Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s clash with Democratic lawmakers over whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act ended with his veto — and a vow by Democrats to try again.

LePage said the state must address current problems in its Medicaid system before expanding it to cover about 70,000 more residents. Democrats said Maine will miss out on about $700,000 a day, or $256 million a year, by rejecting federal funding for expansion.

The story, one of several partisan quarrels in Augusta, was voted Maine’s top story of 2013 by The Associated Press and its member news organizations.

The runner-up was a story that grabbed national headlines — the tale of a man dubbed the North Pond Hermit who lived in the woods for nearly three decades before being arrested for theft and burglary. Christopher Knight, 47, served seven months in jail.

The No. 3 story was U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s decision to come out as gay. He would be the nation’s first openly gay candidate to be elected governor if he wins in November.

North of the Maine border, 47 people were killed when an unmanned Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railways train with 72 oil tankers derailed in Lac- Megantic, Quebec. The disaster plunged MM&A into bankruptcy and led to safety changes and lawsuits. It was voted No. 4.

For the No. 5 story, a fitness instructor and her business partner who ran a prostitution operation in Kennebunk served jail sentences, bringing the case to a close. Alexis Wright served nearly six months of a 10- month sentence, while her business partner, Mark Strong Sr., was sentenced to 20 days in jail.

The scuttling of Norwegian energy company Statoil’s offshore wind power project following meddling by the LePage administration was voted the No. 6 story. LePage, who opposes wind power, said Statoil’s project would have pushed high costs onto utility customers.

The No. 7 story was a referendum vote in which Portland became the first East Coast city to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The referendum was largely symbolic since the state already decriminalized possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.

Tied for the No. 8 story were the warming Atlantic Ocean and the killing of a teenager who police say was lured by a man using a fake Facebook profile.

Over the summer, the water temperature was the third-highest on record and coincided with a decline in phytoplankton, a key part of the ocean food chain. An Orono man, meanwhile, was accused of creating a fake Facebook profile and using it to set up a meeting with 15-year-old Nichole Cable, of Glenburn, before killing her May 12. Kyle Dube is awaiting trial on a murder charge.

The 10th-ranked story was a series of three major fires in downtown Lewiston in just over a week that destroyed nine buildings and left nearly 200 people homeless. Two 12-year-old boys and two men were charged with setting the fires in Maine’s secondlargest city.

Other stories getting votes were the state repaying its hospitals for Medicaid services; a polar bear attacking a Maine attorney in Canada; L. L. Bean tapping Bean’s great-grandson to serve as chairman; a spate of methamphetamine lab busts; the debate over socalled tar sands oil; and the Navy’s decision to scrap the USS Miami submarine, which was set afire in 2012 at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

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