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An environmental group is taking Maine regulators to the Maine Supreme Court over a three-year spending plan for efficiency measures in the state.

The Conservation Law Foundation says the Maine Public Utilities Commission approved a budget that was lower than state law requires.

PORTLAND, Maine - The University of Maine and the University of Maine at Presque Isle will receive more than $2 million from the U.S. Department of Education over the next five years to help low income children attend college.

The grants will fund the Talent Search Program, a national program that seeks to break the cycle of poverty by helping low-income children become the first in their families to attend college. 

The University of Maine's Karen Keim says the program teaches kids in sixth through twelfth grade how to prepare for college.

PORTLAND, Maine - The state of Maine is receiving more than $10.5 million in federal money to help fund replacement of the bridge the connects Beals Island and the town of Beals, in Washington County, with the mainland at Jonesport. 

Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot says the existing bridge was built in 1958.

PORTLAND, Maine - A new report from the National Employment Law Project suggests that raising Maine's minimum wage would help small businesses be more competitive with national chains. 

The Project's Yannet Lathrop says, on average, large businesses in Maine pay a little more than $10 an hour, while small businesses pay closer to $13 an hour.

PORTLAND, Maine - Among the speakers at yesterday's opening day of the Democratic Convention was outgoing Portland state Rep. Diane Russell.

Russell has been pushing a proposal to reduce the influence of so-called superdelegates in the Democratic Party's selection of presidential nominees.

CAMDEN, Maine - A Camden-based internet service provider wants to fast-track development of broadband wireless networks in rural Maine in exchange for a five-year service commitment.

Expansion of broadband has been a hot topic in rural parts of Maine, where leaders say it is needed to grow business and access to education.

Now, Redzone Wireless says it has committed $1 million for a funding program for rural municipalities to increase high-speed internet. It calls the program "Fast for 5.''

PORTLAND, Maine — Some state health care organizations are opposing a proposed rule change by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention that would provide the agency more leeway to withhold information regarding the locations of communicable disease outbreaks.

The Portland Press Herald reports that organizations including MaineHealth and the Maine Medical Association submitted comments in opposition during a public comment period that ended Monday.

BANGOR, Maine — Police say a pedestrian playing Pokemon Go was intentionally struck by a motorist in Bangor.

Witnesses told police there was a verbal argument between the pedestrian and the driver before the 37-year-old man was hit in a crosswalk.

Police have arrested 36-year-old Jeannie Chapman of Brewer.

She was held on $1,500 cash bail Monday at the Penobscot County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault. There was no paperwork to indicate whether she had a lawyer.

Patty Wight / MPBN

In an emergency situation, first responders and doctors are typically the ones to provide immediate, life-saving help. But for survivors and witnesses of an accident or other crisis there can also be emotional trauma. And for 12 years, volunteers in Cumberland County have been stepping in to provide emotional first aid to family members and others who share the ordeal.

Just minutes after Carmen Charlton walked through the door of her Gorham home on March 22, her husband collapsed in their kitchen.

Gov. Paul LePage is proposing a three-year “grandfather” period to allow Maine residents who have installed solar panels to recover some of their upfront investment through a practice called net metering. After that, he wants to end the program. The governor’s new proposal is drawing swift criticism from the solar industry.

Under net metering, residential solar generators can get a credit on their electric bill for excess electricity that they put back into the power grid. Over time, those credits can help cover the cost of the original investment, for, say, solar panels.

Jim Hutchison / Flickr/Creative Commons

National nominating conventions are always a bit chaotic, but Democrats appear to be joining Republicans in ratcheting up the chaos more than usual during the first day of the Democratic convention, which got off to a rocky start in Philadelphia.

By Holly Ramer, The Associated Press
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ When it comes to women in elected office, Maine stands out for longevity, Vermont for its state Legislature and New Hampshire for achievements across all levels of government.

As Hillary Clinton seeks to become the nation's first female president, an analysis by The Associated Press finds that women in the U.S. remain significantly underrepresented at all levels of elected office.

File photo: Keith Shortall

PORTLAND, Maine - The Red Cross is calling on all eligible donors to give blood to help alleviate a critical shortage in Maine and across the country.

Red Cross spokesperson Mary Brandt says July is always a difficult time for blood donation because regular donors tend to be on vacation. 

But Brandt says right now the need is urgent. "At this point, the Red Cross nationally - not just regionally but nationally - has a less-than-five-day blood supply on hand," Brandt says.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The chair of Maine's special Education Commission, which has come under fire for closing its first meeting to the public, has hired an attorney. 

Last week, Bill Beardsley did not hesitate to say that he had made a mistake in banning the public and press from the commission's first meeting, in violation of the state's open meetings law.

Jake Bleiberg / Bangor Daily News

By Jake Bleiberg, Bangor Daily News

The activist group that led last Friday’s disruptive Black Lives Matter demonstration is arguing that the citizens’ committee charged with keeping an eye on Portland’s police is weak — and the lawyer who heads the watchdog group agrees.

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