Maine Public

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

For the first time in 20 years, the Bangor city council has voted to launch an ethics investigation against one if its own, for failing to disclose that his public relations firm was doing business with an agency that received money from the city.

Bangor City Councilor Cary Weston said he was simply unaware of the arrangement, but that response didn’t satisfy the majority of his colleagues.

It was, according to one city hall watcher, one of the most contentious Bangor City Council meetings in years.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public File

A coalition of supporters and opponents of recreational marijuana says it has come up with a framework to regulate the drug in Maine. The announcement marks a possible path forward as legislators restart the process to create rules that affect how marijuana is tested, taxed and sold. But it also comes amid questions about the possibility of a federal crackdown.

Dozens of people crowded the hearing room Tuesday as the Legislature’s Marijuana Implementation Committee began work on a bill that could set up the regulatory structure for recreational cannabis.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press File

Maine regulators are putting a hold on an innovative offshore wind project’s proposed contract to sell electricity to Central Maine Power, the latest twist in Aqua Ventus’ attempt to test a floating turbine platform near Monhegan Island.

Among the fees on your monthly phone bill is a charge to fund the 911 emergency system. They all add up to about $7 million a year, but the fee has generated a surplus of nearly $6 million, and the Public Utilities Commission is now asking lawmakers for the authority to reduce the charge.

State police discovered the bodies of husband and wife Thomas and Michelle Masse in the town of Temple this afternoon.

Police responded to the home after Thomas Masse, 60, called 911 and threatened to shoot himself. State police spokesman Steve McCausland says crisis negotiators attempted to communicate for 2-3 hours, but were unsuccessful.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

The deadline to enter Maine's lottery for new elver fishing licenses is coming next Monday, Jan. 15.

Maine Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols says this year, there are 13 new licenses available for Maine residents who haven't had their eligibility suspended, and who are at least 15 years old.

"This is a nice opportunity for people to get into this - what is, by far, the most lucrative fishery we have on a per-pound basis," Nichols says.

In the last season, elvers were worth more than $1,300 per pound. Overall, the fishery brought in $13 million.

A federal appeals court is now deciding if a Maine student with autism has the right to record his entire school day. 

Ben Pollock's parents say their son's inability to tell them what goes on during his day at school made them want to record it for themselves.  SAD 60 argues that would violate other students' privacy and is unnecessary.

The case has gone on for years and many of the arguments before the appeals court were about earlier judgments.  Those judgments, based on a federal law known as IDEA, found Ben didn't need to record his day to progress at school.

Joel Page / Associated Press File

This story was originally published Jan. 8, 2017 at 5:22 p.m. ET.

New England electricity customers could get a direct benefit from a cut in federal corporate taxes — lower utility bills.

Consumer advocates in New England are calling on regulators and utilities to turn over to ratepayers any savings from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, which the recent tax law knocked down by 40 percent.

Darron Cummings / Associated Press

 

The Department of Justice is refusing to release documents compiled during President Donald Trump’s now-dissolved voter fraud commission to Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap.

Front Street Shipyard

When JB Turner opened the Front Street Shipyard in Belfast six years ago, he had a handful of workers and a vision.

Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press File

CVS has purchased Portland-based specialty pharmacy Apothecary by Design. The sale price has not been disclosed, but a spokeswoman for CVS says the company expects to retain both Apothecary by Design’s name and its 38 employees.

CVS made the purchase on Sunday from private equity firm BelHealth, which bought a majority stake in Apothecary by Design about two years ago. BelHealth will continue to own Apothecary by Design's compounding pharmacy and fertility business.

Portland city councilors will be asked Monday to get the ball rolling on a city-wide property revaluation.  

State law requires communities to make sure assessments stay close to actual market prices for property.  City Assessor Christopher Huff says Portland's assessments are drifting off target.

"We're pretty certain that we'll be under - at or under - that 70 percent ratio by about fiscal year '21, possibly even fiscal year '20 and that's why we're just trying to be proactive," Huff says. "This is something we're going to have to do."

Officials have confirmed that the body of a clammer who disappeared during last week’s blizzard has been found.

The body of 35-year-old Paul Benner was found around noon Monday in Long Cove, where he went missing.

Benner went missing after heading out to dig clams in last week’s blizzard. When he failed to return, a search was launched by air and sea.

Officials say the search was made difficult by subzero weather, ice and slush.

Maine Public/file

Shivering Mainers will get a reprieve this week from the extreme cold that's gripped the region for days.

And Michael Cempa of the National Weather Service in Gray says the thaw coming Tuesday won't produce the kind of flooding that hit coastal areas during last week's storm.

"The flooding that came the day we had the blizzard last Thursday - that was coastal flooding due to the tides and the ocean, and not so much anything to do with snow or rainfall or melt," Cempa says.

The sale of the struggling harness racetrack Scarborough Downs, and its 500 acres of land, is now complete. 

That's according to Crossroads Holdings - managed by two sets of local brothers, William, Marc and Rocco Risbara III, of Risbara Bros., and Peter and Richard Michaud, formerly of Michaud Distributors - which closed on the land and existing buildings last week for $6,700,000.

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