News

PORTLAND, Maine - The town manager in the Aroostook County community of Madawaska says he won't move forward with his proposal to drug test people who get state General Assistance money through the town.

The town's Board of Selectmen will take up the issue tonight. In a statement, Ryan Pelletier says he recommends not moving forward with a random drug testing policy at this time, because such a drug testing program for GA recipients would be "problematic, if not impossible, to enforce and administer." 

By Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican leaders in Maine are calling for a closed-door meeting with GOP Gov. Paul LePage, who sparked outrage last week by leaving an obscenity-laced voicemail for a Democratic legislator and threatening violence.

Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau says LePage should take "corrective action'' for his "unacceptable'' conduct. He says he hopes legislators don't have to censure the governor.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The U.S. Coast Guard is expected to announce soon, maybe this week, which shipyard will get the job of building a new class of cutters.

Maine 1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree is optimistic that Bath Iron Works will win the contract to replace the Coast Guard’s aging fleet of what are called medium-endurance cutters.

“They are in a very good position to win this contract," Pingree says, "and it would just be really great for the yard guaranteeing work into the future and getting some diversity in what they build there.”

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife has decided to approve an increase in "any deer'' hunting permits. There will be more than 45,000 of the permits issued this year.

"Any deer'' permits allow hunters to harvest deer of either sex with the use of firearms. The permits are used by the state to control the hunt and ensure the health of the population in the future.

State regulators say Maine can afford to hand out more permits this fall because so many deer survived the mild winter.

ORONO, Maine - The University of Maine is welcoming the largest incoming class in its history this fall.

The Orono university's new class will have 2,300 students. The fall semester for the class of 2020 starts on Monday.

The university says the incoming class is 56 percent Maine residents and the rest are from elsewhere. The school says the number of in-state students is comparable to last year, and the number of out-of-state students has been growing.

BELFAST, Maine (AP) _ Law enforcement officials in Waldo County are warning the public about a potentially potent supply of drugs in the area that is the suspected cause of two deaths. 

PORTLAND, Maine _ A Maine company has pleaded guilty to illegally importing Canadian sea urchins into the state. ISF Trading Company of Portland acknowledged in federal court that it violated the law when it imported 48,000 pounds  of the urchins, worth some $173,000 dollars. 

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is applauding a new rule being proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation that would equip large vehicles, such as trucks and buses, with speed-limiting devices to cap the speed at which they can travel.

The Department’s proposal would require all newly manufactured vehicles with a gross weight of more than 26,000 pounds to come equipped with the speed-limiting devices.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico, and his vice-presidential running mate, former Massachusetts governor William Weld were in Maine today searching for support among voters dissatisfied with the Democratic and Republican options.

Gov. Paul LePage left a Democratic lawmaker a profanity-laced voicemail, daring him to come to Augusta and prove that the governor is a racist.

The voicemail drew a swift response from Democratic leaders, who said in a statement that the message threatened violence and that the governor is not fit for office.

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.

Mal Leary / MPBN

Last January Governor Paul LePage created a firestorm of controversy when he talked about black drug dealers coming to Maine to sell their product, and impregnating white girls. At another of his his town meetings, this one in North Berwick Wednesday night, LePage claimed that more than 90% of drug dealers arrested since last January are black or Hispanic. 

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.

Every year, Maine’s adult education programs enroll nearly 100,000 students, with an array of personal goals – from learning to read to finding a better job. But a new federal law is raising concerns within many of those programs about the new direction that adult education could be heading. Robbie Feinberg reports.

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