Bills put forward to allow East Millinocket mill to sell power

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Maine legislators are still working on ways to end the shutdown at the East Millinocket paper mill.

Two bills have been drawn up that would allow the mill to make money off the power it doesn't use. The mill gets its power from hydro dams on the Penobscot River.

Under current law the mill cannot sell back electricity on the market. That restriction was put in place a decade ago when the mill and the dams were owned by the same company.

Efforts are now underway to change that law. The LePage administration has put forward a bill that would lift the mill's restriction to sell power. State senator Troy Jackson of Allagash has sponsored a similar bill.

A spokesman for the mill says selling power is critical to getting it back online.

National Drink Wine Day

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Today is National Drink Wine Day! According to their website, National Drink Wine Day is celebrated to spread the health benefits - and the love - of wine.

The positive benefits of wine include the enhancement of food and life, as while as reducing the risk of heart disease.

National Drink Wine Day is celebrated annually on February 18 across the United States.

Fit at Five: Swing Dancing

In need of putting a little swing into your boring workouts? Swing dancing offers a fantastic way to get in shape, be social, and have fun all at the same time.

The Mainiac Swing Dance Society, founded back in 1990, has been a driving force in the swing dance community in Maine. In addition, Gillian Davis heads the Portland Swing Project which offers swing dance classes and live band dances every week. Davis tells NEWS CENTER that those interested can approach swing dancing any way they want. They can attend dances and learn a little or dedicate themselves to learning all the moves - and there is a lot learn.

The appeal for many when it comes to swing dancing is the music. They dance from music all the way from the 20s to today. The music variety is a true testament of just how timeless swing dancing is.

Augusta Civic Center keeps tourney tradition alive

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- With the new Cross Insurance Center and the updated Cumberland County Civic Center, Monday's high school basketball tournament games in Bangor and Portland have a new feel.

But there's something special about the games at the Augusta Civic Center, too. The center is rich in its tradition. Bruce Cooper has been at the door collecting tickets for 34 years. His brother, Kirk, joined soon after. The same man has been keeping book and completing records for the programs since the 1960s. Eighty-nine year old Bob Butler has been attending the tournament games since 1950.

"It's interesting to see players that you've seen before," said Butler.

Fans like the familiar faces courtside and in the crowd.

Sex offender indicted on 14 counts

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Kennebec County District Attorney's Office has indicted a Prentiss Plantation convicted sex offender on 14 counts. The counts against Timothy Hayes, 49, include gross sexual assault on a person under 12 years of age and violation of the sex offender registry act. This indictment is a conclusion the Clinton Police Department's four month long investigation.

The investigation also sparked the indictment in January in Somerset County against Hayes. The investigation began with a mother's concern about Hayes' contact with her child at a football game. This branched into Fairfield and the Moxie Lake area, uncovering nine children whom Hayes had direct contact with, a violation of his sex offender status. Hayes faces charges involving all nine children.

Maine state employees raise $275,000 for charity

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine state employees and retirees have raised nearly $275,000 for charity through their annual fundraiser.

The governor's office said during the 34 years of the Maine State Employees' Combined Charitable Appeal, $8 million has been raised to support organizations and charities throughout the state.

The group fell just shy of the $300,000 goal set by Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho, who said she'd dye her hair pink if the group reached it. Republican Gov. Paul LePage said at the kick-off event in September that he would shave his head if the group reached $350,000.


















Revenue sharing bill wins final approval in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Legislature has given final approval to a bill that would prevent $40 million in cuts in state aid to cities and towns.

The Democratic-led House on Thursday voted 120-17 in favor of the measure. It was later approved by the Senate without a vote. It will now be sent to Republican Gov. Paul LePage's desk.

The bill takes $21 million of the rainy day fund, leaving it with about $38 million, along with $4 million from savings set aside for future income tax decreases and about $15 million in new revenue the state expects to get.

LePage spokeswoman Andrienne Bennett says the Republican governor will not sign off on any new bonds if the Legislature approves a measure that dips into the rainy day fund.