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 …

Heating Oil Not Taking Such a Bite

Saturday, December 13, 2014

West Lebanon — The average price of No. 2 fuel oil has dipped to $3.22 per gallon this month, according to a recent report. That’s a drop of nearly 15 percent from last year at this time, and …

‘Eat More Kale’ Wins Legal Fight

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Montpelier — A folk artist who became a folk hero to some after picking a fight with fast-food giant Chick-fil-A over use of the phrase “eat more kale” — similar to their trademarked “eat mor chikin” — has …

2012 Killings Not Allowed in Hernandez Case

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fall River, Mass. — Prosecutors in a murder case against Aaron Hernandez won’t be allowed to tell a jury about two other killings with which the ex-New England Patriot is charged or the final text messages the victim sent to his sister, a judge ruled Friday. Hernandez has …

N.H. Plans to Crack Down on Drunken Driving

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Concord — The New Hampshire Liquor Commission is ramping up efforts to prevent drunken driving during the holiday season by increasing undercover monitoring of establishments serving alcohol and partnering with the state police to increase patrols. A $25,000 grant from the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association will help …

Shumlin Calls for FairPoint Strike End

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Montpelier — A rash of recent Internet and phone outages prompted Gov. Peter Shumlin to call Friday for Vermont’s dominant landline phone carrier and about 1,700 striking workers to resolve their labor dispute. A FairPoint Communications spokeswoman and a union leader responded with a fresh round of recriminations. …

Vt. Health Connect Continues Struggles

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Montpelier — The back-end manual processes that underpin Vermont’s health care exchange continue to cause problems, according to customers, state officials and an internal memo. Those processes are also driving up spending that could add to the budget deficit next year, which is already pegged at roughly $100 …

Vt. Residents Cope With Power Outages

Friday, December 12, 2014

South Strafford — Vermont officials are warning that tens of thousands of households that have lost power in recent days could see outages continue into the weekend as workers struggle to keep up with the ongoing problems caused …

Judge Rules Against Lawmaker on Single-Payer Documents

Friday, December 12, 2014

Montpelier — A Superior Court judge ruled against a state representative this week, affirming that records she requested relating to the governor’s single-payer financing plan are privileged, not public. Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, made an open records request for “reports or memos or other work products related to …

Jasper Picks Committee Heads

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Concord — House Speaker Shawn Jasper named committee chairmen and vice chairmen yesterday, putting some of the finishing touches on his leadership team that he says represents Republicans from across the caucus. “I was looking for experience,” the Hudson representative said. Weare Rep. Neal Kurk will lead the …

Vermont Wins Early Education Grant

Friday, December 12, 2014

Burlington — A $33 million federal grant to be awarded to Vermont over four years will be used to expand access to quality early education for Vermont children in need to ensure that every child gets a strong start, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Thursday. Vermont was one of …