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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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Summer Reads - Encore Presentation

Looking for a great book? Join us for a rebroadcast of our summer reads program. Maine Calling: Thursday at noon... and again at midnight.

DEXTER, Maine (AP) _ A police dispatcher says a plane has crashed in the central Maine town of Dexter.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A ruling by the National Labor Relations Board is causing concern among Maine employers and regulators, and winning praise from state labor groups.

The NLRB has refined the relationship between companies and their employees, ruling that when larger companies use temporary staffing agencies to provide employers for certain tasks, both the larger company and the temp agency are considered employers.

SOUTHPORT, Maine - Maine fishing regulators want to close an area to sea urchin fishing so they can evaluate a plan to transplant the spiny creatures.

A proposed regulation would close sea urchin harvesting in the Cat Ledges area off of Southport until May 1, 2018. State officials say they want to evaluate the success of transplanting wild sea urchins and hatchery-raised juvenile urchins.

WARREN, Maine - Maine's largest prison is seeking a new warden.

The Portland Press Herald reports the state Department of Corrections posted a job advertisement on its website this week seeking a warden for the Maine State Prison in Warren.

Deputy commissioner Jody Breton says current warden Rodney Bouffard has been promoted to associate commissioner of the corrections department. They'll conduct interviews to fill the position next week.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine had the highest immunization rate in the nation for children aged 19 to 35 months in 2014.  That's according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the rates Friday.

The figures show that 84.7 percent of Maine children in that age group received vaccinations last year, an increase of nearly 17 percent over 2013. Nationwide,  71.6 percent of toddlers received vaccinations.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine is holding a bear hunting day for young hunters for the first time as its annual season for the elusive animals draws near.

The youth bear hunt will be Saturday, two days before the general hunting season for bears begins. Youth hunters who have a junior hunting license can hunt bears with a firearm, bow or crossbow on Saturday. The young hunters are also permitted to lay bait.

GREENE, Maine - The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is ordering the owner of Maine construction companies to pay $405,000 for violating federal occupational safety standards.

The federal Department of Labor says Lessard Roofing & Siding and Lessard Brothers Construction of Greene, Maine, were cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations 11 times at 11 different work sites in Maine between 2000 and 2011. The labor department says owner Stephen Lessard has refused to correct the violations or pay $405,000 in fines and interest.

PORTLAND, Maine - Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is the lone GOP senator yet to say how she's going to vote on the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the U.S. and other countries.

Collins has expressed concerns about the agreement but has yet to say how she will vote when the Senate takes up a resolution after Congress' August recess. A spokeswoman for Collins told the Portland Press Herald that she'll announce her decision after Labor Day.

The agreement is aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting crippling international sanctions.

If you're tuned into the world of beer, you may be aware of sour beers — a loosely defined style that has been made for centuries but is gaining fresh appreciation in today's craft beer renaissance. Brewers make these beers by deliberately adding bacteria and, sometimes, wild yeast to the brew, then letting them age slowly. It sounds weird, but sours can be delicious — tart and earthy, and redolent of things like leather, fruit and wood.

It's Thursday, and that means it's time once again for Across the Aisle, our weekly look at Maine politics. Our panel of analysts includes Cynthia Dill, an attorney with the Portland firm of Troubh Heisler and a former Democratic state senator, and former Republican lawmaker Meredith Strang Burgess, of Burgess Advertising and Marketing. They spoke with Mal Leary.

Across the Aisle airs most Thursdays on MPBN Radio.