GARDINER

Three insurance companies ordered to cease operations

Maine regulators have ordered three companies to stop selling insurance in the state, saying they are doing business illegally.
Insurance Superintendent Mila Kofman’s action orders the American Trade Association, Smart Data Solutions, Pinnacle Health Solutions and their operators to stop sales, issue consumer refunds and pay medical claims.

Kofman says the companies were promoting phony insurance and collecting premiums. It’s not known how many people in Maine have been affected.

MILO

Penquis Valley schools honor teacher’s long service

A Maine high school has named its gymnasium after a teacher who was the time keeper at more than 1,500 basketball games in his 50 years of service.

The Penquis Valley schools on Friday honored 72-year-old Walter “Eddie” Oakes of Milo, giving him hugs and praise.

The Bangor Daily News reports Oakes had operated the Knights of Columbus foul-shooting contest at the gym for 30 years. He taught driver education for 36 years.

Oakes retired from his full-time teaching job last year and now serves as a substitute teacher.

He was joined Friday by his family.

AUGUSTA

Baldacci underscores valueof pending bond package

Gov. John Baldacci says jobs, economic development and northern Maine’s transportation infrastructure are at stake if lawmakers fail to pass a bond package.

In his weekly radio address Saturday, the governor reiterated his support for an $85 million spending proposal that would preserve a northern Maine railway as well as provide funding for ports, highways, railroads, and water and sewer line projects.

The House last week approved the spending package, but the measure stalled in the Senate when Democrats failed to muster the two-thirds majority need to send the bond package to voters. Lawmakers are expected to take it back up next week.