State / Region

Maine’s LePage Cuts Food Stamps for 6,500 Residents

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Augusta, Maine — More than 6,000 Maine residents will lose their food stamps benefits next month under newly enforced rules that require some recipients to have a job, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew said. Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration began in October to enforce a three-month limit on benefits for childless adults in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, unless they work at least 20 hours a …

Single-Payer Effort in Vt. Enters ‘Utility’ Phase

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The push for health care reform in Vermont entered a new phase last week, when Gov. Peter Shumlin announced that he would abandon his attempt to design a system that used broad-based taxes and other public sources to replace premiums paid by employers and employees. The sticker shock of the necessary taxes and …

Budget Will Dominate Next N.H. Session

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Concord — The state budget will serve as the political battleground between Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican lawmakers in the upcoming session, with state spending on universities, prisons and services for vulnerable populations at the center. Between a landmark mental health settlement and a loss in state revenue from a controversial hospital tax, the state is already looking at more than $100 …

Vt. Remains Pleased With FairPoint

Monday, December 15, 2014

Montpelier — Vermont’s statewide 911 chief has no regrets about signing an $11 million contract with FairPoint Communications to build the state’s next-generation emergency calling system less than three weeks before problems on FairPoint’s network knocked out much of the current 911 system for more than five hours. …

Lobster Catch Down, Prices Up in 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Portland, Maine (ap) — The 2014 lobster fishing season appears to have resulted in a lower total catch than the previous two years — meaning slightly higher prices for consumers — but it remained a productive year, lobstermen say. Maine’s lobster fishery, the largest in the country, topped …

Hard Year Ahead for Vt. House Dems

Monday, December 15, 2014

Montpelier — House Democrats convened for their annual December caucus Saturday and party leaders say the Legislature will face some tough choices next year. House and Senate Democrats saw their numbers diminished in the November election. And while Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vt., appears to have clawed out a …

Search Continues for Elusive Vermont Dog

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Montpelier — Rotisserie chicken, bacon, dog toys, more than a dozen volunteers and even a psychic have not been enough to find Murphy, an elusive golden retriever whose owner’s five-month search for the beloved animal has captivated one …

Jim Kenyon: A Model Vermont Prisoner

Sunday, December 14, 2014

At 19, Sam Ramsey is one of Vermont’s youngest prison inmates. Fewer than 1 in 20 are under age 21. He’s also one of the few offenders behind bars who hasn’t been convicted of a felony, the most serious crimes that carry the stiffest penalties. Nine out of …

New England Snowmobilers Hoping for Better Snow

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cornwall, Vt. — Last week’s heavy, wet snow could provide the solid base needed to get the snowmobile season on track, but trees knocked out in the storm could keep some trails closed beyond the start of the …

N.H. Health Insurance Deadline Coming Up

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Concord — New Hampshire residents shopping for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act during the second enrollment period have nearly four times more choices but only half the time to make their decision. While the first enrollment period lasted six months, the health law’s second sign-up season …

Railroad Rebuilding After Quebec Tragedy

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Portland, Maine — The company that purchased assets of the railroad responsible for a fiery oil train derailment that killed 47 people in Canada says it is seeing growth as it rebuilds the business. Central Maine and Quebec Railway has nearly doubled its business from June, but it …

A Tree Fir Every Budget

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Waterville Valley, N.H. — Some U.S. consumers are going over the Internet or through the woods to find fresh Christmas trees this year, taking advantage of shopping options at opposite ends of the cost spectrum. In one camp …

Thousands Still Without Power in Vermont After Storm

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Berlin, Vt. — About 6,000 customers were still without power in Vermont on Saturday evening, three days after a brutal storm pounded the state with heavy, wet snow and caused the worst outages in years. Earlier in the …