Maine News Headline Animator

Maine News

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Maine News for Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Illinois governor accused of brash plot to get rich
Rod Blagojevich of Illinois tried to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder, the FBI says.

Phone calls swamp state jobless centers
Thousands of calls are cut off or abandoned in past week

Banker: Recovery starting to work
But the missteps that led to today's problems were years in the making, TD Banknorth's CEO says.

Planned influx of refugees debated
Some predict a strain on social services. Others say Iraqis uprooted by a U.S.-led war deserve our help.

Portland delegation suffers power shortage in Legislature
After enjoying leadership roles for many years, the lawmakers seek slots to protect the city's interests.

Domestic violence deaths more than double over 2007
Maine health care workers are urged to look harder for signs of domestic violence and sex abuse.

Cianbro to use old factory for training
The former show factory will be a central training facility in the town where Cianbro Corp. was born.

Species battles back on Penobscot
Researchers use sonar to reveal a growing population of shortnose sturgeon wintering in the river.

Judge won't block cleanup of mercury
But more appeals are likely concerning an order to remove tainted soil at Orrington landfills.

A crisis bright spot: Cost of oil, gas falls DOE slashes energy demand forecast
Crude slides to about $42 a barrel, and a 2009 forecast predicts demand will fall by 450,000 barrels a day.

Toy Fund: Lobstermen's families try to ride out financial storm
The global recession eats into demand and earnings, forcing some Mainers to seek the toy fund's help.

Automakers seeking a down payment
The bailout bill now being discussed may not be enough to rescue the Big Three.

Aging boomers have a place in the work force
As the state gets older, Maine will have to be creative to keep and attract older workers.

Where are all the socialists? Here, there and everywhere
While some work within mainstream politics, others prefer to influence issues in their own groups.

Bangor Daily News
In a new study of states’ preparedness for disease outbreaks, bioterror attacks and other large-scale disasters, Maine scored six points out of a possible 10 and earned a grade of C+.

Brewer Automotive Components plans shutdown
BREWER, Maine — The national slowdown in the auto industry will cause a temporary shutdown at Brewer Automotive Components.

FORT KENT, Maine — Three St. John Valley school districts have opted to pay annual financial penalties rather than move forward with any consolidation plans as mandated under state law.

From the governor’s office to the showrooms of small auto dealerships throughout the state, many Mainers are paying close attention to the proposed $15 billion bailout of U.S. automakers.

BANGOR, Maine — Fraser Papers Ltd. has sued a Michigan firm in U.S. District Court seeking payment for 1.8 million pounds of specialty paper manufactured at Fraser’s Madawaska facility and shipped to North Carolina between May 5 and June 2.

HERMON, Maine — With little discussion, Hermon School Committee members expressed “no confidence” Monday night in the planned regional school unit consolidation with Carmel and Levant. The unanimous vote is largely symbolic.

Maine Gov. John Baldacci and other state officials on Tuesday announced a public health advisory on domestic violence and sexual assault, calling on health care providers to institute routine screening as part of regular medical visits.

BANGOR, Maine — A group of local pastors plans to attend a meeting of the Gambling Control Board in Augusta Wednesday, Dec. 10 to oppose a proposal by Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway to offer Sunday morning gambling.

Because of anticipated state and federal budget cuts, elderly residents at some Maine assisted living facilities will no longer be served breakfast beginning on Jan. 1.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — An attorney who has championed numerous environmental and human rights causes in Maine has announced that she intends to run for governor in 2010.

Small-Business Boost A loan program unveiled last week fills an important void by targeting money to

Insurance Reform The country’s health insurance industry was praised last week for joining the

Cruelest lies often told in silence Today is a pretty important anniversary. Sixty years ago the world’s

Recognizing economic human rights Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Kennebec Journal

More aid for older Mainers sought
AUGUSTA -- Advocates for the elderly plan to expand legislation requesting an additional $1 million for aid programs, despite state budget shortfalls.

Gardiner gets $25,000 grant for playground
GARDINER -- The city recently received $25,000 toward the cost of a new playground on Gardiner Common.

CHINA: Voters to elect new school unit
CHINA -- On Feb. 3, voters will elect the town's two members of the Regional School Unit 18 board of directors and decide at least four and maybe six local questions -- and they won't have as long as usual to do it.

Cryptozoologist to speak at UMA
AUGUSTA -- Researcher and author Loren Coleman, who has written 30 books on Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and other animal mysteries, will speak at the University of Maine at Augusta on Saturday.

Cianbro eyes expansion in Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD -- The Cianbro Corp. plans to purchase the former San Antonio Shoe factory off Waverly Avenue for use as its central training center.

Thinking beyond themselves
AUGUSTA -- Two St. Michael School sixth-graders decided on a whopper of a good deed this holiday season: They donated all their birthday presents to the Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers.


State expands struggle against domestic abusers
Seventeen Mainers have been killed so far this year by their spouses, ex-spouses, partners or ex-partners. That's more than twice the number of domestic violence-related homicides in 2007.

GEORGE SMITH : Lucky us! We're expected to bail out the nation's stalled economy
Get out there and spend, you miserly peasants! Don't you know it's Christmas, the season of giving and getting, when retailers count on as much as 50 percent of their annual sales?

PAMELA M. PRAH : States' budget gaps balloon to $97 billion
Still reeling from high gas prices this summer and plummeting retirement savings this fall, Americans will soon be feeling the pinch in other ways -- from increased tuition to potentially higher taxes, as states try to close some $97 billion in budget gaps over the next two years.

Sun Journal
5 poisoned by CO in Maine
SOUTH PORTLAND (AP) - Carbon monoxide poisoning is being blamed for the hospitalization of five people who lived in a duplex in South Portland.

Probe finds air toxins around Maine schools
Two northern Maine schools are in toxic hot spots and several tri-county schools are located in areas likely to have poisonous chemicals and cancer-causing agents in the air, according to an investigative report by USA Today.

Estimate on pilfered pills increases to 6,000

In parks, battle of the butts
Lewiston's city council is on the right track with its concern about cigarette butts and dog waste in city parks. The presence of both turns what should be a community asset into an impromptu trash dump.

Obama finds comfort in lessons from Lincoln
Barack Obama has been accused of hubris and arrogance for his continuing references of identification with Abraham Lincoln, who by the measure of many was the greatest of all our presidents.

Panel Reviews Use Of Deadly Force In Cases Involving Mentally Ill

A new report recommends that law enforcement officers in Maine be given more information about people with mental illness who could pose a danger to the public. The findings of a task force convened by Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe propose, among other steps, a change in state law that would require mental health workers to disclose pertinent information to police.

State Leaders Call For Stepped Up Domestic Violence Prevention

December 9, 2008 Reported By: A.J. Higgins

As Maine's statistics on domestic violence-related deaths surge to new levels, a coalition of medical violence prevention professionals is calling for earlier detection of the signs of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Unemployment Woes Have Less Impact On Health Care Workers, Lawyers

December 9, 2008 Reported By: Josie Huang

In November, the country lost more than a half million jobs, the biggest monthly cut in 34 years. Maine has not been immune. To date, employers have slashed 4,000 jobs over the course of the year, according to the State Department of Labor.

The Return Of The Root Cellar

December 9, 2008 Reported By: Anne Ravana

An increase in home gardening and a desire to save money have prompted a surge in the popularity of old-fashioned root cellars. Root cellars aren't just a place to throw a bag of potatoes. In fact, maintaining proper temperature and moisture levels is a tricky science.

Times Record

Gerrish honored for 20 years of service in 'best job I've ever had'...(full story)

Military training center imperiled...(full story)

Nature agencies merger fizzles...(full story)

Mentors help teens' biz plans...(full story)

City development group still unsure of waterfront plan...(full story)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Maine News for Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Portland Press Herald
A call to fight for justice
Teachers turn the NAACP president's visit into a teachable moment after recent racial incidents.

Auto bailout plan gets tuneup
With the bailout, an overseer would be named to 'achieve long-term sustainability.'

Maine delegation differs on automaker rescue

Up to 200 Iraqis likely to relocate to Portland
Refugees are resettling on their own from other U.S. cities after hearing good things about the area.

Birth-control consent issue revived
A state senator may file legislation to require a parent's OK for a teen to obtain birth control.

Proposal would let town oust its officials
Windham's council will hold a hearing on the recall provision on Dec. 16.

Group seeks public use for Park Street School
Kennebunk voters will get a chance to decide whether the town should borrow funds to renovate the property.

Sprawl's decline is good news for Maine
Decades of troubling development patterns are starting to reverse themselves.

State's nonprofits find giving's getting harder
Groups receiving less have less to give, even as public agencies face cutbacks, too.

RON BANCROFTWe can't wait to 2016 to help our graduates learn the essentials
While we may not reach 100 percent right away, 70 percent is within reach – and is an improvement.

Bangor Daily News
OLD TOWN, Maine — Betty LeBretton’s recent fall wasn’t serious. “We were having a fire drill,” the 83-year-old explained Monday. “I was reaching for my housecoat, and I slipped and fell on my knees and then right down on my face.” A tiny abrasion on her forehead and another on her nose mark the incident.

Twenty feet down in the dark, ice-cold muck of the Penobscot River near Bangor lurks a creature so reclusive and so mysterious that for decades no one knew it was there.

ORONO, Maine — Waters off the Northeast coast are called by some the Saudi Arabia of wind for their potential in providing massive amounts of energy to the region.

WASHINGTON — A man with strong Maine ties has been awarded the second-highest honor accorded by the Department of Homeland Security.

BANGOR — The Rev. Kevin Loring, head of the Temple of Advanced Enlightenment, proposed Monday night that his church join with Bangor police and city officials to develop a plan to distribute medical marijuana to residents who have prescriptions for cannabis.

BREWER, Maine — The six months given city staff to review and update land use codes concerning methadone clinics apparently is not enough time to complete the work, so another six months has been requested.

The political meltdown in Canada, at first, looks like a power grab by the Conservative Party and its leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper. A closer look reveals that the parliamentary crisis came

Kennebec Journal

Blaine House raps DAs
Budget cuts ordered by the governor's office for the coming year are not aimed at reducing the law enforcement presence in central Maine, but rather are a challenge to identify alternative ways to reduce spending in tough times, a top aide to the governor said Monday.

AUGUSTA -- Imagine a classroom full of students. One says to another, "Get out of my way" using a word referring to sexual orientation.

AUGUSTA Council pledges help on school cuts
AUGUSTA -- City councilors on Monday vowed to work with the Board of Education as it works to overcome a potential $1.5 million school budget deficit.


Rewriting book on government could save money
Property owners rarely spend the money to build ramps for the disabled on a whim or for frivolous reasons. Either the owner has been required by law to construct the ramp or there's someone with a disability who needs it to regularly navigate into, and out of, the building.

ADAM D. LEE : Detroit Three need new rules of conduct if bailout funds given
Five times a day, I get asked the same two questions:

DAVID B. OFFER : After budget frills are gone, it's time to end agency duplication
Gov. John Baldacci and state legislators can learn some unpleasant but essential facts about budgeting from Augusta School Superintendent Cornelia Brown.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS : Protecting our senior citizens from harmful retirement account penalties
The precipitous decline in our nation's financial markets is presenting America with its greatest economic challenge in decades. Broad measures of stock-market value have fallen more than 40 percent since the beginning of this year.

Sun Journal
5 poisoned by CO in Maine
SOUTH PORTLAND (AP) - Carbon monoxide poisoning is being blamed for the hospitalization of five people who lived in a duplex in South Portland.

Scouts' victory
Boys' Life magazine features Lewiston Scout Troop 007's unofficial tournament at Belfast Curling Center

Probe finds air toxins around Maine schools
Two northern Maine schools are in toxic hot spots and several tri-county schools are located in areas likely to have poisonous chemicals and cancer-causing agents in the air, according to an investigative report by USA Today.

Estimate on pilfered pills increases to 6,000

In parks, battle of the butts
Lewiston's city council is on the right track with its concern about cigarette butts and dog waste in city parks. The presence of both turns what should be a community asset into an impromptu trash dump.

The Reach of The Creative Economy
Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz talks with Jean Maginnis, Founder and Executive Director of the Maine Center for Creativity about the creative industries growing role in Maine's economy.

Maine Car Dealers Call On Congress To Approve Bailout, Save Local Jobs
December 5, 2008 Reported By: Josie Huang

As the chief executives of the Big 3 automakers asked Congress to reconsider a bailout, some of Maine's auto dealers are making a similar case at home.

Environmental Groups Criticize Car Makers' Resistance To Clean Car Standards
December 5, 2008 Reported By: Anne Ravana

As automakers pledge to switch production to hybrids and fuel efficient cars, a New England environmental advocacy organization is questioning the industry's intentions. The Conservation Law Foundation is reminding Congress that General Motors and Chrysler are waging a legal campaign in several states to block new emissions standards.

Times Record

Public, Realtors take issue with Navy housing plan...(full story)

Staffer to start, but some aren't happy...(full story)

Eddy resigns Brunswick post: Economic development chief takes job with Eaton Peabody...(full story)

Holbrook's revival takes next step...(full story)

Woodlot taxation program mended...(full story)

New power prospects re-energizing Wiscasset...(full story)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Maine News for Friday, December 12, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Program offers small loans to small business
The program is aimed at starting and improving businesses in distressed areas of the state.

Delegation pressed to OK auto bailout
Maine dealers plan a news conference today on the industry's ties to the state's economy.

Crews spend second night at site of Paris fire
Firefighters will continue containing hot spots and flare-ups at a paper and pulp warehouse today.

Polluted runoff near mall leads to cleanup order
The EPA will require up to 110 property owners to take measures to help restore Long Creek and protect Casco Bay.

Firefighter accused of sex abuse of two girls
The teenagers participated in Cumberland's Fire Explorers program. Craig Rawnsley's attorney says he is innocent.

Stimulus should not include money for states
There are better ways for the federal government to get the economy moving.

Provider 'conscience rule' tips the balance too far
Workers' right of refusal should not stand in the way of patients exercising their rights.

M.D. HARMONWhen the money tree's shaking, grab the bushel baskets
It's good that our society has finally rejected outdated notions of responsibility and thrift.

Bangor Daily News
AUGUSTA, Maine — State insurance regulators have approved a filing by the National Council on Compensation Insurance that will result in most employers in Maine seeing a decrease in their workers’ compensation insurance rates in 2009, with business groups saying that is good news as employers deal with the recession.

BANGOR, Maine — Don French has been waiting for his pellet stove since July, when he paid a deposit of $1,000. Charlie Anderson and William Osmer have been on the hook even longer and for more money.

BANGOR, Maine — The bankers, politicians and nonprofit officials behind a new, $9.5 million low-interest loan program for small and medium-sized businesses in Maine are hoping they have hit upon a way to give the state’s economy a much-needed lift.

BANGOR, Maine — A panel seeking to learn how international trade agreements are affecting the lives of Mainers got an earful Thursday night.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine wildlife officials rushed through new rules Thursday intended to help keep Canada lynx out of sportsmen’s traps and the state out of hot water with the federal courts.

MECHANIC FALLS — Auburn Manufacturing Inc. said it has won two U.S. military contracts worth up to $7.8 million over several years.

HARRINGTON, Maine — An annual convoy of trucks carrying wreaths made by a local company is scheduled to depart for Arlington National Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 7.

Don’t Waste Two Months
This interregnum seems interminable. Barack Obama was elected president on Nov. …

A search with few clues LUBEC, Maine — Officers from the Maine State Police and Marine Patrol

Avoiding agricultural meltdown
Food is the centerpiece in our physical existence, and should be guarded far.

Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA -- The state of Maine needs $3.3 billion in the next decade to modernize and maintain highways and bridges, Maine Department of Transportation officials said Thursday at the 58th annual Maine Transportation Conference.

AUGUSTA: Council moving weekly meeting
AUGUSTA -- The Augusta City Council's regular Monday night date will move to Thursdays starting in January.

On Maine Politics
Who will fill Mills’ House seat? 12/04/08

Maine car dealers urge bailout support
Local economies feared at risk; Congressional delegation appears undecided

FAIRFIELD: KVCC, UMF team up on education courses
FAIRFIELD -- Kennebec Valley Community College will begin hosting advanced classes in Early Childhood Education in the fall of 2009, through a partnership with the University of Maine Farmington.

Chamber selling gift certificates
AUGUSTA -- The Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce is once again selling "Shop Local" gift certificates, offering shoppers certificates in $10, $25 and $50 denominations redeemable at more than 100 area businesses.

Business breakfast to focus on business succession planning
WATERVILLE -- The next Business Breakfast Series, presented by Thomas College in partnership with the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, will focus on executive transition and business-succession planning.

Wreath work a boost for Somali refugees
LEWISTON -- When Maine wreath-makers and veterans groups honor U.S. veterans in Arlington National Cemetery Saturday, they'll be taking the handiwork of a group of the city's newest residents with them.

Suspect in child-sex crimes arrested, jailed
A Fairfield man is scheduled to appear by video today in Augusta District Court on charges of five counts of unlawful sexual contact that allegedly occurred in Waterville, involving two girls younger than 12.


If local bidder isn't lowest, it's the wrong choice
Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time.

L. SANDY MAISEL : Bush using last weeks in office to further his agenda, help friends
Eleventh-hour pardons. Burrowing. Midnight regulations.

DAVID LILLARD : Maybe Victory Gardens can save U.S. again
With millions of baby boomers racing toward retirement, you might think it's time for their parents, "The Greatest Generation," to fade into the sunset. Not so fast!

Sun Journal
Biz loan capital provided
PORTLAND (AP) - Coastal Enterprises Inc. and Bangor Savings Bank are making $9.5 million available in the form of low-interest loans to small- and medium-sized businesses in hopes of providing a spark to Maine's economy.

Firefighters battle on
PARIS - Firefighters Thursday night made their way to the heart of a smoldering fire in a massive Pine Street warehouse, removing stockpiles of rolled paper as their battle entered its second day.

Teen gets 8 years in prison
PORTLAND - A former Edward Little High School football player was sentenced to eight years in prison Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to trafficking cocaine out of an Auburn apartment.

Fabric firm wins Navy contract
MECHANIC FALLS - Auburn Manufacturing Inc. on Thursday announced that it has won two U.S. military contracts worth up to $7.8 million over several years.

Bailout mulled
PORTLAND (AP) - Members of Maine's congressional delegation say they're waiting for more specifics on the proposed bailout of the nation's top three automakers before deciding whether to get behind the plan.

Men sentenced in beating
BANGOR (AP) - Two Maine men will each spend more than a decade behind bars after being sentenced for attacking a Bangor hotel guest with a bat and a hammer in a case of mistaken identity.

Hospital's debt should be paid, first
News that Gov. John Baldacci will ask the Obama administration for a Medicaid waiver for Dirigo Health is not exactly news; the waiver, which would match federal funds to Dirigo premium payments, was part of Dirigo 1.0.

Those other elections were also important
A month after Barack Obama's triumphant victory, we are still celebrating America's only authentic national religion, and it isn't Christianity - it's presidentialism, the worship of the president as an all-powerful, all-knowing deity who is the only important political actor in our country.

Bank Teams Up With Non-Profit To Create 9.5 Million Dollar Small Business Loan Fund Bangor Savings Bank and Coastal Enterprises have formed what's being billed as a first-in-the-nation partnership to create a pool of low-interest loans for small and medium-sized businesses in the most economically distressed parts of the state.

Trade Policy Activists To Sound Off On Effects Of Free Trade

December 4, 2008 Reported By: Susan Sharon

Laid-off workers, union members and others concerned about trade policy are expected to attend a meeting Thursday in Bangor of the Citizen Trade Policy Commission of the Maine Legislature. By statute, the group holds public hearings twice a year to hear from citizens about the local and global effects of so-called "free" trade policies. And as Susan Sharon reports, a bill co-sponsored by Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud is expected to be touted as a way to make trade agreements stronger.

New Gas Tax and Freight Fees Recommended To Fund Ailing Transportation Infrastructure

December 4, 2008 Reported By: A.J. Higgins

The nation's transportation infrastructure is in need of a massive overhaul according to two national spokesmen for the industry who spoke Thursday at the 58th Annual Maine Transportation Conference in Augusta. State leaders say Mainers have to look beyond local potholes to envision a national movement to rebuild a transportation network that peaked years ago with the completion of the Interstate Highway System.

New Report Looks At Impact Of Retiring Newcomers On Rural Communities

December 4, 2008 Reported By: Josie Huang

The coast of Maine is one of the most popular retirement destinations on the eastern seaboard. But what happens once newcomers, who tend to be more affluent and educated than many long-time residents, settle into their new lives? That's the topic of a new report from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire entitled: "Grey Gold: Do Older In-Migrants Benefit Rural Communities?"

Times Record

Former corpsman sentenced to 5 years...(full story)

Tow truck driver's woes pile up...(full story)

Women take reins of new Legislature...(full story)

Local farm aims to corral national alpaca market...(full story)

Bath officials urge 'proactive' approach on housing...(full story)

Sleazy and unfair...(full story)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Maine News for Thursday, December 4, 2008

Portland Press Herald
New Legislature faces immediate test
Few incoming groups of Maine lawmakers have faced a larger budget deficit.

Women lead Legislature for first time
Libby Mitchell is now Senate president and Hannah Pingree is the new speaker of the House.

Unions make concessions to boost aid bid
United Auto Workers leaders suspend laid-off workers' pay and delay medical fund payments.

Big Three unlikely to force closures here, dealers say
But some think a declining market might drive some dealerships out of business.

School jobs left open, signaling start of cuts
Portland must offset a $1.8 million reduction in state aid, as soon as possible.

Swastikas painted on downtown buildings
The former Public Market is one location targeted. Civil-rights advocates are concerned.

Guard seeks to lower altitudes for pilot training
Residents in the Maine military space expressed concern if the flight ceiling drops to 500 feet.

Brunswick squadron chief relieved of post
Cmdr. Llewellyn Lewis loses his command after crash-landing his P-3 Orion in Afghanistan.

Gorham bypass to open on Friday

Spend conservation fund efficiently
The Energy and Carbon Savings Trust should go after the least-expensive ways to conserve.

Adults shouldn't try to minimize student cheating
Educators' responses to a new survey are almost as troubling as its findings.

Heating oil contracts: Mainers paying the price for Wall Street hype
Contracting to pay a fixed price for oil meant dealers had to contact to buy it at a certain price, too.

Bangor Daily News
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s glass ceiling developed a few more cracks Wednesday as women were sworn in as Senate president and House speaker. And in one of its first acts, the newly seated Legislature elected Maine’s first female attorney general.

BANGOR, Maine — The bad economy appears to have eaten its way into the food business in Maine. The 22-year-old Shaw’s Supermarket near the Bangor Mall is scheduled to close on Jan. 31, and an unspecified number of jobs will be eliminated from the Hannaford Bros. corporate headquarters in Scarborough.

MIAMI — Trial was delayed Wednesday to allow time for a possible plea deal for a man arrested with a collection of weapons and military-style gear on charges of threatening to assassinate President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush.

Citing the need for stronger financial leadership, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems President Michelle Hood announced Wednesday that Blue Hill Memorial Hospital is under new management.

State regulators voted Wednesday to delay work on a critical planning document in order to allow additional dialogue about how development pressure is affecting the Unorganized Territory.

SEARSPORT, Maine — Police believe the semiautomatic handgun taken from Randall Hofland after he held the Stockton Springs Elementary School fifth grade hostage five weeks ago was the same one reported stolen by a retired sea captain.

ORONO, Maine — As the future of some of Maine’s wood-based businesses hangs in the balance, more than 100 people gathered this week to discuss how biotechnology can be used to stimulate the existing forestry industry in both Maine and Atlantic Canada.

As one half of the brand-new marquee for the Bangor Opera House dangled from a crane Wednesday afternoon, a passenger in a car driving past flagged Penobscot Theatre producing artistic director Scott Levy down. “Looks good, Scott!” she said, stopped in traffic at the intersection of Main and Union streets in downtown Bangor. “Looks excellent, it really does.”

BANGOR, Maine — An Eastern Maine Medical Center employee suffered minor injuries Wednesday crossing busy State Street when she was struck by a vehicle driven by another hospital worker.

SAD 67 students who show signs of intoxication at school will be subject to Breathalyzer testing under a new school policy, school officials said Wednesday.

Although the price tag for a government bailout of the auto industry has …

A prepared military needs places to practice its maneuvers, which are often loud and disruptive. To meet its readiness requirements, the military should find the best place to do this training with the least disruption on the ground.

Kennebec Journal
AUGUSTA -- The members of the 124th Legislature took their seats Wednesday on a day marked by tradition, hope and history.

AUGUSTA CMP pitches expansion
AUGUSTA -- Tim Basham's property in China borders high-voltage transmission lines Central Maine Power Company hopes to upgrade as part of a billion-dollar overhaul of the state's electrical grid.

Low-flight plans draw opposition
FARMINGTON -- Air National Guard representatives say their pilots need to fly as low as 500 feet over western Maine terrain to better train for, or combat, terrorism from the sky.

State makes 1st foray into carbon-trading auctions
AUGUSTA -- Regulations under consideration by a new state agency may soon help Maine make good on promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions by investing in energy efficiency and new low-carbon technologies.

SAD 16 board holds last meeting as standalone school unit
FARMINGDALE -- The School Administrative District 16 Board of Directors held its last meeting of 2008 Wednesday.

AUGUSTA Capitalizing on an identity
AUGUSTA -- Augusta has a capital-sized identity crisis to figure out.

SAD 67 policy clears way for Breathalyzer testing Intent is to keep kids from coming to school events intoxicated
SAD 67 students who show signs of intoxication at school will be subject to Breathalyzer testing under a new school policy, school officials said Wednesday.

Portland fighting rash of bias grafitti
The discovery of several swastikas spray-painted on Portland buildings has civil-rights advocates concerned that some people feel such expressions are acceptable.

On Maine Politics

It's time to think outside the box for our schools
State budget woes mean big cuts for education. And that means school boards, administrators, teachers and parents are struggling to come up with the least painful ways to rein in spending.

Maine's governorship the last male bastion
This is almost the last editorial we'll write on this subject. As soon as the state elects a female governor, we'll write our last one.

SEVERIN M. BELIVEAU : Don't throw more taxpayer money into bottomless pit of greed
It is apparent that Congress' record $75 billion infusion into our financial institutions has not produced the results promised by President Bush and Secretary Henry Paulson.

DAN BILLINGS : Memo to Democrats: It's all downhill from here
It's a tough time to be a Republican. The November election resulted in the election of a Democratic president by a significant margin and an increase in the Democrats' majorities in the U.S. House and Senate.

GORDON L. WEIL : Budget cutters need scalpels like surgeons, not axes like lumberjacks
This is the week that the newly elected Maine Legislature arrives in Augusta.

Sun Journal
In Dirigo state, women lead
AUGUSTA - It's likely that Margaret Chase Smith, Maine's first female senator, would be delighted to know that a pair of women are leading Maine's Legislature for the first time.

Navy sub set to be deactivated at Kittery
KITTERY (AP) - The Navy's only research submarine is coming to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard where it will be inactivated after nearly 40 years in service.

Lawmakers pass anti-hate order
AUGUSTA (AP) - Maine's Legislature passed a resolution denouncing acts and suggested acts of hate and violence in reaction to postelection incidents suggesting violence against President-elect Barack Obama.

Landmark pick, as a prosecutor
Rep. Janet Mills of Farmington is a landmark choice for attorney general, but not because she's the first woman to hold the prestigious office. She is the latest in a long tradition of women holding powerful political positions in Maine.

124th Legislature Kicked Off In Augusta

Members of the Maine House and Senate kicked off the 124th legislative session today with a series of organizational formalities that included the election of presiding officers and those nominated to the state's constitutional posts. Gov. John Baldacci administered the oath of office to all 186 members of the Legislature and emphasized that bipartisanship will be imperative in the months ahead as lawmakers work to close an $800 million budget gap during a difficult economic period.

Teen Birth Control Expected To Be Challenged

December 3, 2008 Reported By: Anne Ravana

The Family Planning Association of Maine held the first of a series of forums in Bangor last night, where several doctors, parents and teens talked about their efforts to preserve teens' ability to obtain birth control and other reproductive health services without their parents' consent. The association expects that state law will be challenged by at least one bill in the upcoming legislative session.

Mishaps Raise Questions About Aging P-3 Orion Aircraft

December 3, 2008 Reported By: Keith McKeen

The crash of a P-3 Orion airplane in Afghanistan has cost a naval officer in Brunswick his job. Commander Llewellyn Lewis of Brunswick Naval Air Station was removed as a squadron commander after the aircraft he was piloting crash-landed at Bagram Air base in October. This and other recent P-3 mishaps are raising questions about the safety of the aging aircraft.

State Officials Ponder Future For Unwanted Horses

December 3, 2008 Reported By: Susan Sharon

State agriculture officials, veterinarians and animal rescue organizations are struggling with a difficult problem that's made worse in a bad economy: what to do with all the unwanted horses in the state? Estimates put the number of horses at risk of going hungry or in need of surrender in Maine at more than 500. As Susan Sharon reports, options for getting rid of them are limited and expensive.

Times Record

Bathport upgrade gets initial OK...(full story)

P-3 Orion pilot relieved of duty...(full story)

Council weighs greater scrutiny of development...(full story)

History made with Mills as new AG...(full story)

Ellsworth American
State’s Budget Woes Threaten Maine’s $50 Million Shellfish Industry
ELLSWORTH — Faced with the difficult decision to either cut key programs or raise license fees at the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), Governor John Baldacci on Monday directed Commissioner George Lapointe to come up with a better idea.

School Consolidation Plan Goes to the Voters Tuesday
ELLSWORTH — As intricate as a business merger and as thorny as a prenuptial agreement, negotiations to combine Ellsworth, Union 96 and six Union 92 towns into a single regional school unit have been in the works for over a year.

The Committee Got It Right
In a Nov. 26 editorial, the Bangor Daily News scolded the Legislature’s Transportation Committee for taking “the indefensible action of indefinitely shelving a compromise plan for state-owned Sears Island.” We believe the Committee, whose co-chairman is Sen. Dennis Damon (D-Hancock County) got things exactly right with regard to the proposal that, in theory, would set aside about two-thirds of the 931-acre Penobscot Bay island for conservation while allowing future port development on about 300 acres.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Maine News for Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Lots of energy efficiency cash – so who gets it?
Millions per year will be given out by trustees, who will gather advice at a public hearing today.

Baldacci confident Obama will aid strapped states
After a meeting with the president-elect, the governor hopes Maine will receive millions in extra federal funds.

Janet Mills nominated to be next Maine AG
The lawyer from Farmington, a 32-year veteran of the state's justice system, would be the first woman to hold the position.

At private colleges, a degree of caution
As endowments shrink drastically, Maine schools rein in spending and plan for difficult times ahead.

Man gets six years for child porn
A judge sentences the former U.S. Navy reservist, who had been collecting child pornography online.

NAACP chief to lobby for prison reform
Benjamin Jealous will visit Maine next week to meet with officials and deliver two speeches.

Latest terror attacks call for diplomatic surge
The terrorists win big if tensions grow between India and Pakistan.

Humility and details may not be enough to save Detroit
The Big Three automakers are off to a better start with Congress, but skepticism remains.

GREG KESICHObama girls might have raised hope in public schools
A private family decision has bigger implications when you are talking about the first family.

Bangor Daily News
Group fighting same-sex marriage
ORRINGTON, Maine — Nearly 100 ministers and lay leaders representing churches from Fort Fairfield to Richmond met Tuesday afternoon at Calvary Chapel to launch a biblically based opposition to

BANGOR, Maine — A state policy group that wants to preserve teens’ unrestricted access to birth control is gearing up for a potential legislative battle.

PHILADELPHIA — President-elect Barack Obama pledged quick work Tuesday on an economic recovery plan to include tax cuts and increased federal spending, and told the nation’s governors he wants

welcomes public comment on Calais LNG
BANGOR, Maine — Calais LNG was the last of three companies to propose building a liquefied natural gas project in Washington County — but its directors intend for it to be the one that succeeds.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Commissioner of Education Susan A. Gendron has been tapped to serve on a committee of education leaders tasked with developing a transition plan on education policy for

Times are tough for our many-legged ocean-dwelling friends, Homarus americanus — the American lobster. But times are even tougher for our two-legged, dock-dwelling friends, Traphaulinus mainerus — the Maine lobsterman.

BANGOR, Maine — The life of a winter road maintenance worker is always a delicate balancing act this time of year. Dozens of crew supervisors with the Maine Department of Transportation and some

ORONO, Maine — Despite growing scientific evidence about the dangers of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, many doctors steer clear of discussing the issue with their patients, a tobacco

Electronic Baby Sitter Here’s a distressing statistic: Children spend nearly three times as much

National Security Team Beyond the criticism — from both the left and the right — that his Cabinet

Trade pacts may undermine state laws A mother in the grocery store wants to be sure that the formula she is feeding

Kennebec Journal

STATEHOUSE Democrats back Mills for AG post Legislature expected to confirm state representative today
AUGUSTA -- Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday nominated Janet Mills, of Farmington, to be Maine's next attorney general.

AUGUSTA ROTARIES PROJECT: Memorial Circle to get same treatment as eastside roundabout
AUGUSTA -- Motorists confused by the new layout of stripes and arrows guiding traffic around the redesigned Cony Circle better get used to it soon: A similar layout could be coming to Memorial Circle next summer.

Maine Education Commissioner Susan Gendron is one of 10 state education chiefs helping to lay the groundwork for President-elect Barack Obama's incoming education secretary.

County praises sex registry volunteers
AUGUSTA -- Ronald Raymond could spend his retirement at the beach, or taking up a new hobby.

To school into July?
OAKLAND -- School Administrative District 47 board Chairman Michael Gosselin isn't happy about the $295,000 the district expects to have to cut from the current budget.

On Maine Politics
Cummings calls lawmakers “noble and absolutely crazy”


Shopping for a victim
Lawyers have been hired. Various parties are positioning themselves with public statements. Talk radio and daytime television have commandeered the story, which will, once there are charges, trials or settlements, slowly get untangled.

Device can keep drunken drivers off the road
There's no good reason Maine should have as many drunken drivers on the road as we do.

Sun Journal
Action assures Mills of AG post
AUGUSTA - Maine's newly elected Democratic legislators settled a three-way race for state attorney general Tuesday by nominating former prosecutor and three-term Rep. Janet Mills of Farmington for the $92,296-per-year post, assuring her of election by the full House and Senate.

Obama's pick for U.N. has ties to Maine
PORTLAND (AP) - The name of President-elect Barack Obama's selection for United Nations ambassador will have a familiar ring to many people in Maine.

Recount: Maine defeats slots
SCARBOROUGH (AP) - A ballot recount has confirmed that there won't be slot machines in Scarborough any time soon.

Man pleads not guilty in Internet sex case
PORTLAND (AP) - A 28-year-old Brownfield man has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he offered money to a father of four in return for allowing him to have sex with his 12-year-old daughter.

GM wants billions, or industry will crash
WASHINGTON (AP) - Humbled and fighting for survival, Detroit's once-mighty automakers appealed to Congress with a retooled case for a huge bailout Tuesday, pledging to slash workers, car lines and executive pay in return for a federal lifeline. GM said it wouldn't last till New Year's without an immediate $4 billion and could drag the entire industry down if it fails.

Winter festival planned to honor earmuff inventor

Not another downtown plan, please
For Lewiston's strategic planning to bear fruit, it must not repeat prior work. It must embrace fresher approaches toward the city's future prosperity. This means turning the city inside out.

Black Friday: The great lie of American consumerism
I like stuff as much as the next guy.

Democrats Select Janet Mills As AG Candidate

December 2, 2008

Majority Democrats in Augusta have selected Janet Mills as their nominee for State Attorney General, capping a campaign that has drawn an unusually significant amount of public attention. A.J. Higgins has been covering the party caucuses at the State House, and he spoke last this afternoon with Keith Shortall.

Proposed Air Guard Flyovers Front And Center Again In Western Maine

December 2, 2008 Reported By: Anne Ravana

Residents of western Maine have one more chance to have their opinion heard on a proposal to allow fighter pilots to fly as low as 500 feet overhead during jet fighter training missions. As Anne Ravana reports, the proposal has met with opposition from local residents in recent years, and Governor John Baldacci's office is concerned that the Air National Guard has not thoroughly examined the environmental impacts of such a proposal.

Study Examines Impact Of School Soda Bans

December 2, 2008 Reported By: Josie Huang

Since 2005, Maine schools have banned sodas from their vending machines in response to emerging evidence that sugary drinks contribute to obesity among young people. But prior to the ban going into place, Janet Whatley Blum, an associate professor in the Exercise, Health, and Sport Sciences department of the University of Southern Maine, decided to test how well the bans on soda worked, including sodas, sports drinks and diet drinks.

Maine's OUI Laws Cricized By MADD

December 2, 2008 Reported By: Keith McKeen

Maine could do a better job in reducing alcohol-related highway fatalities. That's the message from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which has issued a new national report that finds Maine among the states seeing an increase in the percentage of aolcohol related deaths over the past two years.

Maine Forest Practices Examined

December 2, 2008 Reported By: Susan Sharon

A new, in-depth survey of logging practices in Maine finds most loggers are taking the right steps to protect water quality and avoid stricter federal regulations. The first-of-its kind survey by the Maine Forest Service looked at 250 randomly chosen logging operations by both large and small landowners. And while there are other signs that forest practices are improving, at least one environmental group says they could be even better.

Times Record

Bath gains 'Preserve America Community' status...(full story)

Shipyard receives $45.8M for DDG-1000...(full story)

Brunswick renews talk of all-day kindergarten...(full story)

Feds chip in $1.1M for BNAS planning...(full story)

Navy housing market glut looms...(full story)

Vaulting into the spotlight...(full story)

Panel bids to up ante for 'clean elections'...(full story)

Surviving the 'perfect storm'...(full story)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Maine News for Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Race for AG move into the spotlight
The selection of Maine attorney general never used to get much attention, but public interest is high this year.

Maine native's daughter gets Cabinet post
Susan Rice, named U.N. ambassador, often visits her family's summer home in Lincolnville.

Obama's picks praised by Maine's delegation
They call his choices for national security posts thoughtful and bold.

Again, Wall Street dives for cover
A recession is officially declared, and signals that it may be deep and long cost the Dow 680 points.

'A new dawn of ... leadership'
Obama chooses people with lots of experience and strong views for his national security team.

Mayor Duson sworn in; major challenges await
The budget and revival of the pier project are at the top of Portland's list.

Waxman should recuse herself on pier votes
The city councilor should not take part in negotiations with her former employer.

Clinton appointment not without some risk
But the New York senator will bring much to the new administration as its top diplomat.

RON BANCROFTHow do we help all our students learn what they need to succeed?
The Maine Learning Results still hold promise, but commitment remains haphazard.

Bangor Daily News
BANGOR, Maine — A report released by Mothers Against Drunk Driving suggests Maine still has work to do to reduce the number of alcohol-related highway fatalities.

When Nory Jones couldn’t find the comforter she wanted on Black Friday, the University of Maine associate professor of management information looked to her calendar for help: She shopped on Cyber Monday.

Staff of the Land Use Regulation Commission are recommending that work on the agency’s comprehensive plan be pushed back several months to allow additional discussion about development trends in the 10½-million-acre Unorganized Territory.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci is joining most of the nation’s governors in a closed-door meeting with President-elect Barack Obama in Philadelphia today, with the economy at the top of the agenda.

OLD TOWN, Maine — Citing economic stress, Old Town Canoe recently slowed its production schedule, cutting hours for some workers.

BANGOR, Maine — A recent spate of concerns and complaints involving pets on city trails and open spaces may cause city officials to consider adopting animal guidelines.

OLD TOWN, Maine — Monday’s icy drizzle likely dampened first-day participation in the only deer season on Marsh Island in recent memory, and the deer may not have been cooperating, either.

Moving Beyond Mumbai Last week’s attacks in Mumbai exposed numerous fault lines in India and

ClickBack on spending, pot This week’s ClickBack focuses on state spending, terrorism in India and

Health care spending: Let’s talk Drunken sailors cannot hold a candle to physicians when it comes to spending

Kennebec Journal
Developer, city in deal to preserve old YMCA building for only one year
AUGUSTA -- The old YMCA building will stand for at least one more year.

AUGUSTA -- Any of the hard-to-swallow options -- closing Hussey Elementary School or Hodgkins Middle School, eliminating all sports and other after-school activities, or cutting 30 teachers next school year -- may not be enough to alone close a projected $1.5 million budget gap for Augusta schools.

Bad roads blamed in fatal crash
CARRABASSETT VALLEY -- Police said icy, slushy roads from an overnight snowstorm contributed to a two-vehicle, head-on collision on Route 27 Monday morning that killed a 25-year-old Whitefield man.

GARDINER -- Temporary bridges, one for each travel lane, will be in place by the end of the month, in time for the removal of the 100-year-old New Mills Bridge.

Little aid living with AIDS
AUGUSTA -- HIV and AIDS are prevalent in Maine, and attacking the problem will require leadership and doing more with fewer state resources.

The town line
CHINA -- Residents will get a chance to hear about Central Maine Power Company's plan to upgrade 350 miles of transmission lines, a portion of which runs through this town.

On Maine Politics
Orientation days, then swearing-in 12/01/08


Panel must balance needs of all students
The ranks of autistic children are swelling in Maine and across the country. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, from 1994 to 2005, the number of children ages 6-21 years receiving services for autism increased from 22,664 to 193,637.


DAVID B. OFFER : Murder, love, faith makes whodunit a real page turner
There are about 1,600 books on the shelves in my house. Actually, they don't all fit on the shelves; many are in piles, some stacked behind each other.

Sun Journal
New Legislature to pick AG nominee
AUGUSTA (AP) - The three-way race for one of the state's most prominent public offices, attorney general, will be decided Tuesday as the newly elected Legislature chooses a nominee to head the $30 million department that represents the state in legal matters.

Maine scallop season opens
PORTLAND (AP) - Maine's scallop draggers and divers face a shortened season and new restrictions as the scallop season gets under way.

Lewiston aims for brighter future
LEWISTON - The notions that have guided planning and development decisions for Lewiston are outdated, city officials said Monday.

Recession deepens
WASHINGTON (AP) - Most Americans sorely knew it already, but now it's official: The country is in a recession, and it's getting worse.

Down we go again: Fourth-worst drop ever for Dow
NEW YORK (AP) - The stock market suffered one of its worst days since the financial meltdown Monday, slicing 680 points off the Dow Jones industrial average as Wall Street snapped out of its daydream of a rally and once again faced the harsh reality of a recession.

Is 'Black Friday' worth it?
It's called chumming the water. Marine biologists drop bloody, ragged fish meat into shark-infested waters. Then, on cue, the sleek beasts emerge from the shadowy sea and enter a tail-whipping, teeth-baring feeding frenzy.

World jihadist movement targets India's affluent
They were young and cleanshaven, wearing Western T-shirts and carrying rucksacks. They could have fit in easily with the cosmopolitan and robustly growing "New India." If that weren't exactly the India they had come to destroy.

World AIDS Day Observed

December 1, 2008 Reported By: Josie Huang

Today is World AIDS Day. A lot has changed since the first World AIDS Day, 20 years ago. Drug cocktails have prolonged people's lives indefinitely. Mainers who used to go to Boston for treatment can go to their local clinic. Some patients need only take a pill a day. But still there is no cure, and more than 50,000 new cases are cropping up each year in the United States. As Josie Huang reports, advocates say far too many people have contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and don't know it.

Lawmakers Briefed On Roles And Challenges

December 1, 2008 Reported By: A.J. Higgins

New members of the 124th Legislature spent much of Monday being briefed on their roles in the legislative process and the challenges that will face them in the months ahead. Chief among those are solutions to close a projected $800 million shortfall during the next two-year state budget cycle. The lawmakers were told that nearly all of the states face the same obstacles to balancing their budgets. And as A.J. Higgins reports, they are approaching the state's financial predicament cautiously.

Shrimp Fishermen Counting On Bigger Catch This Season

December 1, 2008 Reported By: Keith McKeen

Although scores of Maine fishermen opted not to battle the wind and rain this morning, December 1st marks the beginning of a shrimp season that runs through May 29th, 28 days longer than last year. But, while shrimpers are expecting a larger harvest, they're also crossing their fingers for a better price.

Potato Crop Smaller, But Price Stable

December 1, 2008 Reported By: Anne Ravana

Maine’s 2008 potato harvest is one of the smallest in decades, but the Maine Potato Board reports that most farmers chose to plant fewer crops because in recent years, supply has exceeded demand. And that decision has kept the price of potatoes stable, which is good news for farmers.