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Maine’s unemployment rate has crept upward to 3.7 percent in June. That’s two-tenths of a percent higher than the previous month, but lower than the national average.

Still, some economic analysts say Maine’s job creation effort still has a long way to go.

The news of the slight uptick in unemployment was not a surprise to Mark Sullivan at the progressive Maine Center for Economic Policy, who said Maine was one of only six states where unemployment increased in a month of strong national job growth.

PORTLAND, Maine — The chairman of the York County Republican Committee is under fire for referring to Rep. Justin Chenette as "Little Justine" in an email to fellow Republicans. Jim Booth also says there's "a lot of hate" for Chenette.

Chenette, a Democrat from Saco, became the nation's youngest openly gay legislator when was first elected to the Maine House in 2012. He is now running for the state Senate after defeating longtime legislator Barry Hobbins.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has joined a federal lawsuit to block Anthem's plan to acquire Cigna Corporation for $48 billion. Mills says both are significant insurance providers in Maine.

"Probably more than half the people of Maine who are employed by the largest employers and in the small market, more than half are covered either by Cigna or Anthem, mostly Anthem," Mills says.

Mills warns that the merger would reduce competition and could result in insurance rate increases for Mainers.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A congressional candidate from Brunswick is hoping the new certification of the Libertarian Party of Maine will boost his bid to win Maine's 1st Congressional District seat.

Jim Bouchard, who describes himself as a leadership trainer and founder of a martial arts center, is running as a write-in candidate. He won't appear on the November ballot.

PORTLAND, Maine - More homes sold in Maine in June this year, than in the same month last year - and for more money.

The median home sales price in Maine in June was $198,000 - up about 5.5 percent from last year. And the number of homes sold increased by almost 10 percent.

But while some counties are seeing a brisk market ahnd increasing prices, most of the counties where sales increased the most also saw drops in prices.

PORTLAND, Maine - Ahead of the Democratic National Convention, a Maine delegate is telling donors there's enough support for a floor vote to abolish unpledged "superdelegates'' in future elections.

Democratic state Rep. Diane Russell has gained national prominence for advocating against the outsized influence of superdelegates, who are elected officials and party leaders free to vote for the candidates of their choosing at next week's gathering in Philadelphia.

PORTLAND, Maine - A former Biddeford police officer is acknowledging having had sexual activity with a then-16 year-old male now accusing him of sexual abuse.

Biddeford native Matthew Lauzon has alleged abuse by retired officer Stephen Dodd.

In Thursday federal court filings, Dodd said the two met in an online chat-room in 2001 and engaged in sexual activity twice.

Dodd denied relying on his ``power and authority'' as an officer. He said Lauzon "took the lead'' in the sex acts.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is warning of unhealthy air in parts of the state.

The agency has issued an air quality alert for Friday because ground-level ozone is expected to reach unhealthy levels.

The alert applies from Kittery, Maine, to Acadia National Park.

The National Weather Service says the air quality alert accompanies a shift in the weather pattern, with hot and humid air coming in from the south.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has suspended a York County probate judge for violating judicial conduct.

This is the third time Robert Nadeau has been disciplined.

It’s Thursday and time for Across the Aisle, our weekly roundtable on Maine politics. This week, Mike Cuzzi, a Democratic strategist and senior vice president of Vox Global in Portland, and Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising and Marketing, a former Republican lawmaker.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/Creative Commons

As Donald Trump takes the stage in Cleveland Thursday to formally accept the Republican nomination for president, delegates from around New England will cheer for the candidate, who has run largely on an anti-establishment platform.

NEWRY, Maine - The site of one of the world's largest tourmaline finds has been put up for sale in Maine with an asking price of $2.7 million.

Listing agent Kevin Fletcher tells The Sun Journal that whoever purchases Plumbago Mountain could be in for a potential windfall should they dive in and manage to strike a vein.

For the asking price, buyers will acquire 2,222 acres with exclusive mining rights on 50 acres.

PORTLAND, Maine - The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has proposed a rule change that would provide the agency with more leeway to withhold information regarding the locations of communicable disease outbreaks.
 
The Portland Press Herald reports that the proposal comes a year after the newspaper sued the CDC after they denied a request for information about chicken pox outbreaks during the 2014-15 school year.
 

AUGUSTA, Maine - U.S Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald had some good news for those attending the annual Maine Military and Community Network conference:  He is extending the pilot ARCH program that allows veterans to get health care locally instead of driving to Togus.

The program was scheduled to end next month.  "So to address that challenge, I used an exception through the choice act to make sure veterans in Maine can continue to use the providers they use through project ARCH."

After a decade as a spectator, former Republican 1st District U.S. Rep. David Emery is back in the political spotlight as he seeks a seat in the Maine State Senate.

Emery was recruited to enter the race after another GOP candidate dropped out, but with a political resume that stretches back to the Reagan era, Emery is more than just a fill-in candidate.

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