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County Administrators Concerned Over Shortage Of Funding For County Jails

County administrators who are concerned over state funding for county jails met with key lawmakers in Augusta on Tuesday, during the first day of the special legislative session.

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Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

After more than a year of complaints and warnings — some subtle and others a little less so — the Trump administration has announced that the United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced the decision in a joint statement Tuesday.

An advocacy group is again accusing Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration of flouting the law in the latest legal battle over voter-approved Medicaid expansion in Maine.

Maine Equal Justice Partners argued Tuesday that the Maine Supreme Judicial Court should reject the administration's latest filing.

The administration appealed a superior court order requiring him to file a Medicaid expansion plan by June 11. The governor's administration argues it shouldn't have to file the paperwork during the appeal.

Maine Leads Nation In Decline Of Prescription Opioid Sales, Report Finds

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Sales of prescription opioids in Maine fell nearly 25 percent from 2016 to 2017, the steepest drop of any U.S. state amid a nationwide decline, according to a new report.

On average, the country saw an 11 percent drop in the volume of pills prescribed, according to research by the Washington-based firm Avalere Health. Every state except Idaho saw its numbers go down, the research found.

In 2016, Maine distributed nearly 40,000 grams of prescription opioids per 100,000 people, researchers found. In 2017, the number sank to slightly over 30,000 grams.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Maine Republicans were out in Augusta Tuesday to show unified support for gubernatorial nominee Shawn Moody.

“I am so excited to be here, to be introducing our nominee for governor, and yes the republican party does have a nominee for governor for the great state of Maine,” Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas told the crowd, taking a swipe at the fact that the democrats do not yet have a nominee, thanks to ranked-choice tabulations taking place now.

At the rally, Moody said that LePage and Republicans in the legislature had done good work preparing a foundation in the state.

The Maine Legislature is chipping away at a host of unresolved bills during a special three-day session in Augusta.

The House took a preliminary vote on a $41 million spending bill that provides funding to help people with disabilities, the elderly and those suffering from opioid use disorders.

And the Senate took an early vote on a bipartisan compromise designed to better align Maine's tax code with recent changes made by last year's federal tax overhaul.

PORTLAND, Maine - A New Hampshire-based helicopter tour company is planning to expand to Maine and offer sightseeing trips around Portland by the end of June.
 
The Portland Press Herald reports that Seacoast Helicopters plans to start offering tours originating from Portland International Jetport this month. The trips will offer views of the city, Casco Bay and a newly renovated lighthouse on a small island 11 miles off the coast.
 

HALLOWELL, Maine - Maine regulators have cut Emera Maine's proposed rate increase by nearly half but AARP Maine says the 5.34-percent increase is still too high.
 
The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday reduced Emera Maine's request for a 12-percent boost in the distribution portion of customers' bills.
 
AARP Maine State Director Lori Parham said the organization was disappointed that the panel allowed a third rate increase in just five years. She said customers, especially those on fixed incomes, will find "any rate increase to be a hardship.''
 

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans are racing to find legislative options to stop a White House policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S. border amid widespread condemnation of the practice.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday that he wants to pass narrow legislation to end the Trump administration policy despite signs that the White House will not support that approach.

Nearly 20,000 people are still without power in Maine and New Hampshire a day after thunderstorms brought strong winds and heavy rains to the region.

Monday's thunderstorms in New Hampshire knocked out power to 63,000 residents, felled trees and sent debris flying in many communities. Three people were displaced after a tree fell on their home in Nelson. The state's largest utility, Eversource, said that nearly 7,000 customers were without power Tuesday morning.

Maine Department of the Secretary of State Facebook Page

It could be a little while longer until the winner of the Democratic Gubernatorial primary is revealed.

Deputy Secretary of state Julie Flynn has announced that the scans the office got of ballots from five towns – Gray, Ellsworth, Lewiston, Orland and Westbrook – weren't clear enough to be read by the program that'll count the votes.

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MAINE CALLING

Life After Prison

Tuesday—Three ex-prisoners share their insights about the challenges of transitioning back into society.

This Day in Maine gathers together the news that matters to Mainers. The nightly show features stories from the award-winning Maine Public Radio News team.