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  • Published
    March 3, 2010

    Local lobstermen see income drop sharply again

    Knox County lobstermen saw their income plummet 18 percent last year, according to preliminary landing reports. The amount of lobster landed across the state reached a record high but the price per pound paid to the harvesters continued to fall, resulting in a significant decline in income. The 75.6 million pounds of lobster landed in Maine were the most since the Maine Department of Marine Resources and …

  • Published
    February 28, 2010

    Medical costs vary dramatically across state

    A colonoscopy costs $1,730 for an uninsured patient having the procedure done at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport. The same patient would pay as little as $1,130 for a colonoscopy at Mercy Hospital in Portland or as much as $4,895 at the Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville. These are among the findings of a cost comparison provided by the Maine Health Data Organization. The organization …

  • Published
    February 21, 2010

    Road paving, economic development divide legislators

    Legislators agree that the state’s roads need to be paved but are at odds on how to achieve that goal with shrinking gasoline tax revenues. The Maine House on Feb. 17 killed a bill, LD 1501, that would have required that any surplus in the Maine Department of Transportation’s highway and bridge light capital program be used for maintenance paving of roads. The House voted 82-53 to accept a motion made by Rep. …

  • Published
    February 16, 2010

    Legislators split on low-level military flights

    Local legislators were divided on a resolve to voice opposition to proposed low-level training flights by the Massachusetts Air National Guard over Western Maine. The House voted 116-20 on Feb. 9 to issue a resolve to Maine’s members of Congress, expressing opposition to the flights. The resolve states that these flights, which would be done at low altitudes, would disrupt the quality of life for residents and …

  • Published
    February 5, 2010

    State representatives reject auto excise tax cut

    Most local legislators voted Jan. 28 against a bill that would have reduced the state’s motor vehicle excise tax. The Maine House voted 87-49 to reject LD 195, which would have reduced the basis for taxing vehicles to 90 percent of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. The Legislature’s Taxation Committee had recommended the bill be killed. Voting to kill the legislation were Democratic Reps. Chuck …

  • Published
    February 3, 2010

    Legislators nix hybrid system for electing president

    Local legislators were nearly evenly split on a bill that calls for the election of the president of the United States to be decided by a different system than the current electoral college system. The House voted 96-50 Feb. 2 to kill the legislation. Now it goes to the Senate. For the bill to survive it would have to be approved by the Senate and then the House would have to vote again on the matter and …

  • Published
    January 26, 2010

    Environmental activist asks court to halt offshore wind power project

    A Rockland man, who for much of the past two decades has tackled a variety of environmental issues, has gone to court to halt the proposed demonstration wind power project off Monhegan Island. Ron Huber claimed in his appeal filed Jan. 26 in Knox County Superior Court that the designation of waters off Monhegan as a test site violates his constitutional rights to practice his religious stewardship of Penobscot …

  • Published
    January 26, 2010

    Local legislators oppose bill for mandatory sick leave

    Local legislators are lining up against a bill that would require businesses to provide paid sick leave for workers. LD 1665, titled “An act to prevent the spread of H1N1,” is sponsored by state Senate president and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Elizabeth Mitchell of Vassalboro. The bill requires a business with 25 or more employees to give a maximum of 52 accrued hours of paid sick leave per year to any …

  • Published
    January 26, 2010

    Republican to challenge incumbent Midcoast House member

    A Republican candidate has filed her intent to challenge an incumbent Democratic House member from the Midcoast. Wendy Pelletier of Hope has filed paperwork with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices as a first step to be a publicly financed candidate for the Maine House District 44 seat. That seat is held by Democratic Rep. Andrew O’Brien of Lincolnville. O’Brien, who is serving …

  • Published
    January 20, 2010

    State figures show holiday season began with lower sales

    The slump in retail sales continued with the start of the holiday season as November purchases were down from a year earlier. This was the 16th straight month that sales were down compared with the previous year. But for the second consecutive month, the decline was less steep than during the spring and summer, according to figures provided by the Maine Bureau of Revenue Services. Overall retail sales in the …

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