Women’s group to

host business speaker

SANFORD — York County Women’s Connection will have a dinner meeting at Christo’s Place, 1299 Main St. in Sanford, Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m. featuring Tracey Hart, owner of and baker at Auntie’s House in Springvale.

Hart will display her handcrafted gourmet chocolates, homemade giant cookies, “Moose Witches” and “Woopie Balls,” as well as local craft items available at Auntie’s House. Marcea Ewald of Brownsville, Vt. will also speak.

Cost is $14, and includes the program, dinner, dessert, tax and tip.

For reservations, call Betty at 324-7650, Lovedy at 793-81044 or email [email protected]

Science Bowl under

way today at USM

The 14th annual Maine Science Bowl for high school students will be hosted by the University of Southern Maine on Saturday, March 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the USM’s Bailey Hall on the Gorham campus, followed by an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. in room 10 of Bailey Hall. The competition will be in the style of “Jeopardy” and include a variety of subjects including biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth sciences and mathematics.

Nineteen teams composed of more than 100 students from Maine are expected to compete. The winning regional team will earn an all-expense paid trip to April’s National Science Bowl competition in Washington, D.C.

The event is free and open to the public.

LePage creates task force to study green crab

ROCKPORT (AP) — Maine Gov. Paul LePage has signed an executive order to create a task force that will study the impacts of the invasive green crab in Maine.

The Republican governor announced the new task force at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockport on Friday.

LePage says the growth of the European crab in Maine over the last couple of years is threatening shellfish like the blue mussel and soft-shelled clam. He says the species is endangering “a vital segment of Maine’s fishing economy” and “Maine’s most famous dishes, including steamed clams and the fried clam dinner.”

The 12-person task force will include representatives from the Department of Marine Resources and shellfish industry officials. It will make recommendations for controlling the growth of the species in Maine.

Dog sled teams ready for 250-mile Can-Am Crown

FORT KENT (AP) — More than a dozen sled dog teams are gearing up for a 250-mile race across the wilderness of northern Maine that serves as a qualifier for the grueling Iditarod across Alaska.

Participants in this year’s Can-Am Crown include the winner of the last two races, Ryan Anderson of Ray, Minn., along with three-time winner Don Hibbs of Millinocket, and four-time winner Martin Masicotte of St. Tite, Quebec,

The race begins Saturday in downtown in Fort Kent and continues to Allagash before looping back to Fort Kent.

Spokesman Beurmond Banville expects a fast race with the winner crossing the finish line late Sunday or early Monday. Winners of the 250-mile race, along with shorter 30- and 60-mile races, will share in $40,000.

Panel endorses

changes to rides system

AUGUSTA (AP) — A legislative committee has approved a bill to make changes to the troubled system that provides non-emergency rides to Maine Medicaid patients.

The Health and Human Services Committee endorsed the bill Thursday that would terminate the contracts of the state’s three current brokers on June 30, and compel the Department of Health and Human Services to seek proposals for new contracts more friendly to local nonprofits, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The bill now goes to the full Legislature.

The system, implemented Aug. 1 to meet federal guidelines, brought in contractors to arrange rides for MaineCare patients. But there were thousands of complaints from patients who said they missed rides to medical appointments.

“I watched that train wreck last summer,” said Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook, a member of the committee. “I don’t want to watch the same train wreck this summer.”

The DHHS had already announced that the six contracts for Connecticut-based Coordinated Transportation Solutions would not be renewed. Department officials had said they was open to giving preference to local groups and getting rid of a rule that prevents ride brokers from referring more than 25 percent of rides to themselves.

DHHS released new bidding procedures Wednesday.

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