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Glyphosate-based herbicides are poisoning the environment

A new study, published on 27th January in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, conducted by an international team of scientists led by Dr Michael Antoniou of Kings College London, found that exposure to glyphosate and its commercial Roundup formulation, can disrupt the function of the gut microbiome (bacteria and fungi) and internal body systems with potentially serious effects on human health. One’s “gut bacteria” is vital to good health, without it serious illnesses can occur. In controlled laboratory animal experiments, glyphosate was found to alter the composition, and the biochemical function of the gut microbiome by the same mechanism through which the chemical acts to kill weeds (inhibition of the shikimate biochemical pathway), even at doses claimed to be safe by the […]

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Maine changes to age-based approach to expanding vaccine eligibility

Governor moves to age-based vaccine eligibility to continue focus on older Mainers most at risk of dying and to ensure speed and efficiency of vaccination effort  Augusta, MAINE – In an effort to save lives and ensure that health care providers can efficiently and quickly vaccinate as many people as possible, Governor Janet Mills announced today that Maine will adopt an age-based approach to expanding vaccine eligibility. As a result, beginning next Wednesday, March 3, 2021, Maine will expand eligibility for the vaccine to those 60 years and older.   The planned schedule, which is subject to change depending on fluctuations in vaccine supply including an acceleration if supply increases, is as follows:  March 3: Eligibility expands to residents age 60 and older  April: Eligibility expands to age 50 and older  May: Eligibility expands to age 40 and older  June: Eligibility expands to age 30 and older  July and beyond:  Ages 29 and […]

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Maine’s AG warns vaccine providers against giving COVID-19 vaccine to ineligible individuals

02/16/2021 By Ramona du Houx AUGUSTA – People’s lives are at risk yet there have been a number of incidences where preference of whom should get the sought after COVID-19 vaccine have taken place. For example Maine Health gave priority to their own staff, which Gov. Mills has admonished. In other states there have been cases of fraud where people posed as providers only to distribute and sell the vaccine for profit. People are dying, this is a criminal act. In Maine, Attorney General Aaron M. Frey has issued an advisory to all COVID-19 vaccine providers in Maine warning them against administering doses of vaccine to ineligible individuals. This advisory comes in response to reports of improper administration by large providers […]

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Camden Library talk: Part 1: Energy in Your Mid-Coast Home

The Camden Public Library and Camden Energy Committee announce a new online series aimed at helping fuel-dependent Mainers explore their energy options, lower their energy costs, and find out what they can do to help combat climate change. The monthly series kicks off on Thursday, March 4, at 6:00 pm with a panel presentation featuring local energy experts who will discuss […]

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Dates for free ME Anti-Bias Professional Learning Series for Educators

February 16, 2021, The Maine Department of Education is sponsoring a workshop by Amber Coleman-Mortley, Moving Beyond the Movement: Fostering Authentic Transformation for Sustainable Outcomes.  This Learning Series was originally scheduled for earlier this month but it has been rescheduled and the registration has opened back up for additional attendees! Please see the updated dates below. Updated Learning Series Dates & Syllabus: Wednesday, February 17, 7:00-9:00pm Module 1 – Now is the Time: Using the past to inform the present: How do we apply anti-racism, anti-bias, and equity to civics and history classrooms? Wednesday, February 24, 7:00-8:30pm Module 2-Be bold. Be brave. Be inclusive: Engaging your stakeholders: How do we facilitate community engagement around anti-bias work? Wednesday, March 3, 7:00-9:00pm Module 3- Culturally relevant pedagogy for all: How […]

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Case of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant Confirmed in Maine

02/10/2021 AUGUSTA – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) announced that a case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 has been detected in Maine on February 10, 2021. This is the first case in Maine of this variant, which was initially discovered in the United Kingdom and has now been detected in 34 other states. A Maine resident developed symptoms in early February and tested positive for COVID-19. A sample was sent to an independent laboratory as part of Maine CDC’s process to identify potential COVID-19 variants. The Maine CDC was notified of the results this morning. The individual is a resident of Franklin County with a history of recent international travel. The individual and other household members who tested […]

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Maine Insurance Bureau conducts 450 investigations for consumers in 2020 resulting in close to $1.4 Million recovered

02/11/2021  Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa announced today that nearly $1.4 million was recovered for Maine consumers through investigations conducted by the Insurance Bureau’s consumer divisions in 2020. Additionally, policies valued at $818,000 were matched to Mainers through the Life Insurance Policy Locator, managed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), of which Maine is a member. “Throughout 2020, despite the majority of our staff working remotely, we maintained our normal daily schedules and support services for consumers and also put in place a number of pandemic-related orders and bulletins to protect Mainers,” Cioppa said. 2020 Bureau of Insurance Complaint Investigations and Recoveries: The Bureaus Consumer Health Care Division, which deals with health, life, long-term care, Medicare supplement, annuities and disability insurance, […]

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Maine Professor Fernandez applauds Biden’s Exec. orders on climate change

January 27, 2021 By LILY BOHLKE, PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE – ME AUGUSTA, Maine — President Joe Biden will sign a bundle of executive orders on January 27, reversing more Trump-administration rollbacks and setting new goals. The orders range from protecting public lands, waters and coasts, to reining in corporate pollution. He also plans to establish a National Climate Task Force and add an […]

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Maine chosen for 2021 DON’T QUIT! Campaign, a national effort to encourage youth physical fitness

February 8, 2021 The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) has selected Maine for its 2021 DON’T QUIT! Campaign, a national effort to encourage physical fitness in youth.  “The coronavirus pandemic has only reinforced how important it is to keep our bodies and minds healthy,” said Governor Mills. “I thank the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Centers for bringing this campaign to our state and I encourage all eligible schools to apply.” As part of the campaign, the NFGFC, which seeks to encourage and reward innovation in the field of youth fitness, will gift DON’T QUIT! Fitness Centers to three Maine schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness to help them construct fitness […]

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University of Maine Fort Kent – Dean’s List of fall 2020

Fort Kent, Maine – The University of Maine at Fort Kent is proud to announce their Dean’s List for the fall 2020 semester. This list includes full-time and part-time students. “Congratulations to the students who have made the UMFK Dean’s List,” said Dr. Deb Hedeen, UMFK President and Provost. “These students have demonstrated a level of commitment and determination in academic excellence. Their accomplishments are to be acknowledged and celebrated. We are proud to have these talented students as members of the UMFK community.” UMFK, situated at the center of Acadian history and culture in Maine, is a vital resource to the St. John Valley communities.  The regional baccalaureate university within the University of Maine System serves more than 1,300 students. […]

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States reach $573 million settlement with McKinsey & Company for its role in “turbocharging” the opioid epidemic with Purdue Pharma

02/04/2021 AUGUSTA – Attorney General Aaron M. Frey has joined a coalition of attorneys general from 47 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories in a $573 million settlement with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, McKinsey & Company, resolving investigations into the companys role in working for opioid companies, helping those companies promote their drugs, and profiting from the opioid epidemic. The settlement, after payment of costs, will be used to abate problems caused by opioids in the participating states. Maine will receive $3,139,915 from the multistate settlement. This is the first multi-state opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the epidemic. In addition to providing funds to address the crisis, […]

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Maine Center for Economic Policy tells Sen. Collins: Mainers Need COVID Relief

To listen click HERE. February 4, 2021 By Lily Bohlke of Public News Service AUGUSTA, Maine — As negotiations over a COVID-19 relief package continue in Washington, advocates for struggling Mainers say Congress can’t afford to wait. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, along with a group of GOP senators, made a $618 billion counterproposal to President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, and claimed what Biden proposed isn’t needed so soon after the December stimulus bill. But a new Quinnipiac poll found 68 percent of Americans support the Biden plan, with just 24 percent opposed. Mario Moretto, communications director for the Maine Center for Economic Policy, said people still are experiencing really elevated levels of hardship. “What Mainers need now more than anything is for […]

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Union membership in sharply increased in Maine in 2020

More and more Maine workers are organizing unions & fighting better wages, benefits and a seat at the table February 2, 2021 Union membership in Maine grew by 13,000 members in 2020, marking a 3 percent increase from 2019, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Union density rose from about 12 percent in 2019 to 15 percent in 2020. The report also finds that nearly 17 percent of Maine workers in 2020 were represented by unions — an increase of 3 percent from 2019. Maine’s union density outpaced the national average of 10.8 percent, which increased by 0.5 percent in 2020. “More and more Maine workers are organizing and fighting for better wages, working conditions, safety on the job […]

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The American rooted connection in history of Black poets Phillis Wheatley and Amanda Gorman

Manisha Sinha, the Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut and the author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition wrote this about the connection in history of Black American poets Phillis Wheatley to Amanda Gorman. “Amid the phenomenal response to Amanda Gorman, who delivered a poem to wide acclaim at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, lurked a bleaker current: responses that summoned for me the story of enslaved early American poet Phillis Wheatley. “In 1773, Wheatley became not just one of the first Black women but one of the first American women to be published when her book of poems, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was printed in London. Wheatley traveled to England with […]

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Over $2.4 million awarded for natural resource conservation in Maine

AUGUSTA, February 2, 2021 — Eleven projects to restore, enhance, or protect wetlands and other important natural resources around the state have been selected to receive funding from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP), the Department of Environmental Protection announced today. Projects awarded funding in this round include a dam removal project in Vassalboro, a tidal culvert upgrade in Cape Elizabeth, and conservation of high-value wetlands at sites ranging in size from 24 acres to nearly 500 acres. Conservation projects are located in 6 Maine counties and include the towns of Masardis, Winthrop, Chebeague Island, Georgetown, Harpswell, Oxford, Fryeburg, Sanford, and South Berwick. In total, $2,455,038 was awarded to restore or enhance almost 10 acres of wetlands and help conserve over 1,300 acres […]