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LePage Said — Then Retracted — He Planned to Become Education Commissioner

Gov. Paul LePage surprised many Thursday by saying that he would take over as his own education commissioner.
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Tom Porter / MPBN file

AARP Calls on Legislature to Require FairPoint to Preserve Landline Phone Service

An ongoing discussion over whether FairPoint Communications should be obliged to provide landline telephone service throughout the state was re-energized Thursday at the State House.
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine - A Norwegian with perfect 10-for-10 shooting has won the first event in the World Cup biathlon in northern Maine.

Johannes Thingnes Boe finished the 10-kilometer sprint with a time of 24 minutes, 38.8 seconds Thursday at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. Russian Anton Shipulin, who also had perfect shooting, took second place and current World Cup points leader Martin Fourcade of France came in third with one miss.

FAIRFIELD, Maine - A central Maine bookstore owner cashed in after selling a set of rare U.S. Postal Service stamps that brought in just under $60,000 at an auction in Fairfield.

The Morning Sentinel reports that Robert Sezak, owner of Re-Books in Waterville, sold a set of six "upright Jenny'' stamps issued by the Postal Service in 2013 for $59,205 to an absentee bidder last Tuesday.

PORTLAND, Maine - An attorney for House Speaker Mark Eves says that Gov. Paul LePage is using state funding to enforce political loyalty and that the practice threatens Maine's public-party democracy.

Attorney David Webbert, in a brief filed in U.S. District Court, says that LePage's claim that he has a right to withhold funding from a charter school represents a "radical'' legal theory that, if left unchecked by the courts, would concentrate too much power in the governor's hands.

(Note: Tonight's debate, moderated by PBS NewsHour anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, will be simulcast on CNN and NPR and streamed live on NPR.org. NPR's Tamara Keith will be part of the debate broadcast, providing analysis during and after the event.)

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton meet Thursday night on a debate stage in Milwaukee. It's their first face-to-face matchup since Tuesday's New Hampshire primary where Sanders beat Clinton by more than 20 points.

YARMOUTH, Maine — Delorme, a Maine-based mapmaker and manufacturer of hand-held satellite communications, is being purchased by Swiss-based Garmin.

Garmin said Thursday that Delorme will remain based in Yarmouth and that it will retain "most" of Delorme’s 92 workers. The deal is expected to close in 30 to 60 days. Terms were not disclosed.

Not included in the deal is the DeLorme Map Store, which features a giant globe in the lobby.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The World Cup Biathlon is returning to northern Maine.

Four days of events kick off at Nordic Heritage Sport Club in Presque Isle on Thursday, starting with the men’s 10-kilometer sprint.

Biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship.

While it’s a little-known sport in parts of America, biathlon is wildly popular in Europe, where millions watch World Cup events live on television.

The Presque Isle event continues through Sunday.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, chair of the Senate Aging Committee, says federal investigators have uncovered a scam operation by drug smugglers to enlist unknowing seniors to help them smuggle drugs across international borders.

“International criminal cartels have begun to use unsuspecting American seniors as mules to smuggle narcotics across international borders,” she says.

Collins says many seniors have been arrested for drug smuggling in foreign countries and some have been jailed.

Aedes aegypti is the dog of the mosquito world. It acts as if it's man's best friend.

"It's been with us for a long time, probably for at least 5,000 years when we started keeping water next to our homes [ideal for laying eggs] and it's adapted to people," says Marten Edwards, an entomologist at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa. "It loves us. It loves our cities. It loves our blood. It functions very well with us."

There's just one problem. This mosquito makes us sick.

A new twist in the ongoing dispute between Gov. Paul LePage and the Maine Legislature played out Wednesday at the State House. At issue is a bill that would require the heads of state agencies to testify before legislative committees.

PORTLAND, Maine - Producers of Maine farmed Atlantic salmon have received a "Good Alternative" rating from a California-based organization that evaluates the ecological sustainability of wild caught and farmed seafood commonly found in the U.S. marketplace.  

This is first time the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program has awarded that rating to salmon raised in offshore pens in North America.

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