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Gov. LePage's Efforts to Conform to Federal Tax Code Run Into Snag

AUGUSTA, Maine - Because income taxes in Maine are linked to federal tax returns, the Legislature has to decide every year whether to adopt any changes to the federal code that would have an impact here.
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Patty Wight / MPBN

Maine Hospitals: Bad Debt Skyrocketing Amid Refusal to Expand Medicaid

LEWISTON, Maine - Maine hospitals are seeing bad debt and charity care costs skyrocket. It comes at a time when individuals have more options to get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
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A panel of veterinarians answer your questions about caring for your pet.

FARMINGTON, Maine - A Maine man accused of killing his grandmother with a hammer will be sent to a state-run psychiatric hospital for evaluation and observation.

The Morning Sentinel reports that 22-year-old Dana Craney will go to Riverview Psychiatric Center once a bed is available. Craney's lawyer requested that he be moved there during an arraignment hearing Friday in Franklin County Superior Court.

Craney's attorney says the Wilton man was having significant mental health problems in jail, but didn't provide details.

AUBURN, Maine - Police in Maine say a 6-year-old boy playing with a cigarette lighter started an Auburn fire that left 43 people homeless.

The fire broke out Friday morning in an apartment house. Police say the boy set the fire on his bed in a fourth-floor apartment and then told his mother, who was in another room. They say the fire left the apartment building with heavy smoke, fire and water damage.

Police did not name the boy because of his age.

He will be referred to a juvenile prevention program.

Secretary of State John Kerry was in Saudi Arabia this week with President Obama meeting that country's new king. So, when the massive snowstorm hit the Northeast this week, the sidewalk outside his Boston home wasn't cleared. The city, as The Boston Globe puts it, took notice.

BUCKSPORT, Maine - The sale of a shuttered Bucksport mill to a Canadian metal recycler is complete.

Verso Paper Corp. spokesman Bill Cohen said that the sale to AIM Development closed on Thursday.

A union representing some workers at the mill had filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the sale and open a way for a buyer that would keep the mill operating, but a federal judge denied its request earlier this month.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage has also criticized the sale. Last week, he called the company officials who closed the mill "bottom feeders.''

By now, you've surely seen Jonathan Chait's sprawling takedown of what he describes as a dangerous resurgence of political correctness in the 21st century. In his telling, a "PC culture" that flourished on college campuses in the '90s is back, stronger than ever thanks to Twitter and social media, and it's been crippling political discourse — and maybe even democracy itself.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage is praising Mitt Romney's decision not to seek the presidency in 2016.

The Republican governor says he was told this morning, before Romney's formal announcement ended weeks of speculation he would run for president again.

"Maybe it's time to- for new blood, younger blood, people that have - coming up the ranks," LePage says. "Give them a shot at it."

BRADENTON, Fla. - Author Stephen King came to southwest Florida to support local libraries.

The Library Foundation supporting the Manatee County Public Library System asked King to speak Thursday at an annual author event. The Herald reports that $200 tickets for King's talk sold out, and the foundation met its $100,000 fundraising goal. The money will help fund a new library computer system.

Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - The fire and building codes task force set up by the city of Portland met for the last time Thursday, before finalizing its recommendations for the City Council.

The 12-member panel was established in the wake of the deadly November fire in a rental housing unit on Noyes Street which killed six young adults. The aim is to improve fire safety in the city's 17,000 rental units.

Task force member Brit Vitalius, of the Southern Maine Landlords Association, says one of the recommendations is for landlords and tenants to sign a disclosure agreement.

One of the marathon world's brightest stars has been banned for two years, after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Athletics Kenya, the body that governs running in the country, said Rita Jeptoo tested positive for erythropoietin, or EPO, which stimulates the production of red blood cells.

Jeptoo has won the Boston Marathon three times and she won her second Chicago Marathon in October.

WILTON, Maine - A Maine man accused of killing his grandmother with a hammer is due in court for a bail hearing.

Dana Craney was scheduled to appear in court in Franklin County on Friday. A grand jury indicted him earlier this week on a murder charge.

Police say the 22-year-old Craney told investigators he attacked 67-year-old Joanne Goudreau in her bed and then dragged her body outside.

Police say Craney told them that Goudreau abused him and he "needed to end it.'' An autopsy report says Goudreau died of head injuries. Her body was found in December.