Maine

As national pride month picks up steam, members of Maine’s LGBTQ community are celebrating a fresh victory. The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles will no longer require people getting IDs and driver’s licenses to select only male or female to indicate their gender.

It was a big night for supporters of ranked-choice voting. 

On Tuesday, Maine primary voters will participate in a ranked-choice voting experiment so unprecedented that the state’s top election official sometimes compares what’s about to happen to a perilous space mission.

Allan Monga had never given much thought to poetry before last summer, when he arrived in Maine as an asylum-seeker from Zambia.

At the time, he was almost completely alone, living at a teen shelter in Portland and nervous about speaking with anyone in his new country.

"It was really hard for me," says Monga, 19. "I didn't really know anyone. It was hard to trust anyone."

Barbara Bush made an indelible mark on the state of Maine, through her generous philanthropy – and the force of her personality. Her death yesterday at 92 is a deeply-felt loss for Kennebunkport, the family's summer home.

Massachusetts energy officials have announced they're going with Plan B to bring Canadian hydroelectric power to the Bay State.

They've selected a back-up project that runs transmission lines through Maine, after New Hampshire state regulators refused to allow Plan A – the controversial Northern Pass project.

But the Maine project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect, also faces an uncertain future.

In Massachusetts, the announcement got kudos and criticism from those closely watching the state's selection of a massive clean energy project:

Moose are falling victim to winter ticks, whose population is booming because of climate change. The state says some very limited hunting of the big animals should still be allowed.
Sandy Macys / AP

The state is proposing to drastically reduce the number of permits to hunt moose as the population continues to suffer from a parasite that has grown more abundant with climate change.

The endangered North Atlantic right whale population took a big hit last year, with a record number killed by fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes. Now, an ongoing debate over threats posed by Maine's lobster industry is gaining new urgency.

Lobster conservation techniques pioneered by Maine fishermen helped drive a population boom that's led to record landings this century. That's the conclusion of new, peer-reviewed research published today

For some in New England, the deadly fires in California are a reminder of when fires overtook much of Maine around this time of year, 70 years ago. Wildfires in 1947 simultaneously burned over hundreds of miles for ten days, wiping out towns, and forever changing the landscape. 

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period. That’s the conclusion of an academic analysis sponsored by a national environmental group that suggests that natural gas suppliers withheld fuel capacity needed for electric generation at key moments on the coldest days — to the benefit of the companies' affiliates.

But some industry players and observers are skeptical at best, while one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.

Scientists have been closely watching puffin populations in the Gulf of Maine in recent years, in an effort to restore the species on certain islands. This summer, puffins and other seabird populations appear to have rebounded, but are still facing a threat from predation.

For more than half a century, a massive, oil-fired plant has been churning out electricity from an island in the heart of Maine’s Casco Bay, where sailors use its towering smokestack for navigation.

The old generator is expensive to run and dirtier than new technologies, so these days it comes on only a few times a year. Nonetheless, since December, the wires on the island have been humming pretty much nonstop.

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season — not because the tourists won’t come, but because the workers might not. The reinstatement of a cap on visas for temporary workers has some in the hospitality industry predicting catastrophe.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England reports that they've received a large boost in donations in the weeks following this year's presidential election.