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Maine's High Vaccination Rate Applauded, but Experts say Job Not Done

AUGUSTA, Maine - New data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Maine's rate of vaccination for kids between 19 and 35 months was the highest in the nation in 2014.
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Susan Sharon / MPBN

Desperate Maine Opiate Addicts Face Long Waits and Few Options for Treatment

AUGUSTA, Maine - Like so many states, Maine is in the grip of an opiate epidemic that shows no signs of slowing down. While other states have expanded drug treatment as part of the response, Maine has not.
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The Sociology of Social Media

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BOSTON - The governors of all six New England states have sent a letter urging the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to tighten warnings on opioids.

The governors said the FDA should require changes on labels for immediate release opioids to make sure patients and doctors understand the risk of addiction, overdose, neonatal abstinence syndrome and death associated with the drugs.

The governors said the FDA already requires the most restrictive labeling language for extended release and long-acting opioids.

Nora Flaherty / MPBN

MILLINOCKET, Maine - An attorney for record-setting hiker Scott Jurek who completed the Appalachian Trail in just 46 days, says his client will contest three summonses issued by Baxter State Park.

Jurek was cited for "littering, hiking with a group larger than 12 people and consuming alcohol" after his celebration atop Mt. Katahdin on July 12. Park officials say he violated park rules.

By Christopher Cousins, Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has sent letters to President Barack Obama and Maine’s congressional delegation to express opposition to as-yet unreleased proposals that would apply national monument protections to federal land in the Gulf of Maine and land eyed for a national park in the Millinocket area.

After a last-ditch effort to reach a settlement in the legal dispute over the NFL's four-game suspension of quarterback Tom Brady, a federal judge says he'll issue his ruling on Brady's appeal on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

On Monday morning, Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell attended discussions about a possible settlement. But after it became clear that the two sides don't intend to give ground, District Judge Richard Berman held a brief hearing to announce that he'll rule on the case early this week.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican Gov. Paul LePage and other officials in Maine are opposing proposed changes to federal labor rules on the grounds that employment and small businesses will be negatively affected.

The U.S. Department of Labor is taking public comments on proposed changes to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act until Friday. The proposal would more than double the minimum salary needed for most salaried workers to be classified as exempt from federal overtime regulations. Nearly 5 million more Americans would qualify for overtime under the change.

ORONO, Maine - The University of Maine System announced today that the state's public universities are committing to using local growers and producers for a minimum of 20 percent of their dining hall food expenditures by the year 2020. Dan Demeritt is a spokesman for the university system.

"In terms of what we spend now, that would amount to $1.5 million that will be kept in the Maine economy, devoted to purchases from local food growers and fishermen," says UMaine System spokesman Dan Demeritt.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's annual season for hunting black bears is beginning with hunters heading to the woods to check sites baited for bruins.

The bear season begins on Monday and lasts until Nov. 28. Hunters are allowed to hunt with bait from Monday until Sept. 26. Hunting with bait is by far the most common method of hunting bears in Maine.

This bear season is the first since voters defeated a push a drive to make it illegal to hunt bears with bait, dogs and traps. A referendum about the proposed change failed at the polls in November of last year.

PORTLAND, Maine - Gas prices in Maine have fallen nearly a dime per gallon in the past week., which surveyed 1,228 gas stations in the state, says the average retail gasoline price in Maine is $2.39 a gallon.

The national average fell 12.8 cents per gallon to $2.47.

The price in Maine was nearly $1.10 less per gallon than a year ago, and 27.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

Participation in sports by girls and young women has soared in recent decades — by 560 percent among high school students since 1972, and 990 percent among college students, according to the Women's Sports Foundation. Highly committed young female athletes now run track and play soccer, basketball, water polo and other demanding sports that require strong bodies.

ORIENT, Maine — Maine State Police have issued a distracted driving summons to a man who they say crashed into a tree while taking a "selfie" with his passengers, injuring several of them.

State police say Jordan Toner was driving in the town of Orient when he leaned over to take a cellphone photo with some of his seven passengers on Saturday. He ran off the road and hit a tree. Authorities say Toner was not the person taking the picture; he was trying to get in it when he crashed.