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Maine News

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Maine News for Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Portland Press Herald
Tight credit takes toll on Maine firms
Business owners tell a legislative committee about their difficulties in trying to secure new loans.

Ex-tribal governor denies misusing funds
Robert L. Newell says he didn't intend to break the law when he transferred tribal funds to pay bills.

UMaine system faces budget cuts
A global economic crisis, tuition declines and state cutbacks spell trouble for the current fiscal year.

Adoptee advocates for access to records
Maine has joined seven other states that have passed access-to-birth-certificate laws.

Governor to replace county commissioner
Attorney general says move out of the district by Helen Poulin is cause for her to be replaced.

Maine's delegates wary of auto bailout until they see specifics
Most would only support a Big Three rescue if it includes tough conditions and protects tax dollars.

Pier project on hold as council ends contract talks
The Olympia Cos. and the city can't agree on how to move forward during a land dispute with the state.

Car sharing coming to Portland
U Car Share will station PT Cruisers at two sites for use by fee-paying program members.

Power-line issue part of larger trade-off debate
Pursuing a green energy future will create environmental and economic winners and losers.

Predator deal with Pakistan serves a short-term need
Over time, the war on terror requiresa more stable Pakistani government.

RON BANCROFTMaine's financial problems stem from lack of jobs, jobs and jobs
Our lack of growth, along with inefficient spending on Medicaid and K-12 schooling, hold us back.

Bangor Daily News
AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine banks and credit unions said Monday they’re financially healthy and ready to talk to borrowers as they addressed a legislative committee trying to assess how the state’s

AUGUSTA, Maine — The second quarter brought a slight increase in home foreclosures in Maine, but the state banking chief said Monday the number of foreclosures remains relatively small and poses no

The financial state of the University of Maine System was very much on the minds of system board of trustees who met Sunday and Monday at the Farmington campus to hear reports on how students

It has been two years since Mars Hill started receiving 20 years of $500,000 in annual payments from a tax increment financing deal connected to First Wind of Massachusetts’ 28-turbine wind farm

To meet the state’s proof of residency requirements for a driver’s license or state identification card, one must produce one of the following documents: - State driver’s license or

BANGOR, Maine — The jury is expected to begin deliberations today in the federal trial of a former Indian Township Passamaquoddy tribal governor and the tribe’s ex-business manager accused of

BANGOR, Maine — Though personnel at Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices around the state were prepared for problems Monday, virtually none arose, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office said.

A consensus on the future of state-owned Sears Island in Penobscot Bay, which took years to achieve, is poised for acceptance by the Legislature’s Transportation Committee.

Kennebec Journal
The University of Maine at Augusta will likely cut $1 million from its budget this fiscal year, UMA President Allyson Hughes Handley said Monday.

Waterville to host energy conference
WATERVILLE -- Finding ways to conserve energy and promote sustainability will be the subject of a three-day community forum.

Law helps adoptees access information
AUGUSTA -- Tears came to her eyes when Lee-Ann Bragdon held up photos of her father, grandmother and great-grandmother.


Falling energy prices don't let us off the hook
The good news and the bad news are the same: Energy prices have declined.

DAVID B. OFFER : Oil companies make record profits, banks still pay bonuses
Several months ago, I signed up for a Master Card that gives me a 5 percent discount when I buy Shell gas. At the time, gas cost about $4 a gallon. The discount saved me 20 cents a gallon -- more than $2 each time I filled the tank.

REP. HANNAH PINGREE OF NORTH HAVEN REPRESENTS HOUS : As Mainers brace for winter, health care and economy top concerns
With the elections over, pundits are dissecting the results, trying to make sense of what motivated Maine voters at the polls. Mainers are famous for their independence and propensity for ticket-splitting. This year was no exception. It is one of the things I love about this state and its voters.

Sun Journal
First day of new license rules goes smoothly at state agency
LEWISTON - Life at the Maine Bureaus of Motor Vehicles in Lewiston and Mexico went on with minimal disruption during the first day that proof of legal U.S. presence was required for getting or renewing Maine driver's licenses or identification cards.

Maine home foreclosures increase
AUGUSTA (AP) - The second quarter brought a slight increase in home foreclosures in Maine, but the state banking chief said Monday that the number of foreclosures remains relatively small and poses no threat to the stability of state-chartered banks and credit unions.

UMS chancellor: Budget cuts likely
FARMINGTON (AP) - The global economic crisis is adding to financial difficulties for the University of Maine System, Chancellor Richard Pattenaude said Monday.

Lawmakers hear from state businesses
AUGUSTA - Maine banks and credit unions said Monday they're financially healthy and ready to talk to borrowers as they addressed a legislative committee trying to assess how the state's financial services industry and businesses are faring amid the world economic crisis.

AG: Poulin's move leaves office vacant
AUBURN - Gov. John Baldacci moved to replace Androscoggin County Commissioner Helen Poulin on Monday, calling on Lewiston Democrats to nominate possible replacements for the controversial politician.

Union backs Obama plan for teachers' merit raises
WASHINGTON (AP) - Citing New York City schools, a national teachers' union said it is open to President-elect Barack Obama's effort to tie pay raises to student performance.

A problem of political perception
Something feels amiss with how Maine chooses its attorney general, but it's hard to put a finger on what.

Black Americans on path from victim to victor
The presidential couples, Laura and George W. Bush and Michelle and Barack Obama, standing in front of the White House, looked buff and comely in their ease and smiles. The president and the president-elect in their dark suits and blue ties and Laura and Michelle in different shades of red suggested cordiality with dignity. (If one couple looked more tanned than the other, only a churl would have imagined that an insult.)

Business Owners Ponder The State of Their Climate

November 17, 2008 Reported By: A.J. Higgins

So, how is Maine's business climate fairing under the current circumstances? It depends on who you ask. A legislative panel heard conflicting stories today on the ability of Maine business owners to access credit. Lawmakers called the informational session to take the pulse of the state's lending institutions, all of which reported that they are financially strong and ready to talk to borrowers. But some business owners maintain that talk is about all they get from local lenders.

Home Foreclosures Increase In Maine

November 17, 2008 Reported By: Keith McKeen

Maine, along with the rest of the nation, continues to experience an uptick in home foreclosures. However the State Bureau of Financial Institutions reports that though the numbers are trending upward, the increase remains relatively low as compared to some other areas of the country.

Oil Price Confusion Caused By Early Lock-Ins

November 17, 2008 Reported By: Anne Ravana

As home heating oil prices now average $2.70/gallon statewide, some Mainers are regretting their decision to lock-in a price last summer at nearly twice that amount. At the time, they feared prices would only get higher. Depending on type of contract customers signed, some are facing a loss while others are seeing rebates in the form of lower monthly bills.

Judge Coffin Honored For 60 Years of Public Service

November 17, 2008 Reported By: Susan Sharon

He's one of the few people to have served in all three branches of government at the federal level as well as the military. His 60-year career of public service has included roles as chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, Congressman from Maine's second district, deputy administrator for the Agency for International Development under the Kennedy Administration, and for more than 40 years, a judge on the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Frank Coffin has been retired as U.S. Senior Circuit Judge since 2006. But as Susan Sharon reports, tonight he'll be honored in Portland for his remarkable contributions to legal aid for the poor.