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Downeast LNG Seeks OK for Gas Import-Export Facility on Passamaquoddy Bay

Downeast LNG is submitting new environmental reports to a federal agency for review, as part of a plan to build a liquified natural gas import-export terminal on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay.
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Jennifer Mitchell / MPBN

Floating Mission Brings Ray of Sun to Maine's Island Communities

ISLE AU HAUT, Maine - It's been a doozy of a winter, with record snows and weeks of temperatures dipping well below zero. As challenging as it's been for inland Mainers, for island residents the dark days of winter can make for a deeper sort of isolation. That's where a ship known as the "Sunbeam" comes in.
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What's being done in Maine to help those who struggle to read.

Downeast LNG is submitting new environmental reports to a federal agency for review, as part of a plan to build a liquified natural gas import-export terminal on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay.

PORTLAND, Maine - The ACLU of Maine and attorneys for Portland Police Officer Benjamin Noyes have settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of a Bar Harbor couple arrested for using a cell phone to record a police encounter last year.

As part of the settlement, the couple will receive an undisclosed financial sum, and Portland police will be trained to avoid similar incidents. Zach Heiden is the ACLU's legal director.

CAMDEN, Maine - The planned merger of two banks would create the largest Maine-based bank in the state. Camden National Bank and the Bank of Maine announced today they plan to join together under the Camden National Bank name.

The new bank will surpass Bangor Savings Bank in size, and, according to Camden National CEO Gregory DuFour, will hold about 10 percent of all Mainers' bank deposits.

DuFour says although current Bank of Maine customers will see their bank's name change, it's not yet clear what else might change. 

Dan Swangard knows what death looks like.

As a physician, he has seen patients die in hospitals, hooked to morphine drips and overcome with anxiety. He has watched death drag on for weeks or months as terrified relatives stand by helplessly.

Recently, however, his thoughts about how seriously ill people die have become personal. Swangard was diagnosed in 2013 with a rare form of metastatic cancer.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine Democratic lawmaker wants to strip the governor of his power to appoint a replacement in the event of a U.S. Senate vacancy.

Matt Moonen's bill has raised questions about whether Democrats are concerned about the possibility of Republican Sen. Susan Collins leaving her six-year term early to run for governor in 2018.

But Moonen told lawmakers on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee Monday that his decision to introduce the bill had nothing to do with Collins.

A Collins spokeswoman didn't immediately return a request for comment Monday.

PORTLAND, Maine - Federal regulators say they are reviewing the status of the porbeagle shark to determine if listing the species under the Endangered Species Act is warranted.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says it is taking responding to a recent court order and new information about the sharks. The service says it will compile information for use in a status report about the sharks. It will then be independently peer reviewed. A decision on whether to list the sharks should be made by December.

AUGUSTA, Maine - There is a growing need for foster and adoptive families in Maine, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Nearly 2,000 children are in foster care, and the state is currently seeking adoptive families for 98 children.

DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew says there's a particular need for placements for siblings and older children.

With a single key stroke, the personal information of President Obama and 30 other world leaders was mistakenly released by an official with Australia's immigration office.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Environmental advocates and business representatives today warned that a one-word typographical error could cost Maine energy consumers $250 million in higher energy bills over the next three years, if not corrected.

They say the omission of the word "and" from a phrase in the omnibus energy law passed in 2013 allowed the Public Utilities Commission to vote recently to slash funding to Efficiency Maine by nearly $40 million.
Efficiency Maine helps businesses reduce their energy costs.

PORTLAND, Maine - Fishery regulators are holding the last of a series of public hearings about the future of New England's shuttered shrimp fishery in Portland.

The hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal Conference Room on the city's waterfront. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is collecting feedback from about the possibility establishing a limited fishery for the shrimp in the future. The shrimp fishery closed in 2013 and has not reopened because of concerns about population levels.