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Paul Sancya / Associated Press

Analysts Say Maine Independent Voters Aren’t All That Independent

The largest group of registered voters in Maine is not enrolled in any political party. They prefer to call themselves “independents,” but studies show that relatively few of these Mainers are truly free of partisan leanings.

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Maine children born from 1978 to 1983 have faced overall slim chances of ending up in the top 20 percent of their peers of household earnings, a study has found.

It’s the year of the squirrel in New England. The animals have never had so much fame, never been the subject of so much attention.

It’s partly because they’ve put themselves in the spotlight—or in our headlights might be more accurate. Their populations have boomed in recent years, fed by a glut of acorns, and now they’re running across roads en masse in search of more food.

The thing is, all these squirrels aren’t just affecting our highways. They’re getting into houses as well. 

Ever heard of these food additives? Synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, methyl eugenol, myrcene, pulegone, or pyridine?

These compounds can help mimic natural flavors and are used to infuse foods with mint, cinnamon and other flavors.

You've likely never seen them on food labels because food manufacturers are permitted to label them simply as "artificial flavors."

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Even before Sen. Susan Collins announced how she would vote on the Kavanaugh confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, dozens of people were gathering in Lobstermen Square in downtown Portland across the street from her office.

Updated at 8:41 p.m. ET

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Friday, and his confirmation now seems all but certain, after a key swing vote, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, declared her support in a speech on the Senate floor.

Moments after Collins completed her remarks, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced in a statement that he too will support the nomination when it comes up for a final vote.

That final vote is expected as soon as Saturday.

Stephan Savoia / Maine Public

Maine Department of Marine Resources commissioner Patrick Keliher has sent a letter to NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center, refuting a recent memo which suggests that the lobster industry may be playing a role in the decline of the North Atlantic Right Whale.

A federal judge has tossed a lawsuit from a group of fishing associations that challenged the creation of an underwater monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

Months in prison didn't rid Daryl of his addiction to opioids. "Before I left the parking lot of the prison, I was shooting up, getting high," he says.

Daryl has used heroin and prescription painkillers for more than a decade. Almost four years ago he became one of more than 200 people who tested positive for HIV in a historic outbreak in Scott County, Ind. After that diagnosis, he says, he went on a bender.

Toyota has announced a safety recall of some 807,000 Prius and Prius V cars in the U.S., saying that the company needs to fix a problem that could cause the vehicles to lose power and stall "in rare situations." The recall covers Prius vehicles from the 2010-2014 model years and Prius V cars from the 2012-2014 model years.

"While power steering and braking would remain operational," Toyota says, "a vehicle stall while driving at higher speeds could increase the risk of a crash."

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MAINE CALLING

Ballot Question 1

Thursday—We learn about Question 1 and how differing sides see how the initiative will affect universal home care funded by a tax on higher-income families.

This Day in Maine gathers together the news that matters to Mainers. The nightly show features stories from the award-winning Maine Public Radio News team.