Willis Ryder Arnold

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Prominent anti-tax crusader Carol Palesky has died at an assisted living facility in Freeport. Palesky was known for her passion and outspoken criticism of all taxes.

Maine Public

The head of the Conservation Law Foundation in Maine says the Maine Supreme Court's decision not to take up a case involving a new solar rule could affect home solar use in the state.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

More than 300 newspapers are publishing editorials Thursday challenging President Trump's assertion that journalists are the enemy of the people.  The Bostons Globe launched the initiative.  It wanted newspapers throughout the country to respond to the president's representation of journalist's role in society.

BDN

Colleagues, friends, readers and Mainers are mourning the death of Chris Cousins, a veteran political reporter for the Bangor Daily News.

PORTLAND, Maine - Influential food magazine Bon Appetit calls Portland the 2018 Restaurant City of the Year – beating out larger cities like New York or Los Angeles.

Chad Conley owns Rose Foods - one of several restaurants named as a reason Portland’s food culture beats out other cities.

Conley says he expects the article to have some effect on the business, but not on his management style. 

Flickr

Southern Maine Community College has a new president, Joseph L. Cassidy.

Cassidy has served as president of Washington County Community College and Eastern Maine Community College. He says the community college system must do more to sell its educational product.

“As our economy continues to strengthen, certainly as it has here in the Southern part of the state, it's about carrying forward the message that the best value in higher education in Maine is the Community College System.”

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says the recent discovery of new Facebook campaigns to influence elections in November are about more than voting in the fall.

In an appearance on CNN Wednesday morning, he said the posts are part of a concerted effort to undermine the American system of government.

“They’re taking the strengths of our country — free expression, First Amendment and a democratic system where opinion matters, information matters — and they’re turning it on us,” he says.

The U.S. Agriculture department says $12 billion is needed to help farmers who were hurt by the Trump Administration's tariff wars with China, Mexico and Canada.

Maine's Agriculture Commissioner Walt Whitcomb says some of that relief will likely make it to Maine dairy, potato and blueberry farmers. He says some of the administration's maneuvering has been aimed at lowering the 27 percent Chinese tariff already leveled at Maine blueberry exports – a favorite for people in China.

The head of Maine's Department of Public Safety says the agency is taking steps to address claims that a dispatch center in Augusta is significantly understaffed.

Commissioner John Morris says that recruiting qualified and skilled applicants who pass state-lead background checks and polygraph tests can be difficult, but the agency is working to address the issue.

"We're recruiting everywhere,” he says. “Job fairs, veteran's fairs, web, Facebook and the career centers for the state of Maine. So we're moving forward."

With about one-third of positions currently filled, Maine's public safety dispatch center in Augusta is chronically understaffed, according to state union representatives.

The dispatch center fields emergency calls from the public and first responders in southern Maine.

Maine State Employees Association Executive Director Alex Maybarduk says understaffing can lead to increased wait times, which he says is unacceptable and compromises public safety.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Maine has been tagged in a contentious debate over changes to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, known as SNAP or food stamps.

The Department of Homeland Security has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that is being used by hundreds of Somali immigrants for another 18 months.

In her announcement, Secretary Kirsten Nielsen said the extension was warranted because of the "ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Somalia's current designation for TPS continue to exist."

Maine Duck Tours is reassuring customers that its operation is different from the Missouri duck tours company linked to 17 confirmed deaths after one of its boats capsized in a storm in Branson.

An official with the Maine company says several factors distinguish its service from the one in Missouri. Kris McClure of Maine Duck Tours says boat styles vary greatly.

The Maine operation, which is not affiliated with the Missouri company, is also inspected by the Coast Guard for stability and safety measures, including life preserver access and fire extinguishers. 

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Sen. Angus King says President Trump's recent comments about Montenegro reflect a misunderstanding of "the whole point of NATO" as a deterrence to Russian aggression.

 

Trump recently said the U.S. "may or may not" respond if the NATO ally becomes involved in a conflict with Russia. 

 

"That flies in the face of 200 years of diplomatic history, diplomatic principal," King said in an interview Thursday morning on CNN. "It should have been dismissed completely out of hand."

 

Courtesy Ben Williamson

The Maine Coast will grace a new stamp thanks to DownEast Magazine's photography editor Ben Williamson.

A 20-stamp series produced by the U.S. Postal Service will conclude with an image of Bailey's Island that Williamson shot.

Williamson says the image that was selected came from a dawn photoshoot on Bailey's Island. "So I took about anywhere from 500 to 800 frames, hoping to capture that perfect moment. Then when I got back to the computer I noticed this one had that nice arch and that kind of poetic movement to it. And that was the one."

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