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This week’s edition!

Governor LePage and First Lady have weight-loss surgery at CMMC

“I really feel like I’m getting my life back.” —First Lady Ann LePage

Gov Ann Jamie

Governor Paul R. LePage, Dr. Jamie Loggins and First Lady Ann LePage share a laugh in the kitchen of the historic Blaine House, the Governor’s residence. Keeping the weight off was a challenge, as the Blaine House staff makes mouth-watering pastries, scrumptious baked goods and freshly prepared meals almost on a daily basis for the many events held there. (TCT photo by Laurie A. Steele)

By Peter A. Steele

Governor Paul R. LePage made news last week when he announced he had undergone bariatric surgery to lose weight and improve his health, but he was not alone. His wife, First Lady Ann LePage, also had the weight-loss surgery.

The Maine media and people at public events had been speculating for months about the Governor’s noticeable weight loss. Was he on some kind of crash diet? Had he turned into a triathlete? Did he put a treadmill in his office to use while poring over legislation, budgets and vetoes? More importantly, was he sick?

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Gov Ann

First Lady Ann LePage and Governor Paul R. LePage decided as a couple to get weight-loss surgery at CMMC. (TCT photo by Laurie A. Steele)

Dr. Loggins brings expertise, awareness to America’s obesity epidemic

Jamie Veto

Dr. Jamie Loggins hoists Governor LePage’s dog, Veto, in the kitchen of the Blaine House. (TCT photo by Laurie A. Steele)

By Peter A. Steele

When administrators at Central Maine Medical Center decided to create the Maine’s premier weight-loss program, they searched the for the best baritatric suregeon in the country. They chose Jamie Loggins, M.D.

A former U.S. Army surgeon who is an expert at robotic and laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Loggins is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University who earned his medical degree at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. He had been working on a fellowship in minimally invasive and robotic surgery at University of California at Davis in Sacramento, Calif. when he got the call from CMMC.

Although he had never considered coming to Maine, Dr. Loggins jumped at the tremendous opportunity to create a bariatric program from the ground up. He hired the staff, designed the facilities and purchased state-of-the-art equipment. “I would do a surgery, then put on a hard hat and go supervise the construction,” he said.

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Mary Mayhew to address Rotary Club Jan. 26

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Mayhew has served as Commissioner of Maine Department of Health and Human Services since 2011.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew will be the guest speaker at the next meeting of the Lewiston Auburn Rotary Club on Thursday, January 26, from noon to 1 p.m. at Rolandeau’s Restaurant, 775 Washington Street in Auburn. The public is invited to attend. Reservations are recommended for the general public and visiting Rotarians. To make a reservation, call 753-9040.

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Varney retires from Bennett Breast Care Center

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Kathi Varney

Kathryn “Kathi” Varney, longtime Nurse Practitioner at the Sam & Jennie Bennett Breast Care Center at Central Maine Medical Center, officially retired in early December 2016. Varney, who stepped into her role at the center’s inception, left a legacy of delivering top-notch care by professional staff in a calm and welcoming environment.

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Museum L-A takes step toward AMA accreditation

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Taking the pledge on behalf of the museum were Board Chair John Cleveland and Executive Director Rachel Desgrosseilliers.

Museum L-A recently received a “Pledge of Excellence” certificate from the American Alliance of Museums in affirmation that the Museum pledges “to operate according to national standards and best practices to the best of [its] abilities and in accordance with [its] resources.”

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Auburn Ski Association presents scholarships

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Brooke Lever and Anna Hathaway receive their scholarships recently at Lost Valley.

Congratulations to 2016 Edward Little High School graduates Brooke Lever and Anna Hathaway, who each received a $500 Auburn Ski Association Scholarship at Lost Valley recently.

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Governor’s Address: The Story You Will Not Hear in the Media about the Budget

In 2002 when Governor Angus King left office the State was seeing red—big time. He left a billion-dollar structural deficit for the next administration. Today, all of that is nearly eliminated.

Dear Maine Taxpayer,

Mainers who rack up debt and fail to pay it are adversely affected with poor credit scores and sometimes sued for payment. This impacts their ability to buy a car, apply for a loan or a mortgage, and it can even prevent them from renting an apartment.

Interest rates will also be very high for someone with bad credit. High debt can also harm a state’s credit rating, so it’s important to maintain fiscal responsibility in state government.

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Only Steps Forward: We must encourage real estate investment in Auburn

By Jonathan P. LaBonté

Mayor of Auburn

In the next month, movement will begin on developing the 2017-18 city budget. As I highlighted last week, there are already some challenges we will face with growing expenses from other areas of the city and likely more that we have yet to be briefed up.

And while cutting expenses and prioritizing spending will be central to this budget, we cannot lose focus on a key way to hold the line on taxes and reduce them over time: economic growth.

There are lots of ways to measure economic growth; well-compensated consultants and “experts” will happily provide presentation upon presentation about what it means and how you do it. Are you focusing on job creation, on growing wages, on companies relocating or expanding in your city?

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Enough is Enough: Legislation is aimed at improving the livability of Lewiston

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Over the past five years, Lewiston’s third-floor staff has done yeoman’s work in cleaning up and slowly moving Lewiston forward. Our code department has done a great job in accelerating the removal of blighted and dangerous buildings from our landscape.

These buildings served as urban fire loads that in the past have contributed to major destructive fires, resulting in injuries and property destruction. Worse, it placed residents in constant fear of their safety. This was unacceptable, and our staff has worked hard to greatly reduce these fears.

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