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Ed Morin / MPBN

Mike Michaud Reflects on Loss in Maine Governor's Race, and Looks Ahead

Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud leaves office next month after a dozen years in Washington - the consequence of his unsuccessful run for governor in Maine.
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Patty Wight / MPBN

Gardiner Parents Demand Answers in School Taser Incident

GARDINER, Maine - Some parents in Gardiner are demanding answers following an incident last January in which a high school resource officer used a Taser on a student.
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The state of Maine has joined the other 49 states and the District of Columbia and settled the second in a round of lawsuits against mobile phone companies for the practice known as "cramming" - this time with T-Mobile.

"Companies are now coming to the table and agreeing that that practice has stopped, and they're also agreeing now to refund customers for past practices," says Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.

Mills says cramming is a "deceptive practice" in which the company bills for third-party services customers did not order or authorize.

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new national standards designating coal ash – a nearly ubiquitous byproduct of coal-fired power plants that contains arsenic and lead – as non-hazardous waste.

NPR's Christopher Joyce reports that coal-fired power plants produce more than 130 million tons of the coal ash each year and they have long stored millions of tons of it in giant ponds.

But many of those ponds have failed in recent years, allowing contaminated water to get into rivers and streams, and ultimately into drinking water.

The main boulevard in Tunisia's capital, Tunis, is alive with political debate about the two candidates for president in this Sunday's election.

In one tent, campaign workers play music and hand out fliers for Beji Caid Essebsi, an 88-year-old candidate who held posts in the old regime and then served as an interim prime minister after the country's revolution in 2011.

Some witnesses were clearly lying when they spoke to a grand jury about the August police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., according to St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch. In an interview about the case Friday, the prosecutor says he won't seek perjury charges.

MONTPELIER, Vt. - The Vermont Department of Public Service says FairPoint Communications has agreed to take steps to ensure timely repairs for those most vulnerable who are without phone service while a workers' strike continues.

The department said Friday that it has received more than 700 complaints about FairPoint's service since workers went on strike in October. The department says it has grave concerns about how many customers appear to be having serious delays in repair of service.

Fifty-six new officers graduated this morning from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.

Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president for operations, has responded to a BBC report that workers at Asian suppliers for the iPhone 6 are mistreated and overworked, saying he's "deeply offended" by the accusations.

In an email to some 5,000 Apple staff in the United Kingdom, Williams hit back at the British broadcaster's Panorama program, which sent in undercover reporters to observe conditions at the Pegatron factory, near Shanghai, where iPhones are assembled.

Jennifer Rooks / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - A statewide organization that provides legal assistance to the poor received a major grant today to better serve female veterans.

The president of the Legal Services Corporation, Jim Sandman, came to Maine to announce the grant made to Pine Tree Legal Assistance.

"This $74,000 grant will enable a better understanding of the challenges that underserved women veterans face," Sandman said, "and will develop a new online tool to empower them to enforce their legal rights."

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was sentenced to 18 months' supervised probation today after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

He was arrested in September after leaving a casino in downtown Baltimore. Police documents show that he swerved over a yellow line while going 84 in 45-mph zone. Police say Phelps failed field sobriety tests and registered a 0.14 on a blood-alcohol test. In Maryland, the legal limit is 0.08.

This Christmas Eve, many Latinos will celebrate the holiday by unwrapping delicious little presents: tamales.

At its essence, a tamale consists of masa (dough made from corn or another starch) that's been wrapped in aromatic leaves, then steamed or boiled. Some come bundled in corn husks, others in plantain, banana or mashan leaves. Some are sweetened with molasses or coconut milk, others spiced with mole or seasoned with achiote. Some are plain; others are filled with meat, cheese or vegetables.

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MAINE CALLING

The Future of Arts in Maine

Learn why the Maine Arts Commission is conducting a survey on arts and culture in Maine.