Morning Edition

Monday - Friday 6:00 am - 9:00 am

Every weekday for more than three decades, NPR's Morning Edition has taken listeners around the country and the world with multi-faceted stories and commentaries that inform challenge and occasionally amuse. Morning Edition is the most listened-to news radio program in the country. Irwin Gratz and the MPBN News team bring you regional updates through the morning.

The developers of a proposed $69 million biofuel, trash-to-energy plant have been given the go-ahead for construction from the Hampden Planning Board and are now moving to secure financing for the facility.

After lengthy deliberations Tuesday night, the planning board granted site-plan and conditional-use approval for the plant to Fiberight LLC and its partner in the venture, the Municipal Review Committee, which represents nearly 200 communities concerned about waste disposal.

Portland’s waterfront could be home to a greatly expanded, high-end marina.

The marina would be part of the redevelopment of the former Portland Co. complex.

James Brady of developer CPB2 says as southern Maine becomes a more popular destination for leisure travelers and larger yachts, more marina space is in demand.

BOSTON — The federal Environmental Protection Agency is warning that Friday’s air quality in parts of New England could be unhealthy for some people.

The regional branch of the EPA says air in coastal Connecticut, all of Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts and southern and central coastal Maine could have exceed the Federal air quality standard for ozone.

The agency is recommending people in those areas limit strenuous outdoor activity.

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — Supporters of a Maine law that called for rules for labeling foods that contain genetically modified ingredients say they’re let down by federal legislation.

The U.S. Senate bill, passed last week, would compel companies to disclose when foods contain genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs, via a text label, a symbol or an electronic code that’s readable by a smartphone.

The bill preempts Maine’s law. The U.S. House passed it Thursday.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s two largest commercial airports will get nearly $4 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to make improvements.

Portland International Jetport will receive more than $2.8 million to pay for an 8,300-square-yard expansion of the existing apron. That will allow for more use of the terminal aviation facilities at the airport.

Bangor International Airport will get more than $1.1 million to fund the installation of a new passenger loading bridge. The bridge will be used at the airport’s domestic terminal building.

NEWRY, Maine — Maine has recorded its third major ski resort chairlift failure in six years. This time, no one was hurt because it happened in the summer when the lift was not in operation.

The top unloading terminal of Sunday River’s Spruce Peak Triple lift separated from the ground and toppled over, causing the cable and chairs to drop.

Spokeswoman Darcy Lambert says a resort worker first noticed it Sunday evening, and engineers are on the scene to determine what happened. No decision has been made on whether to repair or replace the 30-year-old lift.

U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine has joined with a group of bipartisan senators to form the congressional broadband caucus.

He says rural areas need internet access that is fast and dependable.

“Failure to provide broadband to rural areas of America is a death sentence for the communities in those regions,” King says. “They cannot compete economically without access to broadband.”

An overflow crowd of more than 100 turned out for a Gathering of Peace in Portland Wednesday night. Religious, education and law enforcement leaders reflected on how to overcome the divisions that seemed to be sharpened by last week’s shootings of black civilians and uniformed police.

The Green Memorial AME Zion church on Munjoy Hill was filled, and dozens more participated thanks to a video screen set up on the street outside. In the wake of the killings, city councilor Jill Duson echoed many who say it’s clear the time for action is now — but what action?

The Maine Ethics Commission has determined that a former Lewiston police chief falsified documents while attempting to qualify for a public financing program that funds legislative candidates’ political campaigns.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine wildlife officials are looking for help researching the decline of bats in the state.

Biologists with the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife say white-nose syndrome has hit Maine’s bat population hard, and some bat species have declined by as much as 98 percent.

The state is asking residents to report bat colonies to the Maine Bat Colony Identification Program via an online survey. They say the survey will help biologists locate existing colonies and assist with understanding the health of the state’s bat population at large.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Acadia National Park is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The park began its life as the Sieur de Monts National Monument, created on July 8, 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson. It became a national park in 1919 and assumed its current name 10 years later. Later, John D. Rockefeller Jr. directed the construction of the popular network of carriage roads.

Acadia was the nation’s first national park in the East, and it was the first park created entirely through private donations.

Mal Leary / MPBN

Gov. Paul LePage told the few dozen attending his Boothbay Harbor town meeting that Attorney General Janet Mills is suing Education Department officials over the first private meeting of the education commission created by the Legislature earlier this year.

The meeting was held at the Blaine House with the governor, some staff and members of the education commission. Reporters and members of the public were banned from attending.

Devastation left behind from the "Great Portland Fire" of 1866.
Arcadia Publishing

One-hundred-fifty years ago today, Portland suffered its third, and arguably worst, great fire. The Maine Sunday Telegram recently confirmed that the fire killed four people, but it left 10,000 citizens homeless and cut a swath across the center of the Portland peninsula, leaving behind little more than charred rubble. To commemorate the anniversary of the 1866 fire, we reached back five years into our archives, when Irwin Gratz visited the Portland Fire Museum, a collection of firefighting artifacts housed in an old fire station just steps from downtown Portland, and filed this report.

A.J. Higgins / MPBN

Donald Trump roared into Bangor Wednesday afternoon into the collective embrace of about 5,000 loyal supporters at the Cross Center. The audience applauded the presumptive Republican nominee’s promises of great trade deals, expanded job opportunities and a no-exceptions immigration policy that he says will make America safe.

All of the campaign hoopla played well in the heart of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, where large numbers of conservative voters could hand Trump one Electoral College vote if he carries the region in November.

Sanford police responded to six suspected opioid overdoses last weekend, including one death.

The overdoses all took place from Friday to Saturday within about a half a square mile of each other. Sanford Police Chief Thomas Connolly says he suspects that the people who overdosed all purchased heroin from the same individual, and that it was laced with fentanyl, a highly potent narcotic.

Connolly says the spate is a reminder that the state needs to provide more access to medication assisted treatment.