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National and international headlines
Comedian Kathy Griffin said she was “not afraid to do images that make noise.” But the picture of her holding a prop of President Donald Trump’s severed head would lead to an apology after criticism came from the president’s son, a Clinton and many more.
In a video posted on Twitter and Instagram, Griffin said that she crossed the line and that the image was too disturbing.
“I sincerely apologize I am just now seeing the reaction of these images,” she said of the picture first published by TMZ.
She tweeted: “I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong.”
At 12:06 a.m. Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted a strange sentence fragment.
“Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” it read. That was it. It ended abruptly, as if someone stopped him, or he stopped himself, or perhaps he never meant to send it.
It’s a good guess that the word he was looking for was “coverage.” It came out “covfefe.” It was anybody’s guess what words were meant to follow. “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” what?
Within five hours, it had been retweeted more than 115,000 times and “liked” more than 146,000 times – making it one of his most popular tweets in months.
A massive blast Wednesday tore through the diplomatic quarter of the Afghan capital of Kabul killing at least 80 people, according to officials, underlining the fragility of the country as it buckles under a wave of rebel attacks.
The Interior Ministry said the blast was triggered by huge quantity of explosives hidden in a water tank that went off during the peak of the morning rush hour on a busy road in Wazir Akbar Khan area of the city.
Wahid Majroh, spokesman of the Health Ministry, said at least 350 people were also wounded.
“I felt like it was an earthquake and after that I do not know what happened,” said Mohammed Hassan, 21, who had been attending a bank training program. “All the staff around me, everyone, was injured.”
President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Axios news outlet reported Wednesday, citing two unidentified sources with direct knowledge of the decision.
Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a summit of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Saturday, saying he needed more time to decide. He then tweeted that he would make an announcement this week.
Fox News also cited an unidentified source confirming the pullout.
The decision will put the United States in league with Syria and Nicaragua as the world’s only non-participants in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn will hand over documents and records to the Senate Intelligence Committee in response to a set of subpoenas for information from his businesses and personal files related to the committee’s probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to a person close to Flynn.
The subpoenas were issued for two companies Flynn owns, Flynn Intel Group Inc. and Flynn Intel Group LLC. The committee also reissued a third subpoena for personal records, the focus of which was narrowed after Flynn rejected the committee’s initial demand for personal records relating to his contacts with Russian authorities, claiming it was too broad and would jeopardize his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Most Americans hold an unfavorable view of the House-passed health care bill and want the Senate to change it substantially or block it entirely, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.
A 55 percent majority of Americans view the Republican-backed American Health Care Act negatively, the same proportion who want the Senate to make major changes to the legislation or reject it, the survey finds. Only 8 percent want the legislation, which would repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, approved as it now stands.
A crackdown on Massachusetts’ heroin trade led to the arrests of 30 people on Tuesday on charges they were running a drug-trafficking ring that law enforcement officials said was one of the largest they had ever seen in the state.
Authorities said 27 people were arrested in early-morning raids around Lawrence and charged with running a ring that dealt heroin, cocaine and the deadly painkiller fentanyl in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Three people already had been in custody.
Belfast’s newest officer in training can pinpoint a piece of discarded evidence hidden in thick grass, hurdle an obstacle three times his height, and track down a person even in Maine’s densest wilderness.
And he’s only a year old.
His name is Dex, a German-Dutch shepherd mix set to become Belfast Police Department’s first police dog since 1989 when its last K-9 handler left for a job with Maine State Police.
Dex is among the latest in a growing number of dogs working on behalf of town, county and state police agencies across the state.
K-9 units are growing in favor, often thanks to of their ability to track down missing people — whether they be suspects in a crime or children who wandered away from home. In a rural place like Maine, quick access to a dog team can, and does, save lives.
An activist from South Portland saved a huge tree in her neighborhood from chainsaws — at least for one day.
Jamie Howard lives on Coolidge Avenue, not far from a small empty lot covered in trees, including a large one neighbors have named “Groot” from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
Howard swung into action Tuesday morning when the chainsaws arrived, climbing into “Groot” and demanding to talk to the owner.
A search for a shooting suspect is underway after police said a man was shot outside the Preble Street Shelter late Tuesday night.
Portland police said the male victim was taken to Maine Medical Center, and he is in critical condition.
Police said the suspect is described as a white male, around 6 feet tall, with long brown hair.
The mother of missing Waterville toddler Ayla Reynolds, the focal point of the largest criminal investigation in Maine State Police history, is asking for a hearing to officially declare her daughter deceased.
Officials have released the name of the woman who died Saturday night after an off-road vehicle she was a passenger in flipped over.
Husson University student Abigail K. Fiske, 19, of Millinocket died at the scene of the rollover crash that occurred at about 7:55 p.m. Saturday on the WARP Road in Lowell, Cpl. John MacDonald said Tuesday.
The husband and wife accused of robbing a Stillwater Avenue TD Bank branch picked the location because she used to work for the company and is familiar with its policies, police said.
Seth Blewitt, 29, and Cara Blewitt, 30, both of Oakville, Connecticut, were ordered held on $50,000 bail at their first appearance before a judge at Penobscot Judicial Center on Tuesday, officials said.
The two are charged with stealing $500 from a TD Bank branch on Stillwater Avenue at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday and $400 from a Dollar Tree store also on Stillwater at about 4:10 p.m. on Monday, according to the Blewitts’ arrest warrant affidavits.
Living and events
Mid-afternoon on a recent Thursday the students at the Etna-Dixmont School were outside frolicking through a field on the left side of the school.
While a passerby might mistake the children’s high spirits for a typical recess session, they were actually participating in a schoolwide garden clean out day. With rakes and rubber boots, the students ripped out remnants of last year’s garden to make way for this year’s planting.
The quarter-acre garden at the Etna-Dixmont School is entering its third season of production, but thanks to a massive overhaul of how Regional School Unit 19 handles its food waste, school administrators are hoping the scene at the grade school will soon be the case districtwide.
The 2017 Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, scheduled for June 24, has several open slots remaining for bakers. This year, a couple of local bakers who have been with the festival since its inception were not able to make it due to prior commitments, leaving space for new talent to register.
Anyone interested in a booth at the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival should visit mainewhoopiepiefestival.com/bakers for information as soon as possible.
Last year, Dover-Foxcroft saw nearly 10,000 visitors come through the gates. For those who register as vendors or bakers, the day promises success.
Festival organizers are always on the lookout for volunteers, and this year is no different. Help is needed at the festival gates, to sell merchandise and to offer support to our vendors.
Solar prices have never been lower! Solarize Midcoast Maine program participants receive discounted solar pricing.
Come meet Sundog Solar, the Solarize Midcoast Maine installer, learn about the benefits of solar power, and get a free consultation about solar energy for your home.
The session will be held at Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31.
Come to the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 1, to sample wings from restaurants all over the Bangor region. You will get to vote for your favorite wing of the night and the winner will receive a huge trophy, bragging rights and a profile in Bangor Metro magazine.
Tickets are just $20 per person and can be reserved online at wingfestmaine.com They will be $25 at the door.
Every Tuesday in June from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts is hosting an archaeologist-led program where you can learn about Wabanaki material culture and the archaeological record in Maine.
This is a hands-on activity where you can touch artifacts and replicas while learning about Wabanaki cultural adaptations over the past 12,000 years.
This is a drop-in event so there’s no registration required!
The Camden Public Library will have a book sale in the renovated Blue Door Book Shed located in the parking lot just beyond the Library Amphitheatre on Atlantic Avenue 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 2-4. Just follow the balloons from the library to the book shed!
There you will find hardcover, softcover, and paperback books on subjects from art to travel, cookbooks and maritime-related books; books for children and teens; a variety of CDs, audiobooks, movies, and music; and a selection of reference books that might be particularly helpful to area homeschoolers.
The No. 1 pollutant in Maine’s lakes is soil eroding from shorelines, roads, yards, and construction sites.
Join us for a day of service at Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery and help restore the shore and protect the waters of Alamoosook Lake. Volunteers will gather 9 a.m. to noon June 10 at the hatchery to plant native shrubs, improve beach access, and place interpretive signs along the shoreline.
The Old Town Public Library, in partnership with the Bangor Public Health and Community Services, will be hosting a seminar entitled “Be a Life Saver” from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 21.
Heath Myers, an Overdose Prevention Coordinator with Bangor Public Health and Community Services will discuss overdose symptoms and risk factors, how to react to an overdose, medication safety, Naloxone, and treatment and recovery.
Free take-home materials will be provided.
A bill that would boost tourism marketing in Maine’s small towns could be headed for enactment after positive votes in the House and Senate.
The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, and co-sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon Falls, is arguably minor in scope.
It would earmark $10,000 per year for tourism grants for communities with fewer than 7,000 residents but supporters argued that it could make an outsized difference for rural Maine towns and organizations that have little or no money to promote events.
The food truck scene in greater Bangor has exploded in recent years, hitting a peak this year with nine trucks slated for serving up food around the area.
Four trucks have received permits to serve on the Bangor Waterfront. Two have reached agreements to serve in the Bangor Mall area. There will be one on Odlin Road as well. And on Sundays, at the Bangor Farmers’ Market, there’s a truck serving up crepes. A ninth truck is set for the Brewer Waterfront.
Bangor’s community and economic development director Tanya Emery says it took a few years for the eating public here to get used to the idea of food trucks in the first place.
“Nationally, food trucks have become way more popular in the past five years, and as with many trends, we get them a few years later,” Emery said. “I think it just took people a few seasons to get used to the idea. And now people love it.”
Americans ratcheted up their spending in April at the fastest pace in four months in a sign the economy has rebounded this spring after a lackluster winter.
The new data also could help push Federal Reserve officials to hike a key interest rate again when they meet in two weeks.
Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4 percent in April, up from 0.3 percent the previous month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Americans had more money to spend, with personal incomes also rising 0.4 percent — twice the pace of growth in March.
“Consumers are back out in force this quarter, spending their hearts away after taking the first quarter of the year off,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Mitsubishi UFG Union Bank in New York.
If there is one bright spot in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, it is that his administration reversed course and now wants to maintain funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Now, thanks to outcry from lawmakers, including Sen. Angus King, the Trump administration will keep the office and most of its funding. This is good news, but the administration’s growing emphasis on law enforcement and incarceration as the major tools used to ease the nation’s opioid crisis remains concerning.
Whereas few Americans would argue that full equality at birth is an un-American concept or that access to health care should be directly tied to financial capacity, there can be little doubt that most Americans would favor a health care system that increases efficiency, reduces costs and optimizes outcomes. If we can all agree on those values, universal health care should be as treasured as our right to free speech.
In most countries, panic buttons are devices used by elderly folk who may need emergency care, or parents who want to keep tabs on wandering children and pets. But in Mexico, they’re part of the survival toolkit for journalists covering the drug war, corruption and other man-made miseries, enabling them to send a silent distress signal to authorities. Such is the state of news gathering in Latin America’s second largest nation, which has overtaken Colombia — now emerging from half a century of guerrilla insurgency — to become the Western Hemisphere’s deadliest place to be a journalist.