CDC Briefing – Tuesday
(Augusta) As of Tuesday, the State of Maine had vaccinated more than 200,000 residents, about a quarter of those being second doses. Director of the Maine CDC Dr. Nirav Shah emphasized that supply dictates the speed at which the state can be covered. Shah credited the Biden administration with moving forward on getting higher numbers of vaccines distributed to the states.
(Augusta) Pick up your groceries, grab some tools for that project, and get your COVID-19 vaccine all in one location. DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew says beginning Friday, for those who are eligible, that will be a possibility. Lambrew said beginning Friday, eligible recipients can schedule their vaccinations on the Sam’s Club and WalMart websites.
(Augusta) The Portland Press Herald this week reported that the state’s largest healthcare provider, MaineHealth had administered vaccines intended for Maine’s most vulnerable to several out-of-state consultants. DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew called it a potential violation of provider agreements which could have strict consequences. Lambrew emphasized that Governor Mills’ priority is saving lives and that that means vaccinating Maine’s healthcare workers, the elderly and others most at risk first and foremost.
Vaccine Education Program
(Ellsworth) If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, you might want to log-in to the Ellsworth Public Library’s virtual vaccine education program this evening at 7 p.m.. The library has teamed up with Northern Light Health VP Senior Physician Executive Dr. Sheena Whitaker, and Joe Gaetrano, Vice President of Operations at Northern Light and Blue Hill Hospitals, who will answer questions on eligibility, distribution, clinical information and common misconceptions about the vaccine. Pre-registration for tonight’s presentation is required through the library’s website.
Mills Proposes PPP Tax Compromise
(Augusta) More than 99 percent of Maine businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program funds would see tax relief under a plan released yesterday by the Mills Administration. Under the proposal, the state would match the Federal government’s double benefit on the first one million dollars of PPP received, resulting in full tax relief for Maine’s most vulnerable small businesses. For the purpose of State taxes, like Federal taxes, PPP funds would not be treated as taxable income and any allowable associated expenses would also be deductible. Mills said the proposal seeks to strike middle ground between those who oppose conforming to the federal government’s double benefit and those who support full conformity.
Absentee Ballot Bill
(Augusta) Secretary Shenna Bellows testified Monday in support of a bill that would allow voters to request absentee voter status for all elections. Under the bill, sponsored by House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, those voters would automatically then receive absentee ballots for each election until the status was terminated. According to current Maine law, voters must request an absentee ballot for each election in which they don’t plan to vote in person. Technology upgrades would be required, which Bellows testified would be feasible by the bill’s 2023 implementation deadline. Along with Fecteau’s bill, Representative Teresa Pierce has proposed establishing an online platform for voter registration, which would also improve access to the democratic process.
Former Calais Officer Arrested on Drugs Briefly Worked for Ellsworth PD
(Ellsworth) – A former police officer arrested on drug charges had worked for several law enforcement agencies in Downeast Maine. Jeffrey Bishop submitted his resignation to the Calais police department in January, saying in his resignation letter that he wanted to go out on top. Bishop also briefly worked for the Ellsworth police department, as well as for police in Gouldsboro, Winter Harbor and Milbridge. He started his career with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in the early 1990s. Bishop remains held on $30-thousand dollars cash bail at the jail in Aroostook County.
(Brunswick) A sad passing to note – Lloyd McCausland of Brunswick passed away last Friday at the age of 99. McCausland was the father of former long-time Public Safety Department Spokesman, Steve McCausland. After serving in World War II, Lloyd eventually settled in Brunswick where he operated Lloyd’s Texaco on Pleasant Street. McCausland was just two days shy of his 100th birthday.
CDC Stats – Tuesday
(Augusta) The Maine CDC Tuesday reported 211 new cases of Coronavirus and 3 additional deaths. That brings the state’s coronavirus-related death toll to 639 out of 41,630 cases of the virus diagnosed since the pandemic began in the state last March.
Cruise Ships Unlikely Again in 2021
(Bar Harbor) – For a second straight summer, cruise ships are unlikely to drop anchor in Bar Harbor. The Bangor Daily News reports both Bar Harbor and Portland do not expect cruise ship visits following Canada’s decision to ban ships in 2021. Between the two ports, about 235-visits were scheduled. The Coronavirus canceled all the cruise ships planned last summer. Ships are one of the largest disease spreading exposures.
Bautista to Serve as Deputy Secretary of State
(Augusta) Joann Bautista has been named Deputy Secretary of State for the state of Maine. Bautista is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and will be Maine’s first Latina Deputy Secretary of State. Bautista most recently worked as the advocacy director for Preble Street and special projects manager for the American Civil Liberties Union, both in Portland. She also served as a policy associate at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Washington, DC, where she focused on issues impacting unaccompanied children and asylum seekers. The Secretary of State oversees the Maine State Archives, the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
- Utah Jazz 122 Boston Celtics 108
- The Bruins play the Rangers in New York tonight
High School Basketball – Boys
Ellsworth 54, Hermon 35
Foxcroft Academy 59, Central 43
Brewer 48, Hampden Academy 40
Old Town 64, John Bapst Memorial 52
Woodland 65, Calais 54
Hermon 41, Ellsworth 30
Mount Desert Island 54, Washington Academy 44
Calais 73, Machias 42
Hampden Academy 37, Brewer 26
Old Town 76, John Bapst Memorial 27
Orono 45, Penobscot Valley 26