Maine Public

This story was originally published at 3:22 p.m. ET on Nov. 6, 2017.

A longtime champion for the modernization of Maine’s economy is running for governor. Alan Caron says he will run as an independent, becoming the 18th candidate in the crowded field.

Although he has never run for office, Caron has been a fixture in Maine’s policy debates for decades. The Waterville native founded GrowSmart Maine and, more recently, Envision Maine, both aimed at convening politicians, businesses and nonprofits to find consensus on moving the economy forward.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

For the past several weeks, “new” Mainers have been breaking bread with longtime residents of Lewiston and Auburn, swapping stories about their families and breaking down stereotypes about immigrants and refugees.

It’s part of a national initiative to address the uptick in hate crimes. One focus of the sessions is to teach bystanders how to safely intervene in a bias incident before it escalates.

Murray Carpenter / For Maine Public

The House of Representatives has voted to uphold Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of legislation designed to implement retail sales of marijuana in Maine.

State election officials are issuing signature petitions Monday to supporters of ranked-choice voting in Maine. They are mounting a people’s veto campaign to try and block part of a new law passed by the Maine Legislature that would delay the start of ranked-choice voting in elections for any state and federal offices until 2022.

The measure would also require that the state constitution be amended before then so the new system could apply to all elections.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Fishermen up and down the New England coast say it has been decades since they’ve been able to catch so many Atlantic bluefin tuna, so fast. Once severely depleted, populations of the prized sushi fish appear to be rebuilding.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

Scarborough Republican Amy Volk has been elected by her fellow GOP senators to serve as assistant majority leader. She’ll replace Sen. Andre Cushing of Newport, who resigned from the position last month, saying he didn’t have the time to do the job.

Volk says with both Senate President Mike Thibodeau and Majority Leader Garett Mason running for governor, “It could potentially make my role a little more important than usual, neither is eligible to return in any case.”

Some Mainers still waiting for power after last week's storm are frustrated with Central Maine Power. 

Harpswell resident Howard Marshall says wires are still lying in his street, but the area hasn't been listed as without power on CMP's website for days.

"I understand it's a lot of damage and everything," Marshall says. "My main frustration is they're claiming that they've reconnected all of us."

Central Maine Power spokeswoman Gail Rice says even though some streets might not be listed, CMP is confident with its outage numbers. 

The Maine Department of Transportation says it is moving as quickly as it can to replace a bridge over I-95 at Augusta that was damaged sometime in October. 

"You have damage to the south exterior beam, and you have damage to the north exterior beam," says MDOT spokesman Ted Talbot.

Gov. Paul LePage says he will allow a bill that delays implementation of ranked-choice voting become law without his signature.

“I encourage the people who want to have a people’s veto to bring it in. The Supreme Court has already said it is unconstitutional, so let the courts decide,” he says.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a measure aimed at regulating the retail sale of marijuana in the state.

Murray Carpenter / For Maine Public

Marijuana farmers in Maine who grow plants outdoors have recently brought in their harvest, and many have been sitting around tables painstakingly trimming buds with scissors — a process that is tedious and, one Midcoast farmer says, obsolete.

On a warm fall day, King Bishop is harvesting the medical marijuana plants from his farm in Morrill. After he stacks the stems onto a table in his shop, he feeds them into a small machine.

“All of those nuggets, or what would be the buds, have all got to be removed from the stem, and so that’s what that machine is doing,” he says.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

The Maine Ethics Commission took a series of votes Friday to fine campaign committees controlled by the sister of casino developer Shawn Scott a total of $500,000 for obscuring the source of millions of dollars pumped into the York County casino campaign.

The total fine is against four campaign committees controlled by Lisa Scott and another co-operated by Augusta lobbyist Cheryl Timberlake.

The commission held Scott and Timberlake jointly liable for the $130,000 penalty against the Horseracing Jobs Fairness Committee.

Electric crews continue to make progress toward restoring power to some 80,000 customers of Emera and Central Maine Power who have been without electricity since a wind storm tore through the state Sunday night and Monday. 

That's down from about half a million customers at the height of the storm. 

"We are at the slowest part of this - and the slowest because you might have four or six bucket trucks on a road that are going to pick up two customers," says Sara Burns, CEO of CMP, Maine's largest utility.

Leaders of Maine’s two largest Indian tribes are criticizing Question 1, the ballot measure that would create a casino in York County as a bad deal for Mainers and for the tribes.

In a written statement, the chiefs of the Passamaquoddy’s two reservations and the Penobscot Nation say if voters authorize Question 1, it “would represent a manipulation of our state’s policymaking process, harm the tribes and prevent rural economic development in Maine.”

Patty Wight / Maine Public

From public radio shows such as The Moth to local storytelling groups, there are more chances than ever to tell a personal tale in front of an audience. This weekend, an event called This Is My Brave comes to Lewiston, inviting people who have experienced mental illness to take center stage at the local Franco Center and share their story.

Corinne Pratt, 39, has struggled with mental illness for most of her life. For a long time, she didn’t think she could open up about it.

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