AUGUSTA

Sen. King urges scaling back of health law requirements

Sen. Angus King of Maine is urging federal officials to streamline the reporting requirements for businesses under the federal health care law.

The independent senator sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew expressing his concerns about the burden on businesses under the current reporting requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Under the law, businesses have to report things like the personal information of each of their full-time employees with health coverage.

King said it may be overwhelming for midsized businesses that may not have the resources or personnel to comply.

King wants the federal government to scale back the reporting requirements and make sure the filing process is user-friendly.

PORTLAND

Clothes dryer fire forces evacuation of residents

Several residents of the Portland Center for Assisted Living at 68 Devonshire St. were evacuated from their apartment units after a fire broke out in a clothes dryer at the facility Saturday morning, the fire department said.

No one was hurt in the fire, which caused an estimated $5,000 in damage.

The fire triggered an alarm at 11:14 a.m. and it was quickly extinguished by firefighters, the department said.

“We evacuated the residents in the floor directly above the dryer room,” said Deputy Chief William Flynn. “They were sheltered in place on the other side of a fire door.”

After the smoke was cleared and air quality monitored, the residents were allowed to return to their apartments, the department said.

Maine’s fishery hauled in more money, fewer pounds

The state of Maine says the value of the state’s commercial fishery increased by more than $2 million last year even though there was a 15 million pound decrease in the size of the catch.

Lobster brought in a record $364.5 million last year and the size of the catch topped 100 million pounds for a third consecutive year.

Officials say there was also a 138,000-pound increase in the 2013 scallop harvest.

Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said the increase in the scallop harvest is the result of a forward-looking management plan.

The decrease in overall landings is attributed in large part to a decline in shrimp harvests of more than 4 million pounds and a decline in farmed salmon.

Law school dean will quit post but remain on staff

The dean of the University of Maine School of Law is giving up those duties next year, but plans to remain on staff.

Peter Pitegoff, who has served as dean since 2005, said a change in leadership is healthy and that the time is right. He described the changes, effective in June 2015, as a “transition,” not a “farewell.”

Law school officials say there’s plenty of lead time to conduct a national search for a successor.

Pitegoff says he looks forward to returning to the classroom and engaging in research, policy work and public service. When he steps down, he will have served 10 years as dean.

– From staff and news services