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This week’s edition!

Governor’s Address: Democrats’ Failure Now Means Big Hassles on Tax Day Next Year

Americans paid their 2017 federal and state income taxes this week. Filing taxes isn’t a pleasant or easy task, but the lack of action by Democrats in the Legislature will make filing a nightmare next year.

Maine’s tax laws, as those of most states, piggyback on the federal IRS code. This is called “tax conformity.” States conform to avoid having two sets of laws – one for federal taxes and another for state taxes.

Aligning the state to the federal tax code usually requires minor fixes. But because the federal tax reform was comprehensive, we must make changes in a way that does not increase Mainers’ taxes. This requires the Legislature to pass a conformity bill.

Unfortunately, the failure of leadership by Speaker of the House Sara Gideon has made it likely that tax conformity will not happen this year.

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Normand “Blackie” Labbe remembered in Maine Senate

Members of the Labbe Family, with Sen. Eric Brakey and Rep. Kathleen Dillingham

The Labbe Family visited the Maine Senate recently to remember Normand “Blackie” Labbe, Sr. of Minot. Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin) recognized the family during the day’s session, presenting them with legislative memoriam remembering Blackie’s contributions to the community as the owner of Blackie’s Farm Fresh Produce in Auburn. The business was established in 1985, when Blackie opened a small, seasonal fruit stand on Minot Avenue, where he sold produce from his 120-acre farm in Minot.

“Blackie was a pillar of the community in Androscoggin County and an example of a life well-lived,” said Brakey. “Through his hard work and big heart, he touched the lives of many, and his impact will be felt for generations to come.”

Mainely Improv at Baxter Brewing Company

Much in the style of television’s “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?” the troupe makes up comedy “on the spot,” based entirely on audience suggestions.

 Mainely Improv – On the Spot Comedy, one of Maine’s most popular improvisational troupes, will bring its madcap antics to the Baxter Brewing Company in Lewiston on Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. Admission is free with no cover charge.

Much in the style of television’s “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?”, the troupe makes up comedy “on the spot,” based entirely upon audience suggestions.

“The one thing that is predictable about improv comedy is that it is totally unpredictable,” said Dan Marois, who, with his wife, Denise, produces Mainely Improv. “We have no idea what we are going to do when the show begins, and we rely on the wit and genius of the audience to give us outrageous situations to perform throughout the evening.”

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Help spruce up Pettingill School Park for Earth Day

Friends of Pettingill Steering Committee members Bill Maroldo, Carolyn Court, and Ted Walworth (Photo by Gini Haines of Haines Photography)

If you don’t have any specific plans to celebrate Earth Day, you’re invited to join the Friends of Pettingill Park as they mark the day with a park cleanup event on Sunday, April 22, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The park is located on College Street in Lewiston. 

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Maine Event Comedy at Bear Bones Beer

Jake Jacobson

Maine Event Comedy will present Brownfield’s Jake Jacobson at Bear Bones Beer on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. He’ll be joined by fellow comics Zach Griffith, Jamie Roux, and Dee Turcotte. An open-mic will follow the show.

Jacobson has seen the world and he’s not impressed. Born in Massachusetts, raised in Rhode Island, and enlightened in Africa, he now resides in Western Maine and writes intellectual-social-observational irreverence to be delivered wherever some good ol’ common sense is required.

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Governor’s Address: Democrats Delay the Tough Decisions until after the November Election

As the legislative session enters its last weeks, Democrats are sitting on their hands, hoping voters won’t notice they have avoided making the tough decisions that affect your families, businesses and wallets.

Tax conformity and funding Medicaid should be two separate, simple issues. However, the Democrats have linked them in their search for Medicaid expansion funding. The end result? They are doing nothing on either.

“Tax conformity” is when the state adopts the same tax code as the federal government to avoid having two sets of laws—one for federal taxes, and another for state taxes.

Maine should conform, but we must ensure it doesn’t increase taxes—you should keep the money you have earned. Here’s what you need to know.

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Community Credit Union celebrates completion of Lewiston branch renovations

Among those helping to cut the ribbon were (from l.) Jessica Blackwell, Nicole Fournier, Tiffany Mathon, Marcel Gagne, Rebecca Conrad, Matthew Shaw, Lorraine Foster, Betsy Sibley, Christina Carter, JoAnn Jackson, Jen Hogan (with scissors), Laurie Pelletier, Alfreda Fournier, Kayleigh Ogden, Michelle Green, Kate Adams, Russell Giasson, Maynard Chapman, and Elizabeth Keene.

A large crowd attended the recent ribbon cutting ceremony and open house to celebrate the official completion of renovations to Community Credit Union’s branch at 144 Pine Street in Lewiston. The event was jointly presented by the L-A Metro Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Business After Hours and its UpLift L-A young professionals group.

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Turner student named 2018 salutatorian at Umaine

Brianna DeGone

Brianna DeGone of Turner has been named salutarian of the University of Maine at Orono’s 2018 graduating class. Along with valedictorian Graham Van Goffrier of Norwell, Massachusetts, she will be honored at the school’s 216th commencement in Harold Alfond Sports Arena in May.

DeGone, who is also the Outstanding Graduating Student in the College of Engineering, is a first-generation college student who will receive a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering with a minor in business administration.

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Snow Angel Challenge raises $3,610 for AHCH

The Fortin Group presents a donation check to Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice for its first Snow Angel Challenge. Pictured here (from left) are Fortin Group Funeral Director Roger Bouffard, Family Services Manager Matthew Richard, General Manager Kevin Simoneau, with AHCH’s Director of Marketing & Development Sonya Purington and President and CEO Ken Albert.

It would be safe to say that Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice’s Snow Angel Challenge took the area by storm.

During the month of February, the agency challenged people to video or photograph themselves, friends, neighbors, or pets making snow angels, and to post the results to Facebook with the hashtag #AHCHangel. For every post, the Fortin Group donated $5 to support patient care at AHCH for those who otherwise cannot afford it. By months’ end, 722 angels had been made, raising $3,610.

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Twin City Thunder sign first player

Jeromey Rancourt was a standout player on a two-time Class A state championship-winning team at Lewiston High School.

The Twin City Thunder hockey team has announced the signing of its first player. Jeromey Rancourt has been a member of a two-time Class A state championship-winning team at Lewiston High School, a four-time MEAHA state championship- and two-time USA Hockey Tier 2 national championship-winning Maine Moose team, and most recently the T1EHL Fox Motors.

In its inaugural 2018-19 season, the Twin City Thunder will compete in the USPHL Premier North Division, playing their home games at Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn.

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