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Maine News

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Maine News for Thursday, November 13, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Veterans give advice to Legislature's rookies
At the top of the list of tips for legislators being sworn in Dec. 3: 'Don't put in too many bills.'

GI Bill likely to benefit colleges
Federal tuition money for veterans could help offset budget cuts for Maine's universities.

State seeks input on new bridge
A hearing on Monday will be the first chance to comment on replacing Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Records requested to assure liberties
The MCLU seeks to verify that Maine's anti-terror information center is not violating citizens' privacy.

Duson will serve as city's mayor again
Portland city councilors choose an experienced leader to hold the mostly ceremonial post for a year.

City panel votes to end pier project negotiations
The Olympia Cos. wants a 75-year lease, but a lease with the state, which owns the sea floor, would be for 30 years.

Group signs deal to buy Blethen Maine Newspapers
Maine Media Investment must complete its financing to purchase the Press Herald's owner by year's end.

Conservation should not decline with gas prices
It's still in consumers' best interests to save on gas usage wherever possible.

Snowe is right to call for new strategy in Afghanistan
The simmering front in the war on terrorism will require more than just additional troops.

PAUL BRANDES, Special to the Press HeraldWestgate developer tried hard to work things out with St. Patrick's
He says the church did not respond to repeated efforts to find a solution to its parking problem.

LOUISE ROCHA-McCARTHYWhy are residents of territories denied right to vote for president?

Bangor Daily News
BANGOR, Maine — Soda pop, the beverage of choice for hundreds of thousands of Mainers, is well established as a major contributor to dental decay, obesity and other health disorders.

Bangor area blacks share their views on Obama victory
BANGOR, Maine — On a Saturday afternoon more than nine months ago, Sterling Dymond left his house on Walter Street, got into his car and drove over to the Bangor Auditorium with the intention of getting into a rally held by Sen. Barack Obama, who at that point was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Some differences in the views of Maine’s three candidates for attorney general came to light during a forum in Augusta Wednesday, but none has plans for any major changes in the

The near tragedy averted at Stockton Springs Elementary last month when a man took 11 children hostage at gunpoint, according to police, highlights the challenges school administrators face in keeping children safe.

Some ardent feminists have launched a campaign to block Lawrence H. Summers, former President Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary, from taking the same post in the Obama administration.

Kennebec Journal

Gaining political capital
Freshman legislators make their debuts at Statehouse

3 seek post as Maine's lawyer
AUGUSTA -- The three Democratic lawyers who want to be Maine's next attorney general tried to persuade legislators Wednesday they are best equipped to take over the position.

AUGUSTA 'Green' store to open in 2009
AUGUSTA -- A new Hannaford supermarket under construction on the former Cony High School site is on track to open next summer as the world's first platinum-level-certified "green" supermarket, company officials say.

AUGUSTA: Closing schools possible money-saving option
Hussey Elementary and Hodgkins Middle school may be closed due to $2 million shortfall next year.

'We're calling out to veterans'
AUGUSTA -- When a new GI Bill goes into effect in August 2009, the University of Maine at Augusta wants to be in a position to enroll veterans returning from combat.

Towns ink merger
READFIELD -- The first phase of work is done for representatives from six towns proposing to merge their schools in response to Maine's school-district consolidation law.

Farmingdale eyes 2 grants
FARMINGDALE -- The Board of Selectmen Wednesday discussed a grant the Fire Department is in the process drafting for an all-terrain vehicle that would be used on the Kennebec River Rail Trail.


Economy needs people to keep their homes
The national mortgage industry estimates there will be 6,000 home foreclosures in Maine in 2008 and 2009. That's tiny compared to the projected 340,000 foreclosures in California, but in a state as small as ours, it's still a significant number.

Sun Journal
7 ballot recounts requested in state
AUGUSTA (AP) - Maine's secretary of state has received two more requests for ballot recounts from the Nov. 4 elections.

Blue Cross pilot project in schools
PORTLAND (AP) - Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its foundation hope to transfer experience gleaned from business health plans to school districts.

Emergency grant to help laid off paper workers
MILLINOCKET (AP) - Rep. Mike Michaud says the U.S. Department of Labor will award a $527,000 emergency grant to help workers laid off from Katahdin Paper Co.

Maine gets a 'C' in preterm births
PORTLAND (AP) - Maine is doing better than most states when it comes to preterm births but gets only a "C" in a new report.

MCLU wants info on intelligence-gathering centers
PORTLAND (AP) - The Maine Civil Liberties Union wants to know more about the activities and policies of a state center set up after the 9/11 attacks to bring together the Department of Homeland Security, local law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies.

Maine freshman lawmakers get some helpful tips
AUGUSTA (AP) - Don't put in too many bills. Make sure you return phone calls. Don't introduce off-the-wall legislation. And when you go to the supermarket, buy a gallon of ice cream first.

AG candidates make pitches to their peers
AUGUSTA - In about three weeks, Maine lawmakers will cast votes for the state's new attorney general.

See joint services through
Some city councilors in Lewiston and Auburn have removed their executioner's hoods and given joint services a reprieve. It's taken deal-making and mind-changing among its proponents, though, so the issue remains troubled.

Union demands brought automakers to the brink
Remember when Democrats lamented the growing budget deficit and spoke of the burden our children and grandchildren would face if we didn't put our fiscal house in order? That was when Republicans ran the federal government and Democrats opposed tax cuts. Now that Democrats are about to be in charge, concern about the deficit has disappeared and spending plans proliferate, even though the national debt passed $10 trillion in September and we added another $500 billion last month.

Election Strengthens The Hand Of Senate Democrats

November 11, 2008 Reported By: A.J. Higgins

Pending the outcome of recounts in three of last week's elections, the political composition of the Maine Senate has changed from 18 Democrats and 17 Republicans to 20 Democrats and 15 Republicans. With the Democratic hand strengthened, there are also signs the Senate may feature a more bipartisan atmosphere after last night's election of a more moderate Republican spokesman. Leaders on both sides of the aisle agree cooperation will be key in what is expected to be a rough legislative session ahead.

Criminal Background Checks Not Required Of Maine Nurses

November 11, 2008 Reported By: Josie Huang

In Maine and throughout the country, criminal background checks are standard for police officers, teachers and truck drivers who handle hazardous materials. But nurses, who also deal in life and death situations, and care for patients directly, get a pass in Maine, one of 18 states that does not require criminal background checks.

State Senators Choose Leaders

November 11, 2008 Reported By: Irwin Gratz

Republican and Democratic State Senators hold caucuses to make their choices for leadership positions in the 124th Legislature.

Low Income Solar Effort Underway

November 10, 2008 Reported By: Tina Antolini

The rise in energy prices is spurring more and more states to help homeowners pay for solar panels, which have an upfront cost of more than 40 thousand dollars. But even with government help most low-income people can't afford them. As part of a collaboration with other northeast stations, WFCR's Tina Antolini reports on the challenge of getting solar energy to more people.

Times Record

DHHS eyes all but 'most basic needs' for proposed cuts...(full story)

Room for improvement...(full story)

Ellsworth American

Looking Ahead to January
In about a month, members of the new 124th Maine Legislature will meet in Augusta to get acquainted and begin the process of organizing for their first session, which will convene in early January. Perhaps no legislature in recent memory has had a more daunting menu of issues than the one that will face members of the 124th when they begin their work in earnest.