The state Senate approved a bill to balance the state budget for the present fiscal year.The Senate voted 27 to 8 Thursday morning in favor of the plan, following a deal over a veterans’ benefits issue which troubled some democrats.In December, the Governor proposed taking away health care from 65,000 Mainers to make up for a $220 million shortfall over the next two years in the Department of Health and Human Services.Under the budget passed Thursday, cuts will only affect about only 14,000 people who get healthcare through the state.
A bill to authorize payments to people who report MaineCare fraud will get closer legislative committee scrutiny next week.On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee heard from a number of groups and individuals who praised the idea as a potential money maker for the state, and others who found the idea of bounties distasteful.Lincoln Republican Rep.
A price-monitoring website is warning Maine motorists that gasoline prices could rise sharply during the next few days and through the weekend in Maine.GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says he expects stations to increase prices from 5 to 20 cents per gallon by the end of the weekend.DeHaan says a refinery fire in Washington state is boosting prices significantly throughout the entire West Coast, and prices in the Great Lakes area rose 30-45 cents per gallon Wednesday in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
It appears the Hampden mail processing facility will be consolidated with Scarborough.Senator Susan Collins said postal workers heard the news Wednesday night.TV-5 talked to postal service spokesman Tom Rizzo, who said they are unable to confirm anything at this time.”The postal service has a responsibility to directly notify its employees and stake holders prior to any public release of a study result,” says Rizzo.According to Rizzo, a public announcement will be made near the end of the month and no consolidation or closing of any postal facility will happen before May 15th.The postal service has said the consolidation will save them $8,000,000 a year.We’re told about 180 people work at the Hampden facility, and while some positions would be created in scarborough, more than 40 would be eliminated.
Two fishermen were rescued from their sinking boat off the coast of Kennebunkport.They were onboard the 81-foot “Plan B” and called the Coast Guard Tuesday morning to say it was taking on water and pumps couldn’t keep up with the flooding.They told the Coast Guard they were putting on survival suits.A rescue boat and helicopter were sent.Meanwhile the crew of another fishing boat heard the call and was able to help the two men off the sinking boat.
Two men from New York arrested in connection with a crack cocaine ring in Bangor pleaded not guilty Wednesday.30-year-old Dawlin Cabrera of Bronx and 27-year-old Luis Gonzalez appeared in federal court.They are two of at least eighteen people police say took part in a drug ring that was busted in November when police raided four apartments on Ohio and Garland Streets.Cabrera and Gonzalez face up to forty years in prison.
A convicted sex offender from Charleston pleaded not guilty Wednesday to producing and possessing child porn.43-year-old Carey Gonyer is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of possession of child pornography.In December, he was indicted on ten counts of sexual abuse of a minor.Five years ago, Gonyer was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for having child porn.If convicted on the current charges he could be sentenced to up to twenty-five years in prison.
Colby College has landed a high-profile speaker for their commencement.Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will speak at their May ceremony.School officials say they are currently working out the details.They say weather will determine whether the general public will get to see Blair speak.If the commencement is outside, it will take place on the lawn of the Miller Library and be open to the public.
Orono is giving residents a chance to meet the candidates before the local election.The Orono Town Council and school board is hosting Wedneday’s candidates’ night.It starts at seven at council chambers on Main Street.If you can’t go, you can watch on cable channel seven.The Municipal election will be held Tuesday, March 13th.
A Maine state senator has proposed changing the rules that restrict educators and other state workers from collecting retirement benefits at the same time they are getting a full paycheck.Cape Neddick Democrat Dawn Hill says a money-saving law passed last year restricting so-called “double dipping” missed the mark because while it was aimed at superintendents and principals it ends up hurting classroom teachers and state workers.Hill’s bill specifically states that the restrictions are to apply to superintendents and principals, not state employees or teachers.Chris Galgay, president of the Maine Education Association,tells Maine Today Media that the current restrictions prevent local school boards from rehiring good teachers and teacher assistants.
A man from Jonesboro lost his home this morning when it went up in flames while he was out on his morning walk.Jonesboro Fire Chief Mike Schoppee says when crews arrived around 6:30, the home was fully engulfed.Schoppee says six departments were on scene for about seven hours, but they couldn’t save the home.The Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.