than molasses running uphill. And, if anyone happened to driving uphill in Bangor, they were actually traveling on top of molasses — or more accurately, molasses-treated road salt. The sticky liquid is used help salt adhere to the highway's surface.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public/file

On Friday, the Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee will decide whether or not to further investigate the Department of Health and Human Services' response to complaints after the killing in Stockton Springs of 10-year-old Marissa  Kennedy. Maine Public Radio's Steve Mistler joins Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz to take a look at that potential investigation.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Ricker Hamilton says he welcomes an outside review of the way the agency handles child abuse complaints.

Hamilton says the agency is already taking steps to rectify problems identified by the children’s welfare ombudsman, who has determined that the department’s assessment process has too often failed to move swiftly enough to protect children.

U.S. Senator Angus King is warning fellow members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia is trying to use the strengths of democracies to undermine them in what he calls a style of "political judo." 

“Our strength is our freedom and our First Amendment and our free press and our open society, and that’s exactly what they are using to turn it back on us and divide us,” says King.

King says the Russians have also turned to social media and other forums to influence what he calls a de-unification of Europe.

Maine Public

President Donald Trump is expected to announce his steel and aluminum tariffs Thursday afternoon. U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine told CNN Thursday morning there is little doubt he will announce the import tariffs.

"I think the remaining question is, whether he's going to narrow the focus and focus on China, for example, or is it gonna be this blunderbuss approach that hits our allies harder than it hits China?" he said.