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BC-ME--Maine News Digest, 1 pm, ME

December 29, 2018

Maine news from The Associated Press for Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018.

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today in Maine. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to the northern New England desk at 207-772-4157. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking news and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.

TOP STORIES:

MAINE GOVERNOR-TRANSPARENCY

AUGUSTA, Maine _ Republican Gov. Paul LePage promised to fight for citizens’ right to access information from state government, and open government advocates were optimistic when he vowed that his transition would be “the most transparent” in history. He leaves behind a spotty legacy and scores of unanswered Freedom of Access requests days before he departs. By Marina Villeneuve. Upcoming, 700 words. With AP Photo.

SALMON DECLINE-LAKE CHAMPLAIN

MONTPELIER, Vt. _ Biologists are trying to determine whether a warm, dry fall is responsible for a drop in the number of landlocked Atlantic salmon that swam up a Lake Champlain tributary in Vermont to spawn this fall or if there could be other reasons behind a five-year decline. By Wilson Ring. Sent. 500 words With AP Photos.

NEW YORK _ Activists urging more states to ban gay conversion therapy for minors are expecting major gains in 2019, thanks to midterm election results and the buzz generated by two well-reviewed films. In three of the states now being targeted, previous efforts to enact a ban gained some bipartisan support but were thwarted by powerful Republicans. In Maine, a bill was vetoed last year by GOP Gov. Paul LePage. In New York and Colorado, bills approved in the Democratic-led lower chambers of the legislature died in the Republican-controlled state senates. By David Crary. Sent. 600 words.

IN BRIEF:

NEW ENGLAND POTHOLES: Spring is several months away but pothole season is already here in New England. The boomerang weather in which temperatures plummet and then warm up again is wreaking havoc on roads across the region.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-COAST GUARD: Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says 42,000 Coast Guard members nationwide are going to be paid for work performed before the government shutdown. Collins contacted the White House on Friday after she learned that a payroll system problem would prevent checks from being issued. She tweeted hours later that the matter had been resolved and that Coast Guard members will receive paychecks like other federal employees on Monday. By The Associated Press.

LEPAGE-MEDICAID: Republican Gov. Paul LePage is using his last radio address to repeat his contention that Maine lawmakers must be fiscally responsible when it comes to expanding Medicaid. And he vowed, once again, to return from his home in Florida if there are any “financial shenanigans.” LePage said his administration brought state finances “back from a sea of red ink and into the black.” He also says “MaineCare is now on sustainable financial footing.”

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If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to apmaine(at)ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867

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