Maine Public


The Department of the Interior is proposing to open nearly all of the nation’s coastline to exploratory drilling for oil and gas. The feds held an open house in Augusta Wednesday to collect public comment, which was largely in firm opposition.

BRIAN BECHARD / Maine Public

Maine's Department of Education has proposed new rules that would make it easier for some people to become teachers. Instead of having to take a teacher prep program through a college, they could qualify by having enough "related" work experience. Opponents, including some professors in Maine's teacher preparation programs, say the new proposed rules could bring under-prepared teachers into the classroom and eventually cost districts more money.


The Maine Legislature Wednesday moved closer to passing a sweeping overhaul of the state's medical marijuana program. The Health and Human Services Committee (HHS) voted to advance a bill that makes it easier for Mainers to qualify as medical marijuana patients, and allows caregivers to expand while accepting tighter regulations.

AP Photo

The federal agency that oversees farming and other rural issues has chosen Maine to host one of five USDA opioid roundtables being held across the country in rural areas.

Anne Hazlett is the Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development in Washington D.C. She said the state’s high rate of opioid deaths is the primary reason it was chosen. In 2017 Maine saw 418 drug deaths, with a significant number of them attributed to opioid overdoses, and 247 linked to the powerful drug fentanyl.

Photo: Caroline Losneck / Maine Public

The legislature’s Education Committee has unanimously endorsed a bill that would allocate $1 million per year to firefighter training facilities.

Maine is one of the few states that has no central fire training facility, which would offer trainees experience in fighting all types of fires.

Lyman and Dayton fire chief Roger Hooper says the profession requires hands on training.

“We don’t get there by watching TV and movies,” says Hooper. “We get there by having a place where we can go and practice these skills and get and competent and proficient at it.”

Maine Child Welfare Ombudsman Christine Alberi says for the past several years, she has consistently recommended that the state’s Department of Health and Human Services improve its child safety assessments. The Department’s handling of child protective cases has come into question after the recent abuse death of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy.

The ombudsman says that overall, DHHS follows proper procedures, but cites multiple instances in which it failed to do so.

Joel Page / Associated Press/file

A Republican candidate for Maine governor is catching heat for his unique solution for deadly school shootings.

Shawn Moody of Gorham was asked on WVOM Monday about gun control measures. Instead of floating more conventional proposals such as beefing up school security, he offered what he described as a common-sense solution.

smilla4 / Flickr/Creative Commons

By a vote of 8-2, the majority of lawmakers on the Legislature’s Taxation Committee is supporting a tax break for Bath Iron Works of $60 million over the next 20 years.

Under the amended bill, BIW must invest at least $200 million in the facility and keep a stable workforce of 5,500, or face a reduction in its tax credit.

“I think that lost in the discussion was the fact that $200 million is going to get invested in this community,” says state Sen. Dana Dow, a Republican from Waldoboro who supported the measure.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

For more than a century, Maine has offered its own version of “school choice” called “town tuitioning”. If a student lives in a district without a public school at a certain grade level, the town and district will pay a specific rate to send that student to the public or private school of their choice.

Maine tourism spending continues to break records, according to the Maine Innkeepers and Maine Restaurant associations that monitor annual revenue receipts.

Steve Hewins, the associations’ CEO, says the restaurant and lodging sectors brought in a combined $3.8 billion in revenue last year, when about 36 million tourists visited Maine.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

At a candlelight vigil in Stockton Springs Sunday night, hundreds of people came to honor Marissa Kennedy.  The 10-year-old was found dead in her home last week from injuries she sustained from months of abuse.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

For those who dream of living “off the grid,” the motivation might be to leave smaller carbon footprint or to avoid the prohibitive cost of running utility lines hundreds of feet to a home off-the-beaten path.

The boyfriend of the owner of two dogs who disappeared after the state Supreme Judicial Court upheld an order to have them euthanized, was in court today. Brandon Ross pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to comply with a court order.

Shortly after the court upheld the order, their owner, Danielle Jones, took them out of the shelter where they were being held, and didn't bring them back. She said they'd slipped their leashes and run into the woods.

Tom Porter / Maine Public File

The people's veto campaign to overturn a law that would eventually repeal Maine's landmark ranked-choice voting system has qualified for the June ballot.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is leading an effort to force the U.S. Department of Transportation to require that  airline fares be clear and understandable to consumers.

“I’m not trying to dictate what airlines can charge, or what services they can charge for," she said, in an interview with Maine Public. "But I do believe there should be complete transparency.”