Arguments are presented in campaign finance case

A judge in Kennebec County Superior Court has heard arguments in a campaign financing case from last fall’s referendum, in which Maine voters repealed the state’s gay-marriage law.

The Kennebec Journal said Justice Donald Marden, who heard arguments in the case Thursday, has yet to set a timetable for his ruling.

At issue is whether the National Organization for Marriage, which contributed $1.9 million to the campaign to repeal the gay-marriage law, should have filed as a ballot question committee. A decision could determine whether the names of its donors must be made public.

Marden said he has concerns about privacy protection for people who want to participate in the political process.


Spring frost damage may hurt fruit-tree production

Late spring frost has damaged a diverse range of plants, including apple and other fruit trees, according to the Maine Forest Service.

The frost isn’t expected to cause long-term consequences to forest trees, but may cause a serious reduction in the production of apples and some other fruit trees, according to William Ostrofsy, a forest service pathologist.

The long period of warm spring weather likely contributed to the damage by allowing tender young growth to be exposed earlier than usual, Ostrofsy said.

The forest service has received reports of damage to species including apples, Andromeda, an evergreen shrub, bamboo, American beech, ashes, oaks and maples.

The forest service will issue a full condition report on Maine trees next week.



Use of Indian mascot names to be discussed at library

The use of Indian nicknames for sports teams will be the topic of a symposium at 1 p.m. today at the Bangor Public Library.

The free symposium will feature panels with representatives from Maine’s four Native American tribes, media representatives, school administrators, students and community members.

In April 2001, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommended that all non-Native American schools drop their Native American mascots or nicknames.

The commission said such use encourages biases and prejudices.

Sponsors say that to date, more than 220 schools, colleges and institutions have eliminated Native American nicknames and mascots.


Bicycle ride to D.C. aims to help emergency workers

A group of bicyclists will begin a 480-mile ride today, supporting the families of emergency workers.

The riders will leave from the fire station on Western Avenue in South Portland and finish in Washington, D.C. Patrick Mendelsohn, a South Portland firefighter and paramedic, will be among the riders.

The event will benefit the Fallen Angels Fund, which helps families when emergency workers are killed or injured in the line of duty.



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