Man pleads guilty to crash that killed 10-year-old daughter 

MACHIAS, Maine (AP) — A Maine man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a car crash that killed his 10-year-old daughter. 

Prosecutors say 47-year-old Christopher Stevenson, of Roques Bluffs, was on several prescription medications and operating without a valid license when he drove off Route 191 and hit a tree in Cathance Township in December 2017. His daughter died at the scene. 

WABI-TV reports that Stevenson was sentenced to 30 days after entering so-called Alford pleas to manslaughter and domestic violence reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon. Under an Alford plea, he pleaded guilty to the charges while maintaining his innocence. 

Under the agreement, charges of criminal operating under the influence and endangering the welfare of a child were dropped. Stevenson also admitted to driving with a suspended license.   

Maine governor signs bill to ban Native American mascots 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine public schools and universities will soon ban the use of mascots and logos depicting Native Americans. 

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ office says the bill she signed Thursday will become effective 90 days after the Legislature adjourns. 

Penobscot Nation Ambassador Maulian Dana says the law is “a huge step toward trust and respect” for indigenous people. Democratic Rep. Benjamin Collings said members of tribal communities are people, not mascots. 

Mills’ office says California, Oregon and Wisconsin have similar restrictions, while South Dakota, New York and Michigan have called for the end of the use of mascots. 

Republican opponents have argued that local boards should decide such issues. 

The last Maine high school to use such a mascot, Skowhegan Area High School, voted to stop using it this year. 

Maine Senate OKs expanded testing for lead in school water 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Senate is unanimously supporting a proposal to provide more comprehensive testing for lead in school drinking water. 

The Senate approved the proposal by Democratic Sen. Rebecca Millett, of Cape Elizabeth, on Thursday. Millett’s bill is designed to require all schools to test drinking and cooking water for lead contamination. 

Senate Democrats say the testing would be required to the extent the state Department of Health and Human Services can provide funding for it. Under current rules, only schools that are on well water are required to test for lead contamination in water. 

Lead exposure can cause brain damage as well as impaired development and learning trouble in children. The testing proposal will move on to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills for possible signature. 

Maine senators join push to grow US ag sales to Cuba 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s two U.S. senators are joining with colleagues in an effort to take away a barrier for American farmers who want to sell products to Cuba. 

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King say the proposal would help the U.S. agricultural industry by removing restrictions on private financing for the exports. They say in a statement the move is about “leveling the playing field for American farmers to open up a significant new export opportunity.” 

Collins and King are joining with 11 other senators on the proposal. Six of the senators are Democrats and five are Republicans. 

The senators say American farm products face a disadvantage in the Cuban market because the current trade rules require Cubans to pay with cash up front for U.S.-grown food. 

Maine lab gets $18M grant to continue research collaboration 

BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — A non-profit research institution in Maine is receiving a grant of almost $18 million to support its biomedical research and research training work in the state. 

MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor says the grant is coming from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which is within the National Institutes of Health. The money is intended to pay for the renewal of an 18-year collaboration of scientific and research institutions in the state for another five years. 

The collaboration is called Maine INBRE, which stands for IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence. Other members include Jackson Laboratory and University of Maine. MDI Biological Laboratory says two of the goals of the collaboration are to provide biomedical research experience to undergraduates and research support to young faculty members.  

Maine needs help picking grand new flag for 200th birthday 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The deadline has arrived for Mainers to cast their ballot about which flag should honor their state’s bicentennial. 

The state is looking at three designs for a flag to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Pine Tree State statehood. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says online voting about the designs will end on Friday at 5 p.m. 

Dunlap will make a final decision about the flag, and submit it to the Maine Legislature and the Maine Bicentennial Commission. The results of the vote will play a major role in Dunlap’s decision. 

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