Maine gov vetoes Medicaid expansion for 2nd time
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Governor Paul LePage has vetoed a bill to expand Medicaid for a second time.
LePage first vetoed a Medicaid expansion that was tied to repayment of hospital debt. On Monday, he vetoed a standalone Medicaid bill.
In a message to lawmakers, the Republican governor said Maine's welfare system has grown too fast and too large, and that he doesn't trust the federal government's promise to shoulder nearly all of the cost for the next decade.
He also said the state needs to negotiate with Washington and that it needs flexibility to "improve delivery and root out fraud and abuse."
HEALTH CARE LAWSUIT
Lewiston hospital group sues state
LEWISTON, Maine (AP) - A Maine hospital group has gone to court to get more details about a proposed new health insurance plan being put together by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and MaineHealth.
The state has said that Anthem can keep details of the plan secret as it seeks approval from the Maine Bureau of Insurance.
Lewiston-based Central Maine Healthcare filed suit in Kennebec County Superior Court last week against the superintendent of the Bureau of Insurance and the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.
The suit asks the court to open the Anthem documents made confidential by the bureau to give the public more time to comment on the proposal.
A Central Maine Healthcare spokesman tells the Sun Journal (http://bit.ly/14HAm5Q) the public has a right to know.
Anthem had no comment.
Ex-Maine man sentenced for making secret videos
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A former Maine resident has been sentenced to two years in jail for installing video cameras inside a home to record undressed teenage girls.
Michael Femling, formerly of Westbrook, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in Cumberland County court to violation of privacy and visual sexual aggression against a child.
The Portland Press Herald reports that as part of a plea agreement, the visual sexual aggression against a child charges were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors and additional counts of invasion of privacy were dismissed.
Prosecutors say the 45-year-old Femling made the recordings between February 2009 and July 2011. The charges involve four teenage girls he knew.
Femling, most recently living in Billings, Mont., apologized in court and called it "the worst decision I've made in my entire life."
Augusta double-fatal crash under investigation
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Police have released the names of the two people killed in a three-vehicle crash on Route 3 in Augusta.
Police say 46-year-old Laura Hall of Liberty died at the scene of the crash just after 7 a.m. Monday.
Deputy Chief Jared Mills says 45-year-old Dean James of South China was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta where he later died.
A third driver was not injured.
All three drivers were alone in their vehicles.
Mills tells the Kennebec Journal James was headed east and it appears he crossed into oncoming traffic.
Blood samples from the drivers will be tested for intoxicants, which is standard procedure for fatal crashes.
Police are investigating whether the crash is connected to earlier reports of an erratic driver in the area.
MAINE WIND FARM
Wind farm proposed for central Maine
BINGHAM, Maine (AP) - Opposition is lining up against a proposed 62-turbine wind energy facility in Somerset and Piscataquis counties in central Maine.
Boston-based Blue Sky West, a subsidiary of First Wind Inc., filed an application last month to build a nearly $400 million wind farm on a series of ridges and hills along Route 16 in the communities of Bingham, Moscow, Mayfield Township, Kingsbury Plantation, Abbot and Parkman.
Officials in Bingham and Moscow have said they support the project.
But Chris O'Neil, director of government relations for Friends of Maine Mountains, tell the Morning Sentinel his group opposes the project because it's not needed and would mar the landscape.
The proposal is waiting for approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection. If approved, construction could begin in 2014.
King's century-old hometown library needs repairs
BANGOR, Maine (AP) - Voters are deciding whether to overhaul the century-old library in Stephen King's hometown in Maine.
King and his wife, Tabitha, agreed to pay $3 million for repairs, if the remainder of the $9 million repair could be raised from other sources. Bangor voters were deciding Tuesday whether to approve a $3 million tax-exempt bond to replace the copper roof.
The library's roof was installed in 1912, when the library was built.
King attended the University of Maine and lives in Bangor. Several King novels were based in and around Bangor, known as fictionalized Derry, Maine, and the book "It" even featured a scene inside the city library.
NH budget negotiators continue talks
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire House and Senate budget negotiators are going back to the table to try to find common ground on a $10.7 billion, 2-year spending plan.
The Republican-led Senate team and Democratic-led House team spent Monday going over spending priorities.
They also exchanged views on why they don't agree whether to expand Medicaid now to an estimated 58,000 poor adults under the federal health care overhaul law.
The Senate wants to study what the impact would be of expanding Medicaid and whether a program tailored to New Hampshire can be implemented. The House wants to expand the program now to capture an estimated $2.5 billion in federal money over the next seven years.
The deadline to reach a compromise is Thursday.
NH lawmakers seek deal on medical marijuana bills
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire lawmakers are trying to find a compromise when it comes to allowing seriously ill people to use marijuana in their medical treatment.
Both the House and Senate have passed bills legalizing the medical use of marijuana, but the Senate version eliminated a House-proposed option for patients to grow the drug at home. Supporters of the home-grow option argue it is crucial to ensure immediate access for terminally ill patients. They say it will take time to get dispensaries up and operating.
But Gov. Maggie Hassan has problems with that option and the state's ability to regulate it.
Negotiators are meeting Tuesday to try to reconcile the differences. The deadline for a compromise is Thursday.
AG's office: 2 people found dead at home in Nashua
NASHUA, N.H. (AP) - The state attorney general's office is investigating two suspicious deaths at a home in Nashua.
Police responded to the home Tuesday afternoon and found the bodies of 2 adults inside.
Authorities say they will not release the names of the people until family members have been notified.
Autopsies are being done today to determine what caused the deaths.
The investigation is ongoing.
NH woman sentenced to 5 to 10 years in son's death
MERRIMACK, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire woman has been sentenced to five to 10 years in prison for negligent homicide in the drowning death of her 8-month-old son in a bathtub.
Prosecutors said 28-year-old Melissa Gutierrez of Merrimack left her two children in the tub with the water running in 2011. The other child was 2 years old.
They said she stepped away long enough for the tub to overflow and water to drip to the floor below. Her son, Christian, drowned.
Gutierrez testified Monday that her life was filled with drugs, death and hardship and that she is angry with herself.
Gutierrez can petition the court to suspend the final year of the minimum five years if she completes parenting, life skills and mental health courses.
NH's Kuster to discuss student loan rate hike
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster is holding a telephone town hall about a pending student loan rate hike on July 1.
The discussion is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday about student loan debt and college affordability.
If Congress does not act, the fixed interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans will double form 3.4% to 6.8%, making it harder for students and families to afford higher education.
Kuster will be joined on the call by an education expert from the Center for American Progress.
She's held several roundtables to hear directly from students about how they would be affected by a doubling of the student loan interest rate.
NH FOOD BANK
NH Food Bank, officials to discuss hunger stats
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - State officials are speaking a New Hampshire Food Bank event called "Map the Meal Gap."
New numbers released by Feeding America are being discussed at Tuesday's news conference, as well as how hunger is affecting the residents of New Hampshire.
Gov. Maggie Hassan and Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas are among the speakers.
The news conference is being held at 1:05 p.m. at the Statehouse.
NH school board to reconsider dodgeball
(Information in the following story is from: Eagle Tribune (North Andover, Mass.), http://www.eagletribune.com )
WINDHAM, N.H. (AP) - Dodgeball seems to be making a comeback at the school district in Windham, N.H.
A study committee is recommending the school board permit dodgeball-style, "human target" games in the physical education curriculum, while insisting that safety be a priority.
The school board is considering the issue Tuesday night. The board had banned such games this spring because of concerns about bullying and student safety. The Eagle-Tribune reports more than 400 students signed petitions opposing the decision.
The panel was created to take another look at the situation.
Former Vt. trooper decertified as officer
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A former Vermont State Police sergeant in prison after pleading guilty to padding his timesheets can never serve as a police officer again in the state.
The Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council has voted to decertify Jim Deeghan as a police officer.
Richard Gauthier of the Vermont Police Academy tells the Burlington Free Press that Deeghan is the first full-time police officer to be decertified in the state.
The 50-year-old Deeghan has not contested the decertification.
Deeghan is serving up to two years in prison and must pay over $200,000 in restitution.
GMP says saving bats would cost $4 million
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The owner of Vermont's most hotly debated wind power project says fully protecting bats around the site would cost about $4 million a year in reduced power output.
Vermont Public Radio reports that the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Thursday in Lowell on Green Mountain Power's request to kill up to four endangered bats a year at the Kingdom Community Wind site in Lowell.
The request comes as bat populations in the Northeast have been decimated by a fungal disease called white nose syndrome.
The draft permit says GMP will pay $18,000 a year to protect other bat colonies.
Steve Wright of the Ridgeprotectors environmental group says his group is among those objecting to the permit.
FORMER FIRE CHIEF-EMBEZZLEMENT
Former Vt. fire chief enters not guilty plea
BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A former Vermont fire chief has pleaded not guilty to fraud and embezzlement stemming from a department-sponsored raffle.
Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette said some people who won prizes in the raffle never received them, and that money paid for raffle tickets was never turned over to the department.
Joseph Hayes was Bennington Rural Fire Department chief. He lost his bid to be re-elected as chief earlier this year.
The Bennington Banner reports Hayes's lawyer calls it a case of fire department politics that his client got caught up with.
Hayes was cited for false pretenses and embezzlement in February. He says he had turned over all money from the raffle to department treasurer Shawn Gardner - the current fire chief - but Gardner told police that didn't happen.
Vt. man charged with firing rounds at tree cutter
NEW HAVEN, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont man who says he fired some shots to stop a man from cutting his neighbor's trees has been accused of reckless endangerment.
Police say 72-year-old David Milson of New Haven discharged nine to 12 rounds on Sunday in the direction of 26-year-old Bradly Sprague. They were less than 500 feet apart.
Milson told police he was attempting to get Sprague's attention to get him to stop cutting his neighbor's trees that separated the two properties.
Sprague was not hurt.
Police: Vt. man drove 102 mph in 65-mph zone
WILLISTON, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont man has been charged with speeding 102 miles per hour on northbound Interstate 89.
Police said 29-year-old Vadim Davnii of South Burlington was stopped in Williston at about 10:10 p.m. Monday. The speed limit was 65 mph.
Police said Davnii said he knew he was speeding. He said he was in a hurry to get home. He was issued a violation alleging careless and negligent operation of a motor vehicle on a public highway.
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