• 12 Jun 2015 11:48 AM | Deleted user


    Local Initiative Hosting Community Forums for those Lacking Health Insurance


    A Community Resource Partnership established through an Access to Quality Care Planning Grant funded by the Maine Health Access Foundation is hosting informal discussions for residents to talk about their health care needs. The group would like to learn about the needs of the uninsured who seek a majority of their health care through the emergency room, and what individuals need to have a healthier life.


    This group of interested individuals and organizations has been meeting to discuss ways to assist community members with better access and coordination of care, as well as connecting to local health and social service resources. As part of the planning process, the group is interested in learning what is keeping our local residents from being healthier.


    The goal of this initiative is to develop a plan to help local residents receive appropriate care for their health and wellbeing. The partnership has identified potential ideas to better assist local residents and requests input from residents. One consideration is the possibility of establishing a community resource coordinator to assist residents in connecting to local services and providers to help improve their health and quality of life.


    Community forums will be held on: Wednesday, June 24 from 6-7 p.m. at the Mt. Blue Campus, Room A140, across from the Main Office; Thursday, June 25from 6-7 p.m. in the Spruce Mountain High School library; and Tuesday, June 30 from 6-7 p.m. at the Forster Memorial Building in Strong. Two $50 gas cards will be raffled at each event as a thank you to participants for their feedback. An RSVP is requested. Light refreshments will be available.


    To RSVP or for individuals who are unable to attend an event, but would like to provide input through a survey contact Janis Walker at 779-2750 or

  • 12 Jun 2015 11:46 AM | Deleted user


    Pro-Growth Tax Reform Provides Mainers with More Opportunities

    June 12, 2015

    Death tax elimination, lower income tax and welfare reform remain priorities

    AUGUSTA – As legislators carry on their work with the budget, Governor Paul R. LePage continues to maintain it must include meaningful tax relief for the people of Maine.

    “In order for Mainers to prosper, we must take on tax reform in a meaningful way. We do that by eliminating the burden of the death tax and reducing personal income tax.”

    If implemented in the budget, Maine would become a part of a growing trend across the nation eliminating the death tax. Arizona, North Carolina, Ohio and Oklahoma have repealed the estate tax in the last five years.

    Moreover, it is important to note, state death taxes are very small bases of revenue for states. In Maine, the death tax only accounts for 1.3 percent of total state revenue and would only fund government operations for 4 days.

    “We can achieve a more prosperous Maine, but we must be willing to take bold action. Pro-growth tax reform creates a stronger economic recovery putting us in a better position to grow, with more investment, more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of living,” said Governor LePage.

    Income tax relief will help to strengthen Maine’s economic progress. Acknowledging Democrats have killed the idea in the current budget, the Governor will continue to advocate for the complete elimination of income tax for the remainder of his governorship.

    In addition, the LePage Administration remains committed to welfare reform and will continue to improve Maine’s safety net for the most vulnerable citizens – elderly, disabled and the mentally ill.

    “We must also provide welfare reform the people have asked for that takes care of Mainers first. Liberal lawmakers may choose to ignore the people of Maine, but my Administration will not,” said Governor LePage.

  • 12 Jun 2015 11:45 AM | Deleted user


    Governor Urges Lawmakers to Pass his Welfare Reform Bills

    June 12, 2015

    For Immediate Release: Friday, June 12, 2015
    Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

    Three major reform bills pending initial votes before the House, Senate

    AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage on Friday called on lawmakers to enact three of his welfare reform bills, which are separate from the budget and are pending votes before the Maine House and Senate.

    The bills include LD 1375, a comprehensive welfare reform bill which would create an up-front work search requirement for welfare, a ban on benefits’ use out of state or for certain items including alcohol and cigarettes, and would eliminate loopholes in the current work requirement.

    Also included are LD 1402, which would alleviate the “welfare cliff” and encourage work, and LD 1407, which would help ensure a drug-free welfare system by expanding the use of drug testing for welfare benefits.

    “These are reforms that Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree upon,” said Governor LePage. “They would help move Mainers from welfare to work and ensure that benefits are being used the right way. Mainers have spoken loud and clear and they expect more accountability in our welfare system. What Augusta politicians have been doing for the past few decades simply hasn’t worked—they have failed the poor—and it’s time for change. I urge lawmakers to pass these bills.”

    LD 1375 combines four bills introduced in 2014 which were rejected by majority lawmakers. One difference is that the new bill expands prohibited welfare purchases to tattoos. With a new legislature and the increasing demand for welfare reform among Maine citizens, the LePage Administration expects that LD 1375 will stand a better chance of passage than its predecessors.

    LD 1402 is built on bipartisan support for addressing the “welfare cliff” that recipients approach as they begin working and stand to lose all of their benefits at once, making the transition from welfare to work difficult. It would increase the amount of income that is “disregarded” for the purposes of determining welfare eligibility, but it would require recipients to work and would not add new families to the welfare rolls.

    LD 1407 would require all Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) applicants to take a Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) test to help the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) gauge whether the applicant is likely currently abusing drugs. The bill would give DHHS authority to require applicants who fail the SASSI screening to take a urinalysis drug test. A positive drug test would require applicants to attend substance abuse counseling as a condition of receiving benefits, which could be terminated for failure to participate.

    These are common sense reforms to ensure that taxpayer funds are assisting eligible individuals on a pathway to self-sufficiency and not a lifetime of dependency,” said DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. “Maine’s welfare programs have needed comprehensive restructuring to break the cycle of generational dependency and to hold welfare recipients accountable for their actions that are contrary to the goals of employment and financial stability. Mainers have spoken loudly in favor of these reforms and it’s time now for legislators to act swiftly and pass these bills.”


  • 10 Jun 2015 9:10 AM | Deleted user


    Governor LePage to Join Flag Day Celebration with Descendant of Betsy Ross

    June 9, 2015

    For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 09, 2015
    Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

    AUGUSTA – On Sunday, June 14, Governor Paul R. LePage will join flag muralist Scott LoBaido, who is now on a 50-state "Painting Flags Across America Tour," to reveal a massive flag mural created exclusively for American Legion Post 31 in Auburn.

    The unveiling of the mural coincides with the 99th anniversary of Flag Day and includes a special guest with family ties to the originator of the American Flag. John Harker, great-great-great-great grandson of Betsy Ross, who has conducted scholarly research on his ancestor's place in the creation of the original flag will attend the unveiling.

    Prior to the reveal, on Thursday, June 11, LoBaido, who calls the American flag "the greatest piece of artwork ever created," will begin toiling away on a customized 16' x 30' Old Glory mural on American Legion Post 31 in Auburn. LoBaido will be in Auburn as part of an arduous six-month national tour he's undertaken to paint the Stars and Stripes on American Legion Post or VFW buildings in all 50 states. To date, LoBaido is 50-percent of the way towards his goal.

    The public is invited to the dedication ceremony for the flag mural at American Legion Post 31, 426 Washington St. North, Auburn. Note: Media requests for interviews with LoBaido, or Betsy Ross descendant John Harker, a supporter of the tour, will be promptly expedited. Please contact:

    Catherine Christman
    Media Relations
    "Painting Flags Across America Tour"
    (803) 240-5863

    WHEN: Sunday, June 14, 10:30 a.m.

    WHERE: American Legion Post 31, 426 Washington St. North, Auburn


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  • 10 Jun 2015 9:09 AM | Deleted user


    Cole Teague Earns Healthcare Constructor Certification

    Is Franklin Memorial Hospital’s chief of facilities management



    Cole Teague, CHC, CHFM, Franklin Memorial Hospital’s chief of facilities management, has earned the designation of Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC). The CHC is a national credential that distinguishes an individual as being among an elite group of over 800 healthcare construction professionals who currently hold the certification.


    The CHC Program supports the community of healthcare construction professionals and is designed to provide an objective and rigorous assessment of mastery of a well-defined body of professional knowledge. To earn the CHC, an individual must satisfy eligibility requirements that incorporate a blend of professional experience and education, agree to adhere to the AHA Professional Standards of Conduct, and pass the CHC Certification Examination. The CHC Examination assesses knowledge required of a competent healthcare construction manager in the areas of healthcare industry fundamentals; planning, design and construction process; healthcare facility safety-additions and renovations; and financial stewardship.


    To retain the certification, Teague must demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional development by maintaining currency of the certification through participation in professional development activities.


    Teague additionally holds certification in Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM) since 2011. He resides in Fairfield with

  • 10 Jun 2015 9:08 AM | Deleted user


    Senate Approves Economist Bruce Williamson to Maine Public Utilities Commission

    June 9, 2015

    For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
    Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

    AUGUSTA – The Maine Legislature today approved Governor Paul R. LePage’s nominee, economist Dr. Bruce Williamson, as the next member of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

    Twenty-five Senators of both parties voted to affirm Dr. Williamson’s nomination. Ten Democrats voted against the appointment, despite the strong 11-2 vote last week by the Energy Utilities and Technology Committee.

    “Dr. Williamson, along with engineer Mark Vannoy and attorney Carlisle McClean, provide a depth and breadth of expertise that can move our state forward with lower energy costs,” said Governor LePage. “The state’s ratepayers will benefit from the wide range of perspectives and experience this Commission has, and I am eager for these talented professionals to begin their work on the state’s complex energy issues and challenges.”

    Dr. Williamson is a senior economist at the University of Tennessee’s Howard Baker Center for Public Policy. He has also served as a research professor at the University’s College of Business Administration, lectured in advanced data analytics and worked as a senior economist at the National Defense Business Institute.

    The MPUC regulates electric, natural gas, telecommunications and water utilities to ensure that Maine consumers enjoy safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are just and reasonable for both consumers and utilities. The Commission oversees emerging competitive markets for some of these services. The Commission also regulates water taxis and ferries in Casco Bay and promotes safe digging through the Dig Safe underground utility damage prevention program.
    Williamson replaces outgoing Commissioner David Littell, whose term expired in March.

  • 08 Jun 2015 2:06 PM | Deleted user


    First Lady Ann LePage to Join Travis Mills for Ribbon-Cutting of Travis Mills Foundation National Family Retreat Center

    Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

    AUGUSTA –First Lady, Ann M. LePage, will join Ret. SSG Travis Mills as part of a ground-breaking ceremony beginning a two year process to restore a piece of historic Maine property, which veterans and their families will have access to as they reconnect with each other.

    The ceremony will take place at the future home of the Travis Mills Foundation National Family Retreat Center located at the historic Maine Chance Lodge, originally built in 1929 and owned by cosmetics pioneer, Elizabeth Arden; located at 1002 Watson Pond Road in Rome beginning at 12:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

    “I’m so excited to see Travis’ dream taking shape and becoming a tangible reality”, Ann LePage said. “We had a successful proof-of-concept in the past, but now the Travis Mills Foundation has a permanent home for the Family Retreat Center right here in Maine.”

    To further make the event the Boston Red Sox organization and the Red Sox Foundation have generously contributed a massive lawn stencil for the new retreat. The stencil will be delivered, set, and mowed in by the Red Sox organization grounds crew on June 9, 2015.

    For more information on Travis Mills and the Travis Mills Foundation, please visit .


  • 04 Jun 2015 2:27 PM | Deleted user

     FMH Auxiliary Donates $18,000 to Hospital

    Funds will go toward three needed items



    A donation to Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH), scholarship announcements, committee reports, and the installment of new officers were just a few of the actions taking place at the annual meeting of the Franklin Memorial Hospital Auxiliary on June 3.


    Dawn Girardin, Auxiliary president, presented Rebecca Arsenault, FMH president/CEO, with a gift of $18,000 to purchase: a podiatry chair for podiatrist Dr. Zachary Blakeman arriving in mid July; a new nonmagnetic wheelchair for MRI patients; and a pulse oximeter for the 2nd floor cardiology clinic.


    Giradin said that additional smaller gifts approved by the Auxiliary earlier in the year totaling $4,653 included: a blanket warmer and a glass-enclosed bulletin board for the Androscoggin Valley Medical Arts Center in Livermore Falls; and monthly pill organizers with a programmable talking alarm for Franklin Health care support nurses.


    Arsenault applauded the work of the Auxiliary and the many gifts Franklin Memorial Hospital has received from the charitable group. “No gift is too small. I hope you realize how much we fully appreciate all the hard work you do and the support you give to this hospital,” she said. “On behalf of the board of directors, the medical staff, employees, and the community, thank you for all you have done and thank you for being there for us.”


    Arsenault mentioned that last year’s gift to refurbish a NorthStar ambulance, theme-painted for breast cancer awareness and adorning the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center logo, will soon be on the roads. A draft of the design was shared with the group.


    Arsenault also introduced the gift shop’s new volunteer manager Pam West, who replaces Patty Kilkenny who managed the shop for more than a decade. The popular gift shop, located near the hospital’s front entrance, offers a wide selection of gifts such as new baby presents, jewelry, seasonal items, books, stuffed animals, candy, and floral arrangements.


    Among the reports, Caroleen Caldwell, chair of the scholarship committee, announced the six recipients of the Auxiliary’s West Central Maine Health Careers Scholarship Program. The following nursing students will each be awarded a $600 scholarship: Jennifer Nichols of Jay; Molly Geisser of Industry; Sydney Caldwell of Farmington; Althea Mae Drummond of Livermore Falls; Taylor Hargreaves of Lexington Township; and Rachelle Bator of Farmington.


    Jill Gray, staff liaison to the Auxiliary, installed the following officers for the coming year: Dawn Girardin, president; Jean Rand, 1st vice president; Mary Harris, 2nd vice president; Kamilla Hall, secretary; Priscilla Smith, treasurer; and Shannon Smith, assistant treasurer.


    The hospital’s gift shop is the Auxiliary’s major fundraiser in its mission to provide financial support by purchasing equipment that the hospital would like to have—but cannot fit into its budget. The Auxiliary also raises money by way of membership dues, raffles, Bag Ali sales, memorial stones, food and book sales, special events, and the Remembrance Tree during the holidays.


    Perks to being an Auxiliary member include: personal satisfaction and meeting new friends; annual appreciation events with buffet meal, entertainment, and recognition gifts; a free turkey before Thanksgiving; free flu shots; and complimentary meal privileges.


    Anyone interested in joining the Auxiliary can receive a membership form by contacting Gray at 779-2555.

  • 04 Jun 2015 11:59 AM | Deleted user


    Governor LePage and Veterans Recognize Destroyer Escort Day

    June 4, 2015

    For Immediate Release: Thursday, June 04, 2015
    Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

    AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has proclaimed June 20, 2015 as Destroyer Escort Day to honor American sailors from World War II, The Vietnam War, and the Korean War who served on Destroyer Escort ships.

    These ships were used as lifelines for Allied forces by protecting convoys from the U-Boat menace in the Atlantic Ocean. Destroyer Escorts were also used in surface for air battles, surface to surface combat, shelling shores for invasions, and many other assignments. They are no longer built.

    Governor LePage on Thursday met with members of the New England Chapter of the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association (DESA), which includes Navy Veterans from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. The Governor presented a signed copy of the 2015 Destroyer Escort Day Proclamation, which is a longstanding tradition of the Governor of the State of Maine.

    “We are losing a generation of warriors, and it saddens me to know there are very few veterans still with us who served on these historic ships,” said Governor LePage. “Our veterans deserve respect and recognition for their dedication in defending our freedom. These sailors risked and often gave their lives for peace and freedom worldwide. We can never thank them enough,” said Governor LePage.

    In attendance were veterans who served in World War II including retired Commander Normand Demers. Commander John Dube, USN Retired also attended, along with DESA members Gail Kerns-Dube, William Hayden, Mark Groomes, Stephen Paquette, Stella Paquette, George Jackman, and Herbert Mann, Jr.

    The New England Chapter of the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association has seen a recent drop in number of members, from 100 to about 50. The decrease in the number of members reflects how special it is to recognize veterans who served on the Destroyer Escorts.

    If you would like to become a member of the New England Chapter of the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association, contact John Dube at (207) 897-5335.

    The proclamation language is as follows:

    WHEREAS, World War II, The Vietnam War and the Korean War called upon thousands of America’s young men to join in the fight by land, sea and air to restore freedom and peace throughout the world; and

    WHEREAS, Destroyer Escorts were designed as an anti-submarine vessel to provide a lifeline for Allied forces by protecting convoys from the U-Boat menace in the Atlantic, and were used extensively in surface to air battles, surface to surface combat, shelling shores for invasions and many other assignments; and

    WHEREAS, in recognition of the lives lost in these endeavors, and in commendation of the bravery and valor of these sailors, the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association has paid tribute since 1975 to those American sailors who served on Destroyer Escort ships; and

    WHEREAS, the Northeast Chapter of the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association will host a special ceremony in Lewiston to honor the sailors of Destroyer Escorts from WW II, Vietnam and Korea, with special tribute paid to those that lost their lives with their ships.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim June 20th 2015 as DESTROYER ESCORT DAY throughout the State of Maine in commemoration of the valiant sailors who risked and often gave their lives for peace and freedom worldwide.


  • 03 Jun 2015 1:52 PM | Deleted user


    Governor LePage Has Repeatedly Offered and Continues to Call for Tax Relief Compromise

    June 3, 2015

    For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 03, 2015
    Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

    AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage and a majority of Republicans Legislators, including Leadership in the House Representatives, are standing firm to include in the budget meaningful tax relief for the people of Maine.

    However, unwillingness from Democrats, led by Speaker Mark Eves, is causing increased chatter of a failure to reach a compromise. It is unfortunate that Mr. Eves could cause such a failure.

    “Democrats led an effort to strip all income tax relief for Mainers in this budget. They have done so behind closed doors in the dark of night. Instead of providing any kind of tax reductions, Democrats have chosen instead to demand taxpayer dollars be spent on illegal immigrants. I continue to encourage lawmakers to instead spend precious funds on the hardworking people of Maine, including our elderly, who have earned that money,” said Governor LePage.

    Governor LePage presented a budget to the Legislature on January 9 giving lawmakers nearly five months to work on a compromise plan of action. Throughout that time the Governor has been willing and interested in reaching a consensus on a path forward.

    The Governor and his staff have met repeatedly with Republican leaders to offer multiple scenarios which would offer a path forward to reach income tax relief for hard working Mainers who still earn below the national average in income.

    Earlier this year, Republican Leadership asked the Governor for ideas for additional spending cuts that might fund tax relief. The Governor has continually provided many paths which Republicans could use in budget negotiations including a comprehensive list of potential spending cuts they might consider. The list is here.

    It is important to note, Governor LePage was not endorsing nor rejecting any of the specific cuts. The list was part of the process of finding a solution to provide income tax cuts for economic growth and to support hard working Mainers. Again, this was just one part of the Governor’s efforts to help reach consensus.

    The Governor continues to point out that income tax relief is critical to continue Maine’s economic progress.

    There is still time to come together before the Legislature adjourns on June 17. The Governor encourages everyone to work together.

    “If the budget passed today, Mainers lose. There is absolutely no tax relief for hardworking middle class taxpayers and job creators, nor is there funding for our most vulnerable citizens – our elderly, disabled and mentally ill. We need a budget that helps our people prosper and that will strengthen the economy. This so-called deal is unacceptable and many Republicans continue to be willing and ready put the people of Maine first. This is what they elected us to do and it’s our responsibility to follow through,” said Governor LePage.

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