Changes to Maine’s sea urchin harvest approved for 2019-20 

ELLSWORTH, Maine (AP) — Maine fishing regulators say they’ve approved a host of small tweaks to the rules about the state’s fishery for sea urchins. 

Fishermen harvest sea urchins so their roe can be used as food. It’s especially popular in Asia. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says an advisory council has approved a package of changes to the number of days when fishermen can harvest the urchins and how many can be taken. 

The rules apply to the 2019-20 fishing season, which begins in September. 

The harvest of urchins has been steady in Maine for the last several years. Harvesters usually bring in about 2 million pounds per year valued between $5 million and $7 million at the docks. The harvest was much larger in the 1990s, once topping 40 million pounds.  


School district says it won’t appeal private tuition ruling 

SACO, Maine (AP) — The chair of a Maine school board says the district will not appeal a state court decision that upheld a ruling allowing students in a small town to attend a private school using public funds. 

Regional School Unit 21 Chair MaryBeth Luce says that the ruling pointed out that any future changes are up to lawmakers. 

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s decision last week maintains an October ruling and means Regional School Unit 21 must pay $500,000 to cover unpaid tuition for students in Arundel to attend Thornton Academy in Saco. 

The academy and 31 Arundel parents in 2016 sued the district for voting to discontinue the funding. 

The October ruling affirmed school choice and came at the end of a 10-year contract allowing students to attend the private school. 


Senators target insulin price rise with bipartisan proposal 

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — A group of senators says it has a plan to reduce insulin prices with legislation intended to hold pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies more accountable. 

The proposal’s called the Insulin Price Reduction Act and its sponsors say it would incentivize reductions in list prices. The senators say in a statement the plan would hold “health care middlemen” such as pharmacy benefit managers accountable. 

The senators include Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota as well as Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Tom Carper of Delaware. 

The senators say enrollee out-of-pocket costs for insulin have more than quadrupled since 2007 for Medicare users. They say their proposal would create a new pricing model that would benefit both Medicare and private insurance users. 


Eversource will give up on Northern Pass after court defeat 

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The company behind a plan to bring hydropower from Canada to southern New England is abandoning the project after suffering a defeat in the New Hampshire Supreme Court. 

In a filing Thursday to the Security and Exchange Commission, Eversource concluded Northern Pass was “no longer probable” after the court last week affirmed a state committee’s decision to reject the proposal. The company had spent $318 million on it and will write off $200 million after taxes. 

The company, which wanted to build a 192-mile (310-kilometer) transmission line across New Hampshire, argued that the $1.6 billion project would bring clean energy to the region and help the economy. It was undone by opponents, who accused the company of ignoring their concerns that the project would damage state’s tourism economy and destroy rural communities. 


Task force to study Maine’s juvenile justice system 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A new state task force is studying the future of Maine’s juvenile justice system. 

The group of governmental leaders, elected officials, judiciary members and others is set to meet Monday in Augusta. 

The task force is meeting this year to unveil recommendations for alternatives to juvenile incarceration by early 2020. 

Maine Chief Justice Leigh Saufley has called it a “tragedy” that state judges face a lack of sentencing options when it comes to teen offenders. 

The state’s youth prison, Long Creek Youth Development Center, has faced calls for closure from advocacy groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. A 2017 audit found the prison was housing “many youth with profound and complex mental health problems, youth whom the facility is neither designed for nor staffed to manage.” 


Motorcyclist injured in crash that killed 7 leaves hospital 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The last of three motorcycle riders hospitalized following a crash that killed seven people has left a hospital with an escort of his fellow riders. 

WMTW-TV reports that 45-year-old Josh Morin, of Dalton, Massachusetts, was taken Thursday by ambulance to a rehabilitation hospital in Boston. 

As a show of support, riders from the Maine chapter of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club provided an escort. Morin is a member of the club. 

Morin was flown to Maine Medical Center in Portland the night of the June 21 crash in Randolph, New Hampshire. 

The driver of a pickup truck accused of causing the pileup has been charged with negligent homicide. 

Morin is suing the truck driver and the company the driver worked for. 


Funds will help Maine’s largest airport keep up with growth 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s largest airport is receiving a grant from the federal government that will help provide overnight parking for aircraft. 

Republican Sen. Susan Collins says the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded nearly $6.8 million to Portland International Jetport to expand its central deicing pad. That will allow for the overnight parking as well as an aircraft holding area. 

Collins said the federal money means the jetport will have three deicing aprons, a hold over apron and a “remain overnight” apron. That will help the jetport stay on schedule and manage increased flight traffic during Maine’s cold winters. 

The jetport served more than 2 million people last year. Collins says the federal boost will help it “keep pace with the significant passenger growth” it has experienced recently. 


Judge to weigh teen could be tried as adult in park brawl 

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A judge is set to hear arguments on whether a Maine teenager should be tried as an adult in a man’s death. 

The Sun Journal reports next week’s hearing could last three days. 

Prosecutors are seeking to try the defendant as an adult for manslaughter in the death of 38-year-old Donald Giusti, who died after the 2018 Lewiston fight. 

The defendant was 17 at the time of a brawl that contributed to racial tension in Lewiston. Another teenager and a 23-year-old man were charged with misdemeanor assault. 

The teen is being held at Androscoggin County Jail in Augusta. He was recently charged with assaulting a juvenile following an altercation at a youth detention center in South Portland. 


Man charged with arson stemming from Maine business fire 

LINCOLN, Maine (AP) — Prosecutors in Maine say a man has been charged with arson in connection with a fire that badly damaged two businesses in the northern part of the state. 

The Bangor Daily News reports Cody Ferguson has also been charged with aggravated criminal mischief and other charges. Police arrested him in May after the Maine State Fire Marshal’s office found that pipes to propane tanks at a building in Lincoln were vandalized and propane ignited due to a broken pipe. 

Ferguson’s attorney, Hunter Tzovarras, says Ferguson has “consistently denied” causing the fire and there’s no physical evidence that shows he started it. Ferguson’s expected to be arraigned on Aug. 12 and is free on bail. 

The fire caused more than $150,000 in damage. 

 

 

 

filed under: