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Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A publicist for rock legend Gregg Allman says the organist and singer for The Allman Brothers Band has died. He was 69.

Ken Weinstein confirmed Saturday that Allman died at his home in Savannah, Georgia.

Allman had cancelled some 2016 tour dates for health reasons. In March 2017, he canceled performances for the rest of the year.

After years of substance abuse, Allman contracted hepatitis C and underwent a 2010 liver transplant.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Allman was raised in Florida by a single mother after his father was shot to death.

He and his older brother Duane formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band. It featured tight guitar harmonies by Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, a pair of drummers and the smoky, blues inflected voice of Gregg Allman.

 


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Bill would honor veterans of nuclear weapons testing era

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey are pushing a bill meant to honor veterans who took part in nuclear weapons testing.

The bill would authorize the award of a military service medal to members of the Armed Forces exposed to ionizing radiation after participating in the testing of nuclear weapons or under other circumstances.

Supporters say between 1945 and 1962, about 225,000 members of the Armed Forces participated in hundreds of nuclear weapons tests and became known as Atomic Veterans.

The tests put the veterans in hazardous areas and exposed them to radiation as part of their duties. Many suffered from radiation-related diseases and other health issues. They were also sworn to secrecy.

Fellow Massachusetts Democratic Reps. Katherine Clark and Seth Moulton are among the bill's co-sponsors.


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Fire at Rochester City Hall Annex causes roughly $20K in damage

ROCHESTER — A fire at the City Hall Annex Friday caused about $20,000 in damage to the building that is currently under renovation.

According to the Rochester Fire Department, at about 8 p.m., a fire broke out on the second-floor ceiling of the building.

Chief Norman Sanborn reported that multiple crews attacked the fire aggressively and put the blaze out in a timely manner.

Crews from the Dover Fire Department and Milton Fire Department helped to clear the scene by about 10:30 p.m.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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New England judge denies accused man's request to juggle during trial

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts judge has denied a man's request to juggle during his trial to show jurors he was just clowning around when he allegedly tried to rob a convenience store.

The Republican reports that a Springfield judge on Thursday rejected Orlando Melendez's motion to juggle for jurors at his upcoming trial.

Melendez has pleaded not guilty to charges he used a toy gun to try to rob a convenience store in December.

The 20-year-old Melendez, who is representing himself, wrote in a motion that he is "literally a clown." He asked to juggle three wads of paper for 20 seconds to show jurors that he's a serious clown and the alleged attempted robbery was a misunderstanding.

Jury selection is set to begin on June 8.


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In opioid crisis, a new risk for police: accidental overdose

BEL AIR, Md. (AP) — As Cpl. Kevin Phillips pulled up to investigate a suspected opioid overdose, paramedics were already at the Maryland home giving a man a life-saving dose of the overdose reversal drug Narcan. Drugs were easy to find: a package of heroin on the railing leading to a basement; another batch on a shelf above a nightstand.

The deputy already had put on gloves and grabbed evidence baggies, his usual routine for canvassing a house. He swept the first package from the railing into a bag and sealed it; then a torn Crayola crayon box went from the nightstand into a bag of its own. Inside that basement nightstand: even more bags, but nothing that looked like drugs.

Then — moments after the man being treated by paramedics came to — the overdose hit.

"My face felt like it was burning. I felt extremely light-headed. I felt like I was getting dizzy," he said. "I stood there for two seconds and thought, 'Oh my God, I didn't just get exposed to something.' I just kept thinking about the carfentanil."

Carfentanil came to mind because just hours earlier, Phillips' boss, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, sent an email to deputies saying the synthetic opioid so powerful that it's used to tranquilize elephants had, for the first time ever, showed up in a toxicology report from a fatal overdose in the county. The sheriff had urged everyone to use extra caution when responding to drug scenes.

Carfentanil and fentanyl are driving forces in the most deadly drug epidemic the United States has ever seen. Because of their potency, it's not just addicts who are increasingly at risk — it's those tasked with saving lives and investigating the illegal trade. Police departments across the U.S. are arming officers with the opioid antidote Narcan. Now, some first responders have had to use it on colleagues, or themselves.

The paramedic who administered Phillips' Narcan on May 19 started feeling sick herself soon after; she didn't need Narcan but was treated for exposure to the drugs.

Earlier this month, an Ohio officer overdosed in a police station after brushing off with a bare hand a trace of white powder left from a drug scene. Like Phillips, he was revived after several doses of Narcan. Last fall, 11 SWAT officers in Hartford, Connecticut, were sickened after a flash-bang grenade sent particles of heroin and fentanyl airborne.

Phillips' overdose was eye-opening for his department, Gahler said. Before then, deputies didn't have a protocol for overdose scenes; many showed up without any protective gear.

Gahler has since spent $5,000 for 100 kits that include a protective suit, booties, gloves, and face masks. Carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin and easily inhaled, and a single particle is so powerful that simply touching it can cause an overdose, Gahler said. Additional gear will be distributed to investigators tasked with cataloguing overdose scenes — heavy-duty gloves and more robust suits.

Gahler said 37 people have died so far this year from overdoses in his county, which is between Baltimore and Philadelphia. The county has received toxicology reports on 19 of those cases, and each showed signs of synthetic opioids.

"This is all a game-changer for us in law enforcement," Gahler said. "We are going to have to re-evaluate daily what we're doing. We are feeling our way through this every single day ... we're dealing with something that's out of our realm. I don't want to lose a deputy ever, but especially not to something the size of a grain of salt."

Other changes for Harford deputies include carrying bigger doses of Narcan — four milligrams instead of single-milligram doses. Because synthetic opioids are so potent, more of the antidote is necessary to reverse an overdose. Deputies have also been instructed not to try to field test drugs from overdose scenes; instead, they send it to a lab.

Todd Edwards, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Baltimore, said drug users and officers are encountering fentanyl and carfentanil because the substances can be easily ordered over the internet, and dealers only need to mix a tiny amount into a batch of heroin in order to significantly stretch their supply.

Edwards said the DEA is trying to spread the word about fentanyl, carfentanil and something called "gray death," which is a mixture of both, plus heroin and other substances. Edwards said agents are working with medical examiners' offices, police and community organizations to increase awareness. But because of the scope of the problem, it's a struggle.

Despite the warnings, Phillips was shocked by the power of the poison he was exposed to.
"Even though I did the same thing on this call that I'd done on 100 other calls, and all those other times I was fine, this time I wasn't," he said.


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Proposal would make it easier for small farms to sell meat

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Two lawmakers from Maine are behind legislation they say would make it easier for small farms and ranches to get meat to consumers.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, and Sen. Angus King, an independent, are re-introducing the Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption, or PRIME, Act. Their proposal is designed to give states the ability to allow in-state distribution of custom slaughtered meats such as beef, pork and lamb to consumers, restaurants, grocery stores and others.

Pingree, who raises grass-fed cows on an island farm, says she often hears from farmers about a lack of available meat processors. She says law tweaks would make it easier to process meat locally and allow farmers to serve local customers.

Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie and Sen. Rand Paul are co-sponsors.


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Thoreau's desk, other artifacts head to NY for new exhibit

CONCORD, Mass. (AP) — The simple desk on which Henry David Thoreau wrote "Walden" and "Civil Disobedience" has left Concord, Massachusetts, for the first time.

The green wooden desk and 18 other Thoreau artifacts have been loaned by the Concord Museum to New York's Morgan Library & Museum for a new exhibit about the 19th century philosopher and naturalist called "This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal."

Concord Museum curator David Wood says the desk was made in 1838 by a cabinetmaker who charged Thoreau about a dollar. It was in his Walden Woods cabin and his Concord home before going to the museum. Thoreau wrote on it daily and kept his journal locked inside.

The exhibit runs from June 2 to Sept. 10 in New York before returning to Concord.


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FairPoint to award $50K to New England nonprofits to expand broadband

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — FairPoint Communications is awarding $50,000 to three nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to connecting and serving communities in Maine.

The telecommunications company says that under the FairPoint Connected Communities program, it will provide $16,000 and a customized package valued up to $1,000 to each of the organizations. FairPoint plans to announce the winners in early July.

Since 2008, FairPoint has invested more than $50 million to extend broadband service in Maine, and broadband is now available in nearly 90 percent of its territory in the state.

FairPoint is in the process of merging with Illinois-based Consolidate Communications. Company officials expect to close the deal later this year.


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Trump says he'll decide on Paris climate deal next week

TAORMINA, Sicily (AP) — President Donald Trump says he'll make a final decision on whether the U.S. will stay in the Paris climate agreement next week.

Trump's surprise announcement, in the form of a tweet on the final day of his lengthy international trip, comes after Trump declined to commit to staying in a sweeping climate deal, refusing to give into intense international pressure.

Earlier Saturday, the other six members of the G-7, a group of some of the world's wealthiest nations, voted to abide by the Paris climate agreement, according to a person familiar with the talks. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter before the formal announcement.

Trump was cajoled for three days — first in Brussels at meetings of NATO and the European Union, then in Sicily for G-7 — but will leave Italy without making clear where he stands. Under the G-7 agreement, the Trump administration will be given more time to consider whether it will remain committed to the 2015 Paris deal to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

Backing out of the climate accord had been a central plank of Trump's campaign and aides have been exploring whether they can adjust the framework of the deal even if they don't opt out entirely. Other G-7 nations leaned heavily on Trump to stay in the climate deal, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying "we put forward very many arguments."

"His views are evolving, he came here to learn and get smarter," Gary Cohn, national economic council director, said Friday of the president's thinking.

Trump, who will return to the White House under a cloud of scandal, started Saturday at the second day of the G-7 summit in Sicily, bringing to an end a nine-day trip that started in Saudi Arabia and Israel before moving on to three European stops.

The trip has largely gone off without a major misstep, with the administration touting the president's efforts to birth a new coalition to fight terrorism, while admonishing partners in an old alliance to pay their fair share.

"Big G7 meetings today. Lots of very important matters under discussion," Trump tweeted between events. "First on the list, of course, is terrorism. #G7Taormina."

Trump also touted a renewed commitment by NATO's member to spend more on defense.

"Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in- NATO will be much stronger," he said. Trump was referring to a vow by NATO countries to move toward spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024. Only five of NATO's 28 members meet the target: Britain, Estonia, debt-laden Greece, Poland and the United States, which spends more on defense than all the other allies combined.

There is no evidence that money has begun to "pour in" — and countries do not pay the U.S. or NATO directly. But Germany, for instance, has been increasing its defense spending with the goal of reaching the 2 percent target by 2024.

But after the pomp of presidential travel overseas, Trump will return to Washington to find the same problems that have dogged him.

As a newly-appointed special counsel is beginning his investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and close adviser, has become a focus of the probe, according to The Washington Post. His lawyer said Kushner will cooperate with investigators.

James Comey, the former FBI director leading the Russian probe until Trump abruptly fired him, is still expected to testify before Congress about the memos he kept on conversations with the president that involved the investigation.

The search for a new FBI director continues.

And Trump's policy agenda has run into problems. The GOP health care bill that passed the House faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, after a Congressional Budget Office analysis that it would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026. The president's budget was widely criticized for deep cuts to safety net programs. And some are starting to question the chances for tax reform.

But first Trump has to finish the day in Sicily, which includes a meeting with small African nations and a G-7 leader lunch. After the summit, the president will address American troops on an Italian base before departing for home.

Not yet on the agenda: a news conference.

If that holds, Trump will break with presidential precedent by not holding at least one lengthy question-and-answer session with the press while abroad. Anxious about Trump's tendency to make things worse for himself with unscripted remarks, the White House staff has kept the president a safe distance from journalists for most of the trip.

Trump was warmly welcomed in the Middle East, but in Europe he's faced a far cooler reception. He's been willing to risk disapproval, engaging in an extraordinary scolding of close allies over their responsibility to pay for mutual defense.

Trump took part in the ceremonial spectacle of the summit over the two days, this time at a picturesque Sicilian town above the Mediterranean Sea. But he also held one-on-one meetings with the leaders of Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. The meeting with Merkel came just a day after Trump reportedly called Germans "bad." Cohn stressed Friday that the president was simply being critical of the U.S. trade imbalance with Germany.

Trump also understands that Germany is bound by the rules of the European Union and could not unilaterally change its trade policies, Cohn said. Trade was a big topic, with Cohn saying the United States' guiding principle will be "we will treat you the way you treat us," suggesting that retaliatory tariffs could be imposed.


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British Airways cancels most flights from London

LONDON (AP) — British Airways has canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports as a global IT failure causes severe disruption for travelers.

The airline says it has suffered a "major IT systems failure."

BA says terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick have become extremely congested and it is cancelling all flights from the airports until 6 p.m. local time. It is urging passengers not to go to the airports.

Earlier, passengers at Heathrow reported long lines at check-in counters and flight delays.

BA has not said what is causing the computer problem, but says it is working to resolve it as quickly as possible.


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Investigation after swastikas found at New England high school

READING, Mass. (AP) — Officials in Reading are investigating after swastikas were found on two separate occasions at Reading Memorial High School this month.

The first was found drawn in permanent marker on a classroom floor on May 4. The second was found on a cinderblock wall in a bathroom on Wednesday.

Police Chief Mark Segalla says town leaders are committed to ridding the community of hateful speech. He says it's up to adults to teach young people the meaning of a swastika, and the hate and violence associated with it.

Superintendent John Doherty says if you ignore hate, it grows.

The community is working with the Anti-Defamation League to respond.

Swastikas were also recently found at schools in Duxbury and Lexington.


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Police identify suspect in double killing on Oregon train

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Authorities on Saturday identified a 35-year-old Portland man as the suspect in the fatal stabbing of two people on a Portland light-rail train in Oregon.

Jeremy Joseph Christian is being held in the Multnomah County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder and attempted murder.

Police say two people died Friday and another was hurt in the stabbing after a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, one of whom was wearing a hijab.

Police say that before the stabbing the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using "hate speech or biased language."

One person was dead at the scene and another died at a hospital. The third person was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


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Maine's oldest college holds commencement

BRUSNSWICK, Maine (AP) — Maine's oldest college is continuing its commencement tradition.

The speakers the 212th commencement of Bowdoin College on Saturday were a pair of graduating seniors, not high-profile luminaries as at many other institutions.

Starling Irving and Raisa Tolchinsky were tapped for the honor.

Past student speakers have included poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary, and biologist and researcher Alfred Kinsey.

Degrees were awarded to 478 graduates from 39 states; the District of Columbia; Puerto Rico; and 20 countries and territories.


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Police: Person shot, killed in downtown Boston

BOSTON (AP) — Police are investigating after a person was shot to death overnight in Boston.

Police say the victim was shot around 2:30 a.m. Saturday in the city's Chinatown neighborhood, which is located downtown.

The person was declared dead at the hospital. Authorities have not identified the victim.

Further information was not immediately available.


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New England man charged with kidnapping girl, 6, who went missing

NORTON, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has been charged with kidnapping a 6-year-old girl who police say went missing for hours before she was found in his car.

Police say witnesses had seen the girl talking to a man in a black car with tinted windows around 11:45 a.m. Friday in Easton. They say the child was reported missing just after noon and was last seen leaving her Norton home alone with a pink suitcase.

An officer pulled over a car around 2:45 p.m. Police say the girl was found unharmed in the vehicle.

Police say the driver, Avery Howard, was questioned and later arrested on charges of kidnapping and assault and battery.

Authorities say Howard will be arraigned at a later date. It couldn't be determined Saturday if he has an attorney.


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News flash: Cubs stay classy in 'Anchorman' road trip spoof

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Chicago Cubs kept it classy on their way to open a road trip at Dodger Stadium, with the World Series champions dressing as characters from the Will Ferrell comedy "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."

Manager Joe Maddon colored his gray hair a dark brown and dressed in a suit and red tie in a nod to Burgundy, the San Diego TV news anchor played by Ferrell in the 2004 comedy. Burgundy's nightly signoff was "You stay classy, San Diego."

"It was a Maaco job," he said, referring to the auto painting business. "I scratched my head on the airplane, I still can't get my fingernails clean. That brown paint bedded deeply in my nail bed."

Outfielder Kyle Schwarber donned a white cowboy hat with a suit similar to sportscaster Champ Kind in the 1970s-set movie. Pitcher John Lackey wore a red suit and white cowboy hat, while pitcher Jon Lester dressed in a bright blue suit and a striped tie.

"The guys had a great time. It was really well done," Maddon said before Friday's game against the Dodgers.

Missing from the trip was third baseman Tommy La Stella, who Maddon said is a dead ringer for Brick Tamland, the Action News Team's not-very-bright but good-hearted meteorologist played by Steve Carell in the movie.

"That would have been perfect," Maddon said.

He said strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss "stole the show" in a bright blue bathing suit and orange bathrobe with a stuffed tiger head dangling from his right shoulder, along with a bushy mustache, brown wig and sunglasses.

"Above and beyond," Maddon said. "I'm really happy for the notoriety that he's achieving based on his representation of Mr. Burgundy pool side."

The Cubs will do it all over again on Wednesday night when they return to Chicago after concluding a three-game series in San Diego.

Maddon said he went online and found two vintage clothing stores in Burgundy's town that he plans to visit on Tuesday.

He's known for coming up with themes on road trips. In a previous visit to Los Angeles, the Cubs wore footed pajamas.


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Lobsterman shares his tale of 12 hours floating on his boots

MONTAUK, N.Y. (AP) — The darkest moment of John Aldridge's 12 terrifying hours of floating alone in the Atlantic Ocean came in the first moments after he was flung off his lobster boat.

"You hit the water, you're in such disbelief," he recalls. "Nobody in the world knows you're missing. Their life is happening right now, but your life is done! Right now, in the middle of the ocean, today's the day you're going to die."

Not only did Aldridge survive — by pulling a James Bond-like maneuver to turn his boots into flotation aids — but, nearly four years later, he's still working in the profession that put him in so much danger. And he's retelling the remarkable tale in a book just released.

"Every day's a new adventure for us," he says, standing on the deck of his boat, the Anna Mary, earlier this month. "Every trap that comes up is a new adventure; we never know what's in the trap. You see whales and dolphins and bad weather, good weather, sunsets and sunrises, and you just try to make the most of it."

On a moonlit July night in 2013, the Long Island fisherman was on the boat's deck, trying to move a heavy ice cooler, when the handle snapped. In a flash, he lost his balance.

No one saw him plunge into the Atlantic Ocean, without a life jacket, many miles from shore. His co-captain and a crewman were asleep below deck.

The Anna Mary, still running, was out of sight in 17 seconds, leaving him alone with the elements. Sea birds immediately started pecking at his head.
"Being in the ocean in the middle of the night, 2 o'clock in the morning, 45 miles (72 kilometers) from land, you gotta really summon up some heavy mental game to get through," he said.

After realizing that his boots would float and might save him, Aldridge had time to think about what to do next. There were no easy answers, except to stay alert.

"That environment is so alive with life that you try to keep that out if your head, what's around you," Aldridge says. "You know, I had sharks around me, I had dolphins around me. I had ocean sunfish around me. You know, you think you're alone, you're not."

Hours after Aldridge fell from the boat, his co-captain and lifelong friend, Anthony Sosinski, awoke to find him missing.

Sosinski, a co-author (with a ghost writer) of "A Speck in the Sea," said he immediately contacted the Coast Guard, which launched an all-out search. He never lost faith, gripping the handle of a short-wave radio microphone with one hand and stretching the wire to the edge of the boat as he scoured the ocean for signs of his friend.

"I never 'not thought' we were going to find him," said Sosinski. "Honestly, from the start of it, I wasn't looking for dead Johnnie."

Aldridge floated for hours through the night, past sunrise, and eventually was able to grab onto a buoy to supplement the boots that were keeping him afloat.

He saw rescue helicopters and boats — even the Anna Mary — searching for him, but no one saw him in the rolling waves and they didn't stop.

"Every 10 seconds even if you're looking at something, you can only see for three," Sosinski said of the rolling waves that hamper visibility. "Seven seconds you're in between the height or the trough of the wave."

By mid-afternoon, Aldridge's luck changed.

A Coast Guard helicopter out of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, was running low on fuel and received orders to return to base, explained Bob Hovey, a rescue swimmer who was aboard the aircraft.

"We were out of gas, out of time and needed to go home," said Hovey. As the chopper turned for Cape Cod, the pilot spotted Aldridge. The crew could have reported Aldridge's location to others in the search party and continued on its way, Hovey said, but they agreed to perform what he described as the quickest rescue ever.

"We didn't want to keep going after he saw us," Hovey said. "That would demolish any hope he might have had."

When Hovey jumped into the ocean and approached Aldridge, he asked the lobsterman about his condition and told him his crew had been searching for him for nine hours. "That's when he said, 'I've been looking for you for 12!'"

"His saltiness just got to me," Hovey said. "This was a hardcore commercial fisherman."

After taking a little time off, Aldridge went back to work aboard his boat. It's a job he has loved for 20 years. He did receive some treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, but claims to never have nightmares about "the incident."

There have been discussions about the book, "A Speck in the Sea," (Hachette), becoming a movie: Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's company is the publisher. Aldridge is just happy to share his story.


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Marine Patrol Bureau hosts open house at new facility

GILFORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol is kicking off the start of boating season with an open house at its new headquarters.

The public can take guided tours of the new building in Gilford from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The Marine Patrol Bureau's duties include boat registrations, permits for moorings and events, commercial boat licenses, testing and vessel inspections.

The facility includes classrooms for boating education courses, public meetings and training for other state agencies. The building also houses the bureau's law enforcement operation, which includes booking and holding areas.


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Legislative panel kills Maine governor's turnpike bill

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Republican Gov. Paul Lepage's attempt to merge eliminate the state turnpike authority is dead after a committee vote.

Maine Public reports the transportation committee this week voted against the governor's bill.

The bill would have put the state's only toll plaza in York and shifted responsibility to the Maine Department of Transportation.

The governor's office said New Hampshire and Massachusetts are most likely saving money without having a separate government entity manage toll roads.

But critics said Maine Turnpike's conditions would suffer relying on a single toll paid.

The Maine Better Transportation Association estimated another $160 million a year is needed to keep up with improvements to roads and bridges.

The Maine Tourism Association says asking tourists to pay a big fee to enter wouldn't help the industry.


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Massachusetts governor seeks coalition against Medicaid cuts

BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says he wants to find a coalition of fellow governors and U.S. senators from both parties to push back against deep cuts to Medicaid proposed by President Donald Trump and House Republicans.

Under Trump's budget proposal, Medicaid spending would fall by more than $600 billion over 10 years.

Those cuts would come on top of more than $800 billion in Medicaid cuts in the House-passed health care bill.

Baker said the Medicaid cuts in the House bill alone could cost Massachusetts about $1 billion starting in 2020 and grow over time to $1.5 billion.

He said that would put health insurance for between 400,000 and 500,000 people in the state at risk.

Baker said he's also concerned about proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health.


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