Maine Public

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

A four-year-old program that allows veterans to receive health care services closer to home is working well in Maine for the veterans, but not as well for hospitals.

Portland Police are working with departments in Westbrook and Falmouth to address a series of robberies in the area.

Six businesses have been targeted in less than a week, which police say is unusual.

“We frequently get robberies but we very seldom see a rash of them in such close proximity in this short amount of time,” says Portland Police Lieutenant Robert Martin.

The robber appears to be a man who wears a dark face mask. He uses a gun to demand cash.

Maine Public

Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills are at it again.

The two political rivals are at odds over LePage’s effort to restore eight attorney positions within the Department of Health and Human services. Mills, however, says her office should be involved.

The Department wants to restore funding for eight positions that would otherwise be eliminated July 1. Those staffers would be attorneys who do contract reviews and provide internal legal advice.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Attorneys for the woman charged in the death of her ten-year-old daughter, Marissa Kennedy, have asked a judge to remove state prosecutors from the case. In a motion filed in Waldo County District Court Monday, defense attorneys accuse prosecutors of misconduct.

Defense attorneys allege the Maine Attorney General's office improperly issued a subpoena to obtain confidential information about their client, Sharon Carillo, who's accused of the beating her daughter to death.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

The price of elvers in the first few days of the season, is being reported as the highest ever for the fishery.

Maine has the only significant fishery for the young eels, also called elvers, in the country. The Elver season started Thursday March 22, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources is reporting they're currently selling for just over $2,800 a pound.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau is ending his bid for governor. Thibodeau announced that he's dropping out of the governor's race in a Facebook post published Monday.

Only about 30 refugees have been resettled in Maine this fiscal year, according to the Associated Press. That's a huge drop, and it's part of a national trend that's a result of new Trump Administration policies.

Catholic Charities is Maine's only refugee resettlement agency. Spokeswoman Judy Katzel says the Trump Administration has lowered the cap on total refugees by almost half, from 642 in fiscal year 2017, to 375 this year.

Residents of the Midcoast town of Alna have voted in favor of eliminating the town's elementary "private school choice" program.

Alna is one of only a few towns in Maine that helps to fund students' educations at any public or private school, from kindergarten through 12th grade. It's a policy that local parents say has benefitted students.

But recently, Alna officials have expressed worries about increased taxes due to families potentially moving to their town to take advantage of the policy.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

HOLDEN, Maine -  Almost 100 sugar shacks are open for Maine Maple Sunday, and this year, most should have something to demonstrate.

Danny McL / Flickr

The state legislature's investigative office has been tasked with another project: determining whether the LePage administration retaliated against Maine mill owners because the owners disagree with the governor's stance on tariffs on Canadian lumber.

The unanimous vote by the Government Oversight Committee to authorize the investigation came just two days after Gov. LePage tore into lawmakers for questioning his administration's abrupt decision to divert publicly-owned logs from mills owned by Jason and Chris Brochu to a Canadian-owned company.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

For more than 100 years, Louis Sockalexis has been the pride of the Penobscot Nation on Indian Island. As the first known Native American to play professional baseball, Sockalexis distinguished himself as a gifted batter on the 1890s roster of the Cleveland Spiders. At a time when efforts are underway to prohibit the use of tribal references in naming sports teams and mascots, the Friends of Sockalexis say Maine deserves its own statue of the player who tribal members still refer to as “Sock.”

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

A crowd estimated at several thousand marched down Congress Street and gathered at the steps of Portland City Hall Saturday. Fired-up students, fed up with gun violence in their schools, led the crowd in chants of "Enough is enough!" and "Hey-hey, ho-ho, the NRA has got to go!"

The endangered North Atlantic right whale population took a big hit last year with a record number of animals killed by fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes. Now, an ongoing debate over threats posed by Maine's lobster industry is gaining new urgency as scientists estimate these whales could become extinct in just 20 years.

thestoredsolar.com

The lead Democrat on the Legislature's Energy Committee says he and other lawmakers might intervene if the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approves a $1.2 million subsidy for Stored Solar LLC.

This month the LePage administration announced plans to end funding for a child abuse prevention program that works directly with at-risk families across the state. Dozens of supporters of that program showed up at a public hearing Friday on legislation that would restore funding.

For over three hours social service providers from across Maine testified that the community based program has been an effective addition to state efforts to protect children. Sen. Cathy Breen, a democrat from Falmouth, says the program is a good deal, given its price tag of $2 point 2 million per year.

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