Maine news

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - The U.S. Coast Guard says someone has been stealing brass sound-signaling devices from buoys off the Maine coast, threatening the safety of mariners.
Coast Guard officials in South Portland said Thursday that the thefts pose a risk to public safety, as the brass gongs and bells produce sounds that help mariners navigate through poor visibility conditions. The Portland Press Herald reports tampering with aids to navigation is a federal offense punishable by fines of up to $25,000 per day or up to one year in prison.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Health officials say Maine has experienced its worst flu season in at least five years.
The Portland Press Herald reports the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention tallied 9,018 reported cases in 2017-18. Officials say the number of reported cases increased 55 percent compared to 2016-17. Flu season runs from October to late May.
State epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett attributed part of the increase to better reporting by doctors and health agencies. Bennet says the season was "vigorous'' despite improved communication.

Month in Review: Maine's News Headlines in May

May 31, 2018

Which stories mattered most to Mainers in May? Topics up for discussion include the Republican lawsuit over ranked choice voting, the death of Robert Indiana and the questions about whether he was exploited in the final years of his life, Maine’s unemployment rate hitting a record low, and the Republican and Democratic state conventions.

Sandra Gilley / Maine Public

President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for parts of Maine that were severely damaged by a pair of winter storms in March.

The first storm was a nor'easter that whipped the region with strong winds and caused coastal flooding at high tide on March 2. Less than a week later, a second nor'easter pummeled the region with as much as 19 inches of snow.

The declaration by the president allows federal funding to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts.

We’ll hear from experts and entrepreneurs about ways to bring high-speed internet to all of Maine. This is in advance of the statewide 2018 Maine Broadband Coalition Conference, in which Maine communities and national experts will share lessons learned to date, look at new ways for solving shared challenges, and identify what’s next for broadband funding and policy in Maine.

Gabor Degre / Bangor Daily News

The Brewer Police Department is installing a new tool across the city’s schools that will allow teachers and police to communicate instantly during an emergency, the chief of police said.

Veterans from the Falmouth American Legion Post 164 in the Memorial Day Parade
Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

On Memorial Day, Mainers across the state remembered those who died while serving in this nation’s armed forces.

During a commemoration Monday morning in Falmouth, Chief of Police Ed Tolan, told those assembled that, since the first shots were fired in Lexington and Concord, American men and woman have answered the call.

“Take the time, not just on Memorial Day, but every day to say thank you to a veteran and keep the fallen in your thoughts,” Tolan says. “And as a country we made promises to out veterans to honor the fallen and we need to keep those promises.”

Maine’s highest court is being asked to disbar a lawyer who engaged in sex acts with a client and who was previously suspended over money laundering charges.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the Maine Overseers of the Bar made the request to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court after Gary Prolman’s suspension ended April 30, allowing him to resume practicing law. Arguments are set for June 13.

In this May 25, 2018, photo, Angel Gonzalez shovels leaves into a trailer at Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg, Maine. Gonzalez is one of several Puerto Rican workers hired by resort to do landscaping, housekeeping and kitchen work.
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Frustrated by red tape and visa limits on foreign workers, tourism businesses from Maine to Missouri are turning to Puerto Ricans who are fleeing a shattered economy and devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

Bob Smith, owner of Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg, hired a half-dozen Puerto Ricans last summer for housekeeping, landscaping and kitchen work, providing relief to his overworked staff. This summer he is doubling the number, and he would like to hire even more.

Travis Mills: Assisting Wounded and Injured Veterans

May 29, 2018
Elise Amendola / Associated Press

The Travis Mills Foundation and Retreat is a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist wounded and injured veterans and their families. We’ll speak with Mills and program director Kelly McGaughey about the work the foundation and retreat does to inspire wounded servicemen, women and their families. They’ll discuss how they help wounded veterans realize they can overcome their physical obstacles and emotional challenges and find purpose by staying the course through their recovery and beyond. We’ll also get an update on the 6th annual Miles for Mills 5K on Memorial Day.

The website is photographed in Washington on Dec. 15, 2017. A burst of sign-ups is punctuating the end of a tumultuous year for former President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Jon Elswick / AP Photo

Analysts are expecting another double digit increase for individual insurance rates in Maine under the Affordable Care Act.

Former President George H.W. Bush was taken to Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford Sunday afternoon after experiencing low blood pressure, according to a social media post from spokesperson, Jim McGrath.

Youth Prison Watchdog Calls For Audit Of Medical Contractor

May 27, 2018
Troy R. Bennett / BDN

A private health care company that treats inmates at Maine’s youth prison has come under scrutiny in a new report from the facility’s independent oversight group.

The watchdog report also echoes cries for a comprehensive review of the state systems that have filled the South Portland prison with young people battling mental illnesses.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

On a farm in Lewiston, fresh garlic is growing plentifully, and beet greens and spinach are popping out of the ground across three acres of farmland. Not long ago, though, there wasn’t anything growing here.

Four new Mainers, originally from Somalia, have been farming this land in Lewiston since they broke ground in 2016, but they have all been farming much longer.

Evan Sisley-Office of George H. W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush is getting out and meeting veterans in the Maine community where he spends the summers.

On Saturday, the 93-year-old former president attended the monthly pancake breakfast at the American Legion Post 159 in Kennebunkport.

In addition to local veterans, Bush was joined by former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft.

Bush arrived in Kennebunkport last week, about a month after the death of his wife of 73 years, Barbara.