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Maine News

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Maine News for Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Cost of Real ID challenged at hearing, as Maine worries about footing the bill
President Bush proposes providing just $200 million to cover the startup, but senators are told the tab could be $500 million.

House OKs bill to aid Acadia
The measure would allow the park to acquire more land and build a parking area for tourists on the mainland.

Washburn-Norlands fire spares center's crown jewel
The grand mansion remains, and the farmer's cottage and barn used by visitors will be rebuilt.

Contractor hired to rebuild stretch of I-295
A 22-mile section between Gardiner and Topsham will be closed while Pike Industries works on the three-month project.

Fed expected to cut rates again this week
The reduction could be the last for a while as the board tries to keep inflation from taking off.

Officials from York, turnpike share views on new toll plaza
An authority spokesman stresses that all options for the plaza location are being considered.

Northern Maine river levels rising
Officials and residents are keeping watch for floods after two days of rain amid the spring thaw.

Voter ID law reasonable if poor are protected
Elections will not be made more legitimate by a law that disenfranchises some voters.

Historic preservation itself warrants preserving
Planning staff cuts might be inevitable, but the benefits of a new state tax credit are vital, too.

ANOTHER VIEW: Measuring dropout rates uniformly only hides need to improve system
Substituting quantification for quality merely offers the appearance of action.

GREG KESICHRussian journalists struggle with 'interesting problems'
Reporters and editors are still groping to find their place in a rapidly changing society.

Bangor Daily News
Schools continue struggle with law

BELFAST, Maine - Some school districts are finding that recent changes to state law to remove financial barriers to consolidation aren’t making the process any easier.

Bangor extends talks with boat building firm

BANGOR, Maine - City councilors on Monday extended negotiations with a company that wants to buy a 17-acre city-owned parcel in nearby Hampden.

Flooding emergency declared in County

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. John Baldacci declared a State of Emergency for Aroostook County on Tuesday night, linking the declaration to flooding conditions, particularly in the Fort Kent and Wallagrass areas.

Ex-House candidate arrested in sting

ORONO, Maine - In a sting similar to those seen on TV's 'To Catch a Predator" series on "Dateline,' Orono police have charged a 44-year-old man with attempted gross sexual assault for soliciting what he believed was a 13-year-old boy.

Heavy rains prove problematic for harness horsemen

BANGOR, Maine - This week’s heavy rain is proving problematic for several harness horsemen who are using the stables at Bangor Raceway.

Tribal Gamble

Gov. John Baldacci's veto of Penobscot Nation plans to install slot machines on Indian Island has grabbed headlines. But tribal frustration with state officials goes way beyond gambling.

Behind the Iraq News

Back during the unpopular Vietnam war, the Pentagon ran 10-day junkets to the war zone to persuade news reporters as well as some public officials that the war was going well.

Brett D. Baber: Recognizing the rule of American law
On May 1 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of National Law Day, created in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower as a 'day of national dedication to the principle of government under law.'

Kathleen Parker: It's hard to woo people you don't love
In the days leading up to Pennsylvania's primary, white males — those knuckle-dragging, chaw-chompin', beer-swillin', bitter troglodytes - were suddenly the debutante's delight.

Kennebec Journal

National Weather Service issues warning for those living near the Kennebec River; 17-to-18-foot crest is expected today
AUGUSTA --The Kennebec River was expected to rise above the 12-foot flood stage in Augusta on Tuesday and continue to crest to 17 to 18 feet this morning, according to the National Weather Service in Gray.

A more perfect union?
Eight towns are making significant progress toward the development of a regional school unit, according to school officials.

(Mil)foiled again
Several Maine municipalities and organizations benefited from a tripling of grants aimed at stopping invasive plants in inland waterways.

Pellet mills retool state's aging wood industry
ATHENS -- The state's third wood-pellet mill began production two weeks ago on Route 150.

AUGUSTA -- The Augusta Charter Commission meets Thursday to review the charter's rules for nominations and elections.

HALLOWELL Plan links trash, cash
HALLOWELL -- City councilors Tuesday gave informal approval for officials to develop plans to hire a single rubbish hauler and require households to pay for each container of trash they put out.

MAINE GETS 'D-PLUS' FOR ABUSE Study compares states and concludes Maine should do more to disclose information on child abuse cases
A national nonprofit agency said 15 states -- including Maine -- need "improvement" in disclosing information on fatal or near-fatal child abuse.

I-295 project detour called best option
RICHMOND -- From a podium coated in a layer of 30-year-old concrete dust, Maine Department of Transportation officials announced Tuesday that both southbound lanes of Interstate 295 will be closed for reconstruction this summer.

Plotting a course for the North Woods
You have a chance to help shape the future of almost half the state of Maine.

MICHAEL S. HEATH : The cost of rejecting natural law
The gardener digging in the cool, dark earth can see that each green, tender shoot springs up in pursuit of warmth and light. The warmth and light they seek comes from another world, a world that is high above them. What warmth and light are to a young plant, human reason is to the life of man. It too comes from high above us, as does the gift of divine revelation.

GEORGE SMITH : It's a corn, corn, corn, corn world
We are the corn people. We are made of corn, surrounded by corn, totally dependent on corn. We belong to the Clan of the Corn Stalkers.

Sun Journal

Petitioners look to repeal new license legislation
AUGUSTA (AP) - Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Tuesday his office had received a people's veto application that could launch a referendum drive to overturn newly enacted legislation to tighten standards for getting a Maine driver's license.

Cianchette gets OK
PORTLAND (AP) - The U.S. Senate has confirmed President Bush's nomination of businessman Peter Cianchette of South Portland as ambassador to Costa Rica.

Emergency declared for Aroostook floods
AUGUSTA (AP) - Gov. John Baldacci declared a State of Emergency for Aroostook County on Tuesday night, linking the declaration to flooding conditions, particularly in the Fort Kent and Wallagrass areas.

Group protests Collins' lack of stand on Colombia deal
LEWISTON (AP) - A coalition of activist groups is calling on Sen. Susan Collins to take a position on a proposed free trade agreement with Colombia.

Salary games
We're tired of the gamesmanship between the Androscoggin County commissioners and sheriff's office.

Christianity out of step with Jesus' teachings
James Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity.

The high cost of high prices
This recession is caused by high prices for everything. As soon as senior citizens get a raise in Social Security, rent rates go up, the price of food goes up and so does everything else. So, we do not have any more money than before the raise.

Congressman Allen Turns Down Challenger's Debate Request
Voters waiting for U.S. Senate candidate Tom Allen to go head-to-head with his only challenger in the Democratic primary, Tom Ledue, will be disappointed. Allen, who now represents Maine's First District in Congress, has turned down all requests for debates, including one with MPBN scheduled for May 22nd. Campaign spokeswoman Carol Andrews says none of the debates could be worked into Allen's schedule.

Major Highway Construction Plan Detailed
The Maine Department of Transportation today unveiled plans for a major construction project this summer on a heavily-traveled 18 mile southbound stretch of Interstate-295. The two-and-a-half month project from June 15th to August 30 will require the complete shutdown of southbound lanes from West Gardiner to Topsham. Traffic will be forced onto either the Maine Turnpike or Route 201. While acknowledging the construction will cause traffic tie-ups and other inconveniences, transportation officials say it's the safest and least disruptive option. Keith McKeen reports.

York Toll Plaza Dispute Drags On
In a meeting that occasionally turned heated, board members of the Maine Turnpike Authority tried to persuade about 30 residents and selectmen of York today that no final decisions have been made about a proposal to relocate and expand the York Toll Plaza. Opponents are angry about a process that they say has been one-sided and highly-charged. And as Susan Sharon reports, they're asking the board to do things: be more accountable and consider keeping the toll plaza at its current location.

Bennett eyes GOP National Committeeman seat

Paul delegates promise a presence at state convention

Cianchette confirmed