Maine News Headline Animator

Maine News

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Maine News for Thursday, March 27, 2008

Portland Press Herald

Biologists seek clues as bats die off
The cause and effect of thousands of deaths this winter raise concerns throughout the Northeast.

Reduction in federal grant hits state drug agency hard
Maine's force in the fight against trafficking will lose officers and prosecutors to a federal funding cut. More >

Maine appears in line to get Real ID reprieve
Gov. Baldacci's letter to Homeland Security could stave off travel restrictions for the state's residents.

1st District candidates take aim at each other
Election 2008: The U.S. House race gets more heated as seven would-be representatives question their foes -- regardless of affiliation.

Joining MaineHealth could benefit SMMC
The medical center looks to maintain a community feel while gaining access to valuable resources.

Region lags on warming goals
Despite some progress, environmental groups warn of big changes if states don't do more.

Gloom and ... boon?
From first-time home buyers to tourism businesses, downturn has an upside.

State museum to close Sundays if budget is cut
State House: Lawmakers continue deliberating the supplemental plan today.

Many Mainers in hurry to acquire passports
With travel requirements becoming stricter and the state in a possible Real ID fight, the rush is on.

Ex-Portland mayor tapped to be N.H. transportation chief
George Campbell, who moved to Portsmouth in 2006, held the same post in Maine in the early '80s.

Editorial: Real ID waiver's not the only thing feds owe Maine
Privacy matters aren't the major issue, which revolves around who antes up $200 million.

Column: Susan A. GendronSpecial ed students need consistency
The standards shouldn't include or exclude them depending on where they happen to live.

Bangor Daily News
Committee OKs tribes' exclusion from access law

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state Judiciary Committee Tuesday voted to exempt Maine's Indian tribes from the state law that requires government agencies to give members of the public access to documents.

Got 'Maine Fresh Milk'?

AUGUSTA, Maine - In an effort to persuade members of the Legislature's Agriculture Committee to pass a bill that would put a 'Maine Fresh Milk' label on milk produced and sold in Maine, a former panel member went restaurant-hopping Wednesday.

Government reviews Baldacci Real ID letter

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday it is working with Maine and is encouraged by the efforts of the state’s leaders to move forward with procedures called for within the Real ID Act, which establishes national standards for state-issued driver's licenses.

Tests show high level of E. coli in St. Croix River

ST. STEPHEN, New Brunswick - The river that serves as the international boundary between New Brunswick and Maine has high levels of E. coli, according to a local watchdog environmental agency.

Speakers at UCB focus on energy

BANGOR, Maine - Two area academics upset some widespread beliefs about energy at a talk Tuesday morning at University College.

Playing with Toxins

Few would dispute that Americans now live in a toxic soup, with synthetic chemicals falling from the sky, leaching into drinking water, injected or absorbed in food, and emanating from materials in our homes and offices.

Kennebec Journal
Economic woes cutting into history
AUGUSTA -- The Maine State Museum would have to close on Sundays if budget cuts under consideration are approved by lawmakers.

AUGUSTA School Board approves smaller budget 18 positions cut, including some filled by teachers
AUGUSTA -- School board members unanimously approved a $28.1 million school budget Wednesday that cuts 18 positions, including elementary school teachers, custodians, an assistant principal and special-education teachers.

Maine travelers may dodge the threat of being unable to use their driver's licenses for security identification at airports this spring.

MAINE Slump not always bad news
About a 45-minute drive from Portland, on a quiet tree-lined road in Limington, sits one of the hidden bright spots in this gloomy economy.

Feds trip Mainers' travel plans
WATERVILLE -- The clash between the state and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over identification requirements is fueling a rush on passport applications as Mainers seek to avoid hitches in their travel plans.

Tax break eyed for wind farm
FARMINGTON -- Franklin County commissioners are considering a tax break for a $220 million wind farm project near the Canadian border.

State Budget blog
Statehouse Reporter Susan Cover will follow House and Senate budget debates all week, so check back for frequent updates on what's going on at the Statehouse.

Columns: KAY RAND : King's laptop legacy still reaps student benefits
Every governor who has ever served the state of Maine -- probably those who've served other states, too -- would confirm that at least one initiative becomes so associated with you that it is used against you as a bargaining chip amid repeated claims that "the governor is just concerned about his legacy."

JIM BRUNELLE : Legislature should honor state's anti-gambling vote
Imagine this scenario: Two items appear on a statewide referendum ballot, one to allow a big casino operation sponsored by Indian tribes to be established in, say, southern Maine, and the second to allow slot machines into one of the state's commercial horse racing tracks (Bangor Raceway, as it turns out). The first item is decisively rejected by voters and the second is narrowly approved.

State workers paid less than same in public sector
Tarren Bragdon (Maine Compass, March 25) repackages his familiar call to cut state workers' pay and benefits. The problem: his numbers lie.

4th-grader weighs in on smoking in car with child
I agree with you about passing this decree of no smoking in a child-accompanied automobile. Smoking is very unfavorable to not only the person who tries one but also to everyone around. The sacrifice and cost of tobacco is extremely high.

Sun Journal
Maine Senate OKs bill for interlocks
AUGUSTA (AP) - More of Maine's convicted drunken drivers may be installing devices that measure the alcohol on their breath before they drive again.

Getting lead out 'a noble thought'
AUGUSTA - New legislation that would establish renovation standards for older homes and create a voluntary lead-safe housing registry has drawn skepticism from landlords and Lewiston code enforcement officials.

Effort to reduce inspections rejected
AUGUSTA (AP) - It appears that a bill that would have doubled the time between required safety inspections for Maine cars and noncommercial trucks will not pass.

Talk of secession in Roxbury
Few people are aware of the massive construction project necessary to erect wind turbines.

Home Energy Audits Recommended for Saving Heat
As oil prices skyrocket, many Mainers are trying to find ways to stretch their seasonal heating budgets. While some homeowners are looking at alternative energy sources, there are those who believe that the first priority should be to conserve heat. And the best way to find out where heat may be getting waisted, they say, is through a home energy audit. Murray Carpenter tagged along on such an audit recently in Damariscotta, and prepared this report.

Municipal Officals Facing Stressed Budgets
The economic downturn that's wreaking havoc on Mainers' household budgets is also having a serious ripple effect on local government coffers. Lean budgets are forcing municipalities to delay vital projects. But as Keith McKeen reports, some towns and cities are facing greater obstacles than others.

CD1 candidates debate in Portland

OPEGA cuts cause divisiveness in budget debate

MHPC back on Ethics Commission’s agenda

State Senate approves bill for in-car alcohol testing