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LePage Cites First Amendment as Defense Against 'Blackmail' Allegations: Attorneys Weigh In

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage has cited the First Amendment as a defense against allegations that he abused his authority in pressuring a private Maine charter school into firing Maine House Speaker Mark Eves, a political adversary.
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Tom Porter / MPBN

Veterans Inc.: Helping Homeless Veterans Get Back on Their Feet

LEWISTON, Maine - On any given night, there are nearly 50,000 veterans nationwide who don't have a place to live, according to ta federal survey last year. A Massachusetts-based non-profit, Veterans Inc., is dedicated to lowering that number. It's opened a new residential facility in central Maine, a converted elementary school in downtown Lewiston.
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MAINE CALLING

Update from Augusta

How the budget will affect Maine families and the fate of the bills still pending the governor's signature

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives has adopted an amendment to the appropriations bill for the Environmental Protection Agency sponsored by Maine 2nd District Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin.

Poliquin says the amendment is aimed at helping the Sappi Fine Paper Company in Skowhegan stay in business by blocking the EPA's new air pollution rules.

"The EPA wants to impose stricter emission standards on companies that burn wet wood branches and bark instead of dumping them in a landfill," Poliquin says. "That just doesn't make sense."

BIDDEFORD, Maine - Unionized police and public works employees in Biddeford plan to picket this evening in front of Biddeford City Hall. The members of Teamsters Local 340 say they've been negotiating a new three-year contract with the city for the past six months.

They say that the city has walked away from negotiations, not bargained in good faith and declared an impasse. Mediation sessions have been scheduled for August.

WASHINGTON - Maine 1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree says there will be meetings and committee votes nearly every day this month as the House Appropriations Committee works on budget bills for several federal agencies, with the hope of getting them done before the August break.

"These are where the big fights happen," Pingree says, "whether they are on the funding issues for the particular department or there are the riders we try to keep off." Pingree is referring to provisions related to issues such as abortion rights that lawmakers often try to tack onto spending bills.

Kevin Bennett

HERMON, Maine - Authorities say a 9-year-old boy is dead and a 10-year-old girl is in critical condition following a fire in Hermon, Maine.

The Maine Fire Marshal's Office says Wyatt Parker of Levant was spending the night with two cousins when a fire swept through the mobile home Tuesday morning. His body was found by firefighters in the living room.

Officials say Ashlyn Parker was rescued from her bedroom by firefighters and was being treated at a hospital. The other child, 8-year-old John Parker, was able to escape to flag down motorists for help.

PORTLAND, Maine — The City Council voted last night to increase the city's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour on New Year's Day.

"This is good news for those who hope to get ahead by working hard," says Councilor Jon Hinck, one of six who voted for the increase. "Some of the toughest jobs there are are minimum wage jobs."

Greg Dugal, who heads the Maine Inkeeper's Association and the Maine Restaurant Association, said he was disappointed at the vote.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — A very unusual lobster has turned up in Maine.

The Press Herald reports an orange-brown lobster arrived last week at Pine Point Fisherman's Co-Op in Scarborough. It is not yet known who caught it.

According to research by the Lobster Institute, the chance of finding a split-colored lobster is one in 50 million.

The institute reports that only the albino lobster is rarer, with the chances of catching it at one in 100 million.

Most aspiring chefs long for the white hat, the gleaming kitchen, the fancy menu.

But Nigeria-born Tunde Wey stumbled into a different version of the (American) chef's dream. He wanted to see the country and share the food of his West African childhood with friends and strangers along the way.

So a few months ago, he packed up his knives and his spices at his home in Detroit and started crisscrossing the U.S. by Greyhound bus.

WATERVILLE, Maine — The owner of a Maine carnival company has been charged by the state's fire marshal's office in connection with two ride accidents that injured four people.

Jeannette Gilmore, owner of Smokey's Greater Shows in Waterville, faces a civil, non-criminal charge of improperly training an employee.

Officials say a woman fell off a swing ride seat last month while the ride was still in motion. Three children had suffered minor injuries the day before when a roller coaster came apart.

LEWISTON, Maine — Fire officials in Lewiston have responded to two separate accidents in which cars have run into buildings.

Officials say the first crash occurred at around 3 p.m. Monday when a car drove into a building on Pleasant Street. The driver was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

WMTW-TV reports that another car crashed into a restaurant four hours later. Fire officials say the car hit a grill inside the Golden City Restaurant, causing hot oil to splash on an employee.

'No One Should Have The Right To Prolong My Death'

16 hours ago

When Jennifer Glass goes to Sacramento on Tuesday to deliver testimony in favor of the California End-of-Life-Options Act, the trip will require some complex logistics.

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