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Patty Wight / Maine Public

Parents' Concerns Driving Both Sides Of Maine's Vaccination Referendum Debate

Next week, Mainers vote on a People's Veto referendum that will affect vaccination requirements. Question 1 seeks to overturn a new state law that prevents parents from refusing to have their children vaccinated, except for medical reasons. The Yes on 1 campaign says the new law is unnecessary and infringes on personal freedom. The No side says the law is needed to preserve public health.

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SOLON, Maine - A U.S. Senate hopeful is leaving the Maine Green Independent Party to make it easier to get onto the November ballot.

Despite worrisome new outbreaks in Iran, Italy and South Korea, the coronavirus disease called COVID-19 is not currently a pandemic, the World Health Organization said today.

In fact, there are some encouraging trends, especially in Hubei Province, where most of the cases have been reported.

The epidemic there appears to have plateaued in late January and is continuing on a good trajectory. Dr. Bruce Aylward led a WHO trip to China with a scientific delegation that just concluded. On Sunday, he told reporters in Beijing that trend is real.

Robert F. Bukaty/AP photos

A people’s veto referendum that will determine the fate of a new Maine vaccination law is generating less campaign cash and fanfare than other recent ballot initiatives, but the sources behind the money and the messaging highlight a deep rift between the state’s leading health organizations and individuals who distrust vaccines.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

An achievement gap between Maine’s low-income students and all the rest hasn’t gone away over the past four years and has even widened slightly, an analysis of the latest year of Maine students’ standardized test scores shows.

The Maine Legislature is considering a measure that would bolster funding for mental health crisis intervention programs. The proposal before the Health and Human Services Committee would redirect funds that had been dedicated to build four new mental health centers.

Police are working to identify a man found dead Sunday afternoon near railroad tracks in Portland.  Portland Police Lt. Robert Martin says officials believe the man was homeless, in his 50s and was struck by a train.  

AUGUSTA, Maine - A proposal designed to improve high school graduation rates in Maine for students who are homeless or in foster care has received the approval of a legislative committee.

The Trump administration is being criticized for its handling of certain government records.

Historians and activists charge that the White House has failed to keep notes of the president's meetings with foreign leaders, including with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that other papers, including records of alleged abuses of undocumented immigrants, could be destroyed.

The U.S. district judge presiding over Roger Stone's case swatted down his request to disqualify herself over further proceedings because of alleged bias.

In a strongly worded order issued Sunday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed the Stone defense team's claims, arguing that the motion to have her recuse herself lacked "any factual or legal support."

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine conservation officials are asking residents in the state to take a few steps to cut down the spread of invasive species.

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Maine Public Deep Dive

In this Deep Dive, Maine Public's explores the difficulty of accessing affordable, high-quality child care, as well as possible solutions.

MAINE CALLING

Question 1

Tuesday—What are the issues raised by the ballot referendum on vaccination exemptions for students?

Century Notes

Maine is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its statehood, and Maine Public has teamed up with Down East magazine to tell the stories of people who have been alive for at least half that time

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In this series for Maine Public, Journalist Matt Hongoltz-Hetling chronicled the impact Canadian hydropower is having on Inuit communities in Labrador