Maine names acting superintendent to Riverview

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine health officials have named Robert "Jay" Harper as acting superintendent of Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said Wednesday that Harper will lead the facility following the departure of Mary Louise McEwan last week.

The psychiatric center has faced significant challenges over the last year, including a decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to cut nearly $20 million in funding in October after an audit determined Riverview was not compliant with federal rules. The state has appealed that decision.

Harper previously served as a patient advocate with the Disability Rights Center. He's also an adjunct faculty member of the University of Maine in Augusta.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

WBB: UNE women eliminated on buzzer-beater, CMCC falls in national final

NEWS CENTER - The UNE women's basketball team had to two chances to advance to their first ever Division III NCAA "Sweet 16, " but couldn't capitalize on either as 6th ranked Tufts beat the Nor'Easters with a last-second three. 

UNE had the ball with a chance to go ahaed at the end of regulation, but ran down the clock to the point where they had to settle for a forced and contested shot. 

The scenario unfolded in overtime when the Nor'Easters didn't even get a shot off and turned the ball over on a shot clock violation.  The Jumbos subsequently inbounded the ball to Liz Moynihan near mid-court with 4.3 seconds left and pulled up for the last-second game winner. 

Sophomore guard and Windham alum Meghan Gribbin had a team-high 19 points in the losing effort.   

UNE finished the season with a program record 27 wins (27-3). 

MDEA finds meth lab in Waterville motel

OAKLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine Drug Enforcement served three search warrants Friday, which resulted in one arrest. The warrants were part of month long investigation into methamphetamine production.

MDEA served two warrant at 11 Center Street in Oakland and the other to a room at the Waterville Fireside Inn & Suites on Main Street. After MDEA's inspection, a wing of the motel was evacuated. An initial assesment revealed evidence of meth manufacturing in the motel room. Due to the explosive danger of the meth materials, officials evacuated the motel. The team members, wearing protective suits, will search and clean the room at the motel and at the Oakland location.

Officials say the Spring flooding threat is about average

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- There's no doubt about it. It has been a rough winter, with plenty of frigid days and nights, and what seems to be plenty of snow.

So, it might come as a surprise that the thickness of ice on Maine's rivers and the water content in the snow pack is average to slightly below average this year. That means the threat of Spring flooding right now is also about average.

But that can change quickly. The concern is with the long term weather forecast which calls for below average temperatures for much of March. If that holds true there will be very little melting of the ice and snow.

"As those stay the same The flood potential increases because the chances of a warm-up especially a very quick warm-up with rain, are increasing as we move later into the season," Greg Stewart of the US Geological Survey said.

Bill in legislature allows mills to sell unused energy

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- During a hearing Wednesday, legislatures heard about a bill that would allow mills to sell their unused energy.

L.D. 1792 is a bill that would allows mill, like the Great Northern Paper Mill, to power down on days where energy costs and demand are at their highest, and then sell that unused energy back on the open market.

During Wednesday's hearing, supporters used the analogy of someone who sells firewood. They would sell someone a cord, and that person can then sell their firewood at a higher price as demand increases.

GNP shut down in Janurary due to budget problems. It has a contract to buy power from Brookfield Renewable energy. Passage of this bill would change state law, allowing GNP to put that energy onto the open market and help get the 200 plus laid off workers back to work.

A working session for the bill will be held on Friday.

Lawmakers to consider bill to lift power sales restrictions for East Millinocket mill

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Dozens of people from the Katahdin Region are planning to be in Augusta on Wednesday to support a bill that could be a game changer in getting the mill in East Millinocket up and running again.

'Great Northern Paper' shut operations down at the paper mill weeks ago. Directors had to layoff their more than 200 workers, saying they needed to find ways to cut costs at the mill.

Yet one plan to get the mill going again involves changing state law to allow the mill to sell back power it's not using on the open market.

It's legislation that workers at the mill were pushing on Tuesday. The bill is set to be considered by the legislature's joint standing committee for energy, utilities and technology on Wednesday.


Governor and democrats trade punches over budget

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- There were more tough words in Augusta today, as Governor Paul LePage accused Democratic leaders of being irresponsible and hurting the state, by taking money out of the so-called "Rainy Day fund". Democrats called the Governor a "bad CEO" who is hurting Maine himself.

The war of words came as the latest round in a dispute many around the Statehouse thought had ended. It's about the bill to prevent more cuts to the revenue sharing program for towns and cities.

The Democratic plan, which ultimately won strong support from Republicans as well, helps fund revenue sharing by taking $21 million from the state's rainy day fund. The bill became law last week without the Governor's signature, but he didn't veto it, either.