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National and international headlines
The millionaires leading mankind’s march to space have a few things in common — in particular, starry-eyed visions of sending humans to the final frontier and galaxy-sized bank accounts to launch their ideas into orbit.
But the motivation of Robert Bigelow — who made millions in the extended stay motel industry, then launched his own aerospace company — is kind of, well, out there.
Bigelow told “60 Minutes” reporter Lara Logan that not only is he “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist, but he and his family members have had personal experiences with beings from another planet.
“There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence,” he said. “And I spent millions and millions and millions — I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject.”
By his own admission, it was millions that may not have been needed to make contact with beings from another planet.
“You don’t have to go anywhere,” he said. “It’s just like right under people’s noses. Oh my gosh. Wow.”
Investors should be on guard for a recession in the next five years by stockpiling cash for the day when stocks and bonds – as they always do – go on sale.
So says Pacific Management Investment, the bond mutual fund giant known as Pimco.
“Investors should use cyclical rallies to build cash to deploy when markets correct and risks are re-priced,” according to Pimco’s annual “secular outlook” report released Wednesday.
The asset firm, with $1.51 trillion under management, puts the risk of recession at 70 percent over the next half-decade.
Former FBI Director James Comey is preparing to testify to Congress as early as next week about his private conversations with President Donald Trump leading up to his abrupt firing, according to people familiar with the matter.
Since his dismissal earlier this month, Comey had been expected to testify at some point about his private interactions with the president, as well as the detailed memos he took describing the conversations.
Top federal health officials said Wednesday that they will launch a joint effort with pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the development of drugs aimed at helping to curb the U.S. opioid epidemic.
Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Nora Volkow, who heads one its components, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), announced a public-private partnership aimed at cutting in half the time ordinarily needed to develop new therapies.
The goal is to rapidly bring to market three types of drugs: nonaddictive medications for chronic pain, better treatments for opioid addiction and improved methods of reversing opioid overdoses.
The Trump administration recently released a report showing that health insurance premiums in Maine have jumped 55 percent under Obamacare. Nationally, monthly premiums have doubled for Americans in the Obamacare market since the health reform law took effect, it found.
The new report on premiums gave Republicans some handy ammunition to fire back and remind everyone just how terrible (they think) Obamacare is.
As you might expect, there’s more to this story than the headline figures.
Two residents of midcoast Maine are recovering from the Powassan virus, a rare but life-threatening illness spread by a tick bite.
Powassan is only one of several diseases caused by ticks that are on the rise in Maine. Lyme disease, the most prevalent, rose to a record 1,464 cases last year. Anaplasmosis, a bacterial infection that can lead to similar long-term effects as Lyme without a proper diagnosis, climbed dramatically as well.
Powassan is spread by the bite of an infected deer or woodchuck tick and can cause fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion and seizures. Brain swelling is a potentially devastating complication that kills 10 percent of those who develop it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A Tuesday meeting of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee showed just how far apart Maine Democrats and Republicans are on education funding with a key deadline on the state’s two-year budget looming in less than a week.
Education is the big issue in these sensitive budget negotiations. Republicans say they won’t accept a budget that doesn’t repeal the voter-approved surtax on incomes over $200,000 to fund education. Most Democrats say they won’t accept one not funding 55 percent of basic K-12 education costs, a standard set by voters in 2004 that the state hasn’t yet met.
Campers used duct tape to subdue a man who allegedly was slashing tires at a Canaan campground causing $3,000 worth of damage Sunday evening, according to the Morning Sentinel.
Police arrested Brandon York, 26, of Minot and charged him with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, assault and criminal mischief.
Living and events
In a small clearing off a sleepy dirt road in Thorndike, something surprising is tucked behind a screen of trees: an emerald-green lawn with a handmade tiny house sitting on it that juts up to the sky.
The house, the lawn and the other myriad homesteading projects happening in the clearing are the product of one man’s imagination, rabid work ethic and ability to make something cool out of mostly reclaimed and recycled materials.
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.
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 Northeast Wind Resource Center, in partnership with Clean Energy Group, E2Tech, and the Maine Ocean and Wind Industry Initiative, is hosting a forum 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 9 to discuss onshore and offshore wind power on a national, regional, and state level.
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.
Maine regulators have approved FairPoint Communications’ sale to the Illinois-based Consolidated Communications, in a deal that requires the new owner to invest $52.2 million in the company’s networks over three years.
Regulators found during deliberations Wednesday that the deal would put the company on a stronger financial footing and that the terms of the deal, with the negotiated settlement, would not harm Maine customers.
A Maine “blue law” barring small grocery stores from opening on Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter will stay in effect after Republicans failed to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto, with the governor saying a bill to let them open didn’t go far enough.
In an 87-51 vote on Wednesday, the Maine House of Representatives failed to reach the two-thirds majority required to override the Republican governor’s veto of a bill to allow cities and towns to let stores measuring between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet open on those holidays.
ExxonMobil failed to fend off a shareholder rebellion over climate change, as investors with 62.3 percent of shares voted to instruct the oil giant to report on the impact of global measures designed to keep climate change to 2 degrees centigrade.
Although the identity of voters wasn’t disclosed, a source familiar with the vote said that major financial advisory firm BlackRock had cast its shares in opposition to Exxon management and that Vanguard and State Street had likely done the same. All three financial giants have been openly considering casting their votes against management on this key proxy resolution at the annual meeting Wednesday.
BlackRock and Vanguard are the biggest shareholders in ExxonMobil, owning 13 percent, or $43.6 billion worth, of the company’s stock. A vote by them against management marked an important step for groups that have been trying to force corporations to adopt greater disclosure and transparency about the financial fallout of climate change.
The situation surrounding the Downeast Correctional Facility is a crisis of Gov. Paul LePage’s own making. But it may provide an opportunity to make needed improvements to the state’s correctional system.
That can only happen, however, if the current back-and-forth over the Washington County prison is put on hold to allow time for a thorough review of its place in the state’s correctional system.
More and more, it seems, intolerance of thought has become a major problem where it should least exist: the campuses of America’s colleges and universities. Match that with a general misunderstanding of the First Amendment, and the result is an intolerable atmosphere that aims at the very heart of higher education in our democratic republic.
The repeal of the Durbin Amendment would effectively end debit-card swipe-fee reform, enabling the big banks and credit card companies to double the cost of accepting debit cards as a form of payment. This reform was one of the few positive outcomes from the Dodd-Frank Act. By limiting the ability of big banks and credit card giants to impose massive and arbitrary fees on debit card transactions, this amendment was a huge win for Main Street and an effective blow to Wall Street.