Maine

Maine news

FILE: A Panhandler on the side of a street in Portland
Patty Wight/Maine Public

The city of Portland has been at the center of the storm over the issue of panhandling, but other Maine communities are also grappling with it and discussing whether to put limits on people soliciting money from passers-by. In Portland, a ban on panhandling from median strips was ruled unconstitutional earlier this year and now the city is appealing that ruling. In Augusta last week, the police chief made news by using a cardboard sign to stage his own anti-panhandling protest.

Tonight, city councilors in Saco will consider adopting a plan that would let seniors defer property tax payments.  The idea is to help long-time residents stay in their homes as they struggle to keep up with climbing taxes.  But as Patty Wight reports, critics say the plan merely moves the financial burden to the next generation.

NSA, Google, Apple, Yahoo!, Skype, Facebook logos
http://www.mspy.com/blog/security-and-scandals-whats-next-in-the-line/

The issue of striking the proper balance between privacy and security is topic of increased discussion among the citizenry in the U.S. The revelation that classified, systematic, domestic surveillance by the NSA has been taking place has made this issue front-and-center as of late. A panel discussion between renowned jurists, scholars and authors illuminate how we got here, emerging court battles and the broad range of implications.

The panel included:
 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Maine lawmakers have failed again to override Republican Gov. Paul LePage's vetoes of bills that would expand Medicaid under the federal health care law.
 
The Senate voted 21-14 in favor of overturning LePage's rejection of Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson's Medicaid expansion bill, falling three votes short of the two-thirds majority support it needed to survive.
 

 Maine environmentalists celebrated Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling that upheld an Environmental Protection Agency rule aimed at protecting states from the air pollution generated in neighboring states. Dylan Voorhees of the Natural Resources Council of Maine says the rule promises "staggeringly large benefits to our air quality."    Voorhees says the E-P-A estimates the rule will translate to 280-billion-dollars worth of health benefits per year.  It also predicts 34,000 premature deaths could be avoided by this rule.

Governor LePage vetoed 16 more bills Tuesday.  They included two attempts by Democrats to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law.   The governor also rejected bills to overhaul the state's concealed handgun permit system and to allow forest rangers to carry firearms.The latest vetoes bring LePage's total to 179 since he took office.   That's far above the record of 118 vetoes issued by Independent Governor James Longley during his one term in office.   Legislators will re-convene tomorrow to take override votes on the latest vetoes.

The U.S. Navy's first DDG-1000 destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, tied up at BIW
Mark Vogelzang/MPBN

A couple of weeks ago, the world's most advanced warship, the USS Zumwalt, formally hit the water at a christening ceremony at Bath Iron Works. The midcoast shipyard is due to build two more of the DDG-1000 destroyers for the U.S. Navy over the next several years. The program, however, has ended up being much more costly than originally intended, in part because it was drastically cut back a few years ago from 32 ships to just three.

Mugshots for Randall Daluz and Nicholas Sexton
Penobscot County Sheriff/Chris Sweet/MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The trial of two men accused of killing three Maine residents whose bodies were found in a burning car is set to open in Bangor.

Randall Daluz and Nicholas Sexton are charged in Penobscot County with three counts of murder and one count of starting a fire with the intent to destroy property. Jury selection begins Monday.

Authorities have said the victims were shot before the car was torched Aug. 13, 2012, amid a drug dispute.

Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, after the American Civil War, circa 1908.
U.S. Library of Congress

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The Maine State Museum in Augusta is hosting a program about Civil War general and Leeds, Maine, native Oliver Otis Howard.

Author Gordon Weil will speak at the event. He wrote The Good Man: The Civil War's "Christian General" and His Fight for Racial Equality about Howard in 2013.

Howard led the Freedmen's Bureau after the war. He directed the bureau's task of integrating freed slaves in society in the South. He also founded Howard University in Washington and served as its president from 1869 to 1874.

Charles Fourcloud, the former finance director of the Passamaquoddy tribe's Pleasant Point Reservation.
Washington County Sheriff's Department

PLEASANT POINT, Maine (AP) _ The former finance director of tribal reservation in Maine has been arrested on charges of stealing more than $20,000 from the Passamaquoddy tribe.

 

Charles Fourcloud was arrested Friday in northern California.

A crowd gathered at the christening of the new US Navy Destroyer Zumwalt at the BIW shipyard in Bath on April 12, 2014. (File)
Mark Vogelzang/MPBN

Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said Bath Iron Works has won two Navy contracts totaling more than $57 million for fleet maintenance and engineering projects.

Pingree said this week that half the money is for design and engineering work on the Littoral Combat Ship. The ship is designed for coastal operations such as transporting equipment onshore for amphibious missions and mine-sweeping.

The other half of the money is going to fleet maintenance.

Dan Demeritt and Cynthia Dill in the MPBN studios in Portland.
Tom Porter/MPBN

The union endorsement of Sen. Susan Collins is the subject of this week's Across the Aisle, with Dan Demeritt, political consultant and former communications director for Republican Gov. Paul LePage, and Cynthia Dill, a practicing attorney and former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate.

[A transcript is not available]

Maine's Department of Health and Human Services has selected new brokers to run the state's MaineCare ride program starting July 1.  The program was riddled with problems last year under the Connecticut-based broker Coordinated Transportation Solutions.  That company lost its bid for the next contract year, but another out-of-state broker, LogistiCare, won the majority of the new contracts.  As Patty Wight reports, some advocacy groups are concerned problems will continue under LogistiCare.

An artist's rendering of the physical manifestation of a Bitcoin
www.ricardo.ch

For many Americans, money means "worth", in more ways than one. According to one post-recession study by the Pew Research group, lower income and joblessness means not just a smaller bank balance for Americans, but fewer friends, and a loss of self respect. As the effects of the financial crisis linger, more people in Maine and around the world have been exploring so-called cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. Proponents of this, and other, alternative currencies say that today's "too big to fail" market economy is driving some people to seek another way.

The Poacher's Son book jacket
Minotaur Books / Minotaur Books

Paul Doiron's debut novel The Poacher's Son won praise from critics as a well-written, well-paced mystery with well-developed characters. The main character is Mike Bowditch, a Maine game warden who learns that his father, a hard-living northwoods rogue, has been accused of killing two men, including a deputy sheriff. But the other prominent character is the setting. The book paints vivid pictures of Maine, the sights sounds and smells of the wilderness, and of the characters that call this home.

Guests:

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