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Maine budget cuts cannot fuel economic growth

A large body of scholarship shows tax, spending cuts pump the brakes on state economies Tax cuts and reduced spending fail to spur economic growth, refuting a central argument by proponents of austerity, according to a comprehensive analysis of available scholarship published on August 18, 2020 by the Maine Center for Economic Policy. “Decades of research show that budget cuts […]

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Wastewater planning grants to the Maine town of Brooks and Eagle Lake water and sewer district

August 25, 2020 USDA Rural Development announced two Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Grants totaling $52,600. The investments will assist the Town of Brooks and Eagle Lake Water and Sewer District to improve and develop wastewater utilities. In Maine, USDA Rural Development is investing a total of $52,600 million to assist two communities: ·The Town of Brooks has been selected to receive a grant in the amount of $22,600. Town of Brooks does not have a public wastewater collection and treatment system. Individual residences and businesses provide for their own wastewater treatment and disposal through subsurface systems and suspected overboard discharges to the stream. This Rural Development investment will be used for a water and wastewater […]

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Maine drought task force: Conditions worsen with little relief in sight

08/20/2020 Maine’s Drought Task Force convened on August 18, 2020 by virtual meeting, to discuss the worsening drought conditions across the state. Since the Task Force met two weeks ago, the area considered to be in severe drought has grown to 42 percent of the state and now includes portions of Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington Counties in addition to Aroostook County, which has been in severe drought for more than 7 weeks. “We will continue to monitor conditions and convene in two weeks, or sooner, if need be,” said MEMA Director Peter Rogers. Meanwhile, we encourage anyone with a dry well to report it via our Dry Well Survey. MEMA launched the Dry”>https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/49fef6c94fd34a6a9804175ae4a3ad93?portalUrl=https://maine.maps.arcgis.com”>Dry Well Survey two weeks ago and has received some […]

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More testing for COVID-19 available in Maine

August 15, 2020 Maine’s cumulative coronavirus cases rose to 4,144, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, 127 people have died with COVID-19 in Maine. As a result of a state effort to provide medical providers with more resources to keep track of the virus, more people who want to know if they have coronavirus even if they don’t have symptoms will be able to get tested at 10 sites across Maine run by Northern Light Health, the state’s second-largest hospital system. That means broader categories of asymptomatic people — including those who have come from states with a greater prevalence of the virus — may now be able to get a test at one […]

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Maine veterans plaza groundbreaking the 17 in downtown Brunswick

On Monday, August 17 at 11 a.m. in downtown Brunswick there will be an official groundbreaking ceremony for long awaited Veterans Plaza. Dignitaries for the event range from representatives from area Veterans organizations, office of U. S. Senator Angus King, the Town of Brunswick with Todd Richardson, the landscape architect for the project.  The special guest speaker will be Captain […]

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Mining proposal near Baxter State Park has serious hazards

Company lacks financial resources to mine safely – taxpayers would be on the hook for costly cleanup August 12, 2020 By Ramona du Houx Maine’s Baxter State Park draws visitors from around the world. Mt. Katahdin is scared to indigenous tribes. The hills, paths, valleys, lakes, streams, and waterfalls are places of solace, solitude. They are where thousands reconnect with Mother Nature, with themselves and loved ones. The worst thing that could happen to the park would be pollution seeping in insidiously from a mishap made by some corporation nearby. That’s why many are worried about Wolfden Resources application to mine. The application for a proposed metal mine on 528 acres near Mount Chase, not far from Baxter State Park […]

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To protect firefighters, Maine Gov. provides gas detection meters

Aug 11, 2020 In the wake of last September’s explosion in Farmington, which was caused by a gas leak and claimed the life of Farmington Fire Department Captain Michael Bell and injured several others, Governor Janet Mills today announced that her Administration has purchased gas detection meters for twenty fire departments across Maine. The gas detection meters will allow firefighters to detect the presence of dangerous gasses and take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and others. “Every fire department in Maine should be able to detect the presence of a gas leak and take steps to address the situation safely, especially as they work to protect others,” said Governor Mills. “These new gas detections meters will prevent tragedies like the one in […]

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The Maine Emergency Management Agency Prepares for Tropical Storm Isaias

08/04/2020 AUGUSTA, MAINE -The Maine Emergency Management Agency is closely monitoring the track of Tropical Storm Isaias and is working with the Emergency Response Team, County Emergency Management Agencies, the National Weather Service, other State agencies and utilities to prepare for the possibility of damaging winds, rain and power outages. The fast-moving storm is expected to have the most impact […]

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Maine CDC Teams with USDA Wildlife Services to Distribute Rabies Vaccine

07/30/2020 AUGUSTA – Oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits will be distributed in northeastern Maine beginning on or about August 3 through August 7 as part of ongoing, cooperative rabies control efforts aimed at reducing the spread of raccoon rabies in Maine. Approximately 385,000 ORV baits targeting raccoons will be distributed by air and ground over a 2,650-square-mile area. Wildlife Services, a program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, will distribute the ORV baits in cooperation with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC). ORV baits are coated with fishmeal and distributed in one-inch square cubes or two-inch plastic sachets. Humans and pets cannot get rabies from contact with the baits but should leave them undisturbed. This […]

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Mills Administration Announces Further Investment to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19

07/30/2020 AUGUSTA- The Mills Administration announced today an investment of $1 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to significantly and quickly expand services to help reduce the disproportionately large racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 in Maine. This funding through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will expand education, prevention, and eligibility for services currently supported by the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Generally, it will include individuals referred to DHHS by communities at elevated risk of COVID-19. It will support temporary wrap-around services such as food as well as referrals to existing child care, health care, and income support programs. This funding will be provided directly to community-based organizations that are run and led by the communities they serve. […]

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Maine Mills administration adjusts outdoor gathering limit during COVID-19

Augusta, MAINE – The Mills Administration announced today an adjustment to the limit on large gatherings for outdoor activities from 50 to 100 people, effective August 1, 2020. Under the increase, however, no more than 5 people are allowed per 1,000 square feet in order to maintain appropriate physical distancing.    “Recent scientific evidence gives us a better understanding of the relative safety of outdoor activities, as compared to indoor activities,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services. “We continue to welcome opportunities for Maine people and businesses to interact in ways that the science indicates pose less risk. Physical distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene remain vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Maine as we take this step.”  The adjustment in the outdoor gathering limit is in line with Maine’s evidence-based approach to COVID-19 restrictions and reflects […]

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Maine voters overwhelmingly approved $15 million bond for better internet

July 15, 2020 By Ramona du Houx Maine voters overwhelmingly approved Question 1 on the statewide ballot, authorizing a $15 million bond investment to increase access to high speed internet in underserved and unserved areas of the state. “Voters were clear. They understand that access to high speed internet is a necessity and that no community in Maine should be left behind,” said Nick Battista, co-chair of the Yes on 1 for Better Internet campaign. “Question 1 will help our economy to recover from economic hardships caused by COVID-19, strengthen Maine’s rural economy and help families to connect to their jobs, schools and loved ones. I want to thank all of our partners who supported this campaign, and the voters who […]

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Maine to be first state in nation to use ranked-choice voting for president

July 15, 2020 By Ramona du Houx Efforts to Block Ranked-choice Voting Fail The campaign to repeal ranked-choice voting for president failed to submit enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot in November. “Voters in Maine have made up their minds about ranked choice voting. They like it, it’s easy to understand and it gives them more voice,” said David Farmer, a spokesperson for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting 2020. “Even after spending more than half a million dollars, opponents of ranked-choice voting couldn’t convince Mainers otherwise. In November, Maine voters will be able to rank their choices for president in a historic first. Today is a good day for voters and for democracy.” “We are grateful to live […]

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Maine joins coalition urging childcare funding in next federal stimulus

07/14/2020   Maine Attorney General Aaron M. Frey joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general urging the United States Senate to provide robust financial support for childcare providers in the next federal stimulus bill amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter sent to Senate leadership today, the coalition of attorneys general called on Congress to provide robust funding to address the immediate needs of childcare systems around the country. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some childcare providers are operating at reduced capacity or have closed, leaving them with little to no revenue to cover payroll, rent, insurance, and other fixed costs. This additional financial support would help childcare providers fulfill these financial obligations so that they may remain open and […]