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Maine News

Friday, March 21, 2008

Maine News for Friday, March 21, 2008

Bangor Daily News

Baldacci signs bills on records, prisons

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. John Baldacci is getting busier signing bills sent to him from the Legislature, including one to clarify Maine's public records law and one dealing with the state's prison industries.

Vehicle inspection bill changed in House

AUGUSTA, Maine - A bill that would have doubled the time between required safety inspections for Maine cars and noncommercial trucks is being weakened in the Legislature.

Damon presses for rail tax break

WASHINGTON - Advocating for legislation to increase freight rail infrastructure, state Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, co-chairman of the Maine Legislature's Transportation Committee, traveled to Washington last week to meet with Maine's congressional delegation.

School days requirement waived - just for seniors

AUGUSTA, Maine - Education Commissioner Susan Gendron has decided to waive the minimum school days requirement for high school seniors because of school time lost to snow this winter.

Lawmakers cite differences over budget cuts

AUGUSTA, Maine - Legislative Democrats and Republicans prepared to permanently part ways Thursday over how to cover a $190 million revenue shortfall in Maine's two-year budget.

Former tribal governor indicted

INDIAN TOWNSHIP, Maine - After years of murmurs and outright accusations of financial improprieties against him, former Passamaquoddy tribal Gov. Robert L. Newell was indicted Wednesday by federal prosecutors.

Kennebec Journal


AUGUSTA Efforts to eradicate hunger called lacking
AUGUSTA -- The director of the National Center on Hunger and Poverty says that charity and advocacy for the poor are failing to meet the nation's hunger crisis, and that it'll take a major federal effort to end hunger.

Reny's recognized for energy efficiency effort
GARDINER -- Reny's Department Stores, a longtime favorite of Maine bargain-hunters, has received an award for becoming more energy-efficient.

Maine tribal leader indicted
The investigation that led to Thursday's indictment of former Indian Township Gov. Robert L. Newell began more than three years ago, when members of the Passamaquoddy tribe complained to the federal government about his administration's financial practices.

Maine ill-served by play-it-safe budget rhetoric
Republican members of the Health and Human Services Committee promised they would offer ideas for state spending cuts in light of the state's projected, $190 million -- and growing -- budget deficit. After all, spending on education and health and human services accounts for 80 percent of the state budget. This was the right place to go.

JOSEPH R. REISERT : Obama's speech on religion, church covertly partisan
On Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama became the second candidate in this election season to deliver a speech explaining to the American people why his membership in a controversial church should not disqualify him from becoming president of the United States.

Portland Press Herald

Ex-tribal governor faces 30 charges
The charges against Robert L. Newell stem from a probe sparked by worker complaints.

Panel calls for investment in USM
An advocacy group says that more funding is essential to getting the university back on track.

Budget fix goes to Legislature next week


Case for USM funding not easy or clear-cut
The University of Southern Maine is undergoing change, but it still competes with other needs.

Sun Journal
Health care changes divide lawmakers
AUGUSTA (AP) - Legislative Democrats and Republicans prepared to permanently part ways Thursday over how to cover a $190 million revenue shortfall in Maine's two-year budget.

Tribal Officials Indicted on Multiple Charges
Two former tribal officials with the Passamaquoddy Tribe's Indian Township Reservation have been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges, including conspiracy to defraud and to commit offenses against the United States. Former tribal Governor Robert Newell of Princeton and former Finance Director James Parisi of Portland are also accused of misapplying tribal and federal government funds. And as Susan Sharon reports, both are facing extended jail time.