Maine

Maine news

Tom Porter/MPBN

Look up the word "operetta" in the dictionary and it said something like, "short opera, usually on a light or humorous theme," not the kind of words you would necessarily associate with a subject like the Nazi Holocaust. Nevertheless, the University of Southern Maine Theatre Department is making that connection in its latest, ground-breaking production, called In The Underworld. It was written in French many years ago. In Gorham, USM is staging the English language world premiere of the work.

Sheep at Rambler's Way Farm in Kennebunk, Maine
foreverfarms.org / http://foreverfarms.org

What does it take to be a successful small farmer in Maine? Hear a discussion about the challenges of owning and operating a family farm in Maine. Learn about a surprising rise in the number of young farmers in Maine, and how agriculture here is changing. If you are a regular customer of a farm stand, CSA or farmer's market, you probably already know this, farming in Maine is hot.

The Maine State House in Augusta, Maine
Albany NY of English Wikipedia

The state's failure to require welfare recipients to meet work participation standards has triggered a $7 million fine from the federal Office of Family Assistance. Gov. Paul LePage and Republican leaders blame Democrats, saying that if GOP-backed welfare reform bills had passed, the state would not be in such a predicament. But Democrats say the penalty will be waived by the feds and that LePage's blustering is a campaign ploy.

FAME Scales Down Loan for Great Northern Owner

Apr 22, 2014
The Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket, Maine.
http://www.catecapital.com / http://www.greatnorthernpaper.com

There's more uncertainty surrounding the forest products industry in the Katahdin region today, after the Finance Authority of Maine approved a smaller-than-expected loan for a start-up business at the site of the old paper mill in Millinocket. Thermogen Industries wants to develop a wood pellet plant there. And its parent company, Cate Street Capital, originally secured a $25 million loan for the project. But Cate Street's ongoing financial problems prompted FAME's board to reconsider.

Portland Gets First Look at New Nova Star Ferry

Apr 18, 2014
Courtesy: City of Portland

Portland got its first look at the Nova Star cruise-ferry today. The 27,000-ton 530-foot vessel arrived at the Ocean Gateway Terminal at noon, having crossed thousands of miles of ocean in the last few weeks. After an absence of more than four years, daily round trips between Portland and Nova Scotia are due to begin the middle of next month.

Calais Regional Hospital is cutting hours for 90 employees and eliminating two special care rooms. The hospital faces a funding loss of more than half a million so far this year.

Chief Financial Officer Nancy Glidden said Calais Regional Hospital has seen a big drop in outpatient services in recent months, due to bad weather, a short flu season, and changes in reimbursement.

Narcan Kit for Drug Overdoses
Courtesy: The Press of Atlantic City

A bill that would expand access to a lifesaving drug used to prevent overdose deaths appears headed for passage in the Maine Legislature. And a new amendment that includes training for law enforcement has apparently eased some of the concerns of Gov. Paul LePage, who had previously threatened to veto the measure. The governor's spokeswoman now said her boss might let the bill become law without his signature.

Rebecca Wyke, U-Maine Vice Chancellor and Treasurer
http://www.polarbearandco.com

The chancellor of the University of Maine System today is defending the decision to approve a $40,000 raise for a top administrator in the midst of a budget crisis. But a recent nationwide report on the economic status of university professors calls administrators' salaries into question.

The $40,000 raise for Vice Chancellor and Treasurer Rebecca Wyke brings her salary to $205,000. It comes at a time when the University of Maine System has to cut $36 million to balance its books for the 2015 fiscal year.

Tom Porter/MPBN

There may have been fresh snow on the ground recently for some of us, but, believe it or not, we are now several weeks into spring, which means longer days, warmer temperatures, and yes, bad roads, especially bad this year after the long winter we've just had. The melting and re-freezing of ice and snow has wreaked havoc on paved surfaces, and caused huge numbers of pot holes and frost heaves, those are the ripple-like bumps in the road, also a result of the freeze-thaw cycle that marks the end of winter.

http://freedomforumdiversity.org/chips-quinn/files/2012/05/0412_villeneuve1.jpg

There have been no large-scale shipments of oil by rail in Maine since last October. But, in a story published by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, such shipments could resume at any time, and that much of the state remains unprepared for a rail oil disaster like the one with struck Lac Megantic, Quebec last July.

Marina Villeneuve, who researched and wrote the story for the center, sat down for a conversation.

Marina Villeneuve's story was published online, and in several Maine newspapers.

(Yarmouth, Nova Scotia)    The Nova Star cruise-ferry is due in Portland at lunchtime Thursday.   Yesterday, Nova Scotians got a look at the ferry in Yarmouth.  They've been pining for a resumption of ferry service since the operators of "The Cat" shut it down in December, 2009.    The Nova Star is to begin regular service in mid-May.   

(Portland)  Church leaders in Maine will wash the feet of individuals as part of a ritual imitating a biblical scene symbolic of humility.  The ceremony Thursday is being held outdoors at noon in Monument Square in Portland. Church leaders will pour water over people's feet and dry them with a towel, mimicking a biblical scene where Jesus Christ washes the feet of his disciples.  Personal stories of some of the participants, including immigrants and homeless individuals, will be read aloud during the service in several languages including Spanish, French and Arabic.

 (Portland)  The latest poll on this year's gubernatorial race bears an eerie resemblance to the 2010 election result.  Ther's Republican Paul LePage in first place with 38 percent support, just barely ahead of the second candidate with 37 percent and just 20 percent for the person in third place. The difference:  It's Democrat Mike Michaud who's second in the Pan Atlantic SMS poll, Independent Eliot Cutler a distant third.

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

BATH, Maine (AP) _ The U.S. Navy has christened the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, a 610-foot-long warship with advanced technologies and a stealthy design that will reduce its visibility on enemy radars.

The warship bears the name of the late Adm. Elmo "Bud" Zumwalt, who became the nation's youngest chief of naval operations and is hailed as a reformer who spearheaded changes that helped minorities and women advance in their careers.

Governor LePage appears largely alone in opposing legislation to expanded the availabiliy of Narcan.  Narcan, or naloxone, is a drug that can revive people who've overdosed on opiates.  Democratic State Rep Sara Gideon of Freeport says it must be given within one-to-three hours of an overdose.   If it is, Gideon says the drug can combat the effects of the opitate in a person's bloodstream.  The governor initially opposed expanded availability, then relented and supported allowing one family member  access to the drug.

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