Baldacci touts new program that boosts welfare-to-work

Gov. John Baldacci says at-risk preschool children will benefit from an innovative program he calls the first of its kind in New England.

In his weekend radio address, Baldacci said the Educare Center has opened in Waterville. A formal ribbon-cutting is slated for Monday.

According to Baldacci, the partnership between state and local government and the private sector combines a high-quality educational environment with family support, aimed at helping families make the transition from welfare to work.

Baldacci said that Educare is funded through existing resources and private donations and has the potential to save the Waterville School District millions of dollars in special education costs.

In the Republican response, Rep. Rick Sykes of Harrison talked about news that Central Maine Healthcare will lay off about 35 people. Sykes said that “disturbing” development is due to debts owed by MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid system.


Outdoor clubs collect trash as thank-you to landowners

Volunteers in 14 Maine communities picked up trash on private properties Saturday to show appreciation to landowners who allow the public to use their lands.

Teams from ATV, snowmobile and sportsmen’s clubs were among those doing the cleanup work Saturday.

The effort was sponsored by the state’s Landowner Relations Program. Director Bob Duplessie said the cleanup day was organized out of concern about landowners restricting access to their properties after people dump trash there.

Nearly 24 sites identified for cleanup contained household trash, furniture and more than 900 tires.

The communities were: Augusta, Winslow, Hampden, Limington, Standish, Sebago, Oxford, Waterford, Waterboro, Millinocket, Orono, Veazie, Old Town and Presque Isle.