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 — Maine Republican Party officials have decided to extend their efforts to place tax and welfare reform ballot questions before the voters by waiting until November of next year.

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Organizers of a petition drive to force a statewide vote on marijuana legalization say that when Monday's deadline arrives to submit their signature petitions to the secretary of state, they'll be ready.

David Boyer, of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, says his signature gatherers have already surpassed the required 61,000-signature threshold to place the question before the voters this fall.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Concerned about the risks posed by motorists under the influence of marijuana, members of the legislature’s criminal justice committee want to formally take up the matter through legislation.

Some lawmakers on the panel would like to know more about what the drug’s blood-level limit should be in order to satisfy a charge of operating under the influence of marijuana.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A group known as Creating Assets, Savings and Hope - or CA$H - is urging eligible Mainers to take advantage of the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit program.

Eligibility for the tax credit is determined by income and any qualifying children. A single person with no children would have to earn about $15,000 or less annually to qualify, while a couple with two kids could qualify with a combined income of just under $50,000.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Last week, Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed into law a $3.7 million drug bill that funds 10 new drug enforcement agents and a new detox center. But two Republican lawmakers say more should be done to stop drug traffickers, and they’ve presented two bills that would increase drug offense penalties and create a new state police interdiction unit.