PORTLAND, Maine - An attorney says Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration will release more than $1 million in public campaign funding that the governor held up by refusing to sign routine financial orders.
Maine Citizens for Clean Elections attorney John Brautigam said the administration agreed to do so Monday. A superior court judge ruled on Aug. 2 that the state should release budgeted public funds to qualifying candidates, even if the governor hasn't given his approval.

Courtesy Maine.gov

AUGUSTA, Maine - Authorities in Maine and elsewhere in the country are asking residents to be on the lookout for the destructive Asian longhorned beetle this month.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says August is the best time of the year to check trees for the invasive pest, which destroys trees. The beetles can cause branches to drop from trees, and worsen storm damage.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage says Massachusetts authorities are using "shakedown'' tactics to collect tolls.
The Portland Press Herald reports LePage sent a letter to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker last month detailing claims about Massachusetts's electronic toll system, EZDriveMA. Drivers who don't have an E-Z Pass are mailed bills by the state.

TOPSHAM, Maine - The Maine Coast Heritage Trust says it's well on its way to a goal of raising $125 million by the end of 2019 to address "urgent needs.''
The land conservation organization announced Wednesday it aims to raise another $25 million. The group says it already has raised roughly $100 million in gifts of land, cash, pledges and a $10 million matching gift.
President Tim Glidden said the goal is to ensure that the coast is open to all, including thousands of fishermen, clammers and others who depend on it for livelihoods.

ORONO, Maine - A University of Maine neurobiology researcher plans to engage students in biomedicine while centering a five-year study on the creation of new nerve cells in adult brains.
The National Science Foundation has awarded UMaine assistant neurobiology professor Kristy Townsend a $1 million grant for the project. She's using the project to study the adult brain and expand a capstone course for students to conduct original biomedical research.

BATH, Maine - A seal pup that became stranded on a Maine beach is recovering at a rehabilitation center.
The Portland Press Herald reports a Marine Mammals of Maine team rescued the young harbor seal from Long Sands Beach in York on Friday. According to the organization, the seal was suffering from respiratory infections.
Marine Mammals of Maine Executive Director Lynda Doughty says the seal is still in "guarded condition'' but doing well. Doughty says the pup could be released in two to three months.

Two Maine wood-fired power plants remain inactive despite receiving approval for $1.2 million in state subsidies.

The Portland Press Herald reports a July performance report shows the plants only purchased a small fraction of the wood fuel they promised to buy. The newspaper reports owner Stored Solar has trimmed the plants' workforce and plans to restart the plants in the fall.

The plants make electricity with leftover wood from forestry operations and sawdust from lumber mills.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Consolidated Communications and unions representing more than 1,000 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are continuing negotiations as a deadline nears.

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (AP) - A New Zealander has won the Beach to Beacon 10k road race in Maine.

GREENVILLE, Maine (AP) _ The Maine Warden Service is looking for a 66-year-old man whose empty boat was discovered near the shore of an island on Moosehead Lake.

The Governor's Energy Office says the price of heating oil in Maine has dipped but remains above last year's prices due to rising global crude oil prices.

The statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $2.72 per gallon this week. The office says that the price has remained steady since March, but is up from $2.23 in October.

The statewide price of kerosene has dipped to $3.33 cents, compared with $3.48 in January. Propane prices have dipped to $2.67 compared with $2.83 in February.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage accused the state employee's union of trying to take credit for reforms proposed for the child protection system following the deaths of two children.

The Republican governor's comments came during his weekly radio address, two days after he said he was listening and responding to concerns about staffing raised by Department of Health and Human Services caseworkers. The Portland Press Herald reports LePage accused the Maine State Employees Association of talking to the media without bringing their concerns to him.

Officials say the victims of a fatal plane crash in Maine were a family from Canada.

Police identified the victims Tuesday as 58-year-olds Joseph and Anita Robertson, and 24-year-old Laura Robertson, of Ontario, Canada. The plane crashed about an hour and 45 minutes after taking off from Pembroke, Ontario, on a flight to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine (AP) - A marine researcher says a dead whale found five miles off Old Orchard Beach had been bitten by a great white shark.

A Maine labor official says the federal government is giving the OK to Republican Gov. Paul LePage's plan to direct more federal funding to job training.

Maine Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Richard Freund told State Workforce board members in July that the U.S. Department of Labor has conditionally approved the plan. The LePage administration hasn't released a letter describing the approval.