Teachers, parents and community leaders are expected to protest at Tuesday night’s RSU 20 School Board meeting.Teacher contracts expired in August of 2010.The association representing the teachers says contract negotiations have been stalled and the two groups are $16,000 apart in proposals.RSU 20’s superintendent says that figure is incorrect and he is disappointed the association is taking this approach.
A legislative committee is considering a bill to overhaul turnpike financial and administrative procedures in the wake of questions about lavish and unexplained expenses by toll road officials.The Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday on a bill making several recommendations.
A legislative committee has rejected a bill to allow lower minimum wages for youths and remove limits on their school-week work hours.The Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development on Friday voted to kill the bill.It would have established a wage for trainees or secondary students under 20 years of age at $5.25 per hour for their first 180 days of employment, and eliminate the maximum number of hours a minor 16 years of age or older can work during school days.
The future of the Orland Consolidated School was decided by it’s residents.Folks headed to the polls for a special election.The results are in, and voters agreed with the school board and decided to say yes to closing the school.753 ballots were cast, with 469 voting yes and 281 voting no.Superintendent Jim Boothby says closing the school will save $329,000 dollars a year.
Conversation got a little heated at Newburgh’s board of selectmen meeting.It was the first meeting since town’s office staff quit.Some business did get accomplished though.The selectmen hired Warren Hatch as the interim town manager.Hatch boasts 17 years of municipal experience.Many Newburgh residents are just ready to move on.The town office is still closed, but city officials hope to have the doors open by Wednesday.
Folks in Augusta Monday said they have a solution for a proposed $18-million budget cut.The cut is part of the governor’s 2-year budget plan, and would take a bite out of the Fund for a Healthy Maine.Advocates for the fund want the state to raise Maine’s tobacco tax by a $1.50.They want to use a portion of the revenue to maintain the fund, with the remainder going to other health improvement efforts.Its supporters say this alternative would better serve state residents.The governor’s office says LePage is against any fee or tax, and would veto a bill proposing a higher tobacco tax if it came across his desk.
Some Native Americans are trecking across the country, all in the name of clean water.About a dozen Native Americans from Maine and Canadian tribes began the water walk early Saturday morning after filling a bucket with water from the Atlantic ocean.That water will then be carried all the way to Wisconsin to be dumped into Lake Superior.Tribal elders from four directions of the United States will meet at the lake’s edge.The water walk will take about six weeks, ending on June 12th.
When Representative Sharon Treat reviewed the Republican’s proposed health insurance reform, she had concerns.But last month, when the bill came to her on the Insurance and Finance Committee, she says didn’t have the chance to express those concerns.”I’ve actually never seen a bill of this consequence be dealt with so quickly.
Gas prices in Maine are up again.Mainegasprices.com says average retail gasoline prices have risen $.016 per gallon in the past week to $3.97 per gallon.The website says Sunday’s average price was more than a $1.00 higher than it was the same day a year ago and more than $.21 per gallon higher than a month ago.The national average is $3.93 per gallon.
It was a nice start to National Nurses Week for a Waterville nurse, who was recognized at a special ceremony on Monday.Betsy Towner is a nurse at Maine General Medical Center in Waterville and now she can add Daisy Award winner to her resume.The Daisy Foundation was founded by Mark and Bonnie Barnes after they lost their son Patrick to an auto immune disease.
In March a jury found Zachary Carr guilty of murder in the shooting death of John “Bobby” Surles.Now the defense team for Carr has filed a motion seeking a new trial.The motion says the verdict should be thrown out because the state failed to prove Carr acted intentionally or knowingly, and also failed to disprove the theory Carr shot Surles in self defense.Carr’s attorneys also said their client should be given a new trial because one of the witnesses lied on the stand.It’s unclear when Justice Michaela Murphy will rule on the motion for a new trial.
Hearings are scheduled for next week surrounding another proposed wind farm in our state.First Wind has an application to build 19 turbines in Hancock County on Bull Hill.The public hearings will be held May 16th and 17th in Ellsworth at 6pm at the Ramada Inn.The group opposed to this wind farm says it will ruin the views in the Acadia Park region and will be visible from Cadillac Mountain and the Schoodic Scenic Byway and Blackwoods Byway among other places.
Two men from Millinocket accused of beating up a man after breaking into a house say they’re not guilty.Charges against 40-year-old Billy Brannen and 32-year-old Jeremy Sawyer include robbery, burglary and assault.Both pleaded not guilty in a Bangor courtroom.Brannen and Sawyer remain in the Penobscot County Jail.
The future of the Orland Consolidated School is now in the hands of residents.Voters are heading to the polls Monday for a special election.They’re deciding whether to keep the school open, or opt to send local students to another town come fall.In march, the school board voted unanimously to shut down the school.Superintendent Jim Boothby says that would save $329,000 a year.
The trial of a man accused of running down and killing a 20-year-old University of Maine student in January of last year is expected to begin this summer.Lawyers for 23-year-old Garrett Cheney appeared in court Monday in Bangor.The South Berwick native is charged with manslaughter, aggravated criminal drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident.Police say Cheney was driving drunk in orono when he hit and killed Jordyn Bakley of camden.District Attorney Christopher Almy says he expects the trial will begin in June.Almy says there is strong physical evidence in the case that points to Cheney.