LePage lauds House action on health care overhaul bill

Gov. Paul LePage says the House did the right thing when it passed a health care overhaul bill.

In his weekend radio address, LePage said the bill the House approved Thursday will increase competition in Maine’s health insurance market by allowing individuals and businesses to buy insurance from other New England states.

LePage said it will also help small businesses by allowing those with fewer than 50 employees to band together to purchase insurance.

The governor said well-intentioned regulations in the past have raised Mainers’ insurance premiums and reduced choices.

Democrats accuse Republicans of ramming the bill through without sufficient review. They say it will increase costs for the sickest Mainers, middle-aged people and those living in rural areas.

The bill faces more House and Senate votes.


E-ZPass transponders available at AAA offices

Looking for an unusual gift for a travel buff? The New Hampshire Department of Transportation suggests the E-ZPass “On-the-Go” transponder.

Pre-programmed E-ZPass transponders with $9.05 in pre-loaded tolls are now being sold at AAA offices in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire for $30. The balance of the $20.95 is the cost of the transponder.

Officials said the transponders can be given as gifts so drivers can start using them immediately without waiting in line to register. They’ll still have to open an E-ZPass account with three days or add the transponder to an existing account.

The preloaded transponders also will be available during Memorial Day weekend at the Hooksett rest area.


Former Goodall mill site proposed for apartments

A New Hampshire development company has proposed converting a former Maine textile mill into an apartment building.

Brady Sullivan Properties of Manchester, which has done similar projects in New England, has proposed the project to the Planning Board in Sanford.

Town Councilor Bradford Littlefield told the Journal Tribune that the conversion project is called The Lofts at Number Four, as the property was once called the No. 4 Mill. It’s expected to cost about $19 million and house up to 140 apartments.

The 278,000-square-foot mill was built in 1919 as part of the Goodall Textile complex.