August 1, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and wire reports

(Continued from page 2)

The Legislature's watchdog agency, the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, is also looking into the allegations as well as the workplace atmosphere.

Leahy-Lind said in a statement that her job became intolerable.

"I can no longer work in an environment where experience and expertise is cast aside, people are discouraged from acting honorably and those who come forward with complaints are targeted for harassment and abuse," she said in a statement issued through her attorney, Cynthia Dill of Portland.

John Martins, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, said the agency does not comment on personnel matters.

Leahy-Lind's resignation Wednesday was first reported by the Sun Journal.


Group wants LePage to back disclosure of bisphenol-a use

A number of Maine mothers are urging Gov. Paul LePage to support the disclosure of bisphenol-a in food packaging.

On Wednesday, the group asked LePage to send letters to Maine's 10 largest food companies, asking them to disclose which products have packaging made with BPA. The group will drive the letters from Bangor to LePage's office in Augusta.

The Republican governor vetoed a bill that would have required companies with $1 billion or more in gross annual sales to report to the state if they use chemicals like BPA in food packaging.

Peter Steele, LePage's communications director, said the federal government, not the state, should be responsible for regulating the chemical and that the letters should be directed to the Obama administration.


Lobster lovers already assembling for annual party

Lobster lovers started getting out their bibs at noon Wednesday during the kickoff of the state's largest festival dedicated to Maine's signature seafood.

The 66th annual Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland features five full days of festivities in celebration of the lobster.

The festival each year draws about 100,000 visitors who put away more than 20,000 pounds of lobster.

Besides lobster, the festival features a sea goddess coronation, a parade, entertainment, tours of a U.S. Navy ship, cooking contests, carnival rides and a lobster crate race where contestants run across lobster crates floating in the water.


Wardens' search continues for missing Tennessee hiker

The Maine Warden Service is looking for help from searchers affiliated with the Maine Association of Search and Rescue as they continue their search for a hiker missing on a rugged section of the Appalachian Trail.

Geraldine Largay of Brentwood, Tenn., has been missing for more than a week.

The warden service had said the logistical and physical challenges involved in scouring the remote terrain restricted its ability to use untrained volunteers. So they're asking members of the MASAR to call the organization's duty officer.

Officials said they are planning for a more intensified search as more resources become available.

The 66-year-old Largay, an experienced hiker, contacted her husband from the top of Saddleback Mountain on July 21 but failed to meet him as planned the following day.


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