News

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will be one of the first official visitors to Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument that was authorized by President Obama this week. Secretary Jewell will also participate in a dedication ceremony for the new monument.

Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District is calling on Maine television stations to take down an ad paid for by End Citizens United that he says makes several inaccurate claims about his voting record.

Poliquin says the ad erroneously accuses him of, among other things, being a former Wall Street banker, voting to support a Medicare voucher program and boosting profits for insurance companies. The congressman says all of those charges are untrue and the attack on his record is part of a larger coordinated effort.

With Portland’s rental and real estate markets continuing to price out some longtime residents, Mayor Ethan Strimling is proposing an array of new restrictions on city landlords’ ability to raise rent and evict tenants.

Strimling says he wants to limit rent hikes to only once a year and bar them if a landlord owns any housing that doesn’t meet code, limit the number of no-cause evictions a landlord can impose on tenants who lack a lease and require landlords to accept tenants who receive housing vouchers.

The University of Southern Maine is receiving half a million dollars to help nursing students — especially those who want to work with older people and stay in Maine — pay for their training.

The gift is from the Boyne Foundation. George Campbell, vice president for advancement at USM, says the scholarship program this gift is endowing will help people attend the school that might not be able to otherwise.

It’s been a big week for the Katahdin Region, with news that the area would be home to one of the nation’s newest national monuments. It’s also home to one of the nation’s newest marathons.

John Hough, is race director for the Bay of Fundy International Marathon, is in town with other race organizers to plot the course for the newly minted Millinocket Marathon.

Gov. Paul LePage told a conservative talk show host that the father of a Muslim-American Army captain killed in combat is a “con artist” for criticizing Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

The governor’s comments follow a national controversy involving Trump and Khizr Khan, whose son was awarded the Gold Star for dying while protecting his fellow soldiers in Iraq.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Wednesday that their lab has retrieved 26 hours of information from the data recorder of the cargo ship the El Faro.

All 33 crew members died when the El Faro sank off the coast of the Bahamas last October, including four crew members from Maine.

At his town meeting in North Berwick Wednesday night, Gov. Paul LePage blasted President Barack Obama for using his executive power to create the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine.

“I am going to do everything in my power to have the next president reverse this decision,” he says.

The National Rifle Association’s top lobbyist was in Portland to talk up the gun rights agenda — and talk down an initiative on the November ballot that would stiffen backgound checks for gun purchases in Maine.

The NRA’s Chris Cox condemned backers of the ballot measure as elitists who want to do away with the Second Amendment and other rights too.

John Hough (l.), Gary Allen (c.) and Jesse Dumais discussing the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument at the Appalachian Trail Cafe.
Jennifer Mitchell/MPBN

Predictably, reactions have been mixed in Millinocket and neighboring East Millinocket, the towns involved in the monument debate over the past several years.

It’s been the big topic of conversation at Millinocket’s Appalachian Trail café for some time. A gathering place for both locals and through hikers, folks were deep in discussion about the potential for a monument over coffee and eggs Wednesday morning. And then:

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine wants the company that manufactures EpiPens to explain why the price has jumped 480 percent in recent years.

Collins, chair of the Senate Aging Committee, along with ranking member Claire McCaskill, sent a letter to the CEO of pharmaceutical company Mylan saying they’re concerned the lifesaving EpiPen may now be out of reach for some individuals. The cost for a two-pack has risen from about $100 in 2008 to a current price of $600.

Ragnhild Brosvik / Flickr/Creative Commons

By Michael Casey, The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — The drought conditions that have gripped much of the Northeastern U.S. this summer appear to have a silver lining — fewer ticks.

From Maine to Rhode Island, researchers say they expect tick numbers to be down from previous years especially for the blacklegged ticks, known as deer ticks, which transmit Lyme disease.

It’s too early to say, however, whether fewer ticks could mean a decline in Lyme disease cases.

The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge won’t be reopened to vehicle traffic. A gear failed over the weekend, preventing the bridge from lowering into its proper position.

State Transportation Department spokesman Ted Talbot says the fix is just too expensive.

“Extensive repairs, upward of $1 million worth of repairs, would have been needed to get this back operable,” he says. “And, even then, it wouldn’t be necessarily guaranteed to operate smoothly and efficiently, like we need to have it.”

The daughter of Gov. Paul LePage has joined the Maine team helping to elect Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

Christie-Lee McNally, Trump’s state campaign director, says Lauren LePage will become the campaign’s coalitions coordinator, working with various groups to get supporters to the polls in November.

McNally says today’s announcement is further evidence that Trump’s team continues to grow in Maine.

While the monument designation has prompted a mixed reaction from Democratic lawmakers, Republicans in the Maine Legislature remain largely opposed to the plan that they say will actually turn out to be a job killer in the Baxter State Park region.

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