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DOT: Maine Falling Behind on Bridge Upkeep

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to maintaining the condition of its bridges.
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A.J. Higgins / MPBN

Opponents Pack Hearing on LePage's Plan to Cut General Assistance

AUGUSTA, Maine - Crowds packed the State House today in opposition to what the LePage administration is touting as a major reform of the system designed to help Maine's poorest residents.
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MAINE CALLING

Speaking Well

The Importance of Speaking Well

PORTLAND, Maine - Representatives for FairPoint Communications say a lengthy strike and bad weather caused the company's $43.6 million in losses in the final three months of 2014.

The North Carolina-based company operates the largest landline telephone network in northern New England. It made $6.1 million in the same quarter in 2013.

BANGOR, Maine - The jury in a Maine murder trial is listening to a recording of a police interview with the defendant in which he describes his relationship with a teenager he is charged with killing.

Twenty-one-year-old Kyle Dube , of Orono,  is on trial for the kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old Nichole Cable of Glenburn. Prosecutors say Dube used Facebook to lure Cable to her death.

The jury is spending part of Wednesday listening to the interview with Dube from May 16, 2013, after Nichole disappeared and before her body was discovered.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine legislator wants to require the state to include products that threaten the health of pregnant women when it sets rules about potentially toxic products.

Rep. Sara Gideon, a Freeport Democrat, says her bill would tighten state laws about such products. She and a group of environmental and health advocates say the bill is needed because of the way the state handled a proposal to elevate four phthalates from "high concern'' to "priority chemical'' status under Maine rules.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — South Portland officials are hiring a Boston law firm to help defend the city's ban on loading crude oil into tankers in Portland Harbor.

South Portland is hiring Foley Hoag, a firm specializing in environmental law and litigation. Portland Pipe Line Corp. filed a federal lawsuit against the city on Feb. 6 in an attempt to overturn the ban.

After weeks of winter storms, snow fatigue has set in across much of the country.

You may be tired of clearing ice and snow off your car, but that can be a safety hazard. And now you could face a fine in some states.

Mike Taylor of Elkins Park, Pa., says just this week he was behind a car on the Pennsylvania Turnpike when, "Snow on the roof blew off, hit my windshield, forced me to jiggle, and it was only because of the stability of the car and I slowed down that I didn't have an accident," Taylor says.

Federal agents searched more than three dozen locations across three counties in Southern California yesterday for evidence of "maternity tourism" operations.

Maternity tourism — or birth tourism — is when a citizen of another country travels to the U.S. to give birth, so the child automatically receives U.S. citizenship.

That in itself is not illegal. But federal authorities are investigating several businesses that may be breaking the law by helping wealthy Chinese women obtain U.S. visas under false pretenses.

WINSLOW, Maine — Democratic lawmakers are planning to visit a central Maine business and college to learn how to create more jobs in the area.

The Democrats' statewide "job tour" will continue Wednesday morning at Johnny's Selected Seeds in Winslow. Later Wednesday, they'll meet with business and education officials at Thomas College.

House Speaker Mark Eves and House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe are expected to attend the events along with area lawmakers.

BANGOR, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage is heading north to talk to Mainers about his ambitious plan to overhaul the tax code in the state budget.

LePage will hold a town hall event at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University in Bangor on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The governor visited Westbrook for his first town hall event on his more than $6 billion budget plan last month. LePage fielded questions from residents on a wide range of issues, including his plan to impose property taxes on nonprofit organizations and to expand the sales tax to include more services.

Look closely.

Buried deep in President Obama's 2016 budget (Page 41) is a proposal to cut up to 30 questions from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

The Obama administration has already done a lot to make the FAFSA easier — if not shorter. Online technology now allows students to skip questions that don't apply to them.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine is making it more difficult to fish for smelts in an effort to help the wriggling fish rebuild populations that have plummeted in the state and elsewhere in New England.

A Maine advisory committee unanimously decided Tuesday the state will enact the new regulations to protect the declining populations of the fish. Smelts are popular in Maine among winter ice fishermen and as a batter fried treat.

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