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News Minute: Here is the latest Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. EDT

Posted: Updated:

MAINE:

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine lawmakers this year are hoping a slew of new laws will stem drug overdose deaths. But advocacy groups say Maine hasn't done enough prevention and treatment in the midst of a crisis. Republican Gov. Paul LePage has been a critic of the repetitive use of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone but has announced steps to increase access to treatment for hundreds of uninsured individuals.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Police in Portland, Maine, say an Islamic group received a letter in the mail making threats toward the Muslim community. Lt. Robert Martin said Friday the Islamic Society of Portland received the letter Tuesday. He said police are working to identify the source of the threat, and that the department is working closely with postal inspectors and with the Maine Attorney General's office.

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - An urn containing the remains of a World War II veteran discovered during a house cleaning in New Hampshire has been returned to a Maine family. Anthony Lewis, of Rochester, tells WMUR-TV he saw the urn through the dust. It had a photo of Army Sgt. Chauncey Markham Sr., who served in the South Pacific. Markham died 17 years ago, at 77. A Facebook search turned up his family.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A Democratic senator's bill to give preference to Maine and U.S. companies in state contracts is receiving support in the Senate. Lawmakers voted Thursday to approve Sen. Troy Jackson's bill that would give preference among similar bids to in-state contractors. Republican Sen. Tom Saviello's amendment would allow businesses to qualify as in-state companies if at least 60 percent of their workforce is located within Maine borders.

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) - The U.S. Marshals Service says a woman is still at large after escaping from a police cruiser during a prisoner transport in New Hampshire. Police say 35-year-old Tamara Ipock was being transported to a different jail when she escaped from her handcuffs at an intersection in Laconia. WMUR-TV reports she was wearing her orange prison jumpsuit when she ran away Thursday.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire tourism officials are anticipating 17 million visitors and $2.25 billion in visitor spending this summer, up 4 percent in both categories over last year. More than 1 million visitors are expected to generate more than $150 million in spending from June 30 to July 4. Tourism officials are anticipating increased overnight visits, extended weekend and day trips compared to last summer.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The Republican-led New Hampshire Legislature has approved an $11.7 billion two-year state budget over the objections of Democrats who complained the plan cut taxes for businesses while leaving too many others in need. Both the House and Senate voted Thursday on the spending plan negotiated by a committee of conference earlier this month. Republicans say the deal addresses critical problems such as mental health care and the opioid drug crisis.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The New Hampshire Legislature has approved partial funding for full-day kindergarten and using the keno lottery game to pay for it. Nearly 75 percent of New Hampshire communities already offer full-day kindergarten, but the state only pays half the standard per-student amount for those pupils, or about $1,800. The state will provide $1,100 per full-day kindergarten student under the bill.

VERMONT:

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has charged a North Springfield slaughterhouse with violating the state's humane slaughter laws and is planning to impose a $1,500 administrative penalty. The state's six-count action against the Vermont Packinghouse comes after it was also cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The packinghouse owner says he's committed to humane handling.

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A $20,000 reward to help find a Vermont teenager who disappeared 13 years ago is set to expire in less than two weeks. Brianna Maitland disappeared in March 2004 after leaving her job at the Black Lantern Inn in Montgomery. WCAX-TV reports the Center for the Resolution of Unsolved Crimes has received a number of leads in the cold case, and the center says they feel close to a resolution.

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont legislative panel has deferred action on a proposal to create new sound standards for wind turbines. The Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules had been considering new sound standards for wind turbines, and was due to issue a decision by June 30. WVPS-FM reports now they will not issue a decision until their next meeting in October at the earliest.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Concern is growing in a conservative, remote corner of Oregon as people start arriving in a national forest for a Rainbow Family of Living Light annual gathering, a counter-culture get-together expected to draw thousands. Officials with the Malheur National Forest said this week that already 600 Rainbow Family members are camped at a gathering and that between 10,000 and 30,000 are likely to arrive by July 4.

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