Maine news

HARTLAND, Maine — More states are increasingly turning to children's savings accounts as a way of promoting a "college-going" culture and reducing student loan debt over the long term.

Maine is recognized as a national leader on this front.

But getting large numbers of families in the state, especially low-income ones, to save for their youngest members has been a challenge.

KITTERY, Maine — The weekend forecast calls for sun, and heavy traffic, on the Maine Turnpike.

The Maine Turnpike Authority is projecting a 3.1 percent increase in Labor Day weekend traffic because of sunny weather and low gas prices.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Friday is expected to be the busiest day with more than 324,000 vehicles, many heading northbound into Maine.

Doug Davidson, chief financial officer for the authority, said the projections are conservative.

Susan Sharon

MILLINOCKET, Maine - The Appalachian Trail, already popular with hikers, is expected to see a big bump in traffic with the release of "A Walk in the Woods," the movie based on the memoir of two men's experience along the 2,200-mile route that runs from Georgia to Maine.

WASHINGTON - The White House has announced that President Obama will award Maine author Stephen King the National Medal of Arts in ceremonies next week.

King is being given the award for his contributions as an author.

The citation that accompanies the medal states that King is "One of the most popular and prolific writers of our time, Mr. King combines his remarkable storytelling with his sharp analysis of human nature. For decades, his works of horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy have terrified and delighted audiences around the world. "

Courtesy L.L. Bean

FREEPORT, Maine - The man who transformed L.L. Bean from a single country store into a modern retailing giant died Thursday. Leon Gorman, the grandson of retailer L.L. Bean, was 80 years old. Leon Gorman had big boots to fill when he took the reins of L.L. Bean after his grandfather died. Leon Leonwood Bean was a prominent figure in day-to-day operations and a stickler for routine. But young Leon Gorman had actually been preparing for a leadership role for some time,