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.

Ways To Connect

AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage is supporting an agreement that will strengthen regional co-operation in addressing climate change.

During this week's annual conference of the New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers in St. John's, Newfoundland, the group unanimously agreed on the importance of collaborating as a region to address climate change.

Under this agreement, a 2030 reduction marker range of 35 percent to 45 percent below 1990 levels has been adopted. Patrick Woodcock is the governor's Energy Office director.

PORTLAND, Maine - The need for campaign finance reform has never been more urgent, according to Congressman John Sarbanes. The Maryland Democrat met Wednesday with supporters in Portland who are promoting a November state ballot question they say will help taxpayer-financed candidates compete with their privately-funded opponents.

AUGUSTA, Maine - As the impasse between Maine and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over water quality standards deepens, the LePage administration is threatening to relinquish some or all of the state's delegated authority to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act.

AUGUSTA, Maine - After leading the state's Department of Environmental Protection for the past four years, Commissioner Patricia Aho is stepping down to take a position as a state office representative for Sen. Susan Collins in Augusta.

A former lobbyist for chemical and drug companies, Aho presided over the DEP at a time when the state was challenging federal water quality standards, re-evaluating the use of toxic chemicals in many products and reforming a wide range of regulatory standards.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Time is running out for a former Republican lawmaker from Lewiston to undertake his announced "people's veto" of a law that provides welfare benefits to asylum seekers.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says Stavros Mendros has yet to pick up the petitions that must be returned to the state before Oct. 14 with 61,000 signatures in order to suspend the implementation of the law.

Meanwhile, the Maine Republican Party is working on a ballot question to address several issues, including welfare.