Apple Ruling (Augusta) – Maine’s Supreme Court has ruled that Apple must pay the State sales tax based on the full price of an I-phone instead of a lower price that cell phone customers get if they sign a 2-year contract.  The high court ruled that wireless carriers that offer I-phone discounts pay Apple a […]

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Local News – February 19, 2021

Apple Ruling

(Augusta) – Maine’s Supreme Court has ruled that Apple must pay the State sales tax based on the full price of an I-phone instead of a lower price that cell phone customers get if they sign a 2-year contract.  The high court ruled that wireless carriers that offer I-phone discounts pay Apple a price for the devices, therefore the sales tax should be based on the same price a consumer would pay if they didn’t purchase the cell service.  The ruling overturns a lower court ruling.  It’s not clear how much sales tax income that will generate for the state.

 

DA Split Bill

(Augusta) – A State Representative from Washington County doesn’t want to share that County’s district attorney with Hancock County any more.  Representative Will Tuell testified yesterday in favor of a bill that would create separate prosecutorial districts for each county.  Currently Matthew Foster is the D-A in District 7 which encompasses the two counties.  Tuell said the county seats in Ellsworth and Machias are a long ways apart and it would make sense that Washington County has its own prosecutor.

 

CDC Briefing – 02/18

 

(Augusta)  Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said if you’re 70 and over and in need of a COVID-19 vaccination, the Cross Insurance Center has openings.  You do NOT need to be a patient of Northern Light healthcare in order  to get vaccinated there. To schedule, call 204-8551 or register online at northern light health dot org.

 

(Augusta)  Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah says the push to make COVID-19 vaccinations available at local pharmacies is an ongoing process.  Shah says while there are no final plans, the CDC is working with the federal government to support the distribution and administering of vaccines at pharmacies across the U.S.

 

SPCA Rescue

 

(Trenton)  Believe it or not, there’s a shortage of cats for adoption in the winter in Maine.  So Nicole Redicker, Animal Care Manager at the SPCA of Hancock County, tells Star 97.7, she’ll be New Hampshire bound tomorrow morning to meet a transport with 40 cats and kittens coming from Georgia.    Redicker says the shelter has a wish list for kittens, so the 12 little ones may all be spoken for.  But there are 26 adult cats and two other pregnant mommas that would just love to be in a forever home with you.

 

January Overdose Number

 

(Augusta) – As Coronavirus continues as the major health concern in Maine, drug overdoses continue to claim lives.  The Attorney General’s office reports 58-people died of confirmed or suspected overdoses in January.  The report says the most common fatal overdose involves Fentanyl.  Attorney General Aaron Frey says the COVID-19 pandemic has put barriers up to treatment and support for drug abusers.

 

Rockport Fatal

(Rockport)  Three people were transported to a hospital in Rockport and one woman has died as the result of injuries suffered in a head-on collision on Route 17 Wednesday night.  Rockport police tell Star 97.7 the accident occurred near Rocky Pond in Rockport.  26-year old Elizabeth Sherfey of Hope drove the westbound car, and died after Rockport firefighters cut her from car.  The driver of the eastbound vehicle was evaluated and released.  Maine State Police are investigating.

 

Mills to Deliver State of the Budget Address

(Augusta)  Governor Janet Mills will deliver a virtual State of the Budget address next Tuesday.  In her address, the Governor will honor victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, pay tribute to the people and businesses fighting to bring the pandemic under control, discuss the impact of the pandemic on public health and the economy, and share her vision for the state’s recovery.  Broadcast of the address is set for 7 p.m. on February 23rd.

 

Mills Extends State of Civil Emergency.

(Augusta)  Governor Janet Mills has extended the state of civil emergency for a 12th time, through March 18th.  The National Governors Association points out virtually every state has an ongoing emergency declaration, which allows for the deployment of all available tools to respond to and contain COVID-19.

 

Unemployment Drops Again

(Augusta)  Unemployment figures dropped again last week for the sixth straight week.  The Maine Department of Labor reports 2000 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance for the week ending February 13th, compared to 2200 the week before.  Initial claims filed for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance were up – at 450, compared to 300 the week before but 500 filed the last week in January.  The ReEmployME is scheduled to undergo regular maintenance from 7:30 this evening to 1:30 a.m. Friday morning and will be temporarily unavailable during those hours.

 

Hiring Event

(Augusta)  Maine Career Centers will host a virtual hiring event for Administrative, Management, Emergency Services, Law Enforcement and Security Employment positions next Thursday.  Job seekers can register for the February 25th event, which runs from 2 to 3 p.m., at maine career center dot gov.

 

Collins Not Quite Censured

(Augusta)  Thirty-eight Maine Republicans signed a letter expressing outrage at Senator Susan Collins’s vote to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.  Collins was one of only seven Republican Senators who voted for impeachment at the trial – she and Utah’s Senator Mitt Romney are the only two of the seven who have not yet been censured, although Maine’s Republican Party has not taken that measure off the table.  Collins says she takes her oath to defend the Constitution seriously and that the evidence presented compelled her to vote as she did.  In a letter to supporters, Collins noted that she was the only Republican senator in the Northeast and was elected after standing up to Trump.

 

CDC Stats – Thursday

(Augusta)  The Maine CDC on Thursday reported 218 new cases of Coronavirus across the state Thursday, with one new death.  Total death count from the virus in Maine now stands at 655, out of 43,090 cases diagnosed since the pandemic began in March 2020.  91 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, 24 of them in intensive care and 9 on ventilators.

 

Androscoggin Commissioners Vote Down Anti-Mask Resolution

(Auburn)  Androscoggin County Commissioners overwhelmingly voted down an anti-mask resolution proposed by Republican Commissioner Isaiah Lary.  By a 6-to-1 vote, Lary was the only commissioner to vote FOR the resolution, which has stirred controversy in the community since its proposal. Unmasked supporters had been showing up at the meetings to speak out on the motion, prompting Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson to state he and his deputies would no longer attend meetings in person unless the mask mandate was enforced.

 

Accused Turner Murderer Ordered to Undergo Psychiatric Treatment

(Lewiston)  The man charged in the killings of Turner couple Troy and Dulsie Varney has been ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation.  24-year-old Patrick Maher appeared in court Wednesday, charged with two counts of murder.  According to relatives, the victims were stabbed to death inside their home on Knight Farm Road last Friday during a home invasion.  Maher reportedly rented a room from the couple.  Maher is being held without bail.

 

Maine PUC Opens Investigation

(Hallowell)  The Maine Public Utilities Commission opened a case Thursday to investigate the future design and operation of the electric distribution system in Maine.  The Commission says the study will determine how best to accommodate increasing amounts of renewable energy, including solar installations and energy storage.  The PUC noted the state is at the beginning of a period of significant transition and must act now to modernize the power grid, integrate more renewable resources and improve reliability.  Last week, the Commission opened an investigation into interconnection practices by CMP at the request of the Governor, Maine Renewable Energy Association, and the Coalition for Community Solar Access.

 

Sports

 

  • New Jersey Devils 3  Boston Bruins 2
  • The Celtics host the Atlanta Hawks again tonight.

High School Basketball-Boys

Mount Desert Island 54, George Stevens 29

Bucksport 54, Searsport District 29

Bangor 31, Hermon 22

Old Town 73, Foxcroft Academy 64

Schenck 57, Penquis Valley 38

Stearns 70, Lee Academy 46

Girls

Mount Desert Island 51, George Stevens 9

Bangor 31, Hermon 22

Old Town 64, Foxcroft Academy 28

Orono 41, Mattanawcook Academy 29

Washington Academy 45, Brewer 37