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APNewsBreak: 6,500 Mainers to Lose Food Stamps

By Alanna Durkin - The Associated Press AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage's administration says more than 6,000 Maine residents are about to lose their food stamp benefits.
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Patty Wight / MPBN

Suspect in Windham Schools Threats Makes Court Appearance

The suspect who allegedly sent threatening emails to Windham Raymond schools early this week, prompting a three-day shutdown, appeared in Cumberland County juvenile court this afternoon.
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PORTLAND, Maine - Scientists will begin aiding fishermen next year by issuing weekly forecasts about lobster migration.

The Portland Press Herald reports the forecasts will begin in spring and will indicate when lobsters start to migrate from deep waters off the coast to state waters where they are easier to trap. The forecasts are based on water temperatures.

President Obama will close out 2014 with his traditional end-of-year press conference.

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET., and it's bound to be eventful because Obama has a lot to talk about.

Among the news events that will likely come up:

-- The normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine man who threw bleach in the face of a 60-year-old woman has pleaded guilty.

Charles Cortright III was sentenced to serve about five months of a three-year jail sentence in Kennebec County Superior Court this week, but was freed because he was given credit for time served.

The Kennebec Journal reports that the 46-year-old Cortright, who lived in Augusta at the time but now lives in Westbrook, pleaded guilty to charges including domestic violence assault with a dangerous weapon.

SACO, Maine - Police in Maine continue to investigate a home invasion in Saco in which one of the homeowners as well as a house guest were shot multiple times.

Police identified the victims of the home invasion just before 3 a.m. Thursday as homeowner Steven Chabot and guest Rachel Owens of Londonderry, New Hampshire. Chabot's wife, Carol, was in the home at the time, but was unharmed.

The victims were hospitalized but their conditions could not immediately be determined.

YORK, Maine - The Maine Turnpike Authority's plan to build a high-speed toll plaza in York is back on the table.

Area residents have long opposed the plan, but a proposal presented Thursday to the board of directors would build the new plaza a few hundred feet north of the existing plaza on land the authority already owns.

Residents who have opposed plans to replace the 45-year-old toll plaza say they are hopeful about this latest plan because it appears it would have the least impact on the town.

WILTON, Maine - Icy road conditions are being blamed for a traffic crash that took the life of a Jay father of three.

Police say 37-year-old Dennis Hanson was headed home from work just after midnight Thursday on Route 133 in Wilton when his vehicle went off the road, rolled over and landed on its roof against a utility pole. The pole was knocked over and power lines came down.

Wilton officer Derek Daley says there was some black ice on the roadway at the time.

Hanson was wearing a seat belt.

FREEPORT, Maine - L.L. Bean is giving nearly $2 million to more than 100 community organizations.

The family-owned retailer's board of directors approved gifts ranging from $5,000 to $225,000 to organizations involved in conservation and recreation, health and human services, education, and culture and the arts.

The company's year-end allocation includes $1.9 million in grants to nearly 80 organizations for annual gifts, plus additional funding in small grants to dozens more. The allocation was approved this month.

CONCORD, N.H. - FairPoint Communications workers and their supporters are marking their tenth week of their strike with a rally outside the New Hampshire Statehouse.

Unions that represent more than 1,700 workers across Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire say FairPoint has rejected virtually all of their proposals. The company's chief executive officer says the unions have refused to bargain in good faith.

The strike began Oct. 17. The rally is set for noon Friday in Concord.

PORTLAND, Maine - U.S. Sen. Angus King is getting ready to announce an initiative to improve civil legal assistance for veterans, with a focus on women.

The independent senator and representatives from Pine Tree State Legal Assistance will unveil the initiative on Friday at Portland City Hall at 1 p.m.

King says the effort will assist in expanding StatesideLegal.org, a legal assistance website for military service people, veterans and their families.

Two days after the U.S. and Cuba decided to end a more than 50-year estrangement, the natural question is: What's next?

On Morning Edition, NPR's Michelle Kelemen reports that the process of normalizing diplomatic relations will be pretty straight forward and is likely to be done quickly.

"We can do that via an exchange of letter or notes. It doesn't require a formal sort of legal treaty or agreement," Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state for the western hemisphere, said during a briefing on Thursday.

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The Future of Arts in Maine

Learn why the Maine Arts Commission is conducting a survey on arts and culture in Maine.