January 20

Dispatches

LePage applauds renovation of 2006 transit coach bus / Direct flight to Washington to remain following merger / Two-person team to discuss findings from pipeline study

AUGUSTA

LePage applauds renovation of 2006 transit coach bus

Gov. Paul LePage is celebrating the renovation of a bus that has saved thousands of dollars and supported Maine jobs.

The Republican governor’s office said the Maine Military Authority’s renovation of the 2006 transit coach bus cost just $100,000 while a new, 32-foot bus would have cost $260,000.

An MMA spokesman said the renovation of the bus will increase its service life expectancy by four to seven years.

LePage recently applauded the renovation at a ceremony in Augusta.

MMA is a quasi-state agency that has refurbished more than 14,000 military vehicles at the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone. It announced its expansion into transit buses in August.

BANGOR

Direct flight to Washington to remain following merger

A direct flight from Bangor to Washington, D.C., will remain in place following the merger of US Airways and American Airlines.

Both the Bangor International Airport and Portland International Jetport have direct flights to Washington, and Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King said they’ll remain in place after the merger.

Bangor’s airport director said that’s good news for travelers trying to get to more destinations. Tony Caruso told WABI-TV that the merger also opens up additional travel options through the American network.

Caruso said the merger process is expected to take up to a year as both companies combine their equipment and workers. The new company will operate under the American Airlines name.

SOUTH PORTLAND

Two-person team to discuss findings from pipeline study

A student researcher and a climate activist who have traversed sections of the Portland-to-Montreal pipeline are ready to discuss what they’ve seen.

Environmental organizer Brett Chamberlin and Kaity Thomson, a University of New Hampshire student with a fellowship with the National Wildlife Federation, are participating in an event Monday at Bug Light Park in South Portland.

Thomson has been studying ecosystems at risk of contamination from a possible spill along the pipeline, which passes through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Some residents are concerned that a pipeline that sends crude oil north from South Portland could be reversed to bring tar sands oil from Canada. They believe that could expose the area to harmful toxins.

– From staff and news services

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