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FDA Approves Implant to Treat Opiate Addiction

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat opiate addiction called Probuphine. Its manufacturer calls it a game-changer, because it’s an implant that releases medication over months. But some Maine physicians who treat those with opiate addiction are more skeptical about the drug’s potential promise.
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Lorenzo Mendoza greets and kisses worker at his shuttered brewery in Caracas, Venezuela. He's trying to boost morale.

Mendoza is the chief executive of Venezuelan food giant Empresas Polar, which was founded in 1941 and is now the largest private company in this socialist country.

But Polar has come upon tough times. Many of its processing plants are running at half-speed, and thousands of employees have been furloughed since April, when all four of the company's breweries were shut down by a barley shortage.

LEWISTON, Maine - Maine is seeing a spike in sexually transmitted diseases. 

State epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett says when comparing the number of STDs year-to-date to the five year median year-to-date, "syphilis has more than doubled, gonorrhea has more than doubled, and chlamydia is probably about 25 percent higher this year than the median over the last five years." 

Bennett says the spike in Maine mirrors a national trend.  A number of factors are likely the cause, she says, including the fact that many people who have STDs don't show immediate symptoms.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A group opposing the fall referendum question that would legalize marijuana use in Maine says it will face an uphill battle.

Scott Gagnon says supporters are raising a lot of out-of-state money to fuel their campaign. "Fund raising will definitely be one thing we will be working on in the coming months because obviously that is something we will need. I mean, at the end of the day, we will never be able to match them dollar for dollar."

Gabor Degre / Bangor Daily News

By Nick McCrea, Bangor Daily News

BANGOR, Maine — Eastern Maine Medical Center officials showed off the hospital’s new $305 million expansion on Tuesday, promising the eight-story structure would better serve patients for generations to come.

The hospital hosted about 200 community leaders, donors, supporters, contractors and government officials, including Maine Gov. Paul LePage, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours Tuesday morning.

PORTLAND, Maine - A couple of weeks after a judge ruled that a Rockland man's civil rights were not violated when his landlord threatened him with eviction over his ownership of a gun, the man's attorney has filed an appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Harvey Lembo filed a lawsuit in November, claiming that his landlord's attempt to evict him if he didn't get rid of his gun - after he shot an intruder last year - violated his Second Amendment rights, and the Maine Civil Rights Act.

Immigrants fleeing gang violence in Central America are again surging across the U.S.-Mexico border, approaching the numbers that created an immigration crisis in the summer of 2014. While the flow of immigrants slowed for much of last year, nothing the U.S. government does seems to deter the current wave of travelers.

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

Kendall Morse has written a new book of Maine humor called “Father Fell Down the Well.” He has been storytelling in Maine since the early 1970s.

It’s been more challenging over the last 15 years, since cancer robbed him of his vocal cords.

Still, Irwin Gratz sat down recently with Morse in our Portland studio. Here’s a transcript of their talk:

LEWISTON, Maine_ Civil Rights leader from Alabama, and congressman for Georgia, John R. Lewis, highlighted the far-reaching effect that colleges such as Bates have played in progressing civil rights in America. He talked of one of his own heroes,  educator Benjamin Mays, who was the son of former slaves. 

BUCKSPORT, Maine (AP) _ The Maine Health Access Foundation is giving nearly $150,000 to nonprofit dental clinics around the state in an effort to make affordable dental care more accessible to low-income residents.

    FALMOUTH, Maine (AP) - Maine Audubon is looking for volunteers to watch roads for signs of animal crossings to help reduce wildlife roadkill.

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