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Governor’s Address: Businesses beware: higher unemployment taxes are on the horizon

In this tight labor market, we must use every tool at our disposal to encourage laid-off workers to search for work and to take the jobs they are offered.

Unemployment is insurance, not an entitlement. It is a safety net – not a means of subsidizing one employer’s payroll on the backs of all other employers. Yet, the Legislature doesn’t understand the basic principles of the unemployment system.

They voted for a bill that attempts to turn this insurance program into an entitlement: LD 700, “An Act to Give Flexibility to Employees and Employers for Temporary Layoffs.” This new law grants a six-week waiver from the work search, provided an employer gives a recall date.

It effectively takes these workers out of the labor market while they collect benefits, despite our acute workforce shortage.

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St. Dom’s grad to compete in Miss America Competition

Olivia Mayo is a member of the Saint Dominic Academy Class of 2015.

A member of Saint Dominic Academy’s Class of 2015 will represent the State of Maine in front of viewers from across the nation this weekend. Minot native Olivia Mayo will compete for the title of Miss America 2019 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Sunday, September 9, at 9 p.m. on ABC. Maine viewers can watch the competition on WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) and WVII (Channel 7 in Bangor).

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Resident Assistants at CMCC

Resident Assistants at Central Maine Community College are student leaders trained to assist and supervise the 250 students who live in the campus residence facilities. This year’s RA’s are (l. to r., from front) Emily Ayer, Stephanie Jones, Cody Dolloff, Tyler Tibbetts, Jared Rubin, Campbell Duncan, Javier Padilla, and Michael Smith.

 

Humorist brings Chinese-style comedy to Bates College

Former Fulbright Scholar Jesse Appell, a comedian who performs humor in the Xiangsheng style, as well as bilingual improv and Chinese-style stand-up, seeks to overcome cultural gaps by focusing on storytelling and character rather than surface differences and stereotypes. He will perform on Wednesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. at the college’s Benjamin Mays Center, located at 95 Russell Street in Lewiston The event is free and open to the public. For more information, see nfaries@bates.edu.

 

Wade named Lawyer of the Year in “Medical Malpractice, Plaintiffs” category

Stephen B. Wade

Attorney Stephen B. Wade of Skelton Taintor & Abbott was recently selected as the 2019 Lawyer of the Year for the “Plaintiffs’ Medical Malpractice” category in the State of Maine. Only a single lawyer in each practice area is honored as the lawyer of the year, making this accolade particularly significant. These lawyers are selected based on polls of other lawyers who practice in the same area.

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Governor’s Address: Maine Will Be Restarting Our Program to Lower Your Health Insurance Costs

My administration passed a bill to lower health care costs in 2011, but Obamacare halted it in its tracks. The Trump administration is allowing us to implement the Maine Guaranteed Access Reinsurance Association again, and this will lower your health insurance premiums.

MGARA is known as Maine’s “invisible high risk pool.” It was one of the centerpieces of our 2011 healthcare-reform legislation. It had a proven track record of success, lowering individual health premiums by approximately 20 percent. In fact, it became a national model.

In 2012 and 2013, MGARA collected about $26 million in premiums and $41 million in assessments, while paying out about $66 million in reinsured health insurance claims. It kept premium increases about 20 percent lower than they otherwise would have been. That is money in your pocket.

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Webber named Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law category

Rebecca Webber (l.) and legal assistant Diann King

Attorney Rebecca S. Webber of Skelton Taintor & Abbott has been named 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” in the State of Maine for the category “Employment Law, Individuals.” Only a single lawyer in each practice area is honored as the lawyer of the year, making this accolade particularly significant. These lawyers are selected based on polls of other lawyers who practice in the same area.

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Food for Thought luncheon presents “Inventing a University in Vietnam”

Retired from Bates College as Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Bill Hiss traveled to Vietnam last March to help create those offices at the new Fulbright University Vietnam. Taken almost 25 years ago, this photo shows him discussing American higher education with a class of high school juniors in Vietnam, some of whom became the first students to attend college in the U.S.

When Ngan Dinh, a member of the Bates College Class of ’02, asked Bill Hiss to help create the first liberal arts college in Vietnam, it was an irresistible invitation. Retired from Bates as Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Hiss traveled to Vietnam last March to help create those offices at the new Fulbright University Vietnam.

He will share his experiences at USM LAC Senior College’s next Food for Thought luncheon on Friday, September 14 at 12 p.m. The event will take place in Room 170 at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn campus at 50 Westminster Street in Lewiston.

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Side By Each Brewing Co. to open in Auburn

The business is co-owned by brewers Ben Low and Matt Johannes.

Brewers Ben Low and Matt Johannes have announced that they plan to open Side by Each Brewing Co. at 1110 Minot Avenue in Auburn this winter. They plan to offer an eclectic, frequently changing menu of 12 or more beers, in styles to include IPAs, sours, Belgian- and British-style ales, German lagers and wheat beers, barrel-aged specialties, and new creations. 

“We like drinking and brewing just about any kind of beer, if it’s made well,” Johannes said. “So the consistent theme of our lineup will be quality, not style. We’ll never put a beer on tap if we’re not proud of it.”

Side By Each will also operate as a café, offering a full range of coffee and espresso drinks, as well as equipment, supplied by Portland’s Coffee By Design. 

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Center for Wisdom’s Women launches final phase of Sophia’s House fundraising campaign

Campaign co-chairs Audrey Chapman and Mike Carey invite all ages to the public kick-off event on Sunday, September 9.

The Center for Wisdom’s Women invites the public to a community celebration to launch the last phase of its capital campaign for Sophia’s House. Taking place on Sunday, September 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. on the grounds of 143 Blake Street, on the corner of Walnut Street behind St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, the event will feature food, building tours, games, and community building activities as special guests share music and poetry.

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