2011-12-06 / Maine

MAINE BRIEFS

Reward offered for info on jail escapee

SANFORD (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the location and arrest of a New Hampshire jail escapee who may be in Maine.

David Glenn Hobson, 33, escaped from jail in Ossipee, N.H., on Dec. 1 and is believed to have stolen a vehicle in New Hampshire to return to his home state of Maine. He is from Alfred. Investigators have been scouring the Sanford and Alfred areas in an effort to find him.

Maine seeks school accountability system

AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine is asking federal officials if it can develop its own system of accountability and recognition of schools. And the is asking for the public’s help in coming up with a system.

Maine and other states have a chance to jettison what many now consider unrealistic and unfair requirements and negative labels in the No Child Left Behind Act.

So the state is scheduling public forums to invite public opinion on what kind of replacement system should be adopted.

Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen is asking educators, parents, students and anyone who has a stake in the education of Maine’s students to weigh in at the forums and meetings and online. Forums are scheduled for Thursday in Bangor and Dec. 14 in Portland.

Conservancy buys groundfish permit

PORTLAND ( AP) — The Nature Conservancy has purchased a groundfish permit that’ll be provided to Maine fishermen with a dual goal of keeping fishermen busy and conducting research.

The Nature Conservancy is working with the Island Institute and Penobscot East Resource Center on creating Maine’s first “permit banks” in which they buy fishing permits. Then they’re given to Maine fishermen for research on fish population, fishing gear and fishing practices.

So far three permits have been purchased. The Nature Conservancy worked with the Island Institute and Penobscot East Resource Center on the other two permits.

Campsites along Allagash available

AUGUSTA ( AP) — The Maine Conservation Department says the Allagash Wilderness Waterway is providing winter campgrounds at Chamberlain Bridge and Kellogg Brook.

Registration for the campgrounds will take place starting at 8 a.m., Saturday, at the Chamberlain Bridge ranger station. The 48 campsites will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Allagash waterway Superintendent Matthew LaRoche anticipates renting out most of the 48 available campsites by noon on the first day of registration.

Average gasoline price down 2.6 cents

PORTLAND (AP) — Average retail gasoline and heating oil prices are both down in Maine.

A survey by the pricewatching website Maine- GasPrices.com says gasoline prices Sunday were 2.6 cents per gallon less than they were a week earlier, averaging $3.37 per gallon.

The statewide average was 12.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, but still 27.3 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

The state Office of Energy Independence and Security said Monday’s statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil was $3.64 per gallon, down 1 cent from last week and 2 cents from two weeks ago.

Democrat chides LePage for remark

AUGUSTA ( AP) — The Maine Democratic Party leader is chiding Republican Gov. Paul LePage for a barnyard epithet he used to summarize a meeting with three unemployed workers.

Democratic Chairman Ben Grant’s criticism was triggered by a comment LePage made to Capitol News Service reporter Mal Leary following the Saturday meeting with the workers and state Democratic Rep. Andy O’Brien of Lincolnville.

Asked for his thoughts, the governor used an expletive to describe the meeting, then repeated the word slowly. Others had described the meeting as a calm exchange.

Grant said LePage’s comment shows he’s a “bully” and that he’s ignoring the 50,000 unemployed workers in Maine.

LePage to address agency shortfall

AUGUSTA ( AP) — Gov. Paul LePage is expected to unveil a plan this week to close a $120 million deficit in the budget for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

While details of the plan have yet to be revealed, LePage said during his weekly radio address Saturday that the state can no longer afford a Medicaid program that provides health insurance to some 19,000 low-income adults who do not have children.

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