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LePage Acknowledges Intervening in House Speaker's Hiring, Defends Actions

AUGUSTA, Maine - For the first time since being accused of orchestrating the firing of Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves as president of the Good Will-Hinckley school in Fairfield, Gov. Paul Lepage is speaking out about it, and defending his actions.
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Mark Vogelzang / MPBN

Lawmakers Formally Request Probe Into LePage's Actions Against House Speaker

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state's Government Oversight Committee is being formally asked by Republican, independent and Democratic lawmakers to launch an investigation into whether the LePage administration has "crossed legal or ethical lines" in getting Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves dismissed from his new job.
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BREMEN, Maine -Followers of a popular live bird camera are reeling from a rare glimpse of nature in the raw after witnessing an eagle pluck two osprey chicks from a nest.

Bird fans watch the ospreys on a live camera set up on Maine's Hog Island. The camera offers real time looks at ospreys dubbed Steve and Rachel. The National Audubon Society says an eagle swooped in and stole chicks Big and Little while the cameras were running on Friday.

AUGUSTA, Maine - As promised, Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed the $6.7 billion two-year state budget, saying it does not meet the goals he set for the budget last January.

LePage says it has too much spending and not enough tax cuts, and for the first time a veto message to lawmakers includes pictures to illustrate the governor's objections.

BANGOR, Maine - Emera Maine crews are working to restore electricity to nearly 6,000 customers in Bangor and elsewhere in Penobscot County.

The utility says it dispatched crews to Bangor, Glenburn, Hermon, Hudson, Kenduskeag, Levant, Orono and surrounding areas on Monday. It says workers will stay in the area until the cause is identified and repairs are made. The cause is under investigation.

Emera Maine is asking customers to stay away from downed power lines and trees in contact with power lines. The utility estimates service will be restored by 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

PORTLAND, Maine - After eight residential burglaries in 10 days in Portland, an arrest has been made. Richard Coleman, 29, of Portland, has been charged in connection with two of the robberies.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The University of Maine System's top financial official is taking over as the interim president at the University of Maine at Augusta.

Rebecca Wyke has served as the system's vice chancellor of finance and administration for the past seven years.

At UMA, Wyke replaces another interim president, Glen Cummings, who takes over as head of the University of Southern Maine next month.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Republican state senator wants the Legislature's oversight committee to launch an investigation into whether Gov. Paul LePage "crossed legal or ethical lines'' by meddling in a charter school's personnel matters.

Sen. Tom Saviello asked the Government Oversight Committee on Monday to look into Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves' claims that LePage threatened to withhold funds from Good Will-Hinckley unless they remove him as president there. Good Will-Hinckley operates Maine's first charter school.

WASHINGTON - Environmental groups in Maine are expressing disappointment with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with a rule that would limit the release of mercury and other pollutants from power plants.

In a 5-4 ruling the court found that the EPA did not adequately consider the costs to about 600 affected utility companies.

But Taryn Hallweaver of the group Environment Maine says the rule also would have prevented an estimated 11,000 deaths each year from dirty air.

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

FALMOUTH, Maine - Veterans advocates will try again Tuesday to win passage of a bill that would allow for another casino in southern Maine.

DARMISCOTTA, Maine - John Lannan, a reporter and editor for numerous organizations, including The Associated Press, has died. He was 87.

Lannan, who suffered from Parkinson's dementia, died Thursday at Cove's Edge at Miles in Damariscotta, Maine, said one of his sons, Jonathan Lannan.

He started at the Manchester Union Leader and the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire before joining The AP in Augusta, Maine. He covered the U.S. space program, including the moon landing, for the Boston Herald-Traveler and Washington Star.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine lawmakers are awaiting Republican Gov. Paul LePage's likely veto of the state budget less than two days before the July 1 deadline.

LePage told WGME-TV Monday that he's 99.9 percent sure he will veto the budget by the midnight deadline, and told MPBN New he plans to veto it by 5:00 p.m. Monday.

He already vetoed 64 lines in the two-year spending plan this month, but lawmakers swiftly and overwhelmingly overturned every one.