New England News
2:49 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Popularity Of Classic Boot Has L.L. Bean Struggling To Keep Up With Demand

Credit Patrick via Flickr CC

L.L. Bean will soon be making its iconic boots around the clock to try to meet demand this holiday season.

The Maine-based company says some styles are on back order until February. The company is in the process of hiring 100 workers and purchasing new equipment to double its capacity for making the boots' traditional rubber soles.

Sales have grown from fewer than 100,000 a decade ago to about 450,000 this year.

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New England News
2:30 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Maine Senate Seat Still in Dispute as Legislature Opens for Business

Democrat Cathy Breen, right, held a press conference as her Republican rival, Cathy Manchester, took the contested Senate District 25 seat. Joining Breen were Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, front left, and Breen's husband, Jay Geller, back right.

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 5:31 pm

AUGUSTA, Maine - On the Maine Legislature's opening day, partisan lines were drawn in the Republican-led Senate, which rejected a demand from Democrats that would have effectively left the voters of southern Maine's District 25 without a state senator.

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New England News
2:57 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

LePage Proposal Would Ban Purchase of Junk Food on Food Stamps

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 6:29 pm

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage says he wants to promote more nutritious foods for all Mainers, including those who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. 

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10:30 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Discovery Of 'Phantom Ballots' Has Maine Democrats Questioning State Senate Race Results

The discovery of 21 so-called "phantom ballots" in Maine's state Senate District 25 has Democrats crying foul. All 21 ballots were cast in Long Island for Republican Cathleen Manchester. Some Democratic officials are calling on Maine's Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to intervene. But Dunlap says the outcome of the disputed election is up to the Maine Senate.

This story appears courtesy MPBN News.

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New England Snapshot
4:15 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Maine Candidates for Governor Spar Over Natural Gas Pipeline

Gov. Paul LePage discusses his views on a natural gas pipeline expansion Monday at a news event in Gorham.

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 4:19 pm

Republican Gov. Paul LePage is defending his support of legislation that could make it easier for private businesses to use eminent domain to seize property for natural gas pipeline expansion. The governor says the legislation is necessary to alleviate what he calls the New England energy crisis. But the governor's two opponents oppose the move.

At issue is federal legislation known as H.R.1900, The Natural Gas Permitting Reform Act, which aims to streamline the permitting process for the development of natural gas pipeline projects.

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New England Snapshot
2:25 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Maine Sponsors NASCAR Race Car To Promote Tourism, Business Climate

Gov. Paul LePage poses for the cameras with Miss Maine, left, Miss Teen Maine, and NASCAR driver Austin Theriault, in front of Theriault's car.
Credit Patty Wright, MPBN

It's being billed as the first-ever public-private sponsorship of a race car. Today Gov. Paul LePage announced that the state of Maine will use Fort Kent NASCAR driver Austin Theriault's car as a billboard for the slogan, "Maine is open for business." The sponsorship cost the state $50,000. Some are celebrating the move, while others question whether it will drive business to the state.

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3:23 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Portland Public Schools Planning Online Program

The exterior of Portland High School in December 2012.
Tom Porter MPBN

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 5:34 pm

The Portland Public School Department plans to launch an online program this year. The district is trying to get a slice of the virtual school pie as it faces competition for students — and funding. But some educators remain skeptical of yet another online option. Portland officials say it's an important — and innovative — option for students.

The first day of school is a busy one for Portland Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk. He rides his bike to district schools to personally welcome students back.

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New England Snapshot
3:17 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Maine Scientists Launch Long-Term Study of Marine Life in Casco Bay

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 10:21 am

Scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland are trying to better understand how the ecosystem of Casco Bay is changing. This summer, they launched a comprehensive survey of marine life in the bay that will unfold over the next 10 years. MPBN's Jennifer Rooks caught up with some of the researchers.


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New England Snapshot
4:27 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

In Maine, Opposing Sides Gear Up For Battle Over Bear Hunting Referendum

Credit Michael Webber via Flickr CC

Supporters of a referendum to ban the use of bait, hounds and traps in Maine's annual bear hunt began canvassing neighborhoods in Portland over the weekend. Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting say they don't oppose hunting in general, just the use of what they consider cruel and inhumane practices. They plan to contact tens of thousands of voters across the state over the next few weeks to make their case. Opponents are also gearing up.  And both sides are feeling confident as the election draws closer.

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New England News
3:49 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Pentagon Considers Maine Site For Missile Facility

Credit Via US Department of Defense

Pentagon officials are coming to western Maine this week to gather public input regarding a possible missile defense site in Redington Township.

The Franklin County site - which already operates as a survival training facility for the Navy - is one of four locations being considered in the eastern half of the United States. The others are Camp Ravenna in Ohio, Fort Custer in Michigan and Fort Drum in New York state.

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New England Snapshot
4:48 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Maine Public Safety Launches Distracted Driving Enforcement Effort

Gov. Paul LePage speaks at a press conference on distracted driving Tuesday.
Mal Leary MPBN

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 4:43 pm

The Department of Public Safety has launched a multipronged effort to beef up enforcement of the state’s distracted driving laws and increase public awareness about the dangers of risky behavior behind the wheel. In Maine, over the last three years, 41 highway deaths have been attributed to distracted driving. And state troopers are seeing widespread violations of distracted driving laws.

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New England Snapshot
3:54 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Battle Over South Portland Tar Sands Ordinance Not Over Yet

An oil tanker makes its way into the harbor in South Portland.

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:38 pm

When South Portland Mayor Jerry Jalbert announced the 6-1 vote to approve a measure that will block the loading of raw crude, including Canadian tar sands oil, onto tanker ships in the southern Maine city, residents and supporters, who had filled the community center, rose to their feet and gave the City Council a standing ovation.

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New England News
4:10 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Maine Fire Investigators Partnering With Four-Footed Helpers - Arson Dogs

Justin Davis of the San Antonia Fire Department, with his arson dog Kai.

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 5:42 pm

Arsons accounted for more than 150 fires last year in Maine. They killed three people, injured more than a dozen and caused more than $4 million worth of property damage. The state Fire Marshal's Office investigates thousands of fires a year to determine which are crimes, and increasingly relies on arson dogs to help with the investigations.

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All Things Considered
4:40 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

200-Year-Old Ellsworth Estate Frozen in Time

Joshua Torrance is director of the Woodlawn Museum and Gardens, an estate in Ellsworth that's frozen in time.

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 5:41 pm

This summer, we're taking a road tour, looking at some of the museums, attractions, and hidden gems around the state.  Today we travel to Ellsworth, where an historic house stands virtually untouched since its last occupant passed away in the 1920s. 

George Nixon Black left no descendants, but he worked all his life to preserve his family's Woodlawn Estate - the gardens, the home and its top-notch furnishings. Here, you can see a nearly 200-year-old home frozen in time through three generations of an Ellsworth lumber family. 

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New England Snapshot
5:09 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Maine Marine Animal Rehab Center Releases Last Seals Before Closing

A harbor seal, the same kind as the five seals that were released today in Biddeford.

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 6:21 pm

At 7:00 tonight, five seals will emerge from kennels and flop across a Biddeford beach into the ocean. It will be the final release of rehabilitated seals from the University of New England's Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation Center. UNE announced last month the center would close due to financial constraints and a shift in programming. Those who rescue stranded marine animals say they're scrambling to figure out how to continue helping animals in distress.

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