Willis Ryder Arnold

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine's voter-approved Medicaid expansion is scheduled to begin today - but it remains blocked by Gov. Paul LePage.  LePage has vowed to veto a bill funding the state's share of the cost and refused to file paperwork needed to tap into federal funding.

Maine's largest unions are condemning a U.S. Supreme Court decision Wednesday that's widely regarded as a blow to collective bargaining and union power.

In Janus v. AFSCME, the court ruled that public employees can't be forced to pay fees to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining.

The Maine AFL-CIO and the Maine State Employees Association both issued statements saying they'll continue fighting for workers, despite the ruling. 

Canal 5 Studio of Portland

Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) officials say plans to construct a cold storage facility on the Portland waterfront will continue as most-recent plans crumble.

Americold has dropped plans to build the facility next to the International Marine Terminal in Portland. 

But Deputy DOT Commissioner Jonathan Nass says economic studies of the port show the project is needed and viable, and he says the department is looking at other options.

Lucia Helder / Maine Public

More than one hundred people filled Lobsterman's Park in Portland at noon Monday to protest the Trump administration's migrant family separation policy and demand action from Maine's congressional delegation.

Cellie Reegan showed up to let Congress know that she opposes family separation, indefinite incarceration, restricting legal immigration and abandoning asylum seekers.

“As my sign here says, I’m the proud granddaughter of immigrants," Reegan said. "My grandparents came here with nothing and I empathize with the people who are fleeing their countries.”

NNECAPA Photo Library

Shaw’s grocery store executives are apologizing to an African American man after an incident this week in their Saco store. The man says he was singled out because of his race.

Rory Ferreira’s says his experience at Shaw’s this week has him feeling vulnerable in the state he calls home.

“I'm not new to this community,” Ferreira says. “I'm not someone who rabble-rouses in this community. I love where I live. I love my neighbors. I love Maine.”

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage said he'd “absolutely” send members of Maine's national guard to the U.S.-Mexico Border if asked by President Trump's administration.

After an Eggs and Issues breakfast put on by Portland's Chamber of Commerce, he implied people crossing the border illegally hinder other non-U.S. residents from gaining legal immigration status.

“I'm all for fixing it,” Lepage said. “I'm all for all of them coming in. But lets do it legal. File the application. Stand in line and wait like everybody else.”

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Mainers are heading to their local polling places Tuesday to cast their votes in a primary race that features a broad number of candidates.

Over the past week, negative ads have emerged from different candidates.

Democratic candidate for governor Janet Mills attacked her opponent Adam Cote for his former Republican position, and Cote’s campaign went after Mills for accepting money from outside the state.

Ned Cabot says the ads did affect his vote.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

As national pride month picks up steam, members of Maine’s LGBTQ community are celebrating a fresh victory. The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles will no longer require people getting IDs and driver’s licenses to select only male or female to indicate their gender.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Maine’s U.S. congressional delegation is working to ensure that U.S. trade representatives will protect the Maine lobster industry from future tariff wars.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin are meeting with trade representatives Friday in Portland to discuss the European Union’s recent tariff break for importing Canadian lobster.

Patty Wight / Maine Public/file

Maine biking enthusiasts will now have a new digital tool at their disposal for searching out favored rides throughout the state.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine will release the "Where to Ride" resource Tuesday.

MaryBeth Luce oversaw the project. She says the group worked with clubs to select the best routes in the state.   

"They been specifically chosen because they've either been vetted personally by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, or by trusted partners of ours," Luce says.

U.S. House Representative Chellie Pingree says Paul Ryan's choice not to seek reelection in November highlights Republicans’ struggle to work alongside the Trump administration.

Pingree wants House Speaker Paul Ryan to use his final time in office to work across the aisle on immigration. She says this is a chance for the Speaker to introduce a House immigration package similar to reforms passed by the U.S. senate in recent years.

Portland Police are working with departments in Westbrook and Falmouth to address a series of robberies in the area.

Six businesses have been targeted in less than a week, which police say is unusual.

“We frequently get robberies but we very seldom see a rash of them in such close proximity in this short amount of time,” says Portland Police Lieutenant Robert Martin.

The robber appears to be a man who wears a dark face mask. He uses a gun to demand cash.

Courtesy Maine Arts Commission

Maine's Poetry Out Loud champion this year comes from Zambia, and he has only lived in Maine for a few months. 

Allan Monga, a junior at Deering High School, won the competition Tuesday night with the poem "In the Desert" by Stephen Crane. 

The challenge includes approximately 9,500 students from across the state. Monga says winning it one of his top achievements since arriving in Maine.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

School walkouts in support of stricter gun laws continued Thursday morning after schools were closed due to weather on Wednesday.

The U.S. House of Representatives is abandoning their investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government to alter the 2016 election.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree says the decision to halt the House Intelligence Committee’s inquiry “was absolutely premature” and could impact how people perceive elections going forward.

Pingree says the committee usually functions along nonpartisan lines but said Republicans seemed intent on protecting the president during this investigation.

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