Lawmakers say they have finally reached an agreement on governor LePage’s supplemental budget.The governor wants to remove 65,000 Mainers from Medicaid coverage to close what he says is a $220,000,000 gap during the next two years.The Appropriations and Financial Affairs committee said early Wednesday morning it has agreed on $120,000,000 in cuts.Lawmakers reportedly voted unanimously to preserve health care for thousands of low-income Mainers, including veterans, the mentally ill, and adults with serious medical conditions.
Organizers of a Fourth of July parade in central Maine are cancelling this year’s procession after last year’s event was marred by bloody fistfights, public drunkenness, drug paraphernalia sales and pickup drivers burning rubber.West Athens has been holding a zany parade each Independence Day for 40 years featuring madcap floats, belly dancing, hippies, children’s kazoo bands and a political satire play in a local gravel pit.But the parade won’t go on this year after more than 50 residents petitioned selectmen asking them to stop it.Tamar Etingen, one of the original parade participants, told the Morning Sentinel that the reported use of the synthetic drug known as “bath salts” during last summer’s parade changed theatmosphere from peace and fun to violence and aggression.
Authorities say a 64-year-old Canton man is missing and presumed dead after running back into his burning home to try to save his dogs.The state fire marshal’s office says the man was last seen yelling for help from a second-floor window as flames engulfed his house Tuesday evening.The fire broke out around 5 p.m.
A Canton man is missing after his home caught fire around 5 o’clock Tuesday afternoon.The Fire Marshal’s Office says the 64 year old man was last seen yelling for help from a second story window as fire tore through his home on School Street.We’re told the man went back into the burning house to try and save three dogs.
A Rockland woman is in jail Tuesday night, charged with arson.Police say Christie Look, 35, was living in an apartment where fire broke out in December.It caused significant damage to the four unit complex on Talbot Avenue in Rockland.Look faces two charges of arson, one because of the property damage, the other for endangering tenants and firefighters.
Folks from Washington County moved in to the State House on Tuesday.Lawmakers travelling through the Hall of Flags got a chance to check out the look, feel and even taste of Downeast Maine.Jeanne Guisinger, who helped organize the event, said, “There’s so much negative said about Washington County that we wanted to highlight as many of the, what we call treasures, that you might not see from time to time.”Some of those treasures include regional foods, schools, and projects.
Belfast police arrested two men for a burglary that happened last week.Douglas Noble, 22, of Belfast and Adam Gray, 23, of Swanville reportedly broke into a house on Fahey Street.Police say the two men were in the basement when the homeowners son came home.
Governor LePage is working to end domestic violence in Maine.On Tuesday, he signed a proclamation declaring this month, “Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.”He was joined by members of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.Together they’re hoping to make people aware that abusive relationships can begin at a young age.”I sign this proclamation with all my blood and energy towards helping the state of Maine rid itself of all forms of domestic violence,” said Governor LePage.
Renovations at the Helen Hunt Healthcare Center are making it a one stop shop for healthcare in Old Town.Penobscot Community Health Care announced the improvements Tuesday.Executive Medical Director Robert Allen says they’re reshaping the patient experience with a new pharmacy and pediatrics center.Walk-in care will now be available during the weekend hours.”Our goal is to provide people with rapid access to care, to keep them out of emergency rooms, which is a much more costly type of healthcare,” Allen said.The improvements will also cut commutes by providing localized care.
A longtime Orono resident wants the town to withdraw from RSU 26.Dan Lapointe presented paperwork to the Town Clerk last week to bring a bid for withdrawal before voters.It was signed by seven residents in hopes of putting together a committee.Lapointe calls RSU 26 a “vicious corporate takeover” and says its 2-million dollar budget shortfall is shameful to the Orono community.He says it’s not putting the students first.Three hundred thirty signatures are needed to put it to a vote.David Connerty-Marin with the Department of Education says while communities can withdraw from RSU 26, it doesn’t mean the r-s-u will go away.”In the event that two of the three were to approve final withdrawal, it would leave one community and that community would be the RSU.
Dairy farmers won’t be required to warn consumers about the health risks of raw milk they sell at Portland’s farmers markets.The city council Monday voted not to amend city ordinances governing the markets, essentially allowing the sale of unpasteurized milk without displaying a placard or providing handouts to consumers detailing the risks.Councilor John Anton said amending the law would be “unfair andarbitrary.”The city’s health department had recommended the warnings, citing information on the health risks of raw milk from federal officials.Dairy farmer Heather Donahue says people seeking raw milk are already well-informed about the product.The Portland Press Herald reports that the council also approved the sales of malt liquor, hard cider and wine at farmers markets.
Local pet owners will have a chance to get their animals some affordable care for the next couple months.The Bangor Humane Society has organized a spay and neuter program to help out low-income pet owners.Families who qualify can stop by the humane society to pick up a voucher to spay or neuter their pets at a discounted rate.The goal is to reduce the number of homeless animals as a result of overpopulation.”There are just not enough homes.
In a day and age where time is always of the essence, it seems ironic that down by Pittsfield’s train tracks things finally start to slow down.While it’s been more than a century since passenger trains first came through here, the depot still stands where it was built.”1888 was the date that this building was constructed.
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would ask parents to play an even larger role in education.Portland Senator Justin Alfond is sponsoring a measure to would require every school board in Maine to develop a “Parental Involvement Plan.”These plans would provide parents with learning and behavior expectations, update parents on student progress, and offer ways parents can help their children succeed.
The public will have a chance to comment Wednesday, February 8th, on a $27.5 million budget for schools in Augusta.Board members are looking for ways to make some cuts to it.Right now the plan calls for at least a 4-percent increase for property taxpayers.