Monday, March 10, 2014
From staff and news services
OLD ORCHARD BEACH
Council will be sworn in Monday as first planned
The inauguration of the six residents who were elected Tuesday to replace six Old Orchard Beach town councilors will be held Monday, as originally scheduled.
The new councilors will be sworn in at Town Hall immediately after the final meeting of the current seven-member council, which must meet to certify the results of the election that removed six members from office. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Bob Quinn is the only councilor to survive the recall vote, which followed months of political turmoil prompted by the town manager's ouster in March.
On Thursday, the inauguration was postponed one week because of a possible recount of recall election results. However, some residents complained that the delay was not necessary and would leave the new councilors with just one week to review and pass a town budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Councilor Michael Coleman, who was recalled by a margin of 11 votes, is expected to formally request a recount before the deadline at 6 p.m. Tuesday. If the recount changes the results of the election after Monday's inauguration, Coleman will be returned to his council seat in a separate inauguration, according Assistant Town Manager V. Louise Reid.
Mainer awarded $200,000 for doctor's misdiagnosis
A Maine man who was told he had only months to live because of an aggressive Stage 4 pancreatic cancer is still alive more than four years later. And a jury has awarded him $200,000 for the doctor's misdiagnosis.
It turns out Wendell Strout suffers from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a more treatable form of cancer.
He sued Central Maine Medical Center for damages, citing "tremendous emotional distress" as well as lost income and loss of enjoyment. The Sun Journal said a jury awarded him $200,000 on Thursday.
The lawsuit accused a former CMMC doctor of advising his patient that he "faced certain death" before procuring pathology results.
Strout eventually got the good news that his affliction wasn't as dire as initially believed.
Analysis: LePage inflated number of complaints
A newspaper analysis indicates Gov. Paul LePage overreached in April when he said he'd received "hundreds and hundreds" of complaints about Maine's unemployment claims process.
LePage said during a visit to an Auburn elementary school that the appeals process was "one-sided" and favored former workers.
But the Sun Journal said Friday that only 30 of the nearly 400 complaints stacked on LePage's desk since he took office in January 2011 came from business owners who took issue with the administrative appeals hearing process.
And the newspaper said the governor's office received twice as many phone calls, emails and letters from unhappy former workers than they did employers' complaints.
LePage launched a blue-ribbon commission to review Maine's unemployment compensation system. A federal investigation is also under way.
Governor signs bill to pay state's debt to hospitals
Gov. Paul LePage has signed a bill that will pay off the state's debt to Maine hospitals, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, for Medicaid services.
LePage has signed a bill to pay off Maine's share of a debt to hospitals for providing Medicaid services.
The Democratic-led Legislature unanimously approved the bill late Thursday night.
The hospitals will receive $490 million in state and federal money. The state's share of $183.5 million will be covered using bonds, paid off with anticipated revenues from a restructured, 10-year liquor contract. The state's contribution will trigger a federal match to complete the payment.
The bill has been one of LePage's top priorities since taking office in 2011. He vetoed a previous measure because it included a proposal to expand Medicaid coverage.
Hospital officials say not being paid by the state has forced hospitals to put off buying new equipment, restrict travel and hiring and freeze salaries.
Maine getting $1.5 million to help with blizzard's cost
Maine is getting $1.5 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help costs due to the blizzard of Feb. 8-9.
A federal disaster declaration had authorized aid for Androscoggin, Cumberland, Knox, Sagadahoc, Washington and York counties.
The money reimburses public agencies and certain private nonprofits for 75 percent of their eligible costs. For the snowstorm, most of the costs were for emergency response overtime work and for clearing tons of snow from public roads and other public areas.
Restaurants promoting underutilized mackerel
Atlantic mackerel is being featured on menus at Maine restaurants as part of a campaign that aims to promote underutilized seafood species found in the Gulf of Maine.
Beginning Friday, about 20 participating restaurants and retailers will promote mackerel for 10 days as part of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute's Out of the Blue campaign, now in its second year.
The campaign last month featured redfish. Dogfish, whiting and pollock are set to be featured in additional promotions this summer and fall.
Mackerel is considered one of the healthiest fish for human consumption, but there is little demand for it.
For a list of participating restaurants and retailers, people can visit www.gmri.org.
Upgraded intersection set to open Monday on Route 1
An upgraded intersection of Payne Road and Route 1 is scheduled to open Monday, completing a big step in the state's Dunstan Corner road construction project.
This $2.8 million project at the intersection of Route 1 and Payne, Broadturn and Pine Point roads includes new pavement and a realigned Payne Road intersection. It also includes an upgraded traffic light and a new water main.
Payne Road has been moved north from its previous intersection with Route 1.
The state Department of Transportation is recommending motorists use Route 1 and Haigis Parkway because that intersection was improved recently to handle more traffic than the more rural Payne Road.
The department also said work will continue in and around Dunstan Corner and advises drivers to use caution and allow for extra time when passing through the area. All work is scheduled to be completed by the end of July.
Guard members returning from Afghanistan mission
About 100 Maine Army National Guard members are returning to the state after a yearlong mission in Afghanistan.
The members of the 488th Military Police Company will be welcomed home in Bangor on Saturday afternoon.
The soldiers left Maine in July of last year and have been doing security force operations in Afghanistan for more than nine months.
Man facing cruelty charges over dog shot with 100 BBs
A Waldoboro man is facing animal cruelty charges after a veterinarian found a dog with as many as 100 BB pellets embedded in its skin.
Aaron Armstrong, 32, was arrested Thursday on a charge of aggravated animal cruelty and held on $25,000 cash bail.
The stray black Labrador was found two weeks ago behind a home in Waldoboro and taken to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter.
Someone adopted the female dog and took it to be spayed. That's when a vet noticed strange lumps on the skin. X-rays showed dozens of BBs under the dog's face, back and legs.
Dr. Dean Domeyer of Boothbay Animal Hospital treated the dog and said despite the trauma it appears to be happy and friendly.