Lawmakers asked to make opiate overdose drug more available

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine is fighting a seeming epidemic of heroin use. Police say use of the addictive drug is steadily growing, as are overdose deaths. Combined with heavy abuse of prescription pills like Oxycodone, Maine has what virtually all law enforcement and medical officials agree is a serious problem of opiate drug abuse.

Cold case unit proposed for AG's office

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Thursday lawmakers are expected to hear testimony on a bill that would create a cold case unit within the Attorney General's office.

It's been more than 2-years since Samantha Turner Folsom was found murdered in her Lewiston apartment. Her case is one of more than 100 unsolved homicides in Maine.

Relatives of victims and prosecutors will try to convince lawmakers to spend more than 400-thousand dollars a year top set up a unit that would focus solely on those cold cases.

Maine House OKs military recruiter uniform bill

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine's Democratic-controlled House has given final approval to a bill that aims to ensure that military members and public safety officials can wear their uniforms when visiting schools.

Supporters of the bill approved on a 138-4 vote Tuesday have pointed to instances in which military recruiters were limited from meeting with students or not allowed to wear their uniforms at schools.

The bill now heads to the Senate before being sent to Republican Gov. Paul LePage's desk.

The measure failed last session after some Democratic lawmakers said it was unnecessary and that there was no evidence that it's a problem in Maine schools. It was reintroduced this year.

Some critics said Tuesday that the bill was an overreach of state authority and would hamper local control of schools.


Maine brewers and restaurants can resume serving customers information

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Restaurants, breweries and tap rooms in Maine can now return to the practice of posting the Alcohol By Volume, or ABV, contained in malt beverages on menus and chalkboards.

A couple weeks ago, a handful of establishments were informed that posting the ABV on menus or chalkboards violated state statute against advertising the strength of beer. 

While none of the businesses were cited or fined for the transgression, the enforcement action did cause concern among brewers, bar tenders, servers and restaurant owners.  They worried that by not posting the information they could be liable if their patrons became intoxicated by drinking beers with higher ABVs and not realizing their impairment.

Fit at Five: Healthy Maine Streets

Work site wellness has started to become a big focus in businesses over the past few years. It's a beneficial luxury that larger businesses are able to offer their employees, but what happens if you are a smaller business? A two year grant program is now focusing on main street and downtown areas in hopes to solve that problem.

Joanne Joy of Healthy Communities of the Capital Area tells us of the program, "There was a group in Skowhegan that started it. They were trying to figure out ways to have micro and mini businesses have some work site wellness. The results were so good that they decided when the grant became available to focus on main streets and downtowns."

Maine Dems' bill would cancel consultant contract

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine Democrats are seeking to cancel the state's nearly $1 million contract with a consultant hired by Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration to study the state's Medicaid program.
Democratic lawmakers said Monday that they're introducing a bill to nix the no-bid contract with the Alexander Group, led by former welfare chief of Pennsylvania and Rhode Island Gary Alexander.
The group released a report last month that concluded expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would cost the state $807 million over the next decade. Democrats say the report is flawed and politically motivated.
Among other things the group's expected to do is to create a plan to reduce welfare program waste and abuse.
LePage's administration has defended the hiring, saying the group is uniquely qualified to handle the review.