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Residents of a neighborhood where Portland wants to create a new homeless shelter want to know how the city went about the selection process. Residents worry the center would bring violence and drug use to their neighborhoods.

City officials surprised its residents in late June when they announced plans for plans for the $10 million, 200-bed center on city-owned land near the Barron Center campus. It would replace the Oxford Street Shelter in downtown Portland.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down for a summit today in in Helsinki, Finland. This is the first stand-alone summit between the two leaders, and comes just days after an American grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers on charges related to Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The two leaders are holding a news conference following their meetings. 

AUGUSTA, Maine  - Thousands of child care workers in Maine will now have to undergo criminal background checks and fingerprinting under a new law.

Gov. Paul LePage's administration is terminating Maine's contract with a Massachusetts-based firm that was helping with the state's Medicaid application process.

Bangor Daily News reports the administration has ended a contract with Commonwealth Medicine after a year. The Shrewsbury company had previously agreed to a 25-month contract worth $5.6 million from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. - Attorney General Jeff Sessions says federal prosecutors in eight states will pursue even seemingly small synthetic opioid cases in hopes of reducing the supply of the drugs in areas with high overdose death rates.
 
Sessions announced the new program Thursday in New Hampshire, which President Donald Trump has called a "drug-infested den.'' He's scheduled to make a similar announcement Friday in Maine.

BDN

Gov. Paul LePage has signed off on the sale of about $115 million in voter approved bonds after blocking the sale last month.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Gov. Paul LePage is threatening to keep the Legislature in session until Election Day in November unless it deals with a number of key issues he wants resolved. 

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine's fiscally conservative governor says he'd rather go to jail before expanding Medicaid and putting the state in "red ink.''

Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, told WVOM Radio Tuesday that he can't be forced to expand eligibility for Medicaid without an approved funding plan. 

"Nobody can force me to put the state in red ink," LePage said. "And I will not do that.  So, you can tell the Maine people, I'd go to jail before I put the state in red ink."

Leaders of both major political parties are scrambling to fill candidate vacancies across the state as 33 party nominees have withdrawn from legislative races. Most of the nominees were republican contenders. Mal Leary Mal Leary joined Maine Things Considered from the capitol to explain what this all means. 

This story was originally published July 11, 2018 at 6:05 p.m. ET.

Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Senator Angus King says he has concerns about the judicial record of President Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. King cites Kavanaugh’s ambiguity on Roe v Wade, the Affordable Care Act’s required coverage of pre-existing conditions and his comments about Presidential immunity as points of concern.

“He’s already pretty much stated that he doesn’t think it’s appropriate to even investigate a sitting President, which I find kind of bizarre,” King says. “In law school I learned that no person is above the law.”

Alex Brandon / Maine Public

The House Appropriations Committee has unanimously approved a measure sponsored by Maine Congressperson Chellie Pingree that is aimed at keeping siblings together while in federal custody. Pingree says it’s the least Congress can do.

“Siblings are being unnecessarily separated under HHS care,” she says. “This includes children who have been forcibly separated from their parents or legal guardians and those who cross the border together but who are unaccompanied.”

LePage To Cut Short Deal That Outsourced Medicaid Staff

Jul 11, 2018
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is putting an early end to a contract it awarded to a Massachusetts firm to handle part of the state’s Medicaid application process and take over the jobs of 10 state employees.

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Maine independent U.S. Sen. Angus King had some harsh words for President Trump this morning.  King said on CNN that Trump's rhetoric going into the NATO summit played into the political machinations of Russia's leader Vladimir Putin and could weaken Western alliances.

"He [Putin] views the Western alliance as a threat and he wants to see it undermined," King said. "That's their strategy and that's why they got involved in European politics, they got involved in our politics. This is what they want to do and I'm afraid that we're playing into Putin's hands."

Alex Wong / Getty Images

Maine Sen. Susan Collins says the U.S. Supreme Court nomination process has become hyper political and could damage public confidence in the courts. Collins' comments come just a day after President Trump announced Federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee.

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