A.J. Higgins

State House Bureau Chief

A.J. came to MPBN in August 2007 after a recent stint as a staff writer for Blethen Maine Newspapers, where his work for the Kennebec Journal in Augusta also appeared in the Waterville Morning Sentinel, the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Prior to joining the Kennebec Journal, Higgins served for 13 years as Political Editor and State House Bureau Chief for the Bangor Daily News.

He began working for the BDN in 1972 while still a senior at Bangor High School when his first job was casting the lead plates for the printing presses in the paper’s stereotype department. In the ensuing 34 years, Higgins moved up to the Editorial Department where he quickly immersed himself in nearly every facet of news reporting, editing and photography.

In addition to his extensive coverage in the greater Bangor area, he also worked in the paper’s Presque Isle Bureau and was named bureau chief of the paper’s Hancock County operations in Ellsworth in 1988. He was assigned to the State House in 1993.

A.J. resides in Manchester with his wife, Diane.


Domestic violence
5:05 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Maine Experiments with Electronic Tracking of Domestic Violence Offenders

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.
Credit Courtesy Kennebec County DA's Office

Last month, Maine quietly began electronic monitoring of domestic violence offenders by authorizing the one-time use of the device in Somerset County. Now, all of Maine's counties will be invited to submit proposals for active electronic monitoring for additional pilot projects that could be in place by January. Authorized by the Maine Board of Corrections, the $36,000 start-up pool could also be significantly increased by a bill proposed by one Maine lawmaker.


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Your Vote 2014
3:58 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Maine Democrats Maintain Progressive Direction with New Party Chair

Newly-elected Maine Democratic Party Chair Phil Bartlett and Vice-Chair Peggy Schaffer.
Credit Courtesy Maine Democratic Party

In an election cycle that saw Republicans post significant gains at the expense of Maine Democrats, some pundits have concluded that it's time for the state's progressives to move to the center. But Maine Democrats are doubling down, retaining progressive leaders in the House and Senate. And the party's new choice for state chair continues a liberal ideological preference.


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Maine's aging population
1:42 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

State Economist: Maine's Aging Population Limits Growth

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's state economist told the Legislature's Appropriations Committee today that  Maine can expect slow economic growth in the year ahead, the result of relatively low inflation and low interest rates.

Amanda Rector said a recent meeting of the state's Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission concluded that future economic gains are likely to be influenced by the state's increasingly older worker profile and declining population.

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5:24 am
Mon November 17, 2014

New Maine Democratic Chairman: Party 'Will Continue to Fight for Working People'

Newly-elected Maine Democratic Party Chair Ben Grant, a former lawmaker from Gorham.
Credit A.J. Higgins / MPBN

The Maine Democratic State Committee met yesterday following a particularly harsh election cycle that saw the the party lose seats in the Maine Legislature, the state's 2nd Congressional District and the Blaine House.

Delegates elected Peggy Schaffer of Vassalboro as party vice-chair and former Maine legislator Phil Bartlett of Gorham as incoming state chairman. Bartlett spoke with MPBN's State House Bureau Chief A.J. Higgins about his goals.

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Your Vote 2014
4:48 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Number of Contested Maine Senate Seats Grows to Four

Editor's note: The Bangor Daily News reports that Michael Carpenter withdrew his recount request. So although there were five such requests at the time this story aired, that number is now four.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Although there will be no recounts for any of the 151 seats in the Maine House, two more requests in the state Senate were filed before Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline. That brings the total number of contested Senate races to five.

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