This Just In (131)

'We have had enough of this': BLM protests spark reactions

A protest and march, organized by Portland Racial Justice Congress, "was disruptive, and that is the point," wrote one blogger, after police arrested 18 and broke up the demonstration in the Old Port Friday night. Idman Abdul, 22, and 17 other Maine residents were arrested for obstructing a public way during the Black Lives Matter protest on Commercial Street Friday. Idman Abdul is the name of the individual who issued a press release announcing the…

Medical cannabis turned away as heroin treatment

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has declined to add opiate addiction as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, a move that is being used in a campaign to legalize marijuana in Maine. "These kinds of decisions by the state simply underscore the need to pass Question 1," said David Boyer, director of the Yes on 1 campaign. "As we all know, marijuana is a substance less harmful than alcohol, which is widely…

ACA insurance costs on the rise: Co-op's proposed rate hikes would affect over 58,000 in Maine

A public hearing at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26 will preview proposed rate increases, some as high as nearly 45 percent, by Community Health Options, a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan, or "co-op," under the Affordable Care Act.Better known as Obamacare, the ACA has been rocked by higher-than-predicted costs for the co-ops, including Maine's, which was once considered a flagship of the 2010 law.In a Maine Bureau of Insurance statement from earlier this year, the agency noted…

Rental scams target Portland-area Craigslist browsers

A rental on Maggie Lane, near Warren Avenue, in Portland, offered a $550 monthly rent, and the situation was unique, according to the Craigslist ad. The listing claimed: "My family and I just moved down to (North Carolina) due to my new job transfer as a military, we will be here for 2 to 3 years. My initial plan was to sell the house but I find it difficult to let go this adorable home, I…

Compromising with developers: Neighborhood groups counseled to avoid all-or-nothing lawsuits

Developers and neighborhood groups in Portland often meet in court as adversaries, but another approach is gaining ground: compromise outside of courtrooms.Peter Monro, cofounder of Keep Portland Livable, a group that opposed the original plan for the so-called Midtown development project near Marginal Way, noted that developments often can be shaped without an "all or nothing" approach. Perhaps Exhibit A is the Midtown development. On Monday, Portland officials announced that the city had closed on…

Chipman wins party's nod to seek Alfond's Senate seat

Maine Rep. Ben Chipman, after serving three terms in House District 40, won a hotly contested race for the Maine Senate, replacing as the party's standardbearer Portland's Sen. Justin Alfond, whose endorsement Chipman won in the closing days of the campaign. Races with contested party nominations were decided Tuesday. In State Senate District 27, Chipman of Portland's Parkside neighborhood faced off with Dr. Charles Radis of Peaks Island; and Maine Rep. Diane Russell, a progressive…

Public works a work in progress: New director offers stability following several incidents

The department head shuffle, a recent phenomenon at City Hall, continued Monday as one more position was filled, but it was an important one. The city hired a new head of Public Services, for the public works department, an agency that has drawn some fire in recent weeks and months.In late May 2015, a whistleblower in the city's Public Services department said his boss was fired after hidden cameras captured scenes of him stealing diesel…

Amtrak on the rebound: Downeaster survives dismal 2015; 'It's a very forgiving public'

On Monday, May 23, the same day that the Amtrak Downeaster summer schedule went into effect, board members for the train took stock of what had been a disastrous year.Railbed maintenance and weather played havoc with ridership in 2015, but board members learned that the Brunswick-to-Boston train was enjoying a remarkable rebound, according to attendees."The ridership for all intents and purposes is back. ... It's a very forgiving public," said Wayne Davis, chairman of the…

History preserved: Maine Masonic Civil War Library delves into state's role in Civil War

Maine and the nation recently celebrated the 150th commemoration of the Civil War (1861-1865), and books continue to come out weekly on all aspects of that terrible time in the nation's history. People continue to study and explore the ramifications of the conflict on a daily basis. For those interested in the role Maine and Mainers played in the war, a must is a visit to a little-known resource, the Maine Masonic Civil War Library…

Firefighters and funding: Jetport exercise held against backdrop of spending, growth

Local firefighters carried stretchers and tended to mock patients Saturday during a full-scale training exercise simulating a mass-casualty incident at the Portland International Jetport. The grim specter of a plane crash or other jetport disaster was the scenario. The purpose: evaluating the handling of multiple patients, review of emergency operations center functions and establishment of a family center which "will be set up by the airlines in trying to reunite loved ones and family and…
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