Drivers on Maine Turnpike can expect delays this week

Drivers who use the Maine Turnpike late at night this week can expect delays.

Dan Morin, spokesman for the Maine Turnpike Authority, said drivers will encounter delays as long as 25 minutes in both directions between miles 65 and 69 in New Gloucester.

He said intermittent traffic stops are needed to accommodate the erection of overhead signs in preparation for the turnpike’s new high-speed tolling facility, which will open next summer.

The delays will occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. through Thursday. They are expected to end by the time the morning commute starts Friday.


MEA drops its lawsuit over school insurance claims

The Maine Education Association has dropped its lawsuit targeting a law requiring insurers, health maintenance organizations and other medical service organizations to provide information concerning a school unit’s insurance claims history.

Gov. Paul LePage said Monday that school districts can now generate savings to reinvest in the classroom “instead of wasting time and money fighting frivolous lawsuits.”

The idea of the law sponsored by Rep. Ralph Sarty of Denmark is to make information available so school districts can explore lower-cost options. The MEA Foundation sued last year but a district judged denied the request for an injunction and the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling. Anthem, the insurance provider for the MEA Benefits Trust, will now be required to release claims data when it’s requested by a local school board.


Maine’s highest court goes back to school this week

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is going back to school.

Justices are visiting three Maine high schools this week, as they hold oral arguments in cases that have been appealed to the court.

The court will hear three cases Tuesday at Biddeford High School and three more Wednesday at Brunswick High School, including the appeal of a Portland man who was convicted of murder and sentenced to 38 years in the death of his roommate. On Friday, the court will hear three cases at Bucksport High School.

Justices have held appeals hearings at high schools around the state for the past several years to educate and expose students to the workings of the judicial system.


Town selling about 25 old parking meters for $25 each

Skowhegan is selling a piece of its history.

The town has put about 25 old parking meters up for sale at $25 apiece. That’s significantly more than the 10 cents the meters accepted for two hours of downtown parking 30 years ago.

Town Manager John Doucette said the aim was at first to sell the meters all together, but people kept asking if they could buy one or two, so selectmen agreed to sell them individually.

Made in Oklahoma City with a red “expired” flag in a glass window, each meter has a little lock box at the bottom, where coins would land for later collection. But no keys are available and the lock mechanisms are corroded.


Compassionate Composting to open in mid-November

An Auburn woman is getting ready to open a business she says many people find disgusting, but which she says provides a critical service.

Michelle Melaragno’s business called Compassionate Composting Inc. composts the carcasses of large dead animals, mostly horses and cows.

Construction on her facility has started and she hopes to open for business in mid-November. She told the Sun Journal she has already turned away requests to compost 21 horses.

She said state law for disposing of dead horses and cows is complex and expensive, and for many people, misunderstood.

The goal is to produce a commercially viable compost that can be sold to wholesalers, or even to the animal’s original owner, who can use it in their own gardens.