Maine Public

A Republican state lawmaker is proposing changes to a Maine law approved last spring that requires Maine Guides to undergo a background check in order to be licensed. 

Sen. Paul Davis, a Republican from Sangerville, is proposing to lift the background check requirement for marine-based guides.  Davis says they are already subject to one through another agency.

“They have to get a permit through the Coast Guard, I know that," he says. "And when they get that permit, or license, they have to have a background check.”

Susan Sharon / Maine Public/file

Thousands of Maine workers earning minimum wage will get a raise come Jan. 1, their second increase since voters increased the minimum wage at the ballot box in 2016.

The citizen-approved law increased the wage to $9 an hour last year and it will rise to $10 an hour on Jan. 1. It will continue to increase by $1 each year until it reaches $12 by 2020.

Courtesy Mount Washington Observatory

If you think it's cold outside where you are, consider the top of New Hampshire's Mount Washington, described as the "home of the world's worst weather." 

At the 6,200-foot summit, the mountain's weather observatory recorded a record low temperature for Dec. 28.  

It's Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on politics. This week, Cynthia Dill, an attorney who served in the Legislature as a Democrat; Dick Woodbury, an economist and former independent lawmaker; and Mike Cianchette, former chief counsel to Republican Gov. Paul LePage. They spoke with Keith Shortall.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Like most people, Jensen Bissell arrives for work each day hoping he can keep his boss happy. That’s not always easy, given that his boss has been dead for almost 50 years.

Bissell plans to retire this week as director of Baxter State Park, named for the former Maine governor who was the moving force behind it and who ordered that it be kept “forever wild.” He says there are fewer and fewer people who actually knew Percival Baxter, one of the state’s greatest benefactors.

Last year, Maine implemented a program that allows members of the National Guard to attend University of Maine System and Maine Community College System schools tuition-free. Senate President Mike Thibodeau, a Republican from Winterport, now wants to expand that program to private schools.

“Can we build on that? Can we convince other colleges to partner with us to make sure our Guard members have access to education at places like Colby, Bates?” he says.

Michael C. York / Associated Press

A federal judge has ruled that President Donald Trump’s election fraud commission must share correspondence and other documents with one of its Democratic members, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

Like a lot of states, Maine has a shortage of teachers. According to the U.S. Department of Education, schools are struggling to find people to fill positions ranging from librarians to Spanish teachers.

This June 16, 2016, file photo, taken with a fisheye lens, shows bottles of alcohol during a tour of a state liquor store, in Salt Lake City.
Rick Bowmer / AP Photo, File

Advocates of Maine’s 40-year-old bottle deposit law are concerned about a proposal to lower the deposit on liquor bottles from 15 cents down to five cents. The lawmaker behind the bill says she’s simply trying to make the state law more consistant and fair.

Four Maine hospitals are being penalized by Medicare for their rates of infection and patient injury. Central Maine Medical Center, Southern Maine Health Care, York Hospital and Cary Medical Center all face a reduction in Medicare reimbursements for one year. It’s the third year in a row that Central Maine Medical Center is being docked.

Federal authorities Wednesday arrested a former Portland Halal grocery clerk, facing trial in a federal welfare fraud case, for violating his bail conditions.

Abdulkareem Daham was arrested after allegedly violating conditions that barred him from using marijuana, court documents show. Daham was originally arrested in May for his alleged role in a wide-ranging, multi-million dollar effort to defraud the government of various welfare benefits.

Tom Porter / Maine Public/file

Homeless shelters around Maine are preparing for an influx of people needing a bed for the night as temperatures plummet to dangerous levels.

Cianbro workers

PITTSFIELD, Maine – The Cianbro Corp. is actively seeking 300 new workers for assignments at all levels of its operations. Peter Vigue, Cianbro’s chief executive office, said today that in addition to major construction projects underway in Bangor for the Bangor Savings Bank and at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, there are a number of other projects that will be announced soon.

Wind turbines on Mars Hill in Aroostook County

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Maine residents for input in developing a roadmap for energy planning.

The office is working with the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine to hold forums Dec. 29 and Jan. 10 in Presque Isle.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says Maine must reduce its energy prices to become more competitive with states in different regions.

The plan will address the state’s energy, economic development and environmental goals.

In December 2017, ecomaine employees acted swiftly to extinguish a fire that rapidly expanded at its Recycling Facility.
Ecomaine /

As Mainers start cleaning up all of the household waste generated during the holiday season, the state’s largest recycling facility is warning consumers about the dangers posed by lithium ion batteries, and offering tips for how to safely dispose of them.