AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Some members of the Maine Legislature's budget-writing committee say they were surprised by the projected funding shortfall at the Department of Health and Human Services, but the DHHS commissioner says lawmakers had plenty of warning. The Appropriations Committee held a rare Sunday meeting to ask Commissioner Mary Mayhew about her department's financial problems.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The price of a gallon of gas in Maine is rising, but not as fast as prices are going up nationally. Price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reports today that the average retail price of a gallon of gas in Maine has risen more than 3 cents in the past week to $3.55. That compares to the national average that has jumped almost 9 cents per gallon in a week to an average of $3.67.
BANGOR, Maine (AP) - University of Maine System trustees are voting on a measure to freeze tuition rates for the upcoming school year at 2012 levels for in-state undergraduates. Trustees are voting today at their meeting in Bangor on the system's operating budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1. As part of the budget vote, trustees will set tuition rates.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The unpopular decision to raise tolls on the Maine Turnpike appears to be paying off. The Turnpike Authority reports that in the six months since it increased tolls at some spots along the 106-mile highway, revenue has increased by 16% even as the number of cars using the turnpike dropped by 4%. From November through April, the turnpike took in $51.7 million in revenue, $7.2 million more than the same period the previous year.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire firefighters are urging the House to pass a casino bill Wednesday to provide more revenue for state programs. A representative for firefighters says today that the state needs money to pay for mental health programs and other spending vital to public safety. He says lawmakers need to listen to the public, which is struggling in tough economic times.
TUFTONBORO, N.H. (AP) - The New Hampshire Marine Patrol says at least 6 of 7 people on a powerboat were injured in an accident in the Lakes Region. The patrol says 18-year-old Michael Peterson of Londonderry struck Chip Island near Tuftonboro while transporting passengers to Cow Island early this morning. One passenger was hospitalized and five were treated at the scene. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Gas prices have risen in New Hampshire, but they're still below the national average. The website Gasbuddy.com says the average retail price for a gallon of gas rose 1.9 cents in the last week, averaging $3.45 in New Hampshire yesterday. The national average increased 8.9 cents per gallon in the last week, to $3.67.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The case of 3 homeless men challenging a "No Camping" order on public lands in New Hampshire is scheduled to be heard in court. The men say they have a right to camp on the public land in Concord. The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union recently filed a lawsuit on their behalf. The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today at Merrimack Superior Court.
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The school board and teachers in South Burlington are hoping a mediator can help them reach an agreement on a new contract. Negotiations have been under way since November and a mediator from Boston met with both parties May 15th but was unable to resolve an impasse in negotiations. The current contract expires June 30th.
BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Firefighters are trying to determine the cause of a fire at a home in Bennington. No one was injured in the fire, which started at the back of the house Saturday afternoon. Fire Chief John Scutt tells the Bennington Banner the fire on Silk Road just south of the Route 279 overpass was contained within an hour. He says the building was a total loss.
SWANTON, Vt. (AP) - State Police say a youth's phone call to police reporting someone trying to break into his Swanton home has led to an arrest. Police said they found 23-year-old Dillon Bertrand at the scene when they arrived yesterday. Bertrand, of St. Albans, was arrested on a charge of attempted burglary.
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A federal court judge has scheduled a June 4th hearing on a challenge by the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Entergy Corp. sued the state last month, saying regulators have delayed approval of a backup emergency diesel generator. Yankee has been ordered by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to install a backup power source by September.
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